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

Jun 30, 2009

21 Pages

The Constitution of the United States is one of the most important documents in human history. Its 7 articles and 27 amendments created our government, its checks and balances, and even restricts the powers of the government it created. The entire document, including all 27 amendments is about 21 pages long.

The founding fathers understood that brevity is not only the sole of wit, it's the essence of wisdom. The knew that large, bloated legislation creates the opportunities for mismanagement and corruption.

Last Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives - under the cover of nationalized health care and the demise of Michael Jackson - debated and passed one of the most dangerous bills to come out of the House in recent memory. Dangerous because of it's size and negative impact on our economy and our lives. The bill often referred to as cap and trade, cap and tax, choke and steal, or more disingenuously entitled "The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009" creates government boards, inspectors, regulators, national building codes, and transfers an incredible amount of power to the Secretary of Energy, just for starters. This document including its 300 plus page early morning amendment totals 1201 pages. That's 1180 pages more than the document that is the foundation of our republic.

All three of New Mexico's representatives to the House voted for this massive increase in government bureaucracy. Heinrich and Lujan voted for the measure like a couple of party line toting bobble-heads. Meanwhile, their colleague and fellow freshman congressman Harry Teague cut a deal to exempt the evil carbon producing refineries in his district from the rigors of this misguided attempt to regulate carbon production.

Our question for Mr. Teague is if it's good to exempt your carbon producers how is it not good not to exempt others? We hope the true believers in choke and steal legislation can see through Teague's subterfuge and that the beneficiaries of Teague's deal understand how tenuous their situation truly is should this Obamination of a bill pass the Senate.

Today we were treated to Congressman Junior, uh... Ben Ray Lujan, Jr. trying to answer a simple question from KKOB-AM's Craig Kennedy about whether or not he had read the bill he had so enthusiastically supported. After prattling on about knowing the "major" points and other non-sense, he didn't answer - which of course means no.

Congressman Heinrich will be holding his "open house" at 4:15pm on the carbon belching diesel train commonly known as the Rail Runner. Perhaps someone from KOB could catch up with him in order to find out exactly how many of the 1201 pages he had actually read. Our bet that his answer will be no more satisfying than Bennie Jr's.

It's become a habit of the 111th Congress - passing bills without taking the time to read them, particularly when they're passing thousand page legislation that chokes our economy and steals our money and liberty.

You know, It's not surprising they haven't read the bills they're voting on. If they did, they'd probably be as horrified as the rest of us. Might we suggest however, that they take the time to read the 21 pages of the United States Constitution. By comparison it's light reading and utimately more important. At least it'd be a start.

Toulouse In

Looks like the District 5 race is starting to heat up. The once open seat on Albuquerque's Westside still has a crowd vying to fill it with incumbent Cadigan the odds-on favorite.

According to our Eyes, Democrat Jeremy Toulouse has turned in enough signatures to get on the October ballot. The development is no doubt good news for Republican Dan Lewis who would seem to be the most obvious beneficiary of a Toulouse candidacy. Traditional thinking would have Cadigan and Toulouse splitting the Ds and Lewis coasting to an easy victory in the heavily R district.

The problem is there's nothing quite traditional about this race. Of the three candidates only the Republican (Lewis) is taking public financing. Cadigan tried and failed to qualify for public cash in the mayoral race and after his aborted mayoral attempt decided to jump back to his council seat but chose to forgo taxpayer cash.

Toulouse is the only candidate who can say that he's not taking taxpayer cash to fund his political ambitions. It'll be interesting to see how that plays against his two opponents. Lewis will wrap himself in the "clean elections" standard while taking money coerced from taxpayers. Cadigan will claim that he supports clean elections but decided against getting too clean just this once.

We still think that Toulouse's entry into the race benefits Lewis. But a lot is riding on how effective Toulouse is at finding an issue that will bring his opponents within reach. Campaign financing is one issue where Toulouse can take shots at both rivals at the same time which will make the most of his limited resources.

Jun 29, 2009

Poor Resolution

Nationalized Health Care... the apple of Obama's eye and the last element required to give the government control over just about every aspect of our lives - from the food we eat to the medications we take. There are a lot of good arguments against this bad idea not the least of which being that it will bankrupt the country while simultaneously endangering lives.

Last Tuesday, the Bernalillo County Commission passed a resolution urging the "immediate passage of comprehensive federal health Care reform legislation." The issue came to our attention because of several posts made by readers claiming that Commissioner Brasher had voted in favor of nationalized health care.

Brasher a fiscal hawk, has consistently voted to hold the line on spending often ending up on the lonely end of 4-1 votes. The whole thing sounded a little strange to us so we had our Eyes do a little digging.

Sure enough, the posters claiming that Brasher had voted for the health care resolution were wrong. But, we can't really blame it on them. The county's Public Information Officer Liz Hamm issued a press release stating that the vote on AR 44-2009 was unanimous when in actuality it was 2-1 with Commissioners Hart-Stebbins and De La Cruz voting for the misguided policy and Commissioner Brasher voting against (read the corrected press release here).

Oddly enough, Commissioner Armijo was nowhere to be found despite chairing the meeting. We wouldn't be surprised if too much tea or perhaps currently running for city council had something to do with missing what could be considered a controversial vote.

Health care may be a problem that we have to tackle, but it won't be made better by forcing everyone onto a Medicare style government run program. If you think private insurance companies are hard to deal with, just wait until you are forced to deal with some D.C. bureaucrat whose bosses have the power to make law.

Jun 28, 2009

Letters to the Eye: Let APD Do Its Job

There's been a lot of talk about immigrant gangs since the Denny's invasion and murder. Notice that we don't refer to the incident as a "tragedy." What happened to Stephanie Anderson was abhorrent and unacceptable in our society. Referring to an invasion and murder as a "tragedy" implies inevitability akin to a natural disaster.

The terrorism and murder at Denny's restaurant was a direct result of the planning and intent of three terrorist thugs with no respect for law or liberty. Their reprehensible acts are the very reason we have... or rather had a death penalty.

This past week we received an email from a neighborhood leader. Kevin Smith, President of the newly formed Juan Tabo Hills Neighborhood association forwarded his letter addressed to the City Council on to us requesting that we publish it as a Letter to the Eye. We are happy to do so as I think Mr. Smith's concerns echo how many feel in our community.


Dear Councilors,

I’m writing you tonight to express my concerns over the latest murder by unchecked criminals roaming our neighborhoods. I have a daughter that works in a restaurant and she was the first thing I thought about when I read the story about these MS13 cretins that murdered that female worker.

The TV series ‘Breaking Bad’, fictionally depicted Albuquerque in a pretty bad light. I’m not so sure about the fiction part anymore.

It seems that we have just buried our heads in the sand in dealing with drug, gangs and have accepted it as just part of our culture. When I see these types driving around in brand new Chrysler 300s and Escalades, in the middle of the afternoon wearing their ball caps backwards, one has to wonder; just what they do for a living. Now be honest, you see what I’m talking about out there.

One must wonder. That’s laughable. EveryONE isn’t wondering one bit. Everyone knows what they do for a living. We all don’t like it, but do we have to accept it. Do the police have to accept it? Seems like it. Albuquerque apparently has become what is known as a "Sanctuary City". Just what is that? In other words we have to leave them alone so they can go about their business (Drug business). I know, that would be profiling, not PC, might get in trouble with the ACLU; bla, bla, bla.

They aren’t harassed, questioned, scrutinized, because they are protected by what is known as a ‘sanctuary’ and they know that politicians have basically castrated the police department, as politics trumps public safety. How much more must this society tolerate? How many loved ones must die needlessly at the hands of gang members because they got in the way of their daily routine of burglary, drug selling, and killing for fun and so on.

My challenge to you; get in front of this. Look into why this is continuing to get worse. Ask any cop that you know how the fight is going out in the streets, and they’ll tell you they’re getting their asses kicked. Not because they are overwhelmed and are weak, it’s because their hands are tied.

It’s a well known fact that they are instructed to lay off suspected illegals. Why. Politics.
I have warned prospective mayoral candidates that this illegal alien, drugs and gangs will be a huge future problem, the likes of what we’ve never seen before, and the next mayor, no matter who it is, will have to take this head on, as it will be the number one issue until it is eradicated. They’re here and they’re killing citizens of this city. Loved ones of someone, God forbid your loved ones.

It's time to say E-N-O-U-G-H. Not one person makes the laws, not one mayor makes the decisions for all of us. You were elected to change policies, make the city a better place to live. I think you all took an oath to uphold those principals, did you not?

The Albuquerque Police Department, regardless of their shortcomings from time to time is the best trained and most dedicated police force and we’re damn lucky they have our back. However, they can only be as good as the politicians, judges and the community that support them.

So take off their muzzles and leashes and let them do their job, and rid this city of this third world filth that is ravaging your (our) city.

Kevin S. Smith, President
Juan Tabo Hills Neighborhood Association

Jun 26, 2009

Coming Home...

After a vocationally enforced hiatus (yes, we have a real job), we're back in the saddle or rather on the keyboard. There's a lot going on both nationally and locally. On the national scene Congress is trying to tax our energy and destroy our health care system. Locally, The Almighty's sanctuary city chickens have come home to roost.

Almost a year ago San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome was forced to rescind their sanctuary city policy after illegal alien Edwardo Ramos killed three innocent people (read about it here). Last Saturday, three illegal aliens stormed a Denny's and took something far more valuable than money... an innocent life.

You'd think that The Almighty Alcalde in the middle of an election year would immediately reverse course and correct his earlier mistake. If you did, you'd be wrong. Instead of admitting that the mayor had hamstrung his police officers through a misguided SOP, he's trying to shift the blame to the federal government.
Deborah James, spokeswoman for Mayor Martin Chavez, said blame in the Denny’s case lies with federal immigration authorities, who are supposed to check the immigration status of every person arrested and booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center, which is run by Bernalillo County. In the case of Ortiz, that apparently didn’t happen, she said.

“The mayor has asked them to have someone there on a more full-time basis,” James said. “We don’t have any authority over the jail. We make the arrest, but if immigration authorities aren’t following through, or if the courts let them go, we have no jurisdiction.”
The fact of the matter is that every person who has sworn an oath to protect the public and who wears a badge should be concerned about enforcing all of our laws. Jail officials are not on the front line... APD officers are.

Our Eyes behind the badge have always told us that they stop illegals on a daily basis. Marty and the 5th Floor have simply made it impossible for officers to use their discretion when they have a reasonable suspicion that the individual that they have come in contact with is in this country illegally.
Officers shall not inquire about or seek proof of a person's immigration status, unless the person is in custody or is a suspect in a criminal investigation for a nonimmigration criminal violation and the immigration status of the person or suspect is pertinent to the criminal investigation.
The concept that a suspected illegal must be the subject of a nonimmigration investigation or violation, and have their status be pertinent to the criminal investigation is precisely what prohibited officers - who came into contact with two of the suspects (Meglar and Ortiz) when they were arrested for DWI - from contacting immigration authorities.
Have you noticed how hard it is to find The Almighty Alcalde these days? Whenever there's a crisis Marty simply disappears. He'll send his minions out to spin the facts and try to shift the blame, but he rarely makes his mayoral self available for questions. It doesn't matter whether it's thirteen bodies on the west side or a brutal murder at Denny's... he's nowhere to be found.
[End Sidebar]
We're not saying that APD's SOP is directly responsible for the murder of Stephanie Anderson. We're saying that the SOP removed an opportunity for APD officers to prevent an act of violence by making a simple phone call.

Yesterday, R. J. Berry held a news conference down at Civic Plaza to address his plans for APD's SOP with regard to illegal immigrants. As expected, Marty's minions were quick to play the fear-mongering race card.
A city of Albuquerque official said Wednesday that the allegations by the Republican Party of New Mexico are "appalling" and compared proposed Republican policy changes to "racial profiling."
The truth is illegal immigration and racial profiling have nothing to do with one another. It makes little difference where an illegal comes from. What matters is that they came into this country illegally. An illegal immigrant's point of origin has nothing to do with it.

Since the Journal buried Berry's statement, we're gonna publish his full press release here.
Berry Will End “Sanctuary City” Policy in Albuquerque

Candidate for Mayor says police must be allowed to enforce all
the laws, will work to repeal driver’s license law

Albuquerque, NM – June 24, 2009 – Richard Berry vowed today that if he is elected Mayor, he will end the “Sanctuary City” policy put in place at the Albuquerque Police Department by Mayor Martin Chavez, and he will keep up the fight to end the state’s policy of giving New Mexico driver’s licenses to people who are in the United States illegally.

Berry says Chavez’s directive at APD prevents police officers from enforcing all the laws, and when used in combination with the state’s policy on drivers’ licenses, it severely hampers APD’s ability to keep our city safe.

“Our police officers are doing an incredible job fighting crime in this city considering they are being told by the Mayor to do it with one arm handcuffed behind their backs,” said Berry. “Politics has gotten in the way of the police department and it’s gotten in the way of common sense, and this must end.”

The Albuquerque Journal reported today that the men suspected of robbing a Westside Denny’s and murdering a female cook are not only in the United States illegally, but were once in the hands of local law enforcement, and then released.

"I want to be very clear that the people responsible for this latest tragedy are the three thugs who committed this horrible crime. Period. But as policy-makers, we must look at what common-sense steps we can take to help law enforcement get criminals like this off our streets," said Berry.

Berry empathized with law enforcement, saying he couldn’t imagine how frustrating it must be for an officer on the street to pick up someone on a violation, not have the authority and support to run them through the system, watch them go free because of politics and misguided policies, and then turn around one day to see that same criminal commit a heinous crime like this.

“It’s the combination of laws and policies that are failing our officers, and the people of Albuquerque,” said Berry. “As Mayor, I will do two things. I will end this policy at APD and I will work with the legislature and the new administration in Santa Fe to change the current state law on driver’s licenses.”

Berry, a two-term legislator, who voted this year in support of a statewide anti-profiling law, has opposed the state’s driver’s license policy since its inception.

“As Mayor, I will put in place an APD policy that will dovetail with the one that is currently in use by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, which will leave the discretion for law enforcement up to the officer on the street instead of the politicians at City Hall.”

Policy for the Bernalillo Sheriff Department reads, “Deputies shall not stop and question, detain, arrest or place an “immigration hold” on any persons not suspected of crimes, solely on the grounds that they may be deportable immigrants. When arrest is necessary for the violation of State Law or County Ordinance, deputies shall notify their Field Supervisor immediately if it is suspected that the person may be an undocumented immigrant. At that time, the Supervisor will begin the notification process.”

“I’m going to change this policy and then I’m going to stand behind my officers,” said Berry.

It's amazing what one word can do. Deputies are prohibited from scooping up suspected illegals for being illegals, but they are not prohibited from contacting appropriate authorities when a suspect is in custody for any offense. More specifically, deputies are directed to notify their Field Supervisor "immediately if it is suspected that the person may be an undocumented [illegal] immigrant."

Policy decisions have consequences and bad decisions have a way of coming home. In this case, a few simple words may have prevented officers from taking two brutal murders off the street and there's only one person ultimately responsible.

Jun 11, 2009


We received word today from our Eyes downtown, that commissioner and city council hopeful, Michael Brasher has collected enough signatures to make it on to the October city ballot. The news is more than likely less than welcome for the current District 9 incumbent, Don Harris.

Councilor Harris' first term has been nothing if not embattled. After taking the seat in a runoff against former Councilor Tina Cummins, Harris was treated to a recall election just two years ago. Even though he won the recall handily, he won it in a year where The Almighty Alcalde's candidates were soundly defeated. The Keep Harris campaign successfully sold the idea that a vote for nobody was a vote for Marty as the mayor would appoint his replacement.
We've noted repeated comments in our comments section about the governor's authority to choose the replacement for a county commissioner who resigns. It's true, the governor would appoint the replacement for Commissioner Brasher should the commissioner become councilor.

However, Bernalillo County Commission District 5 is a pretty solid Republican district. It wouldn't be wise for Big Bill to appoint someone who couldn't hold the seat be they a Democrat or Republican particularly when the Guv's influence and political capital are diminishing on an almost daily basis due to the scandals surrounding his administration.
[End Sidebar]
The difference between a recall election and a regular election is that the only question on the ballot is whether or not to throw the bum out. Regular elections feature other candidates whose campaigns work to provide a quantifiable alternative where a recall pits the incumbent against and unknown.

What was remarkable about the Harris recall two years ago, was that his opposition managed to get him on the ballot in the first place (a feat Harris made sure to make more difficult). Two years ago was certainly an anti-Marty year and people tend to fear the unknown more than just about anything else.

It's hard to beat an incumbent with a good candidate. It's darn near impossible to beat an incumbent without a candidate at all.

You can bet that you'll be seeing more posts about the governor choosing commission members. And you can bet that Councilor Harris will try to make it the central issue of his campaign. The question is whether or not the voters in District 9 - who are also part of County District 5 - will be more afraid of the commissioner they don't know or the councilor they do? It looks like they'll have the opportunity to speak for themselves this October.

Jun 1, 2009

Eye Told You: County Bondage

It only took four months, but there it was on the front page of the Albuquerque Journal - "What to Do with the Debt?" It's a story we told you about back in February (read it here). In August of 2008, the county commission at the urging of County Manager Thaddeus Lucero authorized the purchase of 500 Marquette for a mere $42 MILLION.

Before the echo had died on the 4 to 1 vote (Commissioner Brasher dissenting), the county had issued $42 MILLION in bonds to cover the purchase. The problem is they never bought the building.

After reading today's Albuquerque Journal story (Subscription) you probably were left thinking that the county was almost making money on the $42 MILLION debt. Readers were treated to a fair example of governmental sleight of hand. One part of the article claims that we're paying an annual interest rate of 3.8%, but thanks to our investment wizards we're recapturing 3.7% annually.
County Treasurer Patrick Padilla estimated the money is earning interest income of around 3.7 percent. The interest the county pays on the debt is 3.8 percent.

Lucero said the overall impact on taxpayers has been minimal, given that the estimated investment income is close to the debt payment due this year.
Separated by a page, over a dozen paragraphs, and a couple of assurances readers (and taxpayers) finally got to the bottom line.
It's difficult to say exactly how much the $42 million will earn because it's invested in a variety of ways, along with other county money, officials said.

"It's really mixed in with all the other investments," Deputy County Manager Dan Mayfield said.
In other words, either the county doesn't know how much they're losing or they just aren't willing to say. We'd bet the latter.

There's only one thing worse than buying an unneeded $42 MILLION building - not buying a $42 MILLION building and having to pay for the bond council, interest rates, and fees.

It doesn't matter how you look at it, Bernalillo County is losing money... our money because they acted without thinking and left us holding the bonds.