Civil war within the Congressional Hispanic Caucus appeared to reach its climax Wednesday night as rebellious members sought to overthrow their chairman, Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.).
The move, which is still unfolding and could be averted at the eleventh hour, is an effort to end many months of turmoil over the allocation of funds to election campaigns involving Baca’s sons and the accusation that the reviled chairman insulted one colleague, calling her a "whore."
The sequence of events Wednesday remains unclear but it appears that the coup, if it goes ahead, will be effected by a face-saving mechanism in which all members of the caucus leadership resign Thursday.
What was clear late Wednesday was that members wanted to replace Baca as CHC chairman with Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), while Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) would take charge of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a non-profit foundation, said Democratic sources. Normally both posts are held by a single lawmaker.
Expect this internecine squabble to continue, and pop up from time to time.