Tuesday, January 31, 2006

State of the Union 2006

I know I said in my last post that I would talk about the D.W.I. Ordinance and I will soon. In the meantime enjoy President Bush's 2006 State of the Union speech. I hope most of my readers have high speed internet so you can enjoy these videos. If it is too jerky hit pause until it downloads about half way then push play again.

D.W.I. Forfeiture Ordinance

As I stated on the New Mexican Website Comments Section here is the link where you can read the proposed D.W.I. Forfeiture Ordinance for Santa Fe County. I will speak more about this in my next post. Sorry, the format needs some fixing but its not too bad.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Political Protests

As both a political observer and an active participant I often study how other politicians, political pundits, and activists view and live in the world of politics. I ran across this video and it made me think about protest songs of the 60's and songs of our generation. It also made me think about how protests and attacks differ from generations past up to now.

As we compare the lyrics of "when the president talks to god" and other bush bashing songs to the lyrics of the 60's you can really see the differences in the way change is sought out in our political system. In the 60's there were lyrics like:

And its 1 2 3 what are we fighting for?
Don't ask me I don't give damn!
Next stop is Viet Nam.
And it's 5 6 7 open up them pearly gates.
There aint no time to wonder why
Whoopee! We're all gonna die.

There were also songs like "One Tin Soldier" and "Where have all the flowers gone?" The ideas were that flower power, thinking with your hearts, and longing for peace were all that we needed to achieve a perfect world. Today's political songs for change are characterized by personal attacks on the president. Prior to the 2004 election an album entitled "Rock Against Bush," a collection of rebellious punk rock songs including ones from mainstream acts like Sum 41, offspring, and the Ataris was released.

These were countered by pro bush songs like "Have You Forgotten?" a call to arms in the Iraq war:

I hear people saying we don't need this war
I say there's some things worth fighting for
What about our freedom and this piece of ground?
We didn't get to keep 'em by backing down.

And who can forget Toby Kieth's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)," which asserts:

Justice will be served
And the battle will rage
This big dog will fight when you rattle his cage
And you'll be sorry that you messed with the U.S. of A.
Cause we'll put a boot in your ass
It's the American Way.

The political attack songs probrably reached a peak during the Clinton years when Rush Limbaugh used political satire to lambast President Clinton and other Democrats. I will never forget "all your money" sung to the tune of the beatles (all my lovin). Even though I am a diehard Democrat I had to laugh at "The Philanderer" Sung by a Ted Kennedy sound alike to the tune of "The Wanderer." I also soon began to cringe when I realized that this was leading to increasingly personal attacks on politicians.

President Clinton made it easy to launch personal attacks with his personal indiscretions. President Bush has also made it real easy to launch personal attacks and even though his administration is a lame duck I don't see the attacks lightening up right up to his last day in office. For the most part the lower down the political ladder you go the less likely you will have a song either bashing you, supporting you or making fun of you. One local exception to that rule was former Mayor Debbie Jaramillo who was parodied on a local radio station with "wasting away again in Jaramilloville" sung to the tune of Margaritaville. I used to have a cassette of that song and wish I had not lost it. It was really a classic. So when will the pendulum swing the other way? Will Americans decide that at some point the personal attacks on our politicians have gone too far? Or will politicians just grow thicker and thicker skins? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What me? A politician?

I thought I would ramble on some more about politics today. I remember when I first decided to run for Sheriff. As a union leader at the City Police Department I often got into "discussions" with chiefs. Okay, maybe they were not so much discussions as they were heated arguments. Okay, maybe sometimes that was an understatement. Anyway, after those discussions I would march off, sometimes with a smug look on my face and sometimes with disgust or anger percolating from every pore in my body. As I left their office I often thought to myself, "If I were the chief I would do things differently." Now that I am on the dark side, (management), I have a lot more respect for many of the decisions those chiefs made. One day I was reading the morning paper after leaving the city police and going into private business. I read an article about the filing deadlines for county offices. I told my wife I wanted to run for Sheriff, and off I went to pay my $25 filing fee. I would get elected and run a department my way.

I started campaigning and one day someone called me a politician. Whoa, what was that you called me? A politician? I was running for a political office, I guess that made me a politician. It took me a while to get used to that reality. I think everyone who runs for office, especially local offices really don't start out thinking of themselves as a politician instead they want to effect change, or maybe they want to right something they thought was wrong or fix something in the system that didn't work right. Or maybe its not just a slogan and they really want to give back to the community or make things better for their children. But I really do not believe that anyone starts out for local offices saying to themselves, "I want to become a politician". It just happens, it is part of what happens when you run for an office.

If you are lucky enough to get what you wish, (be careful what you wish for I was told many times). Then you become a politician. Its an immediate occurrence. Some people don't realize immediately but it happens. There is something else that happens during the campaigning or shortly after the election. You grow a thick skin. You have to, its a survival mechanism. You will never make everyone happy and some days you don't make anyone happy. You will be called names. Lies will be told about you. Truths will be told about you in ways that become lies.

This is all really not that hard to deal with. Its what happens to your family and friends that is the hardest to deal with. They believe in you and support you and usually have the hardest time dealing with the things people say about you. You encourage them to grow thick skins also. But because they believe in you and you in them it all works out. It actually can become a growing experience for all of you if you take that attitude towards it all.

Getting back to the politician thing, I have come to the realization that yes I am a politician. It often makes me laugh when I see someone who has been in politics for some time trying to say they are not. Or when someone running for the first time says they are not a politician. That only works the first time. Once they are elected whether they admit it or not that is what they become. But why does that word evoke a bad connotation? Name your top ten people who have made a difference in the world you live in. I challenge you to do so in an honest way and not include politicians. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, all found themselves becoming politicians. Dr. Martin Luther King and others used politics and pushed for political answers to effect the changes they desired. Whether its the garbage from our homes, the street signs and speeders, the protection of our way of life or keeping our neighborhoods livable we elect politicians to handle these problems and we look to them when these things are not right. Sometimes we decide that we will roll up our sleeves and effect change ourselves. When we do that many times we become..........A Politician.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Comments now allowed on this blog.

I have decided to try allowing comments on this blog. I still reserve the right to reject or accept the comments submitted. Lets see how this works out.

Dr. Sex Graffiti Trial

The Dr. Sex Graffiti sentencing hearing came to an end yesterday. He was sentenced to six months' house arrest, will spend 10 months on probation afterward, serve 160 hours of community service, pay approximately $6,000 restitution for cleanup costs and receive anger counseling. All of this was in stark contrast to the defense attorneys and the states plea agreement to give Dr. Sex, whose real name is Karta Khalsa, a deferred sentence.

Just what is a deferred sentence? You are found guilty of the crime however if you get in no other trouble for a specified period of time the conviction is dropped from your record, It is like it never happened. Can you believe that? The man causes over six thousand dollars in damage in this case alone, not to mention the thousands if not hundreds of thousands of damage in cases he is suspected in across the state and if not for Judge Steven Pfeffer he would have basically walked in this case.

I commend our detectives who worked very hard on solving a case that very often goes unsolved. They were very upset when they learned of the plea deal and took it upon themselves to go and testify as to just how serious a graffiti tagger Mr. Karta is. Detectives are used to cases that they work hard on having plea deals made and the criminals getting away with little or no consequences. Many times they have no say in the matter. This time they made sure they were as least heard and I believe they were instrumental in Judge Pfeffer's decision to not just accept the plea agreement as is usually the norm in these types of cases.

Karta Khalsa will most likely strike again. He may change his name from Dr. Sex and he may revert to smaller graffiti acts not being as bold as the US 84-285 case but he still has not grown up.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mayoral Politics and Sign Wars

Looks like the information I received and posted on Saturday turned out to be correct. I mentioned that "a little birdie told me" that one of the mayoral candidates would drop out of the race on Tuesday January 17. Tuesday night I attended the Mayoral Forum at the Fraternal Order of Police on Airport Rd. It was put on by the City Police and Fire Unions and primarily focused on public safety issues. It was there that we found that candidate Jim Romero was missing and we soon learned he had dropped out of the race. The rest seem to be into the race for the long haul.

Also in in one of my last posts I mentioned campaign signs and the story of how I met some good friends. Campaign signs are the biggest source of frustration when running a political campaign. Many times the push to get a lot of signs out creates sign wars. These escalate into a push to put a sign near anyplace your opponent has one, or to outdo your opponents in the numbers of signs. For those who do not have name recognition signs can be an inexpensive way to get that name recognition. Media ads, newspapers, radio, TV, etc. are very, very expensive. One typical newspaper ad, which runs just one day, costs three to five hundred dollars and more.

I felt signs were an important part of my strategy during my second campaign for sheriff in 2002. I remember at one democratic rally in Pojoaque then candidate for governor Bill Richardson got up to speak right after I gave my speech. He looked over at his sign manager for the Santa Fe County area and proclaimed to the crowd, I want to know why this guy has more signs in Santa Fe County than I do! It was at that point that I knew we had been effective in getting our signs out.

As I mentioned earlier signs can also be a huge frustration. Signs are routinely thrown down, blown down, run over, vandalized and mysteriously disappear. Candidates and their supporters begin to blame the other candidates and their supporters for the missing and damaged signs. After two campaigns and now being in the midst of my third I can say that most of the time its just the elements (wind, rain, etc) or people not related to the other candidates damaging or throwing down signs. The story I related in my earlier blog where kids were caught tearing down my signs is proof of that.

Sometimes people give you permission and then change their mind and take them down. And sometimes the City or County officials take them down when they are inadvertently or purposely placed on public right of way. I remember arguing with city officials over where the public right of way started and where private property lines were located on Rodeo and Zia roads which have large pieces of land between the sidewalks and the homes. The city discarded many of my signs before we agreed where we could place the signs. At a cost of $50 to $500 a piece you can see why candidates can get so upset over signs. So my little bit of advice for rookies to politics and sign wars:

1. Smile politely and replace the sign if disappears.

2. Do a good job of securing them because without fail a big wind will come
and take many signs away if don't.

3. When your supporters complain that other candidates people are taking
down or damaging your signs explain to them that these things happen and
its usually not your opponents. If you don't suppress their anger they could
get caught taking down opponents signs and that would really look bad on

4. Signs don't vote! Even I found myself forgetting this when caught up in the
heat of the race.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Long hard hours for Sheriff's Investigators

This is not the place to talk about Sheriff's Office cases but I do want to talk a little about dedication. As you all may know we have just had our second homicide in 3 days. Very unusual for Santa Fe County. As an example we had two homicides in all of 2005. Both homicides happened in the early evening between 7 and 8 pm. When you get something like this the detectives have been up all day then are called out to work on the homicide. Processing the crime scene, interviewing witnesses, locating possible suspects, and many other tasks must be completed immediately. In the case of the first homicide, the murder of Jean Sandoval, investigators worked up to 36 hours straight with no sleep. Investigators may surpass that time today with the Eric Baca murder.

These are long hard hours. On shows like C.S.I. evidence is collected in minutes and a suspect is found all within the hour. In real life it can take 12 -14 hours or longer to process a crime scene. In both these cases New Mexico State Police Crime Scene Investigators came out and assisted with the collection of evidence and put in the long hours right along side our deputies. All this evidence can take months to process. In the mean time detectives are solving crimes with their wits and good old fashioned investigative technique. Patrol deputies spend hours just standing at road blocks or around the perimeter of the crime scene making sure it is secure and nothing leaves or enters the scene that we don't know about. So I dedicate this post to the great deputies and investigators of the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office, The New Mexico State Police, and the thousands of Law Enforcement Officers just like them across the country who are putting in the extra long hours to make sure justice is done.

As a closing note a prayer for the families and loved ones of Jean Sandoval and Eric Baca. I want you to know that we are working hard to solve these cases and wont stop until we do.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Mayors race and making friends on the campaign trail.

We were very busy today making the political rounds in the city. The Mayors race is taking the limelight. I visited three of the mayoral candidates functions today, all were going on almost simultaneously. I have always been very interested in seeing the kinds of demograghics that are involved in each individuals campaign. There is usually a distinct difference in each of the candidates supporters and the most successful candidates have some cross sections involved in their supporters.

One of the candidates my wife and I visited today had primarily what I would call La Plebe, or in English it is the local Hispanics. The next candidate we visited had a crowd which consisted of primarily Anglo women however, of the three men who were there while we visited, one was the actor Brian Dennehy. I know he lives in Santa Fe however this is the first time I have seen him involved in local politics. He was sitting right at the entrance to the candidates headquarters wearing the candidates campaign button and politely speaking to all who introduced themselves to him.

I next ran into the campaign manager from the what many consider to be the lead candidate in the race. I have been to his campaign rallies as well and his primary supporters are the working middle class and the local activists. This campaign has impressed me with their oganization and grass roots politicking. This campaign uses emails, internet, mailouts, door to door, telephones, coffees, rallies and just about every other method of campaigning you can think of. His people seem to always be working, always be wearing buttons and bumper stickers. Its impressive but all the races are heating up and I am seeing increased efforts from everyone.

A little bird tells me someone may drop out of the mayors race on Tuesday. Tuesday is the last day to drop out of the race and not have your name show up on the ballot. This little tidbit could be just a hope and a prayer for the one who told me about it or who knows maybe it could turn out to come true. If you have ever thought about running for office make sure your family and you are ready for an all consuming process. The campaign consumes your life and the lives of your family and friends. If you really care and truly want to win just forget about anything else until election day. On the other hand you meet a lot of good people. I have made what I know will be life long friends with people whom I only met on the campaign trail.

I will never forget the first time I ran for Sheriff seven years ago a State Police Officer caught a teenager throwing down one of my campaign signs. The officer gave him a $100 littering citation and ordered the child to go and apologize to me. The kid and his father came to see me and apologize. The father, mother, and my wife and I became great friends and they worked their butts off along with many others to get me elected four years later. The same kid, now a college student at U.N.M. helped also. We always joke with him that it must be different to be out putting up signs instead of tearing them down.

Ok, I had finished todays post and then saw this and had to add it. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Death of C.O.P.S. program hurts nation.

I thought today I would ramble on about the death of the Clinton era C.O.P.S. Program. During President Clinton Administration he started an ambitious program to add 100,000 police officers to the streets of America. Thus was born the Community Oriented Policing Services Program. Grants were funded and training initiatives were put in place by the Federal Government and hundreds if not thousands of police departments and Sheriff's Offices across the nation received funding for additional officers. The greatest part of the program was that it funded the new officers during the first years after their hire. This is the most expensive time in an officers career for local governments to fund as we must fund salaries, pensions and benefits as well as equiptment, vehicles and their stint at the police academy. After two to four years the agency then took over the salary and benefits for the officers.

With the Bush administration the program immediately received massive cuts until now when the program is almost non existent. Departments such as New York Police who had expanded by 4000 police under the program ended up dropping 3000 of the police officers as funding dried up. But it was not just large urban areas who lost officers. Many agency's big and small lost officers in New Mexico. One of the hardest hit was Torrance County Sheriff's Office which lost 12 of its 23 deputies. In July 2004 the cops funding ended for Torrance County and the county was unable financially to fund the 12 positions so all were laid off. I can't imagine losing 50% of our Sheriff's Deputies. Our office took advantage by offering jobs to the Torrance County Deputies and we were lucky to hire four of the laid off deputies. Hiring and retaining officers is a challenge so Torrance Counties loss was our gain.

Santa Fe once had four deputies under the C.O.P.S. Program in the Sheriff Ray Sisneros era. When the time came for the county to take over funding on these positions they were cut from the budget. I have been told that the cuts were promulgated by a county commissioner who was upset after he was arrested. While I don't think anyone will officially give this as the reason for the cuts, several people involved in the county at the time have stated that this is so. The four deputies lost during this time have still yet to all be made up. In the first year of my administration I was successful in getting three of these positions placed back into the budget. Last year we concentrated on getting the deputies raises and did not ask for additional deputies. As we prepare the 2006/2007 budget we will look at the possibility of increasing the number of funded deputies.

The Bush cuts in law enforcement don't just stop at the C.O.P.S. program. Between the Iraq war and the massive increases in Homeland Security Funding many law enforcement grants are gone or cut dramatically. Another example is the Bullet Resistant Vests for officers (you are not supposed to call them bullet proof). This year we had to replace 50 vests because of recalls and those that had expired. Vests have a usable life of five years. The federal government which used to help fund vests for almost every Deputy gave us enough money for 10 vests. Vests cost between $500 and $1000 each. Training which used to be subsidized by federal grants is all but gone.

It really amazes me that for years and years the Republican Party ran as the "law enforcement party", they claimed to be better for law enforcement than the democrats. President Reagan (Republican) did a lot to support law enforcement, however no recent president has done more to combat crime and support law enforcement than President Clinton. Many of these types of funding are cyclical, when crime takes a turn for the worst the federal government will wake up and throw money at the problem. The only problem with this cyclical way of funding is that each time the crime wave comes it is more costly to recover from the years of neglect. The best way is to have a consistent funding of public safety that allows programs to continue and make a difference.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Things heat up on the way to the roundhouse.

Everyone is getting ready for the legislative session. Most meetings I attend seem to have some reference to the session. I met today with immigrant rights groups who are very concerned that the governors office is proposing to fingerprint immigrants as part of the procedure to obtain drivers licenses. I found myself very concerned about this mainly because I wondered if this would be a precursor to the fingerprinting of all citizens in order to obtain a drivers license. Many other states are considering or have passed laws to begin fingerprinting and digitizing the prints as part of the requirements for obtaining drivers licenses. Some airports are setting up programs for Iris and/or fingerprints identification to speed up getting through security. Frequent travelers in Orlando have paid $80 to get their fingerprints and Iris scans done in order to speed up their access through airport security.

The Immigrant groups are under the impression that the New Mexico proposal will only include Immigrants, whether legal or illegal, in the program to fingerprint during the drivers license application process. They tell me they have tried to meet with the governors office but have yet to be successful. I was in support of the issuing of drivers license to immigrants primarily because it allowed us to have a valid Identification to look at when encountering them on traffic stops and similar situations. It also allowed them to get insurance on their vehicles which was very uncommon prior to their being able to obtain drivers licenses. I wonder if this proposal is a way for New Mexico to try and meet the federal government half way in the federal governments recent attempts to ban drivers licenses being issued to undocumented immigrants.

I remember being taken aback the first time I went into a bank to cash a check and they asked me to provide a fingerprint. While on one hand I guess if someone was taking money from my checking account I would be very happy to have a suspects fingerprint. However, on the other hand it was still odd for me to give my fingerprint. Early laws were designed to protect someone from hurting someone else or from infringing upon the rights of others. From the time seatbelt laws and other similar laws ( designed to protect you from yourself) came about there seems to have been a shift in the primary focus of the creation of laws. Don't get me wrong, seatbelt laws have saved many, many lives. However, we must realize that each step we take on items like fingerprinting or iris being used as identification, the more this type of identification will become the norm. The trial balloons on these programs are testing Americans willingness to accept this as the norm.

As I was typing this post I am watching the television news and they had a story on a New Mexico proposal to require D.N.A. samples on all felony arrests regardless of conviction. My Bernallillo counterpart Sheriff Darren White (Republican) is promoting the idea based on his contention that that same sample could be used to find the accused innocent as well as guilty. Once again you would think that I as a law enforcement officer would be all for this. I don't know, right now we require consent or a search warrant for a procedure like this. Is saliva a personal property and is taking a sample of it without a warrant a taking of property? Is this unconstitutional? Sounds like questions for our friends the lawyers.

Monday, January 09, 2006

New Blog Template

Thanks to Julia Goldberg of Hip Hop Voter Project blog I learned the template I was using was not showing up well on some computers and/or browsers so after messing with it for over an hour I gave up and switched to a new template. Hopefully its looking good now. It you encounter problems please email me and let me know. My new Re-Election Campaign tile ad is on the Free New Mexican Web site as of today. Those of you who found this blog through that link to my campaign web site and then from there to here, Welcome. I hope to have similar ads on the Santa Fe Reporter and Journal Santa Fe web sites soon.

Book Signing with Michael McGarrity

Went yesterday to the book tour kickoff of Michael McGarrity's new book "Nothing but trouble" at Garcia Street Books. Michael McGarrity is a former Santa Fe County Sheriff's Deputy who writes the Kevin Kerney series of novels. Nothing but trouble is his 10th book in the series. I am looking forward to reading it. His novels always have interesting references to Santa Fe, New Mexico and its Law Enforcement Community. In "Serpents Gate" the author makes reference to the Sheriff's deputy's uniforms which he says they look something like valet parking uniforms. Its references like that which make the books fun to read. You can learn more about Michael McGarrity at his web site michaelmcgarrity.com. By the way the Sheriff's office is changing its uniforms and badge styles within the next five weeks. It will be a much more traditional look with the badge going from the Los Angeles Police type shield to the more traditional five point star. The uniform gets rid of the stripes on the pants and pocket embelishments and goes to a plain black pant and a simple grey shirt. Our hat is going to a more western style hat from the police type 7 point hat. It will be interesting to see if our new uniform gets mention in a future Michael Mcgarrity novel.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

My First Blog Post

Greg Solano
Well, after reading others blogs on a daily basis I have finally decided to start my own. Its funny how after reading other blogs for years that you feel like you actually know the person who writes them. In some ways as you read about their lives, interests and activities you start to feel as though you are stalking them or peeking into the window of thier lives. Maybe that's why I waited so long to start my own. I had to decide if I was ready to open the curtains and let others peek in.

If you don't know who Greg Solano is, let me introduce you.

I am , 42 years old was Born in Santa Fe N.M. In November 1963. Born to a Single Mother, Sylvia Solano. I attended Public School through High School at Santa Fe High and Santa Fe Vocational -Technical School. I was always interested in Computers and at a young age I built my first computer, a Heath Kit Sinclair Computer . I continued working on computers as a hobby and as a consultant.

Greg and Antoinett SolanoI was married on May 19, 1984 to Antoinette Mares. Shortly thereafter My Mother passed away in an automobile accident. I was age 21 and my new wife and I returned to my family home to care for my teenage Brother and two Sisters.

In 1985 my son Aaron (named after Elvis Aaron Presley) was born. My teenage siblings soon began coming of age and my brother moved out of the family home and went on to become a Police Officer, And later a Detective with the Santa Fe Police Department. He is now married to Nora (maiden name Romero), and has two beautiful daughters and a son. My sister Monica went to Highlands University and she has two beautiful daughters and is a successful Entrepreneur. Melissa whom Greg raised from age 13 went on to T.V.I. in Albuquerque N.M. And later became a full time mother of five beautiful children. As my siblings were growing up and out of the home I was hired on to the Santa Fe Police Department in 1988.

I soon graduated from the State of N.M. Law Enforcement Academy and within my first year on the job I was chosen to train new recruits. In my time on the job I was a highly decorated officer. I was twice nominated for the Officer of the year Award, and received 5 Exceptional Service Commendations including one presented by Mayor Jaramillo and the City Council. With a little over two years on the job I was promoted to Detective in the Juvenile Division of the City Police Dept. During this time Gangs were showing increasing presence in Santa Fe and across the nation. I was assigned to handle all Gang Related Cases in the Juvenile Division. Later in June of 1992 My second child a beautiful daughter named Sylvia (named after my Mother) was born.

I went on to become an expert on local Gangs and along with Sergeant Daniel Gonzales began teaching gang recognition and intervention classes to all officers in the City Police Department as well as State Police, and public school teachers and administration. I was also assigned as the Santa Fe Police Department representative for the New Mexico Street Gangs Task Force.
I was promoted to Sergeant with only 5 years of experience in the Santa Fe Police Department . At that time (age 29) I was one of the youngest sergeants in the Police Departments history. At the same time I had progressed from a 6 year Board Member to Vice President and later President of the Santa Fe Police Officers Association. During My Tenure as president I oversaw an election, which changed the association into the first recognized Public Employees Union in the City of Santa Fe. Thus making me the First President of a City Employees Union. During my time as president of the union and during the previous 6 years I served on the board of the Police Officers Association I fought hard for the rights and responsibilities of the union members. I also served on the Board of Directors of the Santa Fe Fraternal Order of Police for seven years progressing from a Board member, to Vice-President. While with the City Police Department I Attended over 200 hours of additional Police training as well as Police Management training.

In 1995 I left the Police Dept. to become an Entrepreneur. My wife and I owned the Turquoise Trail Mail Center Gifts and Videos on Highway 14 as well as an Advertising Specialty Business. During this time I made my first attempt at running for Sheriff in Santa Fe County in 1998. I ran in a tough Democratic Primary that included 3 other candidates who were more experienced in political campaigns. Although it was my first stab at political office I lost by only 939 votes in a race, which over 17,000 votes, were cast. I took many people by surprise garnering the endorsements of the Santa Fe New Mexican, The Santa Fe Reporter, and many Unions. Our Video store and Mail Center was closed a few years later when the building we leased a portion of, was sold and the lease was not renewed. I worked as a self-employed computer consultant as well as my wife and I managed Storage Properties for one of New Mexico's largest locally owned and operated Self Storage facilities.

In 2001 I began another campaign for Sheriff where I was victorious. I began office on Jan1, 2002 and have been Sheriff since. You can learn more about the Sheriff's Office at www.santafesheriff.com. In 2005 I began my Re-Election Campaign, You can learn more about that at www.solano4sheriff.com. I am a writer who mostly writes fiction both short stories and I am working on my first fiction novel. In December (what a great Christmas Present) I won second place in the Santa Fe Reporter Short Story Contest. My submission "From Baghdad to Santa Fe" is posted in the links section of my blog, located at the upper right hand column of my blog. So after all that boring past is in front of you all that puts us at today. A new year with a new blog and an election year at that.