Pandering can be defined as the act of expressing one’s views in accordance with the likes of a group to which one is attempting to appeal. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandering_(politics)
The term “pandering” is most notably associated with politics.
Pandering is also political grandstanding for votes by someone who is really part of the problem of failed leadership.
Westside Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis is running for Mayor and he is part of the problem of failed city hall leadership.
Emerging as Dan Lewis’ major theme to get elected Mayor is pandering by appealing to voter’s biggest fears on crime and attacking our criminal justice system and our elected or appointed judges.
LEWIS FACEBOOK VIDEO
Dan Lewis has posted on FACEBOOK a video squinting and pontificating and standing at the location where Albuquerque Police Department (APD) Officer Daniel Webster was killed saying that APD Officer Webster was shot and killed by a violent repeat offender that should have never been on the streets.
There is no doubt that APD Police Officer Daniel Webster is a hero and that Officer Webster should be honored for making the ultimate sacrifice for our community.
However, Dan Lewis using the location where APD Officer Webster was killed for a political video is downright disrespectful of a fallen hero.
Lewis does fallen APD Officer Daniel Webster dishonor and Webster’s family a disservice by using the location of the killing to film a video to inflame people over Officer Webster’s tragic killing and blaming the judicial system.
Lewis omits in his video that a few weeks before convicted murderer Devon Lymon killed officer Daniel Webster, undercover agents from the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosive (ATF) allegedly purchased heroin and firearms from him and did NOT make an arrest and let him go.
No judge had anything to do with Davon Lymon being on the street at the time as Lewis implies in his video and it was law enforcement that did not make an arrest.
(See March 29, 2016 New Mexico In Depth Article “Davon Lyman Timeline: 15 years on law enforcement radar” at http://nmindepth.com/2016/03/29/davon-lymon-timeline-15-years-on-law-enforcements-radar)
Davon Lymon is the same convicted murderer that then District Attorney Susana Martinez, now New Mexico Governor, years ago plead to a reduced manslaughter charge for the killing of Ronald Chanslor, the grandson of Blake Chanslor, the owner of Blake’s Lotta Burger.
Had Lymon been convicted of second degree murder for Chandler’s killing, instead of plead out for manslaughter, chances are he would have still been in jail for the first killing.
LEWIS PONTIFICATES AND IGNORES CONSTITUTION
Lewis in his FACDBOOK video pontificates that Albuquerque is being defined by criminals and proclaims it must stop.
Lewis says in his video “We will make Albuquerque the most unwelcome place for people who want to steal our cars and break into our homes and wreak havoc on our city neighborhoods”.
This should sound very familiar because it is essentially what Mayor Berry said the first time he ran for Mayor.
Lewis states in his video “we do not have to accept an unhealthy status quo” yet Lewis has been a big part of the very “unhealthy status quo” for seven years.
Dan Lewis has served for seven years as an Albuquerque City Counselor including being President of the City Council and has done next to nothing when it comes to APD, its staffing and the Department of Justice (DOJ) consent decree reforms.
Lewis proclaims in his video when it comes to APD and the consent decree mandated reforms “We are going to lead the reform effort with APD from the front with a new Chief and new police leadership and not being dragged along by the courts and the DOJ”.
Dan Lewis likes to point out he voted to have the Department of Justice (DOJ) come in to investigate APD as if that somehow absolves him from being held responsible for failed city council oversight of APD and for what has happened to APD during the last seven years. It does not.
During one briefing by Federal Monitor James Ginger, Lewis asked the Federal Monitor who is ultimately responsible for APD and when the Monitor said the City Council, the City Council Committee Lewis was chairing all had a good “uncomfortable” laugh and Lewis rephrased his question apparently not liking the truth he got from Dr. Ginger.
Truth is, three years ago, Chief Eden and his Assistant Chief took over APD at the time the DOJ consent decree was negotiated.
Eden’s Assistant Chief was the SWAT commander during the time period the DOJ found a pattern of excessive use of force and deadly force by SWAT and found a “culture of aggression”.
During the last three years, Dan Lewis has voiced no substantive complaints about Chief Eden nor his command staff, he has never called for their removal until now that he is running for Mayor, not even when Chief Eden proclaimed the killing of homeless camper James Boyd by APD was “justified”.
The City later paid the Boyd family $5 million to settle the case.
Each time Federal Monitor James Ginger has issued a scathing report of the lack of progress by APD, Dan Lewis and the City Council have done nothing with regards to demanding the removal of the APD command staff and demanding more be done with respect to implementing the DOJ agreed to reforms.
The Lewis solution of replacing the APD command staff and having 1,200 police officers is in no way going to solve the “culture of aggression” found by the DOJ.
Thankfully, it has been the federal court and the consent decree that has indeed, in Lewis’ word, “dragged” APD into attempted reform measures.
LEWIS PROMOTES IGNORANCE OF OUR CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN VIDEO
Going after and complaining about elected judges for their rulings is a red flag of ignorance of our criminal justice system.
The most disturbing part of the Lewis video is his apparent ignorance of our criminal justice system, our constitutional rights of due process of law and the presumption of innocence.
Lewis in his FACEBOOK video shows contempt for judges.
Attacking our Judicial system and judge’s rulings is a familiar tactic of President Donald Trump and is a lesson learned by Dan Lewis to “gin up” his conservative base in Albuquerque.
All judge’s take an oath of office to preserve, defend and protect our constitution.
Judges are strictly prohibited by the Supreme Court Rules and the Code of Judicial Conduct from commenting on pending cases and voicing opinions that call into question their fairness and impartiality, especially in criminal cases.
Judges are prohibited from defending their decisions and sentencing in a public forum outside of their courtroom so criticizing judges is like “shooting fish” in a barrel.
Lewis says in the FACEBOOK video “We’re gonna hold judges in this city accountable. Judges that misinterpret our laws and they put repeat offenders and habitual offenders back on the street often times before the officer that arrested them is off their shift”.
Councilor Lewis needs to disclose the judges he says are “misinterpreting the law”, or violating or ignoring bond requirements and violating sentencing guidelines, unless the accusation is an alternative fact Lewis has created now that he is running for Mayor.
Lewis threatens in his FACEBOOK video “we will hold judges accountable in this city, put their faces on billboards and their names and faces on a website that will reveal and show the records they have.”
Lewis says “We will fill up that MDC, that Metro detention center. Right now there is 800 empty beds at that detention center and there is people that should be in that detention center that are out in our streets … we are going to keep them in jail … We will make Albuquerque number one for the worst place to be a criminal in this country.”
Dan Lewis talks like he is running for District Attorney and not Mayor of Albuquerque.
What Lewis is saying is we need to keep people in jail and forget and ignore our constitutional rights of presumption of innocence and due process of law.
It is so easy to ignore our U. S. Constitution when you are pandering and running for Mayor and essentially say “catch them and lock them up and throw away the key”.
Lewis thus far has proposed no solutions to the root causes of crime among them being poverty, our poor educational system, drug abuse and addiction, high unemployment rates and a failing economy.
All Lewis is saying in his video is replace the command staff, hire more cops and that somehow is going to solve the “culture of aggression” found by the DOJ and reduce crime rates.
Lewis needs to articulate real solution for APD and for reducing crime instead pandering to people’s fear of crime and blaming judges.
Lewis now supports a “study” of consolidating public safety services of law enforcement and fire with the County. (See March 20, 2017 Albuquerque Journal, Metro & NM, page C-1 “Council to look at consolidating police, fire services with county.)
The proposed consolidation of city and county law enforcement is taken out of the political playbook of former Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White who years ago proposed it as a way to take over APD by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.
One vote to call in the DOJ to investigate APD does not absolve Dan Lewis from being part of the problem of failed leadership on the City Council when it comes to APD oversight and giving Berry a pass for seven years.
If you want more of the same for Albuquerque, vote for Dan Lewis for Mayor, but just be careful if you’re a Judge, because you may find you face on a billboard if he is elected.