“Show Me The Money”, Chapter Two

Follow The Mayoral Campaign Money

On July 17, 2017, I posted my blog article “Show Me The Money” reporting on the first Campaign Finance Reports filled by the candidates for Mayor of Albuquerque.

The second Campaign Finance Reports for Mayor of Albuquerque were filed on August 11, 2017 with the Albuquerque City Clerk.

(See: https://www.cabq.gov/voting-elections/candidate-information/2017-mayoral-candidates)

There are (8) candidates running for Mayor and if no candidate secures 50% or more of the vote, a runoff I will be held between the top voter getters, which appears more likely than not.

There is only one (1) publicly financed candidate and seven (7) privately financed candidates.

There are seven (7) weeks remaining until the October 3, 2017 municipal election.

Voters need to follow the money to know who will have influence over a candidate once elected.

BRIAN COLON CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

From review of the finance report of contributions and expenditures, Democrat Brian Colon continues to be the top fundraiser of all the seven privately finance candidates and has a large cash reserve for a television and media buy.

The Colon August 11, 2017 Campaign Finance Report states that the cash balance from the last reporting period was $517,539,72 and the closing balance for the recent reporting period is $535,579.82.

Brian Colon raised an additional $89,717 during the reporting period and spent $71,676 during the reporting period.

Notable individuals or businesses that made cash contributions of $5,000 or more each listed in the August 11, 2017 Campaign Finance Report for Colon for Mayor include the following donors:

Realteck Inc., TG&W Agency, Cab Trujillo, Kathy Trujillo, Alfred Bernal, Blanchard Properties (Paul Blanchard), D&S Appliance Sales and Service, EKORE, LLC, Kenric Management, Mechanical Control Solutions.

Notable individuals or businesses that made $1,000 cash contributions listed in the August 11, 2017 Campaign Finance Report for Colon for Mayor include the following donors:

Cate Stetson, former State Democratic Party Chair, Former New Mexico US Attorney John Kelly ($2,000), Roy Benson, Stephanie Valencia, Don McCleod, Richard and Janine Holcomb, Shalini Shanker, Nick Chavez ($2,000), Ricardo Reichsfeld, Jasmine Gauba, Edward Avalos, Douglas Craft, Shalini Shanker, David Poms ($1,500), San Bar Construction ($1,500), Star Paving Company ($750).

Other notable donors to Brian Colon include:

Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima ($500) Private Attorney F. Michael Hart and brother of County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins ($500), Former Democrat New Mexico State Treasurer James Lewis ($200), Former Democrat New Mexico State Representative and former Bernalillo County Commissioner Lenton Malry ($100), David Gold ($500), David Mendes ($500), Francis Duffy ($500), New Mexico Independent Auto Dealers ($500), Attorney David Buchholtz ($500), Roy Benson ($500) and Dale Dekker ($500).

There are numerous donations of anywhere between $50 to $100 or more to the Brian Colon campaign during the reporting ting period.

Notable expenditures listed in the August 11, 2017 Campaign Finance Report for the Colon for Mayor include:

$25,502, $4,427 and $4,124 payed to The Payroll Company (Nester Romero) for payroll, $16,096 paid to Altivus CRM Solutions, LCC, Telecommunication (Michael Padilla who is a New Mexico State Senator running for Lt. Governor), $12,550 paid Switchboard Digital Advertising, $2,017 paid to SAGE Payment Solutions (Credit Card Merchant), and $1,768 paid to FOCUS Ink Printing (Nancy Denker)

TIM KELLER CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

Democrat Tim Keller is the only “publicly finance” candidate for Mayor.

Upon being qualified for public financing, Mr. Keller agreed in writing to spending caps and he is strictly prohibited from soliciting and using donations from any other source to run his campaign for Mayor.

The July 14, 2017 Tim Keller Campaign Finance Report states that on April 3, 2017 the Keller campaign was given $342,952 by the City of Albuquerque in public financing.

The last Keller Campaign Finance Report filed on July 14, 2017 listed total expenditures of $130,863.63 with $116,978 spent on campaign staff, consultants and political research, leaving a closing balance of $232,446.09.

The Keller August 11, 2017 Campaign Finance Report states that the cash balance from the last reporting period was $232,446 and the closing balance for the second reporting period is $227,229.88.

The August 11, 2017 Keller Campaign Finance report reflect that $5,216.21 was spent during the last reporting period which includes $3,115 paid to Rio Strategies for the printing of 2,000 signs.

The August 11, 2017 finance report reflects that $24,615 of “inkind” donations reflected in cash amounts were made to the Keller campaign.

Notable “inkind” donations to the Tim Keller campaign include:

Former New Mexico Lt. Governor Diane Denish ($1,000) who ran for NM Governor with Brian Colon as her running mate for Lt. Governor, New Mexico State Senator Mimi Stewart ($200), John Badal ($1,000), Scott Goodman, Goodman Realty Group ($2,500), Art Gardenshwartz ($1,000), Paul Cochran ($5,000), Joinie Griffin, Griffin & Associates the firm handling the public relations for the ART bus project ($1,000), Adam Harrington, HB Construction ($1,000), IATSE Local 423 ($1,000), William Sabatini ($500), City of Albuquerque Union AFSME Council 18 ($220), APD Police Oversight Board member William Kass ($1,000), Sam Field (1,000), Caporale Consultants ($1,000), Jim Collie ($1,000), Jason Harrignton ($1,000), Debra McFarlan ($500), Virginia Scharff ($500), Polly Jackson ($500).

The Albuquerque public finance laws provide that for the first election, qualifying public financed candidates for Mayor are given $1.00 per registered voter in the city and if the candidate makes it into the runoff, they are given an additional 33 cents per registered voter or approximately $118,000 for the run off.

If Mr. Keller gets into the runoff, his campaign will be given approximately $118,000 more in public finance funds.

THE TIM KELLER MEASURED FINANCE COMMITTEE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER is a measure finance committee, registered with the City Clerk’s office, formed for the purpose “to support Tim Keller’s bid for Mayor”.

Measured finance committees are not bound by the individual contribution limits and business bans like a candidate.

Neri Olguin is identified on the City Clerk’s web site as the chairperson for “ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER”.

Neri Olguin is with “Olguin Campaigns and Communications” and its web site lists as former clients the “2008 Tim Keller for State Senate (Primary)” and “Tim Keller for State Senate District 17 (General, 2012)”.

Neri Olguin was the political consultant for former State Senator Richard Romero who ran against incumbent Democrat Mayor Martin Chaves and Republican Richard Berry eight (8) years ago.

Many political observers believe that Richard Romero and Martin Chavez split the Democrat vote which resulted in Republican Mayor Richard Berry being elected.

The August 11, 2017 Campaign Finance report for “ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER” reflects that it had a beginning cash balance of $2,562 from the last reporting period and it had monetary contributions of $84,930 for the current reporting period, spent $10,319.43 and now has a $77,172.92 balance left in the account to spend as it sees fit to promote Mr. Keller.

Cash donations to “ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER” that are noteworthy include:

Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters ($20,000), New Mexico Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO) ($10,000), Curtis-Lucero Law Firm ($10,000), Drive Committee, Teamsters Labor Union ($5,000), Central New Mexico Labor Council ($5,000), Sheet Metal Workers Local Union ($2,500), New Mexico Laborers Political Education Fund ($2,500), OLE, the main advocate for Healthy Workforce Ordinance ($5,000), Former Lt. Governor Diane Denish ($1,000), Sandy Buffett ($2,500), James Collie ($2,000), former 2nd Judicial District Court Judge Anne Kass ($1,000) , Attorney and NM State Representative Daymon Eli ($1,000), Former US Senator Fred Harris ($250), private attorney David Duhigg ($250), private attorney and former candidate for Attorney General Robert Mc Neil ($500), former New Mexico State Senator Richard Romero ($100), Romero Consulting ($100), Catherine Allen ($500), attorney NL Gagne ($100), Morton Simon ($250), Bonnie Anderson ($500) and attorney John Boyd ($100).

The August 11, 2017 “ABQ Forward Together” finance report reflects expenses of $10,319.43 and of that $2,500 was paid to “Holguin Consulting, Inc.” for “CONSULTING FEES”, $2,042 paid to the Mendenhall Law Firm for “Law” services, $1,161 paid to Biogeocreations for “website” services, $998 paid to Janet Aranda for “consulting” and $649 was paid to Beth Charles for “consulting”.

It is clear from the donations made to ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER that Mr. Keller has substantial support from organized labor which will translate into significant volunteer help and even more large contributions.

ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER can raise money up and through to the election day and beyond for a runoff election if Tim Keller gets into the runoff.

The big question is if ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER can secure monetary donations in the hundreds of thousands of dollars as was done last year when George Soros contributed $100,000 to promote District Attorney Raul Torrez in the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s race.

On August 13, 2017, the Sierra Club, who has already endorsed Tim Keller, promoted and did a “Conservation Fundraiser for the PAC supporting Tim Keller”.

If ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER receives aggregate contributions more than 30 percent of the Mayor’s salary from one individual or entity, it must incorporate the donor’s name into the name of the committee.

For 2016 measure finance committees, the threshold number was $31,156.32 and will be likely be the same in 2017 because the Mayor’s salary has not changed.

If anyone person or organization labor make a financial contribution of more than 30 percent of the Mayor’s salary to ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER, their names must appear in the name of the measured finance committee.

In his January announcement for Mayor, Tim Keller said “Let’s elect a Mayor without the big money we’ve come to expect in politics. That’s why we are running a community-driven, publicly financed campaign that fits the future of Albuquerque.”

Mr. Keller now has the best of all political campaign finance world’s by getting public financing to the tune of $342,952 and claiming he is “walking the walk” and running a “grassroots campaign”, while at the same time receiving assistance from a measured finance committee that is chaired by a former political consultant who has worked on his past campaigns for the New Mexico State Senate.

Given the amount of money that is now being raised by ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER, I suspect that sooner rather than later another candidate for Mayor will charge that there is coordination of campaigns between ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER and the Keller campaign for Mayor and demand that an an audit be performed by the city’s Campaign and Election Auditor which is provided for under the election code, rules and regulations to monitor all campaign disclosure statements.

DAN LEWIS CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

The Dan Lewis August 11, 2017 Campaign Finance Report states that the cash balance from the last reporting period was $192,588.87 and the closing balance for the current reporting period is now $169,289 available to the campaign until the October 3, 2017 election.

Republican Dan Lewis raised an additional $43,962 during the reporting period and had expenditures of $62,261 during the last reporting period.

It is interesting to note that Terri Baird, the former Chief of Staff for Mayor Marty Chavez and who raised Mayor Chavez over $1 million in a reelection bid is the fundraising chair for Dan Lewis.

Notable individuals or businesses that made cash contributions listed in the August 11, 2017 Campaign Finance Report for Dan Lewis for Mayor include the following donors:

Larry Chavez ($2,500), Robert B. Wood, Albuquerque Asphalt ($2,000), John Badal ($1,000), Onepayhr, LLC ($1,000), realtor Scott Throckmorton ($1,000), Michael Foote ($1,250), Chaves-Grieves Consulting Engineering ($1,000), John Sedberry ($1,000), Kane Oueis ($2,500), Josh Baird ($1,000), Jeff Grady ($1,000), Edward Garcia, Garcia Cars ($5,192), Duggers Towing Services ($1,250), Allen Sigman Real Estate Group ($1,250), Andrew Dolan with Titan Development ($500), PG Enterprises LLC, granite suppliers ($1,500), New Mexico Restaurant Association ($500), New Mexico Independent Automobile Dealers ($500), Restaurant Entertainment Concepts ($2,500), Samia Rabadi ($1,000), Fernando C De Baca ($100), James A.Griffin, Aspen Masonary ($3,000), Jeff Grady, Raylee Homes, ($1,000), The Kroger Company Political Action Committee ($500), attorney William Keller ($250).

Dan Lewis has little cash on hand to run a viable, traditional media political campaign on TV and radio.

Making traditional short 30 second television commercials and making large television and radio buys appears not to be the strategy adopted by Republican Dan Lewis.

The $169,600 available to Dan Lewis for a television and media buy is not very much.

Notwithstanding, Dan Lewis appears to be running a “social media” campaign for Mayor and may not feel much will be needed for television and radio buys.

Republican Dan Lewis continues to produce and release 2 minutes or more commercials on FACEBOOK that are impressive, slick and well produced.

The Lewis ads released on FACEBOOK have been logged as having been viewed by tens of thousands with numerous comments.

At the end of one of the advertisements, the “Stoneridge Group” is identified as producing the commercial.

According to Wikipedia, the Stoneridge Group is “a political campaign marketing firm based in Alpharetta, Georgia, with offices in Louisville Kentucky. The Stoneridge Group provides the following services to pro-life, Republican campaigns, associations, and non-profits: voter contact mail, website design and complete online campaigns, print and collateral items, and strategic consulting.”

There are severe doubts that a “social media” campaign will reach older, conservative and most likely to vote people who are 50 years of age or older who do not use social media such as FACEBOOK.

WAYNE JOHNSON CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

The Wayne Johnson August 11, 2017 Campaign Finance Report states that the cash balance from the last reporting period was $187,008 and the closing balance for the recent reporting period is now $207,770.

Republican Wayne Johnson raised an additional $34,176 during the reporting period.

Notable individuals or businesses that made cash contributions listed in the August 11, 2017 Campaign Finance Report for Wayne Johnson for Mayor include the following donors:

Kurston Johnson ($7,000), John Bode, Bode Aviation ($2,596), Neil Hise ($2,000) Mechanical Control Solutions ($2,500), John Rockwell, Sierra Peaks Tibbets ($2,000), Don Mcleod ($1,000) Admiral Beverage Corp ($1,000), Julie Pisto ($1,000), private attorney Geoff Reider, ($1,000), John Rockwell ($1,000), Sandia Park Tram Corporation ($1,000), Nancy Johnson($1,000), Charles Johnson ($1,000), Allen Sigmon Real Estate Group ($1,000), New Mexico Restaurant Association ($500), former Republican New Mexico State Senator Mickey Barnett ($500), Stephen Byrd ($500), Robert Godshall ($500), Abruzzo Trust ($500), New Mexico Independent Auto Dealers ($500), attorney David Buchholtz ($750).

The Wayne Johnson for Mayor campaign reported spending $13,414 during the last reporting period which included paying Wyatt Barsch $2,000 and EKERN Company $5,375 and $3,157 for consulting.

The Wayne Johnson campaign had $3,733 of “in-kind” donations during the last reporting period including $1,060 from retired and former APD Commander Sonny Leeper with Law Enforcement Training International and, and $1,357 from Julie Rodger.

Republican Wayne Johnson is competing for the same conservative Republican votes of Republican Dan Lewis.

Wayne Johnson appears to be attempting to run a “social media” campaign with the posting of video commercials, statements and testimonial endorsements on FACEBOOK.

Republican Sherman Mc Corkle, who was chairman of Mayor Berry’s transition committee eight (8) years ago, and Ed Lujan, the brother of former Congressman Manuel Lujan, have both done FACEBOOK endorsements of Wayne Johnson.

RICARDO CHAVES CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

Ricardo Chaves is a “self-financed” candidate for Mayor.

The Ricardo Chaves July 14, 2017 Campaign Finance Report revealed that he loaned his campaign for Mayor $500,000.

Mr. Chaves reported in the July 14, 2017 report that he spent $134,666.27 for campaign consulting, management and petition signature gathering to get on the ballot and he had $373,981.53 remaining in his campaign account.

The Ricardo Chaves August 11, 2017 Campaign Finance Report states that the cash balance from the last reporting period was $373,957 and the closing balance for the recent reporting period is now $373,228.

Mr. Chaves reported he received $2,479 “in kind” donations from himself for office space and his expenditures for the period were $728 for and alarm system and administrative services.

The fact that Mr. Chavez has personally loaned his campaign $500,000, that he has spent $126,107.33 in consulting fees and still has $373,228 indicates he is a serious candidate with enough money to run political commercials or send out mailers that will impact the race.

MICHELLE GARCIA HOLMES CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

The July 14, 2017 financial report reflects Michelle Garcia Holmes reported contributions of $22,131 with expenditures of $73.28 and a closing balance of $27,590.11.

Michelle Garcia Holmes and her husband Earl Holmes each contributed $5,000 for a total of $10,000 to her campaign for Mayor.

The Garcia-Holmes August 11, 2017 Campaign Finance Report states a cash balance from the last reporting period of $31,725 and a closing balance for the recent reporting period as $33,300.

Michelle Garcia Holmes is attempting to run a social media campaign by making numerous posts on FACEBOOK.

Total “in kind” donations for the period were $1,172.

SUSAN WHEELER-DEICHEL CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

The Susan Wheeler-Deichel campaign did not file its August 11, 2017 finance report.

The July 14, 2017 Campaign Finance Report for Wheeler-Deichel reported monetary contributions of $6,275, in-kind contributions of $420 and expenditures of $5,955.23.

Of the $6,275 in monetary contributions to the Susan Wheeler-Deichel campaign, $6,175 was a personal loan to her campaign.

GUS PEDROTTY CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES

Gus Pedrotty reported beginning monetary contributions from the last period of $1,986 with monetary contributions for the current reporting period of $2,505, in kind contributions of $212 and expenditures of $1,091 with a closing balance of $3,091.

Gus Pedrotty is attempting to run a social media campaign by making at least two FACEBOOK commercials that he has written and produced by himself with one commercial being slick and well produced.

Mr. Pedrotty is very articulate, understands the issues and has stood out thus far at all the debates and forums.

CONCLUSION

From a historical standpoint, municipal elections are very low voter turnout.

The reliable municipal voters tend to be 50 years and older and conservative.

Four years ago, only 19% of eligible voters voted in the lowest voter turnout since 1977.

As the saying goes “a week in politics is an eternity”.

The biggest campaign issue is what effect on the Mayor’s race will social media campaigns have versus traditional television or radio mass media buys.

The privately finance campaigns and the measured finance committees can continue to raise as much money they can up and until the election day.

Political television ads, especially negative ads, can affect poll numbers and the outcome of the race.

There is plenty of time for events to develop and missteps to influence the race for Mayor.

There are numerous forums and debates scheduled.

However, the seven weeks remaining is little time to raise enough money for an effective TV and radio media campaign.

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About

Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.