Monday, March 10, 2008

My Money, My State, My Paper, My Time

Don Wiviott and his own dreams

Self-financed candidate for Northern New Mexico’s Congressional Seat, Don Wiviott, has won his court battle and is being placed on the ballot for the June primary. Candidate Jon Adams’ claim that Wiviott failed to collect enough signatures was found invalid and the race will go on.

The next charge being leveled against Wiviott is that his funding has come from the wrong donors. Not big business or oil or lobbyists, not child abusers, thieves and crooks, the disputed cash came from the candidate’s own pockets. Wiviott has brought the Millionaire’s Amendment into play as he has given his own campaign almost $600,000. His opponents have banded together as they claim that ‘he is trying to buy a congressional seat.’

And I say, good! Great! What a perfect way to finance a campaign! Here’s the secret: Politicians run for office to see their name on the yard signs and in the news. They love themselves so much that the only way to obtain the necessary amount of affection is to be lavished in praise by voters and the media. There are two types of people that work in politics: people who sincerely want to do good and people who want to do good so they can take the credit for it. The former is a bureaucrat that thanklessly deals with constituents’ issues day in and day out and works to solve problems. The latter runs for office. Why not let the egomaniac pay for the attention that he demands with his own money? Or were you about to send him $2300 of your cash so you could learn how to pronounce his name correctly?

More candidates that bet their own cash on these elections should be commended. . . even Mitt Romney. Don’t be foolish enough to ask the tired question of “why would a candidate spend $600k of his own money to get a job that doesn’t pay half of that?” Just like athletes get paid ten-fold more in endorsement contracts than they do from their salary, politicians make much more money through their positions of power than they do simply from the office’s salary. Do you really think Wiviott wouldn’t be able to reclaim more than $600k with a seat at the table that determines who gets the tax incentives and who’s businesses get squashed? Any investor can tell you what that kind of inside knowledge can do to grow your portfolio.

So let him waste his cash away. People should commend Don Wiviott for investing $600,000 of his own money in northern New Mexico. Go question the candidates that have as much money through donors. Good luck unraveling the maze they have established of shady deals and obligations.

The most curious part about all of the shots being taken at Wiviott is that he is not leading the race. Son of NM House Speaker and former Chairman of the PRC Ben Ray Lujan is widely agreed to be far ahead of the pack. Are his people putting Adams’ camp up to this?

No, I won Texas!

Hillary won the primary vote. Barack looks like he’ll win the Caucus, but they’re still counting those votes. And thus, Barack should come out with the most delegates. So who gets to put the state in their column? Emails from both campaigns will tout their victory, but how will CNN color their map for Anderson Cooper’s ultra-futuristic demonstrations on the green screen? Will Hillary remind voters of a similar election in 2000 when one candidate won the overall vote, but not the office?

The race may have quieted a bit compared to the buzz going around this time last week, but don’t expect her to pass up an opportunity for such an effective low blow. Democrats still remember the election Bush stole through a system that didn’t rely on straightforward votes and they won’t be eager to endorse any similar tactic. But wait, will they even hear her whine? Every other complaint she has brought against Barack has fallen on deaf ears.

Feeling the Loss

Barack Out With My Cock Out was begun to serve an under-informed electorate in New Mexico. As it began, the Albuquerque Tribune stopped its presses for good and shut down a 100-year operation. The loss of an alternative to the conservative-leaning ABQ Journal was felt last week as accusations of scandal spread across the web.

As we reported on Friday, Heather Wilson and Darren White, candidates for Senate and House, respectively, were accused of buying votes at the Bernalillo County Convention. All local media ignored allegations of Fourth Degree Felony Charges with exception to one reporter. Laura McCallum quit her job of News Anchor at 770 KKOB because after being the only reporter to come with the story, News Director, Pat Allen pulled it because not enough blogs had picked it up. . . his words, not mine. The story was pulled following a phone call from a blogger, no less! After Whitney Cheshire -- Campaign Manager for Heather Wilson’s Senate bid and former writer a hard-right blog -- cried to the station that had always gone to bat for Republicans, Allen followed their favorite congresswoman’s desires and pulled the story.

The Albuquerque Journal finally covered the story in Sunday’s edition, but their coverage wasn’t anything that will get them nominated for a Pulitzer. Rather than discussing the allegations against Wilson and White, the seven-paragraph story recapped that Laura surrendered her job in the name of ethical journalism. It is a tragedy to see a state relegated to such shoddy news coverage. One would think that the current technology would allow for more issues to be covered in a more comprehensive manner. Unfortunately, those dreams were simply that: a figment of our imagination.

To fulfill the duty of the Journal, KKOB, KOAT, KOB-TV and even KRQE, know this: Heather Wilson and Darren White are accused of paying the entrance fee for their voters as well as giving them $35 per hour that they spent at the Bernalillo County Convention. This is big, front-page-worthy news because those charges are fourth degree felonies. This is especially important because Darren White currently is sits in the political office of Sheriff and, as I’ve been informed, the Sheriff is supposed to stop crimes, not commit them.

Bushy Brilliance

For those that were an hour late to work this morning, I feel your pain and offer a more in-depth excuse than the expected “I just didn’t know to change my clock” line. My household actually didn’t have a single clock that needed resetting. The oven’s timepiece has eluded us and still flashes “12:00” and everything else was jumped forward by the internets and the invisible hands that guide them. However, thanks to last year’s energy bill that extended day light savings time, not all clocks knew to change this weekend. So use caution as you manually update your computers and phones -- they could get updated again in another couple weeks. Unfortunately, your boss won’t buy that excuse -- if it gets moved up a second time, you’ll find yourself at your desk an hour early, not an hour behind and no one deserves that. Thank you Mr. President for proving that you can control time.

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