Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cesar Chavez Day

Que viva la causa, que viva la huelga, y que VIVA CESAR CHAVEZ!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Niland, Holguin Land Realtor Endorsement

District 8 Candidate Cortney Niland landed an endorsement from the The Greater El Paso Association of Realtors.

They interviewed candidates last week and apparently started notifying candidates of their endorsement.

In somewhat of an interesting twist, the The Greater El Paso Association of Realtors generally sticks with the people they have endorsed in the past unless something major develops.

Previously they have endorsed Ann Morgan Lily in District 1. Due to the likelihood of a runoff in that race, they will not be giving an endorsement. Not necessarily a slight, but certainly intersting.

Despite another crowded field in the District 8 race, they endorsed Cortney Niland.

There was no endorsement for District 5 and sources in the Association said that it was for similar reasons as in District 1, the likelihood of a run-off.

District 6 endorsement went to City Representative Eddie Holguin.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Power of a Quote - Dee Margo Follow-up...

State Rep Dee Margo has been pretty clear over the last month or so that he was not going to be filing many bills.

Again, a page from the George Bush playbook, when in doubt, lower the expectations. Makes sense, that way you can basically get away with not doing very much.

But if you recall in an earlier piece about Margo, I mentioned that I found it interesting that Margo was so critical of Joe Moody on the campaign trail and then changed his tune as soon as he got in to office. I went back and dug up the quote from an article in the El Paso Inc.

It was actually from October, so just right before the election. And his quote doesn't really give him any wiggle room either.

In an October Issue of El Paso Inc., Margo had the following criticism:

“My point is not one legislative bill filed by Joe had anything to do

with the third building,” Margo said. “If you say it’s that important,

I don’t care if you’re a rookie or whatever, go fulfill what you say

is important. What changed?”

Don't think either of his two bills had anything to do with the 3rd Building. This one isn't easy to explain away.

District 6 Analysis

Yes, I know, I skipped District 5, but there is a reason for's the hardest to analyize.

But District 6 really is pretty easy to lay out.

Rep Eddie Holguin is the incumbent and even Republicans like him because he's very fiscally conservative. Though he waited until the last minute to launch his campaign, he is best positioned for re-election. He has two opponents that both live in the area north of the freeway.

Holguin in a matter of a weekend had hundreds of signs put up by his sign guy. He had a campaign kick off event with more than two hundred people in attendance and has a campaign headquarters opened and another in the works.

He has what is needed to win a campaign...the ability to raise money, name ID, a base of support, and volunteers.

Zulema Lazarin - aye pobresita. Its been one misstep after another with her. She has a major problem in that she didn't even know what district she lived in. That shows to some that she's running because there is an agenda that is greater than the needs of the district. Either the domestic partner benefits issue, or personal ego, or whatever...the point is it looks like she's running for the sake of running.

She has zero name ID. She has committed to only spending $500 so that means here name ID won't improve. She will have to do ALOT of walking, but thats when she meets her other big problem. What is she going to tell voters thats different from Holguin? Its hard to imagine her being more fiscally conservative than Holguin and he has a very strong voting record on fiscal issues.  That leaves her the religious card, which makes her a one-issue candidate. One-issue candidates don't have a lot going for them and she runs in to her third big problem...the Lower Valley is very Catholic. If Holguin ever did a mailer highlighting her mentor's anti-Catholic teachings on his website, I doubt to many Catholic homes in the valley would be open to hearing her message.

Which leads us to Gerardo Rosiles. I'll just rip off the bandaid on this one. He doesn't speak English very well. That's not too big of an obstacle in the valley, but Rosiles is going to be focused on the area north of the freeway, which he feels is ignored by Holguin. Not exactly the strongest campaign message. He is almost in the same boat as Lazarin. No name ID, no support base, no volunteers. The only advantage he has is that he didn't committ to the $500 limit like Lazarin did.

Holguin will likely win without a run off, with Lazarin and Rosiles splitting the area north of the freeway. I think there might be a spike in turnout in the area north of the freeway this go around and Lazarin and Rosiles will probably be responsible for that.

Bottom line: Holguin wins without a run-off. But he should campaign hard because this race will likely be a barometer to test Holguin's viability for a mayoral bid later in the future.

The Genius of Norma Chavez

I haven't talked to Chavez in quite some time and the last time I did, it ended with us cussing each other out.

Which I am fine with.

But I was thinking about the fact that in my opinion, SDEC Don Williams is sort of the red-headed step child of the Democratic Party official leadership. I think some might think that Williams is treated differently because he's African-American, which may actually be true but I don't think that's the reason to be perfectly honest.

I think its something else. Something far more petty than a difference in skin color.

I think its because certain people may have interpreted that he was an ally of Norma Chavez. For some people, if you don't hate Chavez, then you are aligned with her. Thats just how they see things. Sort of the George W. Bush school of foriegn policy - if you aren't with us, you are against us.

I came to that conclusion because I have seen that other people that either were close to Chavez, or were pretty neutral on her, suffer the same cold shoulder treatment. Thats when I realized the genius of Norma Chavez.

She was able to get the misfits who nobody else wanted, the ones that weren't allowed to play in everyone else's reindeer games, and coalesce them in to a cohesive unit. Sure, she had her own motives and wanted to benefit from it, but she got people in the game that otherwise wouldn't be. I'd have to include myself in that group by the way.

And though she's not around anymore, many of the people that she opened doors to still are. And they learned a lot about process and mechanics that will be benifical to the party as a whole, as long as some people realize that Chavez is gone and isn't coming back.

They should put aside their silly turf wars and embrace the new talent in the party. But thats not what happens. They hold them off at arms distance and don't bring them in to the fold, almost as though its their idea of a punishment.

I think that reason, more than color, is the reason that Don Williams isn't allowed to be a full partner in the activities of the party leadership. Once again, we as a party show that we are better at fighting each other than we are at fighting Republicans.

And that my a damn shame.

2 of Top 3 El Paso Democrats Call for Pickett's Removal

I am actually pretty proud of the El Paso County Democratic Chair Danny Anchondo and State Democratic Executive Committee Woman Yolanda Clay for taking State Rep Joe Pickett to task for a really bad vote he made on Voter ID.

I'm not sure whats up with the the delegation this year but for some reason Pickett and Quintanilla keep voting like Republicans and as a Democrat, its pretty frustrating.

Kudos to them.

However, I find their critique pretty interesting for another reason. I sent an email to the two of them, and the State Democratic Executive Committee Man, Don Williams, asking them to publically call for the removal of the Bexar County Democratic Chair for comments he made about the gay community.

I have received no response from Anchondo or Clay. I am hoping the the various presidents/chairs of the local Democratic Party clubs take the initiative and write letters of their own.

But since Anchondo and Clay haven't responded, I am inclined to think its because they don't want to publically call for the removal of another Democrat.

Unless perhaps there is an opportunity for them?

Why else would they publically comment to the extent that they did in this El Paso Times piece on Pickett?

Personally, I can't believe that Pickett voted with the Republicans on this issue and I find his quote completely out of touch when he says that people in El Paso and in his district don't think its a big deal.

What pisses me off the most about the vote is that the Republicans didn't need it. I would still be pissed, but if his vote for that bill was some sort of trade-off for something really big and beneficial for El Paso, then I would understand a little better.

If Anchondo and Clay were consistent in their critique, I think I'd be really behind this critique, but because they aren't, I feel it reasonable to question their motives.

Where the hell was this critique when it came to the Sonogram Bill? They didn't have a single thing to say about Quintanilla, and he's so conservative that there are times that I think he's almost a DINO (Democrat in name only).

Notice how Don Williams isn't quoted? I've noticed, and I'm not the only one by the way, that he is left out of the mix with those two. Instead of the County Chair and the SDEC's working together, its almost as though its Anchondo and Clay work together and Williams is the step child. (I'll explain my theory on that one in the next blog item).

This quote from Clay was particularly interesting to me. "We have a lot of qualified Democrats in that particular district,".

Like who? No names jump up at me when I think of someone who would have the ability to take on someone like Pickett, not without a lot of help anyway. I guess its not impossible, considering the TLR stepped in a backrolled a campaing recently that successfully ousted a long-time State Rep in a seemingly safe seat.

Pickett's district makes up a good part of the northeast and parts of east El Paso. If I'm not mistaken, I think Clay and/or her daughter live in the Northeast. Maybe that's who she was referring to when she said "there are a lot of qualified Democrats in that particular district".

Friday, March 25, 2011

Final Videos from El Paso Young Democrats Meeting

More Candidate Interviews

Here are a few more candidate interviews. Some of the videos aren't actually interviews, but footage of the respective candidates' comments to the El Paso Young Democrats on Monday.

In this post we hear from Dr. Michiel Noe, Dr. Theresa Ware-Asbury, and Manny Hinojosa.

(NOTE: I miss identified the area Dr. T is running in on the opening slide. She is running in District 1 on the Westside, not the Eastside.)

Ooops! My Bad...

My bad people. I was looking at the list of candidates that filed, not the candidates that are actually on the ballot.

I own up to it when I make a mistake, so I apologize. Gilbert Guillen is not on the ballot due to issues with his filing.
I take responsibility for the mistake.

Early Candidate Analysis - District 8

Okay, wrapping up the westside races, here is some quick early analysis of the District 8 Candidates. In general I think this race is more eccentric than even District 1, which is sayin' something.

Truth be told, I think there is a very good chance that despite the number of candidates, this race might not even have a run-off. Things could change, and that's not meant to disrespect any of the candidates, but thats how I see it at this time.

Jorge Artalejo - Not a viable candidate. No real message and is always running for something. No one takes him seriously, nor should they.

Sergio Contreras - On paper, he's a great candidate. But so far, its only on paper. He used to work on Wallstreet, then worked for the Pueblo. But again, not really a guy that looks like he has a firm grasp of the issues and his biggest problem is communication. Speaking is not his strong suit. No name ID, questionable ability to raise money, no base of support. Will not make a run-off, if there is one.

Gilbert Guillen - Who? No name ID, no base of support. I think he's done some development work, so perhaps he has a chance at raising some funds. If that's the case and he hires some good people he could improve, but at this point he does't appear to be a factor of viable.

Malcolm McGregor - I think its a matter of time before someone challenges his residency. If that's the case, I think he gets kicked off the ballot. Has a base of support in the religious sector, but not a big one. He appears to be a one-isse candidate (Against domestic partner benefits).

Cortney Niland - Absolutely the front runner. Has done everything the right way. Not a single mis-step so far. She runs very cautiously. My concerns about her was the money she was getting and who she was getting it from. After talking with her and listening to her in a forum, she seems to have the strongest command of the issues and deepest understanding of the complexities of city hall. She knows how to work a room pretty instinctively and has great poise. I'd like to see more from her in terms of fleshed-out positions on some of the social issues that have made it to city hall, but being the established front-runner I don't think it harms her to continue to play it safe and avoid controversy.  Absent of any major development or scandal, I think its smooth sailing for Niland and she might even win without a run off.

Lisa Turner - No real base of support, no real access to big money. Great watchdog for the community, but not a candidate that will win a lot of votes.

Ernesto Villanueva - The only real threat to forcing Niland in to a run-off. In terms of social justice policy, I think the guy is right on. He has a good command of the issues, though he could use a couple of late nights studying up on a couple. Good communication skills and great passion for the job. But no base of support, no volunteer base, no money. He would need a lot of help to win, but if he works hard enough, he will be the only reason it goes to a run-off. Timing is everything in politics. I think he will be someone to watch in a few years, especially if he were mentored by the right people.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Early Candidate Analysis - District 1

Its way to early to start making predictions, but I wanted to give you all some analysis of the candidates so far and what their chances of winning look like to me.

Don't interpret this as either support nor opposition to anyone, just an early snapshot of handicapping the races.

The key thing to remember when gauging a candidates viability is (not in any particular order) name recognition, ability to raise money, grassroots organization, volunteer base, likability, and command of the issues.

District 1 -

Tim Besco - No substantive understanding of issues. He basically agrees with whomever is in front of him at the moment. He has no volunteer base because he burned that particular bridge a long time ago. I also think that hurts his ability to raise money. He doesn't have a volunteer base, but he does have his campaign Oscar Gonzalez. But Gonzalez has some issues from his employment at the city that are better left in the dark. But Besco's two best performing precincts from the recent Congressional race are in his district and they happen to have the highest turn out of any precinct in town. He has name ID. Not really positive name ID, but in a crowded race, it is certainly helpful. So is being first on the ballot, something else he has going for him. I haven't forgotten that he had a couple of high-profile billboards up and so I give him a long-shot chance of making the run-off.

Manny Hinojosa - No money, no base, no grassroots operation, no name ID. He does however have a better grasp of the issues than the other conservative candidates in the race and gets better every time I see him. He's great at conservative bumper sticker rhetoric as well. But way too much of a mountain to overcome and not really top-tier candidate. He doesn't know how to campaign and spends most of his time going to forums and meetings with the same 100 people and isn't knocking on doors. He won't make the run-off.

Ann Morgan Lily - She's the incumbent. She should have all the things I identified...she doesn't. She's done, she just doesn't know it yet. Incumbents with a big field of candidates never do well. Nonetheless, I think she could make a run-off, but she's toast.

Lyda Ness-Garcia - Has a volunteer base to work with, is an attorney so she can raise some money, very solid undestanding of the issues, in terms of knowledge of the issues, is clearly the class of the field. Being a progressive in a conservative district is not a plus for her, but with all the conservatives splitting the vote, she is absolutely likely to make a run-off.

Abe Peinado - not quite ready for prime time. Not a deep knowledge of the issues, and its unclear if he can raise any money. I don't think he's knocking on many doors and doing much campaigning other than going to meetings. He's not going to make the run-off.

Dr. Theresa Ann Ware-Asbury - The unknown factor in the race. Doesn't have high name ID, but if she were to tap in to a volunteer base and work a little on her campaign messaging and packaging, she could make some noice. But she needs a few things to go her way. She's a progressive, but its a conservative district so that's not necessarily going to help her, even if she is right.

District 8, 5, & 6 tomorrow...

Socorro Recall Election Update

El Paso elections have been so interesting that they have actually done something I didn't think was possible...they out-crazied the City of Socorro.

As a result, I have not given an update on Socorro elections and I received an email from a reader last night who reminded me that I haven't followed up.

Two people have filed to run for the seat vacated by Luis Varela who was arrested on drug charges in late 2010.

Maria Reyes is one of them. She was one of the leaders of the recall against the other members of council, which basically means she is part of the faction that supports Mayor Willie Gandara, Sr. I have never spoken with her, so take what I say with a grain of salt, but near as I can tell, she is upset with the majority on city council (the one's she wants to recall) because the didn't renew the contract of her brother.

Her brother, Ernie Gomez was serving as the municipal judge in Socorro. He is a retired police officer, but doesn't have a degree. Apparently the majority on council felt it was important to have someone who is making legal decisions, have a degree in something. As I have previously written, the new municipal judge Alex Vidalez got his bachelor's from UTEP and his law degree from UT Austin.

The other candidate is Jesus Hernandez. Mr. Hernandez has previously served on city council and last ran against Luis Varela. He had some health issues before the election, had a leg amputated, stayed in the race but was obviously not in the health to manage a vigorous campaign. Despite not being able to campaign, he only lost to Varela but a few votes.

It will be interesting to watch that race play out and I guess that means I have to go hustle out to Socorro for some coverage.

Voter ID Passes in the House - Brown Tip of the White Spear

Want to know why I have such a problem with the Grand Old Party? It's misplaced priorities and fear-mongering that has become their standard operating procedure.

As I have said previously, Governor Perry puts out a list of emergency items he wants dealt with, which one would assume would be budget-focused. Instead its nothing but a collection of far-right idealogy.

The latest salvo in this effort is the Voter ID Bill. My friend and former co-host Greg Freyermuth used to always ask a question when a policy discussion began...What problem are you fixing?

That's exactly my question with this Voter ID Bill. Even Republican elected officials acknowledge that it is NOT a problem in Texas and there have only been a handful of incidents of the this type of the ENTIRE state of Texas!

What is a major insult to Latinos is the fact that they USE the Latino National Republican Coalition and the dark faces in their membership as a prop to try to make this look different from what it really is...yet another attack on the poor and minorities.

Its the brown tip of the white spear.

Didn't any of the people in this picture wonder why they were put in the front row of this photo op? And since Dee Margo is now Latino, why didn't he get put in the front row? Look at the picture again, you know why? Because he's not dark enough to fit their purpose.

Great, from the back of the bus to the front of the photo-op.

You deserve the ridicule from your community you are about to get...

PS, my homie Sammy C wrote something the other day about a Republican event and decided to have a little fun with those of us in attendance that were Democrats. He said we stood out in the crowd because of how we were dressed. I know that was supposed to be funny, but I think it says a lot about the GOP if thats the case.

But the real reason we stood out wasn't because of our apparel, its because of our skin color. Good thing he was wearing an LNRC shirt to avoid confusion from people who might have thought he was a Democrat...

Clarifying Endorsements from Ortega and O'rourke

David K wrote a piece that I feel I need to respond to. The short of it is that David K is basically saying that Ernesto Villanueva is claiming to have the endorsement of City Reps Steve Ortega and Beto O'rourke.

He admits he never actually spoke to Villanueva, so that means he probably never heard him say it himself either.

I think DK knows that Ortega and O'rourke haven't endorsed Villanueva, who is one of the many candidates taking on DK's candidate of choice, Cortney Niland.

I have actually talked with Villanueva a couple of times. If he really had their endorsement, he'd want that information to get out. He would have tripped over himself to let me know that kind of info.

He never made a claim like that to me.

But to be sure, I picked up a phone and spoke with Ortega. Ortega and I had actually had a conversation earlier this week and we talked about endorsements because several candidates in another district had claimed to be supported by Ortega.

At that time, he said he wasn't going to endorse or publically support anyone in any race.

Nonetheless we talked again, this time specifically about Villanueva and the candidates in District 8. He reaffirmed that he wasn't supporting anyone in the race. He followed it by saying, "May the best person win".

My guess is that DK wants to do another piece that will say the two aren't endorsing Villanueva in order to make Villanueva look bad because he's running against Niland.

So the bottom line here is that the two are not endorsing Villanueva and I personally have not heard of Villanueva ever telling anyone that information.

Maybe he has at some point, but I've never heard of it and I don't think I am wrong in assuming that if he was going to tell anyone that kind of info, I would've heard it by now. If I'm wrong so be it, but that doesn't sound kosher to me.

Villanueva is basically the only person Niland needs to be somewhat, in a very small, very indirect, and very unlikely way, be concerned about in the race. But he's a long shot and Niland appears to have been doing everything pretty much by the book so I don't see a need for concern on her part.

That being said, Villanueva is much smarter than people are giving him credit for and I think he does well in a side-by-side comparison against the front-runner Cortney Niland.

But, he has to have a more organized, more clearly fleshed out message, develop a base of support, recruit some volunteers, and get some cash flowing in to his campaign.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dee Margo's Report Card Part 1

When Dee Margo ran against Joe Moody for State Rep District 78, his main argument wasn't what Joe Moody did, he ran on what he said Joe Moody didn't do.

In fact, I remember a large part of his argument was that Moody didn't get another building for the medical center. In fact, he once said, "he didn't even try".

It would naturally follow that if his criticism of Moody was that he didn't even try to get another medical building, he was going to.

Which is interesting because the deadline to file bills has come and gone and guess what? We don't have another building for the medical center.

From The Lion Star Blog by Jaime Abeytia
Not only do we not have another building for the medical center...Margo apparently didn't even try to get it for us.


Below is a list of bills for each of the 5 El Paso Reps. First, a little explanation about what it, and what is not on this list. What is here is every House Bill (HB) and House Joint Resolution (HJR) that each Rep is the Primary author of. That means they are the Rep that
actually filed the Bill or Resolution.

What is not here are House Resolutions that the Rep is the Primary Author of. They are not on this list because House Resolutions are typically not substantive in nature. They are usually honoring/congratulating/remembering someone or something. They take no effort to pass at all, and therefore I don't believe they are important to note in this breakdown.

Also not included are House Bills and House Joint Resolutions that the Rep is either a Joint Author or Co-Author of. Being a Joint Author is more exclusive than being a Co-Author - let me explain. There can be no more than 5 Joint Authors on a House Bill (that includes the Primary Author). To be a Joint Author, the Primary Author has to actually give you permission. Typically, on more important legislation, Primary Authors select certain Reps to be Joint Authors so that others may be more inclined to vote for the Bill (e.g. including a Democrat as a Joint Author on a Pro-Life bill).

But on less important legislation, there are usually few Joint Authors, and they aren't that important to the passage of the bill. In fact, some members may ask the Primary Author to be a Joint Author on a particular bill so it looks like they are more active than they really are. Co-Authors serve very little purpose.

There can be up to 150 Co-Authors - yep - that means every Rep can be a Co-Author.

Hold on, it gets better. Did you know that you don't need permission to be a Co-Author? You just have to walk into the Clerk's Office and sign your name on a line.

Simple as that.

The only reason Co-Authors can be important is if you are trying to pressure a vote on a bill and you have tons of signatures on your bill - that shows leadership that the will of the House is with the bill - which can help it move through the system.

Orale, that was a lot! My bad.

If you are still awake, bear with me, the list is coming.

Another note - if there were Joint Authors/Co-Authors on any of the bills/resolutions listed below then I deleted their names so as not to confuse who the Primary Author is.

Essentially, you are looking at every Bill/Resolution that was filed by the EP Delegation this Session. The Bill Filing Deadline came on 03/11/11. While the Rules can be suspended to file a bill late - I don't expect any of our members to file any more bills/resolutions.

Another thing you should know is that the higher the Bill number, the later in the Session it was filed. So - looking at the two Freshman members - Rep Gonzalez has a HB in the 200s and rep Margo's Bills are both in the 3400s.

No word on what the hold up was.

Side note on Margo - 2 Bills Authored - both filed on the filing deadline.

Here's the list:

Rep. Joe Pickett

HB 204
Author: Pickett
Relating to the purposes and designation of a transportation reinvestment zone.

HB 205
Author: Pickett
Relating to the imposition by certain municipalities and municipal
transit departments of the local sales and use tax in certain federal
military installations.

HB 313
Author: Pickett
Relating to an exemption from ad valorem taxation of the residence
homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled

HB 563
Author: Pickett
Relating to the purposes and designation of a transportation reinvestment zone.

HB 629
Author: Pickett
Relating to the use of municipal or county sales tax increment
financing for a transportation reinvestment zone.

HB 630
Relating to the authority of the Texas Department of Transportation,
counties, regional tollway authorities, and regional mobility
authorities to enter into funding agreements to expedite the entity's
environmental review duties related to certain transportation

HB 1254
Author: Pickett
Relating to consideration of the consolidation of school district
peace officers and security personnel in certain counties.

HB 1256
Author: Pickett
Relating to consideration of the consolidation of school bus
operations in certain counties.

HB 1509
Author: Pickett
Relating to notice of the construction or expansion of a wind-powered
electric generation facility located near a federally owned or
operated radar installation or military installation.

HB 1538
Author: Pickett
Relating to certain fees imposed in connection with the operation of
overweight and oversize vehicles.

HB 1898
Author: Pickett
Relating to optional fees for the registration of motor vehicles in
certain municipalities.

HB 1899
Author: Pickett
Relating to the posting of signs in school crossing zones regarding
the prohibited use of a wireless communication device while operating
a motor vehicle.

HB 1920
Author: Pickett
Relating to transportation planning and funding allocations.

HB 1921
Author: Pickett
Relating to the composition of a board of directors of a regional
mobility authority created by a municipality.

HB 2357
Author: Pickett
Relating to motor vehicles; providing penalties.

HB 2801
Author: Pickett
Relating to comprehensive development agreements of the Texas
Department of Transportation that include the financing, design, and
construction of a project.

HB 2802
Author: Pickett
Relating to the use of the Texas Mobility Fund.

HB 3051
Author: Pickett
Relating to the provision of child care by certain facilities exempt
from child-care licensing requirements.

HB 3142
Author: Pickett
Relating to convenience charges by utilities.

HB 3440
Author: Pickett
Relating to creation of an offense of bullying of a school district
employee by a student.

HJR 40
Author: Pickett
Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to
provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of the residence
homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled
veteran in an amount equal to the amount of the residence homestead
exemption to which the disabled veteran was entitled.

HJR 63
Author: Pickett
Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to
permit a county to issue bonds or notes to finance the development or
redevelopment of an unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted area and
to pledge for repayment of the bonds or notes increases in ad valorem
taxes imposed by the county on property in the area.

HJR 64
Author: Pickett
Proposing a constitutional amendment limiting the uses of revenue from
motor vehicle registration fees, taxes on motor fuels and lubricants,
and certain revenue received from the federal government.

HJR 66
Author: Pickett
Proposing a constitutional amendment limiting the uses of revenue from
motor vehicle registration fees, taxes on motor fuels and lubricants,
and certain revenue received from the federal government.

Rep. Chente Quintanilla

HB 344
Author: Quintanilla
Relating to the use of customs brokers to obtain a refund of sales and
use taxes.

HB 403
Author: Quintanilla
Relating to voter eligibility and registration in El Paso County Water
Improvement District No. 1.

HB 404
Author: Quintanilla
Relating to voter eligibility and registration in El Paso County Water
Improvement District No. 1.

HB 405
Author: Quintanilla
Relating to the storage, transportation, and disposal of tires;
providing criminal penalties.

HB 406
Author: Quintanilla
Relating to local regulation of the possession and consumption of
alcoholic beverages on certain formerly licensed or permitted

HB 407
Author: Quintanilla
Relating to the grounds for a hearing concerning action on certain
alcoholic beverage permits and licenses.

HB 616
Author: Quintanilla
Relating to local regulation of the possession and consumption of
alcoholic beverages on certain formerly licensed or permitted

HB 1383
Author: Quintanilla
Relating to the territory of the El Paso County Water Control and
Improvement District No. 4.

HB 1464
Author: Quintanilla
Relating to voter eligibility and registration in El Paso County Water
Improvement District No. 1.

HB 1894
Author: Quintanilla
Relating to customs brokers.

HB 2009
Author: Quintanilla
Relating to postponement of jury service in certain counties.

HB 2369
Author: Quintanilla
Relating to the accreditation of training programs and examinations
for certain emergency medical services personnel.

HB 2740
Author: Quintanilla
Relating to the amount of temporary income benefits to which an
injured employee is entitled under the workers' compensation system.

HB 2745
Author: Quintanilla
Relating to workers' compensation supplemental income benefits.

HJR 43
Author: Quintanilla
Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to
legalize and regulate the conduct of gaming in this state in counties
that by local option election approve the conduct of that gaming.

Rep. Marisa Marquez

HB 336
Author: Marquez
Relating to the filing and posting on the Internet of reports of
political contributions and expenditures required in connection with
the office of member of the board of trustees of certain school

HB 956
Author: Marquez
Relating to the state fire marshal's investigation of the death of a
firefighter who dies in the line of duty or in connection with an
on-duty incident.

HB 1348
Author: Marquez
Relating to policies, procedures, and training to address bullying of
public school students.

HB 1349
Author: Marquez
Relating to the services included in a retail price list provided by a
funeral establishment.

HB 1350
Author: Marquez
Relating to authorization for a caregiver who is a relative to enroll
a child in school.

HB 1598
Author: Marquez
Relating to the period of continuous eligibility for the medical
assistance program.

HB 1649
Author: Marquez
Relating to the enforcement of building code standards for new
residential construction in the unincorporated area of a county;
providing a fee.

HB 1671
Author: Marquez
Relating to allowing a governmental body to redact certain personal
information under the public information law without the necessity of
requesting a decision from the attorney general and the calculation of
certain deadlines under the public information law.

HB 2002
Author: Marquez
Relating to the county ethics commission for certain counties.

HB 2090
Author: Marquez
Relating to a feasibility study regarding the establishment of a
dental school at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at
El Paso.

HB 2472
Author: Marquez
Relating to the reporting of certain warrant or capias information to
the national crime information center.

HB 2473
Author: Marquez
Relating to the closure of a school campus by the board of trustees of
a school district.

HB 2474
Author: Marquez
Relating to eligibility for and administration of the child health plan program.

HB 3303
Author: Marquez
Relating to prohibiting the pre-adjudication solitary confinement of
certain juveniles.

HB 3304
Author: Marquez
Relating to creating the offense of exploitation of an elderly
individual; providing a penalty.

HB 3305
Author: Marquez
Relating to time of day during which prisoners may be discharged or
released from county jails.

HB 3306
Author: Marquez
Relating to a person's eligibility for expunction of certain criminal
history records and files.

HB 3761
Author: Marquez
Relating to the treatment of and services provided to certain inmates
in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, to the
provision of medical care to inmates in the custody of the department,
to the release of inmates on parole and other forms of supervised
release, and to certain other matters affecting the department.

HB 3762
Author: Marquez
Relating to creating a transparent and deliberative process by which
execution procedures are determined.

HB 3763
Author: Marquez
Relating to the release of inmates in the custody of the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice on parole or other forms of supervised

HB 3764
Author: Marquez
Relating to the policies of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
regarding the use of, and treatment of inmates confined in,
administrative segregation.

HB 3788
Author: Marquez
Relating to the authority of a county civil service commission to
administer oaths and issue subpoenas; providing a penalty.

HJR 92
Author: Marquez
Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to
permit conservation and reclamation districts in El Paso County to
issue bonds supported by ad valorem taxes to fund the development and
maintenance of parks and recreational facilities.

Rep. Naomi Gonzalez

HB 258
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the amount of the state traffic fine.

HB 777
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to court costs imposed on conviction and deposited to the
courthouse security fund.

HB 778
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the execution of lawful process by county jailers.

HB 840
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the power and authority of the El Paso County Hospital
District, and related entities, to employ physicians and dentists.

HB 841
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to certain statutory references to the Department of Family
and Protective Services.

HB 858
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the authority of the El Paso County Hospital District to
employ and commission peace officers.

HB 939
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the amount of the fee paid by a defendant for certain
services performed by a peace officer.

HB 1090
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the calculation of interest on certain ad valorem tax refunds.

HB 1143
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the exemption of certain property from municipal drainage
service charges and from related ordinances, resolutions, and rules.

HB 1233
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the amount of the state traffic fine.

HB 1289
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the exemption of certain property from municipal drainage
service charges and from related ordinances, resolutions, and rules.

HB 1313
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the admissibility of certain hearsay statements of a child
in hearings on an application for a protective order.

HB 1371
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to vehicle parking requirements in certain municipal housing
authority communities.

HB 1817
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to protective orders.

HB 1866
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the designation of State Highway 20 as a historic highway.

HB 1946
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the use of seclusion by community centers.

HB 1947
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the personal needs allowance for certain Medicaid
recipients who are residents of long-term care facilities.

HB 1948
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the sheriff's department civil service commission
appointments in certain counties.

HB 1949
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the provision of notice by an insurer to the Department of
Public Safety that a motor vehicle liability insurance policy is no
longer in effect and related driver's license suspensions.

HB 2146
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the designation of certain municipal housing authority
employees as peace officers.

HB 2496
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to creating a teen dating violence court program.

HB 2497
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to state collaboration with federally recognized Indian tribes.

HB 2565
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to requiring a public institution of higher education to
establish and provide notice regarding an emergency loan program.

HB 2566
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to penalties for displaying vehicles for sale in certain public areas.

HB 2567
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to public notice of procedures for submitting complaints
about motor vehicle dealers.

HB 2736
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the designation of certain code compliance division
employees as peace officers.

HB 2737
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to criminal history record information checks of employees of
residential dwelling projects, including employees of public housing

HB 2738
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to criminal history background checks performed in relation
to the occupancy or use of a public housing unit.

HB 2739
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to the county ethics commission for certain counties.

HB 3171
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to improved efficiency in the delivery of Medicaid services
to certain recipients, including recipients with chronic diseases,
through the use of telemedicine, telehealth, and home telemonitoring
services and certain disease management initiatives.

HB 3172
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Relating to protective orders.

HJR 133
Author: Gonzalez, Naomi
Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing a federally
recognized Indian tribe in a county along the Texas-Mexico
international border to conduct certain gaming activity on certain
tribal lands.

Rep. Dee Margo

HB 3461
Author: Margo
Relating to the transfer of adult education and literacy programs from
the Texas Education Agency to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating

HB 3462
Author: Margo
Relating to the appointment of the board of managers of the El Paso
County Hospital District.

If you are still reading this, here is the literally the bottom line. During Representative Margo's Freshman term, me filed exactly two bills of any significance and did exactly what he criticized Moody for doing.

He didn't even try.

Documents Surface to Remove City Council Candidate from Lawsuit Due to Residency Issues

Malcolm McGregor, one of the many candidates for City Rep in District 8 appears to have even more issues related to his residence. According to these court documents, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit meant to block the removal of the domestic partner benefits from city employees are seeking to remove McGregor from the lawsuit due to discrepancies involving his residency.

040 MTN Mcgregor

The documents point out the fact that the address that McGregor uses on his candidate application is actually zoned as a commercial property and that he has residential property in a New Mexico suburb of El Paso.

The documents do not appear to have an impact on whether or not he can run for city council in El Paso, Texas.

From the Eddie Holguin Campaign

From the Lyda Ness Campaign

Campaign Announcement: Cortney Niland

From the Cortney Niland Campaign:

From The Lion Star Blog by Jaime Abeytia

Cortney Niland will be speaking this Monday, March 28th, at Representative O'Rourke's weekly breakfast meeting at 7am.

The meeting will be at the Village Inn located at 2929 N. Mesa

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Candidate Announcements


If you have an event you want me to announce about your campaign, no matter who you are, I will do so. Simply shoot me an email with the relevant information to and I will post it.

I will post the event individually and without commentary. If you would like an image used with the announcement, please attach it to the email and I will oblige.

I will also announce it on the air during my show if you so wish. (Show announcements will require that you provide me the info by the Thursday before my Saturday show.)

GEPRW Candidate Forum, District 8

And now, the Candidates for District 8:

El Paso LNRC Losing Independent Voice

The El Paso Latino National Republican Coalition is losing its independent voice and appears to be in the process of becoming the brown yes-men of the Republican Party.

I was hoping that the primary focus of the LNRC would be something consistent with their motto, Engage, Empower, Education, and something else with an "e".

But they seem to be the brown faces the Republicans use to sign off on legislation that is aimed at people that look and sound like them.

Their latest example is a press release that was sent out in support of the Voter ID Bill which is just the latest in a line of legislation that Governor Rick Perry has identified as "emergency" measures.

As if the classification of the sonogram bill as an "emergency" was stupid enough, the latest is even worse.

Part of their press release says, "As Hispanics we understand what Voter ID aims to accomplish and are encouraged that action is being taken to restore trust in our most vital institution of government. Knowing that we can ensure that every Texas voter has proper identification, we can finally solidify our election process. Senate Bill 14 ensures that every Texan has access to a free valid photo ID for voting purposes. We believe this is important in eliminating the concern that this burdens individuals with any cost regarding voting. Every citizen is entitled to a vote and voter ID serves a greater public interest in protecting the integrity of our election process."

This is the first part where they appear to be the brown yes-men for the GOP. Restore trust? When did we have trust issues with the election process across the state that has anything to do with voter identification?

The facts don't support their position, which appears to be nothing more than a way for the GOP to sleep well at night. This bill doesn't solve a problem!

Even GOP leaders indicate that there are not large numbers of voter ID fraud in elections in Texas. Don't take my word for it, just ask them!

These are wedge bills meant to feed in to people's fears. I hate to break it to most members of the LNRC but the reality is, just because you want to be accepted by them, doesn't mean that you are. If most of the Republican leadership saw a group of Latinos, I doubt they would be able to identify the document and the undocumented. The Hispanics from the Chicanos, from the Mexicanos.

The reason is, you can't tell by looking. The point is, many of them look at us as though we are all the same.

But wait, it gets better. Check out this part of the press release: "We reject the notion that this legislation in any way targets Hispanic families or disenfranchises other Texans alike. In upholding the constitutionality of a similar voter ID law in Indiana, the U.S. Supreme Court has also rejected the premise that such legislation results in an unconstitutional burden on minorities. Voter identification has been implemented in other parts of the country with success and has contributed to increased voter participation, as is the case in Puerto Rico, a wholly Hispanic U.S. Territory. Many
Latin American countries such as Mexico also rely on strong voter identification laws to protect the integrity of their electoral processes."

Just who the hell do you think it is that the bill IS targeting? Hello?

Here's the give away, if they didn't think it was targeted at Latinos, why the hell would you need to site laws in other countries made up of brown people with Spanish surnames?

And you guys say Liberals want big government. I guess big government is okay with Republicans as long as they are telling you who can get married, what you have to see, track what books you read, and tell you what kind of ID to have.

And don't even get me started on the hypocrisy of this bill. Republicans said that no bill is passing unless its debt neutral. There is no such thing as a FREE lunch, so somewhere along the line, we Texas taxpayers are going to have to pay for the Republicans and their wasteful spending.

GEPRW Candidate Forum, District 1

Here is the entirety of the canidate forum hosted by the Greater El Paso Republican Women last Saturday.

This was one of the best organized and well-run candidate forums I've seen, and I've been to many of them.

The head of the GEPRW, Becky Hermosillo and her membership did a good job of running the forum. This had a chance of being a real trainwreck and it turned out to be very well run.

A Quick Look at District 6 Race

The district 6 race will probably be the snoozer of the four city rep races this election.

In fact the highlight will likely be the many political pratfalls of one of the candidates, Zulema Lazarin. I'm starting to think she might be a fan of Britney Spears. Ooops I did it again! (Read on, I'll explain her latest misstep)

Lazarin is facing Gerardo Rosiles and the incumbent City Rep Eddie Holguin.

There are three names on the ballot, but this campaign will hardly be a race.

Here's why:

Gerardo Rosiles is a political new-comer. He has no base of support and there are no indications that he has a large volunteer base. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but all the fancy political science text books in the world can't prepare someone for a race in the Valley.

Plus, they don't actually TEACH grassroots campaigning in a textbook.

So far he has said he will focus on the area north of the freeway in the district. Not the strongest of strategies. Yes, its the area Holguin is weakest in, but at best Rosiles can only hope to split the area with Holguin. And that's really spotting the guy a lot.

Zulema Lazarin - pobresita. I'm really not picking on her. But can someone in the Republican Party do her a favor and pull her aside and teach her some basics before she steps out on a limb. Judge Hicks, Chris Antcliff, anybody! She really should have people look things over for her before she submits them. Here's a quick wrap-up of her previous misteps, before I reveal the latest.

#1- Tried to file to run in the wrong district. That's a really big problem. Most people will ridicule her for it and I think its a fair critique for people to ask how well can she represent a district that she didn't even know she lived in? Trust me, District 5 looks very different than District 6.

#2- Allegedly accepted a campaign contribution before she had actually filed a treasurer with the city.

#3 - When she actually did file a treasurer with the city, she committed to only raising $500. In her defense, she re-filled that paperwork 2 days later.

#4 - She wrote in the phrase "general" in the area she was supposed to indicate the name of the city in which she was going to pursue office.

And now....

#6 - Remember when I said she went back to city hall and filed the paperwork again to correct the fact that she had mistakenly committed to only raising $500 two days after making the mistake? Well it turns out I was wrong, at least according to one person at the City of El Paso. According to a source at City Hall, it was actually her spouse who tried to drop off the corrected paperwork. But nonetheless, the interesting part of the story is that the re-submitted paperwork was EXACTLY the same as the original filing!

Basically she resubmitted a new packet that committs her to raising and spending less than $500 for the entire campaign...again! Don't believe me? Check out this link and this link.

Notice, the dates are two days apart, but each packet has the additional page filled out that locks the candidate in to raising and spending no more than $500.

Yes, she did it again!

I wonder if she has realized it yet? I wonder if she has already exceeded that amount in spending or donations?

Which leads to Holguin. He has a fully staffed headquarters open and from what I am told, is looking for a place to open a second campaign headquarters in his district, north of the freeway. A volunteer also told me that there are about 350 signs up as of Sunday and he has a candidate fundraiser coming up. His 1st mailer will be going out son and the campaign is expecting to have billboards going up in the next couple of weeks.

He apparently took his sweet time making his decision to run, but has apparently decided to commit fully.

(Candidates will be selecting their spot on the ballot at 3:45 today in city hall chambers. This is for all races. I will try to swing by if I can.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Candidate Interviews GEPRW Forum (Westsiders)

I interviewed two candidates from each of the two Westside districts that will be electing city reps in the next election. There was no particular rhyme or reason I selected the candidates that I chose other than there were accessible.

Abe Peinado and Lyda Ness Garcia are the District 1 candidates. Ernesto Villanueva and Cortney Niland were the District 8 candidates.


Here are the District 1 Candidates I interviewed:

And here are the candidates from District 8:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tim Besco Declines Invitation to Republican Forum

There was one notable no-show at Saturdays forum for the Candidates in District 1 held by the Greater El Paso Republican Women...Tim Besco.

From Burges Candidate Forum
Becky Hermosillo, who heads the organization, announced that Besco had declined their invitation. If you want some insight as to why, I have conveniently posted his now-infamous email at the end of this post, ya case you forgot or missed it the first time.

I'm betting the College Republicans were expecting Besco to show up, refuse to pay for a meal, and bring in his own breakfast.

I know some of you might think that I am just looking for an excuse to repost the email Besco sent out as a reminder to Republicans in the district just exactly what he thinks of them. To those people I say...oh hell, who am I kidding, of course I was just looking for a an excuse to repost the letter!

Just in case you forgot, here it is again in all its glory:


All of you who are getting this email should know why.

From the very start of my campaign - I have had nothing but criticism from many of you. All I'd hear was, "You don't speak well." or "You can't do this or that." I'd even ask for your help at different events, but I'd get very little or no help. Then when I hired someone who is a professional consultant - I would get nothing but even more hatred. Just for the simple fact that he was a Democrat (which has nothing to do with my views), my manager had been ridiculed and ignored by all of you.

I quickly realized that in order to win - not just make a good showing - I needed to do something different from what the GOP in El Paso had done in the past. The number of Republican voters here will NEVER be enough to win a county wide seat.

I've reached out to you and many organizations in the party - and all of you either criticized me for my choice or worked against me. I wasn't doing what you wanted me to do. I wasn't saying what you wanted me to say. Well, I beg to differ. I was the candidate and I wasn't going to let you control me and my campaign.

Some of you said I was "turning my back" on the party. On the contrary, I turned around to open my arms to the rest of the city. If you think about it, the results showed that for the first time Silvestre Reyes got less than 60% of the vote. Part of that was related to the anti-Reyes feeling in town. But part of that also was because of my efforts to reach out to traditional Democrat voters.

I was the first Republican to actively campaign in the Lower Valley, Soccoro, Segundo Barrio, and the Senior Centers. I knew it would be unlikely that I'd get much support - but I also knew that any vote I could get there was one less vote for Reyes.

I also focused on the East Side - another area that has long been forgotten by traditional GOP candidates. Think about Chris Antcliff. He put up thousands of signs all over the county including the East Side. He barely lost his race, but it still was not enough to overturn the Democrats' "machine".

I've learned a lot about the political process in El Paso while working with Oscar. The most important thing I learned is to temper your message. People are sick and tired of partisanship. How many times did you think "Oh God, not another Denish (or Pearce, etc.) attack ad."? I was asked several times while I campaigned, "You're not one of them 'Tea Partiers' are you?". The point I'm trying to make is that we can stick to our values but not be blind to our surroundings. Case and point, look at Commissioner Dan Haggerty. He is very conservative, and yet he still gets many Democrats to vote for him.

You'd say "Well he won because his district is Republican." BUT you forget that this is roughly the same area is where Dee Margo had to spend nearly $1 MILLION just to barely defeat Joe Moody.

Which brings me to my final points. I know for a fact - not through "paranoid delusions" - that most of you worked against me.

FACT: The hesitation by party leadership to stifle support for a write-in led to confusion and dissent within the active party.

FACT: Auxilliary groups supported this write-in by letting him speak at functions, sign his nominating petitions (I have the copies), and falsely endorse him. Just because an endorsement questionnaire was sent, does not allow you to choose to endorse a candidate running against the Republican candidate. Your own bylaws - yes, I looked them up - state that it is the mission of your organizations to "support, and help elect ALL Republican candidates on the ballot." You can't justify "endorsing" the opponent of the legally nominated Republican candidate by sending a questionnaire. You shouldn't have even bothered to send one - there was only one Republican candidate. You should only the Republican candidate. If you don't like him either get out of your group or don't do anything - but you don't work against him publicly. That is worse than voting for someone who is "Pro-Choice" when you are a practicing Catholic.

FACT: At the East Side Civic Association Forum (which was a joke), I was publicly attacked by a member of the College Republicans. Despite their feeble attempt to hide it, I saw through the lie that "he was acting alone". Again, your organization is nothing but petty for holding a grudge over your fundraiser at the county convention and hateful because I didn't choose one of you to be my campaign manager. (Lot of success there with Dan Chavez, eh Nickole?)

FACT: Dee Margo and others, openly ridiculed and humiliated me in public forums. It is an "unwritten" rule that you don't ask another candidate in an entirely other race how are their "finances" doing especially when you know full well that he/she isn't doing well.

One other thing about Dee Margo is that I know that he is on the board of the Business and Industry PAC for the state of Texas (BIPAC) - a very large GOP donor. I had contacted the national BIPAC offices, and was told that they wouldn't help me because of Dee Margo's efforts against me here in Texas. This was in spite of my answers on their questionnaire and originally had a good response from them.

FACT: When he was contacted by potentially large contributors for my campaign - specifically the party chairman - he told these donors to ignore my people and that I "didn't have a chance of winning". How would you know that, unless you were working against me?

I had been gaining momentum, and through the month of August my team and I were working tirelessly placing signs all over the entire county. With the infusion of their donations, we could have purchased the billboards, TV ads and mailers that would have continued to get my name out there.

Everyday well-meaning but ignorant GOP activists would tell me "You need to get yourself out there more." I would always tell them to donate so we could, but nothing would come in.

I put more of my own money into this campaign - based on percentages - than any candidate. Sure, you could say "Well, too bad for you." But I know that if it hadn't been for all the "knives in my back" - I wouldn't have had to put that money in.

FACT: The Republican Party of El Paso, the LNRC, the West El Paso Republican Women, Grassroots El Paso (Tea Party), and so many others will never see the forest for the trees. You refuse to believe that just because someone is attending your functions they aren't friendly to you.

Dan Chavez, and Jaime Perez were using you. They were considered to be the "jokes" of the Democratic Party - failing in all their attempts to get elected. They came over because they had no support within that party. They both failed again despite your weak efforts to get them elected.

Jaime Abetiya is not a reporter, or any kind of serious media person even if he does have a radio show. He is a Democratic activist who is close to several key elected officials including Reyes, Jose Rodriguez, and others. He may be friends with Sammy Carrejo - but he really isn't friendly toward the Republican party despite what he says.

That older lady that was hanging around with Dan Chavez who STILL IS a Democratic Party Precinct Chair - has no intentions of "crossing over" despite what some people have said. She is a very strong Democrat activist.

FACT: Your support is misguided, unorganized and weak. Rene Diaz is a prime example of this. He should have won his race for the EPCC Board easily. He played along with you, and ran as a "real Republican". Well, Jaime Abetiya and others painted him as a closet Democrat and permanently hurt his chances. If your support was so great - he should have won. A mailer from you denying this false charge, phone calls by the party leadership to voters, signs and even a neighborhood billboard would have helped. You dropped the ball. And the excuse, "We made the other guy work hard." is lame. Face it, he lost in a strongly Republican district because your support wasn't really there.

If you really think that you are going to make any headway in El Paso - you better open your eyes, get organized, get focused, and come out of your shell. You've said it yourselves, "El Pasoans are really Republicans - they just don't know it." You can't get them to believe that by telling them that they are "stupid Mexicans that only vote straight ticket". You can't say things like "we should electrify the border fence and put alligators in the Rio Grande".

It's like that cell phone commercial that has Philadelphia Eagles fans cheering in a restaurant that is obviously in Texas. The waitress says "They got sense of their surroundings, do they?". When the one fan asks for a refill, she says "Comin' right up 'shug'." and wrings out the dish rag into his cup. The GOP here has no sense of their surroundings and the city is "wringing out their dish rags" in your drinks.

As far as I'm concerned - I'm done with politics. And all of you - from the top to the bottom - are to blame. I've been classy enough to never "air our dirty laundry" in public. It's too bad that some of you did.

And if you've gotten this far....


Dee Margo Report Card in the Works

I'm working on a little report card of State Rep Dee Margo to gauge what/how well he's done so far in his freshman session.

I also want to compare it to his campaign messaging to see if the action is jiving with the jive.

That should be up sometime tomorrow.

Friday, March 18, 2011

More from Soco-Loco...

Canal 26 will have a story tonight about an issue going on in Socorro you should see.

Ralph Duran, who is the guy who is leading the recall effort against the four members of Socorro City Council that pushed for a recall against Mayor Willie Gandara following his recent trip to the FBI headquarters, has gotten in to some trouble with the city over his private possessions on city property.

The City of Socorro has been going through several efforts to clean up the city, either through code enforcement or passing of new ordinances. Details are a little sketchy right now but it looks like Duran was cited/warned a couple of times about removing his "junk" from city property in a cul-de-sac are where he owns property.

Duran was given a certain period of time to comply and until today, hadn't. Apprarently the city went over to either enforce the ordinance and remove the material and bill him for the costs, or to survey the area to determine exactly what part of the land is his and what part is the city's.

Willie Gandara Jr sent his company's vehicles to help Mr. Duran, who is a political ally of Gandara's father Willie Sr, move his stuff. Witnesses say Gary Gandara, brother of Willie Jr and son of Willie Sr, was actually driving one of the vehicles to remove the material.

More details in tonight's story on Canal 26....

Lazarin's Candidate Application Accepted

I got word late yesterday from the City that Zulema Lazarin's application has been accepted as is.

In short, she will appear on the ballot.

This is the official response from the city: "I just received word that the City Clerk’s Office performed the required statutory review and is accepting the application for Zulema Lazarin."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Poll

Look to your right. There is a new poll. Weigh in.

UPDATE on Lazarin Ballot Eligibility Question

I received a call first thing in the morning today informing me that due to the complexity of the issue, the City Attorney himself would need to review the issue.

He has been out the last couple of days due to illness. I was informed that I would be given an answer on Monday.

Tuesday is the day that the candidates head over to city hall and their place on the ballot is determined via a drawing.

Tim Besco and Oscar Gonzalez

So as I mentioned in the last post, Tim Besco and his campaign manager Oscar Gonzalez were in attendance at a campaing fundraiser that was way out of the district Besco is running in.

I went and greeted them. For some weird reason, Oscar always drifts behind me when I'm talking to Besco and I guess he doesn't think I notice that he does that.

Its annoying and I actually physically turned so that I could see him. Its weird, and I don't think anybody likes it when someone stands behind them.

But eventually Besco and I got back to talking about his race. I mentioned to him that I noticed his two top performing precincts were in the district he was running in.

He said he knew that with a pretty health dose of confidence.

The thing is, there are a shitload of candidates running in that race. The conservative vote in that district is very significant, but what good is it to any of the them if it is splintered among several candidates?

Its true that name recognition goes a long way in a crowded race, and Besco certainly has it. But I don't think he and his campaign manager have grasped two important concepts.

#1 - As well as he did in those Westside precincts, many, if not most, of those votes were AGAINST the congressman, not necessarily FOR Besco. You could've put a Double Order from Chicos on the ballot against the congressman in that area and it would do just as well.

#2 - Though he might have high name ID, its not necessarily positive name ID. There are a significant number of Republicans that have not forgotten his famous "Fuck You" parting shot to the El Paso Republican Party following his beat down from the Congressman.

I can't prove it, but sources tell me that C-Lo Green was forwarded the email and it was the inspiration for his latest hit.

Tim Besco should consider using it as his campaign theme song. Just a suggestion.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Alfredo Borrego

Alfredo Borrego, candidate for El Paso Independent School Board held a fundraiser on Wednesday night.

Borrego had a rather strong show of support from some noted El Paso politico's including Mayor Pro Temp Emma Acosta, County Commissioner Sergio Lewis, former County Commissioner Carlos Aguilar, and prominent El Paso Attorney Mr. Rosales.

Also in attendance were EPISD Trustee Isela Castanon-Williams, Dan Olivas, Tim Besco, Mayela Mejia, Dora Oaxaca, Jay Desai, Pee Wee Mier, and Ken Sutherland.

Here are some of the highlights and an interview I did with him.

Greater El Paso Republican Women Hold Forum Saturday

The Greater El Paso Republican Women will be hosting a candidate forum this weekend at their regular monthly meeting.

The GEPRW normally meet at the Vista Hills Country Club over on Traewood on the Eastside of El Paso.

The meeting starts at 9:00am, but I don't think its open to the public. If the meeting is open to the public, I will post something to let you know.

Decision on Lazarin's Ballot Appearance Likely on Thursday

I checked with the City again to find out what was the status of my query about the validity of Zulema Lazarin's candidacy on the May ballot.

I was informed by City Staff that the answer would be coming tomorrow.

As soon as I hear from the city I will let you know.

(For those of you that don't remember, I posed the question to the city's legal department about whether or not Lazarin could be on the ballot because she didn't fill out the paper work properly.)

Progressive Candidates Making Huge Mistake in District 1

As I said previously, District 1 candidates are basically the bottom of the food chain. Well most of them anyway.

With all the candidates being conservative Republicans, the only way a progressive or independent candidate can win is if all the progressives back ONE candidate.

If there is more than one progressive or independent candidate, then they won't win. Its as simple as that.

There are three progressive candidates in the race right now, but one of them is a non-factor. Rick Schecter is a complete and total non-factor. He has run before and has never earned a significant amount of votes.

Why? Because he's a one issue candidate and most people see him as a punch line. Before some of you get mad at me, don't. I'm just reflecting a pretty commonly held sentiment.

The point is, he's not viable. He has no base, he has no financial backing, he has no credibility, and he has little chance of winning.

That leaves Lyda Ness and Dr. Theresa Ware-Asbury. Somebody needs to sit this one out.

To win this race a progressive has to be consitently progressive across a range of issues. They have to be more than a one-issue candidate. They have to have the ability to raise money. They have to have a base of support and volunteers. They have the ability to communicate well. They have to have the ability to dedicate the time and energy necessary to operate an effective grassroots campaign.

Whomever of the two that has those traits needs to step up, and whomever doesn't, should support the other. Supporting the other canidate is key because only a united effort gets the job done.

Its that simple.

There are some progressive liberals in the area that can and should facilitate some sort of discussion about this, like Xavier Miranda and Alfredo Longoria.

Its the only way a Democratic candidate can win.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Interview with Manny Hinojosa

It has been a long time since I have enjoyed an interview with a candidate. As a rule, they tend to be repetitive and as much as I like politics, even I get a little bored now and again.

But given Manny Hinojosa's interview with Maria Garcia of ABC 7 earlier this week, I knew the interview was going to be fun.

We spoke for over forty minutes, and I didn't even realize that my battery ran out. But most of the interview is in the three part video.

We talked about sexual addiction, his interview with Garcia, finance, unions, the domestic partnership issue, and of course, God.

He's improved quite a bit since the first time I met him and I have to give him credit for taking an interview with someone he knew would have a completely different view on contentious issues.

Trust me, you will want to see this interview. I personally find the second portion the most interesting.

Candidate Interviews - Filing Deadline

Interviews with three of the candidates on the day of the filing deadline.

Gerardo Rosiles - Running in District 6
Representative Holguin - Running for Re-Election in District 6
Lisa Turner - Running in District 8

Marmolejo Found Guilty

Watch Canal 26 tonight for a story on David Marmolejo. Sources say the jury has found him guilty and announcement will come soon.

Stay tuned...

Stonewall Democrats Re-Organize; Re-Launch

The El Paso chapter of the Stonewall Democrats held their first organizational meeting last night.

The group wants to reorganize and relaunch activities as an auxillery to the El Paso County Democratic Party.

The Stonewall Democrats were organized originally a few of years ago in El Paso but the recent rise of Pastor Tom Brown has encouraged members of the gay community who were previously active to get involved.

I don't think it was ever his intention to galvanize the gay community but it looks like they will unite against a common foe.

Sexuality and Hypocrisy

I've been working on a few things over the last few weeks. All I have to say is that you make sexuality of an individual a public issue, then make sure your own house is in order.

It might be really embarrasing if the tables were turned and your own sexual history was examined because you opened the door to the conversation.

Especially for those of you who claim to be advocates for traditional marriage values.

Just saying...

More Filing Mishaps - Abe Peinado

Abe Peinado, a candidate in District 1 has not filed the necessary paperwork with the city identifying a campaign treasurer. The lack of a treasurer isn't something that will get him kicked off the ballot, but he could nonetheless get in trouble with the Texas Ethics Commission if someone complained.

You can basically file a treasurer whenever you wish...but you can't collect contributions until you have identified a treasurer. Furthermore, according to a document titled Campaign Finance Guide for Candidates and Officeholder Who File wiht Local Filing Authorities from the Texas Ethics Commission, page three of the document states, "If you plan to run for public office in Texas (except for fedral office), you must file an APPOINTMENT OF A CAMPAIGN TREASURER BY A CANDIDATE (FORM CTA) with the proper filing authority when you become a candidate even if you do not intend to accept campaign contributions or make campaign expenditures."

 I don't know if he has collected any checks yet, but if he has and someone complains, he could be subject to fines and reprimands from the Texas Ethics Commission.

Maestro, if You Please...

Perhaps the most surprising name in yersterday's group of candidates that filed to be on the ballot was Maestro Phillip Garcia.

Maestro Garcia who has run the El Paso Youth Symphony Orchestra has no other political experience that I can find but said that he had the support of several high-profile members of council including Mayor John Cook, Representative Steve Ortega, Representative Beto O'rourke, and the incumbent, Representative Rachel Quintana.

A couple of those names are interesting because I've heard various people connected several of the candidates in the race proclaim that Mayor Cook is supportive of their candidate of choice. Representative Ortega was another candidate's, Mayela Mejia, boss up until she resigned to run for the open seat.

I don't know that Representative Quintana's endorsement actually helps anyone either.

But I did speak with Maestro Garcia over the phone and asked him a few questions about what his focus would be if he was elected the city representative and he said education, arts, and culture.

His entrance in to the race left a few politicos around town scratching their heads and wondering why, but he does have pretty decent name ID, which is always helpful in a crowded race. He has a few obstacles to over come including developing a volunteer base, a base of support, raising money, and a late entrance in to the race.

Fundraising shouldn't be a problem, I imagine he's done that pretty consistently over his career as the head of the El Paso Youth Symphony Orchestra.