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Mayor Chavez is Right… Enough with Politics as Usual

With only a few weeks left until the Albuquerque City elections, the mayoral debates are coming with increasing speed. There looks to be an interesting mayoral debate coming up on Wednesday, September 16. Here is the info I received:

The Alibi is joining forces with KNME-5, the New Mexico Independent and KUNM 89.9 FM to bring you a free—totally free—mayoral debate on Wednesday, Sept. 16 (details below).

“The Line” host Gene Grant, KUNM’s News Director Jim Williams, New Mexico Independent Editor Gwyneth Doland and I will moderate. We’ll pose your burning questions about your city to the candidates.

Audience members will be given notecards and can submit their queries at the start of the throwdown. Or, film a question, upload it to YouTube and send the link to (Extra points if your backdrop relates to the subject of your question.)

R.J. Berry, Martin Chavez, Richard Romero
Submit video questions for candidates to
See what people are already asking at
Wednesday, Sept. 16
National Hispanic Cultural Center
1710 Fourth Street NW
Doors open at 6 p.m., debate at 7 p.m.
Seating is first-come, first-served. About 300 available.
Hear it live on KUNM 89.9 FM
Watch it and live-blog it at and
See it Friday, Sept. 18, on KNME-5

After the mayoral debate, join Alibi and local politicos for discourse, libations and complimentary canapés. Municipal DJs play eclectic Americana and rare groove as citizens of Albuquerque snack and mingle.

Downtown at Blackbird Buvette (509 Central), Wednesday, Sept. 16, from 8:30 p.m. 21+

Now, it’s not often that an after debate party complete with libations and complimentary canapés is advertised to draw in a crowd, but believe it or not, that’s not what I think makes it potentially interesting. What makes it a potentially interesting debate is the timing.

The mayoral election is just now starting to get some attention. This is one of the effects of a taxpayer funded mayoral campaign. None of the candidates have really had the cash necessary to pound home the issues, or each other’s shortcomings.

A lot of people might think that’s a good thing, but the truth of the matter is, intended or not, this has worked to the advantage of the incumbent, Mayor Marty Chavez. If you’re a fan of Mayor Marty, then it’s great. If not, well, not so great.

Mayoral candidate and State Representative RJ Berry is starting to make some noise about the Mayor’s “real record of accomplishment.” Unfortunately, I’m not convinced the taxpayer funded campaign is going to provide enough resources for the message to get the penetration that is needed to be effective.

On the upside, the Mayor is spending his equally limited funds playing defense, which in a campaign is never a good thing. You can listen to the radio ad here [hat tip: New Mexico Independent]. In the ad, the Mayor denies ever turning Albuquerque into a Sanctuary City or pushing a trolley for Central, and implies that anyone who says otherwise is guilty of politics as usual.

Ok, first let me address the obvious. If anyone is to be equated with “politics as usual”, it would have to be the Mayor who fought a legal battle to overturn term limits, so he could continue… Yup, “politics as usual.” Geez, talk about opening mouth and inserting foot. Mayor Martin is practically the poster child for politics as usual.

Enough of that. Let’s get to the meat of the matter. If there is one thing I hate, it is politicians who attempt to rewrite the history they helped create. Of course, I’m not the only one who has that pet peeve. I think you ought to take a listen to this segment from the Jim Villanucci show circa 2007 [hat tip: Eye on Albuquerque]

It’s kind of hard to deny the facts two years later, when anyone can go back and find the truth.

Effective immediately, Albuquerque police officers who find illegal immigrants will no longer contact either federal immigration agents or the border patrol.

Sorry Mayor Chavez, that politics as usual tactic of denying your record just doesn’t work in the modern age. [side rant: This originally came from a KOB-TV news story, which is no longer available. Is it really too much to ask for MSM news outlets to keep their articles up in perpetuity?]

Now what’s even funnier than Mayor Marty Chavez denying in his campaign ad that he is being maligned on his record of turning Albuquerque into a sanctuary city? It would be the Mayor pretending he doesn’t want to build a trolley on Central. First, in order for us to all be on the same page, let’s look at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of a trolley:

  • Main Entry: 1trol·ley
  • Variant(s): also trol·ly \ˈträ-lē\
  • Function: noun
  • Inflected Form(s): plural trolleys also trollies
  • Etymology: probably from 1troll
  • Date: 1823

1 dialect English : a cart of any of various kinds
2 a : a device that carries electric current from an overhead wire to an electrically driven vehicle b : a streetcar powered electrically through a trolley —called also trolley car
3 : a wheeled carriage running on an overhead rail or track
4 chiefly British : a cart or wheeled stand used for conveying something (as food or books)

I hope you noted the use of the word streetcar to define the word trolley. Also, pay special attention to definition 2a and compare it to this definition of a “modern streetcar” found on the City of Albuquerque website:

Streetcars feature a pole that touches an overhead wire, called catenary. Once the power reaches the streetcar through the trolley pole, it is fed to motors, which are called traction motors that are located on each wheelset.

Pretty dang close, wouldn’t you say? Yet, the Mayor wants us to believe he doesn’t want to reach into our pockets and pull out additional tax money to build a trolley. He can call it a modern streetcar. He can call it a light rail system. But, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s itching to build a trolley. Just another fine example of politics as usual.

What’s that you say? You are still not convinced tha
t Mayor Marty is a politics and usual kind of politician. Well, let’s look at the other half of his claim. He only supports building a trolley system “if passed by the voters.” REALLY?

Time for another trip down memory lane. Let’s go back to November 3, 2006 to see what Mayor Chavez tried to do when he thought no one was looking:

[The transportation] tax was originally sold to the taxpayers as a means of modernizing the transit system and fixing streets, and it has done that. The tax has also “ballooned in dollars received.” In other words, it brought in a lot more than expected. Yet, rather than let the temporary tax sunset, the Mayor and City Council want to make it a permanent tax while no one is looking.

It’s the old bait and switch, and it is blatantly UNETHICAL.

So, the truth is that Mayor Marty only supported seeking taxpayer approval once he got caught with his fingers in the taxpayers’ back pocket. C’mon everybody. It’s time for the chorus… Just another fine example of politics as usual.

So, how about we close with the closing thought from Mayor Chavez’s radio ad?

You mean a candidate would intentionally distort the truth just to get elected? Unfortunately true.

Haven’t we all had enough of politics as usual?