Monday, July 6, 2009

Romero Makes Campaign Changes 90 Days Before Election

With just 90 days before this fall's city election Richard Romero's mayoral campaign is introducing a new lead strategist. Romero says Murray Fishel, the president of Grassroots Political Campaigns, Inc., and a long time trusted adviser, is taking over the reigns of his campaign.

Fishel will replace New Mexico political consultant Neri Holguin who's been leading Romero's campaign since Romero first announced. She spent the 4th of July with her family in Southern, New Mexico.

Romero, who may have sensed his campaign needed a new direction, ahead of Mayor Marty Chavez' formal re-election announcement (expected in July).
Romero had nothing but nice things to say about Holguin and his new strategist.

Neri Holguin is leaving our campaign and I’m sad to see her go. When she took this job last year, she told me that because of other commitments she could only serve until the end of April to help me launch my major petition efforts to qualify for public financing and to get on the ballot. We passed those tests with flying colors thanks to her leadership. I then convinced her to stay on a little longer, which she agreed to do. I want to thank her for all that she has done to get this campaign off to a great start.

An online website describes Fishel's company as a progressive firm offering training and candidate services to organizations and candidates. It has a 70% success rate over the last 32 years and has worked with over 2500 candidates in more than 39 states.

Before starting her campaign consultancy, Holguin worked for Eli Lee at Soltari, a campaign training consultancy. She also worked as the Treasurer for Conservation Voters Alliance of New Mexico and was employeed by The Wilderness Society.

Holguin successfully directed the New Mexico Senate campaigns for Eric Griego, Tim Keller and helped with Eleanor Chavez' successful campaign to the State House of Representatives. Her candidates successfully ousted three incumbent lawmakers, Shannon Robinson, Sen. James Taylor, and Rep. Dan Silva.

Eric Griego defeated Taylor by 24 percentage points, Tim Keller defeated Robinson by 32 points and Eleanor Chavez defeated Silva by eight points.

After the state primary victories, the defeated lawmakers filed suit. They claimed non-profits associated with the Center for Civic Policy were used to raise and funnel tax deductible contributions to the three campaigns, along with providing manpower for get out the vote efforts.
Eli Lee and other defendents called the lawsuits baseless. Matt Brix told political blogger Heath Haussamen in August the former lawmaker's lawsuit was a completely false allegation.

"I have no idea where that comes from,” said Matt Brix, the center’s policy director. He added that the center has never taken any money from Soros or his Open Society Institute.

Holguin's candidates were alleged to have full knowledge of the contributions and in fact are purported to have approved individual mail pieces distributed by the non-profit organizations.

“There are so many completely outlandish allegations that we don’t even know where to begin. Everything in the lawsuit is categorically untrue,” Brix said.

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