Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Monday, 31 May 2010

Thoughts on the Debate from the Peanut Gallery

Filed under: Events, Politics — Tags: , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 2:17 PM (14:17)

On Thursday, 20 May 2010, I attended the debate between Republican gubernatorial candidates at UNM’s Rodey Hall in the Popejoy Arts Center. The debate was hosted by Channel 4 (KOB-TV), the local NBC affiliate, and sponsored by the Rio Grande Foundation. The hour-long forum was moderated by Nicole Brady and Tom Joles.

Don’t take my word for any of what I’ve typed below. Here’s the video of the debate — click here to see for yourself.

First, a disclaimer — I’m a Libertarian and a libertarian, so my presence was mostly for entertainment purposes. I haven’t considered myself a conservative for 14 years now, and I’m not in any hurry to revert to doing so. For the most part, this debate simply confirmed what I was already thinking about the candidates.

After the candidates took their spots and gave their opening statements, the fun began.

All of the candidates hit on some common themes throughout the hour —

  • They all cited corruption (pay-to-play, backroom / insider deals, etc.) as one of the State’s main problems. Can’t disagree there.
  • It sounded (at least to me) that all of them wanted to drastically cut, if not shut down, the elephante blanco known as the RailRunner, citing fiscal irresponsibility as another big problem in State government. Again, can’t disagree there.
  • Each of them said they wanted the State to adopt a more pro-business attitude — be friendlier towards the private sector, in other words.
  • Secure the borders, with the National Guard if Obama won’t reinforce the Border Patrol.

Pete Domenici Jr. stayed on track for what he wanted to say and didn’t get involved in sniping at the others. Still, he pointed out his family connection to New Mexico, which is something I expect to see from Democrats. Not saying that’s bad per se, but given the former Senator’s fiscal wimpiness and apparent closeness to the Busheviks . . . .

Janice Arnold-Jones disappointed me a bit. Bob Cornelius told me that Arnold-Jones came across strongly, and I would disagree a bit — she seemed a bit frazzled at times, especially during the Weh-Martinez sniping, as Weh took a potshot at her, too. That, and as a legislator, she has done her share of citing “emergency circumstances” as the reason that public project funding is necessary. Sorry, but the word “emergency” to me means someone got hurt or could get hurt, lots of police cars, fire trucks and ambulances with their lights and sirens going full blast. Whether some community center gets built in the next decade does NOT to me constitute any sort of emergency.

Allen Weh provided some comic relief for the libertarian-minded in the audience, with his pissy complaints about insider deals within the GOP, and the attack adverts ran against him by the Martinez campaign. Poor boy Allen! I still remember reading how in 2008, when he was the GOPNM’s State Chairman, he ruled the Ron Paul delegates to their State Convention in Las Cruces as being “out of order,” saying that “We don’t operate by Robert’s Rules but by pleasure of the chair.” Aside from that, just a typical Republican, promising tax cuts and spending cuts.

Also from Weh —

  • “Everybody hungers for leadership — leadership with integrity”
  • On the issue of using military force to secure the border — “No one understands the operational issues like I do . . . .”

Susana Martinez is the front-runner in this race, and according to some sources, the Anointed one by the GOPNM insiders. Still, she doesn’t seem to be taking this race for granted, considering that the same person I got the link in the last sentence from also said that the reason that Susana is running as a Republican is that she lost the primary as a Democrat the last time and switched affiliations to avoid losing power. Bad, BAD sign there, if true. Of all of the candidates, Martinez harped on the border “issue” the most[1], taking a potshot at Weh for his previous support of a guest-worker program[2].

Doug Turner came across as the clear winner, at least to me, and also to a (non-scientific) online poll of viewers by KOB staff. He deviates from the libertarian party-line with his support for an expanded Drug Prohibition and closing the border. Still, he stayed above the Weh-Martinez pissing contest during the debate, and throughout the campaign. Still, he did say to me, “I’m a libertarian,” when all of the other candidates would have blown off the very idea of libertarianism, even if I had explained how the Non-Aggression Principle doesn’t disallow the defensive use of force.

After the debate, I met Lance and Patrick from the local Ron Paul Campaign for Liberty group. Patrick was verbally arguing with some of the Weh supporters, who allegedly had gotten belligerent with him over his “NO WEH” sign. Leaving UNM property, we met again at the Nob Hill Bar and Grill, where Doug Turner was partying with his supporters.

Finally, a good note — the guy directly in front of me was wearing a M1911-style pistol on his belt in open-carry mode. Good for him! Though I am surprised that no one in the audience called UNMPD out to have him “proned out” facedown and cuffed for “violating UNM policy” and such.


  1. Susana seems to be operating under the assumption that EVERY person crossing the border sans approval from the Imperial Washington DC imbecilocracy is intent upon robbery, assault, kidnapping, rape and murder, when the exact opposite seems to be true.
  2. As I was exiting Rodey Hall, one of Martinez’s supporters handed me a text-only reprint of an Albuquerque Journal op-ed piece dated 3 October 2007, allegedly by Allen Weh, citing support for some sort of guest-worker program.
  3. Approximate reading level – 12.3
  4. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – Blogspot / LiveJournal / Tumblr / Xanga
    2. New Mexico Liberty
  5. Current mood: amused
  6. Listening – Freedom is a State of Mind by Corporate Avenger

Copyright © 2010 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
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