Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm Back ...

Boy that week went by fast, but I got a chance to get out of town, visit family, hear some music and generally decompress from the Legislature.

It doesn't appear that any earthshaking political events happened while I was gone.

Gov. Martinez appointed political ally Darren White to the Judicial Standards Commission, in spite of THIS. There's been some howling from the Dems about that, not to mention the editorial page of The New Mexican.

And speaking of cops, on the local level,  Ray Rael got hired as Santa Fe Police Chief. (I got to know him back when I was a cop reporter and he was a police captain and spokesman for SFPD.)

To me the most interesting story last week was Lt. Gov. John Sanchez's opening fire on Heather Wilson in the upcoming Republican fight for the U.S. Senate nomination.

This occurred in The Hill, a Washington, D.C. publication about Congress.

"I think Heather served honorably," (Sanchez) said in an interview. "But if we consider the choices that were made by former establishment candidates, I think it's clear the choices will be very easy for the people of New Mexico.

"Do they want a return back to the days of moderate-type leaders [whose] conservative compasses [weren’t] pointed in the right direction? Or are they looking for somebody who doesn't have to reinvent himself?" he said. "I think the choice for U.S. Senate is abundantly clear. ... People in the state are looking for new ideas," he said. "They're not looking to return to policies of the past, and decisions and leaders that kind of got us into this mess in the first place."

Unlike Wilson, a former 5-term Congresswoman, Sanchez hasn't yet declared he's running for the retiring Jeff Bingaman's seat. But based on conversations I've had with him and things that I've read -- like this Hill article -- I do believe he'll jump in.

Most are assuming there will be a bloody re-run of the bitter Wilson-Steve Pearce Senate race in 2008. But I can't help but think of late 2007 when former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez was in the Democratic race for a U.S. Senate seat. Very early on in the game Chavez was ripping into fellow Dem Tom Udall.

But by early December 2007, less than two months after he announced he was running for Pete Domenici's seat Chavez announced he was bowing out. reportedly he was under pressure from national Democrats to do so in order to avoid a bloodbath in the primary. Udall went on to win the seat.

A bloodbath like Republicans had in 2008 with Wilson and Pearce.

I can't help but wonder whether national Republicans will step in this year like their Democratic counterparts did in 2007, to avoid a nasty primary.