According to the Measured Finance Committee Registration filed with the City clerk the measured finance committee MAKE ALBUQUERQUE SAFE was formed for the purpose to oppose “Associated Candidates/Ballot Measures, Tim Keller”.
The Chairperson of Make Albuquerque Safe is Denise Romero and the Treasurer is Donna Taylor.
Sources say Donna Taylor is in fact Donna Madrid-Taylor who used her Madrid last name for the PAC that attacked anti-Santolina County Commission candidates in last year’s county commission elections.
Confidential sources say Donna Madrid-Taylor is a paralegal for the Jason Alarid Law firm and that a Vanessa Alarid is a lobbyist hired to promote the Santolina development project to elected officials with Vanessa Alarid married to Democrat New Mexico State Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas whose district is on the westside.
“Make Albuquerque Safe” raised $60,000 for the most current reporting period, had expenditures of $50,335 and has a closing balance of $9,664.
Western Albuquerque Land Holdings, LLC (JEFF Garrett) donated $30,000 and $30,000 was donated by VETEO PROPERTIES, LLC (MARK VETOTO) of Hobbs, New Mexico.
Western Albuquerque Land Holdings, LLC owns the controversial and massive Santolina development on the west side.
Tim Keller has indicated at forums that he is opposed to the Santolina development project.
THOSE DAMN AND NEGATIVE ATTACK ADS
Expenditures of $50,335 were made by Make Albuquerque Safe to produce and run TV and radio commercials on KOB-TV channel 4, KRQE channel 13, and Clear Channel radio stations with no time shown purchased on KOAT-TV channel 7.
The TV and radio attack ads against Keller are hard hitting and bring up a Senate bill then State Senator Tim Keller voted in favor for in 2011, with the bill failing on a 16 to 20 vote against.
The Senate Bill that Keller voted for would have prohibited local governments from adopting rules or laws restricting where sex offenders could live but would have allowed distance restrictions for a registered sex offender’s residence as a condition of probation or parole.
The attack ads make the inflammatory and false accusation that Keller chose to protect “sex offenders over our children” … and that “Tim Keller wanted to make Albuquerque a safe haven to attract child molesters from around the country.”
The TV commercial uses dark and sinister images of a child with an adult having a hand over the child’s mouth as if being abducted.
The radio commercials describe Mr. Keller as a liberal elitist living in a $600,000 country club home.
The ads are deceitful and manipulative and they are smearing one of the most qualified candidates running for Mayor.
The TV and radios attack ads will probably have no impact on Mr. Keller’s core and very loyal progressive constituency and I predict Mr. Keller will be in the runoff.
The big questions are if the attack ads had any effect on undecided voters and who will be in the runoff with Tim Keller.
THE NEXT LINE OF ATTACK ON KELLER
It is seriously doubtful that Make Albuquerque Safe is going to let up on the attacks on Keller and will engage another line of attack once Keller makes it into the runoff.
Jeff Garret, the President of Garrett Development, the asset manager for Western Albuquerque Land Holdings, LLC penned and the Albuquerque Journal published on September 23, 2017 page A9 a guest editorial entitled “Why we got involved in the Albuquerque mayoral race; Keller will not address issues facing city unless it benefits him” .
Garrett basically outlined the next lines of attack on Keller in the runoff when he wrote in the Albuquerque Journal column as follows:
“Albuquerque cannot afford to elect a hypocrite that takes $380,000 in taxpayer money to run a “clean campaign” and then takes over $230,000 in private PAC money and illegal monetary in-kind contributions. This is disingenuous and contrary to the spirit of “clean campaign.” Keller claims to be a progressive champion, but just a short time ago, he switched from (being) a lifelong Republican to registering in the Democratic Party to win a state Senate seat.”
“Think of the $380,000 in public campaign funds he took from all taxpayers while scheming to have his former campaign manager form a PAC and collect hundreds of thousands more in private campaign funds. Think of how he collects cash contributions for his campaign operatives and then calls them “in-kind” contributions. Ask yourself, is this a “transparent, accountable and clean campaign?”
ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER
The PAC Jeff Garrett is referring to is ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER and it is a measure finance committee, registered with the City Clerk’s office, formed for the purpose “to support Tim Keller’s bid for Mayor”.
The September 22, 2017 Campaign Finance report for “ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER” reflects that it had a beginning cash balance of $174,032.26 from the last reporting period, it had monetary contributions of $124,705.00 for the current reporting period, spent $222,095.44 and has a closing balance of $76,641.82 left to spend as it sees fit to promote Mr. Keller until the October 3, 2017 election.
Cash donations to “ABQ FORWARD TOGETHER” that are noteworthy include: $31,000 from BIG ORGANIZING ACTION FUND, $30,000 from AFSME, Washington, DC, $25,000 from THE CIVIC PARTICIPATION ACTION FUND, $5,000 from the Albuquerque Teachers Federation Committee on Political Action, $5,000 from the Center for Civic Action, $20,000 from AFSME council 18, $10,000 from IAFF Local 244, $5,000 from IBEW PAC Voluntary Fund, $2,500 from Ironworkers Local 495, two $2,500 donations from Center For Civic Action, $3,000 from NMHS PAC, $1,000 from DPA Action Fund, $2,000 from Richard Schneider, $2,500 from Edward Garcia, Garcia Auto Dealership, $2,500 from Julian Garcia, Automundo De Garcia, $2,500 from Sandy Buffett, $2,000 from Tim W. Allisonhatch, $1,000 from John B, Strong, $1,000 from Susan Palmer, $1,000 from attorney Kate Fenlic, $1,000 from Joanie Griffin, Griffin & Associates, the public relations firm for the ART Bus project, $600 from NM State Senator William Tallman, $250 from Josh Anderson with AFSME and $500 from Bond Attorney David Bucholtz.
It is should not come as any surprise that Mr. Keller has very significant and very strong financial support from organized labor and which has already translated into volunteer help and contributions from union members and union organizations.
Tim Keller has been endorsed by the Albuquerque Police Officers Association, the Local Firefighters Union as well as AFSME council 18 that represents city employees.
There are nine (9) unions representing city employees, including AFSME that according to filed finance reports has contributed $50,000 to the Keller measured finance committee.
For the past eight years, the Berry Administration has been many times at an impasse with city union contract negotiations.
Mayor Berry is viewed as very anti organized labor and he unilaterally decided not to honor salary increases negotiated in good faith by the city unions.
Further, Mayor Berry has always advocated right to work laws during the legislative sessions, even when he was a Republican State Representative.
Tim Keller has gone on record repeatedly opposing right to work legislation and is therefore viewed very favorably by organized labor.
A Keller Administration will have to negotiate contracts with the city unions and the influence of union donations will pose a problem for Mr. Keller.
As the saying goes “a week in politics is an eternity”.
With only nine days remaining until the October 3 election, just about anything can happen.
Political television ads, especially negative ads, can affect poll numbers and the outcome of a runoff race.
People constantly condemn negative and highly inflammatory political advertising and polls, but the cold hard reality is that people believe the ads, they affect the polls and the ads work.
Candidates on the receiving end of attack find themselves using precious resources to defend themselves against lies.
The TV and radio ads against Keller are only the beginning of more to come, not only against Keller but the other candidate who gets into the runoff.
What is for sure there will be a runoff and we can all look forward to another six full weeks of the two top vote getters bashing the hell out of each other until the runoff which is scheduled for November 14, 2017.
Whoever become Mayor will have the privilege and honor to deal with a police department and an economy that are akin to backed upped sewer lines.
I have no doubt the work can be done, but you sure going to smell after four (4) years in office if you fail to do it right and fail get things flowing in the right direction.