Tuesday, September 23, 2008

White Will Shun County GOP Party!

Congressional Candidate Darren White, who's first congressional district covers all of Bernalillo County, says he won't have anything to do with the Bernalillo County Republican Party until Chairman Fernando C. de Baca either quits or is removed from office because of remarks the 70-year-old republican made to two BBC reporters goes against "the grain" of everything he believes.

White was reacting to a decision earlier in the day by the Bernco GOP's Executive Board to give C. de Baca an unanimous vote of confidence, and a the posting of a KSFR-FM Radio report. In the report C. de Baca is heard stating:
I feel strongly that Hispanics will not support, in my generation and the generation around my age, are not going to support the Democratic candidate for president primarily because there is a strong feeling that African Americans during the civil rights movement took advantage, full advantage, of all the benefits and programs that the government offered, that were supposed to be offered to all minorities. But we were left behind, we were left sucking air, and we resented that ever since the 60s, and I don’t see how a black president is going to change that.

"His words spoke loud and clear," White said. "He [C. de Baca] injected race into this campaign, and his words were hurtful and igorant, and they can't be tolerated by anyone. I'm sure he'd put them back if he could, but it's too late."

White told The Word he realized it's possible that his decision might cost him votes, but said, "I've taken on the Governor [Gary Johnson] before, because I disagreed with his stance on the legalization of drugs. I will take on my party chairman if I feel that he's wrong."

White believes, "the only way this can end is if C. de Baca steps down and puts his selfishness and pride aside.

Listen to the complete interview with White here.

Meanwhile State Republican Party Chairman Allen Weh told reporters at a 4pm news conference, "this has become a side show."

Weh says C. de Baca's refusal to resign has become a distraction from important election issues. He also told reporters that the Bernalillo County Republican Party's Executive Board was only an advisory committe and doesn't have the authority to elect or remove a county chairman. Weh said that power belongs to the the county central committee, which is not scheduled to meet before the election.

"In the interim," Weh said, "C. de Baca does not speak for, nor does he have any official role or any capacity with any major campaigns underway in this state."

Weh told reporters he had hoped common sense would prevail in the matter, but following the Bernco Executive Board meeting that he has put together a small delegation of top officials to meet with the embattled chairman, and asked them to try to persuade him to resign.

On Saturday, C. de Baca told The Word that he would step aside if it was the right thing to do because he felt it was more important to keep the campaign moving forward, centered on the issues. But after deliberating his position with family, friends and other county republicans decided to speak privately with his boar d at Ladera this morning where he received their unanimous support.

Weh also told reporters he may have the authority to remove C. de Baca under "special circumstances," but was unclear what rule authorized that move.

Weh was joined at the new conference by the party's 1st Vice Chairman Jon Barela, Vickie Perea, Nina Martinez and GOP NM 2nd Vice Chair Chris Saucedo

Listen to Weh's news conference remarks here:

Photo Credit: MG Bralley

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