Democracy Dollars Ballot Issue


>>VOTING HAS BEGUN IN LOCAL
ELECTIONS AROUND THE STATE AND HERE IN ALBUQUERQUE VOTERS
WILL SEE TWO PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE CITY’S PUBLIC CAMPAIGN
FINANCE PROGRAM. ONE OF THEM IS A VOUCHER PLAN,
THE CITY CALLS DEMOCRACY DOLLARS IN WHICH VOTERS GET
25-DOLLARS TO ASSIGN TO THE PUBLICLY-FINANCED MAYORAL
CANDIDATE OF THEIR CHOICE. IT IS A FRACTIOUS PROPOSAL. HERE TO DISCUSS SEPARATELY ITS
PROS AND CONS ARE ADVOCATE ERIC GRIEGO OF NEW MEXICO
WORKING FAMILIES PARTY AND PAT ROGERS, A LOCAL ATTORNEY AND
CONSERVATIVE ADVOCATE.>>BEFORE HE WAS STATE
DIRECTOR OF NEW MEXICO WORKING FAMILIES PARTY, ERIC GRIEGO
WAS A CITY COUNCILOR FROM ALBUQUERQUE, ONE OF THE FIRST
PEOPLE TO INTRODUCE ALBUQUERQUE TO PUBLIC
FINANCING. DEMOCRACY DOLLARS IS A
DIFFERENT WAY AT WHAT SOUNDS LIKE THE SAME THING. WHAT IS DEMOCRACY DOLLARS OR
WHAT ARE DEMOCRACY DOLLARS DESIGNED TO DO.>>SO, THREE BASIC THINGS WE
THINK THIS WILL COVER. FIRST WE HAVE A PUBLIC
FINANCING SYSTEM SINCE 2005 WHICH THE VOTERS PASSED. WHICH ESSENTIALLY SAID IF
YOU’RE A CANDIDATE AND YOU OPT OUT OF TAKING ANY PRIVATE
CONTRIBUTIONS FROM BIG CORPORATIONS OR OTHER SPECIAL
INTERESTS, YOU GET A DOLLAR A VOTER TO RUN YOUR CAMPAIGN. MAIL OUT AND NOW DIGITAL. THAT HAPPENED IN 2005. IN 2009 ALL THREE CANDIDATES
FOR MAYOR USED THAT SYSTEM BUT THEN IN 2011 THE SAME COURT
PASSED CITIZENS UNITED SAID CORPORATIONS COULD SPEND AN
UNLIMITED AMOUNT AND ALSO STRUCK DOWN THE MATCHING
PROVISION OF OUR SYSTEM IN 2005 WHICH MEANT THAT PUBLICLY
FINANCED CANDIDATES WERE AT A HUGE DISADVANTAGE TOWARD
PRIVATELY FUNDED. YOU COULD RAISE A MILLION
DOLLARS AS A PRIVATE MAYORAL CANDIDATE AND YOU WOULD ONLY
GET ABOUT A THIRD OF THAT AS A PUBLICLY-FUNDED CANDIDATE. THE FIRST THING DEMOCRACY
DOLLARS WILL DO IS TRY TO LEVEL THAT PLAYING FIELD BY
GIVING ALBUQUERQUE RESIDENTS, VOTERS THESE $25 COUPONS TO
GIVE TO THE PUBLICLY-FINANCED CANDIDATE OF THEIR CHOICE FOR
MAYOR AND FOR CITY COUNCIL. SO THEY CAN RUN THEIR CAMPAIGN
AND DO ALL THE THINGS YOU HAVE TO DO TO BE COMPETITIVE. TO MAIL TO PEOPLE AND SO ON. FIRST THING IT DOES IS SORT OF
LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD BETWEEN CORPORATELY-FUNDED
CANDIDATES. SECOND THING IT DOES, IT
ALLOWS VOTERS, ESPECIALLY SINCE WE HAVE SUCH LOW VOTER
TURNOUT, TO ACTUALLY HAVE A STAKE IN THE ELECTION. RIGHT NOW THERE IS ABOUT 400
PEOPLE WHO GIVE MOST OF THE MONEY IN OUR ELECTIONS, LAST
ELECTION WE HAD, AND THEY TEND TO GIVE A BIG AMOUNT AND
CONTROL THE AGENDA AND THEY GET TO CONTROL WHO RUNS THE
CITY, RIGHT? THIS WOULD INCREASE THAT CLASS
OF FOLKS WHO REALLY PARTICIPATE BY GIVING A SMALL
AMOUNT OF MONEY TO SAY, YEAH, I SUPPORT YOU AND WHAT YOU’RE
TALKING ABOUT AND IF YOU REJECT PRIVATE MONEY, THEN
I’LL GIVE YOU THE $25 COUPON SO YOU CAN BUY SIGNS OR
MAILERS OR WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO TO BE COMPETITIVE. IT ALLOWS VOTERS TO
PARTICIPATE NOT JUST BY VOTING BUT BY BEING MORE ACTIVE IN
THE CAMPAIGN AND THE THIRD THING IT DOES, IT INVITES
PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN TOTALLY SORT OF DISINVESTED,
DISENCHANTED WITH POLITICS TO THINK ABOUT ACTUALLY RUNNING. WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE RICH
OR HAVE A HUGE NETWORK OR HUGE NAME ID AND IT ACTUALLY
BECOMES VIABLE NOW FOR MORE PEOPLE WHO HAVEN’T BEEN
INTERESTED IN POLITICS TO ACTUALLY RUN BECAUSE THEY
COULD WORK HARD, DON’T HAVE TO TAKE A BUNCH OF CORPORATE
MONEY, ACTUALLY GO OUT AND HIT DOORS AND ASK PEOPLE, HEY, I
WANT TO DO THIS, WILL YOU SUPPORT ME, I AM A
PUBLICLY-FINANCED CANDIDATE AND HAVE ENOUGH TO BE
COMPETITIVE WITH THE PRIVATELY-FUNDED CANDIDATES WE
CURRENTLY HAVE IN ELECTIONS.>>WITH THE $25 VOUCHER, IT IS
NOT JUST REGISTERED VOTERS WHO WOULD HAVE ACCESS TO THIS. EXPLAIN THAT TO ME.>>WE USE THE WORD RESIDENTS
AND COUNCIL GETS TO DECIDE ULTIMATELY WHAT WE MEAN. WHAT SEATTLE DID, WHICH IS THE
MODEL WE ARE USING, THEY USED A FEDERALLY-RECOGNIZED DONOR
LANGUAGE. ANYBODY WHO COULD GIVE IN A
CONGRESSIONAL RACE, U.S. SENATE RATE OR PRESIDENTIAL
RACE, WOULD BE ELIGIBLE IN SEATTLE. OUR RULES HAVEN’T BEEN WRITTEN
SO WE COULD MAKE IT THAT AND I AM HOPING WE ARE AS INCLUSIVE
AS POSSIBLE MEANING WHETHER OR NOT YOU’RE REGISTERED TO VOTE,
BUT YOU’RE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO IT,
WHETHER OR NOT YOU PARTICIPATED BY VOTING OR NOT
YOU SHOULD STILL BE ELIGIBLE IF YOU ARE A RESIDENT OF
ALBUQUERQUE. THAT IS TO BE DETERMINED BY
CITY COUNCIL AND I HAVE A LOT OF CONFIDENCE THAT THEY ARE
GOING TO DO THE RIGHT THING. WE HAVE A PRETTY COMPETENT
CITY CLERK AND I DON’T THINK ALL THESE SORT OF SCARE
TACTICS THAT SOMETHING NEFARIOUS IS GOING ON, I THINK
WE ARE GOING TO DECIDE AS A COMMUNITY WHAT IS A REASONABLE
NUMBER OF PEOPLE AND WHO SHOULD BE ABLE TO USE THE
SYSTEM, RIGHT?>>THERE HAVE BEEN PROBLEMS
WITH CAMPAIGN FINANCING IN THE PAST. MOST RECENT MAYORAL ELECTION
THERE WERE ISSUES WITH IN-KIND DONATIONS AND WHAT OTHER
ORGANIZATIONS CAN RUN ALONGSIDE A PUBLICLY-FINANCED
CAMPAIGN. THE OTHER SIDE OFTEN IS WHY
NOT FIX THOSE PROBLEMS AND GO FORWARD FROM THERE?>>ACTUALLY THEY HAVEN’T SAID
THAT. THE OTHER SIDE HAS SAID — THE
OTHER SIDE, THE FOLKS WHO HAVE BEEN MOST OUT FRONT ON THIS,
ONE OF WHOM IS GOING TO BE ON THE SHOW, HAS SAID THAT THEY
DON’T LIKE ANY OF THIS. THEY DON’T LIKE ANY OF THE
SYSTEM. THEY THINK CITIZENS UNITED,
CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS SHOULD REIGN AND WE SHOULDN’T HAVE
PUBLICLY-FINANCED CAMPAIGNS, AND, IN FACT, CORPORATE MONEY,
UNLIMITED, AND MONEY IS SPEECH AND CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE. WE DON’T BELIEVE THAT. WE BELIEVE AVERAGE RESIDENTS
AND VOTERS SHOULD HAVE AS MUCH OF A SAY AS POSSIBLE IN
ELECTIONS. SO, THE PROPOSITION 2, WHICH
IS DEMOCRACY DOLLARS, DOESN’T ADDRESS ANY OF THIS. THERE IS ANOTHER PROPOSITION
TO TRY TO FIX SOME OF THAT. I THINK IT DOES A GOOD JOB AND
WE ARE SUPPORTING THAT, BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT DEMOCRACY
DOLLARS DOES. DEMOCRACY DOLLARS REALLY GETS
TO INCREASING THOSE WHO PARTICIPATE, MAKING THOSE
CAMPAIGNS MORE VIABLE. SO, I ACTUALLY THINK IT IS NOT
AN ISSUE OF TWEAKING THIS. I THINK THE FOLKS WHO ARE
AGAINST THIS ARE VERY HAPPY WITH THE STATUS QUO, ABOUT 400
PEOPLE IN ALBUQUERQUE DETERMINING WHO RUNS THE CITY. AND THEY MOSTLY, ONE OUT OF
FOUR DOLLARS COMES FROM REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT. SO IT IS FOLKS WHO HAVE DIRECT
INTEREST IN HOW THE CITY GROWS, HOW THE CITY IS RUN AND
WHO GETS THE CONTRACTS, WHO REALLY HAVE BEEN THE DOMINANT
FORCE IN FUNDING OUR ELECTIONS. WE ARE TRYING TO CHANGE THAT
AND DEMOCRACY DOLLARS IS REALLY ABOUT BRINGING PEOPLE
TO THE TABLE TO SUPPORT CANDIDATES AND MAKE THEM MORE
VIABLE.>>I HAVE HEARD THEM SAY IT IS
GOING TO COST MORE TO ADMINISTRATE. IF YOU GET A BUCK, IT WILL
COST A BUCK TO ADMINISTRATIVE IT. PUSH BACK AGAINST THAT.>>I LIKE TO SAY, AS YOU
MENTIONED I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR LEGISLATION IN 2005. THAT HASN’T BEEN THE CASE. WE HAVE A FUND NOW THAT IS
COMPLETELY SOLVENT AND NEVER BEEN INSOLVENT, GETTING NORTH
OF THREE MILLION NOW AND BEEN AROUND FOR 14 YEARS AND STILL
HEAVILY IN SURPLUS. WE HAVE HAD VERY COMPETENT
PEOPLE RUNNING THAT FUND. WE CAN ALWAYS USE MORE
TRANSPARENCY AND WE ARE ALL FOR THAT. WE WANT THIS TAXPAYER MONEY,
WE WANT IT TO BE RUN AND ADMINISTERED AS TRANSPARENT AS
POSSIBLE. FOR THOSE WHO SAY SOMEHOW THIS
IS GOING TO BE DEPLETED OR SPEND ALL OUR MONEY, WHAT THEY
ARE REALLY SAYING IS, THE CURRENT CORPORATE DOMINATED
UNLIMITED SORT OF CORPORATE POWER IS THE WAY WE SHOULD RUN
OUR ELECTIONS. AND FOR ALL THE COMMUNITY
GROUPS THAT ARE BEHIND THIS, WE ARE SAYING THERE IS ANOTHER
WAY TO DO THIS, MUCH MORE DEMOCRATIC AND MUCH MORE
INCLUSIVE, AND INCREASES VOTER TURNOUT AND IT WILL CHANGE THE
PEOPLE WHO RUN. IT WON’T BE THE SAME OLD SORT
OF POWERFUL PEOPLE WHO CAN RUN. HOPEFULLY WE’LL SEE YOUNGER
PEOPLE, PEOPLE OF COLOR, MORE WOMEN, PEOPLE WHO HAVEN’T BEEN
AS ACTIVE IN POLITICS THINK ABOUT MAYBE THIS IS SOMETHING
I CAN DO. I DON’T HAVE TO BE A
MILLIONAIRE AND HAVE A BUNCH OF RICH FRIENDS TO DO THIS. I CAN ACTUALLY RUN FOR OFFICE
AND MAKE A CONTRIBUTION AS AN ELECTED OFFICIAL.>>WE ONLY HAVE 30 SECONDS
LEFT HERE, BUT ONE OF THE PROVISIONS WOULD GIVE THE CITY
COUNCIL LEEWAY IN SORT OF ADMINISTERING THIS PROGRAM. WHY GIVE THEM THAT INSTEAD OF
TAKING IT BACK TO VOTERS, IF SOMETHING DOESN’T WORK?>>BECAUSE THEY ARE THE
GOVERNING BODY OF THE CITY SO YOU CREATE A SYSTEM AND YOU
ELECT THEM IN ELECTIONS TO MAKE SURE THE RULES REFLECT
WHAT THEIR CONSTITUENTS WANT. BY THE WAY, IF THOSE FOLKS ARE
ELECTED THROUGH PUBLIC FINANCING, THEY ARE MUCH MORE
LIKELY TO REFLECT THE COMMUNITY INTEREST THAN TO
REFLECT WHAT THE DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY WANTS OR REAL ESTATE
COMMUNITY WANTS, RIGHT? THEY REFLECT WHAT THEIR
CONSTITUENTS WANT AND I THINK THEY WILL DO THE RIGHT THING
IF WE SOLVE THIS IMBALANCE BETWEEN ALL THESE REALLY
POWERFUL SPECIAL INTERESTS FUNDING OUR CAMPAIGNS VERSUS
AVERAGE PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND ME TRYING TO EFFECT WHO GETS
ELECTED IN ALBUQUERQUE.>>ERIC GRIEGO, THANKS FOR
COMING IN. THE WEBSITE AND YOU AND OTHER
ADVOCATES HAVE SET UP IS WHAT?>>YOU CAN GO TO
BURQUEBUCK.ORG. THAT IS GREAT ONE, FIND OUT
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW THERE OR CABQ.GOV.>>THANKS ERIC.>>THANK YOU.>>PAT ROGERS IS A LOCAL
ATTORNEY AND HE IS SPEAKING WITH US ON THE OTHER SIDE OF
THE DEMOCRACY DOLLARS DEBATE. PAT, THANKS FOR COMING IN,
FIRST OF ALL. THE GOAL AS EXPOUNDED BY THE
PROPONENTS IS TO INCREASE PARTICIPATION AND THAT IS BOTH
IN TERMS OF TURNOUT, VOTER TURNOUT AND THE NUMBER OF
CANDIDATES RUNNING. THEY SAY IT BRINGS IN A
DIFFERENT SORT OF PERSON TO THE RACE. WHAT DO YOU SEE THAT EITHER
DOESN’T RING TRUE IN THAT OR IS PROBLEMATIC ABOUT THAT?>>I THINK IDEAS SHOULD BE
JUDGED ON RESULTS, NOT ON INTENTIONS OR FEELINGS. WHAT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED IN
THE SEATTLE EXPERIENCE IS THAT THIS ISN’T BRINGING NEW OR
DIFFERENT PEOPLE TO THE RACE. THIS IS REWARDING PEOPLE WHO
ARE ALREADY INCUMBENTS, ALREADY ORGANIZED AND HAVE THE
ABILITY TO COMMAND ARMIES OF PEOPLE TO HARVEST THESE
DEMOCRACY DOLLARS. THIS WILL NOT ASSIST THAT
HEROIC INDIVIDUAL FIGURE THAT THEY PORTRAY.>>THE CITY OF SEATTLE HAS
STUDIED ITS OWN PLAN AND THEY ONLY HAVE ONE ELECTION AND IN
THE MIDST OF THEIR SECOND ONE RIGHT NOW. BUT IT DOES LOOK LIKE 2017
THEY HAD 15 CANDIDATES, 2019 THEY HAVE 72. THAT SEEMS TO BE A PRETTY
MARKED INCREASE THERE.>>AGAIN, IT IS THE RESULTS
AND NOT INTENTIONS. WHAT THE SEATTLE TIMES
REPORTED WAS EXACTLY THAT RESULT. AND THAT IS, ONLY THE PEOPLE
WHO ARE ORGANIZED AND CAPABLE OF SENDING OUT PEOPLE TO
HARVEST THESE VOUCHERS, ARE ADVANTAGED BY THIS. THE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT, ARE
ULTIMATELY DISADVANTAGED. SO YOU MAY GET MORE CANDIDATES
BUT IF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE BACKED BY THE EXISTING
ORGANIZATIONS, THE SAME ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE PUSHED
THIS FROM THE BEGINNING, THE SAME ORGANIZATIONS THAT WILL
BE EMPOWERED BY THIS, THEY WILL BE SELECTING THE
CANDIDATES THAT EFFECTIVELY HAVE A CHANCE IN THE RACE.>>YOU HAVE SAID ELSEWHERE
THAT YOU FEEL LIKE THIS FAVORS THOSE ORGANIZING GROUPS HERE
IN ALBUQUERQUE. THEY TEND TO BE LEFT-LEANING
GROUPS. IS THERE ALSO NOT A RETURN TO
SORT OF TRADITIONAL CAMPAIGNING, TO DOOR KNOCKING
OR GREETING PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF GROCERY STORES, THINGS LIKE
THAT?>>ABSOLUTELY NOT. I MEAN, SOME OF THE
MISINFORMATION OUT THERE IS THAT THE CANDIDATES WILL
COLLECT VOUCHERS. THAT IS NOT THE WAY IT IS
WRITTEN OR THE WAY IT WORKS. THIS ISN’T A CASE WHERE
CANDIDATES ARE ENCOURAGED TO GO AROUND AND GATHER VOUCHERS. IT WILL BE DONE BY THE
EXISTING ENTITIES, PROGRESS NOW, OLE, UNIONS, WORKING
FAMILIES AND ENTITIES THAT ALREADY HAVE STAFF, THEY ARE
ALREADY IN THE FIELD NOW. THEY HAVE SPENT, AS OF
OCTOBER 18, THEY HAVE SPENT 450,000. THEY REPORTED THAT MUCH. I THINK IT IS ACTUALLY MORE
THAN THAT.>>THIS IS THROUGH CAMPAIGN
FINANCE REPORTS HERE.>>THAT IS RIGHT, THE PUBLIC
REPORTS. STARTING IN 2018, DEMOCRACY
DOLLARS, TO GET BIG MONEY OUT OF POLITICS, THEY HAVE SPENT
$450,000 WITH THE MOST INTENSE THREE WEEKS TO GO.>>CAMPAIGNS, THOUGH, AREN’T
THEY SET UP TO DO THE SAME THING? YOU TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE
OF A GROUND GAME FOR A MAYORAL RACE OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. WOULDN’T THOSE ENTITIES BE
ABLE TO GATHER SIGNATURES ON, YOU KNOW — I SHOULD SAY THEY
DO IT FOR PUBLICLY-FINANCED CANDIDATES WHEN YOU HAVE TO
QUALIFY, THEY ARE ABLE TO DO THAT. IS THERE SOME SORT OF HIGH BAR
HERE THAT WOULD PREVENT A CANDIDATE FROM GATHERING
DEMOCRACY VOUCHERS?>>INITIALLY IT IS GOING TO BE
AN INCREDIBLE INCENTIVE FOR PEOPLE AND THAT IS WHY THE
COST IS GOING TO SKY ROCKET. THE COST OF THIS IS GOING TO
BUST THE BUDGET SIGNIFICANTLY. AND, IT IS GOING TO CAUSE A
TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF TAX DOLLARS TO GO TO FUND SPEECH
THAT PEOPLE MAY NOT AGREE WITH. IN OTHER WORDS, WHY SHOULD
YOUR TAX DOLLARS GO TO FUND SPEECH THAT YOU DON’T BELIEVE
IN? AND THAT IS WHAT IS GOING TO
OCCUR HERE. IT ALSO IS GOING TO BE AN
INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF MONEY FAR BEYOND ANYTHING THAT IS
EXISTING BUDGETED.>>I MENTIONED THOSE NUMBERS
ABOUT CANDIDATES RUNNING. THE SEATTLE TIMES AND THE CITY
OF SEATTLE IS ALSO LOOKING AT, YOU KNOW, AT THIS POINT IN THE
ELECTION CYCLE, THERE IS OUTSIDE MONEY ACTUALLY COMING
IN AS WELL, TO SORT OF MEET THE DEMOCRACY VOUCHERS. IS THAT THE SORT OF THING? THEY ARE LOOKING A 3.7 MILLION
DOLLARS IN OUTSIDE MONEY VERSUS TWO MILLION DOLLARS AT
LAST CHECK IN DEMOCRACY VOUCHERS. SO, IS THAT THE KIND OF THING
THAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT?>>WELL, PROBABLY AT TIMES
DOUBLING THAT OR TRIPLING THAT MONEY. THE WAY THIS IS SET UP,
ALBUQUERQUE IS MUCH MORE GENEROUS THAN SEATTLE. OUR EXISTING PUBLIC FINANCING
IS ALREADY WASTING AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF MONEY AND
THE TWO PROPOSITIONS ARE GOING TO INCREASE THAT BY 75% RIGHT
OFF THE BAT. THEN DEMOCRACY DOLLARS ADDS
THE CHANCE TO DOUBLE THAT. SO, YOU’RE LOOKING AT, I
BELIEVE, A MINIMUM OF 10 MILLION-DOLLARS, AS MUCH AS
18 MILLION-DOLLARS IN THE TOTAL COST OF THIS, BECAUSE AS
SEATTLE TIMES REPORTED, IT IS NOT JUST THIS TREMENDOUS
AMOUNT OF MONEY GOING OUT THE DOOR TO CANDIDATES, BUT IT IS
A DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE EFFORTS TO
POLICE THIS. ONE OF THE PROBLEMS THAT
PEOPLE OUGHT TO BE AWARE OF IS GOOGLE SEATTLE DEMOCRACY
DOLLARS AND FRAUD. THIS PROGRAM IS GOING TO
SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR FRAUD IN OUR
SYSTEM.>>DOESN’T SEATTLE DEMAND THAT
PEOPLE GIVE — THEY SIGN THOSE DEMOCRACY DOLLARS DIRECTLY TO
A CANDIDATE SO THEY HAVE TO ASSIGN THEM TO A CANDIDATE? THEY CAN’T USE INTERMEDIARIES?>>THEY ARE HARVESTED IN
SEATTLE AS WELL BUT YOU LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED, IN 2017
AFTER THE LAST ELECTION UNDER OUR CURRENT PUBLIC FINANCING,
ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL SAID, MAYBE IT IS TIME TO TRASH
PUBLIC FINANCING. AND THEY SAID THAT BECAUSE OF
THE FRAUD THAT HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED IN THAT ELECTION. THE PRESENT FRAUD WITH REGARD
TO THE COLLECTION OF DOLLARS AND HOW THAT IS DONE AND THE
CHEATING AND THE CONDUCT THAT WENT ON AFTER THIS OCCURRED. THIS DOESN’T LIMIT IN ANY WAY
THE PRIVATE FUNDING AND SO THE MAYOR WHO COLLECTED MORE THAN
$500,000 IN THAT CAMPAIGN OF 2017 IS NOW GOING TO BE
ELIGIBLE TO GET $880,000 AND THERE ARE NO LIMITS ON THE
PRIVATE MONEY THAT THE INDEPENDENT POLITICAL — OR
MEASURE FINANCE COMMITTEES COLLECTED ON HIS BEHALF MORE
THAN A MILLION DOLLARS. SO THIS IS INJECTING AN
INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF MONEY INTO THE SYSTEM, TAX DOLLARS,
ALL UNDER THE ARGUMENT THAT WE ARE GOING TO TAKE BIG MONEY
OUT OF POLITICS. IT IS ORWELLIAN AS ARE MANY OF
THE CLAIMS THAT THE ADVOCATES ARE MAKING.>>WE HAVE LESS THAN A MINUTE
LEFT HERE. IT IS FAIR TO POINT OUT THAT
YOU WERE THE ATTORNEY FOR WAYNE JOHNSON WHO RAISED SOME
OF THOSE ISSUES AGAINST MAYOR KELLER. BUT, YOU HAVE ALSO EXPRESSED
CONCERNS ABOUT THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO BE
ABLE TO USE DEMOCRACY VOUCHERS OR DEMOCRACY DOLLARS. IN SEATTLE THEY ARE USING THE
PREMISE IF YOU’RE ABLE TO DONATE IN A U.S. FEDERAL
ELECTION, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO DONATE IN A CITY ELECTION. IS THERE AN ISSUE WITH THAT,
JUST REAL QUICKLY, IF YOU COULD.>>YES, THERE IS, BECAUSE THEY
COULD HAVE RESTRICTED IT IN EITHER THE PETITION OR THE
ORDINANCE THAT THEY INTEND TO ENACT. THEY COULD HAVE RESTRICTED IT
TO VOTERS OR FEDERALLY ELIGIBLE PEOPLE. IF YOU LOOK AT THE WEBSITES
ENCOURAGING THIS, THEY SAY SPECIFICALLY, THIS IS GOING TO
ALBUQUERQUE RESIDENTS. THAT IS WHAT THEY SAY. THEY SAY DON’T WORRY ABOUT ALL
THESE THINGS. WE’LL FIX THEM LATER. I FOR ONE AM SUSPICIOUS
BECAUSE THE ONE THING THEY DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT ON TOP
OF ALL DOLLARS GUARANTEED TO GO IN THERE IS THAT IT WILL
ALSO PROHIBIT EVER REDUCING THOSE AMOUNTS. IT HAS THE STRANGEST PROVISION
THAT SAYS THOSE AMOUNTS CAN ONLY BE INCREASED. SO, ALBUQUERQUE VOTERS ARE NOT
ONLY INJECTING AN INCREDIBLE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO THIS
SYSTEM, TO ENCOURAGE POLITICAL SPEECH OF PEOPLE THEY MAY NOT
AGREE WITH, BUT THEY ARE ALSO AGREEING THAT THE CITY
COUNCIL, PEOPLE RECEIVING THAT CAN INCREASE BUT NEVER
DECREASE IT.>>PAT, WE ARE OUT OF TIME. I WANT TO KEEP THIS CLOSE TO
FAIR WITH THE TWO SIDES AND THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME. WE APPRECIATE YOU COMING IN.>>THANK YOU.>>EARLY VOTING IS UNDERWAY,
AND IN MANY AREAS YOU CAN STILL REGISTER TO VOTE. ELECTION DAY IS NOVEMBER 5. FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION
ABOUT THE DEMOCRACY DOLLARS PROGRAM THROUGH THE WEBSITE
MATT DISCUSSED WITH OUR ADVOCATES AS WELL AS THE CITY
CLERK’S WEBSITE. ALL THOSE LINKS ARE ON OUR
PAGE, NEWMEXICOINFOCUS.ORG.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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