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

Apr 30, 2009

Armijo Eschews Public Financing?

If you've been reading the Eye for a while you know that we have shall we say... a few issues with the Albuquerque Closed and Un-Ethical Elections ordinance. Passed by the voters five years ago, the ordinance puts the costs of an election not on voluntary contributors but on (you guessed it) the taxpayers.

The spin was that making taxpayers pay for elections somehow took money out of the election while making it easier for average "Joes" to participate in city elections. Of course, the scheme had the opposite effect. This year a field of seven potential mayoral candidates was paired down to just three simply because the other four potential candidates couldn't field the army of volunteers required to collect the necessary signatures and $5 donations. Two of those candidates were sitting City Councilors whose name ID alone should make them viable mayoral candidates under any other system.

Our Eyes have it that a former City Councilor who'd like to have his old job back is seriously considering forgoing taxpayer largess and running a clean campaign based on voluntary contributions. It's an option that isn't available to mayoral candidates due to restrictions on the size of contributions and where those contributions come from. But in a council race, it's still possible to raise the same amount of money through conventional voluntary means and the Eyes have it that Commissioner Alan Armijo intends to do just that in his District 3 race against Comrade, uh... Councilor Isaac Benton.

Of course $30,000 or so won't put a dent in the tab that taxpayers will foot for the upcoming election, but we applaud Armijo for standing on principle and challenging the politically correct crowd who are both duping the public and been duped by the likes of activist Eli Lee. This crazy public financing system protects incumbents and makes the only viable challengers people like Lee who can bring manpower and his non-profits to bear against his rivals.

Apr 29, 2009

Taking Shape

The city elections are starting to take shape. Not surprisingly, the three mayoral candidates who were able to gather enough signatures to qualify for public financing also managed to gather the 6,000 plus signatures required to get on the ballot. R.J. Berry, Martin Chavez, and Richard Romero all cleared the first two campaign hurdles while every other aspirant either withdrew or fell away.

Council District 3

Ike Benton will face one of two County Commissioners looking to make the jump to the city body. Councilor Benton will face former City Councilor and County Commissioner Alan Armijo in defense of his District 3 seat.

The district covers most of Downtown, UNM, Nob Hill, and Ridgecrest areas. They're certainly Democrat areas of the city populated by some of the more liberal Democrats. Even though they've been represented by a Republican (Hess Yntema), it'll be interesting to see if the more centrist Armijo can unseat the far left Benton.

Council District 5

Councilor Cadigan is back in again for council after his unsuccessful attempt to qualify for public financing in the mayoral contest. He says he hasn't decided whether or not to go for the free loot courtesy of the taxpayers, but we'd bet the two-term councilor ponies up to the public trough just like every other candidate is being forced to.

Cadigan's entry into the race spells real trouble for the other two candidates who are out stumping - Republican Dan Lewis and Democrat Jeremy Toulouse. Obviously, Toulouse has the most to lose and we wouldn't be surprised if he's out before he gathered his first signature.

Meanwhile, Republican Dan Lewis would benefit from a Toulouse candidacy in District 5. Even though Cadigan - a Democrat - has held the district for two terms, District 5 is considered a Republican seat. Toulouse could pull just enough from his fellow D to put Lewis in office.

Council District 7

Currently held by two-term Republican Sally Mayer, District 7 looks to be another crowded race. Like the race four years ago, the councilor could be facing three challengers. The names of the challengers floating around District 7's political ether are Democrats Lewis Schiffman and David Green, and Republican Michael Cook.

With four candidates evenly split between parties and public financing, incumbent Mayer is the odds on favorite. Even if all four candidates qualify for the $30,000 plus in tax dollars for their campaign, it'll be hard for any of the challengers to overcome Mayer's name ID.

Council District 9

Will he or won't he? That's the $30,000 question. County Commissioner Michael Brasher has been looking at running for several months. He's even gone so far as to take the city's election "training."

The grapevine has it that the commissioner and former councilor will definitely make the run for his old seat. We still aren't sure and our Eyes tell us that it could go either way.

There's little doubt Commissioner Brasher would be a formidable opponent for the twice-elected to one term Don Harris. The problem is that should Brasher decide to sit out the upcoming municipal election, the uncertainty over whether or not he would enter the race may have kept other candidates out.

The races are taking shape. It looks to be an exciting year in local politics made even more interesting by public dissatisfaction with the federal government, and continuing allegations of public corruption involving politicos from the governor's office to the mayor's office. Will this be a year where New Mexico votes for its own change? Only time will tell.

----- Update -----
We received an email from Jeremy Toulouse regarding the re-entry of incumbent Councilor Michael Cadigan into the District 5 race. It's our opinion that Mr. Toulouse has the most to lose since Democrat and incumbent Cadigan will suck up all of the D's oxygen. Of course, no candidate worth their salt would admit otherwise.
How does the saying go? Diversity is the mother of invention. No that's not it, but seriously. While Mr. Cadigan also personally promised me he wasn't running for re-election, I welcome the increased competition. With both the right and the left covered, that leaves a large area in the middle for my candidacy in the non-partisan District 5 race. I have over a decade of experience proving my innovative approach to making government work on the front lines of society and in government, expertise in getting the job done better for less is worth its weight in gold.

Jeremy Toulouse
If it can be done better, then good is not enough,
the right experience at the right time!
As Republicans found out the hard way in the 2008 election, anti-Cadigan voters are more likely to gravitate to the candidate that represents the greatest "change." In this case that candidate is Dan Lewis. If we were handicapping this race (and we are 'cause it's fun) we'd say that barring any huge mistake by Cadigan the final numbers would look something like Cadigan 45%, Lewis 30%, and Toulouse 25%. But hey, who really knows?

Apr 24, 2009

It's In There

We don't often find ourselves in agreement with the city's legal department - they lose an awful lot of lawsuits and they tend to base their legal judgments upon whatever the Almighty Alcalde wants to hear. But, we find ourselves in agreement with their analysis of a proposed amendment of the Albuquerque City Charter.

Thursday evening, the Charter Review Task Force met to discuss member Chuck Gara's proposal to amend the city charter so that anyone who wished to get involved in a city election had to register with the city as a "Measure Finance Committee." Currently, non-profit organizations feel that they are exempt from the requirements under the city charter.
“Measure Finance Committee” means a political committee or any person or combination of two or more persons acting jointly in aid of or in opposition to the effort of anyone seeking to have their name placed on the ballot for city office, a petition to place a measure on the ballot pursuant to Article III of this Charter, voter approval or disapproval of one or more measures on the ballot and/or the election to, or recall from, office of one or more candidates for office when such person or people have accepted contributions in excess of $250 or make expenditures in excess of $250 for any of the purposes listed heretofore.
-Article XIII, Section 2 (k) - Albuquerque City Charter
To us it looks like non-profits who send out attack, uh... "education" mailers to targeted districts with the intent of "shaping the electoral battlefield" already fall under the City Charter's definition of a Measure Finance Committee. Apparently, the city attorney agrees.
[Thursday's] discussion took a confusing turn when city attorneys addressed the issue. They said the Gara proposal wasn't materially different from what's already in place.
The issue here isn't really Gara's proposed amendment. The issue here is enforcement. The current charter provision can easily be interpreted to mean that 501(c)3s who engage in electioneering - like Eli Lee's Center for Civic Policy did last election cycle - must abide by the provisions of the city charter which include reporting donations and expenditures. The city has never interpreted the provision that way and thus it has never enforced it.

Of course the usual suspects are hooooowling in outrage. The American Liberal Civilities Union, AFSCME, "several non-profits," etcetera, believe it's their god given (ok maybe their Darwin given) right to engage in practices that are denied individuals and of course the eeeeeevil business community.

As we asserted in our last post... In our opinion, THE CITY CHARTER ALREADY VIOLATES THE 1ST AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION. The issue of non-profits having to report their expenditures and donors the way every other group engaging in municipal electioneering is required to do, has simply never come up. Now that someone has had the temerity to make an issue of non-profit election shenanigans, these political non-profits and even non-political non-profits are trying to protect their own liberties without regard to the freedoms of other groups or individuals.

Thursday we called it hypocrisy... and so it is. If the measure finance provision of the charter is unconstitutional as we believe it to be, the measure finance provision needs to be removed. If however, it is constitutional then measure finance provisions need to apply to every group regardless of their IRS status.

Apr 22, 2009

Hypocrisy

We love it when liberals (or is it "progressives" now?) wrap themselves in the very 1st Amendment that they've been busy shredding. Fortunately, they're generally wearing a skin-tight outfit made of hypocrisy beneath.

The issue that has the left in a twist is the potential inclusion of language in the Albuquerque City Charter that would require non-profits -501(c3)s - to register as Measure Finance Committees when engaging in electioneering in a municipal election. The amendment was brought up by Charter Task Force member Chuck Gara at the April 2nd meeting.

The amendment was an attempt to level the playing field by requiring political non-profits who want to play in city elections to live up to the same standards that political parties, advocacy groups, and private citizens have to live by. Currently, non-profits like Eli Lee's Center for Civic Policy use their non-profit status to shield their activities and their donors from the public.
[Sidebar]
Ironically, Eli Lee himself sits on the charter task force - which explains some of the histrionics over at New Mexico for Democrats (read it here). Lee is the behind the scenes power that gave us people like Debbie O'Malley, Martin Heinrich, Eric Griego (twice now), and the Albuquerque Un-Ethical and Hidden Elections Ordinance.
[End Sidebar]
These are the same groups that we told you about last year (read it here and here). They use tax deductible donations to fuel a political artillery barrage targeting opposing candidates. Democrats - particularly the far left wing of the party - used non-profits to great effect in the 2008 election.

Eli Lee and his non-profits were part of a scheme hatched in 2007 by the Proteus Fund. The objective was to use closely related - in fact, incestuous - non-profits to pursue liberal causes, develop far left candidates, and target candidates who oppose their agenda. Take a moment and read the report for yourself. It gives you an idea of how political operatives think and how successful political strategies are born (read it here).
The New Mexico Center for Civic Policy currently has six employees, including executive director Eli Lee. New Mexico operates with a strong staff-driven model and has a three-person board for its c-3 organization and a three-person board for its c-4. One of the c-3 board members is from a partner organization and two of the c-4 members are from partner organizations. The others are chosen for what they bring as individual leaders of community and state organizations.
At least a few of the non-profits that are a part of Lee's political scheme are Common Cause, Conservation Voters New Mexico, League of Young Voters, SAGE Council, and Southwest Organizing Project. These groups engage in coordinated political activity. They have become New Mexico's 527 organizations and one of the causes that they are most proud of championing is "clean campaign" laws (even they add quotes).

All of this is part of their plan... it's all in there. Gara's amendment is a threat to their scheme and their hidden donors and activities, a threat to their power. Lee and his non-profits don't want to play by the rules. They want to continue to exercise their 1st Amendment right to free speech while denying every other group theirs.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
As you might have guessed we're big proponents of the 1st Amendment. The beauty of this particular Constitutional provision is that its prohibition against abridging the freedom of speech cuts both ways. It protects equally the people, politicians, pornographers, and preachers. You might not like what some person or group has to say, but the 1st Amendment protects their right to say it.

Provisions that require groups to register with the city in order to express their opinion are patently unconstitutional. Sure, that goes for Lee's non-profits but it also applies to the older parts of the city's election code that already restricts every other group that wishes to express their opinion in a city election.

Lee's non-profits and their allies on the left have a point, but instead of working to fix the Constitutional problems with Charter as it exists they're targeting a measure that makes everyone play by the same rules. Of course, leveling the playing field would take away the advantages non-profits currently enjoy. It's hypocritical, and it's a double standard. And it's why the founders created the 1st Amendment in the first place.

The City of Albuquerque Charter has some Constitutional problems. The task force should be working to fix those problems. It would help if Eli Lee and his non-profits would stop trying to protect their own power and start working to protect everyone's Constitutionally protected freedom of speech.

Elephant in the Newsroom

Tuesday's Albuquerque Journal featured an above the fold front page story that really had us scratching our head. The story was about allegations of PUBLIC CORRUPTION and the MAYOR OF ALBUQUERQUE. So it naturally follows that the headline would be one of the following:
1. Albuquerque Mayor Accused of Shakedown
2. Alleged Pay to Play Targets Mayor
3. FBI Investigating Albuquerque Mayor in Pay to Play Scheme
4. Trouble in the Air - Mayor Accused of Shakedown
Let's face it... these headlines write themselves. Instead, The Journal editorial brain trust went with the tepid "Double Eagle Double Trouble" headline and a sub head that almost defends the mayor - "Mayor's Office, Operator both Claim Pressure."

As Heath Haussamen (read it here) pointed out Tuesday, the "money" quote can't be found until the 19th paragraph. That's the fourth form the end of the 22 paragraph story.
In August, a state judge ordered Adams to sign the lease amendments negotiated with Bode. Judge Geraldine Rivera said she was "appalled" at how the city treated Bode.

"There's an elephant in the room, folks," Rivera said in a court hearing, according to a transcript. "Nobody's bringing it up, but we all have an idea of what it is. The day that government exists just for politics and how it can benefit the principals of our municipalities is the day we're all in trouble. And thank God we have three branches of government."
There's certainly an elephant in the room here but not only the one Judge Rivera was referring to. New Mexico's largest paper once again appears to be carrying water for the Chavez administration.

In fact, our Eyes tell us that the story was originally intended for a weekend edition but editors resisted running the story over the weekend when readership is the highest for the dead tree news outlet.

While you do see "[t]he company and related plaintiffs allege in court that they were victims of retaliation after raising concerns about how public money was being spent and after declining to provide free or discounted air service for Chávez's travel to Mexico and for his Senate campaign." You don't see the phrases like "public corruption," or "pay to play," or "shakedown."

Bode Aviation clearly makes allegations that Chavez and his campaign cronies were threatening the company if it didn't provide free services to The Almighty Alcalde who wanted to be Senator. Folks that's called corruption and on the highest level, yet you won't find the word "corruption" in The Journal's story.
In an interview, Adams said he was concerned the contract wasn't in the city's best interest. He wanted a "reasonable" provision accounting for inflation, he said, and it wasn't appropriate for the judge to order him to sign a contract that hadn't been approved by the administration or City Council.
We love this paragraph. The Chavez administration has a long history of signing contracts with vendors without council approval. Just last January CAO Adams did exactly that - signing a contract extension with Redflex. Ed, you can't have it both ways. Either you need council approval or you don't. It's not a matter of convenience or damage control.

The Journal has long been suspected of being in Marty's pocket. Today's story all but confirms our suspicions. Hey... The Journal's editors even placed a story about alleged public corruption below an "Up Front" puff piece about Governor Richardson. At least that story mentioned "pay to play."

Folks, this story is big. Public officials who use their elected positions in government to extort goods, services, or money from private businesses should at the very least be thrown out of government and perhaps charged criminally. No one should support a candidate out of fear - fear of retaliation or of government harassment. Perhaps it's fear that makes it easy to miss the elephant in The Journal's newsroom.

Apr 21, 2009

Brasher In the Running?

One of the more intriguing questions of the 2009 municipal election cycle thus far has been whether or not County Commissioner Michael Brasher would make a run at his old city seat. Up until 2001 the 2nd term county commissioner held the district 9 city council seat - a seat he may still have held if not for a paperwork snafu back in 2001.

Now our Eyes tell us that Commissioner Brasher is one step closer to becoming Councilor Brasher once again. According to our Eyes lurking the halls of power downtown, Commissioner Brasher has signed up for candidate school. It's really not a school but a meeting with the city clerk to go over the regulations and calendar associated with the upcoming council elections.

Obviously, until Commissioner Brasher officially declares there's still a possibility that he would sit out the city election. But even the prospect of a Brasher run has got incumbent Don Harris jumpier than a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Our Eyes tell us that the twice-elected-for-one-term councilor has been working Republicans behind the scenes making the case that should Brasher and fellow Commissioner Alan Armijo prevail in their council races, Governor Richardson would appoint their replacements - which would effectively give the Governor 3 appointments to the commission with Deanna Archuleta's jump to Obama.

Councilor Harris maintains that he would beat Commissioner Brasher on that issue alone. But despite the fact that District 9 leans R, Harris has been embattled almost since day one and it was primarily Rs that were trying to show the councilor the door in the recall election. The real question is how well will the Guv's involvement play with the general public in a "non-partisan" election.

Right now, it looks as if Commissioner Brasher's interest is more than just passing but only time will tell. Until he makes an official announcement, Councilor Harris will likely remain that jumpy cat with nightmares of rocking chairs.

Apr 20, 2009

Eye Poll: Berry

Our first post financing poll is complete and the results are conclusive. R.J. Berry is the favorite taking 44% of the vote. Mayor Chavez took the runner up position with 29% of the vote, Richard Romero received 21%, and just 6% didn't know (see the results here).

We've long suspected that Marty fatigue has begun to set in despite Joe Monahan's attempt to bolster the mayoral image by releasing an "insider" poll - no doubt fed to him by the Chavez camp - that he originally reported as being "over 40 percent." On Friday, Monahan conceded that the number was just 41% just barely over the magic number needed to stave off a runoff.

While the Chavez poll showed the mayor with enough to win, the election is still 6 months off and it has to concern the Chavez camp that the Almighty Alcalde isn't holding a more commanding lead. As the campaign develops it's most likely that Marty's numbers will slide as the other two campaigns take aim at the incumbent.

Adding to Marty's downward pressure is the specter of yet another pay-to-play scheme involving Bode Aviation. KOAT TV is reporting that Councilor Michael Cadigan has been interviewed by the FBI about the alleged attempt by the Chavez senatorial campaign to strong-arm Bode into providing free services for the campaign.

Like Marty's former in-law Many Aragon, the investigation is apparently the result of a pair of civil suits filed by Bode. In the end it may not matter whether or not the feds ever bring charges, the shadow of corruption could dim the mayor's public image to make him vulnerable to his challengers.

In the end, will Republicans and Independents leave Marty for Berry and will the two Democrats slug it out for the Ds? If they do, chances are good that October's result will look very similar to our Eye Poll.

----- Update -----
There have been a couple of comments/questions on how the Eye Poll works. First of all... relax. Internet polls are by definition unscientific and they are certainly subject to being "pushed." In fact, the Eye Poll has been the target of a mayoral get out the vote effort in the past (read it here).

The truth is that polls of this type are not very accurate, but can be useful for spotting trends. Can the Eye Poll be pushed? Sure. But it's fun to participate and fun to see the results.

Repeat Posts

As you know, we love to have a good dust-up in the comments section. There's no better way to express your opinion and sharpen your mind than to engage in dialogue. For that reason we love posting comments especially the ones we disagree with.

However (and you knew this was coming), someone has gotten the idea that repeating the same comment over and over and over again, somehow makes their point more valid. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, even if the point is a good one repeating it again and again doesn't make it any more persuasive. More importantly, it keeps an interesting discussion from developing by clogging up the comments section with the same - and we mean the exact same - point.

Understand, we'll allow some duplication assuming that there might be a couple of posters who share the same point of view. But... duplicate posts are paired down to one post whenever we encounter them concurrently. Once we get tired of reading the same post over and over, then we'll reject all of them.

So along with keeping language to a PG-13 (OK, sometimes R) rating, know that repetition is gonna get weeded out - even if we agree with the point being made. Them's the rules folks, now have at it!

Apr 15, 2009

Reason for Hope

The Obama campaign was built on themes of hope and change. The campaign deftly left the definition of each to individual voters allowing them to believe what they wanted to believe. Once Obama took office and started his spending spree, Americans found out that change was not only more of the same but much, much, more of the same spending and wreckless borrowing that had been too much a part of the previous adminisitration and the previous Congress.

Wednesday's Tea Parties were not anti-Obama as much as they were anti-big government, anti-big spending, anti-big brother. And unlike many protests that we've had the misfortune to attend, they weren't ruled by anger and characterized by paranoia. Albuquerque's Tea Party was an exciting event where people of like mind exchanged ideas and peacfully exercised their First Amendment rights.

The organizers should be proud of the event that they put together here in Albuquerque. The participants should be proud of their behavior and their willingness to participate. We're proud to see that there really are people out there who care about freedom and are concerned about liberty. The thousands of people who lined Montgomery Wednesday provided a reason for hope and perhaps the beginnings of change.

Metro Tyrant

The chasm between the council and the mayor's office is widening once again. It seems that the Almighty Alcalde has decided that the lawful actions of the council are not to his liking and has decided to simply ignore them.
Mayor Martin Chávez might get a lagoon at Tingley Beach after all.

He notified city councilors on Tuesday that the bond projects they approved this month aren't the ones scheduled to go on the Oct. 6 ballot. Instead, it's his proposals that would go before voters.
The mayor claims that the council failed to act on his proposal in the time required by the Albuquerque Code of Ordinances. According to § 2-12-3, council has 60 days to take action on the mayor's proposed capital plan.
(D) The Council shall approve the Capital Improvements Program as proposed or shall amend and approve it. Council action shall be within 60 days after it has been submitted by the Mayor. This period begins on the date of introduction of the CIP bill at a City Council meeting. The Council shall hold at least one public hearing on the proposed program.
-City of Albuquerque Code of Ordinances
The controversy comes from the word "action." The council argues that it took action on the measure by referring it to committee and subsequently deferring the issue until April 6th. Of course the City Attorney, Bob White disagreed interpreting the ordinance in a way that benefits his boss.
[Sidebar]
Kind of reminds us of the sham that was the defense of Albuquerque's mayoral term limits. Marty's lawyers sued the city. Marty's lawyers at the city chose "independent" council to defend the city charter provision that Marty was challenging. Yeah, we know... it's shocking that Marty prevailed.
[End Sidebar]
What's most humorous about this whole affair is that the Almighty Alcalde - after blatantly ignoring council authority - talks about negotiations. City Ordinances clearly define the process by which the Capital Improvements Program is approved and the role each branch of municipal government plays. Having your city attorney provide an "opinion" that invalidates the work of the legislative branch simply because you don't get your wading pool is a sign of just how overbearing and tyrannical this mayor has become. It's behavior that's expected from third world dictators, not from elected officials in the United States.

Mayor Chavez has provided yet another argument for term limits - particularly for the executive branch. Executives have far too much power over taxpayer money. They negotiate contracts with vendors and determine compensation for city employees.

After almost TWELVE years in office, it's far too easy for those who are either employed by or who do business with the city to believe that their only avenue for advancement is through Martin Chavez. That kind of power leads directly to corruption in big ways and in small.

We hope the council has the fortitude to follow through with their threat to sue the administration. It's time that the council provide a check on what is increasingly becoming a city government ruled by the Almighty Alcalde. The best check of all would to pass the position on to someone else and do so regularly. Otherwise, we'll all be under the thumb of our own little Metro Tyrant.

Apr 14, 2009

Spending Without Hesitation

The first Tea Party was in response to "taxation without representation." The modern tea parties are in response to spending without hesitation. It's hard for anyone to really get their head around how much we are actually spending. It's helpful to compare the current spending spree to past big ticket items like the New Deal, World Wars I and II, The Marshall Plan, etc.



More than World War II, more than World War I and the Iraq War combined, and four times the New Deal - and that's just the money spent since last September. No one can seriously claim that government isn't spending enough. In fact, the over $12 TRILLION bailout price tag is 14 times the total amount of money in circulation today (ErrorsOfEncnatment.com).

With this kind of spending and this kind of debt - some $42,105 per person - the question isn't why are there over 600 tax day tea parties, but why aren't there more?

Apr 12, 2009

The Race

A month ago we ran a poll on the early mayoral race. At the time both Councilors Debbie O'Malley and Michael Cadigan were still in the race. Frankly, we were surprised and amused by the councilors withdrawl from the race. Their campaigns were both ended prematurly by the very system that they both supported - a system that was sold to the electorate as a panacea for increasing candidate participation. Ironic isn't it?

In any case, our las Eye Poll ended with the Almighty Alcalde in the lead with 30% of participants prefering his honor. Both R.J. Berry and Michael Cadigan had 23%, Richard Romero 13%, Donna Rowe 6% and Debbie O'Malley 4% (guess that explains her early exit from the race - view the results here).

This week we'll take a look at the mayor's race as it stands today with just three major candidates remaining. Note here that Albuquerque's first mayoral election under public financing has resulted in fewer candidates than there were just for year ago. So much for making the race more competitive. Don't forget to vote!

Apr 9, 2009

Movements

There's an old truism that you don't appreciate what you've got until you've lost it. It's happening nationally as anger over war on is being replaced by outrage over out-of-control spending in Washington. Locally, the new State Legislature - dominated by far left Democrats - decided to repeal the only sentence guaranteed to prevent killers from killing again.

When campaign rhetoric turns into reality there's generally a period of general shock and disbelief followed by outrage and action. The Tea Party movement is one such reaction to the realization that our governments - at all levels - are spending too much and borrowing too much.

As you probably already know, Wednesday is tax day. It is also Tea Party day. What better day to protest the out-of-control spending of Congress and the Obama administration than the day that citizens are required to hand over their earnings to those who will deliver it into the hands of those who have not earned it?

So how can you have a tea party without tea... without water for that matter? The organizers of the Albuquerque Tea Party plan to line Montgomery with volunteers holding signs that express their displeasure with the current borrowing and spending policies of government. They'll be "partying" from 4 to 7 Wednesday, April 15th.

Our eyes tell us that our friends over at ACORN are planning to disrupt the peaceful protest against the all-out assault on our liberty. Their plan is to approach Tea Party participants and attempt to intimidate them by trying to collect their addresses and phone numbers while the protest is under way. Organizers are telling participants that the ONLY place any personal information will be collected by Tea Party officials is at the staging site - The Independence Grill, on Montgomery, just west of Louisiana.

If you'd like to take part in the tax day tea party, you can get more information at www.albuquerqueteaparty.com. This country was founded by people who were outraged by taxation without representation. The modern Tea Party movement was founded by those who are outraged over taxation without end and unfathomable taxpayer debt.

video

Meanwhile, another movement has begun to take root here in New Mexico. The movement - lead by Sheriff Darren White - is called Repeal the Repeal. The group hopes to repeal the recent repeal of the death penalty through a public referendum.
The death penalty was never in place for the common crime. It was in place for the most heinous criminals: Cop killers. Child molesters and rapists who murder their victims. These were the crimes eligible for the ultimate punishment...No more.

Santa Fe politicians said, no. They repealed the death penalty for even the most horrific murders.

Now you can do something about it.

I hope you will join me in raising our voices to let the will of the voters be heard. With your help, we can be a voice for those who no longer have one.

Darren White
Bernalillo County Sheriff
We have to admit, we never thought that the Legislature would ever take away the ultimate penalty for the ultimate crime. Particularly since opponents of the death penalty can't point to a single case where someone was wrongfully executed. In fact, since the death penalty's reinstatement here in New Mexico only Terry Clark has been executed and only because he waived his rights to appeal.

"Life without the possibility of parole" is simply no substitute for the only penalty that is absolutely sure to prevent a killer from killing again. You need look no further than the 2009 Legislature to find the reason why. How long will it take for leftist lawmakers to decide that live without parole is "cruel and unusual?" As long as a killer responsible for heinous crimes is allowed to remain in prison, there's a possibility that someone will place him back in society - back with a whole new set of victims.

Both of these movements are in direct response to the political sea change that started in 2006 and culminated in 2008. Large waves leave a changed landscape in their wake. The wave that was Obama has directly led us to spending, debt, and danger. We now are forced to live with the many consequences of our choice of leaders. Fortunately, even Tsunamis return to sea and the next wave may very well be generated by these new political movements.

Apr 7, 2009

Dismissed

Dismissed... A word that's being heard all too frequently in down at Metro Court these days. DWI cases being dismissed not because the accused is innocent or guilty for that matter, but because the evidence is shall we say unreliable.

APD uses devices commonly known as breath-a-lizers to determine whether drivers who have been arrested for DWI are actually intoxicated. Of course, drivers have the right to decline taking the test but the penalty for doing so is the loss of one's driver's license for a period of a year.

Each APD substation has one of these breath-a-lizers or Intoxilizer 8000s. Like all technology used for law enforcement, these electronic devices are required to be certified yearly. In the case of the Northeast Heights Substation, the Intoxilizer 8000's certification expired September 30th, 2008. Of course, the expiration was not noticed until December 2008. The person who's responsible for making sure that the substation's Intoxilizer remains continuously certified is Wayne Dechano.

When arresting officers go to court one of the things that they must testify to is the certification of the device used to gather the evidence against the accused. The problem is that in every case that involved the Northeast Sub's Intoxilizer officers couldn't truthfully testify that the device was certified. Our Eyes tell us that despite the certification problem, officers were instructed to testify that the "machine is certified."

You might note the use of the present tense. Currently, the Intoxilizer 8000 at the Northeast Sub is certified. However, it wasn't certified between October 1, 2008 and December 2008 for anyone arrested for DWI and taken to the Northeast Sub for testing.

It's bad enough that APD screwed up and continued using a device that wasn't certified and it wouldn't be the first time that someone made a mistake. However, once the error was found officers were not only instructed to bend the truth a bit by testifying to the device's current status, but they attempted to sell it to the rank and file by "certifying" the unit on the word of the very person who failed to make sure the Intoxilizer 8000 was properly certified in the first place.

The photo to the right is of the note placed on the Intoxilizer to "certify" the unity despite the fact that it hadn't been properly certified. Look, we understand the impulse to well... cover your... you know. And the unit itself may have been working just as well on October 1st as it was on September 30th. But the simple fact is the unit's court accepted certification only lasts a year and APD has the same obligation to abide by the rules as everyone else does - arguably even more. Now, cases that could have been won - perhaps should have been won - are being dismissed.

This didn't have to happen. Officers could have used another Intoxilizer. It would have been inconvenient, but the results wouldn't have been open to challenge and the cases subject to dismissal when presented in court. Not surprisingly, APD couldn't keep this snafu under wraps and officers are refusing to bend the truth when testifying and judges are responding by dismissing the cases brought before them.

Apr 1, 2009

Off to Obama

It's been rumored for sometime that District 3 County Commissioner Deanna Archuleta would be heading to Washington, D.C. to take a job in the Obama administration. Our Eyes skulking around the halls of county government have it that Commissioner Archuleta should pack her bags and check her tax returns because she's off to Obama... or at least to take a position somewhere in the administration.

As you may or may not know, when there's an opening on the County Commission the Governor appoints the departing commissioner's replacement. Our Eyes tell us that at this point the leading candidates to fill out Commissioner Archleta's remaining term are APS School Board Member Marty Esquivel and former commissioner Tom Rutherford.

It'll be interesting to see if Big Bill goes for APS accountability advocate Esquivel or the old guard Rutherford an associate of convicted felon Manny Aragon. In either case, there's change coming to the county commission.

----- Update -----
When political seats are about to be vacated the games inevitably begin. Our Eyes tell us that former Commissioner Lenton Malry is burning up the phone lines in an effort to influence Big Bill to give him his old job back. One thing is sure... if Malry calls Democrats pick up the phone. A quick Google of Dr. Malry turned up the interesting fact that he and his son contributed over $10,000 to Democrats last year according to campaignmoney.com.

The Fools in Charge

It's April fools day - a day where just about every blogger tries to trick unsuspecting readers into believing some outlandish claim. Unfortunately, the last few months have been nothing less than a constant stream of outlandish spending, borrowing, and assaults on liberty. So, it occurred to us that everyday has been fools day. The problem is that - tragically - this is no joke.

One of our favorite bloggers/political analysts is Rich Galen. He's smart, funny, and a great writer. He sums up the situation far better than we ever could in today's Mullings column (read it here). This April Fool's Day is one April Fool's Day where the fools are in charge and there's nothing funny about it.