Friday, January 29, 2016

PDN Tejanos Financial Reporting Woes Continue

The Paso Del Norte Tejano Democrats at one point went years without filing any campaign finance reports and were spending money on supporting political candidates without filing as a political action committee.

Eventually that was straightened out, after I spent a few months calling them out on that activity.

However it has now been 2 1/2 years since they filed a report that indicated they had any money in their PAC.

Dr. Anna Perez
Treasurer, PDN Tejano Democrats
Maybe that is true, but according to several candidates the Paso Del Norte Tejano Democrats are intending to purchase TV spots for their endorsed candidates again. They have done it in the past. If they stick to how they normally do it, its a pretty bad commercial. They try to cram all their endorsees into a short spot. The candidates name and pictures aren't on the screen long enough for a potential voter who may be watching TV at that particular moment to even catch the candidates and their offices.

Ineffectiveness of the commercial aside, the main point is that it costs money.

TV time costs lots of money.

So the Tea-janos have been raising a lot of money lately. They had their Hall of Fame Banquet last year that was run by Chris Acosta from the Sheriff's Office, but it was a flop. There was even a bit of an internal dust-up over corsages. Acosta allegedly purchased Corsages for her crew (I guess its better than getting matching leather jackets that say "Pink Ladies" on them). The then-treasurer made Acosta reimburse the club for the corsages.

Then they had the big fundraiser featuring Little Joe. They spent a lot of time trying to hype that event and get people to attend.

Most Democratic Party events in town are about $50.00 per seat. This one was $65.00 a ticket. And its Little Joe in El Paso, so you know a lot of people wanted to go.

Here's a screen shot of the event. If you want tell that is former State Rep Chente Quintanilla and his wife dancing.

Hey Paredes, don't try to click on it. It won't play, its just a screenshot. 
It also costs $35 to be a member of Tejanos. In a meeting earlier this week there was some bragging about how they now have 200 members which means they raise $6000 in membership annually.

They also have money they have taken in from contributions made from political candidates that show up on the candidate's financial reports. Couple hundred here, couple hundred there.

So there are plans for TV spots for their endorsed candidates.

They had at least two high-profile fundraisers last year.

They rake in several thousand dollars in dues.

So here's my question...

Why aren't they reporting any money in the January campaign finance report? The organization's treasurer, Dr. Anna Perez, is the one who is ultimately responsible for the finance reporting with the state of Texas.

Here's a screen shot from the state's Ethics Commission where they are required to file.

Finance laws exist so that the public has a full accounting of who is financially behind candidates.

Why does the "flagship" organization of the Democratic Party - that boasts membership of prominent elected officials, attorneys, and judges, lack financial transparency?

More importantly, why is apparent non-compliance with campaign finance laws tolerated by those members?

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