Friday, January 29, 2016

This is Martin

This is Martin.

Martin blogs for his boss in exchange for a couch to crash on.

Martin deceives his readers.

When you ask Martin what time it is he will tell you how to build a clock.

Martin is annoying.

Don't be like Martin.

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?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Former EP Mayor Backs Esparza Opponent

Former El Paso Mayor John Cook has endorsed Yvonne Rosales for District Attorney. 

Rosales faces long-time District Attorney Jaime Esparza. 

Esparza has served for over 20 years as the district attorney and was once considered the heir-apparent to Congressman Silvestre Reyes. But several losses in high-profile cases and an election defeat of Reyes ended that.

Generally an elected official will endorse a candidate but not usually do much more than lend their name.

But this Facebook post indicates that the former mayor is obviously doing more than lending his name.


Martin Paredes Confesses to Collaboration with Carrasco on Ordaz Complaint

As I mentioned yesterday Martin Paredes made a deliberate attempt to try to mislead readers as to the details of what appears to be a baseless ethics complaint against City Rep Claudia Ordaz.

And even more interestingly, he actually admitted collaborating with Barbara Carrasco on the effort.

But he had to admit it, he had already been exposed. Yesterday I wrote about how he had been very obviously supplied with details of the complaint long before anyone else and long before Rep Ordaz had even been given a copy of the complaint by city officials.

As you can see in this screen shot of his post Paredes had been exposed and had to admit that he had been fed information by Carrasco, which normally wouldn't have been a big deal except for the fact that he regularly is critical of information being fed by sources to other bloggers.


What is even more interesting is the fact that Paredes used a graphic image that I wrote about yesterday that contained the phrase "2nd degree misdemeanor" and the word "corruption" in the background.

As you can see in this screen shot, I not only let him know what he did was factually inaccurate, but he even doubled-down on it and actually quoted the correct information by mistake.



I know what you're thinking. But Jaime, everyone knows Martin doesn't know what he's talking about and never met a conspiracy theory he didn't like, he probably just made a mistake. 

 And you're right, its hard to argue against Martin's stupidity.

However the fact that he still included the information AFTER he knew it was inaccurate shows he had deliberate intent to mislead his readers and smear Rep Ordaz. That is, oh what is the phrase I'm looking for here, oh yeah - "grossly negligent".

This is part of a pattern of behavior from Paredes where he constantly tries to smear elected officials he doesn't agree with through innuendo, half-truth, flat-out lies and conspiracy theories. All you have to do is skim through is incredibly boring posts and look for the names in bold print and you'll find the pattern of elected officials and politicos he's been obsessed with smearing using his tactics and having the nerve to act like he's a legitimate news source.

He did so again in his most recent piece on more than one occasion. By including "2nd degree misdemeanor" which doesn't exist, he is trying to give the impression that Ordaz committed a crime, of which she has never been accused. And he tries to make it sound like its a felony.

But he doesn't stop there.

He deliberately tries to create a narrative that is inconsistent with the statute he and Carrasco targeted. Here's an example in this screen shot:



Parades very clearly says that "unlawful disclosure of executive session information, without authority is a Class B misdemeanor (551.146b) in Texas".

First I make note that he uses the correct term in the text of the post, but the graphic image which he has been distributing through social media and is the first image you see of the post clearly says the mythical 2nd degree felony.

But more deceptively than that, he's lying about the disclosure of executive session information. That statute doesn't say disclosure of executive session information, which is where he and Carrasco are wrong. It very clearly refers to disclosure of recordings or a certified agenda of executive session.

Don't believe me? Here's Carrasco's own exhibit where she herself highlights it in red:



Point blank, Paredes is lying to his readers in an effort to convince them that Ordaz, someone he has repeatedly targeted, committed a crime or at the very least trying to push forward a narrative of corruption.

Yet Ordaz has been by far the most open and transparent member of council. Something Paredes repeatedly tries to give the impression he supports.

The way you can tell this is part of a deliberate effort on his part to be deceptive with his readers is the fact that he continues to try to pound the narrative into the head of his readers. Here's another example in the same post where he tries that little trick of saying something that isn't true and then attempting to deceive people that it is true by citing a code.


As it is pointed out in a story by the El Paso Times, disclosure of executive session information in and of itself is not a crime.

This isn't just a sloppy mistake on the part of Paredes.

This is a deliberate effort of defamation of multiple elected officials.

But more than that, its a deceptive lie.

******************************
Timing

Am I the only one that notices that every time Representative Ordaz is attempting to hold City Manager Tommy Gonzalez accountable that something like this pops up?

It happened when she raised the issue a few months back about his raise and asking questions about the MPO. Next thing you know, Textghazi.

Now several months later after grilling him on Monday there is yet another episode of Textghazi, almost 6 months later, that just coincidentally pops up out of nowhere?

Its hard to think they aren't deliberate efforts meant to intimidate Ordaz.

And thats not the only thing I noticed. When Rep Niland was running for re-election she had all the soccer moms of the pool helping her out. She pushed through pool stuff but the construction has been stalled. There's an agenda item to discuss it and poof, all of a sudden there's a bunch of swim moms at city council singing Tommy's praises and pissed at Niland?

No wonder she put Gonzalez on the spot and demanded answers.

Thats an interesting pattern developing.

*******************************
Carrasco's Media Blitz

You know how you know that part of Carrasco's intent for the ethics complaint is publicity? Because of the steps she's taken to make it a public spectacle.

Take Jim Tolbert for example. Tolbert didn't go to the podium and make a public declaration of his filing. It was filed and once media found out they looked for him and I think he gave a couple of interviews.

By sharp contrast Carrasco coordinated with Martin Paredes beforehand, then made a public declaration during public comment which was unnecessary in terms of process but done so for attention, then made copies of all her documents and exhibits and distributed them to any media outlet that would listen. She then proceeded to go on almost every single TV news outlet in town.

However when the El Paso Times tried to get an interview, she was no where to be found?

But here is where things get really interesting. In this interview on KTSM, Carrasco says, "It would be irresponsible of me not to bring it to the attention of the citizens of El Paso".

Actually Ms. Carrasco, you are accusing Rep Ordaz of committing a crime. Its actually irresponsible of you not to bring it to the attention of law enforcement. 

Carrasco has run for office before. It appears she's making a public spectacle in order to gear up for a possible run for another office, perhaps one of the westside city council seats in the future.

This kind of crap undermines the real legitimate ethics complaints when they get filed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Martin Paredes: Is it Stupidity or Intentional?

Being stupid isn't a crime, but it should be.

If it was, Paredes would be in a maximum security facility in Gitmo.

A lawyer friend messaged me after reading my previous post and point out something I missed that I believe was intentional.

Remember the fun little photoshop Paredes did that he was so super excited about that he tweeted it at meal bright and early this morning? Well there is something really interesting about it. Here it is in case you missed it earlier:

I mentioned how he very subtly includes the word "corruption" in the background.

But I missed something rather obvious. His use of the term "2nd degree misdemeanor".

There is no such thing as a 2nd degree misdemeanor in the State of Texas.

Maybe there is in Florida, but not here. Misdemeanors are classified by letters, A, B, and C.

Frankly I don't think it was a mistake on the part of Paredes. Oh don't get me wrong, I think he's dumb as a box of rocks. He's demonstrated that regularly.

But his inclusion of the word "corruption" in the background and then use of "2nd degree misdemeanor" in a different color font indicate to me that he is deliberately trying to make it sound like Ordaz is being accused of a felony.

Which is reckless and negligent on his part.

He's implying that Ordaz has been charged with a crime, which she hasn't. And not only is he trying to give people that impression, he's trying to make it sound like a felony.

Not a good situation for Paredes. He's probably going to get himself into some hot water.

The giveaway will be to see if he changes it when he publishes his post. I'm betting he changes it to try to avoid getting himself in trouble.


Local Republican Extremist Files Ethics Complaint Against Ordaz

Anti-immigrant extremist Barbara Carrasco has filed an ethics complaint about City Rep Claudia Ordaz alleging a violation of the law.

Carrasco is El Paso's answer to Sarah Palin. She's a shrill extremist that tries her hardest to string together Republican talking points into a coherent sentence but more often than not fails miserably.

She's been trying to interject herself in to the local political scene for a long time in an effort to try to appear reverent going back to the days of Congressman Reyes' town hall meetings. Since Ordaz used to work for Reyes then maybe that is when Carrasco started to sharpen that axe she has to grind. Since then she's been on television for her extremist views on immigration with regularity.

Before I go on you have to understand who she is and who she is connected to. She's a close associate of Martin Paredes, thats right, El Paso's own Flying Monkey. They have collaborated, which is ironic considering how much Paredes purports to despise bad immigration policy from the right, on a range of issues.



Most often what they collaborate on are personal hit jobs on people.

That is important to understand because when you take a look at the ethics complaint filed you'll see that the Carrasco/Paredes movida is fairly transparent.

And stick around and I'll tell you how Martin Paredes' ego is actually the tip off.

Carrasco has sensationalized what she is accusing Ordaz of doing and thats why she made sure that she got it out to the media right away. I mean whats the point of doing something like this without getting a little attention right?

So here is the complaint that was filed by Carrasco against Ordaz:









































In short she's accusing Ordaz of violating a state statute, 551.146 DISCLOSURE OF CERTIFIED AGENDA OR TAPE RECORDING OF CLOSED MEETING.

There's a lot of legalese behind all of this but here's the short of it:

Its illegal for someone, whether they are part of an elected body or not, to distribute a recording of executive session or a certified agenda. Remember that wording of laws are carefully crafted and the turn of a word can make something legal or illegal.

I'm telling you all this because Martin Paredes is working on a hit piece and he doesn't actually care, nor probably understand, that very important point.

What Carrasco is alleging is that Ordaz and County Judge Veronica Escobar exchanged text messages during an executive session meeting and that in the exchange Ordaz divulged the nuclear launch codes to the city's arsenal of atomic weapons.

Or something like that.

The problem is that Carrasco apparently didn't read the statute she's accusing Ordaz of violating. Or maybe she did and my comparison to Sarah Palin is that much more accurate, although I doubt anyone is wanting to do an adult film spoof of Carrasco.

Any who, I included what Carrasco sent to the city because I wanted you all to see that she highlighted certain parts in red, so as to draw attention to them. Maybe she should have given them a little attention herself.

The statute relates to someone turning over recordings and certified minutes of closed meetings. Carrasco doesn't even make that allegation in her complaint. In her complaint she very clearly points to text messages between Ordaz and Escobar that she obtained through an open records request.

Here's the part that is hilarious.

******A text message is neither a recording of a meeting nor certified minutes of a meeting. ******

So not to get in the nuances of very boring statutes that I've been reading for the last couple of hours, Carrasco filed a complaint that she knew wasn't consistent with the circumstances she alleged, told the media and the Flying Monkey about it, and it turns out it wasn't a violation to begin with.

Also, lets talk about where she even got this idea in the first place. She got it from a text message open records request. So before Paredes turns this in to another conspiracy circus keep in mind that Ordaz turned over her messages. She wasn't hiding anything. There's no shadowy conspiracy if Ordaz turned over what was requested of her.

Now by the time Martin Paredes posts his piece on this later on this evening he would have somehow tied this to a conspiracy involving a grassy knoll, the papal visit, UMC, the drug war in Juarez, the temperature in Orlando, Florida and I'm sure he'll throw me in for good measure.

Although to be honest with you guys, I kind of get a kick out of his obsession of me in my underwear.

C'mon Martin, I'm straight.

You'll never actually get to see me in my underwear, sorry to disappoint you. By the way, I know guys your age probably do wear the tighty-whitey tan-ta-duns, but I'm a boxer-briefs kinda guy. So next time you're in town crashing on Bobby Bowling's couch and masturbating to your cartoons of me you'll have to keep that in mind.

What is interesting is that I wasn't alerted to this until Paredes, for the first time ever, tried to pick a fight with me in social media as you can see in the first screen shot below.

Normally he avoids me like the plague. On more than one occasion I've confronted him on social media and he usually goes into hiding somewhere in his van down by the river. Its completely out of character for Paredes to engage me, much less start some shit with me early in the morning.

And that was because he and Carrasco were so over-confident about the complaint.

So as you can see by the time, it was bright and early this morning. Carrasco had plenty of time to feed him all the information she could because Paredes already had put time into creating another one of his little photoshop projects.

One of the things Paredes does is he likes to allege corruption and conspiracies in a very broad sense.

Rarely does it ever come with anything concrete, much like this instance. He very subtly puts the word "corruption" in the background.

Corruption is a crime. He's very obviously trying to imply corruption by including images of Judge Escobar and Rep Ordaz.

If Paredes has evidence of corruption he is obligated to report it to law enforcement. But he doesn't because he doesn't.

Never the one to shy away from a fight when someone picks one with me, I responded right away. Incredibly Paredes actually turned around another little photoshop project.

As you can see he had already been fed documents from Carrasco.

Newsflash Martin, Carrasco feeding you documents isn't "doing all of the work" for me.

Work is actually going through the statute to see what the text of the statute indicates and then cross referencing legal definitions so that you actually know what you're talking about.

Which is what makes this situation all the more hilarious. I'm not sure if there is a screening process for the Ethics Commission in which lawyers review complaints for validity/frivolity before they go to the Commission or if the Commission just takes and reviews everything.

Either way, these two coordinated in an effort that was sloppy.

But hell just for good measure, I'll include my response to Paredes little photoshop project:

 Haven't you all noticed the pattern yet?

No one requests text messages from other city reps.

And if they have, would anyone turn anything over?

And would Paredes even write about them?

Not likely, because it doesn't fit his narrative. But it would speak volumes about transparency.

Both theirs and Martin Paredes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Gonzalez Grilled

Yesterday City Rep Claudia Ordaz and also Rep Cortney Niland at one point, grilled City Manager Tommy Gonzalez over his performance during a special city council meeting.

During a conversation about approving the streets plan Rep Ordaz took Gonzalez to task for essentially allowing the city to go back to the old ways of politicizing street repairs - a process that frustrated many average citizens and was very unpopular.

Ordaz very calmly and rationally explained that Gonzalez allowed another city rep to add streets to the repair program, without council's approval, and stated that Gonzalez needed to take responsibility for doing so.



She went on to state that its part of a pattern of behavior of blaming everyone else from the previous council and city manager to the current council but never himself. Ordaz indicated that it happened under his watch and asked rhetorically when he was going to take responsibility.

Gonzalez's reaction was very telling. He was basically speechless and looked to the Mayor to bail him out of that Southwest Airlines-wanna-get-away? moment but the Mayor offered him no refuge.

That is when Niland chimed in and said all Ordaz was wanting was a straight answer and that is all that city council wants from him.

No answer from Gonzalez. I mean nothing. Just crickets and awkward silence.

Here's a link to the story on KVIA's website of Rep Niland taking Gonzalez to task on the status of the westside pool that was part of the QOL bond. Niland was prosecutorial in her questioning of Gonzalez and the status of the construction. Niland pushed hard for the pool and the pool supporters are like the soccer mom's of the pool.

It says a lot that someone who was formerly his biggest supporter is now openly critical of you and your practices.

Niland basically asked the same thing of Gonzalez that Ordaz was asking for - answers.

Looks like Gonzalez is running out of apologists. Essentially his only cheerleader on council now is Dr. Noe...

Fabens ISD Superintendent Faces Criticism of Salary

An anonymous letter was sent out to some members of the Fabens community yesterday that outlined criticism of his salary.

Its become an all too familiar criticism from the tax payers about the amount of money paid to an administrator in a political subdivision, much like El Paso's city council and the embattled city manager.

It is unclear how many mailboxes ended up with the letter but it indicates that Fabens ISD Superintendent Eldephonso "Pancho" Garcia's salary and compensation is almost $200,000. If you factor in his medical benefits it likely very easily exceeds $200k.

The Fabens ISD voted to give him a modest 2% raise which probably wouldn't bother residents of the community if it weren't for the fact that there are rumors around town that Fabens ISD is shuttering its Early College program and shutting several other programs due to lack of funding.

The letter goes on to assign a cost per student figure relating to the superintendents salary.

Salaries of other administrators are also shown to give context to how much money Fabens ISD pays their superintendent.

According to the data in the letter, which is at least two years old, Garcia is the highest paid administrators in the area and his salary is the highest on a cost per student basis.

To be fair to the Fabens ISD, administrators and specialized positions within school districts often require a salary that is a little higher as an incentive to get people to apply for the superintendent position.

Often an administrator does not live in the immediate area and live in El Paso so in order to draw them to rural communities they are often given extra compensation in order the district to be able to be competitive.

Garcia is a former interim Superintendent that stuck around and was eventually hired as the superintendent by the school board members.

Superintendents salary and compensation are set by the school board members of the district. The letter doesn't touch upon any specific performance measures of Superintendent Garcia, which are typically included in performance evaluations to determine whether or not the superintendent has met or exceed established goals.

But its clear that, if accurate, the data shows that Garcia earns much more than his local peers while often having far less students to oversee.

Superintendents don't set their own salary and I don't know a single person that isn't going to take a raise if its offered to them so the school board members are the ones that the community should hold accountable if they feel the salary is unwarranted or excessive.

And in a small town like Fabens the salary does seem excessive without any frame of reference to accomplishments (if any). The super's wage far exceeds the average salary of people in Fabens, although one could argue that his education and experience far exceeds that of the average person in Fabens and that the market determines his value.

However having such a large salary and then piling on a raise on top of the salary seems tone-deaf to not only the community but to the financial state of the school district. And $6000 in mileage? You're telling me that Fabens ISD pays the guy to drive to his own job for which he receives a 6 figure salary to begin with?

And that number breaks down to more than $20 per day for gas. Depending on the size of car its basically saying the tax payers of Fabens ISD are paying for the super to essentially have a brand new tank of gas every day?

The bottom line is that parents don't like to see money added to a superintendents salary that doesn't even live in Fabens while they see reductions in funding to programs.

One final note about the letter, its from an anonymous source. Depending on how many mail boxes it was sent to, it could have been a pretty expensive little project based on postage alone. And letters like this pop up from time to time.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Chente's Crisis Part Two













As I've said before, when I'm wrong I'm the first to admit it. I'm not really wrong in a post I did previously outlining some of the problems with Chente Quintanilla's bid to regain his old seat as state representative for HD 75, but there is some clarification that needs to be done.

The case alleging voter fraud against Chente Quintanilla and some of this close associates like Judge Nina Serna and Judge Lujan was dismissed back in April of 2015.
















There was another lawsuit alleging defamation that was filed against all the aforementioned individuals and a couple of other people from Judge Dominguez, and that case was filed in 2014 at the same time as the alleged voter fraud case.

But the funny thing about both of the cases is the fact that basically nothing has happened.

















On the one case that is still active, nothing has moved on the case since February of last year.

Two years ago, as it is being reported in multiple locations now, there was an investigation initiated of alleged voter fraud.

To date, there has been nothing that has come of the investigation. That is not to say that something won't come of the investigation, but I think the media coverage and my post, might have given the impression that there was some sort of recent development on this front. And I got that impression from the fist news story on the issue.

So to clarify, one civil law suit was thrown out, one is still pending but nothing of note has happened since February of last year, and there has been no allegation of wrong doing by a law enforcement agency against Chente Quintanilla, or Judges Serna and Lujan as of yet.

An investigation is just a search to find out what the facts are. It means nothing unless and until there is an actual allegation of wrong-doing by law enforcement or an indictment from the district attorney.

None of that has transpired as of yet. Nothing substantive has happened in the CIVIL cases in two years. Is it notable that Chente ran for re-election with this allegation hanging over his head? Yes. Has this been the first time its been alleged? No.

But unless there's anything more than an allegation, its not really a bid deal. Again the only substantive development of this case in the last couple of years has been the dismissal of one of the civil lawsuits in April of last year.

So essentially the story surfaced initially for what appears to be no other reason than the fact that it is election season.

Mary's Money: Gonzalez PAC'in in the $$$

State Rep Mary Gonzalez has more special interest and out of town money than any of the other candidates for any office in El Paso for the March primary. Here is a link to her campaign finance report. 

And the Lion's share of it (no pun intended) is out of town money. And Gonzalez raised almost no money from within her district. Only about 1/10 of her money is from El Paso County, about $13,200, and far less is from the district.

Actually only 4 contributions were made from people who actually live in the confines of HD 75 and those amount total less than $2000 combined.

In fact, one of the 4 people who contributed that actually lives in HD 75 is her father - a Republican.

She also apparently is following the footsteps of her predecessor and current challenger, former State Rep Chente Quintanilla is having a very questionable expenditure for Cattleman's Steakhouse listed on her campaign finance report. I'll get to that later.

Rep Gonzalez raised $84,470.28 in the last reporting session. That's not counting a pledge of $30,000 from Annie's list.

But the more consequential issue is how much money Gonzalez has received from special interest groups. In fact, its astounding.

A conservative tally of the money Gonzalez received on this campaign finance report alone shows that approximately $46,460 came from special interests or individuals tied to special interest groups.

In total there are 29 different political action committees (PACs) that have donated to Gonzalez on this report alone (not counting money she got from political campaigns of other candidates). The amount of money she received from PACs is probably actually a little higher than the $46K I just wrote if you factor in the individuals who donated that are connected to a PAC. I also didn't count all the money from attorneys and law firms that were listed that no doubt work with, for, or behalf of special interests.

Gonzalez will no-doubt attempt to explain away all the special interests by pointing out that some are teachers unions, law enforcement, or environmental PACs.

But the reality is that those contributions make up a pretty small amount of her special interest money.

A big portion of her money comes from various consultants and some PACs that are related to energy companies, which really deserves some scrutiny when you consider that there are three major energy issues dealing with her district.

The energy-related issues in HD 75 are an El Paso Electric power plant that was put in Montana Vista despite wide-spread opposition from residents, a natural gas pipeline that would go through San Elizario, which is also facing wide-spread opposition from residents, and a potential rate increase by El Paso Electric.

According to the latest filings, Gonzalez received at least $3,610 from the energy industry. Again that is a conservative estimate based only on the donations that have an obvious connection to the energy industry. Its harder to track donations from individuals without more knowledge of who they are and what company they work for.

Here's the take-away - regular everyday people don't contribute to Mary Gonzalez. Most of the people that do contribute to her are attorneys or part of a special interest group from outside El Paso.
---------------------------------------------

Where The Money Goes

First thing you need to understand is that state legislators can use campaign money for a lot of stuff that you wouldn't think is legal, but it is. They can basically live of it and I've heard stories of all kinds of stuff that campaign money was used for by various state reps-everything from a legislator paying for a staffers car payments to avoid repossession of the staffers vehicle to extravagant trips and bar tabs.

One interesting expenditure Rep Gonzalez's reports is payments to her office staff. Two of her staffers and a former staffer received money that was reported on Gonzalez's campaign finance report.

Her former staffer received two payments of $50 each for a gas stipend.

Her current staffer for the local office Joshua Carter received two payments that were about two weeks apart from one another, presumably for compensation for campaign work.



In a somewhat ironic twist, Rep Gonzalez also has a campaign expenditure for meals at the famous Cattleman's Steakhouse. The irony of the expenditure is that her now-opponent former State Rep Chente Quintanilla reported an expenditure for the same place four years ago when he was running for El Paso County Commissioner. 

He reported that it was a meal for campaign volunteers. But a social media post showed his family
eating at the restaurant on the day that the expenditure was reported, celebrating the birthday of his wife. That became a campaign issue and ended up in a piece of mail from his opponent. 

As you can see in this part of Gonzalez's campaign finance report she indicates that she took some people to the expensive restaurant to discuss, of all things, the Montana Vista Wastewater Project. 


There were some people in town from the state around that time, but they left on the 17th of August so it wasn't state folks that she took to Cattleman's. 

Coincidentally the day before was the start of her annual staff retreat. Its typically held of a few days and Rep Gonzalez uses the time for staff development. Here's a couple of screen shots that show her staff in town for the retreat and another screen shot has Gonzalez's mention of her retreat with staff. 



Who knows, maybe it was a meeting with her staff about Montana Vista's waste-water. 

Also of note, this screen shot. It shows how much Rep Gonzalez paid to have her now-famous coloring book printed. 


-----------------------------------------------------------
What's Missing?

That is really interesting is what is missing from the campaign finance report.

It appears the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo did not make a contribution to her campaign. Rep Gonzalez has an office on Tigua land, but did not get a contribution from the pueblo.

She did get a sizable donation from the Alabama Coushatta, Texas' other tribe that is currently looking to make gambling legal as well, but nothing from the Tiguas.



Friday, January 22, 2016

Quintanilla Campaign in Crisis Mode

Former State Rep Chente Quintanilla was never in a position to win the election against current State Rep Mary Gonzalez but the idea was that he was at least going to bloody her nose a bit and go out on his shield.

Based on campaign finance reports and a media story, it looks like Chente is going to struggle to get a respectable showing. He may have a hard time breaking 30% of the vote at this point.

According to campaign finance reports, Chente Quintanilla basically raised nothing and has almost nothing left. In another strange campaign finance report involving the Texans for Education Reform, Quintanilla is reporting large sums of money but it is almost all "in-kind" (about $40k) and he only raised a few thousand dollars from the Ivey's - prominent valley farmers and close friends of the Quintanillas.

There is also a problem in how he reports his expenditures. There is a requirement to post who the ultimate payee is on the reports and he just reports ATM withdrawals for cash to pay his campaign volunteers. He's actually required to list them by name on his report. 

But now a bigger problem from Chente is the fact that he is involved in a lawsuit that alleges voter fraud against him, and Justices of the Peace Nina Serna and Ruben Lujan. 

This story from ABC 7 and reporter Maria Garcia alleges that there were irregularities involving mail-in ballots in the Fabens, Tornillo, and Socorro areas. 

Serna was a staffer for Chente and the two remain close both politically and personally. Lujan is a long time ally and friend of Chente. If you recall, Lujan was the game-show style host for Chente's now infamous New Years Day pachanga in which Chente, Lujan, and other candidates physically handed out cash to potential voters. More on Lujan in an upcoming post. 

There is a letter mentioned in the story from the Secretary of State's Office to the Attorney General's Office that says that the information raised by Serna warrants a criminal investigation.

That's a big deal. I should also note that this isn't the first time this allegation has been raised. There have been issues involving mail-in ballots alleged against Chente since 2012.

The last thing Chente needs right now is this story coming to light right when he's having problems raising money. 

8 Bucks & Special Interest Money - the Joe Fierro Campaign

Like many of you, I loves me some Whataburger.

I like the #1 with double cheese, green chile, whatasized with a Dr Pepper. Man you put that together with some hot fries and some of their spicy ketchup and that is my version of heaven.

And it costs about 8 bucks.

Well it turns out State Board of Education candidate Joe Fierro raised just enough money by himself to buy the aforementioned combo at Whataburger.

That's not an exaggeration by the way, he only raised $8 of his own money. As you can see from this screen shot of his finance report. Click here to see the whole thing, although the screen shots basically are the whole thing.






The rest of his money, which I mentioned yesterday was something to be concerned about, comes from the TER, Texans for Education Reform.

And by rest of his money, I mean $15,000.







Someone with no education experience being funded to that extreme, although its in-kind, should draw major red flags. Why would a special interest group go so big for a candidate that didn't raise enough money for two combos at Whataburger himself and has no experience in education?

He ought to, at the very least, be able to answer a substantive question about education.

These are the questions that need to be asked.

If Sean Penn ever finds him.

Closed for Papal Visit

Since everything else in town will be needlessly closed for the papal visit, I have decided to follow suit. 

The LionStar Blog will be closed the day of the papal visit to Juarez. 

When asked for comment I replied, "Meh, screw it. I'm taking the day off from blogging and citing 'security concerns'. I don't want people reading my blog while they are driving in all the horrific traffic we are expecting."


Thursday, January 21, 2016

HD 77 - The Benjamins

The race for HD 77 which is the seat held by retiring, and now Forma partner, State Rep Marisa Marquez is heading down the home stretch with less than a month before early voting starts. Marquez candidate is Adolfo Lopez who is a smart and dynamic young attorney and as I mentioned before, reminds me a little of the Castro brothers.

The opponent is Lina Ortega who is a well-known attorney in town.

I was honestly a little surprised when I saw the campaign finance reports of the two candidates because I expected Lopez to have more money that what was raised so far. He came in around $40 grand, but that number was slightly inflated by the inclusion of in-kind donations from Forma Group. Those are listed in the plus side of the report. The way you know that they are inflated is because there are also expenditures to Forma Group.

Candidates like to fluff up their numbers to look like they raised more than they actually did so that is usually done throw the inclusion of in-kind contributions.

He has about $3,000 left in his account at the moment. Ortega raised about twice what Lopez raised and has more money left in her account than what Lopez raised.

But...

That was just the first report. The 30 day report may show interests like the TLR and the TER going all-in for Lopez and the scales may be a little more balanced for that report.

Also, money is only as good as how well its used. If its not used properly then it money in and of itself isn't that much of an advantage, so don't count Lopez out.

Annie's List dropped big loads of cash into this race for Ortega. Did the front-load her, or can she expect more contributions.

------------------------------------------------------
A Tale of Two Reports

The really interesting thing is to see who donated to each of the candidates.

Theresa Caballero donated to Lopez, Ray Caballero to Ortega.

The Bowlings donated to Lopez, the Jobe's donated to Ortega.

Other Lopez notable contributors include:

Leo Duran of L&J fame

Dee Margo and his son

The Schwartz's

Monica Teran

& The Texas Dental PAC

That last one is because Marquez comes from a family of dentists so that is why you would see such an odd connection.

Other Ortega notables include:

Carmen Arrieta-Candelaria

Joe Spencer

Beto O'Rourke Campaign

Veronica Escobar Campaign

Enrique Moreno

Joyce Wilson


Why Funding from Texans for Education Reform Should Concern You

The latest group to come in and try to influence El Paso politics is Texans for Education Reform (TER), which is essentially a sister organization of the Texans for Legal Reform (TLR). I warned everyone about their money and their influence a long time ago, but because they gave to Democrats with good voting records all was forgiven.

Until those Democrats endorsed a Republican over a Democrat in a general election. 

Now TER is dropping big loads of cash on candidates in this election cycle. As I mentioned, the candidates they are dropping the cash on are always Forma clients, so large portions of the cash are going to be soaked up in consulting fees. 

But lets be real, money doesn’t always mean you’re going to win, but it damn sure helps. It keeps the machine going to pay for mail, lit, etc. 

There’s one race in particular where money from TER is a bid deal and it should cause voters to give pause, its the race for State Board of Education. The SBOE is a collection of nuts so extreme that even the tea party wing of the Republican legislature in Texas blushes. 

They have literally tried to rewrite history. 

Right now there are three candidates running for the seat but because of math, the only two candidates that matter are the ones from El Paso. Jose Fierro, who is a businessman and run unsuccessfully for the El Paso Community College Board of Trustees last cycle, and Georgina Perez who is an educator and runs a business. 

Here’s the thing about TER / Forma education candidates. They usually run people that have little to no experience or qualifications and drop big loads of cash on them. That has to concern people that an organization who’s purpose is to get rid of public education as we know it and make some pretty scary changes is dumping big wads of cash on candidates with no experience in education. 

During a recent cycle they made it rain on a candidate for school board who only had a GED to try to dislodge a candidate that was a teacher. 

Yet again there is a similar situation with Jose Fierro, a candidate with no experience in education. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and he’s a fellow veteran. But he doesn’t have any experience in the important stuff like curriculum development or classroom management. How can he speak with any authority on these issues absent of experience?

His website says something that further underscores my concerns. The website speaks of working with the legislature, not against it.

Are you kidding me?

The Texas legislature that has constantly under-funded public education and allowed the craziness of the SBOE to go unchecked while Texas continues to plummet in national rankings for quality of public education?

Is that a joke or something? 

I haven’t seen this guy anywhere. I haven’t seen him at any form or event. He’s harder to find than Chapo Guzman. 


While SBOE is not a sexy race by any stretch of the imagination, but its far more than races like Tax Assessor Collector and Constable. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ali Enrique Razavi Ordered to Pay $100k in Deceptive Trade Practices Suit

Ali Enrique Razavi AKA Max Powers
Ah yes they say its a dish best served cold.

I've been waiting until just the right time to write this piece about Ali Razavi, aka Max Powers.

You know, the Forma Blogger.

For going on years now I have had to deal with this guy talking shit about me, which there are no shortage of people that do that, but he's mentioned my kids, my late father, and people close to me.

Pretty sure he'd lose his mind if other people started playing by the same rules he does. Turnabout is fair play and all.

But you know, he was quite the lengua larga when he was just known as Max Powers. It gave him anonymity to say all manner of things from regular commentary on State Rep Marisa Marquez's rack (pretty sure her husband doesn't like that Ali) to commentary on how electeds dress, my hair cut and choice of beer, to who electeds sleep with.

In fact, he's rather obsessed with every one else's sex lives. But when you look like that guy and can tell he doesn't get a lot of action himself, it sorta makes sense I guess.

But once he got outed, he was reduced to posting pics of mountains and recipes.

For as much shit as he likes to talk about with me, and today was sorta the straw the broke the camel's back, he damn sure doesn't like to talk much about himself.

So let me help you all out with that and tell you the Ali Razavi you don't know. Ali is pretty much reviled in Austin because of his time working with State Rep Norma Chavez. Lobbyists and other staffers hated the guy and many have written me emails about just how much they hate the guy. I could post a bunch of stories from consultants and lobbyists about how he was always first in line for a free meal or free booze and plenty of other stories I'm sure Ali would love to keep quiet.

The short of it is that even Norma survived Norma.

But not Ali.

Most staffers stay in Austin, work for another member of the lege, work they way up the food chain or find any number of other jobs around Austin after their boss loses.

But not Ali.

Because people didn't like the way the guy operated. And it makes sense when you consider that while he was working for Norma Chavez, he was leaking damaging information about her to basically anyone that would listen. I know, because he leaked shit to me.

U R Not My Friend. Remember that?

That came from Ali Razavi.

There was a lot of stuff that came from him. Most staffers are loyal to their bosses. Its sort of a code, but mostly its because they are glad to have the opportunity, so loyalty means a lot to them.

But not Ali.

Talk about a total lack of loyalty. Talk about being a Judas.

Thats the kind of shit he was known for. A guy who couldn't be trusted.

And do you think the guy is any more trustworthy now that he's had a chance to get out of Austin for a while?

Well, based on this recent settlement with the Attorney General's office for deceptive trade practices I'm guessing no.

That's right, Ali Enrique Razavi and his family business were basically caught selling solar panels that weren't up to American code, and were actually from China and told customers that they were "Made in the USA", to government entities.

Don't believe me, read all about it.

So Ali Enrique Razavi, aka Max Powers, can talk all the shit he wants about me and a couple of misdemeanors but maybe he shouldn't be throwing stones when the reality is that he and his company sold "unsafe panels from China and falsely labeling the items as U.S. made".

That's not me saying that by the way, thats the Dallas Morning News.

They deceived their customers and sold them panels that were potential fire hazards because they didn't conform to US safety standards.

And who were their customers? American tax-payers.

You see if a project is tax-payer funded at the federal level, they are required to use American-made materials. So the company misrepresented them as American products so that they could get the business, thats how the scam went down.

Now the company has to pay out $5.8 million in penalties and another $2.7 million back to customers.

Ali is personally named in the agreement of having to pay a penalty of $100,000 as you can see in this screen shot from the actual document.









And oh by the way, let me be more specific about the customers. Earlier when I said American tax-payers were the customers, I should've been more specific...they sold some of their "unsafe panels from China" to US military bases and airports.

They not only took American tax-payers for a ride, but their products ended up at US military installations and airports.

And if all of that weren't infuriating enough, listen to this last part.

The company filed for bankruptcy amid the lawsuit.

I've been following this story for a long time and waited for it to develop. The Dallas Morning News was even able to get comment from Ali himself, who gave a different story from what he ultimately stipulated with the state of Texas.

Most people wouldn't try to continue to pass off swap-meet panels from China as American-made once the media started poking around.

But not Ali.

What panels? The ones you guys ultimately had to admit were actually Chinese products? Are those the ones you meant Ali?

This article from the New York Times outlines problems with Chinese solar panels and why they are putting the entire solar panel industry at risk.

Do I honestly give two shits about the solar panel industry?

No, I don't.

But I do care about a guy who is deceptive in every facet of his life from his name to his business practices trying to prey on other people because he's hundreds of miles away and doesn't think he has to be accountable for what he says.

You're a fraud Ali and you got caught taking people for a ride.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

TER = TLR = Forma

Texans for Education Reform is the education equivalent of the Texans for Legal Reform.

They are a front for conservatives that want to take over Texas education policy.

I'm going through campaign finance reports but just so you know, the local TER/TLR firm is Forma Group. Where you see contributions from TER know that they are candidates from the Forma stable.

Thats how it works, TER donates to a candidate but the deal is that Forma is involved and thats how they are making money this cycle. Most of that money ends up with Forma and not much of it ends up in actual materials because of "consulting fees".

Its a bid deal because the TER is dropping big amounts of cash into campaigns and the TER candidates have some pretty scary ideas about what they want to do to public education in Texas.

And make no mistake about it, this is straight up a GOP outfit. Sure they toss some cash to a few Democrats but they largely fund GOP candidates. Keep it in mind.

More on this later.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Return of Carlos Sierra?

Team Tony
The El Paso Times wrote an article about the 8th Court of Appeals decision to order the removal of Tony Quintanilla from the ballot as an opponent to incumbent Democratic County Commissioner Vince Perez last week.

I read the article and wondered where Quintanilla was getting all his money from. He has lit, a website, a newsletter, his filing fee, money for lawyers, paid for a fundraiser and now money for an (alleged) appeal. 

As I read the piece I noticed something else that costs money...

A spokesperson.

How does a guy who has never been involved in politics before - to the point where he's never even voted - end up with enough money to pay for all of that stuff and have a spokesperson and "senior management of the campaign"?

Since I know most of the media and political consultants in town, I found the name Ahmed Khan unfamiliar.

Being the curious sort, I looked him up.

Guess what I found?

A connection to a dubious name in El Paso politics, Carlos Sierra.

Sierra - who was once a political consultant to a few candidates in town including Mayor Leeser and failed County Judge candidate Aliana Apodaca, was all but run out of local politics a couple years back. Just about everyone tried to distance themselves from him and he didn't really have that great of a win-loss record anyway. He's quick to take credit for victories but fails to mention all of his losses.

But he's almost always connected to Chris Acosta from the Sheriff's Office. She was going to appoint him to the Sheriff's Office Advisory Committee which is her little click of supporters. 

But on his way out the door he very famously made a threat to County Commissioner Vince Perez, City Rep Emma Acosta, and County Judge Veronica Escobar that said in short that he wouldn't stop until he had them out of local politics. 

As you can see in this screen shot, Khan and Sierra were both part of an effort to draft Vice President Joe Biden to run for president. They both list the same address in this filing of a place in Chicago, Illinois.





But hey, its Chicago. Those names just might be total coincidence right? I thought thought that too until I checked Sierra's Twitter feed and I noticed that he just so coincidently regularly posted about the Draft Joe effort. These are just a few examples of what I mean.


























Isn't that a nice coincidence? Actually it's more than a coincidence. Read this report, http://blogs.rollcall.com/rothenblog/draft-biden-organizer-dismissed-past-legal-problems/ and you'll see it is indeed the same Carlos Sierra.

Its even more interesting when you consider that Sierra is also a very proud REPUBLICAN.

Don't believe me? Read for yourself.









So the "Proud Democrat" (Quintanilla) is connected to a Republican political operative... who is trying to make a comeback - from the shadows. 

The connection of Sierra to a campaign is usually through Chris Acosta from the Sheriff's Office. As you can see in this article from the El Paso Times a couple of years ago, there was documentation of her association with Sierra "...who worked with her on several campaigns...", and an attempt to get him to do some consulting with the EPCSO website and an attempt to recruit him to be a part of the Sheriff's Officer Advisory Committee.

As I previously wrote, Acosta has made an effort to recruit campaign assistance for Quintanilla, which is how I first heard of Sierra's involvement.

Sierra's buddy is Quintanilla's spokesperson. Sierra has many documented ties to Chris Acosta. Acosta's candidates have almost always received large sums of money from the El Paso Sheriff's Officer's Association, of the slightly over $10k he has raised so far half of it came from the Sheriff's Officer's Association.







Acosta is an officer in the Paso Del Norte Tejano Democrats with Quintanilla's treasurer Isela CastaƱon-Williams and Eddie Holguin is the Chair. A text from the PDN Tejanos to their membership was sent out as a reminder to attend a Quintanilla campaign event despite a similar notice never before having been sent out, nor since. Holguin is the spouse of Iliana Holguin, an attorney who will be taking over as Party Chair soon.

So what does Carlos Sierra have to say about all his possible connections to Tony Quintanilla and a possible comeback to El Paso politics?

"Lies."

Okay, I guess its all just one big series of coincidences...

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Did Quintanilla Lie at Tea-jano's Endorsement Meeting?

Things involving Eddie Holguin's Paso Del Norte Tejano Democrats and Tony Quintanilla seem to just keep getting more and more weird.

If you recall I wrote about how at last Thursday's endorsement meeting Quintanilla was allowed to speak and ultimately win the endorsement of the embattled organization because he stated publicly, when asked by the moderators that were from the media, that he had filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Texas.

Funny thing about that.

He hasn't.

At least not as of Saturday.

In the day and age where information is so easily accessible it defies all logic and reason that Mr. Quintanilla would make a statement about filing an appeal with the Supreme Court of the State of Texas without Holguin even making a feeble effort to check if that was indeed an accurate statement.

Turns out there is no record of an appeal being filed with the Supreme Court of Texas as of Saturday. They update the filings daily on the Supreme Court's website. So at the very least it appears that when Mr. Quintanilla stated that he had filed an appeal with the state of Texas earlier in the day on Thursday it was either an inaccurate statement or a MASSIVE mistake.

Normally this is something that might make the media want to get a hold of Mr. Quintanilla and ask him about whether or not he indeed filed an appeal on the date that he publicly stated. Or perhaps Mr. Holguin to see what steps (if any) were taken by the organization to verify the accuracy of Mr. Quintanilla's claim since its the organizations name and standing going out on Mr. Quintanilla.

Seriously, you'd think someone would want to try to salvage the name of the Tejano's at this point.

But Mr. Quintanilla is never available to the media. Maybe they should contact his spokesman, Ahmed Khan.

In the valley there is a word for things that are said that aren't accurate.

"Mentiras."

"Lies" in English.

Speaking of that word, you'll see why its in quotation marks on Monday. Stay tuned for Revelation Monday people...

Drama Free at Westside D's

Okay, lest you think all Democratic Party auxiliary clubs are as dramatic as the Tea-janos I'd like to give you a quick summary of the Westside Democrats Forum the other night.

There was no drama.

Candidates behaved themselves and spoke about their platforms.

Other than Pee Wee being Pee Wee, which is really just cheering loudly and dropping the occasional F bomb even more than I do, it was pretty uneventful.

Here's a few things that stood out for me.

***************

HD 77

In the state rep race for HD 77, which is the really important race on the westside featuring Adolfo Lopez and Lina Ortega, Ortega seemed much more impressive than in the past. The one and only other time I've ever seen her was at a campaign fundraiser and she was rude and seemed to be a reluctant candidate.

At westside demos she was very impressive, had a strong command of the issues - more so than her opponent I think, and seemed relaxed and confident. She looked like a state rep.

Lopez is normally pretty impressive but his presentation seemed to be all over the place. Don't know if he was tired from block walking all day or just had an off performance. It wasn't terrible, just not as good as I've seen him before. He's still much better at working the crowd that Ortega. He makes it a point to go and greet everyone and Ortega seems to be more comfortable in her bubble of familiar faces. Truth be told, I don't blame her after what happened at a Party event earlier in the week.

Lopez has a Joaquin Castro thing about him. Can't quite put my finger on it but he's got something.

But I thought Ortega took it that night. She also ended up with the endorsement.

****************

State Board of Education only featured one candidate, Georgina Perez, because the other candidate that is running for the position didn't show up. I haven't seen him anywhere really. He's hard to track down.

Perez won the endorsement and was the first of two she won this week.

I think the only way we ever see the vato is if Sean Penn is sent to find him and do an interview.

So Sean Penn, if you're reading this HMU, I have questions.

*****************

8th Court of Appeals - yawn. I know its a super important office but even by the very low standard of excitement from judicial candidates, they are boring. Which means there are some good candidates because the Court of Appeals is the place you want your smartest legal minds, who usually aren't that exciting to listen to. Think of them as the Alpha Nerds of the black robe society.

Sorta like a Harry Potter convention.

Steven Hughes is the Justice right now and I found him to be the most impressive on that night.

Quick note, the Court of Appeals isn't where you get a second chance to prove your case. They don't "re-try" as case there. The justices basically read everything that happened at the previous trial and call balls and strikes.

******************

District Attorney

This is the debate I was most surprised about. The incumbent was sandwiched between his opponents and so maybe that is why he looked so bad, but I found him flat and unimpressive. He gives the same speech he's been giving since he was first elected. His playbook is fairly simple, keep repeating awards he's won.

Yvonne Rosales really surprised me because the knock on her from people is that she doesn't come across as authoritative and is pretty quiet. She is apparently aware of that because she addressed it and explained that the quiet ones are the ones that are listening. Her presentation was very strong and almost prosecutorial of Esparza. I wasn't at the Northeast Demos endorsement but I'm told she vastly improved over that one.

Lenny Morales went last and gave sort of a closing argument. Morales is clearly the better presenter of the three candidates. Also, I learned he went to NMMI, which is something I didn't know. Its called the West Point of the West. He had the best lines of the night and one of them had to do with how long Esparza's been in office, prosecution of small amounts of marijuana, and alternative programs in Houston (or San Antonio, I kinda zoned out at first). He finished it by saying Esparza had a 1982 view on marijuana.

If you close your eyes while he's speaking you can't tell if you're listening to a speech in this campaign or any of the others Esparza had run over the years. He hasn't freshened his message up, other than to mention that he's involved with the Hispanic Cultural Center. You get the sense that there is a lack of urgency from him, and I can't tell if its because he thinks he has it in the bag or if its because he's just very reserved in his delivery.

At any rate the main critique from his two opponents was the backlog of cases.

Esparza and Morales actually tied for the endorsement.

****************

Constables

Mark Chavez and Oscar Ugarte, two constable deputies, are vying for one of the westside constable races. The seat was previously held by the late Robert White.

They tie for having the ugliest campaign signs and they look exactly the same.

Yawn.

Ugarte won the endorsement. The most notable thing about their time on the mic is how few times they invoked the name of Robert White. Earlier in the campaign, which seems like they started in the first Obama administration, they were dropping his name all the time.

******************

Tax Assessor Collector

Race is between the young Gonzalez who is an inventory clerk at the office, the older Gonzalez who is the appointee in charge of the office right now, and Siria Rocha who was the number two in that office a while back.

The most notable thing about their forum time is that Gonzalez's signs kept falling off the wall.

Rocha won the endorsement.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fun Friday with Mary Gonzalez

You know you haven't accomplished much in your career when your highlights include a coloring book and taking a picture with a pig.

I mean unless you're in kindergarten. In which case you are having and AMAZING year!

So the other day I wrote a piece about there really not being much of a difference between current State Rep Mary Gonzalez and former State Rep Chente Quintanilla because neither of them have a really stellar record of accomplishment.

Interestingly State Rep Mary Gonzalez put out a year in review video on YouTube this week. Think of it like how over-zealous parents put together highlight tapes for their boys and send them off to schools hoping to get looked at by a college scout.

If you 'memmur correctly, I also wrote a piece awhile back that was critical of Gonzalez's constant desire to take credit for projects that she had little to no role in.

Well her video is basically the same thing, only set to music with a voice-over that sounds like it was recorded in a box.

The video highlights a few things that I want to draw your attention to, the first being the number of bills that she passed that actually became law. Apparently that was six bills. But the video doesn't go into details about the bills.

There's a reason for that. They aren't very substantive.

The video then highlights the fact that she authored 291 resolutions to honor people. Essentially she's bragging that she gave out 291 gold stars to people. Yay.

So no bills of substance but a shitload of gold stars.

And you're bragging about that?

No wonder the video highlights a damn coloring book.

Seriously, I'm not making that up. She seriously included the creation of a coloring book as an accomplishment.



The video also takes credit for the Montana Vista waste water project that would've been completed a lot sooner had she not been trying to play kissy face with state agencies and kicked a few asses instead. Senator Rodriguez got it done. Not Mary Gonzalez.

Although her staff really worked hard, but Rep Gonzalez never got near that shit.

Pun intended.

In another hilarious boast Rep Gonzalez takes credit for an annual toy give-away in Montana Vista that isn't organized by Gonzalez but the video sure makes it sound like it is. When Tina Silva from Montana Vista sees that Gonzalez was taking credit for a great project that she's been doing for several years now, with the help of almost every elected official in town, she's going to be pretty upset.

And you don't make Ms. Silva mad. Not if you plan on winning the vote in Montana Vista.

Hell I bet if someone donates a kidney Gonzalez will probably release a video taking credit for that too.