Friday, March 11, 2016

Rep Acosta: Untruths & Mayoral Aspirations

Representative Acosta has had mayoral aspirations for quite some time now. And for quite some time that has basically been a pipe dream. She never really had the support for that aspiration in the community.

Anyone who thinks what little support she had still exists are probably the same people who believe that she wasn't aiming the now-infamous agenda item at me. As someone who has seen a lot of politics in this county, I figured that the train-wreck was going to stop at the posting of the agenda item. I figured Acosta and Dora had the skill set to gauge public reaction and would realize the error of their ways and very quietly delete the item.

Just kidding, I knew Dora didn't have that skill set. She has made a career out of being completely disconnected with the views of the community. But I figured Acosta did.

But there are several things Acosta said during the meeting that I want to draw attention to because when elected officials say things that aren't true its important that the community know about it.

First, lets start with something that may or may not be true, but certainly doesn't sound like it is. During the discussion of the item Rep Acosta said that security issues as they relate to releasing phone numbers of third parties was something she has been concerned about for a while.

I'm calling bullshit.

If she was so concerned, then why didn't she raise this issue previously? Why wasn't an issue when Ordaz had the exact same situation come up? Why, in the subsequent 6 or 8 months, has Acosta not uttered a peep about those concerns or put up an agenda item to discuss the issue sooner?

Because I hadn't sent in an open records request to her office yet. Its that simple.

Now, lets go into what Acosta said that is simply not true.

Untrue Statement #1

During her response to me Rep Acosta said, "now as far as open records, I never said don't give anyone open records, I never said go do a background check on anyone, I never said any of that."

Which is comical because in this piece on KVIA's website, Acosta actually says, "I don't think we should be releasing that kind of information to someone who is convicted with charges of moral turpitude."

Untrue Statement #2

As part of her denial that the agenda item has anything to do with me, Acosta says "I don't know when you submitted your open records request Mr. Abeytia".

This is perhaps the most bold of her statements. She's denying that she had knowledge of the open records requests made to her office prior to posting her item.

The only problem with that statement is that the city uses an automated system when you make an open records request. When a request is made, notification goes out to the offices that the requests relates to. My request was made February 25th. I received the first response from the city the day after the city council meeting (Wednesday) - so the idea that she didn't know about my request prior to placing the item on the agenda is easily substantiated by the city's notification system.

In fact, Dr. Noe's office was part of the request, so I wonder if he would corroborate Acosta's story that she didn't know prior to receiving my request?

Untrue Statement #3

Well this one may be half true. Acosta indicates that she didn't have knowledge of my ORR because she doesn't handle them in her office. Which means Dora Oaxaca handles them. So I guess she expects us to believe that Dora Oaxaca received an open records request notification regarding Oaxaca's pay, and an open records request regarding communication and Dora just never told her about it? And then Acosta had her staff put the item on the agenda, Dora didn't read it and therefore had no clue what the issue was and never spoke to Acosta about it?

Yeah right. I don't think there is anyone in City Hall that believes that Acosta had no clue I'd submitted my request before she posted her agenda item.

But wait a second, my second request, filed one day later, was for text message communication for Representatives Acosta and Noe, and their staffers. So even if Acosta expects people to believe that had no knowledge of the first request, she'd have to know about the second one because it would require her to turn over text messages.

Waxing Poetic About Transparency

So I think I'm just going to ignore the fact that Acosta is trying very hard to say that the agenda item had nothing to do with me despite the fact that she didn't raise any concerns until after I sent a request involving her office, and that her staffer put together materials for the agenda item that mention crimes of moral turpitude, highlights my misdemeanor in red, and includes both my name and cell phone number in the material.

And also ignore the fact that she likely violated Texas Open Meetings Act by discussing something that wasn't on the agenda.

Which leaves us with waxing poetic about transparency. After all this discussion about electronic communication devices and transparency this latest development at City Hall exposes the fact that not everyone is all that sincere about transparency. You see you can talk about being transparent and demanding that text messages be turned over, as long as its not your office getting the request. Here's the ugly truth about council, not all of them have a city-issued cell phone and that is for a reason.

Because a city-issued cell phone is a lot easier to get text messages from than a personal cell phone.

But the fact that Ordaz went through the trouble of retrieving deleted messages means that now when a request is done, a city rep can't simply hide behind "no responsive documents" because messages were deleted for whatever reason because Ordaz showed that if you REALLY want to be transparent, you won't just stop at the bare minimum legal requirement.

It will also be interesting to see what the City Attorney does now. Will the same standard of filtering text messages that are responsive to an ORR be applied to other city reps that were applied to Ordaz? Because there was basically none applied to Ordaz. The City Attorney just released everything.

One final note. I'd like to point out what I affectionately will not call the Acosta Shuffle. What is that? Its when you post an item that is one thing, and in the end you talk about something else, and ultimately vote against your own item. Acosta did that with the Pope item. And not only did she vote against her own item, she damn well took the VIP tickets to go see him up close and personal in Juarez.

Just like this agenda item about me that she posted, she ultimately voted to delete her own item. The Acosta Shuffle.


Anonymous said...

I kind of see where they are coming from, imagine you release those records to someone a felon that has a record of wrongdoing related to this. But I don't understand why you feel it was directed to you. Do you have a criminal record?

Anonymous said...

WTF, that's irrelevant!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying I agree with it, but would you trust, say a thief with your personal information?

Anonymous said...

She didn't say that she didn't know that you filed an open info request, she said she didn't know "when" you filed an open info request. There is a difference. People that live and breathe politics and/or legalize know that meaning and intent can hinge on one word. Mike

The Lion Star said...

Completely irrelevant. The statute says nothing about intent because you can't establish intent anyway. It's a false argument. So is the idea that someone with bad intentions is going to use a legal process to get information they want to commit a crime with.

This was their way of trying to change the conversation from what they had originally posted in the first place.

The Lion Star said...

Not true Mike, they are notified when a request involving their office comes in via automated system. That is time and date stamped. Whoops.

Anonymous said...

Well if it's irrelevant, then why are drivers privileges revoked when they are charged with a DWI. Because the intent of them repeating the offense is probable. Same thing here, if the person is considered to be a repeat offender and has no respect for the law, then certain rights or privileges should be revoked from this criminal.

The Lion Star said...

Sorry but punishing a person for a crime before they have committed one should only happen in Minority Report.

Anonymous said...

Then why do you feel targeted? That's why I ask do you have a criminal record?

The Lion Star said...

I guess you haven't seen any of the news coverage. Or you missed the first paragraph under waxing poetic about transparency, but yes. That is well documented. I have a misdemeanor charge she is referring to.

Anonymous said...

I guess if the crime relates to the topic of say...invasion of someone's privacy, theft or anything related to that, then I see where peoples concerns might come in.

The Lion Star said...

At risk of sounding redundant, intent is not part of the law and unless you're in a movie script from Hollywood, you can't punish someone before they have done anything wrong. Maybe you should read some of the news coverage. It might bring you up to speed.

Anonymous said...

You admitted to doing wrong already, I don't know your criminal past, but I personally believe criminals should not have the same rights or privileges law abiding citizens have. You made the decision to break the law. How do we know you won't commit the crime again?

The Lion Star said...

Thats not the American justice system we have. Once you do your penance, your slate is wiped clean. You can't punish someone into perpetuity for a misdemeanor. That is not only ridiculous but it is also unAmerican.

Anonymous said...

It's just an opinion and a matter of trust, just like most employments or when people purchase weapons. A background check is conducted. If the persons crime is a risk to the job or safety of law abiding citizens, then the criminals privileges are revoked, now that is not unAmerican

The Lion Star said...

You're drawing a comparison on a false narrative. The law does not require a background check for any member of the public to have access to their documents. The law states that the government can't prohibit you from access documents nor even ask what your intent is.

Anonymous said...

I understand what the law is. But I also understand why this agenda was brought keep criminals from using open records for probable other crimes for example identity theft.

The Lion Star said...

No, it was direct response to my open records request. It was meant to try to deter me from obtaining records they might find embarrassing.

Anonymous said...

But how can you be trusted with that information? You don't seem to be understanding the perspective of law abiding citizens. Only you know your true intent, but the perspective from citizens is that if you have disregarded the law, then you are untrustworthy.

The Lion Star said...

Thats the point of the law, it doesn't matter what my intent is. I don't have to answer to anyone about what my intent is. The government can't use that as an excuse to withhold information. In fact, some people have been exonerated as a result of ORR's.

if I want to take the information and make paper airplanes out of it, that is my right under the law.

Anonymous said...

Well now that it is known that open records laws can be modified, for example, to have them revoked from criminals, I think it will be an interesting agenda when it comes out again in the future.

Thomas said...

Anonymous your idiot and how about read the law. They can't ask you why you are asking for the information to do so is a violation of the law. Just may be take some time and read chapter 552 Texas governmental code. Also read up on information that is to be redacted. If there is a question about what should be redacted the Texas AG's office can help others and you with that. Acosta, Dora the Explorer and you are morons to even question who has a right to open records and are brain dead to even think the Texas legislator will change a long stand law because some fools do not like or understand the current law.
Under your ignorant thought process every one asking for open records would have to under go a back ground check. Every citizen has the right to ask for open records and maybe you should look up the meaning of "liberally".
Sec. 552.001. POLICY; CONSTRUCTION. (a) Under the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of representative government that adheres to the principle that government is the servant and not the master of the people, it is the policy of this state that each person is entitled, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, at all times to complete information about the affairs of government and the official acts of public officials and employees. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created. The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to implement this policy.
(b) This chapter shall be liberally construed in favor of granting a request for information.

Added by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 268, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

Sorry Jaime it was time for some one to put their foot(metaphorically speaking) in these imbeciles asses for this non-sense.

Augustus Snodgrass said...

Sir! It sounds like "Anonymous" is carrying water for Acosta. Ignore these idiots. Their rational thinking is irrational. Perhaps this "Anonymous" was Romero's former Consiglieri (sp?) and now is advising Acosta. Time to hit the mattresses!!!!

Anonymous said...

Unless the previous Anonymous has never broken the speed limit, littered, smoked within 20 feet of a public entrance, put up a garage sale sign, taken a drag of grass, or jaywalked, he can stfu about being a "law abiding citizen"