Saturday, April 29, 2017

There's One Born Every Minute...

P.T. Barnum was right and Chris Hernandez really knows how to pick'em...

He really went out of his way to go out and get him the Four Horsemen of Terrible Candidates this election cycle.

Jaime Barceleau, who has a shit ton of money, is probably not making the run-off.

But that doesn't mean he isn't going to try to take the title of douchiest candidate from David Saucedo before its all said and done.

Especially now that Norma didn't buy this years Favorite Elected Official - she lost it to an outgoing mayor who is under investigation by the Texas Rangers.

According to both Antonio Williams and Cassandra Brown, Jaime Barceleau was bragging at a recent forum about how he voted for Dee Margo. If you recall I posted a picture of the Barceleau home with a Dee Margo signs in front of it a long time ago.

Wonder how Saucedo feels about his field guy helping all these other candidates who have ties to Dee Margo like Barceleau and Morgan...

Anywho...

Barceleau posted this on his social media and it made me laugh. Take note of what I underlined in blue.


Yep.

Jaime Barceleau- Favela is correct.

If you vote for him, you're a sucker.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Opinion: Saucedo Devoid of Leadership

The latest very sad development from the on-going Boys & Girls Club financial crisis underscores why Saucedo is such a terrible choice for mayor. Here is a story in the El Paso Times today.

Basically here's a synopsis of the situation. David Saucedo has been on the board for about a decade and was the board president for the last year when the economic shit hit the fan.

Saucedo brought in the Executive Director, his buddy from Cathedral Dr. Joseph Villescas. Many board members didn't want him but Saucedo insisted. There were documented problems for a couple years, so it was most certainly under Saucedo's watch.

Then when all hell breaks loose, Saucedo decides to distance himself from the problem because he knows how bad it makes him look. He blames it on basically everyone but him.

That is not a character you want in a mayor. That is not leadership.

But it gets better. Saucedo further digs his hole by essentially saying he didn't know anything about financial woes at the non-profit. This says more about his leadership than anything else. First of all, how can you not be aware of a board's financials if you are a board member? Are you not paying attention in meetings? Are you not reading the financial reports? What are you doing as a board member if you don't know basic financial information that any nonprofit shares with its board members?

More importantly, who do you expect people to believe that as Board President you didn't know?! He's either lying or completely inept. Since we are talking about Davide Saucedo here, either is feasible.

But seriously, as Board President you are the direct link between the Executive Director, the CFO, the COO, etc. Any decisions that are made go to you as the president first before the are taken to the board. You're the guy that should be asking for the financials, the bank statements, and the reports. Hell as the President you have the authority to go to the financial institution personally to get whatever financials you need.

So just to recap - the organization he says he cared so much for that is in financial ruins at this point is in major trouble and what is Saucedo doing to help?

Absolutely nothing but making excuses about how its not his fault, but nothing to actually fix the situation.

Thats not leadership and most certainly not an improvement in city leadership. We already have enough people who are quick to absolve themselves of accountability, take credit, and do nothing to make government better, why do we need another one?

My Judicial Picks

I promised the other day that I would give my judicial picks and since probably a dozen people have contacted me about how they had wish I had posted Elisa Morales' voting record before they went to the polls, I thought I had better get to posting my judicial picks. Also, I was checking my traffic this morning and you guys apparently took a real interest in that particular post for some reason.

This isn't an endorsement. My endorsement means nothing. This is just who I am voting for and why.

Now before I go on, I need to explain something to all you lawyer types. What you don't understand is that we elect judges. Are the public the most qualified to make an informed decision based on the legal acumen of a given an attorney or judge as to who is best suited for the position?

No - we aren't. But lets be real, most of you aren't either unless you have practiced in front of, or with, all the attorneys vying for the position. One lawyer social media friend basically implied I wasn't qualified to say who I was voting for and why because I'm not an attorney. Then proceeded to post a link to some website that attorneys pay to be on - so you could probably actually hear my eyes rolling when I read that update.

Anywho, for better or worse, judges are elected by the masses in Texas. Unless and until that changes counselor, my opinion counts as much as yours.

So here goes...

This election we are going to select two municipal judges. One regular judge and one appeals judge. Our municipal courts are a bigger deal than the attention they get. There are a lot of things going on that should be changed. We are pretty much running a debtors prison there and we have a lot of judges that also have a private practice and work when the feel like it, which isn't good for the tax payer or justice. Even if justice is just a traffic ticket.

When I listen to the judicial candidates, I have heard them all several times, I try to imagine what they would be like if I was standing in front of them for a traffic ticket. I ask myself who seems the reasonable and fair of the candidates, or someone I feel would be most likely to give the average person a fair shot in front of them.

For me, that would be Michelle Morales. I've carefully listened to all the candidates and she seems like she would have the most open mind and most likely to actually listen to the City and the person who got a ticket and come to a fair decision. I have nothing to base this on other than a feeling.

And neither do you.

So that is my feeling.

The older guy seems to be more qualified in terms of knowledge of the law, based entirely on what I have heard them say and my very limited knowledge of the law, but he has one big flaw. He doesn't seem approachable, and someone who doesn't appear approachable to the average person, isn't someone I want to argue my case in front of as to why I was going 56 in a 45.

The other guy seems too much like a politician with a cheesy campaign slogan and he sent me mail this weekend (they all did) that said to vote for a change and vote for him. But his dad has run the local Democratic Party for years. Not exactly a change.

Mom's have to referee a lot of disputes. I know my mom did. Morales seems like she has more experience hearing out two sides and coming to a fair decision. So thats why I'm voting for her.

The appeals court...I'm voting for the challenger, Omar Carmona. Remember earlier when I said there is a bunch of crap going on at municipal courts and how we run a debtor's prison? That is why I don't want to vote for the incumbent, who's name escapes me at the moment.

Don't get me wrong, I certainly think he's a scholarly and learned practitioner of the law, and he played basketball at UTEP, which is where he got his experience on the bench (he tells that joke at every single event), but if he's been there and hasn't done anything about the problem, then in my mind, he's part of the problem.

So there you go, I'm voting for Morales and Carmona.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Trustee Tells Tall Tale

You can do a lot of things in politics and get a way with it.

But one thing you can't do is get caught telling a story that simply isn't true. My favorite YISD trustee Ana Dueñez appears to have lied to the El Paso Times in a recent questionnaire.

The Times sent out questions to candidates as part of their endorsement process. The Times published the answers the various candidates gave to the questions and I found one particularly note worthy.

Here's a screenshot of the portion of the Times article I'm referring to. As you can see, its a very clearly worded question that asks specific questions of a candidate.



As you can see in Dueñez's response underlined in blue, she sorta diverts the answer to the arrest question and doesn't deal with it directly. No big deal, I've been arrested so I'm not gonna point he finger at her.

But its the second part of her answer that is troubling. The question is very specific as to whether the candidate has ever been in arrears on local, state, or federal taxes and gives her the opportunity to explain.

"If there was an issue I would not be on the Central Appraisal District Board of Directors" was the answer she gave.

But there actually is an issue.

She is behind in her taxes.

She's on a payment plan to catch up.

I don't know how else to characterize her statement to the El Paso Times other than, in my opinion she flat out lied to the paper about her taxes.

I know, I know, I should be able to prove it right? Okay, how about her own admission that she is behind? Here is video from a YISD board meeting a couple years back were her arrearage in taxes became an issue. Granted, it was from a group that was in the majority at the time that were upset that there were more transparency policies being proposed at the district and they created this agenda item to embarrass her, but the reality is it exposed the fact that Dueñez does have that issue.

At one point Dueñez was behind a pretty significant amount and had actually paid it down to the amount mentioned in the video.

Elisa Morales' Voting Record

Elisa Morales feels like the media isn't giving her a fair shot.

I was gonna vote for her for about 2 days until I realized that she just moved back to El Paso about as recently as Diana Ramos moved into District 4 to run.

In fact, she's a female candidate that just moved into an area to run, so you'd think she'd be Susie Byrd's candidate.

Well the reason you know that she's not Susie's candidate is because of her voting record.

Took me awhile to find it because she doesn't have one in El Paso County.

But she does have one in San Antonio. The land of shitty Mexican food.

Morales talks a lot about bipartisanship and working for a Democratic Congressman and a Republican Congressman. She talks a lot about progressive issues too.

She's even been endorsed by the local Green Party.

But if you check out her voting history, she's only ever voted in Republican Primaries according to VAN.




So that makes her the same as Dee Margo and David Saucedo.

This is why I moved on to Wille Cager.

That, and because the kids. Short and sweet.

Blind Item

I'm waiting on a video of a candidate caught red-handed in a video removing campaign literature of an opponent from a candidates home.

There's no way to "fake-news", "No comment", or "unavailable" to this story.

As soon as I get it, I'll post it. Its bush-league crap for one candidate to do that to another, but it will give you insight as to just how far some candidates will take things.

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

A few municipal candidates got an email from a very upset Texas Democratic Party. They have to behave themselves now or they will lose their VAN access - which would be devastating at this point in the ball game. Yes gentlemen, I know all about it...

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

Not sure why David Saucedo thinks its such a big deal to have the endorsement of one of the most divisive people in the Democratic Party but he is apparently so proud of it, he put it in his newsletter.


Othon Medina is a former chair of the Tejano Democrats. And he is now endorsing a Republican. If anyone took him serious, he'd be in trouble with the Party.

He's also the same guy that yelled "why don't you stand up?" from the back of the room at the Tejano Democrats endorsement meeting when Willie Cager was speaking. Yeah...thats an endorsement you want.

Jeremy Jordan must be in charge of his newsletter.

Oh hey, speaking of Saucedo's newsletter - they devoted an entire newsletter to denying allegations from Margo's campaign that they call frivolous. Which begs the question, if its frivolous, why are you  addressing it point-by-point?

This is Why Jaime is a Joke...

Sorry hater-nation, I'm not talking about Yours Truly.

I'm talking about Jaime Barceleau.

I have a gentlemen's bet with a buddy of mine who is going to need to be consoled when he's gonna have to pay up with Jaime Barceleau doesn't make the run-off.

Yeah, I'm completely aware that he has all the money.

I'm also aware of the fact that he's another Jimmy Suerkin.

By the way, what ever happened to that guy? He's still a political reference point as someone who should've won and found a way to lose.

If he were still around, Chris Hernandez would do his field and Forma Group would be over charging him for shitty mail and a social media page that is free.

Anywho, the run-off is going to be between Cassandra Brown and Antonio Williams.

And trust me...that run-off is gonna get DIRTY.

But before the run-off, let me explain why Jaime Barceleau is going to be a bigger loser than Jaime O. Perez....

Just kidding, no one is a bigger loser than Jaime O. Perez.

Jaime Barceleau actually spent money spent money on a mailer of his wife endorsing him.

Yes, you read that correctly....

He spent money telling voters that his wife likes him.

Well no shit!

I freaking hope your own spouse would vote for you.

The point is, District Clerk Norma Favela should start to consider how much political capital she's spending on her husband's plan to use the fact that he's been her plus one to get elected.

I know she puts a lot of stock into those Favorite Elected Official contests she strong-arms her staff into going to so they will vote for her, but surely she knows that wining one of those awards is like Saucedo buying the cover a fashion magazine right?

Seriously...who the hell spends money on a mailer saying that their wife supports them?

Even by El Paso standards - that is a waste of political money.

Favela has to understand that she has to be concerned about how much damage she's doing to herself here. She actually went after Cassandra Brown's criminal record during one of the KTSM Facebook Live debates. That doesn't make her look very good.

Favela is over-playing her own popularity. She holds a glorified department head position no one gives a shit about, which is why its so easy to get reelected to those types of positions. Its not because you're super popular and have tremendous influence.

So remember ladies and gentlemen, your District Clerk endorses a man who treats people like this:



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

D4: Morgan Calls EP Times "Racist"

It's not the first time in this race that there has been some charges of bigotry floating around the District 4 race - and specifically around Morgan.

Early in the campaign Morgan compared Diana Ramos and Melina Castro. Those two don't have anything in common other than being women and the color of their skin.

In a KCOS debate Morgan raised the issue of domestic partner benefits - then denied saying that he said it before it was aired - then it aired and he hasn't said a word about it since. It wasn't really overt, but it was absolutely that dog whistle stuff conservatives do.

And now Morgan is saying that the El Paso Times is racist because of a picture that was in the El Paso Times news story about some questionable expenses on his campaign report. Morgan makes the charge in an interview on KTSM. Click this link to view the story.

The picture he's upset about is this one:



Morgan is misleading people making it sound like the El Paso Times went out to purposely find the most messed up picture of him they could find.

And Morgan is completely full of shit.

What he doesn't say is the fact that the picture the Times used is a picture of Sam's own amateur-hour stunt to get attention when he went to file for his run for City Council. Actually that day was probably the last time he was the happy-go-lucky Sam Morgan we all know. After that, people started filing and he has seemed pissed that he had to actually campaign for the office.

Because you know, how dare anyone else run for the seat right?

Sam Morgan invited the El Paso Times to the event and he had it at City Hall in order to get attention.

Attention from who?

The media.

He wanted to use the fact that he cut off his dreds, which was a very clear pander to voters, for attention.

Let me remind you - he posed for that picture!

Why do you think he's holding that hair up in one hand and his filing for office in the other hand?

He fucking posed for the picture.

No one forced him to do that.

Not only did he pose for the picture, he shared the coverage on social media. You can't seriously claim its racist to use pictures of you in the paper from a stunt you pulled to get pictures of you in the paper.

Seriously, get the fuck outta here.

I got called racist for a post I wrote about him a few days ago. Why was I racist? Because I used a picture from his campaign! No, I'm not joking. One of his supporters seriously said I was racist because I included a picture of Sam Morgan in a post about Sam Morgan.

I'm not gonna pull punches about the fact that Sam Morgan took a contribution from Dee Margo and didn't return the money after he made a remark that many Chicanos, including myself, felt was racist, just because Sam is black.

Yes, I did expect solidarity from another minority.

There are two types of racism, singling out someone because of their color and not singling someone out because of their color. I made a criticism because of the issue and I was called racist.

Then Emma Acosta uses the term "illegal" in the KVIA interview. Guess what, I was critical of her doing that too. She's brown.

So does that make me racist against raza now? I've been critical of just about every candidate in this election cycle regardless of color.

You don't get a pass just because of your color no matter who you are.

So someone please explain to me how using a pic of the candidate at an event he wanted media at is somehow racist? Its a picture of him holding hair. What racial fucking stereotype is there of anyone holding hair?

And let me tell you, if I showed up somewhere wearing a fucking sombrero and leaned against a cactus and took a fucking siesta to pander to voters and invited the media there, theres a pretty good chance I wouldn't be whining if the media used that picture. And thats an example of an ACTUAL racial stereotype.

But lets get back to the REAL issue here. The story was about the questionable expenditure on his campaign finance report. I don't know where Sam comes off calling a story about his campaign finance report slanderous when the report he filed is what has drawn questions.

Sam says its not a violation of the law. Well no shit.

Does anything think a candidate is going to admit they messed up? Not in the Chris Hernandez slate of candidates. If Saucedo - Tolbert - Morgan have shown anything, they show that they never admit a mistake no matter what tax returns, video, text messages, investigations by the Texas Rangers, former board members, or campaign finance reports say.

Morgan cried racism about the picture but when he hung up on the El Paso Times and refused to answer any questions about whether or not his report indicated that he paid his business rent with campaign contributions. He wouldn't have had any knowledge of what picture they were gonna use of him.

He's screaming racism now to distract from the story.

The bottom line is that in the KTSM story Morgan says that he paid for another office in the same eastside office building that his business is in.

So where was his lease?

Oh, you don't have a lease? Okay, thats cool. How about some statement from the landlord confirming the story?

Guess what, the landlord was unavailable for comment.

Shocker.

I've always known Sam to be a great guy. I've knocked back a few beers with the guy. We both served. But since early on in the race, something has changed about him and now he seems to be imploding.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Bad News About the Mayoral Election

The funny and sad thing about this election is that it might be the first time that the mayoral candidates were so shitty that they suppressed voter turnout in other races.

Seriously, how bad are things when a guy who has never won an election like Jeremy Jordan is actually getting paid to be a political consultant? I mean what would you pay the guy for, being douchey and not knowing anything about campaigns? If they pay people for not knowing anything about campaigning then they should hire Daniel Lopez.

Anywho, I was thinking about who I am going to vote for in the mayoral election since early voting has started. After long thought and deep consideration I have finally made up my mind.

Willie Cager.

He's the only candidate I can vote for and still look myself in the mirror. Emma Acosta has a demonstrated track record of being bad for El Paso - and now calling the undocumented "illegal" has sunk her to a new low.

No self-respecting Democrat who believes in the values and principles of the Democratic Party should vote for her after that.

Dee Margo, two words - Freedom Fence. Two more words, Riff-raff and illegals.

David Saucedo - dangerously unqualified, arrogant, out-of-touch, and a failure at anything related to finance of large sums of money. Of all the candidates, he's the worst for El Paso.

Elisa Morales - hasn't really lived in El Paso in her adult life. You shouldn't vote for people that just moved back to El Paso or the district for the sake of running for office.

So why have I decided to vote for Cager? Simple.

The kids.

See what I did there? Just kidding. I'm voting for Cager because all the candidates suck, they are an embarrassment to El Paso and I'd seriously hate to see any of them sitting in the middle at council meetings.

At least I can say that Willie Cager has done something positive for El Paso. Also, he let me see his two rings.

And now here is the point to the title of this post. The bad news (scary if you ask me) is that while its pretty much universally agreed that this pack of mayoral candidates are the worst to run for anything, including a Socorro mayoral election...

...someone has to actually win.

Holy shitty candidates Batman, someone has to win!

It honestly keeps me up at night knowing one of these fools is going to be the mayor.

I don't think I can stomach that. And I have a lot of stomach.

And now, fun with signs.

This first one is just funny.

Also, you can't put up a campaign sign on anything funded by the public.


You too Dee Margo, Riverside Middle is also funded by the taxpayers.



Morgan's Mammoth Mistake

Sam Morgan really messed up and then compounded the mistake by messing up even worse.

And frankly, it doesn't bode well for his demeanor which is already a major problem on council.

District 4 candidate Sam Morgan appears to have paid his rent for his business using campaign funds according to a recent article in the El Paso Times. To read the story, click this link.

The problem is that its a violation of campaign laws to do so if he indeed did you the campaign funds to pay for his rent. However, if he rented an entirely different space that just happened to be in the same building, that would be a different story.

It would lead to questions about why he didn't indicate it was a different office in the same building on his report, and a reporter might have asked to see a copy of a lease or something, and he might have had to explain why it was only two months rent when leases usually aren't made for two months, but its also not unheard of.

But instead he did something worse - he tipped his hand that he at least thinks something might have been wrong with what he did because when he was reached by the reporter, "Morgan declined to comment and hung up when asked if he used campaign money to pay himself rent."

Its hard to see how he had a legit campaign office at his business in a separate suite at the same location when his business isn't even in the district he's campaigning to represent. I don't recall someone setting up a campaign headquarters that isn't in the area they are running in.

El Paso Mayoral candidates don't have their campaign headquarters in Socorro. Although they do mail to Socorro apparently.

Morgan hanging up and refusing to answer questions about the issue was literally the dumbest thing he could have done. Its entirely possible that he rented another room there at that building. I've been there, its entirely possible.

But refusing to answer and then hanging up isn't what someone does when they have rented another suite on the up-and-up. Morgan missed a real opportunity to explain to the people he wants to represent what the deal was with the expenditure.

Now he's given his opponents something concrete to use to tag his integrity. And trust me, after how Morgan pushed a story against Diana Ramos not having lived in the district very long, I doubt she's gonna pull any punches now that she has something to hit back with. Trustworthiness has been a big issue to voters in the northeast after the string of recent scandals at city hall.

Morgan - in yet another example of candidates screwing themselves with self-inflicted wounds - has given voters something to question. He had been walking a bit of a tightrope since he decided to cut his hair to run for office. He loved the media attention that day, which was probably the most blatant way to pander to voters that I can recall in a local election in years.

But he also was rolling the dice with his credibility when he came out agains the downtown arena location due to pressure from people like Max Grossman, while simultaneously implying his support for Emma Acosta by referring to her as "future mayor" and taking a now-controversial campaign donation from Dee Margo, both of whom support the current location of the downtown arena.

This issue draws a bright red line underneath credibility now. Especially because hanging up on someone isn't the act of a steady, even-handed leader. Its something my teenaged daughter does when she's mad at one of her friends. And Morgan's temperament has been seething from day one - I wrote a long time ago about the tone his attack on Diana Ramos and how he seemed annoyed anyone had decided to run against him for the D4 seat.

And it was avoidable. All Morgan had to do was simply answer the question and the story would've been a short blurb no-one remembers.

The question for his opponents is what do they do with the mistake? I'd expect it to be on a piece of mail out to voters before election day.

And that ladies and gentlemen, is political karma coming back to haunt a candidate...

Saucedo Takes Mayoral Debate on Xtra

Margo on the defensive. Saucedo said something stupid (shocker). Emma referred to the undocumented as "illegal" (genuinely a shocker).

Thats pretty much how the debate on ABC 7 Xtra went last night. Not a lot of time to get through a lot of information with three mayoral candidates but the result was interesting nonetheless.

Emma Acosta's presence was almost forgotten. Several times during the debate I forgot she was there until they changed the camera angle. That is her job as a candidate to make sure she's at least putting up a fight and chiming in on issues. She completely failed at that and ended up using the word "illegal" to describe the undocumented.

It was shameful and embarrassing. And you can tell all the apologists for her on social media because they are the life-long Democrats making excuses for her use of the term - taking away our ability to be critical of those candidates that have used that ignorant term.

But with Margo and Saucedo in the race, maybe her strategy is to shut up and let those two talk because they more they say, the worse they sound.

Both Saucedo and Acosta were effective in attacking Margo for his comments on the border wall, or as he likes to call it, the Freedom Fence. I thought Margo did a good job early trying to reframe himself as someone who is against the extremist type positions often seen from the GOP on immigration, however he was unquestionably on the defensive trying to explain his comments.

And as I have said several times before - in politics, when you're explaining, you're losing.

Before I go on, let me state clearly that I think David Saucedo did what he set out to do, which was go after Margo and paint him as two things, a) a racist and b) paint him to be ineffective.

I think Saucedo is completely unqualified for office, incompetent and wouldn't have a job if it weren't working for his family, and completely incapable of taking responsibility for mistakes while being quick to take credit for something. But - I think he did what he was set out to do and why I think he did the best of the three candidates.

But he wasn't without his major mistakes. The biggest of them was trying to downplay an obviously devastating story to his campaign, which was the story about the campaign finance and filing problems he has, which I'll get into in another post.

The story came out in Sunday's edition of the El Paso Times - front page, above the fold on the day before early voting starts. By any measure, that was a well-played story drop.



Saucedo also made some nonsensical remark about how the El Paso Times endorsement doesn't mean anything, actually calling the endorsement the kiss of the death. Apparently no one in his camp is able to stand up to him and tell him the Emperor Has No Clothes.

Saucedo really opened a can of worms when asked about the Boys & Girls' Club incident. He tried to turn the question around to Dee Margo and challenge his philanthropy by asking where his donation to the Boys & Girls Club.

Wait a minute...he asked Dee Margo whey he didn't try to help fix Saucedo's fuck up? I'm no Margo fan but that guy gives a lot of money to charity. I know Saucedo likes to have a camera follow him around and stage shots in Segundo Barrio to give the impression he spends a lot of time there but if there wasn't a camera man around, Saucedo wouldn't be able to even find Bowie Bakery. Margo has a huge coat drive every single year and has been doing it for years. And that is just the project he spearheads. I know he gives a lot of money to charity around town, so it was a stupid and emotional response on the part of Saucedo.

Certainly not a mayoral temperament.

When the Boys & Girls Club got into some trouble, the board members opened their wallets to help out. They each made personal financial commitments. Did Saucedo? What has he even contributed to them during the last ten years he was a board member?

And remember how he said everything was all sunshine and rainbows when he left? Well I spoke to yeah ANOTHER former member of the board who tells me that there was a mass exodus of 5 members of the board when Saucedo started pushing for his friend and fellow Cathedral Alum Dr. Joseph Villescas to be the Executive Director. 5 board members resigned in one day.

What Saucedo seemed to be trying to do was to compare himself to the two opponents and say they are part of a system problem we have in this town of failed leadership and what we need in this town is new blood. He should have rattled off a few of each of their failures in office and talk about how the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result and that the only choice in this election is do we continue on the same path of failed leadership provided by Margo and Acosta, or do we blaze a different trail with new blood.

That is how they should've been framing his candidacy from the beginning. Now its too late too, but if they start to frame him that way, I should send them an invoice.

Monday, April 24, 2017

D7 Race Analysis

The D7 race was the last one live streamed on KTSM and it was interesting because it exposed Henry Rivera for being extremely weak on policy. Rivera rarely makes forum appearances, I have been looking for the guy to show up at a forum but his new wife Dora Oaxaca keeps him under pretty tight wraps.

When he has a scripted answer Rivera is able to stumble and stammer his way to an attack on Limón but his presentation kills his own attack lines. It was painful to watch. When he's asked a question Dora hasn't given him the script for, its a disaster and he never knows the answer. The comment section was great because Rivera's supporters were all over it, although I was disappointed that I handed my number out and none of them called me like they said they were...

Anywho, I saw that he and Emma Acosta's campaign were teaming up in the valley over the weekend (Dora Oaxaca runs both campaigns) and trying to leave material for both campaigns. That is the dumbest thing an organizer can do. It never works and it usually leads to disaster. Each candidate is automatically perceived to be part of a "ticket" and you take on the baggage of the other campaign. Point is, its hard enough to get your message to "stick" with a voter during your very limited time at the door with them, its even harder when you have to try to do it for two people.

Its usually a sign of desperation or laziness.

That being said, Rivera sent a really effective mail piece recently that was pretty negative toward Limón. The biggest problem for Rivera to try to overcome is the fact that he has low name-ID. He's tried to remedy that by posting signs all over the place but I think someone should show him where the district boundaries are because he has a lot of them that are pretty far out of the district.

Get a map Dora, they are pretty cheap at the courthouse.

Bottom line is yes, Limón is vulnerable. She's got some issues that should concern her campaign, but she's in a one-on-one race with someone with no name ID and his union didn't even endorse him. Watch for early voting numbers, if Limón is ahead, look for it to stay that way throughout the night.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Why No Endorsement Makes Sense

I don't understand why some of you got your chones in a bunch over the fact that the El Paso Times chose not to endorse candidates in a couple of races. It makes no sense. Do you people live under a rock?

Pretty much the only people on planet earth that don't understand that prevailing thought of most of the electorate is that all the candidates basically suck is the Saucedo campaign.

The mayoral candidates are basically un-endorsable. Lets do a quick run through of the major candidates:

Emma Acosta - she's accomplished basically nothing other than to advocate for an obscene pay raise to City Manager Tommy Gonzalez, led the push for Larry Romero to keep cashing a tax-payer funded pay check while he was out on a golfing trip even though he wasn't going to work anymore and tried to make government less open to the people. The one factor that is getting her any votes, she's a Democrat.

David Saucedo - Seriously, there is a level of dumbfuckery in his campaign that can't even be articulated. How many issues does one candidate have to have related to money before the electorate wake-up and realize how insanely unqualified for the office the guys is?

Dee Margo - Two words, Freedom Fence.

There are other candidate in the race but none of them are viable based on things like name ID, campaign funds, etc. so its not surprising that none of them were considered for the endorsement. Hell Jaime O. Perez has so little traction in this race, even by his very, very, very, very low standards that even I haven't taken the time to even write about him.

And when even bloggers don't write about you...you're seriously hard up for attention - which is why he is now resorting to campaign for office by protesting. Although one guy showing up and complaining about not be included in debates probably isn't much of a protest. Its more of just the ending of the movie Say Anything.


District 7 had no endorsement either. Its easy to think its a shot at Limón because she's the incumbent. But its actually says a lot more about Henry Rivera more so than Limón. Why? Because even having an investigation hanging over her head right now, Rivera still can't convince people that he is even remotely qualified for the position. Not only did his own union not endorse him, but the Times didn't endorse him when his opponent has an active investigation going on. The fact that he has almost no understanding of policy what so ever was PAINFULLY obvious during the debates streamed on Facebook by KTSM recently. Any question that Dora Oaxaca hadn't scripted an answer for Rivera was a complete disaster. Think about it, in District 2 Tolbert also has an investigation hanging over his head and the Times had no problem endorsing someone else.

Which leads me to the endorsement of Alexsandra Annello over Jim Tolbert. Think about it, Tolbert has been in office a short time and has taken a huge a huge nose-dive in popularity in such a short time. Under normal circumstances he wouldn't have been in office long enough to have pissed anyone off to not deserve the endorsement. It'll be interesting to see what is crack team of communications specialists comes up with next.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Ay, Ay!

In one photo the reason people think Saucedo is a cocky douche-bag is perfectly captured.

I don't recall a mayoral candidate ever doing this before.



It underscores that his entire campaign is centered around his ego and narcissistic attitude.

Whether it was his boxing commercial with the weird luchador, this magazine cover, or how he constantly refers to when he gets elected, not if he's elected, he will be the youngest in the history of El Paso and the youngest Latino mayor of a major American city.

Me, me, me, me.

And that crystalizes my frustration with this election. There is no candidate who's basic message is you, you, you, you.

We need a people-centered mayor, not an entitled child of privilege with a messiah complex.

Tolbert's Lies & Weird Mailer

Its the most bizarre mailer I've ever seen. One side, is downright creepy. The other side is downright silly.

Embattled City Rep Jim Tolbert, who may end up being re-elected despite a cloud hanging over his head with an on-going criminal investigation by law enforcement.

Okay lets start with the weird side. What is with putting a picture of your opponents, and then not putting a picture of your opponents by blurring them out? Thats not me blurring them out by the way. It was sent out like that!

Also, how much of a hypocrite is Tolbert? He was a blogger himself!



What are they in the witness protection program or something?

So weird.

This is when campaign staff should save the candidate from themselves.

Then there is the other side.

You should wear boots to protect your feet from all the bullshit falling off of that side of the mailer. For the life of me I don't know how he can say some of the stuff he says with a straight face. Several times he talks about factions, not being a puppet, and how someone else was recruited to fill someone else's agenda.



Can we just tell the truth here?

He talking about Susie Byrd.

He's mad because Susie Byrd isn't supporting him anymore. Now when he ran last time he was perfectly happy to take her help and be part of her "faction". That support isn't there anymore and NOW he has a problem with factions and agendas? Seriously, that is some next-level hypocrisy.

I can't even comprehend how he can go there.

But it gets better...

If you'll take note of the part that I circled..."has been and always will be in full compliance with all transparency rules..."

GTFO!

It takes a lot of balls to have the title be The Truth & The Facts and then proceed to put a lot of stuff that is just flat-out false.

Seriously Jim...everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but YOU ADMITTED YOU DELETED TEXT MESSAGES. We don't have to wait for the investigation by law enforcement to know that you haven't been and always will be in full compliance blah blah blah...because you yourself admitted you did something that is not in full compliance with transparency rules.

Thats not counting the fact that there are text messages that show, allegedly, that you were made aware of how many members of council were at that now-infamous meeting...and you still wanted to be there.

And its not counting the video of you all going into city hall and the mayor's office.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Morgan's Margo Money

Morgan took $500 check from Republican Mayoral candidate Dee Margo
For some reason candidate for mayor Dee Margo donated money to Sam Morgan's campaign. Sam Morgan has listed as his top achievement the rebirth of the Northeast Democrats. He has been endorsed by the Northeast Democrats and the Black El Paso Democrats.

The donation to Morgan's campaign wasn't the only donation that a Democrat has received from a Republican. Its quite common-place in El Paso. That, in and of itself, its that much of a big deal.

But what does underscore the controversy of the donation is that Margo is running for mayor. Morgan is in the back pocket of Max Grossman and his Do-ruhn-geee-toe click, but Dee Margo is 100% in favor of the downtown arena. That is interesting, but still not the most controversial thing about the donation.

The most controversial thing about the donation is that he hasn't given it back to Dee Margo yet.

Sometimes an unsavory person donates feria to your campaign. Happens all the time. The Gandara family, or G-Unit as they are affectionately known these days, donated money to Congressman Reyes when he was in his last campaign. Shit hit the fan with Willie Jr and they were gonna return the money, eventually. Recently Hanks ISD trustee candidate Leila Melendez took a contribution from a vato that bribed Sal Mena in the public corruption scandal (then said she didn't know he was in the scandal) and said she was have to think about it but would probably return the money. Point is, its common place to return money depending on the circumstances.

Here is a screenshot of the donation from Margot on Morgan's campaign finance report.



The fact that Dee Margo referred to the border wall as a "Freedom Fence" as some magical and whimsical structure that practically sings when the air goes through it was an insult to this community.

I, along with many other Chicanos, was offended by the sheer ignorance of the remark, followed by the use of the term "illegal".

How a minority candidate and Democrat like Sam Morgan decides to keep a donation from Dee Margo after those ignorant and shame remarks is beyond me. I've been thinking about it and the fact that he hasn't returned that contribution after Margo made such a terrible statement is unacceptable.

Jaime Barceleau also took a contribution from one of the Margo's but I don't know if its Dee or his kid that said Dee was too good for El Paso. But if you if Barceleau took a contribution from Margo and hasn't given it back, PEOR! Lol, just kidding. This is exactly the kind of crap I expect from Barceleau.



Sam...come on vato...think about all the Latinos you're aspiring to represent. Return that donation and send the message that you don't stand with that type of ignorant and divisive rhetoric.

I can't believe someone has to even bring it to your attention. Should be a no-brainer.

Interesting Endorsement for Barceleau


I was checking out Jaime Barceleau's website and I came across a list of people that have endorsed him. I mostly thought it was funny because he did what I expected him to do...he listed his spouse as an endorsement.

I wonder if the endorsement still stands?

But as I looked more closely I noticed something that was actually pretty damn interesting to me. As you can see in this screen shot I highlighted the name of Senator Jose Rodriguez. Well Rodriguez and his wife are pretty opposed to the downtown arena. Carmen Rodriguez is one of the main people circulating a petition against the arena.

The senator has come out against it. One of his staffers wrote an editorial piece about it last week calling for it to be moved somewhere else.

But Barceleau is one of the very few people running for office who publicly supports the arena in the current location. He's been pretty adamant about it.

How adamant?

Remember this video?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Ana Dueñez..Speaking of Bad Candidates

If you've never seen her in action, it is a sight to behold.

She's such a bad candidate....

(How bad is she?)

She's so bad of a candidate that you would think she was running for mayor!

Ba-dump-bump chhhhhh.

I start with a joke because Dueñez, as an elected official is a total joke. She has plagued the school board in Ysleta for a long time with petty crap and has taken some really bad votes.

Here's what I mean. She has a clique of friends that actually script questions for her to ask during a meeting. If you watch video of meetings, you can see her read off of her script. She berates staff in public and does so to embarrass them. That has had a tangible impact on morale around the district office and throughout the district.

Which is unfortunate, but the real impact has been on the Riverside area.

During the last bond, Eastwood, Bel Air, Ysleta and Parkland areas all go significant investments in their infrastructure. Riverside got significantly less.

Dueñez has gone on television to talk about the conditions of schools in the Riverside area, highlighting that some of them might not be structurally sound. Which is admirable on her part, but here's the kicker...she voted against the bond! That makes no sense that she would identify a need in her district and then proceed to vote against the bond to address the needs in the Riverside area.

Riverside didn't get much in the bond because Dueñez spends so much time fighting with people, berating district and school staff, and reading (with great difficulty sometimes) her scripted questions.

Why does this matter to you? Who cares about a small school board race in the lower valley besides those of us who live in the valley?

Because Anna Dueñez sits on the Central Appraisal District board. She's the YISD rep on CAD and she takes her madness on a roadshow that affects anyone that owns property in El Paso. And her behavior on CAD is the same as it is on the YISD school board.

These small elections have bigger implications that we sometimes think about.

Gettin' Gangsta....Even the District Clerk

Well with Early Voting starting next week we are starting to see things heat up and some people are gettin' ganagsta with it on the campaign trail.

Expect to see things heat up in every race this week.

It ranges from just a little competitive campaigning, to sharp messaging, to a spouse and elected official unleashing a personal attack on her husband's opponent.

Here's a shot of Shane Haggerty block walking, which I assume was recently. Even when he's trolling he's polite.


Team Man-Bun is gonna be pissed, but I was able to get my hands on what looks like a draft of a mailer that has or will soon, be hitting mail boxes.



I don't know if this is one or two different mailers. At first I thought the bottom one was a picture of Jim Tolbert, but its actually Dee Margo with a little tiny baby Trump on his shoulder.

The El Paso Democratic Party and the Tejano Democrats also got into the mix and created an ad that is floating around social media that apparently shows that pic of Dee Margo is pretty popular.


But the most gangsta of all was last night during the D3 debate on Newschannel 9. Norma Favela, spouse of Jaime Barceleau chimed in to attack her husband's opponent during the live stream. That was a really big risk because she pretty much pulled a Chris Hernandez and asked a question knowing full well everyone knows she's the spouse of a candidate.



I was surprised that an elected official would take a shot like that at a candidate in a race they aren't a part of. Its just opens a can of worms when you do something like that, especially when you're the District Clerk...you know, the person with access to all kinds of legal documents...not smart. Should've had someone else plant that question. And it would have saved me from trolling directly under her question. Those of you in the know think thats funny as shit right?

If you haven't figured it out, she was referring to D3 candidate Cassandra Brown. I guess they haven't realized that going to the dark side this late in the game often back-fires. Its also bad political karma. Favela had some potentially ugly personal stuff leveled at her the first time she ran, so I'm surprised a woman would to that to another woman, especially one that has been through it before. Another avoidable mistake and self-inflicted wound by an elected. But hey, like they say...all is fair in love and war.

Or so they say...


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

First D8 Candidates Emerge

Two candidates for the seat left vacant by Cortney Niland have emerged. There will likely be more, but in the mean time Gilbert Guillen and Cissy Lizarraga are both considering a bid for the seat once the filing window opens.

What is interesting is that both candidates have the capacity to raise money, or self-fund. Its been a while since a Latino candidate in the area could do so.

Both names are probably familiar to you, Gilbert Guillen is one of the key property owners in the on-going controversy over the downtown arena location. The challenge for him is that he has to have a message other than just Duranguito, Duranguito, Duranguito, if he wants to really get the support of voters on the westside to vote for him.

Cissy Lizarraga is the spouse of Judge Marcos Lizarraga and has been active in the local Democratic Party for years. Lizarraga beat an Hispanic female for his seat the first time and the campaign was a family affair. So Lizarraga has campaigned before and has a frame of reference when it comes to campaigning.

Expect a lot more candidates to throw their hats in the ring.

Slogans & Shitting on Your Endorsements & More...

Lots of odds and ends today and lets do this one potpourri style.

First, Jud Burgess is a big baby. If you missed Channel 9's debates they are doing on the municipal candidates, you should watch them on FB. They are great and they are really making an effort to cover local campaigns in a way that TV in town has never really been committed to, so kudos to them. Every day this week they will be doing a different race, so last night was D2 - tonight is D3 - tomorrow D4 - and D7 the next night.

Last night Jud Burgess was having his way with Jim Tolbert. He nailed Tolbert and the station didn't let Tolbert get away with that they have been telling people at the door about how there's no problems with Tolbert because the ethics complaint was thrown out. They put that issue to rest pretty well, though I fully expect Tolbert to go back to that message at the door when no one is looking. Burgess even did a good job of nailing Tolbert on the fact that he destroyed public records when he deleted text messages. Hard to talk about being the champion of ethics and transparency when you're under investigation by the Texas Rangers and have admitted to destroying pubic records.

I asked a question on the FB feed and that is when Burgess showed he's a little baby that shouldn't be taken seriously. He had a total fit when I asked a question about the city manager. Burgess basically answered any question that had anything to do with experience or city policy with an "I don't know, I'm not the city representative" cop-out. It doesn't surprise me that he doesn't know the answers, hell he's never actually voted in a municipal election before so he may not have even mastered voting for himself yet. And he clearly doesn't know finance law. Or what to do about the city manager or the discretionary funds budget, a whole host of other things. So its good that he admits it, its just a giant cop-out to say you don't know because you aren't elected yet. You don't know because you haven't researched. Anywho, his little tantrum was classic and its indicative of his temperament. Jud, we both know you're reading this. I get it, you like to be critical of everyone else and have really thin skin and don't like when you're scrutinized, but understand this...you're supposed to be. You're a candidate for office. So I'm supposed to ask you tough questions and be critical. You volunteered for this, no one put a gun to your head. Now man-up and stop being a big baby...there is still a few weeks until election day so you're undoubtedly going to be somewhere that I get to ask you a substantive question in public, so get used to the idea. I've been doing this over a decade, I ain't going no where buddy.

Slogans.....

Slogans are stupid and people spend way too much time thinking about them when they become candidates. Everyone thinks a slogan is going to take them to the promised land and insist on putting their dumb slogan on everything. Slogans take up valuable real estate on signs and are a complete waste. I once saved my friend Mayela from the all-time worst slogan when she ran for city hall - "unity in the community".

I know, awful right?

Well some of the candidates running have some pretty bad ones this go around. I normally save this for award season after the elections, but spoiler alert: Chris Anchondo is in the early lead for a really stupid slogan.

I mean even for judicial candidates, its a terrible slogan.

"Let justice prevail"

What the fuck? What does that even mean as a campaign slogan? I hope that was some back-of-a-bar napkin idea that happened somewhere before last call and after some shitty nachos at that over-rated shithole hipster dwelling called The Tap. At least then I could understand its origin.

Next in line, Sam Morgan. "A New Northeast Vibe". Thats not a campaign slogan, its a really cool name for a Jazz band. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Sam Morgan and the New Northeast Vibe! Sam's a bud and an Airborne brother, but I don't know what he was thinking when he came up with that one. Doesn't convey a message at all.

And then there is the Grand Poobah of shitty campaign slogans - Jaime Favela. Its not that his are bad, he uses traditional stuff like "leadership you can trust" and "commitment" and "character".

Again, its not that they are bad...its that he's the last person that should be using words like trust, commitment, and character. I know a lot about that guy, have it in black and white, I assure you that the word trust, commitment, and character don't belong in the same sentence with Jaime Barceleau unless there is the phrase "devoid of any" before them.

Here is what his last mailer should have really said:



Shitting on Your Endorsements

At the mayoral forum today David Saucedo said something very funny...He said since we don't pay our police officers enough, that is why the creme de la creme got to CBP and other federal jobs and we're left with what we have." Zas, thats gacho.

Not exactly a compliment to our boys in blue...

Monday, April 17, 2017

Burgess' Ethical Dilemma

This is an almost cyclical story, but there must be some sort of District 2 curse. The field if candidates in District 2 isn't stellar either. Not as bad as the mayoral field, but there are some problems for all three candidates.

Jim Tolbert rides into office on an ethics complaint. As soon as he is in, he's involved in a series of controversies right away - steakgate, assholegate, and then ends up in a position worse than Larry Romero and he's now the subject of an investigation by the Texas Rangers.

One of his opponents Jud Burgess, is trying to do the same. He's trying to ride into office on, you guessed it, on an ethics complaint. The ethics complaint turned into an on-going investigation by law enforcement.

But the Curse of District 2 apparently has struck Burgess. In the recording I aired last Friday, Jud Burgess admits he spent $1000 fighting the bond.

And that means that Jud Burgess failed to properly disclose his political expenditures - leaving him open to an ethics complaint that if history repeats itself, means he will be facing a pretty stiff fine from the State Ethics Commission.

For his part, Burgess completely denies he has any obligation to report his political expenditures. Now that means one of two things - he either knows the requirements and is purposely trying to hide what he spent, or his completely ignorant of the reporting requirements. In either case, it should be a big red flag for voters.

Burgess and I had a really great back-and-forth in the comment section of the post in which he admits he spent $1000 opposing the EPISD bond. Since he seemed to either not know he had to report, or not willing to report (something I questioned during the bond election) I thought I would do the leg work for him.

So, if you click on this link you will find the Campaign Finance Guide put out by the Texas Ethics Commission.

Burgess argues that he doesn't have to report any expenditures because he's a private citizen. I checked the legislation and I can't find any provision of an exception to report political expenditures because someone is a private citizen. Burgess appears to have fabricated that from thin air.

But don't take my word for it, here's his comment:



Well the state of Texas says different. The state basically says that if you are spending money to oppose a candidate or ballot item and your expenditures exceed $500, you have to file a treasurer and file a campaign finance report. Hell in most circumstances there is even a waiting period before you can make an expenditure of a political nature. Again, don't take my word for it, you can read it right here:


and...


and...


As you can see, the state is pretty explicit when it says that you become a political committee by your actions, and so Burgess was acting as a political committee as he very clearly and conveniently explained in his own words above.

In the video he admits to spending over $1000 in opposing the EPISD bond. In fact he brags that he was up against PACs - although he pretty much admitted he was acting as a PAC. Spending over $1000 is fully twice the legal threshold requirement for reporting. Again, don't take my word for it:



So far we know that by his own admission Burgess a) spent more than $500 and b) was acting as a political committee. 

And so there is clearly a legal requirement to report what he spent opposing the EPISD bond, and he has failed to do so. 

The failure to do so is an issue because it leads him open to the District 2 curse, but more importantly its an issue because it demonstrates the danger of electing someone who doesn't understand government and how it works. I explained to Burgess he had a requirement to report the expenditures during the bond and he blew me off. So he had knowledge that it was at the very least, potentially a violation. 

He filed the ethics complaint against Tolbert and I told him that he should file it with the law enforcement...and he blew me off again. What happened there? The ethics complaint got dismissed because...wait for it...it was supposed to be filed with law enforcement. 

Again, he had knowledge ahead of time and chose to ignore it in favor of a course of action that was either easier or afforded him more public attention - instead of doing what was right. 

Is that was you want in an elected official?

Now the other nonsensical argument Burgess makes is that my blog is no different than what is opposition to the EPISD bond was. For the record, I was opposed to the bond myself. But, I don't spend $500 on this blog much less in anything I write for or against any candidate, bond item, council or county item, federal or state legislation, in a specific race or any current event I write about. That is completely ridiculous. I write a blog about a range of issues. He took specific action on a particular item, and spent over $500 in expenditures of a political nature for a specific desired result.

And lest I be unclear about the potential results of failing to file - lets take a walk down memory lane and revisit the last time someone failed to file a campaign finance report despite making expenditures more than $500...

The We The People group, which actually went a step further than Burgess and had a treasurer filed, failed to report their expenditures in an election.






So as you can see, the state is serious about violations of this nature and the legislation exists so that people can see who is spending money an election. The public has a right to know. Even if Burgess wants to engage in spending dark money, being a private citizen doesn't absolve him of his obligation to report what he spends. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Uh-Oh, Busted!

This isn't illegal.

It's just straight-up stupid amateur kid games.

This is a recording of an altercation between campaign staff that involved the camps of Tolbert and Annello but Jud Burgess was largely the catalyst.

The consultant for David Saucedo / Jim Tolbert / Sam Morgan, Chris Hernandez got busted posing as a concerned citizen at a forum and didn't disclose that he was actually an operative of Jim Tolbert. I'm told he did the same thing for Sam Morgan at a candidate forum in the northeast in which he led an attack on Diana Ramos.

The game being played here is an old one. You plant someone in the audience to ask a softball question for your candidate or to whack the opposition. Not illegal, just sorta dirty pool.

But mostly, it's just stupid. Normally you get someone no one will recognize, not an operative that loves attention. Which is Chris' problem. He forgets the candidate should get the attention, not the VAN monkey.

So here's what happened - Hernández tosses a softball to Tolbert and pretends to not know Tolbert. When Jud Burgess starts to answer, Hernández cuts him off and basically calls him a failure because the ethics complaint that he filed against Tolbert was dismissed.

Which is complete bullshit and Hernández's bullshit is going to bite Jim in the ass. Hernández implies that it was dismissed because the complaint lacks merit. Uh, no vato. It was dismissed because Burgess was alleging a crime. I told Burgess publicly that if he felt so strong about it he should take it to the DA, but he basically wanted to pull a Tolbert and file the ethics complaint for attention.

But, ultimately it went to the DA and now Jim Tolbert is the subject of a criminal investigation. No matter how Tolbert's Spicer tries to spin it. The Texas Rangers don't investigate expired parking meters or jaywalking. They want people to believe it's not a big deal, but it's way more than what Larry Romero was accused of doing. And more importantly, it could lead to a vancancy in office and a special election at your expense.

During their back and forth, Commissioner Stout's staffer Alberto Halpern called out Hernández for his little movida. Halpern is dating Alexsanda Annello, an opponent of Tolbert. Hernández briefly worked for Stouts campaign until Stout upgraded to the varsity team.

In the back and forth between Hernández, Burgess, and Halpern you can hear Hernández deny that there is on on-going criminal investigation of Tolbert. Listen for yourself, you don't have to take my word for it.

And the spin from Tolbert's camp? He hasn't been interviewed or charged yet.

As if either of those points means that there isn't an investigation.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Take note of when shit hits the fan. You won't hear a peep from Jim Tolbert. He'll bitch about not getting a free steak, calling a constituent an asshole, and not getting enough credit for something, but when he and his operative are busted...cricket, cricket.

Anywho...enjoy.

Friday Fun With Mail

Well I made fun of yet another mail screw-up by Forma a while back, and one done by Jaime Barceleau as well, so I guess its only fair I mention everyone's.

Shocker...its David Saucedo.


Someone explain to this genius that the city has PD and the County has the SO.

But hey, maybe Saucedo is giving up and has his eye set on County Judge or something. Why else would his campaign team pull a Forma and send mail outside the area he's running in?

Yep, unless he's running for Mayor of Socorro, they screwed up. And by they, I mean whoever did his mail universe. The Easter "Bun"-ny. See what I did there?


What makes it more funny is that he addresses the mail piece, "Fellow El Pasoan".

I wonder why he didn't use "World-Famous West Texas El Pasoan"?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Margo Calls Border Wall "Freedom Fence"

Republican mayoral candidate Dee Margo referred to the border wall as a "freedom fence" last night when asked a question about President Trump's proposed border wall during KTSM's broadcast of the debate hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.

In the same answer Margo also refers to "riffraff" and "illegals".

Calling the border wall a "Freedom Fence" is a level of ignorance normally saved for a White House press briefing. Its right up there with "Holocaust Centers".

Margo also referred to Mexicans tangentially as riffraff, although refrained from calling them street rats. Sorry, I have kids, I often make a lot of Disney references.

A lot of conservatives love the term illegals and use it like some kind of racist badge of honor, but really its just being ignorant. The term illegals is incorrectly used to try to dehumanize the undocumented. No human being is illegal because its not illegal to exist.

There are lots of things people do that are against the law - but the term illegal is exclusively applied to the undocumented. Why? Because racism, thats why.

And the way Margo makes it sound like such a great and magical wall that whimsically makes music as that West Texas wind Marty Robbins talks about makes its way through the fence.

As long as it ain't Mes-kins, amirate?

The Margo gaff is potentially a pivotal point in this election. Under most circumstances it would be the end of a candidate, but the unique nature of this field of candidates means that Margo's demise is not exactly a foregone conclusion.

Under any other circumstance a wealthy white Republican with a drawl that would use a negative term against the undocumented while running for mayor of a border town would be toast. But this election cycle has a terrible field of candidates, which is how Margo was ever in the driver's seat in the first place.

Margo isn't polling in the 40's on the strength of Republicans. He doesn't get that high without a significant number of Latinos and Democrats willing to support him despite his Republican pedigree. But they were holding their nose to vote for him because lets be honest, no one trusts Acosta and Saucedo is an arrogant douche.

But Margo's comment will make it a whole lot harder for those people to hold their nose for Margo. Anecdotally I've talked to a lot of people who basically gave up on voting for Margo when they saw the forum last night.

And that is actually something that is pretty key. Margo is very lucky that the remark came after the televised broadcast ended. The remark was made during the Facebook Live stream portion of the debate. But sources at KTSM tell me that their traffic was very high during the Facebook Live feed.

The point is, video of it exists. A remark like that is a negative mailer waiting to happen. Frankly the only one that can leverage the message right now is Saucedo. He's the only one with any money left to slap that on a piece of mail and send it to everyone with a Spanish surname in the 915.

Actually, if it were my candidate, I would send that to voters with reliable Democratic primary voting history and reliable municipal voting history - that would give me the most bang for my buck. I wouldn't waste a single piece of mail on this topic on anyway without Democratic voting history.

Margo was already a bit of a lightening rod and was drawing protests. Now its gonna get much worse. The electorate is thirsty for someone brown that they can like and right now, they really don't have that candidate since Saucedo and Acosta are doing so poorly. But Margo gave them the next best thing...someone they can despise.

So who benefits most from any fall-out this might create. Well, there are a big group of people who will probably just sit this one out - and maybe you can get them to come out for the run-off.

Maybe.

Saucedo has never come out against the border wall himself. He brought Lou Holtz, an anti-immigrant Trump supporter to town and when it was reported Saucedo called the backlash political correctness run amuck.

And oh yeah, he's just as much of a Republican as Margo. Hell that guy is on a plane right now to go get him some Dallas big-oil money as we speak.

So what about Acosta? Well, how the hell is a two-term city rep and only credible Latina candidate running in a field of Republicans in a Democratic city like El Paso end up running third in the polls? Because people don't like or trust her.

This mistake on the part of Margo has the potential to be the turning point, but the candidates have to leverage it effectively and tick-tock...time is running out...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Leila Melendez & Bad Money

Candidate for Ysleta Independent School District Board of Trustees Leila Melendez was featured in an article by the El Paso Times recently that centered around her contributions.

Specifically a check she took from someone who was in the public corruption scandal, Bernardo Lucero, Jr.

Lucero was involved in the bribery movida with Sal Mena.

Click on this link to go to the story in the El Paso Times.

As you can see, there is this really interesting little tidbit in the article.

In an interview with the Times on Friday, Melendez said Lucero is a friend of her husband's. She said she didn’t know about the corruption case.
There's a few things that should be of major concern in those couple of sentences. First, her husband is friends with a guy involved in a bribery scandal?

And second, and much more disturbing about a school board candidate...she didn't KNOW about the corruption case?

Are you kidding me? I don't know whether to be angry or laugh. This lady is trying to say with a straight face that she feels she's qualified to sit on the Ysleta Independent School District Board of Trustees - but she DOESN'T KNOW about the biggest scandal to hit this town in the last 20 years?

A scandal that undermined public trust in almost every level of government from school boards to the County. She wants to be on the school board and she doesn't know about a bribery movida that happened primarily at the school board level?

That fact along should be a disqualifying factor.

She's either lying, which should be a disqualifier, or she's painfully uninformed about a major issue that has had an impact on the office she seeks.

There's no defense for it. None what so ever.

As if that wasn't bad enough, she goes on to say in the article that "I think I'm going to have a conversation about this and likely return the funds..."

Ya think?!?!?!?!

What is there to think about? Are you so ethically challenged that you have to actually think about it? She was better off just returning the money without comment.

And what does Lucero have to say about it? He says he gave her the money because he thinks she's "the best qualified."

Seriously, someone convicted for public corruption thinks you're "the best qualified"?  That should set off a lot of red flags.

But what is worse than that?

A school board candidate that wants to be elected to represent constituents that pay taxes for public education supports charter schools. Seriously, who thought this lady was a good candidate?

Paul Pearson needs to be replaced, no doubt about it. But not by Melendez. Not by someone who is connected to someone in the public corruption scandal, or didn't know about such and important issue, and supports charter schools.

Thats why I am supporting Cruz Ochoa. Ochoa made a run off last time and almost beat Pearson. He's the right person for the position.




The "Carton of Milk" Candidates

Morales (L) Ramos (R)
I wrote the other day a short line about how there are a few candidates that are on this ballot, or on an upcoming ballot, that haven't lived in El Paso very long - or doesn't at all in the case of one of them.

Frankly, I don't think I really did that topic much justice and I think it needs it's own post.

Two of the candidates that are running in this current election that have a major problem with how long they have been in the area are Elisa Morales who is running for mayor and Diana Ramos who is running for the seat in the Northeast area.

Both candidates have benefited from the fact that no one has really called them out about this issue. Well one of the Chris Hernandez slate of candidates, Sam Morgan, has tried to but he's done it so sloppily and aggressively, and hasn't done it in mail, that he's almost helped Diana Ramos gain sympathy.

Before I go on, I should say that both Ramos and Morales are solid candidates and I don't believe that either of them have an malicious intent. Both very smart women and dynamic and I think they genuinely want to do by El Paso.

But that doesn't get them off the hook for a real troubling problem - people who haven't been here very long wanting to lead a community that they haven't really been a part of for very long. I was thinking about this the other day when Morales, myself, Shane Haggerty, and SBOE Rep Georgina Perez were chatting while waiting for the ballots to be counted at the Tejano Democrats endorsement meeting. I forget what the joke was but I think Haggerty was giving me a hard time about not being from El Paso. Hard to argue your El Paso cred with a Haggerty, so I didn't bother - especially because even when most of the Haggerty's were Republican, they were still far more liked in the Democratic Party than I am. Now they are all Democrats except for Commissioner Andrew Haggerty.

Anywho - Morales sais something about "its an El Paso thing" following the punchline of whatever it was Haggerty had said. To which I fired back, "I know, I've lived here longer than you".

I was joking, but the more I though about it, the more I realized it was a growing problem.

Morales has all those qualities I mentioned, but she just got back to El Paso. She's another Mary Gonzalez - left as soon as she was of age and came back to El Paso for the purposes of getting an office. And trust me, Gonzalez still spends as little time in El Paso as possible and still - YEARS LATER - hasn't troubled herself to even change her cell number to an El Paso number.

Seriously, its been years.

An even more egregious example is Diana Ramos who is a candidate in the Northeast. She has NEVER lived in the area she now wants to represent before moving there in October. Aside from the address problem (the address she lists of where she lives belongs to a woman who is claiming the home as a homestead, which is illegal if you don't actually live in the home, so either that lady is living with Ramos and her spouse or the lady is committing fraud), she's only lived here since October.

Maybe October - there's doubt as to whether or not that is actually true. But for the sake of conversation, lets say its really October. You have to ask yourself about the audacity of someone knocking on a door to ask a voter to represent a community with the biggest chip on its shoulder, and trust me - no part of El Paso has a bigger "poor us" chip on its shoulder than the Northeast, who hasn't even spent their first summer there yet.

And that becomes a question of leadership. How can either Morales or Ramos actually believe they can represent a community that they don't really know. Sure, you were born here, or you were born in another part of El Paso, but seriously...how can someone feel like they can honestly and faithfully represent somewhere they haven't lived in before, or haven't lived in steadily as an adult?

I'm not a native El Pasoan. I'm an El Pasoan by choice and I'd be insulted if someone who never knew the valley just suddenly decided to move into the area and run for office and they hadn't been through their first kermez season down here, doesn't know what its like to be awakened in the middle of the night by a loud ass train barreling through a residential neighborhood, or couldn't find La Pila on a map.

You can't represent a community you don't know and sure, block walking goes a long way towards getting to know a community, but can't say you know a community well-enough to say you can honestly represent it when you moved there to run in the first place and haven't even been there one year yet.

And their opponents have done a terrible job of highlighting this issue.

And you don't have to take my word for it...take these words of wisdom from a legend in the Northeast... Ma Haggerty.

When Dee Margo pulled a Morales/Ramos ... Ma Haggerty starred in this classic commercial.

"I have a carton of milk that has been in the district longer than he has!"



EDITOR'S NOTE: Alexsandra Anello is another candidate that doesn't have much time in El Paso. She's a candidate in District 2 against incumbent Jim Tolbert who is under the cloud of an investigation by the Texas Rangers. She was unintentionally left out, but she has more time in the district that the other two aforementioned candidates.