Monday, March 14, 2016

EPSOA & Perpetual Political Ploys

I saw something over the weekend that blew my mind. Democrats sit down for this one.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Officer's Association - a labor organization - endorsed a Republican for Sheriff.

The boys at the EPSOA are notorious for making bad political decisions. They almost always back the losers in political campaigns. They recently supported a guy against Commissioner Vince Perez that didn't even live in the precinct he was trying to run in. That was a major face-plant for the EPSOA because they were careless in their endorsement.

At least in the past when they endorsed a candidate, even a terrible one like Dora Oaxaca, you could at least understand why. Dora and Marrufo, the head of the union at the time, went to Socorro High together.

But their decisions lately, despite not having Marrufo in charge anymore, defy logic. Lets set aside the Quintanilla endorsement. Lets chalk it up to old-fashioned payback.

But endorsing a Republican is not only stupid, its an embarrassment to labor. Labor has no friends in the GOP. Republicans are not union friendly. Sure, they'll happily accept the support in this circumstance, but there's a reason unions only support Democratic candidates.

You got issues with the boss? Of course you do, labor and management rarely get along all the time. That is natural. If things get really bad, you support someone in the primary against him. But supporting a Republican over Sheriff Wiles is beyond stupid.

I don't know what their process is like, but with other unions I've worked for there is an established process. Sometimes a guy like me is brought in to do some opposition research on the candidates, poke them with a stick, and kick the tires. Its called vetting a candidate.

A recommendation is made and that is taken into consideration along with the decision of board members after consultation with membership. The point is, someone with an ounce of political sense is usually involved to prevent unions from pulling a Hector Montes and AFSCME, you know - completely destroying the credibility of the union.

I don't know anything about the Republican that is running other than what I have seen in videos he's posted online. I certainly have questions that I will be asking about important policy matters when I come across him on the campaign trail, but does the EPSOA actually think they will be better off under a Republican?

There is no defense for the endorsement either. The argument that you have to send a message just doesn't hold any water. Not in a general election. The only message it sends is that the EPSOA will cut off their nose to spite their face.

The EPSOA always puts money behind a candidate. That is hard working union member money. They might as well take the boys out to a gentlemen's club, light cigars with it, or pass out cash at the Sun Bowl Parade. It would be just as useful as using it to back a Republican.

Now all of this puts their political contact, Chris Acosta in a weird position. She is part of Wiles' staff and she almost always runs a campaign with the EPSOA money. So that is a little awkward knowing that they are supporting someone against her boss.

Political karma.

The reality is that they are throwing away any credibility that they may have left, which honestly isn't a lot. From a labor perspective its obvious they are going to have issues with Sheriff Wiles. But when you endorse a Republican, you are endorsing policies that aren't in-line with the community. And lets be real, how credible is the EPSOA when they endorse someone with no law enforcement experience. The guy has never been a detention officer, written citations, testified in court, or been on patrol.

Sure, he was a Special Forces Sergeant Major and all, but its not comparable experience no matter how much he dresses like a cowboy. Wiles has walked in the shoes of a line officer.

But now they are the union that backed a Republican. A union with the ability to raise money and have a lot of bodies should be king and queen makers.

Backing a Republican makes them look like the court jester.


Anonymous said...

As with any Union, the membership are the ones that ultimately make the decision. Good decision or bad decision, it was what they wanted. The days of favors owed and favors due are over. These are hard working officers who deserve to be heard at all levels of government. Democrat or Republican should not make the difference when it comes to fair rules and working conditions. These officers are trying to do right for themselves regardless of political party.

Thomas said...

Sorry your piece is total partisan bull shit. Wiles has serious issue with his administration of the Sheriff department and it goes way beyond just the issue with Deputies.
First Jaime you have sometime a single Deputy trying to cover more than 450 square miles, think about that one. If a deputy is out on the far end of their patrol area than it could be a while before help will arrive if they need back up or even worst responding to calls from the public at the other end of their patrol area.
Then Wiles have some real lazy department members including himself. He can no long be bothered with with the general public.
Give you an example. We have been having problems with our open spaces and vehicles in them. We got signs put up by the non-profit who owns it just what Wiles department said needed doing. After getting it done his department upper administrators pretty much have made it clear they will not be doing any thing about stopping the problem even after we did what they asked so the Sheriff department could address the issue. Yep Wiles knows about it and has done nothing. He even had a department head call me and tell me how she was coming out and was going to a have look at the issue and also have a walk through the community to get people interested in community watch program. Jaime she never showed up and sent two Deputies to tell us the Sheriff Department couldn't be bothered.
Then in my area, but has been a problem in many other parts of the county, is getting Wiles animal control to do any thing about packs of dogs running in the community. Remember Wiles is the one who demanded his department have control over animal control in the county.
Jaime I have had a pack of dogs we have been asking Wiles department to something about for more than 3 years. Wiles dead beats in his animal control just seem to not be able to address the issue even after complains of this pack of dogs killing others animals and damaging peoples property. Nope they just seem to not be able to get the job done. In this area Wiles has really done a very crappy job.
Been having problems with the four wheelers and kids riding them down the public street. Hey Jaime just called Sheriff department out on this issue. Even when two young men showed up and admitted to Deputies they drove through my yard and over an LP gas line and were driving their four wheeler down the public road nothing was done.
Oh what ever happen to the community policing program Wiles was so big on when he got elected the first time, yep that one went out the window real quick.
Yep that jail annex expansion work out real well to house Federal prisoners that Wiles championed but now we find out it was not such a good idea and deal after all.
Jaime I believe the majority of our Deputies are good officers but Wiles has failed real bad in addressing the bad ones like the one I told to get his stupid ass of my property when he was called out and got mad because this deputy actually had to get out of his patrol car and do his job.
Oh let's not talk about the cartels having a foot in the door of Wiles department or the gangs being allowed to have the run on the inside of the jail. Yep let's not talk about those issues
Not saying who I will be voting for in November but to try and make lite of Wiles's big problems in the Sheriff department and to rule out another candidate on nothing more then grounds they are a Republican is down right silly and total nonsense.
Either you have little understanding of the problems Wiles has at the Sheriff department or you do not care it's a Democrat in the office and it does not matter if they are doing a good job or not you must toe the party line no matter the cost to the community.
Jaime on this one your dead wrong.

The Lion Star said...

Yeah, it is partisan. Because I am partisan.

And all of your post was about Wiles. Thats super.

Except that my critique is about the EPSOA. And anyone who thinks a union is better off under a Republican is a dumbass.

Thomas said...

So let me get this straight so Union membership decide who to to support and is best for their Union to support but as an outsider you think you know what is best for their Union and it's membership? Sorry tell you this Jaime a lot of people are moving away from being trap in the the bullshit dogma of the parties and starting to look beyond the party dogma at candidates that better serve and represent their interest. Sorry it does make them dumbasses or stupid in doing.
So what is more ignorant those supporting some one who is not getting the job done or really supporting your Union membership based on nothing more than party affiliation? Or do you use common sense and support some one you think maybe will be better at the job outside party affiliation being the only determining factor and who will leaned more support to your Union members in their job? Clearly party affiliation means more to you and is your blind spot on the issue.
Sorry the blanket statement Republicans always bad,Democrats always good just isn't flying with a lot of people any more.