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Group behind Tim Keller attack ad revealed

Brittany Costello
September 22, 2017 10:44 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The fight to become Albuquerque mayor is starting to get ugly. A recent attack ad claims the leading candidate, Tim Keller, is not only soft on crime but soft on some of the most disgusting criminals -- child sex offenders.

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"Tim Keller chose protecting sex offenders over our children." That’s how an attack ad on mayoral candidate Tim Keller begins. It makes the message behind the ad clear. "Tim Keller wanted to make Albuquerque a safe haven to attract child molesters from around the nation," it goes on to say.

Using a bill brought to the legislature back in 2011, the "Make Albuquerque Safe" committee says then-Sen. Tim Keller voted to pass a bill that would prohibit governments from requiring specific housing restrictions for sex offenders.

An ad Tim Keller’s campaign said is false and misleading. But despite the recent endorsement from the Albuquerque Police Officers Association, the committee spent more than $50,000 to oppose Keller's so-called "soft-on-crime” stance.

So who are the big money backers for this committee?

According to the campaign finance report, Veteo Properties LLC and Western Albuquerque Land Holding LLC both gave $30,000.

The man behind one of the contributions is Jeff Garrett. He is the president of Garrett Development Corporation, the business behind the development of Santolina. It's a proposed nearly 14,000-acre master planned community on Albuquerque’s west side.

Keller's campaign manager released a statement in response to the ad.  It read in part, "Arizona developer Garrett has millions on the line and will lose big without friends in city hall."

What does that mean?  According to a guest column in the Albuquerque Journal, authors Steve Fischmann and Kent Salazar say "Tim Keller has a public record opposing government subsidies for the Santolina project."

Garrett released a statement saying they got involved after meeting with Keller and decided that "he is not someone that will seriously address the major issues facing Albuquerque.”

Garrett said he personally met with all four top mayoral candidates before making a decision to oppose Keller.

Keller said he's done a lot of work for tough sex offender laws. He notes his work in trying to tackle the massive rape kit backlog.

Credits

Brittany Costello

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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