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Thursday, February 28, 2008

NM-03: Oddities in Actions of Candidate Jon Adams?

What's going on with attorney Jon Adams, a Dem who's running for Congress in NM-03?

Last week, Adams filed a reportedly incomplete legal challenge that doesn't follow the rules of civil procedure in seeking to disqualify most of the petition signatures submitted by green builder Don Wiviott, another Dem in the race. Adams allegedly didn't serve a summons on Wiviott, didn't name a plaintiff and defendant on his complaint and failed to join an indespensible party (the Secretary of State) in the action -- all basic legal requirements for such a challenge.

The petition signatures in question have been checked and certified by Secretary of State Mary Herrera as fulfilling the state's petition requirements. In response to Adams' challenge, Wiviott's lawyer has filed a Motion to Dismiss.

Previously, Adams alleged that Wiviott stole one of his political slogans and that Harry Montoya, another candidate in the NM-03 Dem primary, had pilfered one of his positions:

Adams has previously lobbed accusations at Wiviott, a Santa Fe developer. In December, Adams alleged Wiviott was calling himself a "Udall Democrat"— a label Adams said he coined.

At the same time, Adams accused another opponent, Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya, of stealing his position that military veterans should be "honored" and have good health care and services. Montoya responded that it was to be expected that Democratic candidates might have similar positions.

A former assistant attorney general who served from 2002-2004 under AG Patricia Madrid, Adams has been quoted as saying, "I practice law out of my living room" in Santa Fe. Last year, Adams was actively pursuing a Congressional seat in NM-01, while listing an Albuquerque address. On the day current NM-03 Rep. Tom Udall announce he'd enter the race for the U.S. Senate, Adams suddenly rented an apartment in Santa Fe and said he'd be running for Congress in NM-03 instead.

According to an article in today's Albuquerque Journal North:

Adams alleges most of the 2,132 voter signatures on Wiviott's petitions are invalid, largely because they came from people whose addresses don't match those listed on voter registration rolls.

The Wiviott camp calls that nonsense. Past court rulings have found that mismatched addresses are not a sufficient justification to challenge a voter's signature, Wiviott's attorneys argued Tuesday in a motion to dismiss Adams' complaint.

The motion also argues that Adams failed to specify which signatures he was challenging and failed to name a plaintiff or defendant on the appropriate place on the suit.

"A person should not have to guess as to whether or not they are parties to a lawsuit, and therefore the complaint must name parties in the caption," the motion states.

"We are confident that we have sufficient signatures and we are following the process," Wiviott spokeswoman Caroline Buerkle said Wednesday.

Adams had been a supporter of Wiviott's legal challenge to a recent law requiring candidates to garner the support of at least 20% of the votes at party pre-primary conventions to get on the primary ballot. A bill passed during last month's NM Legislative Session did away with the 20% rule, helping long-shot candidates like Adams who can once again gather more signatures to get on the ballot if they don't meet the 20% requirement. Ironic, isn't it, that Adams is now engaged in trying to get Wiviott -- who fought to get all candidates fair access to the ballot -- disqualified from the ballot?

To see our previous coverage of the 2008 Congressional race in NM-03, visit our archive.

February 28, 2008 at 01:00 PM in NM-03 Congressional Race 2008 | Permalink


It would certainly be sound campaign tactics for Adams to try to get Wiviott's signatures disqualified, if it were done competently. Now he's made himself look like an incompetent boob. Remember, Adams is an attorney who worked in the AG's office, and he can't even file a simple motion properly? This kind of PR will swiftly sink his amateur campaign.

Posted by: Proud Democrat | Feb 28, 2008 2:01:51 PM

Adams' signature challenge is probably squirrely and his campaign is unquestionably amateur, but let's give credit for Adams being the only candidate in the race willing to go after Wiviott. Too bad he's not hitting the right notes just yet...

Hey, Jon, if you wanna talk about ethics, how about some noise about Wiviott calling himself green, when a quick read of the SF Reporter archives pulls up multiple instances of Wiviott greenwashing and forcing his company's ritzy real estate projects through in spite of neighborhood and historical objections?

Posted by: Jenna | Mar 3, 2008 2:51:07 PM

Ha ha, show me a project that doesn't get neighborhood and historical objections in Santa Fe. His projects contain many green features, as I'm sure you know. One of the neighborhood complaints was that he wanted to put solar panels on the roof and people thought they were "unsightly." About right for too many attitudes up there.

Posted by: Fanta Se 22 | Mar 3, 2008 3:11:03 PM

That may be, Fanta Se 22, but call me crazy, I'd rather not have a representative in Congress who consistently ignores the will of the people in the name of his own profit. We have more than enough of those already on the Republican side!

Posted by: Jenna | Mar 4, 2008 8:06:41 PM

Ignores the will of WHICH people? The snobby people who don't like solar panels or those who need sustainable housing?

Posted by: Fanta Se 22 | Mar 4, 2008 9:16:25 PM

Obviously Adams is incapable of being a Congressman- who would ever elect someone who behaves so erratically? Doesn't this guy realize that all this "press" he's creating just makes him look bad? What a weirdo

Posted by: Abe | Mar 7, 2008 9:13:18 AM

wow, this guy is crazy..

Posted by: rashida | Mar 15, 2008 7:11:44 PM

He is at least a little crazy, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile. Wiviott really is an unprincipled fraud and Adams is right to call him on it, even if he doesn't do a very good job of it.

Those "snobby" people who don't want solar panels mentioned above are actually members of the neighborhood association, who WANT high quality, durable solar panels, not the cheap ones Wiviott and co. want to put to save money and milk more profit from their "green" community project.

Want proof? There's an editorial about Don Wiviott and his co's un-environmental, greenwashing and shoddy business practices in today's New Mexican.


Please, everybody, we're supposed to be more intelligent, less reactionary and more willing to see both sides that the Republicans are. Let's use some common sense here -- the stuff about Don Wiviott's unsavory reputation is all over the internet and the mainstream press, if anyone bothers to look for it and not get blinded by his flashy TV ads and tacky green van.

Posted by: Jenna | Mar 16, 2008 8:36:54 PM