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Friday, August 26, 2005

Keep On Talking

Heather_1The national political blog TPM Cafe has picked up on Joe Monahan's item and our discussion about a candidate to run against Heather Wilson.

Cafe's jgmallory mulls the possible reasons why one hasn't yet emerged and laments what appears to be shaping up as a free ride for Rep. Wilson. Read down a bit and you'll see the link to our original post on this, which generated a good discussion on candidates the progressive community might support.

Excerpt from TPM Cafe:

[The lack of a Dem to run against Heather] . . . shows that the national party's stagnation can reach the state level even in a state with a strong Democratic governor and a fully-Dem legislature, and in a city that is itself pretty solidly Dem . . . The failure here has to be on the political level, because there is no reason for this district to be safe R . . .

. . . So without the national party's backing, it looks like there might be nobody to stand up to Heather. The national party's stagnation has reached inward to the state level, and looks like it will result in Heather getting a free ride. I think that is a crucial strategic error and a terribly sad mistake.

One of the commenters at TPM Cafe also goes into the adventures of Miles Nelson in the 2004 Congressional primary and compares him to Paul Hackett.

While we got a good start on discussing possible candidates in our first DFNM thread, there's still alot to hash out. Come on, it's the weekend, you've got a little time to comment! Do it here and/or at the Cafe! --BW

August 26, 2005 at 06:48 PM in Candidates & Races, Democratic Party | Permalink


Geez, this is upsetting. See the comment below about John Wertheim from the TPM Cafe comment at


"If memory serves me, then I think I recall that the current Democratic Party Chair for New Mexico, John Wertheim, actually ran for Congress himself in 1996 and again 1998. In 1998, I think he lost in the primary to an assitant AG.

"(I always take advantage of opening new windows in my browser just to search and see if I can confirm some underlying assumption)

"Five Minutes Later: AH HA!!!

"Ok, I just did a search for "John Wertheim" on the FEC website to confirm that he did run in 1998. I found two references to the NM state chair, one terminating his campaign from 1996 and another referring to his 1998 campaign. Evidently, the guy still has a bunch of debt from his 1998 campaign and has failed to file the required reports with the FEC since 2003.



"I was thinking that it might be the right time for the Chair to take another run at CD 1, considering that Kerry carried Bernalillo. But considering that he still can't settle debt from a race 8 years ago, then I'm guessing he probably doesn't want to jump in now either. Also, how many "Failures to File" notices
do you get before the FEC fines you?

TPM Cafe - Re: NM-01: When Swing Districts Attack (3.00 / 0) (#15) by Lanterna on Aug 27, 2005 -- 02:05:23 PM EST

How can the Democrats have someone heading their state party who doesn't file his FEC reports and still owes money for his past campaigns? No wonder there seems to be no effective action going on to find and fund candidates for Congress and other things!

What do other people know about this?

Posted by: csbendrix | Aug 28, 2005 1:45:15 PM

I had heard something about it but didn't know it was this bad. How can we trust this guy?

Posted by: El Norte | Aug 28, 2005 4:40:27 PM

FWIW, FEC violations are pretty common. It wouldn't be a reason to exclude anyone running, imo, unless they were of the magnitude of Delay. But wait, Delay just keeps getting reelected...

Posted by: KathyF | Aug 29, 2005 8:37:06 AM

This kind of talk makes my head spin.

Twenty percent of Dems turned out in the primary and decided Romero was the one they wanted to go against Heather.

Dems (and Greens and Independents who can't vote in a primary) reap what they sow, or as the case might be, don't sow.

Posted by: KathyF | Aug 29, 2005 8:47:57 AM

Kathy to give you an update it is the constant wearing down that is dawning on me now. The wearing down of where is the democratic party?

We have a horrible race going on here for Mayor, where allegedly marty people are ripping down griego signs...It is as vicious as a repub vs a dem...oh wait that is what it is now!

At the bern. county meeting last week someone mentioned doesn't a mayoral major candidate have to support the platform....really there was no answer -- it would take some change in the rules. Such as....a person running within the dem party has got to not be a crook and has got to be for justice and fairness for all people! I am frustrated! Lip service is all we are getting.

No date has been set for the fall state central committee meeting as of yet. I hear the dems in charge are wondering where are the progressives...well for whoever is reading this we are out trying to get a real Democratic mayor elected, we are out trying to get true Dem city councilors elected, we are out trying to get the living wage passed. All of these things as of today are being conducted without the help of the Democratic party.

I am exhausted and at times feel it is useless. It would be easy to be like many other liberals and just say over and over that the two parties are the same. It is amazing to be here and know heather is so awful and not have anyone to be coming up against her. So this is now a rant.....tired back in NM

Posted by: mary ellen | Aug 29, 2005 11:26:02 AM

Dems more like repubs. Party poor and few good candidates. A corrupt Dem mayor. A Dem governor only interested in his own political career. I keep hearing criticisms of progressives but where are the loyal "regular" Dems we keep hearing about? Few are ever at any party meetings or out on the newswaves. I guess they dont give any money either as we have none, or so we keep being told.

Bush falling apart and the only peep we hear is from Feingold.

Where do we start?

Posted by: Democracy Nut | Aug 29, 2005 12:25:06 PM

Listen , we need 2 million bucks and Miles Nelson to run in Cd 1. If we can get 20 dollar donations from at least 5000 progressives we could jumpstart his campaign. We could then beg the DNC,like the state Dem party does, for the rest of the cash.

Posted by: Crazy Town | Aug 29, 2005 4:00:16 PM

Miles Nelson now lives in Santa Fe and can't run against Wilson. If you go back to where we started to discuss possibilities, check out the names people have suggested instead. Who do you like?

Posted by: El Norte | Aug 29, 2005 4:15:36 PM

Did it ever possibly enter anyone's mind that Miles Nelson didn't beat Romero because he wasn't a good candidate or didn't have positions that appealed to primary electorate?? The same hype you're giving out now about him swirled about him in '04, but that didn't do much for him.

Instead it's everyone else's fault but Miles Nelson's that he lost. Richard Romero beat him because people voted for him, not Nelson. Why is that so hard to comprehend?

Crazy thinking. The guy couldn't even win a primary. Let's back someone who can and can run a real race.

Posted by: tim | Aug 29, 2005 4:33:43 PM

someone recently made a suggestion that i over heard.....too bad we cannot find a hispanic male vet. I thought it was worth bringing forward, not that i can think of an individual that meets this. Can anyone...I do think that would be a strong ticket against scary heather.

Posted by: mary ellen | Aug 29, 2005 4:35:27 PM


I guess we'll never know how Miles Nelson would have done on a level playing field. When the 2000 pound gorilla in the room -- Governor Richardson -- puts his clout, his connections, his arm twisting and his pal's money at the service of a candidate like he did for Romero, it makes it very difficult to overcome.

The main thing is that the Dem Party overlooked a strong and passionate candidate so that the governor's dues could be paid to a weak one. And speaking of a poor campaign -- Romero's was piss poor. Remember that ad comparing Heather and Osama? More of the same idiotic thinking coming from the campaign pros from DC.

Posted by: Joe F. | Aug 29, 2005 5:22:05 PM

Joe F, you're absolutely right about that gorilla.

I seem to remember people voting for Kerry because they thought he was the most electable. We saw how that turned out.

Voting strategically in a primary never, ever works.

I don't imagine Tim ever saw or heard Miles Nelson speak. If he'd have had the platform Romero did, and the cash, there's no doubt he could have not only beat Romero but handed Heather her walking papers.

Voters want someone with vision. They'll never find a candidate who they agree with 100% of the time unless they run themselves, but when they see someone whose vision and passion they share, they'll vote for him. Or her.

Posted by: KathyF | Aug 30, 2005 11:36:18 AM

I did see Nelson speak, and he's a nice guy. But let's not make him the victim, here. Romero spent 2 hours a day raising money. Did Miles do that? Absolutely not. These Congressional seats are earned not given. Romero outworked him, fair and square-- he sought the endorsement of the powers that be and maybe gained advantage from them. What's wrong with that? Did Miles seek out their endorsement or their help? Nope.

You claim that the Party establishment was backing Romero and that made all the difference. But isn't it the same inept party that everyone on the website is complaining about?

This speaks to "progressivedems'" recent posts. You just don't throw some guy in a race and magic happens and suddenly everyone realises they have to vote for him/her. Whoever is going to beat Heather has to outwork her, raise money and get their message out. Miles did a crappy job raising money, couldn't get his message out and he lost. Big surprise.

Posted by: Tim | Aug 30, 2005 4:20:46 PM

Yes, he did spend at least 2 hours a day raising money. But he did not fly to Washington, Seattle, and other cities around the US with Bill Richardson to raise a thousand per head from people who could care less about New Mexico but wanted Bill R. to like them.

Instead, he raised smaller amounts from New Mexicans at house parties where he answered questions from voters--something Romero refused to do. (He stipulated "no q&a" at his events. One person I heard of left and took his check back.)

We need election reform if someone like Miles is ever going to be nominated in New Mexico. Spending limits, for one, and open primaries.

And a governor who doesn't tell people to vote for one democrat over another. Your comment about party establishment and inept party kind of makes my point, doesn't it? They nominated--no, anointed--a guy who was hopelessly inept as a candidate for political payback.

When will they ever learn?

Posted by: KathyF | Aug 31, 2005 4:17:31 AM

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