The Piercing Truth

This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes

Jun 28, 2007

Clean Campaign or Campaign Con?

Back in 2005, voters passed what was supposed to clean up municipal elections here in Albuquerque. This is the first year that the Albuquerque Open and Ethical Elections Code will be in effect for qualifying candidates.

Aspiring councilors will have the opportunity to apply for public financing of their campaigns. That means we will be footing the bill for their campaign staff, mail pieces, signs, and even event tickets. (Read the complete set of regulations here.) Qualifying candidates will receive $1 for every registered voter in the district in which they are running.

One "ethical" candidate would get almost $37,000 of our money to spend pretty much as they choose; and that's just to start. Should a non-participating candidate raise more than the participating candidate we taxpayers will helpfully match their hard work with our money. Matching funds also extend to Measure Finance Committees who campaign against a qualifying candidate by name. Every dollar a committee raises will be matched by us.

You may be sitting there thinking well that sounds fair... after all, how would an "ethical" candidate compete if they could be out spent by candidates and committees with deep pockets and effective fundraisers. Without going into the lunacy of that concept, the whole Open and Ethical Elections Code pre-supposes that candidates receiving taxpayer money are ethical to start with.

Paulette de'Pascal is running against incumbent Councilor Brad Winter for the district 4 council seat. She announced on her blog that she has qualified for public financing of her race against Councilor Winter. We're all paying for her campaign even though most of the people in the city can't vote for her or against her. We're trusting her with our money... even before she's been elected.

That's really where the rub is. You see according to public records, Ms. de'Pascal is right in the middle of a bankruptcy proceeding that cannot be discharged due to civil embezzlement claims. She is also in the middle of a divorce that if court records are any indication, appears to be somewhat messy. In all such cases, information that one might wish to remain private has a way of finding the public; especially when one of the parties involved is running for office.

According to the documents, embezzlement allegations are being pursued by Dr. Ronald Ziemann a local dentist and estranged husband of Ms. de'Pascal. According to court records, Ms. de'Pascal served as Dr. Ziemann's "dental office manager." She was in charge of all receivables, payables, bank accounts, hiring and firing of employees, purchasing, etc. In short, she had control of the money both personally and professionally.

Dr. Ziemann alleges in court documents that Ms. de'Pascal failed to file and pay CRS-1 taxes due to the State of New Mexico resulting in a claim from the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department of $46,000. In addition, Ziemann alleges the Ms. de'Pascal "wrote business checks for the purchase of personal items for herself" amounting to over $60,000.

The court documents are, shall we say extensive. Later allegations include a claim that Ms. de'Pascal "stole another approximately $41,969.32 in cash from the business."

We have to take into account that the case has not yet been fully adjudicated. For all we know the allegations could be false. In fact, we're quite sure that Ms. de'Pascal will deny them.
We can't understand why someone would submit themselves to this kind of scrutiny after a messy divorce that included allegations of embezzlement... much less running for public office at a time when court proceedings are still pending. A candidate's dirty laundry will always be hung out for public inspection and there's none dirtier than divorce linen.
(End Sidebar)
With New Mexico's recent history of public corruption, Montoya, Vigil, Aragon - indicted and awaiting trial (Subscription), is it really a good idea to give taxpayer money to people who are not even public officials? There's really nothing stopping an "unethical" candidate from pocketing the money... your money. As with all legislation of this type, it often has the opposite effect from the one intended (See McCain-Feingold). The result, instead of a clean campaign we end up with a campaign con.


Anonymous said...

So, Could it quite possibly be that she doesn't even plan to actually put any effort in running let alone win?
Should public money be given to a person with so much financial
troubles? That's like giving money to an alcohalic pan handler and think he's NOT going to purchase booz with it. Gee, we'd be better off giving money to a gambler in debt and hope he wins some back. I like the odds better. A con job? Could be.

Anonymous said...

I hate this city. I also hate this state. As soon as I possibly can I am getting the hell out of here and never ever looking at anything that has anything to do with politics again. Is there NO ONE that is involved in politics in NM that is not crooked?

James said...

Shirley there is something put in place to keep an eye on the spending... The opposition will point out any weirdness at least, right?

(And I know nothing about city council, forgive me if this is a stupid question:) What about the inevitable district race that will occur with only 1 candidate running? Do they still get the money?

Anonymous said...

Dear Eye,

What a great post! This is ridiculous. I wonder if Mayor Chavez will keep helping her now. Great pick, Marty!

Anonymous said...

Chupacabra raises some important questions.

First, both the statute and the rules/regulations for the statute spell out in great detail the permissible use of campaign money for those who qualify for public financing. It's a tradeoff-one must qualify for the system, one must limit their spending to only that which is received from the public fund and one must adhere to the strict guidelines for campaign expenditures.

Second, if a candidate has no opponent, they are barred from receiving any public money.

When examining voluntary public campaign financing in Albuquerque, it's important to look at all of the facts before issuing sweeping indictments of the system.

Anonymous said...

Sleezieness always attracts more sleeziness. Most likely met her in a bar. Qualifications don't matter.
It's not always what's BETWEEN your ears that matters.

Anonymous said...

Matt Brix, if a candidate is not allowed to get the money unless they have an opponent, how come Paullete got her money before Brad Winter became a certified candidate? Petition signatures aren't due for another month. And what happens if she doesn't get her signatures? Does she have to give them money back?

Sounds like the city just cut a big fat check to somebody who has serious financial problems. Good luck getting it back if either her or Winter fails to qualify.

Anonymous said...

Who are you? My problem is the anonymity. Your post, and other's comments, would have more credibility if one could discern the author.

Anonymous said...

Another good question, anonymous.

The rules/regulations specifically state that if a candidate fails to qualify for the ballot, the candidate is required to pay all of the money back to the public fund (plus interest).

If the candidate does not draw an opponent (based upon the failure of any other prospective candidates to gather the requisite number of petition signatures), then the candidate must also pay the money back (minus any expenditures made that comply with the code and the rules).

Anonymous said...

F_CK Gail Reese, F_ck Chief Shultz,F_ck Chief Ortega and most of all F_ck the sawed off little FAT basterd TYRINT, dick taster I mean DICTATOR MAYOR CHAVEZ ......! hahahhahahhaha

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Please, please; Save it lady from back east. I bet that bullshit paragraph was the easiest $100.00 you ever made. Save your eassays for that other con job, Hillary. Maybe you can call in on a talk show in support of the other crooks in this state.

Anonymous said...

Poster above....I agree, we should all sit up and pay attention to the other talk shows like Lush Rimbaugh. I'd be really proud to tell people I listen to that Oxycontin Drug Addict, Viagra smugglin' pervert....PLEEEZZZZE
Him and "Rudy G" are perfect for each other. :0)

Anonymous said...

WOW. To the poster who attacked the lady from the East sound pretty brave hiding behind your anonymity all the while making your snide, insulting remarks of hostility. One word for you: COWARD.

Anonymous said...

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck.............

Anonymous said...

Quack !

Anonymous said...

Also, if it looks like a gang banger, drug dealer, walks like a gang banger, drug dealer..........

Shoot it!

Anonymous said...

If it looks like Winter and sounds like Winter...

...or at the very least, a bored supporter.

If I am wrong, I apologize. But the anonymity is soooooooooo 90's.

Anonymous said...

LETS GO WINTER IN 08' or CADIGGAN anything is better than the DICTATOR ........!

Anonymous said...

Brad Winter? Another taxpayer tit sucker? oh brother, can't we do better than that?

Anonymous said...

Yeah we can wait until VIGIL is outta jail. Or Aragon beat his case. Or better yet why don't we convince Raymond Sanchez to run for Mayor! More of the SAME IN 08' could be their motto.

The Eye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

De Pascal's opposition is grasping at straws and appear to be very desperate if they are picking on her over a messy divorce. And, if you read Joe Monahan's blog, it appears Team Desperado is now picking on De Pascal over computer purchase using campaign financing. Let's see, she purchased two apple computers and two printers to aid her in running her campaign operations...wise choice to me. Since the items were purchased with campaign funding, I'm sure De Pascal will continue to use the equipment when she kicks Winter out of office. If she loses the election, she can donate it to charity,schools, etc.

I happen to be one of the people who gave her $5 toward the public funding of her campaign and I do not believe that with all the scrutiny surrounding her bankruptcy and finances that she is going to run off with the equipment if she loses the election. puhplease people lighten up!

The Eye said...

Editors Note:
This is the third time you may have read this comment. The author originally posted her comment and included her email address. She then contact us and asked that we remove her email and we went a little too far and removed her name as well. Since she WANTED her name used we have restored the original post and re-inserted her name below. Sorry for the confusion.

The Eye

Original Post by Annonymous...

If we are going to criticize, let us be honest critics. The article on Paulette de’Pascal is slanted, bias and does not entirely reveal the true events of the embezzlement charges from her estrange husband, Dr. Ziemann. He was in a bitter divorce proceeding, of course, he is going to sling mud and accuse her of wrongdoings. Divorce by it’s nature is dirty; therefore, she should not be indicted on the basis of divorce ‘claims.’ We must consider the source and transparency of the ‘alleged’ charges. She is completely innocent until proven guilty. Apparently, there was not even a preponderance of evidence for those charges; otherwise, she would be in jail and not running for public office.

If we are to examine the integrity of Ms. de’Pascal, then we should do it by universal measures that everyone can appreciate. She should be judged by her ongoing efforts and desires to enhance the lives of people and families in Albuquerque. We should not presume that Ms. de’Pascal’s financial problems imply that she is dishonest or lacks integrity. We have all made mistakes. Divorce adversely affects the quality of life for many women; statistics suggest that it plunges 30- 40 percent after divorce. As a single mother attempting to rebound from the horrors of divorce, most likely, Ms. de’Pascal was forced into a bankruptcy. If she had all the monies she supposedly embezzled, she would not need to file for bankruptcy. Probably the only embezzlement that was occurring was the emotional fraud and debilitating deceit that Ms. de’Pascal’s husband may have committed against her. There are two sides to the story in every divorce. If we are to judge Ms. de’Pascal by the all the outrageous claims that occurred during her divorce proceeding, let us do so by first examine the source and the motive for the negative charges, Ms. de’Pascal’s estranged husband, Dr. Ziemann.

Regarding campaign financing, for those who do not support the current policies and laws, why not resolve the issue by coming up with suggestions and solutions rather than devote energy and time tearing it apart?

Politics like divorce can be obscene, biting and ignoble. It takes a lot of courage to run for public office and to willingly undergo extreme scrutiny. No one likes to be placed under the microscope. The fact that Ms. De’Pascal is placing herself there is revelatory; it is a good indicator that she has nothing to hide. She should be given a chance. Let her ‘action be the picture book of her creed.’ We can start by listening to her campaign message and then proceed from there.

Very truly yours,
Isabelle Jolie

p.s I have never met Paulette de’Pascal in person; however, I’ve had the good fortune of speaking to her via phone. She became known to me while I was doing a research to better my own life. In this discovery process and from my conversations with her, I know first hand that she is a sincere, kind, honest, loving, genuine person and human being. It is my hope to someday meet her when she becomes the next City Councilor for Albuquerque.