Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Glowing Flier a Little Premature
By Sean Olson / Politics Notebook
Some Albuquerque residents were a little surprised after checking their mailboxes Saturday and finding Pete Domenici Jr. calling the Republican pre-primary nominating convention a "great success" before it happened.
Domenici, the son of former Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., and an Albuquerque lawyer seeking the Republican nomination for governor, sent out a flier that arrived at some homes Saturday, the same day the convention was scheduled to take place.
"The 2010 Convention Was A Great Success! Thousands of Signatures Put Pete On The Ballot!" the flier said.
At the actual convention, he received less than 5 percent of the delegate vote, finished last among a field of five candidates and fell far short of the 20 percent needed for a ballot designation in the June 1 primary.
Domenici campaign manager Doug Antoon said Monday that the flier referred to gathering enough signatures to make the ballot — a fallback method allowing candidates who do not receive the requisite 20 percent to still get on. And he said the convention as a whole was run very well, making it a success.
Antoon said criticism about the flier was stirred up by other campaigns that weren't happy about how the Domenici camp characterized the results.
"I think what we're looking at here is that some campaigns would have rather spun our literature to what they wanted us to say. We're not going to run their campaigns for them," Antoon said.
That didn't stop Antoon from downplaying the voting results from the convention, however. He called the convention an "informal straw vote" in a statement sent out Saturday.
Dissing Denish: The expected Democratic nominee for governor, Diane Denish, played Charlie Brown in fundraising efforts last week, pointing out to potential donors that everyone seemed to be picking on her.
"I now have five — yes, five — Republican opponents. Instead of campaigning on their own ideas, most of them are running their campaigns on one central message: Attacking me ... attacking us," Denish said in a fundraising letter.
She isn't wrong about that. Aside from some scuffles with one Republican hopeful for governor, Pete Domenici Jr., Republicans have kept the pressure on Denish and off each other.
It continued this weekend at the Republicans' pre-primary nominating convention, where candidates seeking the Republican nomination for governor were very kind in their speeches — to other Republicans.
"There are three things wrong with our state: a fiscal crisis, an ethical crisis and Diane Denish," Domenici said in his GOP convention speech. "And these are all the same problem."
Denish has, for the most part, stayed away from initiating her own attacks, but her campaign has not been shy about condemning the GOP blasts.
"Nasty personal attacks like (Domenici's) only serve to remind New Mexicans why they're sick of politics as usual ..." campaign spokesman Chris Cervini said Monday.