Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Big Beto Video & a Billion Buck Brief

Okay, so I thought I would take a moment to answer some questions people are throwing my way about coverage bias in the Reyes / O'Rourke race.

I wrote a few days ago that O'Rourke will be - scratch that, already has been - the recipient of some soft coverage in his bid to unseat the Congressman. Aside from literally portraying him as a superhero who is able to block walk 10 precincts in a single hour, they appear to be burying anything that's going to make the Congressman look good.

Like I said before, deal with it. Its the reality of the situation when you have someone in their 30's taking on someone in their 60's.

Case in point, the Congressman has an event that marks $1 billion he's brought to the El Paso area. A BILLION dollars. The El Paso Times has it in their "In Brief" section of the Borderland section, under a follow up to a story about a school board official in Tornillo.

Seriously, the Congressman got big-timed by a now ex-school board official in Tornillo! TV news ran a blurb about it last night, but mostly in that sweet spot between weather and sports!

And now...on to the video.

I wasn't going to write about it, but since David K did, well, monkey see, monkey do.

(The video first appeared on Paul Strelzin's message board last night)

If you haven't read David K's piece on this, you should. Its hilarious! You may not like him, but you gotta admit, he's good.

I agree with him on a few points. Mostly on the fact that this happened at The Tap and about rich white people hanging out at dive bars because they think its cool. He's right, its really annoying.

If they really want a dive bar for that authentic feel of hanging in the hood, check out The First Cocktail Lounge on Sunday night when Mike Guerrero plays there. That should cure them. (One look at the bouncer, La Loca, yes that's what she is called, and they'll see what a real dive bar looks like. But its great fun and you can't beat the music.)

But I think this is something that is really bad for O'Rourke. First of all, lets count all the bad decisions that took place here.

First of all, The Tap! Aside from the fact that I think they still have a trough with ice for a urinal in the men's room, what are they doing partying there of all places? Its owned by the Abraham's. They aren't know for being fans of O'Rourke.

Second, its not like people haven't tried to do this to them before. Remember the four of them have a bit of a goody two-shoes aura about them that any number of people in town would love to exploit. There were rumors about videos of other members of Team Shapleigh partying it up in previous elections. The videos never surfaced, but the point is they knew what a danger public spectacles can be.

Third...the timing. Its not like this was a few years ago or something. If that were the case he could use the classic line of "it was in the past, it was a mistake, blah, blah,..." This was this freakin' year. His last day on city council was late June. If you recall, he said he was not going to run last time because he wanted to spend time with his family.

Having Susie Byrd smack his ass while he's on the floor in a downtown bar shortly before he becomes a candidate for Congress doesn't exactly fit with the message.

Fourth...karaoke? Look, I don't know if he was drunk or not. I wasn't there. But falling on the floor and singing karaoke in a downtown bar screams of being drunk. Karaoke is almost synonymous with being drunk these days. Listen to your friends talk about how wasted they were at the last party they went to.


Homie #1: Man, I had such a good time last Saturday night, I was sooo wasted?

Homie #2: Really foo, how wasted were you?

Homie #1: I was so drunk foo, I did karaoke!

Homie #2: Daaammnn ese, I sure hope you didn't drive vato!

Homie #1: Nah, that's why I took my ol' lady.

See what I mean?

Personally, I don't have a problem with him being drunk. I enjoy a cold beer myself from time to time. But I don't ever recall being so hammered that I was on the floor having my booty slapped by another man's wife. I might do some dirty dancing or dance like a fool when I'm drunk...guilty. But falling on the floor...nope. I'd hope my pals would stop me before reaching to that point.

Although I'm fairly sure I was too drunk to walk a time or two when I was in the Army. Although that was in my early 20's and I wasn't thinking about running for Congress.

All joking aside, this is bad for O'Rourke. This is going to make it look like he doesn't have the maturity for Washington. He's already going to have a tough time with his legalization position, and when you put this video in the conversation, well you can see where this conversation goes.

I don't think this video just goes away. It looks like a campaign commercial waiting to happen. This video has a chance of overtaking the infamous Lesbian Gay Woman video of 2010.

People will question his judgement, which is bad for a candidate. Its not like I haven't seen any number of other elected officials and candidates hammered before. Hell, there's a former JP candidate that is pretty much the Norm of my watering hole and that guy is hammered every time I go to that place. But we live in an age where almost everyone has a smart phone that can take pictures, audio, and video and upload it to the internet while you're still waiting in line to use that trough.

If you are going to party like a rock star, do it at home where you are less likely to get it caught on tape.

But this is different. This is a guy running for Congress.

This is bad. And much like the infamous Lesbian Gay Woman video, its yet another self-inflicted wound.


Dr Paul W Landerman said...

So let me see if I am understanding this correctly? You have already pronounced a candidate unfit for Washington DC after a single incident which you did not attend, which has not been corroborated, and have used the incident to create some suppositions, the likes of which no one, not one politician in this century or the recent one, has ever committed? Am I on course so far? Incidents like Senator Larry Craig, or any other politician being witnessed committing foolishness in public? You could conjure up better imagery than I, of that I am sure, because so far just from my cursory reading of your blog it is apparent you have much better awareness of dive behaviour than do I. And may we assume then therefore that concomitantly you also have much better knowledge of what happens in dives, than do I? Including your righteous indignation- does that also occur in those dives with which you are familiar?

Anonymous said...

Okay. I get it. You don't trust Camp Shapleigh and think The Times is going to gang up on the Congressman. I, for one, am glad someone credible is finally taking on the Congressman in a primary. In 2004, the combined total of Undervotes plus Votes-For-The-Libertarian-Guy-Who-Didn't-Campaign surpassed the total of votes actually cast for Congressman Reyes. We just don't like him very much. We haven't liked him very much for a long time. Billion dollars worth of pork or not. He's a moderate to conservative Democrat who likes to take advantage of free overseas travel offered to him by virtue of his committee membership, supports the military, and says the right stuff about unions when it counts. He's the past. Beto is the future.

My chief concern about Beto is he is not, in my observation, a retail politician with retail politician skills. He is a policy wonk and a smart guy. He cares about El Paso and wants to make the City a better place. He does not, however, like to shake hands, campaign, or put himself out there. Neither does the Congressman that I have ever observed, except in closely controlled circumstances and then only when the crowd is guaranteed to be heavily weighted with supporters. Should be an interesting primary.

And here's the thing, and what I feel is wrong with this country and with our politics. Public service is not a job occupation. Civil service is a job occupation. Public service is not civil service. Public service is what you do out of civic duty if you feel you can contribute something to your nation/state/city. And then you go home after you make your contribution and let someone else take a turn. I am sick to death of 100-year-old Senators and 4-term Governors and 8 term Congressmen.

That is the only reason anyone needs to vote against Reyes. And, if you feel like it, to vote against Beto after one or two terms. The problem is too few candidates everywhere, not that the Congressman is being primaried.

The Lion Star said...

Wow, for a Dr you appear to have a fair amount of comprehension problems or are making assumptions on a grand scale. I didn't pronounce anyone unfit. I raised the question of the impact of the video. If you disagree, thats fine, but at least try to be accurate.

And secondly, yes, I am familiar with dives. Did you think that was somehow an insult to me? Perhaps things are different in an ivory tower, but as a matter of fact, I do think I can speak with a certain level of authority on dives.

Sometimes they are just what the Dr ordered. Pun intended.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering what was your intention for putting this video up? I wondering why are you not
posting about Reyes mistakes and again what research you have to back up that Reyes been the most effective congressman in El Paso ? I asked this question in a previous post.

The Lion Star said...


Thanks for the comment. I was not the first person to post this video. At least two other places had the video before I did.

My intention was to provide some analysis as to the gravity of the situation.

I've previously posted my critiques of the Congressman. In fact, just last week I was critical of the Congressman's use of Robert as opposed to Beto.

In terms of my assertion that he is one of the most effective congressmen from El Paso, its obviously a matter of opinion, but since you ask, I point to the fact that he was an important committee chair, he is a senior member of several important committees to El Paso, and oh yeah...a BILLION dollars to El Paso.

You are free to disagree with my reasons for characterizing him as such, but that is my answer. Until someone comes up with a way of actually measuring the effectiveness of a Congressman, it will have to remain cocktail conversation.

Anonymous said...

You never know. Baytoe may get be able to get the female vote just by Sarah Palin-like wink (inspiring fantasies of a slap or 2 on the pompis from his beautifully manicured metro-sexual hands). Surely, a hand shake from those hands might get them to knock on a couple of doors... I mean, just imagine what a calendar pin-up campaign poster might accomplish! <3 And who cares if rich white in-town liberals like to get their street cred hanging out at faux dives whilst they drink Corona (light with a twist of lime please) and Patron shots! We the people with the real know hows on dives know where the real action is. We just aren't going to share it with any pendejo (as they say in the language of my people).

Anonymous said...


When did Reyes author the GIVE EL PASO A BILLION DOLLARS ACT? I don't remember the legislation.

All I see are bus terminals and "transit hubs" nobody ever uses. Please don't count Ft. Bliss. Saddam and OBL gave us that expansion... along with W's unfunded wars.

So after useless public transport projects and money that was going to Bliss anyway, where's the beef?

Yes, the video is embarrassing. At least Beto didn't give the camera the finger. Party!!!


Anonymous said...

Well somehow given the counter-intuitiveness you have mentioned before, I think this video will play on favor of O'Rourke. The only think I see on the video is the type of behavior you see on Fraternity parties but with people on their forties. I only see people who seem to be good friends hanging out and thinking that they are funny (as on a fraternity/sorority type of funny) among them.

I did not see anything shocking, even for a candidate hopeful.

A lot of people (myself included) have come to an understanding the being a congressman doe not imply sainthood. So, unless we are talking about a felony of a crime related to this video, I don't see anything of concern from the perspective of him losing (a lot of) votes.

Yes, there will be some that make the analysis you describe, but somehow I get the impression this is type of "social media" artifact that younger people like because it makes them feel closer to the guy, as in "he is one of us."

G. Rosiles

Anonymous said...

The funniest part of this video is the voice of the woman cussing in Spanish, I assume in reference to stupid the whole thing was for regular patrons.

G. Rosiles

Anonymous said...


aj ruiz said...

When photos of Lyda Ness Garcia surfaced you defended her actions or should I say the person. When the Wiener scandal broke you wrote about how he shouldn't succumb to political pressure for his actions.

I am not defending O'Rourke nor against Reyes, fair is fair.

Honestly the CASH scandal at Charlotte's Furniture store is more alarming to me.


The Lion Star said...


I don't know what photos you are talking about. I don't even know why you are trying to bring that up.

I don't even know what you mean by fair is fair.

Anonymous said...

i think adrian is talking about the pics of the guy who ran.

ajruiz said...

Photos that you refeneced in past Blogs posted by "La Derecha" in reference to Ness.

What I mean by fair is fair, is to look at them in same light.