This week's SFR has the

of how Santa Fe Mayor David Coss wound up praising a

dead Soviet general

who took control of Azerbaijan after a military coup.

Readers may remember that this is not the first time Coss' office has

without doing its homework. 


This latest incident shows how easy it is to get an elected official to

sign pretty much anything

--even a proclamation of support for an


of arbitrary detention, torture and


In the following email chain, City Councilor Chris Calvert, Mayor David Coss and his assistant demonstrate that they have no problem

in an official proclamation. (Click the images to enlarge.)

"Proclamations need to be composed by sender," Coss' assistant, Marge Sandoval, writes.

"Does the attached work?" the Azerbaijani government lobbyist asks.

As Elmar Chakhtakhtinski of Azerbaijani-Americans for Democracy writes in an email to SFR, the lobbyists' proposed proclamation contains historical innacuracies:

Note that in its request the Tool Shed group provides the mayor’s office with false information about Heydar Aliyev, indicating that: - he “was the first president of the post-Soviet modern Azerbaijan” (when in reality he was only the third president of modern independent Azerbaijan) - and that he “extricated Azerbaijan from the Soviet Union” (while in reality Azerbaijan was independent for two years since 1991, officially recognized by the UN and major world powers, and completely free of Russian/ Soviet troops before Heydar Aliyev, a former KGB general and one of the top Soviet officials, came to power in a military coup in 1993).

All of which is

with a little bit of Googling.

In fairness to Coss and Calvert, Chakhtakhtinski is

of sorts. Nevertheless, in a follow-up email to SFR, he takes issue with my characterization of AZAD as an opposition group and himself as an opposition leader, although his

 and activities do place him in a state of

to the current government of Azerbaijan:

Meanwhile, a commenter at

has this to offer:

Oh--so he's sort of like