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Morning Word

Morning word, 10-08-12

The New Mexico news recap

October 8, 2012, 1:00 am
By Matthew Reichbach
Less than a month from now, all the votes will be cast and we should know the big questions -- at this point, it looks like the questions will be in the state legislature instead of the higher profile and high information federal races like the presidential race that usually get all the attention. Voters will start to cast their votes soon -- absentee ballots will be sent out tomorrow. And since a large bloc of voters will vote early or absentee, there isn't much room for error on candidates who are behind in their races.

On to the Word:
  • One day until voter registration ends. One day until absentee ballots are sent out and in-person absentee voting begins. Eleven days left until early voting starts. Thirty days until election day.
  • Sen. Clint Harden resigned on Friday. Harden was not running for reelection and on his way out asked that Pat Woods, the only candidate in the general election to replace Harden, be selected by the seven county commissions in the counties Senate District 7 is in.
  • New Mexico will get some national attention, as Dave Weigel from Slate.com was in the state.
  • Steve Terrell at the Santa Fe New Mexican takes a look at the state of the U.S. Senate race between Martin Heinrich and Heather Wilson and finds that it isn't thrilling.
    At the time, just four months after the GOP’s crushing success in the 2010 congressional elections, Republicans had high hopes of regaining control of the Senate, where Democrats barely clung to power. With the Senate split 53-47, a change of four seats would shift control.

    But much has changed in the last year and a half. Due to a variety of factors, the chances of a Republican-controlled Senate seem much dimmer. And one of those factors is that Republican Heather Wilson has consistently trailed Democrat Martin Heinrich in the polls, prompting the national Republicans to yank anticipated financial support for Wilson.
  • And he digs deeper into Wilson's stance on the safety net and Heinrich hoping to strengthen the middle class.
  • The Farmington Daily-Times wrote about Heinrich's visit to San Juan County.
  • Meanwhile, Leslie Linthicum wrote about her time in Silver City on her travels around the state racking up miles on her car and talking to voters. She writes, "Next stop: Floyd, Elida, Dexter and some other small towns on our state’s east side."

    I can tell you that Floyd is one of those "blink and you'll miss it towns." The latest U.S. Census found it had less than 100 residents.
  • Albuquerque is considering changing impact fee rules that would stop charging developers for paying more in developing areas on the outskirts of town.
  • Joline Gutierrez Krueger looks at the thoughts of Department of Health personnel critics of Dr. Catherine Torres -- who unsurprisingly were happy that Torres is resigning as head of the cabinet-level department.
  • The last question on the ballot will be an amendment to create an independent public defender's department.
  • Milan Simonich has his take as well.
  • He also looks at the Court of Appeals race between Monica Zamora and Miles Hanisee.
  • The New Mexico Business Weekly looked at real "office politics."
    The very competitive 2012 election cycle couldn’t come at a better time for landlords, who have plenty of vacant office space and few corporate candidates seeking to fill it. Candidates for state and national offices need temporary space to run their operations and will pay above-market rates for their spaces, which typically are less than 5,000 square feet, according to brokers who have done campaign leases.

    Some candidates might have an advantage if their landlords have an affinity for a party or candidate.
  • A Confederate flag flew again in Las Cruces, this time at the Southern New Mexico State Fair & Rodeo. It is an apparent practical joke, though I doubt many find it funny.
    "We're trying to determine who the culprit was. I guess with the parade, someone thought this would be funny. Well it's not. It's not funny at all," Perez said.

    Perez was referring to the Las Cruces Tea Party using a Confederate flag on its award-winning float in the city's Independence Day parade. The controversy went national, with media outlets such as the Huffington Post and The Atlantic picking up the story.
  • The Albuquerque psychiatrist who wants the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board to take Post Traumatic Stress Disorder off the list of medical conditions eligible for a medical marijuana license is not a current University of New Mexico professor as he apepars to claim in his letter.
    "The fact is he's not currently with UNM," Pari Noskin, a program manager at UNM's Department of Psychiatry, tells SFR. "It's a problem because he's saying he's with UNM and he's not."

    Noskin did find a contract between Ulwelling and UNM in 2007 as a clinical assistant professor in volunteer faculty, meaning he helped train individuals but did not see patients. That contract ended at the end of the year, and there hasn't been one since, according to UNM.
  • The office of the Secretary of State says that former San Miguel County broke no campaign finance laws. The Albuquerque Journal's Thom Cole looked at the controversy in April.
  • Michael Hayes in the Las Cruces Sun-News says that Martinez's recent backtrack on the use of the term "forcible rape" is disingenuous, as an executive order that Martinez previously signed used the same language.
    The episode teaches three lessons. One, Martinez demonstrated that not only white male, but also Hispanic female, Republicans believe that "forcible rape," like "legitimate rape" is a distinct, meaningful legal concept. Two, she revealed that state Republicans prefer the secrecy of silence on sensitive issues and operate secretly to implement their agendas. Three, she gives New Mexicans good reason to suspect state Republicans of either keeping silent about their intentions or saying one thing and meaning another.
  • There won't be a bacon shortage, but it will likely get more expensive.
  • The Deming-Luna County Chamber of Commerce will hold a candidates forum. The big races on tap are State Sen. John Arthur Smith and challenger Russell Allen and State Rep. Dona Irwin and challenger Thomas Guerra.
  • It is going to cost a lot of money to upgrade the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
  • New Mexico did well in the National Newspaper Association's Better Newspaper Contest & Better Newspaper Advertising Contest. The NNA announce,d "California had the most combined BNC/BNAC wins with 78, followed by New Mexico with 53, and Texas and Wyoming tied with 42 each."

    The first place winners from NM are as follows:
    1st place, Valencia County News‐Bulletin, Best Breaking News Story, Non‐daily Division, circulation 12,000 or more, Del Rio Plaza blazed blamed on electrical fault, Deborah Fox, Clara Garcia.
    1st place, Rio Grande Sun, Best Investigative or In‐Depth Story or Series, Non‐daily Division, circulation 10,000 or more, Loopholes Plague State Sex Offender Registry, Bill Rodgers.
    1st place, The Las Cruces Bulletin, Best Feature Series, Daily & Non‐daily Division, circulation 6,000 or more, One step at a time/There's more to the story, Natisha Hales.
    1st place, The Las Cruces Bulletin, Best Obituary, Daily & Non‐daily Division, John Keith, Staff.
    1st place, The Las Cruces Bulletin, Community Service Award, Daily & Non‐daily Division, Las Cruces: A Photographic Journey, Staff.
    1st place, Mountain View Telegraph, Best Feature Story, Non‐daily Division, circulation 4,000‐5,999, 1st Responder, Rory McClannahan.
    Add in a win for the Taos News as the top large weekly and it was a good night for New Mexico papers.

 

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