Monday, October 15, 2012

Did Luz Robles' CCIME Buddies Help Launch Her Political Career?:


Did Luz Robles' CCIME buddies help launch her political career?

(see end of post for links to more information about the CCIME)

At the Utah state convention for the Democratic Party in April 2008, political newcomer Luz Robles picked up the nomination for the Utah State Senate in district one. 

She beat the incumbent Fred Fife at the Democratic Party state convention and avoided a primary.

That was quite an accomplishment. 

How did she do it?

According to ksl.com"Robles says she outworked Fife and has raised $28,000 for her campaign."

(ksl.com, "Two incumbents bounced," http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=3177327)

I think it quite likely that she did outwork Mr. Fife in order to get the nomination of her party.

I would like to focus on the money factor a bit, however, because it leads to some interesting information. 

Just prior to the Democratic Party convention, the Deseret News reported:

"If you want a good example of how Utah legislators raise their campaign cash from special-interest groups and lobbyists, look no further than a Salt Lake City Democratic Senate race and a number of GOP legislative contests in Utah County. Sen. Fred Fife, D-Salt Lake, got all his campaign money this year from special interests, while his intra-party challenger, Luz Robles, got little. The pair face off this Saturday in the Salt Lake County Democratic Convention for the Senate District 1 seat, held by Fife for the past four years."

(deseretnews.com, "Donors: Big firms are generous to incumbents," http://www.deseretnews.com/article/695273659/Donors-Big-firms-are-generous-to-incumbents.html?pg=all)

The Deseret News tells us that Luz Robles did not raise much from special interests even though she raised considerably more money than Fred Fife.

Although not the central focus of this post, the issue of special interest contributions is an interesting auxiliary issue. 

The KSL figure of $28,000.00 is close to the Deseret News amount of $28,900.00 (mentioned in the article above) and both are in the ballpark of the amounts reported on the 2008 pre-convention report at the Lt. Governor's website and the 2007 amounts listed at followthemoney.org

The 2008 pre-convention report is available at:

http://disclosures.utah.gov/Search/PublicSearch/FolderDetails/1875?sooID=2237

The 2007 amounts I examined were in a combined list for the entire election cycle available at:

http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/contributor_details.phtml?&c=102697&s=UT&y=2008&summary=0

The special interest contributions to Luz Robles for 2007 and pre-convention 2008 are as follows:

$500.00 from Diversity Talent Services

$500.00 from Icon Consulting Group

$500.00 from Love Communications

$200.00 from Linguistica International

$6,000.00 of in-kind contributions from G & T Consulting

$1,450.00 in-kind contribution from Nuestra Gente Utah

$500.00 from Workers Compensation Fund

$250.00 from Siegfied & Jensen

$250.00 from Robert J. Debry & Associates

$500.00 from Zions Bancorp PAC

The figures below are the totals under consideration thus far: 

$6,000.00 of in-kind contributions from G & T Consulting in Ohio.

$1,450.00 in kind contribution from Nuestra Gente Utah

$3,200.00 in cash contributions pre-convention from special interests

Not too bad for someone who "got little" in special interest money - as the Deseret News sees it.  Especially when one realizes that her convention opponent only raised a total of $2,050.00 (after deducting the 850.00 that he chipped in himself):

http://followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/contributor_details.phtml?c=102516

In other words, in an article that tells us that Fred Fife got all his money from those influence-buying special interests and that Luz Robles got little, we actually find that Luz Robles raised more money from special interests than did Mr. Fife!

But, what about Luz Robles' CCIME buddies?  Did they help out?  

The CCIME itself did not donate money to Luz Robles - to do so would most likely have violated U.S. law.

But, a number of individuals did who were serving as advisors to the CCIME.   

So, how much did they chip in to help Luz Robles get the nomination at the convention? 

The following are those who are likely members of the CCIME and who contributed to Luz Robles in 2008 pre-convention:

$300.00 from Elias Bermudez
$100.00 from Beatriz Amberman
$100.00 from Armando Labra
$100.00 from Humberto Fuentes
$100.00 from La Paloma Taqueria (Mario Cesar Ramirez Herrera)
$50.00 from Hugo Loyo
$100.00 from Martha Nelson
$300.00 from Jesus Abrego
$300.00 from Luis Garcia
$1,000.00 from Federico Sayre
$25.00 from Lisa M. Ponce De Leon

The CCIME affiliation of these individuals can be checked at the CCIME directories available at the two sites below: 
 
http://www.ime.gob.mx/images/stories/ime/CCIME/dir_ccime_06_08_140312.pdf

http://www.ime.gob.mx/images/stories/ime/CCIME/perfiles_1.pdf

Counting just the contributions from 2008, pre-convention, the contributions from this group total:  $2475.00.

Not bad. 

In addition to the special interest money and the money from her CCIME buddies, there are also the rather interesting in-kind contributions from G&T Consulting that totaled $6,000.00 pre-convention.

G&T Consulting is a company owned by an individual named German G. Trejo:

http://www2.sos.state.oh.us/pls/bsqry/f?p=100:7:658965300444504::NO:7:P7_CHARTER_NUM:1244697

http://www.bizapedia.com/oh/G-T-CONSULTING-LLC.html

The wikipedia.org entry for German Trejo tells us that he founded the company and also consulted for the Robles campaign:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germ%C3%A1n_Trejo

At the bottom of the entry, wikipedia also provides a link to the CCIME profiles of advisors for 2006 - 2008 and Mr. Trejo's profile is among them.  In the profile, it is stated that Mr. Trejo is the owner of G & T Consulting:

http://www.ime.gob.mx/images/stories/ime/CCIME/perfiles_1.pdf 

Mr. Trejo, who provided $6,000.00 in in-kind support to Ms. Robles prior to her 2008 convention, therefore, is one of Ms. Robles' cohorts on the CCIME.  When his in-kind contributions are added to the cash contributions from other CCIME members, the total comes to:  $8,475.00. 

It is reasonable, therefore, to conclude that Luz Robles' CCIME buddies did indeed help her succeed in defeating the incumbent state senator at the convention.

Mr. Trejo is an interesting associate of Ms. Robles and warrants a quick closer look. 

He gave a speech, for instance, to the CCIME at their April 2007 meeting.  President Calderon of Mexico was present at this meeting and spoke as well:



In fact, there is a video of the speech:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SKOvJOJ8M8

Mr. Trejo also participated in the Primer Parlamento de Líderes Migrantes Mexicanos que Viven en Estados Unidos de América (First Parliament of Mexican Migrant Leaders that Live in the United States) in Mexico City with other Mexican leaders from the United States, advisors from the CCIME, and certain Mexican legislators: 

http://cronica.diputados.gob.mx/Estenografia/LX/2do/1P/Ord/nov/20071117.html

Mr. Trejo has also been a significant leader in the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).  I do not know if he still holds the position of chair of the LULAC National Commission on Immigration Affairs, but held this position not long ago: 



The creation of the commission was announced by Rosa Rosales, president of LULAC, in April 2008. 

Mr. Trejo's work with LULAC was significant enough for him to be part of a small group of 15 meeting candidate Barack Obama in 2008.  This meeting took place prior to Mr. Obama addressing the LULAC convention.  In the short video, Mr. Trejo is the one holding the camera and shoots a short view of himself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AndxNUsBRUI

Mr. Obama's speech:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fx8-h1WdEbg
If one examines Mr. Trejo's wikipedia.org entry along with the information presented here, it becomes clear that Mr. Trejo is a diligent Mexican immigrant leader in the United States who has had contact, because of his positions, with other significant leaders in Mexico, Mexican leaders in the U.S., and various U.S. politicians.  

This is the individual who provided $6,000.00 of in-kind contributions to the Luz Robles campaign in the weeks prior to the 2008 Democratic Party state convention in Utah. 

An important question to consider is: to what end is Mr. Trejo devoting so much energy?

One area seems to be amnesty for illegal aliens residing in the United States.

At the 2008 LULAC national convention, for instance, Mr. Trejo was on a panel discussion.  Here is a list of the panelists and a description of the focus of the panel discussion:

"SEMINAR
For far too long the dialogue on immigration has focused overwhelming [sic] on border enforcement-only policies or visa renewal programs, which have led to ineffectual 287g regulations, racial profiling, hate crimes, workforce raids, and inhumane treatment of immigrant detainees. Expert panelist [sic] will offer insight on reframing the immigration debate, as well as discuss the latest policy strategy to passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Moderator: Brent Wilkes, LULAC National Executive Director

Speakers:
1.) Senator Robert Menendez, U.S. Senate INVITED
2.) Congressman Xavier Becerra, U.S. House of Representatives INVITED
2.) Mauricio Farah, Quinto Visitador General, La Comision Nacional de Derechos Humanos de Mexico
3.) Frank Sherry [sic], Executive Director, America’s Voice
4.) Tamar Jacoby, President and CEO, Immigration Works USA
5.) Lori Wallach, Director, Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch
6.) German Trejo, Chair of the LULAC National Commission on Immigration Affairs"


If everyone who was on this agenda actually took part in the panel discussion, it would have been quite a group of pro-illegal immigrant advocates.  That German Trejo was part of this group tells us that he was considered a significant voice in the movement. 

Additionally, the fact that Rosa Rosales, who was president of LULAC at the time, was also a member of the CCIME (she is listed in the "Consejeros Titulares - Organizaciones Latinas" section) may have had something to do with the commission on immigration affairs being established.  In April 2008, the CCIME distributed a special bulletin issue of "Lazos" which included a summary of an article about the new commission.


According to this article, Rosa Rosales "...announced yesterday in Dallas the creation of a commission that will give a voice within the group to non-citizens regardless of their immigration status." 

("...anunció ayer en Dallas la creación de una comisión que dará voz dentro del grupo a los no-ciudadanos sin tomar en cuenta su estatus migratorio."

In addition, representatives from the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior would also be part of the new commission - I think this likely refers to advisors from the CCIME. 

The article also tells us that German Trejo promoted the commission and said that "...the advantage of creating the LNCIA [the commission] is that the reputation, structure and influence of LULAC will support organizations with undocumented immigrants and give them direct access to the areas where policy decisions are made."

("...la gran ventaja de la creación de la LNCIA es que la reputación, estructura e influencia de LULAC respaldará a las organizaciones con inmigrantes indocumentados y les dará acceso directo a las esferas políticas en las que se toman decisiones.")

The interesting thing about this announcement and Mr. Trejo's response is that they took place the same week that would end with Luz Robles being nominated by the Utah Democratic party for the senate race. 

Indeed, Luz Robles must have had to hurry to return to Salt Lake City from Dallas as she was attending the CCIME meeting in Dallas in the week leading up to the convention. 

Perhaps President Calderon of Mexico wished her luck - as he also attended the conference in Dallas in order to give a speech. 

I have included much information about German Trejo.  He is a key figure.  More information could be added, but perhaps it would be better to save that for a future post. 

But it also should be noted that Mr. Trejo was the coordinator for the CCIME's Political Affairs Commission - the commission that Luz Robles also worked with during the time she was seeking the nomination for her senate seat:


So, it makes sense that German Trejo would donate thousands of dollars of in-kind services to her campaign.

Perhaps he had one or more or all of the following motivations for supporting her:

1.  She was a friend, so he wanted to support her for the state senate.

2.  She served with him on the CCIME, so he supported her as a professional courtesy.

3.  He shares a common vision with Ms. Robles of helping Mexicans in the U.S., whether here legally or not, and this common vision led him to support Ms. Robles.

4.  He is an activist and by helping to elect Luz Robles, he would help place her in a position to work against some laws and to promote others to the benefit of the Mexican community. 

5.  He merely considered her a customer for his consulting business and that is all there is too it.

Somehow I don't think #5 would be the whole story.  I hesitate to assign motives to Mr. Trejo that he does not hold, so I leave it as an open question as to which of the above motives, or perhaps even others, may have guided Mr. Trejo's campaign relationship with Luz Robles.   

In conclusion:  The money and support from Luz Robles' CCIME associates was significant.  She may have been able to win the nomination in 2008 without it, but it sure didn't hurt to have it. 




For More Information about the CCIME:
 

The Consejo Consultivo del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior, or CCIME, is an advisory board to the Mexican government representing Mexicans living exterior to Mexico - primarily in the United States. 

More information regarding the CCIME and Luz Robles' work on the board and related issues can be found at the following two sites:

https://sites.google.com/site/ufirenow/Home/misc-information

http://immigrationutah.blogspot.com/p/luz-robles-utah-state-senator.html)

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