In the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic the Keller Administration spent $97,000 of taxpayer dollars to publish book; sold fewer than 100 copies. The City’s inspector general trashed the project as a “waste of taxpayer money.”
We concur and shared as much with KOAT TV Channel 7. You can see the report here.
Not only was Mayor Keller’s performance as Mayor during COVID 19 poor (largely following the Gov.’s lockdown approach), but this book was clearly written as a campaign piece in support of the Mayor, not as a “after action report” to facilitate understanding of the policies that worked and didn’t work both with Pandemic, but also the George Floyd riots in the summer of 2020.
Recently RGF President Paul Gessing sat down with KOAT TV Channel 7 to discuss some of the numerous problems with the City of Albuquerque’s “free” bus program. Sadly, the City Council on a 6-3 vote approved making the program “permanent.” Only three councilors (Lewis, Sanchez, and Grout) opposed the bill.
You can read the “study” which supposedly justifies the “free” bus program here.
The case (brought by RGF President Paul Gessing) (with legal representation from the Liberty Justice Center) over Albuquerque City Council’s “donation” of your tax dollars to Planned Parenthood will move forward. A Bernalillo County Court denied the City of Albuquerque and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ motions to dismiss Gessing v. Yara, a case challenging the City’s illegal donation of taxpayer funds to the private organization.
City Councilwoman Tammy Fiebelkorn explained that she sponsored the $250,000 donation “to provide vital support for Planned Parenthood.”
In a ruling issued November 1, the Court found that the plaintiffs have made a creditable case that the “agreement” between the city and the organization is essentially a sham, purporting to purchase services from Planned Parenthood while in fact paying out taxpayer money to a politically favored group.
The primary issue at stake is New Mexico’s “anti-donation clause” and whether a government body can simply “donate” taxpayer dollars to a private, political organization.
The City of Albuquerque’s police department monitor James Ginger has been paid over $11 million. While the overall merits of what DoJ is doing with the City’s police department is up for debate, the City’s payments to Ginger have remained high even as the City increasingly complies with DoJ’s mandates.
RGF president Paul Gessing recently sat down with KOAT TV Channel 7 to discuss Bernalillo County Assessor Damian Lara’s interesting approach to property tax assessments. The issue was discussed in more detail in a blog post here.
In addition to Gessing and Lara, the KOAT piece includes Doug Peterson, one of the largest landlords in New Mexico. While everyone wants to see properties maintained and filled with thriving businesses, those seem to be policy and enforcement considerations for the Mayor, City Council, and APD.
In the wake of an LFC report stating that New Mexico taxpayers are spending $18 million annually on unused office space, Gov. Lujan Grisham (after the election) decided to require that all state employees return to their offices by the star of 2023.
According to news reports, however, the Gov. has rescinded that requirement. Employees will be required to return NEXT month at the start of February. This is another case of poor leadership from the Gov. COVID (and remote work) has been going on for nearly 3 years now. The Gov. and her team should have figured out who needs to be in the office 5 days a week and who doesn’t (and how to manage them effectively) by now.
Could some state buildings be shuttered and sold off? Should the locations of gov’t buildings be shifted to reduce commute times? How can we make sure remote employees are actually doing their work?
These aren’t easy questions, but they should have been answered long ago. RGF’s Paul Gessing appeared in a story on KOAT Channel 7 to discuss the issue. You can find his segment here and below and the first portion here.
According to a new report from the Legislative Finance Committee the State of New Mexico is wasting $18 million a year on unused office space. The LFC report found telework and 21% of staff vacancies are accounting for unused offices.
Telework COULD be a cost-saving measure in some circumstances, but the State needs to produce coherent rules for government employees and whether those jobs are able to be done remotely or not. Sadly, the Lujan Grisham Administration has not managed to do this 2.5 years after COVID began and created the push for remote work. Watch the story here.
The Rio Grande Foundation will be in federal court this Wednesday arguing in favor of free speech against New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver. You can see the court notice below and read up on the case itself here.
While elections come and go, the fight for liberty continues!
Local Albuquerque Company ProView Networks, helped Rio Grande Foundation team up with ProView StoryFile technology to allow the public to engage in a virtual environment with candidates and other public figures. The technology allows users to ask questions with the technology selecting the best match. ProView Networks produced the StoryFile conversation in Albuquerque.
The technology offers users the opportunity to sit down with a virtual version of the candidate and ask questions that are relevant to the office they are seeking, about the candidate’s background and their qualifications.
Several candidates were offered the chance to create a Proview “StoryFile” in the waning days of the campaign. Republican Attorney General candidate Jeremy Gay agreed to sit down and answer questions which highlighted everything from the role of the attorney general to his personal philosophy on
important issues in law enforcement and his own biography.
Said Paul Gessing, president of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Foundation: “The Rio Grande Foundation’s podcast Tipping Point New Mexico allows me to regularly sit down with some of New Mexico’s most important thought leaders, elected officials, and candidates to discuss the issues facing our State.
Proview/StoryFile is yet another tool that will allow the public an even more intimate way to hear from these people.”
ProView Networks, an Albuquerque, NM based company has partnered with StoryFile, based in Los Angeles, as a production partner. Through this state-of-the art interactive technology, ProView Networks is producing and telling the stories of not only political figures, but prominent people in athletics, entertainment and business as well as preserving historical and family legacies.
To learn and see more, please visit www.proviewnetworks.com and click on StoryFile. For the first time in American politics any voter can sit down with a political candidate to discuss the issues using this exciting technology. You can access it yourself here: