Monday, August 31, 2009

I am looking for opposing points of view.

I would like to offer the following statement for the purpose
of critical review;

In a special session of the legislature, with one agenda item;
it would be possible to legislate the end of the culture of
corruption and incompetence in public service.

The call would read;

Write legislation that upon signing,
will make it impossibly difficult to hide public
corruption and incompetence.

Create a state government that is transparently
accountable to the people.

Darren White beating up on Janice Arnold-Jones again.

Peter St Cyr reports, link, that Darren White announced

"... Soft-on-crime legislators should be voted out of office,
not promoted."

Because Rep Janice Arnold-Jones
voted against his pet project;
the death penalty, White is telling
voters that she is "soft on crime".

He is being dishonest.

He is behaving unethically.

It is not the first time, link.

photo Mark Bralley

Who do we need to sit on an Ethics Commission?

Lt Gov hopeful Jerry Ortiz y Pino, in his guest post on
Heath Haussamen's site, link, writes that we need;

men and women widely recognized for their integrity,
experience and objectivity. Retired judges, former deans
of law schools or ex-university presidents or academics,
professional ethicists, active or retired clerics, civic leaders
with long records of public service.
Manny Aragon is an ex-president of a university.
Does that qualify him for a seat on an Ethics Commission?

It is clear that we will need trustworthy people. If we cannot
find trustworthy commissioners, the promised restoration
of faith will not be realized.

There is no other qualification for sitting on that commission
that will compensate for the failure to restore the trust.

It is clear that Ortiz y Pino has a great deal of faith in members
of the "upper" class, and not much regard at all for the judgment
and trustworthiness of those of us in the great unwashed.

If Diane Denish cannot stand up to Bill Richardson now

who can she stand up to? and when?

Another commenter has taken me to task for suggesting that
Lt Governor Diane Denish could end the culture of corruption
at will, and has not yet done so, out of a lack of character and/or

S/he wrote;

"... you expect the Lt Gov to be able to fix everything
when there is an extremely strong governor.
Which is, of course, stupid."

If Diane Denish is elected
Governor, she will have to
take on the next good ol' boy
in line; Speaker of the
House, Ben Lujan.

Is she going to tell him that
he can't have a highway
interchange built next to
his land?

If for no other reason than that it looks really, really bad.

Or will she get a bye on standing up to an extremely strong speaker too?

Imagine the following circumstance; Lt Governor Diane Denish calls a news conference. She informs the people that, she is going to end the culture of corruption in Santa Fe, at once and for all.

She tells the people that, for abundantly obvious reasons, she cannot do this by herself.

She tells the people that she needs a few thousand of them to stand behind her on the steps of the Roundhouse and demand that legislators step up and end the culture of corruption; at once and for all.

Am I delusional in supposing that she would have those thousands of peasants with their torches and pitchforks? And if that were not enough, to suppose that on the following weekend she would have the tens of thousands that she needs?

Is it really stupid? to demand that the very next thing that the
legislature does, before they spend another few hundred million
tax dollars in the special session, is to legislate the end of
the culture of corruption;

to demand that they write the legislation that will make it impossibly difficult to hide corruption and incompetence in public service.

It is possible to end the culture of corruption. You just make
it impossibly difficult to hide the stealing. You place casino security on the peoples' treasure chest.

Diane Denish has the power and the opportunity to end the culture of corruption at once, and for all.

All it takes is, a lot of character and a lot
of courage.

And if she cannot summon enough of both to take care of business, we know someone who can.

Someone with
proven competence,
proven character, and
proven courage.

photos Mark Bralley

Ortiz y Pino echos the call for same old, same old.

NM State Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino has a guest post hanging on Heath Haussamen's site, link. In the post he offers three pills to cure the ethics ills in New Mexico;

  1. contribution/contracting prohibition,
  2. whistleblower protection and
  3. an ethics commission with teeth.
Ortiz y Pino and I part company when he suggests the make-up of the Ethics Commission;
"... and made up of men and women appointed to staggered terms by the governor and confirmed by the Senate."
I am stunned that Ortiz y Pino, a candidate for Lt. Governor, thinks that a panel of good ol' boys, appointed by a good ol' boy, and given the stamp of approval of a whole bunch of other good ol' boys, is going inspire confidence in the process.

It shocks me that, after having months to think about the best way to impanel an Ethics Commission, the best he can do is more of the same old, same old.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

photo Mark Bralley

Sunday, August 30, 2009

We have come to a fork in the road.

As a state, we need to decide;

1. either, continue the culture of corruption,

2. or, end it.

There really is no halfway in between. A "little" corrupt,
is too corrupt.

If we take the fork with Governor Diane Denish, she will
lead us into the culture of corruption with no hope of ending

If she does end the culture of corruption, it will only be after
the good ol' boys will have had time to cover their tracks.

It is a plan doomed to fail. You either take the good ol' boys out
completely, or they will take you out completely.

If you quit a course of antibiotics too early, you end up with a
worse infection. Diane Denish will not stay the course.
She will not rub them out completely.

Diane Denish will come in
spouting good ol' boyisms like;
let's forget about the past, and
let's focus on the future.

No good ol' boys are going to get
their feelings hurt, no heads will roll.

Diane Denish is not going to take out the good ol' boys.
She can not. She doesn't have the stomach, even if she does have the intention.

The other fork in the road leads to transparently accountable government.

Governor Janice Arnold-Jones will lead a completely
different kind of government, a suddenly clean and transparent way of doing business.

It's about to become
impossibly difficult
to hide

It's about to become
impossibly difficult
to hide

This state is truly at a fork in the road. In one direction, an
oligarchy riddled with corruption and incompetence, and
no hope of fixing it from within. You can't beat them on
their own field.

If we take the other fork, let's call it the "high road";
a squeaky clean government.

Janice Arnold-Jones promises you transparently accountable
government. Diane Denish does not.

One of these two ladies is going to appoint more than
four hundred high level bureaucrats to run state government.

One is going to appoint from the same old pool of good ol' boys,
the other is not.

Proven competence, proven character,
proven courage.

Is this a no brainer, or am I missing something?

photos Mark Bralley

Journal endorses Balderas Plan.

Ok, what the editors really said was, link;

"The 2009 Legislature needs to ... adequately fund the offices of Attorney General and Auditor so officials can thoroughly and expeditiously investigate and prosecute public corruption." (emphasis added)
It is a Namby Pamby wikilink, endorsement of the
Balderas Plan to audit the culture of corruption out of
existence. It is a call to action, with no call to action.

The editorial headline read;
"Can SF Hear Call for Ethics Reform Now?"
and misses the point entirely.

Unclear still; why will they not insist upon ethics reform?

Does anybody really suppose that SF can't hear, that they
haven't heard?

Does anybody really suppose that the real problem is that
they just don't know that the people want an end to the
culture of corruption?

Or is it that they know full well what the people demand
and are ignoring it, hiding from it, obfuscating it, delaying it,

When the right of the Journal to "press", was being protected
by the founding fathers, they were protecting the "newspapers"
of the day; whose headlines read;
Time to Depose Tyrants
Under their headlines, their authors were writing that the tyrants are unlikely to voluntarily surrender their control over the people's power and resources, even to give it back to the people.

They would be telling the people that it was time to pick up their torches and pitchforks, and to gather together on the steps of government, there to take back control over power and resources that are fundamentally their own.

Can the Journal hear the call for ethics reform, now?

Can they hear the call from those who made such incredible
sacrifices to protect their right to press, who would rather that
that privilege not be pissed away in clever headlines with
not the slightest hint of any call to action.

Janice Arnold-Jones for Governor!

Come by the Sheraton Uptown at 4 o'clock today and
you can attend Rep Janice Arnold Jones' formal
announcement of her run for governor.

I have never been to one of these before.
I never knew a candidate before, who I really believed could
and would, end the corruption and incompetence in government.

If Janice Arnold-Jones is made Governor,
New Mexico will turn a corner on clean government;
the culture of corruption will be a thing of the past, and
not of our future.

This is truly the opportunity for a new beginning.

Proven competence,

proven character,

proven courage.

photo Mark Bralley

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The "appearance of impropriety"

I'll tell you right up front, I think Governor Bill Richardson
just got away with murder.

The other point of view is equally represented by people who
write in forums and blogs.

Whether there was an occasion when Richardson, or one of his cronies, sat down at a table with someone from CDR, and one or the other of them said,

"OK then, we have a deal; CDR will give the governor a bootfull of cash, and the governor will give CDR a bunch of multimillion dollar contracts."
there are a whole bunch of people who believe that it did.
And, their perception is their reality. They believe that their
government is really corrupt.

And now more than ever, they have lost confidence in their
government. They believe more deeply than ever that their
government is corrupt. They believe more deeply than ever
that they are no longer protected by their "legal" system.

Indictment or no, damage has been done, irrevocably.

It is not impossible to run a government that is above suspicion.

Any government that is as transparent as is possible, any
government that has unequivocal standards of conduct and
competence, and any government that has honest accountability
to those standards, is above suspicion.

Bill Richardson could have created a government above suspicion and did not.

Diane Denish could have stood up at any point, and demanded transparent accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence in government, and did not.

When ever I point out the fact that Denish could have, and still can, stand up and end the culture of corruption, I am likely to hear someone say,
"She can't. Bill Richardson will not let her.
If she stands up to Bill Richardson, it would be
political suicide."
Suicide is such an awful characterization of the death of those
who die standing up for what they believe in,
those who are first through the breech.

When Rep Janice Arnold-Jones took a web camera into the legislature, she was committing political "suicide".

When she spoke out on talk radio, she was committing political "suicide".

And yet, here she is still, and running for Governor no less.

Promising transparent accountability, and a government above suspicion.

Proven competence, proven character,
proven courage.

photo Mark Bralley

Friday, August 28, 2009

Diane Denish's radio spot

I just heard an ad on the radio, paid for by the NM Department of Transportation and starring Lt Governor Diane Denish.

I would suppose anyone who listens to that ad, is that much
more likely to vote for her as Governor.

It's almost like the NM Department of Transportation was
paying for her political advertisement.

Yeah I know, its all perfectly "legal".

Perhaps this is why she not making a very big deal about
actually getting an ethics commission rolling right away.

The Balderas Plan will never work because ...

This is New Mexico State Auditor, Hector Balderas making a commitment to New Mexico taxpayers.

He said,

if he is given the staff and the resources that he needs,
he can audit public corruption out of existence.

His promise now stands among the many other elephants
in the room.

If his plan won't work,
why has no one pointed out how it cannot?

If spending 50 million will save hundreds of millions,
why would we not?

photo Mark Bralley

Proving pay to play.

Somewhere, there exists a list of all of the people who have done business with Bill Richardson's government, and with Marty Chavez' city hall.

Technologically it would be a very simple thing to survey every one of those people and ask them if they felt any pressure to pay to play.

Is that something we can expect from our government, or
is it something that we must press upon our government?

Pressure from the Governor, resulted in corruption.

US Attorney Greg Fouratt's exact words were;

"... pressure from the governor’s office resulted in the corruption of the procurement process ..."

Unclear at this point whether US Attorney General Eric Holder attached his own name and reputation to the final decision.

photos Mark Bralley

Is Diane Denish "leading the fight" for transparent accountability?

Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, in her official release, says;

“... the fact remains that public confidence has been eroded by the numerous investigations into possible wrongdoings by other government officials. We need strong ethics reform to make state government more open and accountable and I will continue to lead that fight.” (emphasis added)

Oh really?

How has Denish lead? When was she the point of the spear? She was the second to put up an ethics reform plan, and her plan is still fatally flawed. She has not offered a single word of support nor the promise to spend even one penny to fund the Balderas' Plan to end the culture of corruption through continuous forensic auditing. She has never stood up in anyone's face and demanded the end of corruption.

Apparently she never will.

We have a genuine leader in the fight for transparent accountability and it is not Diane Denish.

Rep Janice Arnold-Jones is the leader.
She was the first through the breech.

"Fighting for transparent accountability" means taking a camera into a legislative committee meeting, against the expressed will of the "leadership" and beginning the webcasting of the people's business in the Roundhouse.

She can actually point to times and places where she stood eyeball to eyeball with the good ol' boys, waiting for someone to blink.

They blinked; she didn't.

Proven competence, proven character, proven courage.

photos Mark Bralley

Albuquerque Police Department, vote of confidence

There is a local blog called; the Eye on Albuquerque, link.
It can be reasonably supposed that, the blogger is knowledgeable about the inner workings and hidden mechanisms in the APD.

It is also reasonably supposed that, (most of) the people who comment on the posts on "the Eye", are also knowledgeable about what is really going on.

Clearly, the blogger could be full of shit. So could all of those
who comment.

But what if they aren't?

What if there really are problems in the APD that are having
a negative effect on the overall efficiency of the department?

Who will investigate? Who will give the powerless a voice?
Who will conduct a confidence vote in the leadership?

Mayoral appointee,
Chief of Police Ray Schultz,
according to the Journal report; "... had no idea of Reserves' actions"

Which begs at least one question; is the declaration that the Chief of Police had no idea that some of his subordinates were routinely breaking the law,
a defense, or a condemnation?

District Attorney Kari Brandenburg was quoted in the Journal this morning, link, on the issue of the investigation of the scandal;

"District Attorney Kari Brandenburg
; according to the Journal;

... She also said she feels APD can investigate the allegations involving the reserves making arrests.
She previously said an independent investigation was warranted, but clarified that APD should do its own independent investigation."

How does one independently investigate oneself?

How do the people compel a truly independent investigation?

What do we do, if our own District Attorney is willing to allow
the good ol' boy to self-investigate?

We know who's covering Ray Schultz' ass,
who is covering ours?

photos Mark Bralley

Rearranging the deck chairs at Titanic High.

APS is experimenting with a new bell schedule in APS high
schools. The expressed expectation, test scores will rise.

The fundamental premise;

It is possible to take 30 children and move them in
exactly the same direction, at exactly the same speed,
for 12 years. Not only is it possible, it is preferred.
is flawed.

Ask anybody, except the leadership of the APS.
You know their answer already.
Although herding kittens is a demonstrable impossibility,
we expect to succeed with that model,
by allowing the kittens stand up and walk around,
according to the latest fad in bell schedules.

The ultimate goal of schools, should be to create people who
have no need for schools. The way to accomplish that is to
create independent learners at the earliest opportunity.
You cannot create independent learners in groups of 30.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The very most legitimate use of power, is to protect itself from abuse.

It should also be the first.

And where it has not yet done so, it must be the very next.

Was Bill Richardson "cleared" by the US Attorney's lack of indictment?

A lot of people are arguing that the failure of the US Attorney's Office to indict Governor Bill Richardson means that,
he was "cleared" of wrongdoing.

He was not.

It is the difference between the following two statements;

It was proved that Bill Richardson did everything legally.


It can not be proved that Bill Richardson did anything "illegal".

"not indicted"

You don't see him calling a special session of the legislature
to end the culture of corruption,

... do you?

photos Mark Bralley

Casino security for the state treasury.

Recent headline not withstanding, casinos do not get stolen from a lot. They simply don't allow it. They make it impossibly difficult to hide stealing.

The spending of tax dollars could be subjected to the same level of scrutiny. We simply will not allow the theft or waste of even another tax dollar.

There are those who will oppose ending the culture of corruption.

You will not know them because they stand up and declare
their support of that culture.

You will know them because they are the ones
who are not standing up and demanding its demise.

You really have picked a side, when you haven't picked a side.

By far the silliest thing anyone posted in the blogoshere today.

Jim Baca argues, link, that
the US Attorney's Office
owes Bill Richardson an apology
for investigating allegations of
pay to play in NM state government.

L M A O !

Is this a joke? Is it April Fools Day? wikilink

If the US Attorney's Office owes anyone an apology,
it would be to the people of New Mexico over its inability
to be able to indict a three hundred pound ham sandwich.

Does anyone, anywhere, seriously believe that there is not
pay to play in Santa Fe?

photo Mark Bralley

Before you vote for Mayor Marty Chavez, you really should read this.


Marty Chavez

Bruce Perlman

photos Mark Bralley

Robbins' logic is specious and, dangerous to accept.

APS School Board Member David Robbins argues; if a quote is "too old", it is no longer appropriate to bring it up at the public forum at a board meeting.

I had just finished bringing up three "old" quotes, one from the
still sitting governor, one from the still sitting mayor, and
one from a now disgraced former APS chief of police.

Robbins argued that the quotes are so old, that neither he nor anyone else in the leadership of the APS needs to respond to them. Worth noting; not one of the three quotes have since been retracted, nor have controverting quotes been offered. They are as accurate now, as the were when they were first uttered.

Although a number of senior administrators have moved on to spend more time with their families since Gil Lovato's statement;

If the truth ever gets out, there won't be a single senior
APS administrator left standing
it is not yet entirely untrue. Some of these players in the APS Police Department scandal, are still playing. Some one of them is responsible for suppressing the evidence of felony criminal misconduct, even after the expiration of statutes of limitation. The quote is current and accurate enough to demand open and honest discussion.

This link will take you to the archived recording of the last regular meeting of the Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education.

Fast forwarding does little good, although I have noticed that you can drag a little button straight to the part that you want to see and hear. You will have to wait until the buffering is complete, in order to be able to drag the button very far.

Good luck getting the thing to work; this in not their long suit.

If you drag to 7m30s and play it until 9m35s, you will witness my petition during the public forum. I wish it looked a little more polished, but what is, is.

If you drag to 21m58s and watch until 25m45s, you will witness Robbins response during Matters of Information; the board's show and tell. The significant part runs from 22m45s-23m58s.

You will also see and hear Robbins trying to get the audience to believe that the district had done and is doing the standards and accountability audit that I am demanding. The audits to which he refers are financial audits; an entirely different matter altogether. It was (deliberately) misleading.

And what about quoting school board heavy hitter, Paula Maes?
Has it been too long ago that she said;
"I will never agree to an audit that ... address(es) personnel.
I do not want an audit that would say; ... Tom Savage
is a horrible administrator." ... link
that I can no longer point to it, and demand an explanation? She has never retracted it. She has never contradicted it.

She still will never agree to any audit that names the names
of the corrupt and the incompetent in the leadership of the

At 23m50s, you will hear School Board President, and open government lawyer, Marty Esquivel threaten to have the APS Praetorian Guard "remove" me from the meeting. It would have been the 6th or 7th time that I had been illegally arrested by the board's publicly funded, private police force in the effort to prevent the exercise of my free speech rights, and my right to petition my government.

Had I been arrested again, this time would have been for cause. Assuming of course that speaking out of turn from the audience is an arrestable offense. Should anyone try to suggest that I was "screaming my head off", I would invite attention to the record, 23m50-23m56s. Marty Esquivel and I were speaking at the same time, and I cannot even be heard by any of the open mics on the dais.

With respect to the other illegal arrests, at the time of every one of those arrests, when I was arrested, I was behaving not only within the law, but according to Robert's Rules of Order, and in absolute accord with the APS Student Standards of Conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!.

If you ask any one of these people to point to a time, a day, and a place where they will sit still and respond to legitimate questions about the public interests and their public service, they will not.

If you ask them to begin an impartial standards and accountability audit in time for stakeholders to hold them accountable at the bond issue election, they will not.

If you ask the Albuquerque Journal to investigate and report upon any of this, according to their every obligation to voters, they will not.

If you ask stakeholders to carry their torches and pitchforks
to the public forum of a school board meeting, and then take
back control over public power and resources in the APS,
they will not.

In the same vein, if you ask stakeholders to carry their torches
and pitchforks to the steps of the Roundhouse, to take back
control over public power and resources in state government,
they will not.

And there we are; and there we will remain.

photos Mark Bralley

Nobody will respond on the demise of the Ethical Public Service Act.

It has been more than a week since I reported on the demise
of the Ethical Public Service Act, link.

I subsequently sent two emails to every city councilor, asking
them for some information on the demise. As yet, no one has

I expect that, if you jumped out of a bush somewhere (the only
sure way to get face time with a politico) and asked them why
they haven't responded, they would say that they never got
the email.

Which begs at least one question; why have email addresses
posted on the city website, link, if they don't work?

Bottom line; legislation that would have raised the standard of
conduct in city government, and which would have added at
least some real accountability, has died in relative secret.

All of the time, effort, and resources that were expended in
a worthwhile effort to reform city government were wasted.

It is fair to hold
the Mayor accountable.

photo Mark Bralley

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Linda Lopez sez; balance the budget by taxing the rich.

According to her guest post over on DfNM, link.

That should make "the rich" real happy.

Nothing yet from
Senator Lopez on her plan
to end all of the waste in
Santa Fe that flows from
corruption and incompetence.

Go to her website, link,
click on "ethics".

That makes a difference when you're drawing a line between
"the rich" and "the poor".

photo Mark Bralley

... and basically non-important.”

Deputy Provost Richard Holder on the issues pertaining to another vote of no confidence in the leadership of the UNM. Marjorie Childress' post on NMI, link.

A relevant quote from UNM's Jamie Kock on the subject of a vote of no confidence in him;

"... he didn't care one bit about the vote —
that it had slid off him like water off a duck's back."

Ya gotta admire these guys for their brass,
and then get rid of them.

When your only hammer is a tool.

We have a right to insist upon competence in public service.

I googled this title, curious to see if it could be attributed to me, and found it attributable to someone whose name I was not able to determine, who had offered it in a blog comments thread. S/he wrote;
"When your only hammer is a tool...every problem is high taxes"

That works too.

Every elected public servant should have a website.

In the best case scenario, any constituent has the opportunity to stand eyeball to eyeball with any public servant, and then ask them any legitimate question about public resources, public power, the public interests, and their public service,

and then expect them to answer candidly, forthrightly and honestly.

The second best scenario offers that same opportunity,
but over the internet, and on the record.

And the downside would be what, exactly?

Except that those who want to hide the truth,
will no longer be allowed to.

I challenge every candidate for the public trust;

establish a website where questions can be asked and answered according to code of ethics.

There on to,

  • Answer any legitimate question.
  • Defend any decision to do otherwise,
    according to due process.
  • Answer candidly, forthrightly, and honestly.

There on, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and
nothing but the truth, about the public interests and
about your public service.

Four questions for everybody.

  1. Is there corruption in government?
  2. Do you intend to end it?
  3. How?
  4. When?
But especially, they are questions that should be answered
by every candidate for political office.

My friend Mark longs for a return to the day, when if a
politician did not answer a legitimate question from the
press, the only question that any other member of the press
would ask, would be that question again, until it was finally

Even if ending the corruption and incompetence in government
won't balance the budget, shouldn't we end them anyway,
as a matter of principle?

Why would any candidate refuse to answer these four
questions; candidly, forthrightly, and honestly?

Except to hide the truth.

For incumbents, there is a fifth question;

Why haven't you done that already?

Why haven't you done that already?

Why haven't you done that already?

Why haven't you done that already?

Why haven't you done that already?

Why haven't you done that already?

Why haven't you done that already?

photos Mark Bralley

Republican dream team assembled.

Blogger Monahan reports that the
ever delightful Whitney Cheshire
will be the new campaign manager
for Allen Weh.

This is a dream come true for voters looking for a team standing in diametric opposition to the expressly and explicitly stated commitment of the Republican party;

stakeholder inclusion at all levels levels of the party.

  • Expect them to throw the press out of the process, link.
  • Expect them to throw otherwise loyal republicans out of meetings for asking inconvenient questions.
  • Expect them to rule by the gavel; they don't need no stinkin' Robert's Rules.
  • Expect them to negotiate with a baseball bat in their hands.
  • Expect them to deny due process to legitimate complaints of ethical misconduct, link.
It is incredible to me that, according to Monahan,
the Republican "front runner" is Allen Weh.

If true, we need be afraid, very afraid.

photos Mark Bralley

APS Audit Committee Meeting Cancelled

The meeting of the APS Audit Committee, scheduled for 5pm
today has been canceled without explanation.

The Audit Committee is likely in hiding over allegations that
it is denying more than 100 SilentWhistle complainants
the due process that their complaints are entitled to under
APS School Board Policy.

B.07.D. An Audit Committee to review and recommend approval or action(s) associated ... any employee whistleblower complaints.
To date, there are well over 100 SilentWhistle whistleblower
complaints, and not one has seen the due process that policy

Audit Committee Chair, David Robbins
steadfastly refuses to put the
whistleblower complaints on his agenda.

The only excuse that he has offered so
far; his refusal does not violate federal law.

Stakeholders are being deprived of an
important check and balance.

Because SilentWhistle is administered by APS administrators,
if a complaint is lodged against the administration, it is
adjudicated by the administration. This creates the appearance
of of a conflict of interest, and the appearance of impropriety.

The apparent conflict of interest is addressed by the executive
review of administrative findings that is required by school
board policy.

I have posited that review and approval is being denied to
all complaints in order to deny review and approval of two
complaints in particular. One complaint alleges that
APS Superintendent, Winston Brooks is behaving
unethically by refusing to be held honestly accountable to
an ethical standard of conduct; the APS Student Standards of Conduct; the Pillars of Character Counts!.

The second alleges that the first complaint was closed without
due process, by the administrator in charge of SilentWhistle,
APS Director of Internal Audit, Margret Koshmider.

Due process is being denied to more than 100 complainants,
for no other reason than to prevent an open, honest, and public
discussion of executive and administrative role modeling of
the student standards of conduct.

photo Mark Bralley

Doug Turner misses the point.

Blogger Monahan pointed this morning, to an article in the
Roswell Daily Record,
in which Republican Gubernatorial
Candidate Doug Turner laid out his understandings and his vision, link.

Missing is any apparent understanding that there is a culture of corruption in state government. He did acknowledge waste in government, but did not attribute any of it to corruption. From the Record;

"Turner said he'd scour the state budget to locate waste.
"There's a lot of fat out there," he said. "I think we have
a bloated state government."
Yes, we do. And part of the reason it is bloated is corruption.

It is hard to imagine that a candidate who doesn't even mention
corruption, is going to be the one that ends it.

Turner, as of this moment, is a candidate without a website, link.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Policy Committee Meeting minutes show cover up.

The APS Policy Committee voted this morning to cover up
a crime.

When an APS vendor threw a party for APS vendees,
the law was broken, link.

The minutes, link, approved this morning tell a slightly different story;

"It was determined that no existing state
procurement laws or APS policies were broken."
Now in a legal weaselry kind of a way, I guess you could argue that they only said that it was "determined" that there was no law breaking, and not that they said that "there were no laws broken".

But, anyone reading the minutes would assume that,
there were no laws broken.

Except that, there were.

The minutes also did not mention another significant issue.
The question was raised whether Board Member David Peercy
should be voting to approve contracts covering his wife.

He told the board that he has a legal opinion from the district's
lawyer stating that he was not violating the law.

Robert Lucero
acted immediately to keep the document
secret from stakeholders, link.

The minutes report this all as;
"More discussion followed in regard to other questions
that could be considered a conflict of interest, that is
voting for employee raises and also voting on the budget.
The answer was legally, there were no restrictions.
The legal opinion will be forwarded to Board members."
There is a reason these folks refuse to be held accountable
as role models of the APS Student Standards of Conduct.

It is because if they were, they would have to tell the truth.

Robert's (optional) Rules of Order.

I attended a policy committee meeting this morning.

Not the most import issue, but one worth mentioning,
was the committee's complete lack of respect for
Robert's Rules of Order.

According to School Board Policy, board meetings and committee meetings are run according to
Robert's Rules of Order.

It would be hard to overstate the importance of that policy.

Yet, out of ignorance or arrogance, the rules are ignored at will.

As an illustrative example; during the discussion this morning, Board Member Paula Maes "called the question" on a motion under discussion. Robert's rules are crystal clear on what was supposed to have happened next, link,

"5. Question: To end a debate immediately a motion is
made to “call the question”. The motion needs a second,
however, no discussion is necessary. A vote is held
immediately and two-thirds vote is required for passage.
If the motion passes, the main motion on the floor must
be voted on immediately."

Committee Chair David Peercy,
out of arrogance or ignorance,
responded to the call by saying that
he was going to allow people to continue
the discussion/debate before voting on
the motion to end the discussion/debate.


The last time Peercy flubbed
calling the question, minutes
were falsified rather than
admitting that he had made
a mistake, link.

It is allowed under Robert's Rules, for the body to vote to suspend the rules (except for the purpose of circumventing the rules). They are not permitted to simply ignore them, whether out of ignorance or arrogance.

Then Robert Lucero, having in the past,
called the question himself, and having
acknowledged that he knew that the
question had been called (thereby
forfeiting "ignorance" as an excuse)
simply plowed ahead with the point that
he wanted to make.

Which was arrogant.

And there is no where to hold him accountable.
There is no place where you can file a complaint against him
and expect to see your complaint enjoy due process.

Worth noting, I have on a number of occasions, been illegally arrested for trying exercise my rights according to Robert's Rules at board meetings, by APS' publicly funded, private police force, link. Their Praetorian Guard; a police force that is unaccredited, un-certificated, and un-certified, by anyone except the leadership of the APS.

Speaking of which, the Praetorians are still suppressing evidence of felony criminal misconduct involving the leadership Praetorian Guard itself, link, and by logical extension; the leadership of the APS and the APS Board of Education as well.

Statutes of limitation have expired on felony criminal misconduct, and the evidence still has not been surrendered to the District Attorney for prosecution.

What is the point of having rules if they are so routinely ignored,
except to deceive stakeholders into believing that
there are rules that the good ol' boys actually have to obey?

Right now there are more than a hundred SilentWhistle complaints being denied their due process, for no other reason than to hide the truth about standards and accountability in the leadership of the APS, at least until after the school bond issue election, link.

And no place to file a complaint about that either.

What is the point in having rules, even in having laws
if the good ol' boys can simply ignore them with impunity?

photos Mark Bralley

Gov Richardson's 3% solution.

Governor Bill Richardson has laid on the table; across the board 3% spending cuts as a solution for the current budget crunch.

In the alternative, someone might propose a 3% revenue enhancement (higher taxes), as the solution.

Not on the table; 3% waste cutting as the solution; the
Balderas Plan to eliminate waste through adequate
forensic auditing.

Richardson wants to solve the problem without hardship
to any of his political cronies who are milking the system for
what could very well be, hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Noteworthy; Democracy for New Mexico, link, reports that there are people who are trying to get the ongoing shortfall meeting opened to the public.

"In a letter ... to the Governor and Legislators, groups from across the political spectrum today called on the state's leaders to open up current meetings on the state budget shortfall. Groups representing faith, small business, unions and advocates requested that the "legislative-executive working group" openly negotiate a solution to address the $433 million budgetary shortfall for the current fiscal year."
They argue that according to the spirit of the law which opened conference committee meetings to the public, these meetings should be open as well.

I concur.

Perhaps in public meetings, it might be suggested and then
discussed, that the place to start solving the problem of the
spending deficit, is in ending the culture of waste.

photo Mark Bralley

Monday, August 24, 2009

Keystone cops right here in River City.

If I correctly understand the Journal report, link,

A reserve cop was up for an award in recognition of his performance, a great deal of which was apparently performed in violation of the law.

The buck stops on the desk
of Albuquerque Chief of Police,
Ray Schultz.

According to the Journal;
"Schultz said he didn't know ..."

About what else, do you suppose
"he does not know"?

Mayoral hopeful Marty Chavez, says if he is elected,
this man will be the Chief of Police for four more years.

Count on it.

photo Mark Bralley

$50,000,000,000.00 in waste, fraud and abuse.

Of every one of your tax dollars, some average number of
cents will go missing.

I will concede a statistical possibility that there is a government
agency somewhere which has not lost even one cent, however

It is far more likely; that in every agency, there will be some number of cents gone missing.

I will pull, not entirely out of my ass, the figure, 5. I assume
that of every one of my tax dollars, five cents will end up in
some asshole's pocket or a landfill. Some traitor will have
betrayed mine and the public's trust, and stolen or wasted
at least one nickel.

Given a 5% loss, if we spend a trillion dollars on health care
reform, $50,000,000,000.00 will be wasted by the
corrupt and the incompetent politicians into whose hands
we will be compelled to place our trillion dollars.

All we have to do to prevent this otherwise inevitability is to
subject spending to continuous, transparent, forensic auditing.

If we spend 1% of the trillion to protect the other 99% from
being ripped off, we will make money.

If we spend $10B on continuous forensic auditing of
a trillion dollars, we will save $40,000,000,00.

Point to any other place where you can get a 4 to 1 return on
your tax dollar. Point to another place where you can save
forty billion dollars.

An added benefit would be that the competence of public
service will rise to its potential.

Imagine; efficient government.

This argument applies to ending the culture of corruption and incompetence in state government as well.

If we spend 1%, we will save 4. Of our $6B state budget,
we talking about saving 240 million dollars give or take.

At the level of city government, we are talking about
saving 50 million dollars. In this particular case, 5% is
probably low of a number to use, by as much as a factor
of 5.

At the level of the Albuquerque Public Schools,
we are talking about saving 70 million dollars.

At the national level, unless you assume that the idea of the effective auditing of spending, has not occurred to President Barack Obama, he is in opposition.

At the state level, Governor Bill Richardson is in opposition to continuous forensic auditing.

At the city level, Mayor Marty Chavez opposes impartial auditing of his administration of the public trust and treasure.

At the level of the Albuquerque Public Schools; School Board President and Open Government lawyer, Marty Esquivel would be your guy.

From the highest elected office to the lowest, there is not one of them who will tell you the honest to God truth, about what they're doing with your power and your resources.

photos Mark Bralley

Another courthouse, another rip off?

In the Journal this morning, link, we find that construction
is wrapping up on a brand new Court of Appeals building.

And the first thing that went through my mind was; I wonder
how many millions of tax dollars are now in the pockets of
political cronies of the powers that be?

And how much better I would feel, if the very next step was
an automatic full scale forensic audit, according to the
Balderas Plan for forensically auditing corruption out of existence.

It is possible to make it impossibly difficult to hide corruption
from honest accountability.

The question is not, can we? but rather, will we?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Would you like to get to know our next Governor?

Peter St Cyr reports, link, that
Rep Janice Arnold-Jones has announced her
Announcement for Governor party.

It doesn't make any difference whether you are republican,
democrat, libertarian, green, progressive, or what ever.

If you are looking for a candidate
with proven competence,
proven character,
and proven courage,
you now have one.

She should have your every consideration,
because you will have hers.

photo Mark Bralley

Peter St Cyr breaks from the pack.

Albuquerque's legacy media, the Journal, KOB, KOAT, KRQE, have yet to talk to a political candidate about "ethics".
They're generally done when a candidate mentions the word transparency.

Peter digs deeper,
on the record, and
on tape, link.

He's got a political candidate
for a statewide office, not
only talking ethics, but
saying the words;
"role model" out loud.

Lawrence Rael is talking the talk.

He talks like he is willing to step up
as a role model for the two hundred
thousand or so, of his would be
constituents, who are children.

Will he walk the talk?

I guess that remains to be seen.

photos Mark Bralley

Maybe it's just that no one ever asked.

Governor Richardson, will you please end* the culture of corruption in New Mexico State government?

* call a special session of the legislature; "call" upon them to come up with legislation that ends the culture of corruption, at once and for all. "Call" upon them to write legislation that makes it impossibly difficult to hide public corruption and incompetence from honest accountability. And then sign the bill immediately.

If Governor Richardson can not
end the culture of corruption;

if Governor Richardson will not
end the culture of corruption,

of what good is he?

If the "press" does not hold him accountable,
of what good is it?

photo Mark Bralley