Show Me The Money For The Runoff!

Below is the Albuquerque Journal article that appeared October 21, 2017 on page C-1 of the Metro / New Mexico section.

Typical Journal giving the headline to the Republican when the Democrat has more money raised. In 17 days, Tim Keller is given $125,000 in public finance, Tim Keller’s Measured Finance committee raises another $110,000, and Dan Lewis raises $200,000 in private funds. You can expect a lot more to be raised and a lot more negative ads.

The donations are the usual suspects.

Lewis raises nearly $200K for mayoral runoff
By Martin Salazar / Journal Staff Writer
Friday, October 20th, 2017 at 6:14pm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — City Councilor Dan Lewis has raised nearly $200,000 since advancing to Albuquerque’s mayoral runoff, while State Auditor Tim Keller has received just over $125,000 in city funds to run his campaign, according to the latest round of campaign finance reports filed Friday afternoon.
The runoff between Lewis and Keller is Nov. 14, although early voting begins Wednesday.

Dan Lewis

Most of the money raised by Lewis, a Republican, has come from local companies and business owners, although several political action committees have also contributed to his campaign, including ABQ Coalition for a Healthy Economy, which gave Lewis’ campaign $5,192. That was one of the groups fighting the proposed mandatory paid sick leave ordinance, which was defeated on Oct. 3.

“We hit our goal — exactly where we planned to be,” Lewis told the Journal.

His report shows that he spent $90,000 — mostly on television ad buys — and had about $110,000 in his campaign war chest as of Thursday.

Keller — a Democrat who received city funds because he qualified to run as a publicly financed candidate — had cash on hand of close to $126,000.

Tim Keller

The political action committee backing Keller’s mayoral run, meanwhile, has raised close to $90,000 since the Oct. 3 election. About a third of that came from unions, although OLÉ, one of the groups backing the sick leave ordinance contributed .

“There’s a real choice to be made, and people are excited for Nov. 14,” said Neri Holguin, chairwoman of ABQ Forward Together. “Albuquerque can choose between more of the Berry administration or real change for our city.”

Make Albuquerque Safe, the Santolina-backed political action committee opposing Keller, reported just $3,500 in contributions and a negative closing balance. The $3,500 contribution was from Western Albuquerque Land Holdings — owner of 21 square miles of land covered by the Santolina Master Plan west of Albuquerque.

Cynthia Borrego, one of the City Council District 5 candidates, reported receiving a little more than $15,000 in city funds for her runoff campaign. Her opponent, Robert Aragon, had not filed his campaign finance report as of press time, according to the city clerk’s website.

Top contributors to Lewis’ campaign include: John Bode Jr. and John Bode Sr., of Bode Aviation Inc., who each contributed $5,000; Michael Castro of Shepards Properties, $5,192; Toby Garcia of Garcia Honda, $5,192; Rebecca Weh, of CSI Aviation, $5,000; Chris Archuleta of Superior Ambulance, $5,000; Mary Merrell of Amcare Inc., $5,000; Thomas Tinnin of Tinnin Investments Inc., $5,000; Dorothy and Larry Rainosek of Frontier Restaurant who gave a combined $6,000; Walking by Faith, $5,000; ABQ Coalition for a Healthy Economy, $5,192; Debbie Harms, of NAI Maestas & Ward, $5,192; Michael Merrell of Amcare Inc., $5,000; New Mexico Restaurant Investors Inc., $5,192; Jalapeno Corporation/Harvey Yates, $5,000; Steven Maestas, with Maestas Development Group, $5,000; Dale Armstrong of TLC Plumbing, $5,100; New Mexico NAIOP PAC, $5,192; Allen Weh of CSI Aviation, $5,000 and Victory Jury of Summit Electric Supply, $5,000.

Top contributors to ABQ Forward Together include: Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, $20,000; OLÉ, $7,000; AFSCME, $5,000; Ed Garcia of Garcia Honda, $5,000; Julian Garcia of Automundo de Garcia, $5,000; and IBEW PAC Voluntary Fund, $5,000.

Help Sustain Independent Journalism

Dennis Domrzalski, the former Editor of the ALB Free Press has now struck out on his own and has started and independent news web page call ALB Reports.

Dennis is one of the better news reporters that I have ever dealt with over many years.

I encourage everyone to read ABQ Report as a source of coverage and news in Albuquerque that will covers stories the Albuquerque Journal and the local TV news stations will not cover.

Starting an independent web page is not easy, but it can be done.

ABQ Reports is fully functional now.

You may see some of my blog articles appear from time to time.

I want to make it clear that all my articles that have appeared in the Alb Free Press and hopefully now in ALB Reports are free of charge on my part.

My political blog is my hobby and it does not generate any income.

We need independent news sources in Albuquerque and I am confident ALB Reports can deliver.

I encourage everyone to put on their desk top for easy access and contribute if you can.

Following is a statement from Dennis:

“I’ve been a reporter, writer and editor for 37 years.
I’m dedicated to honest, fair and hard-hitting reporting.
I’m not conservative or liberal, but am just a reporter who tries to get to the truth at any given point in time.
I don’t believe in pulling punches or being a lap dog because that serves no one.
A free and aggressive press is essential to human liberty. That’s why the Founding Fathers put a free press in the Constitution.
So on this site you’ll get a variety of news, fearless opinion, analysis, humor, satire and commentary. It’s kind of like a free-for-all. My motto is “Without fear and without favor.”
But good journalism takes time and money, so I hope you will contribute what you can to these efforts by clicking on the “Donate” button above.
I could use your help.
Thanks, Dennis Domrzalski.”

Driving The Streets Of Albuquerque Not Safe

The Albuquerque Journal did a front-page story on the dramatic decline in the number of DWI seizures and the revenues from those seizures.

(See October 18,2017 Albuquerque Journal, Page A-1, City’s DWI vehicle seizures plummet; Revenue from controversial program now about $600K, compared with $1.8 M in 201)

In a nutshell, the number of DWI vehicle seizures by the city has gone from 1,976 generating $1.81 million in 2010 to less than half the seizures of 778 generating $598,000.

The Journal reports that number of DWI cases filed in Metro Court has gone from, 4,219 in 2013 to 2,397 in 2016.

The DWI vehicle forfeiture program is very controversial to say the least and is the subject of a federal lawsuit seeking to put an end to the program.

All the candidates who ran for Mayor have said they would get rid of the program, which would be a mistake.

Many people argue that the program should not be generating money for the city.

Notwithstanding, the biggest benefit of the program is getting vehicles out of the hands of repeat DWI offenders and off our streets.

A vehicle driven by a drunk becomes a weapon endangering lives.

But the number of DWI arrests and vehicle seizures is only part of our problem.

Simply put, it is not safe to drive the streets of Albuquerque.

The statistics from the Bernalillo County Metro Court are alarming and reveal just how bad things are with the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) being unable to patrol our streets, get drunks off the road, make DWI arrests and issue traffic citations and prosecute cases.


In 2008, there were 633 felony DWI arraignments and the number steadily declined each year to 104 in 2015.

In 2008, there were 6,538 DWI/DUI misdemeanor arraignments and the number steadily declined each year to 2,942 in 2015.

In 2008, there were 84,527 traffic court arraignments and the number steadily declined each year to 31,163 in 2015.


According to the City of Albuquerque 2017 budget, the Albuquerque Police Department made more than 2,200 DWI arrests a few years ago.

In contrast, APD made only made 775 DWI arrests in the first six months of the current budget year.

In otherwords, DWI arrests are down around 30 percent.

A decade ago, APD was making more than 5,000 DWI arrests a year.

The Bernalillo County Metropolitan court handles cases for virtually all law enforcement agencies that make arrests in Bernalillo County, including the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department (BCSO) and the New Mexico State Police.

The largest percentage of cases arraigned in the Bernalillo County Metropolitan court is for APD cases.

In 2009, there were 746 people arraigned for felony DWI and that number dropped to a mere 104 in 2015.

In 2008, there were 6,538 people arraigned for misdemeanor DWI and in 2015 that number dropped by close to 60% to 2,942.

First, second and third DWI offense convictions are misdemeanors, and depending on the number of the conviction, carry penalties of between 6 months to 3 years license revocation, 90 to 364 days in jail, $500 to $1,000 fine, up to 5 years’ probation, and may include other mandatory penalties such as alcohol evaluation, DWI school, community service, treatment, and ignition interlock for 2 years.

Fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or subsequent DWI convictions are felonies and depending on the conviction number, carry penalties of lifetime license revocation, 6 months mandatory prison time up to 3 years in prison, up to a $5,000 fine, mandatory alcohol evaluation, and lifetime interlock.

Aggravated DWI is where a person’s breath alcohol test is above a .16 BAC (breathalyzer), or there is a refusal to take the BAC test or if bodily injury while driving while intoxicated is caused, with mandatory jail time of 2 days for the first offense, 4 days in jail for second offense and 60 days in jail for the third offense.

The silence by the press and anti-DWI advocates is deafening given the serious drop in DWI arraignments and convictions.


In 2006, as a Deputy City Attorney, I was tasked with implementing the Traffic Court Arraignment Program where Assistant City Attorneys and paralegals were hired and assigned to the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court to negotiate plea agreements in traffic cases at the time of arraignments.

A Metropolitan Judge is assigned on a rotating basis to approve the plea agreements negotiated, and on any given day as many as 500 cases can be negotiated, resolved and approved by the Court.

When a person is stopped and issued traffic citations, the citing sworn officer determines if the driver will contest the citations and if the driver wants to contest the citations an arraignment date and time is immediately scheduled.

The Metropolitan Traffic arraignment program streamlined the process, saves time and money and negates the appearance of police officers at the arraignments.

There are upwards of 170 different traffic violation citations that can be issued by sworn law enforcement.

The most common traffic citations include speeding, reckless driving, careless driving, failing to stop, improper lane change, no registration, no insurance, suspended drivers license, failing to yield, and open container.

Fines for traffic citation carry civil penalties as low as $5.00 to as much as $1,000 in fines.

Failure to have insurance for example is a $1,000 fine.

The average Metropolitan Traffic Court arraignment case results in court fees and fines anywhere from $65 to upwards of $250.

In 2009, there were 86,175 traffic arraignment cases in Metro Court and in 2015 traffic cases dropped to 31,163, or over 55,000 fewer traffic citations.

Fewer cases results in fewer fines and it has a direct fiscal impact on court programs such as DWI education programs.


In November 2015, it was reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety found that New Mexico had the second-worst drivers in the country, according to a car-insurance comparison group.

(For full story see November 27, 2015 Albuquerque Journal article “New Mexico Drivers second worse in the country,

No doubt the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court statistics contributed significantly to the statistics because it is the largest and busiest court in the state and in the largest city in New Mexico.

The study ranked states based on fatalities per miles driven, speeding, drunken driving, careless driving, and other moving citations per capita, according to the Albuquerque Journal article.

According to the study, New Mexico ranked fifth for the most careless driving cases, 10th for the most drunken driving arrests, 17th in traffic fatalities, 12th for speeding and 16th for other types of citations.


In 2010, the APD traffic unit had more than 34 officers and today there are less than 12.

There is a direct correlation with the dramatic decline in the number of DWI arrests and arraignments and traffic arrangement cases and the severe decline in APD personnel.

The December 11, 2015 Albuquerque Police Department Comprehensive Staffing Assessment and Resource Study prepared by Alexander Weiss for the Department of Justice concluded that APD needs at least 1,000 sworn officers.

The Weiss report concluded that 1,000 sworn police officers were sufficient for Albuquerque provided that APD officers did not respond to certain low priority calls such as minor traffic accidents or false alarm calls.

In 2009, APD had 1,100 police officers with approximately 700 assigned to field services, patrolling our streets over three shifts.

Eight (8) years ago, response times were at 8.5 minutes, below the national average.

In 2009, APD command staff recommended that Albuquerque needed at least 1,200 sworn officers for community based policing and felony prosecutions.

The number of APD sworn officers has fallen from 1,100 officers to 850 over the past seven years.

In 2015, APD has 841 sworn police officers with only 440 assigned to the field services patrolling responding to 69,000 priority one 911 emergency calls a year.

Today, in 2017, APD employs 836 sworn police officers with 430 assigned to the field services, divided into three shifts, to patrol the streets and take Priority 1 calls
It takes an average of 15 minutes to dispatch a police officer to 911 emergency calls, which endangers public safety.


Based on review of the Metropolitan Court statistics, DWI arrest and traffic code enforcement are a very low priority of APD, not out of desire, but out of necessity.

With APD field officers responding to over 69,000 priority one calls a year, not to mention thousands of lower priority calls, it is surprising the statistics are not worse at Metropolitan Court.

APD can no longer be proactive with DWI and traffic enforcement.

The net result is that Albuquerque streets are dangerous to drive.

Announcing the Creation of ABQReport!

Following is an announcement from Dennis Domrzalki, the former Editor of the ALB Free Press.

For the last six months, I have contributed articles to the ALB Free Press.

I have known Dennis for over 34 years and met him when he worked for the Albuquerque Tribune.

Dennis one of the better news reporters that I have ever dealt with and he really is a top notch reporter who has won many of awards for his stories over the years.

With the demise of the ALB Free Press, Dennis has now struck out on his own and has started ABQ Reports.

ABQReports it is a community page for the free flow of ideas and opinions.

Dennis says on his web page that ABQ Report is “News, analysis, opinion and more. A TRUE FREE FOR ALL”.

I am delighted he has started his own web page at

I encourage everyone to read ABQReport as a source of coverage news in Albuquerque that will covers stories the Albuquerque Journal and the local TV news stations will not cover.



As many of you know, and many of you don’t, the publication I used to work at, ABQ Free Press, lost its funding in mid-September. That’s life. So I’ve started a new publication, the ABQReport. The site is up and running and I hope you’ll visit it regularly and support it. Not trying to brag here, but for the past three years, I was the ABQ Free Press when it came to news. So I’ll give you the same hard-hitting stuff that you got there. But there are some differences.

ABQReport’s motto is “Without fear and without favor.” The “without favor” being the main point. We’re not conservative or liberal, and we won’t be pushing an ideological agenda. We call things as we see them and will offer the best – and often scathing – news, opinion and analysis. And we’ll have humor and satire and, well, pretty much everything.

I consider it the community’s page where there will be a free-for-all of ideas and opinions.

And I’ll be asking for contributions and donations. That appears to be the best model to sustain it it for now. So please do a few things. Go to the site (I’ll put the address below) and punch in your email address in the “subscribe” button. That way you’ll get all our posts and updates. Please like our Facebook page, ABQReport. And when you’re on our FB page, please use the button on the right side to invite your friends to like the page. We need visitors.

Please share the stories that you like with your friends.

And please donate what you can by clicking on the “Donate” button on the web site. You can do one-time, or monthly contributions. Everything will help.

And contact me with story ideas or op-eds that you want to write. My phone is 505-306-3260. Email is

I’ll be putting the word out a lot in the next couple of months over FB.

Again, thank you for your support and help.

Website is

Dennis Domrzalski

“Sorry For Your Loss. Here Is Your APD Bill For Services Rendered.”

Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis is leading the charge with the introduction of a city council resolution that will allow the private sector and the businesses community to partner with the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) to create specific crime plans for business areas.

Davis wants to give businesses an opportunity to band together and collaborate on crime plans with APD and create “Security Assistance Funding Zones.”

The catch is the private sector will have to pay the city and share the costs when it comes to executing those crime plans.

Those zones must include businesses (10 or more comprising of at least 51% of an area) or property owners (5 or more comprising of at least 51% of an area) that all collectively agree to work with the APD to address criminal activity in their areas.

The businesses or property owners would be required be in major parts of the city, areas with heavy tourism, or areas with other “significant importance” to the city.

If the resolution passes the City Council, property owners or business owners would collectively submit to APD tactical plans that would outline the law enforcement initiatives that would be instituted.

There is no mention of residential areas that may be suffering from high crime rates which apparently have no “significant importance” to Pat Davis.

According to Davis no plan would exceed $100,000, and the city could pay up to $50,000 for the plans.

Davis claims he has identified $300,000 to help three zones during a pilot program.


Law enforcement is a very basic essential service that is provided by city government and is paid for by virtually all taxpayers.

What Davis is saying with his plan is that if you can afford to pay more for your law enforcement protection services that you have already payed taxes for, the City will divert more law enforcement resources for protection to your area.

The Davis proposal creates and funds zones of businesses at the exclusion of residential areas.

The Davis proposal is nothing more than charging additional money taking the functions of law enforcement away from other parts of the city and giving it to those in the private sector who can afford to pay extra for it.

Attempting to reduce crime rates by giving preferential treatment to areas of the city that can pay more for law enforcement is ill advised and downright negligent on the part of Pat Davis.

Next thing you know, Pat Davis will want sworn police officers to issue invoices or bills to citizens after they take a call for service.

It is not hard at all to imagine a convenience store attendant being shot and killed during an armed robbery in a “Security Assistance Funding Zone” and APD handing the store owner an invoice the same month for services rendered in the investigation.

Even worse, the victim’s family or store owner just may decide to sue the city for APD’s negligence and breach of contract in carrying out the law enforcement initiatives that were paid for and agreed to by the business owner.


The Davis proposal is a very bad idea on so many levels.

The City’s crime rate affects the entire city and no area should be given any preferential treatment because that area can afford to pay more for law enforcement services.

The creation of “Security Assistance Funding Zones” is a pathetic attempt to find an alternative solution to APD’s personnel crisis.

What Davis is trying to do is create “safe zones” from crime for those who can afford to pay for them.

The truth is Pat Davis is attempting to privatized APD and law enforcement functions.

The Davis plan will not address APD’s inability to perform its law enforcement function because of its personnel crisis and shortage of APD sworn personnel.

APD is funded for 1,000 sworn police officers.

Notwithstanding the funding for 1,000 positions, APD has 830 sworn police officers but only 430 sworn police are patrolling our streets.

APD response times are at historical highs with calls to APD taking hours instead of minutes to respond, endangering public safety.

The 430 sworn police officers, spread out over three shifts and six area commands, are patrolling our streets and responding to over 640,000 priority one calls a year.

APD’s response times at historical highs with calls to APD taking hours instead of minutes to respond, endangering public safety.

Albuquerque needs at least 1,200 full-time sworn police officers with 750 spread out over three shifts, patrolling our streets and neighborhoods to return to community based policing that will reduce violent and property crime rates.


City Councilor Pat Davis was elected to the Albuquerque City Council in October 6, 2015 to represent District 6, which encompasses the International District, Mesa Del Sol, Nob Hill, Southeast Heights, and the University of New Mexico.

The International District in the Southeast heights has some of the poorest people in the city, a large immigrant community and some of the highest crime rates in the City.

Pat Davis previously worked as a police officer for the U.S. Capitol Police, Metropolitan Police in Washington, D.C. and the University of New Mexico Police Department and at one time served as the Public Information Officer (PIO) for the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office and he should know better being a former law enforcement officer himself.

It is extremely doubtful that any of the businesses and residents in the International District can afford to pay for additional law enforcement services.

Over two years ago I recall vividly having conversations with then city council candidate Pat Davis discussing what needed to be done with APD and to bring crime rates down.

After being elected to the City Council, Davis told me there was not much he could do about APD and we needed to wait until a new Mayor was elected in two years.

Now that Davis is running for Congress, he decides that something should be done to reduce crime in Albuquerque.


Albuquerque’s crime problem and crimes rates are city wide.

Violent and property crime rates in Albuquerque are now at historical highs.

Albuquerque Police Department (APD) statistics reveal the total number of violent crimes in Albuquerque increased steadily and went from 4,291 in 2010 to 5,409 in 2015.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that Albuquerque has become the is fifth-most violent city in the country on a per capita basis while the nation’s violent crime rate dropped by 13.7%.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s latest Hot Spots report shows Albuquerque and of Bernalillo County as the worst place in the nation when it comes to auto theft per capita.

In 2016 more than 10,000 vehicles were stolen in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County or more than 27 vehicles a day.

According APD statistics, the total number of property crimes in Albuquerque has steadily increased each year during the last six (6) years going from 26,493 crimes in 2010 to 34,082 in 2015.

In 2016 according to FBI statistics Albuquerque’s violent crime spiked 15.5% and murders spiked 41.8 percent.

(See September 26, 2017 Albuquerque Journal, page A-1, “”FBI: Crime up sharply in ABQ; Murders increased 41.8% violent offenses rose 15%.”).

According to FBI data, Albuquerque had 61 murders and 6,245 violent crimes in 2016.

Property crimes increased by 13.3 and 38,528 property crimes (6,860 per 100,000 population) and 6,236 total burglaries (1,110 per 100,000 population) in 2016.

In 2016, Albuquerque’s auto thefts jumped by the highest percentage with 7,710 motor vehicle thefts an almost a 50% increase over the year before.


For the last three years, APD has been operating under a federal court order after a Department Of justice investigation found a culture of aggression within APD.

APD has been struggling to implement the mandated reforms of the federal court order.

APD has had enough problems with resisting civilian oversight.

A serious question is if the private sector starts paying for public safety zones, will they also be allowed to order how APD will respond to calls and report crimes in such a manner that would violate the consent decree mandates and constitutional policing practices mandated by the DOJ consent decree?


The Mayor and City Council need to make it a priority to increase APD’s personnel ranks with sworn police officers with an aggressive recruitment program, increased wages for rank and file and sign on bonuses rather than trying to privatize a basic municipal function.

We must demand what we pay for as taxpayers when it comes to law enforcement.

The Albuquerque City Council needs to say “thanks, but no thanks” to Councilor Pat Davis and his ill-advised and opportunistic idea to curry favor with the business community to fund “Security Assistance Zones” in “areas of special” significance.

The City Council needs to give Davis a bill for wasting their time and energy on this ill advised plan.

The Dead Zone

The “Dead Zone” is a 1983 classic movie based on a Stephen King novel starring Christopher Walken as the main character.

It is about a man who sustains a head injury and is in a coma for five years and when he awakes he discovers that he has the psychic ability to learn a person’s secrets through physical contact with them.

At one point, the main character realizes he has a “dead zone” in his visions, where he can change the future.

Walken’s character attends a rally for a third party candidate for the United States Senate, played by Martin Sheen, and shakes the candidate’s hand and has a vision of him becoming president and ordering a nuclear strike that brings on a nuclear holocaust.

The scene in the movie that brings chills is where the President is dressed in pajamas and a robe, at night apparently at Camp David, with two aides with a nuclear code machine, declaring he had a vision and that it was his destiny to start a nuclear war.

The nuclear code machine requires two palm prints to activate the nuclear codes and the President becomes unhinged when his cabinet secretary refuses at first to activate the nuclear codes and berates and calls the cabinet secretary a coward until he capitulates and he helps launch the nuclear attack.

After the nuclear attack is ordered, there is a knock at the door and the President opens the door to greet the Vice-President who tells the President that a diplomatic solution had been found to the crises.

The scene in the movie is what we may be dealing with when it comes to North Korea and current occupant of the White House, especially after the comments made by Senator Bob Corker that the White House has become an adult day care center and that Trump could start World War III.

On October 11, 2017, Vanity Fair published an article on the Trump White House entitled “I Hate Everyone In The White House; Trump Seethes As Advisors Fear the President Is Unraveling”.

The Vanity article reports that close advisors are shocked and stunned by Trumps behavior.

The Vanity Fair article reports how Republicans and Trump advisors describe the White House in continuous crisis as they struggle to contain a president that is increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods using words like “unstable”, “losing a step” and “unraveling”.

It was reported that Trump’s National Security team was shocked when Trumped ordered that nation’s nuclear arsenal be increased 10-fold, and it was after this meeting that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson referred to the President as a “F…ing Moron.”

Vanity Fair reported Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have discussed what they would do in the event Trump orders a nuclear first strike.

The article reports West Wing advisers were worried that Trump’s behavior could cause the Cabinet to take extraordinary Constitutional measures to remove him from office as allowed by the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.

Trump’s former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has told sources he felt Trump has a 30% chance of making it a full term.

The only consolation is that Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis are highly respected and decorated military men who apparently can control the President, at least for now and until he fires them.

I doubt that either Kelly or Mattis can be bullied into starting a nuclear war.