Babes in the woods….
That’s what my two local candidates for the New Mexico state legislature, Steve Fischmann and Nate Cote reminded me of when I met them on Sunday (September 28)…
Before talking to the candidates I met up with a guy who had canvassed me on behalf of Cote a few day earlier. At the time we had had a long conversation about the current state of affairs and he was well aware of Obama’s shortcomings (This is the second canvasser for Cote whom I’ve talked to who has big reservations about Obama.) This fellow told me that he wouldn’t give a cent to any of the top candidates and noted that the Obama supporters in town had to buy signs. He couldn’t get over it.
Steve Fischmann is running for NM State Senate (DIstrict 37) and he’s a fine candidate. He exposed ” questionable deals by the State Land Office” and is known for “his advocacy on behalf of the Organ Mountains and other public lands in New Mexico.”
Others know Steve because of his efforts on behalf of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and lower fuel costs, including his position as chair of the Southwest Energy Alliance and his service on the boards of the Southwest Environmental Center and the Coalition for Clean and Affordable Energy.
Nate Cote, our incumbent State Representative (District 53), beat a truly odious Republican last time out and I worked on his campaign doing phone canvassing. He has a fascinating background and has worked hard for people here in the district.
I nipped in to meet the candidates with the specific intention of seeing if they knew what was going on with PUMA and other disaffected Democrats. Before I got to them, however, I had to run the gauntlet of the sign-in in sheet as well as several requests to put on a name tag. I had absolutely no intention (even though there was an awful lot of interesting food set out) because I didn’t want to spoil the party.
As it was, as soon as I was greeted and mentioned that I had de-registered and wouldn’t be voting for Obama, I was told that by one of the hostesses that she wasn’t paying much attention to the national race because she was so busy with the local scene…but, she knew enough to launch into a speech about how awful Sarah Palin was. I promptly fired back that Palin upheld the law on abortion and gay issues, was not against contraception and a couple of other items, and then finished off with a flourish about how I thought a lot of the negative message about Palin was a hit job engineered by Obama’s camp, specifically David Axelrod.
I think I left her in shock.
At that point I marched up to candidate Steve Fischmann and introduced myself. We chit-chatted a bit and then I asked him if he knew what was going on with PUMA and what they were concerned about. I told him that he should know about it for his own good, in case someone popped a question to him about the state of the Democratic Party.
Well, he knew nothing about PUMA so I launched into a brief rundown on the actions of the party during the primaries and then said that Obama was all about Obama…separate offices from the party offices, which was a big departure from the “consolidated campaigns” I had worked on that pooled resources for all candidates. I also brought up the lack of funds coming in from the ticket to help local candidates.
At that point Steve indicated that he knew that there were two separate offices here in town. (The Obama office is on heavily-traveled main artery, while the regular party office is off in one of the older, more run-down business areas way off the beaten path.) Then he told me he was “disappointed” that no funding had come in to help his campaign. I felt sorry for him. I had made up a few slips with the URL of this website, so I told him to check here, as well as the other blogs listed on the sidebar, so he could get a feel what was going on among the grassroots. He thanked me and said he was going to check us out.
I ran into Nate Cote as I left. He had appeared with Obama here on Memorial Day, like a good soldier. He knew nothing about the PUMA disaffection with the party, so I quickly filled him in with exactly the same message I had given Steve. When I got to the part about the party’s handling of the primaries, he indicated that he knew about it with a quiet ‘hmmm.” At least that’s what I thought. As he took one of his signs out of the car for me, he said that he was just afraid people would never get to the bottom of the ticket to vote. I declared that the bottom of the ticket was the most important part of the ballot…and I meant it!
While these fine people struggle to garner support for their candidacies, Obama continues to burn money without a thought to downticket races. And, I hope these candidates find the time to find out about PUMA. At least if someone brings up the PUMA phenomenon, perhaps, at least, they’ll know what we’re all about, and have a better idea of what’s going on beyond their district…
Filed under: Current Politics | Tagged: Barack Obama, Nate Cote, New Mexico Democratic candidates, New Mexico Democratic Party, New Mexico Representative District 53, NM Senate District 37, PUMA, Steve Fischmann | 7 Comments »