Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
Keep Quality of Life, Say NO to New Tax
Proponents say 65% of the tax is earmarked for Albuquerque museums and zoos, and that this effort was started six years ago when there was a budget crunch. The thing is, there is NO BUDGET CRUNCH today. Albuquerque, like cities all over New Mexico, has enjoyed unprecedented budget growth due to the significant gross receipts tax increases that have already occurred in the last three years.
Proponents say this is a 10 year tax increase that will be phased out. Yet, we all know that our government HATES to let any revenue stream phase out . Just look at what the City is about to do to a transportation tax which is currently scheduled to expire.
Proponents say this is a tool for economic development. I'm not buying what they are selling, and neither will any business that is considering moving to New Mexico. Businesses do not seek to relocate to environments where they know their taxes will go up every year like clockwork.
Proponents are saying this will help the poor have access to more cultural amenities. Yet, this is a gross receipts tax increase. Gross receipts taxes are regressive - they hit the poorest amongst us the hardest! [NOTE: That last link is to an article when the gross receipts tax was 5.7%. The current proposal would put the City of Albuquerque OVER 7%].
Opponents to this tax increase, say, "NO!" and so should you.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Poster Ripping and Duck Attacks
Watch this second clip, and you'll clearly see the Madrid volunteer assaulting the young woman in the duck suit by stomping on her toes. How do you know it wasn't an accident. Well, they sure as heck weren't "beeping" out his apology.
What are these people thinking? As Heather said at the Congregation Albert debate, "You can tell a lot about someone by the company the keep."
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Jim Bibb: I'm the Enforcer
If you didn't catch Kate Nelson's interviews with the Attorney General candidates Jim Bibb and Gary King, you can watch it by clicking below:
What a difference! You can picture the Attorney General's office under Gary King continuing with the status quo, and leaving the U.S. Attorney's office to try and clean up public corruption.
On the other hand, Jim Bibb's military background comes shining through during the entire interview. He seems like a man on a mission. Jim's clearly got priorities, and PRIORITY #1 is to clean up state government and get criminals behind bars.
Jim wants to enforce the laws... Gary wants to work on writing laws. Gary should run to be re-elected to the legislature, and Jim should be our next Attorney General.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Money Laundering Makes Bad Situation Worse
Last August, Mr. Baca struggled with whether or not he would return $10,000 in dirty money from an East Coast billionaire indicted on felony charges of soliciting teenage prostitutes. After checking with his Treasurer on whether or not he should act ethically, Baca finally decided to donate the money to charity, albeit only a little at a time. Apparently, his campaign finances came before doing the right thing.
So follow the dirty money - where did it go? Did Baca send the dirty money from his billionaire crony to a charity - such as a worthy New Mexico charity that takes care of underaged, sexually abused kids? No, he did not.
Despite his promises, Baca instead put the money to work by paying out various amounts of the dirty money to his favorite extreme political organizations and a former lobbyist. Not a dime went to any charity to take care of underaged, sexually abused kids.
Recipients of Baca's dirty money include:
Sacred Alliance for Grassroots Equality (SAGE): $1,000 (Baca supporters who opposed Westside roads needed for public safety)
New Mexico Wilderness Alliance: $2,000
Forest Guardians: $1,000
Conservation Voters Alliance: $3,000
Apparently, $3,000 is the going rate for an endorsement from the Conservation Voters Alliance. One of the more bizarre uses of the money was Mr. Baca's decision to give $500 of the questionable money to an individual (which is not lawful) for her past work on behalf of a pro-abortion group.
The Land Office is about raising money for the education of children throughout New Mexico. In acts that can only be viewed as perverse, Baca has taken money from an indicted child predator and used it to pump up his campaign and further some radical agendas. Does anyone still think Mr. Baca deserves your vote?
Thursday, October 26, 2006
The Crux of the Problem
Then at the debate, she said this:
At the debate, Patricia Madrid tried to side step her strong support for a government run healthcare system. Yet, one month earlier Mrs. Madrid had this to say:
Q: What is the best way to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses so they can offer it to their employees?
Madrid: "It's time to look at another model for providing health care besides putting it on the backs of small businesses. (The cost) is too onerous. We need comprehensive national health care reform. We can't sustain the employer-based health insurance system in the U.S. Many other industrialized countries have more government supported health care systems."
"Also, we could expand Medicare and Medicaid. In the interim, I do support small businesses being able to form insurance pools, but it doesn't solve the overall problems. We still need a comprehensive national health care program to make it more fair to small employers."
Even within her own answer, Mrs. Madrid contradicts herself.
A Few Loose Ends
The debate progressed from there with a myriad of questions--health care, education and Social Security--but blood oozed again near the end of the second half hour when mild-mannered anchorwoman Carla Aragon dropped a seemingly innocuous question on the order of: "What are the ethical implications of a politician accepting money from lobbyists and special interest groups and what do they get for that money?Good job on that disclaimer. My only suggestion is that in the future you consider making it a little earlier in your "unbiased" coverage. To Mr. Monahan's credit, today he posted his readers comments. Two to one they support that Heather clearly won the debate. More significantly, almost everyone of Patricia Madrid's supporters seems like they are trying to turn lemons into lemonade. Only one even tries to assert that Madrid won the debate. To this end, Mr. Monahan is forced to finish his post with the following:
"It is only to give them access," fumbled Madrid as Heather went off to the races.
"I am amazed at what I just heard...Mrs. Madrid accepted $125,000 from a casino owner in southern New Mexico who has business pending in her office. No one buys access to my office," emoted Heather as catcalls [from Madrid supporters and thundering applause from Heather Wilson supporters] decorated the airwaves from some of the 200 partisans invited to attend the event.
Heather has already worked this issue over with a ton of TV ads, but Madrid's phrasing opened the door to renewed ethics questions, even if it is doubtful they will work any better than they already have. (FYI: I do PR work for Sunland Park Racetrack whose owner Wilson referred to.)
I am grateful for such a great readership, and always look forward to hearing from you. I know I make my share of mistakes, but with all you "cyber-editors" out there, I never stay wrong for long.Hmm, is that an admission that his analysis from the day before was competely off the mark? Wouldn't it have made more sense to say, "I was wrong yesterday. Heather Wilson clearly won the debate."
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Please Pay At The Door
Simple Question... For Most Folks
Observations from the Debate
Although well-rehearsed and well-scripted, Madrid struggled to answer many a simple question. For example, Heather asked the Attorney General why the people at Kirtland whose livelihood depends on defense spending should vote for her? Madrid's response began:
As Attorney General, I have stood up for this state and I have been the most activist Attorney General in the history of this state.Ok, is it just me, or is that a total non-sequitur? Boy, am I glad my ability to earn a living doesn't depend on defense spending, or does it? What would happen if tomorrow we pulled an $11 billion economic plug in New Mexico?
Just a friendly reminder. So far during this campaign, Patricia Madrid's economic policy has consisted of reducing defense spending and attacking the oil and gas industry.
Ok, so that was the first blow. Then Heather Wilson delivered the second of what was to become a three blow knockout by asking:
Can you cite something in your long career in public service that will give people of New Mexico some assurance that you will prevent a tax increase?Madrid's response... a very awkward six seconds of silence. Seriously, six seconds. Madrid just couldn't bring herself to look at the camera and say, "I will prevent a tax increase." She was obviously lost.
She started to respond, and then fumbled again for another couple of seconds of awkward silence. Finally, she went on to provide some misinformation about tax relief for the wealthiest one percent. How do I know it's misinformation? Simple. I'm not among the wealthiest one percent. However, I no longer have to endure a marriage penalty on my tax return, and I enjoy the extra child credits. Yet, Patricia Madrid made it clear last night that she would allow my middle class tax relief to sunset.
In boxing a technical knockout (TKO) is when the fighter gets knocked to the mat three times. Last night in the last fifteen minutes of the debate, this is precisely what happened to Patricia Madrid. The third blow was a whopper, but first a little sidenote.
About three and a half years ago, I was the president of a not-for-profit here in New Mexico. I had never made a personal contribution to Congresswoman Heather Wilson, nor had I ever worked on her campaign, and our organization didn't have a lobbyist. Yet, when I wanted to talk to Heather Wilson, I called her office and got an appointment. When I wanted her to attend one of our organization's luncheons, I called Heather's office and she worked it into her schedule.
I've never found Heather Wilson to be anything but available and approachable. It's the reason I'm supporting her re-election campaign.
Now back to that final blow.
During tonight's debate Patricia Madrid gave us a peek at what constituent services for the 1st Congressional District would look like if we were to elect her to be our Representative. In no uncertain terms, Madrid stated that she has a "pay at door" policy.
Haven't we had enough of pay to play politics both in New Mexico and nationally?
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Submit Debate Questions
For example, you might not want to ask for the candidates respective plans for Iraq because Patricia Madrid's record on this issue would put her at a disadvantage:
While not embracing the "cut-and-run" strategy [Madrid's] critics have charged her with holding, she has also denounced "stay the course," rightly noting that it simply isn't working.See what I mean. Madrid just sounds foolish when answering tough questions. Also to be avoided are any questions on being tough on child predators, prosecuting corruption, personal drug use, pay-to-play politics and the importance of public discourse.
No, You Didn't Write That
Speaking of the auditors race, the R's are throwing their candidate's many qualifications in the face of Balderas. They say Big Bill's "Task Force on Ethics" seems to back R Lorenzo Garcia, since the report states: "The Task Force recommends that the state auditor have certain minimum qualifications. For instance, the state auditor could be required to be a certified public accountant..." Lorenzo is a CPA with lengthy government experience.Oh sorry, we stand corrected. Balderas is an attorney and spent one term as a freshman legislator. Shoot, not only does that make him qualified to be an auditor. He could also be a surgeon, a pilot and an Olympic athelete. Insisting on qualifications. Silly us, what were we thinking?
The key words are "could be required." But it's not as though Hector is a country rube. He does have a law degree, is a practicing attorney and served a term in the Legislature.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Lipstick and Paint
The now 60-year-old Las Cruces native in a recent interview said she was likely one of the first judicial candidates in New Mexico to wage a political-style campaign. She planted yard signs, ran TV ads and agreed to have her black hair streaked with gray to make her appear more judgelike [emphasis added].Apparently, my grandmother knew what she was talking about:
District Court records showed that in 1982, Madrid was the most frequently disqualified judge in civil cases. She was also criticized by lawyers who maintained she was not well-versed on the law.But hey, the superficial makeover got her elected, so who cares? If it worked before, why not try it again?
[Madrid] could have built a solid reputation as a champion against corruption in New Mexico government. There has been plenty of raw material to work with. While Madrid has some significant accomplishments in office, prosecuting corruption hasn't been her forte. A cosmetic campaign makeover won't turn voters' heads.I've met many people who think the world of Heather Wilson; however, I haven't met anyone who thinks highly of Patricia Madrid. Oh sure, there are lots of folks upset with our President, and a great many more conflicted about the war in Iraq. But, I've never actually met someone who said to me Patricia Madrid is just a fantastic individual with such an impressive record that we have to send her to Congress.
Instead even her supporters say, "Patricia Madrid is not our ideal candidate for the post."
So, the Journal editorial was right. "Cosmetic campaign makeovers" haven't turned voters' heads. No one is convinced that Patricia Madrid is a tough crime fighter. No one is convinced that Patricia Madrid is more qualified than Heather Wilson. No one is convinced that Patricia Madrid has better solutions for the toughest problems facing our nation. No one.
Today I listened to Brian Sanderoff give some polling information at a NAIOP luncheon. He made the point that if it weren't for the low approval ratings of the President and Congress combined with the sentiment on the War on Iraq, Heather Wilson would be leading Patricia Madrid by at eight points right now.
In other words, if this were about choosing the better woman for the job, Heather Wilson would remain our number one choice by a long shot.
Do you really want to elect Patricia Madrid to make a point? Right now Congress has a 23% approval rating. Do you think someone like Patricia Madrid as our representative is going to raise or lower our view of Congress?
Remember, Madrid tricked New Mexicans into electing her as a judge and then failed miserably. And to what did she attribute those failures?
Madrid chalks those criticisms up to being a woman in what was then a man's world.Heather Wilson has long been a woman in a "man's world." Funny, I don't recall her using it as a crutch.
Endorsing Sanford Seigel
1. Practiced law for 29 years:
a) 5 years as a prosecutor with the New York County DA
b) 24 years in civil family law practice in New Mexico
2. Listed in Best Lawyers in America
a) Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (B.A.)
b) Fordham Law School, New York, NY (J.D.)
4. Committed to:
a) providing access to the court
b) treating all parties with respect
c) issuing same-day decisions from the bench
A Bit of a Pickle
"The Task Force recommends that the state auditor have certain minimum qualifications. For instance, the state auditor could be required to be a certified public accountant, which would ensure sufficient knowledge of the auditing function and respect within the industry." (Governor Richardson's Task Force on Ethics Reform: Report of Recommendations, page 19; emphasis added).The state auditor should be a certified public accountant. That seems like pretty simple and reasonable logic to me. Who could possibly disagree?
"Lorenzo Garcia is a certified public accountant with 30 years experience in high-level financial and leadership positions while Hector Balderas has no experience or education whatsoever as an accountant," said Jonah Cohen, spokesman for the Republican Party of New Mexico. "It's a simple deduction from the Ethics Task Force's recommendations that Lorenzo Garcia should be our next State Auditor. Of the two candidates, Garcia is the only one that meets their recommended qualifications for the position."Guess we don't have to wait until the next legislative session to find out what Governor Richardson's thinks about the recommendations of his blue ribbon task force. I wonder how much that exercise in futility cost the taxpayers?
"Were Richardson sincere about his support for the Ethics Task Force, he'd support Lorenzo Garcia for State Auditor," added Cohen.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Two Very Different Endorsements
A by-product of this Election Day will be to settle one political strategy question once and for all. In a race between two candidates, is voting against something politically enough motivation to get people to turn out to the polls? Or, is voting for someone a more powerful impetus to get people to the polls?
To this end, let's look at the endorsements. The Albuquerque Journal and the Albuquerque Tribune have respectively endorsed Heather Wilson and Patricia Madrid. What is fascinating is what they had to say in arriving at the their endorsement decisions.
Below are a few key quotes from the Journal's endorsement (subscription) of Heather Wilson.
First, on Independence:
Congress as an institution [both Democrats and Republicans] acquiesced to the administration. Wilson was less compliant than many [emphasis added].
Wilson has asserted the authority of Congress and demanded accountability from the executive branch.Next, on Qualifications:
Wilson is a Rhodes Scholar, an Air Force Academy graduate and the only woman veteran in Congress. She also worked as a staffer for the National Security Council and understands the magnitude of the threats we face.Lastly, on Integrity:
Wilson's own behavior is fair game, but her reputation for integrity has yet to be seriously challenged with anything more specific than guilt by association. And her critics have their own problems in these areas [emphasis added].Now compare the above with what the Tribune had to say when deciding to endorse Patricia Madrid:
First, on Integrity:
For eight years, Madrid [had] a disappointing lack of early investigations into corruption in the state Treasurer's Office.Next, on Qualifications:
Throughout this campaign, her unwillingness to engage in a public conversation about congressional issues - be it in formal debates, one-on-one interviews or casual forums - has left us anywhere from frustrated to enraged. The first part of being a public servant is to be... public [emphasis added].As to Independence... well, unfortunately there is nothing favorable to be said on this front for Patricia Madrid. Everyone on both sides of the aisle agrees that electing Madrid is about putting Democrats, like uber-liberal Nancy Pelosi, in key majority leadership positions:
I've talked to several Democrats who say they like Wilson a lot and have voted for her in the past, but the idea of having the Democrats control Congress is more appealing to them than the magnitude, character or qualities of either Wilson or Madrid.Madrid's every word in this campaign has been very carefully scripted by D.C. Democrats with their own agenda - an agenda far removed from the interests of New Mexicans living in the 1st Congressional District. Probably the most damning part of the Tribune's endorsement of Patricia Madrid is the fact they admit that "Patricia Madrid is not our ideal candidate for the post."
Do you want Wilson still to represent you in the majority party? Or do you want the Democrats to control Congress? Think carefully. You may be deciding that question for the rest of us.
Yeah, that's motivating.
Last Week's Episode of The Line
Friday, October 20, 2006
One Definition of Insanity
Blogs were abuzz Thursday over a supposedly "lost" 13-year-old police report involving Rep. Heather Wilson's husband and what Wilson did with a file containing that report years ago.That's right a ten year old story that was a reported non-story ten years ago is hitting the left wing blogs as if it was breaking news. Actually, I think one blogger actually posted it as "Breaking News." So, why is this an insane campaign approach?
Dailykos.com, rawstory.com and dukecityfix.com carried items on the issue, generating hundreds of blogger responses and a string of anonymous calls to the Journal.
However, the police report in question was never lost: It remains a public file at the Albuquerque Police Department [emphasis added]. The story now being trumpeted in cyberspace was reported in 1996 by then-KOAT Action 7 News reporter Larry Barker and also was reported on by the Journal in 1996 and 1998.
This is not the first time the Hone issue has come up in 1st District election campaigns.Worth reading are the two Journal articles from 1996 and 1998 covering this nonstarter. For example, consider this (subscription):
In 1998, Wilson's Democratic opponent, Phil Maloof, alleged in a campaign ad that Wilson had abused her authority by moving the file.
"I have had suspicious for some time, based on rumors, that someone had attempted to steal information from the department regarding my family," she said Wednesday in a prepared statement.Hmm, not exactly done under the cover of darkness. Heather asked the Democratic Attorney General Tom Udall, who would go on to become her colleague in Congress, to look into the whole affair.
On Thursday, Wilson said her fears were that "some unscrupulous individual would troll for trash, excerpt (the records), or take then out of context to discredit our family," she said.
Wilson said that on June 19 she requested a criminal investigation by the state attorney general "into the release of confidential information about my family."
Wilson did not disclose the nature of the information, but said it involved information about her family situation.
Wilson said she never asked to see the records, had never been given access to them, had never had them removed from the department nor had she asked that the records "be altered, destroyed or tampered with in any way."
Kay Roybal, spokeswoman for Attorney General Tom Udall, confirmed that the department is looking into the issue at Wilson's request.
Then in 1998, District Attorney Bob Schwartz, the guy who would go on to be Governor Bill Richardson's crime czar, confirmed:
Former District Attorney Bob Schwartz said Tuesday that Republican congressional candidate Heather Wilson did not break the law in 1995 [emphasis added] when she had a confidential file concerning her family moved while she was head of the state's Children, Youth and Families Department.Folks, I'm failing to see the story here. Even among those "hundreds of comments," readers are saying over and over again that the contents of the never-lost-now-recovered police report is not the issue. They're trying to make a case about the file being moved. A case that former District Attorney Bob Schwartz confirmed EIGHT YEARS AGO could not be made.
Schwartz did criticize Wilson's actions but said an investigation found the file was intact and hadn't been tampered with, therefore, nothing illegal had occurred.
Now, I'm glad the Journal provided the links to all of the supporting stories because it gives a much clearer picture. However, what I want to know is how can Jeff Jones cover this, and not cover the Robins/Barbosa/Madrid payoff triangle? That's a story that has not been thoroughly investigated and reported.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
A Letter to My Buddy Joe
How the heck are you? It seems like forever since last we spoke. I hope things are going well for you over at the campaign. This is one heck of a tight race, and I imagine you've got a lot at stake here. So, you just keep on doing on what you're doing. Democrats everywhere owe you a debt of gratitude.
Speaking of which, I just noticed that the New Mexico GOP is giving you a hard time again. I'm really sorry about that. Life must have been a lot easier back in the day. You know, when you were the only one blogging about New Mexico politics.
Hopefully, someone tells that Jonah Cohen guy to be more respectful. It's not right for him to keep pointing out all of your inconsistencies. I mean, it's okay when I do it, 'cause we go way back. But, for Jonah to do it... Well, that's just partisan bickering, and it needs to stop. Why can't Republicans and Democrats just get along?
I don't mind telling you, I am more than a little concerned that this whole "pulling a Monahan" is going to catch on in political and media circles. That would be bad. Reporters might stop using you as resource.
But, don't you fret buddy. I've got an idea. I know how we can take the wind out of their sails over there at NM GOP headquarters. It's called the Blogger Code of Ethics. You just start following that, and in no time Jonah Cohen will have nothing left to write about. No sir, he won't have Joe Monahan to kick around anymore.
Let me give you an example of this might work. Yesterday they had you saying:
As it did with Dem Treasurer candidate James B. Lewis, the NM GOP has sent out a mailer showing Dem congressional candidate Patricia Madrid portrayed as a puppet on strings.Well, today anyone looking at your post will see that you have changed that to read:
As was done with Dem Treasurer candidate James B. Lewis by his R opponent Demesia Padilla, the NM GOP has sent out a mailer showing Dem congressional candidate Patricia Madrid portrayed as a puppet on strings.Now I'm pretty sure, they're going to try and make a stink about you changing your blog once again without acknowledging the change. Granted, you changed it just enough, so that the careless reader might still get the impression you were trying to create in the first go around - you sly dog you.
Well, if you start acting ethically, that'll just put Mr. Cohen out of business once and for all.
P.S. Let's go grab a bite at Yanni's one of these days - your treat.
P.P. S. I just got a note from Mr. Jonah Cohen himself. It's worse than I thought. Jonah is not the only one contributing to the NM GOP blog, so he can’t take credit for all the content involving you and other posts on the blog. I stand corrected. Joe, this means you better adopt some Blogger Ethics pretty darn quick. There is a whole platoon out there watching.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
The Morning After
I envisioned at least one morning news anchor reporting:
Today is the day. The day that the Richardson Campaign warned would come. Our station heeded Governor Richardson's caution, but unfortunately, one rogue competing station did not. Last night, KOB-TV demonstrated nothing short of reckless abandonment for public welfare and put Republican Gubernatorial Candidate John Dendahl on the air.Oh well, maybe I'll see it on the six o'clock news.
The havoc that you see all around you today is the result of this foolish act by KOB-TV. In their self-serving quest for ratings and Democracy, they willing aided in bringing down the state of New Mexico.
Schools are being flooded. Corruption is running rampant in state government. New Mexico is now in last place for prenatal healthcare. Albuquerque has become the 17th most dangerous Metro on a list of 300. But worst of all, our education system is now failing more students than ever.
Wait a minute. This just in. Turns out everything I just mentioned happened before John Dendahl got on the air last night. Stay tuned we'll have more on this breaking story.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
But Wait There's More
I know what you Madrid supporters are thinking, "See, Patsy isn't as bad as you made her seem." But, not so fast. Remember, her office never withdrew from the case. Yet, the plea deal was signed off by an Assistant District Attorney from Henry Valdez's office. Why?
Santa Fe District Attorney Henry Valdez... Henry Valdez... that name rings a bell. Oh, I remember:
According to a front-page article in the Albuquerque Journal on Sept. 21, 2005, [Patricia Madrid's] office was given an audit in 1999 that alleged [Robert] Vigil's office used a contractor to filter government money to a former deputy. She referred the matter to DA Henry Valdez, saying she didn't have the resources to pursue the case.So, Patricia Madrid seemingly used Henry Valdez to try and make the Robert Vigil case disappear. She seemingly used Henry Valdez to make the case against the wife of her close personal friend disappear, and surprise, surprise, she seemingly used Valdez to make the case against Rendleman, all but disappear.
Just a bunch of coincidences, right? Well, then try this on for size:
The Cauley firm and its members contributed $79,000 in cash and in-kind travel expenses to Richardson's 2002 campaign and his political action committee. Its Texas and New Mexico bidding partners contributed an additional $90,350.So, Governor Richardson and convicted felon, Robert Vigil, share the same benefactors, and who are those "Texas and New Mexico partners" who were so generous in their donations? Well, you just have to read a little further down the article:
The firm also made two $5,000 contributions while bidding was under way, including in-kind money for a Richardson trip and a contribution to a campaign fund-raiser for state Treasurer Robert Vigil, who faces re-election in 2006.
Vigil said he met attorney Darrin Williams of the Cauley firm at a conference shortly after being elected in 2002, and they hit it off. He said he sought Cauley's contribution but that it played no role in the contract award [Yeah, right!]
Madrid in January signed the contract with the Cauley firm and its team, the Branch Law Firm of Albuquerque and the Houston firm of Heard, Robins, Cloud, Lubel & Greenwood. She signed a contract in March for the Goodkind firm and its partner, Carpenter & Stout in Albuquerque.Whoa, is that the same Bill Robins who is a close personal friend of Patricia Madrid? So close that he gave her $25,000 in August after winning a lucrative contract. So, close that with the help of District Attorney Henry Valdez, Madrid was able to strike a plea deal for his wife to dismiss 5 counts of sexual exploitation of a child and 14 counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor.
Eleven lawyers for Goodkind gave a combined $14,750 to Richardson's campaign. The Heard firm has given $25,000 to Richardson's committees. One of its partners, Bill Robins III of Santa Fe, donated $48,100. Turner Branch and Margaret Moses Branch, partners in the Branch firm, contributed $17,250.
Isn't there a reporter out there who finds this all a little troubling? How about a law enforcement officer? Aren't lawyers held up to some sort of standard of conduct by their peers? Somebody do something, please.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Inquiring Minds Want to Know
Look at the docket. Obviously, a lot of time, effort and taxpayer dollars had gone into pursuing this case, so what possible circumstances could warrant the dismissal of so many charges against a child predator after nine years of litigation? How is it possible that the defendant in the case would walk without a jail sentence?
For the answer, we need to look at a motion for continuance filed on 8/15/05 in the case of Barbosa's father, Mark Rendleman. The motion states, in part:
"During the course of this case, former co-defendant Mia Barbosa, who is the daughter of Defendant Rendleman, began a friendship with a close personal friend of Attorney General Madrid. When Attorney General Madrid became aware of the potential conflict, she advised the Santa Fe District Attorney's office and from that time forward relied upon the Santa Fe District Attorney's office to handle completely, all plea negotiations and proceedings involving Ms. Barbosa as a defendant.You may be wondering, "Who is this close personal friend?" The answer is attorney Bill Robins. And the case against his wife is not the only time eyebrows have been raised regarding the relationship between Mr. Robins and Patricia Madrid:
"Recently, Ms. Barbosa, who remains a key defense witness, became the wife of Attorney General Madrid's close personal friend. Given this circumstance, the Attorney General believes that a conflict of interest now exists that would violate the Rules of Professional Responsibility if the Office of the Attorney General were to continue to prosecute this case."
Madrid's committee has received at least $45,000 from members of law firms that received contracts early last year to represent state pension funds and the state Investment Council in securities fraud lawsuits.Hmm, Mr. Robins gives Madrid $25,000 in August 2004 and in November 2004 it just so happens that 19 counts against his wife are dismissed, and she walks away without jail time on the one remaining count. Didn't the Rules of Professional Responsibility require Patricia Madrid to excuse herself from the Barbosa case upon receipt of those funds?
Bill Robins, a partner in a Houston law firm that also has offices in New Mexico, contributed $25,000 last August .
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Anyone Else See the Irony
$2 million to buy as many as 4,000 security cameras. Some of the money also will go to buy portable metal detectors that can be shifted from school to school when potential threats arise.If I were the cynical type, I might suggest that a security camera and GPS vendor could probably be found among Governor Richardson's donors. But I digress. The Governor is making these decisions to tighten security at our schools while this is happening at our juvenile detention centers (subscription):
$2.4 million to equip the more than 3,000 school businesses in New Mexico with a global positioning system. The GPS equipment can track the location of a bus, disable it if it's hijacked, provide two-way communication and video and will include a panic button for drivers to call for emergency help.
Richardson also proposed to establish a crime stoppers program for schools that will offer rewards for people to anonymously report information about crimes in a school.
Education Secretary Veronica Garcia said the crime stoppers program could help prevent violent incidents at schools by providing tips about crimes that are being planned.
Dodson also said officials hope to reduce the population of YDDC. But she said the state will not open a separate jail for violent offenders.Where would you spend millions in additional security?
Stansbury said the inability to separate violent offenders from general jail populations is creating serious problems.
"The public doesn't know how many people are getting assaulted and sexually harassed at [Youth Diagnostic and Development Center] YDDC every day," Stansbury said. "You feel afraid all the time. You just have to pray that backup will get there before you really get hurt."
Last month, a 15-year-old was allegedly raped by three teens on his first night at YDDC.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Fool Me Once Shame on You, Fool Me Twice...
The 20-year-old testified Tuesday that she and Rendleman's daughter were both naked and that the daughter did not wake up during the alleged incident involving Rendleman. The witness said she didn't immediately report the alleged incident, but told her mother about it after watching an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show concerning Little League coaches who molested players.Ah, the benefits of marriage... Fool me twice, shame on me.
"I can remember it in my head to this day exactly what happened," the witness said.
The defense is scheduled to finish cross-examining the woman this morning.
Entered into evidence Tuesday was a series of photos of Rendleman's young daughter that he took when she was 6 years old. Prosecutors allege two of the 16 photos are pornographic. Rendleman's attorneys maintain all of the photos are simply family shots.
The photos, which are among hundreds of photos seized by investigators who searched Rendleman's house six years ago, depict a young blonde getting dressed for school. In the sequence of photos admitted into evidence, the girl is naked, then half clothed and then fully clothed with a pair of underwear over her head.
In two of those photos, from which the sexual exploitation charge stems, the girl's genitals are exposed. In one, she is crawling away and looking back at the camera. In the other, she is sitting on a bed and trying to put on her socks, but her legs are spread in such way that her pubic area is centrally exposed in the photo.
Both the Santa Fe and Rio Arriba cases were filed in 1999 after a boy and a girl told their mother Rendleman had videotaped and photographed them nude.
The state Court of Appeals ruled in September 2003 that only pictures that focused "on the genitals or pubic area" and were "for purpose of sexual stimulation" would violate the law.
Rendleman had been scheduled to go on trial last September, prosecuted by a member of the state Attorney General's Office who originally handled the case as member of the District Attorney's Office in Santa Fe.
The case was referred back to the District Attorney's Office two weeks before the trial began and then postponed because Rendleman's daughter married a good friend of Attorney General Patricia Madrid.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Playing Cat and Mouse
It's simple. He's got something to hide when it comes to the page scandal. Watch the video below and you'll see what I mean.
George Stephanopoulos, a fellow Democrat, lobs a soft ball question to help Mr. Emanuel get off the hot seat. The question Mr. Stephanopoulos asked:
"I just want to ask you plainly. Did you or your staff know anything about these emails or instant messages before they came out?"Mr. Emanuel refused to answer plainly.
Instead Mr. Emanuel went on and on about "not seeing" any emails. Despite repeated opportunities during the segment to say, "I did not know anything." He kept repeating, "I didn't see anything." Sounds like Mr. Emanuel has been advised by legal counsel - maybe even Patricia Madrid provided the advice. Can't you picture Madrid saying, "Hey, just say you never saw anything in writing."
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Richardson and the North Koreans and War
New Mexico (CNN) --Gov. Bill Richardson held what he called "positive, frank and candid" discussions Friday with two North Korean diplomats, even as North Korea's decision to withdraw from the nonproliferation treaty sharply escalated a crisis over the nation's nuclear aims.Then, they did it again in October of 2005:
Now again, I [Bill Richardson] do believe they've made that commitment to dismantle their nuclear weapons in exchange for basically wanting the six-party nations to guarantee their security, no attacks, substantial amounts of fuel and energy and other economic assistance.Well, no one attacked the North Koreans, but they obviously are not dismantling their nuclear weapons program. Instead, the North Koreans are attempting to hold the world hostage. Their demands are simple. Give us "substantial amounts of fuel and energy and other economic assistance" or we move forward with our nuclear plans.
Congresswoman Heather Wilson hit the nail on the head (subscription):
Rep. Heather Wilson, speaking in Albuquerque on Monday, said the North Korean test is "a reminder that we live in a dangerous world of unstable dictators."North Korea has the world's fifth largest army, and such abject poverty that they have nothing to lose in continuing to escalate this situation. This is a very scary situation that is getting scarier by the minute (subscription):
North Korea stoked regional tensions Wednesday, threatening more nuclear tests and saying additional sanctions imposed on it would be considered an act of war, as nervous neighbors raced to bolster defenses and punish Pyongyang.We can't give into the North Koreans extortion. Diplomatic talks with them should always be on the table, but should include those who have more leverage than us - namely the Chinese, Russians and Japanese. And let's not forget that despite their "friendship" with Governor Richardson, they have told him one thing while doing another.
These are dangerous times, and I am glad that we have leaders that understand that the first role of government is to protect Americans through a strong military.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Jail Time for Criminals
The ad by Wilson's campaign suggests Madrid is responsible for a judge's sentencing Matthew Ward to probation but not jail on charges that he was an online sexual predator.I know that some people might consider this a negative ad, but I just don't see it that way. Consider that the Attorney General has tried to pretend that she is tough on crime. However, her actions speak louder than words (or for that matter taxpayer paid mailers) on this issue.
Madrid's office counters that it was a judge, not her office, who decided that Ward would get probation. Her office busted him in a sting operation.
"The only thing Heather Wilson wants to change is the subject," Madrid campaign spokeswoman Heather Brewer said.
The ad, replete with the deep-voiced narrator and the background music that gives you the creeps, says: "Today, Ward is back on our streets. And for that, Madrid should not be forgiven.
"It's no wonder Madrid's running a negative campaign."
She's not the only one.
Consider this from an Albuquerque Journal article this weekend (subscription):
Court records show that the plea deal the AG's office reached with 41-year-old Matthew Ward cut his potential prison time from three years to 18 months, but left it up to a judge whether to lock Ward up or give him probation.So much for being tough on crime. They had this guy dead to rights, and the first thing they do is cut his potential jail time in half. Folks, we're talking about a 41-year old man who thought he was talking to a 14 year old girl over the internet and exposed himself to "her" before arranging to meet her in a park for sex. Maybe it's just me, but I think this kind of pervert should be off the streets for life.
Well, what's worse than cutting this guy's sentence in half? Putting him back on the street with no jail time whatsoever. Now Madrid is trying to blame the judge, but the facts show that the Attorney General's office is equally culpable:
Madrid said in a recent television interview that she wanted Ward behind bars.Not pushing for jail time for sexual predators is inexcusable. So, either we believe Madrid has no control over her staff, or putting child predators behind bars is just not a priority. Now contrast Madrid's failure with regard to this one local and very recent case to Heather Wilson's first reaction when the Foley news broke (subscription):
But [Assistant Attorney General Art Weidemann] acknowledged, "That is not something we pushed for."
Wilson said law enforcement should be allowed to investigate before heads start rolling on Capitol Hill.Heather Wilson believes criminals should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, Patricia Madrid doesn't.
"It is still not clear to me exactly who knew what, when," Wilson said. "I want law enforcement to sort that out. If any adult - and I don't care who they work for - knew that Foley was soliciting minors and they didn't report it then I think that's criminal and they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Monday, October 09, 2006
Poll Shows Madrid Out of Touch
Yet there is also significant support for keeping a military force in Iraq until the Iraqi police and military can defend the country. Forty-seven percent favored that, compared with 15 percent who wanted immediate withdrawal and 35 percent who wanted a strict timetable for a pullout.Only 15% of New Mexicans favor immediate withdrawal, yet in January of this year Patricia Madrid's campaign website advocated:
Responsible Action in Iraq. We must investigate the intelligence that led to the war in Iraq and press the Administration for straight, honest answers on the current state of our operations in Iraq. We must also establish a definite, clear timeline for troop withdrawal that begins bringing our men and women serving in Iraq home by December 2006.
That's right, Madrid would have had us withdrawing troops within 90 days - something that only 15% of New Mexicans agree is the right course of action. As a sidenote, this statement makes a liar out of the Madrid camp "independent" blogger who in "analyzing" the debate between the candidates, the one he didn't even attend, wrote:
Heather also jumped the line, saying Madrid favors an "immediate" withdrawal of troops in Iraq, even though Madrid has never advocated that.Gee whiz Mr. Monahan, 90 days from now sure seems immediate to me. But hey, what do I know I don't have your years of "unbiased" political reporting.
It's also worth noting the Madrid's website has since flip-flopped on their position:
We must investigate the intelligence that led to the war in Iraq and press the Administration for straight, honest answers on the current state of our operations in Iraq. We must establish a definite timeline for troop withdrawal with clear benchmarks of progress.A tacit acknowledgment that Madrid's radical views of immediate withdrawal are out of touch with the views shown in the polls. Heck, Madrid's views on the War in Iraq are out of touch with just about everyone in Congress, Democrat and Republican alike. Consider this from Patricia Madrid's campaign spokeswoman:
Wilson, chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, in the fall voted against a resolution calling for the immediate withdrawal of troops. The measure failed 403-3.Think about the significance of this Madrid campaign statement made to Albuquerque Tribune reporter Kate Nash in August of this year. Less than 60 days ago, they were still on the record considering a resolution for immediate withdrawal of our troops as a position with potential. A position that 403 members of Congress rejected nine months earlier. A position that is only held by 15% of the public. A position that now Madrid needs to pretend didn't even exist.
It's difficult to know whether Madrid would have voted for the same measure, Brewer [Patricia Madrid's campaign spokeswoman] said.
The prospect of sending this woman to Congress is scary.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Good News for New Mexicans
Had this sleazeball come here, chances are that Patricia Madrid's office would have had him back on the street as soon as legally possible. Just look at what Madrid did three weeks ago:
The evidence in the case was pretty clear. Police say Matthew Ward, 41, arranged over the internet to meet 14-year old girl for sex. Ward not only left an electronic trail, he emailed the girl a graphic photo of himself. Police arrested Ward when he showed up in a public park believing the girl would be there. He had been communicating with an undercover officer posing as a child. According to KRQE-TV News, Ward faced three years in prison.Once again, Patricia Madrid is on the record blaming everyone but herself for the screw up. She even goes so far as to blame the laws despite the fact the current law suffice to put the child predator away for three years - if only the Attorney General's office would ask. Madrid has no problem spending taxpayer dollars to send out campaign mailers, even ones that say she is tough on sexual predators, But when it really counts, she lets the predators back on the street without a second thought.
So why did Ward walk out of court with a sentence of probation and therapy? State District Judge Pat Murdoch, who administered the slap on the wrist, says it's because prosecutors did not ask for prison time when they came into his court. "I was under the impression that everyone wanted counseling," said the judge. Prosecutors say they did ask for prison time, sort of. Though they reportedly had a solid case for three years, they offered Ward an expedient plea bargain of 18 months in jail, according to KRQE. Apparently, confusion revolved around just how clear prosecutors were. They asked for incarceration in a written presentence report, but Judge Murdoch says no mention was made of it in his court. So much for judicial power.
Meanwhile, the state Attorney General says the problem is really New Mexico's weak laws. "My office has always felt that it should be a second-degree felony, which of course would be a longer sentence and likely would have gotten him prison," said Attorney General Patricia Madrid. KRQE reports State Senator Mary Jane Garcia says she "tried to make child solicitation by computer a second-degree felony, but the legislation failed to pass." But in at least one New Mexico case, it didn't take a new law to deliver justice.
We can all sleep a little sounder tonight knowing that Attorney General Patricia Madrid, no matter how hard she might try, will not be able to bungle a case in Delaware.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Paige McKenzie Fund - Please Donate
Albuquerque, NM - Today family and friends of Paige McKenzie established a charitable fund at First Community Bank with the goal of offsetting rising medical costs associated with the brutal attack against her earlier this week. People can donate money to the "Paige McKenzie Fund" at any First Community Bank in New Mexico. First Community Bank made the first donation of $500.00 today. People can donate funds in person or send a check to:I just sent in a $500 check to match First Community Bank's donation, and I hope that everyone who blogs about politics in New Mexico posts the donation information on their site. I also encourage everyone who blogs, our readers and anyone running for political office in New Mexico to make a donation no matter what the size.
First Community Bank
Attn: Paige McKenzie Fund
Post Office Box 3686
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87190
Checks should be made payable to the "Paige McKenzie Fund."
We all fight hard for our respective views, but when all is said and done, we're one big family, and it's up to us to step up when one of our own - someone who helps promote political discourse - is down.
Reach in deep folks.
Oh, Is That the Reason?
The Patricia Madrid congressional campaign will hold its fire for the time being on TV spots linking GOP congresswoman Wilson to the seamy House page affair. So says an insider, calling the topic "too hot." Which means the thing could backfire. But Madrid will continue to use the issue on the campaign trail. TV could also come toward the end if the campaign polls say it is needed and would work.Gee wiz Mr. Monahan, I wonder what makes it "too hot." Oh, wait a minute. Do you think it's the fact that Patricia Madrid put a child predator back on the street just three short weeks ago? I guess the Madrid camp would be disappointed with you if you let your readers in on that secret.
Don't worry, I've got your back.
I told them about it last night, so that you can keep picking up your paycheck. No thanks needed buddy. Just consider it a professional courtesy. One blogger to another. After all, if we don't look out for one another, who will?
Ok, time to change gears. below is last week's episode of The Line:
Don't miss tonight's show at 7:00 p.m on KNME Channel 5. Thanks to everyone who sent in an email of support to the producer. Next week is the last week of my trial phase, so if you haven't already dropped a note, by all means please do it now.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Patricia Madrid's Child Predator Hypocrisy
Which makes you wonder, why is she trying so hard?
Could it be that she's hoping that New Mexicans don't learn the truth. The truth that Patricia Madrid, after spending tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on shameless self-promotional mailers, dropped the ball when it really counted, and put a confessed child predator back on the streets of New Mexico to hunt again.
If we can't count on Patricia Madrid to protect New Mexicans in the middle of a heated campaign when everyone is watching, how can we count on her in Congress?
Just Keeps Getting Weirder
Corruption Continues to Flourish in NM
This is from an August 24th, press release from the Trailhead Group, a 527 organization, based in Colorado:
The Pueblo Chieftain Wednesday reported a link between Arrow Buffalo - a limited liability company (LLC) [State Representative] Buffie McFadyen set up in 2005 - and Lester Parker, who operates Parker Excavating. According to the article, "McFadyen started the new company [Arrow Buffalo] with a former employer of hers, Lester Parker, who owns and operates Parker Excavating Inc. in Pueblo."State Senator Bill Sharer asked Attorney General Patricia Madrid to look into this, but true to form, Patricia Madrid has yet to make this a priority. Once again the taxpayers are the losers here.
The new information raises more questions about a $500,000 contract McFadyen won in the town of Taos Ski Valley, NM.
The town of Taos Ski Valley accepted three bids for a $500,000 contract: Parker Excavating, Parker & Sons, and Arrow Buffalo. Yet the same individuals are involved in all three of these companies and the three share common Colorado addresses. How can companies consisting of the same people compete against each other?
New Mexico law, like Colorado's, requires a competitive bidding process for state-funded projects. But bidding against oneself does not constitution competition. Clearly, New Mexico taxpayers were the victims in this bid collusion scheme employing "strawman" companies to feint the appearance of competition.
According to New Mexico Revised Statutes, Â§ 13-1-82, a "responsible bidder" means a bidder who submits a responsive bid and who has furnished, when required, information and data to prove that his financial resources, production or service facilities, personnel, service reputation and experience are adequate to make satisfactory delivery of the services, construction or items of tangible personal property described in the invitation for bids."
A "responsive bid" (Â§ 13-1-84) "means a bid which conforms in all material aspects to the requirements set forth in the invitation for bids. Material respects of a bid include but are not limited to price, quality, quantity or delivery requirements."
Arrow Buffalo's [McFadyen's] bid appears to be neither responsive nor responsible.
"We can find no evidence that Buffie McFadyen met the requirements for the contract with Taos Ski Valley," said Alan Philp, Trailhead Executive Director. "For example, when asked for a copy of the necessary bond that is stipulated in the town's request for proposal and contract, Taos Ski Valley could not provide one. Not only does Buffie McFadyen need to explain how she won this contract, but she needs to explain how New Mexico's residents were not defrauded by this process."
"Me versus myself versus I is not true competition," stated Philp. "This clearly has the appearance of bid collusion. It might constitute bid rigging."
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
The Rest of The Story
The Albuquerque Fire Department is not happy with Heather Wilson. Albuquerque Tribune:
Fire Chief Robert Ortega on Tuesday called on U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson to stop running a TV ad starring uniformed firefighters and a fire truck that appears to suggest the AFD supports Wilson...
"We are respectfully requesting that Ms. Wilson cease the use of any images of the Albuquerque Fire Department in her campaign ads or literature, or any implication that the AFD endorses her campaign," the department said in a release Tuesday.
That's right, the Madrid campaign completely left out the fact that Fire Chief Robert Ortega was made to look very, very foolish by the local news. He actually held a press conference without even bothering to check if it was his men and his truck being used in the commercial.
My guess is that he was just succumbing to pressure from the Mayor's office. Or, at least I hope that's the case. Otherwise, maybe someone should take him around and show him what an Albuquerque Fire Department truck looks like.
Oh, one more thing. Just for the record the New Mexico Professional Fire Fighters Association, which represents more than 1,000 professional fire fighters, endorsed Congresswoman Heather Wilson, so it's not surprising that she would have fire fighters in her ad.
Planning an October Surprise
While they swing away at the pinata the House Republican leadership has turned itself into over the Foley scandal, Democrats are privately worried that the press soon might begin to focus attention on how exactly the incriminating Instant Messages that brought former Rep. Foley down were concealed until just a month prior to the November elections.
Mark Levin, a former Reagan administration Justice Department official, notes that the Instant Messages in question appear to have existed for three years. He says there should be an investigation into who had the incriminating messages and why they were only turned over to prosecutors now. Discovering and then withholding evidence of a federal offense can itself be a legal violation. Questions will certainly be raised as to why Melanie Sloan, a former staffer for Democratic Rep. John Conyers and now the executive director of the liberal Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government, kept the emails for months until she asked for an Ethics Committee investigation of the Foley matter last Friday.
Reporters are right to question why Republican House leaders dropped the ball on the Foley scandal. But they should also examine "the story behind the story" and inquire who knew about the Foley emails and when. Brian Ross of ABC News, who broke the Foley story, says he learned about the email messages in August but was too busy with Hurricane Katrina and the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks to follow up at the time. Here's hoping that reporters covering this story won't wait until after the November elections to find out the origins of this scandal.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Like Peas in a Pod
Please, take a look at this. Now imagine a New Mexico economy if tomorrow we removed oil and gas from the equation.
Not a pretty picture, is it?
Not Even Trying Anymore
But what about the flaws in Madrid's campaign? Well, when you're ahead there are no flaws, but if Patsy slips you can be sure those long knives will get rust-free in a hurry. Meantime, maybe Madrid disappears for one of her favorite vacation spots, one where folks believe silence is golden.Oops, did I miss a poll? When exactly did Madrid pull ahead? Last I checked it was a dead heat. You know, just like every other election? Oh, and what's this nonsense:
Here is a report from a GOP Alligator on the sceneFirst off, am I the only one who is getting an image in their head of Mr. Monahan prancing around in front of a full length mirror in a red alligator suit with a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth and doing his best Rush impression.
"The many shortcomings of the Wilson campaign. Where do I start?!?
"No yard signs until September 25; the latest ad stating Heather voted to overturn Bush's stem-cell bill has outraged Right to Life; No positive commercials from Heather, with none in sight; Victory 2006 (the GOP get-out-the-vote effort) has been a waste of $40,000 a month; Next to no volunteer activity; Too many out-of-staters on Heather's campaign staff; Moving away from Bush is hurting Heather among the grassroots volunteers." Reports our upset campaign insider.
Seriously, does anyone think that one of the most heated races in the country is going to come down to who has more yard signs? And as to the Right to Life folks, we already know where Heather Wilson stands on this issue. No, she is not going to be a card carrying member. But as was the case with Ronald Reagan, conservatives know that Heather is far better than the alternative.
And no, we're not looking for positive commercials from Heather Wilson. We know what we like about her, that is why we keep electing her. Any veteran strategist worth his salt knows that in a close race the purpose of campaign advertising is to get others not to vote for your opponent, not to win them to your side.
Finally, let's look at the GOTV issue. Madrid's blogger really needs to get a grip on reality. If you want to know what people really think about the GOP's get-out-the-vote efforts, you can just read what the most liberal of progressives has to write about it:
As any Democrat will tell you, the D's are in absolute awe of the ability for the Republican Party to Get Out The Vote.Not surprisingly, everyone who understands the process is in awe of it. Mr. Monahan please take off that funny looking red alligator suit and get back into your blue one. It fits you much better.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Madrid Camp Sinks to New Low
Well, as near as I can tell, every single one of Patricia Madrid's supporters along with the campaign staff. With five weeks until Election Day, they are desperately trying to find some sort of scandal to pin on Heather Wilson. The problem is, one doesn't exist. We're talking about a lady who is so squeaky clean, not even her detractors can picture her doing anything wrong:
"Have you ever used illegal substances?" The room hushed again. Madrid answered first. "I am a child of the 60's," she said. She added that she would never vote to make pot legal. Wilson said, "I have never used illegal drugs." No one doubted her.Think about that last sentence. "No one doubted her." How many other politicians do you think that would apply to? Not many, right? Heather Wilson is the type of politician that can answer a direct question with a direct answer and no one doubts her.
Compare that to Patricia Madrid.
Madrid struggled so much with how to answer the direct question that the moderator had to jump in to give her some direction. And mind you, the issue isn't that Patricia Madrid was a drug user in her college years. The issue is that Madrid wouldn't give an honest answer to an honest question.
Being honest is such a serious challenge for Patricia Madrid that it has even caught the attention of the media:
So, what's the Madrid camp to do when their outright lies don't work? They sink to innuendo by trying to connect Heather Wilson to every scandal that comes out of Washington, D.C. The problem is that no one is going to buy what the Madrid camp is selling. No one is going to believe that Heather Wilson, the mother of two young children and former head of Child Youth and Family Department (CYFD) would turn the other way while a Congressman preys on teenage pages.
As the father of two young sons, I have no problem telling you that I believe that what Mark Foley did is deplorable, and I hope they lock him up. He is a predator and deserves to be treated as such. Furthermore, anyone in Congress who was aware of Foley's actions and looked the other way should resign immediately. They do not deserve to represent us in Congress, and if I had my way they would share a cell with Foley.
With that said, the manner in which Madrid and her supporters are attempting to use this man's perversity for political gain is absolutely shameful. This is about as low as Madrid can sink. The thing is Madrid's attempts to bring Heather Wilson down to her level are too transparent. No one is going to believe that Heather Wilson turned a blind eye, but everyone knows that Patricia Madrid did - again and again.
All The King's Men
Oh, and I'm not the only one who has noticed this similarity. Consider this from Albuquerque Tribune columnist, Gene Grant:
Are we really going to send Bill Richardson a message on Election Day that New Mexico is ok with his Huey Long behavior?
The governor's campaign people have walked across a not-so-fine line with claims of disservice to voters if Dendahl is allowed an hour on live on TV. That position should give voters in this state a long and deep pause. I don't care what side of the aisle you sit on.
I don't need my sensibilities protected, thank you. This is an amazing slap in the face.
Shrouding the excuse under the insulting and ridiculous reasoning that Dendahl would not be able to have a "positive sharing of ideas," is pure code. It exposes a culture that says our ideas are the only ideas and we don't need nor want anyone to question them for any reason.
That isn't democracy. It isn't even good politicking. This is Huey Long behavior, pure and simple.
The fanning of the political flames began in July, when the Albuquerque Area Firefighters Local 244 - the union representing about 800 city and Bernalillo County firefighters - met to endorse a candidate for the Albuquerque-based 1st Congressional District.
Union president John Garcia said firefighters who attended voted to support Madrid. Proxy votes from others who didn't attend would have swung the vote in favor of Wilson, but union board members at the meeting decided all firefighters weren't fully apprised of the proxy process.Can you imagine in this day and age someone getting away with tossing proxy votes for no good reason? Am I the only one who finds this offensive. Where are all those Democrats who were filing lawsuits and crying foul during the last election? How about the folks who insist on paper voting to avoid disenfranchising voters? How is it that tossing legitimate proxies to swing a vote to Patricia Madrid does not trouble them?
Those board members decided to toss the proxy votes, Garcia said, so Madrid came out the winner.
Wilson, in a late-July fundraising letter, accused Madrid of playing a personal role in the vote issue.
"Patsy Madrid and her supporters blocked almost two dozen firefighters from voting in a union election to endorse me because they were on duty protecting us and couldn't be there in person to vote," Wilson wrote, adding, "Let's face it, she's willing to cheat to win."
Brewer said that claim is all smoke, no fire.
Union board members decided that not all members were aware of the proxy process. Well, you're probably wondering where is the process hidden? Actually, it turns out it is not hidden at all. Anyone can find the proxy rules at the IAFF website by downloading the Bylaws. The Bylaws clearly state on page 10:
SECTION 2. PROXYSo, what happened? "[The] board members decided to toss the proxy votes, Garcia said, so Madrid came out the winner." Madrid supporters tossing votes to make her a winner. Is this what our Democracy has come to?
Members unable to attend a meeting shall be allowed to sign a PROXY giving
their voting privileges to another member in Good Standing provided that PROXY voting is permitted on the issue and:
A. The member must be on leave, departmental trip, training status, or on paid
status, at the time of the meeting.
B. A witnessed signature by recipient E-Board member
I'm sorry Ms. Brewer. Every elementary school child knows that where there is smoke, there is fire, and this most certainly smells and looks like smoke and mirrors.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
History Contradicts Bloggers' Analysis
Compare Romero's 44% to Heather's 45% in the Journal poll of October of 2004 to the current 44% for both Heather and Madrid this year, and you realize that the results are exactly where they are expected to be according to historical trends.
Keep in mind, that this repetition of 2004 is despite the millions the Madrid camp and the DCCC are spending in an attempt to portray Heather and President Bush as one in the same. If their efforts were proving successful, we would expect Heather's decline in the polls to mirror that of the President. However, a look at the President's approval rating around election time in 2004 versus his current standing clearly indicate that the Democratic efforts are falling significantly short of their mark. Heather at best could be considered to have lost one point during a time period where the President is down about ten points.
Which leads to the question, why has Madrid been unable to significantly outperform Richard Romero?
Well, one of Madrid's bloggers buries the answer in his "analysis" (decidely weak in historical perspective). He points out that the Attorney General's tacit approval of corruption in New Mexico has kept her from grabbing a lead in the race, and yesterday's jury verdict in the treasurer scandal trial is only going to exacerbate this problem for Madrid. The undecided voters, who are going to play a critical role in this election, are unlikely to forget before Election Day the wrench that Madrid intentionally threw into the judicial process to the benefit of fellow Democrat Robert Vigil.
The other Madrid spin sites are right in their analysis that this race is going to come out to which campaign is better at getting out the vote. Congresswoman Heather Wilson is a proven entity in this regard. Her opponent on the other hand is relying on the same failed strategy from the 2004 national elections.
Like John Kerry, she is hoping that a vote against the President translates into a vote for her. Plus, she is counting on Bill Richardson's ability to get out the vote. These didn't work in 2004, and it's hard to come up with solid reason why they should in 2006.