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

Aug 7, 2009

Game Changer

June 17th, 2005 then city council candidate Don Harris received a gift. It was discovered that incumbent Councilor Tina Cummins had lied not once but twice on her Albuquerque Journal questionnaire. Specifically, Councilor Cummins had denied ever being accused of driving while intoxicated. The truth was she had been accused, just not convicted.

The Journal - of course - made it front page news and the councilor's response was, shall we say... a bit bizarre and involved a "fetching" Bolero jacket and tulip skirt (ABQ Journal - Subscription). The whole affair ended Cummins race for a time, but she was back in by mid-July (ABQ Journal- Subscription).

Ultimately the race ended in a runoff between Cummins and her nearest rival Don Harris. Harris prevailed and now faces probably his easiest contest to date.

The questionnaire debacle was played out on the front page of the Albuquerque Journal and Tina Cummins failed miserably in her efforts to get beyond the questionnaire crisis. It was a game changer that gave voters a couple of good reasons to doubt her abilities and therefore send her packing.

Friday's Albuquerque Journal delivered what can only be considered a game changer for District 5 hopeful Dan Lewis. The incumbent and off-again on-again candidate for his own seat was found largely responsible for a "temporary taking" of 7.7 acre parcel of property on Albuquerque's west side (ABQ Journal - Subscription).

The property in question was the previous home of the Westside Equestrian Association who had a very favorable lease with the original owners that required them to pay $1 per year plus property taxes. The original term of the lease was 20 years - a period that ended June 26, 2002.

In 1993, the original owners sold the property to R. Edward Robertson, Sandy W. Thompson, Baron Brumley. The new owners decided to sell the parcel at end of the lease with the Westside Equestrian Center for a handsome profit. Not surprisingly, the decision didn't sit well with the equestrian center or the nearby Taylor Ranch Neighborhood Association - who wanted to be the last ones into paradise before the gate was permanently closed.
Despite what you may be hearing about the eeeevils of capitalism, profit is a good thing. Land owners should be able to make a fair return on their property either through sale or development. That fair value should be determined by the market and not artificially set by government through regulation and restrictive zoning.
[End Sidebar]
The only thing blocking the sale of the property was an SU-1 Special Use for an Equestrian Center zoning requirement. When the new buyer - Jude Baca - offered to buy the property from Robertson, Thompson, and Brumley, he made his offer contingent upon a zoning change to SU-1 Special Use PRD for 43 single-family residences.

The site development plan and the zoning change was presented to the city's Environmental Planning Commission for review and ultimate approval. During the EPC process, the court found that Councilor Cadigan was in communication with WEC and that "[he] and his family were invited to the WEC to take buggy and horse rides in an attempt to influence him to vote against the Zone Map Amendment." Councilor Cadigan was also found to have attended facilitated meetings involving the controversial project.

Cadigan - an attorney and officer of the court - should have known that his actions would become a problem if the final decision of the EPC were to be appealed. The EPC decided in favor of the developers and the land owners and the decision was promptly appealed.
This is one of the problems with the city's land use process. The Decisions of the EPC are appealed to the city council. The proceedings are quasi-judicial and are intended to determine whether or not the EPC's decision was correct under the law. However, the council is a political body and that consistently gets itself into trouble because the councilors overturn the EPC for political reasons. Frankly, it costs the city quite a bit of money and that money came from us.
[End Sidebar]
The appeal of course went to the city council where Councilor Cadigan served as chairman of the Land Use, Planning and Zoning (LUPZ) committee. The LUPZ committee decided to send the appeal to the full council where the appeal was upheld and the zoning change denied. Councilor Cadigan worked Councilors Payne and Griego and voted himself in the 5-4 decision. Had Cadigan properly recused himself from this vote, the appeal would have failed and both the zoning change and the sale of the property would have gone through.

In his decision, District Court Judge Ted Baca found a number of problems with among them:
1. The actions of the City in refusing to uphold the decision of the EPC and to grant
the zone map amendment were wrongful.

2. Petitioners established their right to a zone map amendment by showing changed

3. The actions of the City in refusing to grant the zone map amendment were

4. Petitioners were deprived of all economically viable uses of the property for a
period from August 5, 2002, through February 72005. Consequently, the City's refusal to grant the zone map amendment constituted a temporary taking.

5. The zoning designation of equestrian center was so restrictive that the wrongful
refusal of the City to grant the zone map amendment deprived Petitioners of all economic use of
their property.

7. In light ofthe Council's quasi-judicial role, Councilor Cadigan should have
recused himself from the appeal hearing at City Council on August 5, 2002.

8. In light of the Council's quasi-judicial role, Councilor Cadigan knew or should
have known he should have recused himself from hearing the appeal at the City Council hearing
on August 5, 2002.

9. If Councilor Cadigan had recused himself, the appeal would have been denied,
and the zone change would have been approved on August 5, 2002.
As a result, the judge awarded Robertson, Thompson, and Brumley $136,500 for being wrongfully denied the interest on the sale of their $650,000 property. The court also called into question Councilor Cadigan's veracity when he asserted that he could not remember the WEC buggy ride used to lobby him for his support.

It all comes down to this... Councilor Cadigan was found to have wrongfully involved himself in a process that amounted to a temporary taking of private property. His actions not only cost us $136,500, but call into question the councilor's ethics, veracity, and sense of fairness.

In light of his decision earlier in the year to exit the political stage after being unable to qualify for public financing, we wonder how much he really wants the job. After wrongfully involving himself in a land use dispute, manipulating council votes in a quasi-judicial proceeding, and potentially lying about his actions prior to his vote, we wonder why anyone would want him to continue as their councilor.

This incident very well could be the game changer that Dan Lewis is waiting for. It certainly gives voters a very compelling reason not to vote for Councilor Cadigan and could be the reason that Dan Lewis becomes the next District 5 Councilor.

----- Update -----
One of the provisions of District Court Judge Ted Baca's decision was that the court retained jurisdiction over legal fees. KRQE is reporting that those legal fees could reach as high as $400,000 (see it here). The city could have to pay for the entire tab, making the city's legal fund - filled with our tax dollars - over a HALF MILLION DOLLARS lighter. [Hat Tip: Ched Macquigg]


ched macquigg said...

not to forget-taxpayers are on the hook for the legal fees of both sides; approx 500,000 dollars, according to the news.

Anonymous said...

This isn't the only time Cadigan has rigged a vote and skewed the system. Talk to people who own property in Volcano Cliffs.

Cadigan is a crook. He may have been a Marine a long time ago but even Nixon was a veteran.

Vote against abuse of power and New Mexico's culture of corruption.

Vote for Dan Lewis.

Anonymous said...

Then District 9 elects Don Harris who has a DWI conviction and ethics violations.

Unlike Don, David Barbour opposes tax increases. He opposes the city tax on transportation. Harris is a fiscal liberal and SUPPORTS the tax.

David Barbour will be the best councillor the district has ever had.

Anonymous said...

If you think Barbour is a candidate you want to support, look at the following link. He is from San Francisco and thinks it is time we become a "real city."

Anonymous said...

From the Journal article:

Councilor Cadigan "lost his temper and swore at Councilor (Miguel) Gómez" for changing his vote and supporting the zone change.

Cadigan response: That's true. "Miguel and I had a personal relationship where using the 'f' word was not a very big deal."

Not a very big deal? Swearing at a colleague because they didn't vote the way you wanted?

WTF is the matter with this clown?!

Anonymous said...

Harris does not have a DWI conviction. Cummins was accused of DWI you dips**t. Read the post.

Anonymous said...

Hey APD do the right thing and help get rid of the Alcalde, we all know of his threats. This would be a great gift to the citizens.

Anonymous said...

Harris has no DWIs, arrests, convictions, or otherwise. Abusive posts should be removed.

Anonymous said...

I Looked up Don Harris and didn't find any arrest for DWI. Where did you get that information? Please put a post where to find that information.

Anonymous said...

Aaaaaaammmmmmmbbbbbbbeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrss Cadigan is in troooouuuuubllllllllllle.

I wonder if he will "PROTECT" us in 2010?

SWAP should understand the previous two sentences.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just checked out that link.

It's a gas. Go Barbour.

Anonymous said...

Try to find the documents relating to the Tina Cummins DWI. They don't exist. Elected officials get special treatment.

Ask Don to tell you if he has a DWI.

If he is truthful, yes he does.

And Yes go Barbour, no to Don's transportation tax. For the 1st time EVER a real city councillor in District 9.

Anonymous said...

Cadigan and the other 4 Councilors wanted to prevent sprawl and protect our water supply. Why do we need more development? So Texans can move here? Go Cadigan!

Anonymous said...

If Cadigan did not want sprawl, he should have stopped the Paseo expantion and kill the I25 and Paseo redesign project. Both road changes promote westside sprawl.

Look at Cadigans water use at his home. He wants us to stop using water, but he is almost as bad as Tim Cummins.

Anonymous said...

The pro Barbour posts must be Barbour. There is no way anyone would believe Barbour would be the best councilor ever after reading his platform. He is a loon.

Anonymous said...

It is not about stopping sprawl. It is about applying the rule of law.

Cadigan was supposed to act fairly. What he did was rig the system.

Agree with post about Cadigan's swimming pool. If he really wants to "protect our water supply" start by "infilling" that $40,000 pool.

Anonymous said...

Tina Cummins DWI arrest record is available on the Bernalillo Metro Court website.

Anonymous said...

Look, my friends, what is wrong with universal health, street cars and publicly funded free WiFi? It works in San Francisco and in Europe because those places are modern, as opposed to backward, desert, yahoos like many in New Mexico. Is District 9 ready for the future? Yes! We don't need all those police officers if we have better "crisis services" like Barbour wants. Cut cops, more crisis services, more street cars, universal health care and free WiFi. Get with the future.

Go Barbour.

Anonymous said...

Harris is a lap dog for Smarty!

Anonymous said...

This isn't the only time Cadigan shouldn't have voted. He supported Red Light Cameras when he was on the Red Flex payroll. Cadigan didn't oppose the Red Light Cameras until Red Flex fired him.

Put Cadigan on the Scam-Era Wall where he belongs, Eye.

Anonymous said...

Harris voted to override the Mayor's veto twice within the last few months.

Harris is independent, and popular in his district. I wish it were not true.

He is probably going to be around a while, although he is too conservative.

Too bad the voters in District 9 are probably not be ready for Barbour--trams are the way of the future. Harris sponsored legislation finishing a memorial to honor those fallen in the so called "war on terror." Barbour is a member of the Gray Panthers and would shut down that military base and Sandia Labs if he got the chance.

Go Barbour!

Anonymous said...

Go Barbour!

Anonymous said...

Harris conservative, Haaaa Haaaaaaaa

Anonymous said...

Harris sponsored the adoption day proclamation at the city council.

That should be good for his private law firm which provides help with....adoptions.

Harris, always a sleeze.

Go Barbour.

Anonymous said...

Don Harris tried to force a subdivision developer to donate land to his church.

It was an ethics violation for him to negotiate with a developer whose plans he must approve. The council judges land use matters and it was not proper for Harris to negotiate land deals for any purpose. We now understand your slogan "one good term deserves another".

David Barbour will be an honest councilor and will not strong-arm private property owners. For the first time a good city councilor for District 9.

Don, stop spreading lies about Barbour.

Harris - not conservative - not honest.

Anonymous said...


Someone has Harris Mad Cow Disease.

A fictitious DWI; a non-existent land deal with a church, and even criticizing him for promoting the adoption of special needs kids because he did so himself.

He stopped the streetcar, got more cops on the street, cut taxes (twice), and supported our veterans. Call him what you want, but most people consider him a right/center representative.

And, ladies and gents, people in his district like him; they really do.

But then again, there will be the only poll that matters on October 6.

Then the poster with Harris Mad Cow Disease will probably be even madder.


Anonymous said...

How can you call something a lie when an independent web address confirms the story.

Barbour is a pinko commi, read the story.

Anonymous said...

Found info on a Tina Cummins born 1963, if this is the same one, then yes there was a DWI charge, but Judge Nakamari, at trial in court dismissed the charges. Not sure how it is possible to have a DWI case thrown out, but isn' t that the very same Judge that got on television not long ago and blasted the court system for failure to prosecute! Maybe the Cop didn't show up or something like that.