Episode 1010 | THE LINE: Ballot Initiatives Uncertainty


>>WE ARE BACK AT THE LINE TABLE
WITH THIS WEEKS PANELIST TO DISCUSS ONE MORE TOPIC. TWO BALLOT INITIATIVES IN
ALBUQUERQUE THAT MAY OUR MAY NOT END UP ON THE BALLOT IN
NOVEMBER. ONE WOULD REQUIRE THAT LOCAL
EMPLOYERS ALLOW PEOPLE TO EARN SICK LEAVE. WE TACKLED THAT HERE A FEW WEEKS
AGO. THE OTHER WOULD PROVIDE MORE
PUBLIC FINANCING FOR CANDIDATES IN THE CITY’S MAYORAL ELECTIONS. LAURA, ALREADY SEPTEMBER, NO
CLEAR ANSWER ON WHETHER INITIATIVES ARE ON THE BALLOT. A LOT OF FINGER POINTING HERE. THIS IS TOUGH TO PARSE OUT. LET’S TAKE THIS ONE AT A TIME. ON THE IDEA OF THE PREVIOUSLY
MENTIONED SICK LEAVE, THE IDEA OF PUTTING IT ON THE BALLOT A
LONG EXPLANATION ABOUT THIS WHOLE THING VERSUS A SUMMARY,
SEEMS TO BE ONE OF THE CONTENTIOUS ISSUES HERE. CAN FOLKS REALLY GET WHAT THEY
NEED IN THE BOOTH TO MAKE A DECISION ON A SUMMARY OR IS IT
ON US TO KNOW WHAT WE ARE VOTING FOR BEFORE WE GO INTO THE BOTH? LET’S TAKE THAT ONE FIRST,
SUMMARY ISSUE, DOES THAT WORK FOR YOU?>>YEAH, MAINLY BECAUSE I DO —
SOME OF THE WORK THAT I DO IS BOND WORK, MUNICIPAL BONDS AND
SCHOOL BONDS AND THERE IS NO WAY THEY PUT THE ENTIRE RESOLUTION
OR THE ORDINANCE OF A BOND ON TO A BALLOT FOR A BOND QUESTION. IT IS ALWAYS A SUMMARY. IT IS A
VERY SPECIFIC QUESTION THAT SPELLS OUT THE PURPOSES. I DON’T SEE WHY THEY COULDN’T DO
THAT WITH THIS. WHAT IS NOT FEASIBLE IS TO HAVE
SEVEN PAGES WORTH OF RESOLUTION OR BALLOT PROPOSITION ON OUR
BALLOT. ESPECIALLY IN THE PRESIDENTIAL
YEAR AND I WORKED WITH THE COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE DOING
ABSENTEE BALLOTS, JUDGE WORK, AND ESSENTIALLY, YOU KNOW, IN A
PRESIDENTIAL YEAR, YOU ALREADY HAVE A VERY LONG BALLOT, BECAUSE
YOU HAVE ALL KINDS OF DOWN BALLOT RACES, NOT JUST THE TOP
ONES. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT BOTH SIDES,
VERY SMALL PRINT, BOTH SIDES AND YOU GET TO THOSE QUESTIONS AND
THEY HAVE TO BE VERY SMALL. AND SPECIFIC SUMMARIES. YOU WOULD HAVE MULTIPLE PAGES OF
A BALLOT IF YOU ADDED SEVEN PAGES OF RESOLUTION. PART OF WHAT I FIND TROUBLING IS
— WELL, THE FINGER POINTING IS CHILDISH BUT IF THE CITY COUNCIL
IS SERIOUS ABOUT WANTING TO PUT THIS QUESTION ON THE BALLOT,
THEY NEED TO GO BACK AND FIGURE OUT HOW TO SUMMARIZE IT. IF YOU’RE RELYING ON THE
ADVOCATES TO SUMMARIZE IT, YOU MAY GET A SUMMARY THAT IS
SLANTED. SO, IT IS CITY COUNCIL AND THEIR
ANALYSTS NEED TO FIGURE IT OUT. PORT OF THE PROBLEM IS COUNCIL
PRESIDENT IS SAYING, WE HAVE ALREADY DONE WHAT WE NEED TO DO. YOUR ESSENTIALLY TELLING THE
COMMISSION, YOU KNOW, WE ARE DONE, SO PICK ONE AND THEY ARE
GOING TO PICK THE SMALLER ONE BECAUSE THEY CAN’T ADD. ADDING MORE PAGES TO THAT BALLOT
IS ADDING MORE DOLLARS TO YOUR ELECTION. THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE EITHER
FOR THE TAXPAYERS OF THIS COUNTY.>>MAGGIE TOULOUSE OLIVER
WEIGHED IN TOO, SAYING YOU CAN HAVE ONE OR THE OTHER BUT NOT
BOTH. THE FINGER POINTING JUST
MENTIONED BETWEEN CITY COUNCIL AND OUR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS,
WHAT IS YOUR SENSE OF THAT? IT SEEMED TO ME THAT LIKE LAURA
SENT IT TO COUNTY COMMISSION, THEY EXPECTED A QUICK STAMP OFF
AND EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO RUN SMOOTHLY AND IT KICKED BACK AND
CITY COUNCIL GOT LOOSE ON THEIR FEET. WHAT IS YOUR SENSE OF IT? IS CITY COUNCIL TO BLAME OR
COUNTY COMMISSION?>>WELL, THE WHO IS TO BLAME;
RIGHT? WILL I WOULD SAY, I DON’T KNOW
WHO IS TO BLAME BUT I THINK THESE BALLOT ISSUES, TWO OF
THEM, EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE SIGNATURES, THEY ARE NOTHING
MORE THAN A WAY TO INCREASE ATTENDANCE AT POLLING AND THAT
IS IT. BECAUSE I DON’T SEE EITHER ONE
OF THE TWO ISSUES PASSING. I THINK IT IS CHILDISH WITH THE
WHOLE CITY COUNCIL, YOU KNOW, SAYING, WELL, IF YOU’RE GOING TO
DO THIS, THEN, WE ARE GOING TO, YOU KNOW, WE ARE NOT PLAYING
NICELY. SO ALL OF A SUDDEN THE
COMMISSION DECIDES TO TAKE ON ART. IT IS LIKE MADNESS. ALL THEY ARE DOING IS
REINFORCING THIS PERCEPTION THAT GOVERNMENT IS OUT OF TOUCH WITH
THE PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE JUST FIGHTS. GOVERNMENT IS FIGHTING WITH
PEOPLE AND THAT IS WHY THE LACK OF TRUST OF STATE GOVERNMENT AND
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND EVEN, I WOULD IMAGINE, CITY AND
LOCAL GOVERNMENT, IS TANKED BECAUSE YOU NEED TO BE
RESPONSIBLE IN HOW YOU APPROACH THESE ISSUES AND FIGHTING BACK
AND FORTH OVER THIS STUFF IS JUST NOT GOING TO DO IT.>>RIGHT ON. JULIE ANN, INTERESTINGLY, SANTA
FE IS A DIFFERENT SYSTEM FOR BALLOT INITIATIVES. INTERESTING POINT TOM MAKES,
THIS IDEA THAT YOU LOAD BALLOT INITIATIVES ON THE BALLOT
ITSELF, MUDDYING THE WATER, PEOPLE TRYING TO GET CLARITY. DOES THAT WORK IN YOUR VIEW,
USING THIS SYSTEM?>>WE HAVE SEEN THESE NON
BINDING RESOLUTIONS POP UP, WHERE YOU HEAR FOLKS SAY THAT IS
INTENDED TO DRAW MORE OF THIS TYPE OF VOTER TO THE POLLS AND I
THINK THERE IS TRUTH IN THAT. WE SAW THAT WITH THE MARIJUANA
DECRIMINALIZATION MEASURE THAT HAS BEEN IN SEVERAL COUNTIES. INTERESTINGLY, THE CITY OF SANTA
FE WAS GOING TO PUT A MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION MEASURE ON A
CITY BALLOT, WHICH, IN SANTA FE, THE CITY BALLOT HAPPENS IN THE
SPRIG AS OPPOSED TO THE STATE THAT WE ARE LOOKING AT COMING UP
IN THE FALL, BUT, THE CITY COUNCIL DECIDED WE DON’T WANT TO
PUT THAT ON THE BALLOT, WE ARE GOING TO MAKE A RULE ABOUT THAT,
WHICH, OF COURSE, THE POLICE AREN’T FOLLOWING. THAT IS A STORY FOR ANOTHER DAY. I DO THINK THAT THE BALLOT
INITIATIVE QUESTION IS ONE THAT IS STILL WORTH TALKING ABOUT. IF THEY DON’T HAVE A HOPE OF
PASSING IT OR HOPE OF DOING SOMETHING, THE BALLOT IS ALREADY
LIKE TOO LONG TO READ FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE. YOU HAVE THESE JUDICIAL
RETENTION RACES THAT PEOPLE DON’T EVEN BOTHER TO FILL OUT.>>IT HAPPENS. YOU KNOW, WE TALKED BEFORE WE
STARTED TAPING ABOUT THIS IDEA OF THE EIGHT PAGES. THERE THEY ARE RIGHT THERE. NO ONE IS GOING TO DO THAT. NO ONE IS GOING TO DO THAT. THEY MAKE A DECISION AFTER
PARAGRAPH 2 AND GO FOR IT.>>SO, LOTS OF PROBLEMS HERE. ONE IS, I AM NOT A BALLOT
INITIATIVE FAN BECAUSE THE LANGUAGE THAT IS PASSED, IF
YOU’RE NOT COGNIZANT OF THE WAY OUR STATUTES WORK, THEY CAN
CAUSE PROBLEMS. SUMMARIES, LAURA HIT IT RIGHT ON
THE HEAD, DEPENDS WHO IS SUMMARIZING IT. MY FRIEND DENNIS PUT IN A BILL
THAT WAS SUMMARIZED BY LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL SERVICE TO
INCREASE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE LEGISLATIVE RETIREMENT. IT FAILED. DO YOU KNOW WHY IT FAILED? BECAUSE PEOPLE READ THE TITLE
AND THEY THOUGHT IT MEANT THAT THE STATE WAS GOING TO GIVE THEM
MORE MONEY WHEN IN FACT THEY WERE CHANGING THE BURDEN. A BIG DIFFERENCE. SO YOU HAVE GOT TO ASK THE OTHER
QUESTION, SO THIS IS A VERY BIG DEAL. WHERE ARE THE CITY COUNCILORS
WHO SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT THIS FORWARD AS A PIECE OF
LEGISLATION TO GET IT PASSED? THERE IS NO REASON FOR THIS TO
GO TO THE BALLOT BECAUSE IF THE CITY COUNCIL WANTED TO DO IT,
WHY DIDN’T THEY CARRY IT? DID THEY NOT HAVE POLITICAL
WILL.>>STAY WITH YOU. TOM MENTIONED ART. WHY ARE WE HAVING TO DEAL WITH
THIS ON THE BALLOT? THAT ANGERS ME. THAT IT IS EVEN A QUESTION ON
THE BALLOT. COLOSSAL WASTE OF MONEY.>>HAVING SAT ON VOTERS AND
ELECTIONS, THERE IS SOME SANCTITY TO THE BALLOT AND IT IS
MEANT FOR PEOPLE TO GIVE YOU A DIRECT ACTION TO TAKE. POLLING BY BALLOT IS OUTRAGEOUS.>>THAT IS ALL THE TIME WE HAVE,
THANK YOU GUYS, GREAT STUFF TONIGHT, APPRECIATE IT.>>I AM GENE GRANT. THANKS FOR JOINING US THIS WEEK
FOR INFOCUS. AS ALWAYS WE APPRECIATE YOUR
TIME AND EFFORT TO STAY INFORMED AND ENGAGED. SEE YOU NEXT WEEK, INFOCUS. FUNDING FOR NEW MEXICO INFOCUS,
PROVIDED BY THE MCCUNE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION, THE
NELITTA E. WALKER FUND FOR KNME-TV, THE KNME-TV ENDOWMENT
FUND AND VIEWERS LIKE YOU.

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