Friday, June 13, 2014

Roundhouse Roundup Has Moved

This blog, which has been on the Google Blogger platform since Jan. 1, 2009 has packed its bags and moved over to the main New Mexican site.

It looks good: Check it out: and please bookmark it.There's already a new post there.

Still the same political news, still the same wisecracks. Just in a new spot.

The posts you see here will stay. Sometimes I'll even link back to posts here.

And, of course, for all my political posts before 2009, they're still on what now is my music blog.

See you at

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Susana Counterpunches King's Counterpunch

There's a new ad up from Gov. Susana Martinez, this one calling Gary King's recent ad "ridiculous."

It deals mainly with King's criticism of Martinez in the area of equal pay for women -- when King has faced gender-discrimination lawsuits of his own.

There will be more about Martinez's new ad in tomorrow's New Mexican.

Meanwhile, ponder this: Is Susana Martinez the only Republican running for office in, say, the last 40 years to include praise from The American Civil Liberties Union in a campaign commercial?

"The ACLU already praised Gov. Martinez for signing the Equal Pay for Women Act, fighting to narrow the gender wage gap...," the ad says, flashing a quote from the organization over footage of the gov talking to women.

Here's the ad

And here's King's ad in case you haven't seen it.

Mary Helen Garcia Requests Recount

Rep. Mary Helen Garcia, D-Las Cruces, who came out less than 20 votes behind her primary opponent Bealquin Bill Gomez last week, is requesting a recount.

“In the past week, I have received countless phone calls and emails asking me to request a recount and exhaust the options provided me under the State Election Code," Garcia said in a news release. "After discussing it with my family, I believe I owe it to my constituents to formally recount and review the results.

"Ironically, I have heard through testimony in my committee about elections being decided by one vote and results changing after a recount," Garcia said. Especially given the fact that only 16 votes separate us, the results can very easily shift.”

The news release also notes:

Some individuals have approached the Garcia campaign who were given sample ballots that may have been deliberately marked to confuse voters. There is a history of serious accusations of election fraud in Sunland Park and a pending legal case dealing with election fraud specifically involving absentee ballots. Rep. Garcia has been the most vocal advocate on of the behalf of the people of Sunland Park in the effort to combat such crimes. Given this fact, these people may have led an illegal effort to defeat Rep. Garcia. Depending on the outcome of the recount, Rep. Garcia will decide whether to challenge the election results.

Garcia was one of two incumbent House members who came out behind in the primary. The other was Rep. Tom Anderson, R-Albuquerque.

Updated 5:10 pm An earlier version of this post quoted the Garcia news release saying Garcia lost by 16 votes. However, according to the numbers on the Secretary of State's website, the margin is only 11 votes. That's been corrected in the above text. Also, I initially misspelled " Bealquin." That's been corrected.

Updated 5:25 pm Garcia campaign spokesman Carlos Trujillo just told me that after the canvass, the margin actually is 16 votes... I think we can all agree that it's close.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Second Susana Ad of the Day

I almost missed this because I thought the email announcing this was referring to the Republican Governors Association ad that came out earlier today.

Anyway, this is the latest ad from the Susana Martinez campaign itself. And unlike the RGA ad, which called Martinez's Democratic challenger Gary King a "terrible attorney general," this is pure sunshine and lollipops talking about her commitment to helping small businesses.

This 30-second spot has the governor talking about parents's security business, for which Martinez worked, guarding a Catholic church bingo game. There is even a photo of a young Martinez in uniform, apparently from when she worked for her folks.

The two ads might be revealing a little strategy here. Let the Martinez campaign talk about positive things and brag about accomplishments and let outside groups like the RGA tear into King.

It also illustrates King's problem -- how to respond to both fronts, when he currently doesn't have any money for TV ads.

Here's Martinez's ad:

It's Starting!

The Republican Governor's Association launched an attack on Gary King this morning.

Here's the script:

Gary King’s record as attorney general.

King was soft on corruption, and had one of the worst records in the country at stopping Medicaid fraud.

The Albuquerque Journal said Gary King’s record should make taxpayers sick.

The chairman of his own party called King the worst attorney general New Mexico’s ever had.

And the Santa Fe New Mexican said Gary King should consider resigning from office.

Gary King was a terrible attorney general.

He’d be a worse governor.

I guess the Democratic Governor's Association soon will be responding with an attack of it's own.

Wait a minute ...

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I'll Be Danged! One of My Election Predictions Came True!

Before an election lots of people ask me who is going to win. Unless the race the person is talking about is real obvious, I usually shy away from answering -- because I'm so frequently wrong.

But here's a prediction I made back in 2012 that actually proved to be correct.

It was in my Nov. 18, 2012 Roundhouse Roundup column, My Nostradamus-like words were: 

Whoever the Dems put up against Martinez will not come from the state Legislature.

This isn’t a knock on the fine men and women who serve in our citizen Legislature. There are many excellent lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and many of whom, I’m sure, would make competent governors. It’s just that it’s tough to make that jump from the House or Senate to the Fourth Floor.

History will bear me out — at least the history of the last few decades. Bruce King was the last governor who had spent any time in the state Legislature. (He was speaker of the House back in the ’60s.) But when he was elected governor in 1990, King was best known for being a former governor, not a lawmaker. That also was true for his second term as governor, to which he was elected in 1978. (His first term as governor came in 1970.)

(A similar dynamic probably will apply to King’s son, Gary King in 2014. He was in the House for many years, but voters almost certainly will judge him on his performance as attorney general, not for votes he cast in the Legislature in the ’80s and ’90s.)

With the exception of King, other governors going back to the '80s — Martinez, Bill Richardson, Gary Johnson, Garrey Carruthers and Toney Anaya — were never legislators. The last governor elected directly from the Legislature was Jerry Apodaca, a former senator from Las Cruces, in 1974

I have to admit, back in March after Sen. Howie Morales won the pre-primary convention, I was afraid I would have to eat crow over that column. 

But it didn't turn out that way.

So why don't we elect governors who come out of the Legislature? As I speculated back in 2012:

Maybe it’s because most voters are fairly satisfied with their own representatives and senators, but many tend to think of the rest of the state Legislature as a bunch of clowns or worse. Kind of like the way we feel about our own congressional representatives.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Will Independents Be Allowed to Vote in 2016 primary?

As Democrats and Republicans began voting in the 2014 primary Tuesday, an Albuquerque lawyer filed a suit on behalf of the 248,741 voters barred by state law from voting because they are registered as “declined-to-state” or independent.

According to the suit, filed in state district court in Albuquerque by J. Edward Hollington, the law prohibiting independents violates the state constitution. The suit argues that the constitution grants all citizens who are “qualified electors” to “the right to vote “at all elections for public officers.” Also, the suit says, the constitution states that all elections are to be “free and open, and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.”

The suit notes that in New Mexico primary elections are paid for with tax dollars.

Hollington, according to his suit, went to an early voting center in Albuquerque on May 21, but — as he expected — was denied because he is registered as “declined-to-state.”

Hollington told The New Mexican Tuesday that he’s been thinking of pursuing such a suit for several years.

He said he’s doing this on his own. “No group is backing me.”

But the executive director of New Mexico Common Cause, which long has backed the idea, applauded the lawsuit. “For us, it just makes sense for all voters to be able to vote,” said Viki Harrison. “It’s just good old Democracy to let people vote.”

Check The New Mexican website later today for complete story

Monday, June 2, 2014

Final Early Voting Figures

As it turned out, there were slightly more early voters in the Democratic primary this year than there were in 2010. Keep in mind, however, in 2010 in the governor's race, there was only one candidate in the Dem primary, Diane Denish and this year there are five.

This year, 39,515 Democrats voted early in New Mexico, while a total of 7,794 absentee ballots have been received so far, for a total of 47,308.

These figures are from the Secretary of State's Office.

The numbers are slightly up from 2010, when 32,247 early in-person voters in the Democratic primary, plus 12,775 Democrats who voted absentee, for a total of 45,022.

On the Republican side, 23,772 voted early, while 6,182 absentee ballots have been received so far. Gov. Susana Martinez has no primary opponent. There is a contested U.S. Senate race though with former state Republican Party Chairman Allen Weh is facing newcomer David Clements.The winner will face incumbent Democrat Tom Udall, who is unopposed in his primary race.

My Sunday story about the final days of the governor primary is HERE

ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDUP: Signs Point to Voter Apathy

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that there seems to be far fewer political signs this primary season than usual?

This is just a gut feeling. I haven’t made any scientific measure to measure against the number of political signs per square feet in Santa Fe from the last election.

It just seems that there aren’t as many as usual. The municipal election earlier this year seemed to have far more than the primary. By the end of that election, as is the case for most elections, I was so sick of seeing yard signs that I couldn’t wait to see them go. This year, I keep waiting for the signs to appear.

One indicator: I haven’t received any calls from candidates complaining that their opponents are stealing or defacing their signs.

But the strangest thing about the signs in this election is that for every one I see for a gubernatorial candidate, I see four or five for various judge candidates. I mean no disrespect intended for the esteemed and important office of probate judge. But if campaign signs are any indication, people seem more excited about that primary race for that part-time position than they are about the governor’s race.

For the rest of this column see The Santa Fe New Mexican