Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Water And Garbage Bills Go Up While APD Lawsuit Settlement Cash Goes Out The Door, Plus: Campaign '14 Does Some Time Travel; Martinez Camp Tries To Create Stormy Weather For Dem Hopeful Alan Webber 

Mayor Berry prides himself on being a solid money manager and fiscal conservative but with the police department drama costing us millions in lawsuit settlements--nearly $25 million since 2010--do those labels hold up under close examination?

The city will soon add $2 a month to your garbage bill and water bills are set to go up another $3 a month. That's $5 a month or $60 a year for all homeowners.

What if we only had to pay out $5 million in lawsuit cash instead of $25 million? Could we have used those funds to forestall these rate increases? Sure seems that way. And would not a true fiscal conservative get in front of the APD runaway train and stop it before it cost taxpayers so much?

And get ready for it to get much worse. With another three fatal police shootings in the past five weeks drawing close scrutiny, the lawyers are lining up.

We think it's making these kinds of connections that keeps blogging so relevant to our community. . .


Campaign '14 is doing some time travel.....

Among the Dem candidates for Governor Alan Webber has the most cash in the bank so it's not a stunner that the camp of Governor Martinez has him in their sights. They've been shopping a story about how Mark Rudd, a long ago (very long ago) member of the radical group Weather Underground has given a donation to Webber and let his house be used for a Webber fund-raiser.

Rudd also gave a donation--$250--to Dem Guv hopeful Howie Morales. Rudd also gave donations to Dem State Auditor candidate Tim Keller and Dem Sec. of State candidate Maggie Toulouse Oliver (more on that below).

Rudd long ago denounced his ties to the Weather Underground and its call for the violent overthrow of the US government that was heard in the din of the 60's Vietnam protests. He has lived a quiet life in ABQ since 1978, retiring as a math instructor from CNM, not exactly conjuring up the image of a terrorist about to fly a plane into the Roundhouse. Of course,  the GOP portraying Rudd as a terrorist implies that Webber is an extreme leftie not fit to be governor.


The Martinez camp is happy to shift the political conversation away from those controversial leaked audio tapes of Martinez in 2010. In them her top campaign aide Mark Kennicott refers to former House Speaker Lujan as a "fucking retard."

We're hearing from both R's and D's that Martinez erred by not quickly apologizing for that comment and others that ruffled feathers and them moved on. Without an apology there is the potential for TV spots and more backlash. (We are also being told by our Alligators that there is a good chance we will be hearing more leaked audio tapes of Martinez in the days ahead).

Meanwhile, Webber, who along with the rest of the Dem candidates have been tiptoeing ever so quietly through this campaign may be getting the hint that the best defense against the Martinez assault is a strong offense. Otherwise, they are going to be defined (and maybe defamed) before the Fourth Of July fireworks are fired off.


Martinez is the only Guv candidate up with TV ads and they should serve to contain possible damage caused by the leaked audio tapes. But they have made the snoozy primary season more interesting, Whether they are having any impact on her approval ratings remains to be seen.

A Common Cause December poll had her approval rating among registered voters at 55%. A late March PPP poll had her approval rating at 52% positive and 40% negative. Not bad, but no longer in the stratosphere. We await new polling.


It was KRQE-TV that first bit on the Rudd-Webber story, but veteran ABQ Journal reporter Mike Gallagher was not impressed. He said on his Twitter account @MgallagherMike:

"Isn't there a statute of limitations on relevancy?" Voters will have to look him up in Wikipedia
to know who he once was."

Slate magazine came with this defense of the Santa Fe businessman who has loaned his campaign some $450,000:

The TV version of the report is even rougher—Rudd is introduced as a "well-known American terrorist." But all Weather Underground members are not Bill Ayers. KRQE blithely notes that Rudd had criticized the group "in recent years." He'd been doing that since 1990, at least. Rudd has long been the most apologetic of the Weather Underground's leaders, a fact not lost on his peers (Bill Ayers doesn't even mention him in his memoir.


One of our Dem Alligators has this insightful take on the battering of Webber by the Martinez operatives:

This hit on Webber is an indication of what's to come. People sometimes forget that this is a low turnout off-year election. Republicans are out to motivate their base and grab some independent men. They will attempt to define Webber early as ultra-liberal.

And What do all the probably Dem statewide candidates (besides AG hopeful Hector Balderas) have in common? They are white and they are liberal. If Webber is the Guv nominee and  Martinez can define him early and end her race early, Republican operatives will move to take down Auditor candidate Tim Keller and Sec. of State contender Maggie Toulouse and maybe some more.


Did you know? Alan Webber fancies himself  "The Global Detective." A description of a book by that name that Webber authored is on Amazon:

Meet Alan Webber, aka The Global Detective. If you've ever wondered how business is changing, where you can find new thinking and innovative start-ups, if you're troubled by global competition or have a hard time making sense of this next generation of young people in the work place, you've come to the right place. The Global Detective is on the case.

Hmmm. The Global Detective hooks up with Mark Rudd.

Governor Martinez, we may have something here for you. . .

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