Will The DCCC Try To Dig Up ConservaDem Marty Chavez To Run For Heinrich's Seat?
Over the years Blue America has interacted with scores of Democratic congressional candidates. After our jarring experience with dishonest Chris Carney (PA), a stealth Blue Dog and bigot, we never ask anyone to make any pledges. A politician who makes a pledge when he needs campaign help is a politician who can break a campaign pledge when he's neatly tucked in with lobbyists and powerful Inside-the-Beltway corporate shill like Steny Hoyer and Steve Israel. Instead, our first priority is to look for committed movement progressives like Donna Edwards, Raúl Grijalva, Ilya Sheyman, Norman Solomon and Nick Ruiz. These are people who don't have to be persuaded to vote well on core progressive issues; these are people who are leading the way-- the tip of the spear on issues most Democrats would rather avoid or even join with the Republicans on. So, it was with great pleasure that we came across the first-- and so far only-- Democrat running for the open New Mexico House seat based in Albuquerque, state Senator Eric Griego.
A week ago today Eric announced he was officially in the race. He's been a big fave of the local DFA chapter, which points to his video (above) as establishing "him as a family man who's heavily involved in his community, as well as a hard-nosed progressive fighter for families, children and workers who's ready, willing and able to take on the right wing attacks on education, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. As he says in the video, 'The last thing we need to send to Washington is a Democrat who's a kinder, gentler version of the Republicans, frankly. Unfortunately, in Washington right now, there's an assault on the basic idea that we are a community.' His campaign is associated with the words passion, principles and purpose."
In the next few weeks we'll invite Eric over to Crooks and Liars for a Blue America chat-- he's already endorsed on the DownWithTyranny Act Blue page-- but in the meantime we're trying to hold our enthusiasm in check while we do all our due diligence. We're hearing rumors from friends in New Mexico that the DCCC is already sniffing around for "their kind of candidate," someone closer to corrupt donors than to working families. And our fear is that they're encouraging New Mexico's most corrupt Democratic politician, former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez. We first ran across him in 2007 when he tried defeating Tom Udall for the Senate seat vacated by Pete Domenici. At the time Alex Flores did a guest post warning about Chavez. Chavez is as well known for being a conservative who throws his weight behind Republicans as he is for being on the take. Flores dubbed him "DINO Marty."
In New Mexico, DINO Marty has come out in full attack mode against progressive Congressman Tom Udall (even during our Draft when Udall wasn't in the race) using national security and other right-wing frames to gain media attention.
If it seems like DINO Marty and the NRCC are reading from the same playbook, you're right. From the national security narrative to outright racism, DINO Marty thinks that his politics of hate will resonate with New Mexicans who already favor Udall by 62%-32%.
In a campaign email on Monday, November 26, DINO Marty beefed-up his GOP credentials and accused Udall of "Endangering our national security" by voting to cut funding for National Laboratories in New Mexico in a huge budget bill.
In the 2005 Mayor's race Chavez opposed raising the minimum wage; he's the Republicans' favorite kind of Democrat-- which explains the interest from the DCCC. He's also a career political hack and perennial candidate, running for any office he thinks he can win. He first ran for governor in 1997 and lost to Libertarian Gary Johnson and his loss-- in which Johnson successful portrayed him as a "tax and spend liberal"-- has haunted him ever since. He always goes out of his way to show he doesn't believe in the role of government to better the lives of people-- so he's anti-taxing, anti-spending and anti-liberal. As mayor of Albuquerque the second time around-- after he had lost to Johnson-- he managed to piss off unions, environmentalists and social progressives as he cobbled together a coalition of conservatives across party lines. He's remembered for having endorsed several Republicans in local races and for his endorsement of Pete Domenici in a Senate reelection bid.
Sometimes I wonder if the DCCC doesn't go into a district, find the absolute worst possible candidate and then do all they can to destroy the opposition. I've seen in dozens of times, especially when Emanuel was head of the committee. It should be interesting to see what they do about NM-1.