Signs of rise in racism against Asians and Asian-Americans

People in the Asian community in Albuquerque say they have seen a rise in discrimination since the outbreak of COVID-19. According to Torri A. Jacobus, managing assistant city attorney for the City of Albuquerque Legal Department Office of Civil Rights, there has not been an increase in reported discrimination against Asians or Asian Americans since the public health emergency response to COVID-19 began. But Kay Bounkeua, executive director of New Mexico Asian Family Center, said that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Jacobus said through a written statement that the department is aware of a couple of incidents, one that happened to a student at the University of New Mexico and one that happened to an Albuquerque small business owner. Members of the Asian and Asian-American community met with Albuquerque’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, other officials and law enforcement to discuss what happened earlier this week. 

The student was the subject of a racist prank, according to KOB-TV.

Poll: Lujan Grisham leads Pearce

A new poll shows Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham has a double-digit lead in the gubernatorial election. The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA for KOB-TV, found Lujan Grisham led Republican nominee Steve Pearce 51 percent to 38 percent, with 3 percent backing Libertarian candidate Bob Walsh. The poll asked likely voters who they would vote for if the election were held today. Lujan Grisham leads both among women—55 percent to 36 percent over Pearce—and men—47 percent to 30 percent over Pearce. The poll shows Walsh with the support of 5 percent of men and 2 percent of women.

Candidates question value of Mayor Berry’s ‘groundbreaking’ ABQ crime report

The “groundbreaking research” Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry commissioned on crime — the city’s No. 1 issue — may sit on a shelf unused when his successor takes office Dec. 1. Why? The two candidates headed for a mayoral runoff election next month, two-term Republican city councilor Dan Lewis and Democratic state Auditor Tim Keller, said the information about crime concentration likely won’t guide their crime-fighting plans if elected.

Money out, Money in: Candidates return money to city contractors, then their owners give

Albuquerque bans contributions to candidates for elective office from businesses or individuals who make money from city contracts, but that doesn’t prevent owners of those companies from giving to candidates in a different way. The practice is on stark display in a recent campaign report filed by mayoral candidate Brian Colón, who returned contributions from several companies with city contracts on September 12 and then accepted contributions from the owners of those companies about a week later. This story originally appeared on the New Mexico In Depth website and is reprinted with permission. Owners are allowed to give as individuals or through other companies they own. In his report filed September 22, Colón showed he had returned contributions from contractors identified previously to him by KOB Channel 4, reported by KOB on September 19.

Polls show ABQ mayoral race that could be headed towards runoff

Two polls are out on Albuquerque’s mayoral race. And it looks like there will be a runoff, with State Auditor Tim Keller running in the lead. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, voters will then decide between the top two candidates in a November runoff election. The first round of voting takes place on October 3. A KRQE-TV poll released earlier this week showed 22 percent of registered voters would support Keller in next month’s mayoral election.

Gov injured knee during Utah ski trip

Gov. Susana Martinez injured herself while skiing in Utah this weekend. “On Sunday during some downtime, I hit the slopes and took a spill,” Martinez told NM Political Report in a statement. “I’m getting my knee checked out in the coming days. But all is well. I thought I was a pretty decent skier, but there aren’t too many slopes in southern New Mexico….”

DA: Allegations of police tampering with video warrant federal investigation

Kari Brandenburg, the outgoing Bernalillo County district attorney, said Monday a federal “criminal investigation is absolutely warranted” into allegations that Albuquerque Police Department employees have tampered with videos that show police shootings. Brandenburg said Monday in a telephone interview she is sending documentation detailing the allegations to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque. This story originally appeared at New Mexico In Depth and is reprinted with permission. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office would not say Monday whether the agency planned to open an inquiry based on the district attorney’s referral. But spokeswoman Elizabeth Martinez wrote in an email “the Justice Department takes seriously all referrals from state and local prosecutorial authorities.”

The allegations

Reynaldo Chavez, the police department’s former records supervisor, swore out an affidavit as part of an ongoing civil right rights lawsuit against APD in which he alleged that department employees had altered or deleted videos showing the events surrounding two controversial shootings by officers in 2014.

Trump to hold campaign rally in New Mexico this weekend

Donald Trump is coming back to New Mexico for a campaign rally, a week before Election Day. Trump will be in New Mexico Sunday to headline a campaign rally. The rally will be held at Atlantic Aviation, near the Albuquerque International Sunport according to Trump’s website. The doors will open at 4:00 p.m. for the 7:00 p.m. start time. Trump has a rally scheduled for Greeley, Colorado at 4:00 p.m. that same day.

Martinez won’t endorse after Rubio drops out

After the failure of her preferred candidate, New Mexico’s governor is staying neutral in presidential race for now. Susana Martinez endorsed Marco Rubio earlier this month. Less than two weeks later, the Florida Senator was blown out in his home state by businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump. After the big loss, Rubio dropped out of the race, ending a disappointing presidential race by winning just one state and two territories. In New Mexico, the attention turned to who Martinez would endorse.

Tempers flare during latest ART meeting

Tempers boiled over at the most recent meeting to discuss a bus rapid transit system slated to travel down Central. City Councilor Isaac Benton moderated the latest meeting of the Albuquerque Rapid Transit system, or ART, and clashed with some outspoken opponents of the proposal. Video was posted online by ABQ Free Press and as part of a news story by KOB-TV. Both are embedded below. The videos focus on one man, in a blue polo shirt and jeans, heckling Benton and then confronting him.