Political season engenders allergic reaction

By Karl Terry, PNT Managing Editor

Right now it seems we’ve entered the allergy season of politics. Political pollen is everywhere.

I first noticed it as the political signs began to bloom in yards around town. Soon the infestation of noxious signs had invaded every major street corner in our fair city

Like a sinus drip, the political candidate e-mails had started quite some time back. Now my e-mail box has reached full congestion. Several times this week everything has stopped because the in-box was overflowing.

Fortunately I’ve missed the pounding headache of endless television political ads because I watch satellite and don’t tune into the local stations that often.

By far the worst allergic reaction we’ve seen this spring has been in the race between Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Pete Domenici. These two are in the same political party and it’s become something of a playground altercation with lots of name-calling, taunting and pushing and shoving.

I can’t wait until one of them squares off against Democrat Tom Udall. I can only guess it will really get dirty then. Or maybe I’m wrong, maybe Wilson and Pearce have gone personal with the attacks because they’re not all that different on the issues.

Whatever the case, it’s been personal for quite some time and each camp has kept the media informed with regular updates and spin.

When the two square off in a debate, a few minutes after its over, I’ll get an e-mail from Heather’s team saying she won the debate convincingly.

Seconds later Steve’s camp sends out a flash saying he killed her in the debate. It seems that then leads to a week of finger-pointing e-mails that to my congested brain sound like “Did too. Did not.”

We’ve received a few political ads in the newspaper but not enough to move the needle on my paycheck stub. I guess the candidates are all spending their millions on Albuquerque TV. It would be nice if they would send them all the extra e-mail too.

I shouldn’t complain. In the days before e-mail it used to be worse. I remember the paper cuts I used to get opening mail stuffed with position papers and the latest black and white photos from candidates. Back then they still bought newspaper ads, though.

Eventually all those position papers moved to the fax machine and we got to pay for the reams of paper and toner they wasted on us.

On second thought, I’ll accept the political allergies of today, even if the e-mail load is starting to give me hives. That delete button is so much easier and if I really wanted to get serious about avoiding the allergens I could always put the offenders in my spam list.

It’s somewhat entertaining to read them when I get a spare moment, so I probably won’t do that. Instead, I’ll just take an antihistamine and put on the little paper face mask I wear when I’m mowing and dive into that political e-mail.

Karl Terry is managing editor at the Portales News-Tribune. Contact him at 356-4481, ext. 33 or e-mail: