Voter’s beware; disingenuous doublespeak regarding Bernalillo ballot Proposition 1 & 2. NMBC has previously cautioned voters in the Albuquerque area (and around the state who will face this issue) to be skeptical of the Democracy Dollars concept, and proposed increases in public funding for candidates (listed as Proposition #1 and Proposition #2 on the Bernalillo County ballot). One of the claimed benefits of these initiatives that NMBC rejects is they would eliminate ‘dark money’ and the influence of rich out of state donors who try to ‘buy’ an election. And now, right on que, there is proof that two California groups just put $50,000 to help a publicly funded ABQ City Council candidate.
Here is the ‘disingenuous doublespeak’ part. The out of state $50,000 went to a Political Action Committee headed by Eric Griego. Griego also heads a progressive ‘family advocacy’ group pushing for Democracy Dollars. Eric Griego recently said Proposition #1 and #2 would make “…publicly financed candidates more competitive and more accountable to voters – not big donors.” Does Griego think voters won’t notice that he is openly working to help out of state special interest big donors influence a city council election while at the same time telling voters to put more tax dollars into campaign financing to eliminate the influence of rich out of state donors? Where did the $50K come from?
Here’s the story: Target 7/KOAT TV in Albuquerque reported that two California-based environmental advocacy groups have contributed a total of $50,000 to help support a City Council candidate who is running her campaign with $40, 000 of of your tax money. Public records show that the Sierra Club, based in Oakland, California and Green Advocacy Project located in Palo Alto, California, both donated $25,000 to a separate political action committee with the express purpose of helping the candidate running against the current city councilor, Trudy Jones.
Eric Griego, a vocal supporter of Proposition #1 and #2 on the Bernalillo County ballot (Democracy Dollars), heads the political action committee ABQ Working Families. It is Griego’s PAC (Political Action Committee) that raised the $50,000 for Skowran. He told Target 7 news there was no coordination between the PAC and the publicly funded campaign. He said his organization was trying to level the playing field for the candidate his PAC supports since Trudy E. Jones, City Council District 8 incumbent, had raised more than his candidate.
Maurreen Skowran’s campaign manager, Catherine Sherwood, said, “It sounds bad and it bothers us this went on…” Trudy Jones, Skowran’s opponent in the election told the media, “This is skirting around the system. It is blatantly skirting the system.”
NMBC agrees with Sherwood and Jones and hopes voters in Bernalillo County see the above (publicly available facts) as proof positive to reject the disingenuous stated benefits of Proposition #1 and Proposition #2.