Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sunshine...Daydreams & Pay As You Go.

Everyone knew the political campaigns would heat up after Labor Day in New Mexico. Now They have.

On Wednesday night, U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Maryland -D) attended a Ben Ray Lujan Jr. fundraiser at State Fair Commissioner Nerissa Whittington's home. We learned at least 60 people contributed some $52,500 dollars to the campaign.

The DNCCC has not anted up much money for Lujan's race this year. They believe they will easily win the district, forcing Lujan to come down to the Duke City to raise money for TV ads.

Meanwhile, during the lunch hour on Wednesday, Hoyer was in the state's capital. He attended a private fundraiser for Martin Heinrich despite the CD-1 District only have a few precincts in Santa Fe County.

It must have been a good lunch because reporters were kept waiting in the blazing afternoon sun for 45 minutes outside the East Gates of Sandia National labs until Hoyer and Heinrich arrived to talk ironically about Solar Energy. Most reporters were offered an umbrella and a bottle of cold water before they boiled or melted.

After the news conference finally began, Hoyer said Heinrich's choice to take him to visit Sandia National Labs is evidence the young democrat will make continued funding for the labs a top priority if he's elected in November and heads to Washington, D.C.

Hoyer believes Heinrich, who has a mechanical engineering degree, will be in a good position to get funding because he understands many of the technical operations underway there.

In this brief Q&A with reporters (we were only allowed five minutes of questions after waiting 3/4 of an hour for them to arrive) Hoyer defended his two earlier votes to cut the lab's budget. He says it was based on the budget shortfalls caused by the Bush administration squandering a $5.6 trillion dollar surplus in the last eight years. he told us he believes the democrats here will win all three congressional seats in November.

Hoyer earlier told reporters that safe nuclear technology needs to be part of any comprehensive energy program.

Martin Heinrich told reporter the technology developed inside at Sandia and Los Alamos spurs venture capital investment that impacts not only the state and the region, but the entire country.

Republican candidate Darren White’s staff was quick to remind reporters that Hoyer voted to slash the national labs budget twice in 2007.

“Heinrich is proving once again that mingling with Washington’s elite is more important than dealing with the issues that face New Mexico working families. Hoyer voted repeatedly to cut crucial funding to New Mexico’s national labs, Sandia and Los Alamos, which would have cut 3,000 jobs,” remarked New Mexico Republican Party communications director Shira Rawlinson. “It’s ironic Heinrich picked Sandia Labs to appear with Hoyer since that is the exact place Congressional Democrats chose to cut over $400 million in funding that would have devastated New Mexico’s economy and damaged our ability to contribute to the national defense.”

On Thursday, Rep. Chris Van Holland will campaign with Heinrich and attend a forum with doctor's at UNM's Children Hospital. And Michelle Obama will be in Santa Fe and at UNM. On Saturday, John McCain, and perhaps his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be in ABQ for a voter rally.

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