Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Dems And The Downs Deal: It's Been A Soft Touch, Plus: Darren White And The Downs; Does White Twitter For Himself Or His Employer? And: ABQ Mayor Race Update 

Where are the Dems? So far, it has been all Republicans putting the heat on the Martinez administration in the awarding of that controversial 25 year racino lease for the ABQ Downs racino.

State Fair Commissioner Charlotte Rode questioned it from the start, back in 2011bprominent Republican businessman Tom Tinnin resigned his seat on the state Board of Finance in disgust over the Downs deal and now Andrea Goff, the former finance director for Martinez, has come forward to say she has been asked about the deal and "various activities" by the FBI. That one put the Downs deal back on the front pages.

But state Dems have been slow to the fight. Attorney General King--running for Governor--and State Auditor Hector Balderas--running for attorney general--have made few waves. (Balderas is expected to come with something soon). New Dem Party Chairman Sam Bregman, an attorney who has had a client who lost out on winning a racino lease in Raton, has stayed away from the subject.

The Downs was a major campaign contributor to Martinez and her Democratic foe. The racino management had major ties to the Dem administration of Big Bill. Is their dancing on both sides of the political aisle paying off with a soft touch approach from the out-of-power Dems?...

The Governor reports to the "best of my knowledge" no employees of her office have been interviewed about the Downs lease by the FBI. Of course, if you are interviewed by the FBI and in any way talk out of school, you aren't going to march into the Guv's office and brag about, are you?

If there is a separate investigation of the Downs wheeling and dealing, it would get a case number from the FBI, say insiders...

And an Alligator in good standing says of soon-to-be new US Attorney Damon Martinez:

He understands politics. He gets what is going on in that sphere as well as the legal. In years past he talked about running for elective office.

Martinez awaits confirmation by the US Senate.  He served as legislative director for Senator Udall when Udall was in the US House. He was nominated for the US attorney slot by Udall. He has been with the US Attorney's office in NM since 2001. You would guess he's plenty familiar with the office politics there...

How did Jamie Estrada, indicted for hijacking Martinez's campaign email account, fall out of favor with her and her operatives? And was he really "fired?" The story here. And more on how the email case came about here.


Darren White
The more vitriolic the attacks get against this blog and other media from Darren White the more we are led to wonder if these attacks are the official policy of the Downs Racetrack and Casino in Albuquerque.

White is the Republican political operative who is the Vice-President of Corporate Affairs for the racino--a job he received after the controversial awarding of a 25 year old racino lease to the Downs by the Martinez administration.

White's attacks have been going on for months on his Twitter account and distributed to his 1,400 "followers" during normal business hours as well as the evening. They have become especially heated and ad hominem in nature since we and others recently began covering the latest news on whether the FBI is investigating the racino lease.

White is not identified as an employee of the Downs on his Twitter account, but the tweets we are referencing pertain to his employer. We would like to know:

--Are Mr. White's attacks on us and other media for coverage of the racino controversy the official policy of the Downs Racetrack and Casino in Albuquerque?

--Does management of the Downs take responsibility for the content of White's Twitter comments?

--Are Downs Racetrack and Casino employees free to use social media during working hours to level attacks against the media or anyone else they choose?

--Just what is the policy of the Downs Racetrack and Casino on social media use by their employees?

--Is Mr. White using a computer or electronic device owned in any way by the Downs when he makes his attacks?

--Are his attacks being made from offices at the Downs at ABQ?

Scott Eldredge
We are not disputing White's right to attack us--stand in line for that--but because of the high management position he holds at the Downs, we are questioning whether these personal attacks on our truthfulness and integrity are sanctioned and/or sponsored by his employer.

If indeed they are, in the future we shall direct our responses to White's statements to the owners and management of the Downs Racetrack and Casino at Albuquerque. Scott Eldredge is the new chief operating officer of the racino located in the heart of Albuquerque at Lousiana and Central SE.


400 new jobs are coming to NM--and they are all government jobs. Molina Healthcare of NM will hire the new workers to serve all the new Medicaid members they will get when the program expands as part of Obamcare. So Governor Martinez and Mayor Berry, you can thank President Obama for providing badly needed jobs here, but he probably already knows how much you appreciate it...


As for that mayoral battle we mentioned at the top of the blog, Dem contender Pete Dinelli is lining up early union support. AFSCME came over the weekend with its endorsement of the attorney and former city public safety director:

Casey Padilla, President of AFSCME Local 624 (City of Albuquerque Blue Collar workers) said “It matters what kind of mayor we have. Mayor Berry continues to reward campaign donors and supporters with sweetheart deals and in the meantime, Albuquerque’s infrastructure is suffering and falling apart, services are drastically cut, and our citizens are still out of work. Without change we will continue to fall behind. We must elect Pete Dinelli as our next mayor.”

Meanwhile, Republican Berry has amped up his social media effort, opening an account on Twitter and getting quite active on Facebook as he works to secure a second four year term. The mayor is also hoping that some modest ABQ job growth recorded recently is the start of a trend,

Republican Paul Heh is the third candidate eon the campaign trail.


Dinelli's campaign can thank their "friends" at the White House after this news from Berry Monday:

At the request of the White House, Mayor Richard J. Berry is attending a day-long summit today at the White House in Washington, DC with four other selected Mayors from around the country to look closely at mental health issues facing the nation’s cities.“This summit is an opportunity to begin a new level of dialogue and collaboration at the national level approaching this vital issue,” Mayor Berry said. 

Don't worry, Dems. There's no truth to the rumor that Obama will campaign for Berry.


Election results from Tuesday's balloting for four seats on the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District are here. In the most hotly contested race incumbent Dem Karen Dunning turned back a challenge from former board member and Republican Jim Roberts.

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