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.