Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Campaign Media In ABQ Mayor Race Kicking In: Berry In The Mailboxes, His Foes Up On TV, Also: Thinking Big About State's Water Problems
Judging from that slogan "Steady, Responsible Leadership," Berry has been doing some focus group testing.
His finance report shows he recently conducted a $20,000 poll.
It will be up to Dem Pete Dinelli to turn that slogan around on the mayor who has had high polling numbers throughout his four year tenure.
Can Dinelli get voters to read "steady" as "stagnant?" After all ABQ is just emerging from years of its worst jobs recession in modern history, its workforce has shrunk and the jobs being created are mostly of the low-paying variety. Commercial real estate remains in a deep funk.
As for "responsible." it will be up to Dinelli (and Republican challenger Paul Heh) to turn that into "irresponsible" leadership--as in the numerous fatal police shootings under Berry's watch. They have begun to cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and prompted the US Justice Department to launch a civil rights investigation into the APD.
FIRST PUNCHES THROWN
Mayor Berry is absorbing his first serious punches of the campaign. A committee composed of ABQ police and firefighters comes with a TV ad claiming Berry has failed to "fully fund" public safety as the shifts city funds to "boutique projects" that are part of his "ABQ: The Plan."
The 30 second spot is titled "Failed" and says: "Mayor Berry: You have failed to keep us safe."
In the past three years the number of APD officers has dropped 15%.
The ad is airing on broadcast TV and cable. The committee says so far it has raised about $40,000. A spokesman says it will air various spots questioning Berry's public safety record through the October 8 election.
Berry is reporting about $430,000 in cash on hand as we begin the six week sprint to Election Day October 8. Dinelli has about $330,000. That's not a big difference, but Berry has had a healthy lead as witnessed by his refusal so far to go negative on Dinelli or grant him many debates.
While Dems are gladdened that the money difference between the duo is not canyonesque, Berry has the ability to raise money quickly should Dinelli start breathing down his neck. Dinelli opted for public financing and can't raise any more cash. Heh has not qualified for public financing nor raised serious private money.
The bitter battle over funding behavioral health in the state is costing Governor Martinez one of her most important Democratic allies--at least for now. State Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen, part of the conservative coalition that generally supports Martinez, is livid over the way Susana has shut down providers here and brought in Arizona firms to take over.
Here's her take:
(Human Services) Secretary Squier can and should immediately restore Medicaid funding to the providers and end the crisis that she created, while instituting an extremely strict review process of every reimbursement claim submitted by behavioral health care providers. This would ensure that behavioral health services continue to be provided to the state's most fragile citizens and that no Medicaid reimbursement claims are approved unless they are completely in order. Such a prepayment review is not unusual and should be standard practice.
Wall-leaners wonder if Mary Kay will still be upset with the Guv when the Legislature convenes in January for its final session before the '14 election.
THE MAES WAY
We need to give New Mexico's drought more attention and seek out ideas---like this one from Santa Fe lobbyist and former state Senator Roman Maes:
New Mexicans are keenly aware of our water problem. We can criticize all we want but we now need solutions. Our congressional delegation should unite with other Southwestern congressional members and propose water solutions. As we created the National Highway System, we can create a national water system. If we can pump oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, why not pump water from areas that are flooding to areas that are in drought? A national canal and strategic water storage system would solve many of the economic problems of the US--for sure in New Mexico and the Southwest United States. According to the NASA report, our dry weather pattern is to continue for many years into the future. President Obama should visit our drought stricken states and move forward with a progressive plan.
Well said, Roman. In so many areas New Mexico needs to start investing and building instead of abiding by a fiscal austerity that has so many playing ostrich.
STEVE AND HARRY
Harry is looking trim and Steve still doesn't look his 66 years.
We reported last week that the national Dems are planning on targeting Pearce in 2014 and that the likely Dem candidate is former Eddy County Commissioner Roxanne Lara.
Both Teague and Pearce have been in the oil business in Lea County.
THE BOTTOM LINES
ABQ Judge Alan Malott comes with the quote of the day as he comes out against the effort to limit the scope of ABQ's new minimum wage law:
I grew up in the restaurant business. My parents always paid their people more than minimum wage because they believed “If you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys.
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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2013. Not for reproduction without permission of the author