Monday, May 05, 2014

Our Exclusive Poll: Public Confidence Mixed In Ability Of APD Chief Eden To Restore Department's Luster, Plus: Berry Reacts To His Polling Numbers, And: A Sure Fire Way To Know The ABQ Economy Is In The Tank  

Chief Gorden Eden
ABQ police chief Gorden Eden has a long way to go to win the public's confidence that he's the man to clean up his troubled department.

That's according to a poll conducted for NM Politics with for Joe Monahan that shows only 17.8 percent of likely ABQ voters said they are "totally confident" in Eden's ability to be successful in implementing reforms that will be negotiated between the city and the Department of Justice.

 42.1 percent described themselves as "somewhat confident" that Eden can get the job done. 24.9 percent said they were "not confident" and 6.3 percent said they were "absolutely not confident" about Eden. 8.9 percent said they were unsure.

The reforms are expected to be overseen by a Federal Monitor and could cost the city millions to implement.

It's not surprising that the public is holding back on giving Eden a robust vote of confidence. He has had an inauspicious beginning.

He became chief in mid-February. In March homeless camper James Boyd was shot to death by APD. Police video of the incident went viral around the globe, sparking street protests here and intense criticism of APD.

The fatal shootings that brought the Justice Department to town in the first place have continued. There have been three other killings in addition to Boyd since Eden took over. The latest came Saturday on ABQ's Westside.

Eden's recent news conference at which he repeatedly said "I don't know" when asked questions about the police shooting of 19 year old Mary Hawkes was widely viewed as a PR disaster.


As expected, Eden, who came to APD after a stint as head of the NM Public Safety Department, fared better in our poll with Republicans than Democrats. 27.2 percent of the R's said they were totally confident he could clean up the department and 49.9 percent said they were somewhat confident.

Democrats were more skeptical. Only 10.1 percent of them said they were totally confident of Eden and 34.9 percent somewhat confident. 36.1 percent said they were not confident and 10.3 percent said they were "absolutely not confident."

Independents were more favorable. 19.1 percent aid they were totally confident in Eden's ability and 46.8 percent said they were somewhat confident. 12.8 percent said they were not confident and 4.3 percent said they were absolutely not confident.

Since this poll was of likely city voters the survey will tilt more conservative than a poll of ABQ residents at large.

Our poll was conducted by BWD Global, headed by Republican Bruce Donisthorpe. We surveyed 993 likely ABQ voters by automatic phone calls on April 28 and 29. The margin of error is 3.1 percent. BWD has polled for this website since 2008.


Our exclusive polling conducted last week showed erosion in the popularity of ABQ Mayor Berry in the wake of the police controversy. 56.6 percent approve of Berry and 29.8 percent disapprove. Berry won a record 68 percent of the vote in his reelection bid last October. Recent events appear to have taken a toll and if they continue could further damage the Republican mayor. For now that approval rating is still solid for a Democratic city.

Berry reacted to the poll in an interview with KOB-TV, saying:

“No city is without challenges, and Albuquerque is no exception,” Berry said. “But we don’t want to allow that to become something that causes us to stop all the rest of the positive things that we’re doing. Let’s address the challenges and the issues, let’s keep pushing forward with all of the positive things that are happening. That’s what makes Albuquerque a great city.”

Berry's mayoral term--which he said will be his last--runs until December 1, 2017.


It would be pretty explosive stuff if an allegation in that Mother Jones piece on Governor Martinez could be shown to be true. We're told it's a felony. The news:

The Democratic Party of New Mexico has requested to see email and written correspondence between now-Gov. Susana Martinez, her campaign staff and the third judicial district attorney's office in 2009 and 2010. The request was sparked by a recent Mother Jones article that mentioned Martinez's 2010 gubernatorial campaign staffers interacting with the district attorney's office. Martinez was the district attorney at the time.

Mother Jones reported:

Martinez's crew saw enemies everywhere. A former staffer recalls the campaign on multiple occasions sending the license plate numbers of cars believed to be used by opposition trackers to an investigator in Martinez's DA office who had access to law enforcement databases. In one instance, a campaign aide took a photo of a license plate on a car with an anti-Martinez bumper sticker and emailed it to the investigator. "Cool I will see who it belongs to!!" the investigator replied.

The Santa Fe Reporter earlier came with this:

SFR has been unable to verify the allegation in its own investigation because a state agency destroyed the relevant records and a federal agency would not turn over records to confirm or deny it.

Martinez' office did not comment.


The five Dem Guv hopefuls lit into Governor Martinez at a party sponsored debate Saturday. They will go at it again tomorrow at 5 p.m. when the Media Literacy Project hosts the candidates for an hour. We'll help moderate the session and it will be streamed live here.As for Saturday's event:

Democrats assailed Martinez on Saturday for New Mexico being rated the worst in the nation for child well-being and for the economy's weak job growth. All of the Democrats pledged support for raising the state's minimum wage to at least $10.10 an hour. The wage rate has been $7.50 an hour since 2009.

And more coverage here.


Now there are three. It seems state Dems can't stop their small town mayors from jumping ship. Mayor Jackie McKinney of Gallup is the latest to endorse Republican Gov. Martinez for re-election. He joins  former Taos Mayor Darren Cordova and Las Vegas Mayor Alfonso Oritz in supporting her. Cordova and Ortiz are featured in a TV spot touting Martinez.

It prompts these questions from the Alligators: Will ex-mayor Cordova who recently lost a re-election bid get a job with Susana? And what goodies will Gallup and Las Vegas see from the Guv if she gets re-elected--or what goodies have they already received?


There's no spinning the truth in the long term and the truth is the ABQ economy remains flat on its back or worse. How do we know? Well, we're not talking about the jobless numbers that can be confusing, or tax collections which can be skewed. No, we're talking about probably the most reliable indicator of them all. Electric bills. The news:

{PNM} reported a 34 percent decline in net income, from $11.4 million last year to $7.5 million this year. Ongoing earnings also fell from $14 million to $9 million. “The numbers reveal that the challenging economy in New Mexico and the Albuquerque metro continues to impact PNM,” said spokesman Pahl Shipley. . . “Although we continue to see some customer growth, load and usage per customer is down.”

ABQ has become a no or very slow grower with many income-challenged households (Hey, someone turn down the air conditioner!).

More on this:

The Albuquerque metropolitan area lost 3,100 jobs in the 12 months that ended March 31, the sixth consecutive month of over-the-year job losses, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Seven industry sectors shed jobs and three added jobs during the period in which the area’s job growth rate was a negative 0.8 percent.

Heck, with a news background like that who could blame ex-Dem Taos Mayor Darren Cordova if he signs on for a gig with Susana?

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