The 2011 baseball movie “Moneyball” was based on the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.
It is a book about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager Billy Bean and its focus is the team’s analytical, evidence-based, approach to assembling a competitive baseball team despite Oakland’s disadvantaged revenue situation.
Moneyball is being played in the 2017 Albuquerque’s Mayor’s race, except money usually wins out in politics and far more is at stake than winning an athletic competition.
I predict the 2017 Mayor’s race will have the successful candidate spending at least $1 million dollars for the primary election and another $500,000 for the runoff, if there is one.
PRIVATELY FINANCED CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR NEED TO DISCLOSE NOW
It has been reported that announced mayor candidates Deanna Archuleta has raised $100,000, Dan Lewis has raised $100,000 and unannounced candidate Brian Colon has raised over $200,000, but only they know who their donors are. (See Albuquerque Journal “Who is Financing Candidates for mayor? Campaign reports not due until July, but cash is being raised now”, page A-1).
Privately finance candidates running for Mayor do not have to file financial reports until July.
The finance reports are very detailed listing contributors, dates and amounts which are in turn reviewed for compliance by the city clerk with the finance disclosure and reporting laws, contribution limitations and for conflicts and prohibitions against donations from people who do business with the City of Albuquerque.
The voting public should not have to wait until July to find out who are contributing to the privately finance campaigns for those who are running for Mayor.
All privately financed candidates including Deanna Archuleta, Dan Lewis, Brian Colon need to release immediately disclosure statements on who their donors are and how much they have contributed as well as disclose what they have spent and on what.
Full disclosure should be demanded by the general voting public.
PUBLIC FINANCES CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR
Under Albuquerque’s public finance laws, you must collect 3,600 qualifying $5 donations and then you are given approximately $379,000 for your campaign for Mayor.
According to the Albuquerque City Clerk’s calendar for Mayor, candidates for Mayor can start to collect the qualifying $5 donations on February 16, 2017 and can collect seed money of up to $100 from donors. (http://www.cabq.gov/clerk/documents/candidate-calendar-10-03-17.pdf)
There are at least four announced candidates running for Mayor who will be seeking public finance from the city and they are radio talk show host Eddy Aragon, Mitchell Garcia Holmes, Stella Padilla and New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller.
Tim Keller has been telling Democrat party activists since summer of 2016 he was going to run for Mayor and he would seek public financing and not private financing to run for mayor.
Mr. Keller’s credibility and assurances to seek public finance are overshadowed by the fact that last year he employed and paid two firms for “consulting” services.
According to the New Mexico Secretary of State First Biannual “Report of Expenditures and Contributions” filed on April 11, 2016, New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller had $37,755 total monetary in contributions and had total expenditures of $27,081.10 for the reporting period and paid $22,944.57 to a firm listed as “Full Arsenal” for “consulting”.
According to the Second Biannial “Report of Expenditures and Contributions” filed on October 11, 2016 for the reporting period, Mr. Keller had $14,900 total monetary contributions with total expenditure of $25,414.00 and paid $14,018.63 to “Rio Strategies”.
Mr. Keller needs disclose to the press and voting public exactly what was the “consulting” and services performed for him by Full Arsenal and Rio Strategies and why did he need “consulting” as the New Mexico State Auditor and were those firms paid to do work for the State of New Mexico.
Additionally it will be interesting to find out if Full Arsenal and Rio Strategies have been doing work and paid to do work on Keller’s campaign for Mayor of Albuquerque for the past year even before he announced and even before he has qualified for public financing.
IT’S A MATTER OF ETHICS
I have not made a final decision to run for Mayor this year and I have not raised a dime, but will be posting soon on what I am up to.
Albuquerque’s public finance laws need to be overhauled.
It is an ethical issue of the appearance of impropriety and what promises are made by candidates to get the donations, how will the money be used, who is the candidate indebted to and who will have influence over the candidate once elected to office.
The influence of big corporate money in elections allowed by the US Supreme Court decision Citizens United is destroying our democracy.
Political campaign fundraising and big money influence are warping our election process.
Money spent becomes equated with the final vote.
Money drives the message, affects voter turnout and ultimately the final outcome.
All too often, good, decent and qualified candidates do not run because they cannot raise the money.
Albuquerque municipal elections need campaign finance reform and enforcement.