Tuesday, October 10, 2017

No Escaping It: Crime Wave Floods Into Exclusive Tanoan Neighborhood;We've Got The Scoop, Plus: Guv Money Chase: Lujan Grisham Leads TheDems And Handily; Pearce Off To Solid Start 

If you had any doubt this is the worst crime wave in ABQ's modern history, we'll settle the matter for you in a minute by quoting from the newsletter for the wealthiest gated community in the metro area, Tanoan.

Nestled in the far NE Heights not far from the Sandia Foothills, for over thirty years Tanoan has been the quiet hideaway for the metro area's business and professional aristocracy, with the norm being homes valued in the high six figures and not a few over the million dollar mark.

The gated community boasts its own security force and two secure entrances. Neighbors keep an eye out for one another. But this crime wave is a rolling tsunami and now has flooded the gilded gates of Tanoan. From Don Muller, president of Tanoan Community East, writing in the neighborhood's latest newsletter:

Tanoan is undergoing a distributing increase in home burglaries and auto thefts. . . A special meeting arranged by City Councilor Trudy Jones was held on Sept. 25. Representatives from the Foothills Police Area Command outlined steps homeowners can take to secure their home to make them less vulnerable to break-ins.

And in that same newsletter, Austin McFall, Community Association Manager, sounds the alarm:

Tanoan Community East is experiencing a concerning level of home and auto burglaries. In response, we have enhanced our documentation of visitors at the main Country Club Gate entry. . . The Community Patrol drives the entire 14 miles of Tanoan East roads every hour, 24 hours a day. . . Even so, with 14 miles of roads and 601 homes, they can't be everywhere all the time. Therefore, we also need to ask our residents to be proactive in maintaining the safety their homes and property. . .  

You often see statements from City Hall that this crime wave is not as bad as the one that bedeviled the city back in 1996. But this outbreak is different--and arguably more malicious. The crime wave in the 90's was contained geographically, not nearly as widespread as today, and we challenge City Hall to demonstrate otherwise.

And, of course, the crime epidemic back then did not go on for years as has been the case with this one. This has not been some temporary blip. This epidemic has changed the very fabric of this city.

With even the toniest of neighborhoods providing no respite from the crime wave, entrepreneurs thinking about living in ABQ and who seek out safe and upscale neighborhoods, are given yet another reason to stay away.

Mayor Berry's legacy is secure, but a sorry one. The city's dangerous and heartbreaking descent into a haven for crime will be the lasting memory he leaves when his time in office ends December 1. The ironic upside for him is that he has brought together the richest and poorest communities of this city who now have a common enemy--the criminal class that roam all quadrants of ABQ without regard to race, color or creed.


About that survey we blogged of Monday showing Dem Tim Keller with a commanding 16 point lead over Republican Dan Lewis in the ABQ mayoral race--49 to 36--and conducted for KOB-TV by PR firm Carroll Strategies, we get this from the self-described "Whatagator:

Joe, Carroll Strategies had a September poll that substantially underestimated Lewis' support, not just compared to election day results but compared to KRQE and Journal polls that were closer to the same time frame. Unless he's made a compensating adjustment to his methodology, there's reason to believe Mr. Carroll is again underestimating Lewis. Should be an interesting runoff at any rate.

The mayoral run-off is set for November 14th. Early voting will be held Oct. 25 thru Nov. 10.


Maria Bautista took to Facebook to complain that the Alligator figuring out how much each voter cost the ABQ mayoral contenders did not include the several hundred thousand dollars a PAC spent on Keller's campaign. "BS on Keller. Count PAC money!" she declared. A reader calculates the Keller's cost per vote would rise to near $15, up from $9.98, if the PAC money was included.

The cost per vote report is on the Monday blog. If you missed it, just scroll down.


Rep. Lujan Grisham
Sad but true. It takes exceptionally big money to run for Governor of New Mexico and until that changes the money chase is going to be a huge factor in determining who the voters will see in front of them. So we're off to the money chase where fresh campaign reports were filed by the contenders on Monday.

ABQ Dem Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham and GOP hopeful Rep. Steve Pearce did what was expected of them and remain the front-runners for their party primaries next June. Pearce especially so since he is the only GOP candidate and will likely remain the only one.

Grisham has two major foes--State Senator Joe Cervantes of Las Cruces and ABQ businessman Jeff Apodaca. While both stepped up their money game with large personal loans--Cervantes $400,000 and Apodaca $450,000--Grisham reported raising $1.369 million for the period and a cash on hand balance of $1.590 million. That compares to Cervantes' cash balance of $747,000 and Apodaca's $697,000.

Pearce has $911,000 in cash and if he wins his legal battle to transfer $1 million in his congressional account to his Guv account that total would zoom to near $2 million. Grisham has already passed the $2 million mark in total funds raised.

Apodaca and Cervantes avoided getting blown out by drawing on their personal bank accounts but they will have to hustle in the next four months if they are to avoid being overwhelmed by Grisham when the spending starts.

Apodaca confirmed to us in July that he expected to raise in the vicinity of $600,000 in his first report and although he reports a total haul of $900,000 that statement drew an Alligator strike:

You verified from the candidate himself that he raised about $600 to 700K at that point--through July 5. If you look at his report, he had only raised $179K through July 5. Even if you count his $50K in loans in April, that would be just $229K. Maybe he knew he was going to loan another $400K, but he didn't do that until last week, on Oct. 2. They exaggerated their fundraising ability. 

Obviously, there's no slack now. The race for the New Mexican governorship is on and anything you say can and will be used against you.

Apodaca's contributors included old hands from the Guv administration of his father, Jerry Apodaca. Nino Trujillo gave $2,500 and George Goldstein came with $2,000.

Rep. Pearce
ABQ restaurateur Nick Kapnison split his bets--giving both Grisham and Apodaca $2,500 apiece. Ditto for Pojoaque Pueblo which gave both hopefuls $5,500. Ultra Health, a big player in medical cannabis in the state, was another splitter, coming with $5,000 each for Michelle and Jeff.

Grisham took in $5,000 from the Robles Rael Anaya law firm that specializes in government work. Lobbyist Vanessa Alarid, who counts among her clients the developers of the controversial Santolina project, gave Grisham $5,500.

Cervantes received most of his contributions from relatives and entities involved in his family's large farming and property management businesses in Dona Ana County.

Pearce raised big bucks from the oil and gas industry, with the Chase family of Artesia giving heavily. He paid his longtime fund-raiser Andrea Goff nearly $50,000 for helping him bring in his haul.

Grisham paid out tens of thousands to DC's Anne Lewis Strategies for online communications. She also made payments to the consulting firm run by former Gov. Richardson Chief of Staff Dave Contarino. He is producing commercials for the campaign. Apodaca shelled out major dollars to the ubiquitous Rio Strategies headed by Alan Packman who has become a prominent consultant for Democrats. He is also handling Tim Keller's campaign for mayor.


Finally, this one must have been especially sweet for the congresswoman. Entravision, the former employer of Apodaca, gave her $5,500. Apodaca filed a wrongful dismissal suit against the company but lost. Guess Entravision got a bit of revenge but Apodaca did not walk away broke, judging by that $450,000 in loans he gave himself.

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