Two term Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis ran unsuccessfully for Mayor against Tim Keller in 2017. Keller won the 2017 runoff by a decisive landslide by securing 60,219 votes or 62.20% against Dan Lewis who secured 36,594 or 37.8% of the vote. In 2017, Keller won all city Council Districts including the City Council District represented by Dan Lewis.
On November 2, 2021, Republican Dan Lewis was again elected to the city council by defeating first term Democrat and City Council President Cynthia Borrego who succeeded Lewis in 2017. City Councilor elect Dan Lewis previously served two terms on the Albuquerque City Council from 2009 to 2017.
City Councilor Elect Dan Lewis is now complaining that 4 outgoing City Councilors with less than a month remaining in office will be voting on a $140 Million Bond Package, with 2 outgoing City Councilors as co-sponsors. Lewis argues the resolution should be placed on hold arguing that the current council should not vote on it and allow the new council that is sworn in on January 1, 2022 to vote. The hypocrisy is Dan Lewis did something far worse a month before leaving office 4 years ago as he left city council.
CITY COUNCIL $110 BOND PROPOSAL
On November 15, a mere 13 days after the November 2 municipal election, a $110 million bond proposal resolution was formally introduced. The resolution is scheduled to be voted on by the full city council scheduled for December 6. The bonds, backed by the city’s gross receipts tax revenue (GRT Bonds), are being proposed by the city council and it will not require voter approval. A “super majority” of 7 of votes on the City Council is required. Such authority is given to the city council as is the authority to enact gross receipt tax increases, property taxes and lodger tax allocations.
The $110 million dollar bond resolution is scheduled for a final vote on December 6 which will be the very last meeting of the year for the city council and the day before the city council December 7 runoff. The legislation will be among the final legislative actions for 4 of 9 city councilors leaving office. Councilor elect Dan Lewis is strongly objecting to the bond resolution and said this:
“Four city councilors who would make a decision on this won’t even be here in January. … For that reason alone we need to deal with this with a new council in January.”
Lewis is predicting that the bond package will lose on December 6 before he joins the city council, likely because he has made contact with conservative Republican City Councilors Trudy Jones and Don Harris to vote no on the bond package while Progressive Democrats Pat Davis and Isaac Benton are expressing reservations about the vote themselves and a few of the projects still very much in the planning phase. Benton went so far as saying the vote “does not pass the smell test.” The 4 can block the initiative resulting in a a 5-4 vote when it needs a 7-2 vote.
To complicate matters even further, City Councilor elect Louis Sanchez who defeated incumbent Lan Sean, is demanding to be sworn in before his term begins on January 1, 2022 falsely proclaiming he is the rightful city councilor to replace Mayor appointed Lan Sena and proclaiming he will vote against the bond package.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
Simply put, Dan Lewis is a hypocrite. He condemns 4 outgoing city councilors for voting on pending matters when he himself did the exact same thing as an outgoing city councilor 4 years ago after he lost the Mayor’s race.
LEWIS HISTORY OF HYPOCRACY
Lewis takes issue with outgoing city councilors voting for a $110 million bond package a few weeks before they leave office on January 1, 2022 saying it should be put on hold until the new City Council takes office on January 1, 2022. There are two more city council meeting left, December 6 and December 20. It’s painfully obvious Lewis’ real intent is simply gut all the priorities of the outgoing city councilors. The fact that Mayor Keller has given his approval and supports the GRT Bond no doubt is motivating Lewis to try to try and shame the council as well as Mayor Tim Keller.
Dan Lewis did more than few things even worse as he left the City Council in 2017 and during his previous 8 years as a city councilor. In particular, Lewis voted for legislation that now effects the community and historical neighborhoods for generations to come and supporting gentrification and the real estate and development industries who gave so heavily to his 2021 bid for city council. Simply put, Lewis is in the pockets of the real estate community and developers.
DESTROYING CITY’S HISTORICAL NEIGHBORHOODS
On March 20, 2017, then City Councilor and candidate for Mayor Dan Lewis voted to adopt the findings and recommendations of the “ABC-Z Project”. The project as an aggressive two-year initiative begun in 2015 by then Republican Mayor Richard Berry, a contractor and developer, to update the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Comprehensive Plan and to create an Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO). At the time, there were 60 sector development plans which governed new developments in specific neighborhoods. Forty (40) of the development plans had their own “distinct zoning guidelines” that were designed to protect many historical areas of the city. Examples of areas of the city governed by long standing sector development plans include Barelas, San Jose, Hunning Highland, Silver Hills, Nob Hill and Old Town. Under the “ABC-Z Project” the number of sector development zones went from 250 to fewer than 20, which by any terms is dramatic and no doubt excited the real estate development community.
The “ABC-Z Project” project was promoted as a way to simplify zoning and subdivision regulations “in order to improve economic development, protect established neighborhoods and special places, streamline the development review/approval process and promote more sustainable development.” What it actually did do was “gut” in full historical overlay zones and sector development plans enacted to protect neighborhoods and their character. Many of the affected historical neighborhoods condemned the ABC-Z comprehensive plan as being racist, something totally ignored by the entire city council, Democrats and Republicans alike on the city council, to the delight of Mayor Berry.
On November 13, 2017 then outgoing City Councilor and candidate for Mayor Dan Lewis, along with other City Councilors leaving office on December 1, 2017, voted to approve the Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO) which incorporated and adopted the “ABC-Z Project”. The next day, November 14, Lewis lost in a landslide to Tim Keller. Lewis no doubt knew how badly he was going to lose given the polling released at the time, yet he did not advocate that the city council place on hold the IDO for the 20218 new council to take it up as he is doing now the $140 bond package.
The Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO) plan repealed a number of historical sector development plans making it far easier and cheaper for real estate developers and contractors to do re-development free of many zoning and construction and design code restrictions. The ABC-Z project rewrite spear headed by the Berry Administration was nothing more than making “gentrification” official city policy and “gutted” long standing sector development plans designed to protect neighborhoods and their character. Many of the affected historical neighborhood condemned the ABC-Z comprehensive plan as being racist, something Republicans Dan Lewis, Trudy Jones, Don Harris and Brad Winter simply did not care about and ignored
The Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO) was pushed for a vote by then Republican Mayor Richard Berry because he was leaving office and made a commitment to the real estate development industry to get it passed. Berry was a contractor and known to be the darling of the construction industry and real estate development industry. Berry received thousands in political donations when he ran for Mayor for a second term in 2013. Not at all surprising is that candidate for Mayor Dan Lewis also collected thousands in private campaign donations from the real estate and the construction industry when he too ran for Mayor in 2017.
“HEALTHY ECONOMIES LEAD TO PROGRESS” DEFEATS INCUMBENT DEMOCRATS WITH REPUBLICAN DAN LEWIS IN HIP POCKET
Both Republican Elect City Councilor Elect Dan Lewis and Democrat Incumbent Cynthia Borrego who Dan Lewis defeated on November 2 qualified for public finance and were given $50,489 to run their campaigns. According to the campaign finance reports filed with the City Clerk’s office, McCleskey Media Strategies was the political consulting firm that managed the Dan Lewis campaign for City Council. Campaign finance reports file with the City Clerk reflect that Dan Lewis paid Mc Clesky Strategies $29,720. The link to review Lewis campaign finance reports is here:
The significance of McCleskey Media Strategies handling the Lewis Campaign is that political Republican Strategist Jay McCleskey is the primary principle or owner of McCleskey media strategies. Mc Clesky is known for his negative slash-and-burn tactics to disparage and viciously malign Democrats. Jay Mc Clesky has managed the successful campaigns of Republicans running for Governor, the state legislator, Mayor, and Albquerquerqu City Council. Simply put, Mc Clesky is the go to guy for anyone who is Republican running for office who wants to win at all cost and willing to pay top dollar.
Notwithstanding public financing, it was not an even playing field given the fact that Dan Lewis was heavily supported and promoted financially by a measured finance committee funded by the real estate development community who no doubt were grateful for his support on the Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO) four years ago.
On August 7, 2021, Healthy Economies Lead to Progress filed with the City Clerk its registration certificate. Its stated purpose is “TO SUPPORT THOSE CANDIDATES FOR CITY COUNCIL WHO WILL MOVE ALBUQUERQUE AHEAD AND OPPOSE THOSE WHO WILL NOT.” The MFC was formed to promote Republican candidates Dan Lewis, Lori Robertson, Renee Grout. Healthy Economies Lead to Progress raised $196,532 for the November 2 election to promote Republicans.
It did not support any candidate for Mayor and concentrated on City Council races to defeat Democrat City Councilor Lan Sena and Cynthia Borrego and that goal was achieved.
7TH, 8TH, 9TH AND 10TH Campaign Finance reports filed by “Healthy Economies Lead to Progress” reveal the following major donors and amounts:
NEW MEXICO RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION (Carol Wight): $20,000
COMMERCIAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS NM: $18,639.22
JOHNSON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE, LLC: $4,000
ABRAZO HOMES, LLC: $2,500
JEAN F BERNSTEIN: $1,000
DAVE HILL INC: $1,000
BRUCE J STIDWORTHY: $1,000
WILLIAM T ROBERTSON: $1,000
COMMERCIAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS NM: $10,000
PREMIER DISTRIBUTING COMPANY: $5,000
STEVE MAESTAS: $5,000 ( two $2,500 donations)
ANGELA WILLIAMSON: $2,000
TITAN PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LLC: $1,000
MICHAEL LEACH: $1,000
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS FUND: $64,000
NEW MEXICO RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION: $10,000
PETROYATES, INC.: $10,000
ABC POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE: $5,000.00
REAL ESTATE COMMUNITY POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE: $20,000.00
NEW MEXICO NAIOP PAC: $1,500
LEWIS VOTES FOR DISATEROUS ART PROJECT AND “PICKLE BALL” COURTS
Lewis is now objecting to the City Council enacting $140 million in bonds for major construction projects that will have an effect on city council districts. Least any one forgets, City Councilor Dan Lewis voted repeatedly for and the disastrous ART Bus project that has destroyed the character of Route 66. Lewis voted to spend federal grant money that had yet to be appropriated by congress for the bus project. The ART Bus project has been a total disaster resulting the destruction of the character of Route 66. ART has a negative impact on Central resulting in several businesses going out of business. Many central businesses and Nob Hill businesses, no longer exist because of the ART Bus Project. Lewis voted to use $13 million dollars in revenue bonds to pay for the ART Bus project. The revenue bonds were not voted upon by the public.
Lewis also voted with the rest of the Albuquerque City Council to borrowed over $63 million dollars over a two-year period to build pickle ball courts, baseball fields and the ART bus project down central by bypassing the voters. The $65 million dollars was borrowed with the Albuquerque City Councilors voting to use revenue bonds as the financing mechanism to pay for big capital projects.
LEWIS SAYS HE SUPPORTS COPS BUT VOTED AGAINST THEIR BEST INTERESTS
On November 3, 2021, the Albuquerque City Council passed a 5 page “memorial” on a unanimous bi partisan 9-0 vote that reestablishes the Albuquerque City Council’s commitment to bringing down the city’s spiking violent crime rates.
City Councilor Elect Dan Lewis, was asked to comment about the city council memorial. Lewis said fixing our crime issues will all come down to “leadership” and he had this to say:
“We have more money than we’ve ever had before so it’s not about revenue. … It’s about good leadership and making good choices. We need to support our police officers.”
When Lewis says “We need to support our police officers” he forgets that his actions on the city council were contrary to supporting law enforcement. Lewis when on the city council for 8 years had no problem at all and did not object to Republican Mayor Richard Berry refusing to honor an increase in police hourly pay that was negotiated in good faith by the police union and the Mayor Marty Chavez Administration.
Republican Mayor Berry unilaterally decided to cut city employee wages and salaries as a means of combating a deficit and Lewis went along with it without a single objection. Instead of dealing with the deficit with a gross receipts tax increase, Lewis went along with slashing city budgets, reducing the city workforce and damaging the delivery of essential services to avoid at all cost any and all tax increases.
Lewis also voted to “defund the police” when he voted to reduce the funding of APD sworn police officer from 1,100 to 1,000 sworn police.
Over the 8 years Lewis served on the City Council, the number of APD sworn officers dropped from 1,100 sworn police officers to 856, yet little was ever said nor heard from Lewis to hold Mayor Berry accountable for a deteriorating APD and the mismanagement of APD. Lewis never once questioned the leadership of Berry’s appointees former APD Chief Ray Schultz and Republican political operative APD Chief Gordon Eden.
For a full 8 years as a city councilor, Lewis watched the city’s violent crime rates spike under his watch, even when he was City Council President.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE REFORMS
The Albuquerque City Council plays a crucial oversight role of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) including controlling its budget. Dan Lewis did nothing when he was on the city council before when it comes to Albuquerque Police Department (APD) reforms. Lewis never challenged the Berry Administration nor the APD command staff in public in any meaningful way demanding compliance with the Department of Justice (DOJ) consent decree reforms. Each time the Federal Court appointed Monitor presented his critical reports of APD to the City Council, Lewis remained silent. Lewis declined to demand accountability from Mayor Berry and hold the APD command staff responsible for dragging their feet on the reforms.
When Federal Monitor James Ginger made a presentation to a city council committee Lewis was presiding over, then City Council President Dan Lewis asked Dr. Ginger “Who is ultimately responsible for failure to implement the reforms an overseeing APD?” When Ginger said “The City Council” Lewis chortled uncomfortably with other counselors and with a stupid expression of disbelief on his face.
Lewis to this day often likes to take credit for bringing the DOJ to the city with his sponsorship of a resolution enacted by the City Council. The truth is Lewis had very little to do with or nothing at all to bring the Department of Justice to the city. The DOJ came to the city because minority community stakeholders who had been victimized by APD and lobbied aggressively and effectively to get the DOJ to come to the city. Even as a City Councilor, Lewis did not attend a single federal court hearing on the Federal Monitor’s reports to find out what APD’s position was on the monitor’s reports.
Links to source material are here:
“DAMN DANIEL, LEWIS BACK AT IT AGAIN WITH FAILED LEADERSHIP!”
On November 16, the blog article entitled “Damn Daniel, Lewis Back At It Again With Failed Leadership!” City Council “Memorial” To End Crime Drivers Pathetic Substitute For Results; What City Council Can Actually Do To Lead And Combat Crime” was published by www.PeteDinelli.com. The link to the blog article was sent to City Councilor elect Republican Dan Lewis the same day it was published. The policy of the blogger is to email the link to any blog article and the people mentioned in the blog article.
The link to the blog article is here:
“NOBODY READS THIS CRAP ANYWAY” AND GETTING YOUR ASS KICKED
In an extraordinary exchange of emails and text messages with blogger Pete Dinelli on November 16, 2021, the conservative Republican City Councilor elect and city councilor “retread extraordinaire” Republican Dan Lewis City revealed his intent that during the 4 years he was off the council he learned absolutely nothing. He also thinks voters are dumb enough not to remember his failed record as a City Councilor for 8 years.
On November 16 the day the article was published, the following exchanged occurred between City Councilor Elect Dan Lewis and political blogger and former City Councilor and Chief Public Safety Officer Pete Dinelli:
In a message dated 11/16/2021 10:48:08 AM Mountain Standard Time, Dan Lewis wrote Pete Dinelli:
“Pete you make no sense at all. Are you still defending this failed mayor? I’m not trying to get the support of anyone especially the apoa [the police union]. I have nothing to prove. But you better believe that this mayor will be accountable now.”
In an email dated Tue, 11/ 16/ 2021 at 11:50 AM Pete Dinelli wrote Dan Lewis:
“Thank you for your email and congratulations on your decisive win and your return to the city council. I actually laughed out loud when you asked if I am still defending Keller. It appears you have not read any of my articles about Keller and his failures over the last 4 years and you are not aware of all the push back I get from his supporters.
With that said, and now that you are returning to the city council, you sir have everything to prove that your NOT the same failed leader you were when you were on city council for 8 years. Your comment “you better believe that this mayor will be accountable now” is so transparent and so phony because you say it only now with a Democrat Mayor yet did nothing with a Republican Mayor.
I did not vote for Keller this year because he has been so disappointing, but I have no doubt things would be even worse had you been elected Mayor 4 years ago. You are both still way over your heads when it comes to APD and the Court Approved Settlement agreement.
You did not listen to me 4 years ago when we talked by phone after you attacked the courts threatening to plaster judges faces on billboards. Your response to me now about my blog article tells me you are still not listening and you need a thicker skin. You go right ahead and do your job of oversight and holding the Mayor accountable, but it will be a first for you. Also keep in mind others will be watching you and holding you just as accountable.
With that said, believe it or not, I do want you to succeed over the next 4 years, especially when it comes to the Department of Justice police reforms and turning APD around. You can contact me anytime if you want to discuss the Court Approved Settlement Agreement which I have written more than a few articles about on my blog. In the interest of full disclosure to you, all of my articles have been sent to the city, the DOJ , the 27 stake holders and the Court and Judge Browning has actually docketed them in the case. Attached below are links to just a few of the articles.
… [My number is (505) — —-] if you want to discuss the DOJ, APD, the police union and the reforms with the understanding that our conversations will be strictly confidential.
If you do not want my advice nor input, that’s fine with me, and good luck as you continue with your public service to the city.”
In a message dated 11/16/2021 12:05:13 PM Mountain Standard Time, Dan Lewis wrote Pete Dinelli:
“Pete I’ve read many of your articles and honestly you don’t make any sense at all. I was the biggest critic of Berry and you know it. I get it, he kicked your ass and you’re still not over it. I see a lot of poison and insanity coming from you. Always glad to talk and I’m always available. Feel free to call any time. But honestly I’m not sure if you really want to hear any of the truth. I’m blocking these emails. Nothing here that’s anywhere close to productive.”
In an email dated 11/16/2021 at 12:16 PM, Pete Dinelli wrote Dan Lewis:
“The only poison and insanity is you. Keller kicked your ass and it’s you who are not over it and now you intend to take your revenge. I have no intention of ever calling you and have not for over 4 years because you are not interested in the truth. Block me all you want but do not “piss and moan” when I write about you.
In a message dated 11/16/2021 12:22:30 PM Mountain Standard Time, Dan Lewis writes Pete Dinelli:
“Pete write about me all you want. I don’t care. From what I hear nobody reads this crap anyway.
Sent from my iPhone
In an email dated 11/16/2021 12:36:06 PM Mountain Standard Time to Dan Lewis Pete Dinelli wrote:
Hate to break it to you, the “crap” as you call it is read by more people than ever voted for you. Last year for all of 2020 there were 105,000 views and 69,968 visitors to the blog. This year the numbers will likely be even bigger. Here is link about the views and visitors. The blog tabulator is done daily, weekly, monthly and yearly the administrator that I pay monthly.”
NOVEMBER 21 NEW MEXICO POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN
On November 21, New Mexico Politics With Joe Monahan posted the following:
Supporters of ABQ City Councilor-elect Dan Lewis unloaded on the [Keller] administration and the current council following [the] blog about his opposition to a $110 million bond package being pushed by the Keller administration and Republican City Councilor Brook Bassan.
Republican Lewis predicts the package, which would require seven affirmative votes, will be defeated before he joins the council January 1.
Backers of Lewis who have spoken with him said he “will demand accountability” from the administration and shake up the council which they say “has been a joke.”
… [Lewis] backers are now predicting that Republicans will prevail in the two city council run-off elections set for December 7 and where early voting is currently underway. They say the national environment has a big influence on the election and that Renee Grout will win in District 9 and Lori Robertson will take District 7.
Critics of the council following the Lewis line also blasted the council’s Zoom meetings held since the start of the pandemic, calling them disorganized and unproductive. They believe Lewis will be the net council president, end the Zoom sessions and that the ABQ police chief, department directors and the mayor’s representatives will be questioned rigorously at council meetings–in person.
Lewis himself did not go on the record with the retorts to the … blog but neither did he disagree with them.
The promise from the Lewis camp to flex political muscle comes as no surprise to Keller and company who are working overtime in those council runoff elections to prevent a GOP takeover which would occur if both seats went into the GOP column. However, Councilor Bassan’s warm relationship with Keller calls into question whether the GOP would operate in lockstep against the Mayor.
Lewis allies now say they expect Louie Sanchez, a conservative Democrat who will take his council seat along with Lewis January 1, will be a Lewis ally.
No matter the politics, Lewis, 51, appears determined to rock the boat.
With progressive Councilors Benton and Davis having independent streaks there is plenty of unpredictability to contemplate, even though Keller was re-elected in a November 2 landslide.
Lewis has revealed with his words he will be seeking revenge on Democrat Mayor Tim Keller in the guise of holding Keller accountable as he lays the ground work to become the new City Council President and to run for Mayor a second time in 2025.
Lewis will likely “piss and moan” when he too is held accountable for his hypocrisy and “all that crap” read and shared by upwards of 70,000 visitors at www.PeteDinelli.com.