The Piercing Truth

This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes

Aug 31, 2007

Sun Setting on Don Harris?

The race to remove Councilor Harris in District 9 seems to be moving towards an endgame, one that the two year councilor probably can't survive. New Mexicans for Democracy, the group behind the recall effort has brought yet another round of accusations against the embattled councilor.

According to the Journal (Subscription), Harris is accused of spending $5,600 in campaign money for personal use. In an autodialer the group claims Councilor Harris spent "$1,100 on his car, $500 for a new bicycle and some $4,000 in personal credit card finance charges" (ABQ Journal - Subscription). This time the accusations are not being made in front of the ethics committee but directly to the councilor's constituents by phone; and while the expenditures may not be a violation of ethics regulations, they are sure to look bad to voters.

What's more indicative of the councilor's demise is the very professional and meticulous way that Harris' adversaries have executed their campaign plan. Since June the group has kept Harris in the news with a continuous stream of ethics complaints, one of which was dismissed a couple of weeks ago (ABQ Journal - Subscription). Unfortunately for Harris, voters won't remember the dismissal but rather the accusations that seem to just keep coming.

Our Eyes tell us that in an effort to clear up all of his reporting "mistakes" the councilor retained CPA and fellow councilor Ken Sanchez. Our most recent information has Councilor Sanchez jumping out of the Harris debacle effectively washing his hands of the whole thing.

Frankly, we were surprised that Sanchez would stick his nose into this mess in the first place. We know he's a professional who's probably looked into some dark and dubious spaces from an accounting stand point, but taking sides in a recall for a fellow councilor has no upside for him. In fact, there's a little thing called guilt by association which could come back to haunt him if he decides to run for reelection.

Our assessment of the political situation is fairly bleak for Harris. In yet another example of planning and execution, New Mexicans for Democracy have managed to have Harris' ethics hearing scheduled for September 24th, the week just before the recall election. An August 29th press release about the September hearing from New Mexicans for Democracy reads in part:
"The full inquiry will probe all aspects of his alleged expenditures as to their compliance with the Election Code; as to their validity as determined by receipts and invoices; and also as to the required issuance of IRS “1099” forms to campaign consultants and contractors."
-New Mexicans for Democracy
The item that should concern the councilor is the issuance of 1099 forms. If his campaign reporting has been fraught with error, we'd bet that the more stringent IRS requirements were bungled too. At this point we'd be surprised if Harris survived the ethics hearing much less the recall election October 2nd.

Aug 30, 2007

Dumb Laws Contest

How many times have you said that's the dumbest law I've ever heard of? Of course government being government and politicians being politicians, there seems to be a never ending stream of dumb laws, legislation, and policy.

We can think of a number of dumb or redundant laws (H.E.A.R.T, the cell phone ban, mandating school elections be held separately from other elections, etc.) just off the top of our head. Now there's actually a chance for all of this stupid legislation will pay off, at least for a few lucky intrepid souls that can dig up New Mexico's most outrageous laws, ordinances, or administrative rules.

The Rio Grande Foundation along with the New Mexico Alliance for Legal Reform, are sponsoring a contest to find these gems of legislative and governmental idiocy and they're awarding $1,000 dollars in prize money to the best entries. You can find more information at the contests web site

Aug 29, 2007


We read a post by fellow blogger Mark Bralley a couple of days ago. Part of his post really stuck with us and was the kind that becomes an increasing irritant. Mr. Bralley's blog is called What's Wrong with this Picture? The post in question, the post that has been bothering us was called Under the Bus.

At first the post was typical Bralley fare, a very detailed account of a friend of his Benson Hendrix, who is a PR guy for UNM's communication and marketing department. What has been troubling us came later in the post when Mayor Chavez denied Mr. Bralley access to the bus being used as part of UNM and the City of Albuquerque's dog and pony show (a.k.a. news conference) du jour.
I can’t show you what happened, because after answering questions from a KUNM FM reporter, Chávez passed close by me speaking softly to his police bodyguard, Officer Louie Sanchez. “This guy’s problems…,” Chávez said. He then continued whispering to Sanchez, telling him to keep me from boarding the bus.

“The mayor says you took a swing at him at an earlier event,” Sanchez, below right, said. “He is afraid of you.” Sanchez asked me, as a personal favor to him, that I not get on the bus. My response to Sanchez was that I was being a journalist and following the story.
Mr. Bralley is a retired cop and a photo journalist who seems to take his new found career very seriously. We know that he provides photos for Joe Monahan and other clients, presumably for a fee. He certainly has attended more city council meetings than anyone except perhaps Geraldine Amato; including city councilors. In short, even though he's associated with and participates in the new media of the blogosphere it'd be hard to deny that he's a member of the media.

What has been bothering us is that we might be partially responsible for the mayor's ridiculous claim that he's afraid of Mr. Bralley. There have been rumors that Mark Bralley is really The Eye. In fact, we posted a denial some time ago on his blog after some brouhaha or the other where he was directly accused of being the author of Eye On Albuquerque. After we made the denial on his blog, he asked us via email to make a similar statement right here in Eye Land.

At the time, we felt that we didn't want to spend time making denial after denial and who other people including Sheriff, blogger and Lt. Gubernatorial candidate Greg Solano thought we were or are didn't matter at all. What we're concerned about is the unintended consequences of our failure to make a public denial regarding Mr. Bralley. So to that end, we're going to help the 5th and 11th floors out and give them the name of one person who we are definitely not. We are not and have never been Mark Bralley.
It will be very interesting to see if Sheriff Solano continues to blog during his campaign for Lt. Governor. Blogs are great for expressing opinions and while opinions can garner support they can also create enemies who will use his posts against him.
(End Sidebar)
Now that that's out of the way... let's get back to the other problem, the Almighty Marty himself. Marty thrives on almost daily news conferences and pesters the media relentlessly to get them to put his smiling face on TV or in the paper saying "good for me Albuquerque," or some other non-sense. The only time you won't find Marty at a city newser is if the subject matter might make him look bad; like when the topic is well... immigration.

Marty and his minions spend an inordinate amount of time trying to manipulate and control the media. The almost daily waste of media time is designed for one thing and one thing only - to make the Almighty Mayor look good.

Generally speaking the media is annoyed by it, but because he's the mayor they feel almost compelled to send a reporter or at least a photographer to cover the "event." Such is the power of a powerful elected official over the mainstream media.

The plain truth is that Marty LOVES these things and does everything he can to create favorable media "events" in order to feed his ego and his political future. Banning a recognized member of the media from an event that is open to the media and is self-serving to boot, is nothing short of colossally arrogant, not to mention obnoxious.

Aug 27, 2007

Blacking Out The Eye?

Say it isn't so! The Eye has been covered at Albuquerque's Sunport! One of our indignant Eyes called to tell us that surfers at Albuquerque's Sunport are unable to visit when using Albuquerque's free Internet access. What's more, we're not the only website that is verboten. Seems that blogger Mario Burgos has also been banned from potential passenger consumption.

Could the Eye's blackout be an anomaly? Sure. Both sites are hosted by Google's and perhaps blogger was blocked or unavailable. However, other Eye readers were able to access the Eye On Albuquerque at the same time, and the likelihood that any of Google's servers would be unreachable boggles (or at least Googles) the mind.

Could it be that members of the Chavez administration or the Almighty Mayor in Chief have taken offense? Maybe... we have been critical of the mayor and his minions on many different occasions; something that could also be said of Mr. Burgos.

These types of shenanigans (if shenanigans they are) point out the very real danger of "free Internet access" provided by the city. First of all government provided Internet access is anything but free - just ask officials in Rio Rancho (ABQ Journal - Subscription). The money used to provide this "free" service comes from... you guessed it, all of the rest of us.

Even more annoying is that if you have a politically motivated, ambitious, and vengeful mayor who also controls those who control your "free" access and then decides that you shouldn't be reading certain material on certain Internet sites; they have the authority to keep you from viewing the material. The communist Chinese think that kind of control over the Internet is a grand idea, we just didn't think any government official would have the gaul to try to pull that kind of stunt right here in the good ol' U.S. of A, even if the access is free.

Aug 26, 2007


Our justice system is predicated on the belief that we will receive a fair trial. Entire governments have fallen when the governed stop having faith in those who govern - see the American Revolution.

Right here, right now in Albuquerque, we are being asked to believe that the RedFlex cameras that snap away night and day are doing so without fail and without failure. In fact, the scam-era hearings are predicated on the very notion that RedFlex has created a system that is infallible and therefore if you are in fighting a scam-era citation, you're wasting your time. Further, you are forced by the nature of the "violation" to defend yourself with evidence that is provided by RedFlex and the prosecution.

Last week we were sent a recording of the RedFlex scam-era focused on eastbound Montgomery at San Mateo. In the video you can clearly see the eastbound lane at a complete stop, yet the "infallible" scam-era is busy snapping away. We have uploaded 1:40 for your review. Take a look and make up your own mind.

We don't know what was triggering the false photos and frankly we don't care. The recording clearly shows the infallible fouling-up. This malfunction is particularly troubling when applied to the speeding "citations" issued by the scam-eras. Police officers who issue speeding citations using radar equipment are required to perform checks on the system at the beginning and the end of their shift. In addition the unit performs a self-diagnostic and the officer can compare the reading on their speed to their vehicle's speedometer.

That's an awful lot of independent verification, of which there is none incorporated into the RedFlex scam-era system. After viewing the above recording, we're even more concerned about the accuracy of the scam-eras.

The Meaning of Illegal

It's not about race, it's not about color, and it's not about point of origin, Eye readers decide that illegals means illegal. With 174 participants, this week's Eye Poll overwhelmingly determines one thing illegals need to be reported to federal officials. Readers disagree on exactly when they should be reported but 79% of readers believe that illegals should be reported to federal authorities in this unscientific poll.

We've said that this is an 80% issue and our readers proved us correct. 45% of readers believe that illegals should be reported to ICE whenever APD officers come into contact with them, 22% believe that illegals should be reported to ICE except when they are victims of crime, 17 % believe APD officers should follow the new SOP (whatever that truly is), 12% believe that APD should use department resources to actively pursue illegals, 2% believe they should never be reported, 1% don't know, and 1% don't care.

Whew! Remind us to make our Eye Poll answers shorter! This poll while unscientific illustrates just how much people generally believe that respect for our laws is a prerequisite for those who wish to come to our country. The United States is a place of liberty and prosperity that is guaranteed by our mutual respect for the law. Our Constitution guarantees us the ability to change those laws or at least the politicians who created them. (Look out scam-era supporters in the Chavez administration and on the council.)

This week the Eye Poll takes aim at the recent controversy surrounding APS Police and whether they should be given the tools necessary to protect the students and faculty in their care. Don't forget to vote!

Aug 23, 2007

Eye Told You - La Cueva Locked Down

When were we ranting about this? Was it uhhh.... YESTERDAY! Yes it was, and today APS faced a situation where a former student showed up drunk and supposedly armed at La Cueva High School (ABQ Tribune). APS police were called in and authorized by Superintendent Beth Everitt to take their weapons into the school while students and teachers were locked down.

Right now thanks to the geniuses on the school board, the APS policy states that even the Chief of APS police doesn't have the authority to authorize officers to remove their weapons from their trunks. It's STOOOPID to have unarmed officers in the first place but to make things even STUPIDER, the person who makes the decision to arm officers is an administrator. Leaves us wondering who the heck is running this circus?

APS dodged a bullet today and so did the students, parents, and administrators that were present at La Cueva, the perpetrator was unarmed... this time. Just for your information, the school board members who voted against protecting our kids are Paula Maes, Dolores Griego, Berna Facio, and Robert Lucero. You might want to remember their names if it's one of your kids that ends up dead.

Aug 22, 2007

They Just Don't Learn

"We like what we have," Dolores Griego told the Tribune after Thursday's 4-2 vote against arming APS Police officers. Griego is a school board member from the South Valley, who like 3 of her colleagues fails to understand the importance of giving APS officers all of the tools necessary to protect students attending APS schools.

Griego's statement has been bothering us since last Friday and could easily be used to describe most of the policy decisions made by the school board and the administration. It indicates a dedication to mediocrity and an innate ability to ignore reality that is frankly astonishing.

The reality is that children attending our schools are in danger; these are the lessons of tragedies like Columbine and Virginia Tech. All it takes is one crazed individual and people die. Having a weapon secreted away in a trunk does nothing to afford anyone any protection even though it makes some fools embedded in a meeting room feel better about themselves.

To make matters worse, our Eyes tell us that there are literally hundreds of people in the Albuquerque area that are suspected of having ties to terrorist organizations like Hamas. How long will it take these dirt bags to figure out that we leave our most precious treasures unprotected because "we like what we have?" How long will it take for them to make us all pay for the school board's foolishness?

It's no wonder that APD and BCSO want nothing to do with taking on the responsibility of policing APS. We don't believe that Sheriff White or even Chief Schultz would send their officers out without their side arms. In fact, the Sheriff was on Bob Clark's 770 KKOB radio show just this morning and his analysis of the board's action was spot on, saying in essence that the decision not to arm APS police officers was about the board's collective dislike of guns. We'd agree.

Here's a little slice of reality for the school board... when you don't train and equip your police officers with the proper equipment (that means guns - spelled g-u-n-s) you don't create security, you create victims and on a potentially large scale. It's time to make some serious changes to the make-up of the school board and to the system that makes it possible for its members to ignore reality and the people who live in it.
Before anyone in the Mayor's office gets all excited that we'd endorse an APS takeover by the Almighty Marty, we wouldn't and we don't. We've seen the shenanigans of the mayor and his minions. We really don't need more power concentrated on the 11th floor.
(End Sidebar)
We'd start by moving school board elections in order to coincide with other elections to improve overall turn-out. We all pay for these yahoos and for their decisions; more of us should be involved in the selection of those who make them. In addition, the move would lengthen the school board election season affording the average voter more time to look into the various candidates and their positions on things like say... ARMING THOSE CHARGED WITH PROTECTING OUR KIDS!

Being on the school board is a thankless position, probably even more so than being on the city council. However, it's time that we require those who are in office to learn the lessons that are so obvious to the rest of us. It's time for us to fail any of them that just don't learn.

Aug 21, 2007

Upping the Ante

Looks like Councilor Brad Winter is upping the ante on the Chavez Cabal. According to a press release from Councilor Winter, his resolution clarification of City Council Resolution R-00-151 will be accompanied by a binding ordinance "requiring APD to endeavor to determine the immigration status of any individual arrested for a crime, and report that information to federal authorities if that person is found to be in the country illegally."

The move comes after an email misinformation campaign and the Almighty Alcalde's Saturday 770 KKOB AM radio show where he and Transit Director Greg Payne spent the closing moments of the show blaming APD's SOP change on a council resolution from "2001." (We're working on getting a copy of the show and when we do we'll post the section here.)

According to the mayor and director Payne who was councilor Payne at the time, the resolution was all the Republican's fault. It is true that Republican Councilor Hess Yntema sponsored the bill. It is also true that then President of the Council Winter voted for the bill (along with 8 other councilors including Payne). What isn't true is that the council tied the hands of APD and the mayor with the resolution. After all, council resolutions are non-binding and as a result are routinely ignored by the Chavez administration.

One other thing to remember here is that despite all of the intentional descriptions of Resolution R-00-151 being from 2001; it was passed by the council and sent to the mayor December 18, 2000. Mayor Baca signed it January 12, 2001. It technically belongs to 2001 but it is certainly a product of a Pre-9/11 world.

On to the email campaign... On the Friday just prior to this particular 770 KKOB Mayor Marty spin-o-rama, an email was blasted out from a number of gmail accounts. The email appeared to target Republicans and attacked councilor Winter and Sheriff Darren White calling them hypocrites and accusing them of "stooping to new political lows."

We thought at first that the email was the product of Winter's current political rival Paulette de'Pascal; but the inclusion of Sheriff White didn't fit and the email was obviously too professional for the Honey Bee. After Saturday's KKOB performance we suspect that The Captain (Greg Payne) had something to do with the targeted email.

Payne's involvement makes sense. He's almost certainly captaining the Honey Bee pleasure cruise, Winter is his bosses arch enemy, and White has been mentioned numerous times as a potential mayoral candidate in the next election. Granted all of this is speculation, but it sure does seem to fit.
It's interesting to watch politicians work when they've been pushed into a corner. If they can't find a way to spin the information they will engage in misinformation campaigns. Too bad they don't spend as much time governing as they do worrying about their political careers.
(End Sidebar)
As we said at the top, Winter is now upping the ante by making referral to immigration mandatory. That's a good step; we might also suggest that the original resolution (R-00-151) be altered to exclude illegal immigrants from inclusion in city services and programs. We don't mind being an "immigrant friendly" city. However we do mind being an "illegal immigrant friendly city."

In this Post-9/11 world, it simply makes no sense to welcome those who have already shown their contempt for our laws by giving them special treatment and access to our tax dollars through social programs. The attempt by Chavez to shift the blame for an out-dated council policy is disingenuous at best and contemptible at worst. It's his administration that is responsible for current APD SOP, mis-information emails and radio shows notwithstanding.

Aug 19, 2007

Where o' Where is Trish?!

Ok, so APD's Trish Hoffman is still around talking to the media and giving them the "low down" on the latest crime. Sometimes she even gives them straight info with no spin. A few months back there was a big to do over Ms. Hoffman and her association with the runaway bride. If you recall, Hoffman was on of the officers that escorted the reluctant bride through the Albuquerque airport. The brain trust on the 11th and 5th floors thought that could capitalize on Hoffman's 15 frames of fame and started a recruitment campaign.

We were skeptical of the campaign because we believed that it really didn't send the right message to potential recruits. More importantly, it made the department look well... silly. They followed the initial runaway bride board with one featuring a "proposal" scene between Hoffman and APD's chopper pilot. This time Hoffman was the bride.

Last month APD pulled down all of the billboards featuring Hoffman and her new hubby and apparently burned every copy because despite our best efforts we were unable to find one. Our Eyes tell us that the boards weren't having the intended effect. Seems that APD was actually losing recruits to other departments due to the over-use of Hoffman and the bride theme. Our Eyes say that recruiters were being told that it looked too much like APD revolved around Ms. Hoffman and that the billboards were more about promoting her than the department.

The new boards feature welter weight world champion Holly Holm. They amuse us because the theme "They've Got My Back" makes us wonder who's got their back; from what we've heard it's not anyone on the 5th floor, but we digress. They should have thought of this before they took the bride thing one board too far.

Eye Poll: Council Panned

In a recent Eye Poll the Almighty Alcalde was panned by a margin of 10 points. This time Eye readers decided to voice their dissatisfaction with the city council. We've suspected that folks generally didn't have a positive opinion of the council for sometime. This Council Eye Poll confirmed our suspicions with 66% disapproving; only 31% approving, 2% didn't know, and 1% didn't care. Remember, this is an unscientific poll but a margin of 35 points is hard to ignore.

We generally view the council as being simultaneously inept and overbearing. They love to overlook the mundane but most important issues like funding APD, AFD, building and repairing infrastructure, in favor of sexier or more narrowly focused ones like trolleys, big box ordinances, affordable housing, etc. The biggest problem with the council is that they feel like they need to do something, which in this case means create laws.

When you spend your time pandering to very narrow interest groups everyone else feels neglected. It's no surprise that almost 2/3rds of us don't think much of them.

On to other things like this week's Eye Poll. You knew this was coming after last week's Mighty Marty Mayoral mistake. Yep... immigration is the topic. Let us know what you think APDs policy towards known illegals should be.

One more thing...

A while back we started a segment called letters to the Eye. If you'd like to be featured, send us your best post. If we like it... up it goes! You don't have to agree with us but you can be sure that if you don't we'll have a comment or two about it. We promise not to edit it unless it contains particularly vile language, but we're also not going to run spell check on it either. (We've got enough trouble trying to keep our grammar semi-correct.) Send your letters to

Aug 16, 2007

Bigger Problem

We've often looked at immigration as a problem faced primarily by cities like Las Cruces, El Paso, Tucson, or San Diego. This Week's APD SOP fiasco got us looking around at crime statistics and what we found was to say the least, eye opening.
INS/FBI Statistical Report on Undocumented Immigrants

2006 (First Quarter) INS/FBI Statistical Report on Undocumented Immigrants

CRIME STATISTICS 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.

83% of warrants for murder in Phoenix are for illegal aliens.

86% of warrants for murder in Albuquerque are for illegal aliens.

75% of those on the most wanted list in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Albuquerque are illegal aliens.

24.9% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally

40.1% of all inmates in Arizona detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally

48.2% of all inmates in New Mexico detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally

29% (630,000) convicted illegal alien felons fill our state and federal prisons at a cost of $1.6 billion annually

53% plus of all investigated burglaries reported in California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Texas are perpetrated by illegal aliens.

50% plus of all gang members in Los Angeles are illegal aliens from south of the border.

71% plus of all apprehended cars stolen in 2005 in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California were stolen by Illegal aliens or “transport coyotes".

47% of cited/stopped drivers in California have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 47%, 92% are illegal aliens.

63% of cited/stopped drivers in Arizona have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 63%, 97% are illegal aliens

66% of cited/stopped drivers in New Mexico have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 66% 98% are illegal aliens.

BIRTH STATISTICS 380,000 plus “anchor babies” were born in the U.S. in 2005 to illegal alien parents, making 380,000 babies automatically U.S.citizens.

97.2% of all costs incurred from those births were paid by the American taxpayers.

66% plus of all births in California are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal whose births were paid for by taxpayers
Now before some of you become apoplectic we admit that we are unable to find the original report that these statistics are reputed to come from, but they're literally repeated all over the Internet; which doesn't make them true. Even sites like fail to refute them and other sites like the non-partisan Center for Immigration Studies seem to confirm at least some of the stats in a report entitled Crime and the Illegal Alien. What is undeniably true is that there is a link between illegal immigration (no matter where they're from) and crime.

What we do know is that Albuquerque has a serious property crime problem. Back in June, The Albuquerque Journal reported (Subscription) that 2006 was a "banner year" for property crime. Over 5,000 vehicles were stolen and more than 6,000 homes were broken into. That's almost 14 vehicles per day and almost 17 homes per day.

Our Eyes behind the badge (and sometimes on it) tell us that APD believes that an auto theft ring based out of Mexico is behind a large number of the thefts. We'd be willing to bet that a large number of those involved aren't exactly in this country legally. After all, you don't need to be a legal U.S. resident to get a driver's license in the state.

To make Albuquerque even more inviting, APD's SOP prohibits pursuit unless the suspect is exhibiting reckless behavior before their emergency equipment is engaged. What's worse is that officers believe that criminals know that APD will not pursue.
For some reason the most commonly stolen vehicle seems to be a Ford Truck. Good for your local Ford dealer - not so good for you or your insurance rates. If you own an F-150, F-250, or F-350, it'd be a good idea to hide it in your garage; except in the case of a F-350 which probably needs to be hidden in a barn.
(End Sidebar)
What that means to all of us is if APD officer spots a criminal stealing your brand new F-150 and engages his lights, when the suspect flees in your still being paid for pick-up they must let them go. Now that you've recovered from shock, let us say that again. They have to let them go!

Consequently, when a crook sees the red and blue lights of an APD cruiser, they simply keep going. Now if it's the solid reds of the State Police or BCSO, criminals know they've got a problem on their hands. One thing that's absolutely sure, if you create an environment where criminals know that they have a chance they're gonna' to take advantage of it.

It's no different in the immigration game. When illegal aliens enter this country from anywhere - Mexico, France, Central America, even Canada, where do you think they'll go? Where would you go? We'd head to the place with the most available jobs or the most number of potential victims if the crime connection holds, and the least likelihood that we'd get caught. That means sanctuary cities like Albuquerque has become thanks to the new APD SOP.

Winter Calls for APD to Report Illegals

This afternoon we received a press release from Councilor Brad Winter's office. He's calling for a re-write of Albuquerque's illegal immigrant friendly ordinance that stipulates that APD shouldn't go out of its way to determine the status of suspected illegals.

Councilor to Address Mayor’s “Sanctuary City Policy” at APD

ALBUQUERQUE – City Councilor Brad Winter said today he will introduce a measure to allow the Albuquerque Police Department to determine the immigration status for individuals arrested for, or suspected of, committing a crime, and require that those suspected of being in the country illegally be immediately reported to federal immigration officials.

Winter said he intends to amend a 2001 resolution that sought to make Albuquerque an “immigrant friendly” city. Winter’s resolution will include the following language, “If a person is in police custody or is a suspect in a criminal investigation, law enforcement shall take reasonable steps to identify that person’s immigration status and shall immediately notify federal immigration officials if they suspect that person is not lawfully in the United States, where applicable.”

“The 2001 resolution was passed unanimously to protect the rights of immigrants and was never intended to make Albuquerque a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants who commit crimes,” said Winter.

Earlier this week, a copy of APD’s new change in “procedural orders” was obtained by a local news station. It stated clearly that “officers shall not inquire about… a person’s immigration status, even if an arrest is made for a non-immigration criminal violation.”

APD Police Chief Ray Schultz held a press conference to tout the new policy and said that local activist groups helped write it. After intense public outcry over the change, a new and altered copy of those “procedural orders” was released to the press. While Mayor Martin Chavez’s administration claims the second document was a “clarification,” it effectively did nothing to alter the original policy change.

“Our diversity is our strength and Albuquerque should always remain a welcoming and immigrant-friendly city. Anyone who is a victim or a witness to a crime should be able to call police for help without fear of having their immigration status investigated. But Mayor Chavez has gone too far. We can’t turn a blind eye to criminals who are in the country illegally,” said Winter.

Winter said he also wants to set up a task force to take a look at the larger issues raised in the 2001 resolution.

“We need to immediately clarify what city law requires of its local law enforcement, and then we need to take a look at the bigger picture,” said Winter. “We live in a border state in a post-9-11 world. The people of Albuquerque deserve input on how we deal with these issues.”
- Press Release
Look, immigration is about an 80% issue. Most people in this country are of the opinion that people from other countries should respect us enough to enter this country legally. It simply makes sense for law enforcement agencies to at least make a phone call when someone is suspected of being in our country illegally.

Aug 15, 2007

Ticketing Tinters

Our Eyes have it that APD has begun a new initiative to crack down on dastardly tinters; evildoers who have darkened their windows in order to prevent unwanted sunlight from having its way with their vehicles interior. This crackdown has an eerie similarity to the recent push to punish drivers for protecting their vehicle's (and their own) rear-end with plate covers that foil Marty's Money Maker Scam-eras. We wonder if it's for the exact same reason.

We've noticed that license plates in Albuquerque are finding new homes in the rear windows of vehicles and are perfectly visible from behind but would be difficult to see when viewed from the vantage of a red light scam-era. Those plates would be even harder to spot if behind tinting.

The New Mexico Traffic Code addresses window tinting saying, "the side windows behind the driver and the rearmost window shall be nonreflective, shall have a light transmission of not less than twenty percent." The law is perfectly reasonable and more importantly it protects the lives of law enforcement officials during a traffic stop.

However, our Eyes tell us that when confronted by local media about the number of citations being issued for tinted windows and with the observation that speed scam-era vans sport tinted windows; Chief Schultz told them that the law exempted law enforcement vehicles. If true, Chief Schultz should take the time to reacquaint himself with the New Mexico Traffic Code. The restrictions on light transmission apply to every vehicle in the state including the ones in his fleet and Marty's Scam-era Vans.

The truth is these scam-eras have created an environment where drivers suspect (with good reason) that the city is always looking for ways to take their money. Trust is essential to good government. The Chavez cabal has clearly lost the trust of a large number of the people of Albuquerque. With the recent sanctuary city debacle, red light scam-eras, trolleys, and pandas just to name a few; we wonder if they will ever get it or is it their own arrogance that prevents their ability to see clearly?

Aug 14, 2007

Sanctuary City Flip - Credibility Flop

The AM radio waves had barley stopped echoing off the Sandia Mountains before the 11th floor went into damage control mode over their defacto creation of a sanctuary city. Their original announcement that immigration authorities would not be contacted when a person was suspected of being an illegal immigrant suddenly became unless the person in question was accused of a violent crime.

770 KKOB's Jim Villanucci spent his first two hours hammering APD and by extension the Almighty Mayor for the change in SOP that in effect created a sanctuary city right here in Albuquerque. By roughly 6:00 PM the brain trust downtown was furiously sending out faxes to media outlets trying to "clarify" their position; which according to Villanucci created yet another SOP. To say that he wasn't happy would be an understatement. Take a listen below, he calls both APD Spokesman John Walsh and Chief Ray Schultz "liars" and recalls a similar occurence during the recent Red Light Scam-era eruption.

In our opinion, Mr. Villanucci points out the very real problem that our city government and Mayor Chavez in particular have developed a credibility problem. Whether it's red light scam-eras or immigration policy, it's hard to believe anything they tell you when it will literally change in a couple of hours. Villanucci wasn't the only one to notice problems with the new sanctuary city policy.

The Republican Party of New Mexico hit the phones with an autodialer that made the very relevant point that Marty's perfectly happy to hit you up with a scam-era fine but won't protect the rest of us by reporting illegals to ICE.

Is it political... you bet, that's what political party's do. However, it's interesting that the RPNM has decided to go after The Almighty even though his chances of becoming governor or even mayor (yet again) have diminished significantly of late.

We do wonder at the logical disconnect required to happily steal money from the taxpayers of Albuquerque through the red light scam-era system while turning a blind eye to illegal aliens. Is crossing a line at an intersection really more important or dangerous than crossing a line that violates our nation's sovereignty?

Sanctuary City

We've been getting some shut Eye for the last few weeks and had planned to continue our August respite for the rest of the week, but we just couldn't believe our Eye when we read that the Almighty Marty and Chief Ray Schultz have made Albuquerque a sanctuary city. According to The Journal (Subscription), KOB-TV, and KRQE-TV, APD officers "shall not inquire about or seek proof of a person's immigration status."

The change in SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) stems from an incident (ABQ Journal - Subscription) where three Del Norte High School students were detained for presenting identification that was suspected to be false - the act itself is a fourth degree felony. The three were turned over to immigration authorities and eventually deported. Not surprisingly the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund filed suit claiming that the students' constitutional rights had been violated (ABQ Journal - Subscription).

We don't understand exactly what kind of insanity makes a group like MALDEF believe that illegals of any ethnicity have a right to a free education provided by the taxpayers of Albuquerque and the State of New Mexico. We've got enough problems providing a quality education to students that are in this country legally without taking on the additional burden of providing it to those who have already shown their contempt for our laws and our sovereignty.

This idiotic move to settle a case that should have been fought to the bitter end by our illustrious city attorney puts an even greater burden on officers who already have to deal with the problem of illegal activity by illegal immigrants.

Another idiotic move - this time by the state - granted illegals driver's licenses. Since the bearers are ILLEGAL they don't have social security numbers. All of the driving records are tied directly to a person's social security number so when running an illegal's state issued drivers license the information that comes up is... well, nothing. That means the driver in question could be speeding for the first time or the fiftieth, they could be driving under the influence for the first time or the fourteenth, the officer will never know until the offender kills someone.

Look, we're not advocating that APD enforce immigration law. However, it makes little sense to actively prohibit officers from contacting ICE when they suspect someone of being in the country illegally.

The tired argument that somehow turning suspected illegals over to immigration officials is some form of racial profiling is simply ridiculous, as three unfortunate Newark college students found out last week. Jose Carranza, aka Jose La Chira had previously been charged with raping a 5-year-old. Mr. Carranza should never have been allowed to have the opportunity to commit another crime, but Newark is a "sanctuary city" and so he remained giving him the opportunity to allegedly kill three innocent people.

How long is it before this reckless policy leads to the death of someone here in Albuquerque? It's not racist for us to expect that anyone coming to this country do so legally and it's common sense to give our police officers every weapon in their struggle to keep our streets safe. When someone dies because APD is prohibited from contacting immigration to deport an illegal, there will be only one person to blame... Martin Chavez.

Aug 9, 2007

A Step in the Right Direction?

If you've read any of our red light scam-era posts you know that one of our chief concerns with Marty's scam-eras is the lack of due process that is inherent in the program. Last Monday, Councilor Brad Winter introduced a bill to create an Independent Office of Hearings (O-07-81); which in true City Council fashion, was substituted and postponed until August 20th.

A review of the proposed ordinance (before the substitute) reveals that Councilor Winter understands the due process problem that we've been talking about, at least as far as the separation of interests and the appearance of conflict of interest. The basic idea is to create an appointed position of Chief Hearing Officer, who would be selected by the mayor and approved by the council. He would be responsible for hiring all of the hearing officers in the department. The Chief Hearing Officer could only be removed for "malfeasance" or "misfeasance."
Perhaps Councilor Harris would like to apply for the job after October. Although there seems to be mounting evidence that Mr. Harris might qualify for removal on those terms as well.
(End Sidebar)
Councilor Winter's approach seems to fix the problem of the Almighty Mayor having influence over hearing officers however; it doesn't address all of the problems associated with receiving a fair hearing. The most obvious problem is that the accused is denied the ability to present a viable defense, particularly in the case of speeding violations.

In the State of New Mexico it is required that misdemeanor charges such as speeding are witnessed by a sworn law enforcement official. The creation of a parallel civil justice system by the City of Albuquerque circumvents this requirement.

You are probably thinking... so what? We've all seen someone hauling @%$ down the street and thought where's a police officer when you need one?! There's certainly a crime and a witness; but for the pesky state law that requires an officer to witness the crime that jerk would be doin' time. Ok... maybe not a trip to the big house, but at least their wallet would be a little lighter.

Remember, running red lights and even speeding are considered petty misdemeanors. The requirement that a law enforcement official witness this type of crime protects everyone from being the victim of harassment on a regular basis. Without it, anyone with an axe to grind could make an accusation against anyone they dislike without regard to the allegations validity. Further, these accusations wouldn't be known by the accused until well after the alleged crime.

We don't know about you, but we drive the Eye Mobile down a lot of roads with a lot of different speed limits and go through a lot of different intersections. We can't specifically remember ANY of them from today, much less a few days ago. If some miscreant decided that they wanted to see us punished for something, anything we'd be an easy target because, while we make every attempt to obey all traffic laws, we can't tell you the exact speed limit on every street, or tell you for sure that we haven't accidentally run a red light in the last few days.

Mayor Marty and his minions over at RedFlex count on this, in fact they even go so far as to limit the defenses that you have to just three.
1. The vehicle was stolen or otherwise being driven without your knowledge or permission at the time of the violation. You must have a police report or other reliable evidence to avail yourself of this defense.
2. The ownership of the vehicle had lawfully been transferred and conveyed from you to another person before the time of the violation. To assert this defense, you must identify the transferee and provide proof of conveyance.
3. The evidence does not show that a violation was committed involving the subject vehicle.
- City of Albuquerque Notice of Violation

In other words, if your vehicle has not been stolen or sold to someone else, you have to rely upon the evidence provided by the prosecution (the city and RedFlex) to prove your innocence because you have been denied the opportunity to gather independent evidence by the fact that most drivers don't know about the "violation" until at least 10 days after it occurs.

Don't get us wrong, we're not criticizing the councilor's attempt to do something to fix the program it's more than anyone else has done thus far. In fact The Mayer (Councilor Mayer) withdrew her proposal O-07-87, that would have lowered fines before it was heard Monday. Of course that would be like putting lipstick on pig, but she didn't even have the courage to follow through on that miniscule attempt to make the scam-eras more palatable.

A step in the right direction... maybe. But we're still of the opinion that the scam-eras and their accompanying quasi judicial system have got to go. Until drivers have the opportunity to know they've committed a crime at the time of the crime's commission they will continue to have to rely upon the state and their contractors for their defense; both of whom have a direct financial interest in providing evidence that the "violator" is guilty. The scam-eras aren't justice, they don't even improve safety... it's time that the Almighty One and the council admit that they screwed up instead of continuing to screw the public.

Aug 5, 2007

Eye Poll: Razor Thin

This week's Eye Poll featured Council President, Debbie O'Malley. Eye readers panned the councilor by a 5 point margin in our unscientific poll with 42% approving of her performance, 47% disapproving, 7% don't know, and 3% don't care. This can't be great news for the council president as she is up for re-election this year and has drawn a democrat as an opponent.

This past week we were treated to polls that showed one of the lowest approval ratings (16%) in history for the U.S. Congress, and while we have polled a couple of councilors we haven't gotten a read on the overall approval rating of Albuquerque's legislative body. Monday the city council will meet for the first time since June 18th. Frankly, we believe that we're all safer when the council is on vacation. So we're lobbying to increase the amount of time its members spend not voting on things that either take our money or limit our liberty; things like red light scam-era programs, trolleys, Metropolitan Redevelopment Areas (a.k.a. blighted areas), etc.

We've got four more months of this council and the next council could see a significant change with as many as 5 seats changing. Seems like a perfect time to let them know how they are doing. Don't forget to vote!