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Monday, September 28, 2009

No Right-Wing Mayor for Albuquerque! Why I'm Voting for Marty Chavez

You may have noticed that I haven't written much about the Albuquerque mayoral race. That's by design. Being a blogger, I get all kind of "tips" from friends and foes of candidates, mostly very negative stuff about a competitor. After awhile, it gets old. For one thing, I don't like to see myself as a stenographer. For another, I've developed a massive dislike of the incredibly negative tone this year, and the narrow scope of the issues that are being "debated" in this race.

Can it really be that the two Democratic candidates have joined the narrow-minded "law and order - lock 'em up - three strikes you're out" crowd without any hint of shame? This used to be the territory of the Spiro Agnews and Ronald Reagans of the world -- not of Democrats who knew the issue of crime was complex. Dems traditionally were dedicated to studying the real roots of criminal behavior in order to change the conditions that cause crime. Yes, punishment was a part of that, but other factors were considered pivotal as well.

Now it's slogan city for both Marty Chavez and Richard Romero, as well as Republican RJ Berry. Who's "tougher on crime" in this race? The dialogue starts sounding like something from an old cowboy movie. Round 'em up and hang 'em! Very little consideration is being given to the power of intervention, education or counseling in reaching and helping to reform what amounts to a poverty-stricken underclass who have little hope of moving up in the ranks except via criminal activities. When decent-paying jobs are available and folks who've had trouble in their youth can be counseled and trained to fill them, crime goes down. Duh.

I guess this year's crop of mayoral candidates hasn't noticed that America's jails are full to the brim, and yet the alienated and unemployed underclass, as well as the underpaid segment of the working class, keep on growing. More cops on the streets and more jail terms aren't really a cure all.

Fake Issues, GOP Hypocrisy
I find many of the other "issues" in this campaign to be nothing more than surface static. And, not surprisingly, I find RJ Berry to be a disaster in terms of almost every aspect of his candidacy. 

RJ Berry is a hypocritical Republican who brags about his abilities to run Albuquerque like he runs his business, except that the business under his name is pretty much dormant. Instead he's been raking in the big bucks by having his Hispanic wife establish a company called Cumbres Construction -- and gaining access to $48 million in defense contracts from 2000-2008 -- helped along by the points the business gets due to her minority (woman, Hispanic) status. RJ is just the project manager, you know. Ah, the irony of a right-wing Republican going out of his way to take advantage of minority benefits that the GOP has spent decades framing as a nasty giveaway to undeserving people.

Berry is also hot to trot about Albuquerque's alleged status as a "sanctuary city," which is a massive exaggeration about a common sense rule meant to encourage undocumented immigrants to report crimes without fear of repercussions about their immigration status. Berry uses it in as a ploy as do many on the right -- utilizing code words as dog whistles to less than open-minded potential voters. He might as well say, "It's those dangerous Mexicans crossing the border who are causing all the crime in Albuquerque." 

Then there's the battle over who'd jettison more jobs in city government, and who'd do it faster. It pains me to hear Richard Romero pushing for staff cuts as a first priority -- after all, most of the "in-kind" jobs he says Chavez has added are slots for assistant city attorneys, 311 Call Center operators, veterinarians and animal-care officials. Romero has also been bagging ideas about an events center in downtown Albuquerque and the kind of light rail every city with an eye on the future has already built and is expanding upon if they can. This is supposed to pass for a positive vision for Albuquerque's future?

And of course you've heard about the huge issue of the scandalous trip Mayor Marty took to Paris -- after being invited by the French government, which footed much of the bill. Sadly, we've been subjected to this kind of direct mail tripe (and robocalls) way too often in this election cycle. Meanwhile, the serious and complex challenges we'll be facing in a world dominated by dangerous economic and climate-based problems are ignored or given short shrift.

And What About Marty Chavez?
I certainly don't agree with him on any number of issues. But I do think the Mayor has done many very good things for Albuquerque, along with some very questionable ones. He can be informed and enthusiastic about green energy issues and has been very effective touting Albuquerque as a world-class city around the nation and beyond. He's probably the best salesman for the city we've had since Clyde Tingley. He's passionate about bringing amenities to the city that are appropriate to the 21st century, and that can attract employers. After three terms, we all know his weak points, as well as his strong points. He's certainly not perfect. Like most politicos, he's a mixed bag.

But I do think Chavez has the capacity to be a great mayor -- not just a good one -- if he'd stop with the feuding and give up on the crazy idea of SunCal TIDDs. As for the SunCal issue, does anyone really believe that any new big developments are going to be built anytime soon in America? It's essentially become a moot point in this election given the economy and this era of tight loan funds. I won't be voting for or against a candidate primarily on this issue.

Divided Dems = Right-Wing Republican Mayor?
My worst nightmare is that there's a very good chance our two Dem candidates will cancel each other out and permit a very conservative Republican to win the contest -- thanks to the crazy "nonpartisan" nature of the election. Remember, Berry is getting lots of help from the Republican Party in this race, while the two Dems are on their own. This kind of help falls into a gray area in the nonpartisan race, but Berry's campaign says it's OK because the GOP has registered as a "measure finance committee." Because two Dems are candidates, the Democratic Party would be precluded from doing that, even if they determined it was kosher.

I can't imagine a right-wing throwback to the 1950s running Albuquerque in the 21st century, apparently hoping to attract jobs by spouting the tired mantra of "marriage is only for one man and one woman." Most clean, high-tech and green-tech companies are progressive employers with a significant number of LGBT workers. They'd think more than twice about starting up any ventures in a city run by a mayor who believes only some of Albuquerque's citizens are deserving of their full civil rights. I mean, Berry doesn't even support domestic partnerships, never mind marriage equality. If we want to be seen as a backwards town still operating like it's black and white movie time, RJ Berry is our guy. And it could happen -- if Dems don't understand the dynamics of this race.

I'm sure by now you've seen the latest polling done for the Albuquerque Journal that shows RJ Berry leading with 31% of those surveyed, Marty Chavez with 26% and Richard Romero with 24%. A whopping 19% of the "likely voters" polled were undecided. Does that mean they're really undecided or that they're so uninspired by the campaigns that they'll be staying home on election day? A candidate has to get at least 40% of voters in the October 6 election to avoid a run-off between the top two vote getters that would occur on November 24.

I have my problems with how the polls conducted by Research and Polling are reported in the Journal. The paper never publishes the full poll results, including cross tabs that provide info on the samples, questions and breakdowns of voters. Instead we get just what the Journal wants us to see. Convenient. But say, for the sake of argument, that the Journal poll is accurate. 

That means the Republican candidate has the support of only 33%, while the two Dems in the race have a combined percentage of 50%. It also means that Berry could be the winner if the supporters of the Dem who doesn't get into the runoff refuse to vote for the one who does. And I can surely see that as a possibility -- especially since Romero has spent almost the entire campaign trying to take Marty down in often nasty ways. 

In fact, Romero has even gone so far as to join forces with Berry at press conferences and candidate forums to bash Chavez in tandem. That always helps the Dem cause. It's also a well known fact that many Romero supporters simply can't stand Marty Chavez, and vice versa. Will they vote for the other Dem if he's the runoff candidate? Or will they let a Republican take the reins in New Mexico's biggest city? Can we really afford to have RJ Berry as mayor at a time when it would clearly be a disaster to have the failed policies of the right dominating our local government?

My Take
Personally, I don't think Romero has much of a chance to win, especially if he gets in the runoff. I highly doubt he could get many Republican votes to bolster his totals against Berry or Chavez. And he doesn't seem to have the momentum to get 40% of the vote, given that his voter base is almost exclusively Democrats, with a significant number of "progressives."

If the polling in the Journal is accurate, and Berry IS in the lead by 5 points over his nearest competitor -- and that holds thru October 6 -- what can we do to prevent a Republican takeover of the mayor's office? 

I know many progressives won't like my answer, but I think the prudent thing to do is vote for Marty Chavez. Yes, that's right. Voting, especially in a three-way race, often has to be strategic if the worst result is to be avoided. It doesn't look to me like Romero has run a campaign powerful or inspiring enough to put himself over the 40% mark. And it seems to me that Romero would have a real problem beating Berry or Chavez one-on-one because he's attracting few crossover votes from Republicans and independents.

So what will I do on October 6? I'm going to vote for Marty Chavez. There. I've said it.

You know as well as I do how critical I've been about the Mayor over the years. That's not negated. But given the state of the race and the real possibility of a right-wing mayor getting elected who's horrible on LGBT rights (and many other issues), I think my vote has to go to Chavez. Chavez has supported equal civil rights for LGBT folks for many years. Better yet, he's comfortable with LGBT people. It's not just a pose or an abstract position. I know Romero finally said the words, "I support gay marriage" at a recent debate, but it sounded pretty flat and unenthusiastic to me. I can't help it.

And, sadly, when Romero appeared at the DFA-DFNM Meetup a few months ago, he answered a question about marriage equality by saying he wasn't taking a position because a mayor has no power in that regard. Needless to say I was bummed about that, especially since Chavez had voted for a marriage equality resolution that was passed unanimously this year by the US Conference of Mayors. When Chavez came to our Meetup, he took on all questions -- even the tough ones -- and gave a strong answer on LGBT rights. 

The positives about Marty Chavez? He knows the ropes and he wants very badly to leave a positive legacy. He's pumped by green energy -- even if his accounts of his accomplishments are sometimes a bit exaggerated. He thinks big and he thinks progressively on many issues. I believe he's got a depth of experience that will serve him well in the challenging years to come. And I believe he could easily mend some of the rifts that have opened up during his mayoral career.

If he wanted to, I think the Mayor could help heal relationships between the city and the state and other entities -- and between himself and the Democratic Party -- by mellowing out some and ditching the tendency to hold grudges and seek revenge. If he's to have another four years to add to his 12 years as mayor, he doesn't need to sweat the small stuff. He needs to reach out and bring people together as we head into an era with profound and complicated challenges. Will he do it? We can only hope he does, for the sake of Albuquerque and all who live here.

Bottom line: I have some problems with both Democratic candidates, but I've made a decision to vote for the one I think can best take down Republican RJ Berry. That candidate is Mayor Marty Chavez. There is no real ideological purity in this race -- except for the right-wing ideologue Berry. We have to stop him now. I intend to do that by voting for Marty Chavez.

September 28, 2009 at 08:25 PM in 2009 Albuquerque Mayoral Race, City of Albuquerque, Democratic Party, GLBT Rights, Government, Immigration, Republican Party | Permalink

Comments

Romero is a lackluster, passion-less candidate, alas, though he could be a decent mayor, or rep or whatnot. Marty has pizazz, some solid accomplishments, and enough popularity, I hope, to insure a win over Romero and Berry.
The Repubs are pushing--here on the westside the only signs for City Council are for Dan Lewis, a pastor whose church website is far too concerned with the "unsaved" for my taste.

Posted by: Foodie | Sep 28, 2009 9:05:17 PM

I'm viewing this race as an outsider (can't vote - not a US citizen), but I never quite understood the Marty-bashing. The guy has been in office for a while, so people know his good and bad sides. As far as I can tell, he has done a decent job.

And, that's really most of what you can ask for in a politician: they need to do a decent job, and you know what they are about. I am unimpressed by any purity arguments at any time.

I haven't been able to figure out what Romero would actually do that would be much better than Marty. I've met Romero in person, and he seems to be a good guy. People who have worked with him like him. But at the same time, I was not impressed with his substance (or lack thereof, rather). His campaign has used some real yawner generic slogans, and a lot of the time seems to be "I'm not Chavez, he sucks, and I don't". I need more than that. I'm just not impressed.

As for Berry: he doesn't seem unreasonable in interviews, but of course I disagree with his Republican philosophy. On top of that, he reminds me a little too much of Bush presenting himself as "compassionate conservative" in 2000.

To be short: Marty's an imperfect guy, but he gets things done, and you know what he's about, which makes him easily the best choice.

Posted by: Frank | Sep 28, 2009 10:08:00 PM

Before you do, you should talk to city employees who are praying that he loses to ANYBODY!! Marty puts his pals into city offices without training or experience. Pays them more than long time employees. They know that Marty has their back and nobody can touch them. Other employees even end up doing their work.

Posted by: Betty in NM | Sep 28, 2009 10:24:56 PM

Many of the things Marty takes credit for were done by the city council, citizen groups, or city employees. So they wouldn't end if he weren't there. He also takes credit for things he worked against. He bulls things through which have to be undone by the courts. He's too supportive of the developers and sprawl. And he has trouble working with other people, which is important. I'm supporting Richard Romero. I think he would appoint good people and support them to do the right thing.

Posted by: Michelle Meaders | Sep 28, 2009 10:38:21 PM

It is a non-partisan race and thus your speaking of D's and R's and being so partisan is a bit unkosher. That being said, you are right, Marty is a good Mayor but an Ass%*le. If he could fix the later, his pettiness and vindictiveness and seeming inability to work in partnership and as a team with other leaders, he could be a great mayor. Richard has run an uncompelling, unfocused campaign, much like his previous unsuccessful ones for other offices. RJ is deceptively bland, but his politics are to be feared and would set us back decades in terms of economic and social justice, and plain decency. And his taking advantage of the system by using his wife's gender and ethnicity borders on despicable. I think you came to the right choice, although I disagree that Suncal is not an issue. Aren't they still trying to steal a billion dollars of our money and don't many legislators still want to give it to them and buy into their rosy but bankrupt story?

Posted by: ABQ Dem | Sep 28, 2009 11:35:41 PM

Where to begin:

"Who's "tougher on crime" in this race? The dialogue starts sounding like something from an old cowboy movie. Round 'em up and hang 'em!"

Romero has definitely based his campaign on the problem of crime, but he definitely has never come out and said we need to start rounding people up. If anything, his crime stance always focuses on education, as well as maximizing our police force... which would mean getting rid of political appointees... and years of corruption. Marty has lowered the standard for our police force and we wonder why they're getting charged with rapes and implicated in murders... this is serious and Marty is throwing a political stunt with 100 cops. This isn't just about a Dem or a Republican, its about the safety of my children.

..............................

"But I do think Chavez has the capacity to be a great mayor -- not just a good one -- if he'd stop with the feuding and give up on the crazy idea of SunCal TIDDs."

You do realize that his campaign manager is a registered lobbyist for SunCal... paid for by you and me. Marty gets an F on sprawl and an F on not even addressing water in his fast tracking of the SunCal bill... and vetoing the council's good judgment on the matter.

................................

Let me get this straight, we should all be concerned with a poll that the Journal puts out a week before the election... which only called 400 land lines? When did Dems start believing it was in their best interest to believe a conservative rag?

I'm in touch with many city workers... and the blue collar vote is going to Romero. I think too many people are underestimating how fed up people are with the smugness and the arrogant nature of Marty.

...............................

I've heard a few Albuquerque columnists thumb their nose at the "tone" of the campaign and expressing that they want vision. What about accountability? Reminds me of the corporate dems that feel we should just move on about Bush, don't worry about those war crimes.

Lets all just listen to a rosy picture of a greenwashed ABQ eh? ABQ lost 13,000 jobs last year. Ask one of those workers what our ranking on the Forbe's list means to them.

I guess us taxpaying "bad dems" should just forget about ABQ PAC, his relationship and million dollar give aways to Marc Schiff, who's currently in prison. His bullying of contractors and his lack of principle to sue and run again... and then have the gaul to campaign with city resources. Or is that just the "incumbant advantage" as our noodly local media likes to call it.

And not one public statement of condolences to the West Mesa victims families.

The guy is pro LBGT rights... but he's a clever worm and won't mouth the magic words. Which is pretty much a spit in the face.

Dem strategy is one thing, but if you know the issues and Marty's flouting of the law and the will of the Albuquerque tax payer... it borders on city treason to vote for that guy.

Posted by: Yikes! | Sep 29, 2009 12:50:46 AM

The person above distorts and exaggerates the facts. Your stuff about the cops is way off base. Romero has been making a lying claim about cops on the street by not counting other units. Romero likes to paint himself as pure but he is far from it. He lies about Albuquerque's crime rate too just to scare people. Is that a progressive tactic?

I know the issues and I know that Romero has been weak. I don't see much if anything thats progressive about him but he makes that claim and people buy it. He doesn't seem to get the big issues.

What do you have to say about Romero giving money from his congressional campaign fund to Republican legislators including RJ Berry? That was money that people gave to Romero to help the Democratic cause not to aid Republicans. There's no excuse for that.

I look at the time Eric Griego ran a very strong and energetic campaign against Chavez and lost big. I can't see how a candidate like Romero with his negative campaigning and no charisma can win. If he really cared about doing what's right he'd drop out and support Marty.

Posted by: Romero Lost TWO Elections Already | Sep 29, 2009 1:08:48 AM

You're brave Barb and what you said needs to be considered. We can't let Berry win. Romero isn't up to the task. Sometimes all we can do is vote against the worst candidate and for the one that can beat him.

Posted by: Old Dem | Sep 29, 2009 1:18:05 AM


What Yikes! said.

Brave? Voting for the "devil you know" gets you the devil for certain. No bravery involved.

Posted by: coco | Sep 29, 2009 7:12:18 AM

What ever else Marty Chavez has done, he has not ended the cronyism and corruption in city hall.

The is no legitimate agenda that doesn't move forward on the day that public corruption and incompetence are finally eliminated.

Chavez has had 12 years and either cannot or will not clean up government. He is personally responsible for the death of the Ethics in Public Service Act; the product of the earnest effort of many intelligent and dedicated Albuquerqueans, and a law which would have gone a long way toward reforming city government.

If government is truly responsive to the people, the "right wingers" and the "left wingers" are moderated by public participation and influence.

Anybody but Marty Chavez for Mayor.

Posted by: ched macquigg | Sep 29, 2009 7:48:13 AM

Mayor Marty has done a few good things for Albuquerque, however, any good he did is overshadowed by his CORRUPTION and CRONYISM. Three terms and the arrogance of overturning term limits, (the will of City voters), says to me, enough is enough NO thanks to a fourth term.

Posted by: VP | Sep 29, 2009 8:03:36 AM

I'm hopeful that Chavez wins, and appalled at the thought of a runoff. 5 more weeks of all this campaigning, and the cost of another election? Bad news.

I hope when this is over Chavez will be mayor AND I hope the city council will change the law to provide "instant runoff' voting. Voters would rank the candidates on their ballot, not just vote for one. If the voter's #1 choice comes in third, a recount uses #2 on the list to determine a winner.

Posted by: Ellen Wedum | Sep 29, 2009 8:11:46 AM

Get ready for a run off. No one is going to get 40%.

Romero may not be an exciting campaigner, but he is ethical (change I can believe in) and will bring a cooperative/collaborative energy to the many relationships that have been squandered for too long on the 11th Floor.

I am very excited by the depth of knowledge Romero could bring about education to city government, a very pressing issue for our future (not to mention our present) economic fortunes. It will be beyond fantastic if he can have an opportunity to bring enlightened and compassionate ideas to bear as the lack of education/drop out rate impacts our crime rate as well.

I think that alone is a good reason to support Romero.

It is tragic that glib gab has so much impact on elections.

Oh, and what Yikes! said. I'm with you, Coco.

Posted by: bg | Sep 29, 2009 8:51:09 AM

I want to know how an Alb mayor can affect the APS bureaucracy. The mayor has no power over that. Romero probably knows people in there because he was a teacher and principle but APS operates on its own period.

Why do people think Romero is so ethical? He was a lobbyist until a few months ago. Even his ousting of Manny meant joining with Republicans and of him getting a plum and running the Senate with Republicans not Democrats.

Posted by: Downtown D.T. | Sep 29, 2009 9:06:02 AM

Barb, I hold you and your work with DFNM in the highest esteem and always will. But I am stunned by the conclusion you have drawn in this post. While I almost always agree with you, I must part company with you on this one. I believe key elements of your assessment of the current political situation are wrong. The logic just doesn’t add up, which is so out of character.

First, I do agree that the stakes in this election are very high. The threat of a “right-wing Republican” mayor being elected is very real. Your “worst nightmare” is one I share.

The vicious anti-immigrant campaign unleashed by Berry has played successfully to the same right-wing populist strain in the GOP that is under the spell of Beck-Limbaugh-Hannity. By employing this message, Berry has successfully stripped Marty of his Republican support. Four years ago at least half of Marty’s vote total came from Republicans. Now they have deserted him en masse.

What progressives and Democrats need to take away from the Journal poll are two inarguable data points. (1) Chavez, a 3-term mayor with 95% name ID (everybody knows all about him) has got 3/4s of the electorate very disinclined to vote for him. That is staggering. (2) Romero’s campaign is surging; Marty’s is sinking.

As you point out, it is quite true that Romero has made crime a major part of his platform. As a fellow progressive, I can understand your disgust that these campaigns seem always to descend into the same old, same old “who’s toughest on crime” routine.

But while pointing out ironies, you introduce one here that almost made me fall out of my chair. You contradict the excellent point you made.

Ever since 1993, when he first ran for mayor, Marty Chavez has more than any other political figure in New Mexico established the “tough guy on crime frame” and we've had to live with it ever since. He more than anyone has stoked that fear of crime issue, inserting it into Albuquerque’s issue environment year after year. So while I too wish Democrats would talk about root causes, I find it unbelievable that you’re supporting the guy who is most to blame for this sad state of affairs about which you complain. The logic seems to be, I hate it when Democrats do this so let’s reward the guy most responsible for it. Why would you even bother to make that excellent point, and then turn around and endorse the worst offender?

I’m also perplexed by this passage: “But I do think Chavez has the capacity to be a great mayor -- not just a good one -- if he'd stop with the feuding and give up on the crazy idea of SunCal TIDDs. As for the SunCal issue, does anyone really believe that any new big developments are going to be built anytime soon in America?”

I’m sorry, but do you really expect us to believe that after 17 years in public office that this tiger will change his stripes -- that this mean-spirited 57 year old male persona will alter itself in mid-life? Why? Based on what evidence? What incentive does he have to change? I'm sorry, but this is wishful thinking to the Nth degree.

The entire premise of Marty’s political career, starting when he was a State Senator from the Westside, has been to deliver for his developer friends and contractor buddies in their quest to drive Albuquerque development to the Rio Puerco.

You can count me in the camp that believes that land use, development and water issues are probably the most critical ones facing Albuquerque – and these are precisely the policies upon which a mayor DOES have an enormous impact. And it is on this issue that Mayor Chavez has done irreparable damage. Perhaps you and I have an honest disagreement on the salience of this issue. But to suggest that Marty might seriously consider forsaking his signature legacy, his whole raison d’etre – not to mention his political and future donor base -- simply strains credulity to the breaking point.

Marty is worthy of praise on LGBT issues. Fair enough. I join you in that praise. But how grossly unfair for you to draw a false – and certainly incomplete – comparison of Chavez’s stance with Romero’s. You hang a bum rap on Romero for a comment he made at a DFA meeting – based on a statement that was mirrored exactly by Chavez stated position! See this video of Marty:

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=111140373474&ref=share

What is a fair-minded, objective observer to make of this? The worst part is that you make this false comparison, while completely ignoring the fact that Romero publicly took the right stand and challenged Chavez to do the same at a recent mayoral forum less than two weeks ago? And frankly, I'm not sure Marty really did answer the question, despite Romero graciously giving him the benefit of the doubt:

http://newmexicoindependent.com/36610/abq-mayoral-race-pressed-on-gay-marriage-mayor-martin-chavez-expresses-support

This only begs the serious question as to why any politician should go out on a limb on this issue when an advocate like yourself won’t even acknowledge and credit his support? Wow. That’s a hell of a message to send.

Finally, I too was not all that thrilled that Romero held a joint press conference with Berry early in the campaign. But you fail to mention the reason. They were protesting Chavez’s blatant skirting of the new public financing law when he ran two months of taxpayer funded “PSAs” featuring Marty himself as, you guessed it, "Mayor Tough on Crime." It should be noted that the fact that progressive Romero was an early and active proponent of the Clean and Ethical Elections law, one can understand that he felt particularly aggrieved, not merely as a candidate, but as an advocate passionately committed to the issue of clean campaigns public financing reform. But you choose to ding him for that. I'll have to call a foul on that one.

While we're at it, why not note that Romero made common cause with Republicans on one other significant occasion -- when he deposed Manny Aragon from the Senate leadership. On that one, I think Romero got it absolutely right. Since the topic of courage has come up, I think Romero's should be acknowledged for that one. So with an eye to making prudent choices, then the public's revulsion against political “pay-to-play” and Chavez's grave weakness on that issue should be factored into runoff considerations, don’t you think? Romero, by contrast, put his career on the line fighting corruption and trying to right an incredible wrong -- long before taking on corruption was flavor of the month.

Now as for Democrats joining hands with Republicans I, on the other hand, find it unforgivable that with so much at stake as 2008 election approached, Marty Chavez marched out of DNC’s Chairman Howard Dean’s office in May of 2006 and announced to the national media that he was endorsing Pete Domenici’s re-election.

Explain to me why in the name of prudence that I should accept the crass cynicism (and supreme arrogance) of that act. DFNM surely cannot be adopting the stance that Marty “had to do it” to curry Republican support back home for when he runs for mayor or governor? Say it ain't so! This would be a cynical choice, though pragmatic stance, if it were not for the fact those coveted Republicans are lost to him now. It's no longer the pragmatic path. It's a lost cause for Marty. It is not “the prudent thing to do.”

So do I believe Romero is Albuquerque's incarnation of Paul Wellstone or Bernie Sanders? Nope. Is he more progressive than Marty, more trustworthy and free of the taint of corruption that hangs on the mayor? Absolutely. And as a practical matter Romero has the momentum. He has a better chance to convince undecideds who HAVE made up their mind that they're not voting for Marty. Romero is our best hope to turn back the right-wing extremist threat in the run-off.

BTW, Speaking of undecideds, You write: “A whopping 19% of the "likely voters" polled were undecided. Does that mean they're really undecided or that they're so uninspired by the campaigns that they'll be staying home on election day?”

A "whopping" 19%, you say? Is that significant or unusual? No, it’s right on track. I refer you to the Journal poll released one week before the 2005 election: Chavez 42.6%, Griego 18%, Winter 18% Steele 2.6%, UNDECIDED 18.8%.

Barb, your concern, dedication and courage are unquestioned. But in my view, your analysis here is wrongheaded. As much as it pains me to say these words, I dearly hope Democrats and progressives do not heed your advice on this one.

Posted by: hibernia | Sep 29, 2009 9:40:33 AM

Can't agree that the Dem party is sidelined because two Dems are in the race. The Dem party isn't obliged to support one Dem over another although maybe they think they are. They could easily spend their money pointing out how the positions of Berry are inconsistent with Albuquerque values. Just as you did in your piece.

Posted by: Hunter | Sep 29, 2009 11:44:24 AM

I wish hibernia had left his or her real name. I use my real name on this blog and if hibernia is willing to post such a long and detailed critical comment, I wish he or she would have been up front enough to own up to the comment.

I appreciate your civility in putting forth your points and the respect you stated for my conduct on this blog and elsewhere. We may just have to agree to disagree.

I have struggled over this race for months, and when I saw the poll it kind of cemented what I had been thinking and feeling in my gut for some time. I don't see how Romero can garner the votes necessary to get into the run-off or win this race. Maybe I'm wrong, but looking at the data, that's the conclusion I've reached. And I don't think we can risk having a Republican mayor.

What votes will Romero pick up between now and the election? Having seen what Eric Griego did, I see Richard in the same mold as far as vote getting, with his support coming almost entirely from the UNM area and downtown. Where else is he going to get the votes?

I could go down your comments and respond to each of them but I don't think that those are the key issues here. My key issue is trying to see how Romero could win.

I see my post as pragmatic. I knew when I put it up that I was opening myself up to a significant amount of criticism, including from those in politics that I have worked to support and consider to be kindred spirits. But I also felt I had to say what was on my mind about this race, how it's been run and where it could lead. I hope it's respected as being just that.

If Romero is as strong as you say, and is picking up big momentum then I don't think a personal post by me outlining my thinking and feelings about this race will stop it. I stand by my decision to post what I did. I felt it was time to be honest, and a time to point out the risks of Berry winning the race. I think this is a legitimate fear and it's better to have it out in the open than not, because I know from my contacts that I'm not alone in having it.

As with anything I post on here, there will be people who agree and people who don't. I'm willing to take the heat to say something I thought needed saying. It would have been much easier to go with the flow on this, but I thought I should say what I'm thinking on this, up front, and open it up to discussion. I don't know how else to operate as a human being.

Posted by: barb | Sep 29, 2009 12:20:54 PM

Hibernia, thank you for the thoughtful post.
I am sure we know each other but since you did not post your name it is impossible to know who I am talking to....and that's ok just wanted to say it.

I tried to open the video you put a link to but could not.
Honestly I was pretty shocked the evening Romero was at the DFNM meetup and amongst many of his supporters and I asked him the question about supporting gay marriage, and he gave a political mumbojumbo line. It was very disppointing,and like another knife in the back. The correct answer is YES.

I did hear Richard in the dabate the other night come out for gay marriage but in my opinion it was a flat answer, it could have been a time to describe more of his understanding about the LGBT issues and fights at this time but he did not. His answer at the last debate showed a lack of understanding of all the issues around being Gay and the gay community. Gay marriage debate is actually one of the more happy fights for civil rights. There are issues daily in the gay community around-hate and discrimination.

The LGBT community needs a real friend in some office at this time. Many of us supported Obama and he on gay issues has been horrible, even detrimenal to our fight. There are too many, and too indepth issues to go into here now. But if you were to search this website for gay issues you would see what has happened since Jan.19, 09 and it has not been good for the GLBT.

I am so tired of politicians being ashamed of saying what they truly believe around gay rights. If any good comes of this campaign maybe a true progressive will unashamedly come out for gay rights, gay marriage, pro all LGBT issues right away uneqivocably (sp). Maybe if some brave politician does there will be one less killing and one less hateful word which drives a young LGBT person to suicide. Our community is silent on much of what our lives are like day in, day out, we go along to get along. The progressives must start talking it up re the GLBT issues, be an advocate every day.

How can I as a lesbian after being so disappointed in Obama believe that Romero is going to stand on the LGBT side, through thick and thin? I know Chavez has stuck with the LGBT community through thick and thin.

We're here we're queer get used to it, and we vote and we have a voice.

Posted by: Mary Ellen | Sep 29, 2009 12:28:02 PM

Hunter-I think the Democratic Party would have to register as a committee in support of some candidate to take part in this election. It stays out of that kind of thing like it does in primaries. Democrats in office could say more things about Berry in the media but they don't.

Posted by: Old Dem | Sep 29, 2009 12:40:12 PM

Thank you, Hibernia, for saying everything I was thinking, but more eloquently.

And I am a little surprised that you are being called out for choosing to remain anonymous. I think that we are all being careful to maintain good relations within the progressive community while we deal with our differences on this issue. If a little anonymity helps with that, then so be it.

Posted by: Ditto | Sep 29, 2009 12:43:24 PM

I don't know how much difference it makes, where and when comments were made. But Romero was on the radio in a public forum with all three candidates present when he came out loud and proud, answering the GLBT marriage issue, "Yes." Marty, 3rd to answer, gave the mumbo jumbo. RR pushed the point, but Marty never said it.

Yes, Marty may show up and support EqualityNM, at a gay friendly event. Was anyone else offered the chance? And Romero may have been weak in a personal conversation.

Maybe he learned from it. Because when it was time to go public, RR stood up, Marty did not.

And as for education, even though APS and the City are two entities, it would be beneficial, IMHO, to have someone speaking honestly about how effective our strategies have been in addressing our difficult education problems. Having a Mayor schooled on this issue, as Romero is, in the bully pulpit can't hurt. And having someone who prefers collaboration to confrontation with APS also would make a difference.

I'm not surprised by your endorsemnts, Barb and Mary Ellen. I disagree on this one, I hope the best for our City.

Posted by: bg | Sep 29, 2009 12:48:34 PM

Barb- Are you serious???? Romero's answer was flat, yet Marty's answer, in which he completely avoided actually saying the word gay, stands up for LGBT rights? You have got to be kidding me. The mayor is avoiding the issue because he is looking into the future, and does not want to distance himself from Rs. Romero on the other hand is a huge civil rights activist, as he has publicly supported our cause, and will fight for our rights. Your endorsement of the Mayor makes me wonder whose pocket you are really in.

Posted by: OurMayorIsAJoke | Sep 29, 2009 12:56:51 PM

Ditto: I still think it's questionable to leave a comment like hibernia did and not do it under your own name. You may have the luxury of staying anonymous to protect your "good relations with the progressive community" but I don't. I'm willing to put my neck out to say what I honestly believe. Too bad others aren't as forthcoming.

It's easy to hide and say things but people should remember that anonymous comments are frequently the product of campaign people and others with an ax to grind. That's why comments with a real name attached are generally more credible to those reading them.

Posted by: barb | Sep 29, 2009 1:00:37 PM

People here don't seem to know it but Marty Chavez has had a great relationship with LGBT community for many years on a personal basis and politically. Richard Romero does not even if he's been in politics a long time. He needed to prove himself and he didn't until he was forced to. He was bad at the pride parade this year too. Marty voted for marriage equality at the US conf of mayors what more do you want? Nobody is answering where Romero will get the votes to win and that was Barb's main point.

Posted by: Queer Voter | Sep 29, 2009 1:06:01 PM

There, are you happy? I posted my real name.

The mayor voted for marriage equality at the US conference of Mayors. Big Deal. What does that do for us here in Albuquerque? Nothing.

The facts are this: Romero was in the state senate from the early 90s through the mid 2000s, and voted multiple times in support of civil unions and marriage equality - legislation that actually does good for our cause here in NM.

Romero is the most progressive candidate in this race, and therefore, he is on our side. Mayor Chavez, on the other hand, has still yet to say the words, "I support Gay Marriage." You want a candidate that is not afraid to go out on a limb, and risk his political career for us? Then Mayor Chavez is not your candidate. He consistently avoids the issue for fear of distancing himself from Rs in his future campaigns for Senate or Governor.

Of course he shows up at EqualityNM events, and the pride parade, and does a good job doing it. That is because that is the only thing he is good at doing, parading around the city taking credit for this, and taking credit for that. His response at the debate, though, reminds me of one thing, when the time comes, he will not go to bat for us, because he didn't, when all of Albuquerque was watching.

Romero did, and he will when given the opportunity. I am sure of that.

Posted by: Reggie Tenenbaum | Sep 29, 2009 1:17:41 PM

Barb, can't believe you seem willing to buy into SunCal as a benign factor. Today's mail brought me a strong anti-Cadigan piece from "Moving Albuquerque Forward". Major supporter of that MFC, Westland DevCo to the tune of $10,000 of your TIDD diverted dollars. Oddly, or perhaps not so oddly, printed by the same firm (Greetings, Etc!) that did the Marty is an INDEPENDENT piece I also received today.

Posted by: Hunter | Sep 29, 2009 1:23:44 PM

@Our Mayor is a joke....that was posted by Mary Ellen. Now I can understand people being confused because we may look alike or be interchangeable in some minds at times in person but when writing and signing my name...I will take the time to correct you. So...IMO Romero answer was flat because there is so much more to say around the LGBT battles and oppression now. You are clearly not gay and not attuned with gay matters for you to not desire more from a candidate whom is supposed to be fighting for you now and in the future.

Worse worse yet: God knows what will happen if Berry gets in. The rabid right lynching the GLBT. It again is time for all people who believe in civil rights for all to come out of the closet themselves. realize the power of support for this civil right issue. The word to gay marriage is not just yeah but hell yeah

Posted by: Mary Ellen | Sep 29, 2009 1:24:15 PM

Amazing thread. I don't see anyone yet answering your question about how Romero can win with support only from Nob Hll-Downtown.

I've read your blog for years and I know how critical you've been of Chavez. People don't seem to get your making a judgment about the chances for victory and what will happen if a weak candidate goes against Berry. They keep criticizing Chavez and praising Romero but they don't get your point about the demographics.

The polling scared me too. I'm glad someone had the nerve to say it out loud because I'm hearing it from people ever since it came out.

Posted by: Reader | Sep 29, 2009 1:34:15 PM

Reggie...if Romero gets in I hope he does go to bat for us (and us to me is the LGBT community). Obama hasnt, and i thought he would.

At this point I feel a bird in the hand is worth whatever
the F the saying is.

One thing we all know Berry will be horrible for LGBT.
Like Barb G says above...I hope the best for our City, I truly do. I also want my civil rights. And if I see someone who has been pretty steadfast with the LGBT community he has in my opinion earned my vote.

And Reggie I do not think I do know you...and yes it does make me happy to have your name to your voice. Thank you. sincerely.

Posted by: Mary Ellen | Sep 29, 2009 1:34:32 PM

IMO this is a productive debate and people can make up their minds on their own. You raised and issue and got people thinking and talking about the race and what's at stake. I hope the best man wins and mostly that Berry loses. I don't know if Marty will get my vote but you got me thinking.

Posted by: NE Heights | Sep 29, 2009 1:52:22 PM

The process you went through and your ultimate decision makes a lot of sense from the insider looking "in" that's faced with extremely dismal choices. It's rough looking for a solution when there isn't one.

Probably the most important activity any community, company or individual faced with losing it's vibrancy can undertake is a critical analysis of what the external forces view when looking "in".

For Albuquerque at this point in time, what that process reveals is certainly not pretty, For that reason alone, I have to fall in the "anybody but Marty" category.

One of the key issues in bringing any sort of vibrancy back to the community is to turn around our dismal record of economic development and real job creation. Right now, Albuquerque is not even on the matrices of any corporate or facility expansion professional in any industry. And unless we give away the farm (aka TIDD's), as long as Marty is in office, that's not going to change. He's known by the folks whose bonuses depend on successful corporate expansion initiatives and they are not and will not buy. I feel like we have to work on this (and it's not just Marty, our labor force simply isn't that skilled when compared to other cities, especially in the trades) before we have any chance of success in sophisticated issues like LGBT

It seems like the North Valley should also be included in the Nob Hill/Downtown demographics for Romero. A lot of people were disillusioned when Chavez failed to show up for the NVC debate and recently Dede mentioned that she was voting for Romero and outlined her reasons why.

Posted by: scott hale | Sep 29, 2009 2:03:13 PM

Great article and comments. Lots to think about. Thanks.

Posted by: mark | Sep 29, 2009 2:15:31 PM

The Romero campaign has put up video of Marty saying that gay marriage should be handled at the state level. Comes in at the 1:15 mark. Not exactly what you'd call, "enthusiastic" for the cause...

http://www.youtube.com/user/RomeroForMayor#play/uploads/0/lTy5_pekrbk

Posted by: true colors | Sep 29, 2009 2:20:13 PM

true colors, marriage is a state issue. Why do you think we have bills in the legislature to change things? Funny to link a video of the Mayor at a gay pride event where he talks about the need to be accepting and not discriminate to show that he doesn't support us. You ignore the fact that the US Conference of Mayors including Chavez voted for same-sex marriage and other gay rights just this year. Only those who aren't lgbt would believe Chavez is not with us.

Posted by: Queer Voter | Sep 29, 2009 2:30:16 PM

Queer Voter:

Yes, I know its a state issue... and RR caught hell on this site for saying that same thing... where have you been? RR has supported all those measures at the state level.

Perhaps you need to be educated in politics 101: Marty won't say, "I support gay marriage", even when he does, because he doesn't want someone to use that soundbite against him down the road... get it? He won't put his name on that statement on camera. In other words, your good friend will ditch you in the future at the drop of a hat if its politically in his best interest. Wake up.

Posted by: true colors | Sep 29, 2009 2:50:00 PM

Yeah right true colors. That's why he voted for marriage equality with the other mayors. That was public. Richard has never had any relationship with the lgbt community so just admit it.

Whatever you want to believe is fine. I doubt if you are gay or you would know the score. You still aren't answering Barb's main point-how can Romero get the votes to win?

Posted by: Queer Voter | Sep 29, 2009 3:01:56 PM

Thank goodness someone is talking about this race in a realistic way. Romero supporters are in dreamland. No matter how good you think he is he runs a terrible campaign.

Posted by: Brad | Sep 29, 2009 3:04:05 PM

True colors about ditching us:...so has Obama. So has Clinton. So has every democrat, or we (gays) would not be in this position now. It is not something you need to tell us to wake up about. It is our reality dayin dayout. We are awake, painfully awake to this bait and switch, politics 101 scam. Frankly that is why I do not trust Richard Romero about it, how do I know he will not ditch us? I cannot believe Obama ditched us! But what we do know is the current Mayor has been very supportive of our gay issues. And it matters.

Posted by: Mary Ellen | Sep 29, 2009 3:04:30 PM

I appreciate everyone's participation in this thread. Blogs are meant to prompt discussions. This post did. I don't think anything is as cut and dried as some people are saying. This is a complex race and it could easily go to a right wing Republican if we're not careful.

I have to say it's been an interesting day, including some very impassioned phone calls from people. Obviously there is a lot at stake in this election and it shows. As someone wrote on Facebook today, politics ain't beanbag.

Posted by: barb | Sep 29, 2009 4:21:15 PM

I would like to believe that progressives will support ethics first and first.

The polling is close enough that people should vote for Romero.

The pool of voters is not the same necessarily between now and a run-off. A run-off between Romero and a Republican (and Marty calling Romero a Republican is the pot calling the kettle black on everything but GLBT issues) might bring a lot of people out who have been asleep up through this election.

A run-off between Berry and Marty, well, I could sit that out. I'm simply not voting for the same old same old when the future of our City is at stake. What is the difference between Mr. Business and Mr. Pad My Pockets?

Posted by: bg | Sep 29, 2009 5:34:53 PM

BG, There are very good reasons to vote for Chavez over Berry. For one, Berry is a reactionary who would eliminate the city's anti-discrimination policies that protect low-income immigrant workers, not to mention Latinos in general.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 29, 2009 6:23:17 PM

Apparently you, and lots of other commenters, are not very good at math.

While it's all fine and good to say that you're going to brush aside the 12 years of Chavez corruption and cronyism, that's not the same as saying you voted for him to beat RJ Berry.

See, if you vote for Romero or Chavez, Berry gets the same percentage of the vote, and if he (and the others) fail to get 40%, then there's a runoff election.

So have a backbone and vote for Romero, and then you can vote for whoever makes it to the runoff. Romero is only real democrat in the contest.

Posted by: Six | Sep 29, 2009 6:48:54 PM

A runoff between Berry and Chavez. Gag me.

Posted by: bg | Sep 29, 2009 7:10:48 PM

I've come far too late to this party, well after the keg's been drained, but that isn't stopping me from chiming in here, thinking back to a contemplation some years back when it appeared the choice was going to be Marty v. Heather for U.S. Senate (IIRC).

Now there was a gag me situation.

As for Marty v. Anybody But Chavez (ABC) for Mayor of Albuquerque 2009, personally I wouldn't have to gag to vote for ABC.

Another term of this asshole just wouldn't work for me. Sorry for the lack of political sophistication in that comment, but being an asshole trumps party (identified or not) after two terms.

There's just so much Marty you can take, not to mention the fact he's about as Democratic as your average land developer and responsible for those lovely views of subdivisions heading West as far as the eye can see.

He's a political fraud, someone incapable of moving on to a "better" job, and an asshole.

Now, more than ever.

Too bad DFNM and other knowledgeable folks didn't help run the Romero campaign. Truth be told, any knowledgeable folks would have helped. Oh well...


Posted by: scot | Sep 29, 2009 8:34:06 PM

Barb,
There is only one question regarding Marty Chavez. He has been the mayor for a long time. One venue in which he has had some power to help the LGBT community. What is the status of domestic partnership for City of Albuquerque workers? Do domestic partners get employee benefits such as health insurance extended to them?
If yes, then Marty Chavez is sincere in furthering civil rights for LGBT people.
If not, he is using you and you should not believe a word he says during the campaign. Don't be fooled and don't let pretty words and flash seduce you.
I do not live there, so I am just asking for concrete evidence, where it counts, of LGBT support over the many years he has been in power.

Posted by: qofdisks | Sep 29, 2009 9:33:50 PM

ME:
You know what: Although I didn't attend your meetup with Richard, I've had many conversations with the man. He's an honest, good person who too often is not willing to risk saying the wrong thing.
I truly don't know his heart-felt position on GLBT issues but I do know that I was hurt when he was what I'm calling a near no-show at Pride back in June. No supporters. No fanfair. No float. Just him trying to piggyback a ride on the Bernalillo Dem float.
By contrast, Mayor Marty came all out for Pride. He had one of the best floats and had the most diverse group of people of any entry. I know he's hired many gay, lesbian, bisexual AND transexual people and supports their rights like any other person's rights.
There is no doubt that his genuine and evident pro-GLBT stance hurts him with many conservatives he'd otherwise count as supporters, but in typical Marty fashion, he doesn't seem to care.

Posted by: Danny Hernandez | Sep 29, 2009 10:35:43 PM

Yes, what a great idea, let's decide our vote on a float in The Parade, or not.

Who cares about growth, water, integrity, honesty, getting along well with others or any other thing when the standard is the quality of a float.

Wow. Brilliant!!

Posted by: bg | Sep 29, 2009 11:24:01 PM

To all you Marty-lovers: Are you in a city job that you're going to loose if someone else gets elected, because you aren't qualified for it? WAKE UP!!!!!

Marty is running for a 4th term because why? Because he is a greedy bastard. That's how he runs the city, and that's how he got on the ballet. Voters told him no, he told us to screw off.

TELL HIM NO AGAIN VOTERS! AND LOUDER THIS TIME!

There is a reason that term limits are put in place. If you can't get what you need done in 8 years, BOUNCE. That's all the time the President of the United States gets to take care of 50 states. That should be more than enough time for Marty to deal with 1 city.

Tell Marty to take his drunk-driving butt and GET OUT!

Romero for Mayor!
(Come on, fellow Republicans. This is New Mexico. Let's be serious. If you vote for Berry, you are wasting a valuable vote. No one wants an illegal alien hunter in charge of their sanctuary city. The days of crazy right wing conservatism are over.)

Posted by: AnyoneButMartyPlz | Sep 30, 2009 7:10:26 AM

The term limit for mayor was already moot because someone had already sued regarding the term limit for city councilors and both were based on the same thing. Legally, therefore, the mayoral term limit was unenforceable. If you want to get term limits that are constitutional you need to pass a new law that IS constitutional. I don't see anyone doing that.

Posted by: attorney | Sep 30, 2009 8:10:12 AM

Do not let this become a one issue election. Marty and Richard are essentially the same on LGBT issues.

Your choice should be made on the basis of other issues. If you think Marty is ethical, and honest, vote for him.

If you want a $300 million dollar streetcar, vote for Marty.

If you want a $400 million dollar events center, vote for Marty.

If you want a city hall full of cronies, political appointees, vote for Marty.

If you want to see crime, dropouts, and job loss continue to rise, vote for Marty.

If you want a man who is more than willing to take credit for all the good, and hide behind the closed doors of his office and place blame on others for the bad, vote for Marty.

The choice is here is obvious. Lets bring change to the city of Albuquerque. Vote Romero.

Posted by: Reggie Tenenbaum | Sep 30, 2009 8:13:09 AM

Any expenditures for a street rail system or events center would be approved by the voters. This points to one of the problems in this race and on this thread. Whoever people support they should use facts, not smears, to discuss their positions.

Posted by: Old Dem | Sep 30, 2009 8:24:00 AM

Barbara,

I heard Marty Chavez ads on the radio today. In them, it is claimed that Richard Berry is paying himself rent, and further that he is keeping the money.

We all now know differenly.

I am wondering if you would be willing to write a defense for Chavez' continuing use of the ad.

Does it speak to his character? If it does, does that make any difference?

Perhaps I am wrong in believing that character counts in politics and public service, more than anything else.

But surely if it is not the most important issue, it is at least important enough to talk about; openly and honestly.

Posted by: ched macquigg | Sep 30, 2009 8:07:58 PM

I heard the moon is blue and Marty is responsible. I also heard that he grows horns at night. That's about as much documentation as we have for many of these things.

Posted by: wawa | Sep 30, 2009 8:22:48 PM

I am deeply disappointed by this post. Richard Romero has been a long time fried to progressives and good government. You are simply wrong. Marty is corrupt and strutting little peacock that has to go.

Posted by: mwfolsom | Sep 30, 2009 11:00:44 PM

Barb, (or anyone above who has expressed their intention to vote for Marty Chavez)

There is a radio ad still running, in which it is stated that RJ Berry is paying himself rent and keeping it.

The truth, we all now know, is that there is no wrong doing, and the rent is actually being donated to charity, and has been all along.

I would like to know if anyone would like to defend Marty Chavez continued used of a patently dishonest ad.

Posted by: ched macquigg | Oct 1, 2009 6:25:12 AM

Hopefully Berry will stop the free handouts to all the lazies in this city who want something for nothing; clean-up the social deviants; and stop the labor unions that have destroyed this city from being economicially competitive.

Posted by: Amarilloman | Oct 1, 2009 10:03:50 PM

Brave and smart post Barb. I was working hard to maintain Chavez as Mayor.

Sadly we have the results in. We need to have a serious conversation within the party about Democrats not bashing Democrats so this does not happen again.

Posted by: Cornelia Lange | Oct 7, 2009 8:01:44 AM

does anyone have a take on the part the limbaugh megastation 770 KKOB played in this?

usually they dominate politics in NM but wouldn't have to do much in this case.

Posted by: certainot | Oct 7, 2009 9:01:21 AM

BERRY WON---DEMS LOST--AMEN

Posted by: r.u. withmee | Oct 7, 2009 9:32:22 PM

AMARILLOWOMAN----YOU GOT IT ALL WRONG!NEW MEXICANS JUST DONT LIKE LIBERAL POLITICS,PERIOD.

Posted by: r.u. withmee | Oct 7, 2009 9:35:29 PM

You're a hippie. Was Chavez going to legalize marijuana, too? So then people would not be "criminals" for smoking it? Hey, that'll keep down jail population too! But when an angry drug dealer who needs to sell his stash hurts a kid for their money, these "educational" problems will be so irrelevant, because people choose to learn or not. The end.

Posted by: anonymous | Oct 8, 2009 6:03:13 AM

Progressives will never admit that this is a right of center country. At the end of the day, they really are the minority...they always will be. Once in a while, we fall asleep and they sneak a Trojan in like Obama. He's discovered, very quickly, that we don't want what he's selling. Progressives will always exist in their little communes, like Madrid or San Fransisco but they will never dictate US Policy. Remember Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini...all "progressives", a fact that they can't even admit to themselves and since being "progressive" is contrary to human nature, they will always have to take power to get it.

Posted by: RIGHTOFCENTER | Oct 8, 2009 12:44:34 PM

The nuts you name were fascists, like Bush and the teabaggers. Every poll shows that the values of the Democratic Party and liberals are popular with a majority of Americans. Young people especially are for progress, creativity, social and economic justice and equal civil rights for all. Rural, uneducated and old white males are into the right wing hate and lies.

Posted by: Liberal and Proud | Oct 8, 2009 1:44:36 PM