Monday, February 8, 2016

Gregory Gonzalez's Doh!

Gregory Gonzalez is the other candidate for Tax Assessor Collector and has zero chance of winning. And that is for a variety of reasons like no name ID, he hasn't raised much money, no one has really seen him campaign much, etc. And oh by the way, he has the same last name as the current appointed Tax Assessor Collector Ruben Gonzalez.

Which is why Ruben Gonzalez is going to lose too.

But here's a fun story that I thought I would pass along.

During election season, usually judicial candidates but others as well, like to decorate their vehicles with campaign paraphernalia and park it in the county parking garage. I guess they think it helps them get votes. I don't know who ever told them that lie, but it is what it is.

Well there is one parking spot in the employee parking that is treasured above all others. When I worked there I used to call it the "Employee of the Month" parking spot and it was usually taken by someone who gets to the courthouse insanely early. Like stupid early.

The parking spot is the closest to the 3rd floor causeway into the courthouse and the elevators to the other parking levels open up and the spot is right there in front of them.

Well for the past month or so young Mr. Gonzalez has parked a vehicle in the "Employee of the Month" parking spot and had signs on it. Its annoyed a few people that show up to work early but more importantly, its hilarious.

I'll tell you why.  

One of the main functions of the Tax Assessor Collector's Office in addition to calculating the effective tax rate and other functions is to capture fees and... its the place you get your stickers for your vehicle.

If you're running to head that office, wouldn't it behoove you to ensure that the car you parked strategically with your campaign ad on it didn't have EXPIRED STICKERS!


 think I can actually hear Homer Simpson yell 


Video: SBOE Candidate Georgina Perez

This is video of State Board of Education candidate Georgina Perez at a recent candidate forum at Burges High School.

Her opponent was not in attendance and I haven't heard of him showing up to very many events at all. He's a Forma candidate and is almost entirely funded by the Texans for Education Reform which may explain why he's been kinda scarce. Its doubtful he wants to face questions about where his money comes from, although I did hear a rumor that he showed up to an endorsement meeting for an organization wearing a military field uniform for some reason. 

Any who, I'd post video of him too if I could get it. 

In the mean time, here's video of candidate Georgina Perez. And since most of the time races like that are pretty boring, Perez actually engaged the crowd more so than the candidates in the other boring races:

Friday, February 5, 2016

Villegas Case Major Issue in DA Race

I checked out a forum run by City Rep Emma Acosta and students from Burges High School earlier this week. I love this forum - or any forum run by stands for that matter - you will always get good, strong questions out of those forums.

They are too young to know they are supposed to be scared by the talking suits in front of them.

I'll post video of the back and forth between the candidates over the weekend but there was a pretty big dust up between the three candidates over the Villegas case. It happened during their closing remarks and since I've heard them all before I stopped recording because most of the time the closings are uneventful.

So I interviewed two of the three candidates after the forum to touch on the issue that seemed to set the three of them off.

I was unable to interview the District Attorney. He declined to be interviewed because he was going to a fundraiser. At first I thought he just didn't want to answer tough questions but I later found out I was wrong, their race was first to debate because he needed to get to his fundraiser.

So rain check for Mr. Esparza.

But I did interview Mr. Morales and Ms. Rosales.

Rosales took the offensive, and apparently also last night at a forum at Americas High School, about contributions from John Mimbela and family members.

The controversy is over the question of whether or not the individual candidates would retry the Villegas case. Obviously the District Attorney is trying the case so we know his answer. Morales states that he would dismiss the case "on day one" if elected.

Rosales has a more nuanced answer about needing to see all the facts in the case first before deciding to move forward on the case.

What got everyone going was the fact that Rosales indicated that 1/3 of Morales' campaign contributions come from Mimbela, who is the guy that has been bankrolling the defense for Mr. Villegas and is his employer now.

So Rosales is implying that the reason Morales would dismiss the case is because Mimbela is backing him.

When I did a quick check of financial reports it appears that there are three Mimbela family members that have contributed to Mr. Morales for a total of $16,500.

That would actually account for more like 43% of Morales' total contributions.

That is the most amount of contributions by one individual or family to one candidate of any of the candidates running locally in the March primary. PACs have contributed more money to candidates as an entity, but not an individual or family.

Morales was upset at the assertion that political contributions would influence his decision to go forward on a case. He also indicated that Rosales' campaign team had met with Mimbela at some point during the campaign.

Sources indicate that Mr. Villegas himself was actually present at the Americas High School debate last night but I did not attend and have no video of that event.

I also asked a few other questions of the candidates that might give you all some insight into the qualifications of the candidates.

Family Member Confirms Romero Resignation

In an early morning telephone call a member of Larry Romero's family confirmed his resignation. 

Mike Romero, Rep Romero's son reached out to me and indicated that his father did indeed resign late yesterday as it was reported yesterday by the El Paso Times.

He also indicated very clearly that it was in fact due to health concerns.

Mike Romero made the point that his father isn't a career politician and the family believed that the stress of council isn't worth potentially losing his life over.

His son also explained that the question wasn't so much about the severity of the stroke but rather recovery and the possibility of another stroke that could potentially be more severe. 

Mike Romero said running a business and being on council at the same time was just too stressful given his current health status.

Mike Romero was adamant that his father only got into politics to serve and has always done so with the best of intentions.

Romero's Resignation

The El Paso Times seems to be the only media outlet that has been able to confirm the resignation of City Rep Larry Romero that occurred late on Thursday.

Don't forget, Thursday is the Friday for city council. So when you "take out the trash" - media speak for releasing bad news - you do it right before the weekend in an attempt to minimize the coverage on the weekend news cycle.

Look, there's a lot of people that have contacted me and said that they think that Romero's exit from the city council is just all too convenient in terms of timing because of the increase scrutiny he is about to face.

Basically they are saying he's faking it.

Personally I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. It would take a level of douchedom not seen since the last time Ali Razavi bathed himself in some cologne named after a day of the week in French, shaved his neck and back, and tried to get laid to actually fake a stroke.

Romero went to the hospital and I assume there was some diagnosis relating to the stroke, so he's clearly not faking the stroke.

Now, how severe was the damage? I'm not a doctor so I certainly can't speak to that with any level of authority.

But those that believe he's over-stating the severity of his health condition in order to have an artful way of leaving council on (somewhat) his own terms point to his business being in the busiest time of the year and he goes to work at his business regularly.

Romero and City Manager Tommy Gonzalez, are being investigated by someone hired by the city to look into several alleged improprieties. The resignation came just three days after the Ethics Commission sent him a list of questions regarding the investigation.

So as a result, more than a few people around town are saying that he's just using illness as a cover story to avoid having to face the music. The reality is that at some point the media is going to show up at his house or at his business and stick a camera in his face because they are only going to take comment from his wife for so long before they collectively decide that they need to get answers from him. I assume documentation of just how severe the stroke was and whether he's really resigning because of the inquiry will be asked.

What do I think? I think the vato has been under a lot of stress for several months over all the scrutiny and for a man his age, a stroke is certainly possible.

I think the question now arises at this point about what happens with ethics complaint. Since the ethics complaint was leveled at Romero, does it now die? If there were anything uncovered that may warrant the need for law enforcement to investigate further does the Ethics Commission had that info over?

Does this mean Romero escapes accountability if there is ultimately any findings?

Stay tuned - the blogosphere is probably going to explode over this issue and there will be posts about process and possible candidates coming soon.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Rep Romero Resigns

Well I didn't think it would be so quickly after I wrote about it, but City Rep Larry Romero has apparently resigned.

Sources at City Hall had indicated earlier today, after I'd written my previous post, that he was planning on resigning but this apparently now has been confirmed by the El Paso Times.

Romero Health Issue More Serious?

In this article in today's El Paso Times regarding questions that were asked of City Rep Romero and City Manager Tommy Gonzalez, which appear to allow them time to prepare their answers in writing, there was an interesting revelation made regarding Rep Romero.

Romero is facing a lot of scrutiny and an ethics complaint relating to dealings with Gonzalez. The Times tried to contact Romero to get comment about their story and his wife indicated that they would know next week if Romero would be "able to return to his duties at City Hall".

Originally it was thought that Romero was just going to be out in order to recoup from his stroke, but there were some who said it was a way for him to get off of council and save face.

As I wrote previously, you don't fake a stroke. That is a major health issue.

But as one reader keeps emailing me about, Romero still feels well enough to conduct the business he runs.

My response would be that what he deals with at council is far more stressful that his business and the guy has to feed his family so who would fault him from working?

Nonetheless it is a strong indication that there is the likelihood, as I have said before, that Romero will not fill out his term and that there will have to be a solution to filling his seat probably in the very near future.

I'm assuming Jim Tolbert runs but there are several other people that are pretty well known that have indicated an interest in the seat should it become vacant.

Something to watch...

Also later today I'll be posting a wrap up and video from the Burges High School debate sponsored by City Rep Emma Acosta.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tony Quintanilla's Campaign Finance Report & Carlos Sierra

Here is part of the reason why the Tejano Dems not filing a campaign finance report is so interesting... because they endorsed a candidate that is not on the ballot and it appears they are all set to spend a lot of money on their slate of endorsed candidates.

But they aren't the only ones that are doing that. They are just the only ones not reporting it.

Turns out that the bail bondsmen in town are also still putting money in to Tony Quintanilla's campaign. 

Before I go further, let me explain something very important. Quintanilla filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Texas asking them to over-turn the decision of the 8th Court of Appeals that determined he was ineligible to be a candidate for County Commissioner for Precinct 3. But the Supreme Court HAS NOT issued an injunction or any other order halting the election process as a result of Quintanilla filing the appeal. 

What does that mean in layman's terms?

It means he's not on the ballot and he's not going to be. The ballots already went out. The ballots went out overseas and to mail-in ballot voters already. I point this out because there may be some people who have donated to Quintanilla or might be helping him put door hangers on cars in parking lots in Horizon City that don't realize that his name won't be there on the ballot come election day. 

Actually Chente Quintanilla probably appreciates the help because its likely more field work that he has done. Hell a good chuck of those voters will see Quintanilla and he'll pick those votes up. 

Hell he should send Tony Quintanilla a thank you card and some of those Little Caesars pizzas. 

Don't believe me? Read for yourself here. And heres a screen shot:

The Ivey's, one of the wealthy and powerful farmer families in the valley, donated to Quintanilla but their contributions look like they were before the decision to remove Tony Quintanilla from the ballot came down. Actually their contributions look like they were supposed to have been reported on the previous campaign finance report, but lets cut Quintanilla some slack. The vato's never even voted before so its not surprising if there are a few little boo-boos here and there. 

The bondsmen contributed after the decision but only $500. The Sheriff's Officer's Association didn't contribute in this report. It appears they realized that it didn't make sense to contribute to a candidate that isn't on the ballot anymore. First smart thing they have done in a long time, so good for them.

Quintanilla's lawyer for the Supreme Court appeal is Danny Anchondo, former Chairman of the El Paso Democratic Party. He was attached to the Party's case when Perez challenged the eligibility of Quintanilla with the 8th Court of Appeals. At that time Quintanilla was represented by the Lerma Law Firm and they gave an in-kind contribution of legal services that they tally up at either $11,000 or $16,000, its hard to read the handwriting on his report. 

Either way, that is a lot of money to change for a loss. But hey its an in-kind contribution, so its not real money anyway.

What is interesting though is who the campaign money went to. Other than legal fees, which has soaked up a lot of his money, it appears to have gone to Millennium Strategies. 

That is code for Carlos Sierra. 

The address listed for the firm is the same address in Chicago (9 West Washington Street, Chicago, Illinois) that Sierra listed as an address for a Draft Joe Biden organization that eventually let him go.

So the question for the Tea-janos is now this... do they still spend their club money advertising a candidate who was not on the ballot when they endorsed him and is not going to be on the ballot come election day? 

HD 77 Race: 30 Day Financial Report

With just 30 days to go before the election and only a couple of weeks before the start of early voting the candidates are rounding third and starting to up all their activity.

The more you look at the money the clearer it is that Adolfo Lopez has a steeper and steeper hill to climb. Ortega has more money in the bank with 30 days to go and that is usually a good sign of who is in the best position to win. Candidates with nothing left in the tank at the 30 day are running on fumes and candidates with fat stacks can really start to pour it on in the closing days of the race.

Lopez is likely to lose, but depending on where he lives, he might actually be pretty well set-up to run for city council for Romero's seat.

Which is interesting when you consider that Lopez is the candidate that Forma has gone all-in for. If you read his report, most of the PAC money he is getting is probably what I call "Marisa Money". Marquez is great at opening doors and getting money to come it, but it isn't coming in at the rate it needs to in order for them to win.

Watch for this one to go to the airwaves in the closing days of the campaign because its really the only play left for Lopez.

And here's my beef with TV advertising. Unless you're running countywide, there's really not a need for television. Its too expensive and doesn't yield measurable results. Here's what I mean, television isn't targeted advertising. So you have to hope a lot of things happen in order for your message to hit a target voter.

#1 - you have to hope that a voter you want to get out to the polls and vote for you is watching TV.

#2 - you have to hope that they are watching the station you purchased airtime with.

#3 - you have to hope they are watching the station you purchased airtime with, at the time you purchased the ad to run.

#4 - you have to hope that there is nothing else distracting them, or that they don't flip the channel like we all do, during the commercial break.

#5- then you have to hope the watch the spot in its entirety and remember the important take-aways from the spot, your name, the office you're running for and when/where to vote.

Yes, a LOT of people will see your spot if you run a television ad, but if you're running for an office in central, why the hell do you care if someone on the eastside watches your commercial? They can't vote for you anyway. You have no way to track if your targeted voter saw the ad, if they are even a voter, if they vote regularly and if they vote in your district.

But expect to see it anyway.

One final note about Forma. There's a real chance that they are going to get shut-out in this election cycle. I don't think they have a single candidate in their stable that is in a position to actually win. When you tally their monthly retainers and the fees they charge on top of the retainer, money which is mostly being funneled through the TLR, they stand to make a pretty penny this election cycle. Which is good now that they expanded their staff like I wrote about yesterday, so they probably have to charge more.

But what happens when the only major political consulting firm in town goes 0-for in this cycle? I'm sure Ali Razavi will have a great story explaining it all...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Rep Marquez Beefing Up Forma Group

Ever since retiring State Rep Marisa Marquez formally got on board with Forma Group, who she had long been associated with before deciding to retire, she has made an impact on the "turn-key" campaign consulting firm.

Lots of retiring state reps are involved in selected their replacements but only Marquez has literally found a way to make it her actual job to elect her replacement.

That is because the firm represents Adolfo Lopez, one of the two candidates vying for the post that is soon to be vacated by Marquez.

Even if you didn't know she worked for the firm, Stevie Wonder could see Marquez's handy work all over the campaigns they are running. The first give-away is the amount of money essentially being piped in from a single source, the TER.

The other give-away is the present of Dee Margo. And now as of late, Donald Margo. Donald Margo, Dee's son, co-hosted a fundraiser for Adolfo Lopez.

I only make note of it because I thought he had left El Paso never to return after a non-famous sour-grapes filled temper tantrum of a letter to the media after the elder Margo's loss to Joe Moody.

In fact the young lad actually called Joe Moody "a wise-cracking kid" - Moody is actually older than Donald - and said that El Paso "damn well" doesn't deserve Dee Margo.

Marquez also is leaving her mark on Forma in other ways. In fact it now looks like Forma is becoming an extension of her old legislative office. I was on their website recently and noticed that two of the three people pictured in this photo were also her legislative staff so she is clearly happy with their performance.

PDN Tejanos Fail to File Financial Report...AGAIN

Tejano Treasurer Dr. Anna Perez
Paso Del Norte Tejano Democrats have yet again failed to file a campaign finance report.

For the second time in a couple of weeks, Tejano treasurer Dr. Anna Perez has not complied with finance reporting rules set up by the state of Texas. The rules are in place to ensure transparency.

The Tejano Democrats are set-up as a General Political Action Committee (GPAC) and as such are required to file with campaign finance reporting laws just like a candidate.

As you can see here, they are listed as a GPAC (second one from the bottom):

 The Tea-janos had their endorsement meeting for candidates on January 15th. Their new plan for endorsements of candidates is actually much more expensive than in previous years. According to a source in the Tejanos, the plan is to do TV, radio, text messaging, and a mail piece for their slate of endorsed candidates. 

Here's the rules:

So they most-certainly should've had a report filed with the state for the March primary. That is aside from the OTHER report, the semi-annual, that they are also required to file and failed to do so. 

And speaking of text messages, I checked Tony Quintanilla's finance report and guess what. Neither he, nor the Tejanos reported an in-kind donation of the text message sent out by someone in the Tejanos supporting Quintanilla's fundraiser weeks BEFORE the endorsement meeting. 

Here's a link to the piece were I first mentioned the text message and this is a screen shot of the actual message:

That is a political expenditure that should have been reported and HAS NOT been reported by neither the Tejanos nor Quintanilla. 

This leads to the obvious question - is the lack of yet ANOTHER report that was not filed by the Tejanos due to incompetence or is it strategic?

This is potentially a serious violation, especially given the amount of money that they are going to be leveraging in this election cycle. If the opponents of any of their endorsed candidates pulled the same stunt of not reporting money, they would all likely file complaints with the Texas Ethics Commission.

Clinton & Trump - What Iowa Says About Both Candidates

There's an old saying that goes, "A win is a win."

Maybe that's true in March Madness but its not true in politics. Hillary Clinton is that #1 seed Ivy League school with a lot of money and solid gold uniforms and their own television network. Sanders is a small conference school no-one heard of that had to win the pig tail to get into that dance and only has one set of jerseys and a couple of walk-on players that just exposed all the flaws of the big establishment school.

And the performance of Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio shouldn't surprise you. The underdog beating the big ugly giant is a tale that goes back to the Old Testament.

I've been keeping up with coverage of the Iowa caucuses and I think the results are obviously most interesting for two candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Their underwhelming performances should be the headline.

We will start with the Democrats considering this is after all, a liberal publication.

No matter how you look at Iowa, Hillary didn't do well. For those of you that "aren't in the know", the fix by the establishment as been in for Clinton since day one. Clinton has enjoyed every single advantage possible in this race. And in a caucus state were backroom deals and intimidation are the norm (anyone who doesn't believe that need only look at the Texas two-step between Hillary and Obama 8 years ago), those inherent Party establishment advantages are even more important.

Hillary has been here before. Eight years ago she was also the coronated candidate, until she got beat by a candidate who was a relative unknown senator that struck a cord with young people and was organized.

Hillary apparently hasn't learned anything, because the same script played out again. Its one thing to make a mistake, its another thing entirely to not learn from your mistakes. Hillary hasn't learned.

Lets get one thing straight before we go on. Hillary has every advantage. She's the establishment candidate. She has all the Super PAC money. She supported financially by all the people we progressive liberal Democrats hate. By all accounts, a candidate that is the spouse of the most popular Democrat since JFK, who has been a senator and is the sitting Secretary of State, who has campaigned twice for her husband in Iowa and once for herself previously, who has the control of the Democratic Party's national machine, should've won by two touchdowns.

Especially when you're running against older candidate that looks like Doc Brown and very proudly has carried the label "socialist" for years. Bernie wasn't supposed to do well. And yet he has.

He has the most about of individual donors of any candidate...ever.

The average donation to his campaign is $27.

And now based on how well he did in Iowa, you know what is going to happen? Those people are going to go and donate to his campaign again. Bernie is going to raise a ton of money.

The fact that Hillary didn't win this campaign running away spells trouble. No matter how you Hillary zombies look at it, her performance was not good. Especially when she has another advantage in the closing days before the caucus...her much more popular husband Bill. President Clinton on the campaign trail with her means she can essentially be in two places in one time. Hell, next to Jackie Kennedy, has their been a more popular spouse of a candidate?

And she still ended up in a statistical tie with an older Jewish guy who always looks disheveled.

Yet again Hillary's organization was an epic failure!

But Hillary's performance is more significant for the signal it sends about the establishment and voters. I'll get to that at the end.

The Red Side

Trump, unlike Sanders, looked terrible in his second-place performance. Unfortunately for we Democrats, I'm afraid we are looking at the end of the Trump circus, which is a shame because I was hoping he'd stick around to make the GOP look stupid for a little longer.

The Republican Party's establishment isn't the establishment by accident. They have lost some smaller but significant races around the country over the last few years, but they keep their eyes on the prize and the GOP nominee always ends up being an establishment Republican.

And guess what, that isn't going to change.

Trump was a paper tiger. The establishment has coalesced around Marco Rubio.

And it showed.

Cruz is not darling of establishment Republicans. In fact, the only reason he won is because the establishment was more worried about Trump right now than Cruz. Rubio is going to get a big shot in the arm of money, which is how the establishment maintains law and order, and then they will be free to start aiming their artillery at Cruz.

This is where the also-rans will start to fall by the wayside. Bush and Christie, probably as much so as Trump, really lost a lot last night. Because they were hoping to pick up that establishment support so that they can try to stay on the field into the later innings.

The real question that we will all start asking is going to be about Trump's ego. How long will his ego keep him in the race? He's a business man and at some point he is going to realize that is campaign was a bad real estate investment and he will cut his losses.

Or he will sell that land cheap and go put up a big hotel across the street (run as a third party candidate), which is REALLY going to piss of the Republican establishment.

So both sides of the presidential campaigns have tapped into an anti-establishment message. Both parties have a race between the establishment and anti establishment crowds.

But here is where they differed last night, which brings me back to Hillary. Last night, while Cruz won the Iowa caucuses, Rubio won the support of the establishment and that is key for him. Republican establishment is more disciplined than their liberal counterparts. And the establishment support is what is propelling Rubio forward going into New Hampshire.

On the Democratic side, last night was a revolution against the establishment who pulled out all the stops in a desperate effort to maintain control only to essentially end up in a tie.

Monday, February 1, 2016

HD 75: Times Feature Underscores Candidate Weaknesses

I wrote a piece a while back about how it doesn't matter who you vote for in HD 75 because you're essentially getting the same lack of representation from both candidates.

But a piece in the El Paso Times yesterday underscores it. What boggles the mind is how the piece centers around education but neither candidate has the leadership to talk about education in their own back yard?

Clint ISD has the worst inequity of school funding in the county and it has happened under the watch of both state reps.

Number of bills filed by the state reps to deal with the issue? - ZERO

The other issue that came up with residency.

How short a memory do you people have? When Gonzalez first ran for office I wrote about how she didn't live in the El Paso area and still lived in Austin. She hadn't lived any of her adult life in El Paso county prior to running for state rep.

That is a true statement that essentially hasn't changed. She went to college after high school and didn't move back to El Paso. She won the state rep race and still doesn't own a home here. I guess you could get into a discussion about what the definition of living somewhere is but I would say by the average person's definition of living in a community, Gonzalez simply doesn't.

Why else do you think she literally has only 4 contributions from within HD 75?

And don't get me started on Chente.

Chente is a nice guy, but he's another one that has been an educator for a long time and should've been taking the lead on the Clint funding issue. More so because he's always called himself "por la gente".

Pues haz algo por la gente Chente!

Chente has some campaign lit that highlights a promise Gonzalez made to throw a pizza party for the class that raised the most amount of donations of canned food. According to the lit, Gonzalez canceled one hour before the pizza party.

Not one to miss an opportunity to be a typical politician Chente swoops in to buy pizza for the kids, Little Caesars (can't blame him, he didn't raise much campaign money) and made sure to document his good dead and throw in a campaign sign.

I know, its distasteful to most of you reading this, but that is sorta the norm in the valley.

The rhetoric from these two would be funny if it weren't sad that the two were actually serious when they say they are committed to fixing education while ignoring a huge issue in their own back yard.

This race is starting to annoy me.

I'd expect to see Forma's blogger Ali -please-call-me-Max, step up his operations for Forma's stable of candidates. So expect to see stuff that is pro-Adolfo Lopez and Chente Quintanilla.

Friday, January 29, 2016

This is Martin

This is Martin.

Martin blogs for his boss in exchange for a couch to crash on.

Martin deceives his readers.

When you ask Martin what time it is he will tell you how to build a clock.

Martin is annoying.

Don't be like Martin.

PDN Tejanos Financial Reporting Woes Continue

The Paso Del Norte Tejano Democrats at one point went years without filing any campaign finance reports and were spending money on supporting political candidates without filing as a political action committee.

Eventually that was straightened out, after I spent a few months calling them out on that activity.

However it has now been 2 1/2 years since they filed a report that indicated they had any money in their PAC.

Dr. Anna Perez
Treasurer, PDN Tejano Democrats
Maybe that is true, but according to several candidates the Paso Del Norte Tejano Democrats are intending to purchase TV spots for their endorsed candidates again. They have done it in the past. If they stick to how they normally do it, its a pretty bad commercial. They try to cram all their endorsees into a short spot. The candidates name and pictures aren't on the screen long enough for a potential voter who may be watching TV at that particular moment to even catch the candidates and their offices.

Ineffectiveness of the commercial aside, the main point is that it costs money.

TV time costs lots of money.

So the Tea-janos have been raising a lot of money lately. They had their Hall of Fame Banquet last year that was run by Chris Acosta from the Sheriff's Office, but it was a flop. There was even a bit of an internal dust-up over corsages. Acosta allegedly purchased Corsages for her crew (I guess its better than getting matching leather jackets that say "Pink Ladies" on them). The then-treasurer made Acosta reimburse the club for the corsages.

Then they had the big fundraiser featuring Little Joe. They spent a lot of time trying to hype that event and get people to attend.

Most Democratic Party events in town are about $50.00 per seat. This one was $65.00 a ticket. And its Little Joe in El Paso, so you know a lot of people wanted to go.

Here's a screen shot of the event. If you want tell that is former State Rep Chente Quintanilla and his wife dancing.

Hey Paredes, don't try to click on it. It won't play, its just a screenshot. 
It also costs $35 to be a member of Tejanos. In a meeting earlier this week there was some bragging about how they now have 200 members which means they raise $6000 in membership annually.

They also have money they have taken in from contributions made from political candidates that show up on the candidate's financial reports. Couple hundred here, couple hundred there.

So there are plans for TV spots for their endorsed candidates.

They had at least two high-profile fundraisers last year.

They rake in several thousand dollars in dues.

So here's my question...

Why aren't they reporting any money in the January campaign finance report? The organization's treasurer, Dr. Anna Perez, is the one who is ultimately responsible for the finance reporting with the state of Texas.

Here's a screen shot from the state's Ethics Commission where they are required to file.

Finance laws exist so that the public has a full accounting of who is financially behind candidates.

Why does the "flagship" organization of the Democratic Party - that boasts membership of prominent elected officials, attorneys, and judges, lack financial transparency?

More importantly, why is apparent non-compliance with campaign finance laws tolerated by those members?