Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fallout Is The Theme--From Those Dem Guv Money Reports And The Ongoing APD Crisis, Plus: A New Mexican's Lament Over Leaving The State Gets Dissed  

Before we get started, Wednesday morning Mother Jones magazine came with a scathing piece on Gov. Martinez  replete with some embarrassing audiotapes that were leaked to the DC based liberal news outlet. More on that later. . . .

Fallout is our theme for the day--fallout from those Dem Guv finance reports and the continued fallout out from the APD crisis. Let's start out on the campaign trail. . .

The day after a disappointing money report that showed him with only $46,000 in the bank state Sen. Howie Morales came with an endorsement from AFSCME--the government workers union that is known for turning out the vote for candidates that turn them on.

The union represents 12,000 workers in the state so the approval of this stalwart Dem group is nothing to sneeze at. The teachers union was instrumental in guiding Morales to an important win at the Dems March preprimary convention. Can AFSCME be another guiding light?

The political pros will tell you that a strong ground game--like the ones run by the unions--can add anywhere from two to five points for a candidate. That's good for the Silver City senator, but he still needs cash to compete on television. If this endorsement brings in a large chunk of the money he needs, it would be icing on the cake. . . .

TV is not quite as important in a primary election as in a general. That's because hard-core voters turn out in the primary and they can be motivated more easily. Still, folks in their 60's and 70's who vote heavy in primaries rely heavily on those TV ads and news clips to help them decide. For them, if you don't have your  image flying through the airwaves, you don't exist...

Lawrence Rael is fighting it out with Morales to be the chief challenger to Alan Webber who has put up his own money to help him carry a cash balance of $440,000 into the final weeks.  Rael also loaned himself a bunch and has $225,000 in cash. With Morales getting that AFSCME endorsement Rael may want to force Morales' hand and get up on TV quickly....

For Gary King, it's all about the TV time. Will he write a personal check to come close to matching Webber's buying power? King only had $89,000 in his kitty as of April 7. That's a long ways from $400,000 and a big personal gamble for the attorney general to get there. . . .


The Berry administration was rocked Tuesday by the resignations of three members of the city's Police Oversight Commission. It was another development ion the ongoing crisis that has besmirched the city's reputation around the globe, brought a scathing report over police shootings from the Justice Department and has had Berry scurrying to try to stay ahead of the curve.

The three members who resigned the panel did so to protest the toothlessness of the commission. It can't reverse decisions of the police chief or independent review officer. The resigning members said that civilian oversight is a joke and they did not want to continue to serve because doing so would only mislead ABQ into believing it has genuine civilian oversight. . . .

No public polling of Berry's popularity has been done in the wake of the biggest local news story to hit the town in decades. How's he holding up? He won re-election with nearly 70% of the vote last October. But after this mess that seems so very long ago. Is he still thinking about running for Governor some day? Well, perish the thought---please. . .

And what's the hold-up with the APD police video of the fatal shooting of Alfred Redwine on the city's west side? Weeks ago we were told it was "being processed" and not ready for release. Just what does that video show? Do we have another James Boyd shooting on our hands? If the administration wants to restore the luster to the image of the APD they might want to start getting information out in a timely manner, instead of holding back and raising suspicions. Just a suggestion. . . .

A reader writes that maybe because APD has been so bad off, the troubles at the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department are flying under the radar. But there are troubles for Sheriff Dan Houston. The news:

Bernalillo County attorneys have agreed to pay more than half a million dollars to a former Sheriff’s Office employee who sued the county and Sheriff Dan Houston in October 2012, alleging that she was mistreated after raising concerns of discrimination against Hispanic women in the Sheriff’s Office. Jennifer Vega Brown will receive $570,000.

We'll probably be hearing more about this in the weeks ahead because Houston is being challenged for the GOP sheriff nomination in the June primary. He is seeking a second four year term, but Scott Baird, a retired Chief Deputy at the department, is trying to stop Houston from getting the party nod. The GOP nomination is worth something. The R's have a good record in winning the office.


Republican Greg Hull scored an easy victory over his Dem opponent in the Rio Rancho mayoral run-off election Tuesday. Hull took 64.9 percent to 35.1 percent for Mike Williams. The R's also scored a win in the lone city council run-off that voters decided. Shelby Smith defeat Tom Buckner 60.9 percent to Buckner's 39.1 percent. (Election results here).

Steve Cabiedes, longtime political operative, came with the analysis:

Rio Rancho has been traditionally Republican so the mayor's race isn't much of a surprise. If there was a chance for Dems to score it was in the city council race because that district has a high Dem registration. But the low turnout of 12.5% in the district is not sufficient for a Democrat to get elected.

In the mayor's race the turnout was 11.4% of the city's 57, 488.


It was looking as if we might lose forever the historic downtown El Rey Theatre, but help is on the way:

It looks like new shows will be coming to Downtown Albuquerque’s El Rey Theater in about a month.
Local promoter Christopher Meyers and his partners have signed a five-year lease to operate the 14,000-square-foot El Rey. The theater became available last December after Hobbs-based Invision Entertainment stopped operating after a renovation and short run of offering Mexican pop acts.


That lament we ran April 4 from ABQ PR specialist Chris Cervini about how he was putting New Mexico in his rearview mirror went viral, with Facebook and many other postings. It also drew the scrutiny of reader Reuben Montes who writes:

Hi Joe: I know it's been a few weeks since your blog post on this but I found it odd that his "lament" about being forced to leave NM never mentions having pulled down a six figure salary while chief of staff to former Lt. Governor Diane Denish. I was similarly surprised that you described him as a "longtime Dem political operative" but you also neglected to mention his association with Denish.

He goes on to bemoan our state's economy as being "completely propped up by extractive industries and government jobs." Apparently "government jobs" are just dandy when you've got one, even an exempt one, and especially when you're pulling down 100 grand. He also makes a thinly veiled political jab when writing that he and his girlfriend arrived in 2002 (read: when Governor Richardson was elected) and the economy and everything was buzzing. Certainly, not the case now in this post Big Bill era.

But, alas, when your people are out of power so are you. Consequently, you're left jobless. These are the inherent risks of working for an elected official. His tail between his legs rant really left me unsympathetic. Anyhow, good luck Chris. You won't be missed.

Heck, Reuben. The way you rubbed it in maybe Cervini will stay around and run for elective office to get back at you. . . .

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