As previously reported by El Paso News, Vince Perez is a partner in Fair Data LLC., a consulting firm formed on June 2, 2022. Fair Data is composed of Chris Hernandez, Jeremy Jordan, David Saucedo II, Carlos Sierra and Vince Perez. In addition to Fair Data, Vince Perez created another political consulting firm in June. Public records show that on June 17, Vince Perez created the company VMP Strategies, LLC.
Vince Perez, who lost his county commissioner seat to Iliana Holguin in 2020 is married to Claudia Ordaz who recently won her State Representative District 79 seat against incumbent Art Fierro. Ordaz had moved into Fierro’s district after the Texas legislature redistricted her into Lina Ortega’s district. Ordaz chose to challenge Fierro, instead of Ortega, to keep her seat.
In 2021, Claudia Ordaz Perez paid her husband $9,500 from her campaign funds to help Vince Perez with his election against Holguin. Ordaz used campaign funds to give her husband the $9,500 on December 28, 2020, according to her January 15, 2021, financial disclosure filing. Although Claudia Ordaz reported her campaign contribution, to this date, Vince Perez has failed to report his wife’s campaign contribution in his financial disclosures. The last financial report filed by Vince Perez was on July 6, 2020, according to county records.
After losing his seat to Holguin in 2020, Perez started offering political consulting services. One of his first clients were the two failed Canutillo School District bonds on November 2, 2021. Over 60% of the electorate rejected both bonds in that election. Vince Perez was paid almost $45,000 by the Canutillo school board to provide campaign consulting services for both failed bonds.
The Isabel Salcido Campaign
In the upcoming elections, Perez is representing at least one candidate. City council district 5 representative Isabel Salcido reported paying Perez $9,000 for help in her upcoming election in November. Campaign finance reports due on July 15 show that Perez’ new campaign consulting firm was paid $9,000 by Salcido on June 28, 2022.
The payment to Perez from Salcido’s campaign represents 95% of Salcido’s political expenditures to date. Salcido has spent $9,507.25 according to her July 15 report. Salcido is running to keep her seat in the upcoming November elections. She was first elected in 2018 winning her seat with 56.7% of the vote against three challengers. She took her seat on January 1, 2019.
On Monday, Salcido voted with four other city representatives to take away the mayor’s veto power. Monday’s vote adds a charter amendment to the November ballot that gives the mayor a vote on city council agenda items. Currently the mayor only votes in cases of tie vote but can veto an item if he chooses to. Oscar Leeser said during the discussions over his veto power that the veto provides “checks and balances” to city council action. Leeser’s most recent veto over giving the city manager a contract extension was controversial among several city representatives. Salcido was one of six city representatives who voted to extend Tommy Gonzalez’ city manager contract in May. When Leeser vetoed the first contract extension, city council placed an item to override the mayor’s veto. However, instead of voting on overturning the veto, city representatives including Salcido voted to extend Gonzalez’ contract to 2029 and removed the cap of $450,000 on Gonzalez’ salary. Gonzalez currently makes $405,000 year.
Salcido’s treatment of constituents has been criticized over her tenure in office. Joe Pickett, who has announced that he is challenging Salcido for her seat in the upcoming elections told El Paso Matters on November 3, 2021, that Salcido does not treat every constituent equally. Pickett criticized Salcido for allowing herself to be dictated by Tommy Gonzalez on the financial dealings at the city. In response to Pickett’s comments, Salcido told El Paso Matters that his comments about “letting the city manager dictate” her “support for issues is particularly insulting.”
The UMC Petition Drive
As we previously reported, the University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC) is trying to convince the county commissioners to vote on approving $346 million in non-voter approved bonds. Instead of taking the proposed bonds to the electorate in November, UMC is trying to issue the debt as certificates of obligation in hopes of bypassing El Paso’s voters. Commissioners are expected to vote on the non-voter approved debt on September 12.
When we reported that UMC had launched a website in support of the non-voter approved bonds earlier this month, we wrote that there were petitions being circulated to force UMC to take the bonds to the voters. A reader provided us a copy of the petition.
Although there have been rumors that petition collectors were being paid for the effort, we have been unable to confirm whether this is true. However, in addition to registering his consulting firm VMP Strategies in June, along with Fair Data, Vince Perez also filed an Assumed Name Records filing at the county on July 7.
According to the DBS filing, Vince Perez has registered a third company this year. This one is named El Paso Petition Drive to Oppose Property Tax Increase. Although we have been unable to confirm what the property tax opposition name in the company means, it is likely that this is the vehicle that will be used to officially collect signatures for a petition to force UMC to take their bonds to the voters in November, instead of using non-voter approved bonds. How the petition drive is to be funded is unknown, but a likely funding source would be Tenet Hospitals who operates the Providence chain of hospitals in El Paso. Tenet has actively lobbied on health public policy issues in the community. There have been persistent rumors that Perez has been hired by Tenet in recent weeks.
In the first six months of 2022, Vince Perez has registered two companies; VMP Strategies and El Paso Petition Drive to Oppose Property Tax Increase, and has joined a third consulting company, Fair Data.
What About Fair Data?
Perez registered VMP Strategies 15 days after joining the startup Fair Data which has led to some speculation about how Perez’ political consulting works ties into Fair Data. The question being whether VMP Strategies is working with or against Fair Data.
In a telephone interview today, an official with Fair Data, that agreed to speak to us on the condition that we not name them, told us that Fair Data is a company focused on building political technology. At some point in the future, Fair Data may get into the political consulting side of the business, said the official, but for now they are focused on developing a technology platform. As such, the members of Fair Data are “free agents” in the political consulting realm, the official told us.
Martín Paredes became a partner of Politico Campaigns, a political campaign management firm, in June 2022. The views and opinion expressed in our publication are those of Paredes and do not necessarily represent the views of the firm or its other partners. El Paso News is funded primarily by Paredes, in part by donations from readers and online advertisement. Politico Campaigns plays no role in our reporting. El Paso News has an open editorial policy encouraging any author to submit any article from any point of view for consideration to be published on El Paso News. Joe Pickett is a client of Politico Campaigns.