Sunday, October 01, 2006

Wilson/Madrid Dead Heat and the Vigil Case Is Just Plain Dead

I don't usually write blog entries on Sunday morning, but this morning's Journal has much to munch upon:

  • Vigil II: the Verdict
  • Wilson v. Madrid : A Dead Heat
  • Hometown Capitalist Heroes: Eclipse Gets Certified
  • UNM Lobo Football: Is it Basketball Season Yet?

Where to start with all that? What Grand Unification Theory can tie together these juicy shoelaces of newsiness and leave us able to run, metaphorically speaking, without tripping over ourselves? Answer: none...we shall merely trip over ourselves here at the Babble, just as we always do.

Vigil II

What I want to see/hear/read now is an interview with Lead Prosecutor Jonathan Gerson. The quite good, I thought, Journal piece by Scott Sandlin and Mike Gallagher on the verdict includes a quote or two from Gerson, but I want a full-blown interview in which questions are asked like:
  • How could you guys fully blow this one, again?
  • Are we supposed to think that one count of guilty on something unrelated to the main charges equals a prosecutorial victory?
  • Did prosecuting this case cost more and achieve less than if we had just let Robert Vigil and Michael Montoya keep taking kickbacks and offering sweetheart deals?
I would like the above asked, in part, because I'm pissed off about the verdict. I also want answers because I admit I am no expert here. I cannot claim to know Robert Vigil was guilty of anything, followed the trial information cursorily at best, and obviously was not a juror at the trial. Still, it's hard to believe so much time/effort and especially money would be spent putting together a case in which the defense side could call no witnesses twice and end up with one lousy guilty count.

As a taxpayer, I'm not getting my money's worth here. Seeing Vigil walk out of the courthouse with his arms around relatives instead of staggering out frog march-style wearing shackles and a new orange jump suit was damn disappointing, even if the guy was truly innocent on 23 out of 24 counts. I want Gerson to be interviewed by Dennis Domrzalski like right now, this Sunday morning (and I apologize if this happened and I just missed it to write this stupid blog entry).


I'm up to four six-pack bets now on this race, thus (at say $7.00 per six pack...Stone IPA or similar, naturally) I'm up to roughly $30 invested in the fate of NM-1 now. It's getting serious, and Sanderoff's latest poll (by the way, what other pollsters died and made Brian Sanderoff "Poll God" here?) shows Patsy's chariot has drawn up even to Charlton Heston's ur...Heather Wilson's chariot, Ben Hur style. Oh the excitement, oh the spiked chariot wheels (now Sandia National Lab-designed lasers), oh the TV medicine cabinet-ad humanity of it all.

By the way, how many of you have seen the "Bill Richardson-is-a-cowboy" Western Movie campaign ad? Did anyone else have the same immediate first response I did, before even noticing it's Bill Richardson in that sheriff's outfit? Namely, I thought to myself: That is the fattest cowboy I have ever seen. Sorry, that was my first, gut you might say, reaction. I guess Richardson's massive campaign war chest couldn't afford some CGI to slim him down. Next time maybe the campaign will spend the extra dough to hire Lucas Films. But I digress.

Oh, the close election excitement of Heather v. Patsy. So much to discuss, so much potential beer changing hands. Yes, I've been betting on Heather the whole time, in part because parting with a few six-packs in order to unseat Wilson would be such a celebratory gesture. I'd be happy to give 100 six-packs away if it meant Heather was giving a concession speech on the evening of November 7th. Especially if I could charge part of the costs to the Madrid campaign, and the winners would be willing to share with the happy loser.

Now to the important part: what does Burque Babble think now re: Wilson/Madrid? I think it's important to remember two things:
  1. The best-forgotten Richard Romero pulled even with Heather about this exact time two years ago;
  2. This isn't a Presidential Election year, but it is an anti-Bush election year.

2004, which seems more like 2,000 years ago than just two, featured a very close Presidential election in which even dinky Electoral states like New Mexico were felt capable of swinging things one way or the other right up to Election Day. That helped Heather Wilson immensely.
This year's ballot offers nothing except Wilson/Madrid. Governor's race...boring. Senate race...even more boring. State Land/Auditor/AG/Treasurer/Election Goddess...those races, let's face it, basically only really matter to the wonkish sorts who read and write drivel like Burque Babble. And judge's races...Jacksonian democracy sole legacy only reminds voters how terribly uninformed they are. Who are these judge people and why am I occasionally asked to choose whether they should be "retained" or not?

Given this election landscape, turnout in '06 will be different in both size and makeup than '04. Overall turnout will be lower because it's not a Presidential election. More importantly, Republican turnout will be lower because there is only one race drawing non-wonk Republicans to the polls. More unknown is the degree to which the cooling of Bush Administration support among NM, especially NM-1, Republicans will erode R turnout. This Factor X could give Madrid an easy win, if unmotivated or ambivalent Rs just don't show up to vote.

Which ALMOST leads me to think I'm gonna be out $30 of beer on this race. Still, I'm not convinced Wilson will be unable to motivate enough NM-1 Republicans to get off their ass and vote this one race. As any Democrat will tell you, the D's are in absolute awe of the ability for the Republican Party to Get Out The Vote. I fully expect Wilson and the Party to roll out all the old standbys to mobilize the Republican base: guys French-kissing guys in 8" x 10" glossy mailers; Madrid Photoshopped to be shown deeply hitting a three-foot long bong while wearing a Cheech and Chong tye-dyed t-shirt and Grateful Dead "dancing bear" bandana; a last-minute mailer warning that Democratic control of Congress will instantly lead to mass burnings of the Bible on Capitol Hill and selection of Beezelbub as Speaker of the House.

The Way the Babble Sees it as of October 1: Madrid's race to lose, but still far from decided. This last month of campaigning should be politiporn of the lowest, most degrading order. I'm still taking wagers; however, I am now offering only six-packs of Milwaukee's Best Light as my side of the bet. If I "win", I'm still taking the expensive stuff. I'm gonna need all the IPA I can get if Heather pulls out another one.


I'm sorry, this topic really bores me. I'm sorry I can't get excited about Eclipse in that "it's the next Microsoft" sort of way, and, having lived in Seattle in 1988 I can tell you that Microsoft 1988 received about .0001% of the coverage Eclipse has received. These capitalist success stories don't work like political campaigns or football teams. Hype isn't the deciding factor. So put the pom-pom down, Albuquerque, and let's see if "really, really, really light airplanes" have the market 10-20 years from now to really make Eclipse (or Cessna for matter) a huge player in the airline manufacturing racket. I wonder if airlines themselves will be a big racket 20 years from now, thinking of Seattle again, look what's happened to Boeing since 1986. Not quite the behemoth it once was, and that's despite all the tasty defense contracting throughout the land.

Lobo Football

I think many of us have switched cheering allegiances from Lobo Football to Eclipse. Eclipse is having a better season, and could probably score more than seven points against Air Force. Others might now be merely waiting for basketball season, not remembering that the men's baseball team isn't that good either. Where's Stoney Case and Kenny Thomas when ya need 'em? Still, we have a head football coach named Rocky, and that cool name and legacy ties to UNM should keep Mr. Long in his job a while longer. By the way, how silly is 6-5 "bowl eligibility" anyway? And quick, name the last three bowls UNM has played in? Exactly.

P.S. 10:31 PM MDT: I've been laid low by a cold all day, and freely attribute whatever problems exist in today's post to my ill-health, but late tonight a ray of sunshine has burst into my kleenex-piled-upon-kleenex room....Rhapsody has finally gotten the entire 21 volume "Ethiopiques" collection from Buda Records! Oh happy evening! If you liked the music in the Jarmusch film "Broken Flowers" you're gotta love roughly 25 hours of Ethiopian tunes....I plan to spend everyday all day until Election Day going through this unbelievable set. But now I gotta grab another kleenex...


Anonymous said...

IMHO, Eclipse hype was never about the jets. It was about getting taxpayers to feel good about paying for the extension of services to the new site on the far west side - with the promise of glorious economic development. I predict houses will built out there before jets will. Coco

Maggie said...

Thanks as always, Scot. Oh how I hope you are shelling out six-packs to all your friends and neighbors in five weeks...

Maggie said...

PS to Coco: Here's hoping your prediction is wrong...

frannyzoo said...

Coco: You're probably right about Eclipse...because you usually are. Something has to explain how rah-rah we are "supposed" to be about it.

Anonymous said...

I am completely flabbergasted by the prospect that a sufficient number of my fellow citizens are prepared to send an individual so egregiously lacking in ANY qualification to hold the office of US Representative beyond, I guess, that she self-identifies as a Dem. If Heather lacks "independence" from the dictates of the party, not even a half-wit can believe that Patsy will be more so.

But then I guess independence from the party is a virtue only if you're a Republican.