Monday, June 30, 2014

King Saddles Up New Campaign Manager; Is Third Time The Charm? Plus: More On The APD Crisis  

Gary King has saddled up a new campaign manager. Is the third time the charm? Keith Breitbach, described in his bio as a "veteran of dozens of political races," is King's third manager--the first one cashed out after King won the June primary and the second was forced out after opposition operatives unearthed controversial tweets the would-be manager had posted.

Breithbach, a vice-president with Totten Communications for 17 years, is coming off the successful primary campaign of freshman US Rep. Eric Swalwell of the San Francisco area.

Bretibach immediately confronts the same problem of that of his predecessors--an unrelenting TV attack on King from Governor Martinez and the Republican Governors Association that has put King on the defensive. And there's no end in sight. King is slapped in a new ad for a vote he cast as a state representative over 20 years ago. It scores him for supposedly being soft on parents who are delinquent in their child support.

Despite a wealth of depressing economic stats--not to mention a number of possible corruption scandals--King and the Dems have not fought for free media coverage--so they have gotten none. What trouble Martinez has had has come from within her own party. Her pro-life foes last week clashed with her chief political operative, giving Dems a chance to smirk, but in fact the chairman of the Dems--Sam Bregman--continues to be distracted:

Political opponents of Gov. Martinez, including the chairman of the state Democratic Party, were sued for allegedly violating federal privacy protections by their involvement in intercepting and disclosing email from the governor's hijacked email account. The lawsuit in federal district court seeks civil damages and was filed by four people whose email was disclosed, including a former Martinez aide who had an email bank record intercepted and released. Among those sued were Albuquerque lawyer Sam Bregman, who became Democratic chairman last year, and the governor's ex-campaign manager Jamie Estrada, who pleaded guilty last week to hijacking Martinez's campaign email system. 

When he became chairman Bregman promised an aggressive push against Martinez and the R's, but he became sidetracked early on and never recovered. Dem special interest groups seem to have written off King, who is striking back at Martinez but in a limited fashion as he is being heavily outspent.

The nonstop negative assault on King is also having the desired effect on the electorate--they tire of the ads and thus they tire of the campaign--a recipe for the low turnout that Martinez thirsts for as she seeks her second four year term.

The newspaper's editorial cartoon Sunday pictured a father and his teenage daughter. Dad is watching political ads. The daughter, reading a book, asks him, "What does ad nauseum mean?" He responds: "I'm pretty sure it's Latin for too many political commercials."

If any state ever needed a healthy debate over its economic and social future, it's this one. But the cynical pall beginning to cover the campaign could deny us that.

Is that enough on your plate, Mr. Breitbach? Well, dig in, and, yeah, welcome to New Mexico. . .


Call this one the Granddaddy of the lawsuits to come over the many fatal APD shootings:

The family of James Boyd, the mentally ill homeless man who was shot and killed by two Albuquerque officers, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against APD. Boyd's brother, Andrew Jones, filed the lawsuit. The suit claims "APD's standards for hiring, training, policies, oversight, or lack thereof, contributed to the unjustified killing of James Matthew Boyd. As did Albuquerque's failure to take any action in the face of what was plainly an out of control police department."

We blogged last week that the officer who shot and killed 19 year old Mary Hawkes had turned his lapel video camera on and off several times. Actually, an investigation shows the camera was turned off in the minutes before the killing, but there is the possibility the camera equipment malfunctioned. Retired APD seargent and APD critic Dan Klein comes at the story with this angle:

If the officer did purposely turn off the camera, I think that will come out in the Department of Justice investigation or a lawsuit. But what about Albuquerque buying a $2,000,000 product that the Department of Homeland Security knew had this defect over 2 years ago! Why did we buy this Taser product if it was already known for the cable pulling out? Until there is overwhelming proof that the officer did this, then he deserves to be considered not guilty. Your smoking gun is the DOJ report from 2012 on this Taser product and APD still purchased it. That is where your outrage should be. 


And now Ladies and Gentlemen, another episode in the ongoing saga of "The Most Transparent Administration in State History":

The self-described “most transparent” governor in state history now faces instructions from a district court judge to produce information to the Santa Fe Reporter on how she responded to the paper’s requests for public records. Three attorneys representing Gov. Martinez. . . (face) the prospect that they must also defend against SFR’s claim that she violated the newspaper’s First Amendment rights. SFR's September 2013 lawsuit alleges the Republican governor illegally withheld documents from the newspaper on a handful of requests for public records. . .

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