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Merilee Dannemann: Advertising hits legislature

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By Merilee Dannemann

The campaign for the Legislature reached a point this season I hoped I would never see.

Four years ago I saw a billboard on I-25 in Albuquerque, advertising for a candidate for the state Senate. I thought this was way over the top. 

Billboard advertising for legislative seats might make sense in more rural, geographically larger districts, where it will reach primarily district residents and where the cost is appropriately lower. But not on the freeway in Albuquerque. It’s a waste of money, unless the candidate has a brother-in-law in the billboard business or has raised enough money to waste a lot of it.     

This year we reached a new level of conspicuous waste. Most of it was attributable to the people who run political operations for Gov. Susana Martinez. Legislative advertising has come to television – and it’s down and dirty.

Reform New Mexico Now, a super PAC associated with the governor’s political consultants, has made several TV commercials related to legislative races. One of these urged voters to turn two powerful incumbent state senators out of office: President Pro-Tem Tim Jennings, of Roswell, and Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, of Belen. Gov. Martinez appeared in the commercial. 


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