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This election was all about two egos.  And the Democratic voters lost.  We lost big.  An anti-choice, anti-Hispanic, anti-LGBT rights candidate won.  

A very conservative Republican walked away with the mayoral race in Albuquerque last night.  His two Democratic challengers fell short of the 40% threshold needed to win, or, to get the numbers to force a November runoff if none of the three candidates broke through 40%.  Simple math shows that Democrats came out high for the Democratic candidates.  Democratic voters totalled 45,360 with 97% of the precincts counted.

The Republican who won is Richard Berry.  He is a convservative lap dog for the current mainstream GOP.  He was immediately congratulated by RNC Chair Michael Steele for winning a bipartisan race which any thinking person knows really isn't bipartisan.

"I would like to congratulate New Mexico State Representative Richard J. Berry on his election as Mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Richard J. Berry's election in a highly competitive city demonstrates the continuing popularity of conservative principles not only in New Mexico but nationwide.  As we approach elections this fall and in 2010, I am confident we will see many more Americans choosing Republicans to represent their best interests.  Candidates like Richard J. Berry, who are active proponents of lower taxes, smaller government and small businesses, are the future of the Republican Party and I look forward to helping them all toward victory."

Steele obviously can't add.  Berry didn't win a majority of the votes.  He lucked into office because of the way that Democrats voted.  Continuing popularity of conservative principles?  Hardly.  This is a progressive town with a very large Hispanic population.  Most of us have absolutely nothing in common with Berry.

But Berry won.  And he'll be in office because Richard Romero ran a weak campaign.  He won because Martin Chavez pissed off so many Progressives during his last terms that they supported Romero, even when it looked like Berry was going to sneak in.

About two weeks ago, the polls were starting to show Romero's weakness in the overall campaign.  From the New Mexico Independent this news should have been Romero's first indication that his candidacy was going to split the Democratic voters.

But he didn't bow out.  

Did his ego get in the way?  Did he despise Marty Chavez so much that he would rather have seen Berry get elected?  The best analysis I have read about this race comes from Barbwire over at Democracy for New Mexico.  It is an excellent read.  She nailed the election results before everyone went to the polls yesterday.

Democrats fighting Democrats is bad politics.  It is also really stupid.

Thanks for fucking all of us in yesterday's election, Romero.  Marty is no saint and has pissed me off more times than I can count, but, now we have Berry for four years.

This scenario could be coming to a town near you.

Watch out.

UPDATED NUMBERS on the race.

Originally posted to JaciCee on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:44 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  This is one of the ways they are "fixing" races (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      They get areas to go with the two or three highest scorers, make sure there are two Democratic candidates so they with be split, leaving the highest number of votes for republicans.

      They have played this game all over the country, so they can divide and conquer, since they are unable to go one on one and win against a Democratic opponent.

  •  Wow. That's bad. (10+ / 0-)

    I wonder which of the Dems was being paid by local Republicans to stay in the race just to split the sanity vote?

    Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

    by Phoenix Woman on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:47:11 AM PDT

    •  I actually forgot to write about that. (13+ / 0-)

      But it is in the link to DFNM.  Romero gave money to Berry several weeks ago.  Romero was the spoiler.

      We don't have to invade Iraq to find terrorists. They're right here killing abortion doctors. - Dr. Warren Hern

      by JaciCee on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:48:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Romero gave money to Berry? (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vlajos, CalNM, NYFM, JaciCee, CS in AZ

        WTF?  And he was the "liberal" choice?

        Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

        by Phoenix Woman on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 05:56:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  terrible results, JaciCee (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peace voter, JaciCee

        Damn that Romero for staying in and promoting the Republican. I hope this doesn't spread to our little villages.

      •  I can't make sense of the numbers (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JaciCee, happy camper, CS in AZ

        you only give us little bits of info. here. I can only guess the Repub got 40% and therefore wins.  I cannot figure out the % of Dem votes though from what you provided.  But I understand- you're upset and mainly trying to vent. Frankly, these kinds of situations are good examples of why insurgent campaigns can backfire if your party doesn't coalesce.

        •  It comes down to the 40%. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Phoenix Woman, wombat

          Berry went past the mark while the two Dems stayed below it.  Had Romero dropped out of the race and endorsed Chavez, the Dems would have wiped the floor with Berry.

          Had none of the candidates gone over 40% there would have been a runoff in November.

          Romero was a spoiler.

          We don't have to invade Iraq to find terrorists. They're right here killing abortion doctors. - Dr. Warren Hern

          by JaciCee on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 06:39:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I noticed that none of Romero's defenders... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...were visible over at NMIndy this morning.

            Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

            by Phoenix Woman on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 06:41:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It would be helpful to update the diary with this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            information. I had to read it a few times to understand what you were trying to say and it still was unclear as NYFM said. You give us Berry's total votes, but without context (i.e., how many votes did the others get; what were the final percentages) it doesn't mean anything.

            I am glad I kept reading though, because I do think this is an issue that should concern progressives. The concept of a "conservative in progressive clothing" --or a sincere but misguided progressive purist -- either way, the result is the same; someone who intentionally runs as a spoiler and exploits progressive anger at incumbent democrat, whether intentionally or not, helps the republican win -- is a tactic we should be alert to and think about. There are some hard-core "progressives" who seem to want nothing more than to weaken and split the democratic party ... whatever their motives... and I think this is a serious potential problem for the party.

            What I see happening over time (many years) is that the old republican party is devolving into a fringe a nuts who will have no more power or influence than the green party; the democratic party is becoming the centrist/semiconservative party and will take in a large number of disaffected former republicans, and the progressives will become the opposition; I see them splitting off and becoming a separate progressive party. I think in maybe 20 years the dems and the progressives will be the two major parties. But in the meantime, those of us who live with the consequences of this split in real time, like having to live under republicans who get elected as a result, are going to pay the price in real terms. Speaking from red-state Arizona under Governor Jan Brewer, Wingnut Extraordinaire (courtesy of Obama taking  Janet Napolitano from us) and with Senators Kyl and McCain... well, I feel your pain. It sucks.

        •  As of last night: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NYFM, JaciCee, CS in AZ

          Update 11:13 PM: Chavez 35.05%; Romero 20.89%% ; Berry 43.88%; 181 Out Of 186 Precincts Counted.

  •  This is the kind of disease that could (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, CalNM, NYFM, JaciCee, RoCali

    spread:  we must step more carefully.

  •  Stupid electoral system to blame (5+ / 0-)

    Why the hell doesn't Albuquerque have a runoff system for these circumstances?

    Agreed, however, that if you have a stupid system like this one, Democrats have GOT to stick together.

    •  Republicans may be (4+ / 0-)

      well, are--assholes, but you'd never see something like this happen on the right. They are too disciplined. Some Democrats need a little of that, too. This Romero guy should be persona non grata in the NM dem party after this. But he probably won't be.

      "Well, you've got to understand, they're Republicans. They're just doing what comes natural." -John Dingell

      by happy camper on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 06:31:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Apparently, they do. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoenix Woman, peace voter, JaciCee

      And it depends on the percentages as to whether there is one.  

      You're certainly right that it's a stupid system.  Time for the obligatory rant that we need INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING!  The argument that people are too stupid to vote in such an arrangement is overridden by the stupidity of the current process.

      I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

      by tle on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 06:58:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Instant runoff voting SUCKS! (0+ / 0-)

        This race was "nonpartisan." THERE is the problem. A proper partisan primary would have eliminated the weaker candidate and strengthened the party's ability to select a representative candidate.

        IRV is a moonbat cult gimmick that poses a serious threat to a strong, effective Democratic Party. It should be resisted and extirpated at every opportunity.

        "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

        by Ivan on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 07:22:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow. (0+ / 0-)

          Way to engage in reasoned discourse.  So what is it about IRV that triggers your frothing-at-the-mouth response?  

          I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

          by tle on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 07:38:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Read what I wrote, OK? (0+ / 0-)

            Before you sling around expressions like "frothing at the mouth." IRV weakens the Democratic Party's ability to vet and nominate the best available candidate. It encourages "spoilers" and "stealth candidates" who are responsible only to their narrow constituencies or splinter groups.

            In multi-candidate races, it forces voters to "rank" candidates they might not know anything about.

            It's a moonbat cult gimmick, promoted by Greens and Libertarians, and "outs" who resent the "ins." It's a back door to well-funded conservatives, especially where races are "nonpartisan." It's a sure prescription for the worst kind of electoral mischief.

            IRV gets you officeholders like Dale Washam, who couldn't have been elected, or even nominated, without it. You can stick it where the sun don't shine.

            Voters in Pierce County, WA, were gulled into adopting IRV as a self-described "progressive" measure a couple years ago. Now that they have Washam, there's a measure on the ballot this November, Proposition 3, to throw it out again. Let's hope it succeeds.

            "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

            by Ivan on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 08:10:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, I read it. (0+ / 0-)

              And using the phrase "moonbat cult gimmick" definitely qualifies as frothing at the mouth.  I'm not convinced by your logic, either.

              You can keep your Tweedledum-Tweedledee system.  I'll continue to call for IRV.  And until then, I'll be hoping for more Democratic primary challengers to help dump the corporaticians.

              I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

              by tle on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 08:35:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Moonbat cult gimmick (0+ / 0-)

                is the sound bite that will beat it.

                "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

                by Ivan on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 09:01:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Lets hope HCR gets done before VA, NJ elections (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalNM, JaciCee

    because I worry that what happened in NM will become a trend line.  If we had pushed single payer as the point of HCR, we wouldn't be having these problems.

    Keeping an open mind is good unless your brains spill out. Bertrand Russell

    by catchnrelease on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 06:02:21 AM PDT

  •  This is coming up in the TX gubernatorial race. (6+ / 0-)

    Perennial fucktard/spoiler Kinky Friedman is running as a Democrat this time, and you can expect him to go Indie if when he loses the primary. He ran as a Repub in the last race, siphoning off the votes of the young, stupid, and/or whimsical.

    neca politicos omnes; deus suos agnoscet.

    by khereva on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 06:11:11 AM PDT

  •  Sad to hear (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter, JaciCee

    But as a end-all and be-all statement:

    Democrats fighting Democrats is bad politics.  It is also really stupid.

    I don't know if I can agree. I don't know Chavez, or why he pissed off progressive (your link is only to his website).

    But just because there may be some missteps and growing pains, and even the occasional disaster, on the road to better Democrats doesn't mean we should never fight among ourselves.

    Unless we want to resign ourselves to a party full of Blanche Lincolns and Kent Conrads.

    Because it will always be the progressives that have to fight.

    "Yes we cane!"--Sue Sylvester, Glee

    by Scott Wooledge on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 06:18:08 AM PDT

  •  Martin Chavez (10+ / 0-)

    I swear, that guy's never been anything but trouble.  He's had to abandon any ambitions for statewide office, because people outside Albuquerque don't like him.  Even la gente:  He doesn't speak Spanish (IIRC), but even more importantly, he's so tightly linked to urban developers that people in the rest of the state don't trust him not to do a water grab for said developers.  And then, pushing that commuter highway through the Petroglyph National Monument didn't win him any friends amongst Native Americans either.

    Isn't that the same Romero who failed in a challenge against Heather Wilson for Congress in NM-01 a few years back?

    Grab all the joy you can. (exmearden, 8/30/09)

    by Land of Enchantment on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 06:20:55 AM PDT

  •  Rule Zero of Reporting Elections (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, valion, rja

    Report the Vote Totals First

    RICHARD BERRY 36,466 44%
    MARTIN CHAVEZ (Inc.) 29,140 35%
    RICHARD ROMERO 17,458 21%

    You may then activate Rule One:

    Having told people what happened, explain what the totals mean, especially if it is not simple 'plurality wins'.  I gather that to win you must get more votes than any one else, and at least 40% of the vote.

    You may then activate Rule Two:

    Tell us who they are (not what you think of them) -- one sentence will do:
        Berry -- Conservative Republican?
        Chavez -- unpopular Democratic incumbent?
        Romero -- progressive Democratic insurgent who did not do well on the stump?

    Only now should you activate Rule Three:

    Enter cheer or rant mode as appropriate.

    For Presidential elections you can skip rule one.

    Now I am going to be mean: In order for Berry to have lost with a Romero withdrawal, the Romero votes had to split almost 3:1 in favor of Chavez.  That's a huge and radical split. Do you have polling data supporting that?  How many of those people were conservative Republicans who disliked Chavez and figured that Romero was the better bet than Berry to win?

    Remember, when LBJ lost his first primary in '64, there was reasonable polling data indicating that a large chunk of the people who voted for his opponent thought (quite erroneously) that his progressive Democratic primary opponent had promised to drastically escalate the War in Vietnam.

  •  IRV - another example of why (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, peace voter, JaciCee

    instant runoff voting needs to be adopted nationwide.

    •  Not on my watch, it won't be (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's a handout to the Greens and Libertarians. The problem with this race was its "nonpartisan" nature. A proper party primary would have eliminated the weaker candidate.

      "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

      by Ivan on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 07:25:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Spud1, JaciCee

        lots of municipal offices are non-partisan - all around the country.

        Albuquerque would most likely not be looking at an ultra reactionary ideologue gaining power if those who had voted for Romero had been able to select Chavez as their second choice.

        Let me get this oppose instant runoff voting because it's a "handout to the Greens and Libertarians".  Do you think that more Dems would vote Green if they knew it wouldn't result in a lost vote?  


      •  I disagree, and provide two more examples. (0+ / 0-)

        The GOP and Dems put forth the same argument you do - that it will allow 3rd parties to gain a foothold. This is true to a certain degree, but it also means that perhaps the major party candidates are not in line with the electorate.

        In any case, here in Maine, in last summers Senate race, Tom Allen ran against Susan Collins. There was a 3rd party candidate, one to the left of Allen, especially regarding health care and Iraq and Afghanistan. The Allen camp did everything in its power to keep Hoffmann off the ballot - challenging the 4,000 signatures he needed to just get on.

        This created horrible publicity for Allen, and to what end? Hoffmann would never have won, and how many of those folks voting for Hoffmann would pick Collins as their second choice?

        In 2006, the GOP had a three-way primary to choose a candidate for governor. The two moderates split the vote allowing the ultra right candidate to win, who later lost to Dem Gov. Baldacci (not by much). Had the GOP used IRV, they would have put a better candidate on the ballot in the general election.

        IRV hurts both major parties much more than it hurts them.

  •  Thanks Marty Chavez. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaciCee, CherryTheTart

    You're a real jerk.

    I have written an incredible book and YOU should buy it!

    by environmentalist on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 07:02:07 AM PDT

  •  this is really hard to hear (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter, JaciCee

    ABQ is a wonderful city.

    Dennis Kucinich was right.

    by lisastar on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 07:33:00 AM PDT

  •  What the fuck is wrong with the dem party? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's up to the party to field candidates....A was settled going in that the dems would not win...this is some kind of surprise?

  •  I guess in the next election ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peace voter, JaciCee, SilentBrook

    Albuquerque needs to take a left turn.

    •  They were making a left turn (0+ / 0-)

      but got caught on the fork in the road.

      We don't have to invade Iraq to find terrorists. They're right here killing abortion doctors. - Dr. Warren Hern

      by JaciCee on Wed Oct 07, 2009 at 09:21:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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