Editor’s Note: Readers will recall that LR Net has begun a policy of “getting local.” We’re covering political races in a number of different towns, counties, and cities around the nation. Currently, we’re looking at Tim Keller, candidate for mayor of Albuquerque, NM, and which LR Net has recently endorsed.
New Mexico has a reputation for being a rough and tumble place when it comes to politics. This, after all, is the state that gave us Albert B. Fall, the “first former U.S. cabinet official sentenced to prison.”
But even by New Mexican standards, the current mayoral campaign for the city of Albuquerque (the state’s largest metropolis and its commercial center) is looking a little hairy around the edges. After a bruising initial contest, the survivors…Tim Keller, a liberal, and Dan Lewis, a conservative…are prepping for the final run-off.
What’s made the election particularly nasty is that some rather shadowy forces (not necessarily associated with Lewis) have begun a campaign against Keller. This has included a series of very sophisticated TV and radio spots that claim that Keller is soft on crime in general, and on pedophilia in particular. (See Swiftboating, Smears, Perversion, Lies…And The Mayor Of My Fair City.)
It has since come out that the campaign against Keller was funded by, among others, Jeff Garrett president of Garrett Development Corporation, an Arizona-based real estate developer. According to various local news sources, Garrett is currently at work on14,000-acre “master planned community on Albuquerque’s west side.” And, Keller, who is currently the State Auditor, has a history of “opposing government subsidies” for private land development.”
Fortunately for him, Keller has friends among the advocates of victims of sexual assault, and they’ve come out swinging. Kim Alaburda, Executive Director of the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, went on record as saying, “To suggest that Tim Keller, who did support well written, informed, evidence based legislation that truly protects children, is anti-child safety, is unconscionable.”
So, let’s re-cap. We’ve got a candidate (Keller) who has recently been endorsed by the ABQ Police Union being called a friend of child abusers by a property developer who doesn’t live in state and who’s pissed off because the aforementioned candidate, who is supposed to be a liberal, is opposed to government handouts and budget busting boondoggles which is supposed to be what conservatives are all about and, oh, by the way, the real advocates for victims of sexual abuse are ready to go bop the aforesaid developer in the snoot for besmirching their guy in public.
Yep. Just another day in New Mexico.
Albert Fall would be proud.