Friday, September 11, 2009

Election Poll: Charter Amendments and Transpo Tax

In May, the City Charter Task Force, which had been commissioned two years ago, to examine several provisions in the original 1974 charter, issued their final report.

Then, in June, Mayor Marty Chavez vetoed the propositions, saying it was an "end-run around a public vote on the issue of pay raises for elected officials, failed to strengthen the conflict of interest provisions of the City Charter for the legislative branch, and weakened the executive branch in favor of the legislative branch."

In August, after summer recess, city councilors unanimously over-rode the veto. Instead they sent all ten propositions the voters to decide in next month's municipal election.

The Charter Task Force recommended several several key changes, including making the City Attorney and City Clerk more independent of the mayor, and creating a 5-member Citizen's Independent Salary Commission panel, which could approve a raise for city councilors, and the mayor, without tax payer approval.

Well, one tax voters will have their voice heard on is the renewal of the 10-year old one-quarter of one cent transportation tax. Since 1999, the money raised by the tax has been used to repair and maintain roads and fund much of the city's bus system, but it expires at the end of the year.

On Sunday, we began polling on the mayor and city council races. It is continuing here. Today we are polling the level of public support for the charter amendments and the transportation tax.

Do you support the 10 Charter Amendment Propositions?

Do you support renewing the transportation tax for 10 years?

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's "Success" for Mayor Marty Chávez, or is it?

A 5-minute campaign video featuring three-term mayor Mayor Marty Chávez has disappeared from his campaign website.


Well, it has to do with this one little word: Successful.

Yesterday, another political blogger criticized the mayor for using the word, "successful" on of his videos to persuade voters to give him an unprecedented fourth term. The blogger said Chávez' on camera claim, "I remain the most successful mayor in Albuquerque's history," was a little over the top.

After the original post, the mayor's staff said that's not what the mayor said. They say he said he used another word: Accessible.

Perhaps Mayor Chávez doesn't want to appear to be tooting his own horn with less than a month until election day. His campaign spokesperson Joan Griffin told us "the word in the script was accessible, not successful."

We're blogging the story, because after all, our blog is called, "What's the Word?"

So....exactly what word did Chávez say, "most successful, or most accessible?"

To find out, 770KKOB Mornings show host Bob Clark and I retrieved the original video from You-Tube. We had to search online because it had already been removed from both Chávez' website and the local political analysts' page.

After careful review, listening to the "word" over and over, it appears to us the Mayor wanted site visitors and supporters to believe he's "the most successful mayor in Albuquerque's history."

Ahh...You can listen to Clark's segment and determine what Chávez said for yourself here.

We'll leave it up to you to determine exactly, "What's the Word?"

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Weh Pledges to Pick a Bipartisan Team

Updated: 7:30pm

The former Chairman of the New Mexico Republican Party Allen Weh officially jumped into the 2010 Race for Governor today at noon. About 100 supporters, including former U.S. Representative and Interior Secretary Manual Lujan, joined Weh inside the University of New Mexico's Student Union Building.

At the end of his announcement Weh told supporters: I’ll assert leadership, I’ll act on my commitments,I’ll use common sense and the good advice of a bi-partisan team I intend to bring with me….and I won’t let you down.

Weh, who's been exploring the run and touring the state since May 5th, when he announced his exploratory committee, pledged to pick a bipartisan team to work in his office in Santa Fe if elected.

He said whoever becomes governor next year will be inheriting a mess. He told me that there's plenty of waste in the state's budget and he'll cut it out. He said he's against any tax increases. "In a recession we're trying to stimulate the economy, not stifle it."

Weh said he decided to run because he cares about the state and the country:
My business experience has taught me the importance of talented employees, of balancing budgets, of superior customer service, and of accountability. If you can’t handle those things, you go out of business very quickly. State government needs to be managed with similar considerations and State resources directed to the common sense priorities the majority of New Mexicans want done. It isn’t that complicated!

He also pledged not to run for any other office [hinting at Governor Bill Richardson's Presidential campaign in 2007/2008] while he's serving as Governor. He also said if he hasn't drastically improved education by the end of his first term he will not seek re-election, but did not state specifically what benchmarks he will use as a measure. He did say he would push for legislation that would allow for school choice and focus on reducing the number of dropouts in New Mexico.
Unlike the Richardson-Denish administration which campaigned in 2002 as THE Education team, and then watched our education system degrade during their almost 7 years in office, I’ll tell you now….If I’m your next governor and I can’t show improvement in the first term, I won’t insult you by asking for re-election.

Weh also reminded people in the crowd about the astonishing number of criminal indictments of elected leaders and and their accomplices in New Mexico.
There is a troubling history of cronyism and overpaid political appointees in the state, including executives at the University of New Mexico, and practices like public employee double dipping that’s eroded public confidence in our government, and drained taxpayer money that should’ve been put to good use elsewhere. It’s not like we don’t have common sense priorities in this State that have overwhelming bi-partisan support…. we do!
Weh also talked about his experience as a businessman and the advantage that will give him in revitalizing the state's economy.
I’ll show measured improvement in our economy during my first term in office and we’ll start by assisting our existing businesses to grow and add jobs…Economic development begins at home…. not adding another reservation call center for companies whose headquarters and high paying jobs are all in other states!
Weh faces State Representative Janice Arnold-Jones, Dona Ana County District Attorney Susana Martinez, and likely candidate Doug Turner in the Republican primary.

Martinez, who was the first Republican to announce her gubernatorial campaign, sent a statement to reporters welcoming Weh to race, but wrote that while she respects Weh's military service, she said the party needs to nominate a different kind of candidate.
As the step-mother of a current serviceman, we all owe a debt of gratitude to those who serve our country and I respect Allen Weh’s military service.

Allen Weh has political experience as Republican party chairman for the last 4 years, but I believe we must nominate a different kind of candidate with a proven record of taking on corruption if we are going to beat Diane Denish next fall.

Weh was introduced by the President of UNM's College Republicans Heather Hall and by former Albuquerque City Council President and Secretary of State Candidate Vickie Perea, who told us she will not be running again. So far, no Republicans have announced their candidacy to unseat incumbent Democrat Mary Herrera.

This was Weh's second visit to UNM in as many weeks. He welcomed students back to campus last month at the beginning of the fall term.

A handful of former Ron Paul delegates made their way inside Weh's announcement with signs and chants. They handpainted messages read "No Weh in 2010." The group were led by Patrick Marron who released this statement (in all caps) over the weekend.

Marron, who is also a former Marine, was a State delegate from Albuquerque, and a candidate for the National Convention delegation because of his support of Ron Paul for President. Marron said he was ejected, by Weh, for asking why he couldn’t videotape the proceedings.

Meanwhile, JR Damaron, who was the original Republican nominee for Governor in 2006, before quitting the race, entered the race for Lieutenant Governor in Santa Fe today. Veteran political reporter Kash Nash, at the SF New Mexican, posted the details on her Green Chile Chatter blog earlier today.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Public Opinion Poll? Will it be Chavez, Berry or Romero?

With less than a month before the Albuquerque Municipal Election it's time to gauge the public sentiment with our opinion poll.

Today, take a moment to cast your preference for mayor and city council races. Later this week we'll post polling questions on the proposed charter amendments, renewing the one quarter-cent transportation tax, and about the $160 million dollars in general obligation bonds.

Who will you vote for in the Albuquerque Mayoral Election?
Martin J. Chavez
Richard Berry
Richard Romero
Write-In Candidate

Incumbent City Councilor Ken Sanchez is running unopposed in District 1.

If you live in City Council District 3?
Isaac Benton
Alan Armijo

If you live in City Council District 5 who will you vote for?
Michael Cadigan
Dan Lewis

If you live in City Council District 7 who will you vote for?
Mike Cook
Write In Candidate

f you live in City Council District 9 who will you vote for?
Don Harris
David Barbour

Keep in mind tomorrow is the last day to register to vote in the October 6th election. City Clerk Randy Autio has posted all the information you need for requesting an absentee ballot, polling locations, and an explanation for this year's new photo id requirements, on his election's webpage here.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Murder Victims' Families Endorsing Lopez

Updated: 12:30p

Dan Valdez thought he was the only one grieving for a missing daughter for the past five years.

Little did he know that by the end of March seven other families in the Albuquerque area would learn that their daughters, sisters, and cousins had also been murdered and buried on the West Mesa.

In all, eleven woman, and one unborn child (Valdez' grandchild) were unearthed at the city's largest crime scene earlier this Spring.

Now, the families of the murdered women, are rallying behind Senator Linda Lopez' bid to become the state's next lieutenant governor.

Yesterday, Valdez endorsed Sen. Lopez, in this speech, at Washington Park.

Valdez told Lopez' supporters that the senator has help families make connections at the Peanut Butter & Jelly Family Services. He said meeting with the other families has been an extraordinary part of the healing process for himself. He said everyone has become like an extended family that shares stories, cries together, and hug.

He credited Lopez for her work getting the Albuquerque Public School system to donate computers to the victims' children and for setting up a meeting for families with Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz last week. He said it was the first time they sat down with the chief for a question and answer session.

Children of West Mesa Murder Mystery mothers went on a $215
JC Penny Shopping Spree before heading back to school.

He also praised Lopez for working with City Councilor Ken Sanchez and K-B Homes to get land donated at the grave site for a permanent memorial to the victims.

Valdez notified the crowd that he will be an advocate and rally lawmakers, during the next session, to update what he calls "outdated laws" regarding the reporting and tracking of adults missing in the community. He said, "missing women, should never be on the backburner, or put in a cold case file."

Also speaking at Saturday's announcement were Tamaya Wiener and State Representative Henry "Kiki" Saavadra. You can listen to their remarks here.

Wiener said Lopez understands issues that working moms have. Wiener also praised Lopez for taking care of her 98-year old mother at the same time taking care of her son Lorenzo, and said she respects Lopez for her support of bi-lingual education.

Rep. Saavadra said the state is in for some hard times, but they are each committed to helping state employees and teachers around the state. He called Lopez one of the brightest. "She thinks well....she takes a few minutes, but when she speaks everyone listen because she's usually right."

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