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Enough is Enough – The Whole Truth

Tonight something happened that has angered and saddened me…

I got a call from the State Republican Party informing me that Bernalillo County Republican Party Chairman, Fernando C’ de Baca, had put me on a list as a State Central Committee Member from Bernalillo County not in good standing. Below is the text of the letter:

April 26, 2007

Lou Melvin
RPNM Rules Committee Chairwoman
5150-A San Francisco NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109

Dear Lou –

In accordance with Rule 10 of the Bernalillo County Republican Party Supplementary Rules, the following State Central Committee Members from Bernalillo County are not in good standing.

Please consider this a formal challenge of the following State Central Committee members:

Christopher Atencio
Mario Burgos
John Butrick
Samuel Carnes
Whitney Cheshire
Diego Espinoza
State Representative Justin Fox-Young
Elaine Henederson
Wade Jackson
Enrique Knell
Fran Langholf
Vickie Perea
Patrick Rogers
Patricia Rush
Dianne Shams-Avari
Matthew Stackpole

Each of these State Central Committee members from Bernalillo County were assessed dues on March 30, 2007 via a dues statement sent them through the mail.


Fernando C. De Baca, Chairman

Cc: RPNM Rules Committee, RPNM Secretary Nina Martinez

Ok, let’s start with the obvious. This is pure and utter rubbish. Rule (10) cited in the letter above reads as follows:

10. DUES

A. The Republican Party of Bernalillo County Central Committee shall assess annual dues to be paid by the members.
B. With consent of the chairman, members may substitute volunteer service to the Republican Party of Bernalillo County in lieu of dues.
C. The Republican Party of Bernalillo County shall review member status quarterly.
D. County Central Committee members whose dues are in arrears shall not vote at Central Committee meetings and are subject to removal from the committee by the Republican Party of Bernalillo County Executive Committee as authorized bi-annually by the County Central Committee.

How is it possible that the Republican Party of Bernalillo County could have mailed the first dues statement on March 30, 2007, and have already held a member status quarterly review? The simple answer: they couldn’t. But apparently, Mr. C’ de Baca feels he has the right to rewrite the rules as he sees fit. Heck, this latest letter is even in direct contradiction to what he had printed on the bottom of the quarterly dues statement less than 30 days ago:

In accordance with Rules of the Bernalillo County Republican Party, each County Central Committee member must pay dues of $10 per month. If you become (3) months delinquent, your name may be removed from the Bernalillo County Central Committee Roster.

Folks, not even one month has passed, let alone three. In fact, at the Bernalillo County Central Committee on March 18th, everyone paid their first month’s dues of $10 – it was the only way they would let you vote.

And, by the way, I know what it says on the statement because I had already written a check for a $120 to be sent to Bernalillo County Republican Party. Why a $120? Well, because I don’t believe that people who can’t afford it should be charged a tax by the Republican Party to participate in party politics. So, I offered to pay the quarterly dues of some folks, including a young mother from our Ward whose husband, a former state police officer, is volunteering in Iraq to provide armed protection for Americans.

So, what could motivate Chairman C’ de Baca to act in such a devious manner? Is he one of those county leaders Mr. Greer mentioned to the press as encouraging him to run? Is this a way to weed out people who might not support Mr. Greer’s campaign? Is this their idea of taking the party back to the grassroots level? Do we really want people leading our party who believe that disenfranchising voters is the way to win elections?

When I ran last month for Bernalillo County Republican Party Chairman, Mr. C’ de Baca pulled these same shennigans. He happily padded County Party coffers with the money of absentee self-nominees, but then refused to allow those people to be elected to at-large positions. He even went so far as to change the convention rules less than 36 hours before the convention.

After the election, I chose not to dwell on these actions for the sake of the Party. But now, for the sake of the Party, I refuse to continue to remain silent.

During that election, I heard from a few people who took issue with a card I had mailed and handed out at the county convention that pointed out:

  1. fundraising failures under Mr. C’ de Baca’s tenure
  2. the failure to deliver Bernalilo County for Congresswoman Heather Wilson for the first time… EVER!
  3. his decision to publicly endorse Democratic candidates

Among those who took issue with what I had to say was State Senator Joe Carraro. Senator Carraro took to the stage waving the card and saying that we must no longer tolerate this type of negative campaigning. I’m not sure when examining someone’s job performance record became negative campaigning, but if we want to get more Republicans elected in New Mexico, we’re going to have to do it a little more often.

I made a decision in that race to focus on Mr. C’ de Baca’s performance failures, but I also made a decision not to attack him personally. I chose not to point out Mr. C’ de Baca’s criminal conviction from 1996:

Here’s what the Albuquerque Tribune (7/24/96) reported about C de Baca’s 1996 bid-rigging conviction in California:

Fernando C de Baca, 58, of Albuquerque pleaded guilty Tuesday in San Diego County District Court to conspiring to inflate bids for asbestos removal at two malls owned by the Hahn Co. of San Diego. One of them was Coronado Center in Albuquerque.

C de Baca and his co-defendant, Thomas Sytko . . . agreed to pay a $600,000 fine. C de Baca’s share was $150,000 . . .

Robert Fellmeth, a former prosecutor and the founder of the Center for Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego School of Law, called the fines the largest he can recall for criminal antitrust violations in California.

C de Baca won the contracts in return for kickbacks to Sytko. The scheme netted the two men about $310,000.

C de Baca barely avoided a three-year prison sentence. In addition to the California fine, C de Baca also paid a $25,000 fine in a settlement with New Mexico prosecutors.

When he ran for the State Senate last year, this is how C de Baca characterized the bid-rigging/kickback episode when the Albuquerque Tribune inquired about his criminal record:

In 1996 I was convicted of an anti-trust violation in California and paid a fine. My case was reviewed by the Superior Court of California in early 2004. The charge was dismissed and expunged.

I opted not to draw attention to Mr. C’ de Baca’s questionable financial reporting practices and the risks they posed for the Bernalillo County Republican Party. For example, on his December 7, 2006 report with the Secretary of State, Mr. C’ de Baca showed $19,784 in in-kind contributions, but only $3,709.28 in expenditures. And that poses a serious problem:

In-Kind Contributions, according to Paragraph 5, FEC Code from

A committee reports the value of an in-kind contribution in the same way it reports a monetary contribution. I
n addition, as with all in-kind contributions, the committee must report the value of the in-kind contribution as an operating expenditure. Moreover, an in-kind contribution itemized on Schedule A must also be itemized on a Schedule B for operating expenditures. 104.13 and 110.1(e).

In other words, BCRP must show all in-kind contributions as both a “contribution” and an “expenditure” according to the FEC. This was not done. In fact, Fernando and Cecilia C’ de Baca personally claimed a combined total of $44,714.00 in-kind contribution over an 11 month period, but NOWHERE can the matching expenditure be found. To make matter worse, according to the FEC, it is illegal to claim “in-kind contributions” from volunteers.

I also decided not to bring up the fact that the Executive Director, employed by the Bernalillo County Republican Party and hired by Mr. C’ de Baca, spent Election Night partying with Patricia Madrid supporters at her “Victory” Party. Or, the fact that this same individual, proudly has posted pictures on his personal website of himself posing with pornography star Jenna Jameson while wearing a t-shirt advertising her website.

These are all issues I opted not to raise at that time because I didn’t feel they were relevant to the election at hand. I was wrong. Mr. C’ de Baca’s past criminal conviction for bid-rigging clearly demonstrated he is willing to win at any cost – lawful or not. His latest attempt to disenfranchise Republican grassroot activists through fraudulent means shows he has not changed much in the last 10 years – simply moving from bid-rigging to election-rigging.

The fact that Mr. Greer has sought to align himself with such a man does not bode well for Mr. Greer. You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. Speaking of which, go back and take a look at that list at the beginning of this post. Included with me are:

  1. A State Representative who just spent more than 60 days fighting for Republican values
  2. Three underpaid staffers of the State Party who work tirelessly on our behalf.
  3. The recently elected 2nd Vice-Chair of the Bernalillo County Republican Party – the only uncontested candidate at the recent county convention.
  4. A staffer from Congresswoman Heather Wilson’s office
  5. Fran Langholf, a volunteer legend in Republican circles
  6. Our Secretary of State candidate in this last election who worked tirelessly both in 2004 and 2006.
  7. A Republican lawyer who volunteers his time over and over again to defend our rights

And, I could go on, but you get the idea. These are the Party faithful. The type of people we need to duplicate if we are ever to succeed in achieving a two-party state. These are the type of people some county chairman would like to see removed from the picture. You’ve got to ask yourself, “Why?”