Monday, August 05, 2013

Berry Dodges Potential Bullet As Abortion Ban Is Poised To Be Bumped From Oct. 8 Ballot, Plus: One City Council Race Is the Most Likely For A Run-Off; Which One? And: Blog Welcomes Westside Chamber  

Mayor Berry dodges a potential bullet and Pete Dinelli's mayoral chances won't get an out-of-the-blue boost. That's the takeaway from the news that a proposed anti-abortion City Charter amendment is extremely unlikely to be on the Oct. 8 city election ballot.

Some observers would say the city clerk and city council could have stepped on the gas to make sure the amendment made the Oct. 8 ballot, but a leader of the drive that gathered 27,000 petitions to force the ballot question says she doesn't mind if the election is held in November. Some 12,000 of the 27,000 signatures have to be verified for the amendment to get a vote. That is still expected.

We also expect at least one run-off election to be held for the city council in November. In addition, a ballot initiative that would amend the city's new minimum wage law could also be placed on that November ballot. Petitions are now making the rounds to restrict future increases in the $8.50 an hour minimum that was approved by 66 percent of the voters last November.

The Oct. 8 election was always going to be mainly about the economy, APD and Berry's job performance, but the anti-abortion proposal that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy--with very limited exceptions--stood to shake up the mayoral race. And anything that makes people pay attention to the contest is good for Dinelli who needs a good turnout to score the upset.

Berry is hoping to pull 50% of the vote Election Day against Dem Dinelli and Republican Paul Heh. If he doesn't there will be a mayoral run-off election between the top two vote getters. If that happens the anti-abortion amendment could again become part of mayoral politics.


The Alligators and insiders all point to one city council race that is most likely to be forced into a run-off Oct. 8. It's the ABQ NE Heights seat held by Republican Janice Arnold-Jones. She faces two Dem challengers--Matt Biggs and Diane Gibson. If no candidate gets 50 percent we have a run off in November.

Arnold-Jones was appointed b to the council this year by Mayor Berry to fill a vacancy when Councilor Mike Cook resigned. It's a swing district. Gibson has qualified for about $40,000 in public financing. Biggs is privately financing and says he aims to raise more than $40,000. Arnold-Jones opted to raise money privately. So far she says she has collected about $16,000.

 One other note--our council watchers say if the Arnold-Jones seat flips to the Dems, the council is likely to have a 5-4 Dem majority next year. The council is now GOP controlled, 6 to 3. Six of nine city council seats are on the October 8 ballot. Early voting starts September 3 with voting at the City Clerk's office.


Not everyone is happy with that favorable spread Governor Martinez scored recently from People Magazine. It featured a story on how she has cared for her developmentally disabled sister. Read and political author Jeffery Paul comes with the rebuttal in this letter to People's editors:

...The story of (the Governor's) long time devotion to her sister Lettie, stricken with Cerebral Palsy at an early age, is a heart warming story of love, caring and commitment.

Unfortunately there is another side of Susana Martinez...She has consistently abandoned New Mexicans with disabilities. In her interview she failed to mention that 6,600 families are on a 10 year waiting list for DD Waiver services. The Developmental Disabilities Waiver Program helps eligible New Mexicans maintain and develop skills needed to live a quality life in their local communities...

She also failed to mention that her administration...cut services to families just like hers to the tune of $9 million in state funds and $36 million in federal matching funds; funds that could have provided desperately needed services to other families caring for their loved ones with developmental disabilities...

Martinez is to be...commended for her unselfish devotion to her sister Lettie. To take on Lettie's care throughout her life may have been a burden at times but the joy of doing so was clearly worth every minute. I just wish Martinez would show the same love and caring for the rest of New Mexican families caring for loved ones with disabilities...


Rep. Ryan
One of our Alligators reports on activity of interest at Chicago's O'Hare airport:

A friend snapped the attached shot of Congressman Paul Ryan at the gate in O'Hare on Sunday. He was waiting on American flight 3701 to ABQ and after he boarded he told the passengers he was on the way to New Mexico to meet with Governor Martinez. He arrived here just after 3 p.m. Sunday but no word on where he went from there.

As you know, Ryan, the 20102 GOP VP candidate, is being widely discussed as potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate. We've been hearing of a high-dollar fundraiser around town this week, though I don't have any alligator-level sources to confirm it.


We're pleased to welcome to the blog the ABQ Westside Chamber of Commerce. Here's some info they sent:

The ABQ Westside Chamber of Commerce was formed approximately five years ago by a group of small business owners led by longtime businessman Dan Serrano. They were concerned about the direction of Westside growth and economic development as well as providing a mechanism of support for small businesses. 

 The Westside Chamber has come to recognize that there are overlapping issues and concerns that relate to creating and sustaining strong business development, job growth and a prosperous community. With this in mind, the Westside Chamber is and will continue to be proactive with all issues requiring strong leadership, involvement and visionary moxie.

Luis Hernandez, Jr. is executive director of the Westside chamber. Interested in joining or learning more? Just click on their ad.

Interested in joining the ABQ West side Chamber in advertising here? Just drop us an email and we can get you started.

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