It’s a brutal, ruthless place. Tangles of campaign rhetoric wind down the sides of looming billboards smeared in dirt and detritus. The mind’s a blur—thousands of sound bytes and buzz words swarm around you, infest your senses, aiming right for your moist mucus membranes. Mossy paths are grown over with too many baffling instructions; at times it seems too daunting to go any further. It’s survival of the fittest, or the richest.
It’s Election 2006: Welcome to the jungle.
Within the next few pages, you’ll find candidate descriptions along with our endorsements, should you choose to heed them; run-downs of ballot issues along with our analysis of whether you should vote for them; answers to some of our most frequently asked voter questions, in case you’re unsure about the voting process or simply want to figure out where to vote early; and a convenient voter clip-out guide for you to take with you to the polls, just to make life easier.
Lastly, some readers may be confused as to why we didn’t cover the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) District 4 race, as we did in the primaries. In hindsight, we probably should have. In repentance, here’s a brief overview of the race:
The PRC is a powerful governing body in the state that regulates complex industries such as utilities, telecommunications, insurance, fire and transportation. District 4 is the only PRC district up for re-election this year that includes part of Albuquerque, most of which falls in the South Valley. It’s a four-year, two-term limited seat with a salary of $90,000. The contenders this year are Democrat Carol Sloan and Green David Bacon.
When we covered the race in June for the primaries, our office tried repeatedly to set up an interview with Sloan. She bailed on us twice. We know that she’s from Gallup, is retired and is a former county clerk for McKinley. She is without a campaign website.
Bacon is a more familiar name to the public as he ran for governor in 2002 as a Green Party candidate. A builder and energy consultant, he helped found three organizations focused on energy issues, mostly renewable: Southwest Energy Institute, People for Independent Energy and Local Energy. His priorities if elected are to lower rates for utilities and insurance, promote clean renewable energy and the local generation and distribution of power, work for affordable and universal health insurance, and make telephone and Internet access available to all people in the state. Bacon is also running on the first publicly financed campaign in New Mexico history, an admirable feat. His website is www.davidbacon2006.org.
We ask you to carefully consider your votes this year. We’ll do our best to help you through the jungle—use this guide to do your part and get the rest of us out alive.
A woman, who would prefer not to be named, made these George W. Bush masks out of an Alibi cover we ran a couple months ago. Nice! Photos by Dan Vukelich.