Saturday, September 6, 2008

No Tickets. No Worries. We've Got the Audio.

Robert Duvall, who's seen in this picture standing between Sen. John and Cindy McCain, joined his own wife, Luciana Pedraza, and introduced the newly minted Republican ticket, at the Albuquerque Convention Center this evening for a big post convention rally in the Duke City.

Only 6,000 supporters got tickets to the McCain-Palin rally in Albuquerque tonight.

You actually may be luckier than they were. Supporters, who had to hunt for parking downtown, sweated in the sun waiting for hours to get into a 32-minute rally, and then only heard speeches way to familiar to the one's they heard earlier during the GOP Convention in the week in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Except for that one comment on earmarks from Gov. Palin, who's been defending her own record in Alaska. She decided to use her time in Albuquerque tell the crowd that Barack Obama has requested almost $3 billion dollars in earmarks during his time in the U.S. Senate.

"Just wait until President McCain puts a stop to that," Palin Said. Meanwhile, our ABC colleague Jack Tapper summarized all of Saturday's political punches here, as the battle of pork continues. I just wonder when either of the parties is going to tell us what they're going to do about the failing Fannie Mae and Freddie Macs. I've heard they'll likely go into conservatorship.

Anyway, here's the good news for you is there's no line here for you to stand in, no protestors shouting at you, (although they may use the comment page at the bottom of the post later to make their voices heard), and the bottom line is we're not charging $6.00 for parking either.

Still we've got the audio of their speeches just for you.

So sit back and enjoy their brief comments here, but download the audio to your i-pod only if you dare.

McCain spoke last, but get's top billing on this post.

And here is Governor Sarah Palin.

Photo credit: MG Bralley

Thirty Two Minutes and McCain Rally is Over Already.

Live Blogging from National Press Pool Risers set up inside the ABQ Convention Center.

Actor Robert Duvall introduced Senator John McCain and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and moments later the Straight Talk Express pulled directly inside the Albuquerque Convention Center Hall filled with 6,000 local supporters cheering his arrival while Van Halen's "Right Now" blared over the speaker system.

After the WWF style show fog cleared and the American Flag was finally spread out full again, the two families (McCain's wife wearing a weird combination of green and orange and world champion snowmobiler - 1st Dude Todd Palin) all made their way to the center of the hall.

Each pledge to put "Country First" and after 32 minutes the rally was over. To read about what happened before I arrived with the national press tour read LP's blog here.

McCain and Palin in Albuquerque.

The Straight Talk Express landed at Cutter @ 227pm and now we're headed to KNME where the candidates will be using the studios for a satellite interview. Following the interview Sen. John McCain, his wife Cindy (who's sporting a bandage around her wrist from a ruff handshake) and VP pick Sarah Palin will check into their hotel for a brief afternoon rest before tonight's rally at 7pm.

Photo Credit: MG Bralley

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Protestors Meet Supporters Downtown.

I just pulled into the Marriott North with John McCain's Straight Talk Express after spending a little more than an hour at KNME. We heard he may have taped a segment for one or more of the Sunday morning news shows.

Now he's preparing to introduce Governor Sarah Palin, who arrived at the hotel ahead of McCain, to some 6000 New Mexicans.

Our field reporter tells us protestors at civic plaza are shouting "Bush-McCain ... More of the same" at McCain supporters who are still standing in line at the convention center waiting to get in the facility for the 7pm rally.

McCain supporters are responding with chants of "USA USA".

Policen our sources say, are not interfering with the protestors at this point.

Following tonight's rally McCain and Palin will spend the night in ABQ and may have one or two surprise stops in town Sunday morning before heading to another rally to deliver another stump speech
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Barack Obama to Visit Northern New Mexico September 18th

The Obama campaign announced that Barack will make his fifth visit to New Mexico, hosting an event in Northern New Mexico on September 18th. More details will be released when they become available. Read more about the visit from LP at the FBIHOP.

Earlier this week, Michelle Obama, visited a Women for Obama rally, at UNM.

Check out this beautiful image from Mark Barlley and listen to Mrs. Obama talk about those special locally made bracelets wrapped around here wrist here.

Robert Redford To Campaign for Tom Udall

The actor will join Tom Udall at a private fundraiser on Tuesday September 9th at Donnie Leonard and Donna Wylie’s home in the Village of Corrales.

Supporters who donate $1000 may get their photo taken with the superstar beginning at 5:30pm. The minimum donation to attend the event is $250.

McCain-Palin Rally in Albuquerque

The McCain - Palin rally at the Albuquerque Convention Center is sold out. I've been invited to be a pool reporter and will be at Cutter Aviation when they arrive at around 3:30pm. We'll also post audio from the 7pm event for you to listen to if you didn't get a ticket.

We'll also try to talk to protesters who will stage their own rally at Civic Plaza across from the convention center. So check back here for complete coverage of the weekend visit to the Duke City.

We've just learned how to update posts from our mobile phone, so we'll track this visit closely.

U.S. Senate Candidate Steve Pearce Back on the Trail, or at least on the Parade Route!

Governor Bill Richardson loves the NM State Fair. Heck he set a world record, shaking hands, there several years ago.

This morning, a slew of 2008 candidates shook a few hands themselves before and after the 70th Annual State Fair Parade that ran East bound on Central, between Louisiana and Eubank.

We just talked with Steve Pearce after he finished waving to his supporters along the parade route. He tells us he that he used to show his pigs at the fair. Today he plans to visit the livestock auctions. He doesn't know what he'll bid on yet. Pearce warned us the auctions get expensive real quick.

Pearce, who's father died last weekend, says he'll attend the McCain-Palin rally tonight at the ABQ Convention center. He says the Alaska Governor was a good pick. He believes she has the vision and courage to be a great new leader from outside Washington.

Photo Credit: MG Bralley

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Let's Get To It. No Waiting Here.

I have a confession. I'm on a losing streak. I thought Michelle Obama would start her speech at a Women for Obama rally at UNM today by 4:47 p.m. She didn't start speaking until well after 5pm, and I lost $1.00 in the reporter's pool, one that I instigated by the way.

We promise you a :61 second intro to Michelle Obama here on my blog. Start your clock...NOW!

Unlike the nearly 1000 supporters, who began to get restless listening to long setup speeches from a slew of VIPS including 1st Lady Barbara Richardson, DNCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen, Martin Heinrich, Patricia Madrid, and Lt. Governor Diane Denish, we're going to get to Michelle Obama's speech without delay.

No waiting for you here at The Word. Let's roll the audio tape, and I'll try to win my money back on Saturday by predicting what color dress (or pantsuit) Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will be wearing to her ABQ rally. Who's in? LP?

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.

Alaska Governor Gets Attention in New Mexico

Tonight in St. Paul, Minnesota Republicans will make history. The party's first female V.P nominee will give her acceptance speech.

This afternoon, Republican Sen. Domenici and Representative Heather Wilson told reporters they are each confident in Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Wilson says she'll make a great VP. It is still unclear whether or not Palin will join McCain at Saturday's rally in Albuquerque.

Wilson also told me access to the Convention's facility was no problem for her and protestors had not disrupted her travels or access.

Earlier today, Lt. Governor Diane Denish announced a new Women for Obama group she's forming in New Mexico ahead of Michelle Obama's visit to the Land of Enchantment on Thursday.

This morning, Denish was joined on a tele-press conference by Teresa Brito Asenap, PhD (who spoke at Invesco Field about women's issues) last Thursday.

In New Mexico women make up the majority of voters in the state, and Denish and Brito Asenap want their new grassroots group to help mobilized ladies to vote by mail in the fall.

"Women are more involved day-to-day with raising their families and working than following politics," said Denish. The Lieutenant Governor wants to make sure volunteers working telephone banks and canvassing door-to-door can get more women to complete absentee applications.

Denish also went on the record and critized McCain's record on women's issues in the Senate. She said he voted against funding for healthcare, including breast cancer funds, and cast a nay vote for an equal pay bill. Denish was also critical of Alaska Govenror Sarah Palin's experience, and says she's not prepared to step into the Presidency at a moment's notice.

Meanwhile the Republicans are planning state-wide viewing parties during Palin's national address.

McCain's presidential campaign today announced that members of New Mexico Women for McCain and other McCain supporters will hold a Convention Watching Party starting at 5:30pm at the McCain/Victory 2008 Headquarters, at 5643 Jefferson NE Suite B in Albuquerque.

U.S. Senator John McCain's presidential campaign today released this ad, entitled "Alaska Maverick." It highlights Governor Sarah Palin's record of taking on the special interests in Alaska and bringing reform and change. While Barack Obama talks about change, Governor Sarah Palin has actually done it. The ad is scheduled to air in key battleground states, but it is unclear if it will air in New Mexico.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Two for Tuesday!

Today, we're clearing out some great audio files left on our mini-recorder from Denver, but never posted, to make space for the fall campaign.

Attorney General Considers Running For Governor!

Attorney General Gary King, a Colorado University (Boulder) graduate, made a one-day trek to the Dems Convention in Denver last week. Not surprisingly, he told us he'd like to be Governor of New Mexico one day, but says he's glad he's not running in this election cycle.

King also talked about the advice he recently gave to the Secretary of State's office regarding several non-profits political involvement in three senate races during June’s primary.

He told me that after talking to other Democratic AG's in Denver that he's confident they can win in court, but says he's open to talking to the non-profit about other ways of bringing the groups into compliance with NM Election laws.

The AG also told us he talked to several other state AG’s about recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings giving the Federal Government preference over individual state consumer rights laws.

King also talked about how wonderful mass transit was in Denver. He hopes Albuquerque is able to adopt some of the transportation ideas he thinks are working well in the Mile High city.

Listen to the interview to hear King's take on the upcoming Bernalillo County Albuquerque Metropolitan Courthouse construction corruption case, and his reaction to the acquittal of Roberta Vigil.

Last week, former Democratic Presidential Candidate and life-long DNC Committeeman Fred Harris talked to us on the floor of the convention. Listen to how delighted he is to see history being made 45 quick years after he watched Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. Harris tells us he's impressed with Obama and the youth boosting his candidacy.

King Photo Credit: MG Bralley
Harris Photo Credit: PDS

Monday, September 1, 2008

Steve Pearce's Father Dies on Labor Day.

(This morning) Melvin Pearce, father of Congressman Steve Pearce, passed away in Temple, TX at the age of 86. Congressman Pearce has canceled his appearances at all public events for Monday. Details on the service are pending.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Echos of Camelot Begin to Fade As Udall Prepares to Lead a New Generation of Democrats !

With Hurricane Gustav bearing down on the Gulf Coast, gas prices are already rising, and the call for more drilling will surely become even louder, especially with the Republicans set to take the main stage in St. Paul, Minnesota.

While we were in Colorado last week we had a chance to interview U.S. Senate Candidate Tom Udall for the Bob Clark show on 770 KKOB.

Normally this blog is for extra audio not previously aired on the state's largest news radio station. But, Udall's direct and honest responses deserve a replay here on the blog for folks who missed the original broadcast last Thursday.

We asked Udall about several attack ads criticizing his record and his stand on oil drilling in the United States. He says the 527 groups buying air time to attach his record are making ridiculous statements and are misleading the voting public.

Listen to why Udall's one vote in the Senate can make a difference in the direction the country takes on many national issues and why he's looking forward to serving with his cousin Mark Udall from Colorado.

Photo Credit: MG Bralley