2021 Mayor Candidate Profile Articles, “Q and A” Articles; Dinelli Blog Articles; If You Do Not Vote, Do Not Complain!

The November 2 municipal election for Mayor is fast approaching. For that reason, below is a listing of Albuquerque Journal profile articles and Question and Answer articles on the candidates with links to the articles. The Journal articles are being provided in the hope they will provide useful information to make an informed decision.

After the Journal profile articles, a listing of www.PETEDINELLI.com blog articles with links are provided. One caveat to keep in mind: The blog is political and the articles are replete with political opinions with Analysis and Commentary. None the less the blog articles provide documented information on the records of the candidates reported on by local news media and contained in public records along with the Analysis and Commentary.

PLEASE VOTE NOVEMEBER 2! If you do not vote, do not complain.



HEADLINE: ‘I’ve learned’: Keller touts real-world experience”





HEADLINE: “People centric Gonzales Touts Personal Relationships.”


Q&A mayoral candidate Manuel Gonzales III, by the candidate



HEADLINE: “Conservative radio show host takes on Dems”


“Q&A mayoral candidate Edward Joseph Aragon Jr.” by the candidate




HEADLINE: “ABQ Journal Endorses Mayor Keller Not Because He Has Done Great Job, But Because Opponents Not Qualified; Fact Checking The Endorsement”


Tuesday, October 26:

HEADLINE: ABQ Mayor Candidates Outline Positions On Homeless; “Crisis” Not An “Epidemic”; Arresting And Jailing No Solution; The Law And The Homeless



HEADLINE: “Mayor Candidate Eddy Aragon Reveals He Is “QAnon” Conspiracy Candidate; Aragon In His Own Words; Does Aragon Think 2020 Election Stolen From Trump? Analysis And Commentary”



HEADLINE: “Law Enforcement Relic Manny Gonzalez Talks Crime; An Analysis Of The Gonzales Record As Sheriff; He Will Do For The City What He Has Done For The County: Not Much”


Wednesday, October 13:

HEADLINE: “Keller Lives In “Fantasyland” Looking For “Unicorns” To Combat Violent Crime; Keller In His Own Words; Examination Of Keller’s Record On Crime”

Thursday October 14:

HEADLINE: “MFC’s And Mayor Candidates File 7th Campaign Finance Reports; Sheriff Manny Gonzales Raises Over $330,000 In 3 Weeks; ACLU Raises $100,000 To Oppose Gonzales And Aragon”


August 26, 2021

HEADLINE: “Der Führer Trump Radio Shock Jock Eddy Aragon Formally Declares Running For Mayor; Let’s jail grandma to reduce the homeless! And Other Crazy; A Choice Between The Lesser Of 2 Evils And 1 Crazy Trumpster Is No Choice At All”


August 20, 2021

HEADLINE: Der Führer Trump’s Favorite Democrat Sherriff Manny Gonzales Runs For Mayor; A DINO And Law Enforcement Dinosaur


January 11, 2021

HEADLINE: “Mayor Tim Keller’s Record Of Broken Promises, Failures And High Murder Rates As He Seeks A Second Term”


Candidate Keller Promised 1,200 Sworn APD Police Force; Keller’s Claim He Has Hired 400 Sworn Police Misleads; 400 New Hires Offset By 80%; APD Sworn Dangerously Down Despite Fully Budgeted

The November 2 election for Mayor is fast approaching. The result is a daily barrage of television commercials from both incumbent Mayor Tim Keller and his Chief rival Sheriff Manny Gonzales.

Keller has the distinct upper hand in the amount of money his campaign can spend to produce commercials that are slick and impressive. One ad claim in particular is also very misleading. The Keller claim in particular that is misleading is where the ad boldly proclaims that Keller has hired 400 sworn police over the last 4 years. The claim of hiring 400 may be true, but it is also extremely misleading bordering on making the ad simply being false.


What Mayor Keller does not disclose is that 80% of the 400 hires have been offset by resignations, retirements and terminations. If the Keller Administration in fact has hired 100 new officers a year over 4 years as claimed, you add the new 400 sworn police to the 861 sworn when Keller became Mayor to arrive at a 1,261 total number. You then subtract the most current identified number of 940 sworn police from the 1,261 total which means APD has lost 321 sworn police officers over 4 years. In other words, 80% of the 400 hires over the last 4 years have been offset by loses due to retirements, transfers or terminations and now need to be replaced.


When then New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller ran for Mayor, he ran in part on the platform of increasing the size of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) to 1,200 police and returning to “community-based policing” by the end of his first term. When Mayor Tim Keller assumed office on December 1, 2017, there were 861 full time sworn police according to the 2017-2018 city budget figures and payroll records at the time.

During the 2017 campaign, Keller promised to increase the number of sworn police in the department to 1,200 by the end of his first term, pledging to hire 100 new police officers a year. To keep his campaign promises on APD, Mayor Keller order his Administration to begin implementing an $88 million-dollar police expansion program. The announced goal was to increase the number of sworn police officers from 861 positions filled to 1,200, or by 339 sworn police officers, over a 4-year period.

Fast forward to August, 2021 and after the 2021-2022 APD budget was approved. APD is the largest budget department in the city. APD’s approved general fund operating 2022 budget is upwards of $222 million. The 2022 approved APD operating budget has funding for 1,100 sworn positions and 592 civilian support positions for a total of 1,692 full-time positions. It also includes funding for new positions, including 11 investigators to support internal affairs and the department’s reform obligations under the Federal Court Approved Settlement Agreement, and two communications staffers.

Notwithstanding the approved funding for 1,100 sworn police the number of police officers patrolling the street of Albuquerque is dangerously low. However, according to an August 2 KOAT news report only 369 are actually patrolling the streets of the city. The 369 filed service officers are divided into 6 area commands and 3 separate shifts. According to the August 2 KOAT TV news report, APD patrol staffing is as follows:

369 patrol officers, for six area commands and 3 shifts
59 patrol sergeants
18 lieutenants
18 – 22 bike officers


The shortage of sworn police and new recruits has resulted in APD announcing on October 27 it is doubling the sign on bonuses for new police cadets from $5,000 to $10,000. It was in August, APD announced lateral officers who transfer to APD from other departments will be paid $15,000 in total bonuses. New lateral hired officers receive $5,000 when they’re hired, $5,000 when they complete their fourth week in the academy, and the rest after a one-year probationary period.

The link to quoted source material is here:



APD continues to lose officers at an alarming rate. According to a recent published report, APD sworn police are leaving APD in droves and either moving on to other departments or just simply retiring. The total number of APD full time sworn police officers dwindled from 998 at the end of March of 2021 to 940 as of July 24, 2021 with the department losing 58 officers in a 4-month span. As of October 27, 2021, APD has 945 sworn police according to APD spokesperson Rebecca Atkins.

In June, APD announced the list for police uniform officer’s bids for shifts. These are the field officers who are dispatched by 911 and who respond to calls for service and who also patrol the streets of Albuquerque. It is field officers that are the backbone of APD and who patrol the city streets, 7 days a week and assigned to the 6 area commands in 3 shifts. On the date the first bid list was produced, APD had a disappointing 376 officers who made bids. Since June the number reduced to 363 officers, a reduction of 13 officers in just a month.

The link to the report is here:



Under the law, a failure to disclose is considered a lie or fraud. Throughout his entire 4 years as Mayor, Tim Keller has proclaimed his administration is fully committed to transparency and accountability. Ostensibly, Mayor Keller does not believe that transparency must include facts that discredits your claims. Mayor Keller is nowhere near the 1,200 sworn police he promised and his commercial proclaiming he has hired 400 sworn police is misleading to make people believe he is doing a good job in keeping his promise of increasing the size of APD to the point of making it false.

ABQ Journal Poll On The Economy And The Stadium; A Defective Ballot Question; Analysis And Commentary

The Albuquerque Journal commissioned a poll by its long time pollster Research and Polling. The poll was conducted from October 15 through October 21. The Albuquerque Journal has used Research and Polling for decades as its exclusive pollster. Research and Polling has the reputation as the most respected, most accurate and most reliable polling company in the state with Brian Sanderoff as the chief principal.

The Albuquerque Journal published two separate articles, one on the stadium and one on the voter’s views on the economy. The headlines and links to the articles are here:

“City voters take dim view on economy” by Jessica Dyer / Journal staff writer


“Journal Poll: Most city voters oppose stadium bond measure” by Jessica Dyer / Journal staff writer


This blog article highlights the poll results on the two issues quoting the most relevant portion of the articles followed by blog article Commentary and Analysis.


The poll asked the following 2 questions on the economy:

1. Would you say you are financially better off, worse off, or about the same before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?

The responses to this question were:

16% responded BETTER OFF
18% responded WORSE OFF
66% responded ABOUT THE SAME
1% responded DON’T KNOW

2. How would you rate the strength of Albuquerque’s economy [excellent, good, fair, poor, don’t know]?

2% responded EXCELLENT
25% responded GOOD
50% responded FAIR
21% responded POOR
2% responded DON’T KNOW

Quoting portions of the Journal article highlighting the poll results:

“… 25% of respondents rated the strength of Albuquerque’s economy as “good,” while just 2% rated it as “excellent.”

“… 71% of respondents rated the economy as either “fair” or “poor.”

“… Most … respondents [50% overall] rate the economy as fair rather than the lowest option. A similar poll from 2017 found that 35% of respondents rated the economy as “poor” with another 47% rating it “fair.”

“Just 27% of likely Albuquerque voters take a positive view of the city’s economy, even though many say their personal finances haven’t changed much since the COVID-19 pandemic reached New Mexico … . more than a year and a half ago.”

“Asked if they were financially better off, worse off or about the same as before the pandemic, 66% of respondents said their financial situation is about the same.”

“16% of respondents said they were better off financially than before the pandemic [and] 18% said they were worse off.”

“Among respondents without a high school diploma, nearly twice as many said they were worse off (27%) as said they were better off (14%).”

“The view of the city’s economy showed a strong partisan divide, with 34% of Republicans rating the economy as poor, compared to 12% of Democrats… “

Accord to Research and Polling executive Brian Sanderoff the economic progress of the city often correlates with which party occupies the highest office and he had this to say:

“If we had a Republican mayor, I think we’d see more Republicans being complimentary of the overall direction of the economy. ”

“Asked what they believe is the biggest issue facing residents in the Albuquerque Metro area today, just 3% of respondents cited the weak economy putting it behind crime, homelessness, poor education, COVID-19 and the proposed soccer stadium on the list of responses.”

The link to the quoted source material is here:



A combined 71% of respondents rating the economy as either “fair” or “poor” should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone given the city’s high unemployment rate and a lack of any real economic development. The city for decades has faced significant challenges due to a lack of economic diversification and the COVID-19 pandemic made things even worse with its impact on the city’s tourism and service industries.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor statistics, Albuquerque’s unemployment rate was 7.2% in April, 2021 and increased to 7.4% in July, 2021.


The city’s unemployment rate is worse than the state’s and far worse than the country’s. On October 22, 2021, the New Mexico Department of workforce Solutions reported:

“New Mexico’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in September, down from 7.2 percent in August and down from 8.6 percent in the previous year. The national unemployment rate in September was 4.8 percent, down from 5.2 percent in August and down from 7.8 percent in September 2020.”



The major obstacles to economic development in Albquerquerqu are well known to anyone who has lived, worked and done business for any length of time in the city. Those obstacles are high crime rates, poverty, ever increasing homelessness, ineffective or substandard education system and workforce preparation, and a lack of national and major publicly traded companies all make the list.

Albuquerque Economic Development (AED) is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to recruit new employers and industry and help local companies grow to generate quality job opportunities for the Albuquerque metro area. On Tuesday, June 29, AED announced what it touted as its “first-of-its-kind five-year strategic plan” to stimulate job creation, to work to overcome some of the city’s most chronic problems and to boost the city’s brand nationally. The AED’s vision under the strategic is idealistic as idealistic as it gets and yet straight forward.

AED’s specific five-year goal is for Albuquerque to rank in the top 25% of midsized markets in the U.S. for job growth. That in and of itself will be a steep climb for the city which saw a pathetic 0.7% job growth in the past five years which placed the city in the bottom 25% for cities with a population of between 500,000 and 1 million people.
AED’s plan identifies six major industries that have momentum now that will help with economic development:

Renewable energy
Digital media and film
Corporate and professional services


AED’s plan identifying “digital media and film” as an industry having momentum cannot be overemphasized. Over the last 20 years, the film and television industry has steadily grown and been one of the few bright spots for the city, especially during the great recession, when it comes to economic development and diversifying the city’s economy which is too dependent on government spending and job creation.

It was in 2019 that the film industry began to seriously emerge to be one of the biggest hopes for Albuquerque to diversify the city and states economies. The unmistakable evidence was the immense investment in the city by NBC Universal and the Netflix purchase of Albuquerque studios as the site of a new production hub. Both NBC and Netflix announced opening film production facilities in Albuquerque.

On October 8, 2018, it was announced that Netflix was buying Albuquerque Studios. The State contributed $10 million of Local Economic Development Act funds. The City of Albuquerque contributed another $4.5 million of Local Economic Development Funds. Albuquerque beat out other places such as Denver, Salt Lake City, Austin, New York, Georgia and Los Angeles. The Albuquerque site will be Netflix’s first hub purchased in the United States. Albuquerque Studios is an enormous complex that includes 9 sound stages, a backlot and management offices. New Mexico’s other 4 production studios are I-25 Studios, Garson Studios, Santa Fe Studios and Las Cruces Studios as other productions seek studio space for their projects.

On July 22, 2019, NBC Universal announce it would open a studio in Albuquerque as part of a 10-year venture. The media giant took over and renovated and created sound stages at a vacant industrial building south of I-40 on Commercial Street, north of downtown in the vicinity of historic Martinez town. The media giant is expected to provide more than 330 full-time jobs year-round at the film studio.

NBC Universal employees earn about $58,000 a year which is a far cry from the minimum wage jobs the city is use to announcing with the arrival of new businesses. The studio operation is projected to generate an economic impact of $1.1 billion over a 10-year period.


AED’s plan identifying “aerospace” as an industry having momentum also cannot be overemphasized.

On Thursday, November 12, 2020, the City of Albuquerque Environmental Planning Commission approved the new site plan for the “Orion Center.” It is an aerospace and technology facility that will be built on the 122-acre plot of land located between Kirtland Air Force Base and Albuquerque International Sunport. “Group Orion”, the developer, is a subsidiary of Theia Group Inc., a Washington D.C. based, privately held aerospace company. The Theia Group is attempting to develop a network of satellites to digitally image and collect data on the physical world, providing solutions in areas from logistics to biology.

The mass area acreage was originally where the North-South airport runway was located. The land has now been designated for industrial development by the city. In 2017 after the runway was removed, the City named the acreage as the “Aviation Center for Excellence”. The city began to offer the vacant land area for commercial and office developers . According to Nyika Allen, Albuquerque’s Director of Aviation, the city began working with “Group Orion” in late 2018.

During the November 12th press conference announcing the development, Albuquerque Economic Development Director Synthia Jaramillo said the Orion Project represents a real opportunity to attract development from the commercial space industry. According to Jaramillo:

“The global space economy is projected to be worth $3 trillion by 2045.”

Jaramillo cited Albuquerque’s “engineering-savvy” workforce, low property tax rates, which are some of the lowest in the country, and tax deductions that target the aviation and aerospace industries. In addition, the city boasts “large swaths of vacant land, unrestricted air space and low population density.”

James Reid Gorman, Vice President of Administration for Theia, said Albuquerque was appealing to the company because of its “pipeline of engineering talent” from the University of New Mexico Engineering College. One goal is for the company to partner with all New Mexico universities to attract graduates and he said “It’s going to be a big part of our strategy in recruiting.”
Links to news coverage sources are here:



A link to a related blog article is here:



On the Nov. 2 ballot is a bond proposal that asks city voters if they support or oppose using $50 million in bonds to buy property and build a new multipurpose stadium. The ballot question itself contains defective language about the nature of the city’s $50 million stadium bond proposal.


General Obligation Bonds (GO bonds) require voter approval. GO bond debt is paid off with property taxes. The November 2 ballot features 11 city GO bond questions totaling $140 million and voters have an extensive history of passing GO Bonds.

Gross Receipts Tax (GRT bonds) is where the debt incurred to finance construction is paid for by use of the city’s tax revenues to pay the debt. GRT bonds do not require voter approval and can be passed by the city council with a super majority of 7 out of 9 votes.

The ballot question on the stadium describes the project financing as “gross receipts tax revenue bonds” (GRT Bonds) which is accurate. If the measure passes the city will use a portion of its gross receipts tax on the sale of goods and services to make annual payments of $3 million to pay off the $50 million debt barrowed to build the stadium.

The ballot wording changes where voters actually mark their ballots. Voters have the choice between filling in an oval that says they are “for general obligation bonds” or an oval indicating they are “against general obligation bonds.”

The City Attorney has taken the position that the ballot question is “advisory only” and the wording conflict will not render passage, if it happens, void. Mayor Keller has said if the vote fails, he will abandon the project and not build the stadium.

City Attorney Esteban Aguilar Jr. explained it this way:

“The question on the ballot as written does not pose a legal issue because it will advise the City regarding the voter’s perspective on whether the City should issue bonds to build a multi-use stadium.”

The link to quoted source material is here:


If passed, the city will use gross receipts tax revenues to pay off the debt, estimated at $3 million annually for 25 years. In and agreement with the city, New Mexico United professional soccer team will lease the stadium from the city and be its primary tenant. The Soccer team has pledged to pay $10 million upfront to help build the stadium and $900,000 annually to use it.


The highlights of the Journal poll article are as follows:

“Only 37% of Albuquerque voters say they support the city’s proposed $50 million bond to help build a multiuse soccer stadium, according to a new Journal Poll. That compares with 55% who oppose the plan – most of whom describe their disapproval as strong.

Only a fraction (3%) say that it depends or that they are undecided (4%).

… Voters say the city should look somewhere other than Downtown if it goes through with the project.

The poll of likely city voters found little variation in stadium bond support based on gender and only some distinctions based on age and ethnicity.

… Ages 35-49 expressed more support than those both younger and older, but even among that age group, fewer than half (48%) favor the bond. More Hispanic voters (42%) than Anglo voters (35%) like the stadium bond.

“The clearest distinctions are tied to political affiliation. … ”

“Democrats are fairly evenly split on the bond measure, with 46% in support and 45% opposed.”

“… Among Republicans, … only 22% support it, compared with 71% who oppose it.”

“36% of independents voiced support … compared with 55% who are against the bond.”

“Even voters who say they are casting ballots to reelect Mayor Tim Keller – who first announced the bond proposal during a pep rally-style speech at a New Mexico United soccer tailgate – do not show strong support for the bond. Only 49% of Keller’s voters say they support it, compared with 42% who say they are against it.”

“Brian Sanderoff, president of Albuquerque-based Research & Polling Inc., said conservative opposition to the bond is expected. But the proposal’s lukewarm reception among people on the left is more unusual in what he called a “blue-leaning city” where such issues normally pass.”

“Journal Poll: Most city voters oppose stadium bond measure” by Jessica Dyer / Journal staff writer



During the 2020 and 2021 legislative sessions, the New Mexico legislature earmarked $9 million for the project including $4 million from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham during the 2021 legislative session. The cost of the $400,000 analysis was paid for by state money allocated in the 2020 session. Technically, such bonds do not require voter approval but Mayor Tim Keller has said he would not pursue the stadium if the bond fails. Between the bond issue, if approved, the state funding already committed, there should be enough to construct the stadium.

It’s very disappointing that opposition emerged to the stadium with people arguing that the millions to pay off the bond could instead be used to combat homelessness or crime and that the city has so many other pressing issues that come before a stadium. For decades, such arguments have been made to stop major quality of life facilities and projects. The best example is when voters said no to a performing art center in the late 1980’s.

For the last 50 years, City Hall and virtually all Albuquerque Mayors have been fascinated and enamored with trying to revitalize the Downtown Central area. All Mayors wanted to bring back Downtown Central of its heyday of the 1950’s and 1960’s where it was the center of commercial, business and retail and entertainment activity. The new multipurpose stadium is one major project that has the most potential to finally change and encourage development of the downtown area.

The city is already spending as much as $25 to $30 million a year to help the homeless with services, voucher programs, and grants to service providers to the homeless. The city has purchased the old Loveless Hospital on Gibson for $15 Million for the new Gateway homeless shelter. Further, the county enacted the behavioral health tax that raises $20 Million a year for mental health care facilities and programs that also help the homeless.

As far as crime and police are concerned, the Albuquerque Police Department is the largest city budget having a $227 Million dollar a year budget. APD’s budget continues to increase year after year. Its not an issue of not having the resources to fight crime, but an issue of a poorly managed police department with at least 150 vacancies in sworn police.

The New Mexico United has “skin in the game” when it comes to the City of Albuquerque investing $50 million in building an outdoor sports complex. The $10 million contribution by United New Mexico and the lease is enough for the public to seriously consider it.

Albuquerque cannot be just a cop on every corner, a fire truck on every street, a jail or homeless shelter in every city quadrant, a garbage dumpster at every turn, streets without potholes and buses like ART that no one uses. Any truly great city must include facilities that enhance the quality of life of its citizens, such as libraries, zoos, museums, aquariums, the ABQ Biopark and athletic facilities like Isotopes Park and yes a soccer stadium.

Should the measure fail at the ballot, which appears likely, the city and the state should explore funding the multipurpose stadium with a joint venture.

ABQ Mayor Candidates Outline Positions On Homeless; “Crisis” Not An “Epidemic”; Arresting And Jailing No Solution; The Law And The Homeless

The City of Albuquerque municipal election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 2. On the ballot for the office for Mayor are incumbent Democrat Mayor Tim Keller, Democrat Sheriff Manny Gonzales and Republican Trump Talk Show Host Eddy Aragon. A major issue emerging in the Mayor’s race is how they will deal with the city’s ever increasing homeless crisis. Mayor Keller has a 4 year record on the issue, while Sheriff Manny Gonzales pledges to do all he can to end homelessness and Eddy Aragon has a number of competing suggestions and potions.

This blog article outlines the candidates’ positions on what they will do if elected Mayor, discusses the nature of the homeless crisis in the city, what the city has been doing for the last 4 years.


All 3 candidates for Mayor have outlined 3 very different views on how to deal with the City’s homeless crisis.


Mayor Tim Keller has said if he is elected to a second term, he will continue with his commitment to the “multifaceted approach” he adopted after abandoning the one centralized location. In addition to acquiring the Lovelace Hospital Gibson facility and making into a “Gateway Homeless Shelter”, the Keller Administration has done the following:

1. Created a city division focused on the homelessness
2. Expanded operations at the Westside Emergency Housing Center from just a winter facility to a year around facility operating 24/7.
3. Boosted rental voucher funding for the homeless to help get them off the streets into temporary housing and help them move toward stability.

According to the Family and Community Services Department, the city spent more than $20 million in the 2020-2021 fiscal year on shelter, housing programs and other services for people experiencing homelessness. Notwithstanding all the efforts made during the last 4 years under Mayor Keller, the number of homeless in Albuquerque continues to increase.

Keller claims the worsening homeless crisis in Albuquerque is partly because homelessness, just like violent crime, is “exploding” around the country. Responding to the arguments made by Sheriff Gonzales and Eddy Aragon that more arrests need to be made, Keller had this to say:

“This is a good example of folks just not doing their homework. … It’s just naive to think that a mayor can come in and [just start arresting people who are homeless]. … Mayors have to understand they are not the all-powerful kings of the city and they can just do stuff that’s illegal. It’s a good lesson to learn, because their ideas will never fly in court, and it’s just going to end up costing the city a bunch in lawsuits. … My administration … [is] going to continue working with our partners, but we unfortunately have to own this problem, because we need to do more.”

Keller acknowledged that the city has laws and ordinances that allow it to dismantle homeless encampments, he said there is a “line” to walk between respecting individuals’ rights and enforcing ordinances. When it comes to government sanction and operated outdoor, public place encampments, Keller said he’s open to the concept if faith-based organizations or other agencies want to try it. However, he would want the authorized camps to be small, scattered and controlled to mitigate issues like substance abuse. Keller said:

“I think we need an all-of-the-above approach because homelessness and unsheltered is such a terrible problem for our city.”


Mayor Gonzales has said that addressing the city’s homeless crisis will be a top priority of his once he becomes Mayor. The Gonzales for Mayor campaign in his first TV ad says:

“Now Manny Gonzalez is running for Mayor with a plan to turn our city around and starts with fighting crime and ending the homeless epidemic.”

Use of the word “epidemic” by Gonzales is very unfortunate and very callous to the plight of the homeless. An “epidemic” is the rapid spread of an infectious disease to a large number of people in a given population within a short period of time. Being homeless is not an “infectious disease”. The homeless are human beings not a disease to be cured but a crisis that needs to be dealt with and solved.

Not at all surprising, Sheriff Gonzales’ plan to end the homeless crisis has a strong law enforcement component. Gonzales takes the position that if the homeless are violating “public order”, such as disorderly conduct laws and public nuisance laws by doing things such as sleeping in parks after hours and have refused to use existing services like shelters, arrests are warranted. Gonzales views arrests as a way to protect both the general public and the homeless population . Gonzales says:

“[Arrests are warranted if] they’re having sex [in the parks] in the middle of God and everybody there in the public. They’re defecating … on businesses. … Then there has to be a point where you have to enforce the law of indecent exposure and those type of things. … What you’re trying to do is get people off the streets, because it’s already unhealthy for them.”

Sheriff Gonzales opposes the new “Gateway Homeless Shelter” saying he thinks it’s unnecessary. Gonzales challenge whether the city-hired consultants understood the homeless population who found in 2019 that Albuquerque needed 463-518 new shelter beds to meet demand. Gonzales believes there are people who choose to live on the streets and people on the streets need to be “screened” by professionals and directed to the right resources. Gonzales had this to say:

“You have to diagnose what these people are suffering from before you make decisions for them. And you also have to understand that a majority of these people aren’t homeless, they’re choosing to live in the street because they’re addicted to drugs.”

Sherriff Gonzales objects to the idea of government sanctioned encampments believing it will make the homeless crisis worse and encourages the lifestyle.


On August 24, Eddy Aragon held a press conference and officially announced he was running for Mayor. In his press conference announcement, Aragon questioned the “wisdom” of opening the Gateway Center homeless shelter at the former Lovelace Hospital complex on Gibson and purchased by the city. He also questioned the city’s investment in other government homeless services.

In his announcement, Aragon went out of his way to note that his grandmother experienced homelessness ostensibly as a showing he understands the homeless crisis but nonetheless said:

“I think the solutions that we’ve proposed thus far have not reduced the level of homelessness.”

Aragon to said he wants to “recriminalize” homelessness so that the city’s approach includes “penalties in addition to helping” people who live on the streets.

Aragon agrees with Sheriff Gonzales that arrests and jail need to be part of the solution to the homeless crisis. Aragon contends the city has been “coddling” the homeless population and he had this to say:

“We have too many homeless on the streets. It isn’t policed. It isn’t working, and the homeless feel like they can just stay or go or do whatever they like at any time.”

Aragon claims he favors an individualized approach. The individualized approach would include offering transportation to shelters and treatment centers and even a “tickets out of town”. Aragon believes jail should be an option when there’s “no other remedy.” He advocates arresting the homeless for panhandling and camping.

Eddy Aragon is opposed to the Gateway Homeless Shelter being located at the Lovelace Gibson location and believes it could encourage long-term homelessness. He also thinks the location of a homeless shelter there will be detrimental to the area near Kirtland Air Force Base and the planned Orion Center and had this to say:

“There’s a lot of good things that are happening up here, and I don’t think that bodes well, overall, to have the homeless facility.”

Aragon does not object to city sanctioned homeless encampments. Aragon sees government sanctioned encampments as a way to better keep track of people and guide them into programs and services they need to get them off the streets. Aragon put it this way:

“We can use it as a temporary measure where we establish connection with them, give them 30 days, we can figure out where we can transport them, if we can get them back home. If there’s something that’s broken there, we can figure out something else we can do.”


Each year the “Point in Time” (PIT) survey is conducted to determine how many people experience homelessness on a given night in Albuquerque, and to learn more about their specific needs. The PIT count is done in communities across the country.

The PIT count is the official number of homeless reported by communities to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help understand the extent of homelessness at the city, state, regional and national levels.


On June 22, Albuquerque’s 2021 Point-In-Time (PIT) report was released that surveyed both sheltered and unsheltered homeless. This year, the survey asked where people stayed the night of January 25.

Major highlights of the 2021 PIT report are as follows:

There were 1,567 sheltered and unsheltered homeless people living in Albuquerque, a slight increase over the 2019 count of 1,524 homeless. The 2020 homeless count is 2.8% higher than in 2019 and 18.9% more than in 2017, despite the pandemic limiting the 2021 counting effort’s.
The 2021 PIT count found the good news that 73.6% of the homeless population was staying in emergency shelters, transitional housing or using motel vouchers rather than sleeping in alleys, parks and other “unsheltered” situations. The 73.6% in the 2021 count is much a higher than the 2019 and 2017 PIT counts.
Albuquerque’s unsheltered homeless decreased from 567 people in 2019 to 413 in the 2021 count.
42% of Albuquerque’s unsheltered were defined as chronically homeless, meaning they had been continuously homeless for at least a year and had a disabling condition
21% said they were homeless due to COVID
37% were experiencing homelessness for the first time
12% were homeless due to domestic violence.
30.19% of the homeless in Albuquerque self-reported as having a serious mental illness,
25.5% self reported as substance abusers.
In the rest of the state, 37.92% of the homeless self-reported a serious mental illness, while 63.3% self reported as substance abusers.

The combined PIT numbers for the areas outside of Albuquerque is defined in the report as “Balance of State” (BOS). The 2021 BOS PIT count reports that 1,180 sheltered and unsheltered homeless, a 31% decrease from the 1,717 counted in 2019.

Operators of programs that provide services to Albuquerque’s homeless say the actual number of homeless is far greater than indicated in the PIT count. The Albuquerque Public Schools says the number of homeless children enrolled in district schools, meaning kids from families that have no permanent address, has consistently been more than 3,000.
The link to quoted statistics is here:




Government agencies and nonprofits report that the city’s homeless numbers are greater than those found in the PIT reports and that the number of homeless in Albuquerque approaches 4,500 to 5,000 in any given year.

The nonprofit Rock At Noon Day offers meals and other services to the homeless. Noon Day Executive Director Danny Whatley reported that there are 4,000 to 4,500 homeless people in the Albuquerque area. What is alarming is that according to Whatley, the fastest-growing segments are senior citizens and millennials (ages 23 to 38 in 2019).

Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) is New Mexico’s largest school district, serving more than a fourth of the state’s students and nearly 84,000 students. APS spokeswoman Monica Armenta stated the number of homeless children enrolled in district schools, meaning kids from families that have no permanent address, has consistently ranged from 3,200 to 3,500. APS serves many students in need with nearly two-thirds qualifying for the federal school meals program. The APS school district serves 29,000 breakfast per school day and 41,000 lunches per school day.

The centralized citywide system known as the Coordinated Entry System that the city uses to track the homeless and fill supportive housing openings reports that approximately 5,000 households experienced homelessness last year.


It is the city’s Family and Community Services Department that manages and deals with city services, programs and federal grants for the homeless and assist with affordable housing programs to help low income people in need of financial assistance to avoid becoming homeless. The Family and Community Services Department has a total budget of $54,868,986 and has 313 full time employees. According to the 2021-2022 fiscal year approved city budget for the Department of Community Services, the city is spending upwards of $35,145,851 a year to help the homeless and those in need of housing assistance. A breakdown of the amounts spent includes:

$18,191,960 for affordable housing and community contracts (Budget page 175.)
$6,421,898 for emergency shelter contracts (Budget page 176.)
$4,378,104 for mental health contracts (Budget page178.)
$3,624,213 homeless support services(Budget page 178.)
$2,529,676 substance abuse contracts for counseling (Budget page 179.)

You can review the detailed line item funding of programs, contract and grants administered by the Family and Community Services Department in the 2021-2022 approved city budget on the pages provided above with the link here:



During his 2017 campaign for Mayor and since the day he was sworn in on December 1, 2017, Mayor Tim Keller has made it a priority to address the city’s every increasing homeless population and crisis. Initially, Keller made it a top priority to build a 300-person, 24-7 centralized homeless shelter to replace the existing West Side Emergency Housing Center, the former jail on the far West Side. In 2019, voters approved $14 million in general obligation bonds for a city operated homeless shelter.

Three preferred sites quickly emerged for the centralized emergency shelter:

1. University of New Mexico property near Lomas and Interstate 25
2. The old Lovelace hospital facility on Gibson
3. The Wells Park area near Second and Interstate 40

Strong and organized opposition emerged for a 300-bed centralized facility for all 3 locations. The University of New Mexico Hospital employees, UNM faculty and students made it clear they did not want its land north of Lomas Boulevard to be used for the shelter and the UNM regents agreed. Neighborhood Associations and businesses in the vicinity around Wells Park were particularly vocal given the high number of homeless that congregate daily at Wells Park. Criticism for all 3 locations included that a 300 bed centralized facility would negatively impact the surrounding neighborhood and businesses.

On Wednesday, May 7, 2020, Mayor Keller announced that the city was abandoning the development concept of a single, 300-bed homeless shelter and that the city would be proceeding with a “multi-site approach” to the city’s homelessness crisis. Mayor Tim Keller went so far as to state that the 300 bed Gateway Center was “off the table”.

The city officials said the new multi-site approach could mean a series of “smaller facilities” throughout the community. Ostensibly, there would be no single resource hub in one large facility as was originally proposed with the 300 bed Gateway Center. City Family and Community Services Director Carol Pierce offered insight into what the city means when it refers to small shelters and had this to say:

“We’re often talking 100 to 150 beds of emergency shelter that could be defined as a smaller shelter.”

On Tuesday, April 6, 2021, the city officially announced it had bought the massive 572,000-square-foot complex for $15 million and will transform it into a Gateway Center for the homeless. It was announced that the complex would be only 1 of the multisite homeless shelters and not the 300-bed shelter originally planned. The complex has a 201-bed capacity, but remodeling could likely increase capacity significantly.

The zoning for the Gibson Medical Center facility allows for an “overnight shelter” but only as a “conditional use” that must be applied for by the city. The city is now applying for the conditional use arguing there is a strong need for it to enhance Albuquerque’s demand for homeless services to an ever-expanding homeless population. The city has prepared an operations plan for the Gibson site and is proposing that it accommodate 100 individuals and 25 families at the Gibson Gateway homeless shelter. A zoning hearing was held on September 21, 2021 and the decision has yet to be announced.


Simply put, it is not illegal to be homeless, the homeless have constitutional rights like all citizens in this country, and that includes camping outdoors and even panhandling.

“[The Federal] Courts have found that depriving homeless people of the rights to perform survival activities in public spaces when no alternatives are available violates the 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th, and 14th Amendments to the Constitution. In Martin v. City of Boise, the court held that “as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property.” Some legal challenges have resulted in settlements, which generally call for minimum notice before clearance of encampments, requirements for storage of personal belongings, and compensation for people who are swept from encampments and attorney fees.”


It was in November, 2017 that the city council enacted the “Pedestrian Safety Ordinance”. The intent of the ordinance was to eliminate or restrict panhandling on the streets of Albuquerque. The ordinance was sponsored by Republican City Councilor Trudy Jones, a former real estate agent who lives in an affluent area of the city who argued that the homeless were bringing her constituent’s property values down.

The Pedestrian Safety Ordinance essentially made acts of charity by private citizens a crime. The language of the ordinance prohibited anyone from standing inside travel lanes, along interstate ramps on medians and prohibits “any physical altercation or exchange” between “pedestrians and occupants of vehicles in traffic lanes.” It was a prohibition not only against individual panhandlers but prevented drivers of vehicles in traffic from giving anything to panhandlers.

Despite repeated warnings by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that the ordinance was a violation of constitutional rights, the council enacted the ordinance. Once enacted, the ACLU sued the city and the ordinance was quickly declared unconstitutional and stricken down.



It is the policy of the Albuquerque Police Department(APD) to issue citations, rather than make arrests, for most nonviolent misdemeanors due to what is referred to as “McClendon Lawsuit” that was settled by a federal judge. That lawsuit, filed against the city and Bernalillo County by an inmate arrested for a non-violent misdemeanor, primarily focused on the conditions within the county lockup. At the time the lawsuit was filed, the then Bernalillo County detention center had a maximum capacity of 800, but the jail was repeatedly overcrowded with as much as twice that capacity. The misdemeanor offenses affected by the special order include many misdemeanor violations involving the homeless such as criminal trespass, criminal damage to property, vagrancy, loitering, disorderly conduct, and camping on public property, all misdemeanors. The policy remains in place to this day.

It was on May 10, 2018 that Special Order 17-53 was then made SOP 2-80 that deals with arrests on misdemeanor cases. The memo provides that officers may make an arrest if it is necessary, but will have to include the reasons why in an incident report. The special-order states that officers have the opportunity to take offenders wanted for non-violent misdemeanor offenses to Metropolitan Court to resolve warrants or fines instead of hauling them off to jail. However, the arrested individual must have the full amount of the fine or bond in cash. Those arrested also cannot go through a bonding agency.


Homeless encampments refer to two or more people experiencing homelessness who are living outside, rather than in an emergency shelter. Most homeless encampments are prohibited by local ordinances that do not allow camping and sleeping in public places and zoning laws that bar camping and accessory dwellings. Both the city and the county have policies in place that allow the dismantling encampments.

On May 5, 2021, it was reported that Albuquerque City Councilor Diane Gibson and Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O’Malley want the city and the county to establish “homeless encampments”. They argue the encampments would be a better alternative for those who might now be sleeping on sidewalks, in doorways, arroyos or other places unfit for human habitation. Such camps, also called “safe outdoor spaces” would be managed sites with tents or low-cost structures where people without homes can sleep and access bathrooms and showers. City and County law enforcement and code enforcement would not have any authority to cite or break up the camping on the designate areas.

O’Malley and Gibson said the homeless encampments could provide more than just tents. There are other options such as 64-square-foot aluminum structures designed specifically to house people who are homeless. The units have lockable doors and windows and are designed to accommodate electricity, heating and air conditioning. Prices start at $4,900 apiece.



What is very disappointing is the reliance on law enforcement, arrest and confinement by both Sheriff Manny Gonzales and Eddy Aragon to deal with the homeless. When Keller said “This is a good example of folks just not doing their homework”, he was being polite. Political bloggers do not have to be polite. Sheriff Manny Gonzales and Der Führer Trump Republican Eddy Aragon are hopelessly ignorant on the subject trying to pretend they understand the homeless crisis and pretend they have a solution and have nothing. Twice during debates, Aragon mentioned how his grandmother and another family member had been homeless at some point in their lives as if he understood the homeless crisis by some sort of “family osmosis” or perhaps DNA. Aragon is the same candidate for Mayor that said if elected, he could be considered as the first black mayor of Albuquerque because according to his DNA profile he is 4.5% African American which is twice the percentage of African Americans living in Albuquerque.


The greatness of a city is reflected by the commitment it makes to help its homeless who suffer from mental illness. NIMBY stands for “Not in my backyard” relating to proposed projects opposed by homeowners, property owners and business owners, such as the Gateway Homeless shelter project, the tiny homes 35-unit transitional housing project and the 42-unit HopeWorks Project for mental health services and housing.

Albuquerque has between 1,500 and 2,000 chronic homeless, with approximately 80% suffering from mental illness. The city does provide extensive services to the homeless that include social services, mental or behavioral health care services, substance abuse treatment and prevention, winter shelter housing, rent assistance and affordable housing development, just to mention a few.

Charitable organizations such as Joy Junction, St. Martins HopeWorks project, Steelbridge, The Rock at Noon Day and Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless provide services to the homeless, and do so by being where the homeless can be found and where the homeless can seek out, reach and have easy access to services.

All too often, we tend to forget our humanity, our political philosophy and our religious faith and beliefs of hope and charity, and condemn the homeless for what we think they represent or who we think they are.

We condemn the homeless whenever they interfere with our lives at whatever level – such as pandering for money, begging for food, acting emotionally unstable, sleeping in doorways and defecating in public, and, yes, when we stand downwind from them and smell what living on the streets results in personal hygiene.

The sight of homeless camps, homeless squatters in parks and living under bridges usually generates disgust. People condemn the families of the mentally ill for not making sure their loved one has been institutionalized or is taking their medications. All too often, the families of the homeless mentally ill are totally incapable of caring for or dealing with their loved one’s conduct.

Calling law enforcement in Albuquerque to deal with the mentally ill has a history of ending tragically, as was the case with mentally ill homeless camper James Boyd who was shot and killed by the Albuquerque Police Department SWAT in the Sandia foothills.

We easily forget the homeless are human beings who usually have lost all hope, all respect for themselves and are imprisoned for life in their own minds, condemned to fight their demons every hour, minute and second of their life until the very day they die.

One thing that must never be forgotten is the homeless have human rights to live as they choose, not as anyone says they should live. The homeless cannot be forced to do anything against their free will or change their life unless they want to do it themselves.

The homeless should not and cannot be arrested and housed like criminals or animals. Many homeless do not want to be reintroduced into society, and many have committed no crimes and they want to simply be left alone. The homeless who suffer from mental illness cannot be forced or required to do anything for their own benefit without due process of law.

Too often, the homeless are the victims of crimes, even being bludgeoned to death for fun as Albuquerque saw a few years ago when three teenagers killed two Native Americans sleeping in a vacant lot on a discarded mattress.

We as a city have a moral obligation to make every effort and make available to the homeless services they desperately need. Both Gonzales and Aragon do not understand this fact.


ABQ Journal Poll On Mayor’s Race: 53% Keller, 20% Gonzales and 13% Aragon; Dissecting And Consolidating Poll Results; Comparing The Three Most Recent Polls; Runoff Not Likely

On Sunday, October 24, the Albuquerque Journal published 3 separate articles on a poll it commissioned for the 2021 Mayor’s race. All 3 of the articles were written by Journal staff reporter Jessica Dyer.

The front-page headline article entitled “Keller has large lead over mayoral opponents” and reported the poll results 53% Tim Keller, 20% Manny Gonzales and 13% Eddy Aragon.

Two separate articles were also published, one on Mayor Tim Keller entitled “Half of city voters favor Keller’s job performance”, published on page A-8 and one on Sheriff Manny Gonzales entitled “Gonzales’ current job approval stands at 34%”, published on page A-9.

The poll was conducted by Research and Polling, the most respected, most accurate and most reliable polling company in the state with Brian Sanderoff as the chief principal. The Albuquerque Journal has used Research and Polling for decades as its exclusive pollster.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The poll was conducted from October 15 through October 21. This time frame is important to note in that on October 19 the televised debate on Channel 4 between the candidates occurred. During the debate, Sheriff Manny Gonzales made salacious and false accusations that Mayor Tim Keller had an affair, that he was involved in a domestic violence incident and that a “high-ranking city official who was driving drunk and was involved driving a city vehicle and involved in a crash.” COO Lawrence Rael has been identified as the city employee having a car accident, but Gonzales lied in the debate that Rael had been drunk driving. It is difficult to gage if Manny Gonzales’ debate performance had any impact on the poll results.

The Journal Poll is based on a scientific, citywide sample of 536 likely regular local election voters, including those who voted in the 2017 and/or 2019 local elections and a small sample of newly registered voters likely to vote in 2021. According to the Journal report:

“All interviews were conducted by live, professional interviewers, with multiple callbacks to households that did not initially answer the phone. Both cellphone numbers (82%) and landlines (18%) were used. The voter sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.”


This blog article is a dissection and consolidation of all 3 poll articles on the candidates quoting only the reported poll results and deleting narrative and interpretations to allow the readers to come to their own conclusions. The links to all 3 articles are here:





Quoting and consolidating the Albuquerque Journal articles:

“Over half of the city’s likely voters – 53% – say they already have or would vote for Keller, more than the two other candidates on the ballot combined. Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales polled at 20%, while radio host Eddy Aragon is at 13%. Results of the poll show 12% of voters remain undecided.”

Keller, a Democrat, has a commanding lead among Democrats, with support from 78% of those polled.

Gonzales is also a registered Democrat … has support from just 8% of Democrats compared with 38% of Republicans.

Aragon, a radio station owner and conservative talk show host, is the only Republican on the ballot .. He has 29% of the Republican vote, the poll shows.”

“Gonzales and Aragon are battling for Republicans [which] represent approximately a third of the voters in this election.”

“… the poll … showed that more than half those who planned to vote for Gonzales selected Aragon as their second choice and those who planned to vote for Aragon named Gonzales as their second choice.”

“Keller supporters are more likely to have no one as a second choice.”

The link to the Journal front page article with graphics and photos of the 3 candidates is here



Quoting and consolidating the Albuquerque Journal articles

“Slightly more Albuquerque voters are willing to cast ballots for Tim Keller this fall than think he is doing a good job as mayor.”

“Although 53% of likely voters in the city say they have voted for Keller or will vote for him, his approval rating in the same poll is 50%.”

“Thirty-six percent of likely voters disapprove of the job [Keller] is doing, and 12% say they have mixed feelings.”

“Keller … has historically enjoyed higher ratings; his job approval rating was 60% a year ago and 61% in 2018.”

Among Democrats, Keller has a 72% approval rating and 14% disapproval rating. It is nearly the opposite with Republicans – 18% approve, and 70% disapprove [of Keller.]
… a year ago, 33% of Republicans had given Keller a favorable review.”
… .

Independents are split on Keller, with 40% approving and 41% disapproving.

In other demographic breakdowns, women are more likely to give him positive reviews, with 56% approving, compared with 44% of men.

Although 80% of survey respondents who said they were voting for Keller in the Nov. 2 election say they approve of how he’s doing as mayor, 12% say they have mixed feelings and 7% say they disapprove.

The link to the full Journal front page article quoted is here:


The link to the Journal article on Keller’s job performance polling is


According to the Journal Poll, Democrat Mayor Tim Keller’s 53% support breaks down as follows:


47% support from males
59% support from females


47% high school graduate or less
44% some college
53 % college degree
65% Graduate Degree




According to the Journal poll, Keller’s “approve/disapprove” ratings on handling his job as mayor are as follows:


44% of males approve of Keller’s job performance as mayor
44% of males disapprove of Keller’s job performance as mayor


72% of Democrats approve of Keller’s job performance as mayor.
14% of Democrats disapprove of Keller’s job performance as mayor.

18% of Republicans approve of Keller’s job performance as mayor.
70% of Republicans disapprove of Keller’s job performance as mayor.

40% of Independents approve of Keller’s job performance as mayor.
41% of Independents disapprove of Keller’s job performance as mayor.

The link to the separate Journal articles with graphics and photos of Mayor Keller is here:




Quoting and consolidating the Albuquerque Journal articles:

“[Sheriff Manny Gonzales] has a job approval rating of 34% and a disapproval rating of 43% … Another 15% of voters have mixed feelings.
Gonzales first won the sheriff’s job in 2014 and then scored a 10-point win in his 2018 reelection bid.

Although Gonzales was elected as a Democrat and remains registered with the party, he has little support within it.

Only 19% of Democrats approve of how he’s handled his job, compared with 59% [democrats] who disapprove.

[Sheriff Gonzales] rates better with independents – 44% approve, compared with 28% who disapprove …

[Gonzales] ranks the best with Republicans. Fifty-four percent approve, and 23% disapprove.

Approval also broke on other lines, including gender. Forty percent of men rate his performance positively but only 29% of women do the same.

Meanwhile, older voters are particularly unhappy with the sheriff, with 51% of those ages 65-plus expressing disapproval – considerably higher than any other age group.

According to the Journal Poll, Democrat Sheriff Gonzales’ 20% support breaks down as follows:


23% support from males
17% support from females


20% high school graduate or less
26% some college
21 % college degree
13% Graduate Degree





40% of males approve of Manny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.
40% of males disapprove of Manny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.


29% of Democrats approve of Manny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.
46% of Democrats disapprove ofManny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.

54% of Republicans approve of Manny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.
23% of Republicans disapprove of Manny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.

44% of Independents approve of Manny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.
28% of Independents disapprove of Manny Gonzales performance as Sheriff.

The link to the full Albuquerque Journal article on all 3 candidates is here:


The link to the Albuquerque Journal article on Sheriff Gonzales’ approval rating is here:



“Aragon, a radio station owner and conservative talk show host, is the only Republican on the ballot .. He has 29% of the Republican vote, the poll shows.”

“Gonzales and Aragon are battling for Republicans [which] represent approximately a third of the voters in this election. “

According to the Journal Poll, Aragon’s 13% support breaks down as follows:


15% support from males
12% support from females


17% Highschool graduate or less
19% Some college
11% College degree
10% Graduate Degree




On October 5, the on-line news agency “The Paper” published a report on an opinion poll it commissioned with Public Policy Polling (PPP) . The public opinion poll was of 793 likely voters with a margin of error 3.5%, plus or minus. The results of the PPP poll as reported by the Paper and KOAT TV are as follows:

Tim Keller: 47%,
Manny Gonzales: 21%,
Eddy Aragon: 11%
NOT SURE: 21%”

The following information is quoted as gleaned from the report about the PPP poll:

“After a turbulent year under a pandemic and with violent crime reaching all-time highs, almost 1/3 of Keller’s 2017 voters aren’t ready to vote for him again. Almost 20% of respondents who say they voted for the mayor four years ago now have an unfavorable opinion of him and another 12% say they still don’t know.” …

Across the board, poll respondents indicated they did not know who [radio talk show host Eddy Aragon] is, to the tune of 63%. … [Aragon] as the lone registered Republican in the race does, however, pull votes away from the race’s other conservative, Democrat Sheriff Manny Gonzales. Some 27% of voters say they would vote for Gonzales in a runoff election after voting for Aragon in the first election.

[According to the poll] just 24% of voters see the sheriff favorably. … [The poll found that Gonzales is] unpopular with Hispanic voters [with] almost half, 45%, having an unfavorable opinion of Gonzales.

[According to the poll], Trump voters aren’t excited about Manny [ with the poll finding] 1 in 5 voters who said they voted for Trump over Biden say they have an unfavorable opinion of the sheriff. …

Tim Keller has majority support among women, both younger voters and older voters, Hispanic voters, and among Democrats or those who voted for Joe Biden in 2020. Although his overall favorability is in the red, 21% of likely voters are still undecided. That includes those 12% of his previous supporters who are still persuadable.”

The link to the The Paper news report is here:



On October 24, KOB-4 reported on a poll it commissioned with SURVEY USA. The poll was taken from October 12, 2021 to October 18, 2021 before the October 19 live debate sponsored by KOB 4 between the candidates where KOB news reporter Chris Ramirez was one of the 2 moderators. Survey USA interviewed 800 adults from the city. Of the adults, 674 were identified as being registered to vote; of the registered voters, 576 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote in the November election for Mayor, or to have already cast their ballot.

KOB 4 news reporter Chris Ramirez reported as follows:

“Results from a poll paid for by KOB 4 and conducted by the national, non-partisan polling company Survey USA reveal it’s very possible Albuquerque’s mayoral race will be forced into a December 7 runoff …

The link to the full exclusive KOB Survey is here:


We asked the question: If you were filing out your ballot for Albuquerque mayor today, and these were the only candidates, who would you vote for?

Results of all respondents:

• Tim Keller 41%
• Manny Gonzales 22%
• Eddy Aragon 18%
• Undecided 18%

In order to win an election in Albuquerque, candidates must win with 50% plus 1 of the total vote. Our polling suggest no candidate may win with those margins, forcing a runoff election. Our poling shows all three candidates aren’t particularly popular with Albuquerque voters.

We asked the question: What is your opinion of Tim Keller?

Results of all respondents:

• Favorable 38%
• Unfavorable 36%
• Neutral 23%
• Unfamiliar 2%
• Not Sure 1%

We asked the question: What is your opinion of Manny Gonzales?

Results of all respondents:

• Favorable 27%
• Unfavorable 35%
• Neutral 24%
• Unfamiliar 10%
• Not Sure 4%

We asked the question: What is your opinion of Eddy Aragon?

Results of all respondents:

• Favorable 23%
• Unfavorable 23%
• Neutral 27%
• Unfamiliar 23%
• Not Sure 5%

The next question may reveal why the candidates are so unpopular. A majority of those polled think the city is on the wrong track.

We asked the question: Overall, are things in Albuquerque headed in the right direction? Or off on the wrong track?

Results of all respondents:

• Right Direction 34%
• Wrong Track 54%
• Not Sure 12%

Crime ranks as the top single most important issue facing the city of Albuquerque.

We asked the question: Which of the following is the single most important issue facing the city of Albuquerque today?

Results of all respondents:

• Crime 60%
• Education 10%
• Homelessness 14%
• Econ. Development 9%
• Jobs 3%
• Other 3%
• Not Sure 1%”

The link to the entire KOB-4 report is here:



When you compare the more recent Albuquerque Journal poll to the Paper (PPP) poll, Mayor Keller has increased his support by a full 6% going from 47% support in the PPP poll to 53% in the Journal poll. Gonzales support remained essentially the same with 21% in the PPP poll and going down by only 1% in the Journal poll to 20%. Aragon’s support increased by a mere 2% going from 11% in the PPP poll to 13% in the Journal poll.

When you compare the Journal Poll with the KOB poll, Keller still has a 19% lead at 41% over Gonzales with 22% and Keller has more than a 2 to one lead with 41% over Aragon at 18%. The Survey USA poll has Keller with 41% which is a mere 1% more of the 40% combined with Gonzales 22% and Aragon’s 18% . The Undecided of 18% is not at all likely to break entirely to anyone candidate, but it could force a runoff. Further, the momentum in the race has now shifted to Mayor Keller after Sheriff Gonzales disastrous Channel 4 debate performance falsely accusing Keller of having an affair and falsely accusing COO Lawrence Rael of DWI.

The biggest concern for all 3 candidates in the Survey USA poll is how disliked all 3 are with voters. Keller has an unfavorable rating of 36% to his 38% favorable rating, Gonzales has a 35% unfavorable rating to his 27% favorable rating and Aragon has a 23% unfavorable rating and ties with his favorable rating of 23%.

The Survey USA confirmed what many already know and that is the single most important issue facing the city of Albuquerque today is crime at 60%. This is probably the main reason Keller’s popularity has declined by at least 10% and probably more. The PPP poll released October 5 by The Paper found that almost 1/3 of Keller’s 2017 voters said they were not ready to vote for him again, and Keller won that election in the runoff by a landslide securing 62.2% of the vote to 37.8% for Republican Dan Lewis.


Albuquerque’s city charter requires that for a mayoral candidate to win on a first ballot, the successful candidate must get at least 50% plus one of the vote. If no candidate reaches that threshold, the top two contenders move to a runoff.

Mayor Tim Keller has double digit leads in all three of the polls taken in October. That is not at all likely to change in the few days remaining until November 2 election day. Keller now has the momentum in the race where undecided voters will break his way thanks to the very public, very personal and very false attacks made by Manny Gonzales against Keller. Keller’s momentum should be great enough for him to win outright on November 2, an if not, he will win in a run off against either Gonzales or Aragon.

Polls tend to be self fulfilling prophesies condemned by many, especially those who are shown to be losing. Based on the Journal Poll, Sheriff Manny Gonzales and Radio Talk Show Host Eddy Aragon have lost the 2021 Mayor’s race to Incumbent Mayor Tim Keller and likely do not believe they are doing as badly as the poll has found. Sheriff Gonzales has also managed to lose his own personal reputation of honesty and integrity, what little he had left after his reliance on forgeries and fraudulent documents to try and secure $630,000 in public finance.


The Journal poll has confirmed what many said about Eddy Aragon when he announced he was running for Mayor and qualified to get on the ballot. Eddy Aragon was the “conservative spoiler” in the race that siphoned off Republican votes from Manny Gonzales and having absolutely no effect on Keller’s support. Aragon with his talk show is on the same level as FOX News and the likes of Sean Hannity. Aragon enjoys badgering and taking issue with anyone who is Democrat or he considers progressive and that did not work in a city that is decisively Democrat.


The candidacy of Sheriff Manny Gonzales suffered immensely as a result of Aragon on the ballot. It’s no secret that Manny Gonzales was attempting to build a coalition of conservative democrats, traditional Republicans and include Der Führer Trump Republicans. After Gonzales traveled to the White House last summer to appear with Der Führer and after working and appearing with former Republican Attorney General William Barr, Gonzales became “persona non gratis” within the Democratic Party to the point some within the party demanded he resign. He is now considered a Democrat In Name Only (DINO). Gonzales appearing on FOX News to oppose Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s public health orders also alienated many Democrats.

This whole mess of the 2021 Mayor’s election will be known as the campaign of “The liar and the lies he told during a live debate.” The allegations of DWI or other criminal conduct was nothing more than sure speculation and falsehoods by an elected law enforcement official desperately trying to continue with his political career. Sheriff Gonzales is the same candidate for Mayor that argued he was denied “due process of law” when his campaign was denied public finance by the city clerk, yet he makes salacious accusations and false accusations of DWI assuming guilt without due process of law afforded to those he has accused without any proof.

Sheriff Gonzales has failed to identify the 2 high-ranking members of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) he alleges have direct knowledge of the domestic incident involving the Keller family and an allege affair. As a law enforcement official, Sheriff Gonzales must be held to a higher standard. He has taken an oath office to uphold the law and knows that law enforcement at all levels must tell the truth. He knows he can discipline his deputies if they lie and even terminate them if they commit perjury. Gonzales has committed perjury in the court of public opinion with his lies and he knows damn well that he accused Keller of a crime and accused another of DWI with virtually no proof and he needs to be held accountable.

If Sheriff Manny Gonzales has any shred of honesty or integrity left, he should admit to his lies and apologize to Mayor Tim Keller, the Keller family and COO Lawrence Rael. If he has any shred decency left, he should withdraw from the Mayor’s race and resign as Bernalillo County Sheriff and simply retire from law enforcement. Notwithstanding, his public service career as an elected official will be going no further than being Sheriff


Mayor Tim Keller can take great comfort in the polls that indicate he is on his way to being elected to a second term. What he cannot take comfort in is that his popularity and his approval ratings have taken a major hit. He was first elected in 2017 by beating first all 7 of his opponents to get into a runoff and then going on to win by a landslide. A year ago he had a 61% approval rating. Even with his constant, daily search for attention and news coverage, his job approval rating is now at 50%. This is likely because of the pandemic and his failure to keep his promise of reducing crime.

Keller’s accomplishments over the last 4 years have been less than stellar. The city’s high murder rate is rising even further. Violent crime and murders are still increasing. Keller has not come close to the change he promised in 2017. Keller failed to make the sweeping changes to the Albuquerque Police Department, and his promised implementation of the DOJ reforms stalled so much that he fired his first chief. Keller has appointed Harold Medina – who has a nefarious past with the use of deadly force against two people suffering from psychotic episodes – permanent chief. Keller is not even close to reaching the 1,200 sworn police officers promised nor to community-based policing. Keller’s promise to bring down violent crime never materialized and his four programs to bring down violent crime have failed. For three years of his term, murders have hit an all-time record, with many still unsolved.

The downside to winning a second term for Keller is that nothing is going to change much for him over the next 4 years. After 4 years in office, Mayor Tim Keller under his leadership still has a police department that is failing miserably to police itself, is in a catastrophic meltdown and the public is still waiting for results in reducing violent crime which has only gotten worse under his tenure. Keller has only himself to blame given the fact he promised to bring down crime, implement the police reforms and he personally selected those in charge of APD and he went back on his campaign promise to hire a new Chief from outside the agency.

Consecutive second terms are usually worse than first terms for mayor if they get one, just ask former Mayors Chavez and Berry who served consecutive terms. All the problems we have now will still exist, including skyrocketing violent crime rates, APD failing to come into compliance with the DOJ consent decree, and an ever-shirking APD, spiking homeless numbers, increasing poverty, no measurable economic development and a ghost of a downtown.

Mayor Tim Keller can be thankful that he has had two very weak candidates this election cycle. Keller has had a very charmed political career thus far filled with opportunism as he jumped from state senator to state auditor both time’s in mid term and then ran for Mayor. The charm and opportunism may not likely be the case in 4 years if his popularity continues on the downward spiral and if he wants a third term as Mayor or seeks to run for Governor or an elected federal office where he would have to run against and incumbent Democrat.

The Liar And The Lies He Told During Live Debate; Gonzales Campaign Admits COO Rael Subject Of Gonzales False DWI Claim; DA Torrez Refers Gonzales Campaign Forgery And Fraud Investigation To State Police; Gonzales Needs To Apologize, Drop Out Of Mayor’s Race And Resign As Sheriff

During the final October 19 televised debate on Channel 4 between incumbent Mayor Tim Keller, Sheriff Manny Gonzales and radio Talk Show host Eddy Aragon, the candidates were allowed to ask questions of each other. The moderators were not told what the questions would be from the candidates. Sheriff Manny Gonzales asked his question of Mayor Tim Keller.

Following is the transcript of the Gonzales and Keller debate exchange:

SHERIFF GONZALES: Mayor Keller, where is your accountability? There are serious misconduct allegations at City Hall under your watch, allegations of your own domestic violence incident being covered up by high-ranking city officials. Another allegation of a high-ranking city official who was driving drunk and was involved driving a city vehicle and involved in a crash. And the third is also you having allegations of having an affair with a city subordinate. How can the public trust you to fight crime in ABQ when you can’t even fight crime at City Hall?

MAYOR KELLR: What a disgusting prepared question you just read. . . I don’t even know where to begin. . . I have never been involved in any of the incidents you mentioned and as my family will attest to have never, ever done things like had an affair. Look, if you’re going to just make your questions the gossip on Twitter and Facebook. I mean, I hear all sorts of stuff about everyone all the time, I don’t dignify it because I don’t believe it because there’s no evidence or truth behind any of it. And this is coming from a guy who has a litany of myths and mistruths that he says. . . . There is literally nothing behind anything your saying. You’re just saying words you saw on social media.

During and after the live debate, Sheriff Manny Gonzales never identified the two “high-ranking members of the Albuquerque Police Department with direct knowledge of the domestic incident stemming from the sexual harassment scandal.” Sheriff Gonzales also failed to identify by name the “high ranking city official who was driving drunk and was involved driving a city vehicle and involved in a crash.”

After the debate, Gonzales’ campaign manager Shannan Calland said in a statement to the Albuquerque Journal:

“We have spoken to two high-ranking members of the Albuquerque Police Department with direct knowledge of the domestic incident stemming from the sexual harassment scandal and are awaiting IPRA responses based on that information (which we expect to be intentionally covered up until after election).
The statement included the phrase in parentheses. IPRA refers to the state’s … [Inspection of Public Records Act].”

You can read the entire Journal article quoted here:



Although Sheriff Gonzales did not specifically name the high-ranking city official who was driving drunk by name during the debate, the Gonzales campaign confirmed to the Albuquerque Journal that Sheriff Gonzales was referring to Chief Operations Officer Lawrence Rael.

On October 21, city spokeswoman Ava Montoya confirmed Chief Operation Officer Lawrence Rael was in a car accident on September 24 while driving his city owned vehicle. Montoya called the drunken-driving allegations made by Gonzales “false, defamatory and sadly motivated purely by political gain.”

The link to quoted source material is here:



It was on September 14 that Chief Operations Office Lawrence Rael, while driving his city owned vehicle, was involved in what the city described as a “minor fender bender”. According to the city, the incident occurred around 9:45 a.m. as Rael was driving on Fifth, turned left on a green light at Tijeras. Fifth and Tijeras is where city hall is located. According to the City Risk management report filed out by Rael and stamped as received on September 29, Rael hit a black truck.

City spokeswoman Ava Montoya City acknowledged that city policy requires employees in city vehicles involved with an accident to call police if they get into an accident. Montoya acknowledges that Rael did not call the police but said Rael did report the incident to Risk Management. According to Montoya:

“Following City procedures, Rael went immediately to Risk Management. He was instructed to fill out a form, which he did … Risk Management then resolves these situations following normal protocols. … [no alcohol was involved]. … Rael and the other driver both agreed to exchange information and due to the minor nature of the accident, neither driver felt it was necessary to tie up law enforcement.”

According to Montoya, the car accident resulted in minor damage to both vehicles and no injuries. City risk management compensated the driver of the truck $1,116 for the damages to her vehicle.

The link to quoted source material is here:



Mayor Tim Keller appointed Lawrence Rael Chief Operations Officer (COO) in December, 2017 and he has served in that capacity for the last 4 years. Mr. Rael is also a former Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the city for 12 years under former mayors. Rael is an “at will employee” that works at the pleasure of the mayor and can be fired without cause by the mayor at any time and for no reason at all. As an at will employee, Rael does not have the same protections given to classified employees.

Mr. Rael is highly respected and is known for his professionalism, knowledge and understanding on how the city operates and “the nuts and bolts” of running the city and “keeping the trains running on time” as the old adage goes.

Rael may have violated personnel rules and regulations in the delay in reporting the accident and that may be grounds to take disciplinary action against him by Mayor Keller, but that’s Keller’s decision and no one else’s.


The City of Albuquerque is a self-insured entity, and as such it does not carry insurance but has a Risk Management Division that employs claims adjusters, like insurance companies. The adjusters investigate and pay claims filed either by city employees or by the public. Each year, as required by state law for self-insured entities, the City Council allocates taxpayer funding to pay projected claims.

Lawrence Rael giving the driver of the truck his business car and reporting the accident to city risk management allowed City Risk management to adjust the claim and pay the $1,116 for the damages to the other driver’s vehicle. A few years ago, APD did initiate a process to encourage the general public not to call APD for minor traffic accidents where no serious injury occurs and to exchange insurance coverage. APD allows citizens to file police reports either on-line or at police substations for car accidents for purposes of insurance claims.


On October 21, KOAT-TV Target 7 posted a report that a Target 7 public records request in June came back showing no evidence of a domestic violence incident involving Mayor Tim Keller.

Target 7 also reported it had obtained documents on the car crash involving a city employee and a city-owned car. KOAT TV confirm a crash occurred. Channel 7 did not identify who was driving the city vehicle.

Target 7 reported it spoke with the person whose car was hit by the city employee. The woman, who didn’t want to go on camera, claims that after the crash, the city employee got out of the car, handed her his card and then left. The woman involved with the crash told Target 7:

“Real weird, no cop, it was real simple, real fast. … He said he worked for the mayor on the 11th floor. No police came or ambulance came. Nobody came. … ” the crash victim said to Target 7.

Channel 7 asked her if she thought the city employee was driving under the influence.

She said, “no I didn’t.”

The link to the KOAT TV Report is here:



In a letter dated July 9, Albuquerque City Clerk Ethan Watson notified Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales’ that the city was denying his campaign $661,00 in public financing citing misconduct in the qualifying process and forgery of signatures on $5 qualifying donations. City Clerk Watson wrote Gonzales he could not confirm that Gonzales had complied with the city’s Open and Ethical Election Code and associated regulations.

The Keller campaign submitted to the City Clerk 149 examples of alleged forgeries on documents submitted to the City Clerk by the Gonzales campaign. The Keller campaign also filed signed statements from upwards of 40 people contacted by a private investigator hired by Keller campaign. Most of those contacted said the signatures on Gonzales’ nominating petition was theirs and half confirmed they had contributed $5 to Gonzales’ public financing effort. Nearly all said signatures on the $5 qualifying donations were forgeries.

The city’s Office of Inspector General investigated the qualifying $5.00 contribution receipts and found that there were problems with 15% of the 239 randomly selected Gonzales campaign receipts it reviewed. According to the Inspector General, the voters identified and contacted in those instances said either that they signed the receipt but never gave money or that they never signed the receipt or gave $5.

On July 14, after repeated denials of any wrong doing by the Gonzales campaign, and in a written response to an ethics complaint filed with the Board of Ethics and Campaign Practices, Gonzales’ campaign stated.

“It does appear, upon the Gonzales campaign’s own investigation, that many of the qualifying-contribution (“QC”) receipts…were signed by someone other than the voter.”


On October 12, Albuquerque City Attorney Esteban Aguilar Jr. wrote a letter to Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez and New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas making a referral to them to investigate allegations of fraud and forgeries by the Manny Gonzales campaign to secure over $640,000 in public financing. Aguilar outlined the fraud allegations in his letter to Torrez and Balderas and said he made the referrals because his office “lacks the prosecutorial authority to investigate or file criminal charges for violations of state law.

On October 13, District Attorney Raúl Torrez wrote a letter to Albuquerque City Attorney Esteban Aguilar Jr. notifying Aguilar that he will be referring for investigation the allegations of election-related fraud against Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales’ to the New Mexico State Police. DA Torrez wrote that the referral will be made only after the city’s November 2 election. Torrez wrote Aguilar:

“My review of this matter will begin immediately, but as you know, prosecutorial decisions must await the completion of a criminal investigation. … Further, my prosecutorial review must be independent and nonpartisan. … [For that reason, I will refer the investigation to the State Police] which is a conflict-free law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over this matter. [I want] to prevent the timing of an investigation or prosecution from having an effect on an election. … I will scrupulously adhere to this practice and will not take official action or make any public comment on this matter until the results of the upcoming election have been certified.”

Shannan Calland, a spokeswoman for the Gonzales campaign, denied any wrongdoing by the Gonzales campaign and said the campaign welcomed any investigations into the allegations. Calland said in a written statement:

“The Keller administration sending letters two weeks before the election is a shameless political stunt and demonstrates that Keller knows his campaign is in deep trouble.”

Matt Baca, a spokesman for Attorney General Hector Balderas had this to say:

“… District Attorney [Raul Torrez] has asserted jurisdiction in the case … and [the attorney general’s office will] monitor the matter in the event that we need to take appropriate action.”

The link to quoted source material is here:



This whole mess of the 2021 Mayor’s election will be known as the campaign of “The liar and the lies he told during a live debate.” The allegations of DWI or other criminal conduct was nothing more than speculation and falsehoods by an elected law enforcement official desperately trying to continue with his political career. Sheriff Gonzales is the same candidate for Mayor that argued he was denied “due process of law” when his campaign was denied public finance by the city clerk, yet he makes salacious accusations and false accusations of DWI assuming guilt without due process of law afforded to those he has accused without any proof.

Sheriff Gonzales has failed to identify the 2 high-ranking members of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD), if they even exist, he alleges have direct knowledge of the domestic incident involving the Keller family and an allege affair. As a law enforcement official, Sheriff Gonzales must be held to a higher standard. He has taken an oath office to uphold the law and knows that law enforcement at all levels must tell the truth. He knows he can discipline his deputies if they lie and even terminate them if they commit perjury. Gonzales has committed perjury in the court of public opinion with his lies and he knows damn well that he accused Keller of a crime and accused another of DWI with virtually no proof and he needs to be held accountable.

Sheriff Manny Gonzales has likely already lost his case to becoming the next Mayor of Albuquerque. This will likely be confirmed by the Journal poll to be published on Sunday, October 23. Sheriff Gonzales has managed to damaged, if not completely destroy, his own personal reputation of honesty and integrity, what little he had left after his reliance on forgeries and fraudulent documents to try and secure $630,000 in public finance.

If Sheriff Manny Gonzales has any shred of honesty or integrity left, he should admit to his lies and apologize to Mayor Tim Keller, the Keller family and COO Lawrence Rael. If he has any shred decency left, he should withdraw from the Mayor’s race and resign as Bernalillo County Sheriff and simply retire from law enforcement.