Monday, May 14, 2012

Early Vote

I plan on voting tomorrow.  Then all of the inane commercials by the Democratic congressional candidates will be wasted on me.  Eric Griego's are just plain bad.  I will vote for him anyway.  Even some liberal types who like him a lot told me at breakfast this a.m. that they were terrible.  His campaign just doesn't get it.  Or I don't.

Michelle Lujan Grisham is winning the yard sign war as far as I can see.  Her commercials are the best.  She could actually win this after all.  Who knows?  Marty Chavez might well end up on the ash pile of overly familiar pols.  I will make space for him.

Martin Heinrich is pretty assured of winning and is showing real capabilities in running his first statewide race.  His opponent Hector Balderas has a good future especially if he doesn't spend all his money in a futile attempt to catch up.

I will vote for Cynthia Hall for PRC.  There are a couple of good candidates in that race but she is without a doubt the most qualified and has no baggage to carry in to the office except for honesty and hard work.


Donald F. Schiff said...

Jim, I don't have a TV, so I haven't seen the commercials and can't comment on them. However, I have seen MLG's yard signs everywhere. That's not actually in her favor, because yard signs don't vote. Supporters love them, but they don't convince anybody to vote for the candidate. Moreover, the vast majority of Lujan Grisham signs I've seen are on the public right-of-way. Although that's common, it's actually illegal.

Michelle's waste of campaign funds on yard signs is good news for Eric Griego, since she can't spend that money on TV or direct mail. Just another misstep by an amateur campaign.

Speaking of direct mail, did you see the one where Michelle claims to have been commended by [Alberto Gonzales'] Justice Department for cleaning up the Ft. Bayard nursing home? It's a flat out lie. She was commended, but only for not obstructing the Justice Department investigation, and for implementing DoJ's recommendations, right before they sued her over the conditions at Ft. Bayard!!! Talk about turning a sow's ear into a silk purse. The more I hear from and about MLG, the less I like her.

I voted at the Clerk's annex Friday, the same way you plan to. I also voted for Cynthia Hall, basically because she has the technical expertise to do a great job right away. Al Park has a ton of money to spend on the race, along with his superior name recognition as a longtime state Rep.,so I expect him to win. Still, this is one race where we can afford to vote for the candidate we prefer, because none of them is bad.

Bubba Muntzer said...

I've seen a couple of those ads on YouTube. No one says anything of substance but they all promise to fight for me. I don't believe them.

I guess that's how you do it now, though. It's a pity. A missed opportunity to educate the electorate. It comes down to a popularity contest.

I'd been hoping Hector Balderas would offer some kind of a progressive alternative, that he would step out and start asking why wages and living standards are in decline in the US while profits are at record highs, why the Democratic Party is so afraid of interrupting the money flow from Wall Street that it goes along with Reaganomics supply side economics.... remember before Occupy Wall street came along? They were debating in congress how much to cut from social services -- remember the Super Committee? Remember those debt ceiling limit debates? -- but then of course he might have to deliver on some of it. They're all safe from that. None of them are going to go up there and fight for us. Not one.

I'd read that the candidates in that senate race were told by the national party not to beat up on each other, for purposes of being in better shape for the general election, against Heather, who keeps coming back like a bad case of something bad.

Hector, no doubt with an eye on that good future you mention, followed instructions. He didn't burn any bridges, he didn't harm Heinrich's chances. Heinrich wins, Hector wins, the party wins, we lose.

Jes said...

Mr. Schiff,
So, you’re saying Jim Baca, our former mayor and a supporter of your candidate, is naïve for paying too much attention to TV ads and yard signs? It appears to me that you are being a little defensive. I see that you don’t defend the poor quality of Mr. Griego’s ads. How about the amateurish effort to dub the English-language ad with a poor quality Spanish voice-over? Mr. Griego’s media team couldn’t even get the correct translation, something the Spanish-language constituency is laughing about. And how about the fact that Mr. Griego has been in the race for 13 months, raised more than $700,000, and has less money than Michelle Lujan Grisham when money matters most? Who is running an amateur campaign?

Vicki said...

I had a conversation with Eric Griego about a week ago when he called me looking for support. We had a long talk and I asked many questions about his campaign and his vision. I was not happy about his acceptance of a severance of $24K from his non-profit employer when he quit. It is an ethical lapse that doesn't speak well for a self-described progressive. He said he was "not wealthy like Marty and Michelle". My biggest issue is that he personally hates Marty so much that he said he would not vote for him if he won the nomination, because he was corrupt and Janice Arnold Jones was not. This is what sealed it for me, I will not vote for a candidate who doesn't care that a Republican may represent NM in CD-1 over a Democrat. I will vote for Michelle Lujan Grisham and I will support whichever Democrat runs from NM. Any Republican candidate running today knows full well toxic leadership and message the GOP preaches in America today. Frankly, I'm not happy with the outside money in the CD-1 election, New Mexicans should select their own representative, and I'm frankly done with all the outside money flowing into this state for both the GOP and Dem candidates.

Donald F. Schiff said...

@Jes: I said I haven't seen the TV ad, certainly not the Spanish language version. They may well be as bad as you and Jim say, and if so it's a damn shame. TV is important! How could I comment on what I haven't seen? How you translate that into me being defensive and calling Jim naive is beyond me.

As for the yard signs, Jim just said Michelle was winning the yard sign war. I don't deny that, but any campaign professional will tell you the same thing. Yard signs don't vote. In fact, there's a name for yard signs, bumper stickers, and the like: chum. Supporters go crazy over them, but in the end they're as valuable as fish guts. Oh, yeah. Did I mention that it's illegal to place signs in the public right-of way? Sorry for my omission.

Yard signs are good for name recognition in extremely low information races where the candidates don't have much money to spend, for example county treasurer. Congress is a high information race in which TV and direct mail are far more effective. There is research to back my assertions, although I can't directly cite it. So I stand by my opinion that Michelle's campaign is amateurish. You are free to assert your own, as you have.

As for the money, at the last reporting period MLG had slightly more cash on hand than Eric, but when you subtract the $35K in personal loans she made to her campaign, Eric had ~25K more. He's raised on the order of $200K more than Michelle (almost 100K more in the last quarter), and he has spent it on developing campaign staff. Most political professionals would call that a good investment, but we shall see.

@Vicki: I don't have a problem with an employer giving a severance package worth 3 months' pay to a longtime, valued employee. What's more, Eric checked with the FEC before accepting the money. They said it was completely kosher. Where is the misconduct? Only in his competitors' minds.

I'm much more concerned with Lujan Grisham's gross distortions of her record. Her first direct mail piece claims the Justice Department commended her for cleaning up one of NM's worst nursing homes [Ft. Bayard Medical Center]. That's a bald-faced lie. The DoJ actually commended her for not obstructing their investigation, and for implementing their recommendations right before they sued her over the conditions at Ft Bayard, because the Human Services Department that she ran was operating Ft. Bayard directly.

In her second mailer, she features pictures of a pro-choice rally targeting Mitt Romney, including four women in NARAL t-shirts holding NARAL signs. The clear implication is that NARAL has endorsed Michelle, which is also not true. The more I get to know Michelle, the less I like her.

As for Marty Chavez, I am a Democratic Party official. (Chairman of Ward 18B, which is basically Nob Hill and the UNM area north of Central.) I couldn't bring myself to vote for him either, not even holding my nose. I've heard the same thing from many of the people I've talked to. I would never endorse, work for, or vote for a Republican, but I couldn't vote for a crook like Marty, either. It's easier to get rid of a Republican than it is to replace a Democratic incumbent. Luckily, Marty's support is cratering, so I doubt I'll have to make that choice. Hallelujah.