Thursday, April 30, 2015

AFSCME Endorsements

AFSCME released their municipal endorsements. Two of them are for people that AFSCME spokesman Hector Montes has been publicly critical of.

Awkward.



Montes hasn't been that emasculated since the last time he was on a date, which I imagine was circa 1987.

The member of council Montes talks the most crap about is Rep Niland. When she wins, it's going to be really awkward for the Union considering the position Montes' mouth has put them in.

In previous elections in which Montes was with the Union, the endorsements were much more advertised. I really haven't heard much about this one. Gee, I wonder why?

But knowing how duplicitous Montes is, I'm willing to bet he will probably send an email claiming to have supported their nomination even though he's spent so much time trashing them.

Eat it Hector. Eat it all. Swallow all that crow. Does it taste good? Maybe you should try washing it down with some "Why any candidate would think its a good idea to associate with or advertise on the blog of a criminal lowlife liar is a mystery." Or try some "decent people don't speak to pigs like this."

Does that make it easier to take it all Hector? Good boy, I knew you could take it.

The Swimmer Video

Josh Dagda's campaign released a campaign video recently and it drew a response video from people calling themselves the El Paso Swim Community.



I'll get to that video in a minute, but let me cover Dagda's video real quick.

I thought the message of the video was effective. Way too little, way too late, but I thought it was an effective message. Sure, the part with him on camera is so cheesy it makes lawyer commercials look good, and yes, Dagda should get a suit that fits him properly. And yes, I would've had someone else narrate the video because the way he speaks is distracting. (I'm using the "San Jacinto Plaza" as a ringtone on my phone). And more than one person has said that after they saw the commercial they thought Dagda looks like Ellen and talks like Borat.

But the video is effective because of the message. DK has a piece on his blog where he goes through the substance of the accuracy of his message, but its still effective.

And now there is a response video from the El Paso Swim Community.

Let talk about that video for a second. First of all, I think they probably need to file a campaign finance report now. They are calling themselves a group and they made an overtly political ad. So I see no reason why they shouldn't file.

Second - and this is serious to me - stop calling yourself a community. You aren't a community. You're a collection of hobbyists. Enthusiasts. Athletes. The soccer moms of rich westside pools. But you are NOT A COMMUNITY. Latinos, Jews, African-Americans, gays, the Irish, etc...those are communities. Swimmers are not a community.

Its the same bullshit Norma Chavez tried to sell the public a few years ago about bikers. Bikers are not a community and neither are swimmers. Period.

So stop calling yourselves a community.

Third - you should apologize to the world for that crappy video. Lens flares and something created on windows media alone demand an apology. You all used my content without my permission, which I don't necessarily mind, but you guys manipulated my content and made it look like you had my permission.

I don't think Dagda is a serious candidate, nor do I think anyone should take him seriously considering he knows basically nothing about issues and is just spitting out lines from Stephanie Townsend-Allala and Hector Montes.

And, I don't think he could operate a hot dog stand without asking them for directions on how to apply mustard to a hot dog.

But that doesn't make it okay for you guys to alter my content.

Yes he was the head of that weed group. So what? Where do I start with the irony of swimmers complaining about weed? I'm sure you've heard of Michael Phelps. He likes to hit the sticky-icky on the regular if you haven't heard.

Hate to break it to you but there are a lot of people that are okay with weed and a growing number are advocating for changes in legislation.

Fellow westsider, State Rep Joe Moody has a bill in the Texas House on the topic. Hell Al Weisenberger upped his cool factor exponentially at the Westside Democrats meeting recently when he talked about going to kindergarten with Bill Clinton and quipped a joke about inhaling.

Also a westsider.

The part of the video where Dagda paused has nothing to do with short-term memory loss and it was a cheap shot. It was his first time on camera as a candidate. He was nervous and honestly he was scared out of his mind to do the interview. He had some strange hairy guy around him that was convincing him not to do the interview.

Sure, he was rough around the edges. And again, he knows absolutely nothing about policy that isn't spoon-fed to him, but the kid was nervous. Put your 20 something kid (who has likely smoked weed a time or two) in front of ol' LionStar and have them answer some policy questions. It ain't that easy lady.

Plus, Dagda has come a LONG way since that interview. Hell the very next time I interviewed him he was light years better.

The part of my video where you guys replay over and over a portion of the video where he says "come again" is altered. It happened once. And it was during a candidate forum so people where passing behind me and it was distracting.

Your video is dishonest.

And finally, I think your pool project was over-funded. The fact that it has more money invested in it than the Hispanic Cultural Center is an embarrassment and miscarriage of justice. A real community was under-funded in favor of a project for rich westsiders.

The video didn't need the ridiculous alterations you made to my content. The thing about involving yourselves politically is that you are now opening up yourselves to criticism and scrutiny.

Stay in your lane (see what I did there?) and stick to water recreation.

Politics is the deep end of the pool.

EPCC President in Campaign Mailer

During the Eastside Democrats Forum the other night I took the opportunity to ask incumbent Trustee Belen Robles about EPCC President William Serrata appearing in campaign literature in support of a candidate for city council in District 1, Bertha Gallardo.

He's the main administrator for the college so it would be like a school district superintendent or a city manager endorsing a candidate. 

Robles said she was aware that it had happened and raised the issue. She indicated that President Serrata was unaware how his quote was going to be used. She further indicate that endorsements or appearing in campaign literature would not happen in the future. 

Here's part of the campaign literature in question:



I don't know if I think Serrata is completely off the hook though. Just because he pulled a Pontius Pilot and washed his hands of the whole thing by saying he didn't know Gallardo was going to use it along with his photo in a campaign piece, doesn't let him off the hook. He knew she was running for office. He knew she was asking for a quote to be used in her campaign. Maybe he didn't know it would be used to the extent that it was, but there's no way he didn't know it was going to be for campaign literature.

Sidebar - Those style of mailers are the least effective pieces of mail. No one gives a crap what other people say about a candidate unless its one of their relatives.

Need proof?

Former Congressman Silvestre Reyes had a sitting Democratic President, the most popular former Democratic President this side of JFK, and Little Joe all campaign on his behalf.

And he still lost.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hector Montes - the AFSCME Liability

Hector Montes, the AFSCME Communications Director, is a huge liability to the union and today is a text book example of why.

Montes is very often critical of elected leaders in El Paso. That's fine as an individual but when you're the spokes person for a union you have to recognize the basic premise that often people don't know how to distinguish his views from those of the Union. 

And I assure you, he's personally critical of the leaders. He has called elected leaders at both the city and county (the C and M of AFSCME) "incompetent" "chismosa" and far worse. How does one distinguish between Hector's comments and those of the Union? 

Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about. This is just a tame example of his criticisms of electeds, in this case Rep Acosta. Is this Hector Montes talking, or Hector Montes on behalf of AFSCME talking? As you can see in the second post, less than 24 hours prior, it's hard to distinguish the difference.  



The Union has to work with these leaders and frequently need their support in issues. Do you think they are going to be inclined to be supportive when the person who's job it is to speak on behalf of the Union is so openly, and often rabidly critical of members of city council and commissioners court?

Montes is a huge liability to my Union brothers. Members have left over his association with the Union. What can you guys possibly say? Don't listen to the guy that speaks for us?

Sometimes the City is Stupid

If you're poll sitting then you know that code compliance came by to talk about signs.

Apparently the rule is that you can't have anything that sticks in the ground like wooden stakes and "H" frames.

That's funny when you consider this:


The City has to get their stuff together. The election department's own signs violate the sign ordinance. There's no common sense in this one. Get it together people.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fun at the Early Voting Locations -Day 1

This blog involves Eddie Holguin's daddy, so stuck around.

There are few things in El Paso politics more fun than watching crazy happen at the polling places during early voting. All those people emotionally invested in campaigns, the heat or wind beating down on you, and spending all day out there with the opposition can get you more tense than Hector Montes around a comb.

So it's no surprise that there's always drama at the polls. 

The Valley is the undisputed title holder of early voting crazy. Carolina, Pavo Real, and Fabens (when it's an EV location) are the epicenter of crazy during elections. 

Which is why I freakin' love it. It's a bloggers paradise. 

But...the westside is making a play to topple the king. I include downtown in the westside. Anything west of Basset center is a wasteland of ugly neighborhoods and douchey restaurants. Apparently there was an altercation involving the spouse of one candidate wielding a hammer and the campaign manager from another campaign. 

I'm not gonna mention names because it's not that big of a deal. Well I guess relatively speaking. The westside is usually pretty civil at polling locations so that was a pretty big deal for them. I've seen the cops called at to Carolina multiple times in one day over campaign shenanigans.

But the westside incident was over sign placement. Chill out people, if your campaign relies on where you put your signs during early voting your fucked anyway. 

Downtown there we my friend Pee Wee. Some of you might not be used to her. But that's because you people have delicate sensibilities. She's a short ball of energy, cuss-words and a laugh you can hear a mile away. I've spent countless hours at polling places with her. A lot of people don't like her. Which is I guess why I do. She's harmless. Grow a pair, she's really fun if you know her. (Pee Wee, come hang out at Carolina if you get a chance)

But there's also some weird chick flowing poll watchers around. I think I wanna go get video of that.

However, the Valley is now, and shall ever be, the King of campaign drama. No, I'm not talking about Jaime O sneaking around trying not to be noticed when he went to vote. 

Yeah, I saw you too tocayo.

And it wasn't even a couple of heated conversations. 

It was Eddie Holguin Sr. He went to the polling place to take his parents to vote. His parents are great people by the way. Super nice and I always enjoy talking to them although it's been awhile. If you haven't met them, they are wonderful people.

Anywho, Eddie Sr was pulling away in his car and noticed me and said "¿Que puto?" 

As he was driving away. Way to keep it classy Senior.

He talked shit to me once before during the county judge race too. He knew we were helping the judge and Eddie jr was running too if you recall. Obviously he knew since I worked for Vince I couldn't say or do anything.

I don't work for Vince anymore Senior. I'm happy to have a more meaningful conversation about the finer points of politics. I'm not hard to find during election season in the valley...

Martin Paredes' New Nickname

I've decided I'm no longer turning the cheek when people talk about me. You wanna talk about me, expect to be held to account.

So Hector Montes...I've got plenty of candy for you. Oh wait, I've seen your dental hygiene, maybe you shouldn't eat candy and pick up a tooth brush every once in a while there Chompers.

Anywho, my sides are still hurting from laughing at Paredes for having a Niland Google ad on his blog. 

Don't know why I didn't think of this sooner, but her shall this day forth no longer be known as Martin Paredes. He shall now have to drink his own medicine he dishes out to others. He shall hence forth be called, Fallas Paredes.


Are You Joking? Part 2

There are a lot of slick mail pieces being done by school board candidates in this cycle. Rather, there are a lot of slick mail pieces done by a firm that represents a lot of school board candidates in this cycle.

More on that later.

But lets talk about a specific mailer that I saw yesterday.

I almost fell out of my chair when I read it because the candidate, Deby Lewis, talks about "transparency with regard to all financial matters". Apparently Lewis means all financial matters as long as they don't involve members of the Board of Trustees.

Don't believe me? See for yourself. Here's the mailer in question.



Lewis voted to spend $50,000 on lawyers to fight Rep Marquez's transparency bill. That bill would require board members and candidates to follow the same rules every other candidate in the county has to follow. They have to disclose who their financial backers are. Lewis raised a big chunk of change for this school board race and we'd never know it if it weren't for Rep. Marquez.

 Its statements like that that make people cynical about elected leadership. And its another example of failed leadership that says do as I say, not as I do.

This is why people need to pay attention to school board races. This is why they matter. School boards are the largest part of your tax bill.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Where David K Gets it Wrong

Assumptions are a terrible thing to make because they always bite people in the ass.

Just because someone advertises on my blog doesn't mean I am behind their campaign, although I sort of appreciate all the perceived power people give me. That and $5 will buy someone a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Before I get into what DK is wrong about, let me talk about what he is right about. He is right about the fact that for the most part the opposition candidates are terrible. They don't know issues, repeat lines given to them by JOP or STA or the Mayor of Munchkin Land Hector Montes.

David K is also right that if they had better candidates then things would be very different. All the incumbents are going to be re-elected. The question is by how much.

Now to what he got wrong.

I'm not one of Svarzbein's "top advisers". That's a very douchey Hector H. Lopez thing to have, a bunch of "advisers". If I was, I would've told him to whack his opponents a long time ago. All three of the other top-tier candidates are open to a negative message. I would've had him leverage a message and define his opponents a LONG time ago.

Also, I wouldn't send out shitty mail. Short and to the point. I wouldn't try to cram War & Peace onto a mailer.

But David K is under the mistaken belief, along with someone else, that the Westside is somehow special and unique and therefore requires a different way to campaign it. Bull shiiiiiit! That is actually why Svarzbein is doing so well. DK seems to think he's only hitting Democrats in Kern. If that were the case Team Pedro could've block-walked both of those households by now.

David K has had it in for Svarzbein from day one and for whatever reason DK is irked by him. I don't think its because Weisenberger is his lawyer or because his mom is Bonart's treasurer. Maybe its because Svarzbein is so different from him and is still doing well with the electorate on the Westside.

Now comes Bizarro World.

The part were I actually defend Forma. Look, I'm not gonna tell you that they are great. I think they made a major business mistake taking a contract with one candidate, backing out of it, and then going to work for the opposition in the same election.

But to say that they aren't doing good work isn't true. Maybe he thinks that because its hard to blog about a campaign with authority when you don't see the day-to-day stuff you see on the ground in a race when you're so far away. But Forma's role in campaigns has changed drastically. They used to be a one-stop shop. Now their work is primarily project-based.

And frankly, some of their work has been pretty freakin' good this cycle. The negative mail piece they did against Cabrera was probably one of the most effective pieces I've seen in El Paso. 



The mail they did on Dagda, also really effective. And they have been doing mail for school board candidates. They aren't what they used to be, but some of their work has been pretty good this cycle.

And...they are only as effective as they are allowed to be. They do negative mail really well. But if your candidate doesn't want to go negative, well there's only so much you can do with "Vote for me".

Martin Paredes Endorses Niland?

Martin Paredes showed why I don't do Google Ads on my blog. You have limited control over what ads show up.

He gives lip service to being "objective" but he's been pretty anti-Niland for a long time. 

Which is why I found this screen shot a buddy sent to me so hilarious.


Pretty damn funny. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

YISD Times Endorsement - Are You Joking?

I rarely comment on the endorsements of the El Paso Times Editorial Board because they usually get it right. 

This isn't one of those times. I think the paper made a terrible endorsement in the case of the YISD Trustee candidate in the Bel Air area. 

I cannot understand the rational for the El Paso Times to endorse Mary First Perales. By every measure she is the wrong candidate. 

Perales only has a GED. Look I'm a vato that never went to college so I know that having an education doesn't make you a better candidate all by itself. But if you're going for a position having to do with public education, you'd think at least graduating from high school is important.

Not to mention the fact that there are major financial issues facing YISD. You'd think the Times would understand that having a solid grasp of the complexities of a multi-million dollar budget is important. 

You'd think that would be more important than having lived in Ranchland a long time.

And don't get me wrong, people on the YISD board like Marty Reyes and Ana DueƱes would make almost anyone want to throw the baby out with the bath water. But that's actually all the more reason to make a quality decision on the make-up of the YISD board. 

Incumbent Connie Woodruff, along with Shane Haggerty, are voices of reason in the crazy train that is the YISD board of trustees.

There needs to be a much better reason to replace a degreed professional who has made good decisions for the district than the fact that Perales can tell good jokes. 

Yep, the Times made note of her sense of humor in their endorsement. 

"In District 2, which is the Bel Air High area, we recommend Mary First Perales. She is a longtime resident of the Ranchland neighborhood and a school volunteer.

She has a passion for her community, as well as a sense of humor that is needed on the school board.

Incumbent Connie Woodruff has given dedicated service to the board, despite coming up on the minority end of 4-3 votes that have come to characterize the board. We believe a change is needed in the board dynamic."

There are already too many clowns on that board doing stuff like spending more than $50,000 to fight Rep Marquez's transparency bill. Why are we trying to cram another occupant into the clown car?

How in the hell do you endorse a candidate with a bunch of no's?

No budget experience
No policy experience
No education

But she's got jokes. Wonderful. 

Looks more like the joke is on Bel Air. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Findings on Rosa Cabrera's Dame La Mano

So Paredes said there were no findings by the feds or the state on Dame La Mano.

I was able to acquire a copy of a letter sent to Rosa Cabrera (Arellano) from the state about findings. There were some pretty serious ones as you can see in this document.

Keep in mind, they were no longer allowed to feed women and children in the food program. Keep that in perspective.

But some of the findings include the way tax payer funds were mishandled by the organization including expenses for using the funds for paying Cabrera's (Arellano's) salary, utility bills, remodeling to the building and payments on vehicles.

That was more than $63,000. They are characterized in the document as "Serious Deficiencies". Don't take my word for it (and certainly not Paredes'), read the document for yourself.

Dayum Forma, That's Gacho!

A couple weeks ago I wrote how Forma had a contract with District 1 candidate Peter Svarzbein and then all of a sudden they were working with his opponent, Al Weisenberger.

In probably the most gacho move I've seen in local politics in recent memory, Forma apparently did a piece of mail for Al Weisenberger that landed yesterday.

I have to begrudgingly admit, its a pretty good piece. While everyone else is engaged in a contest over who can cram the most text on to a piece of mail as is humanly possible, Forma did an effective design with a message that works and has a clean layout.

It very clearly takes a shot at Svarzbein who Forma is rightfully looking at as Weisenberger's chief rival.

They went from being Team Pedro to being All About Al in the same campaign. Then they send out mail that is pretty clearly aimed at their former client, now rival, Peter Svarzbein.



That's gacho.

And ultimately bad for business. Candidates might think twice about hiring a firm that represented two different campaigns in the same race and went after their former client.

Paredes is an Idiot or on the Take

Martin Paredes wrote another "candidate profile" and this time it was about Rosa Cabrera (Arellano). After being sent the piece and reading it there are only two conclusions one can draw. He's either extremely stupid, or he's deliberately spreading misinformation. 

Either are plausible so it's tough to tell which.

After discussion some of Cabrera's (Arellano's) problems with Dame La Mano, the Flying Monkey triumphantly proclaims:

"No wrongdoing by either Dame La Mano or Rosa Cabrera has been found by the federal and state investigators."

That is completely inaccurate. For a guy that spends so much time writing about what I write, it amazes me that he overlooks the fact that the state kicked them off of the food program. So I'm "connecting the dots" and conclude he's deliberately spreading misinformation because he must be part of her campaign.

The truth is that there were findings by the state. The state took away funding for the food program because of their mismanagement. They were even put on a national list of disqualified participants for 7 years. 

Paredes' statement is a flat-out lie.





Tornillo ISD Superintendent Keeps Schools Open

While I have been critical of the Tornillo ISD Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Meza-Chavez previously, I have to acknowledge her work during the Tornillo water outage.

She made the right call be keeping the schools open. She hustled logistics to get food and water at the schools for the kids. Props to the neighboring districts that helped out too.

Most of you don't realize it's a pretty big crisis down in Tornillo right now and it's all hands on deck. 

Well almost all hands. State Rep Mary Gonzalez has been noticeably absent and community members have commented on it.

Commissioner Perez's office and others have coordinated efforts including the Office of Emergency Management, the El Paso Water Utility, the Secretary of State's Office and the Red Cross.

Local businesses have stepped up to donate water and other essentials.

This valley typically bands together when something bad happens so it's not a surprise.

It's also not a surprise that Gonzalez is AWOL. No one ever calls her out on things but this isn't the first time she wasn't around during a crisis. When we had the floods a couple years ago Commissioner Perez along with his staff was filling sand bags and delivering them to constituents who's homes were flooding.

Where was Representative Gonzalez? Partying it up and a 16 de Septiembre party with the Mexican Consulate. 

I have a picture of the Commissioner with his jeans and boots soaked in water on the back of a road and bridge truck unloading sand bags next to a pic the Representative posted at the exact time he was delivering sand bags. She's in a party dress at the Consulado.

Former City Rep & Democrat Endorses Libertarian

Former city rep Eddie Holguin's name and endorsement appears on campaign literature for a Libertarian left at homes this week.



Holguin, once a prominent Democrat, has always been a close political of Jaime O. Perez who has been trying to lead a faction of Libertarians for years.

The endorsement is interesting for a couple of reasons aside from the fact that he's a former city rep. It's the first time he's ever actually endorsed publicly a candidate over a Democrat. While the races are non-partisan, the endorsement isn't going to be well-received within the Party.

Endorsing a Libertarian might as well be endorsing a Republican.

In some ways it's even worse in the case of Mr. Pickett because he posted social media content with an anti-immigrant sentiment. 

Holguin's spouse Iliana is also a prominent member of the Party, currently serving as the Secretary of the Executive Committee. She's also a prominent immigration lawyer.

It's interesting to note that candidates Homguin has lent his name to have never actually won an election.

Not one.

Not ever.

Quick sidebar - if you're ever in doubt about who is behind the opposition slate of candidates, just look for the Hillary Clinton 2008 presidential campaign logo rip-off. Or look for a McCain logo rip-off. It's Jaime O Perez's go-to move. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Cortney Niland Records Request

About a month or so ago I submitted an open records request with the city. I was following up a tip I received about a possible connection between the business owned by City Rep Cortney Niland's husband and lighting contracts with the City of El Paso.

It has been a whisper campaign going around for a while. So I decided to look into the facts to find out if there was anything to it.

The whispers have been getting louder since her opponent Josh Dagda sent out a mail piece that said, "No more cronyism, no more nepotism, no more corruption, and no more secrets".

There are no specific allegations alleged in the piece of mail that was sent to voters. Probably because if Dagda knew of a specific instance of corruption he'd have to report it to law enforcement and because nepotism is a word thrown around a lot but few people understand that its a specific legal term.

Here's what my request asked for: I am requesting information about the winner of the contract awards for lighting and decorative lighting contracts for the downtown pedestrian pathway, Southwest University Ball Park, Country Club Road, and the Arts Festival Plaza.

The City Attorney's Office sent me a response with 8 documents that were dozens of pages. After reviewing all the documents, which I have if anyone wants them, I found zero instances of Niland's husband's company, subcontractors, or agents, receiving a city contract for work.

Zero.

Zip.

Zilch.

Again, anyone who wants them just email me at thelionstarblog@gmail.com and I'll be happy to send them to you. Or you can call me at (915) 694-5714, whatever floats your boat.

Now the facts don't matter to most conspiracy theorists, and they've certainly never let them get in the way, but there's the big reveal.

Nothing.

The Opposition Platform

Never let it be said that your ol' pal LionStar doesn't take critiques. I most certainly do and I as given a very fair critique by one of my frequent readers and commentors, "Manny".

Manny made the very fair point that I have only focused on Pickett's extremists positions and not his platform. Manny is right. There is more to Pickett than race-baiting social media posts, preparing for revolution, and joining militias.

There is also his platform. His platform is very similar to the rest of that slate of candidates (Rosa Cabrera, Manny Hinojosa, and Josh Dagda). You know the Jaime O. Perez / Hector Montes / Stephanie Townsend Allala candidates.

First let me explain why I call them that.

Their platforms are all basically that Republican-themed playbook of Jaime O. Perez. He digs it up every election and feeds it to his candidates. Now some of them have sprinkled in a little "transparency" from Stephanie Townsend-Allala and Hector Montes.

They all have one other thing in common...they are all going to lose.

But lets get back to their platform.

The main three themes of their campaigns are reducing spending, lowering taxes, and transparency.

First, lets talk about what reducing spending and lowering taxes means. It means you have to either cut services and/or cut staff.

Reducing spending means that employees will lose their jobs, get less benefits, and likely get less pay. Oh they will have to do the same job of course. And if there are job cuts, they will have to do the same job plus that of the gal that lose her job. But for the same pay or possibly less.

Why a union guy like Hector Montes, who becomes a bigger liability to AFSCME the more involved in races he becomes, would advocate for a position like that is beyond me.

It makes zero sense and is in direct conflict to the goals of AFSCME.

Now lets talk about how this affects you the citizen. What the "cut spending / lower your taxes "cabal" isn't telling you is that they will cut your services. If you are okay with that, then by all means vote for them.

But none of them actually say where they will cut. Police and fire? Are we too safe? Are we getting too many services?

None of the opposition candidates actually talk about what they would cut. There are no specific answers from them. They make promises for what they are gonna do, but they never get into the details. There can be only two reasons for this.

Either they don't know, or they don't want you to know.

Thats not very transparent if you ask me.

Quick Question

Where are all the "Hispanic" activists like Abel Rodriguez, Hector Montes, Martin Paredes, and all the other people that shat a brick about me being on the Hispanic Cultural Committee on this one?


Where is the outrage? This is something posted by a white guy running in the valley.

What's that I hear? The deafening sound of crickets. Yet you're the first lobsters in line.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Bits & Pieces - A Bunch of Little Stuff

Here's some quick hits on several things that aren't enough to be their own posts.

It's 4/20 - Where da weed at?

Today is a stoner holiday and for whatever reason the local media has pretty much ignored State Rep Joe Moody's weed bill. Not sure why but it's an important bill and actually has some bipartisan support. Sure it's a long-shot to pass but nearly other major paper in Texas has mentioned it and the home town media haven't.

They should.

The Flying Monkey Sounds a Little Jealous...

Martin Paredes, the shut-ins that comment on his blog, and the mayor of munchkinland Hector Montes all have their tangas in a wad over advertising on my blog. Ah should I call the waaaaa-mbulance for you little babies? Martin you're a big hypocrite. You've been trying to pimp out space on your blog forever. Sounds like you're pissed that you don't have anyone who wants to buy that space... That's what happens when you're the JV team...



Open Records Request

So after hearing a little rumor a few weeks ago I started looking into something interesting. The rumor was about lighting contracts with the city. Wait till you see what I found out!

Top 10 Conspiracies

The more I monitor social media and listen to the "opposition" candidates speak the more I can understand how otherwise smart and rational people can be pulled down their rabbit-hole of crazy.

So I've heard all kinds of conspiracy theories about candidates and who they have to "answer to" and most of the time its just hilarious.

I was inspired to create a list of the top conspiracies involving big shots around town.

The Eagles Signing Tim Tebow - Tebow is white. Some Philadelphia Eagle fans are white. Paul Foster is white. Coincidence? I think not. Tebow was clearly signed by the Philadelphia Eagles because it fits into Paul Foster's agenda.

Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 - Clearly this was a plot launched by the MPO. They hate El Paso and made sure that movie was made and then released in El Paso just so they could show how much they want to ruin our lives. Because construction projects by themselves wasn't quite doing it.

Daylight Savings Time - who else would want to steal an hour of sleep away from tax payers than none other than Veronica Escobar? Come on, wake up! Don't be blind. Everyone knows she likes to sing the words "good morning" when she gets to the office in the morning. She very obviously went back in time and gave a former President talking points about it being good for farming just so she had air cover for see covert agenda to steal sleep from tax payers. She must be stopped.

Assassinations of Tupac & Biggie - No mames, you haven't heard this one yet? This has Woody Hunt written all over it. Everyone knows that he hated the East Coast - West Coast rap wars because he prefers rap from the dirty-dirty. Tax payers are tired of Woody Hunt telling us who we can and can't listen to.

And while you're at it, we tax payers are sick and tired of all your philanthropy and giving away of free stuff to the community. Who do you think you are making the tax payers shoulder the burden of your charity!


Dropping Mail

So all the candidates that can afford to drop mail already have. Those that can afford multiple pieces of mail have already sent them and are ready to send more.

Most of the mail I've seen, with the exception of just a couple candidates, suck. 

You know which race where the mail sucks the most? District 1. It's like a shitty mailer contest and the loser wins apparently. 

Here's what you need to understand. The westside voter isn't unique or different than voters anywhere else. I swear if I hear one more wanna-be say "that works on the westside" I'm gonna punch them.

Long-winded pieces with a ton of text don't work. They don't get read. Anyone who tells you they do are lying, stupid, or both.

Sending out ineffective mail is like pissing money away. You might was well get a crayon, write your name and draw a stick figure of yourself, and slap a stamp on it because it will be just as effective. Only the bar napkin mail saves you a ton on design and print costs.

Reason #486 of why I hate the westside.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Martin Paredes is So Wrong That it's Painful

Martin, I don't understand why people read the crap you write sometimes.

Actually I wonder why they ever read what you write.

Look, you clearly didn't understand what DK wrote. David wasn't talking about a candidate. He was talking about a local big shot, not a candidate.

That's why you look like a total jack off when you go off on these little trips through the crazy woods. Now you all the candidates you mentioned an apology.

The local big shot didn't want to donate to a campaign because of Forma's connection to Ali Enrique Razavi. 

As much as you losers try to demonize me, it's Ali that turns out to be the toxic one.

That reminds me Martin. You sound a little jealous about the whole ad thing. It must really bother you that I'm able to actually have ads while you still have the SW graphic telling people they can buy space. 

Act now, operators are standing by!


Maybe David K should write his blog in crayon from now on so that the Flying Monkey can keep up.

Martin should know better. If Forma had been let go for performance issues there would've been a different amount refunded. No smart businessman does any work for free. They would've kept at least some of it.

Then again, no smart businessman backs out of a contract to go work for the competition in the same race either.

Who knows what really happened there.

But allow me to channel my inner Martin. "I have documented and connected the dots for you in several posts how Martin Paredes is completely clueless."

As for why DK and Ali are in this weird alliance, I have no clue but I doubt it has anything to do with his mom. Think about how often your own political views differ from those of your family.

As for DKs assertion that I broke code, I can take and accept that critique. Except that someone who doesn't operate by the code. Im not bound to operate under the code they don't follow. 

Allow me to use hyperbole to illustrate my point but I'm reminded of a scene in the Untouchables when Sean Connery explains the Chicago Way.

Facebook Fun (Again)

Okay, again we are keeping it light today since the weekend is almost here.

I haven't done a poll in awhile and I'm just too lazy to do another one today. So lets call this a rhetorical poll.

I guess if this was a fashion blog I'd ask "Who wore it better?"

But its not, so in this case,"Who's Facebook page is more interesting?"

Is it Rosa Cabrera (Arellano) and the saturation of selfies on her page?

Or is it Mike Pickett's Extravaganza of Extremism? (Personally I can't decide between him calling the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the land a piece of shit and when he calls Hillary a witch and hopes a house lands on her. Hope he doesn't think that way about all female electeds.)

You decide!












































Actually now that I think about it, I wish they were in an episode of Epic Rap Battles of History.

Fun Friday

Things have been pretty intense around here lately so I thought I'd keep it light and fun today.

Well mostly.

We'll do a little Flashback Friday and play one of my most favorite songs to play on my radio show back in the day. We'll have a little more fun with Facebook. And we'll get things going with schoolin' the Flying Monkey Martin Paredes.


We all know monkey boy is prone to "connecting the dots". Seriously the guy never met a conspiracy theory he didn't like.

He's been doing "candidate profiles" lately and the couple that were sent to me were really bad. First of all he's late to the party...again.

But the one he recently wrote about Peter Svarzbein is the funniest one yet. He alleges there is some sort of "formula" at play because there are very specific donation amounts on his report like 19 contributions in the amount of $96.80.

oooooooooohhh...scandalous!

Clearly this is a sign of a behind-the-scenes conspiracy involving former Mayor Raymond Caballero, Melquiades Segura (thats a valley reference, Google it) Paul Foster, and the Chupacabra.

Okay its not.

Let me help my furry-winged henchman of a colleague out.

The reason they are very specific amounts that appear to be part of a "forumula" is because they were payments made through PayPal.

Sorry to burst your bubble there Marty, but I'm afraid your little conspiracy theory is nothing more than PayPal's cut of an online transaction.

After having suffered through a few of his posts I came to realize that there's a really good reason I rarely read his stuff. Its like sitting through Paul Blart Mall Cop. You know its gonna suck. You know it isn't going to be pleasant. But somehow you get talked into it.

You're immediately hoping it gets better. You're waiting around for it to get good.

Or funny.

Or somewhat entertaining.

Eventually you surrender and are willing to surrender to the idea of it just not sucking.

Ultimately you find a way to get through it and when you do, you suddenly learn what its like to be any woman who has ever had sex with Ali Enrique Razavi.

Unsatisfied, disappointed, a little angry, full of regret and shame, and a little embarrassed and ashamed of yourself for making such a bad choice.

I kid, I kid.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Jesse Gandara's Ouster Means Good Neighbors

It's amazing what ridding a community of the little Jessie Gandara will do for a community.

Ever since his prompt exit from the political scene in Socorro the city and their neighbors, San Elizario, are now good neighbors.

It wasn't that long ago that Little Jessie Gandara was trying to orchestrate the annexation of San Elizario.

After cleaning up Socorro city council, Socorro is now wishing San Eli High good luck in their bid to become state champions of soccer.

Good for them, and Go Eagles!


Forma Group and District #1

The El Paso political consulting and lobbying firm Forma Group appears to have represented three different candidates in the District 1 race for city council.

According to finance reports, Forma Group originally represented Dan Longoria. Longoria was the second candidate to get in the race after Peter Svarzbein.

After Dan Longoria dropped out of the race Forma Group then worked with Peter Svarzbein's campaign as you can see in this entry on their finance report. 


There is also refund entry in the Scarzbein report where Forma gives them their money back.

Not sure why they are dated for the same date but that might be just a reporting error.


I first spoke with candidate Al Weisenberger the day after he filed to be a candidate in the District 1 race. I asked him some preliminary questions and one of the questions I asked him was about getting in the race so late in the game and I told him there probably weren't any campaign teams left for him to pick up. Thats when Weisenberger told me his campaign manager was Rick Armendariz from Forma Group. 

Interestingly Forma Group nor Rick Armendariz's names appear on Weisenberger's report. Also interesting is the fact that Weisenberger dropped mail. 



Even though Weisenberger told me he had Forma Group early in March its possible that there are no expenses to report because he hasn't been invoiced for the work yet. Sometimes consultants don't invoice until after a campaign is over to avoid showing up on reports before the election is over and hold off billing their client until after its over. But expenses like design, printing, and mailing obviously have to be paid before the work is released so the 8 day report will likely shed more light.

Forma also did some work for several school board candidates as well. 

For context, Weisenberger was all the buzz in the days leading up to the filing deadline. As much as Rick and Forma might want people to believe they are shot-callers, they really aren't. They don't pull the strings, they get their strings pulled. 

Thats the pecking order. It is what it is. 

I don't know exactly what happened but in my opinion one of three things could have happened:

1. Both Svarzbein and Forma decided to part ways amicably, after signing a contract, in the middle of a big race. Its not likely, but hey that is perfectly plausible. All the money was returned according to the documentation above, so that could support a clean divorce.

2. Svarzbein could've fired Forma. Maybe Svarzbein decided he wasn't happy and wanted to go in a different direction. I suppose that is possible, but I don't see any firm not taking some compensation for any work that was done, so in my mind, this isn't a likely scenario. Plus they were together for only a short time so there's no reason to believe Svarzbein had any cause to fire his consultants.

3. Forma backed out of the contract. That would be incredibly bad business move for Forma and Rick because they started working for the competition shortly there after. No firm wants people to think they will back out of a contract with a candidate and then on a whim back out of the contract and go work for the candidates opponent. That would be absolutely terrible for business. In my mind that just doesn't seem plausible because its so bad for business right? Although others might argue that the fact that there was a refund of fees might suggest that Forma did back out to work for the competition.

At any rate, Forma Group is on their client in the District 1 race. First Longoria, then Svarzbein, and now Weisenberger. 

Svarzbein appears to be fine without them and Weisenberger doesn't appear to have really moved against Svarzbein so there doesn't appear to be any bad blood. So I'm leaning toward the first scenario, an amicable split. 

It just looks really bad that Forma is now on their third client in that race. The first one they get a pass for because he backed out. But working for one candidate one month and working for the competition the next month is just a really bad visual. 


Mike Pickett & His (Extremist) Political Views

I've been sitting on these screen shots for a while because frankly District 6 challenger Mike Pickett's political views concern me quite a bit.

First let me say I believe in the 2nd Amendment and that we as private citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. I enjoy shooting very much. Haven't been in a while, but its always fun. That doesn't mean I'm a gun nut about it though.

But what worries me is the militia movement. There is a small, but very extremist movement in this country that wants to engage in actual violence against the government. Like I said, I have no problem protecting myself, but I'm surprised a post like this one from a city council candidate even exists.

In fairness to Mr. Pickett, this post was from before he filed as a candidate. Nonetheless it comes across as a little creepy.

Call to arms?

What call to arms? I'd like him to clarify what he means by a call to arms. Does he mean the government or just the president.

Either way, talk about an extremist position.

Not to mention the fact that Mr. Pickett is actually running for a position in city government. So does that mean he wants a call to arms with city government too?

I don't know where is going with it but its really hard for anyone to take a candidate seriously that espouses beliefs like the "call to arms".

Sadly there are even more disturbing posts. As I've said before, I live in the valley and am a constituent in District 6. I saw this piece of political literature from Mr. Pickett the other day. I didn't get one yet, but a friend of mine did.



Its obviously campaign material from Mr. Pickett. What I found noteworthy was the fact that he was campaigning in the valley portion of the district and that the material was actually bilingual. Given the fact that he referred to El Paso as a suburb of Juarez I thought that it was interesting that he was using bilingual literature.

But here is something more interesting (disturbing to me). This is another post and as a Chicano, a liberal, and a resident of the district I found it insulting, distasteful, and embarrassing.


One's political views can change over time. But this post was from earlier this year. Mr. Pickett shared this image that equates illegals, terrorists, and liberals. That might be some of the most inflammatory stuff I've seen in recent memory. The undocumented aren't terrorists. Neither are liberals. 

Given the other post and the language of this one, I certainly hope that the "call to arms" isn't about the undocumented and liberals. 

I certainly hope he is held accountable by the voters for these beliefs. Perhaps he should be "transparent" with the voters about his beliefs. 

I should also point out the obvious here. Mr. Pickett is also apparently tone-deaf to the people who live in District 6. He hasn't lived in El Paso long so he might not know this but you'd think by know his supporters like former City Rep Eddie Holguin and Jaime O. Perez would have made him hip to the fact that below the freeway are the most Democratic precincts in El Paso. 

Apparently not. 

These extremists and apparently anti-immigrant views aren't going to go over very well in the valley...

Sadly...there's more to come.



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

El Paso GOP Chair Retires

El Pas County Republican Party Chairman Tom Holmsley has notified the Party that he will be retiring as Chairman effective May 1st, 2015.

Holmsley and his wife Mary (she is a member of the state committee) gave no indication as the reason for retirement. Holmsley has been the head of the local GOP for about 5 years.

The Vice-Chair of the Party will assume the duties until a new election takes place, which I believe will be next March. The Vice-Chair is Becky Hermosillo who also chairs the West El Paso Republican Women.

Bob Pena will continue to serve as the Elections Administrator for the GOP.

During Holmsley's tenure the GOP saw some pretty impressive turnout in their base during the gubernatorial year elections.

************************

Editorial -

Look, everyone reading this knows I'm a member of the Democratic Party and am pretty liberal in my political views. While the Chairman and I don't see eye-to-eye on matters of public policy, he is a perfect gentleman, open, and an effective administrator. I'd say he's been a worthy adversary but I can't honestly say I've ever felt like he as adversarial.

He and his lovely wife are very warm, polite, and welcoming people. Whenever I needed comment or an interview he was always very gracious knowing full well I typically have an opposing view point.

I'm truly sorry to see him go, but most of the other folks in place are cut from the same cloth.

Happy trails Mr. Chairman.

Something to Watch at YISD

I'm working on some school board stuff and last week I noticed there was a letter presented to the YISD Board of Trustees by the Eastwood-area Trustee Deby Lewis that was later reported in the El Paso Times.

Lewis presented a letter explaining why she's been absent and further explained that she would be out past the May 9th election due to some serious health issues.

From what I hear, they are very serious health issues that have required her to go to Houston for treatment. I respect Ms. Lewis' privacy on her health matters but many of you know how serious that is.

The question that came to mind is why didn't she resign so that she could devote her full efforts toward recovery? The school board position doesn't pay, so resignation wouldn't mean the loss of income.

But some within YISD are rightfully questioning why she hasn't resigned. Lewis is part of the current majority on the YISD school board and if she were to win re-election they would be able to appoint a member of their own choosing to replace Lewis.

I took a quick look at her finance reports and I noticed that she raised more than $4,000 which sounds like a lot of money for a school board race. This is the reason State Rep Marisa Marquez pushed for transparency in their reporting so props to her because this is an example of why its important to have a law that brings the school board members in line with all the other elected officials.

Turns out she received a $1000 donation from Woody Hunt, a $500 donation from the law firm that represents the school board, $1000 from a car dealer and $500 from the head of an advertising firm.

But she's not campaigning other than having quite a few campaign signs put up.

She's facing Mike Rosales who is a prominent figure in insurance. And if you're an eastsider, you can't go more than a few blocks without seeing one of his bus bench ads for his business.

This may ultimately be a moot point because Rosales is a formidable candidate and is endorsed by the Ysleta Teachers Association so he's got some organized help behind him.

But the whole situation draws questions. Something doesn't make any sense...

Ali Enrique Razavi & STA

When Ali Enrique Razavi was outed he tried to act like it was all calculated and was of his own volition.

It wasn't but how else did you expect him to act?

Remember that stuff I said about accountability?

I saw a post that got me to thinking that Ali might want to start looking for a lawyer because one of the people that he's spent a lot of time trashing is Stephanie Townsend Allala.

And she's not happy about it as you can see in this Facebook post.



Now I don't know what she is talking about in terms of pornographic. Seriously who wants to see an overweight hairy sweaty Persian with bad 90's hair naked?

Here's the thing. Say what you want about STA, but one thing is for certain...she's tenacious. She hasn't been fighting the city for years over emails because she backs down from a fight. Its probably cost her a great deal of personal expense to go through the long ordeal.

And that is over emails. You think she wouldn't happily go after Ali Bin Douche Bag?

But lets play this movie out to the end shall we? Say Ali says "phuck" it, come and get me. I have nothing you can take. Okay sure, that is definitely one way to look at it. Except that STA is a crusader for her beliefs, not because she wants money. Hell if the city gave up what she wanted, I'm pretty sure she'd be happy and move along. She wants results.

So say Ali Razavi doesn't have any money she can take. I don't think that matters to her one bit. I think its about her exposing any ties to Forma or other groups that she can. You know, the way Ali likes to post emails and such.

Then there's the whole calculation of the hassle. She's smart. She could go and file a lawsuit in court here in El Paso and then Ali Enrique Razavi then has to pay for a plane ticket to a town he hates to go make a few court appearances, hire an attorney and sit through a deposition while STA has her way with him. Actually I can't wait to request the video of that deposition once it becomes a matter of public record.

Its a minimal expense for STA to file a lawsuit here in El Paso. She lives here. She wouldn't have to incur all the expenses Ali would. But what if, and I'm just spit-balling here, there were an economic angle here?

What if she looked at the times of day that Ali Razavi posted on his blog and checked with the business he works for 1SOLTECH and found out that was during his work hours. STA might subpoena everything under the sun and say hey, he did this while at work and his employers provided him the means and equipment to do so, hell maybe I'll rope them into this lawsuit too.

I bet that would make things really interesting about the water-cooler. But hey, what do I know? I'm just a dumb cholo right?

Simone.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Introducing Ali Enrique Razavi

Time to pay the piper Prince Ali.

Slowly.

Ali Enrique Razavi has been outed as the guy behind Max Powers. In reality, Ali Enrique Razavi is a con-man. He's demonstrated over his entire career that he will say pretty much anything he has to in order for him to get ahead or what he needs. He apparently now has my buddy David K under his spell, although he should know better by now.

Before I go on, let me remind you about the difference between me and this guy, because when he was outed he tried to act like we are somehow the same. We aren't.

You guys can say what you want about me, and many of you do, but one thing about me is that I leave non-combatants out of any beef. He has fucked with my family and my loved ones. Hell he's messed with my relationships, an ex, my haircut, how I dress, my affinity for cholas, and my weight.

Now that you've had a chance to actually put a face to the name, you see Prince Ali might want to not talk about weight.

Do I disagree with public figures and electeds? Hell yes. But it is always policy related. And when I agree with them, even if I'm not a fan of them, I give them props.

Some examples - I made Lily Limon Homegirl of the Week once. State Rep Mary Gonzalez, I used to like her personally very much, but since she was elected I have major issues with her policy and lack of leadership on some issues. It isn't personal like it is with Ali who is pretty vile in terms of how he goes after her.

And when he does it, it almost makes me want to defend her.

Almost.

This guy has really messed with the personal lives about a lot of people. His constant obsession with Rep Gonzalez was weird at first, but now its just creepy. He makes fun of her sexuality and her identity. He implies that she's in a relationship with another member of the legislature. Both of whom are in committed relationships.

You can't mess with people's personal lives and expect people to turn the other cheek. Well I don't turn the other cheek, I guess I shouldn't speak for anyone else. I don't get personal with people unless they do it to me first, but like I've always said, I love a good fight.

Ali probably ruined the marriage of a city staffer in the mayor's office all because he thinks its funny and entertaining. Seriously, for him its about entertainment value.

But how you gonna talk about people's personal appearance when you look like a chubby hairy Persian version of the Crocodile Hunter with 90's boy band hair? Or more like Joey Lawrence's hair when he was on Blossom. Actually now that I think about it, maybe more like Marco Antonio Solis after being stung by a lot of bees.

Ali has gone after many people's livelihood. Not in a tangential way either, he has flat out publicly done so.

Now people know he works for 1SOLTECH in Dallas and he's going to have to worry about whether any of the many people he's wronged decide to pick up the phone and call the Fardi's and tell them all about Ali Enrique Razavi's little escapades.

I wonder how he'd react if people brought his loved ones into their beef with him. I wonder how he'd feel if people raised issues about his sex life or sexuality?

Ali will now find out what its like to be in the world of the known. He has to deal with accountability for what he has said. I can't stand Martin Paredes anymore than I can stand Ali, but he has at the very least always been out. Same with David K and I - we were the only political bloggers in El Paso and people knew who we were. Honestly it takes much bigger balls to write what we write because people know who we are.

I'm the only one that actually lives in El Paso. So I'm the only one that really has to be held accountable for a damn thing. Except DK, he has family and business here and so he has to be held accountable for it. And he has.

Ali and Martin live in Dallas and Florida. They hate El Paso and thats why they always down talk El Paso. Easy to do when you're literally hundreds of miles away.

----- A History of Betrayal -----

The con-man has been at this longer than many of you think. When he was a staffer for State Representative Norma Chavez he was leaking info about her to her political rival camp and bloggers like David K and myself.

He broke staffer code. I talk to a lot of staff and have been one. There are some things you never do. One of them is betray your boss. In politics, loyalty is a big currency. When you work for an elected you hear a lot of privileged information. In all my years of doing this and in all my MANY conversations with staffers there is one thing you don't do, you don't bad-mouth your boss. Sure it sucks that sometimes the elected throw staff under the bus, like the time Naomi Gonzalez did that. But it never goes the other way around.

Except for Ali Enrique Razavi. He sought me out. He couldn't wait to do that.

Actually he used to drop really bad embarrassing and personal crap about two electeds in particular on a regular basis. Obviously his boss Norma Chavez, but also State Rep Marisa Marquez. Although judging by how positive he is about her in his blog, he's actually now a fan of Marquez's now.

How would any employer or person involved with business trust a guy like Ali Enrique Razavi considering his history of betrayal for the sake of personal gain and entertainment?

Anywho...

I mentioned DK earlier and wanted to get back to that. No sooner had he written a piece about how Ali isn't tied to anyone in El Paso than Ali writes a piece about all the people he's been tied to in the past. Not the first time he's burned someone and damn sure won't be the last.

----- The Forma Connection -----

But the reason that Ali wrote that piece is because he wants to try to put distance between himself and Forma. David K and Ali make the point he wouldn't be tight with Forma since they were partially responsible for her downfall. That implies he has loyalty. The fact that he stabbed her in the back on the regular shows he doesn't. The fact that he would risk doing so shows that he didn't care about working for her and so why does he care if Forma bought her down? If he cared that damn much he wouldn't have been feeding DK and I, and all her political rivals info.

David K also makes the very valid point, using Escobar's emails as proof, that we in the blogosphere all get fed info. Some of us more than others. I don't get fed as much as I did in the begging. Now I pretty much hunt on my own but I get the occasional tip from electeds from all factions. I don't deny that at all.

So if David K was trying to say that Ali isn't tight with anyone locally he probably shouldn't have made that point because it actually proves that Ali has been fed. Trust me, Ali is closer to at least one elected official than DK and I will ever be.

(Sidebar: Escobar sending emails to an anonymous blogger was beyond stupid and there's no getting around that. She's not the only elected that has sent emails to bloggers. Like I said, electeds from all factions have sent me stuff. Probably DK as well. The difference is we haven't burned them and people know who we are. So yes, Escobar really screwed up doing so, but who do we know she's the only one? It might be that she's the only one he's burned so far.)

He lives in Dallas but was an Austin staffer, so it makes sense that he's dialed in to the Austin scene. But if he has no connections to El Paso, why would he be so concerned with what happens in El Paso city politics? He's never met the mayor's staffer that he was so visceral about. But he sure took a big interest in her didn't he?

Why? Because he was being fed.

Ali also spent a lot of time mocking Bobby Bowling and the rest of the Bowling family. What is Ali's connection or beef with them? None if he lives in Dallas and isn't connected to anyone in El Paso.

Except for the fact that Bobby Bowling and familia have a few business rivals in their field. Their chief rivals are Woody Hunt and Ike Monte.

Guess who Hunt and Monte are clients of?

Yep...Forma Group. You want proof? Well I thought you'd never ask!


Ali regularly writes about Forma and Forma's allies rivals. Need another example? I'm glad you asked again.

Today he wrote about Peter Svarzbein. He never wrote about him until the finance reports came out and he out raised the field.

That would include another Forma client, Al Weisenberger.

Now all of a sudden that target on Svarzbein's back that I mentioned is starting to be pretty visable.

Also, lets give credit where credit is due. Ali was bested by Martin Paredes. Which is funny in itself!

But it was a stroke of genius for Martin to bust him the way he did. Frankly considering how wrong he normally is I'm pretty shocked he put it together like that all by himself. Good for him.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Ali went from saying he was still having fun being the Max character to coming out of the closet in a matter of days. And you people think that was because he wanted to? Don't be naive. He was told to. Forma has feeling the heat.

Ali knew that Martin was going to out him and like all seasoned politicos, he went back to the playbook. When there's bad news, get it out first and try to frame the conversation. That was Martin's mistake.

If it were me, I would've had the piece completely written and just left a spot for a quote and then published it. Rookie mistake by the JV team.

One last difference between Ali and I. I've been through hell and back. I've been to war and back. He hasn't. He's gonna learn what its like to have people shoot arrows in you. I've had it done and I'm still kicking. There isn't anything he can say (again) that hasn't already been said about me.

Welcome to the playing field Ali. This is going to be a lot more fun now.

More to come - I'm going to take my time with this one because I've been waiting a long time...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Ali Enrique Razavi

Trust me...I've got plenty to say about Ali Enrique Razavi and the revelation of him being the person who pens Maxi Pad. 

Ali in due time people. Remember that some dishes are best served cold. There's no rush here.

But someone sent me a screen shot that really almost made me fall out of my chair laughing. Especially considering it's from an AFCSME rep Hector Montes.

Since I am collecting quite the catalog of screen shots of things the little Mayor of Whoville has been writing about me, I have no qualms of talking about this.

This is apparently part of a conversation about the revelation that Maxi Pad is Ali Enrique Razavi.

 Run for what???

Are you kidding me Hector? I'll grant you that Ali is a hairy chubby hipster and any given kindergarten student at Pasodale Elementary would probably regularly take his lunch money, but give me a break Montes. Who are you kidding?

You should tell everyone about how you went crying to Candelaria once at Entravision when you and I had a disagreement.

Hey, anytime you want to say that about me, you know where to find me. Hell all you have to do is not walk in the other direction when I see you at Chihuahuas games like you usually do. I'd be real interested to know exactly what you mean by "he'd better run the other way".

But hey it makes sense why you said that about Ali, he's all the way in Dallas.

This isn't the first time Hector has tried to act like a tough guy. He told me he was gonna kick David K's ass once too.

He said he "knew people". 

Where? You went to Stanford ese, stop trying to act like a vato loco.

Anywho...more to come on Ali and Forma. 

Not Ali and Forman...

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Campaign Finance Reports - What The $ Means

Money makes campaigns work. It's crappy, but it is necessary to get your message out to voters. 

The candidate who raises the most money doesn't always win. But statistically, they win most of the time. Think of the last municipal elections. The top money campaigns almost ran the table - Mayor Leeser had so much feria he paid someone about $25k to just do social media.

That's more money than what was raised by almost every candidate in this election cycle.

Bottom line is that the amount of money you raise is an indicator of your support and a pretty good likelihood that you'll win. Sure, occasionally someone Suerkins-it and loses it, but rarely.

Vince Perez didn't raise as much as Chente Quintanilla and David Stout didn't raise as much money as Sergio Lewis and they both won, but those were unique circumstances with teams that knew how to leverage their funding.

At the very least you have to be competitive in terms of the amount of money raised to have any realistic chance of winning.

So the also-rans that didn't raise much money...you can go ahead and basically count them out. At this point they have to hope for "moral victories".

Sorry crazies but most of your candidates are not likely to do very well. 

Right about now Stephanie Townsend-Allala and that little Mayor of Munchkinland with bad hygiene Hector Montes are going to try to find a way to put the best face on this but it's pretty one-sided in terms of money ball.

The reality is the money in this town is like the odds-makers in Vegas. It's not just a whim. The people with money will make a calculated move in terms of their money.

I know that is not as sexy as the conspiracy theorists would like it to be. They're hoping for some sort of deeper correlation.

The rich white folks want to back people they think can win.

The more money you have, the more times you can touch a voter. It's that simple. You can pay for more mail, more phone calls, more block walkers, more signs, etc.

That's not to say that there aren't campaigns that blow their money lead. Some of them blow a couple grand a month on consulting fees for some slick talker to basically give them crappy campaign data and avoid their calls.

The incumbents are going to run the table...clearly. Dagda raised more money than I thought he would, but so did Niland. Which probably drives all the crazies...well, more crazy. He's just out-gunned. 

Pickett is going to get trucked. If this were football Ordaz would be Bo Jackson and Pickett would be the Boz.

In District 5 the answer is Noe. The question is, who is going to win?

It's the district 1 race where the money is gonna make the difference. Let's start with a truth...Svarzbein surprised all of you. 

No one expected him to raise that much money. Hell Svarzbein probably didn't think he would either.

The other top-tier candidates in that race were busy giving each other the fish-eye and completely discounting Svarzbein and I'm betting none of them thought he'd be the one to be the surprise dollar-earner.

And here's the kicker about his money. 

It's not inflated. 

Candidates like to add padding to their bras for campaign reports. For whatever reason they think the people who take the time to read a report won't figure out that paying yourself or adding "consulting fee" from your own firm, or dropping a big amount of your own cash into the report doesn't fool anyone.

Of the top tier candidates in that race I was surprised at how much of a difference there was in fund raising between the two top money candidates, Al Weisenberger and Svarzbein compared to the other top tier candidates. 

I figured Weisenberger and Gallardo would duke it out for the top spot and I thought Svarzbein might be happy to be in third place.

Gallardo under-performed. She was a very distant third raising less than half of each of the two top candidates.

So now Svarzbein will have a target on his back and the other candidates will be gunning for him. The Rodney Dangerfield of the race has turned in to Johnny Dangerously.

Now it's a sprint to early voting. The 8 day report, or as I call it, the GOTV report, will foreshadow how all the races turn out.

Can Bonart and Bertha bring in the bucks or will Svarzbein and Weisenberger distance themselves from the rest of the field? 




Thursday, April 9, 2015

Facebook Follies

Boy, my post election award season is gonna be fun this cycle.

There have been really funny follies on Facebook by candidates and I've got quite the collection of interesting screen shots. 

I don't know why it has taken so many years of mistakes in social media for candidates to learn their lesson.

Many of them have been warned by their campaign teams to behave on social media. But apparently they don't listen.

One of them tried to clean it up, which is smart. But a reader sent this one in to me so I guess we will start with it.

What's a city council race without a little Islamophobia? Am I right? 


Me Thinks Max Doth Protest Too Much

So Max did another one of his famous, "No seriously, I'm not Forma, stop saying that!" posts. Actually two from what I was sent.

Hilarious. 

He actually tries to go through the trouble of trying to lay out a logical and rational argument as to why he's not Forma. 

Okay, so riddle me this. If you're an anonymous douche like Maxi Pad, why in the hell would you care if others said you were Forma Group if you really aren't? Please explain the logic behind that one.

And don't try to give us this noble bullshit that you don't want an innocent person to be hurt because lets be real, you ran a mayoral staffer's life in the mud and probably ruined her marriage and after saying you weren't going to release emails between you and the County Judge, you did EXACTLY what I said you'd do and you released them. Clearly you can't make the "I'm a good guy" argument.

So again, if you aren't Forma why do you give two shits if anyone says you are?

The only person who would not want people thinking they are Maxi Pad are Forma. People thought I was Maxi Pad all along. Hell I thought about saying I was Maxi Pad on April Fool's Day, mostly to mess with his boy Sergio Lewis. 

Which is funny Maxi, because hasn't your boy read all the shit you talk about him?

But then again, you're really duplicitous aren't you? I mean you made such a big deal about Escobar's emails you would've thought you had documents that implicated her in the assassinations of President Kennedy, Tupac, and Biggie. 

You tried to extort me for a bunch of emails of you trying to pump her for information and her basically blowing you off? That's it? Really?

C'mon Maxi Pad. Please tell me you had something better. Please tell me your Monday "October Surprise" is at least something worth trying to extort me for. Help me save a little face here because although I knew you were going to release the emails no matter what, I at least thought you had something good. 

All you really showed was that you'll pretty much say what anyone wants to hear if they will give you what you want. Like a boy on prom night. 

Here's the big problem with Maxi's little explanation about how he isn't Forma. He assumes other people haven't heard about the level of Forma's involvement with campaigns as of late. Sources indicate that Forma is pretty much being paid to sit the bench in a lot of races. So yeah, Maxi Pad can claim someone is a client of Forma, but in many cases its really just to sit the bench and not work for the opposition. Which hey, they're making money doing nothing and sitting the bench, good for them. 

More Powers to them. 

Granted they're getting paid less than before and have fewer clients. I went to go apologize to them in person for saying they're Maxi Pad at their offices downtown a while back and low and behold...they are no longer officed in that building. Ah shucks. I was gonna take'em out to buy him an old-timey sarsaparilla to show him no hard feelings too. 

The other thing wrong with his little explanation is that he is assuming people always thought he was Forma. They didn't. Remember a lot of people thought I was Maxi Pad. 

They didn't start to think he was Forma until others started putting it out there and then things started adding up. Hell even a broken clock is right twice a day so I guess you have to credit the other MP of the El Paso blogosphere.

Maxi Pad can deny it all he wants. Its comical to me at this point. But the fact remains that if he really wasn't Forma, he really would't give a shit if anyone thought he was. 

Instead, he says he's sick and tired of it.

Oh well, apparently theres more to come on Monday. 

Which reminds me folks, I've got some interesting stuff for you early next week too!

Stay tuned. Its very...whats the word I'm looking for here? Ah yes...

Revealing.