Berry’s Links to McCleskey, Martinez House of Cards Must Be Investigated

As the FBI continues to investigate New Mexico political operative Jay McCleskey for possible criminal wrongdoing, Albuquerque residents deserve another investigation – this one by the media – into the extensive connections between Mayor Richard Berry, Jay McCleskey and many other familiar faces in the Martinez Administration’s house of cards.

“Mayor Berry needs to come clean about his own connections to the Martinez house of cards,” said Democratic Party of New Mexico executive director Joe Kabourek. “Jay McCleskey called the shots in Mayor Berry’s campaigns; McCleskey’s wife handled the polling; and the revolving door between City Hall and Santa Fe is spinning out of control. What is the real story behind the close relationship between the mayor, the governor and all of the scandals unfolding in our state?”

The Democratic Party of New Mexico cited a long list of connections, first reported on New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan, that warrant investigation:

  • McCleskey – who is under federal investigation for his mishandling of political fundraising operations — is the top political strategist for the mayor and the governor;
  • Nicole McCleskey’s Public Opinion Strategies is used by both the mayor and the governor;
    Chris Sanchez provided spin for both the mayor and the governor during their re-elections;
  • Melissa Sousa ran both the mayor’s and the governor’s campaigns;
  • Albuquerque Chief of Police Gordon Eden is the former Public Safety Officer for Gov. Martinez;
  • And Amy Bailey, who is thought by many to in line to succeed now-disgraced Secretary of State Dianna Duran, was City Clerk under Mayor Berry.

“The list goes on and on,” said Kabourek. “With all of the connections between Mayor Berry and the scandals of the Martinez Administration, Albuquerque residents deserve a fair and independent investigation to determine whether City Hall is just another part of the Martinez house of cards.”

The Democratic Party of New Mexico also cited the mayor’s rose-colored perception of the crime and unemployment numbers plaguing the city as another similarity between Mayor Berry and Gov. Martinez.

“Even as the house of cards is falling in Santa Fe, Gov. Martinez continues to do nothing to create jobs or strengthen the economy, and New Mexico has the worst unemployment numbers in the country,” Kabourek said. “In his recent state of the city address, Mayor Berry took the same approach, telling Albuquerque residents that their streets are safer and the economy is better, even as families are scared for their safety and struggling to make ends meet. The crime statistics that Mayor Berry cited weren’t even accurate. Is this the type of political advice that Jay McCleskey is giving Mayor Berry, to try to mislead the people of Albuquerque? New Mexicans have had enough double talk from the Mayor and the Governor.”