Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Susana And VP: Would She Rule It Out Under Any Circumstance? Plus: Supremes To The Rescue; Candidates Back On Ballot, Also: Time To Rid Ourselves Of Messy Petition Process? 

If the mainstream media really wants to have some fun with Governor Martinez and her VP chances, they can ask her this question:

Governor, you have said you are not interested in becoming the Republican vice-presidential candidate. Does that mean if the position is offered to you, you will refuse to accept it under any circumstances?

Of course, even is she says "yes" the Alligators won't take the bait. The guess here is that you would not get that "yes" answer.  But first someone has to ask.


The NM Supremes did the expected thing and the right thing--they ruled that candidates who did not put the number of their districts on their nominating petitions will still be allowed on the ballot. Talk about a technicality. Can someone investigate what and who was behind this tempest in a teapot?

Anyway, Santa Fe Dem State Rep. Brian Egolf says he felt the Supremes ruled right but for the wrong reason. The justices said the law was ambiguous while Egolf saw it as unconstitutional. We would have liked an unconstitutional ruling as well. More important, let the Legislature revisit this issue as well as the whole system of nominating petitions. We still have a slew of cases to be decided in court this week and next regarding those petitions and the many candidate challenges to them.


Can we be the first to recommend to the New Mexico Legislature that they give serious consideration to eliminating the petition requirement for legislative offices? Thank you. We will. And so will Republican political consultant Bob Cornelius, head of the 90 Degrees agency:

The petition requirement was meant to weed out frivolous candidates and to have candidates get in touch with their potential constituents, but it is failing on both fronts. We don't have a problem with too many people running. In fact, most of the primaries attract one or two candidates. Bernalillo County offices don't require petitions. You pay $50 and you are on the ballot. The county is not overrun with candidates. And petition signatures are now often gathered by professionals, not the candidates. So much for getting in touch with the people. Ridding ourselves of the petition mess will get the campaigns talking about issues that count. Here we are a month away from early voting and all the electorate is hearing about are these court challenges.  The petitions have outlived their usefulness in the modern era.

You pretty much nailed it, Bob. We need the system to be open and inviting, not riddled with anachronistic ballot access requirements. We hope there are some forward thinkers in the Legislature who will carry the spear on this one.


We've talked here for months about the looming costs of lawsuits over the numerous fatal police shootings the past two years and now it appears the often laid back city council is taking it to heart--or at least Councilor Ken Sanchez--a possible 2013 mayoral candidate is:

“Potentially, we could be in for millions and millions of dollars based on the cases,” City Council member Ken Sanchez said. “If there was a really large settlement, we would have to impose a property rate increase to pay for these legal settlements.”

If the police shootings don't perturb the public at large, the prospect of a tax increase over them would certainly shake them up.


There are two sides to every story and with this one it is clear most of these fatal cop shootings involved bad guys the lawmen were chasing down. And our police officers face a difficult climate. Even as violent crime falls, the killing of police officers is on the rise. Take a look:

According to statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 72 officers were killed by perpetrators in 2011, a 25 percent increase from the previous year and a 75 percent increase from 2008. The 2011 deaths were the first time that more officers were killed by suspects than car accidents, according to data compiled by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The number was the highest in nearly two decades, excluding those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 and the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. 

Fortunately, there have been no killings lately of ABQ police officers, but that doesn't mean they don't sense the danger on the streets. There are many reasons for the abnormally high number of police shootings here. Much of the credibility of the current department leadership has been eroded by City Hall's reluctance to fully engage on the issue. That's why there are continued calls for a Department of Justice investigation as well as new leadership for APD.


Let's stay on the police beat this Wednesday and check in with retired APD Captain David Gilmore:

The late night Albuquerque downtown bar scene can get quite out of hand with fights, stabbings and shootings....Security for these times is provided by on duty APD officers. At one time such problems were handled by the Chief's Overtime Program which was paid for by the merchants/bar owners.

Should not the bars be paying for the officers, as it is their functions that are creating the problems? It appears that major APD resources are routinely being directed to a narrow four block area. I have been informed that it is not uncommon to have between 15-25 officers working on a regular weekend and 40 or more on holidays. A person had to be blind not see the future problems when so many bars are located in a small area. What can be said about the security of other parts of the city when all these on duty officers are routinely drawn downtown? Is the Downtown Action Team so politically strong that neither Mayor Berry or APD Chief Schultz wishes to confront them about paying for the officers?

Thanks, Captain.


So what if you take the new district boundaries for the ABQ congressional seat and apply them to the 2008 presidential election? Is there a big difference? Nope. Obama scores about 60% in the new district that takes effect this year. That's what he scored against McCain when the two faced off in the old district in 2008.  Not to say Obama is setting up for another big 60% win in the ABQ district in 2012, but today's expectations are that he will win it comfortably.


Residency-challenged Johnny Leuvano has been tossed off the primary election ballot, giving ABQ Dem west side State Representative Moe Maestas a free-re-election ride. This was Johnny's first try for elective office. Whether he will get a second shot is an unknown. He took a major PR hit and it could haunt him if he tries again. Such are the perils of La Politica...

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