Do you think it's important news that former Mayor Richard Berry's administration probably violated federal rules and ignored the will of city voters by stealing money from general obligation bond projects to pay for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project? In other words, that Berry's administration might have pulled an illegal bait-and-switch to get money to pay for ART?
Do you think it's news that Berry was so desperate for a photo-op late last year with an ART bus that one of his flunkies apparently threatened the company making the buses with cancellation of the $23 million bus contract unless a bus was provided before Berry left office?
Do you think it's news that, under Berry, the program the city had to inspect the ART buses as they were being built in California was a joke in that the city's “inspectors” weren't trained to do the job and were all transit department volunteers?
Do you think it's important to know that the city commingles general obligation bond money and has no way to determine which bond projects were raided to pay for ART?
Of course, you do. And you know it's important news, because, well, you care about the truth and about holding politicians accountable to you, the taxpayers and their bosses.
Guess who doesn't think that all of the above stuff was news?
The pathetic Berry and ART apologists at the Albuquerque Journal.
My God, are they despicable.
The Journal's story this morning about the city inspector general's report on the ART project pretty much had nothing about all of the above things that were in the IG's report.
You would think that the city's violating the will of the voters by using bond money that was approved by voters for specific capital projects for the ART project would have been the lead of the story. Not so with the Berry apologists at the Journal. They buried any reference about the bait-and-switch with bond money way down in the story.
And rather than leading with potential violations of IRS regulations that the IG's report mention, the Journal led its story with the IG's recommendations about what the city should do ion the future.
That's sick, and that's not good reporting.
The Journal shouldn't even be called a newspaper. By going to bat for and apologizing for and protecting its pals and the status quo, the Journal basically craps on the rest of the community.
Two TV stations in town did a better job on the IG's report than the Journal did.
Real newspapers and real news organizations are supposed to report the news without fear and without favor. They're not supposed to play favorites or protect their pals. The Journal's pals are Berry, the NAIOP crowd and all the developers and engineering and architectural and construction companies that supported and made money off ART.
The Journal really is pathetic and awful.