Thursday, August 16, 2007
Mayor Chavez Openly Working Against Re-election of Councilor O'Malley
Current Albuquerque City Council President Debbie O'Malley is running her re-election campaign under the city's new Clean Election public funding option. In other words, if (and when) she wins another term, she won't be beholden to special interest donors. Instead, she'll be free to work for genuine progressive core values -- and for ordinary citizens and the common good -- something she's been doing for most of her life as a native New Mexican.
One of her opponents, Katherine Martinez, is taking another route, urged on by Mayor Marty Chavez. Martinez will depend on private donations, including a bunch that will no doubt be raised from among Marty's donor base that includes many members of the big developer and Republican communities. Martinez is currently the Director of Government/Community Affairs for the Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico and has only lived in the district for a little more than two years.
The mayor is hosting a fundraiser for Martinez on August 27th in Corrales, at the home of Steve Nakamura of Rachel Matthew Homes, Inc. We all know why. He's now publicly trying to unseat one of his main critics on the City Council, who repeatedly pushes for things Marty doesn't really value, and who insists on legitimate Council oversight of city actions. Democrat O'Malley has gone up against the Mayor's resistance to things like more affordable housing for our citizens, a raise in the city's minimum wage and a budget that puts the infrastructure and other basic resident needs first. O'Malley has also questioned the wisdom of spending for his expensive vanity projects like a panda from China, sister-city video screens on Civic Plaza and a Balloon Fiesta Park reflecting pool, all designed to enhance the Marty Chavez "brand."
Councilor O'Malley has been known to insist that the Mayor doesn't have the right to operate a virtual kingdom from the top floor of the City-County building -- that he has to come to the Council for approval on any number of intiatives he'd rather have the only say on. This irks Marty no end. It interferes with his efforts to unilaterally line up personal "achievements," no matter how substanceless, that he can trumpet in his planned campaign for the governorship in 2010.
For instance, after fighting tooth and nail any effort to shape and moderate development on Albuquerque's West Side, he's now touting himself as the greenest of the green in "sustainable" building and development. Sorry, Marty, that milk's already been spilt. Badly designed, energy hog sprawl developments have sprouted like ugly mushrooms on the city's Western horizon, many of them created and built by Marty donors. Many of these energy inefficient houses now sit empty, bought up as "investments" by people from places like California and Texas-- and unaffordable for many ordinary Albuquerqueans. The man who mounted one of the most single-minded campaigns to push a road through the Petroglyphs so more sprawl development could explode on the other side is now claiming to be into public transportation, green development and low energy use. Marty's nothing if not shameless in his boasts.
How We Can Help
What can we do to help keep Debbie O'Malley's voice of the people on the Council? We can help her walk precincts and volunteer for other mundane tasks that are essential to running a successful grassroots, publicly funded campaign. We can do this even if we don't live in her district. You can contact the campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need motivation, just think what the towering ambition of Marty Chavez will be unleashed to do if he gains a majority of supporters on the City Council. He's also working behind the scenes to push his preferred candidates in the other City Council districts that are in contention in this year's October municipal election. He means business, and given his record, it's obvious he works primarily to benefit big business concerns.
We need to maintain a strong counterbalance to Chavez's power in the city, so now's the time to step up and help Debbie O'Malley in District 2, as well Rey Garduño in District 6, who's also running with Clean Elections funding against, among others, a Marty-backed candidate, Joanie Griffin. It should be noted that Joanie Griffin was a registered Republican until right before she declared as a City Council Candidate!
Marty's also rumored to be behind the effort to recall Councilor Don Harris, who often votes with O'Malley and others, in District 9, and the candidacy of Paulette de'Pascal, who's running against incumbent Brad Winter in District 4. Unless more progressive and reasonable forces keep control of the Albuquerque City Council, we can kiss the people's power goodbye for the next two years. You know what to do.
(Photo credit: Suzanne Prescott)
Debbie's district will be loyal to her, I think.
That's not to say we should not be door-knocking for Debbie and Rey, at least.
Lotta signs for Mayor's candidate in Martin's district: Joanie Griffin. Let's NOT do lunch with her. Go Rey.
Seriously, we need to be walking.
Posted by: Vote For Debbie!! | Aug 16, 2007 12:45:53 PM
We need Joanie Griffin like we need a hole in the head. Rey Garduno is the best and has served the community for many years.
I swear Marty Chavez gets more selfish with each passing month.
Posted by: Not a Marty Fan | Aug 16, 2007 2:16:06 PM
Go Debbie, Go Rey! The mayors people have tried to get into party offices sometimes by lying about where they live and have done other sneaky things to add to his power. This is only the latest. I wish he would admit hes a Republican and be honest.
Posted by: Real Democrat | Aug 16, 2007 6:26:05 PM
There is NO question that Hiz Honor injects plenty of sleaze into city Gov. We definitely don't need more apologists and followers of his on the Council. BTW, the Council is once again pushing for a big pay increase, time FOR another "HELL NO". When the level of contempt from the Council that's directed at public input and comment and some individuals during meetings is eliminated, then maybe.
Posted by: VP | Aug 17, 2007 10:54:35 AM