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

Jul 17, 2007

The Missing Piece of the Puzzle

How do you really get to know a candidate? One way is to go to a website (Rey Garduño, Paulette de'Pascall, Brad Winter, Debbie O'Malley). Now that you're back... how much do you really know about the candidates or the incumbents?

You could also go to candidate forums, read campaign literature, surf the net and read blogs like this one, follow them through the mainstream media, or perhaps you'll be lucky enough to meet one of the candidates on your very own doorstep. If you manage to check each of the above sources of information off your list... now how much do you really know?

Each of the above items is a piece of the puzzle. When combined, they can form a picture of a candidate or an elected official. However, there's still one important piece missing; one that cannot be spun, suited to individuals or situations, and although it's often tried, this piece can't be denied (even if you forget to hit the "finalize" button). The all important piece, the one that not only completes the puzzle but brings it into absolute focus is the one that shows who a candidate associates with.

In today's Tribune there's a story about a group called the Committee for Responsible Budgets who ran ads attacking Councilors Winter and Harris over the most recent council / mayoral spat that had to do with the budget and $9 MILLION for the Westside Metropolitan Detention Center. Turns out three of the group's backers can be tied directly to the Almighty Mayor himself.

That story and its implications can not be written about any of the 5 candidates taking taxpayer money to further their political ambitions; not because they're not backed by special interest, but because those interests can remain unknown. A giant piece of their ideological picture can remain missing. What do they really stand for? Are they really telling you the truth in their campaign literature or when they're standing on your doorstep?

Our Eyes tell us that Transit Director Greg Payne has been spending time with Paulette de'Pascal. Some say that the mayor himself recruited her to run against his council rival Brad Winter. If we had a contributor list to look at we could make comparisons. If her contributors are the same people that donated to the mayor, then we'd know a lot about how she'd vote if elected.

Garduño, running for the District 6 seat vacated by Martin Heinrich... Besides using a taxpayer funded email and being an advocate for "clean" elections, what else does he stand for? And what special interest group (if any) has encouraged him to run?

The Albuquerque Open and UN-Ethical Elections ordinance has created a veil of secrecy that surrounds these candidates. Who do they associate with? What do they really believe? Frankly, a candidate that's freed from their associations can tell voters whatever the voters want to hear because there's no record of a contradiction based on association to compare their statements with.

Matt Brix from Common Cause is a frequent poster here on Eye On Albuquerque, particularly when we talk about taxpayer financing of elections. He's eloquent and makes good arguments for taxpayer financing. Further, we're going give him credit for genuinely wanting to make elections more accessible. However (you knew this was coming), his advocated system of "clean" elections doesn't take money out of politics, it takes money out of our pockets while allowing candidates to hide their true colors; both are fundamentally wrong.

Every piece of a candidate's picture is important. Who a candidate's supporters are is probably MORE important to judging a candidate and their character, than any other piece of the puzzle. We don't have a problem with contribution limits and we believe that contributions should be made public, but forcing a group of people to fund another's political ambition is wrong. Obfuscating their supporters and their true objectives is undeniably dangerous.


Anonymous said...

Don't City employees, whether they work long hours or not have to take leave to work campaigns? Don't they also have to take leave to do radio talk shows especially when promoting the mayor's agenda?
Should someone look into time sheets or payroll of the Directors? Isn't that a matter for public record?
I think what our Mayor Jackson did is nothing compared to the public fleecing that goes on in Albuquerque.

Anonymous said...

She has NO chance at all. With the Drunk eeerrr .... I mean City Transportation Director Greg Payne pulling for her she needs all the help she can get. Hey Paulette we already have a Mayor that has SOLD THE CITY OUT to land developers. We don't need another. Thanks! You are in real estate are you not? So has Daskalos contributed to your campaign yet?

Anonymous said...

To begin with, I appreciate the thoughtful statements The Eye has made regarding public financing of campaigns. Clearly, however, he/she/it and I come at this matter from completely different perspectives. Let me see if I can address some of the most recent grievances laid out by The Eye.

Disclosure is indeed important, no question about it. When a candidate tries to convince voters they are the right person to represent them, at any level of government, the more information the better. The Eye suggests that without private contribution data, the public is missing a key piece of disclosure about a publicly financed candidate’s policy positions. Contrary to The Eye’s assertion, private contribution data does indeed exist in public financing systems (in two different forms)-seed money and the hundreds of $5 qualifying contributions. All of this information is disclosed to the public.

With unabated private fundraising, voters miss out on an important aspect of disclosure, namely, the opportunity to meet a candidate in-person. This is especially important in grassroots races at the local level. When candidates are forced to raise enormous amounts of private funds, it takes time-time that could be spent meeting with voters on a personal level. I don’t know about The Eye, but I want candidates to be free from the money chase so they can meet with my neighbors and me.

Furthermore, when voters have to discern potential policy positions from slick 30-second television or radio ads, as opposed to hearing directly from a candidate, they do not get full disclosure. Instead, voters are forced to discern a policy position from overly orchestrated and often inaccurate media pieces. I suspect this aspect of private financing of campaigns (raising mega bucks to buy radio, television and mail) does more to turn off voters than just about anything else.

Let me point out one additional matter. The Eye makes reference in the original post to a committee, funded primarily by three individuals that lobbied the City for a tax cut six weeks ago. How is disclosing this information now, fully six weeks after the vote, veto and veto override doing a service to the public? To truly be of service to the public, the financial information for this lobbying effort should have been disclosed in a much more timely manner.

Anonymous said...

" The Missing Piece of the Puzzle"
How about just "The Piece" of Marty & Greg's. He's driving her around supposedly on campaign biz(?)on City time? Did he throw a Coke can out the window?

Anonymous said...

Hello Eye,

I just wanted to let you know that I received a press release/announcement from Rey Garduno's campaign that he is officially on the ballot. This is great news! I am a supporter, and KNOW that rey is the best person to respresent District 6. I hope you have seen this press release/announcement, cause you haven't mentioned that rey is continually building steam. But, maybe more important to the Eye, rey HAS changed his email to A simple oversight that happens when you have a truly grassroots, people driven campaign that doesn't have tons of lawyers to consult with. Is a clean campaign one where you don't get caught because you know the game better or is it a community lead, bottom-up, progressive, open and ethical campaign that can give and take critism and CHANGE what needs to be changed once they have the time to research it?

Anonymous said...

What needs changing? How will he chnge what needs fixing?

Anonymous said...

THE EMAIL. and it's already been changed, so everything is fine.

Anonymous said...

Some people are speaking the truth when they say the mayor recruited Depascal himself. She switched party affiliations and downplayed her past history like that incident with John Hendry in the Round House and the second divorce/bankruptcy combination under her belt. Some people believe she is in a relationship with the mayor that has nothing to do with real estate or politics. Similar to the ones she had with Ron Bell and Bob Schwartz. Sandra Richardson calls DePascal's behavior "8th grade stuff". They both are. Is this really what the tax payer's want or need for the city? Don't we have real issues to be addressed? DePascale's blog is vacuous and just plain laughable. I dont think we have to wonder if this candidate is really qualified or just well-connected.

cwlange said...

Matt Brix - Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

anonymous- Why don't you go to one of the bookseller parties for the Harry Potter book tonight. You certainly seem to enjoy seeing imaginary threats.

Anonymous said...

cwlange - depascal is no threat to anyone. she's a nobody who will go nowhere. richardson and chavez have already booted her like yesterday's trash. she's no longer useful.