Wednesday, August 23, 2017

El Pasoans Have to Sue State Tejanos for Access to Data

Fred Cantu
The State entity for the Tejano Democrats apparently doesn't want to turn over contact information to the El Paso chapter of the organization because they are both competing for the State Chair office in an election to be held at this weekend's Tejano Democrats.

Former City Representative Eddie Holguin has filed a lawsuit to force the group to allow him access to membership data so that he can campaign for the State Chair.

According to former State Treasurer of the Tejano Democrats Fred Cantu, an unnamed State Democratic Executive Committee person from may have also leveled a veiled threat towards Democratic United States Senate Candidate Beto O'Rourke's campaign.

Cantu appeared to be really focused on a personal dislike of Othon Medina but stated that, "'To quote a SDEC member from San Antonio: "...all he is doing is alienating everyone else in the state; El Paso can not elect Beto by themselves.'"

If true, that SDEC member is potentially breaking TDP rules. Texas Democratic Party rules mandate that Party Officials, with an SDEC is, are required to support the nominee in an election. If the quote from Cantu is accurate, then the SDEC member is implying that they weren't going to support Beto O'Rourke against Ted Cruz.

All because they don't like Othon Medina. 

By Cantu's own admission, there is nothing in the State's bylaws that prevents sharing basic member contact information. 

But more importantly - if Holguin's allegations are true - which Cantu confirmed in his email exchange with me - the data being withheld is a pretty blatant example of voter disenfranchisement within an auxiliary of Texas Democratic Party.

And the flagship Latino-based auxiliary of the Democratic Party.

Current Chairman Joey Cardenas campaigned with all the chapters, including the El Paso Chapter when he ran last time. Sources within the Tejano Democrats indicate that Cardenas got the contact information, the very same information Holguin is asking for, from none other than Othon Medina. Medina was the Chair and Cardenas was running against him.

I'm not defending Medina. I've chronicled his activities more than anyone else. But this isn't about Medina. This is about fair play and a level playing field in the states premier Latino-based auxiliary o the Texas Democratic Party. This isn't the place for personal beef.

Cantu leveled other allegations in his emails including that Holguin was a "puppet" and even implied that Medina was bankrolling the memberships of the El Paso Chapter. There is absolutely no evidence to support such a claim.

I guess other parts of Texas think we poor border Mexicans can't come up with our own membership money.

The El Paso Chapter, officially known as the Paso Del Norte Chapter, has experienced tremendous growth under Holguin's leadership, primarily because Holguin has a level of credibility among Latinos in El Paso that previous leaders haven't had. Also his wife Illiana is the Chair of the El Paso Democratic Party and also has more credibility than previous chairs.

The real question is why are Latinos in other parts of Texas so set against a fair, transparent, and competitive process for the state chair seat? At a time when we Democrats are trying to hold the GOP accountable for voter suppression and disenfranchisement, the fact that getting basic contact information of members from the State Tejanos requires a lawsuit is an embarrassment.

Dora Part 2 - Its Worse & Policy Needs to be Addressed

When I wrote my post yesterday I got a flood of people contacting me about her. People really don't like her taking her husband's place when they want to hear from the person they elected.

Its also apparently NOT the only time she's gone and made a presentation in his place. When I wrote about it the first time I was talking about a neighborhood association at the Marquez library on Yarborough near Bel Air the other night.

I have now been told that it has been other places as well where she has filled in for Representative Rivera. Witnesses indicated that Oaxaca has indicated that she goes because her husband is working because he doesn't get paid very much as a city rep.

Which is weird because they both knew the amount of money the reps make before they ran for the position. So the representative not showing up to community meetings because he has to work another job is a bad visual for the newly elected Representative Rivera.

But here's the more important question.

Why isn't his staff doing the meetings instead of Dora Oaxaca?

I've worked for an elected official. I can tell you that pinch hitting for the boss at events or meetings is part of the job. Sometimes the boss can't be at two or three places at the same time and they send staff. Every elected official reading this knows that you send your staff, you never send your spouse. So when she worked for Willie Gandara, Chente Quintanilla, and Emma Acosta and she gave presentations, no problem. Its part of the job of a staffer.

But as a spouse, you have no official role and when you are speaking on behave of an elected official - you are acting in an official capacity.

You know who else should be concerned about this?

Forma Group.

Oaxaca is now recruiting candidates for Forma Group. I've now had 4 different candidates, mostly judicial, that have been freaked out by Oaxaca reaching out to them to try to get them to go with Forma Group. Her pushy and overly-aggressive style isn't going over well with the candidates, so Marquez might want to rethink how much they want to make Dora the face of Forma to candidates.

Rivera has to stand up to his spouse and tell her that he's the elected official and not her. He should be sending staff, not a spouse.

I'm surprised that this isn't already a policy for the city. When a City Rep visits a neighborhood association, or his/her staff, or city staff - the represent the City of El Paso. There are potential liabilities when they attend those events. If they do something that compromises the legal position of the City, there are ramifications and accountability.

What can the City do when its the spouse of an elected official?

City Rep Noe is gone a lot. Not sure how in the hell he ended up as the Mayor Pro Temp when he is always gone because of his work (other than the obvious reason), but he does send his wife to sit in on meetings for him - much less have her present on his behalf.

What happens when a constituent asks a question? Is it the City's response? The Representative's response? Or Dora's response?

Another fun little nugget. Apparently the field office for District 7 is near the corner of Montana and Hawkins. Sound familiar?

Yeah, it used to be the field office of where Oaxaca used to work for City Rep Emma Acosta. One problem, that was District 3. It defies logic that district 7 constituents would find a field office in another district useful. The purpose of having a district office is to make government more accessible to the district residents by keeping an office near them. There are now parts of district 7 that are closer to downtown than the former District 3 office that they are now using for district 7.

Seriously, this shit doesn't even happen in Socorro.

This is a bad situation and needs to be addressed. You wouldn't think these situations would even need a policy solution, but apparently they do.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

When You Substantiate Everyone's Fear...

The biggest thing people were afraid of when Dora Oaxaca ran her husband for City Rep was that she was going to be the defacto city rep. 

Well last night at the Yucca Park Neighborhood Association meeting, Dora Oaxaca gave a presentation to the organization on behalf of her husband, City Rep Henry Rivera. 

Thats exactly what everyone was afraid of. 

As it is Oaxaca has had to be reigned in previously by her bosses by too often taking on the role of the elected official. 

He hasn’t even been in office one fiscal quarter yet at Dora is already doing community meetings for him. 

I can't think of another situation where a spouse did the job of an elected spouse. 

That situation is going to get a lot worse before anything is done about it. 

The Trouble With Samaniego's Legacy

Under the Trump administration immigration has been even more of a hot button issue lately in politics.

And for whatever reason, it has caused a tremendous amount of hypocrisy in some leaders that have long been for immigration reform, some of them trying to make their position not sound like a completely hypocritical about-face from the rest of the political resume, a candidate with no accomplishments and who's immigration platform sounds like that of a Republican instead of a Democrat, and some former electeds backing some interesting choices that really don't make sense.

So immigration is an issue that isn't going away and will become of greater and greater importance.

Enter County Judge candidate Ricardo Samaniego. Samaniego is pretty much running on one thing, his last name. And if he is running on more than that, then his communication has been failing him because the only thing you see pushed about the guy is his last name.

Oh, and they underline the "go" in Samaniego.


Anywho, they are pushing his last name so hard that they actually reinforce it with a tag line of "A Legacy of Service", which is obviously trying to capitalize Sheriff Leo Samaniego's last name.

The problem is running just on the Samaniego name is more than just problematic. Its potentially a big liability. What do I mean? Well just this Saturday there was an immigration reform rally.

A member of the Border Network for Human Rights, Gabriela Castañeda spoke at the rally about her personal experience with her spouse. Gabby is a friend of mine and former colleague. The short of it is that Sheriff Leo Samaniego used to conduct checkpoints that really weren't for speeding or insurance checks. There were designed to catch the undocumented.

It was some Joe Arpaio style policing before Joe Arpaio was doing it. The thumbnail of the story is that her husband was pulled over, they asked him for documents and he produced a Mexican document and the deputy called the Border Patrol and he was deported. She sees her husband only very rarely. Usually just for about 15 minutes once a year at the Hugs, Not Walls event where special permission is granted to families to meet in the middle of the Rio Grande for a few minutes. Its pretty tear-jerking stuff if you've seen it.

Breaks your heart.

Here's Gabby telling part of her story.

So for a lot of people, when they see the Samaniego name and a "legacy", that is the legacy they remember and think of. Samaniego is going to have to do more than rely on a last name if he wants to be a viable option for County Judge. He has to start talking about actual policy proposals instead of relying on a last name.

He has some time to get that done. Norma Chavez is his campaign consultant and she was part of Lizarraga's team that recently put a beat down on Carlos Sierra's candidate. Norma is a process person - now she has to be a policy person and change the message from relying on the last name to something of substance. She has plenty of time to get that done as long as Samaniego is a good pupil.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Socorro City Manager Asks for Formal Complaint Against Council Member

There is something not right going on in Socorro tonight at their City Council meeting.

Here's a look at their agenda and there is an item on there regarding a dispute about the City Manager and District 4 City Rep Yvonne Colon-Villalobos. According to City Staff in Socorro that I have spoken to, and watching any of the last few council meetings this year, Representatives Colon-Villalobos and Reyes have been wanting to get rid of two people...the City Attorney and the City Manager.

But what is also interesting is that there was a memo that came out asking that the item be deleted. The memo was sent out by Colon-Villalobos' close political ally, City Rep Maria Reyes.

The fact that there would need to be an agenda item from the City Manager filing a formal complaint regarding a sitting City Representative's actions is out of the norm, even for the City of Socorro. The item actually goes on to say "...and to discuss several concerns City Manager has regarding District 4 Representative's behavior/actions."

So why is a close political ally of District 4 City Rep Colon-Villalobos asking for the item to be deleted?

The question to consider before that, is what happened that was so bad that the Socorro City Manager had to have an agenda item to discuss the issue? Why is this something to be concerned about?

Because the City Manager used to be the HR person for the City of Socorro.

If a City Manager, with a career background in HR is going so far as to put a formal complaint on the agenda about a sitting City Rep, it must be pretty bad.

And the fact that a political ally of that City Rep is trying to delete the item looks like a cover-up. The meeting today takes place at 6pm at the municipal building on Rio Vista.

The City of Socorro is actually trying to pass their annual budget, a budget that will cut taxes. If for some reason the City Reps in question actually fail to attend the meeting tonight, perhaps as a strategy to avoid the conversation, there may be an inadvertently HUGE impact to the people of Socorro.

Failure to establish a quorum tonight may result in the City of Socorro having to go to the effective rate for their tax rate, which would mean that it would cost the people of Socorro a tax cut!

Samaniego Event Invitation

I've mentioned to you before that as a courtesy to candidates I will post any campaign event info that is sent to me. As a reminder - the posting of any event is done as a courtesy and should not be construed as support for said candidate. I may or may not like the candidates that I am posting information for, I post them all equally if I am asked to.

Here is the first one I have received of the campaign season:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Council Should Change Street Name to Honor Huerta

In light of the recent events in Virginia that led to the death of an innocent person all because a bunch of racists wanted to keep a statue, I think its time El Paso City Council change the name of Robert E. Lee in east central El Paso.

And I think the best thing to do is use the opportunity to honor a Latina civil rights leader and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom who doesn't have any major thing named after her in El Paso, Dolores Huerta.

We shouldn't be honoring confederates. They were traitors to their country and took up arms against the United States. There's no getting around that basic fact. You can spin it anyway you want, but confederates were the enemy. The cause they fought for was to preserve the ability to enslave other human beings.

As a veteran, it has always bothered me to see statues and street names after confederates. Fort Bliss has several, including confederate General Jeb Stuart. And that is on a military installation! They were the enemy,

While being a slave owner was certainly not unique to confederates at one point of our history, and yes most of our Founding Fathers were slave owners. But only confederates actually took up arms to preserve the ability to hold their fellow man in bondage.

It is an insult of the highest order that a predominantly Latino community and a military community like El Paso has a street named a traitor to his country. Its brings dishonor upon us.

Especially when one considers we are home to the first all black team to win an NCAA championship in basketball and were one of the first communities to desegregate.

We can't deny, nor forget our collective history.

But we don't have to honor bad people or portions of our history. We should learn from it to better ourselves.

The impact of changing the name in practical terms is minimal. The street is small. There are no residences on it and very few businesses.

Rather than honor someone who killed patriotic American soldiers to protect the economic institution of slavery, ensuring the subjection of African-Americans and ensuring they had no rights as citizens, we should turn the name change into a positive and honor someone who was a civil rights leader.

We should honor a woman who was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom from our first African-American President, Barack Obama. That is the most poetic way of correcting a wrong that is long past due.

City Representative Cassandra Brown represents the area where the street is located and sent me the following:

"I'm currently meeting with the businesses on Robert E Lee Street to determine their support for a citizens initiative to rename the street.  There may be unintended consequences to the businesses and their support to agree to absorb any costs to their businesses is critical on my decision. There are three business I was able to identify. I'm going door to door this morning. Several members of the public are interested in following the city's process to rename a street and efforts to fundraise to cover the street renaming costs are underway by the interested parties. If all stars align, I'll be reaching out to African American organizations to assist with the renaming.
I'll keep you posted on any progress if this happens.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Understanding the County Pay Raise

Considering two commissioners used to work in communications (Commissioners Perez and Stout for those of you playing Commissioners Court - The Home Game), you would think they'd do a better job of explaining to the public the logic behind their new elected officials salary policy. The fact that Commissioner Haggerty and Commissioner Perez voted on same side and actually got a 3-2 majority (for a pay increase of all things) says a lot. 

Before we go any further, understand that the County PROBABLY is not gonna raise your taxes. So you most likely aren't paying more taxes for this raise specifically.

For years, the commissioners court and all other county elected officials like county court judges, Justices of the Peace, the District Clerk, County Clerk Tax Assessor, etc, viewed themselves like other county employees. 

Problem is they aren't. 

Regular county employees and department heads are on a step plan with pay grades. 

Elected officials aren't. 

Their salaries have to be set by commissioners court every year. (It's state law). But without a salary policy how in the hell do commissioners know if they're paying too much, too little or just right? 

For years, if county employees got a step increase and/or a cost of living adjustment, the commissioners court would grant elected officials the same, as if they were similar to county employees. Regular employees can max out their steps and not qualify for a step increase, even if the commissioners court approves one. 

Here's the really bad part - for elected officials, there is no cap. So, commissioners courts in the past would add the step and cost of living increases together and grant it to all elected officials, thinking they were being fair. But since there is no step plan or caps for electeds, it was a stupid practice that led to judges, and other county officials getting increases every year. 

So if you're mad a bloated salaries, there are plenty of electeds to be mad at who for years made a whole lot more than Commissioners and the County Judge. Commissioners courts were more concerned about their elections that they would exempt themselves or give themselves smaller increases that they would give county employees, mostly because they didn't have the balls to put up with complaints or media attention. 

Now this is REALLY gonna piss you off. Up until last year, District Clerk Norma Favela, County Clerk Delia Briones, and Tax Assessor Ruben Gonzalez all made more than the county judge! 

So you wanna be mad at someone, be mad at them for having the audacity to take that pay for years and get mad when it comes to light they have been getting paid more than the market (read over-paid)

Wrap your head around that. Those are glorified department heads...and they were making more than the freaking County Judge. Thats a perfect example of how bad the old policy was. You think for one second Norma Favela does anywhere near what the County Judge and Commissioners do? Do you think she has anywhere near as much responsibility? She basically makes sure papers are filed correctly. Important work, but nothing compared to the responsibilities of the court. 

Trust me, she ain't out until 2am or 4am in the valley in the pouring rain helping out with the flooding.

Justices of the peace (who marry and evict people, and deal with traffic tickets) had higher salaries than commissioners who oversee their budgets! It was a practice that made absolutely no sense.

For the first time that I can remember, this is the first time a commissioners court has tried to make sense if elected officials' salaries. They took the ten largest counties in Texas (four are smaller than El Paso), got the average salary for each elected position, and made it a policy to pay all elected in El Paso 30% less. By comparison, for regular employees, their salaries are near or at 100% of the ten largest counties. 

So what's happened? 

For two years in a row, while county employees got steps and cost of living increases, the majority of elected officials got ZERO. 


Because after years of increases, most are above the new policy (and still are). Trust me, Favela was the main elected that was PISSED! 

While commissioners granted a 1.6% cost of living adjustment for all county employees, based on the new policy, salaries for elected officials in the Texas counties rose 1%. While commissioners could have taken the easy way out and punted for themselves they stuck to the policy. 

Unfortunately for them, the headlines will focus on their 1%. Which is entirely their fault because, well they suck at explaining things. 

With about three dozen other elected and appointed officials (most with significantly higher salaries), that got ZERO, I'm willing to guess the county saved well over a quarter million in salary increases under the new policy in the last two years. But commissioners court have been lousy in communicating that. 

Oh yeah, County Judge Escobar voted against the 1% increase (slow clap). She voted for the big increase for commissioners last time, but hey, she's running for congress now...

Friday, August 11, 2017

Source Accuses Carlos Sierra of Infamous Robocall, Sierra Doesn't Deny

A source reached out to me recently leveling some strong allegations against controversial local political consultant Carlos Sierra. I made repeated attempts with Sierra to get his side of the allegations.

The source alleged that Sierra was operating covertly with several campaigns recently, misrepresented himself, was in a fight at journey concert that left him with an injured arm and a black eye, and further accused Sierra of "bypassing election laws, anonymous robocalls to get his hitlist".

After further conversation with the source, he identified several robocalls that Sierra allegedly created and sent, independently of an actual campaign against a group of people he identified on his "hit list".

If you recall an article from the El Paso Times a few years ago, Sierra ends it by identifying several elected officials he wanted to get rid of in El Paso politics included both County Judge Veronica Escobar and then-City Rep Emma Acosta.

Escobar was the target of a robocall of a disguised voice that was very negative. That robocall came from a PAC headed by Mike Armstrong. Sierra worked on Armstrong's subsequent city council campaign.

In the recent mayoral election Acosta, who was an out-going city rep and mayoral candidate was the target of a now infamous robocall that took a personal shot at Dora Oaxaca's physical ailment. Oaxaca is missing an eye, which was referenced in the call.

To refresh your memory, here is the call:

The call was reported in local media and was widely criticized for its negative and personal tone, but no one took responsibility for sending the call. Then City Rep Limon, who was running against Oaxaca's spouse was accused by some of being behind the call but she had long before disavowed and disassociated herself from Sierra. Sierra had previously worked on Rep Limon's first campaign along with former Mayor Oscar Leeser's and several others.

Around that time Sierra had several legal issues pending and was facing felony charges for multiple DUI. When the news broke, most politicos distanced themselves from Sierra but after a few years he made a return to El Paso politics and has been working, or pitching services to several candidates.

The source indicated that Carlos Sierra had teamed up with a new partner and he and the other field guy were allegedly working on getting on board the Dori Fenenbock congressional campaign, which makes sense because a large portion of Sierra's work has been for Republican and Libertarian candidates. For the sake of the other field organizer, I'm gonna leave his name out of this because the source said many people were unaware of Sierra's past.

Here's a quick look at some of the conversation between my source and I. My comments are in green.

In order to ascertain the validity of the allegations made against Sierra, I contacted him and asked him directly about a couple of the issues that were raised. I asked him directly, multiple times, if he was involved in the aforementioned robocall and all three times he passes on the opportunity to deny the allegation.

Below are screenshots of our conversation so you can judge for yourself.

I was unable to get details on any of the other allegations because, well this:

So I guess he didn't want to chat any more. I'm sorry to report that I was unable to confirm whether or not he was in a fight at the Journey concert.

I spoke to former Rep Limon about the conversation with Sierra and she expressed relief that the information had come to light and reaffirmed that she had disavowed Sierra long ago.

When the infamous robocall went out, I asked Carlos Sierra if he was involved in it. I asked him because he was previously with Limon's campaign and hadn't heard if he was with her on this campaign or not. I honestly didn't think he would be stupid enough to do something as bad as that robocall because I know he looks at campaigns as his profession. People that do this as a profession know that their work is a reflection of them. They also know that when someone makes an anonymous call like that, it will lead to others doing it as well. Carlos Sierra and his background could be easy fodder for one of those style of robocalls and used against whatever campaign he is with. So I guess I'm guilty of being a little naive in thinking that someone like him wouldn't want to start a robocall war that could hurt candidates he's affiliated with.

Back then he obviously had a different tone. But again, you'll notice that he didn't come out and deny being behind the robocall then either.

I can at least partially confirm some of the allegations from my source regarding some of his campaign activities.

The sources also alleged that Sierra "doesn't make sense, he drunk buys domains to hang it over candidates heads that he is better than their current consultant."

Websites for campaigns are what they used to be say back in the late 90's and early 2000's. Social media has minimized their importance but I found out and wrote about Sierra doing just that a few months ago. He purchased a URL of her name and I asked him about it and he fully acknowledged doing so. He apparently does make a regular habit of doing so because he brags about being "a Go Daddy VIP member" and getting "them super cheap".

Here's that conversation.

What is really interesting about the website domain thing he does is the address he uses when he registers the domains. I got hip to this when I was reading this article from the Tucson weekly in Arizona. Most of the article outlines an investigation relating to Sierra with the Federal Elections Commission about possible rule violations with a mailer Sierra did for his congressional candidate client.

They mention is address and that the address is an empty lot.

Sure enough, its the same address used for securing the domain names, and yup, its an empty lot.

Now why Carlos Sierra uses an empty lot as his address I don't know. Its not on CAD. He clearly doesn't live there, unless he sleeps outside under the stars. I know that address has been used on other documents like campaign finance reports. I don't know if its illegal to use an address that is an empty lot on those documents.

Multiple sources have confirmed that Carlos Sierra was recently separated from a campaign as a result of information from his past being revealed.

This article in Roll Call outlines another time Sierra was let go from a campaign when his record came to light. In the Roll Call article the writer indicates that one Democratic insider was interested in becoming involved with the Draft Biden campaign until they learned Sierra was involved. The publication includes this quote form the Democratic insider:

"I remembered the name...I looked him up and got chills."

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Quick Hits From My Notebook

Here's a few tidbits that I have written down in my notebook that are probably not worth their own blogpost so I'm just gonna bunch them up here for you:

Emma's Consulting - Former City Rep and opponent to open government Emma Acosta apparently now fancies herself as a campaign consultant. I don't know how the only major Latina candidate and Democrat who didn't even make a run-off to two lame ass Republicans has the balls to actually try to get someone to hire her to consult on a campaign, but Acosta is apparently pitching herself. Remember how terribly she did with Aliana Apodaca? Seriously, who in the hell is going to hire her?

Speaking of Emma, Dora Oaxaca is out trying to poach judicial candidates as a consultant now too.


D8 - Ya know, in all the excitement of the big come-from-behind win for Cissy Lizarraga that was quarterbacked by Michael Apodaca, I forgot to really talk about how shitty of a job the Cormel campaign did. What a lot of people don't know is that once again, El Paso's favorite shadowy consultant Carlos Sierra, was involved. Not sure who is going to pay the guy to run a campaign now after losing a race that he should have won in his sleep. That is a failure on the part of the campaign consultant if you have a huge money edge and went into the run off in anglo, conservative west El Paso with a white Republican and still manage to lose. Come on man, how the hell do you lose that one?

Sorry Chuck, you're no All-Star.

Oh hey, speaking of Carlos Sierra, I hear he's quite the Journey fan. Its a cool story, but that one most definitely will have its own post. I'll get to it a little later, trust me you aren't going to want to miss it.


County Judge Candidate Richardo Samaniego tripped out of the gate. The candidate who appears to be basically running on the last name of El Paso's former Sheriff, sent out an email for his campaign to government email addresses.

Big no-no.

Probably going to lead to an ethics complaint, which is bad for a candidate who is relying on a law and order family name.

There is another candidate running for Congress. Not really noteworthy and doesn't have a support base, but the crowded field is starting to look like the sheriff's race a few years ago when there was like 8 people running for the same position. Enrique Garcia is the guy's name. Nice guy, but no batch to victory.

Socorro Run-Off

The mayoral race in Socorro's run-off should be a no-brainer for voters. It features Elia Garcia, an attorney and municipal judge for the City of Clint, against Ivy Avalos. Avalos is a subordinate to another City Rep Yvonne Colon-Villalobos. Garcia understands government and the law, is educated, and has served on the Civil Service Commission for the City of Socorro.

Avalos' boss is a city rep.

Basically they aren't even comparable in terms of experience.

But here's an interesting little fact. It looks like Avalos has almost no voting history prior to being asked to run for mayor by her boss.

Ah yes, say it with me everyone..."Only in Socorro".

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Fenebock Files: The Socorro Edition

What could be more fun than a Republican running as a fake Democrat for congress visiting a disaster site?

That's easy, the same thing that makes anything more fun...make it happen in Socorro!

Ah yes, our favorite faker took a little trip (probably her first) out to Soco-loco to go survey the flood damage.

Obviously this is political grandstanding at its finest/worst. If you would've included a press conference with the visit, I would've thought it was coming from Escobar.

But any who, Fenenbock went out to visit the county's second-largest municipality and took a tour. The picture below is probably Interim Mayor Rene Rodriguez explaining to her that Socorro isn't actually in the 16th Congressional District.

But I doubt Fenenbock is going to let a little thing like a disaster that didn't happen in the congressional district she's running for get in the way of a good ol' fashioned photo-op amirite?

However, Fenenbock's trip to Soco-loco, despite being the fakest thing I've seen this side of Pamela Anderson's boob job, does underscore something pretty interesting. If you read the complete text of Fenebocks sponsored post (yes, because it wasn't douchey enough to go, she needed to make the fake photo-op a sponsored ad) she gives County Judge Veronica Escobar a little chinga quedito.

Fenenbock says, "I am deeply committed to jobs and growth, but we must manage our growth by bringing together communities, in both incorporated and unincorporated areas, to understand everyone's needs and protect everyone's interests.
All of our communities and residents matter. Everyone deserves a safe neighborhood."
Obviously that is a shot at the County Judge who in fact does represent the citizens in the City of Socorro.  One Socorro city leader said they haven't seen the judge at all during the flooding. Or the flooding before that, or the one before that. The Socorro city staff and electeds tell me that her staff has been there but the Socorro city leader said they hadn't seen the actual judge in Socorro in at least four years except one time at a wedding reception last year. 

In fairness to the judge, the commissioners of a given area typically take the lead on these types of issues (unless it involves a press conference) because they and their staff have a better grasp of the area and the problems, but still - she's the County Judge, she should show up every once in a while. At least she didn't pull a Mayor Cook and say "I'm not your plumber". 

Going back to the Fenenbock Photo-Op, you'd think with all the money she has that she'd pay someone to mind her social media. Does she not know the subliminal message that is being sent when a candidate is sponsoring a social media ad to pain them in a good light that actually features a sign that says "Dead End"?

I swear, this campaign is the gift that keeps on giving. 

Mira lady, esta es el área donde estás tratando de ser congresista y esta es donde esta Socorro.  Entiendes?

Cabrera's Payback

Well, like I said a long time ago...Cabrera's little trip to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee shin dig had no educational purpose an the tax payers of EPISD shouldn't have had to pay the bill.

Remember how David KKK was swearing up and down that it was anti-Semitic to even suggest that it wasn't related to education? Remember the shovels full of bullshit he was staking to defend that one?

Yet again David Karlsruher looks like an idiot. But lets be real, we are all pretty used to that.

I can tell you that he will come up with some Trumpian nonsensical theory of why the auditor said it was inappropriate and that he had to pay it back. I don't know what exactly that will sound like, but I assure you it will include me, Bob Moore from the Times, Susie Byrd, and the chupacabra.

So can we now stop pretending that Cabrera isn't campaigning for Fenenbock since they both went to this non-education related shin dig?

Oh yeah, speaking of Fenenbock...

Monday, August 7, 2017

Mayor Margo's Millions

Remember that whole argument about businessmen being good government leaders? No, I'm actually not talking about Trump this time.

But just wanted to very quickly remind you all that taxes in the City of El Paso are going up under Mayor Margo.

Mayor Margo is the same guy that applauded the veto done by Mayor Leeser over the Certificate of Obligation earlier this year.

Now Margo is not only pushing for the Certificates of Obligation, he is actually wanting to raise the amount.

Also, and maybe more importantly, keep an eye on the new D3 City Rep Cassandra Brown. She was pretty adamant about holding the line on Certificates of Obligation as a candidate and appears to have flipped. Lets see how that works out.

Yeah, those things happen. Just don't recall seeing it happen so quickly.

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Other Candidates for Congress

You'd think by the blogosphere that there are only two candidates running for the 16th Congressional District of Texas. Interesting tidbit for those of you keeping score at home - the 16th District of Texas has never been represented by a woman or a Latina. There are currently 4 women running for the position, and one is Latina. 

There are in fact at least 5 total candidates - two "other" Democrats and an independent. That isn't counting whatever sacrificial lamb the GOP puts up or JOP who will inevitably run for a little attention again as a Libertarian. I put quotation marks around "other" Democrats because lets be real, Fenenbock is a Republican.

There's a reason I haven't really written about the other candidates...they don't matter and aren't going to win.

Relax people, I know the term "they don't matter" is a little harsh, but lets be real, you don't come here because I sugar coat things. 

What I mean is that they aren't going to get a significant portion of the vote and probably won't even force a run-off. 

Jerome "Community Conference Table" Tighlman - is running for congress...again. He's not going to do anything different than before and will leverage eloquent soliloquies that don't really contain substance via his main campaign vehicle - Facebook. Jerome is a great guy and always a good conversationalist, but he has no money compared to the other campaigns, he has no base of support, and he's far more focused on how he looks than on policy. At some point someone is going to talk about who is a show horse and who is a work horse and Jerome is going put right into that show horse category. He lists driving people to the polls during Bill Clinton's elections as part of his qualifications, so that gives you a sense of where he's coming from. He means well, and he is getting closer to showing some substance, but it is still hard to see how he's just not chasing another title. He'd be the least qualified candidate if Dori Fenenbock weren't in the race, but she is, so he isn't. 

Nicole LeClaire
 - is another candidate. She's witty, sharp, educated like Jerome, and solidly liberal. Those would normally be something to build on, but she's not going to have any money behind her. Without any money behind her, its going to be hard to introduce her to El Paso voters because well, no one knows who the hell she is. There's a reason they don't know who she is. SHE DOESN'T EVEN LIVE IN EL PASO. At some point she's allegedly moving to El Paso, allegedly, but the reality is that while she is from El Paso, she hasn't lived here in a long time. No major connections to the business groups, community organizations, political entities, etc. She lives in Houston and is running for a seat in El Paso. Again, in terms of politics I'm probably most closely aligned to her beliefs along with Escobar, (when she's not being a complete ideological hypocrite on immigration) but she's naive to think that voters, the ones who will even know show she is, won't take issue with her living in Houston. But frankly, even if she had moved from Houston 6 months before she decided to run, she's still not a serious candidate. Nice lady, but no base, no money, no name ID, no chance.

Jessica Kludt Allala - is an attorney who practices law focusing on seniors. She probably going to be pretty well versed on healthcare and several other issues. With the exception of Escobar, she'll be the most deep in policy knowledge. But she has the same problems the rest have - lack of financial support, name ID, and a support base. Her claim to fame is being Stephanie Townsend Allala's daughter, which is a double-edge sword. Some really like STA, some despise her, so that is probably a wash. But she made a bad political move which will guarantee she will not win and will lose pretty badly. She's a lifelong Democrat (by her own admission) but is running as an independent. She made a nonsensical comment about appealing to all El Pasoans as an independent. All that means is that if   Republican also runs for Congress, Allala will have the same single digit support of non-serious candidates like Jaime O. Perez. Trump is going to push Dems and Republicans to the polls in November and an independent is going to get trounced more than usual. She would likely have done much better running as a Democrat. Its going to be hard to explain in the Trump era why a lifelong Democrat would run as an independent. 

Up next - we'll talk about the County Judge's race...

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Stout Undermines Commissioner's Court

County Commissioner David Stout held a press conference yesterday that has sleazy movida written all over it.

Frankly, the novelty of Stout being the white guy that speaks Spanish is over.

Stout presented information to the media about historic assets within the foot print of the Duranguito area. I'm 100% confident that this was coordinated with Bernie Sargent and Max Grossman.

The real problem with Stout's grandstanding is two fold. One, the County's historical survey is incomplete. According to the contract its supposed to be delivered later this year. But the reason that it was done now is because Stout is trying to help out the legal cases.

Ray Charles can see that.

Apparently Stout hasn't payed attention to the last election cycle, the voters don't care about Duranguito. It just wasn't an issue to them. Based on the result, they seemed to care more about getting the arena built.

Two, the Court voted earlier this year (with the exception of Stout) to not get involved with the arena project. Stout is the one who brought the item up and it went down in flames. The Court already spoke on this issue.

That is why he should stop whining like a big baby because he's being a massive hypocrite. He was the main critic of Commissioner Perez's press conference earlier this year about the jail contract. You memmer, memmer?

He was practically in tears during that meeting when he was questioning why Perez hadn't spoke to him about the issue. Somewhere, deep down in his heart, he still loves Vince. It pretty much sounded like this:

For whatever reason he hasn't figured out that it would've been a violation of the Open Meetings Act ala the City of El Paso had they spoken about the issue.

Steakgate: The Conclusion

Well, it looks like he finally got his free steak.

Oh, look who he's with...

Seriously, you just can't make this shit up!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Fenenbock Follies

County Judge Veronica Escobar got the support of a big Latino PAC the other day, which is a big deal if for no other reason that star power.

I mean come on, Eva Longoria is part of the PAC. Pretty much ever Latino heavy-hitter is in the PAC and they are, from what I hear, going to go all in for the County Judge's congressional bid.

Apparently all-in at this point means a social media campaign. From what I can tell the PAC has only raised a couple of million in hits history, so I'm not sure how much of a threat the PAC ultimately will be.

The premise that they are trying to draft the Judge to run in silly, she's basically been a candidate right about the time she found out Beto was running for senate.

But the PAC made its move to endorse and push Escobar shortly after Fenenbock made a round of visits to DC last Monday.

And guess who she was in DC with for the visits?

No, not Cabrera this time, or at least that I know of.

But none other than former Congressman Silvestre Reyes.

Yes thats true, look it up.

Escobar has Eva Longoria, one of the Castro's and Cesar Blanco. Dori has a has been congressman who still isn't over the fact that he got trounced out of office.

Oh, and guess what is so interesting about her trip to DC with ol' Silver?

She missed a school board meeting to attend!

Y'all remember all this shit David K was talking about Susie Byrd missing a school board meeting in June because she was in DC with Escobar? Well turns out the board had rescheduled the June meeting, Byrd put out her travel schedule and Fenenbock scheduled the board meeting for a day she knew Byrd would be out of town.

Fenenbock just flat out ditched the school board meeting so she can be in DC with ol' Silver.

I'll bet David K doesn't say a word about it either. He shat the bed when Byrd missed a meeting and even alleged a crime had occurred. But when its the candidate mommy and daddy maxed out on, he ain't gonna say shit.

Talk all the crap you want about me, but at least I'm the only blogger out there that is critical of both on policy.

Also, going back to my post about the County's policy, David K alleges that Escobar's camp has made "hundreds" of request from EPISD and that it hasn't been a story. "Hundreds" was the word he used.

How much you wanna bet that David K made that all up and that it hasn't even been close to hundreds?

Anywho, its interesting how quickly this race has taken a racial undertone. The minute I wrote anything negative about Fenenbock I got called an antisemite.

I didn't say a damn thing negative about her faith or heritage but the mere mention of her in a negative like got her camp in a frenzy and since they didn't have anything else to say, they went with antisemite.

Which is weird because remember when Jud Burgess was against the bond and he came out with fake money and had her face on them and called them Fenenbucks? Who called him out on that?

Me. How quickly you trolls forget...

This race is going to get more and more racial as the days go by.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Escobar's ORR Policy Purely Political

I wrote a while back about how the County of El Paso has lost their damn mind creating a policy to start charging for the time necessary to do open records requests.

And now that I have gone back and watched the debate, I'm even more convinced that this policy was not only bad for transparency, but appears to be a policy that has one purpose and one purpose only, to help County Judge Veronica Escobar further her political career.

That should infuriate everyone and it undermines the faith people have in openness with government.

Let me explain my opinion on this. The County, and by County I mean the Judge, will argue that this policy makes sense because all other governmental entities charge a fee and that the County's fee is nominal and far less than any other level of government.

Probably true - but completely irrelevant.

I didn't realize until I went back to watch the debate that during the discussion of the item there was little to no mention of why the issue all of a sudden was a problem. Here's the bottom line - the County of El Paso is not inundated with open records requests.

The County Judge's office is inundated with open records requests. And yes, its completely political and Dori Fenenbock's campaign is behind it. They are putting in a bunch of requests to dig up whatever dirt they can on the County Judge.

Is that wrong?


At best its an inconvenience and can impede the efficiency of government.

Is it shitty for Fenenbock's office to do? Sure. Its freaking really excessive. According to the County Judge, who acknowledges in the meeting that this was essentially about one person's requests, which she says started July 2nd and have been every day since. She says 5 to 12 different requests every day including weekends.

If you didn't read the media coverage of the issue you'd have no idea that this was essentially about a campaign issue.

The judge, nor anyone else, EVER actually articulates the nature of the requests. Only Commissioner Haggerty questioned the policy. On the agenda the item says it came from the County Administrator, but make no mistake, it came from the judge.

Lee Shapleigh says, "It is not a problem we have ever had before." So if it has never been an issue before, and is only an issue now, with the judges specific time frame she stated, why is County policy being changed for sake of requests coming from one individual, to one elected official's office?

So when you really look at this issue, how can you see this any other way than County Judge Veronica Escobar using her position as County Judge to make a policy change that essentially gives her a political campaign cover.

That is NOT an appropriate use of her office, the authority of the County Judge, or government for that matter. County Government does not exist to provide the County Judge with political air cover.

Understand that this is a major policy change. But for all her talk of transparency, she had the opportunity to disclose to the Court and the public the nature of the requests (because its absolutely germane to the policy change), and made the conscious decision to not disclose the nature of the requests.

For all of her talk of the county should be taking their time and double checking data when it came to the jail contract, she damn sure didn't ask for any data has to how many ORR requests the County gets nor how they relate to requests her office gets.

Where's her desire to "do a deep dive"? Where's her data showing that this is such a major issue for tax payers that they need to change the policy?

You know, because "no one is infallible".

So review the basic facts.

* One office has been getting excessive requests from one person.

* That person works for a congressional candidate, Dori Fenenbock.

* Judge Escobar hasn't announced, but she's taken meetings to discuss her candidacy and there is a PAC in place that is already soliciting support for her campaign.

* County policy was then changed as a response to the requests.

How in the hell is that an appropriate use of her office?

This begs a question that I really now want to know, were any of the requests delayed in order for time to be permitted for a policy to be created?

If so, that would be really bad.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Socorro Blame Game; Reps Vote to Violate Law

Say it with me again y'all:


If you miss a city council meeting, its like missing an episode of Game of Thrones. You have to binge watch their YouTube channel to catch up to all the drama!

City Representative Yvonne Colon-Villalobos was the subject of two complaint letters sent to the City of Socorro due to alleged behavior and legal infractions during the early voting period of the last round of elections in Socorro. In an email I obtained, Rep Colon-Villalobos blames the Elections Department.

The complaint was centered around the behavior of Colon-Villalobos and her tag-team partner City Rep Maria Reyes, and covered a range of things from their behavior of yelling and fighting with other campaigns, to being told repeatedly by County and Election staff to not enter the polling place.

The duo are supporting Colon-Villalobos' work subordinate Ivy Avalos for mayor.

I'll get to why she blames the Elections staff shortly but first, walk with me.

There was some discussion at a recent Socorro City Council meeting over whether or not there needed to be a run-off election. Colon-Villalobos and Reyes were against a run-off election, obviously because they both supported Avalos and she had the most votes of the plurality of candidates.

But there are a couple more interesting, and ironic, reasons they didn't want a run-off election. One of the arguments they tried to float was that the City of Socorro's charter says you just need a plurality to win. Which would be fine if it weren't for a basic legal tenant that Texas law over-rules local charters. If murder is against the law in the Texas Constitution, allowing murder in a city charter doesn't magically make it legal. State law has precedence.

The other, and much more hilariously ironic hypocritical argument Reps Reyes and Colon-Villalobos had the audacity to make was that it would cost too much money for the taxpayers of Socorro.

THEY ARE THE REASON AN ELECTION WAS EVEN HELD IN THE FIRST PLACE! They railroaded former Mayor Gloria Rodriguez out of office without even having the respect for the community to state why. The vacancy they created triggered the special election that they are talking about in the first place!


Even by Socorro standards, thats a bunch of hypocritical bullshit.

Reps Reyes and Colon-Villalobos were advised by the city attorney that state law takes precedence, but the two ignored state law and voted to circumvent state law in favor of their political candidate. They'll spin it differently but if you know the back story of who they are supporting there is no way you can spin out of the fact that they were willing to take a vote on the record that would violate state law just to get their candidate elected.

There's a reason for that, which I'll get to later but it makes you wonder what in the blue hell City Rep At Large Rene was thinking when he recognized Reyes for ethics of all things.

In this email sent to the entire council, the city manager, and the city attorney, Colon-Villalobos indicates that the complaints leveled against her by the Elections Department were actually their fault and cites an ambiguous (and unsubstantiated) "power issue" with the judges.

The email doesn't make mention of the other allegations of "fighting" and "yelling" and behavior that was characterized by the Elections Department staff as "an absolute embarrassment to the community".
High Stakes

So why all the intrigue and heightened emotions about a city council race in Socorro?

You know the answer, its Socorro and therefore there is some sort of movida happening.

Reps Reyes and Colon-Villalobos are part of a faction that is led behind the scenes by ousted former City Manager Lorenza Fraire who was such an issue that even the Gandara clan didn't want her to be city manager and they got rid of her. Fraire has been focused on getting back into her old job ever since. She's so intent on doing so that she has been running candidates for years in an attempt to get a majority that are beholden to her so that she can get her old job back.

Multiple city employees have come forward talking about how Fraire spends a lot of time in the offices and has introduced Avalos as their new boss before the election was over.

The faction wants to remove the current city manager and city attorney, which is surprising given the fact that they are the first city manager and city attorney in my memory that haven't been a controversy magnet.

There are 4 district reps, one at-large rep and a mayor in Socorro. You have an uneven number of voting members of council and the mayor only votes in cases of ties. That almost never happens because 5 is an uneven number. Currently the Fraire Faction consists of two, and three if Ivy Avalos is elected, which doesn't really help Fraire because its just the mayoral position.

But the district 2 seat will now also go to a run-off election, but their candidate, which was actually the key to the coup, didn't come in the top two, so to the Fraire Faction, it doesn't matter who wins that race.

And now, to add another interesting wrinkly to the novela that is the City of Socorro, City Rep Maria Reyes is up for reelection in November...

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Fenenbock's Feria Part 2

The El Paso Times recently did a story about the amount of Republican contributions Dori Fenenbock has received. I wrote a piece about it and the short of it is that surprise, surprise, the vast majority of the contributions were from Republicans.

As you may recall, I mentioned Fenenbock's spouse being super excited on the Election Night for the bond because it was in November. I mentioned he was giddy about Trump winning and a lot of the people that attended were really annoyed.

Fenenbock has almost no voting history, and she's basically done nothing for this community before she ran for school board, which she is still in the middle of the first term of. But the voting history she does have, as I've mentioned before, is Republican.

And her husband donates a lot of money to Republicans. I've mentioned that before, but let me show you what I mean...

Because its a lot of contributions.

So in terms of federal contributions, the Fenenbocks gave to 13 different Republican political campaigns and one Democratic campaign.

And we aren't talking middle-of-the-road Republicans. We are talking hard core nuts like Ted Cruz, Tom Leppert, Paul Ryan, and Cornyn.

At this point, after seeing Fenenbock's voting record and the campaign donations of her spouse, if you still think she's really a Democrat then there is something wrong with you.

You can't expect voters to trust you if you can't be honest with them about who you are and what your political beliefs are.

Oh wait, you clearly can. After all, we have a President who banked on that.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Commissioners Wrong on Open Records Requests

The County unanimously voted to impose a fee on persons submitting certain open records requests. And they were unanimously wrong for doing so.

Some might say I'm sensitive about open records because of the bullshit Emma Acosta and Mike Noe pulled on me a little over a year ago. I'll accept that.

First, lets address the elephant in the room. And by elephant, I mean the Republican Dori Fenenbock. The reality is that this decision by the Court was in response to the fact that the County Judge's office is getting a shit ton of open records requests from Fenenbock's campaign.

The Judge is in the congressional picture and of course Fenenbock is going to try to go through her long public record. Thats a consequence of being a sitting elected official and having a long history. People are going to go through it.

I resent having to pay for public documents out of principle. They are public, which means they are mine. Why do I have to pay you, for my shit. Government things they are a fucking bank, the only other people I can think of that have the audacity to charge you for your own shit.

The reality is that this is a short-term problem and the commissioner court found a way to find the shittiest solution to a short-term problem possible.

The reality is that the fee can't be so much that it serves as a deterrent from making the request of the records. So by definition, this is a policy that is going to disproportionately affect people who aren't wealthy but still want to engage their government.

And sorry to crush the dreams of the Judge's staff, but the fee won't even slow down the Fenenbock team's bid to dig for dirt, which is what the open records requests are all about. They have a shit-ton of money, they can afford any request.

So the only people it disincentives from sending in requests are the people who can't afford it.

Way to go commissioner's court, use a cannon to kill a mosquito.

Now their going to justify this by saying that other entities have charged more for less. Which is true. But, what problem is being solved by enacting this policy? Its not like that amount of money pays for your average county staffer's time.

They are also going to say that other entities charge for the information then why shouldn't they? Well if you weren't charging before, is there a compelling reason to change that policy that doesn't involved the congressional race?


This is feel good, do nothing policy.

Also for those you wondering, the resign to run law doesn't affect school board members, which is why Dori can run around talking about her campaign while still holding her seat as a school board member. The Judge still has to whisper.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Bad Behavior in Socorro Leads to Increase Fees?

Word around the water cooler in the county courthouse is that there is likely to be an increase in filing fees to run for office in Socorro because the County is likely to require security at the polling places.

I can't underscore how big of a deal it is that you have to have security at a polling place to keep order. This is on the heels of a complaint sent from election officials to the City of Socorro about on-going behavior and violations of election rules at polling places in Socorro.

The very sad point of the complaint letters was the fact that it identified at least two members of council, Maria Reyes and Yvonne Colon-Villalobos, along with their mayoral candidate Ivy Avalos.

Its shameful that polling places aren't seen as secure places, especially in places like Socorro. Socorro has a frightfully low voter turnout and this turn of events, with a couple of their city leaders being the alleged cause, doesn't encourage people to vote in that community.

And to be clear, its important to make this point. All of Socorro leaders aren't out of control. All of their leaders aren't emotionally unstable. Most of their leaders and staff members in the City of Socorro are good people with the best of intentions and just want to do the right thing for the community.

But a couple of them have some real problems. Its clearly getting out of control.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Election Officials Make Complaints About Socorro Officials

File this under that really full folder called Only in Socorro...

Once again City Reps Maria Reyes and Yvonne Colon-Villalobos find themselves in the middle of controversy - and their mayoral candidate Ivy Avalos (Colon-Villalobos' subordinate).

I've heard reports of their behavior during the campaign, but Soco is particularly Loco during election season. And if you've never campaigned in the valley, its something of a contact sport. Its very confrontational and in your face. Socorro has refined this to nuclear purity.

Do you know how bad your behavior has to be to get complained about in Socorro? The police are often at polling places in Socorro.

So if something rises to a complaint in Socorro, its especially egregious.

Its even more egregious if its the actual elections personnel making the complaint. Normally they are the people that you do the complaining to.

Instead, they sent letters of complaint to the City of Socorro because their behavior was so bad.

This demonstrates a real lack of stability among the people mentioned in the complaint. And here's the REALLY shameful thing about it. The people that were participating in this bad behavior were...wait for it...ELECTED OFFICIALS!

And a mayoral candidate.

Here's a screen shot of one of the letters. This letter is from Sandra Ramirez who works in the Elections Department at the County. Ramirez says in part,

"It is an absolute embarrassment to the community to see them fighting with each other and yelling things back and forth to each other."

She goes on to say that they were non-compliant, disregarded the rules and likened their behavior to "children".

Here's another letter from even more election officials.

The Election Judge and the Alternate both identified the same individuals as the elections department staff member identified.

There is not only a general lack of self-control and instability, but it also speaks to a level of entitlement - they think the rules don't apply to them because they are elected officials in Socorro.

The questionable activity doesn't stop there. There's more, but I'll get to that in another post.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Courthouse Follies

Heard about a couple of funny things that have happened in the courthouse.

Okay, not funny. Troubling is probably a better word.

I'm still getting the details but I'll give you the basics of what I know on an incident involving a couple of judges. There is a lawyer that has cases in two courts on the same day, at the same time. That is a common in the court house and these learned individuals typically act like adults and work this shit out.

But once in a while, they get in pissing matches. So one judge is pissed that the attorney isn't there and - there are two versions to this story so I'm trying to verify which one is most accurate - either went down to the other court in his robe, or sent his bailiff, to go get the attorney. The attorney was in jury selection in the other court.

I'll give you names and everything once I get the correct version of the story. I mean judges have a pretty fucking sweet work schedule. Go to any court almost any day of the week and it'll be a freaking accident if you run into an actual judge. Hell some of these people think so little of justice that they have hearings over the phone!

I mean God forbid you get into your fancy car, put on your robe and your powdered wig and do your job amirite?

But do you believe that shit? Those are JUDGES acting like that. Doesn't that just piss you off?

Well if it doesn't, this one will.

There was a court that was set-up to do primarily family law. They have other cases they hear, but it was mostly a family court. It was mostly certainly a family court with the judge first ran for office.

And now, almost inexplicably the judge no longer wants to do family law and is pushing those cases out to other courts so that the court can focus on other areas of the law.

What kind of shit is that?

It apparently is screwing over a LOT of people, staff, courts, and attorneys. They gotta pick up the slack because a judge just basically said, fuck it, I don't want to do this anymore. 

I'm working on finding out what is the deal with that move and as soon as I find out, I'll pass it on to you.