Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jerome Block won't talk with KSFR, but that's OK

We know what's going on, anyway.

It's hard to image how Jerome Block, Jr., is going to withstand the current firestorm. He complains about a "media circus" around his campaign to win the northern New Mexico seat on the Public Regulation Commission.

What campaign? All he's done are a few billboards. He has never appeared before a public audience. He won't give interviews.

The media have caught Block in a series of gaffes, from underplaying his record of police arrests to his admitted lying on a campaign finance report.

Some voters may be asleep. But others are voicing their concern, as in this page full of letters-to-the-editor.

Can fellow Democrat Gov. Bill Richardson be seen as condoning such behavior?

Here's my personal opinion how this will play out....

In a day or two, Block will announce that he's pulling out of the race to "be with his family," who have "gone through so much." Richardson will appoint a Democratic successor on the ballot, even though Block's name will remain on it because ballots have already been printed. The Dem will probably win as people vote straight-ticket (there are no Republican opponents). But Green Party candidate Rick Lass will make a good showing because of his positive campaign efforts over the summer.

Few repeats from '04 at KSFR's first debate event

A respectable crowd showed up for KSFR's first presidential debate-watching event of '08. But when I asked who among the audience was also in the same room for the same thing in '04, no hands went up. Why? No George Bush? No John Kerry? Forgone conclusion about this time? No interest (hardly, I think)?

Or was it expectation levels in the tank? Are these debates just political theater?

One audience member suggested we "fact check" the debate as it goes along. Good idea. We'll try to do that next time.

Meanwhile, here are some fact checks from the first debate at Fact Check dot ORG.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

KSFR visits BBC's bus tour

KSFR is BBC's only full-time New Mexico affiliate, so I decided to drop in on the BBC Bus when it arrived in Albuquerque.

A hospitable group of tired BBC'ers were on hand inside the touring-band-sized bus. They had started a few days before in L.A. and on day three or four had parked at the N.M. State Fair in Albuquerque.

Jon Kelly waved "hi" inside, but he was busy blogging about the trip. Man, is he prolific. Great blog stories as they make their way across the U.S.

Tricia Lodge handles press (hell -- they are the press). Very nice. She recounted for me the all-you-can-eat places that serve the road food we have to eat when we drive the interstates. She's convinced she'll go home many pounds heavier.

Ros Atkins is the reporter-presenter who's been filing stories for the BBC's English-language World Service. Other reporters from other services will join them along the way to report in other languages.

I asked Ros his view of "voting America" so far. Too bad that he's only been treated to the way-soutwestern U.S., coming most recently from Las Cruces. He was impressed with some he met -- A fiercely independent type of American, he calls them. "They'd rather go bankrupt paying medical bills than seek federal assistance."

Oh, yeah? Sounds like one of those independent Americans told a tall tale on Ros -- a "tale of derring do, against all odds, in the Ole American West." Bang, bang.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

KSFR sets debates-watching events

Has it been four years already?

KSFR 101.1 and Santa Fe Community College plan to do it again. Our 2004 presidential debates-watching events at the college packed the house. We followed each debate with a comment period for watchers to comment.

The events about the news also made news themselves as local newspapers reported on what local residents had to say.

Example from the Albuquerque Journal.

Friday, October 1, 2004

SFCC Hosts Debate Discussion

Being a Republican in Santa Fe is tough.
Ask James L. Montoya, who on Thursday joined a group of local residents to watch the first presidential debate between President Bush and his Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry, inside the Jemez rooms at Santa Fe Community College.
After the 90-minute debate, the remaining audience members shared their thoughts about the debate, the two candidates and other perspectives about politics and civic life in the United States.
Bill DuPuy, the news manager at KSFR-FM, moderated the discussion that lasted some 45 minutes after the official debate ended...............

And the New Mexican.

Friday, October 1, 2004

Local Voters Watch Debate at SFCC

Majority in attendance said they were unswayed by the candidates
As soon as President Bush and Sen. John Kerry stopped their debate Thursday night, dozens of Santa Fe residents continued the debate at Santa Fe Community College. Both Democrats and Republicans were well represented at the event in which the audience first watched the 90-minute debate on a large screen. In all, about 100 people attended. Later, KSFR radio news director Bill Dupuy went around the room getting comments from...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Palin confusion

The McCain campaign is not helping the media or supporters understand what's going on.

For days, the campaign has told media that thepresumed vice president pick Sarah Palin would join John McCain in Albuquerque this Saturday. KSFR questioned that appearance when the campaign sent out an email yesterday (Sept. 2) promoting the event but not mentioning Palin. We called and the New Mexico Republican party
continued to insist Palin would be in Albuquerque.

Today, the New Mexico office tells KSFR Palin will, in fact, not appear. But the
McCain campaign website still carries an event notice saying that he will be joined in the Duke City by the vice presidential pick.

Palin's name is not mentioned as that pick. Nor is it mentioned in the schedule for events before and after Albuquerque.