The New Mexico Independent is reporting that an environmental Group called Conservation Voters News Mexico (CVNM) announced their annual legislative scorecard yesterday, wherein they dinged New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson for his support of SunCal’s efforts to secure a massive tax-increment-financing subsidy for a sprawling Albuquerque development project. With ongoing push-polling, Alameda voters are getting a taste of the aggressive tactics SunCal used in their failed New Mexico campaign.
In their scorecard, CVNM writes:
Once again, Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) and our allies were successful in defeating every effort to roll back environmental protections. Although the intensity of the attacks by industry is alarming, we are proud that we’ve been able to hold the line against better-funded and more powerful opponents. A great example of one of these ‘David v. Goliath’ fights was over a massive tax subsidy to SunCal, a sprawling development on the west side of Albuquerque. SunCal waged an unprecedented media and lobbying campaign – spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on contributions to candidates, a team of lobbyists, television and radio advertising, billboards and mail pieces.
Unfortunately, the fight over sound tax and environmental policy isn’t over, and SunCal will be back, along with industry’s continuing and coordinated efforts to strip New Mexico of the protections we need for public and environmental health.
and contrary to SunCal’s preaching about Alameda – along with hired gun Peter Calthorpe – about the need for developments to be mixed-use and reduce automobile use, CVNM noted that:
Given the size and location of the proposed development, SunCal would massively increase the vehicle-miles-traveled (VMTs) in Bernalillo County – a major problem, since VMTs are New Mexico’s fastest-growing contributor to climate change.
The scorecard notes that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson supported the massive $408 million New Mexico tax increment subsidy bill for the project and concludes that:
The Governor has made huge strides in tackling the climate change crisis; but dedicating public money to subsidize a sprawling development that would make state climate change targets nearly impossible to meet threatens to undermine his legacy on this issue.
It’s interesting to note that Governor Richardson withdrew his candidacy for the post of commerce secretary in President Obama’s cabinet over a municipal bond scandal. Tax increment financing projects are funded by issuing municipal bonds.
In addition to watching New Mexico for insight on how SunCal runs their campaigns, Alameda residents would do well to ask questions around town about who benefits from massive tax bond issues to fund the public amenities that SunCal is promising for Alameda Point.