Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dr. Uxer Retirement Story in the El Paso Times

Okay, before we go any further, don't get mad at me for what you're about to read. I didn't do it, I'm just pointing out what I saw.

A few days ago there was a story about Dr. Uxer resigning from the El Paso Community College Board of Trustees.

I read about the story on my El Paso Times app on my phone.

Interestingly this was the ad that was embedded with the story. (I told you, don't get mad at me, especially if you laughed!)

New Reps Sworn-in; Ordaz Touts Plan

Last night was the swearing in ceremony for the city representatives that just won the last round of elections.

City Representatives Svarzbein, Noe, and Ordaz were in attendance. City Representative Cortney Niland was not at the event and was sworn in this morning.

I see why Mayor Leeser rarely does public events. He's a terribly awkward speaker and he looks like he hates every minute of it.

Shout out to the city protocol gurus who had a Christian invocation on the day the city was swearing in a new Jewish member of council. Talk about a d'oh!

I knew it was coming to, I was waiting for the "in Jesus' name we pray" part and there was no disappointment!

Svarzbein gave no reaction though.

The new reps all gave speeches and thanked their families.

The stand-out was Representative Ordaz and not because she was the only one who had a County Commissioner and not a judge, swear her in either. She stood out because unlike the mayor, she had acknowledged the rest of her colleagues on the stage that were in attendance, but more importantly for another reason, she's the one that sounded like a mayor.

Rep Ordaz, in addition to thanking her parents, family, and staff, laid out an actual agenda of what she wanted to accomplish in this, her first full term in office.

Ordaz is the first woman to represent District 6. She is also the first rep in God knows how long, that has actually done anything for the district and seems to actually have an idea of what she wants to do in the years to come.

Her plan focused on two major points, a home buyer incentive program to encourage people to buy homes in older established neighborhoods as a way to both control urban sprawl, manage costs, and improve economic development. Rep Ordaz highlighted the fact that the Ysleta Independent School District has the lowest tax rate in the area.

Ordaz then laid out an idea about focusing on plans to approach public transit from a regional perspective.

That is something you normally expect from a mayor and its no wonder that more and more people are seeing a future mayor in Ordaz.

Ordaz appears to be uncomfortable with that talk because she's focused on what is in front of her right now. But a mayor from the valley sure would be nice.

It would be another first. And given the fact that she has won with the highest margin of victory of anyone in a recent election, its yet another reason that talk will start to become more and more prevelant.

She does all the right things. She takes care of her district, empowers the communities to compete for more grant money to improve their infrastructure south of the freeway where that is the greatest need and beautification projects north of the freeway where that is the greatest need, while keeping an eye on the big picture for El Paso.

I had interviews with all the representatives and will post them tomorrow.

Chente Por La Gente Parte 2

I know I left a few of you hanging earlier this morning when I finished a post about who is not running against State Rep Mary Gonzalez with "but I know who is..."

For those of you reading this that live in the Valley, you already know who it is, but for those of you who live in the 79912 and think good queso is melting down cheese-itz, let me let the cat out of the bag.

Former State Rep Chente Quintanilla wants his old job back. 

Obviously he has a huge steep hill to climb (her money, his age, etc) but it's not impossible especially considering his name is synonymous with a slogan. 

I'll give you some analysis on this race later but I thought I'd let the rest of town know what the valley already knows.

That's Culo...

You know, this isn't the first time it's happened but I was told that Rep Ann Morgan Lily didn't leave really anything behind for her successor other than a copy of Robert's Rules of Order and The Rise of the Creative Class.

She's hardly the first to do that. Former County Commissioner Sergio Lewis did it to County Commissioner David Stout and Tanya Chozet did it to Commissioner Perez. The most egregious example was former Congressman Reyes to Congressman O'Rourke. I can't even begin to imagine all the case work that was just stopped because of ego.

And let's be real, that's what it is. It's all ego when an elected decides to screw over the person taking over at the sake of the people. It's the most disrespectful act to constituents an elected can do next to public corruption.

As a staffer at the time, I can tell you it sucked really bad to be new at the job and then only to find out that you're expected to do the job without all the tools you need to be successful.

And it's usually constituents who suffer for it. Something they needed help on was half completed and they have to start a over from scratch while the new staff get their feet wet.

In a word, it's culo when someone does that.

But it wasn't the successor she wanted and appeared in a mailer with, so who cares right?

Rumor Killer: Mayor Ruiz Not Running Against Rep Gonzalez

Only because this is probably the 10th time I've had someone ask me, but Socorro Mayor Jesus Ruiz is not running for state representative.


He may consider it some day in the future, but it isn't something he's going to do this session or probably even the next.

There is still lots of work to do and under his leadership and administration Socorro is a much better place. 

He's led the city to invest $10 million in infrastructure projects and unlike the little Jesse Gandara regime managed to do so without controversy over how the infrastructure was completed. At the same time the city has increased the number of family events including Easter egg hunts, movies in the park, etc.

Perhaps the biggest contribution and what he has led that has been the biggest departure from the Gandara regime has been the increase in transparency. Documents and back up are now more readily available and citizens have an easier time having feedback with the city reps during public comment.

So Mayor Ruiz still has work to do because Jesse Gandara still holds a lot of influence over his cousin who is a council member.

So while Mayor Ruiz would be viable for any number of offices as a candidate he has indicated he has no plans of running for state representative at this time.

But I know who is...

Monday, June 29, 2015

City Council Swearing-In Today

The candidates that recently won the last round of elections will be sworn in tonight downtown.

The following people will be sworn-in:

Rep-Elect Peter Svarzbein - District 1

Rep Michiel Noe - District 5

Rep Claudia Ordaz - District 6

Rep Cortney Niland  - District 8

So which one of you crazy conspiracy theorists are still spreading the rumor than I'm going to work for Svarzbein?

Let me clear up those rumors. I'm not.

I'm going to work for the Mayor. I hear he's a good boy.

Parties, Values, & Electing Judges

The local impact of the SCOTUS marriage equality decision centers around what the reaction of some judges will be regarding the decision on their part to conduct weddings.

Ted Cruz, the poster boy for Texas Crazy, has come out and said we should elect members of the Supreme Court. I guess he thinks he knows better than the founders and I'm sure the rest of the Tea Party Crazy Train are perfectly content to follow him down that path.

Go ahead Teddy, make this a campaign issue as long as you're still in the race. Thanks for the help.

The state of Texas has elections for pretty much all judges, except associate judges that are appointed. 

Despite what libertarians will tell you about some "false left-right paradigm" the truth is there is a big difference in the values of parties. The local judges that have expressed some concern about same-sex marriage are Democrats.

Marriage equality has always been a part of the platform of the Democratic Party. If a judge is religious they are free to practice their religion. No one is going to force them to believe anything and as a legal matter, they cannot be compelled to perform same sex marriages. 

I admire anyone that has the courage to stand by their convictions, even if I happen to disagree with those convictions. 

But we also have the right and responsibility to stand by our convictions as well. When someone runs for office, they will now be asked if they are willing to perform same sex marriages. They can, should, and will have to face scrutiny from the Democratic Party for not fulfilling their duties as a judge because of their personal beliefs. 

JPs in particular are in an even more difficult position because if they choose not to do the marriages, they force constituents to have to go to an entirely different jurisdiction to access the same services available to every other resident of the county simply because they are being held hostage by the JPs beliefs. The consequence of refusing to do same sex marriages is the fact that you will have to face the voters on that issue at some point. 

We as the electorate elect judges to interpret and apply the law. We don't elect them to interpret and apply the law based on their religious beliefs. 

If our party leadership is silent on this issue, which is a central part of the Democratic Party's platform, then our Party's leadership no longer deserves our support either. If we can't expect our Party leadership to stand up for the values of our Party, then why are they there? If you want to stand up for your religious beliefs, then go run for something having to do with whatever church you are a part of. So as a Democrat, I'm hoping to see or hear some statements in support of the SCOTUS decision and critical of Democratic judges that are not willing to perform same sex marriages from our Party Chairman Butch Maya, from our State Democratic Executive Committeeman and woman Donald L. Williams and Rebeca Bustamante, Chair of the Tejano Democrats Eddie Holguin, President of the Eastside Democrats Ruth Williams, and President of the Westside Democrats Ken Sutherland. 

If they don't, then they are failing us as leaders of our Party.

Its fine that judges want to stand by their beliefs, but the fact that some judges may use Republican rhetoric to justify not performing same sex marriages speaks volumes about them. So you get to keep your values and we get to hold you accountable for it.

I'm urging every Democrat to remember the names of the judges that are not willing to perform the same sex marriages come election time. 

But fear not, in case you forget...I'll make sure to remind you....

Texas GOP Snatches Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Texas Governor Greg Abbot and his tag team partner Attorney General Ken Paxton have found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

For the Republican Party the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage would've been a blessing in disguise. Gay marriage was an issue that allowed Democrats to appeal to moderates and pull the away from the GOP. And without that issue, it would've been one less tool for us to get the base out in the upcoming elections.

Conservative governors could say they are against it but the Supreme Court ruled and its now the law of the land.

But perhaps its a little nostalgia kicked up by the Confederate Battle Flag coming down, but those governors, including our own, are now starting to sound like sessessionist all over again with the shouts to ignore the supreme court and start practicing nullification.

The Texas AG issued the most non-sensical opinion in recent memory on Sunday, which I posted yesterday. Basically his argument is that religious freedom means judges and county clerks can refuse to do things that are against their religious beliefs. 

This is a case of be careful what you wish for. 

Perfect example?

The death penalty. Texas kills inmates on death row more often than some people bathe. What if a good Catholic judge decided, "You know what, we Catholics are agaisnt the death penalty. I know I'm supposed to hear this case and all, but hey its against my religious beliefs, so no thanks."

Or...what if a conservative Tea Party nut's worst dream ever came true. What if there was a devout Muslim who was in a position to deny a woman a driver's license because his religious beliefs dicatate that women shouldn't drive?

Thankfully the AG's opinion is just advisory. And frankly I think he knows how stupid it is because his press release talks about knowing there will be a flurry of lawsuits on the issue. 

The reality is that the Surpreme Court is the law of the land. 

Religion is not law in the United States. 

And the SCOTUS decision doesn't mean that religions now have to perform same sex marriages. 

But hey GOP, thanks for allowing us Demos to score twice on marriage equality...

El Paso County Justices of the Peace Answers on Same Sex Weddings

I have called every Justice of the Peace in El Paso County to ask the direct question if they will or will not conduct weddings for same-sex couples.

Here are the answers I received from each Justice of the Peace.

Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 (Westside)
Judge's Name: Robert Pearson
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Who I Spoke With: Staff
Answer: Didn't know at first because the judge is at a conference. The staff member called me back a few minutes later and indicated that he had spoken with the judge and he will be performing the marriages and said one could be scheduled as early as Thursday this week.

Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 (Northeast)
Judge's Name: Brian Haggerty
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Who I Spoke With: Judge Haggerty via Text
Answer: "As a judge I have taken an oath to uphold the laws of the United States and the laws of the State of Texas. If anone has the correct documents I have to conduct the ceremony."

Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 (Central)
Judge's Name: Guadalupe Aponte
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Who I Spoke With: Staff
Answer: Yes

Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 (Eastside)
Judge's Name: Jesus Urenda
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Who I Spoke With: Staff & Judge Urenda
Answer: "Yes I will be performing same sex marriages"

Justice of the Peace Precinct 5 (Lower Valley)
Judge's Name: John Chatman
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Who I Spoke With: Judge Chatman
Answer: He referred me to the County Attorneys Office for a list of judges that were available to do those weddings and that he was waiting to hear back from her. I told her I had already heard from the CA and summarized what her opinion said, He then repeated his answer of referring me to the CA only a little louder. I told him I wanted to know what he, as an individually elected office holder would do if a gay couple wanted to get married in his court and I asked him if that was a no? He responded by saying not to put words in his mouth and repeated a referral to the county attorney's office for a third time, only louder this time.

When I followed up with county attorney and she indicated that "There is no such list. Almost all judges can preside over weddings. There was a list of judges who were available today for all weddings. The list was created for the convenience of the public so they wld not have to wander around figuring out who is on vacation, in trial etc. The list of available judges was in anticipation of increas in wedding requests today." (This took place on Friday)

Justice of the Peace Precinct 6-1 (The Valley & Horizon)
Judge's Name: Ruben Lujan
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Who I Spoke With: Staff
Answer: Yes

Justice of the Peace Precinct 6-2 (Far East & Montana Vista)
Judge's Name: Enedina Serna
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Who I Spoke With: Staff
Answer: Yes

Justice of the Peace Precinct 7 (The Upper Valley & Westside)
Judge's Name: Kelly Dickson
Party Affiliation: Republican
Who I Spoke With: Staff
Answer: She is going to check with the judge. The judge is currently on the bench right now. I will update this post as soon as I get an answer.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Breaking: Texas AG Says Judges & County Clerks Don't Have to Comply with SCOTUS

The Texas Attorney General Ken Paxon just issued an opinion that judges don't have to perform same sex marriages and county clerks don't have to issue license if they have a religious objection. 

Here are some highlights from the opinion:

  • “County clerks and their employees retain religious freedoms that may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The strength of any such claim depends on the particular facts of each case.
  • “Justices of the peace and judges similarly retain religious freedoms, and may claim that the government cannot force them to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies over their religious objections, when other authorized individuals have no objection, because it is not the least restrictive means of the government ensuring the ceremonies occur. The strength of any such claim depends on the particular facts of each case.”
Paxon goes on to say, “It is important to note that any clerk who wishes to defend their religious objections and who chooses not to issue licenses may well face litigation and/or a fine. But, numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs, in many cases on a pro-bono basis, and I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defense of their rights.

“Texas must speak with one voice against this lawlessness, and act on multiple levels to further protect religious liberties for all Texans, but most immediately do anything we can to help our County Clerks and public officials who now are forced with defending their religious beliefs against the Court’s ruling.”

Read the full opinion here: 


Friday, June 26, 2015

You Can Still Get Married Today



After this morning’s Supreme Court decision to recognize the legality of marriages between people of the same sex, the El Paso County Clerk’s office immediately proceeded to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.


El Paso County Clerk Delia Briones explained that for weeks her office had been working with the El Paso County’s IT Department and the County Attorney’s Office to prepare to comply with any Supreme Court ruling regarding the same-sex marriage.


“After an early morning meeting with the El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal, we reached to the conclusion that same-sex marriage was the new law of the land, and there was no need to further wait for clarification on how to proceed,” Briones said.


“When the first same-sex couple came into my office to request a marriage license at 11:48 a.m., our clerks were ready to process the paperwork and issue the marriage license as required by law. Up until 3:00 p.m. our office had processed 8 requests for marriage licenses from same-sex couples,” Brionesadded.


“I had obtained authorization from Commissioners Court to pay overtime to employees if it was necessary to extend services hours today until 7:00 p.m. due to any last minute rush of applications. So far, we have had just a slight increase in workload, but it is too early to tell if we are going to remain open late tonight,” Briones concluded. 


To apply for a marriage license applicants have to provide a proof of identity, comply with the age requirements, and pay an $82 fee. Once the marriage license is issued, the couple has to wait 72 hours before getting married, or request a waiver from a District Court judge. For more detailed information about the process to obtain a marriage license, please consult the El Paso County website at http://www.epcounty.com.


Individuals with particular questions can always call the County Clerk’s Vital Records department at (915) 546-2071.

Luke & Yairo Get Married

I don't personally know these two vatos but I extend my congratulations to them on becoming the first same-sex couple married following the SCOTUS decision.

The wedding was officiated by Judge Carlos Villa in County Court at law #5.

I previously posted about some of the judges not wanting to perform the weddings out of their personal or religious beliefs. Several have already reached out to me and assumed it was the JP's. That may or may not be true, but those aren't the names I was given.

Weddings is a big revenue stream for the JP's as individuals. They can charge what they want and don't have to give it to the county or even their offices for that matter. The Supreme Court just doubled their potential clientele, why on earth would the JP's say no to all that money?

Since Texas elects judges, this is now a campaign issue when they run for office. I think there is talk of a list of judges that will be available to perform gay weddings which I'm guessing is the Council of Judges rather inartful way of hiding the identities of their colleagues that won't perform the marriages out of their personal or religious convictions. But one should not assume all the names that are absent from the available list are judges that aren't willing to perform the marriages. Several judges are just too busy to perform any marriages.

Historic day today. Near the end of Gay Pride Month no less. 

Some EP Judges Don't Want to Marry Gay Couples

At least three El Paso judges have questioned if they are required to perform gay marriages apparently citing their religious beliefs.

Yes, I know their names. They are all Democrats too. 

I sure hope they are otherwise living the life of a good "Catholic gentleman".

The reality is that they have to perform weddings for all couple or none at all.

Sources in the courthouse indicate that at least three judges took issue with the possibility of having to perform the marriages and asked for a legal opinion from the County Attorney.

The County Attorney sent them the opinion yesterday and it says that they cannot discriminate and that the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct mandates that judges perform their duties without bias or prejudice. Therefore their options are to perform marriages for all people or to perform marriages for no one.

The County, and by that I mean you the tax payer, can be sued if a judge does hetero marriages but not gay marriages.

I have the entire document and have gone through it. I'll email it to you if you want it but here's the operative part:

Interview with Rep Mary Gonzalez on Marriage Equality Decision by Supreme Court

The landmark decision from the United States Supreme Court legalizing marriage equality across the country just came down.

I spoke with the most outspoke legislator on LGBTQ issues in the state of Texas, State Representative Mary Gonzalez, on the decision. Here are some of her comments:

Esparza Fundraiser

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Quick hits - LVP Loss & Trump Pendejadas

A couple of quick blurbs too small for their own post.

I'm late on this but Leticia Van De Putte's loss in San Antonio demonstrates what I've said for a long time. The TDP is not close to turning Texas blue. She lost to an African-American in San Antonio. If a Latina Democrat with her notoriety, coming off of a statewide race can't win in San Antonio...dayum! It shows how hard it is to come back once you've lost and it shows that the Party is no where near as strong as we like to tell ourselves.

Donald Trump talked a lot of smack about raza and we are finally standing up for ourselves which is a good thing.

But I want to know where the GOP's  establishment leadership is on all of this. They've been trying to court the brown vote for years. Why aren't they pushing back on this? 

Where are the Latino Republican organizations?

And where are the brown Republican candidates? Are you guys just gonna letTrump  say this crap and not stand up for yourselves? Your silence sounds like agreement.

Neighborhood Associations - Why they are important

I wrote a piece yesterday about something that happened involving fundings some projects in neighborhoods in the valley.

Anyone who lives in the valley knows that there is a big difference between the way City Rep Claudia Ordaz and her predecessor do city business.

Her predecessor was known for one thing, saying no. Sure he was able to tell taxpayers he was looking out for them but the reality is that he didn't do a good job of ensuring that those tax payers who still had to pay taxes no matter how many times Holguin voted no, were getting their fair share in tax dollars back to District 6.

One of the reasons that happened is because of neighborhood associations. In this case, lack thereof. At the time of Ordaz's election there was only one active NA. From what I gather, her predecessor didn't care much for NA's because they were a pain in the rear and because of the same fear every other elected official in the city has...that when you give someone in the community a leadership position you may actually be creating a future opponent.

The problem is that a lot of city funds for projects flow through neighborhood associations, which gives the community members maximum control over how their funds are expended. Since there were basically no NA's, the funds never really flowed down to District 6. As a result tax payers weren't getting their fair share and its why they saw projects happen in other parts of El Paso but not in the valley.

Since she was elected Ordaz's office has been holding meetings with constituents to educate them on the process and the need for the neighborhood associations to form. As a result there are now more NA's in the district and more are in the process of coming on line.

If you are ever in the valley you know that for years there is a tremendous need for better streets, sidewalks, lighting, and speed control measures. The Pueblo Viejo park residents were more concerned about getting better streets than canopies. Had Ordaz funded all 8 canopies it basically would've sucked up the funding for two years and would've been something that only a limited number of valley residents would've used.

So her amendment Tuesday made sense.

The point is, if you want something done in your community like a street improvement, lighting, or speed bumps, talk to your neighborhood association. Call the city and they can tell you which one you live in. If there isn't one in your area talk to your city rep and ask them to help you form one. Its your tax dollars so you might as well use them.

Call 3-1-1 and you should be able to get more info.

Judge Carlos Carrasco Fundraiser

As always I publish any political events sent to me as a courtesy. 

Here's the latest one sent to me:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Limon Votes Against Projects in Her Own District

Politics is politics and sometimes it makes people do things that will leave many scratching their head. Usually there is a strategy behind the scenes that the public isn't always privy to so they don't always know why electeds do the things they do.

But other times people just cut off their nose to spite their face.

It looks like that is what happened during yesterday's city council meeting when Rep Ordaz didn't do what a close friend and constituent of Rep Limon wanted done with some canopies. The end result was Rep Limon voting against a funding measure for $100,000 in projects that included a park canopy at E.L. Williams Park requested by the Lomaland Neighborhood Association and swings and benches at Thomas Manor Park requested by the Thomas Manor Neighborhood Association.

Pretty sure ol' Willie Mays at Thomas Manor Neighborhood Association isn't going to be too happy.

Not sure why any rep would say no to $100,000 for parks in their district but she must've thought it prudent. And I'll bet money that since the measure passed anyway, she was the lone "no" vote, she will still show up to the ribbon cutting and take pictures and credit.

Sound familiar? Yep, the Eddie Holguin school of governing. Vote no on a project and jump in front of any camera in sight when the project opens so that you can say you voted no on spending tax-payer money and show up like you made a project happen.

Voting no was the easier thing to do for Limon than having to get an earful from her constituent Sylvia Carreon.

Let me explain to you why there was even a disagreement in the first place. This is all over canopies in Pueblo Viejo linear park in District 6 which is represented by Representative Ordaz. Carreon lives in District 7 but she was pushing hard for the project because she is part of a Civic Association that covers parts of districts 3, 6, and 7. Civic Associations are larger than Neighborhood Associations.

The problem is they both basically serve the same function except one, the civic association, has to consist of at least a hundred members. Neighborhood associations are just a small geographic area.

I have no idea why there needs to be two entities like that. Civic associations seem to be unnecessary.

And this case is a perfect example. The civic association made a request for 8 canopies at Pueblo Viejo. Rep Ordaz chose to fund four canopies and leave the rest of the money in the pot to be added to next years' funds.

Let me remind you, its not even Carreon's or Limon's district.

Ordaz said that after speaking to the residents that they thought 8 canopies would've been a bit much but that they were fine with having 3 or 4 canopies around the playground areas. Pueblo Viejo is a linear park and so its pretty long. I play pick-up basketball there because its close to my place. Based on the layout of the park I can't see where they would put 8 canopies to begin with.

So Ordaz made an amendment to fund 4 instead of 8 canopies. As a result, Limon voted against the entire funding package, which means she voted against her own projects.

Making a Monkey Out of Martin

The amount of times a week Fallas Paredes is wrong about something or one of his conspiracy theories is equal to the number of posts he writes.

So it's not anything new when he gets something wrong. But yesterday's fuck up of the day was particularly funny because the way he built it up you would've thought he had pics of Peter Svarzbein riding the Loch Ness Monster while hunting Sasquatch and the chupacabra using the rifle that shot Kennedy. 

Instead it was a picture of Svarzbein's brother flipping the bird. Except that the dumb monkey thought it was Peter. It was a photo given to him by an anonymous source. So much for the discount blogger's sources.

I'm betting the anonymous source was bitter Bobby Jindal look-alike Daniel Lopez who has been riding Martin nuts pretty hard lately. Which is probably a first for Martin.

Well long story short, you should never screw up like that by trying to mock a comedian. Looks like Svarzbein's brother and comic friends got a hold of it and had a lot of fun with Martin. 

So I thought I'd share a couple of the memes they made about him and his stupidity.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Problem with Electing Department Heads

I wrote a piece earlier today about the Tax Assessor-Collector's Office and I made the point that its one of those offices that people don't care about.

Well it got me to thinking about the fact that most of the offices that are elected at the county level are offices that no one gives a shit about, like the County Clerk, District Clerk, and the DA and CA.

Relax office holders, I'm not saying your office isn't important. It is.

I'm saying it isn't important to most people voting. They don't know/care what you do.

However I will say this. Most of those jobs are administrative in nature. They have a lot of potential to save/cost taxpayers a lot of money so it helps to have a good administrator in that office more so than a good politician.

And therein lies the problem.

We elect department heads.

Elected department heads costs you money.

Every time they screw up and get sued, it costs you the taxpayer money because the County almost always settles out of court for x amount of dollars. Those are your tax dollars they settle for.

So when you see these elections come up on the ballot, make sure you are taking that into account. Bad managers cost you money.

Rocha Throws Hat in the Ring

Siria Rocha (Center obviously)
Thanks to a couple of candidates for constable, everyone and their nana is now announcing for office much earlier than normal.

Thanks a lot guys.

Anywho - long-time county employee and staffer for the Tax Assessor-Collector's Office has thrown her hat in the ring to replace the former office-holder Victor Flores.

Siria Rocha, a prominent member of the Westside Democrats, has already let it be known that she is a candidate for the Tax Assessor office. Many thought she might seek a seat on city council for the westside before the filing deadline passed earlier this February.

There is already word that the appointed Tax Assessor-Collector is likely going to run for the office and there is also talk that former Flores right-hand Frank Ortiz will also seek the office.

That should make things pretty awkward around the ol' water cooler in that office until next March.

The Tax Assessor-Collector is one of those offices no one cares much about and fewer still understand what they do.

Its also a down-ballot race and there is no incumbent and no one really has name ID built with the office right now so Rocha as a Latina is in a good position with two possible male opponents.

Like every race a lot depends on her ability to raise money and touch as many voters as possible.

Why the Fireworks Ban is Necessary

I hate that the County has banned fireworks again.

But I hate it for my own selfish reasons of wanting to shoot off fireworks because its fun.

The reality is the fireworks ban is a necessary thing. And its an annual drill we have to go through. The County Judge tells everyone for weeks that she's going to ban fireworks and people are still stupid and go buy a bunch of fireworks anyway.

Then the fireworks industry goes and finds some kids and parades them in front of commissioner's court to say how selling fireworks is their main fundraiser for their fill-in-the-blank (scout troop, t-ball team, teen youth cult, etc) in order to guilt the commissioners into not banning fireworks.

The County uses some index that measures the fire hazard in a given area that I think is named after Katy Perry.

A few of you will bitch and moan that you won't be able to participate in a 4th of July tradition and that its your right as an American to do shoot off fireworks to celebrate 'Muricuh.

Well the last time I read the constitution there was no mention of a right to keep and bear fireworks. And if the stuff that happens out in Montana Vista when fireworks aren't banned is your idea of a tradition well then you're an asshole because its freakin' Armageddon out there.

Sure I thought it was cool the first time I saw it. I drove down Montana with my little family and we were all in awe at the fireworks that looked like they were being fired from one side of Montana to the other creating an arc of lights over Montana. It looked like that because that is exactly what was going on.

I purchased some fireworks and while I did my best to try to enjoy their use as safely as possible, I watched a bunch of stupid irresponsible teenagers running all over the place throwing lit fireworks at each other. And I watched a bunch of boozed up "bro's" start lighting fireworks, shoving them inside beer bottles, and then throwing them in the air.

Real responsible shit.

Truth is that you wouldn't want that happening in your neighborhood. Which is why you drive out to Montana Vista and go fuck up their community because who cares right? They are just poor dumb Mexicans right? Its their fault for living in the county right?

Yeah, thats how you sound.

You are pissed at the county for banning fireworks but guess what, you probably live in the city of El Paso, where you can't use fireworks. Why? Because its freaking dangerous to people, pets, and property.

You think that is less true just because its in the county and the people are poor? So you think you have some God-given right to pack up the car and go trash another community and not your own? The people of Montana Vista have to deal with the mess that is left after the celebrations. They are the ones that are pretty much held hostage in their communities because of all the traffic in the area. They are the ones that hope some dumbass doesn't set their home on fire with a stray round from a Roman Candle war.

The people in the areas affected want the ban. First responders want the ban because they shouldn't miss a timely response to a real emergency because they are putting out brushfires started by some dumbass trying to make his own fireworks show.

So have some class this 4th of July and go screw up New Mexico. No one cares about that place anyway.

Martin Paredes Shows Why He's A Dumbass

Martin "Fallas" Paredes, the discount blogger who follows the orders of his masters wrote a piece about Peter Svarzbein that, lets be real for a minute, 90% of you reading this wouldn't know existed if I didn't write about it.

The only reason I'm even writing about it is because it underscores just exactly how much of a dumb mule Paredes is. But more importantly it shows how irresponsible he is about what he writes. 

Now Martin really holds himself up to be a legitimate news source. He fancies himself a journalist. Well when journalists don't fact check and publish something as wrong as this one, they usually get fired.

But he won't be because he's the only dumbass his mule-bosses can convince to blog for them. 

So Fallas posted this picture of what the dumb mule thinks is a photo of Peter Svarzbein flipping the bird. This wouldn't be the first time there was a photo of a westside politico flipping the bird posted on the internet. David K posted one four years ago of a district 8 candidate.

The difference is that when David K posted the picture, he made sure it was actually the candidate. 

This photo is not Peter Svarzbein. Its actually a picture of his brother Jonny Svarzbein, who happens to be a comedian that is often featured on Funny or Die. Like in this video.


Way to go dumbass.

Frankly I think Jonny looks more like actor and comedian David Cross:

I don't know, maybe Paredes thinks all Jews look alike. You'd think a guy who lives in Florida would have a more cosmopolitan view of the Jewish community. Lol, who are we kidding, this is Fallas Paredes, the guy who makes cartoons of people but can't take it when its done to him. 

By the way, Fallas Paredes' cartoon of Niland was the weirdest thing I've seen on the internet since the white chick was pretending to be black. But thats how he see's Niland, which is more than a little weird. I wonder how many times he's jerked off to that cartoon in front of his computer. One more side note, when people get together in little groups, especially online, they get really brave and bold. I took note of those that had fun with Paredes little cartoon of me. Lets see how you respond when your image is made fun of online. Especially you people that are clearly in the public eye since you've been candidates and appeared in TV commercials like Daniel Lopez, Hector Montes, Barbara Carrasco, Josh Dagda, and Marianna Chew...

Friday, June 19, 2015

Why Jaime Esparza Faces Uphill Battle for Reelection

I don't know why this bothers so many people but the reality is that it is more likely than not that Jaime Esparza will lose reelection in the March primary.

Maybe people are sensitive because Esparza is probably the last of the "Old Guard" left in office. 

But let's face facts, this is going to be harder for him to win than any other race because the last few years haven't exactly been stellar for him.

He went from the heir-apparent to Congressman Reyes to a reelection race with two opponents, neither of whom are bat-shit crazy this time, one of whom is a Latina, more than 9 months out.

The Marmolejo case(which he personally argued), the Villegas case, and not putting a single witness on the stand against Gandara during the sentencing phase of his trial, those aren't exactly bright spots in his career.

He's gonna need more than DUIs and a domestic violence program. The public remembers big cases. The Gandara case alone is a targeted mailer to the valley waiting to happen.

Let's talk about some other facts. Most of the years he's served he's never had to really face tough competition. The number of career politicians that have run against real opposition in the last few years and ended up losing is now a punchline. 

Let me remind you, Theresa Caballero got 40% against him. 

Now he's facing Leonard Morales and Yvonne Rosales, both of whom have the ability to capture a significant number of voters. And that's assuming there will only be two challengers. If both challengers commit to a vigorous focus on a ground game and strategic mail program, they will most certainly force a run-off. 

Raise your hands if you know what happens to incumbents in runoffs?

That's right...they lose. Gold star for you.

Do I have to remind you that this is a Hillary election? Even if Hillary puts Bernie Sanders away early, it's still gonna be a spike in females voting. That gives Rosales a big boost.

So the challengers need to work consistently and do whatever they can to avoid being tied to Theresa Caballero or her FlyingMonkey and one of them makes a run-off.

Their biggest challenge?

The same as every other challenger...money.

Truth is they don't need as much money as Esparza and they should get used to the idea that they won't. But they do need enough to pay for mail and a ground game. That ain't cheap, especially in a countywide race.

Now if there was only a really rich person out there that had an ax to grind against the DA that might be willing to drop cash on one of their campaigns like a GI on ladies night at Teddy's, or as I like to call it "A Night at the Museum".

Oh wait...there happens to be one such individual. Mimbela.

He's the guy that has bankrolled Villegas. He's already donated to judges in the past, so it's a foregone conclusion that he'll be dropping some cash in this race.

The only real question is which opponent wins the Mimbela lottery.

Plus add to the fact that anytime you've been in office for two decades you've likely amassed a few enemies and are open to a change message.

So let's pause for a moment an address what some of you are probably thinking...it's no secret I won't be sending the District Attorney a Christmas card this year. 

But ask yourself something. Does that make any of the issues I mentioned any less true? 

Hell no and you know it.

So what does Esparza have to do? Well for starters he should remember that we are no longer in the 90's and he should not campaign by a committee full of old lawyers that haven't been part of a winning campaign since they had hair and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air was still on TV.

Dump the committee. They don't know what they are doing anyway. Get a campaign team with three things. A good field person, a good message person for mail, and a core group of block walkers. 

Judge Escobar found herself in a similar position. She had to work her butt off to avoid a run-off and none of Esparza's challengers are as unpopular as Eddie Holguin or a gaffe-machine like Apodaca.

Esparza has to take advantage of his biggest strengths, name ID and money. He's gotta make that money and spend it correctly.

So Esparza has to take this race seriously and work hard over a long period of time.

But I don't see it happening and I don't see him not sticking to the old guard way of campaigning.  

It's early, anything can happen. But how often does "anything can happen" benefit an incumbent?

Constable Seat Still Vacant?

It's been several months since the passing of Constable Robert White and there has been no replacement appointed for him yet.

Most constables aren't going to like to hear this but let's be real, unless they are in a rural area, they aren't that important. The fact that months have passed and there's been no replacement appointed, and most of you didn't even know that, underscores my point.

I know, I know, you're mandated by the Texas constitution and all. And yes, in rural areas they are very important. I get it. But most of El Paso county is urban and the importance assigned by the Texas constitution is reflective of the time it was written. Houston is where the Texans play, not the governor anymore.

Nonetheless I'm curious about the fact that the constable precinct is essentially run by deputies. How can you legally have a deputy if you don't have the office holder? I thought the sheriff deputies derive their authority from the actual elected sheriff? If that's the case, don't the constable deputies derive their authority from the constable?

A replacement for the constable is a decision of the entire court if I'm not mistaken so if they explained why there isn't one I must've missed it.

If they are waiting until an election takes place then a new constable won't be in place until 2017.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Acosta Fundraiser / Birthday Celebration

I made a rare appearance at a fundraiser last night. I typically don't attend but I was interested in this one because so many candidates have already announced. Plus it was a birthday celebration and who doesn't like birthday parties?

Normally when you hold a fundraiser you pick a smaller size room so that when Don Williams takes pictures it looks like a lot of people are there. This one was held in the lobby of a hotel and so it was a big space. I forget the name of the hotel, but its the one with Teddy's on the bottom floor. Or as I like to call it, the Cougar Palace.

Even with a big room there were a lot of attendees including a few people I haven't seen in years.

As expected, there were several candidates in the building including the constable candidates and all three candidates for District Attorney.

I snapped this quick photo of District Attorney Jaime Esparza and challenger Leonard Morales but Yvonne Rosales was also there. I didn't get a chance to visit with her but I did get a couple moments with Morales and he seems to have a plan in place. Sorry, wasn't a formal interview so no video but its still early. I'll interview all three candidates sooner or later.

Pre-Trial Services & Bail Reform Mean Bad News for Incumbent Judges

For whatever reason candidates for a range of offices in next year's primary have been coming out of the woodwork since before the last round of municipal elections were even over. And now the rumblings of judicial candidates has started as well with news of a couple of incumbent judges likely to square off for a seat on the Court of Appeals.

Gone are the days of the traditional Labor Day kick-off. 

I also saw a really cool episode of Last Week Tonight recently that is pretty timely. 

This primary is already being called the Year of the Woman because of the Hillary factor on the Democratic side, which is the only side that matters in local judicial races.

That spells big trouble for most of the incumbent judges. 

Let me explain why. A while back, Commissioner's Court said the judges were out of compliance with the Fair Defense Act that was passed in 2001. The judges defiantly went to Commissioner's Court, proudly thumped their chests about how none of the members of the Court were attorneys and therefore didn't know what they were talking about, spoke about division of powers, and one judge even went so far as to basically ask the court who do they think they are?

And then the State of Texas came in, audited the system, and agreed with the Commissioner's Court. The judges were out of compliance for like a decade! You'd think a bunch of lawyers would be familiar with the law rather than fighting the issue when it was brought to their attention. The fact that it took the State of Texas to get the judges to comply is problematic for the incumbent judges. 

Also, there was the indigent defense fee stand-off in which the judges unilaterally implemented a fee increase that was characterized by the El Paso Times Editorial Board as "...an abuse of taxpayers."

The Editorial Board also characterized the raising of the fee, that the judges ultimately delayed, as "the judges giving the back of their hand to Commissioners Court. Or perhaps just their middle finger."


Getting back to the pre-trial services stuff. Judges and lawyers are really smart and great at articulating points of the law. But they are terrible campaigners and have the worst sense of public perception of just about anyone. The reforms that have been started by Commissioner's Court are part of a national movement of reforms geared not only at ensuring that the poor have the same access to justice as anyone else, but also as a cost-saving measure. 

This video gives a thumbnail in layman's terms of why these reforms are necessary. And most of the incumbent judges didn't want the reforms. 

Most of the time there are pretty much no substantive issues for judicial candidates to talk about during a campaign so voters who elect the judges basically only have to go on a gut feeling about a judicial candidate. 

Until now. 

Now they have an issue to consider. That would be all fine and dandy for the incumbent judges if they were talking to a room full of members of the local bar association, but they aren't. They are going to be talking to voters.

And while the vast majority of the electorate aren't attorneys or have the familiarity with the legal system that the judges do, they do understand issues involving taxes. If these incumbent judges end up with opponents that take them on regarding the reforms and make a fiscal argument to voters, the judges are going to be in a bad spot especially because based on the sentiment I've seen of public comments from the judiciary at the time of the debate, they basically feel like it doesn't matter what the costs are associated with the justice system.

Which as a matter of principal may be entirely true.

But you try telling that to a voter as you sit on a tax-payer funded chair that literally costs several hundreds of dollars while they face increasing taxes from the city, county, school districts and community college board. 

And God help the incumbent judges that face a Latina in an election with a spike in turnout for Hillary. 

So for the first time in a long time, people will actually be paying attention to judicial candidates more so in this election than in previous elections. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The DA, the Stadium, & the Cultural Center

Sources indicate that a meeting was held last night at around 6pm at the United Blood Services on the westside to talk about the progress of the Mexican American Cultural Institute (MACI) and their plans for the Hispanic Cultural Center (HCC).

Apparently the District Attorney Jaime Esparza gave a presentation about an idea that pretty much sounds like deprogramming the funds for a downtown stadium that was approved by voters during the bond election in favor of directing the funds towards the HCC.

Several prominent Latino business and political leaders were allegedly at the meeting including City Rep Lily Limon, Aliana Apodaca, Hector Gutierrez, Dora Oaxaca, Terri Garcia, Oscar Venegas, Joe Cardenas, Henry Gallardo, the Rosales', Queta Fierro, and Ralph Adame among others.

Interestingly I'm told Aliana Apodaca introduced Representative Limon and indicated that she was there as a member of MACI, not in her capacity as a city rep. I think that raises a question as to whether she should recuse herself from votes on the issue in the future considering she's a member of the MACI. To my knowledge she's the only member of council that has directly tried to influence the outcome of the HCC as a member of the MACI and other members of council may have avoided participating directly in the process in order to not create a potential conflict of interest.

If the reports about the presentation are accurate it is a very questionable decision on the part of the District Attorney to spearhead considering he is going to be facing at least one, if not more competitors in the primary next year. I'm not sure I think its prudent to be near either one of the projects during an election cycle because both have become so controversial.

The HCC was under-funded. The stadium is going to be expensive. Either way we are talking about tax dollars being spent, not saved. Esparza has a job that doesn't have budgetary issues as a major component of a campaign but involvement in this issue is going to give his opponent(s) an opportunity to bring that issue up in a campaign.

Plus I think there is going to be a messy conversation about whether or not you can actually deprogram the money considering it was an expenditure approved by the voters.

To bring this full circle, that is also problematic for Limon. I'm starting to think she has mayoral aspirations as well. She may want to one day be whispered in the same breath as Alicia Chacon and the only way that happens is if she runs for mayor. The problem is that she can't argue more money for the HCC by using the argument that the voters approved it if she is also trying to kill a project that was also approved by the voters. Again, if the reports I received are an accurate characterization of her position.

I'm still gathering details on this but I wanted to get started with this part of it first. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Acosta Question

Since I posted an announcement about her fundraiser I have been getting several emails or text messages all asking me basically the same question.

If she's termed out, why is she having a fundraiser if she's not going to have another campaign and her last campaign had no opponent?

Well, you do the math. Why do you think she's having a fundraiser?

The other question I get asked is what she's running for. Well I think she lives in Rep Blanco's district so it's not likely she would take him on. She's in Commissioner Leon's precinct, so not likely she would think about taking him on either. So she could conceivably run for Justice of the Peace, County Judge, or Mayor.

What do you think she's going to do?

Gandara Pleads Guilty to Theft Charge

Former Socorro City Rep Jesse Gandara, who often refers to himself on social media as "El Teflón" apparently pleaded guilty to another charge of theft last Friday.

Gandara appears to have received two years of probation that is set to run with his current 10 year probation sentence.

The fact that he took a plea is a likely sign that he won't be pursuing an appeal for the felony conviction earlier this year.

Wiles Fundraiser

Acosta Fundraiser

Monday, June 15, 2015

Forma's Failure

No two ways about it, the loss of Al Weisenberger was a total failure on the part of Forma. Especially after dumping Svarzbein in the middle of the race, after a contract was signed and checks paid, to go work for the opposition just because they paid Rick Armendariz and the boys from Forma more money.

Svarzbein gave them the ultimate payback by beating them solidly.

Seriously that was such a bad business move on the part of Rick. I mean I get it, he doesn't pull the strings, he has his strings pulled. But now the word is out that even if you sign a contract with them and another candidate comes along willing to pay more money, they'll chase the check.

But to lose on top of it? Now everyone is going to wonder why they should pay them the fees they charge if they can't deliver. They'll be on life-support for a while. They'll have to get by on poaching judicial candidates that don't know any better or are too lazy to run for themselves.

Forma has been on a big losing streak lately. Big time. It was bad enough losing school board races. And Forma juggled a whole slate of them. They were supposed to win all their school board races because they are a smancy-pantsy consulting firm. But they lost the Ysleta races.

Peter V. Al was a different situation. It was just one race. They didn't have to juggle any campaign work. All they had to do was focus on Svarzbein. And they made some colossal mistakes along the way. That mail piece that went out with the wrong election information was probably the worse mistake I've ever seen in mail. Then putting Ann Morgan Lily on the mail with Al, as I said weeks ago, was a big mistake.

They got out-worked, out-hustled, and out-smarted...again.

At this point they should just close shop and open up under a different name because after their string of big loses and candidates having to limit what they do, they have a branding problem now.

Their one card has been being the gate-keepers to big money. Not sure how much longer they are going to have that card now that a string of candidates have figured out how to get around that little problem.

I will say this though. They are absolutely great at doing negative mail. I've said it before and I meant it, their piece they did against Rosa Cabrera (Arellano) was the best negative piece I've seen. But they can only do so much. Yes, their motto is "sweep the leg", but they can't do it if their candidate doesn't want them to. They are getting heat for not whacking Svarzbein but that probably wasn't their call. That was likely Al's call. Since he had zero campaign experience its not surprising that he didn't want to go negative. Candidates are often their own worst enemy and often do things that are counter-productive to what they want to accomplish. Trust me, its a major headache.

The minute Peter made a run-off it was his race to lose. He started sooner than anyone else, had more money, had a more visible presence, and had the ground game in place. Al's campaigning consisted of mail and yard signs. You can't win like that. Especially if you don't whack your opponent in your mail. You aren't giving people a reason to vote against your opponent.

Peter won because of his ground game. Damn sure wasn't his mail because it was awful. But despite being handicapped by bad mail, he was still able to hit more voters.

There are two reasons that happened. Number one he had a good campaign team. Alex Duran was his campaign manager and this was really the first time he actually ran a campaign, but he started from the bottom in other campaigns. Ironically...in the valley. He did some phone banking and poll sitting, most notably for State Rep Mary Gonzalez's campaign. This was the first time he was captain of the ship and he made some good choices. The other reason it happened was because Duran and Svarzbein tapped the right guy to call off the bench in the fourth quarter. They upgraded their personnel in field work and called in Mike Apodaca to help out with their grand game. Run-offs are all about turnout and if you create the right universe of voters then you'll be successful. I've lost track of all the campaigns Apodaca has been part of but he's one of the best in town.

If there's a campaign that should get the big atta-boy for their ground game its not Dagda's, its Peter's. They actually won and don't have to talk about moral victories.

And Peter was not the candidate Forma or anyone else expected him to be. They expected the spacey and flakey artist type. They didn't expect him to work as hard as he did. He hustled on the ground and if anyone paid attention they would see his pretty much daily "end of day" photo. If you know the westside you could probably figure out what turf he was walking every day by the photo he took.

Peter did one thing better than most candidates I've seen. He raised money. Look at his finance reports and you can see how many individual donors there were. He wasn't just going to one well over and over. He had a lot of support from a lot of different places. Most candidates suck at that and hate asking for money.

And he didn't make any mistakes or public gaffes. That alone is an accomplishment, just ask Dagda. Its not easy to run and have to speak in public and repeat the same thing over and over in front of different groups and crowds without screwing-up. Especially in this digital age where everyone can take video or audio of something stupid said or done. Used to be that you only had to watch out for LionStar and his shitty little home video camera. Now anyone can catch you saying something stupid. Its a different world now.

One last thing about Weisenberger, he was gracious in defeat. Thats a big deal because politics can get real personal and emotional and some people lack the emotional stability to handle defeat. Just look at Daniel Lopez as an example of that. He turned into a crazy when he lost and he really seems to hate Peter on a very personal level.

Al was gracious. That is a thing that we see less and less of these days and it was nice to see Al buck that trend.

Also, if you haven't seen it, go check out Al's car commercial on his campaign Facebook page. Its retro and super cool. He looks like a total boss at the end.

Svarzbein Thumps Weisenberger

In a pretty decisive win, Peter Svarzbein thumped Al Weisenberger Saturday night to win the District 1 seat currently held by Ann Morgan Lily.

Before people start making excuses the reality is that turnout was similar in this election to what turnout is like in most municipal elections. And for a runoff election without any other issue on the ballot, it was pretty impressive. 

And anywhere you go in politics if you win by more than 10 percentage points, it's a pretty solid win.

Peter was up by only 7 votes in early voting. Then he extended his lead by far more than what the needle normally moves between early voting and Election Day. 

So David K is already stomping his feet and holding his breath over the fact that Peter won and even in the face of the obvious he still has this desire to try to sell you ocean front property in Arizona. The fact of the matter is that Peter's campaign showed we'd what ice said all along and what most people know to be true, grassroots organization and block walking are the most important part of a race. David K's logic is that there is something so completely different about the westside that normal campaign rules don't apply there. What's he gonna say next that gravity doesn't exist on the westside either?

DK uses examples of other people who walked (allegedly) and failed ad used that as justification for his point. Well hell, football teams routinely run a smiliar offense but one team wins the super bowl and another doesn't even make the playoffs. Does that mean the offense doesn't work? No, it means it wasn't executed properly or the team wasn't as good.

But let's let the data do the talking. In early voting Peter was only up by 7 votes. He pulled away big time on Election Day. 

There was no major scandal in this race (no matter how hard DK tried to manufacture one) and there was nothing significant that transpired that would sway the vote that drastically organically. So why the big jump in the margin of victory?

Under DK theory it would be some mysterious westside magical power that Peter managed to tap. But the truth is the answer is quite simple...it's a little thing called GOT muther effin' V.

It was an effective GOTV operation that accounted for the spike in Peter's support. He was simply better at getting his supporters to go out and vote. Because they knocked on doors and made phone calls.

DKs other little point about talking to a block walker who said most of the time people wherent home and they just left lit shows me DK hasn't really ever block walked. That's true of every campaign. I once heard a lady tell me her contact rate for block walking was 90%. That's the moment I knew she was lying. Most of the time you will get a lot of people not home that is a reality. But even leaving the lit at the door of a high-quality voter is a touch the other campaign isn't doing. The more you touch a voter, the more likely they are to vote the way you want them to. That's campaign 101.

While I'm on the topic, this is the race that people should be touting the campaign staff, not Dagda's. This campaign actually won. Which means the executed properly. So if anyone should be taking a bow it's Svarzbein's team. More on that later.

Obviously David K came out on the wrong end of this one and spent so much time trying to get Al elected that now he has to try to manufacture some sort of personal vendetta gains this parents company. That's silly and irresponsible and you can probably add that to the list of all the other shit he was wrong about in this race.

But he is right about Forma being done. That is coming up next...also there is going to be a couple of where are they news later today...

If you believe David K...

I've got plenty to say about this weekends race, but first I'd like to make a quick observation. If you believe David K all those times he basically made stuff up about me running Scarzbein's campaign, then it must really pay off to listen to me right?

So when do I start working for Peter again?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Sofia Has Been Found

Sofia, the young lady I wrote about yesterday has been found.

She is home and safe. 

Her family would like their privacy right now but asked the I extend their thanks and heartfelt thanks to all that helped look for her and shared her photo on social media.

The Jewish Vote in District 1

I was talking to a buddy that has run a few campaigns on the westside and he pointed out that in terms of voter data there is a pretty sizeable Jewish voting block in the Western Hills area. Svarzbein is Jewish and some folks think Weisenberger is as well.

Election Day is Saturday. That is Shabbat, or the Sabbath, for Jews. So the observant Jews won't be voting on Election Day. That means that if there was a concentrated effort to GOTV that voting block, it had to have been done during early voting.

Not being familiar with the finite details of Jewish custom I googled whether or not it was okay for Jews to vote on the Sabbath. I found this website that offered three answers. One from an Orthodox rabbi, one from Conservative rabbi, and one from a Reform rabbi.

Without getting into too much detail essentially the Orthodox and Conservative rabbis said no, the reform rabbi says yes. Here's the article if you are interested in the details. http://www.jewishvaluesonline.org/951

Just a little tidbit I found interesting and I don't know enough about historical trends relating to that voting block to tell you what, if any, impact that will have on the election.

District 1 Interesting Voting Stats

For those of you that like stats there are some really interesting voting stats as of last Saturday's early voting. Early voting ended earlier this week, so these aren't final numbers by any means, but rather just a snap shot at what things looked like up until that day.

1738 people had voted as of Saturday and 1051 of them were over 65. Another 449 were voters between the ages of 50-64.

So the lion's share of voters were, as expected, the older crowd. As of Saturday that meant that only 238 people in district 1 that voted were under 50 years old. In the 35-49 year old age group 178 people had voted and only 46 people between the ages of 25-34 had voted.

Sadly that means that you could probably fit all the 18-24 year olds that voted as of Saturday into a single 15 passenger van.

Those numbers are depressing when you look at them but they shouldn't be surprising for anyone that follows election numbers regularly. They are pretty much the norm.

If you're thinking these numbers are disasterous for Peter they probably aren't. He didn't make the run-off by relying on the youth vote and I'll doubt that they did this time either.

This underscores the fact that young people still don't matter in elections. But if someone were able to find a way to just increase the youth vote by 10% (reliably), you'd change a lot of voting trends in town. With El Paso being such a young demographic this is at least part of the key to unlocking improved voter turnout in El Paso.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dr. Noe Fundraiser Correction

Just a quick correction to what I posted earlier this week. The flier imposter of Dr Noe's fundraiser was incorrect. 

His fundraiser is TODAY not Thursday. Please make a note of it if you are planning on attending. 

Missing Child!

I've never done this before but I know the little girl well. She's 15. She works at Hideaway Lakes on weekends and holidays.

She's a sweet kid and is great to my daughter when we go fishing. She goes to Riverside High School so she may be with someone in the lower valley area or she may be in the area of Chapin High School. If you even THINK you might have seen her please call the number. 

Her mother is a dear friend and her siblings are worried sick. Spread the word!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Pro Tem Follow-up

I'll make this one quick.

The vote for mayor pro tem was postponed for three weeks so that the new city rep from the westsiders would be able to vote on the matter.

Representative Ordaz and others questioned why the issue needed to be voted upon today.

After initially wanting to vote on the issue today Rep Niland and others ultimately went along with the delay on the vote.

The Day David K Became Martin Paredes...

Say it ain't so David K! 

Unfortunately it is so. David K has wandered off into conspiracy land in a recent post on his blog. And trust me, he went full-on Martin Paredes in this one. All that was missing was some shitty photoshop work of an infographic depicting David K next to a big steaming pile of bullshit and several uses of the phrase "connect the dots".

First I take issue with the demotion. DK now says I'm a "top aide" to Peter. 

What happened to mastermind? I thought DK said I was the mastermind behind all of this. I really resent being demoted to "aide". 

Let me give you two realities. Reality #1 David K had his head so far up Weisenberger's ass he can taste what he had for lunch. And that's because he wants to protect his family business which is pointless because it's not threatened. I've never heard a single bad thing about his parents firm. His public tantrums are a bigger threat to the family business than Peter winning. The contract process is set up to protect us from any funny business and that means protecting businesses from a pissed of city rep too.

Reality #2 - if I was running Peter's campaign his mail wouldn't suck so bad, it would be a hell of a lot more negative, and it wouldn't take weeks to get out. Seriously it's pretty bad. Never say in 10 words what you can say in 5 words. Or in Peter's case 27,458.

Although DK is right about one thing. Peter and I did speak more than once yesterday. He wasn't happy about me implying that the district 1 race was between two white guys. He was pretty hot at me about that.

DK has really said some irresponsible conspiracy theory stuff this race. Anyone remember that he alleged at one point that Peter's staff was getting paid directly from donors? He never proved it of course, and he never reported it either. He just threw it out there. 

He hasn't let this whole SP nontroversy go either so I give him credit for tenacity. And he's also finally admitted its not illegal when before he made it sound like someone shot a Kennedy.

But he's still harping on it. And now his latest claim is that a single all-powerful diety decreed to Peter that he shall run his campaign w an SP committee and that he even knows the name of the person.

So here's the obvious question...why won't he say who it is? What does David K care about protecting the man behind the curtain? I'll tell you why.

Because DK is either tied to that person, or the more likely, there is no person. Naming a name would mean David would have to back up his claims. 

David K also made a statement that shows me he forgot an important lesson about us bloggers. 

We don't matter. He himself has said it a million times.  

But now he's stomping his feet and holding his breath over the fact that the SP committee hasn't changed to the way DK wants it. He said changing it would be "telling me...you have nothing to hide."

So DK wants a candidate to do what he tells him to do. Think that through DK...we don't matter.

Although I will say this, I was amused at DK saying Peter will be a Forma man.

Apparently DK forgot that Forma Group had a contract and took money from Peter and then returned the money, backed out of the contract, and went to work for Al in the same election. 

Does David K seriously think Peter is gonna forget that? Would any elected official?

C'mon David K, what happened to you man?