Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Draft Leeser Idea Picking Up Steam

You've probably heard this around the water cooler yourselves if you work in government or in the downtown area but the notion of drafting Mayor Leeser to run for another term is starting to pick up more and more steam.

At an event in the valley this weekend Mayor Leeser along with several other elected officials were in attendance and the buzz among attendees was getting the Mayor to run for another term because of the current field of candidates.

Mayor Leeser has presided over a council that did a lot of fighting amongst themselves for a while but seems to have come together as of late.

Obviously Mayor Leeser would be a favorite for re-election considering he has higher name ID than any other candidate running, and is the only candidate running that has already demonstrated the ability to win a citywide election.

Oh yeah, and he's loaded. He doesn't have to go hunting for cash because he already has a lot.

A Leeser re-election bid would completely change the race. When he first ran, I completely underestimated the impact of his name ID and money. Plus, to be honest he's done a decent job his first term. Brought in some jobs, and did his best to maintain order in a pretty turbulent time.

His reelection bid would likely force a few people to drop out and he'd probably wipe out the rest because their money will dry up pretty quickly with Leeser in the race.

At least one person mentioned the idea of drafting Leeser to run for another term for the good of the city.

They mayor didn't react one way or another.

::Mental note - never play poker with Mayor Leeser.::

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Partisan Elections & the Mayoral Race

Well known El Paso artist Ho Baron had a letter to the editor published in the El Paso Times recently about switching to partisan elections for city council.

The idea isn't a novel concept, its done in several major cities including New York, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Baltimore, and Houston among others.

But it got me curious about the impact of partisan elections (hypothetically) on the mayoral race. As we all know El Paso is a Democratic city - overwhelmingly. Parties are about governing values - which is the primary way in which they are distinct.

One candidate in particular has had my interest, David Saucedo, because of his love for ultra right-wing conservative Rick Santorum. He was also the person who was the driving force behind bringing Lou Holtz to El Paso for a fundraiser following some very controversial remarks about immigration.

I checked all the voting records of the announced or rumored mayoral candidates for the upcoming municipal election. Basically there was only one surprise - David Saucedo. I wasn't surprised that Dee Margo's voting record is solidly Republican, and I wasn't surprised that Saucedo had voted as a Republican before as well.

But what did surprise me was just HOW Republican Saucedo's voting record really is. The bottom line here is that Saucedo has the most solidly Republican voting record of any candidate in the race with the exception of former Republican State Rep Dee Margo.

Seriously, its not even close.

Here is a screen shot of his voting record. I highlighted the times he voted Republican in red. As you can see, in ever election since he was old enough to vote, Saucedo has voted Republican. The races that have no highlight are general elections or non-partisan elections.

Now he can probably say he voted for the Democrat in the general elections but if you believe that there is a way that a guy with his voting record in Republican primaries decides to magically vote for a Democrat in a general election then I have bridge over the railroad tracks on Zaragoza to sell you.

So he's being portrayed as a "young progressive Latino" to voters by his campaign team. Well good luck with that. Based on his voting record (and attempt at bringing an anti-immigrant, pro-Trump speaker to El Paso), he's exactly as progressive as Dee Margo.

The values he and Dee Margo vote for are the values they would govern by. The same as any solidly Democratic mayoral candidate would govern by their party's values.

Lets put this in perspective. Mayor Leeser is often mentioned as a "Republican Mayor". Here's his voting record. I highlighted all the partisan elections he's voted in - blue for the ones he voted Democratic and red for the ones he voted Republican in. Have a look for yourself:

Yeah, you're looking at that correctly. Leeser has only voted in one Republican primary (that was the
big Tea Party revolt by the way) and has been solidly Democratic for at least the last decade. 

The talk of City Rep Cortney Niland running for mayor is growing louder and louder as well. So if you look at her voting record, its almost identical to Mayor Leaser's.


But just to demonstrate just exactly how Republican the voting record of Saucedo really is, take a look at Dee Margo's voting record:


Nearly identical to Saucedo's voting record.

So like I said, Saucedo is as progressive as Dee Margo.

Interestingly he was also appointed to the Texas Board of Nursing by Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Texas' party system is a little unique in that you don't register with a party, you are affiliated with a party based on your voting record. So in addition to his solid Republican voting record, the governor felt so confident in Saucedo's Republican values that he appointed him to a board.

I'm still trying to figure out who I'm going to vote for in the mayoral election. There is no one in the current field that I think I could vote for, so #TeamJorge still looks like my alternative.

Terán Facing Major Campaign Hurdle

I'm not sure if this was previously reported or not, but Monica Terán is the former Justice of the Peace in the Lower Valley and was defeated in the last election by the current Justice of the Peace John Chatman.

There has long been talk about Terán running for her old seat again when Chatman faces reelection.

Well that just became an even steeper hill for her to climb. I was looking for an alleged mug shot of a state lege staffer with political aspirations. This staffer was apparently involved in a DUI.

I stopped looking for his when I came across this one:

Photo taken from KVIA website


Ms. Terán is innocent until proven guilty and will obviously have her day in court to deal with the issue, but the point is this mugshot is a nightmare for her ability to regain her seat on the bench.

It should also serve as a reminder to us all during the holidays to get a ride home instead of getting behind the wheel.

This is something that could happen to any one of us.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Local Election Losers

And now for the losers...

El Paso County Sheriff's Officers' Association

You know up until Election Day I thought most of the employees were anti-Wiles. But as I made my way around the county from polling place to polling place and I spoke with poll-sitters, it was then I realized that a lot of them were deputies and their families. The union made it sound like "all the badges" were against him.

The EPCSOA are the undisputed champions of losers in this election not just because how incredibly bad they lost the election, but on how they did it. At first the reaction in the labor community was confusion as to why a labor organization would support a Republican in the first place. But eventually that turned into anger as the election wore on because the sheriff's union and municipal police union supporting a Republican ultimately undermines the rest of the labor unions in town.

This election is an opportunity for the union to take a long hard look in the mirror at what they have been doing the last few years. The new administration in the union actually managed to do even worse than the previous administration in elections. Fellas, let me kick it to you real for a minute...you wasted a lot of hard-earned dues money on backing the wrong candidate in the wrong election. Membership should be really upset with how their money was handled in this election.

It wasn't just losing that was bad for the union, it was the manner in which many of the membership - certainly not all - conducted themselves in this election. President Horstman needs to call some of his guys on the carpet for their conduct. It got ugly. It got personal. And if Horstman did anything about the conduct of his membership, its a big damn secret. Some of his guys were harassing Wiles supporters. One of his guys was texting his ex-wife and really berating her for supporting Wiles (Horstman, if you want the screenshots just let me know). But the thing that really made the union look bad was feeding filth to an online outlet that can't even spell the word sheriff correctly. I mean it got really ugly and there was apparently no one telling them to behave.

Now that really wouldn't matter if it weren't for the fact that President Horstman sent out this sponsored Facebook post after the election that calls on the sheriff to be professional before he calls on his own guys to be professional. He apparently hasn't seen his boy Marco Camarillo all over Facebook during this election.




I'm sure Sheriff Wiles will be professional with the EPSCOA. But I think the EPSCOA needs to understand an important political lesson. Elections have consequences and when you spend thousands of dollars trashing an opponent, and then lose, don't expect that opponent to think very highly of your organization.

Had you guys taken Wiles on in a primary election and had a candidate with an ounce of experience in law enforcement, I probably wouldn't have made a peep. I finally got to meet Mr. Buchino on election day in Tornillo. Nice man. Very cordial and polite and it turns out, we've chewed some of the same dirt in the Army.

He simply wasn't a good candidate. He wasn't qualified. You guys went shopping for a candidate instead of letting qualified candidates come to you, vetting the properly, and having a plan for how money was going to be spent for maximum result.

But worst of all, and its really magnified by the Facebook post, is that the EPCSOA made it personal with Wiles and dragged even his family into it. That is a mortal sin in politics, you don't drag non-combatants into the field of fire and you most certainly never, I mean EVER bring kids into the fight. So when you have the conduct of some - certainly not all - of your members, coupled with bringing the Sheriff's kid into the mix, its pretty hypocritical to be calling on professionalism from the sheriff.

Not to mention all the money you guys spent to buy a new guy to sign your labor contract. Time for a serious internal conversation about how you guys handle your political activities. I don't know how much longer your membership will tolerate the EPCSOA blowing their hard earned dues like has been the norm for the last several years.

The Anti-Bond Crowd

I don't live in EPISD but would have voted against it if I could have so I would have to include myself in this one.

But the James No-Bond guy should have reported his expenses and is open to a fine for not doing so. In addition to one being sexist and one being anti-semitic, his one-man advertising show certainly passed the $500 threshold.

Daniel Lopez - that guy jumped in front of the cameras when there was a photo op to be had and then basically campaign against the bond as well as he campaign for his city council bid. Show horse, not a work horse.

AFT Union Boss Ross Moore - Never in my years of being around local politics have I seen a guy on the winning side of an election burn more bridges with people. Seriously. Oh, and so much for your promise to the membership that Forma wasn't going to be involved.

Jaime Barceleau

The guy is an announced candidate for city council, uses the EPISD bond to overtly further his political career and then...wait for it...

the bond loses in his own precinct!


Its hilarious to me that he couldn't deliver his own precinct, of which he JUST became precinct chair, to the cause.


Assorted Valley Losers

There are a lot of big loses in this election cycle of races in the valley but I'll lump them together for the sake of context.

Jack Alayyan who is the general manager for Lower Valley Water, his biggest ally is gone and the make-up of the board is now different. This will get interesting down there.

Lorenza Fraire - the former Socorro City Manager who was let go under the administration of the new Mayor-elect and then City Rep Gloria Rodriguez tried to get three of her candidates elected. She was looking for a majority on council so that she could be hired back at the City of Socorro as City Manager again. Only one of her candidates got elected, so so much for her failed coup. I bet she was madder than the people on the Make Fabens White Again page following the election.

Honorable Mentions

Marco Camarillo from the Sheriff's union...that guy would tag me every day in some video or post about Buchino. Since the election, its been nothing but crickets.

Jaime O. Perez loses again. Not a new thing by any stretch of the imagination but its now gotten to the point that his supposed running for elections to force a debate on issues isn't even true anymore. No one even pays attention anymore.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Winners - The Local Election

I'll get to the national stuff in another post, but as they say, all politics is local so I'll start there and the next post will be the losers.

Sheriff Richard Wiles

This is obvious, it was essentially the biggest race of the night after the presidential race - and it was over early. Wiles completely demolished his opponent winning 184 of 191 precincts in El Paso County. Like I told Marco Camarillo - probably the loudest smack-talker for the sheriff's union, Buchino didn't win a single precinct south for the freeway from downtown to the freeway. Hell Buchino almost didn't win a precinct anywhere east and south of the New Mexico state line. More on the sheriff's union in the losers section...



I've been critical of the sheriff on matters of policy - and some of you may have forgotten that it was his department that actually conducted the investigation on me when I went through my divorce. I worked for an elected official that had a somewhat adversarial relationship with the sheriff. So if there was anyone out there that could've been the guy to spend all day hammering the sheriff, it'd be me. But through my interactions with the department, particularly watching him advocate for his department and his deputies, I grew to respect him as an administrator and leader of his department.

El Pasoan's overwhelmingly made the right choice last night. His margin was so large that it sent a very loud message about the level of support he has in this community.

State Rep Joe Moody

In another beat-down, State Rep Joe Moody also won last night, by an even wider margin. His district swings a bit more red during gubernatorial elections, but his support from the westside has congealed and that seat will be blue for as long as Joe Moody wants to hold that seat. May change if there is a weaker Dem one day, but Moody is young and has a long legislative career ahead of him. Pickett will one day pass the baton on to him.

Westsiders also sent a clear message about their satisfaction with their state representative.

Congressman O'Rourke

He was in the neighborhood of 90% of the vote with two opponents. Granted one was a Green Party candidate and the other was a Libertarian, Jaime O. Perez who probably didn't even carry the Libertarian vote.

Overwhelming support for the Congressman. He should stop all this silliness of running for US Senate and continue to serve this community. Also, I take back what I said in the past about Jaime O. Perez should quit running for office. He should keep running as long as possible. I rather enjoy watching this community completely reject him. Oh and I take back what I said about Beto being as viable for US Senate as Jaime O. Perez was for Beto's congressional seat. Beto would certainly break single-digits. And carry more of the Libertarian vote now that I think about it.

EPISD Bond

El Pasoans voted for the largest bond ever attempted in the history of El Paso County. There will be some real belly aching going on as this bond gets going because people are going to see the huge disparities in how the money will be spent, but thats something they are going to have to just swallow. You can't say it wasn't a majority of the voters who passed it because it clearly was. You can't say it was just a small portion of the electorate because it clearly wasn't. It passed and it is a mandate.

Dori Fenenbock took a big political gamble by being the face of the bond. She and the bond came out on top. So in that sense she's a winner. But we all know she has future aspirations and there is a bit of sobering news for Fenenbock that she needs to understand. Of the 21 precincts where the bond failed,  13 of them were on the westside. So yes it was a victory but 2/3 of the losing precincts were in her back yard.

But the clear winner from the EPISD Bond, and trust me there were some losers, was Mike Apodaca. Its quite a feather in his hat to be able to say he passed the largest bond ever attempted in El Paso County.

Took the title from another vato I know.

From a strategic perspective, Apodaca probably would've preferred this election to happen in any other election cycle than this one because it would've been easier to predict who was going to come out to vote and easier to target those voters. This was essentially the exact worst election cycle to run a bond of that size. There was significant opposition to the bond and quite frankly there is no way in hell the bond would've passed without Apodaca's field work.

I've seen this movie before, the board members, and committee members, and the superintendent will all strut around like they are the reason the bond passed, but the real reason it passed was because of a low-key experienced field guy who over works his canvassers and has a weird fascination with his pet turtle.

Just kidding Mike. (about the turtle anyway) Great job.

Socorro

The Rodriguez's are the winners in Socorro last night. Current Socorro Mayor Jesus Ruiz lost his bid for reelection to current City Rep Gloria Rodriguez. Rodriguez is a political survivor and worked hard.

Councilman At-Large Rene Rodriguez also won last night and will continue to serve in that capacity. Under Socorro's form of government they have a Mayor that only votes during ties but represents constituents across the city and a Councilperson At-Large that represents the entire city and votes.

Fabens

Fabens is a big winner because they re-elected Orlando Flores to the school board. He's an experienced and intelligent board member who makes thoughtful decisions. He made easy work of a race I thought might be closer. He won with a mandate and the community of Fabens will be better off for it.

Customers of Lower Valley Water District

This one is really inside baseball but if you know anything about water issues in the lower valley, nearly every bad water situation in that part of the county has something to do with that, what many call dysfunctional, entity. It provides water and trash service to communities like Socorro, Clint, San Eli, Sparks and a few other colonies.

Water districts and school board races are way more important than people really understand because they have far more to do with your daily lives than what happens in DC.

There 5 candidates running for 2 seats on the Lower Valley Water District - 4 of the 5 were named Dave.

David Carrasco who has held several positions at LVW will return to the board and Dave Armstrong was defeated. That is a development that should make General Manager Jack Alayyan a little nervous. One guy is an adversary and the guy that lost was an ally. Sources indicate that there have been several issues related to conduct by Mr. Alayyan that have cost the water district money including an alleged sexual harassment settlement.

At any rate, the customers of Lower Valley Water are winners in this election.

Constable

In the only remotely competitive constable precinct in the county, Constable Angie Sommers defeated King Merritt.

Canutillo ISD

Armando Rodriguez won another term on the CISD Board of Trustees. Despite having a negative story (really, really, really bad one) on the front page above the fold, he somehow won reelection. Most of the time a story like that one ends someone's political career, even if it is just a school board race.

Forma Group

They made a lot of money off of the EPISD Bond that AFT Union Boss Ross Moore swore to his membership they wouldn't be involved in...

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

The Big Unknown

Village of Vinton

With the departure of Mayor Praino, it is unclear what direction the small hamlet on the westside of the county will choose for itself. But it looks like a brand new slate of elected officials in Vinton of who have a big job cut out for themselves. Mayor Praino has left a mark on that community and this county. She was a steady hand in an often turbulent town that at times made even Socorro blush.

And whatever their proposition was, it only won by 5 votes! I'm on a mission to find out what it was.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day - Go Vote!

Today is Election Day. It is not an understatement to say that this is the most important election of my lifetime. Americans have an important decision to make about the path of our future.

The candidates have decidedly different views about almost everything.

Vote today.

If you don't know where to vote, click this link and you can find out.

If you aren't sure if you are registered to vote, click this link and you can find out.

If you want to study the ballot before you go vote, and want to follow election night results, click this link to see all of that.

If you need a ride to vote, call me and I'll point you in the right direction or arrange a ride - (915) 694-5714.

Also, there will be a lot of campaign volunteers out there. Even if they are for candidates that you're opposed to, be nice to them. Its going to be windy out there and standing outside in the sun all day isn't a lot of fun. So be nice, its the El Paso way.

Speaking of which, shout out to all the campaign volunteers. It takes dedication to stand outside and advocate for you candidate, like this guy is doing.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Who I'm Voting For & Why

Hillary Clinton

I don't like her. Her voice and her laugh get on my nerves. I don't want to hang out with her or grab a beer with her. But we aren't electing someone I want to hang out with are we? No, we are electing the next leader of the free world. The reality is that she is the most qualified person to run for president in recent history.

Donald Trump is a court jester. He has no discernible set of values or vision for this country and when he has expressed an opinion, which is usually in a stream of thought that has all strategy and organization of a 20 something sorority girl puking in parking lot late at night after drinking, its usually something dangerous.

The scary thing is the people voting for Trump. They are willing to mortgage America's future because they don't like Hillary. I don't blame them for not liking her, but being so petty that they are willing to put our country into the hands of an unqualified freak show like Donald Trump because they hate Clinton. That is unAmerican and embarrassing.

Trump has made conspiracy theory, bigotry, ignorance and a general lack of knowledge frighteningly normal for the GOP. That is bad for America.

Trump has encouraged espionage against the United States. Trump has disparaged immigrants, Mexicans, a Mexican American judge, Muslims, women, and the disabled. Voters would think any other candidate for basically any other office in America would be unqualified for said office had they espoused those beliefs.

Trump has pissed on our allies in NATO, has repeatedly lauded some pretty bad world leaders like Putin, and encouraged the proliferation of the nuclear weapons. Trump has violated the embargo against Cuba. His one endearing quality has been his business acumen and even that has turned out to be one big house of cards.

And oh yeah, he's bragged about sexual assault, brags about the size of his penis, and is pretty proud of the fact that his status has allowed him to do things like grabbing a woman "by the pussy".

In no other election year would a damn reality show host be considered a legitimate choice to lead the free world.

Sheriff Richard Wiles

Every single year we spend roughly the same amount of money that was spent on building the ballpark on the operation of the county jail. The downtown jail is a run-down facility that is an out-dated design and as a result is inefficient in its operation and costs the taxpayers unnecessarily - and we house federal prisoners in a deal that is bad for tax payers.

Those are just a few policy differences that I've mentioned a couple of times that I have with Sheriff Wiles. But in a race that somewhat mirrors the presidential, you have one candidate that is head and shoulders more qualified for the office facing another candidate that is decidedly unqualified for the position.

Republican candidate Tom Buchino is an unqualified joke. He doesn't even have the necessary training and experience to be hired as a deputy. That is an important fact that needs to be understood, especially because Buchino likes to say that he's not a politician.

More qualified to be sheriff than Buchino
Well a politician is one who practices policy. Buchino underscores the biggest problem with his candidacy, a lack of experience. The union leadership has squandered membership's hard-earned dues on a candidate from a party who's platform is opposed to the very existence of unions who doesn't have the training or experience possessed by the very same female deputies he says would be working at Walmart if he were Sheriff.

Tom Buchino doesn't have any of the required training to be hired even as a deputy. That makes the cop from the Village People more qualified to be our sheriff than Buchino. That Village People cop is also probably more authentic and genuine than Buchino.

Seriously the guy is from Chicago and you guys are buying that whole cowboy act? It doesn't surprise me considering he's the same guy who has a picture of a late-sheriff he has never met on his billboard. Alejandro Lozano's picture of Hillary Clinton on his lit when he ran for county commissioner a decade ago was a more believable endorsement than Buchino bragging about the endorsement from the Ghost of Sheriff Past.

Buchino has admitted to assaulting a driver following a car accident when his wife was injured so badly that she was unconscious. And rather than try to render aid, Buchino allegedly lost his cool and punching another driver was apparently a bigger priority at that crucial moment.

Comments about women, trouble with temperament...starting to sound familiar?

Well here's the latest development. Its one thing for Buchino to claim to not be a politician, but Buchino is asking voters to do something in Texas he apparently hasn't done...vote in a general election. Prior to voting for himself earlier this year in an uncontested race, as you can see in this record, the ONLY other time Buchino has actually taken the time to do his civic duty was in the 2013 municipal election.



Wiles is experienced and has a track record for running a successful department, saving tax payers money, and modernization and innovation of the department. As I've told members of the sheriff's union, I don't think Buchino can win one single precinct south of I-10 from downtown to Tornillo.

Beto O'Rourke

I guess I'll have to be the one to say this, but Beto O'Rourke is about as viable for United States Senate as Jaime O. Perez is for Beto's congressional seat. I know everyone is all excited that he's considering the run, and I'd vote for the vato if he did, but there's no way in hell he gets elected as a Democrat from a border town in a state so Republican that Barry Goldwater would even blush.

But, he's a great member of congress for El Paso and deserves reelection. He's been an outstanding advocate for our community and deserves to be sent back to Washington.

Other Candidates

Only one member of the delegation has an opponent, and State Rep Joe Moody deserves reelection. I'd vote for him if I could.

Georgina Perez has a Green Party challenger, which is to say she basically has no challenger. I voted for her.

Judges

I voted for some judges and I undervoted several others. My undervote was my statement to them that I would rather not vote for them even if they don't have an opponent.

I voted for the following judges:

Palafox
Moody
Perez
Gutierrez
Strathmann
Navarrete
Carrasco
Jesus Herrera

I undervoted the following judges:

Juarez-Barril (Not because I think she's not doing a good job, but because I don't know enough about her court's performance or her performance on the bench)

Mike Herrera - Seriously, if I could vote AGAINST a judge with no opponent, I would. This guy should not be on the bench and I seriously hope someone runs against him next time. Terrible, terrible representation of the judiciary and I think he was rightfully criticized for how he handled his own case.

Patrick Garcia
Sam Medrano
Sergio Enriquez (but for the same reason as Juarez-Barril)


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Municipal Election Announcements Coming

So word on the street is that several candidates for the mayoral elections will be making their formal campaign announcements following the presidential election.

What is most interesting is that rumblings about who is going to be running for mayor. By my count, two city council reps and perhaps a third will be running for the seat. Acosta is running for sure. Dora Oaxaca has not exactly kept that a secret. Carl Robinson is likely to run, if for no other reason that he's termed out and will have some time on his hands.

Also hearing that a third candidate from council is considering a run - which would be a big development because it would mean a massive fault line in a the money folks. Not exactly sure if that one is really gonna happen yet but I'll update you when I get something more definitive. Sufficed to say the rumblings are loud enough for me to actually mention it.

Frankly, I don't get why anyone from council would want to run for mayor. Forma Group is going to have a field day in terms of negative mail against those candidates on behalf of their candidate.

Those mailers practically write themselves.

I mean I get it when people like Saucedo want to run for mayor. He doesn't know any better and thinks family money can get him where he needs to be. The reality is that when no one knows you and you run for office, its always smarter to run for a smaller, more manageable race first to develop a base before running city, county, or statewide.

But what I don't get about the sitting city reps thinking about running for mayor is that they already know that the mayor post isn't all its cracked up to be. Unless their specific goal in life is to run for the sake of being able to exert some control over the city manager and/or city attorney, it doesn't make any sense to run for a position you know isn't as strong a city rep job. The city rep position actually gets a vote. Sure, the mayor gets the photo op and the title, but that doesn't even get you good parking at UTEP games.

Moving on to the district races, not sure what is going on in the district 3 race but looks like there will be a candidate announcement at some point after the November election and before 4th of July next year. I'm being sarcastic obviously. There will be an announcement and until that time Jaime Barceleau will have to keep praying his rosary that he can remain relevant.

In district 4 YISD Board of Trustees President Shane Haggerty will make it official after the election but he's already been semi-official. He has attended a few events, met with a couple unions, and spoke to a veteran's group recently, so expect him to announce fairly quickly.

Speaking of campaigns, I ran into an old buddy of mine, Jay Desai. We haven't really had a chance to talk in a couple of years but we talked for a couple of hours the other day and caught up on a lot of interesting stuff and recent developments. Shared a lot of good laughs with that guy over the years. Genuinely a good guy. Its nice when you can pick up right where you left off with old friends. We were roommates at the '08 convention in Austin. That trip has given me the entire Obama administration worth of good bar stories!

Anywho, looks like the municipal election cycle is going to be super interesting!


Friday, November 4, 2016

Republican Candidate Buchino Admits to Assault

Republican candidate for sheriff, Tom Buchino admitted to an assault that was outlined in a police report I posted earlier in the election cycle. The admission came during an interview on News Channel 9 with Estefanía Seyffert that aired during last night's news broadcast.

"I didn't hit him very hard, but nonetheless should I have done it? No." Buchino admits during the interview.



I conducted an open records request earlier in the election cycle and found the police report detailing the assault. I wrote about the alleged incident in a previous blog post.

The concern I raised in my previous post was about Buchino's temperament. In fairness to Buchino the incident followed a car accident in which he says his wife was seriously injured and couldn't wake up. He says in the news story, seen in its entirety here, that he yelled for the man he assaulted to come help.

So that story actually concerns me even further about Buchino's demeanor during stressful situations. It tells me he doesn't keep his eye on the ball. If his wife wasn't regaining consciousness, which we all would agree is a stressful thing, why the hell is assaulting another driver the priority instead of providing first aide to his wife?

That doesn't begin to make any sense.

The news story last night also highlighted comments about three female deputies that needed extra opportunities to qualify with their weapons. Buchino stated that as sheriff they would be working at Walmart.

Law enforcement officers are given many hours of training on how to deescalate a situation in order to ensure the safety of the officer and the community. This situation underscores the need for Republican candidate Buchino to take the basic training that deputies receive as law enforcement personnel.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Republican Ag Commish Sid Miller Demeans Women; Lies About It

In another sign of what Trump has done to American politics, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller used the word "cunt" to describe Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

First he lied about it and said that his account had been hacked. It wasn't hacked. It was allegedly a staffer. But the real point was that a) it happened in the first place and b) that his first gut reaction was to lie and say his account had been hacked.

Then in a move that should surprise no one and comes directly out of the Naomi Gonzalez playbook, he blamed a staffer for retweeting someone else's tweet.

You'd think that would be were it ends. Except one problem...it wasn't a retweet. At best, the staffer (alleged) copied the tweet verbatim and then sent it out on Miller's account. It wasn't a retweet.

But the truly devastating affect of Trump's footprint on politics is how many people from the right in social media have been either calling it free speech or saying that people's reaction is just political correctness.

No, this isn't a free speech argument. No one is saying he doesn't have the right to call someone a cunt. Hell, he isn't even admitting he did. And no this isn't about political correctness either.

What it IS about is how despite all the advances women have made in politics and the boardroom, it is a sobering reminder that all-too-often demeaning a woman in the manner with vulgarity is the go-to move for so many people.

This is echoes of Trump's treatment of women and how his defenders have adopted the demeanor. There was a time in politics, particularly within the GOP, that acting in such a way was considered ungentlemanly.

So all you Republicans and God-fearing farmers out there...how in the hell would you feel if someone called your wife, sister, girlfriend, mother, or daughter a cunt? Would you really blow it off as free speech or would you be ready to fight someone?

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There is no word from Republican Women's Auxiliary on the controversy as of yet.

But kudos to the Republican leaders out there that responded like Governor Abbott. "No true Texas gentleman would ever talk this way."

Yes, you read that correctly. I complimented a Texas Republican governor. And it was well-deserved.

State Rep Mary Gonzalez, who has long been rumored to be considering a run for Texas Ag Comish someday, was also upset about the incident and tweeted at the Ag Comish:



Kudos to Gonzalez for responding. She represents a rural part of Texas in addition to having aspirations for the office. She is also a law maker who has often given words of support for women's issues.