I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Senate campaign affected by bailout votes
John McCain gained a lot of media attention, some of it negative, by suspending his campaign for president to focus on the economic crisis. But for both candidates for Senate in New Mexico, the decision to suspend their campaigns is a no-brainer.
Both Tom Udall and Steve Pearce currently serve in the U.S. House. Both voted against the economic bailout bill on Monday. And both will be headed back to Washington for a second vote on a revised bailout package expected to happen Friday — to the detriment of their Senate campaigns.
Both said they the temporary suspension of their campaigns was necessary while a larger problem in the form of the economic crisis loomed.
The New Mexico Independent spoke to both candidates on Wednesday to ask how the economic bailout bill has affected their campaigns.
Both agreed that the vote on the economic bailout bill is more important than their respective campaigns.
“The campaign is far secondary to what’s going on [in Washington],” Pearce told the Independent.
Udall concurred, saying, “The people expect me to go there and work hard and get my job [done] and do the things for them. And that’s what I signed up for.”
Udall’s predicament was evident while he spoke to the New Mexico Independent. Udall was rushing to the airport after a meeting with voters on Albuquerque’s Westside.
“I think there are big issues facing the country right now that need to be resolved,” Udall said while walking to the car to drive to the airport. “We’ve got to get this bailout situation right. We’ve got to put a bill out there that is going to be responsible to taxpayers. I would like to see a economic stimulus package be put in place so we can start putting people back to work and turn this economy around.”
Pearce spoke to the Independent at a Santa Fe event with Mitt Romney on Tuesday and said what it would take for him to support an economic bailout bill.
I think some of the provisions that we used in the RTC (Resolution Trust Corporation) — maybe allowing some of the banks that are on the watch list to go ahead and operate to let their loans pay off, maybe not quite as fast. Right now, we’re under very strict requirements to go ahead and dissolve those banks. In the RTC, they took some of the savings and loans and said, ‘OK, normally we would shut you down, but maybe we can go ahead and let you operate and you can work these loans out.’ That’s basically is what we’re doing.
One area where the two differed was on the extent to which their campaigns would be affected. Pearce said many events would need to be canceled — some that were scheduled “two to three months” in advance.
Udall said others would take up the slack while he was working in Washington, D.C. “My wife’s here, and I have people helping to represent me,” he said. “We have a great team of surrogates.”
The Associated Press reported on changes in the Udall campaign’s schedule.
Udall spokeswoman Marissa Padilla said the Democratic congressman rescheduled events in Santa Fe and Albuquerque today and Farmington on Friday to return to the nation’s capitol.
In the same story, Pearce spokesman Brian Phillips told the AP that nearly a dozen radio calls and other campaign events had to be rescheduled.
“I’m fighting to make sure we finish the year and do it in such a way that we’ve really finished our business,” Udall said. “Finished the people’s business in Washington.”
Other campaigns were tangentially affected. In the 2nd Congressional District, Ed Tinsley had a fundraiser with Vice President Dick Cheney canceled due to the economic crisis.