Monday, October 01, 2007

City Council Election, 2007: Rockin' Eve Prognostications

Given the overwhelming verbosity of Burque Babble in recent days, I feel the need to solemnly promise this prognostication post will be short. Under 2,000 words: I promise. So let's get to it.

City Council Election, 2007 was initially marketed to the 8 or 9 percent of registered ABQ voters who would actually show to the polls up as "Referendum on Marty". Then two things happened: 1. The Marty Slate of Katherine Martinez, Paulette de'Pascal, Joanie Griffin and Anybody but Don Harris didn't prove quite as formidable as the Mayor and his tentacular feudal minions would have hoped; 2. The humor of the campaign gaffes overtook the meaning behind the "Marty Slate" idea, and many Albuquerque citizens started to wonder about running for City Council themselves, owing to the fact that: A. Plenty of people with fake advanced academic degrees, shoplifting misdemeanors and the combined personality of Joanie Griffin were already running, and B: The off-chance that City Councilor pay might go up to $29K/yr., making the job almost worth the aggravation, agony and anger caused by being forced to listen occasionally to Geraldine Amato and Mayor Marty.

As of tomorrow evening City Council Election, 2007 unfortunately ends, unless there's a run-off in District 6. And with that lousy bit of foreshadowing, let's get right to the ill-informed, Almeda University-educated, seat-of-the-pants guesses:

District 2: Katherine Martinez v. Debbie O'Malley: This race isn't as much a referendum on how many like Marty as it is a survey on how many folks O'Malley has pissed off enough to show up at the polls. Like any person with strong leadership skills, O'Malley has created enemies, but not enough in District 2 to keep her from winning. Who's Katherine Martinez, again? Exactly.

District 4: Brad Winter v. Paulette de'Pascal (Almeda University, Class of last Tuesday): Working at APS "Central Office" Brad Winter has obviously experienced enough horror in his professional life to deserve the good karma of having Paulette de'Pascal as an opponent for this race. That tells you how bad things are at APS "Central Office". Perhaps the "life experience" of losing this race will entitle de'Pascal to a Ph.D. degree from Almeda University as a "Doctor in Advanced Political Humiliation".

District 6: Garduno v. Griffin v. Kaufman v. Wilson: The Featured Attraction. The Main Event. Kaufman and Wilson really seem like nice guys, but some wonder if being nice means being last here. Or at least 3rd. I'm written way too much about Griffin, and not nearly enough about Garduno, who also seems like a very nice man, but who made a mistake 19 years ago. The question is whether that shoplifting charge really matters, given that Griffin makes the mistake of running a campaign ethically based on the moral philosophy of Richard Daley-meets-Karl Rove everyday. In some Districts around town I really believe strong-arm stuff like push-polls would help as much as it hurts. But in District 6 it pisses enough rabid liberals off to go to the polls and put Garduno out front.

The question is, will Garduno get 40% and avoid a run-off? I don't think so. For one thing, even with decent turn out (for a City Council Election) Kevin Wilson and Blair Kaufman could just receive votes from close family members and get almost 12% of the vote. I'm completely prepared to be wrong here (trust me, I'm used to it), but I'm throwing out:

Garduno: 38%
Griffin: 32%
Wilson: 18%
Kaufman: 9%
Ghost of Martin Heinrich: 3%

Probably as much on the wishful hope that City Council Election, 2007 goes into overtime. My Plan B, cover my butt, follow-up guess is that if anyone gets >40% it's Garduno. Sorry, still don't know how to make a tilde on this stupid Blogger word processor (somebody help me here!).

District 8: Somebody named Trudy v. Nobody: Welcome to City Council someone named Trudy. Nice job on the "Democracy In Action" angle, District 8 people.

District 9 Recall: Don Harris v. Anybody But Don Harris: I taught enough novels as a Literature teacher to know that a man can't run away from himself. That goes for Willie Stark, Holden Caulfield and Don Harris, if Mr. Harris was a fictional character and not a saxophone-playing eccentric pseudo-politician seemingly plagued by organizational problems (not unlike many saxophone players I've known over the years) and dogged by some old guys who either want speed bumps in Four Hills or don't want speed bumps (I don't remember).

If turnout in District 9 was on a par with that in Scandanavian countries and Soviet elections during the Stalin period, I think Harris would survive. Given that turnout will be roughly the same as at a middle school debate tournament, I think Harris is in trouble.

Bottom Line: Mayor Marty's Best Player turns out to be "Anybody But Don Harris". The anti-Mayor coalition loses an eccentric participant, the Mayor's picks some drone for District 9, a run-off occurs between Garduno and Griffin. The "Circle of Political Life" continues, cue the theme music....

Down Ballot Grab-Bag:

Proposition 4, Councilor Pay Raise: FAILS. You don't think I'm going against hundreds of years of recorded political history here, do ya? Ballot attempts to give legislators pay raises has a worse overall record than this year's Notre Dame football team.

Everything Else On the Ballot: I'm Tired. And I promised fewer than 2,000 words. And the Rockies "play in" game is 6-6 going to the top of the Ninth. I'm out of here.

Have a rockin' City Council Election, 2007 everybody. We out here in the Bernalillo County ag-burbs will be watching.

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