Friday, March 31, 2017

D2 Candidates

Here is video of two of the District 2 candidates - City Rep Jim Tolbert and Alexsandra Annello squaring off at the Black El Paso Democrats meeting last week. I am trying to get as much video of candidates as I can because I know most of you don't have the time to attend candidate forums regularly. If you're wondering why its only the two of these candidates, its because none of the other candidates show up to anything.

Some quick analysis here - Tolbert seems pretty indignant about the investigation he's currently under, that much is clear the minute he starts speaking. He pulls an Acosta and says something that is pretty freaking unbelievable. He says, "the fact of the matter is that I am accused of listening to people."

Uh, no. You are accused of breaking the Texas Open Meetings Act by having a closed door meeting that allegedly involved a rolling quorum in which you are accused of deliberating behind closed doors.

Not listening to people.

I left the camera running after he was done speaking and at the very end you can see were he starts to smack talk Alberto Halpern, who is the boyfriend of his opponent Alexsandra Annello. He accuses him of working for Susie Byrd, but I guess he didn't understand that Halpern and Annello are a couple.

Tolbert was elected on a mandate following an ethics complaint. A short period later and now Tolbert is facing a criminal investigation, something even worse than Romero faced.

Annello has some issues as well. She hasn't lived here very long and so her resume is thin. Her voting record isn't stellar either.

That might be why Tolbert's field guy thinks Tolbert is going to win without a run-off. Speaking of Tolbert's field guy and Annello's boyfriend, they are the subject of an upcoming post you'll find interesting.

Noe Love: The Bromance

I know, its kinda weird. I've seen it, so you can stop sending me screen shots of their respective pages. Dr. Noe has a full-on bromance with District 7 candidate Henry Rivera-Oaxaca.

He even has Henry as his profile pic.

I've had my dad, Vicente Fernandez, and Cesar Chavez as my profile pics, but I can't think of any other vato I've had as a profile pic.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. I mean me and Vince are cool and all, but I'm not making him my fucking profile pic.

But I'll address what everyone is whispering...why is Noe going all in for an opponent to one of his colleagues on City Council? Well its not a new thing. Dr. Noe doesn't like Limón and its boiled over to a really weird level.

To the point that it involves Snapchat. I'll get to that in a minute...

Dora Oaxaca is Henry's new wife. Dora, who elected all of the Gandara's in Socorro, also helped Dr. Noe in his first campaign and was getting paid by Dr. Noe while working as a staffer for Emma Acosta.

Dora hates Limón. She's personally told me that and "hate" was the exact word she used.

So its not hard to see how things work out on this one. Dora is close to Noe, Dora and Noe both dislike Limón and Henry is married to Dora.

But remember that Snapchat thing I told you about? Well a buddy of mine sent me something that I had seen before but forgotten about. Like many of you, I have a Snapchat and I'm more selective of my Snapchat friends. In fact I had to boot someone off of it today.

Anywho, when you have someone's phone number in your contacts you can look them up and see if there is a Snapchat account associated with the number. A buddy of mine both happen to have Dr. Noe's cell in our contacts and my buddy sent me an interesting screen shot.

So I checked on my phone just to double check.

Sure enough, same weird username for the phone number associated with Noe's cell.

Weird that a city rep would allegedly go so far as to use a colleague's name as part of their username for Snapchat right?

Kinda middle school don't ya think?

Gotta love city council...

Interview with Republican Mayoral Candidate David Saucedo

He's called himself a progressive and a populist.

He's tried to brand himself as several different things during this race, including your "average El Pasoan".

He's called himself everything but what he is, a wealthy Republican born into privilege with every advantage in life handed to him. I guess thats why that boxing commercial he did was so funny to me. Boxers come from the streets, not private school. That guy has probably never been in a fist fight in his life.

Truth is, he's had every advantage in life handed to him. The average El Pasoan wasn't born wealthy with a silver spoon in their mouth nor spend their youth in fancy private schools.

But that is the truth according to David Saucedo.

To his credit Saucedo did an extended interview with me the other day and I challenged him on every position and contradiction I've written about since he announced. He took it like a man and didn't duck or dodge a single question. Didn't answer a few, but he did much more than I expected.

I can respect that. Still ain't voting for him, but I can respect him now.

And yes, I did ask about the boxing commercial...

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Acosta's Credibility Gap...

"Transparency is obviously very important." These are the words that were actually uttered by City Rep Emma Acosta at the Tejano Democrats candidate forum the other night.

No seriously, she really said that.

Emma Acosta, yeah, her.

She really did.

No, I'm not joking. I'll post the video later, but I assure you, she actually said it.

This link takes you to a story about City Rep Emma Acosta's agenda item, done with the help of her advisor and campaign consultant Dora Oaxaca, in which she led the effort to try to limit members of the public having access to public documents. That is not showing that transparency is very important to Rep Acosta.

As a result, the City of El Paso was nominated for an award. The award is called the Golden Padlock Award and is given to the "most secretive government agency or individual in the United States". We didn't "win", but she was a major reason we were nominated for it.

And she has the nerve to say transparency is important to her? Seriously if there was ever a member of council that should want to avoid the conversation of transparency and not want to even open that door, its Acosta.

But Acosta's credibility problems don't stop there. Remember when Larry Romero wasn't going to council anymore but was still collecting a paycheck? Who was the one that went to bat for him at the expense of tax payers?

Emma Acosta.

Who was the one who said she conducted salary research for the big fat raise for the City Manager that was double the average of what most El Pasoans make in a year by simply calling other cities and asking what they pay without getting any context?

Emma Acosta.

And more recently, check out this story in the El Paso Times about video from the Black El Paso Democrats' candidate forum that I recorded. Yet again Acosta says something that you just can't believe. Acosta basically makes the claim that she helped change a city ordinance that discriminated against women. She has no proof that she did and the person in charge of pensions at the city says its not true.

Reminds you of Trumps wire tap tweet right? Another politician who says things that aren't true, can't back them up, and then gets pissed when you ask them to...

The Supreme Court struck down pensions that paid men and women differently a full two decades before Acosta retired.

What is she going to say next, that she invented the internet?

And what does she do when she's confronted and asked for documents showing the ordinance she said existed or any documents that show she was part of a fix to that ordinance?

"I don't have any of that data. I would have to research it." Then says she doesn't have the time to find it.


The dog ate my homework defense?

And there is even more that she has said that turns out not to be true. This would be a much longer post if I enumerated every time she said something as a matter of public record that turned out not to be true.

No wonder her campaign is in trouble.

A prominent Latina with name ID in a field of male candidates with baggage - with her top two opponents being rich Republicans (Margo and Saucedo) in a Democratic town like El Paso - and she's still having problems getting financial and voter support underscores my point.

When people complain about a weak field and not having anyone to vote for, its pretty much an indictment of Acosta. On paper, voters should be flocking to someone like her. But no faith in Acosta, coupled with the other two candidates being rich Republicans is why so many people have complained about the poor field of candidates. If "None of the Above" could be an option on the ballot, trust me when I tell you that "None of the Above" would win in a landslide, no matter what Saucedo/Tolbert/Morgan campaign advisor Chris Hernandez tells everyone.

Acosta's in trouble and she doesn't have very long to bridge that credibility gap. She's running out of time.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Damn, Dr. Noe is gacho!

The fancy light-up sign at his practice on the Eastside has Dora Oaxaca's husband's campaign logo. As you know, she put her husband up to run against Noe's colleague Lily Limón.


Barceleau Bumbles; Booed...

Jaime Barceleau came across extremely rude last night at the Tejano Democrats endorsement meeting. Yes, he was heckled, yes some of the old fossils in the back of the room were obnoxious, and yes, Michael Patiño is obnoxious and wasn't even a member, and yes Barceleau was actually correct, but rule #1 in politics dictates that before they shall vote for you, they shall like you.

Boy did Barceleau screw up the arena question with this audience!

By now as a candidate, and as a freakin' adult, he should know that you don't treat people the way he did. I don't know if it was because he was cranky because of the heat or what (his poor wife was fanning him during the meeting), but he came across as a total jerk.

So people ended up getting a look at the real Barceleau. I know what you're thinking...Jaime just doesn't like Jaime for some personal reason that he keeps alluding to but hasn't said yet. Well you're right, I don't like him and every time he says stuff like he's trustworthy and a gentleman I want bust him out in front of everyone.

But you don't have to take this Jaime's word for it on the other Jaime's behavior...

Lets go to the video...(there's always video right?)

There was another incident at the end of the evening that was pretty embarrassing. Tejano Chairman Eddie Holguin was introducing Mayoral Candidate and basketball legend Willie Cager to the audience to speak and Othon Medina was in the back of the room. Cager is speaking on the microphone and Medina yells from the back, "Why doesn't he stand up?!"

He was immediately hushed by those around him, but it was awful.

(I should clarify that last night's Tejano event was very well run and other than these two incidents was peaceful. The two incidents that occurred were out of Holguin's control and shouldn't reflect on him, he just still has a few loud dinosaurs in the organization. And the Barceleau thing also included that arena guy and he isn't even a member.)

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Republican Sheriff Candidate Backs Henry Rivera (D7)

Recent Republican candidate for sheriff Tom Buchino announced the other day on his campaign page that he was endorsing District 7 candidate Henry Rivera.

Buchino was strongly backed by the CLEAT unions for sheriff to unseat incumbent Sheriff Richard Wiles. Wiles and Rivera served together in EPPD for many years.

So they have something in common now other than their years of service in protecting our community...neither of them were supported by CLEAT.

Its particularly interesting when you consider the fact that Rivera was, until very recently, an officer in the organization and ran the PAC.

So Buchino reached out to all of those union people that supported him - despite the fact that the union didn't support Rivera.

They endorsed a friendly incumbent, City Representative Lily Limón.

What's the phrase I'm looking for me out...oh yeah! I remember!

"All those badges can't be wrong..."

Mayoral Candidates at BEPD

Here is video of the mayoral candidates at the Black El Paso Democrats forum and endorsement meeting last week.

That was the longest forum I've ever been to. It may still be going on for all I know, I left at 11:00 last week and it didn't look like it was done yet.

Here's video of the three major candidates for mayor. So here's a quick run-down of what they all said.

Saucedo sounded like Howard Dean and Donal Trump had a baby. Yelled a lot and spoke about making history and prosperity for El Paso. It was very "Make-El-Paso-Great-Again". Prosperity for all!

Acosta sounded terrible. She fumbled her opening and most of her answers were terrible. But take note around the 5:00 mark of the video. Its pretty interesting how she characterizes her retirement settlement deal. She makes it sound like she was fighting for women, which as I understand it, is complete bullshit.

Dee Margo, and it causes me physical pain to admit this, sounded the most prepared. Don't take my word for it, watch the videos.

I give Saucedo and Margo credit for showing up and trying for the endorsement. I wish someone from BEPD would've just asked them about their party affiliation but none of them did. Also, this has happened a lot in campaigns, sometimes your surrogates, staff, or consultants aren't doing you any favors when they turn more people off than help. I was having a private chat with Dee Margo about personal stuff, completely unrelated to politics and his staff walked up and made a shitty comment to me about how he should be careful what he tells me because it will end up in my blog. (Saucedo has this problem worse than Dee to be fair).

As most of you reading this know, I don't do personal. Dee knows that and he quickly corrected her on the spot. But it pissed me off, so you know what did make my blog?

You lady.


Here are the videos...

Forma Being Forma...

Ah yes, the team at Forma Group is at it again.

Way to go, I knew you guys wouldn't let Jaime Barceleau mailing outside of his district go unchallenged. Way to one-up guys mailed outside of the state!

Thats definitely an innovative GOTV strategy...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Socorro Rep Maria Reyes' Last Gasp

Socorro City Rep Maria Reyes successfully led the ouster of Mayor Gloria Rodriguez last week through manipulating two other members of council. 

Some of you may have seen the media accounts of what happened but I'll fill you in on some of the important details that have probably not been reported widely.

No matter how you slice it, Reyes has dragged Socorro backward, cost tax payers $20,000-$25,000 and has contributed to the stigma of Socorro politics.

Why? Because she wanted payback. No amount of explaining from her will make the facts any different. And here's how you know its just another Socorro movida...

First of all, who put the item on the agenda? It wasn't Reyes, it was Rep Yvonne Colon-Villalobos. Reyes had to be the person to "second" the item in order to get it on the agenda. She originally didn't want to and was trying to get another rep to do it. Why? Because she knew if it came from her everyone would know that it was her personal beef.

And while the story broke on Monday, it wasn't until AFTER the meeting on Thursday that anyone was able to get any indication of why Rodriguez was even being removed form office in the first place. There was zero transparency in this issue. There was no reason given on the agenda. There was no back-up provided to the public. But somehow the public that are friends with Reyes knew what the deal was although it was never discussed, even when they were actually voting to remove Reyes.

Rodriguez's Attorney Jim Darnell confers
with Socorro City Attorney Jim Martinez
Why the need for secrecy? When you are subverting the will of the voters by removing someone who was elected by the people of Socorro, why wouldn't you take every necessary step possible to ensure that you maximize the transparency of what you are trying to do? Because people would know it was nothing but a personal trip.

Voting on an item with zero transparency and not an ounce of back-up for the public to peruse was a failure on the part of all the members of council that voted for that item and further undermines the confidence of the voters of Socorro about their government.

Where was the public discussion of the allegation? Where was Mayor Rodriguez's due process?

And let me be clear about something with those of you reading this who may have not yet picked up on this particular fact - I have often been a vocal critique of Mayor Rodriguez. There are many areas of policies in which we disagree and I certainly don't care for the political company she keeps.

But wrong is wrong, regardless of my personal feelings for Mayor Rodriguez in the past.

Perhaps another reason that City Rep Maria Reyes didn't want to have a public conversation about the allegations against Rodriguez may be the fact that there is a good possibility that the city of Socorro will ultimately have to deal with this issue in court. No telling how much the final bar tab will be for Reyes' personal vendetta against Mayor Rodriguez, but one thing is for sure, it ain't gonna be cheap.

Here's video of Rodriguez's attorney Jim Darnell, being interviewed after the meeting in which Rodriguez was removed. As you can tell, this is anything but a slam dunk. Which further begs the question of why this wasn't vetted publicly.

What's Next for Rep Reyes?

Well there is already talk of an opponent against Reyes and creating a vacancy at the mayor's position will likely make things more difficult for Rep Reyes considering several of the names of people that are already rumored to be considering a run for the seat. Not a single one is a friendly toward Reyes. And not only is that going to be an issue for her, but there is already talk of two different opponents already gearing up to take Reyes on in an election.

Reyes is a notoriously lazy campaigner, so the minute she gets in a race with an opponent, she's pretty living on borrowed political time.

So what does she do in the mean time?

Well this is the challenge for Reyes. She's never really done anything for her constituents. There really is no accomplishment for Reyes during all her years on council. The only thing she really has done was use public funds for some blankets that were given out to the public for personal individual use. That's it.

Now that she got rid of Rodriguez, what is she going to do now? What is going to be her focus? She should now try to accomplish something of note in the short time that she's still a member of Socorro city council. That is going to be a tall order for someone who has done absolutely nothing while on council except focus on political payback of her enemy on the public's dime.

And now that she has done so, now what?

Frankly, I don't think she will do anything other than continue the politics of personal payback.

But she has the opportunity to actually do something. Other members of council have worked hard on actual substantive change for Socorro. City Rep Rene Rodriguez has pretty much carried most of Socorro City Council on his shoulders and worked with regional partners to significantly improve the city's infrastructure, bring in new business to Socorro, and secured nearly a half-million dollars in resources for a library that the taxpayers of Socorro don't have to pay for.

Meanwhile, Reyes who has been there much longer has nothing to show for her time on council. Oh, and don't even get me started on what transpired IMMEDIATELY following the meeting in which she ousted her foe...

...lets just say she could be removed from office just as easily...

Thursday, March 23, 2017

BEPD Dems Forum, Saucedo Tidbit

Be cool. I'm working on the video from the Black El Paso Democrats Forum and I'll post it later - along with some video from the NE Business Association. It's a lot of stuff and needs to be cleaned up.

All the major mayoral candidates attended last night and I got some good video. Including all the D3 and D4 candidates were there and two of the D2 candidates.

One little tidbit about Saucedo...a source high up in the Democratic Party tells me that David Saucedo's campaign was rejected by the Texas Democratic Party for use of VAN because of Saucedo's Republican voting record. The source tells me that his field organizer has two other municipal accounts on VAN for Jim Tolbert and Sam Morgan. So that looks like the Saucedo slate of candidates.

Also, Max Grossman is still trying to strong arm candidates telling them all that he has 30,000 voters at his disposal.

Someone tell Grossman to put down the pipe.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

City Council Meeting Yesterday

On the day of a crucial vote regarding funding of projects that El Pasoans need City Reps Emma Acosta and Cortney Niland were not in attendance. I guess Acosta thought no one was going to notice that she wasn't around for an important debate?

And Niland...has she completely checked out? She's almost never at council anymore. She's really missed a lot of meetings.

I thought Dr. Noe did a good job of using video to put his colleagues on the spot about on the one hand saying they support projects but then not willing to fund them. That is pretty much the problem with most members of council.

Leeser's Media Item

Really dumb move on the part of the mayor to put the item on the agenda having to do with the release of material. You can't single out a group of people when it comes to the application of a law. Treating media differently than anyone else that makes a request is shockingly stupid.

My question is how bloggers would be treated under this policy. Would people like David K and I be treated like private citizens or would they treat us like media?

Northeast Business Association D4 Candidate Forum

I took video of the forum last night at the Northeast Business Association Candidate Forum for District 4. I'll edit the video and post it soon. Interestingly there was one little exchange at the end of the debate that may end up being pretty interesting when the KCOS debate airs.

Jose Plasencia, the artist formerly known as "The Other Guy", alleged that Sam Morgan came out against Domestic Partner Benefits during the KCOS debate taping. That debate will be aired April 2. A source in the Plasencia campaign says that the Morgan made the comment on an unrelated question.

When confronted about it, Morgan denied saying it and was pretty upset at being accused of discrimination as a black man in America.

This will be resolved when the debate airs on April 2. Either Team Other Guy has to apologize to Morgan, or Morgan is going to have some explaining to do. So that will be interesting. But make no mistake, if Plasencia is wrong, he's going to owe Sam Morgan a really big apology.

The video will show you how they answered questions but here's my quick thoughts on each of that candidates last night:

Jose Plasencia - Come up with something better to do with Cohen Stadium than a farmer's market. Its silly and not an impactful public benefit.

Diana Ramos - For the love of all that is holy in the world, ANSWER A QUESTION! She deflects giving a substantive answer to most questions and turns it around and says that she wants the people to tell her. She's supposed to be the policy wonk in this race, so it surprises me that she doesn't appear excited about giving substantive answers.

Sam Morgan - Stop talking about your book. No one cares that you're a published author unless its a book on "How City Government Can Lower Your Taxes for Dummies". I looked up the book, there's a pretty bad review.

Shane Haggerty - No one cares about robots, how terrible of a soccer coach you are, or your love of ice cream.

I think I found my mayoral candidate...

I was at a forum last night and I met Elisa Morales. Before I go on, let me explain something really important. I don't agree with all of her positions. There are some based on my conversation with her and a look at her website, that I think she is completely wrong on.

BUT...when I spoke to her I was thoroughly impressed with the fact that she's the only mayoral candidate that seems to have any solid understanding of policy. Smart, articulate, poised, and tough. I put my foot on the gas with her a couple of times on policy just to kick the tires and see how she would respond and she was extremely well poised and kept herself together. Usually when I press a candidate they either get pissed or they find the nearest exit.

I think I'm voting for her. Not entirely convinced, but I'm about 80% there. She's way smarter than any other candidate I've seen in the mayoral race and seems willing to take a stand on issues, even if its the wrong stand, as opposed to someone like Saucedo who seems more interested in NOT making anyone mad with an answer.

Obviously Morales' viability is suspect. She's pretty much a complete long shot considering she has no base and not much money. Frankly, she should've sat this one out and ran for city council.

She does have a couple of other problems - much like District 4 candidate Diana Ramos, she is a DC staffer that came home but there are questions as to whether she's lived here long enough to run, as discussed in this recent news story. But my view is that if Ramos is eligible, then Morales is eligible.

Morales basically left El Paso for the Land of Terrible Mexican Food (San Antonio) as soon as she graduated from Eastwood High School, but she came back. I don't think there's anything wrong with someone coming home to make El Paso a better place.

She's from the lower valley, went to Eastwood, has a Bachelors from UTSA and an MBA from A&M San Antonio.

Here's her website if you want more information.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Socorro City Rep Maria Reyes - Everything Wrong With Socorro Politics

So by now you have seen that yet again, Socorro is going to be in the spotlight for their pendejadas. While the agenda item has the name of Rep Colon-Villalobos, make no mistake about it, this movida is coming straight from City Representative Maria Reyes. 

Rep Maria Reyes (Left) - Mayor Gloria Rodriguez (Right)
And frankly, Reyes has come to embody everything that is wrong with Socorro politics. First, let me give you some background so you understand why Maria Reyes has become the way that she is. Reyes - to her credit - was the lone dissenting voice on a council that was corrupt even by Socorro standards. Little Jesse Gandara and his clique of mean girls changed rules, ordinances, and the charter to become a patchwork of rules that essentially made Reyes completely ineffective as a member of council. She was mistreated by them and pushed around a lot. But she stuck to her guns and for that she should be given credit.

But that was a long time ago and shouldn't be used as an excuse for her behavior now. Maria Reyes feels she was treated badly by the former regime. As a result, Reyes is completely obsessed with getting political payback on Mayor Gloria Rodriguez, to the point that she's willing to use the people's business to get even.

And that is petty and bad leadership.

Rodriguez is the last member of the Gandara clique that is still on council. She's the survivor of the group and has actually started to work with members of council that were former adversaries. But that isn't important to Reyes, all she wants is a pound of flesh - and apparently is willing to use the city's time and resources to do it.

This is the failed leadership that Socorro has had to deal with for generations. Being more focused on payback rather than smart policy choices or solving the day-to-day problems is the crap that has always seemed to plague Socorro and why so many people feel like voting in Socorro doesn't matter.

Under the patchwork of crappy policies, procedures, ordinances, and charter items, the Mayor of Socorro basically has no power. The mayor only votes on a tie and needs council permission to put anything on an agenda.

Essentially, they can do no harm. This was done because Jesse Gandara didn't control the mayor at the time. So Reyes won. Her adversary can essentially do nothing. But that isn't good enough for Reyes. She wants to take it a step further because she won't rest, as she's personally told me in the past, until she sees Rodriguez "behind bars".

And guess what? Its going to cost Socorro residents money in the process. Because now they are going to have to have a special election to replace the mayor. So now there is a COST to Reyes' personal vendetta.

What Reyes is going to use to kick Rodriguez off is a years-old issue about attorney fees. Essentially they are going to determine that Rodriguez owes money to the city and therefore can't be mayor. No due process, no nothing. Just a majority vote which essentially consists of 3 members of council and just like that, Rodriguez will be gone. This issue hasn't been brought up since 2014, but since Reyes was just reelected to council recently, she now had the opportunity to bring it up. There was no pressing issue facing the City of Socorro and its certainly not a money issue because an election to replace Rodriguez will cost more than whatever they are saying Rodriguez owes.

Reyes' priority should be the economic development of the community rather than her personal score settling. Every time there is another circus story like this it hurts Socorro. Its hard to get businesses to relocate to Socorro when there is a constant shit-show going on at city council meetings. Reyes should be focused on helping her community instead of getting it caught up in another media circus that is completely avoidable.

And if Reyes believes there has been some legal wrong-doing on the party of Rodriguez, she should've taken it to the District Attorney's Office long ago. But the fact that she is taking this avenue instead of going to the DA speaks volumes about her motives.

By the way, remember the 3 members of council thing. It'll come up again later...

Haggerty Fundraiser

As I do every election cycle, I post any campaign announcement that is sent to me. So far this is the only one that has been sent to me so far, so if you want one post you know where to send it. I post them as a courtesy to all candidates.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Breaking: Socorro Mayor to be Removed

Socorro City Council has an agenda item to remove the current Mayor Gloria Rodriguez from office in a special meeting called moments ago. The special meeting will be on Thursday.

The current city representative Yvonne Colon-Villalobos for District 4 put an item on the agenda to remove Mayor Rodriguez.

This is the product of a long personal dispute between City Rep Maria Reyes and Rodriguez. Reyes has been singularly focused on removing Rodriguez from office since she regained her seat.

In Socorro the mayor has no real power. The mayor only votes during ties and can't put anything on an agenda unless they have permission from another member of council.

Here is a link to the agenda.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Email: Oaxaca on "Extended Leave"

There are conflicting stories as to what circumstances Oaxaca is no longer with the City of El Paso as a staffer for Mayoral Candidate Emma Acosta. 

One story I keep hearing from sources in City Hall and former employees is that Oaxaca was fired. Its not clear why because even that theory has a lot of versions to it, none of which can be verified but are everything from being upset with her because she had her husband run against a colleague on council to allowing her to collect unemployment while she is able to campaign full time for Acosta and Rivera. So who knows…

The other story floating around City Hall and political circles is that she wasn’t really fired, she was just put on extended medical leave. I haven’t heard any indication as to what the medical issue was, and frankly that is none of our business anyway, but one assumes if Oaxaca’s medical situation is such that she can’t work, then she probably can’t campaign either. 

However, in an email I acquired Acosta and Oaxaca may have other issues to deal with now relating to Oaxaca’s employment status, in particular what activities a city staffer can, and cannot engage in as an employee of the city of El Paso. 

This email was sent out to staff and members of the MPO on March 7, 2017. As you can see Acosta clearly indicates that Oaxaca is not fired, but rather is on “extended leave”. 

She’s likely able to engage in any political activity, but the question some will be asking the Mayoral candidate is SHOULD Oaxaca be allowed to. Otherwise everyone can start putting their staff on medical or some other type of leave during campaign season and hold their jobs for them. Not sure that is a policy that makes sense for the people of El Paso. 

There was no indication as to what specific type of leave the City of El Paso allows for the situation stated in Acosta’s email. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

CLEAT Endorses a Republican…Again

Its one thing to make a mistake. Its another thing entirely to not learn from your mistakes, so I don’t feel sorry for the self-inflicted political wounds CLEAT keeps accumulating. 

Although to be fair I should point out that the rest of their endorsements aren’t terrible. It makes sense that they would endorse Limón because she’s a friendly incumbent, Shane Haggerty because the Fire Fighters’ Association has endorsed him and he’s a union member himself, and Cassandra Brown is pretty liberal. 

I guess thats why Saucedo’s endorsement is such a head-scratcher. Sure, its probably at least partially due to the fact that this field of candidates is the worst ever, which is saying a lot in El Paso. 

But its also a tremendous slap in the face to Emma Acosta, who is an incumbent and has been on council for 8 years. If after 8 years on council and you’re the only active member of council running for office and the police that serve under you don’t support you, well thats just a pretty big indictment of your candidacy. And oh yeah, your staffer is married to the money guy…so there’s that too. 

Its seriously bad. 

But to endorse Saucedo, a Republican? Republicans are against unions and their goal is to actually eliminate unions…especially public employee unions…you know, like all municipal police unions in America. 

I know Saucedo’s field guy and we have debates about the fact that he’s working for a Republican all the time. Sometimes I feel like he’s Saucedo’s very own Spicer, but he thinks I’m “too blinded by party politics”. I think he’s just trying really hard to sell Saucedo as something he’s not, a progressive candidate. 

But the reality is that when it comes to unions, supporting a Republican is antithetical to what unions stand for. Especially a Republican like Saucedo. 

Why? Well I’m glad you asked. 

Parties are about values and governing philosophies which is why it makes no sense for unions to support a party that wants to eliminate unions. 

Saucedo’s team tries really hard to pretend he’s not a Republican, but this is something that the union should’ve checked into, so I don’t feel sorry for them. Saucedo is not only a Republican, but his political idol is Rick Santorum. 

Don’t believe me? Well allow me to read from the Book of Grossman…check out these screen shots:

Oh look, he's sad to see him go...

So now lets look at Santorum’s record when it comes to unions. Here’s a little score card from the AFL-CIO…as you can see the guy Saucedo looks up to has an abysmal record of supporting labor. 

And that’s who Saucedo idolizes. 

That tells you all you need to know about Saucedo. And the fact that the union supported him, well that tells you all you need to know about the union. 

But hey, it worked out great for them the last time they supported a Republican, amirite?

Barceleau Backs Republican

Jaime Barceleau is a candidate for the District 3 seat being vacated by Emma Acosta. He is also a Democratic Party Precinct Chair for precinct 92.

Precinct Chairs are supposed to be the most ardent party loyalists.

That's why this sign in his yard is a little surprising.

Seriously what was he thinking? As it is a candidate would be wise to stay out of other races, it just helps you avoid being tied to anyone else when you're trying to win an election.

But when you're an officer in the Democratic Party and you're openly supporting a Republican?

Tisk, tisk tocayo.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Better Than #BetoOnABus

Well just when you thought Joaquin Castro's visit to El Paso was going to be a funny campaign troll move, O'Rourke completely snatched away his attention with a brilliant idea of doing a cross country buddy-cop movie with Republican Congressman Will Hurd.

Its hilarious. Its the best bromance this side of Obama and Biden.

I like the idea of two congressmen from opposite parties road tripping it and getting to see the back and forth is pretty interesting. Mostly mundane stuff, like normal people.

They are running a little late for their vote at 6:00pm eastern, so watching them panic as they get closer to DC is going to be hilarious.

I got them to play some Prince, so that was fun. Beto is trashing the back seat of the car with hamburger wrappers.

Actually now that I think about it, its sorta like riding with me. Fast food and politics, which is pretty much any ride with me.

Check out Beto's and Will's (I feel like I can call them by their first names now) respective Facebook accounts for the FB Live feeds. There are no scripts or staff so there's a lot of "shit" being said and neither of them appear to know how to use FB live very well so they mess up a lot, like normal people.

Its the coolest thing I've seen in a long time.

Also, the giraffe hasn't given birth yet.

Limón Lands Law Enforcement

In a surprising development, City Representative Lily Limón landed a key endorsement from CLEAT, which is the organization that represents the police and sheriff’s unions. 

The endorsement going to Limón is a major blow to Dora Oaxaca the controversial consultant and recent staffer of Mayoral candidate Emma Acosta. Oaxaca, who was responsible for the political dynasty in the Lower Valley of the Gandara family (nearly all of which have been convicted of some wrong-doing while in office) has long had a very close and cozy relationship with the police unions. Her new husband, Henry Rivera, is the municipal police officers’ association’s money guy. 

And he’s also the opponent of City Rep Limón. Limón has been the biggest political ally of the union on council and they were obviously in a tough spot with one of their own running against a very friendly incumbent. 

I’ve known Oaxaca for years and its obviously always pretty difficult to know what to believe from what she says, but a couple weeks ago during El Paso Days she was trying to tell anyone who would listen that she had nothing to do with Rivera running for office. 

However, their relationship with the unions was Rivera’s big card to play and arguably the only real thing he could point to voters as an asset. So not being endorsed by the very organization that you’re the money guy for is a huge slap in the face to Rivera, but its a big deal for Limón. 

Personally I’m pretty surprised considering how badly they have made political decisions in the past, like endorsing a Republican for Sheriff. So the fact that the union actually made the harder decision of supporting a friendly incumbent over a member is potentially a sign that they may have learned from their mistakes. 

Oaxaca has a lot on the line with this election cycle. She’s now facing the end of her time as a staffer unless someone else picks her up, which isn’t likely. Oaxaca was getting paid as a staffer for Acosta but I have been able to confirm from a former employee, because the City Attorney’s office damn sure didn’t, that Oaxaca’s pay was also supplemented by City Reps Noe and Niland in addition to the City Manager. 

So she’s really banking on a win by Acosta. Because of nepotism rules she obviously can’t work for her husband on the odd chance that he wins, so it calls into question who she’s gonna campaign harder for. On the one hand, you’d assume it would be Acosta because that who is gonna provide an income. But not he other hand, the District 7 race is personal for Oaxaca, which is probably why her husband is running. 

Oaxaca has personally told me how much she personally dislikes Limón and a former employee that has come forward has told me how staff wasn’t even allowed to associate much with Limón’s office because of the personal rift between Oaxaca and Limón. 

If you recall, I wrote a post about how Oaxaca actually went so far as to ASK me to write about her more often in my blog one day. Well that conversation happened in Dora’s work station on the second floor. That was also one of the multiple times she indicated a dislike for Representative Limón. 

Thats why it seems like its more of a personal mission on the part of Oaxaca to defeat Limón. Thats probably why Dora showed up with her husband to the KCOS debate last night too…

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Lest You Forget...

Today is International Women's Day and it reminded me of something.

Exactly one year ago today is when City Rep Acosta had an agenda item to try to make the City less transparent. She wanted to restrict which members of the public could have access to their own documents.

And why?

Because she didn't like the fact that I had done a similar open records request of her office that had been done to other members of council's office. And lets do a quick integrity check...she looked me straight in the eye, and the news cameras as well, and said with a straight face that the agenda item wasn't aimed at me. With a straight face.

She's running for mayor. You should remember that she did that. I know that there are two Republicans that don't deserve our vote, Dee Margo and David Saucedo, but Acosta is even less deserving of it.

Just wanted to remind you of that. Something tells me you'll be getting lots of reminders about that.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Svarzbein & Political Theater

Its gonna be a rough day for Rep Svarzbein because pretty much everyone thinks it was a knucklehead move to pull what he did on the agenda. It was bad enough that he put an item on the agenda that had no chance of passing, probably wasn't legal, and essentially did nothing anyway.

Its worse to pull it when you get a little heat for it.

Frankly, I was surprised that Svarzbein put it on the agenda in the first place considering the area he represents is probably the area in town MOST IN FAVOR of Trump's wall.

At first I figured it was an attempt to draw attention away from the whole Texas Ranger investigation thing, or at the very least a move to try to garner public support.

Boy did he mess that one up because he found the one way to piss off everyone on this issue simultaneously. The anti-immigrant pro-Trump crowd for putting the item on the agenda in the first place and the pro-immigration reform crowd by taking it off so fast.

Take a lesson from others who love to jump on immigration even though it has zero to do with their level of government, when you take a position, have some backbone and stick with it until the end. You look weaker when you capitulate so quickly.

Standing with Duranguito?

I've been having this conversation with a few of my activists friends, especially after they all found out about how much of a right-wing extremist Max Grossman is, about what it means to "stand with Duranguito".

I get annoyed when I hear people talk about "selling out" instead of protecting abuelitas that live in the area. So here's my query to those of you who feel so strongly about those abuelitas in the area...what are you doing about the damn slum lord in Duranguito?

See Grossman never talks about that. Why?

Because like I said, he cares about the buildings, not the brown people.

None of you cared about the area until Grossman started using abuelitas as human shields. The reality is that most of those abuelitas, if not all, are renters. They are probably on fixed incomes too. You got a slum lord who doesn't give a shit about people and poor people who are at his mercy because of their economic condition.

At any point, those abuelitas could be kicked out of their place. But there would be no assistance for them to find another place. They would just have to figure it out somehow.

And stop saying the city is using eminent domain. They aren't. They are willing to write fat checks right now and pay for rental assistance for those abuelitas for YEARS.

The stand with Duranguito people are actually advocating for the arena site to be moved somewhere else or completely done away with. So when the property owners decide to do something different with the land, were do you think Max Grossman and his save Duranguito people gonna be? You think they are going to be there to make sure the abuelitas land on their feet and get help?


They won't even know about it. Those abuelitas will be put on the street.

But hey, historical designation, amirite?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Oaxaca & Interviews

A few things today and I'll just put them all into one post. First, Dora Oaxaca isn't working for Acosta anymore at the city. There are conflicting reports as to whether she is taking a leave of absence to do campaign work full time, or if she was fired in an effort to get unemployment - while she does campaign work full time.

Oaxaca was probably the highest paid staffer on the 2nd floor because she was getting paid by multiple reps and departments.

So after the previous week in Austin telling anyone who would listen that she had no idea that her new husband was going to file and run for office, which those rumors started about 15 minutes after their Vegas wedding, she is now running campaigns full time.

I'll bet next she's gonna tell people she's not helping her husband run his campaign...

Speaking of her husband, the union finance guy is facing a friendly incumbent to the union in Lily Limón. Watch the union fuck this one up royally. They have been on a roll screwing things up and under Marrufo, at least the union won some elections. They are interviewing candidates right now. This outta be entertaining to watch because there is basically no way that they don't endorse their own guy. But they are doing so at the peril of pissing off arguably their biggest ally on city council. When they endorse their guy and Limón wins, what are the odds that she's going to be as passionate of an advocate?

Speaking of interviewing candidates, Max Grossman is apparently calling candidates to sit with them. I guess he now fancies himself some sort of king-maker. But with an investigation for alleged open meeting violations at the County and being present at meetings in which City Reps are being investigated for open meeting violations - and oh yeah, being outed as a big time conservative extremist - only the REALY dumb candidates would risk sitting with the guy and have him try to strong arm them.

Gotta love El Paso politics.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Max Grossman: The Trumpian Ego

"When one with honeyed words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the state." - Max Grossman, quoting Euripedes.

He was talking about Hillary Clinton, but in my opinion, he could've been talking about himself.

Max Grossman's emails are the most entertaining thing around these days. He wrote another one and I have to tell ya, that guy has a Trumpian ego problem.

Before I go on, let me explain that this post has one intent - to prove what I have been saying about Grossman all along, that he has been duping people (especially Chicano activists) into thinking he's someone he's not. I told you from day one that Grossman cares about buildings, not the brown people who live in them. So this post is long, but its because there's so much to show you, so walk with me.

In a rant that you would think was straight from Donald Trump if Alec Baldwin were reading it off a script on Saturday Night Live, Grossman complains about elected officials, conspiracies, the media's coverage of him personally, and for good measure - used the term "I" about 30 different times to brag about himself - in one letter.

But the propagandist's latest email is downright funny.

I don't recall a guy being so sensitive about how he personally portrayed in the media in El Paso since Anthony Cobos. Seriously the guy is obsessed with his image and ego, criticizes the media but makes sure to praise the ones that give him the coverage he likes, gives this weird terrorist-like sound off for Rep Limón that says something about being rewarded in heaven with 70 virgins or some shit. Who the hell calls not being reappointed to a board being "humiliated and disgraced"?

But lets not go one step further without reminding ourselves of one key point...he's under investigation for allegedly violating the Texas Open Meetings Act. He and Sargent have banked their defense on the fact that they didn't "intentionally" break the TOMA and that they were never trained.

I want you to remember that. Seriously, make note of it. It'll come up on a quiz at a later date.

And that is an example of why I think he has coopted activists. He is more concerned about how he looks than anything else. And the minute he gets what he wants, everyone else will see he was all about Max all along.

Think my Trump comparison is off base? Still think he REALLY cares about the people in Do-ran-gui-toe? Well lets take a look at Max's politics, in his own words, shall we?

Remember when I told all you activists that this vato was coopting you for the sake of his own movida? Well think about all the times that Ol Max parades someone poor, brown, and monolingual in front of the microphone.

Take a look at his voting record and these posts from his social media over the last year. My fellow liberals are following a Republican pied piper. What are the odds he cares one bit about la gente?

Lets start light shall we?

Here's something really interesting coming from Grossman about how we Liberals are always involved in "identity politics". That is Republican code for the fact that they are uncomfortable with minorities talking about minority issues.

Unless of course, its Max. He apparently can parade unknowing poor brown people in front of cameras and microphones so that he can keep his buildings.

Oh, you didn't know he was a big-time conservo-nut? Oh, well allow me to show you just how crazy some of the things your pied piper says...look who he supports:

Okay, so Grossman and I disagree on politics. He's a conservative, I'm a Liberal. Its not a matter of life or death. But hey, speaking of death...take a look at what he has to say about elected officials he doesn't agree with:

I wonder what Commissioner Stout thinks about that. Especially because Commissioner Stout and Representative Limón, the only two electeds I can recall that Grossman has been publicly nice to, are both really, really, really Liberal.

And Max hates Liberals.

Sorry all you progressive liberal activists that have been following him around like groupies, he doesn't like you guys one bit.

And ol' Grossman is pretty obsessed with Muslims...Check this one out...

And he really hates the President.

Not Trump, he probably voted for that guy.

I mean the cool one.

And lets be real here for a moment. Grossman is the last guy on planet earth that should have the audacity to talk about people having to suffer sniveling, condescending lectures...

I could go on and on with all the crazy crap Grossman has said to prove exactly what I have been saying about him from day one, but I'm doubting too many of you have made it this far down the page. But for those of you who have stuck around, Grossman doesn't just tell brown people what is best for us...oh no...he also has a thing or two to say about the black community.

Check it out:

So now all you progressive liberal activists following Grossman around like he's down for La Raza like Cesar Chavez, you now know the truth.

Act accordingly.