As I sit and ponder the thought of yet another Socorro City Rep accused of wrong-doing I start to think about Jesse Gandara.
The life after being booted out of office by the people of Socorro has to be rough on the guy. He's probably never held a job. His wife is really the man of the house as the breadwinner, although that has basically always been the case as I understand it.
He went from someone that ran the county's second-largest municipality to becoming not only the most hated guy in Socorro, but in the entire valley.
Hell, other Gandaras try to distance themselves. That damn sure says a lot.
He's reviled for how he took advantage of his community under the guise of being a leader.
I bet one of the things he hates the most is the fact that the taxpayers are no longer paying for his douchey Starbucks drinks. That was one of his favorite things to do, get his Starbucks fix for him and anyone else he was with on the taxpayers dime.
I bet he's also having a tough time with the conditions of his probation as well. Think about it, he loves to booze it up and now he can't.
And then there's the alleged weed habit.
If memory serves they caught him with some pot when they raided his house and found the dead chickens.
I mean on the positive side, he's had plenty of time to clean that place. I hope he's used his time to do so because, dayum!
Think about it, that has to be rough for a guy like Jessie, no booze and no weed for a decade!
But what I think about is the legacy he's left on that community. Like a shamed monarch from England or Egypt whose successors have tried to literally erase their names from history, Socorro has pulled Gandara's name off of the street he named after himself.
But they couldn't undo the wasteful spending. Gandara often bragged to me about their spending habits.
"This City has money." I've lost track of how many times he said it to me. He basically had no regard for the tax payers of Socorro.
I'd say he spent taxpayer money like a drunk sailor, but let's be real, it's an insult to call him a sailor. Sailors serve their country. He took advantage of his. It would be an insult to my fellow veterans to call him a member of the armed services.
When he got in trouble do you think that guy decided to ante up and pay his legal expenses? Hell no, he continued his pattern of dependence on taxpayers. He was like the worlds most douchey welfare recipient.
Thankfully that was reversed, but only for a short time because Gandara wasn't done being a burden to taxpayers. He then asked for, and was granted, a public defender.
We had to pay for that guy's defense.
And to top it all off, to show you just the level of fuckery that guy would stoop to, the complete and total lack of dignity or self respect, he actually texted me during his own trial for bribery and asked me to testify...get this...on his behalf!
I saved the text because it was so simultaneously hilarious and sad.
It's a story that is almost a cliché now. An impoverished community that is the least able to afford the price tag of corruption taken advantage of by a cocky, slick-talking huckster.
The people of Socorro are rightfully upset that he got off with such a light sentence. Picking up trash on the side of the road or weeds at Concordia and having to give up booze and weed for a decade just don't seem enough of a punishment for what he did to that community.
But maybe going from the guy who ran the town to being the embarrassment of the town is something the people of Socorro can take solice in. The hit to his ego alone was a big deal.
But the community is now struggling with more Gandara-style politics with allegations of wrong-doing by another city rep. And it makes one wonder how long a community of such great, loving, and humble people, can endure what they have been subjected to.
It's sad. They deserve better.
Jessie doesn't, but they do.