V.23 No.38 |
Dotdotdotdashdashdashdotdotdot: High court calls on SOS to perform job as election nears
In a stunning blow to governance by partisan paternalism, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled on Friday, Sept. 19, that the Secretary of State does not have authority to remove advisory initiatives approved by county commissions from the general election ballot. This high court ruling means that citizens of Bernalillo County will get to vote on two nonbinding polling questions regarding decriminalization of small quantities of marijuana and raising sales tax one-eighth of a cent to fund mental health services.
In an oral presentation of the Court's ruling, Supreme Court Justice Barbara Vigil said New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran failed to perform a mandatory duty of her office by refusing to include county-approved initiatives on the general election ballot; the Court ordered her to do so.
If you haven't already, you'll hear more about Duran in the weeks to come. Her unsuccessful attempt to quash Bernalillo and Santa Fe County advisory initiatives via unilateral memorandum and petititions of both federal and state courts is only part of the coming Duran-centric news cycle. As the incumbent candidate for Secretary of State, Duran may already be familiar to you.
In the wake of the Court's decision, Duran issued a written statement: “We of course will comply with this order, but what it means is that Bernalillo County voters will be using a ballot printed in tiny 7-point font, just so people can be presented with a meaningless public opinion poll.” How can the opinion of voters—some of whom obviously voted for her—now seem meaningless to Duran?
Her campaign website, diannaduran.com, colorfully presents polarizing rhetoric. On a page titled "Dianna Duran v. Maggie Toulouse Oliver: The Striking—and very Alarming—Contrasts," Duran calls herself the "target" of "extreme far-left activists of the Democratic Party." She goes on to contrast herself with Toulouse Oliver using all-caps and underlined keywords like "DARK MONEY," "political consultant" and "left-wing activism and partisanship" in reference to Toulouse Oliver.
In contrast, Toulouse Oliver's minimalist campaign website, maggietoulouseoliver.com, focuses on endorsements, and finding criticism of Duran is more challenging. (On the landing page of Duran's website, an arrow guides you straight to the aforementioned "Contrasts" page.) After clicking through Toulouse Oliver's bio and thoughts on the job, the news section of her site reveals her official statement on the Supreme Court decision. And it is critical of Duran, but phrases like "overtly partisan and activist interference in the ballot creation process" and "blatant disrespect for the separation of powers in our government" pale in comparison to Duran's chart that lists Toulouse Oliver's background and experience as "Campaign Manager for Dark Money Orgs."
But don't take my word for it. Visit their respective websites, linked above, and form your own opinion. For even more insight into their educational, professional and political backgrounds, news, endorsements and campaign contribution disclosures, visit the Ballotpedia pages for Dianna Duran and Maggie Toulouse Oliver.
The Alibi encourages our readership to remain politically informed. To that end, please keep your eyes peeled for websclusive and print-edition political news and election coverage as the 2014 general election nears. And be sure to pick up a copy of the Alibi Election Guide, which hits stands on Thursday, Oct. 30. On a personal note, I've always appreciated the way Halloween and elections coincide. After all, there's really nothing scarier than citizen apathy, low voter turnout and resulting ineffective, subpar leadership and representation.
The Daily Word in airstrike plans, Alison Krauss' imposter and a hearse parade
The White House kicks off it's “It's On Us” campaign to address sexual assault on campuses.
The American Freedom Defence Initiative has placed anti-Islamic ads on a hundred NYC buses and two subway entrances this week.
Deputies in North Florida are baffled after 51-year-old Donald Spirit killed seven of his family members, then turned the gun on himself.
Alabama District Court Judge Mark E. Fuller is being pressured to resign after being accused of assaulting his wife.
After Congress gave the “OK” for a plan to arm and train Syrian rebels, the Pentagon is waiting for President Obama to approve their airstrike list.
A New Mexican woman is in trouble for violating probation after impersonating bluegrass star Alison Krauss and conning an elderly man in Arkansas out of his life savings, his house and his cars.
After two New Mexico counties went to the Supreme Court to put two nonbinding questions about marijuana and taxes on the November election ballads, Secretary of State Dianna Duran went to the federal court to intervene. But they said they won't referee this issue.
Jesus Arredondo Soto has been convicted of killing a woman and her 1-year-old son in 2010. He faces up to two life sentences, plus more than 70 years in prison.
According to a statewide ABQ Journal poll, 50 percent of New Mexico voters opposed marijuana legalization, while 44 percent were in favor.
You ever see a parade of hearses? No? Head to Michigan this weekend.
The Daily Word in poverty, beisbol and cannabis
More nuevomexicanos live in poverty this year compared to last. And we're still the second-most impoverished state in the nation.
Scope our inaugural Cannabis Issue in print or online for editorials on politics and policy and arts and economics, a N.M. MMJ primer, a cannabis timeline, a compilation of weed quotes and more.
James Gandolfini would have turned 53 years old today. We sure do miss you, boss.
V.23 No.38 | 9/18/2014
How our elected representatives protect us from ourselves
Samantha Anne Carrillo asks the question: When it comes to cannabis, why are our city and state leaders trying to protect us from ourselves?
Mary Jane Says
A collection of words about cannabis
From Bill Hicks to Nancy Reagan, these people all had something to say about marijuana.
Food for Thought
Goode (Pot) Cookery
The basics of edible marijuana munchies
Eric Castillo looks beyond the pot brownie.
V.23 No.36 |
The Daily Word in on-again, off-again pot ballot measures
Remember the pot question that was going to be on the ballot, then wasn’t going to be on the ballot, then was going to be on the ballot? It’s not going to be on the ballot.
You don’t have to dig up an Alamogordo landfill to find a lot of copies of a terrible game from the last century. A store in Albuquerque has hundreds of copies of “Night Trap,” the 1993 game that sent Senaotor Lieberman into apoplexy and pushed the industry to adopt a rating system.
Does your Internet seem slow today? Time to learn about net neutrality.
And Facebook likes Harry Potter better than the bible.
V.23 No.37 | 9/11/2014
The Daily Word in Olive Garden, Chick-Fil-A and the destruction of the universe.
I suspect I’ve been fighting the new unidentified respiratory virus for two weeks as of tomorrow.
Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson comes clean with a racist email.
Stephen Hawking says the God particle could destroy the entire universe.
Behold the viking ring fortress.
Put a coin in dry ice.
Olive Garden offers you endless noodles for seven weeks.
Kate Middleton is pregnant again.
Will Bernalillo County commissioners put pot on the ballot?
The return of “Cops” makes some people angry.
The Grim Reaper spoke to KRQE.
Happy birthday, Aimee Mann.
V.23 No.36 |
County Commission Offers Alternative to Berry's Tender Mercies
On Friday, Aug. 29, Mayor Richard J. Berry made history. In his YouTube communiqué debut, Berry became the first Albuquerque mayor to veto an election amendment. According to Berry's statement, R-14-91 contained proposals he couldn't "in good conscience" allow Albuquerque citizens to vote on. Translation: Berry claims his ethics prevented him from permitting us to weigh in at the polls on a) raising sales tax one-eighth of a cent—to fund social services for the addicted, homeless and mentally ill—and b) to reduce criminal penalties for the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.
R-14-91 also contained ballot initiatives to a) grant the City Council approval authority over the Mayor's hiring of police and fire chiefs, b) change the voter-initiative process to prevent costly special elections and c) a bond proposal to fund "metropolitan redevelopment." In layman's terms, Berry's veto was a political strong-arm tactic to get the City Council to drop the tax increase and penalty reduction initiatives. Otherwise, these other three issues wouldn't get to voters. And it worked. On Wednesday, Sept. 3, the Council compromised (read: caved).
And that, as they say, could have been that. But on Friday, Sept. 5, the Bernalillo County Commission issued a press release calling for voter input on the tax increase and marijuana penalty reduction initiatives that Berry nixed. In the release Commission Chair Debbie O’Malley said, “It’s critical that we hear directly from the people about how to move forward on these two issues that have such a major impact on our community. We need to look for ways to divert people with serious mental illness out of jail and into treatment instead. This issue impacts all of us and Bernalillo County residents are ready to talk about solutions.”
In the same release, Commissioner Maggie Hart-Stebbins states, “Better access to mental health services and marijuana penalties are clearly on the minds of Bernalillo County residents. Both of these issues have a significant impact on public safety and county government so it makes sense to give the voters a say in this community discussion.”
The County Commission will convene on Monday, Sept. 8, at 10am to make a final decision on which questions voters will get to address. That's where you come in. O'Malley and Hart-Stebbins want your input on the tax and marijuana penalty initiatives. Based on the overwhelmingly critical responses to Berry's veto video and the veto post on his Facebook page, many of you have something to say. So say it. If the Commission adds these initiatives to the ballot, all Bernalillo County residents—not just city folk—will have an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in creating local public policy.
These are difficult times for our city, and we appear to be at a crossroads. It's easy to be cynical. But rather than reposting memes—especially those featuring Mark Twain's belief that voting makes no difference—take a few minutes this weekend to engage your representatives on issues that matter to you. To facilitate that conversation, scroll on for quick links to contact O'Malley and Hart Stebbins. Use your voice. It's more powerful than you know.
Click here to email Debbie O'Malley or call her at (505) 468-7027.
Click here to email Maggie Hart-Stebbins or call her at (505) 468-7108.
The Daily Word in yearbook woes, the job market and free pot
Economists say the job growth in August wasn't very good, but there's no reason to worry.
In Florida, a missing autistic boy was found unharmed; however, the man he was found with is suspected of four murders.
A Maine mother is fighting the state over a do-not-resuscitate order placed on her injured child.
Another individual has come forward to sue Penn State in regard to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Open space officers located a group of hikers who went missing yesterday in the Embudito area. All three were unharmed.
The autopsy report has been released for the gruesome killing of Emily Lambert in March in Carlsbad, N.M.
People in Portales, N.M., are outraged at topless photos in a high school yearbook.
Starting next summer, citizens in Berkeley, Calif., who make less than $32,000 can get free pot. Assuming they have a medical marijuana card, of course.
V.23 No.36 | 9/4/2014
The Daily Word in nude photos, Joan Rivers and dinosaur battles.
Hackers leak nude celebrity photos snatched from the cloud.
Doctors will wake Joan Rivers from her medically induced coma.
A radioactive boar is running loose in Germany. It has not yet grown to gigantic proportions.
Famous authors’ day jobs might surprise you.
Watch footage of Katy Perry as a teenager. A couple minutes will suffice.
The Portuguese man-of-war is beautiful, as these photos illustrate.
You’ll be able to use your iPhone 6 like a credit card.
APD arrested a shooting suspect last night.
Police are searching for a suspect in Saturday’s fatal shooting.
Happy birthday, Edgar Rice Burroughs.
V.23 No.35 |
The Revolution Will Not Be Posted On YouTube
Berry's historic veto endangers Albuquerque's future
Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry made history yesterday. In addition to debuting a YouTube communiqué strategy, Berry became the first mayor in Albuquerque's history to veto an election amendment. According to the announcement, Berry vetoed R-14-91 because he couldn't "in good conscience" allow citizens of Albuquerque the opportunity to vote on a) lessening criminal penalties for possession of marijuana in quantities of one ounce or less and b) raising the Albuquerque gross-receipts tax rate one-eighth of a cent to fund social services for addicted, mentally ill and homeless citizens.
In this historic address, Berry cites his unwillingness to sign a bill that would raise taxes without any "clear and concise plan" on how to spend resulting funds and "flying in the face of state and federal law" by decriminalizing the possession of an "illegal drug." And the big, bad "illegal drug" is ... marijuana, a drug so innocuous even notoriously conservative local media outlets refer to it by slang terms like "pot" or "weed."
Deferring a vote on lessening penalties for possession of marijuana—which is a far cry from actually decriminalizing marijuana—is rather short-sighted, but the greater injustice in this veto is stalling funding for a citywide crisis of addiction, mental illness and homelessness. These three issues—which overlap and are at the root of immense suffering, both for those grappling with these afflictions and those impacted by resulting crime—must be at the core of any "urban renewal" strategy.
The City Council can override Berry's veto with a vote of 6 to 3. Three other ballot initiatives—granting the City Council approval authority over the Mayor's hiring of police and fire chiefs, changing the voter-initiative process to prevent costly special elections and a bond proposal that would fund "metropolitan redevelopment"—are also included in Berry's veto. Within the scope of these combined, largely progressive initiatives, consider the urgency of funding social services for our city's homeless, mentally ill and addicted residents when communicating with your City Councilor. If you're not sure who that is, find out here.
For my money, raising sales tax one-eighth of a cent, from 7 percent to 7.125 percent, is a prudent investment in the future of Albuquerque. And if lessening criminal penalties for possession of marijuana allows Albuquerque law enforcement to focus on addressing the institutional failures clearly outlined by the US Department of Justice and preventing violent crime, so much the better. Whatever your opinion of the ballot initiatives proposed in R-14-91, let your City Councilor know what you think. This is an issue that deserves your attention and civic engagement ... even on Labor Day weekend.
V.23 No.33 | 8/14/2014
The Daily Word in driving, shooting, falling and dying.
Tony Stewart ran over Kevin Ward, killing him during NASCAR training.
A police shooting sparks violence and looting in MO.
A rocket attack assist resulted in a Ukraine jail break.
James Corden will be the newsest face of late night talk.
A double-decker bus crashed in Times Square.
Be careful what you eat in Colorado.
Cigarette butts can help store electricity.
Don’t take a selfie by a cliff.
APD seeks a suspect in a home invasion on Coal.
There was a shooting at Wyoming and Central.
Happy birthday, Hulk Hogan.
V.23 No.30 |
The Daily Word in mole man invasions, pot blocking and lame witchcraft
Well, kids, let’s see what’s going on in the news today:
The city of Albuquerque has decided that supporters of a marijuana decriminalization measure need to have more signatures on their petition than the city had originally told them. OOPS. Too bad the deadline was Monday. And no, they don’t get an extension.
Murderers of a retired educator in Chimayo claim to have held a ‘witchcraft’ ceremony after the killing. Which sounds super creepy, but apparently only involved "wrapping a ribbon in something and putting it in a baggie." I guess it's creepy if the 'something' was an eyeball. But way less creepy if the 'something' was a, I dunno, pencil. Basically, my feelings about this story are dependent on what got wrapped in a ribbon and then put into a baggie.
An Albuquerque man tried to stretch the family food budget by killing, then butchering the family dog. Which was a chihuahua, by the way, which could feed maybe one person? I don't think this guy thought things through.
And the Duke City is due to become the Cake City this weekend. Cake kind of sounds like Duke and it’s the best I could come up with before my coffee hits bottom. Also, I’m still thinking about that witchcraft thing. And the pot thing. And the dog thing. Is there something wrong with the state this week?
A team of surgeons removed 232 teeth from the mouth of a 17-year old boy in India.
Two more mysterious holes leading to the blackest depths of the Earth have opened up in Siberia. Scientists think it’s happening because of an eruption of gas, but the Internet thinks it’s probably mole men.
And Harrison Ford’s ankle injury is probably going to prevent puffins from having sex. Dammit, Harrison Ford. First Indy 4 and now this?
V.23 No.31 | 7/31/2014
The Daily Word in WWI, wacky weather and other worries.
Happy 100th birthday, World War I.
Massive, explosive decompression brought down MH17.
I wonder if Palin TV will show Lidsville.
Watch the trailer for the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover episode.
Now worry about kissing-bug disease.
Sexual harrassment at Comic-Con exists.
Get ready for the new mass extinction.
Progress Now NM is pushing for $25 fines for marijuana possission.
An Albuquerque hot dog cart was stolen.
Happy birthday, Steve Morse.
Latin Sin Wednesdays with DeeJay Louie at Dirty Bourbon
Taxi Driver (1978) at KiMo Theatre
Indian Bread at Maxwell Museum of AnthropologyMore Recommented Events ››