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Pearce urges rejection of sick leave ordinance

FILE – In this Feb. 11, 2014, file photo. House Financial Services Committee member Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., listens on Capitol Hill in Washington. New Mexico’s only Republican in its congressional delegation has not scheduled any traditional town hall meetings amid angry scenes nationally. Pearce is asking constituents to sign up for a “telephone town hall” on Wednesday, Feb. 15, as activists vow to attend GOP congressmen’s town halls across the country. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce is jumping into the sick leave ordinance fray, urging Albuquerque voters to reject the proposed Healthy Workforce Ordinance on Oct. 3.

“We should be looking for ways to move our economy forward, not imposing obstacles that hurt our workers and small businesses,” Pearce said in a news release Friday. “The so-called ‘Healthy Workforce’ ordinance will crush Albuquerque small businesses under a mountain of new paperwork and leave them under the constant threat of lawsuits. The ordinance sounds well-intentioned, but it will lead to lower wages, fewer jobs, and reduced benefits for workers.”

If approved by voters, the ordinance would require employers to offer employees paid sick time off. It would apply to full-time, part-time and temporary workers at any business with a physical presence in Albuquerque.

Supporters dispute that the ordinance would hurt businesses and argue that the ordinance would ensure that workers don’t have to choose between their paychecks and caring for themselves or a loved one.

Healthy Workforce ABQ, the political action committee pushing for the sick leave measure, issued a statement blasting Pearce late Friday night.

“Albuquerque voters know that our city will only become stronger and healthier when every hard-working family in Albuquerque can earn paid sick days,” the group said. “Representative Pearce doesn’t serve the hard-working families of southern New Mexico. Pearce’s words have no interest in Albuquerque, only in the interests of his well-connected cronies in Washington.”

Johnson files second complaint: Bernalillo County Commissioner and mayoral hopeful Wayne Johnson said he has filed a second ethics complaint, this time alleging that State Auditor Tim Keller, who is the only publicly financed mayoral candidate, is coordinating with a political action committee that formed to support him. Such coordination would violate election rules.

Keller has denied that his campaign is coordinating with ABQ Forward Together, the committee supporting him. The committee is run by a former Keller campaign manager.

“This is a completely false accusation and another 11th hour, last-minute cheap shot directly from our opponent, in an attempt to distract from his own ethics violations for taking money from city contractors,” the Keller campaign said in a statement.

Johnson, in his release, points to expenditures to the same vendor “on the same day” as proof that the campaign and committee are coordinating.

Candidate’s signs stolen: Mayoral candidate Michelle Garcia Holmes said some of her campaign signs were stolen and spray painted.

“It’s a shame when your signs go missing or get vandalized,” she said. “My campaign funding has come from in-kind and small donations from our community, and we are so disappointed this is happening.”

She warned that her volunteers “are keeping an eye on all our signs.”

Martin Salazar:


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