Campaign notes: Endorsements, job titles and hysteria

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By Harold Morgan

“(T)he state of our state is strong – and getting stronger,” Gov. Susana Martinez claimed in the State of the State address Jan. 16.

My assessment is that the state of the state is weak and, maybe, getting a little less weak. Candidates seeking a say in our future give quickly passing attention to fundamental problems.

Deb Haaland, Albuquerque candidate for Congress, is fond of endorsements from people outside New Mexico. A recent endorsement is from the Congressional Black Caucus. She has 12 endorsements from individual members of Congress, says her section at medium.com. Her website is debforcongress.com.

My confusion is my general problem with endorsements: Why I should trust these other guys, especially the non-New Mexicans and especially members of Congress? If Haaland gets to Congress, I hope she represents her district without obligations to members of Congress from other states. Haaland has a bunch of other endorsements from New Mexicans, presently and formerly in office, from people she calls “community leaders” and tribes.

Former Hobbs mayor Monty Newman, Republican congressional candidate in District 2 (montynewman.com), thinks outside help is good, too. In a Jan. 17 email he touts the “proud” endorsement of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who finished badly behind President Trump in the campaign for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Newman calls Cruz “a constitutional conservative warrior…”

An endorsement from a Texan? Newman is from Hobbs, five miles from Texas, so maybe he doesn’t understand.
Former U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez (damonmartinezforcongress.com) offers a cliché to explain why he should be in Congress. “My family has been in New Mexico for more than ten generations,” said a Martinez email solicitation. Well, so.

The Morgan family has only been in New Mexico for 82 or 57 years, depending on how you count. I lose.

A more interesting insight about Martinez would come from watching him interviewed on PBS Channel 5 last year about a controversial drug and gun sting. It’s an exercise in bobbing and weaving.

Javier Gonzales, lieutenant governor candidate and former Santa Fe mayor, introduced himself with a Jan. 17 email. Recipients are presumed to be “support(ers) of Democratic or progressive candidates in the past.” He says New Mexico offers “a gateway to South America, forgetting that Mexico is between us and South America. He says, “too many New Mexico families are falling through the cracks.” He does not share the acceptable number of crack fallers, nor who decides who should fall. My presumption here is that if these are “too many” there must be some correct number.

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, Los Alamos Democrat, teacher and candidate for “Land Commissioner,” appears to be one of a new breed of candidate—people seeking an office for which they have no obvious professional qualification (stephaniegarciarichard.com). Her card tucked in my door cites “fighting oil and gas interests.” Former Commissioner Ray Powell endorses Garcia Richard.

The correct title of the office is “Commissioner of Public Lands.” Former commissioner Pat Lyons, Cuervo Republican and again a commissioner candidate, gets it right on his card.

Sen. Joe Cervantes, Las Cruces Democrat and candidate for governor (Joe4NM.com), sent an introductory letter without asking for money. Interesting. The letter cites his legislative record, his legal and business experience and checks all the democratic issue boxes.

Another candidate for governor, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham of Albuquerque, continues peddling near hysteria about Rep. Steve Pearce of Hobbs, the Republican candidate. In a December dozen fundraising emails, “Tea party opponent” was the phrase. Does anyone remember the Tea Party?

A Jan. 13 Grisham email admitted missing an organizational goal. Admitting a lack of success breaks a rule.