Under the City of Albuquerque’s campaign finance laws, a Measure Finance Committee is a political action committee (PAC), person or group that supports or opposes a candidate or ballot measure within the City of Albuquerque.
All Measure Finance Committees must register with the Albuquerque City Clerk, regardless of the group’s registration as a political action committee (PAC) with another governmental entity, county, state or federal.
Measure finance committees must also file financial statements at the same time the candidates running for office report.
Any person or organization that make a financial contribution of more than 30 percent of the Mayor’s salary must have their names appear in the name of the measured finance committee.
On June 21, 2017, a measured finance committee was registered with the city clerk’s called the “ALBUQUERQUE COALITION FOR A HEALTHY ECONOMY”.
On August 9, 2017, the measured finance committee registration was amended and is now called “ALBUQUERQUE COALITION FOR A HEALTHY ECONOMY AND REALTORS ASSOCIATION OF NEW MEXICO”.
According to the registration filed the city office, the measured finance committee was formed to “EDUCATE PUBLIC ON PAID SICK LEAVE ORDINANCE”.
The chairperson of the measured finance committee is identified as Carol M. Wright and she is the Chief Executive Officer of the New Mexico Restaurant Association.
The treasurer of the committee is Kent L. Cravens, a former Republican State Senator.
The “ALBUQUERQUE COALITION FOR A HEALTHY ECONOMY AND REALTORS ASSOCIATION OF NEW MEXICO” was formed to oppose the Healthy Workforce Ordinance mandating the payment of sick leave to employees by employers.
On July 14, 2017 the first campaign finance report for ALBUQUERQUE COALITION FOR A HEALTHY ECONOMY AND REALTORS ASSOCIATION OF NEW MEXICO was filed and $ -0- dollars were reported in contributions, $-0- dollars in loans were reported, $-0- dollars in expenditures were reported, a $-0- dollars in “in-kind” donations were reported with $-0- debt reported.
On August 11, 2017 campaign finance report for ALBUQUERQUE COALITION FOR A HEALTHY ECONOMY AND REALTORS ASSOCIATION OF NEW MEXICO was filed.
The August 11, 2017 campaign report reflects the following CASH ACTIVITY: $102,900 dollars were made in contributions, $-0- dollars in loans were reported, $-0- dollars in expenditures were reported, and $1,120 dollars in “in-kind” donations were reported with $-0- debt reported.
Individual major cash contributors reported to ALBUQUERQUE COALITION FOR A HEALTHY ECONOMY AND REALTORS ASSOCIATION OF NEW MEXICO are as follows:
REALTORS ASSOCIATION OF NEW MEXICO: $50,000
REAL ESTATE COMMUNITY PAC: $20,000
NEW MEXICO RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION: $10,000
NEW MEXICO RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION: $9,600
ABC PAC: $2,500
Individual cash contributions of $1,000 include the following:
BEN GARNER, FRENCH MORTUARY, JIFFY LUBE, O’NEILL CONSULTING, NAI MAESTAS & WARD, SUN VISTA GENERAL, ACTION AIR CONDITIONING ($500), SCOTT’S FENCING, SOUTHWEST WATER CONDITIONING, CRYSTAL SPRINGS, NEW MEXICO RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION ($300), GEORGIE ORTIZ.
One in kind donation of $1,120 was reported as made by AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY, NM to the measured finance committee opposing the mandatory sick leave initiative.
A coalition of 27 businesses and business organizations was formed last year to oppose the Healthy Work Force ordinance in court.
The business coalition includes:
• Apartment Association of New Mexico
• Associated Builders and Contractors
• Associated General Contractors New Mexico
• Albuquerque Economic Forum
• Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce
• American Subcontractors Association of New Mexico
• Commercial Association of Realtors New Mexico
• Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors
• Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce
• Home Builders of Central New Mexico
• National Association of Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP)
• New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry
• New Mexico Restaurant Association
• New Mexico Utility Contractors Association.
WHERE THE CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR STAND
According to an August 8, 2017 Albuquerque Free Press forum, the candidates for Mayor who support the ordinance include Independent Susan Wheeler-Deichell, Democrat Gus Pedrotty, Democrat Tim Keller and Democrat Brian Colon.
(See ALB Free Web site: August 16, 2017 article “ABQ Free Press Forum Question #2: Candidates Answer Healthy Workforce Ordinance”)
Independent Michelle Garcia Holmes opposes the ordinance.
Republicans Wayne Johnson, Dan Lewis and Ricardo Chaves and Dan Lewis declined to respond to the Albuquerque Free Press survey.
Opponents of the Health Workforce Ordinance have file a lawsuit to try and keep it off the October 3, 2017 municipal ballot and are going all the way to the New Mexico Supreme Court in an effort to remove the proposed sick leave ordinance from the ballot.
(See August 17, 2017 Albuquerque Journal, BUSINESS SECTION, page B-1, “Latest maneuver in sick leave ordinance fight; Emergency Petition asks state Supreme Court to drop it from the ballot)
You can expect significantly more money being raised by the business coalition formed to oppose the ordinance if the New Mexico Supreme Court allows the ordinance to appear on the ballot.
You can also expect the same businesses who oppose the Health Workforce Ordinance will donate to any candidate for Mayor who opposes it.
Candidates for Mayor need to articulate not only where they stand on the ordinance but also say if elected will they enforce it.
A silver lining is that the ordinance may increase the 2017 Municipal election voter turnout if it is in fact on the ballot.
However, if it is on the ballot it will cut both ways.
Progressives Democrats and conservative Republicans may turn out in force to vote.
The business coalition may be able to get more conservative business owner’s and Republicans to the polls which will ultimately skew in Republican candidates favor.
The recent defeat of the Santa Fe “soda tax” shows how effective a well funded opposition campaign can be in a municipal election.
Statistics show that more young people are leaving the city each passing year seeking employment and upward mobility elsewhere which means Albuquerque is getting older and more conservative.
Historically, municipal elections have a very low voter turn out and reliable voters tend to to age 55 or older.
Four years ago, Albuquerque had the lowest municipal voter turnout since 1977 with only 19% of eligible voters voting.