We know that you've been waiting for us to GO OFF on today's revelations about the Redflex contract. Frankly, none of this should come as a surprise to anyone. The Almighty Alcalde has been defending this scam from the very beginning like his life depended on it. The only exception being when the scam-eras became a political liability during his recent aborted U.S. Senate run; that's when he formed his task farce.
All things considered, finding out today that the council approved a significantly different contract than the one that was eventually signed wasn't exactly a surprise (ABQ Journal - Subscription). Councilors Winter, Jones, Cadigan, and O'Malley called it a "bait and switch," we call it unethical and potentially illegal. The mayor entered into a contract (which he has the authority to do) that our Eyes tell us never went out to bid and then made significant changes to a contract without informing the council of his actions.
Right now, the mayor is not required to go to bid for any contract that is under about $50,000 (You'd be surprised how many of those are being handed out). This Redflex contract has the potential to bring in MILLIONS of dollars and in essence, was a sole source contract.
Just this past Tuesday night, Councilor Harris threw a TIDD party that drew in a couple of hundred citizens. In addition to the lengthy TIDD presentation, a couple of Redflex representatives made a presentation "explaining" how the red light scam-eras worked. In addition they put on a little scare show that showed what can happen when a driver runs a red light. According to our Eyes the presentation contained enough gore to make the producers of the movie 300 proud, but failed to fully explain how red light scam-eras prevented these gory accidents.
What was more interesting than the Redflex propaganda presentation were a couple of questions asked by Bernalillo County Commissioner Michael Brasher. Apparently, what the commissioner wanted to know was whether or not Redflex had retained the service of a lobbyist and whether or not they had made any contributions to any political office holders. Their answer... "we don't know."
In light of today's bait and switch contract revelations, the commissioner's questions take on particular importance and we have the answer to at least one of those two questions. The Eyes have it that yes - the folks over at Redflex have retained a local lobbyist to protect their interests. Knowing that, it's hard to believe that Redflex didn't throw a few bucks at Marty in at least one of the campaigns he's been involved with over the last few months.
Now listen, it's not illegal to support a politician who supports your point of view. It's also not illegal to obtain the services of a lobbyist. That's the way the system is supposed to work. Our problem is with the very dubious claim of the Redflex folks that they didn't know anything about contributions or lobbyists. It makes things look dirty; which Marty's scam-era contract shenanigans seem to confirm.
Quote of the Day
Does this sound familiar? 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