Friday, September 26, 2008

A Colorful Weekend in Taos, New Mexico!

Click the Flickr button to see a photo set from this trip.

It's our favorite time of the year. We all love Fall's spectacular colors.

Now, everything is peaking, so we’re packing up, and heading north, to escape our frenzied world.

We'll recharge our spirits in Taos, New Mexico.

On Saturday, we're planning to stop by and pick up newly harvested apples in Dixon, check out all the talented artists at the Falls Arts Festival, and then travel deep into the forest, with a llama to look at the fall foliage before having a few friends over for an evening cocktail party here and dinner here.

Then Sunday, after visiting Taos Pueblo we'll meander back to town on the high road (between Taos and Chimayo), to check out more local art.

If you have family stories of apple picking and fall foilage treks please send us a comment with your own tales.

Then on Monday, we'll be rested, and ready to hit the campaign trail again for the final stretch of name-calling, petty accusations, and distractions by many of the campaigns who appear to be distracted from some of the serious issues facing the region, country and world.

Plus, we'll be finalizing our on-line voter guide with audio interviews with each of the congressional candidates.

Remember to ask your friends if they are registered to vote. Deadline is October 7th.

UPDATED - Tuesday Septeber 30th

I received this note from one of my traveling partner's. She loved Taos and enjoyed getting away for the weekend. Dad kept her little one and Jen told me this was her first weekend alone in a couple of years.

For many of us, life consists of a constsnt hustle and, kids, deadlines, etc. So when you come to the El Monte Sagrado in Taos, NM, that all changes. You are instantly encapsulated in a serene setting. It's a scheme of vibrant colors reminiscent of an Inger Jirby painting, a local Taos artist. The colors were like a painted sunset made up of leaves. Shiny gold, radiant orange, and fiery red were amongst a wave of green- it was like summers last attempt at hanging on. And from check in to check out at the El Monte Sagrado, you feel like royalty. The staff are exceptional,and once opening the room door to the global suite it was like being thrust into another country- we were in Morocco. The room was a masterpiece and I felt the stress just melt away from my body. From the intricate designs inside the suite to the hot tub and lovely courtyard outside,you almost don't have a reason to leave your room...that is until you discover the Living Spa and the Anaconda Bar- the unique ambiance and lively spirits complete your fantasy getaway! These experiences at El Monte Sagrado are like the perfect apple pie. But unlike other hotels and resorts, when you stay at the El Monte Sagrado you don't get a piece of the pie, you get the whole pie. Enjoy!

Jeniffer Davis

Thursday, September 25, 2008

C. de Baca's Remarks Impact African American Children.

An hour before Fernando C’ de Baca resigned his post with the Bernalillo County Republican Party, leaders from Albuquerque’s African American community were meeting at the Reverend N.D. Smith’ Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church to express their outrage at his words.

Rev Smith was joined by NM State Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton, Harold Bailey NM Office of African American Affairs, former Republican Governor Dave Cargo, Scotty Carruthers Director of African American Student Services at UNM, Joella Redmon, Executive Director NM Martin Luther King, Jr. State Commission, Ron Hinson, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico, Kalonji M’wanza NM Races Matter Coalition , and B. Brown.

770KKOB News Reporter Mike McCoy recorded the news conference and these statements.


Listen to Rep. Stapleton express her disgust with poise and eloquence here:

And Rev. N.D. Smith here:

And read the group's statement read by Rev. Smith here:
We, the African American Community are greatly disappointed regarding the insensitive inflammatory remarks made by Mr. Fernando C. de Baca, the Chairman of the Bernalillo County Republican party. His perspective of African Americans in Albuquerque and New Mexico are without merit and foundation.

Because of his interview with the BBC, his remarks have embarrassed not only the State of New Mexico, but also our electoral process in the eyes of the world. His insulting remarks were meant to create a division between the African American, Hispanic, Native American and other cultures.

The statement also called for immediate resignation of Mr. C. de Baca.

Those in the Community who feel Mr. C. de Baca should not resign condone his outrageous position.

1) We believe that his public statements has [had a] debilitating impact on not only African American Children, but youth in general, who are our future.

2) His remarks are detrimental to the years of progress that have been made between the different cultures in New Mexico.

Should Mr. C de Baca fail to resign, the African American community is prepared to take additional actions.

The African American community feels it our duty and the responsibility of all the citizen of the State of New Mexico to acknowledge this gross indiscretion on the part of Mr. C. de Baca.

Financial Bailout Meeting Ends In Disarray.


Graphic: Compiled by Radio_news guy

More than 150 prominent U.S. economists, including three Nobel Prize winners, have urged Congress to hold off on passing a $700 billion financial market rescue plan until it can be studied more closely.

A bipartisan emergency meeting between President Bush, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama and several other key congressional leaders ended at the White House on Thursday afternoon (September 25) in disarray and without any clear agreement on an economic-bailout plan, according to

The meeting was convened to discuss the current economic crisis and, more specifically, a proposed $700 billion economic-recovery plan, which would, in effect, "bail out" Wall Street investors.

I agree with Jim Scarantino's opinion, "No Bailout. No Way."

9:33pm - UPDATE

Congressman Steve Pearce has expressed deep concern regarding the plan to allow Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson broad unchecked power to spend $700 billion in taxpayer money with very little reform of the system.

Paulson was Chief Executive Officer at Goldman Sachs, one of the companies involved in creating the financial crisis," said Pearce. "I don't think anyone should be confident that he will hold accountable those who got us into this, nor that he will institute the proper reforms to prevent it from happening again."

Paulson was employed by Goldman Sachs for fifteen years and was CEO for eight. His last year as CEO he received more than $16 million in compensation.

This is a case of putting the fox in control of the hen house. We need real reform, not just a bailout at taxpayer expense.

Now check out the rest of my blog, including exclusive audio interview with Fernando C. de Baca

Under Pressure C. de Baca Resigns From Bernalillo Republican County Chairmanship.


Embattled Bernalillo County Chairman Fernando C. De Baca has resigned. Nearly a week after making controversial remarks to a BBC reporter at the NM State Fair, the 70-year-old former White House staffer has decided to step aside.

His resignation follows a morning news conference and community rally with 100 local African Americans leaders demanding his ouster. Rev. N.D. Smith Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church tells 770KKOB he's satisfied with C. de Baca's resignation.

Ryan Cangiolosi

Sources tells 770 KKOB Bernalillo County Party Treasurer Ryan Cangiolosi will take over as chairman.

Here's the audio tape of C. de Baca's first interview with The Word following his resignation


Heath Haussamen has reaction from leaders from around the state, and details about the former county chairman's difficult week as widespread criticism grew and pressure mounted for him to resign.

Photo Credit: MG Bralley

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chairman Fernando C. de Baca Defends Remarks on 770KKOB's Morning Show with Bob Clark

The Chairman of the Bernalillo County Republican Party Fernando C. de Baca talked to 770KKOB's Morning Show Host Bob Clark on Wednesday, and answered questions from the talk show's listeners about controversial comments he made during two BBC reports.

Listen to the podcast here.

Palin Photo Op Follies Hit Home for Local Reporter.

A few weeks ago, campaign media handlers chased me away from Alaska Governor Sarah Palin after I started a recorded interview with her on the garden patio at El Pinto restaurant in Albuquerque.

If you follow this blog you know our 32 second conversation ended just as fast as it began. Traveling Press Secretary Brooke Buchanan told me "thank you" and hustled me away. You probably also remember that a U.S. Secret Service agent instructed me to return to the bus (for bad reporters).

So, when I saw Jeanne Moist's video essay on Sarah Palin's Photo Op Follies I knew I had to share it with you here.

In a press pool we've learned that "thank you" means shut up and get out.

Listen to how many times you hear "thank you" around Palin's media handlers in this video.

McCain Suspends His Campaign and Delays Debate

As President Bush prepares to address the nation tonight in a speech dealing with the serious financial crisis facing the country, Republican Presidential hopeful John McCain says he’s suspending his campaign to return to Washington to deal with the crisis. He’s asked President Bush to appoint a bi-partisian panel to work on a bailout package.

McCain has also asked Barack Obama to delay the first presidential debate scheduled for Mississippi on Friday so they both can work on the market turmoil.

Earlier today in Dunedin, Florida Barack Obama accused McCain of being slow to speak out against huge salaries for Wall Stree executives.

“Suddenly McCain is talking like a hard-charging populist. I sure wish he joined me when I blew the whistle on the fired CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who tried to walk away with golden parachutes.

Bush’s prime-time talk is a dramatic gesture of last resort. The White House says if the government doesn’t take “decisive and bold action on a rescue package, the country could face financial calamity on main street, not just Wall Street.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has been criticized President Bush this morning, saying, “The President has been absent from what well may be the most important debate on economic policy in a generation.”

House Republicans met with treasury secretary Henry Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. House GOP Leader John Boehner (R-OH) is optimistic that republican and democrats will come together and devise a plan that will best service the American people.

“I do think that congress has a responsibility to act. And, I’m hopeful in the coming days we’ll be able to come together around a plan that will in fact stem this crisis,” Boehner said.

To read more about the possibility of “landing safely” read Heath Haussamen’s comments here.

Udall Says C. de Baca's Comments Perpetuate Racisim.

Albuquerque, N.M. – U.S. Senate Candidate and Congressman Tom Udall today released the following statement regarding Bernalillo County Republican Party Chairman Fernando C de Baca's divisive comments and refusal to resign:
"As our nation commemorates Hispanic Heritage month, and we in New Mexico celebrate over 400 years of historical contributions and our strong cultural diversity, Fernando C de Baca's comments are both insulting and disgraceful. We boast New Mexico's long-standing minority-majority status because of our immense pride in our vibrant diversity. Chairman C de Baca's comments are not only demeaning to the people and pride of New Mexico, they perpetuate and validate racism.  These words are unacceptable for any official who represents our great state."

This morning on the Bob Clark show, C. de Baca said he had talked to Senator Pete Domenici, and now indications are he may resign following a private meeting with party leaders as early as today.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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

Executive Board Gives C. de Baca Vote of Confidence.


Fernando C. de Baca will keep his job as Chairman of the Bernalillo County Republican Party. He received a vote of confidence during a closed-door meeting at Ladera Golf Course this morning.

Doug Antoon
Doug Antoon, an attorney on the Executive Board, tells us he's satisfied that Mr. C. de Baca gave a full and reasonable accounting of his remarks. Antoon critized people, including the Republican State Party Chairman Allen Weh, for rushing to judgment.

Antoon says C. de Baca has been at the forefront of the civil rights movement for more than 50 years.

We have an audio interview recorded. This post will be updated after 11:30am.


Statement from Executive Board Member Doug Antoon following Vote of Confidence:

Note audio recorded off cell phone speaker phone so quality is not optimal.

Photo Credit: MG Bralley - Read his post analyzing the blog and press coverage of the BBC Story.

BBC AudioTape Emerges With Damaging Remarks.

Respected political reporter Heath Haussamen has posted a report by Bill Dupuy, a radio reporter for KSFR-FM in Santa Fe. Dupuy obtained audio of an interview C. de Baca conducted with BBC reporter Ros Atkins.

Listen to it here:

Here’s what C. de Baca told Atkins:
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.

C. de Baca is under pressure to resign after an interview with another BBC reporter, Jon Kelly. In an article called, Latin Class, C. de Baca said, "Hispanics are above blacks. Hispanics will never vote for a black man."

Presently, C. de Baca is in a meeting with his county party’s executive board at Ladera Golf Course to determine his future with the County Republican Party.

Photo Credit: MG Bralley

Monday, September 22, 2008

C. de Baca Sticks To His Story, and Refuses To Resign

Fernando C. de Baca
Embattled Republican County Chairman Fernando C. de Baca says he isn't resigning his leadership position in Bernalillo County.

He says the controversial remarks attributed to him by BBC Reporter Jon Kelly, and published on Friday (September 19, 2008), were taken out of context.

After several days of deliberating with family, friends, and other republicans he's now preparing to discuss the matter with the county party's executive board during private meeting at an undisclosed location at 8:30am on Tuesday morning.

I received a document titled "Friends of the Chairman" that included C. de Baca's response to Weh's request that he resign as Chairman of the Bernalillo County Republican Party:
With all due respect, Mr. Weh does not have the authority under our Party Rules to remove me as Chairman of the County Party. That power rests with the Bernalillo County Republican Party’s County Central Committee. Tomorrow, we are having an Executive Committee meeting to discuss this matter with our senior County Party leaders.
We've learned at least one republican state representative was sending a letter to members of the board urging members to retain C. de Baca.

On Monday night Baca issued the following statement:
It has come to my attention that an inaccurate account of a press interview given by me to a person who claimed to be a BBC blogger has made it to the airwaves. This inaccurate rendition, in fact, has led Allen Weh, the Chairman of the State Republican Party to request my resignation as Chairman of the Bernalillo County Republican Party. I met with a reporter of the BBC at the State Republican Party’s request. The reporter from the BBC requested that I give an overview of the attitude of the Spanish American population toward the candidacy of an African- American for the Presidency of the United States.

I answered that I would answer his questions as an Hispanic, not as Chairman of the Bernalillo County Republican Party and that, further, my answer was limited strictly to my perspective of the Hispanics in the State of New Mexico.
I gave the reporter an overview of what I believe to be the attitudes of Hispanics toward the candidacy of an African-American. I suggested that one first needs to divide the Hispanic community in New Mexico into two different groups -- those who came of age before the civil rights movement of the 1960’s and those who came of age after the civil rights movement. I said that as to older Hispanics, very few here would vote for an African-American.

As to younger Hispanics however, many would vote for an African American. In discussing the attitudes of older Hispanics in the State, I said that many have survived years of discrimination knowing the fact that their ancestors came here as Conquistadores. I gave an example from my own experience as to the pride of my own grandfather.

As a young school boy many years ago, I came home from school beat-up and distraught after being in an altercation at school with other boys who were ridiculing me and making fun of name and the color of my skin. My grandfather chastised me saying “You straighten up and remember that your ancestors came here as Conquistadores.
After repeated requests to speak with BBC Reporter Jon Kelly about his story we received this statment from Patricia Lodge, an Internal Communications Manager for BBC Global News:
Jon Kelly accurately reported what Fernando C. de Baca said to him about Hispanic perceptions towards African Americans. The BBC has not received any complaints about the report from Mr de Baca or the Republican Party.
Allen Weh
Republican State Party Chairman Allen Weh has requested C. de Baca quit, and state leaders, community activities and candidates from both parties began issuing demands for C. de Baca's ouster as early as Friday night.

During an earlier interview, C. de Baca said he was prepared to step aside to keep the campaign moving forward and centered on the issues.

Earlier in the day retiring U.S. Senator Pete Domenici said he didn't know if the statements had been taken out of context, but said if they were it was time for C. de Baca to go.

In his statement C. de Baca points out that his perspective as to the attitude of many older Hispanics in New Mexico is shared by others.
For instance, Mary Jane Garcia who is a long serving Democrat State Senator from Dona Ana County recently said, “I don’t know one single Hispanic over 50 who will cast a vote for Obama.” I think she likely overstated the point, but, nonetheless, she and I both attempted to discuss an attitudinal issue related to older Hispanics here in New Mexico. Denying that the issue exists would simply be an attempt to obfuscate the truth and that would do no one any good.
Earlier in the day, our Sunday interview with KOAT's Mike Garofalo, was re-broadcast on CNN. Click here to view the video.

Photo Credits: MG Bralley