Up-and-coming Republican state Representative and House Majority Whip Alonzo Baldonado of Los Lunas considers himself a crime-fighting legislator.
However, while he postures as a law-and-order tough-guy in Legislative Session, attacking Democrats for their work to promote public safety, Baldonado has spent more time in court than any other person serving at the Roundhouse.
“Alonzo Baldonado talks a tough game about cracking down on crime,” said Debra Haaland, Democratic Party of New Mexico chairwoman, “but his long court record disqualifies him as a credible critic of any Democratic lawmaker’s work to promote law and order and to keep New Mexicans safe.”
In fact, Baldonado has been repeatedly hauled into New Mexico courts by his creditors, and he has had foreclosure proceedings initiated against him six times in 5 years. The evidence in the court records adds up to more than a decade of Baldonado’s being in and out of the court room.
The first time Baldonado was taken to court for not paying debts was in 2005. The most recent foreclosure, however, is still pending.
“A full decade in court suggests a pattern, not a onetime mistake, as Alonzo Baldonado would like Valencia County residents to believe,” Haaland said. “This is not what New Mexicans expect from their lawmakers. Valencia County deserves better.”
What’s more, Haaland said, Baldonado’s behavior has continued after he was elected. Since winning election in 2011, Baldonado has repeatedly been taken to court by people who have lent him money for his business. They have actually filed claims against him to recover money 10 times, including on 11/7/2011, 11/8/2011, 6/22/2012, 8/2/2012 and as recently as 2/7/2014.
“Three years after Baldonado swore to uphold the laws of New Mexico,” Haaland said, “he is rising quickly to prominence in the House GOP hierarchy. But he has also been hauled into court again and again. Alonzo Baldonado’s pattern of not paying his debts shows how out-of-touch he is with Valencia County families, who work hard to pay their bills and keep their commitments. Alonzo Baldonado does not speak for Valencia County.”
Indeed, Baldonado’s ignoring his own financial struggles may be impacting his ability to represent hardworking Valencia County families. In 2013, for example, Baldonado voted against the Foreclosure Fairness Act—after being foreclosed on himself six times. That bill would have protected homeowners from corporations that try to force them out of their homes.