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What a Tangled Web He Weaves

If only saying it so, really made it so:

How much did the R’s outspend the D’s on in last year’s nail biter between Rep. Heather Wilson and Dem Patricia Madrid? According to a report from an UNM professor writing in the new publication, Capitol Report, Wilson’s side outspent Madrid by about $1.4 million.

“..When we consider total spending–parties, the candidates, and interest groups..Wilson outspent Madrid supporters. Total GOP and ally spending amounted to $6.577 million and Democratic and ally spending amounted to $5.199 million.”

That jives with our reporting and, I think, sets the record straight for Wilson operatives who said Madrid had it wrong when she told us in a recent interview that Heather had outspent her.

Sorry, Mr. Monahan, think again. That does not jive with your original reporting. Since you seem to have a problem recalling your original analysis on the diference between Heather Wilson and Patricia Madrid’s campaign spending, please allow me to refresh your memory, this is what you originally reported:

“I know you and others believe my debate performance was the reason for the loss. That was a factor, but she outspent me by at least several million dollars–maybe more when you count all the independent expenditures. She began the negative attacks in July and did not let up. That spending was as big a reason as any for the defeat,” reflected Madrid who in the sole TV debate with Wilson froze before the camera in a moment that is now frozen in state political history.

I admit I took exception at the time for a very simple reason:

According to Political Moneyline Patricia Madrid’s campaign spent just shy of $3.4 million, and Congresswoman Heather Wilson spent $4.8 million. That’s a difference of $1.4 million – not exactly “several million.”

Hmm, that’s interesting. The $1.4 million number I reported is the EXACT SAME NUMBER that UNM Professor, Lonna Atkeson, came up with in her article for the newly launched Capital Report – again a long way from the originally reported “several million” dollar difference. It is unclear if Dr. Atkeson considered the following in arriving at her number:

  1. Patricia Madrid started to shamelessly using taxpayer money as early March 2005 for self promotion and to improve name identification – a practice she continued to within 70 days of the election.
  2. The millions that Governor Bill Richardson spent on the 2006 election. In a Santa Fe New Mexican article it was reported, “Madrid has Gov. Bill Richardson, a fellow Democrat, on her side. Richardson has already told the national press — which he may need to cultivate further should he run for president — that Madrid will win narrowly, in part due to his get-out-the-vote operation in New Mexico

If not, then factoring in those expenditures rapidly shrinks that $1.4 million gap. Of course, probably the most damning for Mr. Monahan is not his twisted version of the truth for a second time, but what he chose not to report from Dr. Atkeson’s article. Namely, the conclusion:

This suggests a possible alternative reason [that Patricia Madrid lost]: Democrats did not mobilize enough Democratic voters who vote Democratic. In part, this analysis suggests that the Democratic strategy is problematic because many Democratic groups tend to focus on aggregate areas and not individual voters, and in doing so concede some areas to the GOP.

But, I guess Joe Monahan wouldn’t want to bite the hand that feeds him.