Monday, February 27, 2017

Picture Perfect

David Saucedo's mayoral campaign is hilarious. Its one disaster after another and it never stops entertaining me.

I found one picture that perfectly captures Saucedo.

He's a Republican and had an event were he tried to take the page of an old school Democrat, FDR.

He set-up a fire-side chat event.

It perfectly captures how artificial the campaign is - a Republican, taking a play from a Democrat and then...even the fire is FAKE!



It never stops giving!

Council Races Are What to Watch

I know everyone is paying attention to the shit show that is the mayor's race, but since there are no candidates worth a damn in that race, and since we have a weak mayor form of government anyway, the real races to watch are the city council races.

And its a lot of interesting drama when you think about it. D3 and D4 (Eastside/Ascarate and Northeast) are open seats. D2 (central) features a candidate that rode into office on an ethics complaint and is now the subject of an investigation by the Texas Rangers against a field of candidates.

The winners of those races will do more to change the direction of council than a mayor will. Personally I think the qualities to look for in this race, especially given the carnival freak show we have at council now, are financial management experience and temperament.

Financial management is pretty obvious, we have big dollar issues facing us and we need to make sure we have people sitting at the table that know what the hell they are doing when it comes to money.

But more important than ever is temperament. These people have big personalities on council and their bickering has gone public on more than one occasion. Its an embarrassment to El Paso when they do, but frankly though couldn't give a shit less about that if they tried.

I'm not saying you want people that will go along to get along. And I'm not saying that you don't want a strong advocate for your district either. But what I am saying is that you don't want an asshole elected. Council has reached their quota of assholes and adding another one isn't going to make things any better. So when you are watching forums and media interviews of candidates, pay attention to who is being an asshole and think twice about voting for them.

Also, pay attention to voting history. People that really care about their communities are regular voters. You have a few people that should have long voting histories because of their age and haven't even voted in a city election. That is not a good situation.

Friday, February 24, 2017

El Pasoans Should Vote Against Saucedo & Margo

The anti-immigrant wave that has washed over America since Trump took office, happening even in our own courts in our own back yard, has created an even bigger urgency in the mayor's race in my opinion.

Immigrants in communities across this country are worried about being separated from their families.

This community needs leaders with the courage to stand up to Trump's policies and actions. That is why party matters...because of crap like what is happening right now.

Saucedo has never voted in a primary that wasn't a Republican one. He's a big fan of Rick Santorum. He defended anti-immigrant rhetoric of Lou Holtz.

Saying he's against the stadium doesn't wash him of the anti-immigrant stain. Its just his transparent gesture to try to guess the direction of the political winds and try to go with it in order to patronize voters.

He could've come out against the Holtz, Trump, and Santorum rhetoric but he hasn't. He made a video about the border that never really said anything and just seemed to be more like a commercial for his boots, which are really nice by the way. The point is, Saucedo has already had a chance to push back against that anti-mmigrant hateful rhetoric and rather than doing so, he actually defended those with the hateful rhetoric. So we already know what he would do as mayor - he'd not only capitulate to the Trump agenda, there's no reason to believe he wouldn't fully embrace it.

Hell, he went to the Lincoln Day Celebration that the local Republican Party puts on every year just the other day. Here's a pic if you don't believe me:


Dee Margo is a career Republican, much like Saucedo. He's always voted the Republican Party line in the legislature.

The bottom line is that there is no reason to believe that either of them would ever stand up to Trump's agenda - and with more and more policies hitting home, its more important now than ever that we have a strong leader that will stand up to Trump.

Las Cruces' city council came out against the Trump administration's tactics of targeting immigrants. Do you honestly have any faith that as things escalate that Trump and Saucedo would ever stand up and be the voice of their community against the cacophony of the Trump administrations anti-immigrant platform?

Saucedo wouldn't even take responsibility to the mess that happened under his watch at the Boys & Girls Club. He threw his buddy under the bus. Dee Margo didn't stand up to the GOP leadership for El Paso in the legislature.

What makes you think either of them will stand up to Trump, push back on raids in this community, and truly be the voice of El Paso?

You think its gonna be the guy who plays boxer dress-up or the guy who made a career out of toeing the Republican Party line?

But frankly, they aren't the only ones that the electorate needs to be aware of in terms of voting record. Take a look at this chart put together by the El Paso Democratic Party:

The people highlighted in red have solid Republican voting records. You should know that when they come knocking on your door asking for your vote. Some of the candidates have the audacity to ask for your vote and have never actually cared enough about city issues to ever have voted in a city election.

But they got the nerve to ask you to send them to city hall to represent you.

Knowledge is power.

Make wise choices, our community depends on it.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Video: D4 Candidates at Northeast Democrats Forum

Okay I won't bore you with the video of all the debate for the D4 candidates, I just thought I'd post the Morgan thing I mentioned yesterday and a round of all the candidates answering a specific question.

I chose this question because I thought it was the best question from the panel. They asked the candidates to name two things they have done specifically for the Northeast. I think its the single question that gives voters the biggest insight into the Four for Four.



And here is the Sam Morgan closing I was talking about.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Northeast Democrats Candidate Forum Run-down

Sam Morgan, Shane Haggerty, Jose Placensia, Diana Ramos
I have video to follow, but its a lot and takes forever to edit, render, and upload. And contrary to what my haters think, I do have other things to do. After all, being in all the conspiracy theories you shut-ins accuse me of is time consuming.

I'll paint with some broad strokes here for this post and get to the video later. The main event of the night was the District 4 race, which is the northeast seat that is soon to be vacated by City Rep Carl Robinson. Surprisingly, there wasn't a single D2 candidate in attendance.

If you recall, debates in the northeast are a lot of fun. Mostly because they reflect the northeast - raucous, a huge chip on their shoulder, loud, and a obnoxious. Basically like any night at a bar on Dyer - complete with people who may or may not be slightly intoxicated being loud and rude.

Mayoral Candidates -

Only two candidates showed up, but interestingly Republican candidate for Mayor Dee Margo didn't, but will be addressing the group next month on his own. Dee Margo at a Northeast Democrats meeting...THAT should be fun!

Wille Cager and Emma Acosta were the only two candidates that showed up, so for those of you keeping score at home, the tallest and the shortest candidates in the field.

Nothing exciting. It was basically everyone's first candidate outing for this year's election cycle so they almost all had to work on their game. Emma's voice kept quivering and she makes the argument that she's the only candidate that has been working for the people over the last 8 years. Problem is, Antonio Williams argued for Emma's candidacy better than Emma did. And apparently Dora came up with this years' little rhyming slogan for her candidate... remember she's the one who came up with Chente por la gente, and she had two for herself - Voten por Dora su servidora and another one she jokingly told me once, Don't vote for caca, vote for Oaxaca. So if you're wondering, its this:



Cager is an El Paso treasure and a great guy. Really focused on the kids. The guy literally helped but El Paso on the map. But he's not a serious mayoral candidate. Every answer contained the phrases "plain and simple", "smooth", and "for the kids".

You didn't miss anything with these two candidates.

D3 in the NE

I don't know why any of them showed up to a debate in a part of town where no one can vote for them, but it was a pretty clear result. Antonio Williams wiped the floor with them. He took them to the deep end of the policy pool and drowned them.  He's the only candidate that spoke about policy and he called out Jaime Barceleau for basically having nothing but general statements and board platitudes.  I don't agree with some of Williams policies, but I haven't seen a candidate do a better job of articulating his position and making it connect to voters in a long time.  Wait for the video on this one.

District 4

The first words out of my mouth were "what the hell"?

I don't know what got into Sam Morgan, but he wasn't the same guy I know. Seems like he cut off his dreads and became a different vato. There was a palpable tone with him that was not the normal, likable, approachable, and really cool guy I always knew. I don't know if its the Chris Hernandez influence, but Sam's tone was really sharp. He's been that way in his social media lately too. He seemed almost annoyed that he had opponents.

Watch the faces he makes when his opponents speak when I post the video.

He's straight up annoyed.

Which I understand, he was a handful of votes from winning last time and so I can understand the feeling like this is his time.

But he spent most of the debate insulting his opponents, talking about his security clearance and his book, and almost no time talking about policy. He went on a pretty strong rant against Diana Ramos for running because she basically just moved to the district and he kept alluding to who was behind her candidacy.

I think they fact that she just moved to the district and is already trying to represent a district she has no roots in is absolutely a legitimate argument against her, but I think people were paying much more attention to how he was saying things as opposed to what he was saying.

He has to understand its his job to communicate better. The audience wasn't confusing passion for anger. He was genuinely pretty pissed. Morgan has gotta tighten the screws, adjust his fire, and he'll be fine. He bolo'd this time, but he's got another chance to qualify. (Morgan and most vets get what I'm saying).

Haggerty

Haggerty did what Haggerty always does, he gave an even-handed description for what he's done for the Northeast as the President of YISD. At one point, Morgan actually changed his tone from he's-just-a-guy-running-on-a-Haggerty-name, to giving Haggerty "props" for what he's done.

But Haggerty looks really stiff and uncomfortable. That might have been first-fight jitters or the way Morgan started the night off, but he looked noticeably nervous. He's got to find a way to be more memorable to voters. Morgan has the bigger personality, so Haggerty has to find his sweet spot because he's the more qualified of the two candidates. He's gotta communicate that and get voters to remember it.

Jose Placensia

I like his politics. He's really liberal. Took guts for a Green Party guy to show up to Democratic Party event, and he's got pretty good sense of humor. He trolled me trolling him on Twitter and it was hilarious.

He's focused on issues, but he doesn't connect well. I think its delivery. He seems timid and if you want to be a leader, you can't be timid. And its hard for him because the other two guys in the race have years of leadership experience and with one being a Green Beret and one being a Fire Fighter and he's a chess teacher, well its a different approach to say the least. But his strength is gonna be his team and knocking on doors.

Diana Ramos

For someone being recruited and supported by the Congressman, she's really pretty unimpressive. I think she's going to come in a very distant third, but not because she's not likeable. She's very nice, dynamic, polite, and an O-K speaker, but she's in a field were she doesn't match the experience level. Based on her team, I was expecting substance and it just didn't seem like it was there. It might be because Morgan came after her so harshly and I wouldn't blame her if it rattled her a little bit because it was pretty excessive, even for the Northeast. She was put not the defensive from the start because it was Morgan's home field.

So I'm gonna withhold judgement and chalk it up to her being nervous and it being the first time out. I'd like to see her go on the offensive next time with policy. She should take the fight to the other candidates and see who can have a deep policy conversation. She might be able to expose some weaknesses in her opponents.

But that whole just moving to the area thing is going to be a really tough hill to climb. The Northeast has the biggest chip on its shoulder and they really don't like outsiders.

I tried to interview all the candidates but I wasn't able to get one with Ramos despite the fact that she agreed to. I tried to get her attention to interview her but was unable to and I had to leave.

Municipal Judges

Okay I didn't stay for the whole thing and the Northeast Democrats have to run a better forum. It dragged on for too long and I don't know if anyone was actually keeping time. They all just seemed to go on and on and on and on and on...

But from what I saw - and I need to see more of them before I can give any really good analysis - was that the candidates that stood out to me were Morales and Anchondo.

I need to hear more of the candidates and I'm sure I will so I'll probably dedicate a post to just them.



Mayor Leeser Not Seeking Congressional Seat

In another surprise, Mayor Oscar Leeser announced on Monday night that he would not be seeking the office of the 16th Congressional District in El Paso.

Congressman O'Rourke has indicated that he will be taking on Texas Senator Ted Cruz and will be leaving his seat in Congress. That has created a pretty big seismic shift among local politicos and everybody and their abuelita are lining up to make their next campaign move.

Leeser has been going back and forth about not running for reelection, then running for reelection, then not running, then running for congress, then not running for congress, then running for mayor again, then not running again, and now apparently - not running for congress either.

Leeser made the announcement at the Northeast Democrats candidate forum that was held Monday night. I spoke briefly with the mayor after his announcement and was supposed to find out why he wasn't running but he hasn't called me back yet.

In the mean time, here's video of the announcement.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Limón Opponent Withdraws

A source at city hall indicates that district 7 candidate Gerardo Chacon has withdrawn his candidacy. Sources also indicate that he withdrew in order to support fellow candidate Henry Rivera.

Rivera recently married Dora Oaxaca, Emma Acosta's controversial staffer and the architect of the now-infamous, now-defunct Gandara family political dynasty.

Rivera is taking on incumbent City Rep Lily Limón, who is running for reelection after upsetting the front-running Tania Chozet in a close run-off election.

Rivera is still a policeman with the El Paso Police Department and he was the money guy for the police union.

Both Rivera and Chacon filed shortly before the filing deadline.

It'll be interesting to see how Dora is going to be able to run his campaign and help her boss in her bid to become mayor. Its hard to manager a high-profile mayoral race where your candidate can't raise any money and a competitive high-stakes council race against a popular incumbent.

Barceleau Big Bucks Blunder...Part 2

All you big money people that donated big bucks to help out Jaime Favela in his bid to become the next city rep should know how poorly your money is being spent.

Memmer when I told you he actually spent money to tell potential rival candidates that there was still time to file against him?

Well it gets worse...or better depending on your perspective.

I'm probably helping him by writing this, but its straight up amateur hour at his campaign and I know they don't know this, other wise they wouldn't have screwed up so badly....

...but a big portion of the mailers didn't reach houses in District 3, which is a good thing for Jaime Barceleau-Favela...

...but he actually sent them to voters who don't live in District 3 anymore.

So since the Barceleau-Favela campaign obviously doesn't know this, I'll point them in the right direction. You geniuses didn't realize that there was redistricting done a while back and since you guys are obviously trying to cast a REALLY wide net with voters, you didn't adjust for the precinct changes.

So not only did you send a piece of mail that was hard to read for seniors, didn't really say anything other than Jaime might as well take Norma's last name or hyphenate it since he's relying so much on her, but you sent it to a big group of people that don't live in the district.

You're welcome, now go fix your list. Your mail is still gonna by shitty, but hey, at least the right people will get it.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Barceleau Blowing Big Bucks

District 3 main money candidate Jaime Barceleau appears to not know how to spend campaign money...and I find it hilarious.

I got a hold of his first mailer he sent out and boy is it hilarious. There is a lot wrong with this piece of mail, but as a very close friend often reminds me, I need to stop giving out free advice to candidates.

So I'm not going to tell him how to fix this crappy mailer, but I will have a little fun with it. First of all, take note of the fact that he actually spent a lot of money to send this out to voters. This landed in mailboxes around February 8-10.

The reason the day it landed is significant is pretty funny, but I'll get to that a little later.

I've been making the point pretty often that his only redeeming quality as a candidate (hell as a person for that matter) is his wife, the District Clerk Norma Favela. Frankly, she's a great lady and the only reason anyone knows him is because he's her plus one to events.

And he's clearly going to ride that for all its worth. This guy actually paid money to have a mailer sent to voters that gave his marital status. I'm not making that up.


That isn't even the biggest problem with the mailer. I just found it funny.

What should concern donors and voters, is the way he blows through money. Remember when I told you to make note of the day the mailer landed? Well it turns out that Jaime, for some unknown and illogical reason, decided it was a good idea to spend money sending a mailer to voters that included the last day to file to run for office!

Seriously...what an idiot! Why would you spend your campaign dollars to a bunch of voters, many of home could be potential opponents, reminding them of how much time they have to file? Don't believe me? Look:



This happened because he is doing his own mail. There's no way he paid a consultant for that, if he did then he's less qualified than I thought. This is what happens when you don't have any substance as a candidate but you have a boatload of money and want to send something to voters so you need some filler information.

A full week before the filing deadline. Seriously, my sides are hurting from laughing at how comically bad he is at spending campaign dollars.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Tolbert Admits "May Have Deleted" Text Messages

In a story that should have all El Pasoans worried about government transparency, and makes you wonder were Stephanie Townsend Allala is when you need her, City Rep Jim Tolbert may have gotten himself in even more hot water. Potentially more legal hot water.

A story on KTSM last night broke down a major problem that the City of El Paso has with city representatives having to do with text messaging. They may have actually busted them in the infamous "read and delete" operation.

Click this link to watch the story. The first part of the story talks about something that should infuriate everyone - lack of transparency. And they weren't the only station to catch it. KFOX also caught on to something that should be the biggest issue this community - your city electeds are doing business on their cell phones and deleting the messages to keep them from the public.

In separate interviews with separate stations Rep Tolbert and Rep Niland all but admitted to deleting text messages. Rep Tolbert actually admitted to it. As if he didn't have enough election problems, now he has this issue to explain to voters. And if memory serves, Tolbert promised an audit of the open records function and never delivered. The irony of the fact that he's conducting city business via Facebook Messenger and deleted text messages looks really, really, really bad.

But...here's what the media and public should be demanding from their elected leaders. They should put them on the spot. Ask them all to use software to recover the messages. It exists. They know it does. They should use the software to recover their messages and show the community they are transparent. 

So they have the means to do so. If they choose not to, then that tells you all you need to know about their integrity. It also tells you they aren't smart enough to learn from the past.

The stories also shed light on something even more disappointing about city government - the fact that the city attorneys office doesn't appear equipped to handle open record requests properly. Remember when the I made an open records request from Noe and Acosta's office about text messages? I got back records that were redacted like a classified Cold War document. It had been redacted by a computer and by hand. When I inquired why, it was because the city reps office had done the redacting, not the City Attorney's office. Big no-no.

Now media is making requests and some records are being released to stations and others aren't, but when another outlet makes a similar request, the records that weren't provided to the first station seem to be provided to another. Clearly, someone doesn't know what they are doing.

They mayor says he turns over everything but the city attorneys office doesn't give it to the media, which means either the mayor isn't accurate, or the city is withholding documents that are releasable.

If the media can't reliably have access to public documents, how can the public reliably believe that their government is being open and transparent?

Leeser To Announce Re-election Bid Today


Sources close to Mayor Leeser's private email address he got caught using for city business say that the embattled mayor will file for reelection today.

Leeser, who is the subject of an investigation by the Texas Rangers will join the rest of the clown car of candidates vying for the City's Mayoral Office.

Leeser is no longer viable for Congress after TOMA-gate, and would have a tough time winning reelection to his seat if it weren't for who is in the race and their field programs.

So he'll announce today, cuz, well, what else is he gonna do at this point?