ABQ Free Press among first news media outlets to endorse Hillary Clinton

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April 20, 2015 -- Albuquerque alternative newspaper cites Hillary Clinton's commitment to purge "unaccountable money" from U.S. politics as a reason for endorsing her more than 19 months ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

"There is nothing more pernicious, nothing more corrupting, than the tsunami of secret cash flooding each election cycle"

ABQ Free Press, an alternative 50,000-circulation free newspaper in Albuquerque, N.M., has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, the newspaper announced.

The paper’s publishers cited Clinton’s goal of reining in the influence of unaccountable money in politics “even if it takes a constitutional amendment,” as a central reason for their endorsement.

“There is nothing more pernicious, nothing more corrupting, than the tsunami of secret cash flooding each election cycle,” said Will Ferguson, co-publisher of the newspaper.

“This nation faces so many problems – the rise of radical Islamic terrorism, a herky-jerky economy, environmental degradation, growing racial and income inequity – but the fundamentally corrupt political system bought and paid for by corporate wealth and the wealth of an elite few must be fixed first,” Ferguson said.

“We need to get the rot out of elections, so that candidates are elected by people they represent rather than by the highest bidders,” Ferguson said.

“If the corrupting influence of unaccountable campaign money unleashed by the current Supreme Court isn’t addressed in the next four years, I fear that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights won’t be worth the parchment they’re written on,” Ferguson said.

The Albuquerque alternative newspaper’s endorsement is likely Clinton’s first media endorsement in the 2016 campaign, according to campaign officials.

The decision to endorse Clinton less than a week after she announced her candidacy was made jointly by Ferguson and his co-publisher, Dan Vukelich, a career journalist who oversees daily operations of ABQ Free Press.

“There’s no doubt that endorsing a candidate so early in the campaign is unprecedented, but there is zero likelihood any candidate on the GOP side will bite the hand that feeds them, so we saw little upside in waiting,” Vukelich said.

“Clinton had the guts to make fixing money in politics a pillar of her campaign,” Vukelich said. “I don’t think Americans have realized just how great a leap she has made by making such a strong pronouncement so early.”

Ferguson and Vukelich said Clinton’s world view – gained from experience as secretary of state, as a U.S. senator and as a trusted presidential advisor and first lady during Bill Clinton’s two terms as president – put her head and shoulders above the announced Republican candidates, who likely will spend the next half year catering to their far-right political bases.

“There are always going to be Clinton haters, but that being said, Hillary Clinton stands out as someone who could bring the moderates of both parties and independents together, rather than staking out extreme positions that will drive Americans further apart,” Vukelich said.

ABQ Free Press started publication in April 2014 as an alternative to New Mexico’s existing news outlets. It focuses on investigation, analysis and arts and entertainment. It is distributed at 550 locations in the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area, plus Santa Fe, Belen and Los Lunas, N.M.

ABQ Free Press is operated by Great Noggins LLC. Ferguson is managing partner of Will Ferguson & Associates, New Mexico’s largest personal injury law firm, which opened in 1983.

Vukelich is a journalist who has worked at newspapers in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Washington, D.C., and Chicago since the late 1970s. In 1992, while with The Albuquerque Tribune, he won an Inesvtigative Reporters and Editors award for a year-long investigation into conflicts of interest and the influence of money at the New Mexico Legislature and multiple investigative reporting awards from the New Mexico Press Association and Associated Press Managing Editors association.

For more information on ABQ Free Press, please visit http://www.freeabq.com or call (505) 345-4080.

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Daniel Vukelich
ABQ Free Press
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