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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Welcome To The Stolen Car Capital Of America; Why Is The City Still Asleep At The Wheel? Plus: Martinez Ship Jumping Gets Underway  

Berry and Eden
Forget about the economy. Forget about that sick leave ordinance. Forget about ART.

There is one and only one issue in the 2017 race for mayor of Albuquerque--the lawlessness that has beset the city and the continuing destruction of its police force. The crime wave here is jarring, relentless and long ago scotched any hopes for major economic development in the foreseeable future. The latest:

More than 27 vehicles a day. More than 10,000 for the year. That’s how many vehicles were reported stolen from Albuquerque and neighboring counties in 2016, according to a recent report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The bureau reported the Albuquerque area had the highest per-capita rate of auto thefts in the country.


Worst in the nation for auto theft and the city in second place isn't even close! The shock is that the citizenry is still not yelling from their rooftops over the colossal failure and incompetence of the city's leadership to reign in the thieves, murderers, drag racers and meth heads that have made the city something akin to a dusty border town with a corrupt police department and a puppet mayor and city council.

The soaring murder rate, the auto theft epidemic, the freeways run amok, the constant break-ins at area businesses and homes and the widespread vandalism have given this city a damnable reputation.

The blame is everywhere but still there is no accountability for:

---The mayoral administration of Richard Berry and Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry presiding over the mayhem while evading responsibility for the disintegration of law and order.

--The police department led by an ineffectual Gorden Eden and cordoned off by an upper command staff at war with its own citizenry and stifling accountability to the bitter end.

--The flaccid, fearful and forlorn nine member city council which has not a member on it that has stepped forward to lead the way out of this jungle, even as the mayor has abdicated.

--The see-no-evil business community represented by the Economic Forum, the ABQ Chamber of Commerce, NAIOP and the like which join with the agenda driven newspaper to prop up the Republican mayor at all costs--no matter the cost to the welfare of this once on-the-go metropolis.

Newsman Dan Rather opined over the bizarre politics in DC: "We are failing to be outraged by the outrageous." That could be the bumper sticker for the current state of politics in our state's largest city. It's as if everyone is overdosing on Xanax.

In about 90 days early voting will get underway in the ABQ mayoral election. It will be our last, best chance to turn this city around, but only if the candidates are subjected to the accountability that we have so maddeningly allowed to elude those currently in power.

WHERE THEY GOING?

In the wake of the news that we are the stolen car capital of the USA, a comment from James Uberman on Facebook scolding the media stood out:

This is reporting?? Where are all these cars going. This is not a few individuals, this is an industrial operation. Are the Mexican Cartels involved? Notice the #2 city is just up I-25. There is a major organized crime ring behind this but no reporting on that.

Good question, James. Maybe the media, along with the district attorney, mayor and police chief might want to start asking the same?

The relationship between APD and the various oversight panels watching over the troubled agency continues to plumb new lows with police stonewalling the order of the day. And APD's war room mentality now extends to the media. Take a look:

An important editor's note: Ordinarily, KOB would reach out to APD for comment on this sort of story prior to a newscast, or prior to publishing on KOB.com. However, in recent months, that courtesy has resulted in KOB content being distributed to other news outlets by the Albuquerque Police Department. To maintain the integrity of our content, our management has decided to reach out to APD for comment at the first opportunity on Saturday. We will share the department's response with you then.

What in the name of Harry Kinney is going on in this town? If any of the eight mayoral candidates refuses to pledge to oust the current chief and all of the APD upper command staff, they ought to be taken over to Old Town Plaza where spectators could throw leftover enchiladas at them.

SHIP JUMPING

Sanchez
Watch for the splashes from the ship jumpers to get even bigger. NM Education Secretary Hanna Skandera, who lost out recently on a high level job in the federal education department, announces that she's resigning from the Martinez administration this month. She's joined by the Governor's press aide Chris Sanchez. Martinez's term doesn't conclude until the end of next year but with the news ahead looking bleak, the ship jumping seems to be starting earlier than usual.

Skandera will be remembered as contentious, abrasive, bullying and an ideologue. The same goes for Sanchez but worse. He debased the communications office and the political dialogue by calling legislators "disgusting" and other such niceties as he refused to talk to news organizations critical of the Governor. At least Skandera took public policy seriously. For Sanchez, the campaign never ended as Jay created an attack dog with only one switch: attack and vilify. Sanchez says he's moving out of state but the media did not report where. Yeah, spread that joy around.

THAT WAS HANNA

Skandera is getting some credit for increasing graduation rates in the state but the weight of the evidence goes against her, asserts reader Phil Parker:

Skandera prioritized (politically useful) data over kids' basic needs, and told teachers who asked for her help that they were wrong about their own students. When teachers told her about problems they faced in their classrooms - kids who were hungry, or pregnant, or on drugs, or skipping school because they felt degraded for many different reasons - her responses were always pure weaselspeak. She never gave a straight answer in public, and I think that's because she was prioritizing the interests of private education companies. There was always something to hide, some issue her department wouldn't comment on. She was a pure ice-cold politician, and possibly a profiteer, and her kind is taking over everything.

THE BOTTOM LINES

Former ABQ State Rep, Rick Miera makes it official and becomes a candidate for the '18 Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. More on his campaign here. Taos educator Jeff Carr is the other announced lt. gov. candidate. ABQ State Senator Michael Padilla is also expected to run. There are no announced GOP lt. governor hopefuls. . .

The NM Republican Party was jolted Monday when it learned of the death of party spokesman--25 year old W. Tucker Keene. Said GOP Chairman Ryan Cangiolosi:

He was a brilliant writer, tenacious promoter of our cause, keen political communicator and most importantly, a wonderful person. Tucker approached his work with great passion, enthusiasm and with a witty sense of humor.

Keene, a Massachusetts native, was found dead in his ABQ apartment. The cause is being determined by the medical examiner.

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(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2017
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