Over the past few weeks, New Mexicans have heard screaming and shouting from Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller’s campaign regarding accusations from the campaign that his opponent, Sheriff Manny Gonzales, had violated ethics rules regarding signatures on $5 contribution forms to qualify for public financing.
Now, despite Gonzales qualifying with more than enough verified signatures for public financing, the City’s Board of Ethics announced it would withhold public financing from the Sheriff. He will be appealing the decision, saying, “These are just tactics that are being used in a smear campaign by the Keller campaign.”
Gonzales may not be far off in his assertion, however, because in 2017, in his first run for mayor, Keller himself was found guilty of an ethics violation relating to campaign finance rules.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, the Board of Ethics “found that mayoral candidate and state Auditor Tim Keller violated the City Charter’s Elections Code and the Open and Ethical Elections Code.” These charges were based on the Keller campaign’s fraudulent activity. However, now, Keller accuses Gonzales of “widespread fraud.”
Then-Bernalillo County Commissioner Wayne Johnson’s attorney, Pat Rogers, said of the 2017 complaint findings by the Commission, “We appreciate the work of the Board of Ethics and the confirmation of what we all know – Mr. Keller broke a number of ethical rules concerning contributions and reporting.” Rogers added, “… By the time all of the ethics complaints against Mr. Keller are addressed by the Ethics Board, it will (be) difficult to find an ethical rule Mr. Keller and his political operatives actually honored.”
The Journal reported:
The ethics board heard arguments and took testimony on the Keller in-kind contributions complaint last Thursday. Keller reported close to $38,000 in in-kind donations. Most of that came in the form of checks written by Keller supporters to Rio Strategies, the firm running his campaign, and was used to pay for Rio Strategies’ services.
The complaint, filed in September, alleged that the Keller campaign “falsely reported these cash contributions as ‘in-kind contributions’ on several reports” submitted to the City Clerk’s Office.
It appears that the Keller campaign, which in 2017 was run by socialist ex-Bernie Sanders for President supporters, is using socialist Saul Alinsky’s rule from “Rules for Radicals.”
Alinsky asserted, “Accuse your opponent of what you are doing to create confusion and to inculcate voters against evidence of your own guilt.” Now, it appears Keller is trying to skirt fraud committed by his campaign under the rug while accusing his opponent of exactly what he is guilty of himself.
Allies of Gonzales are now acting on dishonest practices said to have been committed by the Keller campaign, with the Save Our City PAC telling KOB 4 that they have already found over 40 and counting concerning contributions from Mayor Keller’s campaign.