Fault With APD Command Staff Found Again

Federal Monitor James Ginger has filed his most recent “outcome assessment report” required under the court approved settlement agreement (CASA).

(See August 19, 2017 Albuquerque Journal, page A-1, “Latest DOJ monitor report faults APD brass; Finds department well below what is expected at this point in the project”)

The report is on the Albuquerque Police Departments (APD) efforts to achieve the goals mandated by the Federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement and APD reforms,

For the sixth time and in no uncertain terms, the Federal Monitor faults the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) command staff.

The Federal Monitor states “Eventually, the monitor will no longer be engaged to provide an oversight function for APD. … That role will need to be provided by supervisory, command and executive personnel. At the current time, such oversight is sorely absent” and “well below what is expected at this point” in the process.”

The Federal Monitor’s previous reports have been highly critical of APD’s command staff and supervisors for their review of use-of-force incidents and the current report is no different.

The report states “In short we are not yet convinced that APD screens, evaluates and classifies use of force incidents in a manner consistent with the CASA (Court Approved Settlement Agreement)”.

The report is critical of some of the data APD submitted to the monitoring team.

Examples identified in the report are that 2014 use-of-force data that APD submitted this year did not include the fatal shootings of Ralph Chavez, Armand Martin, Mary Hawkes, Alfred Redwine.

What was particularly egregious was not including in the data the fatal shooting of homeless camper James Boyd, which resulted in two APD officers being tried on murder charges and a $5 million-dollar civil settlement, was not included in the 2014 fatal shooting statistics.

APD reported that no shootings occurred in January 2015, but that was the month that former APD Lt. Greg Branchlet shot and nearly killed APD Detective Jacob Grant in a botched undercover drug sting where one cop mistook the other as a drug dealer.

The report states that “one of the most critical and significant errors in APD’s recent history [of data reporting] went un-reported in the very data-base that should be designed … to easily and quickly note without fail such events”.

One positive finding in the report is that “It appears that APD oversight was much improved in 2016” and recognizing APD’s tactical units of SWAT, the bomb squad and canine teams for their practices.

It was the SWAT team that was involved with so many officers involved shootings when the Department of Justice found a “culture of aggression” within APD.

The critical finding in the report should not come as any surprise to anyone and was expected.


It should not come as a surprise to anyone, and was expected, that Federal Monitor James Ginger for the fifth time in no uncertain terms has found fault with the APD command staff.

The Berry Administration, Chief Eden and his command staff have never been committed for the past three (3) years to the DOJ mandated reforms.

Proof of failure to implement the DOJ reforms is contained in the second, third, fourth and fifth progress reports submitted by Federal Monitor James Ginger to the Federal Court.

In his second report to the federal court, Federal Monitor James Ginger accused the City Attorney of what he called, “delay, do little and deflect” tactics saying his relationship with her was “a little rougher than most” compared with top attorneys in other cities and where he has overseen police reform.

The July 1, 2016 federal monitor’s third report states “Across the board … the components in APD’s system for overseeing and holding officers accountable for the use of force, for the most part, has failed … the serious deficiencies revealed point to a deeply-rooted systemic problem. … The deficiencies, in part, indicate a culture [of] low accountability is at work within APD, particularly in chain-of-command reviews. …”

The November 1, 2016 fourth federal monitor’s report states that when “excessive use of force” incidents are investigated by the APD Critical Incident Team, it “[deploys] carefully worded excuses, apparently designed not to find fault with officer actions” and “[uses] language and terminology apparently designed to absolve officers and supervisors of their responsibility to follow certain CASA (Court Approved Settlement Agreement) related provisions.

The May 1, 2017 fifth report is the most damning and critical report to date when the monitor found that APD “subverted” the reform process by issuing “covert special orders,” denying the existence of the orders, and APD exhibiting a “near total failure” to accept civilian oversight.


Assistant APD Chief Robert Huntsman has already left, retired for a second time, nowhere to be found.

Chief Gordon Eden and his command staff are on autopilot given that its likely they will all be gone come December 1, 2017 when a new Mayor is sworn in and with a new Chief.

Anonymous Cowards “Killing the Messenger”

During the current municipal election, I have attended numerous forums and debates and tried to report and comment on key issues that I feel are important to the city of Albuquerque and to voters.

One of those issues is campaign donations, finances, expenditures and reports by candidates to identify contributors so voters will know who may have influence on a candidate if elected.

On July 17, 2017, I posted my blog article “Show Me the Money” and on August 14, 2017 posted my blog article “Show Me The Money, Chapter Two” reporting and giving my political commentary on the campaign finance reports filed with the Albuquerque City Clerk by all the candidates for Mayor.

On August 14, 2017, the following reply comment with a threat of retaliation by an anonymous hate mongering group was made on a candidate’s crime plan that I reported on:

“We know exactly where all advertisements, suggestions, and ideas came from for that [other candidate’s] campaign. If agenda of a personal nature takes precedence, jeopardizing the chance this city has of reform, repair and progress, because some will do so for their own gain, there will be unholy hell to pay as we start a file dump of massive proportions.”

The anonymous blog is usually highly inflammatory with an axe to grind containing false and misleading statements, “alternative facts” and anonymous comments from readers are usually vulgar and void of any reason.

On August 16, 2017, after posting on my blog an Albuquerque Free Press article on a candidate’s crime plan and including the Weekly Alibi profile on the same candidate, the anonymous hate mongering group shared my twitter post on their FACEBOOK page and posted the following comment:

“… some things are a little to obvious and personal agenda is not going to get in the way of electing the proper candidate … like we said.”

The admonishment and warning was from a nefarious hate mongering group that has publicly endorsed Tim Keller for mayor on their blog and FACEBOOK page.

The anonymous blog is posting daily on FACEBOOK and sharing Keeler’s endorsements and political videos promoting Mr. Keller’s candidacy and attacking his opponents.

The anonymous hate mongering group said I was “attacking” Tim Keller’s campaign funding when on August 18, 2017 it posted the following comment on August 16, 2017 to a shared twitter post:

“Pete, We will tell you this. You have attacked Keller’s funding, and it is blatantly obvious with the amount of analysis spent on that candidate versus the rest …”

“Please, we are afraid of no one. Not you or the creeps we forced out like the cowards they are.” …

“Do not fuck with us, because when we step through that door we do not care about etiquet (Sic). …

“… you will not have your cake and eat it too. There is a place in this for everyone who wants to make a positive difference in this. Do not be on the wrong side of the fence … .”

On Sunday, August 20, 2017, the anonymous hate mongering group made good on their threat of retaliation by posting on their blog an inflammatory post condemning my work with the city.

The anonymous hate mongering group posted very old, juvenile photos of police officers engaged in unprofessional on the job conduct and falsely claimed I was their direct supervisor.

A photo of me at a retirement party held at the APD foothills substation was posted of me no doubt to imply I was in command of the officers, which is false.

Mr. Keller told me he is not aware of the FACEBOOK posts and I suggested that he distance himself from the group and their tactics.

This is how low Albuquerque politics has sunk to:

A political blogger publishes a fact-based report using public information, makes comment and then an anonymous hate mongering group who supports a candidate first threatens to retaliate and then makes good on the threat because they do not like what the political blogger is saying or may be supporting another candidate.

I do not object with someone disagreeing with me.

What I strongly object to are posted comments by hate mongers who do not want to identify themselves and hide behind icons who make threats to retaliate if you do not agree with them or do not support their candidate.

This is what I call anonymous cowards who want to kill the messenger and engage in slander, libel and hate mongering and call it first amendment free speech.

This anonymous hate mongering group will turn on Mr. Keller if elected as easily as they turned on Mayor Berry seven years ago if Mr. Keller does do not do what they want him to do as Mayor.

All the candidates running for Mayor and City Council need to make sure that their supporters do not engage in retaliatory, vengeful and intimidating tactics and threats of retaliation and character assassination against opponents and condemn such actions by their supporters and hate mongering groups which is something our own United States President has failed to do thereby losing his moral authority.

It’s time to turn the light on this nefarious anonymous hate mongering group to identify who they are and who they represent.

Over $100,000 Raised To Oppose Mandatory Sick Leave Ordinance

Mandatory Sick Leave Foes Raise $103K

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.



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:

ABC PAC: $2,500

Individual cash contributions of $1,000 include the following:


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.


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.

Gus Pedrotty “The Future Is Now”

Mayoral Candidate Gus Pedrotty Releases Crime-Fighting Plan

This Albuquerque Free Press Article reports on the crime plan being proposed by mayoral candidate Democrat Gus Pedrotty with a link to the video he released on FACEBOOK.

(Click on the article and when it appears, scroll down and then click on the video to view it.)

The video is his second video and like the first it is very impressive.

I encourage all voters to take the time to watch the videos.

In one day, the second video was viewed over 8,000 times.

The first video was viewed over 76,000 times in one week.

It is my understanding Pedrotty personally wrote both the scripts, came up with the production ideas and then had a friend help him with the videos.

This is what a grassroots campaign really looks like free from high paid political consultants.

It is delightful to watch the emergence and development of a candidate who has a very fresh prospective of what we need to do to turn Albuquerque around.

Mr. Pedrotty is not the product of political handlers, political consultants and he does not parrot slogans and talking points for applause.

He thinks for himself.

At all the forums I have attended, Mr. Pedrotty stands out from the competition and excels and improves each time.

Mr. Pedrotty has done his research and fully understands the issues confronting Albuquerque.

In his second video, Mr. Pedrotty offers real and substantive solutions for the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) and explains them in terms we can all understand.

It is a Mayor’s job, and indeed any leaders job, to present ideas and solutions in broad strokes and set the goals and objectives, hold people accountable and not hide from problems and surround yourself with those who can carry out your objectives.

It’s the underlying message that is important in the video.

Pedrotty calls his plan a “service-based model” that will also try to hit at the roots of crime which include poverty, drug addiction and homelessness.

The video is specific when he says he will appoint an interim chief, recruit a new management team, create a department of public safety, revamp training at the police academy, re visit the minimum qualifications to be a cop, grow the department, offer more incentives for recruitment, reinstate longevity pay, implement small clinic model with coordinating services with police, fire and emergency services, continue with the DOJ reforms with emphasis on de escalation techniques, place an emphasis on delivery of police services with an emphasis on community policing, and remove internal affairs from the Albuquerque Police Department.

Voters should not be dismissive of his ideas because of his age.

Some have even said he should be dismissed because of his lack of experience.

Not one of the candidates have experience being Mayor.

Voters and his opponents will be making a major mistake not listening to what Mr. Pedrotty is saying.

I have found that my generation has a real bad habit of underestimating the talents, abilities and wisdom of millennials that Mr. Pedrotty represents, and we do so at our own peril and loss.

The best example of underestimating the wisdom of millennials are the responses Mr. Pedrotty gave to questions in a June 16, 2017 Weekly Alibi profile interview when he addressed mental health issues and mentally ill John Hyde who killed 5 people, including two veteran police officers, and the killing of mentally ill and homeless camper James Boyd. (See http://alibi.com/news/53602/Pedrottys-Bigger-Picture.html )


“Fresh from his tenure as an undergraduate at the state’s flagship university, 23-year-old Burqueño Gus Pedrotty has taken it upon himself to run for mayor of this fair city.
With a small staff of volunteers, a winsome smile—and most importantly—a clear vision of where Albuquerque needs to go in order to make the most of its ever-manifesting future, candidate Pedrotty gained the attention of press and public alike at the recent mayoral forum held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center back on May 23.

With a tendency to give sweeping yet spot-on answers to queries about how and when to fix what ails this city as well as a keen eye for the underlying cultural and psychological processes that can spell success or failure for this municipality, Pedrotty displays a sort of humble confidence and resolute spirit that is rare in politicians of any age.

Gus, as he likes to be known, stopped by Alibi Headquarters to discuss a bid for mayor that began as idealistic—and some would say unlikely—but has since been transformed into one of the more vital and remarkable candidacies that have passed through this high desert city in ages.

Here’s a condensed version of the conversation Weekly Alibi had with Mr. Pedrotty. Like the other mayoral candidate interviews this newspaper has offered its readers, the entire encounter can be seen [on the weekly Alibi web site].

Weekly Alibi: Who are you, and why do you think you should be the next mayor of the city of Albuquerque?

Gus Pedrotty: I just graduated from the University of New Mexico with degrees in chemistry and psychology. It’s an unlikely combination, but it highlighted wonderful intersections between ideas and departments; it allowed me to study music in a new way [by] looking at it through neural relations, music and the brain. This also allowed me to have interesting intersections with [issues related to] healthcare. So I started working with healthcare structures around the city … and that changed things for me. It made me realize that nothing is too big, that it was all malleable and that all we had to do was participate, engage and provide new ideas. It’s with this real experience, coming from just these [past few] years, knowing exactly what we have our hands on—and how to do it better—that makes me sure that I’m in the right place running for mayor. I’m excited to have the opportunity to take the office in October … the bottom line is better outcomes for our citizens, that everyone has equal opportunity access and fulfillment.

Weekly Alibi: One of the things you talked about in your introduction was healthcare. How important is healthcare for our citizens, with regards to public safety and for citizens who are marginalized?

Gus Pedrotty: To put it in simple terms, healthcare is everything. We tout our civilization as having a longer life expectancy; we have security in our bodies. But anyone watching this or reading this knows what a personal healthcare crisis does to your productivity, to your mental state, you know how crippling it can be … it’s hard to engage in our society if you’re unhealthy. Going back to the Hyde shootings, when Ray Schultz was chief of police, it clearly showed that we [city government] didn’t have the capacity to deal with mental health in the community, and it resulted in a [police] culture of violence that resulted in the Boyd shooting and all the ones in between, that brought the DOJ here. Of course healthcare is related to public safety. We’ve chosen to engage this as a problem we can fix. When it comes to public safety, we don’t give people resources to be better.

Weekly Alibi: As mayor, what sort of legislation would you bring to the City Council toward those ends?

Gus Pedrotty: One of the biggest ways we can start to encourage mental health outcomes and how they affect our city is to begin cooperating with programs that already exist, pairing Albuquerque Heading Home with the already existing healthcare structure. Homelessness is not just not having a home. It’s everything that comes with it. I’m interested in holistic and contextualized solutions.

Weekly Alibi: So the people need jobs too, a way to make their lives meaningful and productive?

Gus Pedrotty: As mayor, what would I do to encourage that? Well, we get the homeless in homes, then we [city government] pair with programs that work with their health issues, and we can do that with programs like Project Echo and their infrastructure.

Weekly Alibi: Besides better healthcare, what else will lead to an economic resurgence in Albuquerque?

Gus Pedrotty: It comes down to education. We actually have jobs we can’t fill. We need to provide site-specific education to people so we can fill those jobs. But education can be a huge privilege. We have to create a job market that provides productive infrastructure immediately. There are ways we can go about that. For able-bodied workers, there’s solar installation. By engaging in that, we will be bolstering an industry that already exists here. We can help [solar] companies succeed here by converting city structures to solar energy. We need to be business smart here. The technology isn’t a future technology anymore. It’s here. The future is now. If we want to succeed as a city, we need to embrace that fact.”

“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.


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)


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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 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.


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.

A Video Worth Watching

Mayoral Candidates At The Police Oversight Board

This August 11, 2017 Albuquerque Free Press article reports how five of the candidates for Mayor appeared before the Police Oversight Board on August 10, 2017 to talk about their views and positions on two subjects: civilian police oversight and the ongoing Albuquerque Police Department reform efforts.

The Free Press article has a 25 minute video link of the candidates making their statements.

If you want to see the video, simply “click” on the article posted above and scroll down and click on the video link.

The five candidates who appeared were Brian Colon, Tim Keller, Dan Lewis, Gus Pedrotty and Susan Wheeler-Deichel.

Each of the candidates attending were given five minutes to make a presentation with no questions asked by the Police Oversight Board members.

The Police Oversight Board will not be endorsing any candidate but issued and invitation to all the candidates to allow them to talk about their visions of police oversight and the DOJ reforms.

Regrettably Ricardo Chavez, Wayne Johnson and Michelle Garcia Holmes did not attend.

Anyone who has not had the opportunity to attend any one of the mayoral forums, the video posted along with the article gives a very good example of how the candidates have been responding to questions.

Following is a schedule of debates and forums for the October 3, 2017 Mayor’s race:


August 15 – KNME TV, 6:00 to 8:00 pm

September 11 – KASA FOX 2, 7:00 to 8:30 pm (Sponsored by Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors

September 15 – KOB TV (time not announced)

Channel 7 and 13 are probably waiting to schedule debates until the runoff between the two top vote getters.


August 10 – Police Oversight Board Candidate Forum, 5:00 pm to 8 pm, City Council Chambers at City Hall, 400 Marquette

August 16 – National Association of Woman Business Owners, 5:00 to 8 pm, Tanoan Country Club

August 23 – North Valley Coalition Mayoral Forum, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

August 29 – District 4 and District 8 Forum, 6:30 to 8:30, El Dorado High School

August 30 – MiABQ Mayoral Forum, 5:00 to 8 pm, The Cell/Fusion Theatre Company, 701 1st Street

September 1 – “State of City” Mayoral Forum, 6:00 pm, North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center Social Hall, 7521 Carmel NE.

September 6 – Community Safety and Policing Forum, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, African American Performing Arts Center, New Mexico State Fairgrounds. (This debate is sponsored by APD Forward which promotes police oversight and the DOJ reforms.)

September 8 – NAACP Civil Rights and Diversity Conference Mayoral Forum, 6:00 to 8:00 pm, Embassy Suites Hotel, Lomas and the Freeway

September 21 – East Gateway Coalition Mayoral Candidate Debate, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, The Canyon Club at Four Hills

I encourage one and all to attend one or more of the forums.