Well, maybe just one.
The election for Albuquerque's new mayor is complete. The three way race required a 40% margin if the winner was to avoid a run-off. The new mayor, Mr. Berry, managed to win over a roughly 43% majority, making him the new mayor.
It was a three way race. The candidates were comprised of the three term incumbent, Mr. Chavez, a Democrat, Mr. Romero, a pseudo-Democrat emerging from the state Senate and the Albuquerque Public School system, and, Mr. Berry, a hard hat wearing conservative Republican. MeanMesa has no particular problem with Mr. Berry being mayor – yet.
MeanMesa also provided a lukewarm support for the incumbent, Mr. Chavez, a fairly progressive local type who consistently gored the bulls of citizens with all ideologies equally. Of course, there were always the hillbillies and bigots who criticized the old mayor as a serial killer, cannibal and psycho-obsessive abortionist searching for ways to destroy Western Civilization, but in Democratic New Mexico such types rarely got very far beyond the pages of the local Red State Rag, the Albuquerque Journal.
The game breaker in this matter turned out to be, however, quite a different matter. That strange political role, a reckless gambit in perfidy, fell to the grotesque Mr. Romero, an alleged Democrat who had just yesterday finished “re-allocating” his $23,000 Congressional war chest to Republican candidates all across the state after losing that 2008 election. A closer look at Mr. Romero's part in the election of a Republican Conservative to be mayor of a progressive Democratic city brings us to the central issue of this MeanMesa post.
A sober analysis of the votes cast reveals the problem. When we, perhaps over generously consider Mr. Romero a Democrat, around 70% of Albuquerque electors voted for Democratic candidates in the election, yet – the result was a conservative Republican mayor. Was this travesty an outrageous case of Rove-style election fraud? Sadly, no. It can be much more accurately described as a case of a subversive, neo-con, CANDIDATE FRAUD!
Mr. Romero, a screaming, ill groomed shill in the election, successfully portrayed himself – just barely – as a Democrat in the race. Under informed voters who were, very reasonably, reluctant to elevate Mr. Chavez to yet another term as mayor, but who were still firmly Democrats in all their other voting habits, fell for the scheme “hook, line and sinker.”
New Mexicans, like most other Americans, learned a dismal lesson from the consequences of creating the Bush Dynasty. Being “gun shy” of a mayoral dynasty – after all, Mr. Chavez kept getting himself elected, term after term – they embraced a change. However, the precise change they were embracing was different from the Titanic's ice berg only by being slightly smaller and quite a bit more soiled.
Ice bergs are rarely as oily as Mr. Romero.
Republicans, although horrible at foreign policy, limiting government, promoting the economy, winning wars and most other forms of traditional leadership once elected, are, still, incredibly adept at winning elections. They have mastered a juggernaut technique at exploiting every basic fear walking the streets of America from Boston to San Bernardino with their cheap little lies and deceptions. The wretched balloon they inflate with this gaseous reaction-ism stays aloft just long enough to insert them into office, then collapses under the burden of their inevitable greed and failed, simplistic ideology. The results are far too close and bloody to be conveniently dispatched as simply “bad luck,” “bad intelligence,” or any kind of some other “bad something.” You know, as someone else's fault.
Yet, here we are, staring down the barrel of the next four years with a Republican mayor and all the mischief we can credibly expect to accompany that unfortunate fluke. We'll give Mr. Berry the benefit of the doubt, but we won't be too surprised when we see Albuquerque's descent into a new carnival of even more distance between the “haves and the have nots.”
Mr. Berry's four year term may well prove to be long enough to re-establish the foothold of a new well connected, privileged elite. The wealthy subdivisions in the North of Albuquerque are full of repossessed mansions selling at 60% of the price they commanded two years ago. The state is rapidly filling with Stimulus Money, much of which will arrive for civic projects for Albuquerque. Under a Republican mayor -- especially one with an appetite for "hard hats" -- and a “purified” neo-con city government, MeanMesa has a sickening suspicion about exactly which Albuquerque citizens will get “stimulated.”
Yuck. They've done it again.