From April 17 to June 19, 2021, publicly financed candidates for Mayor must gather both 3,000 nominating petition signatures and 3,779 qualifying donations of $5.00 from registered voters within the City to secure $661,309.25 in public financing.
Both incumbent Mayor Tim Keller and Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales have collected the 3,000 signatures from registered voters within the City and will be on the November 2, City of Albuquerque ballot for Mayor.
Mayor Tim Keller’s campaign has successfully collected more than the required 3,779 qualifying $5.00 donations having collected 3,945 qualifying $5.00 donations and his campaign has been be given $661,309.25 in public financing.
It is more likely than not that Sheriff Manny Gonzales will also collect the 3,779 qualifying $5.00 donations having collecting 92% of the qualifying donations using a professional canvasing company and he has until June 19 to gather the remaining donations.
MEASURED FINANCE REPORTS
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. Measure Finance Committees are required to register with the City Clerk within five (5) days once they have raised or spent more than $250 towards their purpose.
Measure finance committees are not bound by the individual contribution limits and business bans like candidates. No Measure Finance Committee is supposed to coordinate their activities with the individual candidates running for office, but this is a very gray area as to what constitutes coordination of activities and it is difficult to enforce.
According to City Clerk records, 4 measured finance committees have been formed for the 2021 municipal election. Two are measured finance committees raising money, promoting and spending money on behalf of Manny Gonzales, one promoting Mayor Tim Keller and one promoting fire fighter union interests.
The measured finance committees and what they have raised according to the Third Campaign Finance Reports filed on June 14 , 2021 for the time period of May 4 to June 7 are as follows:
1. RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR A BETTER ALBUQUERQUE: $10,550 Cash Balance
STATED PURPOSE: “Support Albuquerque mayoral candidate who will improve the quality of life for its citizens as well as oppose candidates that are detrimental to the future growth and safety of Albuquerque.”
The chairperson of the “Retired Law Enforcement for a Better Albuquerque is Jason Katz, a retired Chief Deputy of BCSO and the Treasurer is listed as Sistine Jaramillo. No background information could be located on Sistine Jaramillo.
CASH BALANCE FROM LAST REPORT: $550
TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIUTIONS FOR PERIOD: $10,000
TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR PERIOD: -0-
CLOSIING BALANCE: $10,550
LORI HENZ, SELF EMPLOYED, Retail Sales: $5,000
DEBRA BRINKLEY, employed by City of Albuquerque: $5,000
MAJOR EXPENDITURES: None reported
The link to the 2021 Campaign Finance Reports for RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR A BETTER ALBUQUERQUE is here:
2. SAVE OUR CITY: $58,774.17 Cash Balance
STATED PURPOSE: To address the serious crime and leadership problem in Albuquerque.
The Chairperson of “Save Our City” is Sam Vigil and the Treasurer is Republican State Representative Bill Rehm. Sam Vigil is the husband Jacquiline Vigil who was gun down in her car backing out of the family home driveway in the early morning hours as she was leaving for the gym.
Democrat political operative James Hallinan is reported to be the Director of the “Save Our City” spearheading the fundraising efforts. Hallinan was the spokesperson for Manny Gonzales at one time and was also the spokesperson for Attorney General Hector Balderas. Hallinan worked on Governor Lujan Grisham’s election campaign and became embroiled in controversy when he accused candidate Lujan Grisham of throwing water on his crotch and grabbing his crotch. Hallinan sued the governor after she was elected and the campaign has paid him at least $67,000 notwithstanding her denying the allegation. Hallinan has now opened his own political consulting firm and no doubt is being paid for his service to “Save Our City.”
CASH BALANCE FROM LAST REPORT: $16,495.00.
TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIUTIONS FOR PERIOD: $52,500.01.
TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR PERIOD: $10,2020.84.
CLOSIING BALANCE: $58,774.17.
JIMMY DASKALOS, Real Estate Professional: $10,000
BEN SPENCER, Real Estate Professional: $10,000
DOUG PETERSON, Peterson Properties: $5,000
CLIFF BARBERI, Advanced Tower Services: $5,000
LINDA FRESQUEZ, Fresquez Concessions, Inc.: $5,000
GARY ARCHULETA, National Distributing Company: $5,000
KENNETH WELCH, Boiler Repairs and Service: $2,500.
CAROL BROWN, Retired: $2,500
JOE CRUZ, Occupation/Employer: Star Paving Company: $2,000
CHRISTOPHER PACHECO, Pluma Construction: $2,000
MICHAEL MONTOYA, Big M Plumbing: $1,000
SERGIO BERMUDEZ, El Mesquite Market: $1,000
MARC POWELL, NM Dealer Support Services: $1,000
MARC POWELL, Independent Auto Dealers: $500
MAJOR EXPENDITURES TOTAL: $10, 220.84 Cash Balance
GABRIELLE RAEL for Fundraising and Administrative Support: $3,600
BOBBI SHEARER, Full Compliance Consulting: $2,840.68
GABRIELLE RAEL for Fundraising and Administrative Support: $2,840
GABRIELLE RAEL for Fundraising and Administrative Support: $1,600
The link to the 2021 Campaign Finance Reports for SAVE OUR CITY is here:
3. BUILD BACK ‘BURQUE: $21,999.36 Cash Balance
As of April 26, one measured finance committees has been formed to support Mayor Tim Keller’s bid for a second 4 year term . The Measured finance committee is identified as “ BUILD BACK ‘BURQUE”.
STATED PURPOSE: “Support Mayor Tim Keller’s re-election to a second term for the city of Albuquerque”
The Chairperson for “Build Back ‘Burque” is Michelle Mayorga. According to the American Association of Political Consultants “Michelle Mayorga has spent nearly 2 decades working on campaigns, progressive issues, and in local and national administrations. She previously served as Western Field Director at the AFL-CIO, Western Political Director at the DCCC, and Coordinated Director for the Democratic Party of New Mexico in 2012.” The Treasurer for “Build Back ‘Burque” is Robert Lara. Mr. Lara is a licensed New Mexico attorney and is the former State Treasurer of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.
CASH BALANCE FROM LAST REPORT: -0-
TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIUTIONS FOR PERIOD: $22,500
TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR PERIOD: $500.64
CLOSIING BALANCE: $21,999.36
ED GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group: $5,000
TOBY GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group: $5,000
NEW MEXICO BUILDING TRADES: $5,000
ED GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group: $2,500
TOBY GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group:$2,500
JIM MADDOX, Maddox & Co Real Estate: $1,000
DOUG BROWN, Retired, Santa Fe: $500
SQUARE INC., Credit Card Processing $439
The link to the 2021 Campaign Finance Reports for BUILD BACK ‘BURQUE is here:
4. ABQ FIREPAC (NO FINANCE REPORTS FILED)
The stated purpose is to “ SUPPORT CANDIDATES WHO SUPPORT PUBLIC SAFETY & FIRE FIGHTER ISSUES”. What this measured finance committee is the local firefighter’s union. Every election year, the local firefighters get very involved with municipal elections with endorsements and contributing to campaign efforts. The firefighters union not only provides campaign materials such as sign, but also provide volunteers for phone banking and other activities. Four years ago, ABQFIREPAC reported that it raised and spent $67,000 on the Mayor’s and City Council races.
CASH BALANCE FROM LAST REPORT: -0-
TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIUTIONS FOR PERIOD: -0-
TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR PERIOD: -0-
CLOSIING BALANCE: -0-
MAJOR DONORS: None reported
MAJOR EXPENDITURES: None Report
The link to the 2021 Campaign Finance Reports for ABQ FIREPAC BUILD BACK is here:
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
There are four and a half months left before the November 2 election. No privately financed candidates running have announced running for Mayor and therefore Tim Keller and Manny Gonzales are likely the only two who will be running for Mayor with both being given $661,309.25 in public financing. The measured finance committees are beginning to put the “pedal to the metal” to raise as much money as possible for Keller and Gonzales. It’s likely when it is all said in done, at least $1.1 Million will be spent on behalf of each candidate.
There is little doubt that the city’ high violent crime rate will be the deciding issue in the 2021 years Mayor’s race. The spiking homicide statistics and accompanying headlines are the very type of headlines and statistics that should give both Mayor Tim Keller and Sheriff Manny Gonzales nightmares as they run against each other for Mayor. The statistics should mark the end of both of their political careers, but they don’t.
The problem is that neither candidate has a stellar reputation or has accomplished much over the past 4 years for getting things done in bringing down the city’s high crime rates. The crime rates are just as bad in the county as they are in the city which should not give Gonzales any comfort.
MAYOR TIM KELLER
Tim Keller has been Mayor for 4 years of the 5 years where the city has ranked in the top 100 most violent cities. In 2017, Candidate Tim Keller campaigned to get elected Mayor on the platform of implementing the Department of Justice (DOJ) mandated reforms, increasing the size of APD, returning to community-based policing and promising to bring down skyrocketing crime rates. Mayor Tim Keller has tried repeatedly to take credit for crime rates being on the decline in all categories other than violent crime offenses. Now he is proclaiming the city’s spiking homicide rate is what is happening all over the country.
Keller never mentions the fact that since being sworn in as Mayor and prior to the national spike in homicides the city’s homicide rates have broken historical records despite his 4 violent crime prevention programs. The truth is the city’s crimes rates have increased each year during his term. This coming from a mayor who campaigned and got elected on the platform to bring down the city’s crime rates.
SHERIFF MANNY GONZALES
Sherriff Gonzales has been in office for 6 years, the entire time the city’s crime rates have spiked. Gonzales proclaims he can do a better job than Keller and with his tough on crime policies will turn things around. Gonzales also is now making the City’s Homeless crisis a priority, something Keller has emphasized with his Gateway Homeless Shelter Project. Gonzales has done absolutely nothing for 6 years to address the homeless crisis other than having his deputies break up homeless encampments.
Gonzales forgets he has been Sheriff longer than Keller has been Mayor and the County’s crime rates are just as bad. For 5 years, Sheriff Gonzales did next to nothing in helping APD bring down violent crime rates saying crime in the city was not in his jurisdiction as a Bernalillo County Sheriff, that is until he decided to run for Mayor. Gonzales proclaimed that businesses and residents in the South East Heights, which has often been referred to as the War Zone, contacted Gonzales and he decided to do law enforcement sweeps in the are and hold press conferences about his success no doubt to garner favor with voters and make Keller and the APD Chief look bad. It’s called political opportunism at its worst.
Then there is the matter of the Department of Justice Consent decree mandated 271 reforms after APD was found to engaged in a pattern of excessive force and deadly force resulting in a finding of a culture of aggression. It is well known in the law enforcement community that Gonzales has a major disagreement with the mandated reforms, many which Gonzales has resisted in his own Sheriff’s Department such as mandatory use of lapel cameras and civilian oversight of law enforcement. During Gonzales tenure as Sheriff, his department has had deputies sued for excessive use of force, deadly force, racial profiling and civil rights violations resulting in millions paid out by the county in settlements.
A VERY UNCOMFORTABLE FEELING
On June 14, the city had its 55 homicide for the year, another record broken. The city is facing a very hot summer during an election year in more ways than one. Now that the country, state and city are beginning to open up and returning to normal after over a year in quarantine from the pandemic, it’s likely our violent crime rates will increase and the homicide rates will break an all-time record of over 100 before the end of the year.
A very real possibility is the city or the county will have a major bloody, violent tragedy before the election day involving either APD or BCSO.
It happened on March 16, 2014 with the tragic killing of mentally ill homeless camper James Boyd by APD. The Boyd family settled the case for $5 million. The responsible SWAT officers were charged with murder, but were never convicted after a jury could not reach a verdict.
The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office has also had at least 2 tragic killings of mentally impaired by Sheriff’s Deputies. On September 14, 2015, Fidencio Duran, 88, who was partially blind and deaf and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, died after he was shot numerous times with “pepper ball” guns by BCSO Deputy Sheriffs. The Duran family was paid $1,495,000 to settle the case. On July 28 2019, Elisha Lucero, who suffered psychosis and schizophrenia, was shot at least 21 times by BCSO Deputy Sheriffs. The Lucero family was paid $4 Million to settle the case. Gonzales went to the defense of his Sheriff Deputies, said they did nothing wrong, said the settlements were excessive and even went so far as to give the deputies commendations in defiance of the settlements.
If another tragedy occurs involving APD or BCSO, it will test the law enforcement leadership of Mayor Keller, and his appointed APD Chief Medina, or Sheriff Manny Gonzales. If either fail in the public’s eye, the outcome of the election will be likely decided by a landslide victory for one candidate.