Monday, February 29, 2016

The Cell Phone Box...

Well here is the consequence of city council's ridiculous vote. Let's see how long this lasts.

This is the box that all members of council have to put their phones in.

Poor Richarda has to walk around with this thing all day! 



Hilarious. Only this city council will do something this ridiculous. 

Rocha's D'oh

I'll post some more serious stuff later but right now I thought I'd post this fun little piece and about the D'oh bug having run its course through the all the candidates for Tax Assessor Collector. 

Let's call it Fun with Stock Photos.


Check out this mailer that landed this weekend from Siria Rocha.

As you can see from these two other photos, it's a stock image.


And this one:


Same image, just the angle is flipped and it's cropped differently.

That's not really the D'oh!

Take another look at the first image. 



See it? 

Rocha's campaign sent the mail to the campaign manager of her opponent.

I mean it's not exactly a secret that Michael Apodaca is running Ruben Gonzalez's campaign. 

Has her data person never heard of an opposition list? 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

What a DA Investigation Means for El Paso

Its strange that such an important - and overtly political - development such as the DA investigating the dealings at city came out on a Friday. But its a big story.

More importantly its a big deal and its going to impact City Hall.

Lets start with that the practical impact of a DA investigation means. The Texas Rangers will start a brand new investigation, its not going to be something that will just pick up where the Fischer report left off.

You're talking about the actual Texas Rangers, not the crappy baseball team.

They aren't going to come in and go through the motions of an investigation. They aren't going to just flip through someone else's investigation (especially considering it wasn't done by law enforcement to begin with) to come to their conclusion. They are going to have their own independent process that will make people more nervous than going through a teenaged boys bedroom with a black-light or your internet search history.

You're bound to find some nasty stuff.

They are going to be thorough. A lot of things will be scrutinized. Trust me, its going to be intense around city hall when all the guys that look like Walker, Texas Ranger show up.

Then after the findings, if any, they could convene a grand jury, issue subpoenas, depose witnesses, etc. Then possibly charges. In other words, expect this to be the San Jacinto Plaza of investigations. Who knows if anything actually ever comes out of it but one thing is for certain, it'll be awhile before this all finishes playing out.

Maybe by then both the Sports Park and San Jacinto might be open! Probably not, but I don't want to kill your dreams.

Council has been under turmoil for Gonzalez for what, the past 7 or 8 months so far? All of the developments that have come to light, the failures, the ineptitude, etc have been a black-eye for council, the city, and the region.

Jose Feliciano can see that City Council is pretty much the most universally reviled level of government in town. And that is saying something when you consider how much crap was going on at the County just a few years ago.

You know what else even he can see? That city council is spiraling into the next EPISD saga, but there's not Texas Secretary of City Councils to come in and bail them out. City council, and city council alone, are the only ones who can decide how this movie ends.

EPISD Board of Trustees refused to act on Dr. Garcia when they had the chance to. Because they were more paralyzed by a fight with the El Paso Times, the trustees were essentially asleep at the wheel while the feds had to come in and snatch Dr. Garcia.

Am I the only one that has noticed that Gonzalez is now the second high-profile administrative professional from DFW that came to El Paso and all hell broke loose? Sorry, I'm getting off track here.

Actually, now that I think about it, the County is the template of what could likely happen at the city level. The public corruption investigation literally took YEARS to play out. The shadow over the heads of so many elected officials loomed large and eventually ended a lot of careers. The body count was pretty damn high.

But more importantly for the people of El Paso, this casts a shadow over all the work at City Hall. El Paso doesn't need another black-eye like this. Who knows what unforeseen implications this will have on the community or business?

Hell, El Paso may end up being closed for business. David K has written previously about how city council shenanigans has stopped companies from coming to El Paso. If this investigation even ends up with the slightest whiff of "corruption" there is no telling what the impact will ultimately be on this community if the investigation ultimately finds there is a culture of corruption at city hall.

The longer it takes to deal with Gonzalez, the longer it will take to now deal with the questions on the ballpark. What implications will this have on other controversial projects such as the street cars and even the projects that still need financing like the arena and cultural center?

Voters supported the quality of life projects by a really big margin. They sent a message to leaders that they wanted to invest in this community to make it a better place. So these projects are not only important because of the fact that the people directed them to be done, but also because of the financial responsibility to voters. The longer the delay in these projects, the more it ultimately costs tax payers.

And delays on those projects are avoidable if the council can avoid getting caught in a quagmire.

Council should not be so worried about what the impact of the DA's investigation will be on their personal careers, they should be concerned about what impact it will have on the city of El Paso. Council should really evaluate its position and decide what, if anything they can do to improve their situation otherwise the city is going to be bogged down in a quagmire and nothing productive is going to be able to get done.

At some point, council needs to figure out what decisive action they can take and then do so.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Well Played Tocayo, Well Played...



District Attorney Jaime Esparza has been getting a lot of criticism on the campaign trail about not having a leading role in the public corruption cases that plagued El Paso for many years.

In fairness to Esparza he did try former founding member of Socorro's G-Unit, Jesse Gandara. He got a conviction but didn't put anyone on the stand during the punishment phase and the communities in the Lower Valley were upset that Gandara only got probation.

But in this article in the El Paso Times, Check out this article from El Paso Times:

Texas Rangers asked by DA to review City Hall report

http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/local/el-paso/2016/02/26/rangers-asked-review-el-paso-city-hall-report/80994172/

 it appears Esparza is going to take a look at the ethics investigation report. 

Now when you hear Esparza's answers to attacks by his opponents about why he didn't take a more active role previously, his desire to look into this case appear to fly in the face of his previous answer.

People are going to want to know why now and not before.

The release, or lack of release I should say, of documents to the El Paso Times is really interesting. Now requests are going to get much more legal scrutiny. The City is probably going to have to be extra vigilant about getting those requests answered thoroughly and properly.

If people think he's going to also look at the events that led to the delay that cost $20 million to tax payers then his move is brilliant.

His race is tighter than he probably expected it to be and this is an issue that would be popular for him to take a stand on.

Well played. Very well played indeed. On the last day of Early Voting no less.

Noe & Acosta Sharing Staff at City Hall

I briefly mentioned the fact that at least two members of council basically share the same staffer, Dora Oaxaca.

If you recall I wrote about how she had explained that she was working for Rep Acosta but that she was also getting paid by Rep Noe to help him out with stuff dealing with the MPO.

The MPO stands for the Metropolitan Planning Organization and they are one of the most powerful entities around because they are the body that divides up the local funds for transportation and mobility in the region.

Its the entity that the city has having all kids of issues with meeting their requirements and have been losing out on a lot of money.

All you people complaining about how the city lost $20 million dollars...you should be more upset about the city losing TRIPLE that amount in lost or postponed projects because of their inability to get shit done on time and correctly.

So Noe getting some help from Dora Oaxaca on those issues isn't really a surprise. She has been working on MPO stuff since she first help elect Willie Gandara to office and later served as his staffer.

But this isn't the first time that sharing a staffer has happened.

Back in the day, former City Rep Eddie Holguin and former City Rep Alejandro Lozano shared a staff member. They shared Jaime O. Perez.

There is an inherent issue when you share a staffer though.

Communication.

And I'd add priorities to the list as well. What happens when the interests of two different city reps comes into play?

Or the interests of their constituents.

I wondered aloud yesterday why Reps Acosta and Noe were so tight lately on a lot of important policy issues. Well when you share staff, that might be a good indicator.

I know that a lot of you didn't Noe about that issue before, so stay tuned. You never Noe how interesting this might get.

Happy & Sad Notes

Here's some quick notes from the political scene that I haven't gotten around to talking about because of campaign stuff but are really important for El Paso.

The Black El Paso Democrats made a little history recently and elected the first woman president of organization.

Sissy Byrd took over the reigns as president recently. Congratulations to her and the Black El Paso Democrats.



***********************
Twymeni Purchase RIP

The El Paso Democratic Party lost one of our own recently. Twymeni Purchase passed suddenly this week. She was an active member of the Party.

I first met her and her husband during the Obama-Hillary War of 2008. Very nice and religiously faithful people. Her passing is not only a big loss to the black community in El Paso but also to the religious community and the El Paso Democratic Party.

My thoughts and prayers are with her husband Steven and the rest of their family.


The Hillary Bust?

Awhile back in the local Democratic Party scene there was all the buzz when the various establishment groups were all getting behind Hillary Clinton and getting on that bandwagon there was talk about bringing Hillary to El Paso.

As a veteran of the Obama-Hillary War of 8 years ago, I remember fondly the energy behind that race. The Hillary people were coming out of the wood work. There were Hillary signs and stickers everywhere.

On the Obama side we tried to do what we could but it was clear that El Paso was Hillary country.

And on Election Day, we saw huge voter turnout numbers in El Paso. Seriously big numbers.

Numbers so big that when we campaign types put together ground ops, we typically through those numbers out the window because they were such an anomaly.

But there were people that maintained hope, (see what I did there) that Hillary would still be able to draw big numbers.

Well time to play the sad trumpet.

We haven't seen a big uptick in voting. In fact, turnout has been kinda shitty.

I haven't seen a single Hillary sign anywhere. Not one. I've seen a few Bernie signs but no Hillary. I'm not saying Bernie is taking El Paso county, because he's not going to.

But what I am saying is that there is basically none of the energy of the last time she ran and turn-out is down a la madre. El Paso is not going to even influence how much of a margin Hillary takes Texas with.

Also, as much as it bothers a lot of campaign people, signs almost never mean a damn thing. David Stout beat Sergio Lewis without single damn sign. Lewis had those weird signs my buddy Morris Pittle did for him but they made Lewis look like Joseph Stalin and Homer Simpson had a baby.

So signs aren't going to win an election for you. But to see not a single Hillary sign anywhere is a bad strategy for your voters that only vote in presidential elections. There's no reminder that its a presidential year and in a Democratic city like El Paso, the Republican clown show isn't going to make them come out and vote.

Hillary wins but with low voter turnout. Not much of a statement from her supporters.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Fighting in Fabens

Over the years I've explained to you all how unique campaigning is in the valley. Fabens is always interesting because its probably the worst place to poll watch in the county.

If it gets windy you are going to get pounded by dirt and there's no place to seek refuge. This is the time of the year when its cold in the morning and hot in the afternoon and the only shade that is out there is whatever tarp contraptions you set up.

Plus its right off a major (for Fabens) road.

Things get tense out there.

Even more so when there is an intense race that seems to have tightened up over the last few days.

So word around Fabens is that law enforcement has had to make a couple visits out to the polls because of all the smack talk going on. Apparently this has been an almost daily occurrence out there.

Since Friday is the last day of early voting, I'm expecting it to be legendary out there. I may have to take a trip out there and see what I can catch on the ol' video camera.

Hey Precinct Chair Candidates...

Hey precinct chair candidates, if you make signs, they still have to comply with the law. 

If trust and honesty are 2/3 of your slogan, you might want to make extra sure you're compliant.


If you're printing signs and literature and your expenses go over $500, and they will, you need to file a campaign finance report. 

If not you can be subject to an ethics complaint. 

By the way this candidate is more commonly known as "La Pura Verdad". 

She, along with Jaime Barceleau, are the only two precinct chair candidates I've seen that have campaign art. Barceleau appears to have a mailer done but I'm not sure if it has been sent.



WTF: Romero Still Collecting a Check & Guess Who Supports It?

Make sure you're sitting down for this one because you aren't going to believe it.

And I should warn you in advance, its going to really piss you off. 

City Representative Larry Romero, who has now resigned quite a while ago and hasn't been working for his constituents since before Christmas, is still collecting a check at tax payer expense. 

Why? Because of the Texas Hold-Over Clause.

That's right, despite the fact that Rep Romero clearly let it be known what his intentions were when he resigned, which got him off the hook for the investigation by the way, Rep Romero is still collecting a pay check. And he hasn't returned any of it to the city either. 

"How is that fiscally responsible? That's the most fiscally unresponsible (sic) thing that could (sic) possibly do", Dr. Noe said about Romero still collecting a check.

Just kidding. 

That is what Dr. Noe said about paying the working poor a livable wage. (Also, I think he really meant to say "irresponsible", not "unresponsible".)

Noe and Acosta actually support giving a guy who has a business and his own income from that business, that despite the stroke he has been taking care of, a paycheck from the taxpayers of the City of El Paso.

Despite the fact that he isn't working for those tax payers. 

What did Dr. Noe, the ever watchful guardian of tax-payer dollars have to say about that?

"I'm not gonna pay for it, the tax payers out there are going to pay for this. We are volunteering our tax payers to pay, above and beyond, what the private industry is saying they are willing to charge us."

Just kidding. 

Again, that is what he said about paying workers a livable wage. 

Rep Ordaz made a motion to not excuse the absence of Rep Romero. Ultimately, after objections from Noe and Acosta, Ordaz asked the City Attorney to check to see if the City Charter has a provision to remove a city rep with consecutive unexcused absences.

As in Bye Felicia, no more tax payer funded paycheck

Until then, Romero can, and has been receiving, a check from the tax payers. There is no way to stop Romero from receiving a check despite the fact that he isn't working for the people anymore. 

Incredibly and unbelievably Reps Noe and Acosta were opposed to Rep Ordaz's common sense motion. 

If you haven't noticed, the dynamic duo of Noe and Acosta almost always seem to cover for city screw ups. Both have continued to be really big supporters of the embattled City Manager. 

Both have basically supported former City Rep Larry Romero. And now they are both now trying to ensure that Romero can continue to get a paycheck for not working. 

That is a fact, no matter how much they both try to spin it. 

Rep Noe is trying to argue that Romero could conceivably get better and could somehow get better and come back to work. City Attorney Firth had to explain that once you resign from office there is no "do-over". At best Romero could come back and continue to maintain his powers and privileges as a city rep until he is replaced in a special election. 

Another important fact, Romero resigned. He didn't ask for a leave of absence to recover. His letter of resignation made his intent clear. He wasn't pulling a Jesse Gandara in Socorro where he resigned but not really. Romero very clearly explained he was no longer going to be the city rep because of his medical condition. 

Had he intended to come back he would've asked for a leave of absence rather than resigned. There really is no other way of looking at his resignation as anything but a resignation and it defies logic that Reps Acosta and Noe would try to make sure the guy keeps getting pay checks from the tax payers. 

It just don't make Noe sense.

Here's the video:



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Zas! A Little Much?

Well Freeway Carpets has never been accused of pulling punches.

A bit much? 

(Before you people lose your mind, don't kill the messenger on this one, blame Freeway Carpets, not me.)


Guns & Condoms; Chente Sounds Republican Now

My comments on the race for HD 75 has caused quite a stir in my backyard. The Valley War currently being waged has people on both sides pretty upset with my critiques of their respective horses.

Mary Gonzalez's supporters are upset at how critical I have been of her candidacy. And yes, I have been the more critical of Gonzalez on issues than anyone else writing about this race.

And I stand by every single critique I have made.

Since I guess people feel Gonzalez is above critique, some of her supporters have been really pissed. Including Alfonso Gutierrez, a former Socorro City Rep who has been running around calling elected officials and lying to them about me. He recently ran for city council again and somehow managed to lose to a Gandara. Seriously, how you lose to a Gandara after so many of them have been convicted of felonies is beyond me, but that superstar somehow managed to do so.

I have consistently made the point that there is very little difference between Gonzalez and Quintanilla. They both suck.

And many valley residents have called, texted, or emailed me saying they wish that they had another option on the ballot.

Chente Quintanilla recently released his negative TV spots against Gonzalez in Spanish. I saw both of them run back-to-back on KINT 26 last night during the 10:00pm news. That was smart on their part to run them in Spanish and I'm betting that Gonzalez campaign is feeling it in the field.

And here is a big takeaway from this piece. The negative mail and TV spots are so effective that if Gonzalez were facing ANYONE other than Chente Quintanilla, she'd be TOAST right now. She has failed to define Chente and allowed him to define her. Now she has to spend time, treasure, and talent to undo what Chente has done.

If she were facing a Latina who wasn't 40 years her senior, Gonzalez would be retiring with Marquez.

That reminds me, if you believe Marquez who works in a firm of 7 people and only one other decision-maker has nothing to do with Gonzalez's race, then I have some oceanfront property in Arizona to sell you.

The fact that Gonzalez is facing Chente is her saving Gracie. Yes, Gracie is a play on words and there is a reason its capitalized. I'll get there in a minute, keep walking with me.

Chente, who has already been characterized as "furniture" by a Texas publication that follows the legislature, has been taking some really weird positions.

And by weird I mean Republican.

I wrote recently how he came out against bilingual education. Which is one of the dumbest things you can say in the valley where such a large portion of the community is Spanish dominant. Include Chente I might add.

But he doubles-down and in a debate at the Mission Campus of El Paso Community College, says he supports guns on campus. There have been at least two incidents at an El Paso Community College campus involving weapons in the last year. Many administrators and educators were against guns on campus for that very reason and it makes the job for law enforcement officers that much harder when they have to deal with the possibility of multiple people on campus with a weapon.

This isn't a theoretical issue, its a real-world scenario that has already happened on an El Paso Community College campus. The Texas Association of Community Colleges, who lobbies for El Paso Community College, came out opposed to the measure and supported a version that would let local jurisdictions decide whether or not to allow them.

Guess who is a trustee of the El Paso Community College Board of Trustees? Chente's wife, Gracie. Since the EPCC Board of Trustees HAS NOT taken an official position on the version that has passed the legislature, I wonder why.

Is Chente's spouse blocking an official position? Or does the Board think guns on campus is a good idea?

And why the hell hasn't Gonzalez's campaign team decided to whack Chente for the position. Chente sent a piece of mail with an image of a lunch tray that had condoms on it saying that she wanted condoms in schools.

Why hasn't she sent the exact same mailer against Chente with an image of the same lunch tray but instead of the condoms she should put a .45 and a few rounds next to it that says Chente wants to put guns in schools? Come on, thats a no-brainer. And judging by her 8 day report, Mary has the money and Chente has ... pardon the pun, spent his ammo.

Then there's the bill Chente voted for that would in some cases, require a woman to be subjected to a foreign object rammed up her va-jay jay to perform an ultrasound. That was one of those crazy extremist Republican ideas and Chente was for it.

And now we know that Chente has received the bulk of his money from a Republican political action committee.

Gotta love valley politics!

Oh Noe He Didn't...the Dr. Noe Ordinance

This is a long post, but stick around. I assure you its worth it. I drop some knowledge on this one. And some feelings are going to get hurt. Walk with me...

The cell phone ordinance should hereon be called the Dr. Noe ordinance. After all lets be real, this was his effort to try to stick it to Ordaz, which explains his really emotional outburst during the meeting.

Lets also be real about something else. There are a couple of city reps that purposely do not have a city issued cell phone or lap top. Ask yourself why? Actually the media should ask them why and I'll be interested to hear their answers. Would it have anything to do with the fact that the city can go through a cell phone or laptop any time they want to but they can't do that to a personal device?

Lets hear what they have to say.

And for whatever reason, Noe has become VERY emotional over the last few months. Maybe its because he's so stubborn about being tied to the city manager, but whatever the reason is, he has really become almost a different person.

But he's also the guy in the room who came up with the idea about the cell phone policy, and then at the last minute wants the rule to basically apply to everyone but him.

Its typical elitist bullshit. Do as I say, not as I do.

And why didn't this policy apply to the City Manager, City Attorney, and other staff that sit in on council meetings? Council should fix that. They should also clarify that notes that are handed to city reps from staff, and to and from other reps, which are really no different than text messaging should also be banned.

I'll get to that in a minute, but let me layout some stuff I've been thinking but biting my tongue about for awhile.

Lets start with where all this really comes from. After Ordaz was reelected by a very large margin, I wrote one line in a blog post that set everybody off. I said that I could envision Ordaz as mayor one day and that made everyone lose their shit.

Probably because they are intimidated that Ordaz is an educated Chicana who is younger than all of them, is articulate, and represents barrio communities. Essentially time is on her side.

I never even talked to her about being mayor one day. It was just something that popped in my head while I was writing my piece and then boom, all hell breaks loose. Which is hilarious to me because most of the time people talk about how I'm just a blogger with no credibility but if I say something they don't like they all have a shit-fit.

Any who, it really bothered a few people whose mayoral aspirations might be side-tracked by even the mention of what I wrote. And that is when all the ill-will toward Ordaz started. Good ol' fashioned hater-aide.

Emma Acosta, Cortney Niland, and possibly even Michiel Noe himself are all entertaining mayoral aspirations.

Too bad Team Forma is probably going to run Dee Margo for mayor. I've now heard that from three different places and it starting to look more and more true.

But behind the curtain of two of the possible mayoral hopefuls is someone who's been asking for me to write about her for a couple of months now, so today you get your wish Dora Oaxaca.

Dora is a staffer for Acosta. But what most people don't know, is that she is also a staffer for Noe.

Noe way!

Yes way.

That brings me to the first little bit of hypocrisy in all this city council BS. Just before Noe's little emotional outburst Ordaz, who decided to take things a step further in the cell phone ban conversation to ban all cell phones during meetings, said that there was communication that happens before meetings too and that "I voluntarily gave over all that information because I believe in transparency".

That's went Noe lost it. And the things he said are particularly interesting. He said, "I would take offense to that. She, she actually did not turn over her text voluntarily. She originally said that she didn't have any, it wasn't until the city attorney said, well you better find some because one of them is posted on a blog so the public knows its out there, thats when she turned them in."

Ordaz was obviously angered at Noe insinuating she was lying.

And she should be, because that isn't how it happened. I take offense to the fact that either Noe was hall-of-fame-wrong on this one or he deliberately tried to mischaracterized how it went down. The truth is, and this is a bitter pill for all the hater-nation out there, Ordaz not only released what was requested, but she released everything having to do with city business.

Ordaz is the only member of council to do so. Sure, it was probably a little embarrassing to do so, but she was the only one that has done so. Noe, Acosta, et al haven't done so.

And here's were Ordaz really separated herself from her colleagues on council. She was so committed to being transparent that she took the step of finding software to actually recover text messages.

She proved that if you REALLY WANT TO BE TRANSPARENT there exists the software to recover messages that have been deleted for what ever reason. I know for a fact that multiple news outlets have made text message requests and were told that there were no responsive documents.

But how can that be if the software exists to recover them? Because the reps can't be compelled to go through the effort.

The fact that Ordaz has, and they haven't, speaks volumes about who really is, and who really isn't, transparent.

More on this particular point on another day...

****************
Noe Says No to Banning All Phones; Limón Calls Him Out

So Rep Noe says that he's special and that all cell phones shouldn't be banned because he's a doctor and there may be life and death issues that require his attention. Dr. Noe is a damn good OB. In fact, the best in town. He delivered my own grandchildren. So he's got an important job.

But that isn't the point.

Rep Limón said that he had an obligation to his constituents to be doing the people's business. Emergencies happen and I don't think there is anyone that thinks that they shouldn't be able to use the phone for family emergencies.

But Noe's emergencies aren't family emergencies, they are work emergencies. I'm not saying he shouldn't attend to them, I'm just saying that he told the constituents he could do both jobs. His practice shouldn't be more important than his job doing the people's business. A point the Mayor made very eloquently himself.

Noe can't have it both ways. But really the ordinance by Noe, Acosta, and Robinson was aimed at Ordaz. They should be, oh whats the word I'm looking for here...oh yes, "transparent" about that.

They basically don't want her to text on a personal device. So Ordaz says I will see your ordinance about personal electronic devices and raise you a complete ban for the sake of transparency. Ordaz probably did so because she knew there was a loophole that members of council have been enjoying about text messages. Even on their public phones, there is no central server that the City has access to independently of the city reps. The messages only live on those cell phones and its really up to the city rep what they do, and do not want to turn over (as a practical matter).

She called their bluff and as much as Noe tried to get out of it, the three will now have to live with the Draconian rule they came up with just to try to score political points.

*****************
Dora Oaxaca & The MPO Thing

Noe has been pissed that since Ordaz's other half, Commissioner Vince Perez became the Chair of the MPO (before Ordaz was even elected if memory serves) he and others began a series of reforms that would allow other communities in the county a chance to compete for infrastructure project dollars. The City of El Paso basically monopolized all the money for many years. So that has been a sore point for Noe and others for awhile. That is probably yet another reason Noe wants to stick it to Ordaz.

So when the City kept continuously demonstrating that they couldn't get their shit together for the projects Ordaz - rightfully - demanded answers because the city was screwing up on projects that affected her constituents.

Ordaz was basically singled out by the rest of council because she was asking questions. I mean God forbid a rep from the wrong side of the tracks dare stand up for her constituents who have been getting hosed for years right?

Ordaz sought help from an expert on transportation issues, Jose Landeros. And Noe and others on council have been critical of her doing so. Which is funny because the city council members on the MPO have city staff that will help them with the complexities of the MPO. Council members who are not on the MPO don't have that advantage and so in order to effectively advocate for their communities have to get help somewhere.

You know who else did that?

City Rep Michiel Noe, even though he has staff from the city that can help him because he sits on the MPO.

Oh hell Noe!

Oh hell yes!

He has been paying Rep Acosta's staffer Dora Oaxaca, I believe with discretionary funds, to help him with issues pertaining to the MPO. Oaxaca mentioned it to me the last time she asked me to write about her in my blog. I'm sure my friends on the mighty mighty eastside would love to know that there's no money for projects that could've been covered with discretionary funds because the money is allegedly going to supplement Oaxaca's income.

But hell, Oaxaca and Forma Group are the ones who got him into office in the first place if you 'memmer. Oaxaca was his campaign manager the first time he ran for office.

Oh, and how's this for a funny little coin-qui-dink? Even Noe acknowledges Landeros' talent because guess who he turned to when he needed to upgrade his campaign talent in his re-election bid?

You guessed it, Jose Landeros.

But hey, lets not forget that Forma isn't just going to let one of their clients fly too far away from the roost. Check out this interesting little tidbit from the 8 day finance reports.

Looks like Dr. Noe dropped a G to Forma's candidate to replace out-going State Rep Marisa Marquez, Adolfo Lopez.




Oh Noe!

Oh yes.

In conclusion, I want you all to remember this quote from yesterday's council meeting from Dr. Noe. to Rep Limón.

"Don't tell me to grow up, you're asking us to break law!"

Keep that one in your back pocket, you'll need it later. It'll be on the test.

Video: SBOE Candidates

The State Board of Education is an important race that no one really cares about.

But they should because stuff gets cray-cray on that board.

We recently elected someone who didn't even want the job to the position. District 1 covers a ridiculously large portion of Texas, something like 40 counties.

Two of the three candidates are from El Paso.

You know how I roll, I try to get video of as much of the candidates as I can and pass it on to you. So here are the three candidates. Georgina Perez and Joe Fierro are from El Paso County and Lynn Oliver is from Bandera County.

Here's video of the only time all three of the candidates addressed the same body, a couple of weeks ago at the Eastside Civic Association:





El Paso Times Endorsements

You know I've been busy covering election stuff lately and haven't really had a chance to talk about city stuff.

I'll get to it soon enough, trust me.

But before I do, I wanted to talk about the El Paso Times' endorsements and their process.

First things first, the Times' endorsement matters. Thats why everyone who didn't get it starts bitching. Since none of the Forma candidates got the endorsement, that is probably why Ali Razavi has been bitching about it and how he doesn't like the process.

Seriously Ali, of all people on planet earth that shouldn't be talking shit about transparency, is the guy who's family business deceived people about what they were buying.

Maybe he shouldn't be the person wagging his finger about what is and isn't ethical.

Kinda like State Rep Marisa Marquez wagging her finger to school boards about being transparent and ethical at the same time she is lobbying county commissioners while still serving as a state rep and working for a political consulting firm while still serving as a state rep.

I think the Times endorsed all of the most-qualified candidates on the ballot. And I think they are all going to win, with the notable exception of Ruben Gonzalez who is seeking a full term as the Tax Assessor Collector.

He's going to lose.

Two candidates with the same last name on a down-ballot race no one gives a shit about just isn't going to be something that can be overcome.

But the Times is basically going to run the table on the rest of the endorsements.

Now, lets get to what the heart of the issue is... Enrique Moreno.

Look, I understand the criticism. Enrique Moreno doesn't make the decision about who gets the endorsement but he is an accomplished lawyer and asks questions to get a desired answer for a living. So for those that are upset that he is even sitting in on an endorsement process if he has a conflict, and its a HUGE conflict if he made contributions to a candidate's campaign, I feel you.

But recusal from the process should be incumbent upon Mr. Moreno himself.

Its not his company that makes the endorsements, its the El Paso Times. So they ultimately decide on who gets the endorsements.

In this particular case, all the most-qualified candidates got the endorsements. The people that didn't get the endorsements are just upset they didn't get it.

Campaign hard, you still have lots of time left in early voting and you still have election day. There are bigger things to worry about than not getting an endorsement.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

City Document: Ordaz Ethics Complain Dismissed

Local Republican Extremist Barbara Carrasco
"...I am dismissing this complaint in accordance with Section 2.920.80(G)(3) of the El Paso City Code. The complaint, if true as alleged, would not as a matter of law constitute a violation of Chapter 2.92 of the El Paso Municipal Ordinance."

So ends the letter that was addressed to local Republican extremist Barbara Carrasco that was sent from from the City Attorney's Office notifying Carrasco that her complaint against City Rep Ordaz for alleged violation of laws regarding the disclosure of official minutes or recordings of Executive Session was summarily dismissed.

The letter also states that Ms. Carrasco's "entire complaint is predicated on a fact not in evidence..." and further states "...the complaint you filed does not connect the action (sharing information via text message about a topic discussed in executive session with a member of the public) to a violation of the Ethics Ordinance."




Ordaz has been quoted in previous news coverage of the issue as stating that it was a "frivolous complaint" and that she was confident the complaint would be dismissed.

In fact, here is her quote in the El Paso Times back when the complaint was first filed.

"This individual is alleging that a criminal violation of state law occurred," Ordaz said. "If there were any truth to her allegation, she should file a complaint with a law enforcement agency, not the ethics commission, which neither investigates nor prosecutes criminal matters. Instead, she has chosen to file a baseless complaint to make a public spectacle. I am confident this matter will be dismissed."

Interestingly Carrasco was not available for comment to the El Paso Times back then. And she wasn't available for comment to the media today either. Which is really funny because when she made the allegation she jumped in front of any camera she could find.

Anyone wonder why?

Ordaz basically dared Carrasco to file a complaint with a law enforcement agency and she hasn't. Nor is she likely to. Media should be asking why.

Campaign Photo of the Day

Ben Mendoza is my favorite political character in town.

Enough said.


Chente Quintanilla: "I am not a bilingual education supporter"

The Texans for Education Reform have come out in full support for former State Rep Chente Quintanilla to get his seat back against State Rep Mary Gonzalez.

The TER PAC has a new spot that has already started to run on television that hits Rep Gonzalez on education and then touts Chente's experience as a superintendent.

It was then that I realized I never uploaded the video of the candidates at the forum hosted by the Eastside Civic Association. Chente had some interesting things to say about bilingual education at about the 2:50 mark of the video.

And by interesting things to say about bilingual education I mean he is against bilingual education.  I'd watch it all the way to about the 6 minute mark to get a good indicator of where Chente stands on a couple of important education issues.



Now leave it to Chente Quintanilla, a former superintendent, to come out against bilingual education in a community in which Spanish is the language most often spoken in the home and in the streets.

You want a real world example of why bilingual education is important in the valley? Ask the rich white farmers.

Almost all of them speak at least a little Spanish and a lot of them are fluent in Spanish. Why? So that they can communicate with their grossly underpaid field hands of course.

And to underscore my frustrations with both of these crappy candidates, Rep Gonzalez wants to bring back dairy so that there can be more jobs that don't get paid much money.

Because low-wage jobs is what the valley needs right now.

That is sarcasm for those of you that didn't understand.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Well One D'oh! Down ...

Looks like 8th Court of Appeals candidate Maria Ramirez fixed her billboards. 


If you look closely you can see that the word "for" was added.

You may recall that a complaint was filed with the Ethics Commission by a constituent about the lack of the word "for" in her campaign signs.

This will likely get her off the hook with the ethics commission.


The Saturday Surprise Mail; Forma's D'oh

There is usually a GOTV piece of mail that goes out and ideally should land the Saturday before early voting. 

But since the team at Forma kinda has a history of sending mail out late, it doesn't always happen according to script. 

Remember, these are the people that had Tania Chozet's GOTV mail for a Saturday mail land on a Monday...after the election. 

So a really effect mail piece against State Rep Mary Gonzalez landed this weekend that may or may not have actually been meant to land last weekend. But since turnout has been terrible so far, no harm no foul. 

The piece attacks State Rep Mary Gonzalez for her dismal attendance record at the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). 

And make no bones about it, she has a terrible attendance record at the most important policy and decision-making honey pot in the county. And this is the part where all the state reps start trying to cover for each other and start hollering about how they can't come back during session because they are just oh-so busy. 

But lets be real, somehow Pickett makes it a point to be at as many MPO meetings as possible. And if we are still being real...Gonzalez files a lot of bullshit bills that don't need her to be there. If Pickett can make it, Gonzalez can make it. 

Here's the mailer I was talking about:




Forma is getting smarter. For example, they actually got smart and made it a bilingual mailer. Yay, go team. Second, they got an Hispanic female face on the on the piece, unlike the last piece. The fact that they got a picture of a lady that has an expression like she just got a look at Ali Razavi's back hair, or went to the bathroom after he did is a bonus. And they got an issue that actually resonates locally. 

The valley is going to get unprecedented infrastructure dollars leveraged their way in the next few years. But Mary Gonzalez had absolutely ZERO to do with that. 

That was because Commissioner Perez became Chairman Perez of the MPO and was able to get a lot of much-needed projects to the area. 

Of course its certainly not above Gonzalez to take credit for successful projects she had little to do with, like the waste water project in Montana Vista she just sent out another mailer taking credit for. 

But the reality is that Forma nailed her. Gonzalez has been AWOL from MPO meetings and it is really, really, really, really bad that her attendance is so terrible.

However...there's a bit of irony in that piece. 

Actually is probably quite a bit more than irony. Its more like hypocrisy.

State Rep Marisa Marquez who still has over 10 months in office, and now holds a senior position in Forma, has an even WORSE attendance record over the last couple of years than Gonzalez, which is almost not possible. 

If I'm reading MPO records correctly, Rep Marquez hasn't been to an MPO meeting since November 2014. 

Lets take this full circle. About 4 years ago a skinny guy in suspenders stood in front of the El Paso County Courthouse when then-Commissioner Willie Gandara was talking about running for the office currently held by State Rep Mary Gonzalez, and went after Gandara for his attendance record at the MPO. He made the point that the valley didn't have a seat at the table because Gandara had missed so many meetings that he had his ability to vote taken away.

That was such an effective message that Dora Oaxaca, Gandara's staffer and the person responsible for electing most of the Gandaras to their various offices, even adopted the line of attack and once called Willie "an absent commissioner" at a forum. 

Guess what? Gandara missed less meetings than Marquez or Gonzalez. 

Its funny right?

But frankly this is an issue that Chente should've been hammering for months. The first time voters hear this message is halfway through early voting? In order for a negative message to really resonate with voters it needs time to marinate. And the message needs someone that can defend the message, unlike the flood message. 

Now knowing Forma, they have one more hit piece coming toward Gonzalez. As long as they can remember that election day is a Tuesday and they can get it in mail boxes next weekend, they are in business. 

If Marquez is the one who came up with this mailer then that is straight-up gangsta! Create a mailer that would work against yourself. 

Freakin' genius!




Friday, February 19, 2016

Precinct 92 Race

I don't do endorsements for a myriad of reasons and frankly, no one wants nor needs my endorsement.

But when it comes to a precinct chair race I think I'm pretty qualified to give you all in Precinct 92 a good recommendation. 


So here's my recommendation. Vote for Isela Castañon-Williams. I know Isela personally and have known her and her work in the Democratic Party for years.

I don't often agree with who she supports for various offices, but I disagree with a lot of people in the Party. I'm often critical of the Old Guard of the Party for their often circus-like behavior. Many of them are far more concerned with making a scene rather than actually doing the work of the Party.

Isela is one of the few that actually works for the Party. 

I know what you're thinking, she was the treasurer for the guy that was going to run against my old boss, Vince Perez. Yes that's indeed true, but if you can't be a pro and get over stuff like that then you don't belong in politics.

And even I can recognize her contribution to the Party.

She has something her opponent, Jaime Barceleau, doesn't have - a track record of being a Democrat.

Isela has made phone calls and knocked on doors for Democrats. She has been to conventions as a delegate and participated in several Democratic Party auxiliary organizations.

Here's what you need to know about Jaime Barceleau...he has high plans of being a city rep one day. He wants to replace City Rep Emma Acosta on city council in the future.

So he figures precinct chair is a good place to start.

He should forget about being a city rep. It ain't gonna happen for a lot of really good reasons.

But that's something for another day. For now, Barceleau should understand that the precinct chair office is supposed to be something taken seriously. 

Barceleau hasn't done a damn thing for the Party. At best he's shown up to a few events, but that's only because he's District Clerk Norma Favela's "plus one".

No one in the Party would know the guy if it weren't for the fact of who he's dating. 

Sorry Barceleau but who your girlfriend is doesn't qualify you for the position.

And if you want proof that the guy doesn't have the good of the Party in mind, take a look at his campaign material. 



He didn't even think to put "Democrat" on it. And he's describes himself as "mostly conservative".

By the way, you're supposed to have what party you are running for and the disclaimer. Hope he's reporting what was spent, even if it's in-kind.

Vote for someone who has made a commitment to the Party and will take the job seriously, not someone who has never demonstrated an ounce of loyalty to the Party and is only using the position as a stepping stone for another office. Vote for someone who can be trusted. 

Vote for a real Democrat in action, not just name.

Vote for someone that doesn't describe themselves as conservative.

Vote for Isela Castañon-Williams. 

District 2 Candidate Update


Despite the fact that the city hasn't indicated when there will be an election to replace City Rep Larry Romero, another candidate has joined the race with Jim Tolbert.

Obviously this is unofficial because the filing window hasn't opened yet.

David Nevarez, best known for his appearance in an ad for Beto O'Rourke when he ran for congress against Silvestre Reyes a few terms ago, has indicated that he is going to run.

Nevarez is also on the city's veterans affairs committee. 

The fact that there are two candidates in a race that isn't even happening yet is a pretty good indicator that it will likely be a full field.

The other candidate everyone keeps talking about is Michael Apodaca. He appears close to making a decision and word on the street is that he is strongly considering his candidacy.

There's no rush for Apidaxa to make up his mind and since. Either of the two candidates that are already running for the seat have ever won and election, Apodaca probably like his chances. Especially since he's running campaigns in this election cycle.

Expect more and more candidates to throw their hat in the ring.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

HD75 Race Gets Bloody

Well it's getting late in the game and it looks like the two campaigns for HD75 are sticking knives in each other. Each campaign dropped a mailer in the last couple of days.

Rep Gonzalez went negative for the first time in her political career which is interesting. Most of her mail features overly-produced pictures of Gonzalez staged to look like she actually lives in the district. Her piece landed on Saturday.

She's clearly feeling a little heat.

Chente's Mail has been much cleaner than the crappy mail Dora Oaxaca used to do for him, but it was still inexplicably only in English. 

Well Chente and Forma finally figured out to do what Gonzalez has been doing all along, bilingual mail.

Chente's mail landed today.

Here's a look at the mailers from each campaign.







Mary Gonzalez Has You Fooled

It is beyond belief that State Rep Mary Gonzalez has the support of so many legislators and advocates for education, equality, and social justice.

I have already written how the incumbent state representative, who was previously bank-rolled by PACs that empower women, has somehow managed to be the only member of the Texas legislature to open a district office on land where women don't have a voice in their own most local form of government.

Well I guess she doesn't subscribe to Madeline Albright's school of thought about there being a special place in hell for women that don't help other women.

But its social media updates like this one below that really bother me about State Rep Mary Gonzalez. I frankly can't understand why Rep Gonzalez has gotten such a pass on her record. Before we go further, I could give a damn about her sexuality. I don't care who she sleeps with. I'm the parent of a gay child, so don't come at me like this has anything to do with her sexuality.

And her sexuality doesn't make her immune from critique or analysis.

Gonzalez likes to portray herself as some sort of transformational figure. Aside from how presumptuous this Facebook update is, it is absolutely inconsistent with the facts about her record. If Rep Gonzalez wants to change the world, she should start with important issues in her own back yard. The reality is its easy for her to post updates like this, but fighting for legislation in the state house is a much more difficult.

Gonzalez wants to change the world, as long as she doesn't have to work hard, face any criticism, or rock a boat in the process.

Let me lay out this issue-based critique issue-by-issue and show how Gonzalez says she wants to change the world, but won't fight for legislation that can represent real improvement for the people she represents.

Lets start with an issue that has plagued our community for far too long, corruption and lack of transparency.

A recent bill having to do with the Emergency Service Districts. The ESD's were in an almost-comical state of what many believe was the perfect storm of corruption and ineptitude.

The ESD's were operating as their own political subdivisions and it lead to a laundry list of corrupt activity. When the county supported a bill that would make the ESD's more transparent and accountable to the tax-payers, Rep Gonzalez had a problem with it and was an obstacle to its passage. The activities of corrupt entities disproportionately affects the lives of the poor. Its their tax-dollars that are aren't being put back into services that they would enjoy. Rep Gonzalez didn't side with the average tax-payer that was being fleeced by corruption. She sided with the ESD's, the very institutions that were involved in corrupt practices.

Why is she getting a pass on that important issue?

Her issue is that it was a local bill. Apparently the fact that it was a local bill was more important to Gonzalez than getting rid of corruption and ineptitude.

But apparently local bills are something of a sore spot for Gonzalez.

She unnecessarily attempted to kill a bill about an issue that is more important to Texas than any other state, water. It was a local bill that didn't affect El Paso in the least bit, but because politics was more important to Gonzalez than people, she tried to kill the bill.

********************
Housing Authority Bill

A couple of years ago there was an attempt to solve a big problem with the El Paso County Housing Authority. It was and is a very small housing authority that only served a minimal amount of people in the county. Essentially the County's Housing Authority is made up of two complexes in Fabens and a smattering of HUD properties here and there.

But there are housing needs in communities other than Fabens. San Elizario, Clint, Montana Vista, etc all have need for housing. Not to mention Canuttllo, Vinton, and Sparks.

There was a bill that would provide the ability for the city and county housing authorities to merge. This bill was a big deal because it would have allowed small housing authorities like El Paso county's the ability to access more housing grants. This provides an avenue for more people to be helped and get the housing authority to be more than just a Fabens-only entity.

**********************
Storm Water Bill

This is another example of Gonzalez interfering instead of advocating. There's a lot to the storm water bill but what Gonzalez essentially did was take the teeth out of the bill and create a separate bureaucratic process to create a plan that already existed.

It was her way of killing the bill and was yet another example of Gonzalez having the chance to fix a problem but instead opts for taking the easy way out.

***********************
San Elizario / Socorro Annexation

This might be the perfect example in my point about how there is very little difference between Gonzalez and her opponent former State Rep Chente Quintanilla. Its also an example of everything that is wrong with valley politics.

When the Gandara-led junta in Socorro were trying to annex San Elizario it was a time of turmoil and it really brought the community together. The important thing to do in a situation like that is to be completely open and honest with the community about what was going on and what their options were.

So Commissioner Perez held a community meeting with the people of San Elizario and explained what was going on and what their options were as a community and what were the legal options of the County. What he didn't want to do was give people false hope. He wanted to be candid with them so that they had a full understanding of what was in front of them.

Gonzalez shows up to the meeting - uninvited - and wanted to speak to the audience. Since there was absolutely ZERO that could be done at the state level there wasn't a need to bring her in. But she showed up to the meeting, late of course, after Perez has just laid out an honest and realistic picture of the situation to the community.

And what did Gonzalez do? She did what valley politicians have done to the community for years. She stood on the stage and filled them with false hope. She promised she was going to file a bill that would essentially make it impossible for Socorro to pull off the annexation.

The bill had zero chance of passing, and now that I think about it I'm not even entirely sure she even ever filed a bill on the issue, and even if they bill had been written and passed, the annexation was just a matter of weeks away.

Ultimately there was a solution that involved legal action from the county and hands-on campaign work to rid Socorro of the Gandaras and allow Socorro to elect new leadership. Then the new leadership had to give permission to San Elizario to pursue annexation within their ETJ. Then it took coordination and organization to ensure that San Elizario was ready to pass a measure to pursue incorporation. Then it took organization to actually make sure the measure passed, which it did by more than 90%.

Did Gonzalez have a hand in any aspect of that hard work to protect the oldest community in the county?

Hell no.

But it didn't stop her from grandstanding and making promises that were basically just telling the crowd what they wanted to hear.

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

And a lot of this goes back to a point I have been making for a long time about Gonzalez and Quintanilla. Chente opposed most of the bills I mentioned above as well.

In fact, Chente was even more opposed to the Housing Authority bill than Gonzalez.

Both of them have failed the Mission Valley in their lack of leadership. Both of them.

We are better off as a community with someone other than those two choices. The valley deserves the chance to vote for a better option than just a male and female version of the same politician.

The valley needs an advocate that is more concerned with the needs of the community than showing up on MSNBC or getting a title back.

Changing the world? Try changing your community first! Try changing their lives in a measurable way first, then tell us all about how you're going to change the world.

But alas, it won't be this election cycle that they get the chance to make that choice. This election they just get to choose between 6 of one or half a dozen of the other.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Campaign Trail Notes: Ethics Complains, Commercials, & Signs

If this post were a food it would be capirotada. 

Here's a few things that I threw together in one post this morning.

*******************
Palafox Commercial

Ms. Palafox is the latest candidate to release a TV commercial. She's a candidate for the 8th Court of Appeals. Its been running during morning news. The ad isn't great, but it isn't terrible either. 

********************
Ethics Complaint Filed

Speaking of the 8th Court of Appeals race, an ethics complaint has been filed against Maria Ramirez, one of the candidates for that race. She's also a municipal court judge, so if the name sounds familiar it might be because she heard a traffic ticket you might have had. I didn't really put together that she was a muni court judge during the time that Buzz Feed did the story of people being jailed because they couldn't pay their tickets. I should've requested court data to see how she stacked up against the other municipal court judges on that issue. Surprisingly none of her opponents have raised the issue. 

The complaint filed against Ramirez was based on two different issues. One was her omission of the word "for" on her campaign billboards and the other was for placing a sign in a location without the permission of the property owner. 



*****************
Carolina Signs

If your campaign set up signs at Carolina Center there is a good chance that the code compliance people from the City of El Paso probably picked them up yesterday. 

The City seems to really be cracking down on the sign codes, so if you're missing signs from that location, don't freak out and start blaming your opponents. The Fuzz probably has them. 

*****************
Papal Visit

I'm gonna head out for the Papal visit soon. So follow me on my various social media platforms and I'll keep you updated with pics, video etc. I'm doing the park and ride so it should be fun. Hit me up on Twitter and Periscope @TheLionStarBlog, Instagram @ThatVatoJaime or on my SnapChat. 

Historic day, gotta be a part of it.

One last thing - shout out to our local media market. Its gonna be a long and brutal day. Stay safe and have fun out there. Its always fun to be a part of a big story like this so soak it up team.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Early Voting Numbers - Be Cool

I've chatted with a few field people and candidates around town and the smart ones have noticed that the early voting locations that normally get a lot of traffic aren't getting as much as they used to.

Relax, those numbers will come back up a bit, but don't judge them based on each voting location. 

There are more than two times the amount of early voting locations as there were in the 2012 election. So those numbers are going to be spread out more than usual.

Also, the Pope. Once he's come and gone then people will start thinking about the election again. 

Don't even bother phone banking tomorrow afternoon. No one will be home or care.

Don't panic, everything's cool.

Can Joe Fierro Even Run for SBOE?

As a veteran it annoys me when I see people campaign in uniform because I know its a big no-no. And it makes me feel like it cheapens military service to associate it with politics in that way. I've never liked them people use it as a way for them to score points off their military service.

I hate that.

This isn't the first time I've written about it. When Julio Diaz used to campaign in uniform it used to bother me then too. But Julio was National Guard or Reserve and would post pictures of himself on drill weekends etc.

Joe Fierro on the other hand indicates that he is an active duty solider.

"I currently am a soldier in the United States Army. I'm a Combat Medic stationed here at Fort Bliss and I'm going to retired this year because I had to make a choice between remaining a soldier and devoting my time to the State Board of Education", stated Joe Fierro at a recent forum at the Eastside Civic Association.

Based on some comments he made on an article in the Texas Tribune, and honestly based on his contributions from a GOP - backed PAC called Texans for Education Reform, I decided to check Fierro's voting record.

I'll get to what his voting record says in a minute, but I stumbled across something interesting.

He's 57 years old and an E-8. My Army buddy that I've known since we were both privates in Basic Training is 42 and is a Sergeant Major. Those of you who are veterans know where I am going with this.

Fierro is facing a mandatory retirement. He likely didn't have to choose between "remaining a soldier and devoting" his time to the State Board of Education.

I'll post the video of his remarks later today. If he wants to clarify why he's getting out that is up to him.

But I saw a post of him in uniform on his campaign page that was taken at an event that was clearly political, even if it was held by an Airborne veteran's association.



This is a screen shot of his campaign page. He is very clearly wearing his OCP's (Operational Camouflage Pattern) in one of the photos. I knew that was a campaign no-no so I went to search the Army Regulation on the policy.

Well it turns out that Mr. Fierro may have more of a problem than just what he is wearing while an active duty soldier and candidate.

The fact that he is a candidate at all may be a big problem.

According to policies outlined by the Department of Defense, it doesn't appear that Mr. Fierro can even be a candidate in the first place. Click here for the full regulation.

In the Tribune article I mentioned earlier Mr Fierro indicates that he has the financial support of 17 generals.

I wonder if those generals are familiar with this particular portion of the regulation:



The portions that are underlined in blue appear to have been violated by Mr. Fierro. He is running for the Democratic nomination to the State Board of Education. He is participating in the Democratic Primary and if he wins will face a Green Party opponent in November. He has also raised money, apparently part of which came from those 17 generals. That would be a partisan political fundraising activity.

He has solicited votes for that partisan race. He has spoken before a partisan political gathering as a Democratic candidate for State Board of Education at a candidate forum last week, actually a little less than a week.

He's shown up to AFSCME's endorsement interviews in uniform according to witnesses.

The questions is a) is he in fact violating DOD policy and b) if so, how does that impact the election? Is he ineligible? Would he be able to serve if elected? What, if any ramifications would his candidacy have for his military career?

Oh yeah, I almost forgot.

When I checked out his voting history I learned that he doesn't vote very often (which is not uncommon for active duty personnel by the way) and has voted in two Presidential primaries. Once as a Democrat and once as a Republican. Interestingly he voted as a Republican in the 2008 primary election. The Republican nominee later faced the Democratic nominee in the general election that was eventually won by President Obama.

Here's a screenshot:



Monday, February 15, 2016

March of the D'Ohs!

Well this one doesn't qualify as a campaign gaffe per se, more of an office gaffe. Ruben Gonzalez, the appointed Tax Assessor Collector that is running to keep his job against his grandson Gregory Gonzalez (just kidding, no relation) and Siria Rocha apparently has a typo in his office.



As you can see in this photo, they are missing the "El" in El Paso. This is a used envelope so you can see these actually went out recently. 

Its really not that big of a deal except when you consider the fact that he pushes the idea of "proven results" in his GOTV mail piece that went out to voters on Saturday. 


Its always awkward when you market "proven results" and then your proven results are a little embarrassing. 

Not sure how much it cost but I'm sure its being rectified. Unless they are just finding out about the mistake through this post. 

So that is two D'ohs! from that race. Rocha has to avoid a gaffe so that the D'Oh! bug doesn't run the table in that election. 

------------------------------------------------------

Speaking of D'oh - Antonio Quintanilla's appeal was denied by the Texas Supreme Court. So he is off the ballot for good now. 

This is a big D'oh for a lot of people, starting with Carlos Sierra. He's trying to make his comeback into El Paso politics and he picked up where he left off, with a big fat loss. Sierra will no-doubt try his hand with another candidate but when you figure that he had a candidate who had never voted and didn't live in the district he was trying to represent, you gotta wonder about Sierra's through process. What on earth made him think that Tony Quintanilla was going to be a viable candidate?

There is also big time egg on the face of the Tejano Democrats who not only sent out a text message to his flop of a fundraiser to their membership before endorsing him, but they endorsed him when he wasn't on the ballot. 

But with all the D'oh's in this campaign season I've been inspired to do another poll. This time I'll let you decide the biggest D'oh! of this election cycle by voting in a new poll. Look for it later today. 



Friday, February 12, 2016

Rep Larry Romero & Why Martin Paredes is an Idiot

And not a very useful one at that.

Its pretty much universally understood in the blogosphere that Paredes is the slow kid wearing the dunce cap in the back of the classroom that we all give wedgies too and the occasional swirly.

He's got it coming though because he talks so much crap about an endless stream of conspiracy theories.

At first I thought it was because he's not an El Pasoan and lives in Orlando with all the other characters with oversized features.

But alas, that isn't it. Sometimes people just aren't very smart.

Someone told me about another silly little post by the couch-surfing Flying Monkey so I went to go check it out and I almost died laughing.

So apparently Paredes I guess was under the impression that Romero resigning was all just one big lie and said that "local newspaper, the three bloggers..." etc here just writing about a rumor.

In fact he even said the resignation was "just a rumor".

Here's the section:


So since the Times confirmed the story with Mayor Leeser, who isn't a second-hand source because Romero told him he was resigning, so that would make him a first person source - and the Times names the mayor, I guess Paredes thinks that isn't a credible source.

Here's the thing about Paredes...as much as he wants to pretend he's a journalist or a legitimate news source, he's been proven over and over to be just an idiot with an agenda. He's got a long list of misleading people purposefully or because he just isn't capable of grasping complex concepts like reading or coloring in the lines.

But I can only speak for myself on this one, but considering I'm the ONLY one who actually talked to a family member, is Paredes stupid enough to actually believe that isn't a credible source?

Seriously, he's not only saying the Mayor could have been lying about the resignation - but he's also saying that Romero's own son was apparently in on it too.

His stupidity makes me giggle.

Rep Gonzalez's Comments to Eastside Civic Association

This is video of Rep Mary Gonzalez at the Eastside Civic Association earlier this week.

I was so busy looking up another candidates finance report, that I ended up being wrong about, and Gonzalez should count herself lucky because by the time I was done checking the report, there wasn't any time to take more questions. And I was going to ask her about a lot of stuff.

Who knows, maybe I'll get another chance between now and Election Day. Monday I'll have an in-depth post about how she has a lot of people fooled.

Until then, here's this video.