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Tuesday, April 04, 2017

"Big Three" Emerge From Crowded ABQ Mayoral Field, BernCo Credibility Questioned And The Late Lobbyist Bob Gold  

Tim Keller
The Alligators and insiders who predicted early on that Tim Keller would be the only ABQ mayoral candidate to qualify for public financing and were proven right over the weekend, now have another take on the fast approaching October 3 contest. They are now saying of the 14 candidates in the contest, a "Big Three" has emerged and chances are good that one of them will be your next mayor.

They are: Dem State Auditor Keller, ABQ GOP City Councilor Dan Lewis and former NM Dem Party Chairman and attorney Brian Colón.

Keller managed to collect 6,000, five dollar individual contributions to qualify for $380,000 in public financing for the race, far surpassing the needed 3,802 donations.  Only Lewis and Colón are expected to be able to match that $380,000 with private fund-raising. And that's the major reason why they are the Big Three.

Former BernCo Commissioner Deanna Archuleta and GOP BernCo Commissioner Wayne Johnson are in the next tier in the 14 person field. Questions remain about most of the other candidates being able to garner the necessary 3,000 petition signatures to qualify for the ballot. They are due April 28. Many of them will certainly not file enough valid signatures and the Big Three will then loom even larger as we head into the month of May.

BERNCO CREDIBILITY

First the Bernalillo County Commission tells us they need (and approved) a $30 million gross receipts tax increase to plug a projected deficit. But the deficit turns out to be only $8 million. Then they tell us they got a heckuva deal on the Alvarado Square downtown property, paying $4.1 million, but only later do they tell us that the remodeling will cost another $33 million way up from the $15 million it first said in 2015.. Why this drip, drip from the county commission and county manager that only serves to damage their credibility?

That widely opposed three sixteenths of a cent gross receipts tax hike that takes the city rate to 7.5 percent comes amid an historic slowing in BernCo population growth. In April 2010, the Census estimated county population at 662,564. In July of 2016 Census said the population was 676,593. That's very little growth and that's why the county is having trouble managing the now oversized government it constructed in the go-go years. Sometimes the austerity hawks are needed to swoop down and reorder the agenda.  

APD AND SESSIONS

Here's high impact news for ABQ and APD:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered Justice Department officials to review reform agreements with troubled police forces nationwide, saying it was necessary to ensure these pacts do not work against the Trump administration’s goals of promoting officer safety and morale while fighting violent crime.

APD and the Berry administration entered a consent decree with Justice in 2014. Now it appears that the leash they're on could get looser. That's going to be cause for worry as APD has already been seen as stalling reforms.

FROM 9 TO 5

Politicians in New Mexico often have very interesting backgrounds, like this one:

Former Bernalillo County Commissioner Art De La Cruz talked about growing up picking onions in the summer near Hatch. He said when he was 9, he worked from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., picking the vegetables on his knees in 100-degree heat without breaks.

Democrat De La Cruz served two terms on the BernCo Commission, You might call him one "tough hombre."

TOO MUCH McCLURE?

Self-described "independent reader" John Ingram writes:

Joe: Apparently, "conservative reader" McClure (whom you quote way too often in our humble opinion) has conveniently forgotten that the overwhelming majority of New Mexican voters cast their ballots against this NYC oligarch, tweeter-in-chief who now occupies the people's White House. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham has demonstrated repeatedly the courage of her convictions. As such, she reflects the political will of New Mexico's voters. Michelle will make an excellent governor.

McClure wrote that Grisham's heavy attacks on Trump could hurt NM if she were elected Governor. One reason we quote him, John, is it often kick-starts the conversation.

BOB GOLD

This one didn't receive much attention but Bob Gold was a major player on the Santa Fe scene, perhaps most notably as the longtime lobbyist for the NM Retail Association. He was also a noted broadcaster and was a member of the NM Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame. Here's more on his death:

Robert L. "Bob Gold" Goldsborough Sr., age 86, of Santa Fe passed away peacefully surrounded by his family March 23. With a golden voice to last the ages, Bob had an early start in broadcasting that led to a career in politics and consulting. His personal efforts led to the passage of the first New Mexico Lottery Bill and he had a run for Governor which he cynically referred to as more of a "walk." He spent his retirement enjoying the backyard birds with his favorite bird of 65 years, Doris, and enjoying the best tastes of everything Santa Fe had to offer.

In 1990, when he made that short-lived run for the Democratic Guv nomination, his slogan, as we recall, was: "Good as Gold."

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