Thursday, April 22, 2010

Roundhouse Roundup: From the Campaign Trail

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 22, 2010

Note: The first segment of this week's column dealt with CREW's naming Gov. Bill Richardson as one of the 11 worst governors in the country. You can read that, as well as CREW's report on Richardson HERE.

Below is the rest of the column.

Who are the Weh 20? State Democrats are having fun with a remark that Republican gubernatorial candidate Allen Weh made in a joking manner to supporters in Los Lunas this week.

"I like telling people that there's probably 20 people in the state that could be a better governor than I could," Weh said. "But they're not running."

"Needless to say, Allen Weh makes a good point — many, many New Mexicans would make a better governor," state Democratic Party spokesman James Hallinan said Wednesday. "It's the first honest thing we've heard him say in this campaign." The Dems called on Weh to identify the 20 New Mexicans he believes would make a better governor. So far he hasn't.

The invisible endorsement: Like all candidates, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Janice Arnold-Jones usually is quick to zap off a news release whenever she wins an endorsement from a political figure or organization. On Monday, for instance, the Arnold-Jones camp released a statement touting an endorsement by fellow Republican legislator Tom Anderson of Albuquerque.

Arnold-Jones received another endorsement the same day. But somehow the campaign never sent out any public acknowledgment that she'd been endorsed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The union already supports Democrat Diane Denish for governor, but the leadership urged Republican members to vote for Arnold-Jones in the primary, saying that she and AFSCME "are on the same page" on issues such as transparency in government, double-dipping and "against wasteful taxpayer handouts to out-of-state mega-developers."

AFSCME political director Carter Bundy said Wednesday that nationally, Republicans make up about 25 percent of the union members who are registered with a party. In New Mexico, the percentage probably is less than that.

Although she didn't publicly thank the union for its endorsement, Bundy said Arnold-Jones sent a very nice note. "She was very gracious," he said.