The editorial in today's edition of the El Paso Times underscores a point I have been making about Republican candidate for Sheriff, Tom Buchino.
The editorial was about Crime Stats Again Puncture Border Myths and outlined the fact that while crime was up slightly nationwide, the areas that were consistently bucking that trend were urban areas along the border that have consistently seen drops in the rate of crime.
But you already knew that because you live in El Paso.
And that is really the point that I have been making about Buchino. Take a look at any of his social media, look him up on YouTube, etc and you will see that he clearly has an agenda of further militarizing the Sheriff's Department if elected.
In the words of Levar Burton, "But you don't have to take my word for it..." forget the dress-up or the time he actually fired a weapon in his video and just check out what Buchino says in his own words in any number of his campaign videos. Here's one good example (I'll get to the point about not asking a first responder what party they are later. Oh, and go ahead and ignore the weird thing about going behind a barn with his buddies out at the ranch, not sure where he was going with that).
Right around the 1:23 mark of the video he starts implying that El Paso County is dealing with all kinds of crime up to and including "international terrorism".
So here's a quick summary of the rhetoric he used just in this one video. He used the word terrorism or a variant of the word 6 times in a video that is under 3 minutes in length. 7 times if you count use of the word jihad. Here they are in the order he says them in the video.
He even uses an image of a terrorist in another video. Don't believe me? Okay, have a gander:
Beer runs frequently make the news in El Paso because we are a safe community to raise a family in. But Buchino and his Trumpian ilk seem to be determined to push forward the myth that terrorism has ever been an issue on our southern border.
But the reality is not a single act of terrorism has ever originated from a border region and no one that has committed a terrorist act has ever come into the United States through our southern border.
Look it up.
This is not the first time a Republican has been wrong about violence on the border. Remember Governor Perry saying that there were car bombs going off in downtown El Paso?
This portion of the editorial should serve as a warning to us when making decisions on whom to elect either for President of the United States or Sheriff of El Paso County.
Obviously as an El Pasoan it bothers me when people try to fabricate a false narrative about El Paso not being a safe community to meet their own political end.
Its no different than the false narrative Trump has pushed about our country being "in a war zone" or blacks and Latinos living in "hell".
Getting back to the idea that no one asks a first responder what their political party is... again Buchino is pulling a Trump. He's trying to act like a non-politician outsider while simultaneously being a politician.
I almost don't know where to start with the statement Buchino makes about not asking the political party of someone rendering aid - do I start with the fact that Ronald Reagan very famously told doctors about to operate on him that he hoped they were Republicans, or if I start with the fact that he's a candidate for office...in a partisan race?
Lets go with office. Its a silly statement that I have seen a lot of union members use to justify the fact that they are voting for a party who's expressed desire is to end unions.
Look, of course no one ever asks what the political party is of a fireman, police officer, or sheriff's deputy. I don't ask that of my barber, bartender, or waiter either for that matter. But you know what all those jobs have in common?
You're hired for them.
You aren't elected for them. Guess what?
We elect our Sheriff.
So yes, as a practical matter, party affiliation does matter. And do you know why? Well, at least in part, because Buchino himself says so. He has talked regularly about wanting to debate the issues.
The fact that there are issues to debate is a product of the fact that the administration of that office inherently involves public policy. And public policy has everything to do with political philosophy.
And as I have said, Buchino has gotten a pass on policy. But someone should ask him a very simple question about policy and it would give voters valuable insight on what kind of sheriff he would be.
Journalists should ask him about law enforcement and the immigrant community. The voters have a right to know if he would do things differently than Wiles and if so, to what extent. Especially considering the fact that former Sheriff Leo Samaniego and Wiles had night and day relationships with the immigrant community. Buchino can't run around bragging that the Samaniego family is supporting him without having to answer if he will conduct immigrant check points like Samaniego did.
That is a real issue for this community and no one has asked him.
I for one, would love to see a debate. I would love to see what Buchino is like off script. I've love to hear his policy positions without reading it from cue cards in front of a camera like in his videos. Something tells me it will look a lot like Donald Trump...