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Monday, October 29, 2007

Whos' Really on the Marty Chavez for Senate Finance Committee?

With all the "confusion" bubbling up around the Marty Chavez for Senate primary campaign regarding who is or is not a member of his finance committee, I thought I'd recap the inconsistent record that emerged late last week. It begins on Thursday, October 23, 2007:

1) Thursday's Roll Call article reports that the Chavez campaign is reporting that Marty's campaign finance committee includes Paul Blanchard, Johnny Cope and Javier Gonzales, among others.

2) Chavez is interviewed by Las Cruces blogger/journalist Heath Haussamen on Thursday afternoon and says that Blanchard and Cope are on his finance committee.

3) At 4:18 PM on Thursday, the Chavez campaign distributes a press release (pdf) that does not have Johnny Cope's name included in the listing of those serving on his finance committee.

4) The next day, Friday, Haussamen quotes Javier Gonzales saying he is not on the Chavez finance committee:

“I’m not a member of his committee. I notified his campaign staff of that yesterday afternoon but also notified them that I would continue to help the mayor raise money,” he said. “… What I have agreed to do is raise Marty money, as I have agreed to raise money for other Democrats, including contributions I’ve given to Don Wiviott (one of Chávez’s opponents in the Senate Democratic primary).”

5) On the same day, Friday, Paul Blanchard is asked by Heath Haussamen if he's on Chavez's finance committee and he answers "no comment."

6) Also on Friday, a Chavez spokesman says that Johnny Cope "will" be on the finance committee, according to an article by Steve Terrell published Saturday in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

7) In the same New Mexican article, Javier Gonzales goes on the record as not being a member of the Chavez team, and Marty Chavez is forced to confirm that:

Meanwhile, one person who was listed as a member of Chávez's finance team, former Santa Fe County Commissioner Javier Gonzales, said his name should not have been listed on the news release.

Chavez "called me a couple of days ago. I told him I'd help him raise money. I help a lot of Democrats raise money. I guess it was a misunderstanding," Gonzales said.

Chavez confirmed Gonzales had told him he couldn't serve on the Chavez finance team.

Gonzales said because of his work as a consultant for a variety of national companies, he isn't comfortable being an official part of anyone's campaign.

What are we to make of all this? At the very least, statements by Chavez's campaign staff and Chavez himself as to the membership of Cope, Blanchard and Gonzales on his official campaign finance committee were premature, if not downright misleading. Despite the unwillingness of Cope and Blanchard to go on the record, the Chavez campaign is still touting them as finance team members. Javier Gonzales' membership on the finance committee has been refuted by him and Chavez finally confirmed that Gonzales wasn't on the committee.

The strong relationships that Cope and Blanchard have with Gov. Bill Richardson and Lt. Gov. Diane Denish make any formal connection with the Chavez campaign seem unlikely. After all, Denish says she's still pondering a Senate run, and reports have surfaced that Richardson people are telling his main financial supporters to "keep their powder dry" regarding the Senate race.

Why is the Chavez campaign going down this road, given how easy it is for fact checkers to determine the truth? Why did they release campaign finance committee information that can't readily be confirmed, especially when it tends to strengthen the already enshrined perception that some of the Mayor's dealings have been less than ethical or even downright dishonest? The Chavez campaign's strategy seems particularly dangerous when voter mistrust of career politicians is at an all-time high. I can't imagine why they think that operating in this matter will help their chances.

To read our previous coverage of the U.S. Senate race in New Mexico, visit our archive.

October 29, 2007 at 10:21 AM in 2008 NM Senate Race | Permalink


Wow have you seen this post by Matt Stoller -

Open Left

Posted by: | Oct 29, 2007 12:51:15 PM

Thanks for the heads up Kossian, that (Open Left) is an eye opener. I think this statement pretty well sums up why I can not and will not vote for Mayor Sleazy. "Because of his corrupt background, his legacy of reactionary policies, and his loathing of progressives, should he be the nominee there would be a Republican Senator from New Mexico one way or another."

Posted by: VP | Oct 29, 2007 1:24:05 PM

Maybe Marty isn't capable of being honest. Some people are like that.

Posted by: roadrunner | Oct 29, 2007 1:24:08 PM

I guess he thought we were too stupid of find out the truth. He is that arrogant.

Posted by: Old Dem | Oct 29, 2007 2:03:52 PM

It is like Griffin, the women running against O'Malley saying Heinrich was a supporter of hers.
I guess Griffin learned from the best of the "just say anything" politico's.
It just shows true colors. We can not have our next senator be out of touch of reality, and an exagerator of truths.

Posted by: no more liars | Oct 29, 2007 3:21:17 PM

A small correction: Marty tool Joanie Griffin ran for Heinrich's open seat, not against O'Malley. (She lost to Rey Garduno.) But you may have stumbled onto something intriguing nonetheless. Griffin was Marty's communications director in his last mayoral re-election campaign. Maybe she's back in her old job, this time on his senate campaign and still playing fast and loose with the truth. Makes one wonder at least.

Posted by: Joanie's back? | Oct 29, 2007 3:52:06 PM

It could be Joanie! Seems like match for her style.

Burque Babble thinks all Chavez needs is a Yankee cap


Posted by: JJ | Oct 29, 2007 4:56:29 PM

Sounds like none of these fundraisers are very enthusiastic about Marty's candidacy if they are really on board at all. Sounds like Chavez is more than a little desperate doesn't it?

Posted by: | Oct 29, 2007 6:28:49 PM

Marty is a sure loser. I wont WONT vote for him. Many Dems feel the same. Want to hand that seat to Wilson? Run Marty.


Marty needs a life.

Posted by: Taos Resident | Oct 30, 2007 12:56:56 PM

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