Friday, August 11, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To refresh your memory, here is the call:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's that conversation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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