Back Again

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Well, I’ve said it often enough (see the archives), but with the coming elections I think I ought to start blogging again. So much is going on right now that I feel I have to get involved. Since I was called a ‘political junkie‘ by Joe Monahan, I figured I should get with it already. Also, I don’t know how well our part of the state is served as far as blogging is concerned.

I’m not sure how to bring this up with the boss, so I’m going along with the premise that I have been doing this since before I started the job. Actually, that isn’t so much a premise as it is the truth. Still, I worry about what our publisher will say; especially since I don’t think I’m going to be restricting my opinion all that much. However, it seems to me that any Daily Press readers who find their way here will likely appreciate knowing my personal leanings on things, since I plan on staying as objective as possible while writing for the paper. If my publisher has any problems, well, I’ll deal with them later.

So, anyhoo, what is going on? For starters, the folk over at Daily Kos have started a drive to get Sen. Bingaman’s amendment for habeas corpus at Guantanamo Bay. So, do as they say: call your senator.

In other news, two challengers to the Silver City native (Bingaman, that is) recently made campaign stops in Silver City. I’ll get some linkage for my profiles of their visits as soon as I get a chance (I might have to post the stories here). They are definitely different brands of Republicanism. The one, Allen McCulloch, is an engineer-turned-doctor from the Farmington area.

McCulloch’s primary focus seemed to be on education — at least that’s what I gathered from his 30-minute discussion with area Republican supporters. He shocked me by saying he’d agree that “we’re spending billions educating the uneducable.” But, he’s a smart and capable guy, so I think we’ll overlook the rookie moves for now.

His presentation was tailored to rural, southwest New Mexico, and he touched on quite a few things that are important to voters down here: health care, mining, education. He was quick on his feet, providing thoughtful yet concise answers to questions from the audience, and very rarely did he stray from a safe, general message of improved economic, social, and educational opportunity.

David Pfeffer, on the other hand, came off as a more passionate kind of Republican — passionate at least about securing the U.S.-Mexico border, prosecuting the War on Terror, and returning to what he calls “civil discourse.” What struck me as completely strange was how willing he was to disregard that type of discourse. He said Democrats are in “full revolution mode” and wondered when “Christian” became a bad word.

Now, the funniest thing occurred during the Pfeffer meeting. The area Republicans were discussing their young star, Abe Villarael, who is currently editor of The Mustang. The talk turned to the Mustang’s previous editor, his lack of grammar-skills, and in general the poor shape of the newspaper before Villarael took the job.

Of course, that was me they were talking about.

I stuck around for a few more minutes, but I had met with Pfeffer earlier in the day and therefore figured I had enough to write a complete report. After politely excusing myself I headed home.

Regardless of my own personal feelings about the meeting (did they know they were bashing me?), Pfeffer is going to appeal to a different type of person than McCulloch. For somebody who was a Democrat until a year or two ago (note to self: check on that) he seems like a fire-branding neo-conservative.

“The war in Iraq is absolutely the right thing to do,” he said. “Like President Bush said after 9-11: you’re either with us or against us.”

Long story short (you still reading?) I don’t think either of these guys has a shot against Bingaman — he’s untouchable in this state. His approval is up over 60%, and, like Domenici, he’ll probably win until he stops running for office.

Alrighty, plenty late, so I’m outta here. I’ll be back soon — I promise.

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