Friday, October 31, 2008


It has happened. I am starting to get nauseous from listening or watching to much NPR, CNN and MSNBC. I am overdosed on politics and I just want it to be over. I know it all will turn out okay and that I will be a happy camper on Wednesday after the election, but I just want it over with.

Last night we had the choice of three hours of punditry or trying out my new blue-ray dvd player at the house. We opted for watching "Juno" in blue-ray format. It was good. I had seen the movie at the theaters but had forgotten my hearing aids and couldn't hear it well. Last night I got more chuckles from the lines I missed first time around.

After the election on Wednesday Bobbi and I will begin preparing for our three week sojourn to New Zealand and Australia. I can't wait to get away and will admittedly sign in to the internet from the ship everyday to see how the transition is going.

In the meantime here is a Washington Post story about what bush is doing in his last few days in office. Yours truly is quoted.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Stuck in the Past?

The news for Newspapers in America is not good. Their circulation continues to decline and revenues in this recession will cause a real weeding out of marginal publications. This is not good for any of us even if we disagree with the editorial stands of most of these papers. I often disagree with the Albuquerque Journal. Some say they kill good trees to make a bad paper. But frankly, I don't know what I would do with out them informing me of real news every day. Their editorials mostly turn me off, but not always.

I have to say that I am bewildered that they are waiting so long to endorse in the major races this year. It makes no sense to endorse after 40% or 50% of the folks in their area of influence have already voted. Why is this happening? I have no clue. It is kind of weird.

I predict they will endorse the following people when they get around to it. Barack Obama, Tom Udall, and Darren White. I don't know if they will endorse in the other congressional races, but if they do I predict they will go with Tinsley down south and Lujan up north.

I am probably wrong on all of this but I will remind everyone of my predictions after they endorse.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Low Point

Apparently republican Darren White has hit the low point in his campaign. He now has a TV spot up accusing Martin Heinrich of 'paling'' around with eco-terrorists. White has learned nothing from his friends above him on the ballot. He has also lost any respect I ever had for him, and I did have some.

When you stack this newest ad on top of the news of the lawsuits against the GOP in New Mexico this week, it makes one think that their party is really wandering into the wilderness and probably wont return to civilization for a decade. Pat Rodgers, bush, cheney, Justine Fox Young, Palin, McCain, Allen Weh might wish they knew some eco minded people as they sojourn into the back country of politics. No one will know or care about their exile and they will need better wits than they have shown this year to come back into the decency of the mainstream.


I don't know what it is about the week before elections. I have all these weird dreams and wake up several times at night. I toss. I turn. I get up and drink water. And usually, I am a very sound sleeper.

This all happens whether I am a candidate, supporter, or tuned out during a particular election cycle. I think it harkens back to my first involvement in politics. I was working for Bruce King in his second Governor's campaign. He was running against the late Joe Skeen. On election night when the vote counting was over we were only a couple of thousand votes ahead. That lead held, but no one slept until the canvassing was done three weeks later.

The next election I was involved in was my first run for State Land Commissioner. I was the underdog in the Democratic primary against the oil and gas candidate. At midnight I was 8,000 votes behind and thought there was no way to make up the numbers. Bobbi and I went to bed about 1:30AM and I laid awake wondering what was next. As a new father I was worried about finding a job. Then at 3:00AM I was roused by a ringing phone. It was the Associated Press telling me that the final numbers were in and I surged ahead by 700 votes. I was incredulous. It was really simple though, the North had counted their votes. I didn't sleep for the next three weeks until the canvassing was done.

Now the sleeplessness is just a tradition I guess. Although there is more at stake in this election than ever before. Actually, someone told me that the most important election in their lifetime was in 2004. And that we Americans blew it. I think he is right.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Some Math

The early voting stats for Bernalillo County are lopsided. 34K Democrats have voted to 16K Republicans. The absentee voting is closer with 20K Democrats vs. 15K Republicans.(This is not how it usually works as Republicans always seem to win the absentees) It shows the ground game of the Obama, Udall and Heinrich campaigns are working.

But as an astute friend of mine points out this may turn around on election day a little bit. If the Democrats continue the heavy early and absentee vote there won't be as many going out on election day. So, the Republicans could actually win the balloting on November 4th. (This is the reverse of what usually happens.)

However, the Republicans have to be a little dismayed right now by the polls and the fervor of the Democratic campaigns. Maybe they will throw in the towel and just stay at home to await what seems to be the inevitable.

A Phenomenon

I have lived my whole life in New Mexico, except for my time in the military and in Washington, DC. As a young reporter many years ago I routinely attended or observed political rallies. Nixon, Johnson, Carter, Reagan, Ford. I saw them all and was able to shake their hands. In my political years I got to speak at political rallies. The biggest one was for Clinton when 15,000 showed up at Civic Plaza. I think any chance I might have had at shaking hands with Obama was doomed at Johnson field because of the sheer mass of humanity that showed up. . Never, ever, have I seen a politician be able to turn out the crowds that Obama attracts. His rally in Albuquerque on Saturday was attended by 45,000. In Denver on Sunday 100,000 turned out. And these people didn't just have an easy time of it. They had to wait for many hours in long lines. It was a grueling experience. Yet there they were waiting to hear from a man who they think can provide the leadership to make this country great again.

These New Mexico political crowds are something we might not see again in our lifetime. In a way it must be frightening for Obama to see these masses lining up behind him. He now has to deliver.

The 1000 or more stalwart Republicans that attended the McCain rally were the real hardcore loyalists. I tip my hat to them for showing up. But, what can they be thinking now? To be so out gunned just a few hours after they showed up at a small venue they couldn't fill. It must be disheartening to say the least.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Signs Stayed Up

There were no fist fights or shouting matches as a result of leaving my political signs up. Everyone had a great time including the McCain supporters. Until we tied them up and locked them in my garage until November 5th. Just kidding.

It was mostly a great nostalgic evening in which you recognized some folks but didn't recognize others. But, we had it all figured out by the end of the party. We expect more folks to show up tonight at Gardunos on the Green. Bobby Box, the 60's DJ will be spinning oldies.

Friday, October 24, 2008

63 + 63

I have a dilemma. Tonight I am hosting a reception in my home for my St. Pius X High School Graduating Class. We are now 63 years old and we graduated in 63. It is our 45th Reunion Year. Groan. It should be fun and we have a good crowd showing up including some of the faculty.

My yard is peppered with Obama, Udall and Heinrich signs. All pro choice candidates. I kind of wondered if that would offend anyone but I decided to leave the signs up. I am almost certain that politics will probably come up tonight so my preferences should be known immediately.

Just for fun. Here is my graduation picture.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


The National Rifle Association, which I belonged to as a young man, has said Barack Obama is a threat because he does not like concealed weapons. They are of the opinion that having a person with a concealed weapon at your kid's soccer match is a good idea. Well, it isn't. Make that person wear it out in the open so everyone can steer clear.

I have been opposed in my political races by the NRA because I opposed concealed weapons as Mayor of Albuquerque. It didn't matter that I own lots of guns and believe it is fine to carry one in your car and have one under your pillow. I just don't want them concealed out in public. This is a place where I don't agree with Governor Richardson. We have opposing views on this issue. But that never made him call me a threat or made me not support him. It is not an all or nothing thing with us.

So, as the NRA always does, they now attack Obama as a threat. Think of that. An organization that exists to now support mostly right wing causes and gun owners are saying Obama is threat. This kind of idiocy is why I quit the NRA years ago. It used to be they were proponents for gun safety, now they are proponents for the likes of bush and cheney. Disgusting.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Great News

The early voting continues heavily Democratic in Bernalillo County.

A BIG Favor

The Republican Women’s Club official in Alamogordo who sent a fundamentalist and racist letter to her local newspaper did us all a BIG favor. She called Barack Obama a ‘Muslim socialist’. It really exposes the underbelly of American right wing politics and is at the same time a call to arms for all of us to remake America as an all encompassing nation.

This incident is really indicative of the bankrupt Republican Party and its tactics. Leaders of that hapless political organization should resolve to throw themselves out of power for the good of the country and let some new moderate types take over. It would be better for everyone.These tactics need to be placed in the dust bin of history.

Let’s start by repudiating the TV commercials of bush supporter Darren White against Martin Heinrich. Heinrich has more integrity in his little finger than the Darren White campaign has in it entire organization. I know Martin well. His wife Julie worked for me when I was Mayor. I visited Martin’s non profit organization, ‘Cotton Wood Gulch’ and raised money for him to introduce disadvantaged kids to the great western outdoors. I supported his candidacy for Albuquerque City Council where he did a fantastic job in bringing together a coalition to pass a minimum wage law for Albuquerque. The list of great things he has done could go on for quite a while.

I actually agree with a friend of mine who says that White’s commercials at this point will have little effect. It is just too late to throw out such charges. It should have been done months ago before people got comfortable with Martin’s candidacy. And if seventy percent of the voters cast their vote before Election Day then White is wasting his money anyway.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

House Full

Starting tonight we have a full house around here. Our good friends Rachel and Booth from Austin will be arriving to stay with us for two weeks. They voted yesterday morning in Austin, Texas where they live and are coming in to help the Obama campaign in New Mexico. We already have one other political visitor, Attorney Eli Poupko is also from Austin, and is here helping Martin Heinrich's campaign.

All these good progressives love their native state of Texas but they don't see their efforts in Texas for Democrats being as productive as coming to a 'Battleground' state. I actually think they will be happy with the outcome here.

One still has to marvel at how campaigns continually run nastier and nastier ads and rhetoric. John McCain was a guy who I always kind of liked. But, no more. He has moved to the dark side and seems comfortable there. This tactic has lost him support, but this race is not over yet. It does look very difficult for him to win the electoral votes he needs.

I think it is really important that Obama wins both the popular and electoral votes. Sometimes I think that if bush had won both eight years ago there would not be strong feelings that he cheated to win. Oh, that's right. He used the Supreme Court to win. Two weeks and counting.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Republican and bush supporter Congressional Candidate Darren White has been sending out the vilest direct mail pieces I have ever seen to independent voters. A friend of mine brought them over including one that shows his opponent Martin Heinrich as a weasel. The pieces are slick and constant and it will probably shave some votes from Martin.

At the same time, after the endorsement of Barack Obama by Colin Powell, it may be there can be diminishing returns to such nauseating tactics. Powell pointed out that the nasty campaign advertising by McCain turned him off. Bigtime.

I saw the story on Darren White in the Albuquerque Journal this morning. I thought both stories were fair on White and Heinrich. However I was surprised to see that White was mustered out of the Army before his enlistment was up due to a 'knee' injury. Did he get a disability? Then he goes through a tough police academy? Just thinking that it is kind of strange.

Back to Powell. This endorsement was just the kind of momentum kick that the Obama campaign needed at this point. The stars are aligning.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Biden Rally

We had a nice quick trip down to the Joe Biden rally in Mesilla, NM yesterday. About 1500 people crowded into the Plaza to listen to the VP candidate. In the background anti abortion fundamentalist types paraded around with signs and horrible photos.

It was a mixed crowd of old and young looking for hope.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Just like clockwork the Republicans are screaming that election fraud is taking place. They say they have found some bad ballots from the last election and that it proves things are corrupt. This is a different kind of corruption than we all experienced when the Supreme Court gave an election to bush about eight years ago.

This happens every October before a general election. Every time the media falls for it. Every time.

It is laughable. I will laugh about it all the way down to Las Cruces to see Joe Biden today.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Debate Sponsors

Bobbi and I split up our debate watching parties last night. This is a picture of her at Rodger and Connie Beimer's home. She is chatting with Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. This debate party was mainly for females with Rodger being there in charge of dishing out the Frito Pie!

I attended the party thrown by the New Mexico Conservation Voters. Of course Obama came out on top. McCain's anger showed through and hurt him. I witnessed that anger one time while dining in the Senate dining room in Washington. McCain was sitting nearby with Don Imus and he went ballistic over something. He turned red as a beet.

Anyway, I was astonished at how much advertising on CNN and MSNBC that was bought by the oil and gas and coal industries. These dirty energy companies are trying to turn themselves into good guys and saviours. I sure hope that no one falls for it. Well, they actually are falling for it when you see many people thinking its okay for them to drill and mine anywhere. Last night I was happy to see Obama call McCain out on the fact that the oil boys have 68 million acres of public land leased that they have not bothered to drill even though they want more sensitive lands put on the block. This is just one issue a new Interior Department Secretary will have to deal with.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I will try and update Bernalillo County vote stats every couple of days. Here is what County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver has sent for today.

Ballots Mailed:
Democrats 32414
Republican 25469
Other 8905

Ballots Received:
Democrats 2298
Republicans 1808
Others 411

Early Voting
Democrats 1827
Republicans 584
Others 360


The final curtain is falling on the Metro Courthouse scandal. Former State Senator Manny Aragon is pleading to charges that he received kickbacks on the Courthouse construction. He and others, including former Mayor Ken Schultz, will most likely be in prison for a while. Others will get away with fines and probation.

I have known Manny and Schultz for many years. They teamed up against me when I ran for Mayor in 1985. I lost to Schultz after an extremely nasty negative campaign waged against me. Manny helped with that. They had accused my lovely wife of racism because she kept her last name and said my children kept her name so they would not be identified as Hispanics. That of course was not true, but it worked just enough to beat me in the valley areas. I never much liked Schultz because of that.

I grew to like Manny though because he usually voted for the little guy in his Senate votes through the years. However, he did betray them by taking this illicit money. Money that could have been used for some good purpose or to lessen taxes for low income people.

Will prison time mean much at this point for Manny and Ken and the rest of the crew? I think it won't serve much purpose and it will cost an additional 150K a year to incarcerate them. Maybe more. After some time in Federal prison they should send them to halfway houses. At any rate, Justice is being served.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mischief Afoot

While we all wallow in angst over the value of 401-Ks and the possibility of job losses, the bush administration is stealthily getting ready to do great harm to the west's great landscapes. A case in point is Utah's magnificent Red Rock Canyon Country.

I know we have a lot on our plates right now but the damages that can occur on our public lands is permanent. The economy can heal, the bush war can be ended, but the pillaging of our great landscapes can not be fixed once it is done.

The bush administration is getting ready to implement something called BLM Resource Management Plans in Utah. These plans have been condemned by just about every one including the EPA. But the bush team in Utah under the leadership of Utah's Bureau of Land Management Director Selma Sierra, a former republican operative in New Mexico for Senator Domenici and Representative Joe Skeen (RIP), is doing a last "Hail Mary" pass to the oil and gas, coal and off road vehicle industries. This is malfeasance. It may be we will need to address this in the next administration and I hope everyone will do so for the sake of the land. In the meantime the only solutions seem to be lawsuits.

I serve on the board of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

Monday, October 13, 2008


So, now all of us are wondering if Obama is peaking 4 weeks early. It is okay if people are early voting and absentee voting. However, the rudderless McCain campaign might blunder into some new issue that grabs people for a short time......Say three or four days before election day. We would like to think that folks are not that fickle. But, they are.

My friend who was in New York this last week took a ride to the airport with an African American taxi driver who said he was voting for McCain because Obama's good buddy was a terrorist. No matter what my friend said to the cabbie, he could not get him to change his mind. So, as you can see this process of throwing mud against the wall really does work many times. So, get everyone you know to the early voting locations as soon as you can. Besides, it is bound to save a lot of time for everyone on election day if many people have already voted.

Friday, October 10, 2008

All Five

Is it possible that New Mexico will have an entirely Democratic delegation in our nations Capitol? I have always been afraid of saying there was a possibility and then looking like a fool. (I have looked foolish many times)

Now, I think there is a better that 50/50 chance that it will happen. The Republicans pulling out their TV money in New Mexico is most likely a deal killer for Darren White. Down south Harry Teague just keeps putting his own personal fortune into the campaign and that may well kill off Tinsley's chances.

Tom Udall is a lock. So is Ben Ray Lujan. Bingaman is there already. It could happen! Of course, there are pitfalls in that things better get fixed pretty quick or all of the Dems are in trouble.

I really hope that we get 60 Democrat Senators, even if a few of them are the so called 'blue dog democrats.' This will at least end the paralysis in that chamber.

We are really living in interesting times. Global financial meltdown, climate change, war, religious fanatics running around, and the possibility that we may end up with an intelligent and thoughtful President in Barack Obama.

And now a little humor sent to me by my sister Carlota. New definitions for old words in these times.

CEO --Chief Embezzlement Officer.

CFO-- Corporate Fraud Officer.

BULL MARKET -- A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.

BEAR MARKET -- A 6 to 18 month period when the kids get no allowance, the wife gets no jewelry, and the husband gets no sex.

VALUE INVESTING -- The art of buying low and selling lower.

P/E RATIO -- The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing.

BROKER -- What my broker has made me.

STANDARD & POOR -- Your life in a nutshell.

STOCK ANALYST -- Idiot who just downgraded your stock.

STOCK SPLIT -- When your ex-wife and her lawyer split your assets equally between themselves.

FINANCIAL PLANNER -- A guy whose phone has been disconnected.

MARKET CORRECTION -- The day after you buy stocks.

CASH FLOW -- The movement your money makes as it disappears down the toilet.

YAHOO -- What you yell after selling it to some poor sucker for $240 per share.

WINDOWS -- What you jump out of when you're the sucker who bought Yahoo @ $240 per share.

INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR -- Past year investor who's now locked up in a nuthouse.

PROFIT -- An archaic word no longer in use.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Hit Job on Martin...Bad News For Darren-Updated

I was aghast at the hit job that KRQE News did on Martin Heinrich's Congressional campaign last night. They heavily criticized them because they didn't get an interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when she attended a fundraiser the on Tuesday night for Martin. Republican Sheriff and bush lover Darren White used to be a reporter for the TV station. He also had one of these moments when bush came to town a few weeks ago to raise money for White but the press wasn't allowed to take pictures. There is still no photos of White and bush together that have been made public. Gee, I wonder why. Did KRQE do a story on that?

Now, the bad news for Darren White. The Republican Congressional Campaign Committee just pulled two of three weeks of advertising funding from the White Campaign. That $500,000 was to buy the last three weeks of TV ads for White. Are the Republicans writing it off? Or are they just broke and making clinical decisions in the use of their meager funds? I guess Wachovia's loan to the RNCC wasn't enough to cover Darren.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


There is no question in my mind right now that Obama will win. If.......

That 'if' is that self unrecognized racists don't find a good enough excuse to vote for McCain. This was evident last night when watching CNN's Ohio focus group coverage. Although the metering system showed much more positive reactions to Obama's performance in the debate, the majority of them were still going to vote for McCain. It was weird that the pundits did not comment on it. This is the 800 pound gorilla in the room for the Obama campaign. Another 800 pound gorilla belongs to the McCain camp. That is the current outlook on the electoral vote map. It looks hopeless for McCain/Palin.

Thomas Friedman's column on Sarah Palin today is a must read in the New York Times.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


I walked into the Bernalillo County early voting site at 6th and Lomas at 12:09PM. I walked out at 12:27PM after voting. It was highly efficient and my hats off to County Clerk Maggie Toulouse for making it so easy. I am sure that it will take longer as voting steams up.....but I would suggest you go get it done asap. In four hours this morning about 350 people voted. According to workers there this is a heavy early turnout.

Yes, for the first time in a long time I voted a straight ticket.

Of course now all of the millions of dollars of advertising money that will be spent on all of the races will be wasted on me. That is not so efficient.


All I can say is that the word 'Republican' must now be toxic. Yesterday John McCain was in town before another of one of those hand picked crowds who listened to him wallow in the mud over Obama.

The handpicked crowd apparently did not include Republican Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White. Well, of course he was invited but he just could not bring himself to stand with his party's standard bearer in this election for President. Look at Darren's website front page. It has no indication he is a Republican. I guess White is still praying that people will forget his unabashed support for bush and cheney and White's own blind devotion to the Iraq war. So Republican Congressional candidate Darren White is now doing what so many candidates like him are doing. They are running as 'independent' politicos. But apparently this isn't exactly working either since the latest Albuquerque Journal poll shows White losing big time with independent voters who are opting to go with Martin Heinrich. I just don't think a majority of voters are going to buy into candidates who are perceived to be bush supporters and enablers. Sometimes life isn't fair.

I am sure White and his minions will now do what McCain and his ilk are doing. This Republican sheriff will now have to wallow in the mud in a last ditch effort to win some momentum. I am hopeful that Martin's campaign wont let them get away with it.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Church Tax

The New Mexico Independent had a good story on a Pastor in Rio Rancho telling the faithful they had to vote for Republicans because of the bible. He is letting the Internal Revenue Service know that he did so. Is this a dangerous thing for the church? Well not really. They will never lose their non profit status unless a brave person comes forth from outside or inside the IRS to force the IRS to start charging taxes on the churches income. I think the Sandoval County Assessor should also weigh in with some property taxes, but that may be far fetched too. Politicians are just scared of bible thumping folk. This action is part of a larger right wing effort nationwide to further strengthen fundamentalists control on our government. We can't ignore it.

Recently, when three long time legislators lost their seats they sued the non profit organizations that exposed their voting records with violating tax laws. Many bloggers and the media made a big deal out of it, even though the non profits did not endorse any candidate. Once again, they just exposed voting records. This church thing is much more clear cut and hopefully every one will have some comments.

Friday, October 03, 2008

She Kept Her Lunch Down

It is sad when the main comments about the debate are that Sarah Palin didn't do as bad as everyone expected. It is also delusional to think that she proved she would be ready to act as President if the need arose. In my opinion she resorted to jingoism, oil mania, and repetition to get her through the ninety minutes. She was more poised and heavily coached and that helped her fight her own image. I just felt there was an insubstantial air about her.

She really didn't alter the electoral map at all nor the sliding misfortunes of her ticket. McCain has decided to pull out of Michigan and use his resources elsewhere. His own Republican pundits were aghast at that one.

How does all of this affect us in New Mexico? Not much, unless you are concerned about your mortgage and your job. Not much unless you want to end the long and senseless war in Iraq. Palin's position on the Iraq war was the most egregious as far as I was concerned. Thousands of dead American men and women and tens of thousands dead Iraqis and she worries about a 'white flag of surrender!' This is bush and cheney all over again.

Idiots Guide to the Financial Meltdown

This is good.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Risky Business

Risks. We all take them. But, most of them are not risks that endanger ones own life and others safety. The one thing I have always marveled at is how U.S. Navy carrier pilots deal with risk. Every landing is a disaster waiting to happen. A controlled crash really. At night it is just a gamble on odds that vertigo or worse does not cause a splattering on the deck killing deck handlers, the pilot and others. So, these Navy pilots get used to handling real risks every single day.

Now, think about John McCain. Since he was a carrier pilot he is used to great risk and wasn't afraid to risk his candidacy with his selection of Sarah Palin as his VP running mate. He will find out tonight if that risk was a good one. I actually think the bar has been set so low for Palin that if she just manages to get through the ordeal with out barfing on the air, she will not be hurt too much.

But back to the risk thing. John McCain likes to take them. He was a carrier pilot. I wonder if he really thinks that risk taking as President would be a good thing. It is not just his A-4 Skyhawk jet and his own life that he has to worry about in his decision making. It is pretty much the whole world. I don't think his high tolerance for risk is a good thing. I think it is a very bad thing indeed.
Here is Rolling Stone's look at McCain.

Curry Family Photo

A proud father who didn't want me to mention his name, that would be Ron Curry, sent me this photo the other day of his children Sean and Shannon in the Obama bus after the first debate. Shannon, whose husband is serving his second tour in Iraq, met Michelle Obama in Santa Fe at a meeting for military spouses. Michelle then invited Shannon and a guest to sit with her at the first debate. Michelle chose to take her brother. After the debate they were invited into the bus to chat with the candidate. Here is a picture that will go down in Curry family annals. I wonder if they can get me in to see the Obama campaign director in New Mexico? I have had no luck in doing that at all.

A former intern of mine at the Mayor's office, Ray Rivera, is the state campaign director in Colorado. He is doing a great job there and I am proud of him.
Posted by Picasa