Friday, September 30, 2016

Former Mayor Takes On Current One Over ABQ Crime Wave And A Possible Break For Dems in Hot State House Race 

Chavez & Berry
The seemingly passive response in officialdom to this week's news that ABQ is experiencing an exploding crime rate far surpassing any neighboring cities had us wondering what would be happening if Marty Chavez were still Mayor. We blogged that he would probably be hanged in effigy in Old Town in contrast to the current GOP Mayor Richard Berry who surfs along with little public or media scrutiny. From D.C. where he now lives and works, Chavez, a former three term mayor, comes with this :

If I'd handled crime and APD like the current Administration, I would deserve to be hanged in effigy. I'm astonished by the absence of outrage at City Hall. There's nothing easy about fighting crime but fundamentally ABQ needs a fully staffed, well-led and disciplined police department. Officers who break the law need to be held accountable but the rest of the police force needs to know that the Mayor has their back, not just by praising the great work that they perform every day but by fighting for and securing good pay, training and departmental funding. 

 Police make a difference and we shouldn't be surprised when the department shrinks and crime goes up. The current Chief is a nice guy but he's feckless and morale is horrible. Those are firing offenses. I don't envy the challenges confronting the next Mayor, but any candidate who doesn't talk openly and seriously about what has to be done shouldn't be considered seriously by the voters.

Chavez had his share of crime woes when he was mayor, especially in his first term in the 90's when gangs and Cuban refugees caused a record number of murders. In a later term, he wrestled with thefts from the APD evidence room. But he did hold a police chief accountable by firing him and putting in reforms.

The crime wave reports keep rolling in. This one from UNM says campus car thefts rocketed in '15 as they did elsewhere in the city.

Will we get a direct response from the mayoral candidates when they are asked: "Will you retain the current APD Chief and upper command, if elected Mayor?" Or will the current chief and command bail out before the balloting begins? Stay tuned. . .


Is this the break the state House Democrats need to retake their majority which they lost to the R's in '14?

A southern New Mexico legislative candidate who runs a Boys & Girls Club is being sued for negligence after a former employee was sentenced to prison for sexually abusing two boys. The parents of one boy are suing Republican candidate for District 38 Rebecca Dow, claiming she ignored “obvious red flags” that could have prevented Alejandro Hernandez from hurting two 13-year-old boys during his employment at the Boys & Girls Club of Sierra County in Truth or Consequences. Dow told the Journal: “In our facilities we go to great lengths to ensure the safety of our students, including background checks. I can’t comment on the things they have alleged against me, but I trust the legal system will work.”

Dow is running against Democrat Mary Hotvedt in the Silver City area district. They are battling to replace retiring GOP Rep. Diane Hamilton. R's backing Dow say this one is not over. They are hitting Hotvedt, a family therapist, for advocating open marriage, her stance on the death penalty and taxes, saying she is "not a good fit" for the mostly conservative SW district.

The Dow-Hotvedt battle could be a cliffhanger given the bad news for Dow. Dem performance in the district is 48.9%.

The House is divided 37 to 33 so it's two to tie for the Dems and three to take over.

This is the home of New Mexico politics.

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