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.
We here at the Alibi know election season can be a little harrowing. The incessant negative campaign ads, the newspaper headlines, the national scare tactics—it all makes for a rather overwhelming entrance into fall. But before you give up and turn back around, shirking your civic duty, let us try to guide the way. We’ll clear the path as much as we can and provide you with the resources you need to make it out alive.
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.
Editor Steven Robert Allen and I met with 15 out of the 18 candidates running for U.S. Senator, District 1 Congressional Representative, Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor, State Treasurer, Attorney General, Commissioner of Public Lands and Bernalillo County Sheriff. There are a few races we don’t discuss in the following pages, most of which are legislative or judicial. If you’re interested in finding out more about your legislative candidates, visit this week’s “News Bite” on page 8, which will tell you where to go for research (www.vote-smart.org). If you’d like to learn more about judicial candidates, read our article earlier this month on the New Mexico Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission (NMJPEC), which recommends retaining all 16 of the judges up for re-election this year [News Bite, “Judgment Day,” Oct. 5-11]. Visit the NMJPEC website (www.nmjpec.org) to read their recommendations and find out more about the races.
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.