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Craziness: Mayoral Candidate Fears Crime-Fighting Plan Will Be Stolen

Craziness: Mayoral Candidate Fears Crime-Fighting Plan Will Be Stolen

Crime is so bad in Albuquerque that one mayoral candidate says she can't release her crime-fighting plan because her opponents will steal it.

So how bad is Albuquerque’s crime epidemic?

So bad that one mayoral candidate won’t release her crime-fighting plan because she’s apparently afraid that her opponents will steal it.

This is not a joke.

In a strange Facebook exchange on July 5, candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes said that she has a crime-fighting plan but can’t yet release it, even though there are less than 90 days left in the campaign.

“I hear both of you loud and clear, however, those who have no plan or can’t come up with their own, have been wanting mine. Leadership and knowing who to hire is key! Stay tuned you will hear all about it and be pleased,” Garcia Holmes said on Facebook when asked what her crime plan was.

The response illustrates the strange and ineffectual mayoral campaign and its candidates so far.

Crime in the city is exploding, and none of the candidates are really jumping on the issue and shouting about how they’re going to end it. There are no bomb-throwers when it appears that’s exactly what the campaign and the city’s residents need right now. And now a candidate is scared her anti-crime plan will be stolen.

In fact, no candidate has released any real details of how they’re going to get crime down. All have said that APD Chief Gorden Eden needs to be fired and that the department needs more officers. But none have said what they’ll do after Eden is gone or how they’ll pay for all those new cops and keep current cops from leaving the department or retiring.

The candidates had a perfect opportunity last week when the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce decided to give Mayor Richard Berry an excellence in public safety award. The award was widely ridiculed, and protesters showed up outside the awards ceremony to shout and scream, but there were no mayoral candidates to be found.

Any one of them could have separated themselves from the pack by holding a quick news conference and shouting that the award was insane and that they would immediately stop the craziness.

But there was barely a peep from the candidates.

So what’s going on? Why aren’t the candidates out there demanding action and differentiating themselves? Why haven’t any of them seized on the most important issue facing the city and its residents? What are they waiting for?

Political analyst and blogger Joe Monahan is baffled by the say-nothing candidates.

“None of the candidates seem to be campaigning yet,” Monahan told ABQ Free Press. “Most seem to be raising money. For the magnitude of the problems we have, this is a late-starting campaign. It’s surprising not to hear more forceful dialogue from the candidates.”

Monahan speculated that political consultants have scared candidates into silence by telling them they’ll offend voters if they say anything too strong.

“Part of it is the consultancy. They’re saying you don’t need to step on toes, don’t rock the boat, don’t get people looking at us too closely,” Monahan said.

If that’s the case, it’s disturbing, and it means that all of us lose.

So in order to help clarify where the candidates stand on crime and what their actual plans for fighting it are, ABQ Free Press looked at their websites and Facebook pages to see if there are any actual plans out there.

Here are the results for all the candidates:

Michelle Garcia Holmes: No plan, just some vague talk about how, as a former police officer, she’s qualified to be mayor.

“Crime emerged as the number one issue, especially property crime among individuals and business people in the community,” Garcia Holmes’ website says.

And on April 29 she wrote: “Michelle Garcia Holmes is an expert in public safety. In the weeks to come Garcia Holmes will release her “SAFE CITY, PROSPEROUS CITY PLAN” to deal with the violent, and property crime issues, in Albuquerque.”

More than two months later, Garcia Holmes has unveiled no crime-fighting plan.

Brian Colón: Vague talk and no plan. “The first priority of government is to keep people safe, and rising crime in Albuquerque is an urgent issue we must address,” Colón’s website says. “Brian will ensure APD has the staffing and funding it needs to fully utilize innovative approaches when combating crime and protecting the rights of all of Albuquerque’s residents.”

Colón gives no details about how he’ll ensure that APD has the staffing and funding it needs. Nor does he detail what those “innovative approaches” will be.

Wayne Johnson: Nothing at all on his website about crime or how to fight it. In fact, Johnson’s last post on his website is dated April 3. But don’t worry, the website assures us that Johnson “has the experience, integrity and vision to be our next mayor.”

Dan Lewis: Says he has a four-point plan to attack crime, but has no real details. And Lewis sounds a lot like Mayor Richard Berry as he talks about making Albuquerque “the worst place in the country to be a criminal!”

Here are the four points of Lewis’ plan: “Keep repeat offenders locked up. Back the firefighters and police officers who risk their lives to protect ours. Unite city and county police and fire departments to create new standards of accountability and efficiency. Put 1,200 police officers on the streets of Albuquerque.”

Lewis doesn’t say how he’s going to keep all those repeat offenders in prison. And he doesn’t mention that it’s not his, nor the police department’s decision on who gets convicted or how long they stay locked up. That’s up to judges, and a mayor has no control over judges. Nor does Lewis say how he’s going to get 1,200 cops on the streets, or how he’d pay for them.

To give him credit, Lewis has made crime the centerpiece of his campaign since he announced his candidacy.

Tim Keller: A five-point plan, but no real details. Keller wants to “Restore trust by reforming APD top to bottom. Institute real community policing. Finish DOJ efforts and take back our police department. Connect health, housing and homelessness. Find common-sense solutions to gun violence.”

In terms of community policing, Keller wants to “get cops out of cars and on bikes and on foot and in trusted communication with neighborhoods,” and “get at least 400 well-qualified, community policing-proven new officers on our streets to enable actual community policing.”

That’s a noble goal, but how that will happen with a woefully and chronically understaffed police department is a mystery. Right now, cops can’t do any community policing because they spend their days running from 911 call to 911 call.

To be fair to Keller, he has the most extensive and comprehensive approach to crime of any candidate. But again, there aren’t many details about how all that’s going to happen and be paid for.

Gus Pedrotty: No plan, just vague talk. Here’s what Pedrotty’s website says abut crime:

“Emergency service restructuring is crucial to providing better and more cost effective care. By clarifying the roles of our responders, combining administrative oversight, and creating accessible services like sobriety outposts for cyclically arrested citizens, we provide better social conditions for residents. We will improve relationships with first responders and create a clear accountability system.”

Ricardo Chaves: No plan, no details, just vague talk. “We must have new leadership in the police department, and we must put new police on the beat, where they can fight crime effectively,” Chaves’ Facebook page says. “The new chief that I appoint will be an outsider who is beholden to no one, and who will inspire the confidence of both the citizens and Albuquerque’s finest.”

Susan Wheeler-Deichsel: Nothing at all about crime. Zero. This candidate’s LinkedIn page is all she’s got, and it says almost nothing. Two months ago she said she would have a crime-fighting plan, but so far there’s nothing.

So there you go. We live in a city that’s being overrun by criminals and we have one candidate who’s afraid to release her crime plan out of fear it might be stolen.

It apparently hasn’t occurred to Garcia Holmes that if other candidates release their crime plans before she does, and hers sounds like theirs, she’ll be accused of stealing. Then we’ll have to drag her down to the station and book her.

God help us all.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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  • Stephen A.
    July 6, 2017, 6:36 pm

    Ricardo Chaves has actually done more than offer "vague talk" – numerous statements and news releases have gone out to the ABQ Free Press and other media, and are published on his Facebook page and website.

    But it’s true that neither he, nor any other candidate has put out a 20-30 point plan that will tie the hands of the future chief, or attempt to micromanage the job before he or she is hired to do it. And none of them should.

    By the way, the campaign is well underway.

  • Can't say, the cops would kill me..
    July 6, 2017, 9:07 pm

    The cops have been sold out, only they’re a wee bit too arrogant and a wee bit too dim to get it.
    They’ve been asked to lie about and cheat the citizens to create a revenue stream for the courts and all those employees employed taking money from the people.
    The result is that the public won’t deal with the cops.
    Too damn risky, calling a bunch of people who will get to your house and try like hell to make a criminal out of you.
    No community policing there, not now, not until the cops quit revenue raising for politicians who cannot balance their checkbook, let alone keep a city budget under control.
    The criminals who get caught by honest cops hold literally no grudges…they know what they did, and they get that they got caught.
    The criminals who get caught by a cop the whole neighborhood knows is full of sh*t, lies to get people in trouble to "teach them a lesson" about talking back, whatever…that cop is scared, and I would be too….That’s a LOT of bad motor scooters who would damage that cop if they ever caught them in a position where they got no backup and no place to run to….
    |You got scared cops killing people because they have haunted pasts…..and they got that way being crooked for the courts and the jail and the politicians.
    You got crooked politicians who cannot say "boo" about these cops, because the cops would tell everyone what is going on around here….and you got courts stealing everything they can from the public all the time.
    You got people being criminals because their jobs are being sent out of state and out of the country, and you got politicians writing laws to lock up the people with no jobs in jails that give them kickbacks for the support…they’re jailing the people they put out of work sending jobs out of here…
    You got politicians looking at that big, fat city budget, and thinking up ways to funnel it to their friends and campaign contributors, and the contracts they award are ridiculous and end in shoddy work for half again more than the bid began at….
    You want to clean up crime you need to give people someplace to work.
    You have to quit putting them in jail for needing to steal to survive.
    You need to quit taking a couple thousand dollars to do what’s best for the big corporations, when it destroys the economic climate for this place.
    You’re paying your pet contractors half a million dollars to plant half a mile of medians…give that work to your people, not your corporate shovel-standees….
    You’re spending thirty grand to jail kids for a year…teach them a trade before you let them out, and teach them to read and some manners, their parents were never taught, and dropped out of school to have their first blessed event at fifteen….the new generation of criminal needs a chance to unlearn what having no other options is teaching them.
    Fire cops when they perjure themselves on the stand. It’s a fourth degree felony and they cannot legally be cops after that.
    Don’t just "Give them the opportunity to rethink their testimony"( and come up with hearsay so the defense cannot refute it) It destroys your credibility, it destroys the police’s ability to be friends with their communities and makes them the enemy and removes them from any fight against crime….you cannot have a whole neighborhood getting robbed who says, "Whatever you do, don’t call the cops! Those a**holes will just make it much worse!!" and yet, here we are….
    So, which mayoral candidate can cast a stone without the cops speaking up about the crap they did to get into public office?
    You cannot fix criminals with other criminals.
    They’ll all just shrug and turn away from the issue.
    Like Berry did.
    And Perry.
    And Eden.
    And Shultz.
    And whichever cops killed Mary Han.

  • Michelle Meaders
    July 8, 2017, 2:37 am

    There will be a Mayoral Candidate Forum on Police Reform and Community Safety:

    APD Forward Mayoral Candidate Forum

    Wednesday, September 06, 2017

    African American Performing Arts Center
    310 San Pedro NE – Albuquerque, NM 87108-2812
    Phone (505) 222- 0785
    Fax (505) 222-9763
    Email info@aapacnm.org


  • Clay Bidwell
    July 14, 2017, 1:12 pm

    I now know why this rag is no longer in print because your reporting is slanted, biased and has the makings of yellow journalism!

    Here’s a quote from you:

    "To be fair to Keller, he has the most extensive and comprehensive approach to crime of any candidate. But again, there aren’t many details about how all that’s going to happen and be paid for."

    Precisely what "extensive and comprehensive approach," did your favorite son Timothy put forth…? Putting Officer’s on foot is his "plan." LOL!

    I noticed all the 2nd tier trash blog sites ie. ABQ Free, APD Eye trash blog, Pete ‘I’ve Done It All’ Dinelli, and Joe ‘Gets It Wrong Often’ Monohan have been critical of all the candidates except the Golden Boy Keller. Tim will NOT DO A DAMN thing for the betterment of APD! He’s a hack politician who surrounds himself with young 20-30 somethings with no life experiences or executive experience. Tim cares more about his next political higher office and upholding the Democratic party ideology neither of which a front line police officer working these violent Albuquerque streets give a crap about. I will be voting for the person with executive experience and knowledge of the Albuquerque budgeting process. Only 1 candidate meets the criteria and that is Dan Lewis.

    Dan Lewis for Mayor!

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Albuquerque’s definitive alternative newspaper publishing an inquisitive, modern approach to the news and entertainment stories that matter most to New Mexicans. ABQ Free Press’ fresh voice speaks to insightful and involved professionals who care deeply about our community.