Marty “Duck and Cover” Chavez

Back in June 2007, the Albuquerque Journal and local blogs reported that the City of Albuquerque’s claim that its red light camera program had reduced crashes at intersections was false. Who took the heat for the cooked books? APD spokesman John Walsh and Chief Ray Schultz.

Last week, the Journal (sub) reported that the City released false information about the number of animals euthanized and the number adopted in City animal facilities. Animal Welfare director, Jeanine Patterson had to step up and account for “bad formulas” used to generate the data. According to the Journal Patterson was hired after these bad formulas were created.

And just a couple of days prior to that revelation, the Journal reported that the Chavez’s boast of reducing carbon emissions was flat out wrong. Who took the bullet this time? Alfredo Santistevan, head of the city’s Environmental Health Department, whose “punishment” was a horizontal transfer to another city department.

In the wake of this egregious example of greenwashing, the Journal meekly
editorialized
, “The mayor needs to get his top people together and make sure they get the credibility message. Next time, the accountability should be more than a soft landing in another department.”

Three thoughts: First, the Journal’s Mayoral Editorial Protection Program is getting tired. It’s in a rut.

Second, speaking of ruts, a clear pattern has emerged. Chavez has a chronic problem with the truth – a major credibility deficit to match the looming deficit in the City budget.

And third, when there’s “good news”, Chavez’s PR posturing is relentless. But when bad things happen, his M.O. is to shove the nearest City Hall minion out front – and under the bus.

They call him
Marty the Duck
for good reason. He’s a master at quacking for credit, but at ducking for cover when there is responsibility to be shouldered.

POSTSCRIPT
Here’s one of the erroneous claims that the Journal discovered on the official “Albuquerque Green” website, which subsequently had to be deleted:

CLAIM
City government has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 67 percent since 2000.

REALITY
A new city study showed a more accurate number, 53 percent, but the old claim continued to be used– on the same Web site. Most of the reduction was in methane emissions in landfills, where the city has a program to burn methane.

Why is it not surprising that Chavez’s political operation still hasn’t gotten the message? His “Marty Chavez for U.S. Senate” website still maintains the bogus claim:

Chavez has cut the city’s green house emissions by 67% link

And note, the emissions reduction boast on Marty’s site exaggerates the already incorrect stat into applying to the community as a whole, not just city government.

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