The Weekly Sedition

Saturday, 10 October 2015

[ABQ Journal] ABQ mayor’s marijuana veto survives challenge

ABQ mayor’s marijuana veto survives challenge

By Dan McKay / Journal Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 at 7:26pm
Updated: Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 at 11:09pm

Mayor Richard Berry’s veto of a marijuana decriminalization bill withstood a challenge from Albuquerque city councilors on Wednesday.

Democrats on the City Council failed to persuade one of their Republican colleagues to change positions and join them in favor of a veto override.

But no one changed positions. The override attempt failed on a 5-4 vote along party lines.

It takes six of nine councilors to override a mayoral veto.

About a half-dozen speakers urged councilors to override the veto and enact the legislation – which called for making it a civil offense, not a criminal violation, under city law to possess an ounce or less of marijuana.

A companion bill sought to make marijuana a low priority for law enforcement.

Berry, a Republican, vetoed both proposals. He said they conflicted with state and federal law.

Councilors Isaac Benton and Rey Garduño, who co-sponsored the legislation, said cities have authority to set their own penalties for marijuana possession. That gives police officers discretion to cite people under either a local ordinance or under state law, they said.

Furthermore, the two argued, local voters already support reducing marijuana penalties.

“We don’t have to wait for the federal government or the state of New Mexico to tell us how to govern our own community, or respond to the voice of the community,” Benton said as he read a joint statement.

About 60 percent of Bernalillo County voters last year expressed support for decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana. That was in response to a nonbinding question on the general-election ballot.

None of the council’s four Republicans spoke about the veto Wednesday. But they’ve previously said they don’t view city government as the right venue for changing drug laws.

That didn’t stop people from trying to change their minds.

Mike Blessing of the Libertarian Party of New Mexico told councilors they were supporting organized crime if they refuse to change the law. Support for an override, however, means “you’re standing up for free markets,” Blessing said.

Other supporters said that a marijuana conviction can make it hard to find a job and that enforcement draws resources away from more-serious crimes.

“The war on drugs has been a terrible failure,” Garduño said. “We know this isn’t working.”

In New Mexico, marijuana use is legal only for medical purposes.

Supporting the override were Benton, Garduño, Ken Sanchez, Diane Gibson and Klarissa Peña, all Democrats.

Republicans Brad Winter, Dan Lewis, Trudy Jones and Don Harris voted “no.”


FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. City Council on 2015-10-07 5:00 PM – TWENTY-FIRST COUNCIL – FORTY-NINTH MEETING
  2. DPA Statement: Albuquerque Mayor Berry’s Veto of Marijuana Decriminalization Lags Behind History and the Public’s Will

NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 13.6
  2. Original article — http://abqjournal.com/656288/news/abq-mayors-marijuana-veto-stands.html
    Archived here — https://archive.is/3NWiF
  3. Reposted –
    1. Libertarian Party –
      1. New MexicoBlog / Facebook page / Facebook group
      2. Bernalillo County, New MexicoBlog / Facebook page / Facebook group
    2. Albuquerque Liberty Forum Facebook page
    3. New Mexico Libertarians Facebook group

Copyright © 2015 Libertarian Party of New Mexico, Libertarian Party of Bernalillo County, New Mexico and Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
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This blog entry created with KWrite.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

LPBC Press Release about BCSO “Buy-back” Events

LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF BERNALILLO COUNTY RESPONDS TO COUNTY-SPONSORED
GUN “BUYBACK” EVENTS OF FEBRUARY 9th AND 23rd, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (3/2/13)
Contact: Mike Blessing, County Chair – 505-249-1248
Alternate: Elizabeth Hanes, LPNM Press Secretary

[ALBUQUERQUE] – The Libertarian Party of Bernalillo County New Mexico (LPBC) strongly condemns the use of taxpayer money to conduct so-called “buybacks” of firearms in Bernalillo County. Such activities constitute a waste of tax dollars and do nothing to serve public safety.

“First, this wasn’t a buy-back event at all. The word ‘buy-back’ assumes that you originally owned the guns and are buying them back, when the truth is that the firearms purchased by BCSO weren’t owned by Bernalillo County in the first place,” said LPBC Chair Mike Blessing. “Second, this event was advertised and reported upon as some sort of ‘public service,’ in order to ‘get the guns off the streets.’ This is code-speak from the victim disarmament crowd for getting firearms away from private citizens, whom as ‘we all know,’ ‘can’t be trusted’ with any weapon more powerful than a plastic straw loaded with spitballs.”

At the event, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office reportedly confiscated 333 firearms, some of them assumed to be stolen property. Criminals turning in stolen weapons were subsequently compensated – no questions asked – using taxpayer dollars, thereby creating great incentive for these lawbreakers to target law-abiding gun owners for burglary.

“The LPBC decries this waste of taxpayer money, not only the $50,000 paid out to individuals surrendering firearms but also the wages of law enforcement officers conducting the event,” Blessing added. “The LPBC will continue to work to abolish this sort of nonsensical activity by our county officials.”

-30-

ABOUT THE LIBERTARIAN PARTIES OF NEW MEXICO AND BERNALILLO COUNTY

Established in 1972 by Margaret Mathers in Farmington, LPNM is the third-largest political party in the state. LPNM seeks to preserve personal liberty and freedom by opposing new or more restrictive laws, new or more expensive spending programs, and new or higher taxes. Guided by the Non-Aggression Principle, which opposes the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals, Libertarians promote peace, personal freedom, and unfettered capitalism.

The Libertarian Party of Bernalillo County was started in December 1997 as a county-level affiliate of the LPNM.

Official LPNM website: http://lpnm.us

Official LPBC website: http://lpbcnm.blogpsot.com


NOTES

  1. Original article
  2. Reposted –
    1. LPUSA / LPNM[LPNM-discuss] Yahoo! group
    2. Duke City Fix / Tea Party Nation

Copyright © 2013 Libertarian Party of New Mexico and Libertarian Party of Bernalillo County, New Mexico. All rights reserved.
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This blog entry created with Notepad++.

Friday, 1 March 2013

LPNM PR — City Oversteps Bounds in Attempting Minimum Wage Enforcement

CITY OVERSTEPS BOUNDS IN ATTEMPTING MINIMUM WAGE ENFORCEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (3/1/13)
Contact: Mike Blessing, State Chair
Alternate: Elizabeth Hanes, Press Secretary

[ALBUQUERQUE] – The Libertarian Party of New Mexico (LPNM) strongly condemns the decision by Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry and City Attorney David Tourek to pursue legal action against Route 66 Malt Shop regarding wages allegedly not paid to an employee under Albuquerque’s minimum wage law.

“It’s not the city’s job to enforce wage and hour law,” said LPNM State Chair Mike Blessing. “This responsibility falls to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions. In fact, the DWS website provides clear guidelines on how to file a claim. Why isn’t the city attorney directing the complaining employee to these proper resources?”

In various statements made to the media, Tourek has claimed the city flip-flopped on the issue of representing former employee Kevin O’Leary in an action against Route 66 Malt Shop because “no one was coming forward to help him.” Tourek had previously stated the city should not intervene in the dispute and that O’Leary’s only recourse was to “hire a private attorney.”

“The assertion that O’Leary – or any employee – with a wage and hour claim needs to ‘hire a private attorney’ in order to resolve the issue is patently false,” Blessing said. “First of all, the DWS provides a wage claim procedure specifically available to ‘any employee who cannot afford an attorney, and has not been paid his/her earned wages.’[i] Not only does DWS spell out on its website the exact procedure to be followed to make a wage claim, it provides a specific form for Albuquerque employees[ii]. Furthermore, any claimant can represent him– or herself pro se in an action against the employer in Metropolitan Court.”

Tourek claims the city’s decision to represent O’Leary is “an exception.”

“We can only ask ourselves why O’Leary should receive assistance from the powerful resources of the City Attorney’s office when so many other Albuquerque employees are denied such assistance,” Blessing said. “The bottom line is the city has no business intervening in a wage dispute, period, let alone doing so selectively – presumably based on the high-profile nature of the case.”

The LPNM opposes any mandatory minimum wage law as being contrary to the principles of free market economics.

-30-

ABOUT THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF NEW MEXICO

Established in 1971, LPNM is the third-largest political party in the state. LPNM seeks to preserve personal liberty and freedom by opposing new or more restrictive laws, new or more expensive spending programs, and new or higher taxes. Guided by the Non-Aggression Principle, which opposes the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals, Libertarians promote peace, personal freedom, and unfettered capitalism.

[i] http://www.dws.state.nm.us/Mobile/Business/Resources/WageClaimProcedures

[ii] http://www.dws.state.nm.us/Portals/0/DM/Business/Wage_Claim_Albuquerque.pdf


NOTES

  1. Original article

Copyright © 2013 Libertarian Party of New Mexico and Libertarian Party of Bernalillo County, New Mexico
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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Responding to the BCSO “Buy-Back”

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Responding to the BCSO “Buy-Back”
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2013 00:19:37
From: Mike Blessing
To: Tom Zdunek, Debbie O’Malley, Art De La Cruz, Maggie Hart Stebbins, Lonnie C. Talbert, Wayne A. Johnson, Dan Houston

Dear Commissioners, Mr. Zdunek:

Recently I was surfing the web and found the following:

BernCo Compass: Gun Buybacks, Strip Club Rules and Downtown Housing

Here’s the pertinent part:

Issue: Gun Buyback

The county conducted its first gun buyback day on Saturday, Feb. 9, in the North Valley. People who anonymously surrendered their firearms were compensated – no questions asked. If the weapons were stolen, they were to be returned to their rightful owners. Deputy County Manager Tom Swisstack said the program brought in 333 weapons, seven of which were assault rifles. The $50,000 put up by the county for purchasing the guns ran out within two hours.

Swisstack added that it’s the most successful buyback day in the state so far. He thanked Sheriff Dan Houston for doing an outstanding job, and Commissioner Debbie O’Malley for moving the program forward.

BernCo View

O’Malley thanked everyone for the compliments but said when she got to the North Valley Command Center on Saturday, she was surrounded by other gun traders in the parking lot. They waited outside harassing folks, she said, telling them they would buy the guns for more than the county was paying. She said she was surprised people could do that kind of gun trading in a parking lot without permits.

Swisstack assured that next time, the sheriff would block off the area around the substation. The next buyback day is Saturday, Feb. 23, at the South Area Command Center (2039 Isleta SW).

First, this wasn’t a buy-back event at all – the word “buy-back” assumes that you originally owned them and are buying them back, when the truth is that the firearms purchased by BCSO weren’t owned by Bernalillo County in the first place.

Second, this event was advertised and reported upon as some sort of “public service,” in order to “get the guns off the streets.” This is code-speak from the victim disarmament crowd for getting firearms away from private citizens, whom as “we all know,” “can’t be trusted” with any weapon more powerful than a plastic straw loaded with spitballs.

Third, the ONLY good thing about these “buy-back” events is that BCSO is apparently to return any firearms found to have been stolen back to their rightful owners.

Fourth, considering Tom Swisstack’s anti-Constitutional comments of ” . . . next time, the sheriff would block off the area around the substation,” perhaps it’s time that Bernalillo County picked out a new Deputy County Manager. As well as a new Sheriff if Dan Houston goes along with this.

It seems that I have until 1 May 2014 to gather sufficient signatures to recall Mr. Houston, and 1 May 2016 to do the same for Ms. O’Malley.

_______________________________________________________________________
Mike Blessing / Phone – 505-249-1248
State Chair, Libertarian Party of New Mexico – http://lpnm.us

Who owns you? Who runs your life? Who should – you or someone else?
Freedom is the answer – what’s the question?

“If you wanna live long on your own terms
You gotta be willing to crash and burn”
– Motley Crue, “Primal Scream”


Copyright © 2013 Libertarian Party of New Mexico, Libertarian Party of Bernalillo County, New Mexico and Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with Notepad++.