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Spending Taxpayer Funds

Yesterday, the NM GOP put out a press release addressing the questionable ways some Democratic candidates have already begun to spend their taxpayer funded jackpots campaigns:

Recently filed campaign reports by candidates for the Albuquerque City Council paint a clear and convincing case against public financing for political campaigns. Joan Griffin, a candidate for City Council District 6, received $23,440 in taxpayer funds for her campaign, and in the past reporting period, doled out $400 to the Democratic Party of New Mexico. Paulette De’Pascal, a candidate for City Council District 4, received $31,692 in taxpayer funds for her campaign, and she also gave $400 to the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

“I wonder how many Albuquerque taxpayers know that they just handed over $800 to the Democrat Party,” remarked NM GOP Executive Director, Adam Feldman. “Ordinarily, such an expense wouldn’t even receive notice because, as it should be, when a candidate raises their own money, they are able to spend it on whatever campaign activities are necessary. But in this case, taxpayer dollars are being doled out to a political party, supposedly for a registered voters list that could have more easily been purchased at the city clerk’s office. What would prevent either candidate from dropping all of their money into the state Democrat Party?”

And in De’Pascal’s case, taxpayer funded campaign dollars have also been wisely used at Starbucks. After all, there is no better way to ensure campaign success then to enjoy a publicly funded iced venti white chocolate mocha with whipped cream and a double shot of expresso. It provides that competitive advantage every candidate needs.

Now if these taxpayer exploiting candidates are successful at winning a council seat, they’re sure to follow in the footsteps of their mentor and continue spending taxpayer money with reckless abandonment in the pursuit of a better political image:

But the question – when is a public service announcement a campaign ad – hasn’t been answered.

It usually comes up during election season. It’s back again sooner, in my mind at least, with the upcoming broadcast of a television special “Shaping the Future: Albuquerque’s Economic Success.” Mayor Martin Chavez provides voice-over and is featured prominently.

The city – you – spent $36,000 to produce the video. It will set us back another $20,000 to broadcast it five times on the four New Mexico TV stations before the end of July. (Considering the video is 30 minutes long, that’s actually cheap compared to what it costs to air TV ads during election season.)

But before you judge, listen to the idea: The video is meant to reach out and let community members and business leaders know about economic development in the Duke City.

Hmm, that’s an interesting spin… As a community member and burgeoning business leader, I’ve attended no less than three luncheons in the last six weeks that have educated me on the economic development in the Duke City – one by Albuquerque Economic Development, one by the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce and another by NAIOP.

I wonder what the Mayor is going to tell me in his taxpayer funded campaign commercial television special that I don’t already know?