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

Feb 28, 2009

Serial Spin

Body Count: 13 - There's No Serial Killer on the Loose, APD Chief Says

That's the above the fold headline in today's Albuquerque Journal (subscription). The bodies are quite literally stacking up in a field on Albuquerque's West Side. According to the Journal and Chief Schultz, the remains appear to have been interred from 2000 to 2005.
On Friday, the chief sought to put Albuquerque residents' minds at ease, saying detectives don't believe whoever is responsible for the deaths is still killing. He said the "best investigative team in New Mexico history" is looking into numerous leads.

"The remains are all old; they've been there a number of years," he said. "Had we been finding fresh bodies, I'd be much more concerned. Everybody can be reassured that there's not an active serial killer in Albuquerque actively killing and preying on people."
Sorry Chief... the fact that the remains appear to be from the 2000 to 2005 time period does not indicate that whoever was responsible isn't still killing. It only indicates that the person or persons responsible haven't been dumping bodies in a field at 118th and Dennis Chavez SW since around 2005.

We're not trying to alarm anyone but we're getting tired of the Chief of Police spinning everything from crime stats to scam-era stats to serial killers. There is no evidence - none - that there's not an active serial killer operating in Albuquerque. If there was, the Chief would and should indicate that such evidence exists.

As it stands we do know is that there was a serial killer on the loose between 2000 and 2005. We do know that they dumped at least 13 of their victims in a field at 118th and Dennis Chavez SW. What we do not know is why or if they stopped and we do not know for sure that there aren't more recent victims that either haven't been found or who ended up under a house or road somewhere in the nearby developments.

In fact, our Eyes tell us that there are indications that there may be as many as 12 bodies that have yet to be found bringing the body count to as high as 25. The facts are they don't know who killed these people, as yet they don't know who many of them are, and they don't know whether or not the killer or killers are still out there plying their sick trade.
Police have not identified any suspects in the deaths but have said they are looking into two cases in particular: one involving a prostitute who was slain in late 2006 in a southwest Albuquerque trailer a few miles from where the remains have been found. The suspected killer was fatally shot as he was moving the woman's body. They are also looking into the case of a well-known pimp who died of natural causes in January and who had pictures of missing prostitutes in his home.
The Almighty Alcalde and Chief Schultz would like you to believe that the danger has passed. Throwing out the names of two non-suspects who pose no threat to the community due to their previous demise is simply meant to reassure the public. Unfortunately, there's no foundation for reassurance and plenty of reasons - 13 and counting - to be concerned.

Feb 25, 2009

Trouble in the Air

Wednesday, the Albuquerque Journal ran a story on a recently filed lawsuit. Apparently, the city and Bode Aero aren't playing well in the Double Eagle Airport sandbox. Among other things, the lawsuit alleges that the Almighty Alcalde made some shall we say... inappropriate demands last year when he was running for Gov, uh... Senate.
Bode Aero Services claims the retaliation occurred after it "declined to provide free or discounted air service" to Mayor Martin Chávez for his brief senatorial bid in 2007. The suit doesn't provide any specifics about the claim.
All of the Bode hubbub got us thinking about other Aerospace legal proceedings. In this case bankruptcy proceedings involving Eclipse Aviation. You know we've always wondered about the viability of a company built on the concept of selling personal jets. It's not like jets were ever an everyday purchase for your average family. But hey, if there's a market... But apparently there really isn't.

In any case, a few weeks back we received documents from the Delaware bankruptcy proceedings involving Eclipse Aviation. A little disclaimer here. We have been unable to independently verify these documents but they appear to be authentic and if they are the city and the Almighty Alcalde have a lot of splainning to do. (You can view the documents here.)

You see according to these court documents, Eclipse Aviation is holding a large amount of property owned by the City of Albuquerque. What's most disturbing is that much of the listed items seem to our admittedly untrained eyes to be specialized equipment that the city has no business owning. For example a $128,496 MTS for fatigue and metals testing, a $56,472 LPT laser projection system, and the coup de gras, three paint booths worth over $2.5 MILLION. And those aren't even the highlights.

From these documents it appears there are millions of dollars of equipment in the possession of bankrupt Eclipse Aviation that appear to be owned by the city - much of it specialized equipment.

It looks to us like there are two possibilities here. One is that Eclipse is using a whole bunch of specialized equipment courtesy of the City of Albuquerque (that's all of us who pay taxes in Albuquerque) or two, Eclipse is using the city to shelter assets from creditors in a bankruptcy proceeding. The latter could be criminal, the former... could be criminal -either way, there's a lot of trouble in the air and a lot of splainning to do.

----- Update -----
This is the best explanation that we've heard (or shall we say read):
Those are the items purchased with Industrial Revenue Bonds (gross receipts tax free). The City has "bare legal" title to them under the IRB system, but does not really own them. They will likely be sold to pay off Eclipse's creditors.
All of which makes perfect sense, except... we don't see the bond repayment listed in the creditors section. If the city has "bare legal" title, then the city has ultimate responsibility for repayment of the bond.

Feb 23, 2009

Now There is One

With five Democrats - four announced and one unannounced - running for Albuquerque's mayor, the large field was decidedly missing a Republican. Our Eyes tell us that now there is one - State Representative R. J. Berry.

The Eyes have it that the two term Republican Representative is set to announce his candidacy on 770 KKOB's Jim Villanucci Show later today. So far, it's an attractive field for a strong Republican candidate that already features a shotgun start of Democrats. We assume that the D field will be reduced by at least one (Rowe) and perhaps two (O'Malley or Cadigan). Rowe will have a hard time qualifying for public financing and the two Councilors while better known are generally targeting constituencies dominated by the two better known Democrat contenders.

If Berry remains the only Republican in the race and runs an aggressive campaign based on lower taxes, economic development, and a smaller city hall he could easily capture the 40% necessary to win the race without facing a runoff. The numbers are in his favor as long as there are 3 or more Democrats vying for the office.

The two candidates that are most likely to be hurt by Berry's inclusion in the non-partisan field are Councilor Cadigan and the Almighty Alcalde himself. Marty has always run as a conservative Democrat that appeals to the Republicans of the Northeast Heights. So far, Cadigan is duplicating the Alcalde's tactic hoping to take the middle away from the current occupant of the 11th floor.

Romero, O'Malley, and Rowe appeal to farther left constituencies and shouldn't be hurt by a Berry candidacy, but might do a great deal of damage to each other should the three remain in the race. It looks like the game's afoot and perhaps we finally have all of the party's represented.

Feb 19, 2009

And Then There Were Four

Tuesday marked the fourth official entry into the mayoral sweepstakes. After November's Republican debacle, Democrats are lining up to take the executive chair of New Mexico's largest city. Richard Romero who ran twice (and lost twice) to Heather Wilson, has decided that his next office should be located on the 11th floor of city hall.
"These are truly the winds of change," Romero said as winds buffeted his podium on a blustery day.

He becomes the fourth candidate to announce a bid for mayor in the October election. Also running are City Councilors Michael Cadigan and Debbie O'Malley, as well as community activist Donna Rowe.
All four of the announced candidates have pledged to run "publicly financed campaigns." In other words, there are four little piglets lined up to suck on the taxpayer's tee, uh... trough. And if you think the election's clean because voluntary contributions to candidates from individuals and businesses are verboten, think again. What do you really know about the candidates? How can you tell if you don't know who really supports them?

Richard Romero is a perfect example of hiding behind a bi-partisan past and selling his soul to a liberal future.
Romero also stressed his support for publicly financed elections and his record as a negotiator who works well with others, Republicans and Democrats alike. He said he would offer "a new way forward," drawing on his experience both as a legislator and as an administrator.
Managing Romero's campaign this time is Neri Holguin, who went undefeated as a campaign manager last year against opponents that represented more than 50 years of experience in the Legislature.
Neri Holguin is part of Eli Lee's Nefarious Network of Non-Profits that have been determined by the Attorney General and the Secretary of State to be acting as political action committees (read our take here).
Holguin, who was the campaigns director for Soltari, a local consulting group that no longer does campaigns, said her '08 clients include newcomer Tim Keller who is seeking the Dem nomination for the state senate seat held by ABQ incumbent Shannon Robinson... Eric Griego, the former ABQ city councilor who is challenging incumbent South Valley Dem State Senator James Taylor, and Tim Eichenberg who is a Dem contender for the ABQ NE Heights seat held by the GOP's Diane Snyder.
If the names above look familiar it's because the incumbents were targeted by Lee's non-profits for "educational" campaign materials in last year's election. The strategy was effective and all of Holguin's clients won their respective seats. Consequently all of the newly elected officials owe their positions and therefore their votes to Eli Lee and company.

Richard Romero has sold his bi-partisan soul to Eli Lee's leftist non-profits in an effort to get back in the game. Thus, his claims to past bi-partisan cooperation with Republicans are null and void because of his association with groups who demand allegiance to their far left causes. Failure to comply results in targeting and removal. Just ask Democrats Shannon Robinson or James Taylor.

A candidate's associations are important. The new law banning business contributions not only prohibits business influence but forces candidates to run under the "Albuquerque Open and Ethical Elections Ordinance" that was approved by the voters four years ago and by doing so, effectively hides their supporters behind an election law iron curtain.

So why is that important? So far we've got four declared candidates (five if Marty doesn't get his dream job in Washington). Two are honest lefties, O'Malley and Rowe. Two are leftists claiming to be centrists, Cadigan and Romero. Without campaign finance disclosure, it's extremely difficult for the average voter to tell the difference.
Ok... so we probably have five mayoral candidates. But to date the Almighty Alcalde has only gone to court to get his term limit over-turned and filed for public financing. That can't mean he's running does it? Rrrrriiiight.
[End Sidebar]
Public financing as implemented in Albuquerque, is already serving to hide candidates behind a shadowy vale of propaganda. In addition, it's costing all of us money at a time when the city is admittedly running a $20 MILLION deficit.

If all five official and un-official candidates decide to officially take public financing and they all are able to qualify, then the city will be another $1.64 MILLION in the hole - and that's before the council races.

It's not unheard of for there to be three to four candidates for each council district. Each candidate that qualifies for the dirty money of public financing would be entitled to around $30,000. This year that means five districts with four candidates at $30,000. Add another $600,000 to the $1.64 MILLION and you've got over $2 MILLION forcibly taken from taxpayers and given to ambitious politicians - most of whom are not even good politicians.

The mayor's race is already shaping up to be a leftist vs. leftier race. With no true conservative or strong Republican throwing their hat in the ring, many will vote for the devil they know - even if that devil is as corrupt as the day is long.

On the other hand, if a solid conservative Republican that can teach and inspire comes to the fore, they would be hard to beat. Especially considering the three wanna-be centrists and the two socialists who are now in the race.

Feb 16, 2009

No to Stimulus

Last week's Eye Poll took up the issue of the over $800 BILLION spending... "stimulus" package. Eye readers are just as skeptical of the concept of spending borrowed money in an effort to stimulate an economy plagued with bad debt. 53% of readers do not support the "stimulus" package, 10% supported some of it, 1% had no opinion, 14% supported most of it, and 22% supported the package (view it here).

There's a fundamental problem with the Obama-Pelosi-Reed "stimulus" package in that unlike the private sector, governments do not create wealth because every government job necessarily takes resources away from private companies and individuals. FDR's New Deal is a prime example of the failure of government spending as a vehicle for economic recovery.

Most historians credit World War II with raising the United States and the world out of the depth of the Great Depression. Keynesians point to the massive government spending inherent to that conflict as validation of their belief in government spending as a vehicle for economic stimulus.

It's true that all of the parties involved in World War II spent massive amounts of money on the war. However, the war was also a time of rationing and privation where non-war related production was at an absolute minimum. The warring nations of WWII did not create wealth they quite literally destroyed it.

At the end of that brutal conflict, most of the industrialized world was left in shambles - their infrastructure in destroyed, their economies non-existent. The lone exception was the United States. A war weary world turned to the one country left standing to provided needed goods that they were no longer able to produce themselves.

It wasn't the war that brought the world out of the Great Depression - rather it was the end of the war and a return to wealth creation by individuals and private companies that brought about economic prosperity.

Obama's Neo-New Deal will have the same effect as FDR's - temporary jobs, massive debt, and a legacy of unsustainable government programs. The blind adherence to Keynsian principles will most likely deepen the current recession perhaps even pushing the world into depression.

Feb 13, 2009

September 11, 2008

Right around September 11th of last year the U.S. experienced an "electronic run on the bank." Was it good fortune for then candidate Obama? A terrorist attack on our financial system? We don't know, but you ought to take the time to listen to Rep. Paul Kanjorski D-(PA). [hat tip:]

We're really not big into conspiracies, but it sure does make you wonder.

Feb 11, 2009


KOAT reported Tuesday night on their 10:00 pm news that The Almighty Alcalde got pulled over and this time he actually got a ticket. The incident reportedly happened January 30th on Highway 84/285. Seems that Tesuque Pueblo is a little out of APD's jurisdiction so this time Marty had to make good on the citation - which he claims was for driving 11 an hour miles over the posted speed limit.

Almost immediately the rumors started flying. One had the Guv in the car with The Alcalde and according to the rumor, Big Bill was cited for open container. Another grapevine correspondence had Marty telling a local reporter that he was on a "pleasure cruise" with Margaret. Since there doesn't seem to be any love lost between the former first couple, it's hard to believe that Marty was cruising with Margaret anywhere. Even if he was... we'd be it wasn't pleasurable.

All of this got us thinking... what made Marty's encounter with a Tesuque magistrate news? The fact is there have been credible allegations that the mayor has been involved in everything from domestic violence to hit and runs. Yet, the Almighty One has skated or beaten every allegation despite the existence of tapes and transcripts. Apparently, it pays to have the Chief of Police as an at will employee.

With the Governor hip deep in the CDR controversy, Marty continually shadowed by various and sundry allegations, Manny Aragon and company convicted, and apparently indictments coming down any day for former Secretary of State, Rebecca Vigil-Jiron, Rebcca Vigil-Jiron - you can't write it just once - it's getting harder and harder to trust our elected officials. It certainly seems that the same characters from the same circles have been running this state for generations. We the voters seem to be living the definition of insanity - we keep electing the same people and expecting different results.

We keep wondering when this caldron of distrust will finally boil over and result in a real house cleaning. It's hard to believe when this state is called one of the most corrupt in the union and the Speaker of the House Ben Ray Lujan shares his office at the roundhouse with a lobbyist that owes almost as much to the IRS as Treasury Secretary Tim Geitner.

The Legislature can create as many ethics laws as they want. Until the people who hold office are ethical, the corruption will continue. We as voters bear the responsibility of removing the scoundrels who use their elected position for personal gain. Until we elected ethical leaders, there will be no ethics in government.

Feb 9, 2009

Eye Poll: Scam-eras Don't Work

There are a lot of reasons why Albuquerque's "Photo Enforcement" program shouldn't be in operation, but chief among them is that the city cannot prove that it works. Marty and the boys on the 5th Floor have been trying to support the program for with claims of accident reduction for some time. The truth is that the city has no conclusive evidence that the scam-eras have made us any safer by reducing accidents at photo enforced intersections.
Unfortunately, four-plus years later no credible safety stats have been released; the lone attempt at posting crash data on the Albuquerque Police Department's Web site in 2007 ended with a retraction.
Despite Journal columnist and scam-era shill D'Val Westphal's recent attempt to sell the ill-advised program (ABQ Journal - Subscription), Eye readers just aren't buying that the program works. In fact, 59% of Eye readers that participated in our unscientific poll said there was "no way" that the city's scam-era works. 37% felt that the program absolutely worked, 2% didn't know, 2% didn't care.

Proponents of the scam-eras like to claim that the program changes driver behavior and on this point we agree - drivers either stop short risking rear end collisions or avoid the photo enforced intersections all together. Technically, the program changed driver behavior. However, there's no evidence that this "change" made anyone safer as it either moved the problem or created a new one.

This week we're taking on the Democrat's spending, uh... stimulus package. You might want to remember that every last dime that is spent by government at any level comes from our pockets or the pockets of generations to come.

Feb 6, 2009

Mob Rule

A couple of hundred years ago, a group of farmers, businessmen, lawyers, and inventors sat down and through what seemed like endless debated and intrigue came up with the U.S. Constitution. That document contains not only a long list of restrictions on government power that guarantee our liberty, but the very structure of the government that was built to protect and defend liberty itself.

Having just extricated themselves from the condition of subservience, our founding fathers were understandably obsessed with making sure that their new government didn't exchange a tyrant for a tyrant or for a group of tyrants. Their obsession led directly to our system of checks and balances where no single branch of government holds all of the power of government and each branch holds some power over the other two.

Your high school civics class might have left you believing that governmental checks and balances ended with the design of the big three branches, when in fact they are found everywhere. What the framers of the Constitution were most concerned with was guaranteeing individual liberty.

Congress itself was formed deliberately to balance expedience with deliberation - the reactive House of Representatives with its short terms and relatively high turnover balanced against the world's most exclusive debate club, the U.S. Senate. The point was to slow down the mob and give potentially misplaced passions time for reason to creep in.
The TRILLION DOLLAR spending, uh... "stimulus" package is a perfect example of the important role the Senate plays in protecting the country from mob rule. The House with nary a second thought stampeded an $800 BILLION spending package right down the taxpayer's throat. When it got to the Senate, the implications of spending for ACORN, condoms, and converter boxes to name just a few, caught up with the bill itself. The public's opinion of the so-called "stimulus" abruptly changed and the Senate is taking the time to actually read it.
[End Sidebar]
By now you're probably wondering... what's all of this really about? There's been a movement lurking through legislatures across the land. It's a movement that started way back in 2000 when certain folks from a certain side of the political spectrum felt that the will of the mob had been thwarted by the rule of law. Their main objective is to destroy the only institution that guarantees that states like New Mexico and her residents have a role in Presidential elections - the Electoral College.

Their first sally against the Electoral College was to agitate for the direct destruction of the institution itself. The problem is the Electoral College was created by the Constitution so only a Constitutional Amendment can remove it. However, states themselves determine how electors are chosen making it possible for a group of states to circumvent the Electoral College itself.

The scheme is to get enough states to sign a binding agreement to enable the signatories to control the Electoral College. When the agreement controls 270 or more electoral votes the signatories are bound to choose their electors not on the basis of who won the state vote, but on the basis of who won the popular vote in the signatory states. That means a state where one candidate has won the popular vote could give its electors to the opposing candidate.

Not surprisingly, the New Mexico version of the scheme was introduced by far left darling Representative Mimi Stewart. The folks over at report that Stewart's scheme HB383 passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee on Thursday.
“New Mexico hopes to join a growing number of states including Illinois, Maryland, Hawaii, and New Jersey to ensure that every vote is equal,” said Stewart. “We deserve a fair system that guarantees one person, one vote.”
First of all, if Stewart were concerned about 1 person, 1 vote, she'd be concerned about the shady activities of groups like ACORN registering the Dallas Cowboys in Nevada. Second, take note of the states in Stewart's list. Except for Hawaii, all of them have massive populations compared to our fair state and all of them are safely held by Democrats.

You don't think that the fact that Stewart's a D has anything to do with her little scheme? It couldn't be that effectively destroying the Electoral College would allow highly populated, heavily blue (Democrat) states to choose the President for years? Naw...

The truth is that the Electoral College creates a modicum of balance just like having two U.S. Senators from every state balances the more populous states who dominate the House. In our nation's history there have only been 3 incidents where the winner of the Electoral College count failed to win a plurality of the popular vote (1876, 1888, 2000).

Normally, we'd believe that Stewart's scheme is a solution in search of a problem. But in this case it's something more nefarious - an attempt to irrevocably tip the Presidency to the left cynically hidden under the banner of voter rights.

If implemented, Stewart's scheme would effectively strip the voting rights away from every state with less than 10 or 15 Electoral College delegates. Folks that's a road to tyranny of the masses. A road to mob rule.

Feb 4, 2009

Caught in the TARP

President Obama has decided to cap the salaries of executives at companies receiving a federal bailout from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. His argument is that executives at companies that receive federal money shouldn't be rewarded for bad behavior.
"For top executives to award themselves these kinds of compensation packages in the midst of this economic crisis isn't just bad taste. It's bad strategy. And I will not tolerate it as president," he said.
The problem is these companies have already been rewarded for bad behavior by the Bush administration, and by Congress in the form of $750 BILLION. And if Obama has his way, the federal government will dump another $900 plus BILLION of borrowed money into spending programs that have very little to do with stimulating the economy.

No doubt that today's move will be popular with the American public. In fact, a Rasmussen poll indicates that some 88% of Americans say that executives that receive federal TARP money should not receive bonuses. But there is a down side to all of this.
Before some of you absolutely freak out... a lender has the right to set conditions on the use of the money being lent - that includes the government. The problem is that governments are driven by polls and politics that are arbitrary in the best of times. And governments have the power to impose restrictions and terms retroactively - regardless of how arbitrary or capricious those terms may be.
[End Sidebar]
If the value of your work and experience on the open market was $20 an hour and someone like Obama decided that since your company took a TARP injection you should only be paid $5 an hour, what would you do? We dare say most people would start looking to find a position that pays their market value at a TARP free company. The same thing can be said of corporate executives.

While allowing companies to pay corporate executives BILLIONS in salaries and bonuses is obscene when the very companies they lead are tanking, having government step in and mandate compensation is truly frightening and could handicap corporate recovery by making it impossible to attract top talent.

The yahoos that have run GM, Chrysler, and Wall Street into the ground can't and shouldn't be able to demand huge salaries on the open market. In fact, they shouldn't be able to demand a plugged nickel, but that's a question for each company's board of directors and their share holders. Compensation should be based on performance not mandated from Washington by politicians - many of whom are at least as responsible for the current financial situation as corporate executives.

In the long run, capping compensation for positions at any level restricts a company's ability to compete with their non-TARPed competitors. Companies should think long and hard about accepting bailout money from the federal government.

When a company gets caught in the TARP, they are no longer just answerable to their share holders but to 536 politicians in Washington that already have done too much damage to markets through ill-advised legislation and have too much power to do even more damage. Before TARP, the damage was done externally. Companies that take a TARP injection may find it to be a fatal poison that cannot be removed short of death.

Feb 3, 2009

Still on the Hook

What's worse than going $42 MILLION into the hole for a new building? Going $42 MILLION in the hole and ending up without the building. That's exactly what has happened to Bernalillo County.

Our Eyes tell us that the purchase of a new cathedral for the county commission is officially dead. We have yet to ascertain the exact reasoning behind the move, but the general consensus is that buying a new $42 MILLION building to house county offices isn't the best idea right now. You know, it just doesn't look good.

Well duh... It didn't look good back in August either, yet the commission charged ahead with the purchase. By September, the building had been approved and the county had already sold $42 MILLION worth of bonds to pay for it.
To be fair, it wasn't the entire County Commission that voted to blow $42 MILLION on an unneeded building. The vote was 4 in favor (Alan Armijo, Dina Arculetta, Theresa Cordova, Tim Cummins) and 1 against (Michael Brasher).
[End Sidebar]
You'd think that we'd be happy that the county's extravagant purchase had tanked. The problem is the county has already sold the bonds. That means all of us are still on the hook for $42 MILLION in principle plus interest to be paid to the purchasers of the bonds.

Our Eyes tell us that the bond money can only be used for a building. Which means that regardless of how things look or how ridiculous it is to be buying a building when gross receipts are way down, the county will in all likelihood buy a building eventually.
In a matter of just a few days the Bernalillo County Commission not only approved the sale of almost $41 MILLION in bonds to pay for a new home for themselves but sold the bonds. We've never seen government work quite as quickly as the commission did in this particular case. It's been our experience that when government works with this kind of alacrity it's either under attack from terrorists or doing something that the voters wouldn't approve of.
As you can tell, we've always been suspicious of this deal. It's not as if this was the Louisiana Purchase - a monumental deal that couldn't be passed up. Indeed, the Albuquerque Journal reported that the property at 500 Marquette was most likely waaaay overpriced (ABQ Journal - Subscription).

At the end of the day, we're left with more debt that was meant for a building we didn't and don't need, and now we're paying for it even though we don't have it. Not exactly government at its finest.

Feb 2, 2009

On Another Plane

At a time when state employee travel is severely restricted, the State of New Mexico is in the process of purchasing another plane. The good news is that this plane is not another luxury jet, but a turbo-prop.
The State of New Mexico's General Services Department Aviation Services Bureau (the "Agency") requests proposals for the purchase of an aircraft. The aircraft's primary mission will involve the transportation of government officials within, but not limited to, the State of New Mexico. Secondarily, the aircraft will be available for use by State of New Mexico agencies, commissions, institutions and employees in the furtherance of state business as allowed by law. Appropriations totaling two million eight hundred thousand dollars ($2,800,000) for the proposed procurement were made to GSD during the Second Regular Session of the 48th Legislature.
The bad news is that we're spending $2.8 MILLION for a plane that will essentially replace the Beechcraft King Air C-90 that was sold in order for the Guv to get his jet. What's worse, we only got $500,000 for the Beechcraft.
The administration has sold the plane to make up the difference between $5 million provided by the Legislature to buy a state airplane and the $5.45 million purchase price negotiated for a new Cessna Citation Bravo.

The state is in the middle of a half-BILLION dollar budget crisis brought on by out of control spending. We bought a train at the expense of roads (ABQ Journal -Subscription). Now we're buying another plane to haul state employees around the state at a time when non-essential travel has been forbidden.

It's clear that the Governor and the Legislature exist on another plane - one where money grows on trees. Down here in the real world, the money they spend comes directly from us - a result of our creative genius and hard work. Perhaps it's time to sell a $5.5 MILLION lightly used jet to pay for a new Turbo Prop? We could lower maintenance costs, pay for the new plane, and maybe - just maybe - have some money left over.

Feb 1, 2009

A Lot Less Safe

Public safety - an altar before which every politician kneels during their campaigns, but like many church-goers, they're more interested appearing to embrace the faith than actually doing so. The result is passionate support during an election and tepid support when governing. That's at least one why reason cities like Albuquerque have continuously escalating crime rates.

In last week's Eye Poll we asked the question "Is the City of Albuquerque safer than it was four years ago." You'll remember the Almighty Alcalde kneeling at the altar of 1,100 officers - a number that still hasn't been achieved. In fact, APD hasn't seen significant gains in personnel in the four years since Marty's campaign promise.

Eye readers have weighed in with 64% believing that they are not as safe as they were four years ago and 47% believe that the are "a lot less safe" (view it here). Only 12% believed they were a lot safer, 3% somewhat safer, and 21% said they were about as safe.

The responsibility for public safety rests squarely with the mayor. He has the authority to hire and fire the Chief of Police therefore - he is responsible for the chief's performance or lack thereof.

This week we're taking yet another look at the scam-era program. Scam-era shill D'Val Westphal told us on Saturday that the scam has resulted in a whopping 39% reduction in accidents in four intersections (ABQ Journal -Subscription).

There are so many problems with this "study" and Westphal's story that environmentalists should be suing the Journal for wasting paper and endangering the public with toxic ink. First and foremost the "study" only looked at four hand-picked intersections, yet Westphal would have you extend the results to the whole scam.

Second and most damning, the study only looked at accidents within the intersection box, thereby excluding any increases in rear-end accidents caused by the scam-eras. Lest you forget, this is the exact scheme Chief Schultz implemented after statistics indicated that accidents had actually increased at photo enforced intersections.
Our Eyes tell us that Chief Schultz has the 5th floor working on changing the criteria used for counting accidents at intersections. Under this new scheme, only accidents that take place inside the box formed by the crosswalks would be considered accidents at that intersection. The rest would be reported as occurring on the street leading to the intersection.
Since APD's numbers are meaningless and Westphal's story is simply a blatant attempt to paint a positive face on an established pig, your opinion is just as valid as their statistics. Let us know what you think in this week's Eye Poll.