Under the City of Albuquerque’s campaign finance laws, a Measure Finance Committee is a political action committee (PAC), person or group that supports or opposes a candidate or ballot measure within the City of Albuquerque. Measure Finance Committees are required to register with the City Clerk within five (5) days once they have raised or spent more than $250 towards their purpose.
Measure finance committees are not bound by the individual contribution limits and business bans like candidates. No Measure Finance Committee is supposed to coordinate their activities with the individual candidates running for office, but this is a very gray area as to what constitutes coordination of activities and it is difficult to enforce.
According to City Clerk records, 3 measured finance committees have been formed for the 2021 municipal election. Two are measured finance committees raising money, promoting and spending money on behalf of Manny Gonzales, one promoting Mayor Tim Keller. and one promoting fire fighter union interests.
On July 12, the two measured finance committees for Manny Gonzales and the one measured finance committee for Tim Keller filed the fourth Campaign Finance Reports for the time period of June 6 to July 5. Following is a summary report on donations and expenditures for all 3 measured finance committees.
GONZALES MEASURED FINANCE COMMITTEES
The two measured finance committees promoting Manny Gonzales for Mayor are SAVE OUR CITY and RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR A BETTER ALBUQUERQUE.
1. SAVE OUR CITY: $84,968.90 (Previous balance $58,774.17)
STATED PURPOSE: To address the serious crime and leadership problem in Albuquerque.
The Chairperson of “Save Our City” is Sam Vigil and the Treasurer is Republican State Representative Bill Rehm. Sam Vigil is the husband Jacquiline Vigil who was gun down in her car backing out of the family home driveway in the early morning hours as she was leaving for the gym. Republican New Mexico State Representative Bill Rehm, District 31, Bernalillo County, has been a State Representative since 2006. Rehm retired in 2000 from BCSO Sheriff’s office as Captain. Rehm is considered a reliable conservative supporter of law enforcement efforts in the New Mexico Legislature.
CASH BALANCE FROM LAST REPORT: $58, 774.17
TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS FOR PERIOD: $52,500.00
TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR PERIOD: $26,305.27
CLOSING BALANCE: $84,968.90
MAJOR CASH DONORS DURING 4TH REPORTING PERIOD
DAVID CHAVEZ, LAW OFFICE OF DAVID C. CHAVEZ
ALFREDO CORTAZAR, CORTAZAR LABORATORIES, HEALTH CARE PRODUCTS
JIM FLOYD INTERNATIONAL PROTECTIVE SERVICE INC., SECURITY SERVICES
$2,500 CASH DONORS
JOE DEE DENNIS, RETIRED.
SGREG TEMPLETON, SOUTHERN GLAZER’S WINE AND SPIRITS, BUSINESS/GROUP INFO., ALCOHOL SALES.
$2,000 CASH DONORS
DION P MALOY AND MARY BETH, MALOY STORAGE FACILITIES
RICHARD LUNA, CHAMPION TRUSS, INC, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES
$1,400 CASH DONORS
DALE AND GAIL ARMSTRONG,
DION P MALOY AND MARY BETH MALOY, MALOY STORAGE STORAGE FACILITIES
$1,000 CASH DONORS
ROY D BENSON, Automotive Industry MELLOY NISSAN
TY JUANA AND NEIL HISE 10, Real Estate Professional, SEMCO
KURSTIN JOHNSON Real Estate Professional VISTA ENCANTADA REALTORS, LLC
JOHN AND MARY MENICUCCI, Real Estate Professional, BERGER BRIGGS REAL ESTATE
JOHN THOMPSON, Business Owner SELF EMPLOYED
JOHN AND CINDY MECHENBIER REAL ESTATE, 5401 VENICE NE LLC
JIM B GUTHRIE, General Business SELF EMPLOYED
SERGIO BERMUDEZ, BERMUDEZ BROS LLC (PROPERTY MANAGEMENT ACCOUNT) PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
$700 CASH DONORS
MARK GARCIA 7463 SIDEWINDER DRIVE ALBUQUERQUE, NM 87113 OCCUPATION/EMPLOYER: Real Estate Professional SELF EMPLOYED ($750 donated)
AMELIA CREEL, General Business CREEL PROPERTIES
MICHAEL AND JANIE DANIELS, Real Estate Professional VISTA ENCANTADA REALTORS, LLC
PHILLIP HOUSER, General Business, SELF EMPLOYED
ELLA LEEPER Real Estate Professional CREEL PROPERTIES
MICHAEL LEACH Real Estate Professional SYCAMORE ASSOCIATES, LLC
$500 CASH DONORS
JERRY BECKER CLEANING SERVICES, STEAMATIC OF ALBUQUERQUE
JOHN AND JOAN CAMPBELL ($550 donated)
MARK TOBIASSEN, BUSINESS COACHING NM PURSUITS, INC, DBA ACTIONCOACH BUSINESS COACHING
JOE MENICUCCI, INSURANCE, DOWNEY & CO. BUSINESS/GROUP INFO:
DAVID OTOSKI, CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIES, MOUNTAIN STATES CONSTRUCTORS, INC
ROSS PERKAL, PEBBLES RANCHITOS, GENERAL BUSINESS
DAN MOWREY, AWNING AND UPHOLSTERY SALES
ANDREW AND AGATHA SANCHEZ, SELF EMPLOYED
HENRY SMITH, Construction/Engineering MOUNTAIN STATES CONSTRUCTION
T J MALOY, WATER JET CUTTING WATER JET CUTTING SERVICES
MICHAEL WILLIAMS, Construction/Engineering BUILDER’S SOURCE
ROBERT GUSTIN, SELF EMPLOYED
PAUL GESNER TAX PREPARATION, ACCUTAX, LLC
JOSEPH LUJAN, Insurance Industry HUB INTERNATIONAL
CLAUDIA S SHORT, Financial/Investment RBC WEALTH MANAGEMENT
KENYON AND KAYLEE BURNS, General Business BURNS RESOURCE LLC
ERIC WRAGE, Construction/Engineering BOHANNAN HUSTON, INC
IN KIND DONATIONS
DION P MALOY AND MARY BETH MALOY, PAT MALOY STORAGE FACILITIES: $850
JIM TRUMP, De Anza: $850
JIMMY DASKALOS Real Estate Professional SELF EMPLOYED $500
MAJOR EXPENDITURES BY SAVE OUR CITY FOR FOURTH REPORTING PERIOD:
JAMES HALLINAN CAMPAIGN CONSULTING AND STRATEGIES, PURPLE STRATEGIES, LLC P.O. $20,000
JAMES HALLINAN CAMPAIGN CONSULTING AND STRATEGIES, PURPLE STRATEGIES, LLC P.O. $1,120.72
GABRIELLE RAEL, Office and Administrative Occupations: $2,000
GABRIELLE RAEL, Office and Administrative Occupations: $1,800.00
MAJOR CASH DONORS FROM THIRD FINANCE REPORT
JIMMY DASKALOS, Real Estate Professional
BEN SPENCER, Real Estate Professional
DOUG PETERSON, Peterson Properties
CLIFF BARBERI, Advanced Tower Services
LINDA FRESQUEZ, Fresquez Concessions, Inc.
GARY ARCHULETA, National Distributing Company
KENNETH WELCH, Boiler Repairs and Service: $2,500.
CAROL BROWN, Retired: $2,500
JOE CRUZ, Occupation/Employer: Star Paving Company
CHRISTOPHER PACHECO, Pluma Construction
MICHAEL MONTOYA, Big M Plumbing
SERGIO BERMUDEZ, El Mesquite Market
MARC POWELL, NM Dealer Support Services
MARC POWELL, Independent Auto Dealers
MAJOR EXPENDITURES FROM THIRD FINANCE REPORT
GABRIELLE RAEL for Fundraising and Administrative Support: $3,600
BOBBI SHEARER, Full Compliance Consulting: $2,840.68
GABRIELLE RAEL for Fundraising and Administrative Support: $2,840
GABRIELLE RAEL for Fundraising and Administrative Support: $1,600
The link to the third 2021 Campaign Finance Report for SAVE OUR CITY is here:
2. RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR A BETTER ALBUQUERQUE: $10,550 Cash Balance
STATED PURPOSE: “Support Albuquerque mayoral candidate who will improve the quality of life for its citizens as well as oppose candidates that are detrimental to the future growth and safety of Albuquerque.”
The chairperson of the “Retired Law Enforcement for a Better Albuquerque is Jason Katz, a retired Chief Deputy of the Bernalillo County and the Treasurer is listed as Sistine Jaramillo. No background information could be located on Sistine Jaramillo.
CASH BALANCE FROM LAST REPORT: $10,550
TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIUTIONS FOR PERIOD: -0-
TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR PERIOD: -0-
CLOSING BALANCE: $10,550
LORI HENZ, SELF EMPLOYED, Retail Sales: $5,000
DEBRA BRINKLEY, employed by City of Albuquerque: $5,000
MAJOR EXPENDITURES: None reported
The link to the fourth 2021 Campaign Finance Report for RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR A BETTER ALBUQUERQUE is here:
KELLER MEASURED FINANCE COMMITTEE
As of April 26, one measured finance committees has been formed to support Mayor Tim Keller’s bid for a second 4 year term . The Measured finance committee is identified as “BUILD BACK ‘BURQUE”.
BUILD BACK ‘BURQUE”: $21,999.36 Cash Balance
STATED PURPOSE: “Support Mayor Tim Keller’s re-election to a second term for the city of Albuquerque”
The Chairperson for “Build Back ‘Burque” is Michelle Mayorga. According to the American Association of Political Consultants “Michelle Mayorga has spent nearly 2 decades working on campaigns, progressive issues, and in local and national administrations. She previously served as Western Field Director at the AFL-CIO, Western Political Director at the DCCC, and Coordinated Director for the Democratic Party of New Mexico in 2012.” The Treasurer for “Build Back ‘Burque” is Robert Lara. Mr. Lara is a licensed New Mexico attorney and is the former State Treasurer of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.
CASH BALANCE FROM LAST REPORT: $21,999.36
TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS FOR PERIOD: $9,235.00
TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR PERIOD: $13,349.67
CLOSING BALANCE: $17,884
MAJOR CASH DONORS DURING 4TH REPORTING PERIOD
STEVEN CHAVEZ, Business Owner ICS, $5,000
ROBERT DURHAM, Not Currently Employed: $1,000
MARLA PAINTER, RETIRED: $1,000
SANDY BUFFETT, Lobbyist SELF ASSOCIATED: $950
JOHN HORNING, EMPLOYER: Environmental Services WILDEARTH GUARDIANS: $250
LESLIE ATLER, Retired: $100
KENNETH CARSON, Business Owner, NEXUS BREWER: $100
WESTLY WELLBORN, Business Owner WELLBORN & COMPANY LLC: $100
MAJOR EXPENDITURES BY SAVE OUR CITY FOR FOURTH REPORTING PERIOD
ROBERT LARA, self-employed Attorney: $2,400 (Mr. Lara is the Treasurer of the committee)
ELECTIONS IN MOTION, SEAN MARCUS POLITICAL CONSULTING : $2,696.
NEW BLUE INTERACTIVE, TARYN ROSENKRANZ DIGITAL POLITICAL FUNDRAISING: $1, 752
NEW BLUE INTERACTIVE, TARYN ROSENKRANZ DIGITAL POLITICAL FUNDRAISING: $6,000
The link to “Build Back Burque” Fourth finance report is here:
MAJOR CASH DONORS DURING THIRD REPORTING PERIOD
ED GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group: $5,000
TOBY GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group: $5,000
NEW MEXICO BUILDING TRADES: $5,000
ED GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group: $2,500
TOBY GARCIA, Garcia Automotive Group:$2,500
JIM MADDOX, Maddox & Co Real Estate: $1,000
DOUG BROWN, Retired, Santa Fe: $500
SQUARE INC., Credit Card Processing $439
The link to the Third 2021 Campaign Finance Report BUILD BACK ‘BURQUE is here:
MANNY GONZALES DENIED PUBLIC FINANCING
In a letter dated July 9, Albuquerque City Clerk Ethan Watson notified Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales’ that the city was denying his campaign $661,00 in public financing citing misconduct in the qualifying process and forgery of signatures on $5 qualifying donations. City Clerk Watson wrote Gonzales he could not confirm that Gonzales had complied with the city’s Open and Ethical Election Code and associated regulations. Gonzales appealed the city clerk’s denial. An all-day hearing was held on July 15.
On Monday July 19, a city hearing officer issued a written ruling on Manny Gonzales’ appeal of the City Clerks denial of $661,000 in public finance. The city hearing officer found Manny Gonzales had failed to prove that City Clerk Ethan Watson had acted inappropriately in denying him $661,000 in public financing. The City Hearing officer specifically found that it was Gonzales’ responsibility to keep fraud and forgery out of the gathering of the qualifying donations.
Manny Gonzales has announced he will appeal the hearing officer’s decision to State District Court. It is likely that the case will also be appealed all the way to the New Mexico Supreme Court.
Notwithstanding the hearing officer’s ruling, Manny Gonzales has qualified to be on the ballot and will be allowed to private finance his campaign.
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
The 2 Measure Finance Committee’s supporting Manny Gonzales have raised an impressive $95,518.90 ($84,968.90 Save Our city + $10,550 Retired Law Enforcement For Better Albuquerque). The problem is that none of the money can be transferred to the Gonzales campaign.
Manny Gonzales efforts to secure public financing is becoming increasingly unlikely. Consequently, his only remaining option is to try and raise private financing for his campaign. Even though the two measured finance committees supporting Gonzales have raised a significant amount of money to promote Gonzales, it is strictly prohibited that the money can be transferred to his campaign.
Gonzales is now left to fend for himself and raise whatever he can in private financing. Political observers believe that Gonzales is now confronted with the task of at least raising $500,000 in private financing to be competitive against Keller’s $661,000 in public financing, not to mention the money that will be raised by the one Keller measured finance committee.
NOT OUT OF THE WOODS
What complicates everything for Manny Gonzales is that two ethics complaints are still pending before the Board of Ethics and Campaign Practices. The complaints allege widespread fraud and forgery. Gonzales’ campaign is accused of forging the names of registered voters to secure public financing or providing the $5.00 qualifying donations.
The first ethics complaint includes a written statement from a voter who said Gonzales told him he did not have to submit a $5 contribution and that his campaign would pay. Gonzales for his part adamantly denies the allegation.
The second ethics complaint alleges Gonzales’ campaign forged voter signatures on qualifying public finance receipts. The complaint cites disparities between signatures on $5 contribution receipts and the same voters’ signatures from other places, including on nominating petitions to get Gonzales’ name on the ballot.
The Keller campaign submitted to the City Clerk 140 examples of alleged forgeries on documents submitted to the City Clerk by the Gonzales campaign. The Keller campaign also filed signed statements from upwards of 40 people contacted by a private investigator hired by Keller campaign. Most of those contacted said the signatures on Gonzales’ nominating petition was theirs and half confirmed they had contributed $5 to Gonzales’ public financing effort. Nearly all said signatures on the $5 qualifying donations were forgeries.
The Gonzales campaign denied all wrongdoing and accused the city clerk of trying to “silence the political opposition.” The Gonzales campaign said that Gonzales submitted hundreds more $5 qualifying contributions than necessary to qualify for public financing, and the ethics complaints involve what it deemed a “small handful of alleged invalid” contributions.
In the event that Gonzales exhausts all of his appeals through the courts, and is awarded the $661,000 in public finance, the two pending ethics complaints must be resolved with a finding that there was no fraud. The Board of Ethics could still find that the Gonzales campaign violated the process by submitting fraudulent signatures and committed fraud in gathering the qualifying donations.
Should Manny Gonzales win the election and becomes Mayor, as provided by the election code, the Ethics Board may recommend to the Council that Gonzales be removed from office. The Council may, upon the recommendation of the Board, and after due hearing of the charge, order the suspension or his removal from office as mayor. However, he would have to be suspended or removed by two thirds vote of the city council.
Manny Gonzales is clearly at a crossroads.
Without sufficient financing to run an effective campaign, his only hope at this point may be a major event that will turn the electorate against Mayor Tim Keller.