Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rene Diaz & Nico Dominguez, the Real Story

My friend David K and I are usually on the opposite sides of political issues and most of the time on the opposite side of campaigns, which isn’t surprising because he’s a hard core Republican and I am a Democrat.

Odds are if there is a political rumor floating around town, one of the two of us (and usually both of us) knows about it. Sometimes I’m wrong, sometimes he is.

In the case of his most recent piece about Rene Diaz, he is the one wrong.

There are a lot of allegations thrown around by David K in his piece and I found it to be a pretty interesting read. But since I know most of the players involved in David K’s piece, I knew some of what he said sounded wrong. Rather than just sit around and wonder, I did something David K didn’t do, I picked up the phone and talked to the cast of characters. I figure if it’s the “sinister plot” DK makes it out to be, the very least I can do is try to flesh it out.

I guess the best way to handle this is to go through the various charges made by DK in his piece and take them one at a time.

Allegation #1- Rene Diaz is being “run by” Nico Dominguez
The jury is still out on this one. I called Diaz and asked him flat out if he was being run by Nico Dominguez. He chuckled and said, “What?” After I clarified that I was serious he said “How does he come up with this stuff?” Diaz said he’s talked to most members of the Board and stays in contact with several of them, including Dominguez, but he emphatically denies being “run by” anyone.

A source on the Board tells me that he understood that Nico Dominguez, as of yesterday morning, was asking for campaign donations to help Diaz’s campaign. My source also says that he believes Dominguez wants to replace Rhodes and wants very badly to be in the majority. (Come to think of it, most people in a minority vote would rather be in the majority.)

I also spoke with Nico Dominguez about the allegation of raising funds for Diaz. Dominguez says he hasn’t asked anyone for campaign donations for Diaz and continued by saying, “I’m sure he can do that on his own. I don’t know why I’m being dragged in to that race. I’m not sure why anyone would want to bring me in to this. That’s not even my area…I wish them both well. May the best man win.”

Allegation #2 –Carlos Aguilar wants to make sure the District hires its first lobbyist.

I didn’t talk to Aguilar about this. Quite frankly, I don’t know him very well and I think I might’ve said ten words to the guy the entire time I’ve lived here. But I did ask Dominguez if he had any intention of doing so. “No one on the Board has ever even mentioned that idea.”

Allegation #3-Dominguez wants to replace the White guy (Rhodes) with a brown guy.
This one gets better, one person who left a comment says that the plan is to replace Rhodes with Dr. Sylvia Atkinson from Socorro ISD fame. I talked with both Dominguez and Diaz about this one. Dominguez replied, “Wow, this is kind of wild. Dr. Rhodes is doing a very good job. There’s no reason for us to even thing about that situation.” He then asked me to explain who David K was and then said that he’s never talked to David K.

Dominguez continued by saying, “Dr. Rhodes is doing a wonderful job. I don’t think I’ve ever heard any board member say anything bad about Dr. Rhodes. The facts are there, he’s doing a great job!”

When asked if he could choose between Dr. Rhodes and Dr. Atkinson, Dominguez chuckled and said, “That’s funny! I don’t even know how she came in to the picture.”

Diaz was a little more direct. “He’s (David K) full of it! He didn’t even vote! I would vote to keep Rhodes. Why would I want to replace Rhodes? I think people are saying that because they want to scare people…based on my information, Rhodes is 100%my guy. I met with him and he’s great.”

Diaz and Dominguez both expressed frustration that DK would write a piece about them and not call them for comment or at least to check the facts.

Diaz: “He’s never called me for a quote. He has no validity in what he’s saying. He didn’t check it out or anything. He’s been calling me and telling me that he’s gonna vote for me. What a piece of work! I translated for the guy at the Tea Party for El Diario.”

Dominguez: “Why didn’t he call me? I would’ve been happy to answer his questions. I wish the guy would’ve called me.”

Allegation #4- Diaz has a Democrat running his campaign.

DK was right on this one. Ken Sutherland, a Hall of Fame Democrat, is helping out with Diaz’s campaign. Diaz says he’s not paying Ken because he can’t afford to right now. It should be noted that this race is a non-partisan race, so I have no idea why that is so important to David K, but apparently it is.

The best part of DK piece was toward the end. “Why should we put the fate of one of our best educational options into the hand of the typical El Paso political wrecking crew. Just look at who Nicolas Dominguez calls friends and then trace those people back to the people they hang out with. Pretty soon you're going to find something you do not like and I ask you to act on those findings.”

As Paul Strelzin states in a comment on the same piece, Diaz is a “Johnny come lately” to the political scene, so how is that putting EPCC in to the “hand of the typical El Paso political wrecking crew”?

He then does a guilt-by-association ploy which is pretty interesting especially if you apply it to David K. Remember that part he says about you’re going to find something you do not like? Well, what if we played guilt by association with DK? Lets use SB 1070 as an example.

Lets list people who are in support of SB 1070.

David K and JOP.

Should we now associate the two because they both support SB 1070 and they are both Republicans?

Maybe we should “act on those findings”.

If you read David K you can easily tell who he doesn’t like or trust in local politics, which is entirely his prerogative. I have my own list of politicos in this town that I don’t like or trust. But with David K, if he even suspects someone is tied to any of them, they are DOA.

That’s the case with Diaz. DK by his own admission heard a “rumor” and he made up his mind about Diaz.

Diaz doesn’t get David K like I do.

He expressed genuine confusion with David K’s sudden turn. “Why does he all of a sudden care about this election when he lives in the District and didn’t even vote in the election?”

Something tells me the Juicy one will make it to the polls this time around.

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