Friday, September 09, 2016

ABQ Mayoral Race Reshaped As Boost To Public Financing Is Killed By BernCo Commission, Plus: Gary Johnson's Aleppo Moment 

Tim Keller
The '17 ABQ mayoral race was reshaped by the Bernalillo County Commission Thursday when it refused to place on the November election ballot a city of ABQ initiative that, if approved by voters, would have nearly doubled the amount of money a publicly financed candidate could receive to run their campaign. It is highly unlikely the city will call a special election--or a court would order one--before next year's city election to have it considered. Ditto for a controversial  city sick leave initiative that also was kept off the ballot at the special commission meeting.

The blow to increased public financing is seen as most impacting the potential candidacy of Dem State Auditor Tim Keller. The favorite of the progressives hoped to see the new spending limit rise from the current $362,000 to  $630,000. Republican City Councilor Dan Lewis also takes a hit. The possible contender was another potential hopeful who wanted the public money limit raised.

The only officially announced candidate, former Dem BernCo Commissioner Deanna Archuleta, is already raising private money. Former Dem Party Chairman Brian Colon is all but in the race and he too is expected to take the private financing route.

Among those against placing the measure on the ballot was Republican Commissioner Wayne Johnson who is also on the list of potential mayoral candidates making the rounds. The key decision came from Dem Commissioner Art De La Cruz who killed it by joining with Johnson and Republican Lonnie Talbert.

De La Cruz has tangled with the progressive wing of the party and his crucial votes Thursday on public financing and sick leave, both favored by liberals, was his last kick in their pants as he finishes his final term at the end of the year. But maybe the progressives will get a chance for revenge. De La Cruz is said to be considering a run for the '18 Dem lieutenant governor nomination.


New Mexicans familiar with Gary Johnson from his two terms as a Republican Governor here could hardly be surprised by his foreign policy gaffe that had jaws dropping elsewhere. He never has been one for details as he pursues a shoot-from-the-hip style with knowledge gleaned from grazing the headlines. Still, that sky high 25 percent that Johnson was garnering in the state in the latest WaPo poll was bound to come down and now will probably slide quicker.  If it does the pundits think it will mainly benefit Clinton who Johnson seems to be pulling a bit more support from than Trump.

Johnson's genial personality and the distaste for the two major presidential nominees has buoyed his candidacy but now he faces two withering months to try to persuade voters Aleppo was a fluke. But it wasn't.  There's an old saying: "Some men are discovered, others are found out." Aleppo was the usual Gary Johnson around here, but it was his"found out" moment for the rest of the nation.

Reader John Taber gets the last word on this:

What would Gary Johnson do about Aleppo? Whatever it is, he'd probably veto it.

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