Inside the Capitol

Friday, September 18, 2009

9-28 Women, Politics and Cheeseburgers

Syndicated Columnist
SANTA FE -- It's time to pick up some more clippings from the newsroom floor. It always makes me feel good to get the gems into print that wouldn't quite fit in previous columns. Kinda like getting in the last word.
With the entry of Albuquerque GOP activist Bea Sheridan into the lieutenant governor primary, both parties have at least one woman in the governor and lieutenant governor races. Sheridan is a nurse who runs the Pain Clinic at Lovelace Rehabilitation Hospital.
For some reason, maybe the presumptive gubernatorial candidacy of Democratic Lt. Gov. Diane Denish in the 2010 general election, women have decided the glass ceiling on the state's two top jobs has been broken.
It is possible, though not likely, we could see Lt. Gov. Diane Denish and Sen. Linda Lopez on the Democratic ticket and either Susana Martinez or Janice Arnold-Jones and Bea Sheridan representing the GOP at this time next year.
It's time. Both our Texas and Arizona neighbors have had multiple female governors. Back when Janet Napolitano was attorney general of Arizona, the top five state elected officials over there were women. And the state didn't fall apart.
Two of Arizona's women governors have been due to the state not having an office of lieutenant governor. The secretary of state moves into a gubernatorial vacancy. And since Arizona has a tendency of impeaching or indicting its recent governors, that office is sometimes vacant.
New Mexico hasn't had a governor leave office early since Republican Gov. Ed Mechem in 1962, when he resigned with one month left in his term and was replaced by Lt. Gov. Tom Bolack, who then appointed Mechem to a U.S. Senate vacancy created by the death of Sen. Dennis Chavez.
If secretaries of state were first in line for governor in New Mexico, Betty Fiorina would have been our first female governor.
Arizona is looking at revamping some of its state government structure, abolishing some elective state offices and creating others. One new elective office would be that of lieutenant governor.
One Arizona columnist is railing against the proposal, saying that most candidates running for lieutenant governor in other states do not consider themselves capable of running for governor. But if they could get elected lieutenant governor, there's always a chance they could get the top job that way.
The chairman of that Arizona governmental restructuring task force is former Justice Sandra Day O'Conner, the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
* * *
From all I've seen, the 3rd Congressional District's Adam Kokesh is running the most spirited campaign in the state right now. A Libertarian by philosophy, Kokesh chose not to run under that party's banner or as an independent.
Hey, if you stand a chance of capturing a major party's nomination for Congress, why undergo the crushing requirements for petition signatures placed on minor parties and independents. GOP candidates only have to get something like 77 signatures in that Democrat-dominated district.
Kokesh is turning on many Republicans with his energy, speaking skills and organizing ability. That district does contain some Republican areas. It includes all but Lea County along the eastern border, San Juan, Los Alamos and the Rio Rancho area. That's not enough but Kokesh is giving them something to get excited about.
* * *
This is the last day to vote on the state Tourism Department's Web site for your favorite green chile cheeseburger. As of Sept. 18, 40,000 votes had been cast for 150 eateries around the state. In person voting continues at the State Fair through its final day.
The top 20, or so, finishers will join Bobby Olguin's Buckhorn Tavern in San Antonio on the Tourism Department's Culinary Trail.
Blogger Joe Monahan tells us Olguin is the brother of former House Democratic leader Michael Olguin, who represented Socorro County in the Legislature for many years.
MON, 9-28-09

JAY MILLER, 3 La Tusa, Santa Fe, NM 87505
(ph) 982-2723, (fax) 984-0982, (e-mail)

I'll be out of the office next week. cell phone 505-699-9982. I don't expect to miss any columns


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