ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The campaign working to defeat the city’s $50 million soccer stadium bond has been slapped with an ethics complaint. An Albuquerque man is claiming the group called Stop the Stadium isn’t playing by the rules.
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Joaquin Baca says he wants the soccer stadium to help improve his neighborhood near 2nd Street and Iron Ave. With the election just over a week away, he’s calling out the group that’s been trying to keep that from happening.
“Play by the rules, and they broke the rules. So whatever the ethics committee finds them as – or whatever the penalty is – they should pay it,” says Baca.
Baca lives near one of the preferred downtown sites for the proposed 10,000-12,000 seat stadium and is not affiliated with New Mexico United. He says he filed an ethics complaint against the Party for Socialism and Liberation, who he’s claiming is behind the group Stop the Stadium.
KRQE News 13 has reported members of that effort have been going door-to-door encouraging people to vote “no” on the bond. They say the stadium will drive up housing prices and the money should instead be spent on affordable housing.
Baca is claiming the group has been operating as a PAC but hasn’t registered as one. However, an organizer with Stop the Stadium maintains it is a grassroots movement. “It’s intended to discredit dozens of volunteers and community members who are fighting to protect their homes,” says Anna Lee Desaulniers, a Stop the Stadium organizer.
The city requires PACs to register and file finance reports if they take in or spend more than $250. Stop the Stadium did not tell KRQE News 13 how much money they’ve spent so far.
Baca says the city has scheduled a hearing to review the complaint within the next month. A campaign finance report shows that the PAC in support of the stadium, called NM United For All, spent more than $330,000 over 10 days in October for expenses including newspaper ads, signs, and mailers.