Monday, February 18, 2013

How Not to Win

Here is a list of ways to not win a Mayor's election in Albuquerque.

1. As Pete Dinelli will find out using an issue that absolutely no one cares about to launch your campaign is not a good idea.  That would be the amount of money city law suits cost.  It would be better to talk about jobs.

2. Relying on pubic financing to win a race after the right wing leaning U.S. Supreme Court says that corporations are really people.  The $362,000 you might get for your campaign isn't worth spit once Mayor Berry's PACs start their 'independent campaigns.'  Thanks to the Governor's right wing hit squads.

3. Using all your time and organizational effort at getting $5 from 3500 voters, along with their signatures on a petition, will pretty much take you out of talking about issues for a while.  And most who go this public financing route will fail to get the required numbers.

4. As a candidate, don't think the Albuquerque Journal will give you fair political coverage when compared with any candidate that is further right wing than you are.  And forget the TV station's news departments who will concentrate on whose yard signs are being torn down by one candidate or another.

5. Thinking anything matters except for job creation in our city.  Except if you are the Mayor who, along with his Governor, has failed miserably at economic development.  Since he gets a break from the media on this most important issue, the rest of the candidates will sputter about wondering if it is important.

6. Not talking about the importance of Federal jobs to New Mexico and Albuquerque.  That is the backbone of our economy.  Has the Governor or Mayor gone to DC even once to lobby for protecting these historically important and well paying jobs?  Nope.  Maybe a Mayoral candidate could do so.  Just go see our Senators and Congressional members and say you are ready to help.

The only hope is that voters will vote to have a runoff election so that everyone can concentrate on that second election.  Then the visions of the candidates will be much more discussed.  At least let's hope so.

When it comes to Mayor Berry, the incumbent, I have been trying to put my finger on exactly what he has accomplished in his four years.  Although I think he is a decent guy I think he has failed to put into action any vision for our City.  In the four years I was Mayor I started reinvesting in downtown, passed a transportation tax to fix the city streets and bus system, found a new Triple A baseball team.  Passed an election to build a new profit making stadium for the city, and oversaw a very active economic development team under the leadership of Eric Pfeiffer.  Can one look at Mayor Berry's term as see much of that kind of on the ground action?

Yeah, I am blowing my own horn here, but those things are important to a city.


Bubba Muntzer said...

I may try to get into the race myself now. That sounds like a blueprint for victory. I hope the candidates see it.

Just to back up a little, the current system, as I think you alluded to earlier, favors the mayor because as a Republican he can rely on that block of voters who follow their leaders in lockstep.

Also, the anti Berry vote will be spread out among all those candidates. If there was a runoff it would come together, uniting behind one candidate.

I wish more people were aware of what you did as mayor, and at the BLM. I don't know if you know it but you are still mentioned as a hero in things written by people in the environmental movement for what you tried to do at the BLM -- people like Jeffrey St Clair, for one example, one of the leading voices in that movement, still mention you and your efforts to clean up the ranchers lease system and the mineral lease system and the wild horse system.

As for the progressive ideas you furthered as mayor, Democrats have grown afraid of anything like that. They run away from anything that says government can be a solution to any problem. These people need to be reminded of who they are and stop taking it from Republicans like they do.

I don't know what these mayoral candidates political leanings are, but as a society we have allowed government to be discredited and demonized, to the point that things like you are talking about here no longer even occur to candidates and they come up with the politics of diversion for ideas. They at least need encouragement if not a good swift kick in the rear.

Donald F. Schiff said...

Also, you got lampooned on "The Simpsons" for finding a new AAA baseball team. How many mayors can say that? :-D

I think you're correct that Pete Dinelli has little chance of winning. However, the former City Attorney is going with what he knows, which is lawsuits. I can't actually blame him for that, even though it's political malpractice. More to the point, Pete just doesn't inspire me. That's the kiss of death for a candidate who needs lots of grassroots activism to have a chance.

Diane Denish can raise some big bucks. Maybe Ken Sanchez can, too. Pete Dinelli? I doubt it. So he's left with public financing, which at least will get him out of the gate. He'll get his socks blown off in this race, though. IMNSHO.

Anonymous said...

Pete Dinelli said:

Thanks for your comments which I respect and take to heart. My platform has "three pillars": 1. Restoring Confidence in Public Safety by replacing both Police and Fire Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs and reorganizing APD and putting more cops on the street. When I left the City 3 years ago the City has 1,100 cops. Now we have 880 cops with only 435 patrolling the streets 2. Implement and aggressive economic development plan to attract more businees and industry and JOBS to Albuquerque area and 3 Ending the outrageous settlements. Berry has paid out well over $33 Mllion in settlements over three years and without defending cases. This year thecity is facing an $18 million ahortfall. I chose public financing because I do not want to be indebted to the special interests. I have an organization in place with at least 200 volunteers now collecting signatures and the $5.00 donations. I am as Democrat as they come, and have been one all my life. I have been a precinct and ward chair and a State Central Committee member. I was an early supporter of Barrack Obama when he ran the first time and have met him twice. I even went to the National Convention this year as a delegate. As far as Don Schiff's opinion that I have little chance of winning, I respect his opinion and still ask for his support. My website is and has has position papers. Take care and lets go play a game of golf or have coffee one day. Best wishes.


J said...

Dinelli, I support you.

However, I would love to see more than ambiguous claims (that goes for all politicians) about how they are going to address the economy.

"Aggressive Economic Recovery Plan"

"Address the Job Situation"

"Bring Jobs to Abq."


HOW? GIVE SOME DETAILS. Enough of these high-level talking points - get to the details and let us know about some specific initiatives you would like to see happen and exactly how you think they would help. Even if you are wrong, I would love to see some discussion at that level.

Like I said, I support least for now.


Donald F. Schiff said...

Lest I be misunderstood, I do prefer Pete Dinelli to any of the other announced candidates. I also respect his (and any candidate's) decision to meet the exceptionally high bar for public financing. Unfortunately, under the current post-Citizens United financial climate, privately financed candidates will be blown away by the megabucks contributions of the shoddy Swift Boat builder, the Koch brothers, etc. That's why I think he has little chance of winning. Money isn't everything, but it is important in political campaigns.

I will certainly donate the $5 for public financing and sign his nominating petition, and I encourage all my ward and precinct volunteers to do so as well. (Like Pete, I'm a Ward Chair and SCC member.) I do hope that Pete has volunteers to collect signatures and $5 contributions at all of the Ward and precinct meeting locations, as well as at the County Central Committee meeting. I probably don't need to tell Pete that...

Anonymous said...

Berry is the anti leader. He has let more get away than he has created: jobs, growth, employees, crime, and public trust. But he has brought DOJ here. Well done RJ.

Dinelli may have the connections with the Dem's but I'm not buying what he's got because of his history with Schultz. Sorry, I'll go with Heh because I KNOW he'll carry out the hard decisions.