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It Must Be The Year of the Dog

Man’s best friend, despite the stigma of bad breath, is becoming a force to be reckoned with in New Mexico politics. Working to wrestle the limelight away from its feathered brethren (subscription), the canine lobby has been very busy during the last few weeks. First, in a defensive position against attacks on their civil liberties, and then pushing their own health agenda with the legislatively embraced Scooby’s Law (subscription).

Albuquerque’s ever astute Mayor, Martin Chavez, quickly realized the important role this swing block of voters could play in the upcoming mayoral race. In an effort to appeal to the female constituency, he adopted a 10-week old orphan (subscription):

There’s a new top dog at City Hall: a 10-week-old puppy named Dukes.

Mayor Martin Chávez adopted him from the city’s East Side animal shelter a few weeks ago, and since then, Dukes has been attending high-level meetings, news conferences and other functions all over town.

“I intend for him to be with me throughout the day. He’ll be a well-known puppy,” Chávez said.

However, the strategy has backfired. A band of furry citizens, has commenced a full out assault on what they see as an exploitation of a young pup. The 1,000 Friends of Dukes have launched a new website, and rumors are flying among the alligators that the hounds may be grooming their own candidate to turn this into a three-dog race and practically guarantee a run-off in the October election.

Governor Richardson’s spokesman, Billy Sparks, has been uncharacteristically muzzled on the subject, but those in the know expect the Governor may have just issued a sit and stay command — At least until it is clear whether or not this movement could gain momentum and turn his 2008 run into a real Presidential Iditarod.