Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Beto's Website - Initial Reaction

Well the social networking sites are abuzz with the leaking of Beto O'rourke's website. Well, I hope it was a leak because if it wasn't, I think its a rookie mistake on O'rourke's part.

Who launches a campaign website before the formal campaign announcement? It looks like it just kinda got out there without his control. Congressional race is the big time, this looks unplanned, uncontrolled, and unorganized. Its not that big of a deal, but it sort of steps on his announcement. People shouldn't see it all over Facebook first. It immediately gives up control over the initial announcement.

I'm not a fan of the picture on the site either. Its dark and gloomy. Looks like the sort of photoshop job you'd see done on a picture that someone wanted to use as an attack ad. Sorta like he did his own attack ad. I'd like to know who did it.



But I am a fan of the campaign colors and logo. Black and white theme is easy, makes reproduction easy, is different, will stand out in a sea of campaign signs, and is cheap to reproduce in signage, t-shirts, etc. There is some great messaging that can go along with the color scheme too. That part I dig.

I don't like that the website just collects data. Doesn't give a person a reason to visit the site. I'm sure it will be fleshed out later, but it looks like its still under construction, further leading me to believe this wasn't planned.

The other reason is this stuff coming out now means the stories will be in tonight's news and tomorrow's paper. They'll call for comment and O'rourke will have to do so before he's ready to. Kills the announcement. Whats worse is that this happens right before a holiday weekend.

There's a reason the announcements are always made AFTER the Labor Day weekend.

Sidebar - If I refer to him as Beto, please stop and remind me. I don't refer to the Congressman by his first name so I will afford the same courtesy and respect to O'rourke. And on the name thing, if you are going to post something about Beto not being his real name, save your energy. The vato can call himself whatever he wants. Everyone has a right to be called whatever they want. So stick to issues and not is name. Its just not that big of a deal. Seriously, I know some idiot is going to raise this issue. Do it somewhere else, not on my blog. 

Beto O'rourke is Running for Congress

Probably the worst kept secret since then-Commissioner Escobar pondered a run for County Judge, Beto O'rourke has been rumored to be a candidate for Congressman Reyes' seat for quite some time now. Here's a quick interview I previously had with O'rourke when he was pondering the run in the last election.



I heard from a lobbyist in DC earlier this week that he had filed, but I haven't had a chance to track it down yet. But O'rourke's campaign URL is already active and can be found at https://www.betoforcongress.com/.

I'd expect the formal announcement sometime next week.



Segundo Barrio Curfew

I've been watching the discussion about Segundo Barrio having a different curfew than the rest of the city.

Lets think about this rationally. At some point in time there was a lot of crime in that area that compelled the city and/or PD, to change the curfew in that area. I'm not against that concept in the least if it meant that families in the area could raise their children in peace.

In fact, bravo to the people that pushed that back then.

But again, lets be rational. If the data says that there is no longer a need for the curfew in that area, then it should be a no-brainer to get rid of it. If by chance crime goes up, well then you make the appropriate decision at that time.

A 7pm curfew for kids 16 and under just isn't reasonable now given the fact that its safe there again. People should understand that many who live in that area live on the edge of existence sometimes. Kids can work at 16. A lot of them help feed their families. Even if their fast-food job is only for their clothing, cell phone, or pocket money, its money their parents don't have to spend on them and can spend on groceries, bills, and other living expenses.

Its not even dark yet at 7pm!

This policy might have made sense at some point in time, but one part of town having a different curfew than the rest of town is just ridiculous at this point. I sure as hell hope that there is a compelling reason to justify why the poorest and brownest part of town should be treated any differently than the rest of town...

Someone should be talking to residence of Segundo Barrio and ask them how they feel. I'm betting they will want it to be the same as the rest of El Paso.


Commissioners Gandara & Lewis Vote Against Democratic National Platform

Speaking as a Democrat, I couldn't be more disappointed in Commissioners Gandara and Lewis for their vote at Commissioners Court the other day.

You two claim to be Democrats. If you aren't really Democrats and are Republicans, then you should run as Republicans. If you are Democrats, you should have the courage to stand for what our platform means.

This is a matter of social justice. The day that Democrats are afraid to stand for social justice is the day we should stop calling ourselves Democrats.

Frankly I'm sick of Democrats being afraid to stand for what our beliefs are. We have to hold the elected officials who benefit from the "D" behind their name during election time. That "D" means something and Commissioners Gandara and Lewis shouldn't take it for granted.

Being a Democrat means something. Its time elected officials are reminded of that. Honestly I think it shouldn't have to come from me. It should be coming from the President or Chair of each and every Democratic Party Auxillery in El Paso. Tejano Dems, West Tejano Dems, West El Paso Dems, El Paso Young Democrats, Black El Paso Democrats, East El Paso Dems, and Stonewall Dems.

This was clearly a vote against social justice. It wasn't an economic vote because as Commissioner Perez pointed out, its more fiscally responsible for the county to pay now, rather than pay up to 10 times more in uncompensated care at the county hospital.

But more importantly, when an elected official in this town that runs as a Democrat and votes in a manner inconsistent with the Democratic Party, then the first ones in line to hold them accountable for their vote should be the Big 3. The Chair, and the SDECMan and SDECWoman. (Which reminds me, why the hell don't we have an Executive Director position anymore?)

Danny Anchondo, Yolanda Clay, and Don Williams. Do your job and hold these people accountable. I don't mind being the jerk that has to do so, but technically speaking...that's your job.

Do your job. Remind Commissioners Gandara and Lewis that being a Democrat isn't just something you do every four years when you want to go kiss babies for votes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pastor Brown's Followers Collecting Signatures Near Courthouse Right Now...

Apparently they are hitting up people that are on jury duty.

Clearly they are getting desperate.

But they are certainly committed, I'll give them that.

Apparently its two female petition gatherers. I'm told they don't look terribly busy.

Shout out to someone in the community who just gave me a heads up on this development!

Recall Signature Drive - A Couple of Random Thoughts

So I was talking with a buddy last night about the recall and Pastor Brown's followers' push for signatures last weekend.


(Aside from the extreme irony of them trying to collect signatures at the Greek Festival over the weekend when homosexuality was accepted even by ancient Greeks)


If they are still pushing, and if they have to try to have all these successive weekend petition drives, it tells me a couple of things.


#1 - They don't have the signatures yet.


#2 - They are getting pretty desperate to get them.


If they had the signatures, trust me they would've made a big public to-do about having them and turning them in. I'd bet Pastor Brown, Theresa Caballero, and Stuart Leeds would be have invited the media and commented on how quickly they were able to get the signatures. 


But no spiking of the political football or endzone dances as of yet.


Having to go out to congregations to get signatures is literally, pardon the pun, a Hail Mary pass. I think word has gotten around the Catholic Community that Pastor Brown has some very anti-Catholic sentiments on this website. Of course this is just my opinion, but you can't bash Catholics and then expect them to board the hate train express. 


Except Father Rodriguez. For someone who says he's such a Defender of the Faith, what the hell is he doing aligned with someone who is so anti-Catholic?


Which reminds me, a friend of mine wrote a letter to the Bishop about Father Rodriguez and cc'd Rodriquez. Here are their emails if you should find yourself so compelled. officeofthebishop@elpasodiocese.org. Rodriguez's email is dvrodrig@gmail.com


I am going to. It's been a while since I've chatted with Bishop Ochoa...


Potential HD 75 Candidates Testing the Waters


Looks like a few potential candidates are testing the waters of a possible run for State Rep Chente Quintanilla's seat in the Texas House of Representatives.

At least one of the potential candidates (who doesn't want to be revealed until she's made up her mind) says that if she decides to run, she will run whether or not Quintanilla vacates his seat to run for County Commissioner. “Chente has a slogan, but not much a record to run on. Representing the valley has to be more than just catchy slogan. And I don't think too many people in the valley think he's actually lived up to the slogan to begin with.”

I'm assuming she means “Chente por la gente”. Honestly, I disagree with her. The slogan is pretty damn good if you ask me. Catchy, means something important, and people remember it. Political gold.

Representative Quintanilla has boldly claimed that he set up his district to be pretty safe for him should he decide to run for re-election.

Rep Quintanilla will likely be forced to make a decision sooner rather than later now that candidates are dipping their toes in the water.

Quintanilla doesn't want to become this election cycle's Eddie Holguin, who held a lot of people in suspense as to whether or not he was going to seek re-election, though he wasn't facing any real competition and could afford to sit on the political toilet til he was good and ready to get off.

To quote Beyonce, which ever office he's gonna run for, he better put a ring on it...

Monday, August 29, 2011

JOP Resigns from GOP

Congressional candidate Jaime O. Perez resigned from the El Paso Republican Party on a posting in his blog yesterday.

Perez said he will continue to run for Congress, but will do so as a Libertarian.

This opens the door for another Republican to step up and be the Republican Party's nominee to face the Democratic Party's nominee in the next general election. If Congressman Reyes is able to beat his likely primary opponent Beto O'rourke, the Congressman will likely have to debate two conservatives at the same time during the general election season.

Perez sited the fact that he is fiscally conservative but not as socially conservative as most of the Republican Party as the reason he has chosen to resign from the GOP. Perez also stated that he was treated respectfully by leadership of the GOP while he was a member of the Party.


Pastor Brown's Followers Make Another Church Run

I received some reports across town that Pastor Tom Brown's supporters were hitting the local churches on Sunday in an effort to gain support for their recall petition.

Church-goers say that people were on church property passing out fliers and trying to collect signatures for the recall.



This unidentified gentleman apparently addressed the mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe at the end of the 12:30 service. He apparently spoke during the announcement period. Typically the people who make announcements are usually active members of the church, like lecters, eucharistic ministers, or clergy.

Parishioners did not recognize the man as someone they have seen at the church before.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Another Race to Watch...

Looks like the Congressional race and the race for Precinct 3 for Commissioner's Court will get all the attention in this election, but there is another race that's very important that will get a lot of attention among party regulars, though not voters at large.

I am of course speaking about the race for Chair of the Democratic Party in El Paso. I was reminded of this because I saw a picture of the former Chair of the El Paso Democratic Party Rick Melendrez in the paper today.



There have been no indications as to whether the current Chair Danny Anchondo plans to run again or if he will pursue another office. Anchondo's name comes up whenever there is talk of a judicial post since he's an attorney and has won county-wide elective office in the past.

Keep an eye on this one because its going to get interesting. Several possible scenarios can come in to play and I'll keep you posted...

Couple of Notes I Forgot to Mention

I keep a notebook with me to jot down stuff I'm going to write about later. When I wrote my wrap-up of the legislative forum yesterday I didn't have it with me and I forgot a couple of things I wanted to mention.

I wrote about how everyone mentioned how much better things were as a delegation without all the in-fighting and I forgot to mention that during the forum, State Rep Marquez talked about the fact that a paper (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram if I recall) voted El Paso's delegation as the "Most Improved".

Representative Margo stated that "We don't have deficits in Texas, we have funding shortfalls". He was very particular about this so I'll figure out if that is a distinction without a difference or if its really a significant difference and get back with you all.

Margo also made one of the most honest assessments of the budget process for the whole evening. At first he said that "No one" was happy about the budget, which might be accurate but I think it should be said that Republicans were far more happy with the budget than Democrats.

But the statement I'm talking about was this. When referring to the budget process Rep Margo said "there was blood all over the floor".  Pretty honest assessment of the budget process.

Working on video highlights, they will follow later this afternoon.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Audio: El Paso Legislative Forum

This is audio of the legislative forum held last night and sponsored by the El Paso County Democratic Party.

Marquez, Gonzalez Shine at Legislative Forum

Yesterday's legislative forum drew about 120 people to listen to the members of the El Paso legislative delegation go over issues from the last session. It was a great idea and a wonderful opportunity to people to see the members of the delegation side-by-side.

The first thing I noticed was that nearly every member of the delegation spoke about who well they all got along and several mentioned how refreshing it was to have a delegation that didn't have "distractions and in-fighting". Three guesses about who they were talking about...

All the members of the delegation were present with the exception of State Rep Joe Pickett, who was in another state receiving an award.

The members of the delegation that stood out the most were Representatives Marquez, Gonzalez, and Margo. Margo stood out because he was the lone Republican and a lot of the questions were aimed at him. He stood his ground and you have to give him credit for going to a forum that he knew he was going to receive a lot of heat from angry consistuents.

This was really the first time that I had a chance to see Reps Marquez and Gonzalez side-by-side with the rest of the delegation. Rep Gonzalez seemed to be very sharp on the issues and seasoned in terms of the legislative process. She apparently is a quick study and spoke about technical aspects of this last session that wonks like me found very informative.

I thought overall it was Rep Marquez that did the best. She didn't speak as often as the rest of the delegation, but when she did she was concise and to the point. She spoke directly and plainly about how some of the votes taken in the last session were damaging to El Pasoans. She did a masterful job taking apart the Governor's emergency agenda and showing how everyday El Pasoans were affected by the legislative session.

Senator Rodriquez showed he was the leader of the delegation and explained the way things went down in the Senate. Rodriquez and Quintanilla sparred a bit with Representative Margo over analysis of various legislative issues, but overall the event was cordial and no one had torches or pitchforks for Rep Margo.

Margo spent a lot of the time defending his votes on the budget and on the sanctuary cities bill.

Rep Quintanilla did a fair job, but I kept being distracted a bit by a comparison of what he said versus how he voted. Rep Quintanilla characterized the super-majority as "extreme" and "conservatives" and took them on for their agenda, particularly as it relates to education. He made a strong argument I thought.

But I can't get passed the fact that he was sitting next to Rep Marquez as she was talking about the sonogram bill being an assault on women by the Republicans. Rep Quintanilla voted in favor of the sonogram bill. I can't think of a more conservative bill from this session than that bill and I can't think of anything more extreme than big government literally forcing a woman's vagina to be penetrated by a probe for the sonogram.

Questions were taken from the audience by submission of a 3x5 card. One of the questions I submitted was asked, though it was the softest question I submitted. The question I asked was if in hindsight, if any of the members of the delegation would change their vote on anything.

Now the reason I asked was because I wanted to see who was introspective and who, given the benefit of time and information, would have seen an issue differently. I wanted to see if Margo would've reconsidered his vote on the budget or the education cuts, and if Quintanilla would've reconsidered the sonogram vote.

Neither did.

I have plenty of video, but it takes time to chop it up into bite-sized morsels and publish it. I will post it soon.

Let Me Translate - More on Torres' PCT #3 Article

There's a healthy amount of political bullshit in the article and since I speak it fluently, I thought I'd translate.

Of course, its only my opinion and shouldn't be taken as a serious literal translation. For that, just go to google translator and select bullshit to English.

Representative Quintanilla contradicts himself in the article. Let me show you: "That's the problem: People start rumors and it spreads like wildfire,". He's dismissing the idea that he's interested in the seat by calling it a rumor. Well, since it was Yours Truly that first wrote about Quintanilla being a candidate, let me say that I am VERY comfortable with my sources of the information. In fact, if you read this previous post I wrote, I actually spoke with his Chief of Staff, Robert Grijalva. 


When you get confirmation from someone, its not a rumor. 


But Quintanilla later contradicts himself and says, "I guarantee you after Labor Day and after everybody starts making moves, I will announce for one or the other."


That's an acknowledgement that he is is strong considering the run for County Commissioner, as I stated. 


Commissioner Gandara, according to the article (but its not a quote) Torres writes, He said he did not understand the sudden interest in his seat, but he added that Reyes has endorsed him for re-election.


He doesn't understand the sudden interest? Seriously?


The sudden interest is something I've already written about a couple of times, his dad was indicted by the feds and then recalled by the people of Socorro. Socorro is their main base of support. If they are weak there, the Gandara is in real trouble for re-election. Combine that with the Tornillo Bridge and the Farah Project and there is your answer. 


The sudden interest is because people sense blood in the water. 


Speaking of water, lets talk a little more about the bridge. Its his biggest accomplishment as Commissioner. But lets be accurate. The Congressman is the one who really made the project happen. Former Commissioner Teran had been working on the project for years. Gandara certainly picked up the ball and punched it in to the endzone, but if anything, the bridge was the combined effort of more than just one party.


Again the bridge is his biggest accomplishment, so he's married to it and is going to have to keep mentioning it over and over. The problem for Gandara is that people will scrutinize his land purchases in the area. 


Vince Perez's statements were pretty clear. He came out guns blazin', so those that think the kid isn't ready might be a little surprised. I don't think I need to translate what he said because it was pretty clear. He took a shot at the fact that Gandara and Quintanilla have other incomes and his argument is that being County Commissioner would be a side gig for them. 


Perez has to avoid becoming the second coming of Frank Lopez, which has been some of the chatter out there.


Personally I don't like the dig at Lopez. He's a good guy who's done some good work for the community, but its a fair critique in that Lopez is a smart guy but the community just didn't connect with him.

Wrong Political Play by Congressman Reyes

If I'm reading the El Paso Times article and a quote from Congressman Reyes' office correctly, then our Congressman just made a bad political play.

And its one that will play right in to the hands of his likely primary opponent, Beto O'rourke.

According to a pretty good article written by Zahira Torres, it looks like incumbent County Commissioner Willie Gandara is claiming to have the endorsement of Congressman Silvestre Reyes. Which is weird for a couple of reasons.

Aside from being weird, it makes no political sense what so ever. So let's talk political reality. The Gandara name doesn't mean what it did four years ago in the valley. If it did, there would be no one running against Gandara instead of at least three so far, maybe more.

Willie Gandara Sr has a very serious court case with the feds that could break DURING the campaign season. Willie Gandara Jr will be answering some tough questions from constituents about purchasing property along the corridor of the new port of entry and about his company working on the Farah project after he voted in favor of both projects.

So why would the Congressman tie himself to Willie Gandara? The statement from the Congressman's Office doesn't actually say he's endorsing Gandara, but that's just semantics. His statement is an endorsement.

I've talked to a lot of people this morning about why Congressman Reyes would support Gandara and I honestly don't see an answer. The right political play would've been for the Congressman to stay out of the race entirely. Let's face it, the Congressman was in a tough position. If I'm not mistaken, the Congressman generally stays out of other races and I'm sure he's ALWAYS asked for his endorsement in El Paso. If he endorsed Vince Perez, people would say its a power play and he's getting people to run for various offices.

So to me, the right play was to wish everyone the best of luck and stay out of it.

But endorsing someone who could be used against him just doesn't make any sense.

You think Beto O'rourke isn't going to use this endorsement as a major red flag? What's worse for the Congressman is that not only can being tied to the Gandara's hurt the Congressman, the Congressman tied himself to the Gandara's for Beto.

Although I should point out that the article does say that his newbie interim Communications Director Claudia Ordaz appears to have tried to save the Congressman from this political faux paux by stating that the statement doesn't constitute an endorsement. That's a tough statement for a newbie to have to try to walk back for her boss' sake.

Which probably bother's Gandara Jr because he says he has the endorsement of the Congressman.

Like I said, its just a matter of semantics.

But now that I think about it, the Congressman has endorsed candidates in the recent past. He endorsed Sergio Coronado, Norma Chavez, Marty Reyes, and Paul Moreno.

None of those candidates won.

So what happens if Willie Gandara Sr's. who's charges are related to public corruption, case goes bad for Gandara Sr during the campaign while the Congressman is running against the uber anti-corruption crowd of Beto O'rourke?

Anybody think that's gonna turn out good for the Congressman?

Congressman Reyes Announces Staffing Change, Praises Vince Perez

The indications that Vincent Perez is going to run for County Commissioner against Willie Gandara have become more solid following the release of a statement from the Congressman's Office announcing the upcoming departure of Vince Perez, pictured here on the job in DC.



Perez, who started off as an intern, the legislative aide, Press Secretary, and eventually Communications Director for Congressman Reyes' office was praised by the long-time El Paso Democrat. “Vince is one of the most dedicated and talented communicators on Capitol Hill, and I appreciate his tireless service on behalf of the people of El Paso,” Congressman Reyes said.  “He has a very bright future ahead of him, and I wish him the very best in his future endeavors.” 

Perez' interim replacement at the Congressman's office is Claudia Ordaz. The Congressman's office is deep with bright, young talent and it shows the Congressman's ability to spot and mentor young talent.

Here is the rest of the Congressman's Statement:


CONGRESSMAN REYES ANNOUNCES STAFF CHANGES
WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Congressman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) announced changes to his Communications staff. Vincent Perez, Communications Director, declared his intention to resign, effective August 22nd, to pursue other career opportunities.  Deputy Press Secretary, Claudia Ordaz, was named Interim Communications Director effective August 23, 2011.

“Vince is one of the most dedicated and talented communicators on Capitol Hill, and I appreciate his tireless service on behalf of the people of El Paso,” Congressman Reyes said.  “He has a very bright future ahead of him, and I wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”  

Perez has served on Congressman Reyes’ staff since 2007 as Staff Assistant, Legislative Aide, Press Secretary, and Communications Director.  He is a graduate of Bel Air High School and Georgetown University.

Interim Communications Director Claudia Ordaz has served on Congressman Reyes’ staff since January 2011.  She is a graduate of Montwood High School and the University of Texas at El Paso.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Just Thinking Out Loud Here...

But with all this talk about County Commissioner's Court Precinct 3, I haven't really talked about who would run for Quintanilla's seat.

But with the new lines, the more I think of it, the more I can't really think of anyone that jumps out as a viable candidate for the office.

Except one name....Willie Gandara.

Think about it, its not such a bad move for Gandara politically. I doubt anyone would run against him and he would get a chance to work on policy that would still impact the area he represents now. He's independently wealthy so the pay wouldn't be that big of a deal to him. They are only in session every other year, so he should be able to manage his business interests at the same time. He does it successfully now and Commissioner's Court is always in session.

I'm sure other names will pop up, but that's all that has come to mind right now...

Joke of the Day...

You may have seen this, but I got an email today with a funny joke and I just HAD to share it with you all.

This one's for my buddies from College Republicans...

One day a fourth-grade teacher asked the children what their fathers did for a living. All the typical answers came up -- fireman, mechanic, businessman, salesman, doctor, lawyer, and so forth.

However, little Justin was being uncharacteristically quiet, so when the teacher prodded him about his father, he replied, 'My father's an exotic dancer in a gay cabaret and takes off all his clothes in front of other men and they put money in his underwear. Sometimes, if the offer is really good, he will go home with some guy and stay with him all night for money.'

The teacher, obviously shaken by this statement, hurriedly set the other children to work on some exercises and then took little Justin aside to ask him, 'Is that really true about your father?' 



'No', the boy said,
'He works for the Republican Campaign Committee and is trying to get RICK PERRY elected to be our next President, but I was too embarrassed to say that in front of the class.



RELAX PEOPLE, ITS A JOKE. I SEE OBAMA JOKES ALL OVER THE PLACE SO SPARE ME YOUR RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION FOR SOMETHING MORE DESERVING. TRUST ME, AT SOME POINT, I'LL GIVE YOU A REASON...


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My App & the Ads

Okay, so I made an app for Droid users for my blog. Its nothing fancy, just an RSS feed of my blog, but its handy if you don't want to go through your mobile browser to get to the blog, the Lion Star Blog app will take you directly to the feed.

The app is free, I wasn't doing it to make any money off of it. I just wanted to see if I could do it and I thought some folks might find it useful. I actually got the idea from my friend Danny Baca. Baca had a shortcut to my blog on his homescreen on his I-Phone and he showed it to me one day at a campaign fundraiser. Ever since that day, I wanted to make an app for my blog.

If you have a barcode reader, just read this image and it will take you to the app download:

You can also click on the download link to the right and you can download it from there.

I'm still tinkering, so hopefully it'll get better.

But since its free, it comes with ads. Just in case anyone is wondering, I don't have control over the ads and so the presence of an ad should not be taken as an endorsement of any product or service.

If you like it, spread the word. If you don't like it, tell me so I can try to make some improvements to it.

Hope you find it useful. (I'm working on getting the app to Apple and Blackberry but that will likely take a while.)

Representative Margo to Attend Legislative Forum

A staffer from Representative Dee Margo's Office contact me to let me know he will be in attendance at the forum on Wednesday night.

With Representative Margo in attendance, that means the whole delegation will be there.

Now you really don't want to miss it!

Legislative Forum on Wednesday Night

Most of the delegation will be available for a forum to be held Wednesday night at 6pm at the El Paso Community College Administration building.

Its your opportunity to go and visit with the delegation to learn about what happened in the last session and what the impact of the legislature could be on you and your family.

All the Democratic members of the delegation have confirmed their attendance. Last I check, Republican State Rep Dee Margo has not confirmed yet.

This is a really great opportunity to find out what the Republican-supermajority did in the last session. You people always say you want accountability, well here's your chance.

Dear Readers

I'll make this quick. This is America. The great thing about America is choice. You can CHOOSE to read this blog, or you can CHOOSE to not read it.

If you have a problem with something in my blog, contact me directly. thelionstarblog@gmail.com is my email address and its synced with my phone, so the minute you hit send, I will get the email.

Stop going through other people, or calling them, to have me delete something, or reword something, or not write about something just because it gets your panties in a wad.

You might not like me, but you have to admit, I've got the balls to tell you to your face what I think, no matter who you are. All I ask is the same in return. I'm a big boy, I can take it.

I'm approachable. You can talk to me.

I can't be bullied or intimidated, so if that's your avenue, you should probably still try it because it will be a fun experience and I will probably write about it.

I value my readers, but I can't be controlled.

Signed,

The Vato Who Takes the Time to Write this Shit

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Tale of Two Picnics

There were dueling picnics this weekend relating to the domestic partners benefits issue. The supporters of the recall movement, or as I like to call them, Tom Brown's acolytes, held an event at Album Park on Saturday.

Apparently there were almost 20 people in attendance.

By contrast, a crowd several times that figure were present at Memorial Park on Sunday in support of Mayor Cook, and Representatives Byrd and Ortega.

The crowd was entertained by a performance from Radio La Chusma and heard from a few speakers.

The crowd was made up largely of families who came out to support the trio that is the subject of a recall effort. And by families, I mean straight families, gay families, blended families, etc. 

The crowd heard from County Judge Veronica Escobar, Representatives Byrd and Ortega, and former City Rep Beto O'rourke. The Mayor was also in attendance. 

There was also several notables in attendance including members of local unions, members of the art community, religious leaders, and of course politicos. 

A rather encouraging number of high profile Democrats were in attendance including State Senator Jose Rodriguez, State Rep Marisa Marquez, former Senator Eliot Shapleigh, former State Rep Joe Moody, SDEC & Chair of the Black El Paso Democrats, Butch Maya, Judge Bill Moody, Jeanette Walker, Rev. Lisle Davis, Jerome Tighlman, rumored candidate Vincent Perez, Getsamani Yanez, Mike Apodaca and a host of others. 

Oh and my little one, Maya. She's been giving me grief that I take her to political events but she is never in my blog. She doesn't read it, but I think she just wants me to post a picture of her in my blog. She's a future politician...


Theresa Caballero & Tom Brown


I have heard from a lot of people who would like support the recall effort, but hate the fact that Tom Brown is the person that is spearheading the effort. So for that reason alone, they are not getting on board.

Now Tom Brown has Stuart Leeds and Theresa Caballero on his side for the recall.

This is normally the part where I would say how surprised I was at the development. I could, but I'd be lying. That alliance makes total sense.

But if there is anything that is a surprise, its the fact that TC is taking the side she's taking on this issue so close to the March primary. Word around the courthouse is that Theresa Caballero is interested in going after Barraza's old seat on the bench.

So far, she's the ONLY one talking about running for that seat.

The point is, she's going to have to run in a Democratic Primary for the seat. Teaming up with Tom Brown puts her squarely against the Democratic Party's National Platform.

If you are going to be asking for your party's nomination to the bench, you should at least be supportive of the National Platform.

I'm wondering if this will encourage an opponent to step forward.

Both Caballero and Brown seem to really like attention. How long can the two peacefully coexist without fighting over camera time? We shall see.

As I end this piece, there was one thing Theresa Caballero said that I thought deserved a response. The El Paso Times says that Leeds and Caballero said over the weekend that this is no longer about gay or domestic partners receiving health coverage.

Bullshit.

That's exactly what this is about. The council did something that was LEGALLY within their power to do. They are facing a recall for it and not a court case because it was completely LEGAL.

If you don't like our system, then fine. Change the system. But don't cry about the score at the end of the game. 

“Tyranny”

Jody Casey, the main organizer of Sunday's No Recall picnic said something that really has to be restated as often as possible.

A lot of people who are opposed to the domestic partner benefits keep saying that it was wrong for the members of city council who voted to overturn the ordinance. Manny Hinojosa says that it is “tyranny”.

I beg to differ. Its the office of tyranny, its democracy. You see we have something called checks and balances. The city council used a maneuver that is completely legal. They have the power to do so.

You may not like it, but it is the system we have. Its part of our checks and balances.

Also parts of the checks and balances is the ability to recall the members of city council. Tom Brown and his acolytes are doing so. They are attempting to use a check and balance mechanism.

So for those of you who are upset at the Mayor and council for doing what is within their legal right to do, you should also be upset at the Tom Brown people for doing the same.

And a special note to conservatives. I know there are a lot of you who are good people. The Jesus I know didn't preach hate and often extended himself to those who are on the fringes of society. So maybe we know a different Jesus.

But lets talk turkey instead. Ask yourself, how may cops' salaries does the tax-payer's money that will be spent on a recall pay for? How many police cruisers? How many parks? How many employees to keep libraries open longer? Or computers for those libraries? Or firemen?

I could go on and on. Fiscal conservatives, please explain how going through this makes any financial sense for the tax-payer's? Clearly this IS about homosexuality for Pastor Brown and his acolytes.

With the amount of money they have forced the city to spend on this issue, they have to stop lying to the tax-payer's and telling them that its not about the GAYS.

Yes it is, because the Tom Brown people have spent more money fighting the program than the insurance would actually cost the tax-payer's. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Okay Texas Republicans...Defend this one...I Dare Ya...

I've spent a lot of time around Republicans and especially those around El Paso. They claim to LOVE the Constitution.

I don't mean love the document like I love menudo. They say the love the Constitution in a way that echoes of religious worship. Which is a fair comparison because they both seem to base their devotion to the Bible and the Consitution on the infallibility of the documents.

Hell I've watched Republicans listen to Dr. Roth in an almost orgasmic religious fervor when he would speak about the Constitution.

The Republican Party in town even bought in a Constitutional "expert" to talk about the document over the last couple of months. (I especially get a kick out of Republicans when they talk to us like we don't know what  the Constitution is and they act like they are more devoted to its principles.)

So I find it almost impossible for the self-appointed guardians of the Constitution to reconcile Govenor Perry's recent Constitutional positions.  Perry wants to guy some very important parts of the Constitution.

Where is the Right Reverend Roth and the rest of the GOP when they hear crazy talk like that from Governor Perry?

The answer...AWOL.

So here ya go Republicans...give it your best stab. Reconcile the almost religious devotion to (parts of) the Consitution and support for a Governor who wants to gut key parts of the revered document.

The comment section is open for business...


If Its Okay for Margo..Its Okay for Gonzalez

There was an article in today's paper that really pissed me off.

In my opinion, the Times has had a Republican bias since I moved here. And I don't mean just on the editorial page, I mean in reporting. If you work for the Times now, or have in the past and take issue with that statement, feel free to call me. I'll stand by that statement and provide you with examples.

But their piece on State Rep Naomi Gonzalez was a special kind of bullshit. They did a rather extensive piece on votes that were allegedly cast by Gonzalez when she was in the Holy Land. I don't mind the critique one bit. In fact, I think the Times should do more of that kind of work.

But I think its total bullshit when they go after Gonzalez and not the rest of the delegation. Most especially, Republican State Rep Dee Margo. I wrote about Margo allegedly doing the same thing. But I wrote about it DURING the session. I would also argue, it was on a much more important bill.

The fact that the piece doesn't mention other members of our delegation is the kind of shit I'm talking about. They could've done more work to find out all the facts and report on what all of the did. There was nothing timely or time-sensitive about the article that they couldn't have waited to do a more in-depth piece.

Do I think its right that it is a common practice in the Texas legislature? Hell no!

Do I think its bullshit that Gonzalez throws here staff under the bus? Hell yes! No politico ends up on the front page of a section of the paper because of a mistake of a staffer and that staffer still keeps their job. The buck stops with the State Rep and nobody buys the its-the-staffer's-fault story. Sounds too much like my-dog-ate-my-homework. Voters don't mind when you make a mistake, but if you don't take responsibility for it, it really gets under their skin.

Do I think that any member of the delegation, Democrat or Republican should have to answer to voters why they had someone vote for them, or voted for someone else? Hells to the yeah!

But if I were Gonzalez, I would be demanding some fair treatment from the Times.

The Lower Valley's Julian Castro?

Looks like a lot of the election excitement in this election will be down in the valley in the race for County Commissioner Precinct #3, currently held by Willie Gandara Jr.


Vincent Perez, Communications Director for Congressman Reyes is likely to challenge Willie Gandara for County Commissioner Precinct #3, according to multiple sources who have had conversations with Perez. The guy knows the complexities of Washington politics and national issues, so county-level issues would be a breeze for him.

Other sources in the Democratic Party indicate that Dora Oaxaca, a former staffer for Chente Quintanilla and current staffer for Willie Gandara, will be running Gandara's campaign for re-election. This puts Oaxaca under a lot of pressure to resign as Gandara's staffer because there were allegations that she was campaigning on County time during the last city election.

Gandara probably won't want to deal with questions about that issue, so Oaxaca may have to step down to run the campaign.

State Rep Chente Quintanilla will not likely back off his bid to run against Gandara for a couple of reasons. #1, its already floating around that he is going to run and #2, the Gandara name doesn't mean what it used to in the valley these days.

Gandara is going to have his hands full for a couple of reasons. #1, he has a voting record that is going to come under scrutiny due to the Farah Building Project and the Tornillo Bridge. #2, his biggest accomplishment is the Tornillo Bridge, but his quote about purchasing land in the area is going to come back to haunt him. #3, his base of support was in Socorro, but his dad was recently recalled and his cousin, who took over for Willie Sr after the recall is also under some heat right now.

And probably most importantly, Willie Sr's case my go to trial between now and the March primary election. The last thing Willie Gandara needs is his dad's trial in the news while he's trying to win re-election.

Personally I am surprised by the move. Its one thing to bow out gracefully and not seek re-election. It would give him a chance to put his dad's case behind him and live to fight another day. But its a whole other story if you run and lose. And Gandara is very vulnerable in this race.

Vincent Perez, the other Chente in the race (its on the license plates of his truck), is a product of the valley, is a Bel Air alum and a Georgetown graduate. Many who have heard him speak on a variety of issues for the Congressman consider him to be El Paso's own Julian Castro - the young, educated, and articulate Mayor of San Antonio. Perez has been one of the Congressman's most effective advocates, articulating the Congressman's stance and his achievements on a variety of issues.

From the people I've talked to, there is a lot of support, buzz, and excitement in political circles about Perez launching his own political career.

The Gandara's have been tagged the Kennedy's of the Lower Valley, which I have said before is laughable. Perez on the other hand will likely live up to being the Castro of the Lower Valley. He's a smart, articulate, knows the issues, and grew up in a typical family from the Valley. Perez is a contrast to some of the other young El Paso politicos like Beto O'Rourke, Joe Moody, and even Gandara, who come from families with political legacies or wealth. Perez has humble roots with an impressive resume. He will undoubtedly be viewed as a refreshing face and personality in El Paso politics.

If Perez enters the race, the last thing Quintanilla, Gandara or what's-his-name Loya want to do is get on a stage with Perez and have to debate him. He's gone toe-to-toe with much stronger competition and will run circles around them.

Follow-Up to Chente Quintanilla Piece

Quick follow-up to my piece last night. I mentioned a couple of things were unconfirmed, and I'm glad I did because I was able to make contact with Robert Grijalva this morning who clarified a couple of things.

#1 – He said he is NOT working with Ciro Rodriguez and is still with Quintanilla. He sounded like he had ever intention of staying with Chente Quintanilla's office as well.

#2 – He confirmed he is NOT running against State Rep Marquez.

#3 – He confirmed that Chente Quintanilla IS strongly considering a run for Commissioner's Court for Gandara's seat.

Just wanted to add that info to the discussion...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Former Judge Luis Aguilar to Run for the 243rd

Word around the courthouse is that former Judge Luis Aguilar is running for the 243rd Judicial Court.

The 243rd is an open seat. Aguilar has experience on the bench and has won County-wide previously. He's a prominent attorney and has a pretty high profile.

There is another candidate for that seat so far, Richard Contreras, who held a fundraiser earlier this week.

I don't know much about Contreras, other than his ex-wife was on the Ysleta ISD Board of Trustees.

I'll try to get more info about the candidates for you and pass it on as soon as I can.

Chente Quintanilla Possible Comish Candidate for Precinct #3

He's not the politico I was alluding to over my last couple of posts, but there are some indications and more than a few whispers that State Rep Chente Quintanilla may run for County Commissioner in Precinct #3, currently represented by Willie Gandara, Jr.

If true, this is yet another indicator that Gandara won't seek re-election. This puts one person in particular in the limelight. A former staffer for both Gandara and Quintanilla, Dora Oaxaca.

First, lets talk about why this makes sense for Quintanilla. Quintanilla had yet another bad session in Austin. I looked at population numbers for his district and he's way over populated in his district. His district is going to be redrawn and its going to look a lot more Republican. He's a conservative Democrat, but still a Democrat. The only way he'd fight off a Republican challenger is if he switched parties and became a Republican.

Which honestly wouldn't surprise me given some of the votes he's made.

Secondly, he's run in an area that is similar to Gandara's. Their districts overlap, so he has a base of support and pretty good name ID.

And finally, as a state rep, he doesn't make much of a salary. The commissioner seat pays a lot more than what he was making as a state rep. Significantly more.

But lets be honest, Quintanilla is not the strongest candidate out there. He's largely benefited from a lack of competition over his career in the legislature, along with almost no media scrutiny what so ever. There is a real question as to how he would do in a side-by-side comparison with a candidate with actual credibility. He's never really had to face that.

Then there is the sonogram bill. Quintanilla says he's a Democrat, but the sonogram bills is clearly against the national platform of the party and a lot of women are not happy with that vote. Any candidate worth a damn will remind constituents about that vote.

I mean think about it, before that vote, the vote Quintanilla was most known for was the Sopapilla Bill. By the time the campaign gets in to full swing, Quintanilla will probably be yearning for the days when that was his most significant vote.

But the biggest piece of info flying around, which I haven't been able to confirm yet, is about his Chief of Staff, Robert Grijalva. Word on the street is that Grijalva has left his job as Chief of Staff for Quinanilla to be the campaign manager for Ciro Rodriguez, who will be trying to unseat Republican Quico Canseco. Canseco defeated Rodriguez in the 2010 election for congress.

If Grijalva, who was at one-time considering a run for state rep himself against State Rep Marissa Marquez, is working for Canseco then it has implications for two seats. First, it would be a very big indicator that Quintanilla is planning a run for County Commissioner.

Secondly it would mean that he isn't running for Marquez' state rep seat, which means its even more likely that Marquez won't face a serious challenge for re-election.

The most interesting part of the whole scenario is that all of these developments are allegedly going on, but the politico I was talking about still hasn't made a decision. When that happens, things are really going to get interesting in the valley.

I'm betting regular media will now start making calls to people to get more solid info, so what for developments online, in the pages, and on the channels.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

El Paso Democratic Party Policy Change

Interesting development I came across the other day. The Executive Committee Meetings of the Democratic Party have been including the Club Leadership of the various auxilleries of the El Paso Democratic Party.

The Executive Committee is made up of the Precinct Chairs, the Chairman, and the SDEC's. There has been tremendous growth in auxilleries lately and it is curious that they were suddenly cut off from participation in the meetings.

I will find out how and why this came about and let you know what impact, if any, there is with this abrupt and unexplained policy change.

Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows...

The title of this piece is ironic considering the fact that support for the recall is pretty much support for homophobes.

But proof positive that if you stick around long enough, you will find that at some point, everyone agrees on something.

Though I can quite honestly say, I didn't think I'd see the day.

Let me get to the point. As I have written recently, former State Representative Norma Chavez, who famously made a remark about her opponents sexuality during a forum in her last election, is supportive of the recall effort of the Representatives and Mayor who were supportive of the domestic partner benefits issue.

One of her prominent, and long-time political rivals has been Blanche Darley, a fellow Democrat.

Gay rights and equality if part of the NATIONAL PLATFORM of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY. Both are long-time fixtures of the Democratic Party.

Turns out they are BOTH going against the national platform and are BOTH supportive of the recall effort. Its not really that much of a shocker that Darley would be supportive of the recall considering she's alleged to have made bigoted statements towards African-Americans in the past. But it is surprising that the two are in agreement on this issue.

As you can see in this email, Darley is clearly supportive of the recall effort. I have not changed the font of the email, its how she sent it out. Ironically, she was responding to an email sent out by her niece, State Democratic Executive Committeewoman Yolanda Clay, inviting people to an anti-recall rally. (Kudos to Clay for doing so by the way).

Here is the text of Darley's response:

I SUPPORT THE RECALL -
NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO THROW MY VOTE AWAY, THEY SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THE CONSEQUENCES BEFORE  THEY TOOK IT UPON THEMSELVES TO THROW VOTES AWAY, OUR GIVEN RIGHT AS VOTERS. 

YOU WONDER WHY PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO VOTE!!!

Sunland Park & Small Town Politics

The reason that a lot of the bad stuff that happens with government in our area is at least partially because there is a perception that no one is watching.

Its not wonder that some of the alleged scandals have involved such brazen acts. They allegedly operate with impunity.

I have a theory. The smaller the form of government, the less scrutiny, and the more opportunity for funny business.

Even if its not corruption, my theory is that the smaller the form of government, the more the leadership feels like they can get away with anything because the perception is that no one is watching.

Thats the reason the idea small-town politics is a cliche.

I'm concerned about Sunland Park, New Mexico. The Mayor admitted being drunk when signing an agreement. At least he was honest, but we shouldn't let the guy off the hook because he was honest about being drunk when signing a document.

But what is really raising red flags for me is the recent firing of Mariana Chew. I know her. She's an asset to Sunland Park, New Mexico. She was fired for what looks like, being on the wrong side of a faction war.

Once again, small-town politics at play. The pettiness is so counter-productive. She was working on an important project that could've raised a lot of money for the impoverished community.

Without Chew to spearhead the project, it will likely never come to fruition. If it ever does come to fruition, someone should calculate the estimated revenue they missed out on in the mean time and remind voters in Sunland Park.

Good luck trying to replace someone like Mariana Chew. They don't make a lot of people like her. I sure hope Sunland Park had a good reason to let her go.

They owe it to their constituents.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

EPYD Meeting Yesterday


The El Paso Young Democrats met for their monthly meeting tonight and there were some interesting people that showed up to the meeting.
 
We normally have a monthly guest speaker and we had Vince Perez, Congressman Reyes’ Press Secretary. Normally the guest speakers are someone related to the local Democratic Party and speak about their particular area of expertise.
 
Its been pretty uneventful, except for one time when we had a judge and former State Representative Norma Chavez, who is NOT a member of the El Paso Young Democrats and not affiliated with the organization in any way what so ever, spoke without being recognized. She was taking credit for creating the court that the guest speaker was a judge in, and went on some unrelated rant.
 
The guests that aren’t normally at the EPYD meetings were Victor Houston, Jerome Tighlman, and Raul Amaya. Victor Houston is an outspoken critic of the Congressman. Jerome Tighlman actually tried to run against Reyes and has been critical of him as well, though not to the same degree.
 
Perez, who has shown himself to be more than capable of explaining Reyes' position on a range of issues, describing his achievements, and fiercely defending him when need be, once again showed why he's an asset to the Congressman.
 
During his remarks, he said something that people critical of the Congressman probably would take issue with. He said that Reyes would go down as the most-effective Congressman in El Paso’s history.
 
A bold statement to make, but he defended the statement by laying out the Congressman’s record of achievement.
 
That statement reminded me of something I took note of in a meeting with the Congressman last week. The Congressman was speaking about the new rail yard project in Santa Teresa. That’s a project that will bring good jobs to El Paso and everyone is always saying how they want the railroad out of the downtown area. Congressman Steve Pierce was there speaking in favor of the project, be he didn’t support the project’s creation in Congress. Governor Martinez was there basking in the glory, but it wasn’t her project, Governor Richardson made that project happen.
 
Republicans don’t seem to mind taking credit for work done by Democrats. But it got me to thinking about the Congressman. He takes a lot of criticism from Republicans in town, well basically because he’s a Democrat. He also takes some heat from people on the left who expect him to wave a magic wand and make immigration reform happen, stop the cartels from killing people in Juarez, make everyone have $100k jobs and give the Cowboys a Super Bowl win.
 
None of which he has control over. Especially the Cowboys…man they suck!
I read about a project at Beaumont that the Congressman made happen in the newspaper over the weekend and Perez explained that its going to be a campus facility. Something a couple times larger than the Chamizal. That’s a big deal.
 
The point I’m making is that people tend to have political tunnel vision. They focus on their issue and forget all the other work the Congressman and his staff does for El Paso.
 
In particular, I remember when Reyes' communication team set up a meeting with one of the Congressman’s biggest public critics. They just spent an hour talking about the work they do for the Congressman and explaining the work he’s done for El Paso. Guess what?  He wasn’t so critical of the Congressman anymore.
 
To conclude my post, I guess it all comes down to this. The political climate is getting edgier. The Republicans are rattling swords and we Democrats are going to go through are biennial ritual of fighting like cats and dogs in a primary and then taking on the Republicans in the general.
 
The Congressman looked like he was ready for a fight. He spoke about taking on Republican extremists like Tancredo in Congress who would go on anti-immigrant rants because they want to defend America, but they never served a day in their life. The Congressman told the story of when he joined the Army in Vietnam. His father told him that it was their turn to serve because America needed them.
 
I swear I thought the Congressman was ready to lace up his old boots put on a ruck sack, grab a weapon and man a post. He clearly looks ready for a fight and the rest of the party should take his lead. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Commissioner's Court #3 Candidate Rumors Growing...

The name of a pretty influential politico is swirling around lately as a possible candidate for El Paso County Commissioner's Court Precinct #3.

The seat is currently held by County Commissioner Willie Gandara, Jr.

Gandara has made no indications as to whether he will be seeking re-election. Which at this point, sounds a lot like he will not be seeking re-election.

Sources indicate that the politico in question is still in the decision-making process but is strongly leaning towards announcing as a candidate for the position, possibly as early as the end of the month.

Stay tuned, this could be a huge development.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Republican Activist Jaime O. Perez Announces Congressional Bid


Prominent Republican activist Jaime O. Perez announced on Friday that he was a candidate for Congress in next year’s general election. 

Perez has been known as a pretty solid conservative for quite some time now but has worked for Democrats in the past. He’s most recently known for being the Chief of Staff for former County Judge Anthony Cobos and ran as the Republican nominee in 2010 for County Judge against current County Judge Veronica Escobar.

Previously known for being a bit eccentric, Perez has done a good job of rehabbing that image and ran a very clean and issue-based race against Escobar.

After getting to know Perez I can say that I’m pretty sure he knows he’s not always a viable candidate. But he runs in order to shape the debate of the races that he’s in. Unlike most Republicans in town, he can do that without being silly or extremist.

That’s a big deal in the El Paso Republican Party. Frankly the Republican Party in El Paso has been a bit of a punch line, while at the same time Republicans have basically taken over almost everywhere. Perez is a 100% improvement of their last sacrificial lamb, Tim Besco.

Besco basically gave people the impression that any idiot could be the Republican nominee for Congress in El Paso. Frankly, its their own fault because no one in the GOP stepped up and said, “Hey wait a minute, maybe he’s not the strongest candidate we could be running.”

If history in the El Paso GOP has shown us anything, its that the first person to throw their hat in the ring for the nomination of the GOP ends up being the nominee. It’s the playground rule of “I called it first”.
Which might explain why JOP announced so early. The other person that has been making it known that she is interested in running for Congress is Barbara Carrasco. I’m being generous by characterizing her as an extremist.

Trust me, that’s me being generous. Passionate would be a completely inadequate way of describing her.
She’s the lady who paid for a couple of billboards on I-10 in the last election that were basically Republican Party message boards. Interestingly she didn’t pay for Besco billboards in that election, she just paid for billboards that had generic Republican messages.

At least with Jaime O. Perez as the candidate, they have a candidate that will advocate for their position based on party platform in an intellectual debate focused on philosophical arguments, as opposed to extremist views that would otherwise be advocated for by Carrasco.

The question is will the GOP get behind JOP? He’s really Latino (sorry, still not buying Dee Marrrrrrrgo’s sudden conversion), speaks both languages fluently, and is capable of engaging in a rational issues-based debate.

But there are still a lot of people who think he’s some kind of closet Democrat. Some of the GOP call me the Duke of Democrats, so take it from the Duke of Democrats, Perez is not a Democrat. He’s solidly a Republican, though he certainly is a Ron Paul Republican.

So we shall see very soon if, to borrow a line from a Naughty By Nature song, the GOP is down with JOP.

Jaime’s Vagina Monologue


Okay, if you know me personally, you know that I sometimes need to work on my filter. I’m a pretty straightforward vato by nature, but when I need to be diplomatic I normally am. As my mother tells me, I have a knack for telling people to go to hell and have them look forward to the trip.

Unless I’m pissed, at which point the barrio in me comes out and diplomacy goes out the window. I know, I know, I’m a work in progress.

Well I’ve been a little amped up by the bullshit the GOP has been feeding the American people for the last couple of years. So in a meeting with the Congressman and a room full of important Democrats Friday morning, I didn’t pay attention to my internal filter.

I was going on a rant about how hypocritical Republicans are about “smaller government” but they turn around and introduce bills like the sonogram bill that will shrink government down small enough to fit in a woman’s vagina.

It was a little early in the morning to hear the word vagina apparently. Belen Robles, Jeanette Walker, Elvia Hernandez, and a few other ladies were there. I owe them an apology, though I am mildly surprised that I had the presence of mind to use the technical term. I shoulda said cooter. In addition to being the best mechanic in Hazard County, it’s a fun word to say and who could be mad at that?

My bad.  I was raised better than that.

I stand by my central point, but I realize it was a bit early in the morning for vagina references over coffee and chilaquiles. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

EPISD School Board, Past & Present


Couple of quick hits on EPISD School Board. First of all, they made the right decision in my opinion, in terms of their selection of the newest member of the school board.

Second of all, a $1000 cell phone allowance? Seriously, who’s the freakin’ idiot that approved that? Let me make sure I got this right, the reason that this scandal allegedly happened was because no one was questioning big ass expenditures and so part of the remedy is to put the Superintendent on unpaid administrative leave, but in the process approve a big ass expenditure for his cell phone bill?

Why don’t you guys start being good stewards of tax payer money and not approve a stupid big ass expenditures like a $1000 a month cell phone allowance and get him a Cricket phone. Hell, their MOST expensive plan is $55 a month and includes unlimited talk, text, and data. That would save the taxpayer $945 of the $1000 month you people were going to pay for a cell phone bill.

What kind of suckers are you geniuses that you are paying $1000 a month for pinche phone bill?
And lastly, its time to start looking at who was on the school board at the time that this stuff allegedly went down? Its time to start asking them some hard questions and start looking at voting records. I know, I know, they are all going to say that they had a feeling something wasn’t right, or they were completely in the dark, or they trusted the Superintendent.

That’s all bullshit. If they had a feeling, they shoulda said something. There were way too many people raising a fuss about stuff for any of them to say they were in the dark, and in this town, when it comes to public money, don’t trust ANYONE!

City Council Can’t Have it Both Ways


I read where City Council wants to change the free bridge to pay for more Customs’ Agents to decrease border wait times.

Sounds like a wonderful idea.

Until you realize how dangerous of an idea it really is.

When it comes to enforcement of immigration policy, city council has consistently said it’s a federal issue and they are right. Feds should do their job, city should do theirs.

But this move by city council sets a dangerous precedent. What happens when some other city gets a whiff of what El Paso is up to and they decide they should come up with a special little project to pay for something like, oh I don’t know…say MORE BORDER PATROL AGENTS?

Let’s not forget, this is the state that produced Farmer’s Branch. Anything crazy can happen here.

Fix the fuckin’ streets. Open more pools, libraries, and rec centers in the summer. Address homelessness in El Paso. Bring more jobs to this city. Improve tourism. Do ANYTHING related to problems in the city of El Paso and stop coming up with stupid shit like legalizing pot, funding Customs’ Agents, or giving out Conquistador Awards to people caught up in the public corruption scandal.

Oh yeah, and fee increases like the ones they are talking about at the bridge disproportionately affect the poor.