On Friday, July 30, the 3 top officials of the Bernalillo County Republican Party resigned over party infighting and after an attempt to remove the party chairwoman. Resigning their positions were GOP County Chairwoman Julie Wright, Treasurer Joe Foor and Secretary Denise Foor. The 3 resigned over party infighting and after an attempt to remove party chairwoman Julie Wright. The 3 county GOP resignations came as the November 2 races for Albuquerque Mayor and City Council begins to heat up and as the 2022 election cycle begins.
PEARCE GIVEN AS CAUSE OF RESIGNATIONS
In her resignation letter, Wright charged that Republican State Chairman Steve Pearce had encouraged dissenters within the party. Wright wrote in part:
“… many RPNM officers fully support a small faction of dissenters who are causing chaos within the party. … How am I supposed to help our candidates fight the Democrats when Steve Pearce allows and incentivizes a group of rogues to sow unrest amongst our party?”
The resignations followed a July 22 “special meeting” of the Bernalillo County Republican Party Central Committee which was called to address the “failure of current leadership to win elections. The removal of Wright was listed as an agenda item.
When the meeting was convened, the county GOP executive committee ruled the meeting “unofficial” and found the meeting violated party rules. Specifically, two state party officials attended the meeting and the group of dissenters placed a paid advertisement for the special meeting in the Albuquerque Journal. The meeting ended without any official business conducted.
Daniel Moore was appointed the new Bernalillo County GOP.
STATE GOP CHAIRMAN PEARCE RESPONDS
In an interview with the Albuquerque Journal, State GOP Chairman Pearce downplayed the resignations and what is happening within the Republican Party. Pearce said the state GOP has limited involvement in most county party matters and describe the resignations and the infighting as “unfortunate” and said in part:
“People have very high emotions about these things. … Sometimes it plays out nicely and other times not as nicely.”
The link to quoted source material and full story is here:
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
State GOP Chairman Pearce can downplay all he wants what is happening within the New Mexico Republican party. It will not stop the undisputed reality that the Republican Party is unraveling within the State of New Mexico at all levels.
What is also becoming obvious is that Steve Pearce himself is part of the problem. Since losing his election for Governor by a landslide to Democratic Governor Michell Lujan Grisham and becoming State Republican Party Chairman, Pearce has failed to unite his party at most levels as it disintegrates into oblivion.
At the core of the State Republican Party’s disintegration are the loss of election, after election, after election. In Albuquerque, only 2 Republican lawmakers are still in office out of more than 20 seats after Democratic gains in 2018 and 2020. A mere 8 years ago, Republicans held a super majority on the City Council and the Mayor of Albuquerque was Republican. Today, the Mayor is a Democrat and the City Council is 7 Democrats and 2 Republicans.
For the November 2 Albuquerque Municipal election, the Republican Party failed to even find a viable candidate to run for Mayor of Albuquerque, with Republicans ostensibly satisfied with supporting and voting for a “Democrat In Name Only” Manny Gonzales who was a Trump supporter. Eight years ago when the Republican Incumbent Mayor ran for a second 4 year term, he ran as a privately financed candidate and donors were the “who’s who” of the Republican Party, including the National Republican Party that donated $10,000, and over $1 Million was raised and spent.
The New Mexico State Republican Party is failing to adapt to changing realities and changing times and has failed to find a new generation of leadership. The New Mexico Republican Party continues to grasp and support Der Führer and former President Donald Trump as its national leader as is the case in other red states. To this day, State Republican Chairman Steve Pearce and Southern New Mexico United States Congresswoman Yvette Harrel have refused to back away from Der Führer Trump and have failed to condemn his lies of widespread voter fraud.
What is downright pathetic is that the Republican Party actually thinks that the party is what wins elections, not realizing it is the quality of the candidates and the positions on issues that they offer. All one has to do is look at the 6 announced candidates for the Republican nomination for Governor and the Republican Party is likely looking at another major loss. A link to a related blog article on the Republican candidates for Governor is here:
CITY COUNCIL MEASURED FINANCE COMMITTEE
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.
Six measured finance committees have been formed and are raising donation for the 2021 Municipal Election. Two have been formed for Manny Gonzales and 1 for Mayor Tim Keller. A complete listing of all 6 measured finance committees is in the postscript to this blog article.
On the November 2 election ballot will be the 5 odd numbered city council districts of 9 city council seats. The council seats up for election are City Council seats 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9. Albuquerque City Councilors are paid $30,600 annually and the Council President earns $32,600 annually. They are also eligible to join the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) and earn a pension after they have served 5 full years. Health Insurance is also made available to them.
The links to the City Clerks web page on the candidates qualifying petition signatures and $5 qualifying donations are here:
Only 1 Measured Finance Committee has been formed to help and promote candidates for City Council.
On June 10, 2021, Albuquerque Ahead registered with the City Clerk for the specific purpose “to support those candidates for city council who will move Albuquerque ahead and oppose those who will not.” It is the only measured finance committee that is concentrating on raising money to spend in the 5 City Council Races that will be on the November Ballot.
On July 12, Albuquerque Ahead filed the fourth campaign finance report covering the time period of June 8 to July 5. Following are the highlights of the finance report with major donors:
CASH BALANCE FROM LAST REPORT: $2,100
TOTAL MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS FOR PERIOD: $7,070
TOTAL EXPENDITURES FOR PERIOD: $1.641
CLOSING BALANCE: $7,528
MAJOR CASH DONORS DURING 4TH REPORTING PERIOD
$1,000 DONORS OR MORE
REPUBLICAN PARTY OF BERN COUNTY, To support Renee Grout ($1,100)
LINDA NICHOLS, retired, To support Renee Grout
WAYNE APPLEMAN, business owner, To support Dan Lewis
JEREE TOMASI, Financial/Investment, NM MORTGAGE ADVISORS, To support Renee Grout
KEITH PERRY, retired, To support Dan Lewis
$200 TO $250 DONORS
ALFRED LORBER, retired ($250), to support Renee Grout
CJ DORIAN, self-employed ($250), to support Renee Grout
CJ DORIAN, self-employed ($250), to support Renee Grout
DORIS BUCKMAN, to support Renee Grout
TRUDY JONES, Alb City Councilor, to support Renee Grout
DOUGLAS CALDERON, SALCEDO LAW, to support Dan Lewis
MARK CARUSOCARUSO LAW OFFICES, PC, to support Dan Lewis
NADINE EDELMAN, retired, to support Renee Grout
EVERETTE FARR, retired, to support Renee Grout
KENNY GREBE, employer: RED SHOVEL, to support Dan Lewis
ROBIN SCHRITTER, retired, to support Renee Grout
LISA YOUNG, retired, to support Renee Grout
BARBARA MUELLER, retired, to support Dan Lewis
PATRICK LANE, self-employed, to support Dan Lewis
NANCY LOISEL, to support Dan Lewis
KIRK THOMPSON, retired (Arizona), to support Renee Grout
KATHY MCDANIEL, retired, to support Renee Grout
PAUL BARRICKLOW, Lee Engineering, to support Dan Lewis
GEORGE GRIEGO, retired, to support Dan Lewis
KARLA BRESSAN, retired, to support Renee Grout
ESPERANZA CARRILLO, retired, to support Dan Lewis
VICTOR JURY, retired, to support Dan Lewis
MAJOR EXPENDITURES FOR ALBUQUERQUE AHEAD
AGT LAWYER, compliance lawyer filing: $539.38
AUTUMN INTEGRITY LLC, SET UP WEBSITE, FILING, REPORT, EMAILS, MANAGEMENT: $539.38
The link to the complete 4th Campaign Finance Report for ALBUQUERQUE AHEAD is here:
COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS
When you examine the fourth campaign finance report filed by Albuquerque Ahead, it is clear it is essentially a measured finance committee established by the Bernalillo County Republican Party to promote 2 Republican candidates for City Council. The two Republican candidates are former Republican City Councilor Dan Lewis in District 5 who is running against incumbent Democrat Cynthia Borrego and Republican Renee Grout who is running for the District 9 City Council seat being vacated by long time serving, unknown, ineffective and unaccomplished Republican Don Harris.
The largest single donation to Albuquerque Ahead was made by the Bernalillo County Republican Party for $1,100. Virtually all of the major donors to Albuquerque Ahead identify they support Dan Lewis or Renee Grout. Further, Republican City Councilor Trudy Jones donated $100 to Albuquerque Ahead designated to support Renee Grout.
DISTRICT 5 CITY COUNCIL
Incumbent CYNTHIA BORREGO and former City Councilor DAN LEWIS have both qualified for the ballot and public finance. Candidate Phillip Ramirez did collect the qualifying number of petition signatures and qualified for the ballot. Philip Ramirez did not qualify for public financing, but switched his financing status from public financing to private financing during the qualifying period.
City Council District 5 candidates who qualify for public finance will be given: $50,489.
DISTRICT 9 CITY COUNCIL
Both Rob Grilley, Jr. and Renee Grout have qualified for the ballot and public finance. City Council District 9 candidates who qualify for public finance will be given $41,791.
The New Mexico Constitution provides that all municipal elections be nonpartisan and that is why it is in our city charter and not because the framers of our city charter thought it was a great idea. To say Albuquerque has a form of “nonpartisan” municipal government is a farce when it comes to reality and how Mayors act and the City Council really works and votes. Both the Republican and Democratic parties know full well the importance of controlling the office of Mayor with all the high paying jobs and the City Council that oversees a $1.2 Billion budget.
It is dishonest and sneaky when “Albuquerque Ahead” registers with the City Clerk for the specific purpose “to support those candidates for city council who will move Albuquerque ahead and oppose those who will not” when what it is actually doing is supporting Republican candidates for City Council and opposing Democratic candidates for city council.
It is not at all likely that an anemic $7,528 to support 2 Republican Candidates is going to have much of an effect on the election, but then again there is still time to raise more.
Following is the listing for all 6 Measured Finance Committees resisted with the City Clerk along with their stated purpose:
Stated purpose: Support candidates who support public safety & fire fighter issues. Editor’s Note: This is the local firefighter’s union measured finance committee that is organized for every municipal election and candidates for City Council and Mayor.
Stated Purpose: To support those candidates for city council who will move Albuquerque ahead and oppose those who will not. The Chairperson is identified as Jill Michel and the Treasurer is Andrew Thornton, an attorney in private practice.
Build Back ‘Burque
Stated Purpose: Support Mayor Tim Keller’s re-election to a second term for the city of Albuquerque. The chairperson of this committee is Michelle Mayorga, a well known progressive fund raiser and the Treasurer is Robert Lara, a private attorney and former State Democratic Party Treasurer.
Planned Parenthood Votes Albuquerque
Stated Purpose: Support candidates that support women’s reproductive healthcare and oppose those that don’t. The Chairperson of this measured finance committee is Sarah Taylor-Nanista
Retired Law Enforcement for a Better Albuquerque
Stated purpose: Support Albuquerque mayoral candidate who will improve the quality of life for it’s citizens as well as oppose candidates that are detrimental to the future growth and safety of Albuquerque. EDITOR’S NOTE: This measured finance committee is known to support Manny Gonzales for Mayor and the Chairperson if Jason Katz, a retired Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Save Our City
Stated purpose: To address the serious crime and leadership problem in Albuquerque. Editor’s note: This measured finance committee is known to support Manny Gonzales for Mayor with the committee co -chairs identified as Sam Vigil and former Public Regulations Commissioner Karen Montoya
The link to a related blog article on the 2 Measured Finance Committees formed to raise money to promote Manny Gonzales and the 1 Measured Finance Committees to raise money to promote Tim Keller is here:
Two Gonzales Measured Finance Committees Have Not Raised Enough For Competitive Race; Gonzales Must Fend For Himself And Raise At Least $500,000 To Be Competitive Without Public Finance