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Revitalize Alameda Point – New Mexico Group Dings Governor Richardson on SunCal Support

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.

and

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.

3 comments to Revitalize Alameda Point – New Mexico Group Dings Governor Richardson on SunCal Support

  • Detailer

    I’ve always thought Bill Richardson was either (1) dumb as a stump or (2) a corrupt corporate Democrat.

    IDoesn’t matter. Conservation Voters New Mexico was absolutely correct in their criticism of Governor Richardson. Now the question is whether he will continue to support SunCal’s TIDD requests (thereby proving he’s corrupt) or will he change his position (proving he’s not as dumb as I think). This will be interesting to watch.

  • barb

    During last nite’s Council meeting, the Council was asked to use Measure WW funds approved by the voters for public Parks and Recreation to go to the private Boys and Girls Club. There is no issue as to whether or not the Boys & Girls Club proposal is a good thing. The only question is whether after going to the voters and getting approval for a specific category of public park improvements, the council shifting the funds to a private enterprise is right or just in the voters’ minds. The Council actually decided to find out before voting if the Boys and Girls Club project could legally even qualify for use of the funds. Good Move! If the Club qualifies, and the funds go to a completely different category of use than that put to the voters to gain approval, the SUNCAL Initiative should be put under ever stronger scrutiny. Who knows what the City Council, via the Development Agreement, will say was covered under the 288 page initiative?

    If the Council’s exercise of discretion turns a park into a building, we have no one to blame but ourselves if the SUNCAL Initiative passes. If we are duped into giving such a council any discretion with SUNCAL, well you have seen what has happened so far. ROBO calls recorded in California weren’t really “made” here, and so on. The list grows as SUNCAL spreads its ugly claws and presence. SUNCAL is like a dark cloud hovering above us, perched and ready to plunge Alameda into perpetual traffic and financial woe. And this Council is ready to say OK. No thinking individual should agree to give them that discretion after last nite.

  • Gretchen Lipow

    Richardson has a checkered past which accounts for his dropping
    out of the run for a place in the Obama administration. He would not have passed an ethics examination.
    Why wasn’t a comprehensive report on the needs of all the parks in Alameda given at last night’s council? If the lion’s share of the
    park money goes to the B&G Club who speaks for the needs of the
    children, and adults too, in the rest of the city?
    Gretchen

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