I find the mental gymnastics of left-liberals to be amusing and confusing sometimes. By now, we all know that Mayor Berry, a conservative, won re-election with 68% of the vote, thus overcoming efforts by the government employee unions both during the campaign and prior to the campaign when the election law was changed to force a runoff unless candidates received 50% or more of the vote.
The gymnastics come into play in this Albuquerque Journal article in which mayoral challenger Pete Dinelli and successful city council candidate Ike Benton complain about the public financing system. Said Dinelli, “I think public financing has pretty well proven to be totally ineffective.”
The article also included quotes from Timothy Krebs, a University of New Mexico professor who studies urban politics, said $362,000 probably isn’t enough for a mayoral campaign in Albuquerque. “What’s required is a sufficient amount of money to mount a credible challenge,” Krebs said.
So, what’s the problem here? Sour grapes because a conservative won the Mayor’s race? Are we looking at even more generous taxpayer-financed contributions to candidates if the liberals get their way? We always hear from the left about the harms of money in politics and Benton even personally attacked a private citizen who contributed money to defeat him.
I don’t know if Albuquerque’s public financing system will stay, go, or be reformed, but the whole debate over campaign financing seems to be more about politics than election fairness.