Friday, June 29, 2012

Separated at Birth (Cont)

Its been a while since I've done a separated at birth piece so here's the latest installment. Relax people, they are not meant to hurt feelings. They are just meant for a little comic relief, so don't get your thong twisted.

First, lets start with a celebrity...sorta...

This is Boo. He is "the world's cutest dog". He's a Pomeranian. Its a real dog, despite the fact that it looks like a stuffed animal. The dog on the right is Pink. She belongs to Claudia Ordaz, who has been a communications pro for Congressman Reyes and Senator Shapleigh. I'm told this dog acts like a stuffed animal. Claudia wants them to have puppies. (I know what you're blog has officially jumped the shark because I'm blogging about puppies. But if you knew how much money Boo makes you'd be blown away.)

The next separated at birth is local. Ironically they are on different sides of the same race, but they are both my buddies. This is Jose Landeros, who is Vince Perez's campaign manager, and Matthew Quintanilla, Chente Quintanilla's grandson.

And the final one is well, I guess it needs no introduction:

Feel free to submit your own suggestions. I know, I know...I've been told I look like Willie Gandara. I'm not off limits, so that will be in an upcoming edition. But seriously, if you have any ideas feel free to suggest them.

Busting A Former Candidate Being a Good Guy

The bad part about what I do is that I often see the behind-the-scenes view of candidates and politicos in town and I'm often disappointed. I'm not sure why, maybe because I still have an innocent part of me that wants to believe in people.

Which sucks because it means time after time I am let down. Lot of that going around for the last couple of months. But such is life.

However I have always made it a point to highlight the times when I bust a candidate or a politico red-handed being a good person. Its the stuff that will never make it in to the news, but I still find it noteworthy.

Yesterday I busted a politico red-handed being a good guy. His name is Alejandro Sanchez and he ran for Constable of Precinct 6, down in the valley.

I was in Socorro yesterday afternoon and stopped at the convenience store on Horizon and North Loop. It was hotter than Hades yesterday. There was a man standing outside who clearly had some mental issues. I'm not sure if he was homeless but he was just standing there for quite some time and mumbling to himself.

After running around in the area for a while, I found myself back at the same convenience store a couple of hours later and the guy was still there. A car pulls up and a few people get out, one of whom was Alejandro Sanchez. Sanchez, who I believe is a law enforcement officer of some sort, noticed the guy and spoke to him for a couple of minutes. Then Sanchez went inside along with the rest of the people with him. After a few moments inside, Sanchez came out with a cold drink for the guy.

It might seem to be a small gesture and maybe it was, but Sanchez didn't have to do it. He could've walked passed the vato and pretended like he wasn't there. I've only met Sanchez once and I know for a fact he didn't see that I was there. I doubt he even knows who I am, but I knew who he was.

Its nice to catch someone doing something nice for someone else with no expectation in return. Sanchez came in 4th place, next to last place, in that race. There wasn't a vote in it for him. He would receive no benefit from being nice to the vato.

It looked like he did it out of compassion for a fellow human being. Good for him. Its nice to actually be impressed by a politico's actions for a change. Its far too rare of an occurrence these days.

Gandara Guilty Plea Underscores Importance of Precinct 3 Run Off

Ex-County Commissioner Willie Gandara's upcoming guilty plea is really going to emphasize the importance of the decision voters are going to make on July 31st as to who is going to be the next Commissioner of Precinct #3.

If there is a winner in this particularly sad situation its Vince Perez.

He was the first to call-out then Commissioner Gandara. He was the first to issue a call to the end of Gandara politics. He issued stinging critiques of not only Gandara, but Dora Oaxaca's ties to Gandara after he dropped out of the race and raised the issue of cash being handed-out a pachanga being thrown by his run-off opponent Chente Quintanilla.

Here is the article in the El Paso Times that gives you background on the story. 

Now that the election for Precinct 3 is down to Vince Perez and Chente Quintanilla, voters will make a critical decision about the direction of their leadership. In the state rep race that shares part of the electorate as Precinct 3, voters went with a younger more progressive candidate in Mary Gonzalez.

Will the trend continue or will the Precinct stick with the familiar name that has represented most of the district for the last 10 years?

UPDATE: County Employees Pay

Apparently there was some error, either with a bank or with the County, that led to the pay problem. Apparently the problem will be resolved some time today.

I'll continue to provide updates as they become available.

Source: County Employees Didn't Get Paid Today

Multiple sources at the County indicate that they did not receive their pay today as scheduled. It appears that  the pay situation is affecting employees in multiple departments including support personnel, deputies, and courthouse personnel.

But it appears UMC employees did get paid.

Sources in the Courthouse said the contacted HR and were told that an email was going to be sent out to employees from the Auditors to explain why.

I'm still collecting details.

More to follow...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Breaking News: New Homeboy of the Week

In an unprecedented move, the staff of The LionStar Blog have made the decision to give an additional series of awards this week.

And by staff, I mean me. we go.

Homeboy of the Week #2 - Chief Justice John Roberts.

Douche Bag of the Week #2 - Republicans that are sore losers.

When the SCOTUS upheld the Paper's Please portion of Arizona's SB1070, you people called it a victory for the Constitution and America. Now you are whining. Why do you hate America, the Constitution, baseball, and Mom's Apple pie? Where is your sense of patriotism?

Deal with the fact that one of the most conservative members of the Court ruled that the main criticism you folks had against the President was Constitutional. The Court is decidedly Conservative and it sided with the Administration.

I can't think of a better way to end this post that quoting the Vice President, "This is a big f%&king deal".

See you vatos in November...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Memorial Service for EPCC Board President Art Fierro's Daughter Today

Jacklyn Ann Fierro, daughter of El Paso Community College Board President Art Fierro, passed away recently in Phoenix, Arizona.

There will be a Memorial Mass in her honor today at 6:00pm.

The Mass will be celebrated at St. Stephens Catholic Church located at 1700 George Dieter in El Paso.

On a personal note - Art is a friend of mine. One of the few good friends I have. I cannot begin to understand the pain of this loss but knowing Art, expect to see him laughing and joking again. He's known for always smiling and joking. I'm sure its going to take awhile for him to do that again, but he's a resilient guy...even if he's known for hitting a few balls in to yards surrounding Vista Hills Golf Course.

On behalf of the Abeytia family, I would like to extend our condolences on their loss. Politics aside, the loss of a child is a difficult thing. God bless the Fierro family.

Award Time

Homeboy of the Week Award - President Barack Obama gets the Homeboy of the Week Award. First time I've given it to POTUS that I can remember. He's not deporting Dreamers and it's pissing off the Republicans. Two birds with one stone. Nice!

Douche Bag of the Week Award - Grady Yarborough. This song is dedicated to you Grady.

Open Letter to Grady Yarborough

Dear Grady,

Can I call you Grady? Because it feels weird referring to you by your last name even though that's the only reason you are in the run-off. I guess everyone confused you with the great progressive liberal Democrat Ralph Yarborough who served as Texas' US Senator before Lloyd Bentsen.

"Smiling' Ralph" was a real Democrat.

You used to be a Republican. Judging by your comment about border security, sounds like you still are. Why don't you go back to the Republican Party. Sounds like you'd be more comfortable over there with the rest of the crazy anti-immigrant nuts that think they are going to get support from the Latino community.

I hope you get beat by two touchdowns in the run-off. I hope you are returned back to the heap of political obscurity to which you belong.

In conclusion, I'm sure its lonely being an anti-immigrant extremist in the Democratic Party. Go hang out with your old pals in the GOP, you have much more in common with those people anyway. Hell, you should go to their national convention. They'll make sure you get lots of camera time.

Your Pal,


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Interview with Borrego

This is an interview I conducted with EPISD Trustee Borrego when he was a candidate. I interviewed several but Borrego and Dodge were the only two that one and I posted Dodge's interview yesterday.

The No-Compete Clause is BS; But the Stadium is a Good Thing

Okay, time to rip the band-aid off here. The Diablos suck. They have for pretty much the entire time I've lived in El Paso. They are a failed product in my opinion. The only time there were any good in the last 15 years or so was when, you guessed it, they were affiliated with a pro baseball team.

So it's a bit of a surprise to hear people all of a sudden start to care about the Diablos. I think the Tiguas were screwed in this whole deal though. The Tiguas stepped up to keep El Paso's team going and for that we should be happy.

And now, to add insult to injury, we are going to screw them over even more with a no-compete clause? Frankly, there is no reason for it and its just plain mean-spirited.

I know, I know, Paul Foster is the big dog in this town and we aren't supposed to criticize Bruce Wayne. But let me point out something here. When Paul Foster's other business venture, the mall that is directly across the street from another mall, was up for tax breaks, the argument is that competition was good.

Unless its a team partially owned by Foster. Now there is some unique justification for eliminating competition?

I seriously fail to see the logic.

The new stadium will mark the end of the Diablos anyway. They will not be able to compete, so there is no reason to forbid them from competing. The facility will be bigger, nicer, newer, and have more and better talent on the field. The Triple A team will be a better product.


And the Diablos will die a slow painful death.

I'd argue that's been the case for years.

What is the need for Bruce Wayne to have a no-compete clause? Does he really think a crappy team with a crappy product on the field is somehow a threat to his galactic empire?

On the flip side of the coin, stop with the whining. Its almost like El Paso has to be dragged kicking and screaming in to prosperity. What's wrong with wanting better for this city?

When the hell did "meh, its good enough" become good enough around here? Every parent wants better for their children but El Paso seems okay with a crappy team in a crappy league with a crappy record and a crappy product on the field.

As long as we have Thirsty Thursday's and Taco Tuesday's right?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Interview with David Dodge

I was "digging through the crates" over the weekend on my YouTube channel and came across this interview I did with David Dodge when he was running for school board last time around. Just thought I'd share it with you guys.

Perez Taking Campaign Efforts to the Valley

After post-election performance analysis, the Vince Perez campaign is now focusing their grass roots efforts in the valley. Particularly in the areas in which his run-off opponent Chente Quintanilla did well such as Tornillo and Fabens.

This new valley offensive is an indication of just how critical certain precincts are to selecting the next county commissioner for Precinct 3.

In Tornillo for example, Quintanilla pulled 70% of the vote. I've heard from people inside Perez's campaign that the success of the campaign will depend on their ability to significantly chip in to Quintanilla's performance in Fabens and Tornillo.

Clearly the valley is going to be the deciding factor in this race. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Guest Post: City Representative Niland

Before you read my note in this week's newsletter, I respectfully ask that you read this very informative report on the direct link between El Paso's economy and education. It talks about how high school dropouts directly effect our local economy.  
Dear Friends and Neighbors, 
         First of all, I want to clarify my efforts & comments at this past week's council meeting about the broken EPISD school district. I am a product of public education and come from a long line of educators: my grandfather was a school principal, my grandmother a school nurse, my mother a teacher and my sister an educational psychologist. My comments during City Council this last week were directed at the Superintendent Dr. Garcia and EPISD School Board trustees for their lack of accountability & responsibility . I do not want to discredit the hard work of the teachers, parents, coaches, & students who are committed to excellence in our schools. 
          My efforts were to discuss any & all options to correct this enormous problem. I believe educating our youth is the key to our success in the future. The oversight of the largest taxing authority in the county and furthermore the privilege to oversee the education of our youth should be entrusted to individuals that are capable and willing to accept full responsibility. To err is human, mistakes of this magnitude requires immediate reform. We must seek a fair form of elections favoring majority not plurality. We must demand new leadership and call for the resignations of those responsible for cheating our youth & El Paso's future. The EPISD School Board is entrusted with the well-being of the students, parents, and faculty of the entire school district. It is obvious given the multitude of evidence they failed our children, parents, and taxpayers. We can and will persevere but only under new leadership.  
         The evidence of wrongdoing was well documented, and readily available to the EPISD School Board Trustees who chose not to exercise their authority to evaluate the whistle blowing accusations. It is a sad disservice to teachers, students, the schools, the community, and the City of El Paso.  My job is to unite the community and talk about solutions to problems that effect El Pasoans. I certainly don't have the answers but I'm willing to stick my neck out and get people talking to protect the kids I represent at Bowie High School and all kids in our City.  All elected officials, citizens and taxpayers want a school district that produces outstanding college-ready students and is an efficient, effective and honest steward of the public's money and trust.  
            Reform must happen now and all solutions must be put on the table and properly vetted, our children and their future depend on it. Please see below excerpts from the Education Code that clearly spell out the responsibilities of the EPISD School Board of Trustees. 

Sec. 11.051.  GOVERNANCE OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT;  NUMBER OF TRUSTEES.  (a)  An independent school district is governed by a board of trustees who, as a body corporate, shall:
(1)  oversee the management of the district; and
(2)  ensure that the superintendent implements and monitors plans, procedures, programs, and systems to achieve appropriate, clearly defined, and desired results in the major areas of district operations.
Sec. 11.170.  INTERNAL AUDITOR. If a school district employs an internal auditor: (1)  the board of trustees shall select the internal auditor; and (2)  the internal auditor shall report directly to the board. Added by Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 5, Sec. 2.04, eff. May 31, 2006.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Williams Accomplishes Historic Fete at Texas Dem Convention

Don Williams not only survived a re-election bid for SDEC at the Texas Democratic Convention but there were a series of other things he accomplished that hadn't been done before. In addition to being re-elected he was also elected as a 2012 National Delegate, and a National Elector from Texas to the Presidential Electoral College.

Most importantly though, Williams was elected to the Permanent Rules Committee of the Texas Democratic Party, which is extremely influential within the Party.

To my knowledge, that is the most titles any Democrat from El Paso has ever achieved at a convention. It makes it even more significant when you consider Don Williams is African-American in a community that is largely Latino, and even more so within the Democratic Party.

Open Letter to Jerome Tilghman

(With apologies to David K. His open letters are funny. I'm not going for funny here.)

Dear Jerome:

Homie...stop running for Congress, Mayor, City Council, etc. You don't have the support. Its not there. And frankly, you aren't very qualified for any of those offices. Sorry if that is ripping the band-aid off a little harshly, but a friend will tell you the truth. Strangers will tell you what you wanna hear, so take it for what its worth.

But I'll tell you what you should run for and what you would be qualified for.


You really wanna make a contribution to this town and leave a mark? Run for school board. Pick your headline...Ray Charles can see how bad things are on the school board.

But you have the skill set for school board. Your Tea Party streak will appeal to fiscal conservatives. Its a smaller race and therefore more manageable. Its winnable for you.

Then, imagine if you're the guy that develops a reputation for fixing messes? Then you can move up to something bigger like city council.

Just my two cents Jerome, but I think you are much more realistic as a candidate for school board than you are for Congress and El Paso could use some deeper talent at the school board level.

Just my two cents.

Your Pal,


Congressman Canseco Visit Draws Small Crowd

Attendees say that last night's visit to a community in Horizon City by Congressman Quico Canseco drew a very small crowd that reached, at its peak, 7 people.

In fact, I'm not sure 7 people qualifies to be called a "crowd". Far more people are crammed in to an elevator at the El Paso County Courthouse on any given day.

Perhaps that might be a better venue for the Congressman before his eventual loss in November. It would be a bigger crowd than the one he had last night.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Letter from SDEC Rebecca Robledo


Black El Paso Democrats Endorsements

The Black El Paso Democrats proudly make the following endorsements for the Tuesday,
 July 31, 2012 Primary Run-Off Election

  U.S. Representative District 23
Ciro Rodriguez
  Justice, 8th Court of Appeals
Marcos Lizarraga
  41st District Court
No Endorsement
(Both Received Equal Number of Votes Cast)
  388th District Court
Lucila Flores Camarena
   448th District Court
Regina Arditti
   Criminal District Court #1
Diane Navarete
   County Commissioner, Pct. 3
Vince Perez
   Constable #2
      Jeremiah Haggerty
   Constable #6
    Javier Garcia

Times Article Shows There's Plenty Blame to Go Around

The El Paso Times had a pretty thorough piece today about the El Paso Independent School District and their series of problems. If you haven't read it yet, click here.

It looks like a lot of people have dropped the ball, in my opinion, over at EPISD. Maybe I was the only person who has been hearing this steady drum beat over the last couple of weeks that basically says EPISD Trustees over see one person, the Superintendent.

Well, I guess it turns out that they actually over see more than one person. It sounds like they are supposed to over see the Internal Auditor as well. Or at least they should've been.

School board officials are to blame for not doing so. Period, point blank.

But there are some other people who should be answering some questions as well.

The attorney for the school board. Shouldn't he be advising the school board about their legal responsibilities?

Region 19 Trainers. Whomever is responsible for providing training to the school board members has some "splainin' to do as well. According to Trustee Borrego, they were never advised during training that they had a responsibility to oversee the auditor. That's a big mistake if its true.

The auditor himself. He, more than anyone else, should've known he was supposed to report to the board. Not sure why the investigator isn't in trouble for that other than the fact that it was their work that led to the indictment of Garcia.

Yes, the School Board Members should be held accountable and in the next election we, as voters, will be able to voice our opposition or support of the board in the next election. In the mean time, we should be bugging them and getting them to fix the mistakes.

And we should be holding accountable some of the other people who clearly made mistakes at the School District as well.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Baseball in El Paso - City Hall & a New Stadium

I'm excited to hear that we might get a AAA baseball franchise. It raises a lot of questions I'd like asked though.

First, (and not the most important question by any stretch of the imagination) what do we call the new team? Do we call it the Diablos? I think it would be a cool name to keep especially given the fact that the team we are looking at is the affiliate of the Padres. Ok, maybe I'm the only one that thinks its funny. Or do we go for a totally new branding for the new team.

What is the economic impact of a AAA team in El Paso?

But most important to me, since City Council is on an accountability kick lately, is the bill for the energy efficiency upgrades the city went through not too long ago. If I remember right the city paid something like $14.7 million for all city buildings and its supposed to be paid through guaranteed energy savings. The plan was supposed to save $20 million over a 10 year period. 

And I think we paid for refurbishing of the elevators too.

So if we tear down city much money are we out? Will the economic impact of a AAA team in El Paso be greater than the loss on the energy efficiency program?

I hope that gets taken care of so I can focus on more important what we are going to name the team... 

Let Me Get This Straight...

The City of El Paso (okay, not all but some) want to take over the EPISD?

First of all, I don't think they have the authority to do so. Second of all, should I just create a list of dumb things to say that would never happen to?

Why on earth would we want City Council in charge of EPISD? Don't get me wrong, I wanna see things get better over there right away. But can we just hold the phone here a minute please?

City council has a myriad of problems of their own to deal a big effin' problem with equity of services. So we should let them be in charge of another government agency that is currently FUBAR?

Settled down City Council. I admire what Representative Niland said in the paper about what is going on and how its affecting people she represents. Good for her. She's sticking up for a predominantly Latino portion of her district that frankly doesn't really vote, but she's doing so because its the right thing to do. Every day I am more and more impressed with Niland.

But I think the Mayor is spot on. The EPISD is being like a pinata right now.

And that doesn't serve a purpose. If the City Council is all that damn concerned, then get off your collective butts and do more than sign off on a letter or call for absorption. Where were you people before any of this broke? Where were you since it broke?

If you are that damn concerned, why are you just now saying something about it. Other than a meeting where your duties required you to be there, how often have any of you on city council actually been to a school board meeting?

How about you guys fix streets, solve the round-about problems, and replace street lamps first. When you get that right, then you can take on education...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Anna Perez Fundraiser

County Commissioner and judicial candidate Anna Perez will be holding a reception next week. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26th from 5:30-7:30pm.

The location is at the El Paso Club, 201E. Main Street, 18th Floor.

EPYD Announcement of New Officers

Chair - Alex Guzman

Executive Vice Chair - Rebecca "Becky" Reyes

Finance Chair - Victor Reyes

Secretary - Ximena Chew

By the way, I hereby formally resign my membership from El Paso Young Democrats.

Community Leaders Send "Open Letter" to EPISD Board Members

When I first saw the email I thought it was going to be the return of a cool David K Open Letter, but its not.

However it is a strong message from a range of elected officials and community leaders.

The question is will this be another example of factionalism and will political lines be drawn in the sand at the sake of our schools?

Lets see how this unfolds... Oh, and one more thing...DK - you are long over due for an Open Letter...

Open Letter to EPISD 061912

We Focus on the Wrong Races - & Its the Media's Fault

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to notice the obvious in this town. We have a really bad habit of focusing on the wrong races.

Since the media is so good at pointing fingers lately, I think they need to take a little blame here. Its largely the fault of the media that our collective attention is misplaced.

Barrels of ink and tons of air time are spent on a congressional race to elect one person that will be part of 400+ other people who make decisions that may or may not impact our daily lives.

Yet while the media is going after EPISD with both barrels blazin' – as they should be – they haven't always done a good job of covering the school board races. So if you are complaining about crappy leadership, take a bow because its partially your fault.

Myself included. I focus more on the billboard races too. But I at least head to forums and post interviews for my readers. So, I have to tighten up the screws myself.

The congressional race was an important one, that is for sure. However, when you think about it there is much less daily impact on our lives from the federal level than there is from city council, county commissioner, and yes, school board decisions. The school board budget for EPISD, which has only 7 people making decisions as opposed to more than 400, is larger than the budget for the County.

Yep, thats right. The school board president has influence to how more dollars are spent than County Judge Veronica Escobar.

Think about it, can you name all the school board members for EPISD without looking it up? I can't, and I know almost every elected official in the county.

Real media have a job to inform their readers and viewers. Not just after the fact when they screw up, but they should be doing the rigorous vetting of candidates before they get elected. An engaged and vigilant media may have helped prevent some of the corruption they are now having to report on. An engaged and vigilant media may have made it impossible for Dr. Garcia to prey upon the “weakness” of the board members.

There's blame to go around for everyone and I think EPISD is completely screwing the pooch in media relations. Rather than absorbing the criticism and making improvements accordingly they are scrabbling around playing defense and trying to explain things away. I've said it before and I will say it again...


Their tone should be accountability and improvement, not dismissal and blame-projection.

And the media should bear a little accountability as well. Most voters get information about candidates from the news. I think its time the media scrutinized those campaigns a little more so that their readers can make better decisions and then there won't be the need to be calling for resignations.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

EPYD & The Longoria Legacy

Elections were held last night for new leadership of the El Paso Young Democrats. The current version of the club has been probably the most successful and well-sustained effort of the organization.

Out-going President Alfredo Longoria and most of the officers chose not to seek another term and are going to be dedicating more of their efforts on their personal lives and other political projects.

I want to be clear and state a major bias here on my part. Not only is Alfredo Longoria a personal friend, but I was part of the effort to create and sustain the organization. I had a front-row seat to the efforts of the El Paso Young Democrats over the last couple of years.

Here's what Longoria's legacy looks like to me. He took a group of motivated young Democrats that weren't particularly liked by the Old Guard because of perceived political alliances and created one of the most powerful and influential Democratic Party clubs. Let's face it, the life-blood of a lot of campaigns came through the El Paso Young Democrats in terms of support and volunteers.

Along with others like Vice-President Jay Desai and Treasurer Mike Apodaca, the organization flourished and was able to work with members of all the factions within the El Paso Democratic Party. The organization had 22 meetings during Longoria's tenure and spent many hours contributing and volunteering in the community. They didn't just say they wanted a better El Paso, they got some skin in the game to make it happen.

And it was all under the direction of Alfredo Longoria. Perhaps Alfredo's biggest legacy over the organization is not only its longevity, but the fact that it was drama-free. There wasn't the in-fighting in the El Paso Young Democrats that typically spoils the efforts of some of the more-established organizations in town.

Longoria over-saw something very important that led to a tanglible change in the way politics is done in this town. When Longoria and the rest of the team launched EPYD, they made sure they did so properly. That is to say, the were the first Democratic organization in town to actually follow the rules and are set up as a Political Action Committee. For years, in some cases DECADES, organizations within the Democratic Party were not set-up as Political Action Committees which is required by law. The El Paso Young Democrats, an organization that is by definition led by young people, did what the older and more established clubs failed to do. In fact, there are a couple that are STILL not set-up properly.

But most clubs within the El Paso Democratic Party followed the lead of the El Paso Young Democrats and have come in to compliance with the law. Now there is a greater level of transparency in El Paso politics and we will be better off for it.

On a personal level, I think Longoria's crowning achievement came last year. As young people, we have never really been embraced by the Old Guard. But in a nod to the influence of the El Paso Young Democrats, some of the Old Guard regime came to the El Paso Young Democrats for help. For me, that is the legacy of Alfredo Longoria's tenure as President of the El Paso Young Democrats. He took the misfits no one else wanted and made them a force to be reckoned with.

The fact is Longoria and Desai were the driving force behind the El Paso Young Democrats and their departure means a great deal to the organization, but I will write more about that later.

Longoria, Desai, and myself have all worked on a lot of campaigns. Usually on the same side, but occasionally on opposite teams. You win some, you lose some. But Longoria and Desai have always been pros and maintain relationships with as many politicos as possible despite being on opposing teams from time to time.

Thats the mark of good competitors.

I should also point out the Longoria, Desai, and others (myself included) don't always agree. There are plenty of times were we disagree. But Longoria is always the peace maker in the group. He's always the one to attempt to find common ground and build consensus.

Longoria would often reach out to people from varying political factions and asked them to address our organization. Even when the membership favored a particular candidate, Longoria ensured that all candidates were welcomed and treated with dignity and respect at our meetings. I can honestly say that is not always the case in the El Paso Democratic Party, but Longoria made it the standard practice in EPYD and no one that has attended our meetings as a guest speaker can ever say they were treated with anything less than dignity and respect.

The void left by the leadership of Longoria and Desai is undeniable and in my opinion, irreplaceable. They, along with others in the organization left a mark on every campaign they touched and had a tangible influence on the local El Paso Democratic Party. 

Announcement from Laura Strathmann Campaign

Fundraiser Invite

Monday, June 18, 2012

El Paso Young Democrats Meeting Today

The El Paso Young Democrats will be meeting at G & R Restaurant (401 E. Nevada) for their monthly meeting.

This month's meeting will feature a presentation from OFA El Paso.

Elected Officials & VIP Seating for the Fight

So I've heard a few people that are pissed about the fact that some of the elected officials in town had good seats for the Chavez fight on Saturday.

There's not gentle way of putting this so I will just rip the band-aid off here.

So what!!! Get over it.

I don't have the slightest problem with them having good seats. Think about it for a second, if it weren't for the fact that the elected officials in this town went to bat for us to keep the fight here in the first place, the fight wouldn't have happened.

So I don't have the slightest problem with them getting some good tickets. Its one of the few times I can remember elected officials, regardless of level of government or faction, getting together for El Paso.

Imagine if we had everyone pulling in the same direction for the Medical School, or to fight poverty or illiteracy or diabetes in town?

But getting a fight is a start.

And if you have a problem with them having good seats, get over it.

El Paso Times' Front-Page Editorial

The El Paso Times posted an Op-Ed on the front page of the Sunday paper and it has caused a fair amount of controversy. Honestly, I am of mixed feelings about it myself.

First, let me start by saying that we can't have it both ways in this town. For years people have been complaining about how the Times wasn't doing enough investigative reporting and how they missed the boat on the public corruption scandal.

And the criticism was well placed. The public corruption scandal was broken open by an out-of-town paper and David Crowder. Not by the El Paso Times.

And now, the Times has come around and is starting to do some good stuff.

So you can't complain about them missing the boat and then complain when they are on top of something.

And you can't deny the fact that we have a pretty unique situation in El Paso in terms of public corruption. It seems like its almost everywhere. No one should be tolerant of corruption in this town. Those that are tolerate it are part of the problem.

So good for them for taking on the public corruption scandal.

That being said, there are some issues I have with the editorial's placement. First of all, the fact that it was on the front page is in my opinion, inappropriate. People have a problem understanding the difference between news and editorial content. That's part of the reason I am so insistent with people about my blog not being a site for journalism.

When the paper then turns around and puts editorial content in a place where the reader expects to see news its going to be a controversy. And confusing for readers.

I don't have a problem with the content of the piece, I have a problem with the placement of the piece. The same thing could've been said on their regular editorial page. You know, like any other day of the week.

The fact that it was put on the front page was deliberate. They wanted to make a bigger splash and create more urgency. That was the whole point of putting it on the front page.

News is supposed to report what is going on. In this case, they are trying to affect an outcome. Now they are not reporting news, they are creating news. That's a slippery slope and this is not something that is normally done in print media. Its a calculated and willful attempt at changing policy. The debate becomes whether or not that is appropriate for media.

Although you could make the argument that its not too much different than endorsing a candidate. But this is calling for the removal of most of an entire governing body.

But at the end of the day, the Times actually makes a solid point about accountability and corruption. The greater point they are making is that there needs to be some accountability around the public corruption scandal. People need to lose their jobs.

The voters are the boss, not the media. Its the voters responsibility to fire the people that aren't doing their job, and clearly if all this stuff happened, someone wasn't doing their job.

However, when you have such a disengaged electorate, or elections that are held for the position during periods that are guaranteed to ensure minimal voter participation, its no wonder we get the results we get.

The practical impact of the front page editorial won't be as much to generate phone calls and emails as much as it will be to light a fire under voters. One thing is for certain, those board members will be asked some tough questions the rest of the way out.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I Like Vagina, and So Should You...

Who isn't a fan of vagina? As a newly single healthy male in my mid 30's, I am a big fan of vagina.

Hell, I've been a fan of vagina since I was a teenager.

In fact, if it had its own Facebook page, I would like it.

Actually, we should all like vagina. Without vagina we wouldn't be here.

Vagina in the morning, vagina in the evening, vagina, vagina, vagina!

So what's all the fuss about Michigan Democratic Representative Lisa Brown's comments during a debate about abortion?

In case you somehow missed the story, Representative Brown was barred from speaking by the Republican-controlled legislature because she used the term "vagina" during a debate about an abortion bill. Apparently the majority said she violated decorum by using the word "vagina".

At some point during the debate Representative Brown stated, "I'm flattered you're all so concerned about my vagina, but no means no."

I'm not sure why that set off the GOP members of the legislature, maybe they don't appreciate vagina as much as I do, but they weren't happy about the remark and the Speaker actually took steps to bar Representative Brown from speaking again.

Here's were it gets funny. "Vagina" is actually the anatomical term used to describe the female reproductive organ in question. For that reason alone it should not have been considered something that was in violation of decorum. The abortion bill debate was about a medical procedure. The use of an anatomically correct term as part of the debate is hardly violation of decorum.

But it gets even sillier when you consider the fact that the term "vagina" is actually used in Michigan statutes in at least three different places according to Representative Brown. Who makes statutes? You guessed it, the Michigan legislature.

I can't help but think there is a double-standard at play here. If a male member of the legislature used the anatomical term for male genitalia, would they be considered in violation of decorum?

Did I just say "male member"?

The bottom line here is that the Michigan legislature needs to relax.

Learn to embrace vagina fellas.

If you're lucky, maybe it'll embrace you too...

Martha-gate: Dominguez Withdrawal Document Surfaces

In yet another strange turn in the race for State Board of Education #1, documents filed with the Secretary of State's Office have surfaced that show that Martha Dominguez actually withdrew from the primary and general elections.

The Certificate of Withdrawal was endorsed by Ms. Dominguez and dated for April 25th, a full month before the primary. The Secretary of State's Office Received the document on May 4th, 2012.

As you can see, the Certificate of Withdrawal actually indicates Dominguez' desire to withdraw from both the primary and the general election.

Previously there was just talk of her intent to withdraw and this document appears to verify that Dominguez not only intended to drop out, but apparently has actually formally withdrawn from the race.

Since the race is across multiple counties, the proper place to withdraw from the race would've been the Secretary of State's Office as far as I can tell.

This development is pretty big and may need to be resolved by the new head of the TDP Gilberto Hinojosa, though it is also likely that this will end up in court.

This raises a lot of questions.

If she withdrew formally, will she be allowed to continue to be a candidate? If she is not allowed to be a candidate, will the Democratic Party have a nominee?

If so, who would be the nominee?

Would there be a special election? Would they end up on the ballot in the run-off election? What about counties without a run-off election?

If I'm not mistaken, there may be a provision for the County Executive Committee to select a candidate to be on the ballot, but since this is a race across multiple counties, it would actually be the State Executive Committee that would select a candidate for the general election.

As you can see, this development opens a whole new can of worms for the Party...


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mayoral Buzz Picking Up

Since Sunday I have been hearing more and more people in political circles start talking about who is going to run for mayor in the upcoming Mayoral Election, which is actually next year.

But the names are already being thrown around. People are talking about who should run, or who is running, or who is considering, a run for Mayor of El Paso.

The names I keep hearing the most about are City Representative Steve Ortega and former Senator Eliot Shapleigh.

First things first people...if one runs, the other won't. There is no scenario in which one would run against the other.

But those are the names I keep hearing the most about so far. I've spoken about a possible Ortega mayoral bid a while back and even called to get comment from him about once. He told me then that he was not interested in running for the position and that only under the most extreme circumstance would he ever run for the job. That was a while back though. Maybe a couple of years.

Lots of things change in a couple of years.

Shapleigh still has a lot of political life left in him. The whole Garcia scandal at EPISD should galvanize the former senator. He's already won county wide in races and has been good at bridging the gap between the Old Guard of the Democratic Party and the "Progressives".

Even people who were critical of Shapleigh about the EPISD thing, including Yours Truly, had to begrudgingly admit Shapleigh was right.

There are a host of other names being mentioned as well including Oscar Leeser, though his name comes up regularly. I don't think he'll do it though.

Three city rep names keep coming up as well. City Reps Eddie Holguin, Emma Acosta, and Cortney Niland. Holguin and Acosta will not run against each other. Acosta has expressed interest in running for mayor in the past but since Niland was able to take on the electric company, Niland has been getting more attention for the position. Holguin's name keeps coming up because he's young, has experience, and has a political future that is going to be bigger than city council.

I'm sure there are going to be a host of other names that pop up at some point, like Gus Haddad and others. But for right now, other than Shapleigh, the mayors race rumors seem focused around city council.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Quintanilla Raises Ethics Concerns; May Have Told on Himself Too

State Rep Chente Quintanilla attended Commissioner's Court today to raise an issue with the court about a possible violation of the County Ethics Code by his opponent in the run-off Vince Perez.

Apparently in the new ethics code which was first implemented in 2010 election there is a provision that says if you receive contributions from a donor that reach $2500, it has to be reported to the Ethics Commission within 30 days.

Its a little know provision of the Ethics Code and hasn't really come in to play until this election because this is the first election with competitive races for County Commissioner's Court. County Offices are the only races the code applies to.

Perez did in fact receive contributions that would have required him to report to the Ethics Commission. One of which was from his father.

Interestingly, so did Dora Oaxaca and Carlos Leon. They apparently didn't know about the provision either. But in an interesting twist, State Representative Chente Quintanilla, who voted for the bill as a member of the state legislature, may also be in violation.

The provision states it needs to be reported within 30 days. If my math is correct, Representative Quintanilla may actually have exceeded the 30 day deadline himself.

To be fair to all of the candidates, this is really the first competitive race that the code has been applied to and the race has drawn out longer than expected because of redistricting so there is a longer period of fundraising.

I should also point out that the contributions are actually made public on their campaign finance reports (Quintanilla, Perez, Oaxaca, and Leon), but they didn't do the additional step of reporting the contributions within the 30 day period.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Still with the Recall?

I just don't get the recall people. By nature they are a conservative bunch. So I am a little surprised that they would continue to try to affect a recall when they already failed previously and when the end of the Mayor's term is so close.

Are they trying to prove a political point? Sure. Good for them, this is America after all.

But...We shouldn't have to be the ones to pay for it. You had your chance. You didn't play by the rules and therefore lost.

Move on.

Loss sucks but it happens to all of us. You can either boo-who about it, or you can pick yourself up and move on.

Here's a tip...learn from this and get started on the next election. Politics, like life, is about long-term strategy. Play chess, not checkers.

Now That I Think About It, Youth is Everywhere

The more I think about the youth movement in politics, the more I realize that its everywhere and I should've noticed it a long time ago.

On the Democratic side, when given the opportunity to vote for younger and progressive candidates, the electorate almost always goes with the younger and more progressive candidate. I'm trying to think of a time when that didn't happen and I can't really come up with one. I guess you could argue in the Marquez / Barraza race (hey, wasn't that a boxing match too?), but Barraza isn't really more "progressive" than Marquez.

Four years ago, Richard Wiles was the youngest in the field of candidates running for sheriff if I'm not mistaken. Socorro City Council is younger and more progressive than in the past. Carlos Hisa, Lt Gov of the Tiguas is a young guy and has stayed the Lt Gov for quite some time. Though I wouldn't consider him a progressive.

Even on the Republican side, they have a youth movement of their own. David K ran against Haggerty for County Commissioner, Jay Kleberg and Rene Diaz ran for state rep, and then there's the El Paso Liberty Group.

Clearly the Republicans like their establishment guys, which is why DK, JK, and RD weren't successful but the Republican Party apparently is starting to "get it" when it comes to their relationship with young people.

Lets start with the College Republicans at UTEP. They've been recognized for their work by the state party. They were the engine behind some of the campaigns in the last election cycle. Some of them went on to work for local elected officials and are still involved in campaigns.

There's Genna Pendergrass (hope I'm spelling that right). When the Tea Party Rallies were actually effective and well-attended, it was because of Pendergrass.

And now, El Paso Liberty Group. Its almost entirely youth-driven, though they have the benefit of mentorship from some experienced political activists. They are the component that the Republican establishment has been missing. They are media savvy, tech-savvy, and have an almost Evangelical devotion to Ron Paul. They are young, energetic, and smart. Exactly what the GOP in El Paso needs to freshen up.

But what they are most is issue-driven. They aren't fully Republicans in the current sense of the word. Or to paraphrase Mitt for Brains, they aren't "severely Conservative". What I mean is that some of them are pretty devoutly conservative, but others are pretty liberal on social issues. Point blank...they are Libertarians.

But young, organized, and energetic Libertarians. Its what the GOP needs. The problem is that the GOP has to think long term. They are at least a decade away from winning anything other than HD 78 (if they can even hold on to it) or the Commissioner's seat. They have to think long-term. They aren't going to win the Congressional seat. In fact, I'm pretty sure Tim Besco's vote totals were the high-water mark for Republicans in El Paso. Its going to be very difficult to duplicate that number in a Presidential Election year in El Paso and against an opponent like O'Rourke who has already demonstrated appeal to Republicans.

Having met several of the Ron Paul people, whom I admittedly have a soft spot for, I think every one of them I know are supporting O'Rourke.

Why?....Young and progressive.

(I have a soft spot for them because you can't be around a group of smart and energetic young people and not get excited. I guess we are just wired differently and so my political values are different from most of theirs, but there is an unmistakable familiarity of the Obama 08 campaign with the El Paso Liberty Group. Particularly in their focus on the delegate process, which echos of Obama 08. They think like Republicans but organize and work like Democrats. Of the 68 Republican delegates to the state convention, 30 were Ron Paul supporters. Thats almost HALF. If HALF the delegates to the Texas Democratic Convention weren't Old Guard Democrats, I think their heads would explode. The platform that the El Paso Liberty Group worked on has Ron Paul written all over it. They are organized and effective. How could I not have a soft spot for them?)

The political move towards youth has been going on for quite some time. I think it just reached the point where people finally started to notice it.

And of course, that puts the race for El Paso County Commissioner Precinct 3 sharply in to focus...

More on the Youth Movement in EP Politics

I wrote something last week about the youth movement in El Paso politics and the El Paso Times also had something similar in opinion section of the Sunday edition.

Their piece very conspicuously left out City Rep Eddie Holguin. I included him in mine but my piece and the Times piece were making different points. I was making the point that El Paso has been making the transition to younger leadership for quite some time. The Times piece was about the youth movement being progressive.

Which explains why Holguin was omitted. I think Holguin might actually be the youngest member of City Counil, something people tend to forget because he's been there awhile now. And he is by no means a "progressive".

But I just realized I left a couple of people out myself. Anthony Cobos and Willie Gandara. Both of those guys were on the younger side and they were elected within the same time frame as the other leaders mentioned in my previous piece.

The election and the Democratic Convention underscore the fact that this election, even more so than the Obama election, was about change. The jury is still out in a couple of other races, but with so many young leaders in politics now and with the defeat of Old Guard Democrats at the convention, its clear that things are going to change in El Paso.

Its almost like the town is far more progressive than its leadership. Normally the leadership pulls the public in to a particular direction. Thus the term "leader". In this case, I think El Paso is dictating to leadership what they want in a leader.

When Political Dialogue Goes to Far on Social Networking

I'm actually surprised it hasn't happened sooner but according to an article in today's El Paso Times, the political craziness on Facebook has finally crossed a line.

Personally I think it crossed a line a long time ago.

I'm not talking about censorship, I'm talking about common decency and effectiveness in communication. I've lost track of how many ridiculous stunts have occurred over Facebook and Twitter during the campaign, but when it goes to the extreme that the DPS feels the need to station a patrol unit to the home of State Rep Marisa Marquez just to be safe is a very sad commentary on the state of dialogue in El Paso politics.

For some reason we have gone from polite discourse to passionate date and now on to full-on war. It doesn't have to be that way. You don't have to always go to war with people over political differences.

I'll give you an example. The Ron Paul supporters. They are a disciplined group of people. I disagree with most of what they stand for politically, but we never have to go to war with each other over it. I think there is a mutual respect for one another as a result.

For some reason everything has to be a freakin' street fight in this town. Oh, don't get me wrong, there are more than a few people in this town that I have no problem going to war with if I have to.

But the question you have to? The answer is, no. You can choose not to. The people that make fools of themselves with their extremism are all over the place in social media. It started a couple years ago and has been refined to lethal potency of vitriol over this past election cycle.

Its the bad part of social media. The creation of fake facebook profiles to say crazy stuff without having to stand by it or be held accountable, the creation of goofy groups, or the efforts to otherwise use social media as the platform to go to extremes is embarrasing. Its sad that law enforcement had to actually get involved with an alleged threat against a public official, but it puts in to perspective the fact that we can all say just about anything we want, but we still have to understand that while criticism comes with the territory, you can't make an alleged threat to a public official.

I hope this doesn't stifle debate, in fact I know it won't. But I do hope it serves as a wake-up call to the unstable and extremists out there.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Why Tommy Lee Jones Should've Run for US Senate

Texas is a red state. Lets just deal with that political reality for a moment shall we?

As such, any Democrat that runs for US Senate is not likely to win. Unless there is a perfect storm candidate. A candidate with name recognition, the ability to generate positive press and voter energy, the ability to raise money, and the ability to get Republicans to vote for that candidate.

Honestly the only guy I think that can pull that off is Tommy Lee Jones. He's quintessentially Texan. Texas drawl, Texas swagger, and extremely likable.

And he's a Democrat.

I don't know if the TDP ever tried to recruit him to run, but if they didn't, they should've. Fred Thompson was elected in Tennessee and I think Tommy Lee Jones would've been able to get elected in Texas.

It's an open seat and a great chance to pick up the seat.

Oh well...maybe he'll run against Perry for Governor...You hear me TDP?

First Latino Chair of the Texas Democratic Party Elected Today

Gilberto Hinojosa was elected as the State Chair of the Texas Democratic Party today in Houston. Hinojosa is the first Latino elected to that position and underscores the importance of the Latino vote in Texas.

El Pasoan Mike Apodaca Elected State Treasurer of the TDP

El Pasoan Mike Apodaca was elected as the State Treasurer for the Texas Democratic Party at the convention in Houston.

Apodaca is the first El Pasoan to serve in state party leadership since Danny Anchondo a few years back. In fact, I think they are the only two to have ever served in state leadership

Apodaca has been a party activist for many years despite his youth. He has served in several leadership capacities and turned down job offers in other states to work with the Obama campaign in his home state of Texas.

Apodaca is currently a member of the El Paso Young Democrats.

El Paso to Play Critical Role in CD 23 Run-Off

One of the things that doesn't really get talked about much in local coverage of elections is the fact that the valley is going to play a big part in that race.

Roughly speaking the district is sort of a half-moon around San Antonio and goes through rural west Texas until El Paso County. In the County the district pretty much runs south of the freeway to Zaragoza.

Gallegos did well in rural west Texas and Rodriguez cleaned house in San Antonio. Thats pretty predictable because they are each essentially holding their base of support. The voters know them in those areas. That makes El Paso the battle ground because its a whole new crop of voters that weren't previously in the district.

I wrote a while back that I had a hunch that Ciro Rodriguez was going to take El Paso County and he did. It wasn't solid analysis, it was just a hunch. My theory was that people in passing would have a slightly higher amount of familiarity for Ciro Rodriguez because he represented part of El Paso previously, though it was another part of the County.

I still think that's basically true.

Which means that despite not doing well in the primary against Rodriguez in El Paso, I still think its possible for Gallego to flip the County. Its not going to be easy and Ciro Rodriguez commands some pretty good advantages over Gallego, but its doable. Its going to take an AGGRESSIVE ground approach for him to pull it off in the run-off.

I don't know how much, if anything at all, either campaign spent in El Paso County in the primary. It wouldn't surprise me if they spent very little because its an unknown part of the district. When you have limited resources they are typically spent on the population they can identify as predictable voters.

And there is the quirk of Fabens. You can't really cut turf (inside baseball political term, it means identifying the targeted voters, their addresses and then mapping them for a block walker) for the Fabens area due to a quirk in data. Makes things a big challenge.

The district is a swing district and the term is almost literal in the 23rd. By the way the numbers are now, a generic Democrat can win in November, but will likely lose two years later in a gubernatorial election because the Republicans come out in higher proportions.

Gallego represents the best chance of keeping the seat for Democrats. Gallego's legislative district is Republican, but he has been elected over and over because he is able to pull support from Republicans. If he were the Congressman of the 23rd district of Texas then it stands to reason that the Democrats could hold that seat in gubernatorial years.

But he has to win the run-off first. That means he has to develop an aggressive El Paso County plan because it just might be the margin of victory. There are only so many voters that reliably come out for elections. Even less for run-offs.

Whoever takes El Paso County will probably be the next Congressman from the 23rd.

More Changes to the Face of the El Paso Democratic Party

This is somewhat of a follow-up to the youth movement piece I previously wrote. Not only has the face of leadership in El Paso changed pretty steadily over the last few years with a decidedly younger bent, but for the first time in years, there are no members of the "Old Guard" in control of the local Democratic Party. 

Blanche Darley is still the head of the Tejano Democrats and that was already the Old Guard wing of the Democratic Party, but it may become more so now. 

Danny Anchondo is leaving as Chair.

Yolanda Clay was not re-elected to the SDEC.

Robert Grijalva was unsuccessful in his bid for the SDEC. 

In the past these three would've been easy wins for the Old Guard. 

I don't remember the last time that the Moreno family or the Old Guard / Tejanos weren't in charge in the El Paso Democratic Party. That is very significant because it seems like they have always been in charge. 

So what happens under the new regime? 

Will it be a more welcoming environment or will their be a learning curve for the new folks in charge and have some stumbles along the way?

The rock star of the El Paso delegation at the convention so far was been State Rep Elect Mary Gonzalez. Sources at the convention say that she's the hot new thing in the party. People are asking to take pictures with her, they are asking for her autograph, and she is pretty much making a big splash over there.

Along with Senator Rodriguez, Gonzalez is the only member of the delegation that is in attendance at the convention, although technically she is not a member of the delegation yet. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Williams Re-Elected as SDEC Male

Don Williams survived a challenge from Robert Grijalva from Chente Quintanilla's office for his position as the SDEC male. With the loss of Yolanda Clay as the SDEC woman, I think this is the first time that a member of the Moreno faction is not in a leadership position in the El Paso Democratic Party. That's pretty significant. I don't have final vote numbers but I'm working on it. Elizabeth Hapsburg-Kell nominated Don Williams and El Paso Young Democrats President Alfredo Longoria nominated Rebecca Robledo.

SDEC Males Up Next

Sorry for the rapid fire short pieces, but I know that not all of you follow me on Facebook so I'm posting here. Don Williams, the current SDEC and Robert Grijlava from Chente Quintanilla's office are currently giving their speeches and making thier pleas to the delegation. Vote to follow. I'll update you soon.

Robledo Wins Vote - Is New SDEC Woman from El Paso

In a 28-24 vote, Rebecca Robledo is the new SDEC Woman representing El Paso. It was a close vote but Robledo was able to pull off the victory. SDEC Male is next and the current SDEC male is Don Williams.

SDEC Woman Vote Happening Now

Yolanda Clay and Rebecca Robledo are competing for the position of SDEC Woman right now at the convention in Houston. Yolanda Clay is the current SDEC Woman and Rebecca Robledo is the previous chair of the Tejano Democrats. I will update you when the vote is final.

Part of El Paso Delegation LATE to Convention

Pretty much fulfilling El Paso stereotypes, a big portion of the El Paso delegation was late to the Convention in Houston today. Reports indicate that the delegation missed an entire half of the first day of the convention.

Apparently there was a logistical problem in the organization of the bus trip. The location date/time apparently wasn't confirmed with the bus company and the part of the delegation that was riding the bus were picked up more than 4 hours late.

So as a consequence the EP delegation was only at partial strength for the first day.

I'll provide more information as it becomes available.

The El Paso Youth Movement

I was thinking about this last night - El Paso's youth movement is now almost a sprint. Its been going on for quite some time now.

Many of El Paso's elected leaders are 45 and under - some of them significantly under. Consider the list, County Judge Veronica Escobar, County Commissioner Anna Perez, City Reps Cortney Niland, Susie Byrd, Steve Ortega, and Eddie Holguin.

Now consider the state delegation, which is probably the youngest class of leaders of them all. State Rep Naomi Gonzalez, State Rep Marisa Marquez, former State Rep Joe Moody, and now State Rep-Elect Mary Gonzalez.

O'Rourke's win over Reyes is just the latest in the youth movement.

The face of El Paso politics is changing. Even in the valley. The question is, will the youth movement continue in the Precinct 3 race for County Commissioner? If Vince Perez is able to defeat Chente Quintanilla, it will mean that for the first time the valley will be represented by young leadership at basically every level from City Reps Eddie Holguin and Ortega, to State Rep Naomi Gonzalez and State Rep Mary Gonzalez, and Perez.

That would totally shake up the idea that the valley represents the old and backward way of things.