Thursday, October 18, 2018

Westside Story

I went to the Westside Democrats debate last night and was reminded of how much I really hate the westside.

Not sure if I've mentioned that before.

I used this image because I thought it would be funny to use a gangsta-ass photo for the most white-bread part of El Paso.

Before I go on, can I just say that this November election for city reps is complete bullshit. I hope they move it back to may - or at least make them partisan.

But, any who....

I was shocked that District 6 candidate Eric Stoltz wasn't there. As much as that guy talks about the westside I figured he'd be there in that gray suit and green and blue tie.

Some quick observations about the debate are in order.

First, lets talk about the difference between the campaigns west of the spaghetti bowl and those east of the spaghetti bowl.

The westside candidates from District 1 and District 8 seem to genuinely like one another. They are all friendly toward one another and none of them bad mouth one another. There's differences on policy to be sure, but they all seem to respect one another.

East of the spaghetti bowl, not so much. None of the candidates seem to like one another very much.

Second, lets talk about the quality of candidates. Normally city elections are the shallow end of the political gene pool. You have a high likelihood of getting weirdos, ankle-biters, at best some eccentric folk, sometimes people that are diagnosed with one or more mental illnesses.

I've been doing this a long time. There's not another blogger in town - hell there isn't even a reporter in town - that has talked to as many candidates as I have over the years. So take my assessment for whatever you think its worth, but I can tell you that the caliber of candidates in the D1 and D8 races was refreshingly strong.

District 1

Roni Frescas and I apparently disagree on every policy under the sun. Like we seriously don't agree on anything. But she came across as knowledgeable and made a solid case for her candidacy.

Carlos Corral is probably the candidate I agree with the most on policy. He's got a campaign full of rookies by his own admission but he is polished and uses multi-media whenever he can. He had a tablet running his commercial on a loop at the side table where the campaigns put their swag. I give him a little extra credit because he's on an island on most policy position.

Peter Svarzbein. Man he sure has come along way. He used to come across as a perpetual college student, usually late to things, sloppy, unprepared and in over his head. The knock on Peter has always been his lack of decisiveness and people usually figured his vote was dependent on who he spoke to last before the vote. He's grown into his role. He's more mature, much more confident, relaxed, and comfortable in his own skin. He played defense really well. Definitely wins the Most Improved Award. He looked and sounded like an incumbent city rep.

Rick Bonart - for me probably the biggest surprise of the night in that field. I was expecting him to come in pretty aggressive and throwing haymakers all over the place. Instead he was calm, steady, intellectual, and pretty relatable. What surprised me the most about him was the fact that I expected Duranguito to be every third word out of his mouth and it wasn't. He seemed pretty middle-of-the-road and reasonable about Duranguito. It was decidedly (and refreshingly) very un-Max Grossman.

District 8

Rich Wright was hands down Mr. Personality at the debate. He's a gifted speaker and is probably the candidate that is most-relaxed in front of a crowd. He had he best one-liners of the night. We disagree on the raise for members of council but Rich is obviously pretty up to speed on policy. And I'm not just saying that out of some blogger brotherhood thing either. He was impressive. So much so that one former City Rep said Rich Wright for Mayor, to which he replied, "thats in two years".

I think he was kidding.


Cissy Lizarraga is the incumbent and she had the BURN of the night. She spoke about stepping up to serve her community as the District 8 city rep and mentioned that not a single one of her opponents stepped up to run for the office and worse, not a single one of them voted in that election.

I didn't think that could possibly be true, so I checked it out. Turns out, she's right. None of the opponents voted.

I was surprised that she was reading from notes about her own background. I thought that was weird because talking about yourself if usually the easy part for most candidates. Its not hard to memorize your own life experiences, but maybe the notes were just to help her organize her thoughts.

Gregory Baine is a retired Colonel and businessman. He's the only Republican in the field. He spoke a lot about his military background but I wouldn't have known had he not said something. He doesn't have what we call in the military, command presence. Maybe I just think that because I saw him go off on former City Rep Lily Limón for some weird reason. His attack on her didn't make sense to me, aside from most of it being pretty inaccurate, but it just seemed really petty. So thats probably why didn't peg him for being a retired Field Grade Officer. It seemed beneath someone like that.

Also, we have a saying in the Army - although its more of an NCO thing as opposed, but its called "Attention to detail".

A squared-away NCO would've caught that spelling error.

For a Field Grade office I thought he'd be a stronger communicator. He's still a decent candidate, but I expected more out of him.

But the candidate that exceeded my expectations was Dylan Corbett. When you look at him or speak to him one-on-one, you don't expect him to be as dynamic of a speaker as he turned out to be. He's another candidate that I really don't agree with on policy, but I'll be damned if he doesn't make you think twice about things. He's really nice, maybe even a little shy when you talk to him alone. He's clearly up to speed on policy, but he's very disarming. Blue-eyed and brown-haired I was surprised when I heard him speak Spanish. I know, this is El Paso and it should never ever surprise anyone, but for whatever reason I was surprised.

If there is a run-off, I think he's the challenger most-likely to be in it. If he's in it, Cissy is gonna be in trouble.

But making a run-off for any candidate taking on an incumbent in this election cycle is a steep hill to climb.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

I Figured it Out...

A lot of Forma candidates end up asking themselves what were the actually paying for. I hear it every election cycle. Usually from people that don't win, so maybe the winners don't have any complaining to do, but its a pretty common refrain from their clients. 

I think I've finally figured out where all that money goes!

This was posted by Forma District 5 candidate Isabel Salcido on Monday. 

I happened to be block walking on the eastside on Monday. 

It was cold and cloudy all day.

But if you're a Forma candidate, they make shit happen for you. They apparently worked it out so that it was sunny/partly cloudy in District 5 and so warm you could wear short sleeves!

See, for all you naysayers about Forma not being worth the money, there you go. They go so far for their clients they even change the weather in the area they are block walking for them!

Now that's service!

JK - It was a typo, they meant to say that it was a pic from the previous day that they were block walking. Although I should mention that there is a pretty high likelihood that it was someone from Forma managing the FB account lol.

Seeberger Residency Questions & Finances

Republican GOP nominee Rick Seeberger has a lot of issues as a candidate, which may be why the GOP didn't want him to run in the first place.

Seeberger has issues with his personal finances. But it appears he also has issues with his campaign finances as it looks like he hasn't filed his campaign finances reports. For a guy who's mentioned transparency a couple of times on the campaign trail, this commission is pretty funny.

He now has questions surfacing about his residency. Now the questions about residency are largely a moot point because I don't think you have to actually live in the area you want to represent in Congress for very long.

But they do go to a candidates integrity. If they say something or represent facts to be a certain way, they damn well ought to be that way. Pretty simple, right?

So here is video of Seeberger's standard opening.

As you can hear in the video, he talks about how he and his wife moved to El Paso 20 years ago.

But if you continue watching the video there is footage of him from four years ago complaining at a Doña Ana County Commissioner's Court meeting about being let go. Several people have characterized it as Seeberger was "run out" of New Mexico. I don't know if that is the case, but what is interesting in the video is that he claims to be a tax payer in that county.

So it begs the question, does he, or did he own property there in New Mexico? I mean I supposed I could look it up on any of his bankruptcy filings. My main point is, was he being honest when he addressed the Court four years ago or is he being honest now?

Seeberger is a guy who likes to threaten to sue people, as several sources have confirmed following the KCOS debate. Problem is, he's a public figure now. Its not so easy to claim damages or threaten to sue people anymore.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Boos & Cruz

So Ted Cruz came to El Paso Saturday night. He damn near filled the ENTIRE gym at Franklin High School!

The funniest thing about the Cruz visit is how the Republicans act. For a Party that likes to act tough and talk tough, they sure are a bunch of paranoid babies. They posted warnings all over their social media that people were going to be asked for their ID's and they were going to refuse entry to basically anyone they wanted to.

You'd think we were passed whites-only events in this town but I guess we haven't.

I kid.

We have monster truck rallies and they are quite popular.

For a Party that gives a lot of lip service to the constitution, they sure don't like people expressing their first amendment rights. If anyone boo'd during the event, they were kicked out.

What a bunch of delicate little flowers!

Don't believe me? They went so far to ensure that there were ONLY people that should cheer loudly for Cruz that they had "ushers" MONITORING the crowd and if you were anything less an energetic supporter of Cruz, you'd be removed.

I'm not making that up, here's proof. This is a picture of what was handed to my friend Danny Baca. He was in attendance and he boo'd when Cruz's name was mentioned. He was immediately approached by an "usher" and the police. He was handed this "red card" by the usher. Then they cops came and took him out. There was no first warning, not that you should need one in the first place.

Seriously, you can't make this shit up.

For a Party that says they want smaller government it sure is weird that they want to exercise this much control over people. That is the real GOP these days people.

Republicans and Libertarians want to surround themselves with an echo chamber of people that look and sound like them that all repeat the same talking points of Fox News, eat bacon and say "Muricuh all the time.

I've heard some of friends from that side whine about not wanting to be "harassed" at events. What they really mean is that they don't want public debate.

Nearly every single march or protest in town over the last year or so has had Republicans and Libertarians there.

No one bitches about it. They aren't there to change anyone's mind but that public conversation and disagreement was something this country was founded on.

So Republicans don't want physical protecting from a non-existent threat. They just want to protect their ears from hearing a message that wasn't pre-approved by their cult leader Donald Trump or the Trump State News Agency, commonly referred to as Fox News.

They can't win on ideas, so they shield themselves from honest debate.

Now lets talk about who was there.

There is a reason I harp a lot on Party is because Parties stand for a given set of values and principles. That is important information for a voter. It tells a voter what policies the given candidate is likely to support and also gives insight in to how they are going to govern.

This is particularly important in nonpartisan races like city council and school board races. Why? Because they spend more of our tax dollars than any other government entity, so you SHOULD know who you're voting for.

A lof to people will run for office as Democrats even though they really aren't. And sometimes people will support them. Dori Fenenbock is a perfect example. She was a straight up Republican and even a lot of old school Democrats supported her, but that was mostly because their individual egos were more important to them than voting for a real Democrat.

If this election doesn't show them the error of their ways, nothing will.

But if you recall, she even had two of her fellow EPISD board members using their positions on the board in an attempt to help Fenenbock.

Anyone else notice that Cruz had his event at a high school? Want to know why?

Here's why:

That is EPISD Trustee and Cruz Fanboy Trent Hatch. He's clearly a Republican. He's the guy that wants to close down all the schools in EPISD in poor brown neighborhoods. Like I said, Party matters.

That is why I love pictures because as the old saying goes, they say a thousand words.

Speaking of a thousand words here is eastside City Rep John Hogan. He's also there at the Cruz rally fanboying for Cruz. That rally is on the opposite side of town than the district he is running in. There are no votes for him to be won there, but he still attended.

Hogan is not just fanboying. He's front-row fanboying.

He's also the guy that posted this video (that you shouldn't watch around kids or at work) that has some not-so-nice things to say about the Democratic Party. He made it a point to send it directly to some folks.

Now he writes a lot about how the truth is he's just a (insert mash of independent, libertarian, republican, Democrat). Thats a complete lie. He's misleading voters, which is the real point of this post.

Dori misled you.

Hatch misled you.

Hogan is misleading you.

Vote accordingly.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Other D1 Finance Notes

In all this talk about over-blown finance reports and over-blown checks to someone who has never won a race - which should be a lesson to you would-be candidates about not falling for a sales pitch - I forgot to talk about the other two candidates. 

The one thing holding back Veronica Frescas was gonna be money. Hard for her to catch a spark without money and it appears that is what bit her. She’s raised the least of her field of candidates. 

Incumbent City Rep Peter Svarzbein however, is raking it in again. If he’s shown anything, he’s a prolific fundraiser. Who knew a gimmick (Pizza with Peter) he stole from Claudia Ordaz (Coffee with Claudia) would rake in the cash.

Hell I think every candidate should start doing that. 

Applesauce and undermining with Annello 

Hot Dogs with Hernandez

Malts with Morgan

Spaghetti with Cissy

Ribs with Rivera

Noodles with Noe 

or Mierda con Margo.

Hell why stop there? Every level of government can get in on the fun! 

Carne Asada con Carlos

Haggas with Haggerty

White Bread with Stout

or Birria con Bínce.

I kid, that isn’t likely where he was raising all that cash. But the point is, he has real money. Not inflated monopoly money figure, but real campaign cash that he can dump into the race. I guess that begs the question of what the hell is he doing with it. 

See the problem with fundraising is how much of it is actually leveraged into the field? A lot of money gets soaked up by consultants, like in the case of Bonart or anyone who’s ever hired Forma. 

The successful campaigns get that money into the field. I don’t live on the westside and haven’t really checked around to see who’s been hitting doors or who has been making an impact with visibility. 

Normally things like billboards are a complete waste of campaign cash because they are basically the worlds largest yard sign and for what it cost to put a billboard you can get a ton of people hitting doors. 

Bu this is a unique election, so we’ll see how much more visibility will factor into this cycle. 

At any rate, as I said before - this race is Peter’s to lose. Incumbents have a BIG advantage this election cycle and it would take a ton of money and strong name ID to unseat an incumbent. 

Had Bonart blown that money on David Saucedo I think he would’ve been much better positioned to take out Svarzbein. 

I’m not saying Svarzbein can’t lose, but I’m saying he’d have to screw up pretty badly to lose. 

He’d have to pull a Jimmy Suerkin.

For those of you that don’t get the reference, you haven’t been following El Paso politics long enough. The poor guy has become an adjective for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Like the Seahawks in the Super Bowl that one year. 

Or Dallas every weekend. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

$aucedo Ca$hing in

I swear I'm not making it up. But if you don't believe me, I wouldn't blame you. I had to see it on finance reports myself to believe it.

Everyone wants to be a consultant. A lot of campaigns blow a ton of money on consultants and there are a lot out there that really aren't worth half of what they charge.

Then there's the big firm that just seems to charge a shit ton of money and always leaves candidates wondering what they paid for.

And then there's David Saucedo. Everyone's favorite out of touch, eat-tacos-with-a-fork-and-grey-poupon brown Republican.

He got beat by white a town that is 85% raza.

That is literally the only race he's been involved with.

So it surprises me that he'd decide to put a shingle and decide to be a "campaign consultant". What surprised me more was that he got someone to pay him money to do it.

What surprised me even more was HOW much he got paid to do it.

On one campaign finance report alone, David Saucedo was given over $40,000 by Rick Bonart.

Thats not a typo. Saucedo got 40 large off of Bonart... far.

$40,000 is roughly what was listed as an in-kind contribution on Carlos Corral's campaign finance report for a cup of coffee.

I kid, I kid.

I'll be honest, I've been trying to figure out what would make someone think a guy who ran arguably the worst campaign for mayor I've seen in a long time, was worth that much money.

Thats more than he paid the consultants that ran HIS campaign for mayor - only Chris Hernandez had experience and a win under his belt.

Seriously what campaign experience does Saucedo have worth paying for, much less worth paying as MUCH as he's being paid.

I will say this for Bonart, this shows that he's in it to win it this time. I mean, I think its a terrible waste of good campaign money, but it does show that he's willing to spend whatever it takes to win. He's self-funding his campaign. He's willing to pay whatever it costs to win and he has deep pockets.

Hell, he's even contributing to OTHER candidates in other races.

I'll say this for Bonart, I might not agree with him on some issues, but I honestly admire the guy's passion and ability to put his money where his mouth is. Can't be mad at that.

Seeberger GOP Campaign Threatens TV Station with Lawsuit

A source indicates that the campaign of Republican candidate for the 16th Congressional District of Texas has sent written communication to KCOS threatening a possible lawsuit if the station didn’t either reshoot or delete the entire debate that was taped recently.

The debate in question is supposed to air this Sunday afternoon on the local public television station. 

The taped debates are sponsored by the League of Women Voters and are moderated by veteran reporter David Crowder. 

The campaign raised several issues regarding the debate moderator, but their complaint appears to mostly hinge on the fact that the candidates were not afforded time for a closing statement. The station indicated to the campaigns that Crowder’s last question about what would their priorities be if elected was a good place to wrap up. 

This apparently really bothered the Seeberger campaign and a sources says they corresponded with the station stating, “…we hereby respectfully request the debate either be re-filmed or deleted all together.”

The sources further indicates that the campaign went on to write, “Should you or your management decide not to agree with this request, we may seek legal action for damages.”

From what I gather Mr. Seeberger loves to sue people. I’ve written several times about his litigious nature. I’ve also published audio of Mr. Seeberger bragging about getting people to settle. 

I’ve never heard of a candidate threatening to sue because a debate broadcast didn’t come out the way he wanted it to. I’ve heard of two different mayors calling up a weak-ass general manager at a local news station and threatening that person to kill stories (which they dutifully did), but I’ve never heard of a candidate threaten to sue before now.

The reality based on my conversations with local attorneys, is that Seeberger is just doing a lot of barking when it comes to suing people now that he’s a political candidate. The standards are different when you are a public figure and even if they weren’t any different, Seeberger has to show actual damages.

Getting waxed the way he’s about to in 27 days isn’t damages. Its election math and a stone cold rejection of conservatism in El Paso. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Overstated Money

You know how it goes, you awakes want to put your best foot forward. You always want to look your best. Thats why there is always such a difference between the pics you post and the ones you're tagged in.

Same thing happens with campaign finance reports. Candidates often try to make their candidacy look stronger by trying to show that their campaign raised more money than it actually did.

Its a dumb strategy but for whatever reason people do it. You might as well be counting monopoly money.

They always do it by inflating their "in-kind contributions".

Its a common thing. And you are supposed to report in-kind contributions. But the inflated value of an in-kind contribution is how people try to balloon what they actually raised.

District 1 candidate Carlos Corral came up with the most egregious instance of this type of thing I can recall seeing.

If you look at his campaign finance report, he reports having $58,224.00 in contributions. That would make him the top fund raiser in that race. But if you look closer at his report, you'll see that $48,880.00 were "in-kind contributions". What is is more interesting is that they are in-kind services from his own video production company.

In other words, 83% of his contributions were "in-kind" contributions from his own company. I've never seen anyone exaggerate their fundraising to that degree.

So when you factor in what he ACTUALLY raised, his contributions are dwarfed by the incumbent who raised well over $45,000 in this reporting cycle.

There is much more to the District 1 financial reports, but I'll post more about that later. Trust me, its interesting.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Time to See Grossman's Payroll of Candidates

Today is the day we see which candidates are on El Paso's Republitarian Dandy Max Grossman's sweetheart list. Campaign finance reports are due and we'll see who the Dandy talked his sugar daddy into supporting.

Let me take this moment to pull over right quick and remind you all - I WARNED YOU ABOUT HIM A LONG TIME AGO. But you guys didn't listen until he cut his own throat on a Facebook post where he dissed Beto and supported Ted Cruz.

Since then, the Dandy took a real beating. So he created a "What's Up El Paso" page on FB and he's posted a bunch of right wing nutball shit, along with his praises for what looks like his stable of candidates. Stand by, I'll be exposing his little stable as soon as the reports become available. If you're taking Grossman Sugar Daddy money, you have to answer for Grossman's right-wing dumbfuckery.

Also, this is a funny sidebar. Apparently on his page that has apparently upset the publishers of Whats Up Magazine, he went after a guy named Freddy Klayel. He's the "Shine on El Paso" guy.

I guess Klayel said something or asked something that the Dandy didn't like. So he started calling Klayel a "dweeb".

For those of you that didn't grow up in the 80's, that is totally like, gag me with a spoon, an insult. Its an 80's synonym for nerd I guess.

I know what you're thinking...but LionStar Grossman is a big nerd himself! I know, I know, it makes no sense that a guy who wears a top hat and a bow tie is smack talking someone else about being a dweeb.

Seriously he's a government-hating Libertarian that is living off of a government wage, so the Dandy's hypocrisy is like a run-away Teddy Ruxpin from the 80's.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Stoltz Arrested for Theft, Probation Violation

District 6 candidate Eric Stoltz was arrested last year for Probation Violation.

Why was he on probation? Because in 2010 he was charged with Theft under $500.

I realize that some of you don't understand the amount of distain I have for the Westside of El Paso and it has occurred to me that maybe my real thoughts about Stoltz's candidacy may have been lost on you, so I'll clarify.

Awhile back I wrote that I think he'd be a fine candidate for city council, but for the Westside.

That was really more of a commentary that he seems to care more about the Westside than he does the Valley.

So let me be very clear. I've been doing this a long time. I've interviewed or met everyone who has run for anything noteworthy in this town for more than a decade, probably pushing two. Which means when I state the following, you should really should take it seriously.

Eric Stoltz is among the worst candidates to ever run for local office.

I'm not talking about his policies because he's really not clear on what policies he's for or against. I'm talking about him as a packaged candidate.

I know that city council races tend to attract the worst candidates but what is it with this election cycle candidates with shady legal pasts feel compelled to run for office?

I seriously don't get it.

Do they not understand that your average voter doesn't look kindly upon a criminal record?

How dumb do you have to be to think that your criminal record won't be a major issue for voters? Especially if they don't know much else about you.

Look, not being smart enough to clean up your social media and posts about being stoned before you run for office is one thing. Like I said, if you wanna be a marijuano, do you.

But running for office thinking no one would find out about your criminal record is just plain hall of fame stupid.

Although its more than just stupid. Stoltz got on the ballot with signatures from voters. Not many considering it literally takes just 25 signatures, but there were signatures nonetheless. I'm gonna assume that the vast majority of people that signed his petition where friends and family, so they probably knew he had a record.

But if anyone signed that petition was just a regular voter in the district, then Stoltz owed it to them to be honest about his record with them.

Its possible that voters would look over the marijuana use. But its highly unlikely that had a voter known he had a criminal past that involved theft that they would be supportive of him being in office.

But wait until you hear all the chances this guy was given.

Records indicate that Stoltz was originally charged with Theft of Property under $500 in 2010. Stoltz wasn't arrested for the charge until 2012. Stoltz was given Pre-Trial Diversion in 2013, but appears to have not completed the program successfully. He was given yet another chance by the courts in 2014 and was given probation for 1 year and 40 hours of community service. So his probation should have ended in 2015.

Stoltz appears to have not complied with the terms of his probation that time too!

Seriously, who doesn't learn their lesson at that point?

I'm not talking out of my ass here, y'all know I've been on probation. Its a pain in the ass, but you gotta do what you gotta do. You gotta meet with your PO, do your community service, pay your fees, and be a good boy.

They will even make you take random drug tests or check to see if you've consumed alcohol.

So he didn't learn his lesson when he was given PTD.

He didn't learn his lesson when he got probation either.

So he was eventually arrested on February 14, 2017 for probation violation. It is unclear what exactly was violated but it could have been for failing a drug test, not completing community service hours, not paying fees, or not complying with curfew.

Photo credit: El Paso County Sheriff's Department

Court records indicate that one month later his probation ended.

I haven't been able to track down what exactly it was that he stole yet, but theft isn't something voters take lightly.

A district 5 candidate was arrested for domestic violence during this campaign season, but he has yet to have his day in court and even he is in a better position with voters than Stoltz.

Stoltz has not publicly commented on his criminal record but I'm sure if the media wants to talk to him they can likely find him at the community meeting at Del Valle High School tonight at 7pm.

Take if from me, having a record - even for minor offenses - is something that follows you. But Stoltz can't even argue that when he was young and irresponsible he was young and irresponsible because well...he's still young and irresponsible.

It takes a pretty incredible level of arrogance to ask voters to put you in charge of millions of their tax dollars when you can't even be trusted to knock out 40 hours of community service and pay some fines over 7 years.

The more you learn about Stoltz the more you get the idea that the guy just can't seem to get things done. He's 25, still lives and home with his parents, and is still allegedly a student. Can't live on his own, can't get a career going, can't finish school, can't finish probation.

According to one of my readers, Stoltz's block walk this weekend was not well-attended. He was seen at a local park Saturday morning and it appears that this was his entire team of block walkers.

I figured he'd be a better organizer than that and would have had a bunch of people ready to hit the streets.

Then on Sunday he was on social media complaining that the League of Women Voters had unfair rules and for that reason he couldn't be on television for a debate. He's also been making mention of an medical waste facility being proposed in the Lower Valley. Rep Ordaz was out collecting petitions against the proposed facility instead of being on public television. Stoltz's post implies that he was somehow discriminated against by the League of Women Voters because he's a man and Ordaz is a woman.

Ordaz was out doing her job trying to protect our community from a medical waste facility while Stoltz is throwing a fit about not getting his close-up.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Seeberger & Escobar Debate

So I went to the Seeberger and Escobar debate the other night. I was interested in going because the event was being held by a women's political organization and Republican Rick Seeberger is supportive of Judge Kavenaugh's appointment to the United States Supreme Court.

It was like being in an alternate reality. Seeberger said a lot of weird things, many of which were simply untrue, and some were borderline racist.

He was supportive of the Charlottesville rally of white supremacists when asked a question about the First Amendment. I was surprised by that but it got much more interesting. At one point Seeberger actually said that he "had a heart for Latin Americans" which sounded a lot like when Trump said he loves "the blacks".

If you weren't there, let me set the visual for what you missed. Imagine a guy that looks a little like John Gotti retreating over-the-top hyperbolic red meat conservative Fox News talking points to a crowd half-filled with supporters.

That was pretty much it.

Escobar fact checked him a lot.

One very interesting thing that Seeberger said that I think deserves the most attention is a claim he made that dead people voted in the primary in March. Remember when I wrote a post a while back about a source in the Seeberger campaign indicating that Norma Chavez was going to consult with the campaign?

Norma did her usual kicking and screaming and threatening to sue (bring it Norma). But what is interesting about Seeberger's claim of dead people voting is that the claim originally claim from the candidates that Escobar trounced in the primary in their lawsuit alleging voting irregularities.

Turns out they were wrong and they just didn't understand data.

But Seeberger's allegation that there were dead people that voted is something that can be fact-checked. It was in response to a question about whether you should be required to present ID when you vote. That is a very Republican stance so it is not surprising that he'd make such a claim.

However lets pull this car over and take a moment to take in the fact that Norma Chavez's ridiculous quixotic quest to justify to her ego why she got her ass kicked so badly in the congressional race ends up being part of GOP talking points for policy that hurts raza.

Once again Norma's ego ends up helping white Republicans hurt raza. How many times have we seen this play out now?

There was supposed to be a Q & A from the audience but that was canceled at the last minute. There was no explanation why, but the event was well run, moderators did a great job and the questions were thoughtful.

Seeberger kept talking a lot about truth, about the definition of insanity being doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result, and economics.

Thats why I wish they had allowed questions because I would've asked him - given those statements - how a guy who has had multiple bankruptcies, some very recent, the last included the lawyer from a previous bankruptcy as someone he owed money to, has the audacity to talk about managing the economy.

Oh, one quick sidebar. John Hogan, candidate for District 5 was there. An Hispanic woman dressed in black was there and at one point Seeberger asked his team to stand. She stood up identifying that she was with his team. After the event some people lingered outside and she greeted Hogan, saying that he probably didn't notice her because she was so short. I didn't think she was short, but Hogan is a pretty big guy, so maybe the term was relative.

I was there, so this is 100% accurate because I heard it first hand, he replied to her, "No, its because you're so dark." There was a brief pause and he finished by saying, "because you're wearing black".

She was about my complexion, which I'll admit, is dark.

But she was Republican, so I don't think the comment bothered her.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Stoltz - Up in Smoke?

I can't recall ever having seen a local candidate admit to using marijuana before, so this is a first. Not that I think using marijuana is particularly a big deal in and of itself. Its not personally my thing, but if someone else wants to hit the sticky-icky I really don't care. If they manage their lives and careers and it doesn't harm or impact anyone else, I don't have a problem with it and its not really any of my business.

Smoke all you want. Puff, puff, pass.

Do you boo-boo.

If you're a marijuano, as long as I don't have to smell you, I don't give a damn. If I do have to smell you, then better smoke good stuff because skunk weed stinks and every marijuano I know - and I know a lot - is apparently nose-blind.

If you're running for office its a different story. You are making decisions for other people. You gotta be honest with voters. A lot of bad decisions are made when people are high.

Mostly bad decisions about food.

On a serious note, I think we need reform in our drug policies. I think weed should be legal and taxed in the same way cigarettes are taxed and regulated. There's no reason our jails should be filled with non-violent drug offenders.

The city of El Paso has a hiring process that includes passing a drug test.

Why is this important?

Because if someone is a user and is a member of council, I think they have an obligation to be honest that they use, or abolish the policy of having a drug screening as part of the hiring process. One of the two.

I bring this issue up because of this instagram post by District 6 candidate Eric Stoltz. He's not actually using in the picture, so I don't know definitively that he's a marijuano, but he appears to admit it in the hashtags.

"Hightimes" "munchies" and "blown" are all weed references. My brother is a marijuano, so I know what I'm talking about.

Unless Stoltz is gonna pull a Kavanaugh and say that those hashtags mean something else, this is a pretty obvious admission to being baked and I'm not talking about that chocolate cake.

Its a pic from 5 years ago, but at 25 it wasn't all that long ago for him. When young people run for office the biggest hurdle they have to overcome with voters is are they mature enough to represent a community? He posted a pic of him flipping the bird, which is also not something that is illegal or wrong by itself.

But it is stupid. Real stupid.

Its one thing to be immature and dumb, and especially with the accessibility of digital media these days, its common for dumb mistakes to be forever recorded for posterity.

Kavenaugh is much luckier than Stoltz in that sense.

But its another to not have the sense to remove things like that when you run for office. Come on man, seriously this is the quality of your decision-making?

I don't know what it is with candidates and their political death wishes lately of self-inflicted wounds with bad pictures they post on social media but how many times do you have to witness pendejadas like this before you learn to be smarter about what you post?

This is a bigger mistake than Haggerty's clown nose pics or even Stoltz's middle finger pic. This is one that I think media will probably scrutinize.

The question media and the people will have is if he's still using or intends to use if elected?

If not, when was the last time he got high?

I think these are important questions to ask Stoltz. Voters have a right to know if he is still rippin' hits from that bong, because I don't think voters want anyone making half-baked decisions on their behalf when that person is baked, anymore than they want someone who is drunk making decisions on their behalf.

If you own your own business, are an executive, or a construction worker, I don't care if you're 25 and still live with your parents, and get high all day while eating a bag of Doritos. If your own parents don't care, then why should I?

But I DO care if someone is high while making decisions on my behalf. Just like I DON'T want someone drunk making decisions for me either. That is where I think the scrutiny will come in to play, because I've never seen another local candidate publicly admit to using marijuana.

Hell, pics of elected officials or candidates drinking have ended up in campaign mail pieces, so the fact that this is the first time I've ever seen a candidate admit to smoking marijuana will likely be newsworthy.

These kinds of public admissions of marijuana use also underscore another really bad part of our current drug policy. His dad is in law enforcement. He very likely has arrested people for possession of marijuana. Probably a lot of people his son's age.

I can't think of a better way to underscore that we need drug law reform than the image of a guy making an arrest for possession of marijuana and his own son is well, dealing with weed cravings by eating a chocolate cake.

Haggerty Hates This Picture

Stop what you're doing because you gotta hear this one.

I just got a call from the campaign team of Carl Robinson.

Apparently County Commissioner Andrew Haggerty called him and from their account sounded like he was yelling at Robinson. They were in the same room and could hear a voice on the phone, but apparently Robinson didn't have it on speaker, so it must've been pretty loud.

They said Robinson was clearly trying to calm someone down and after the call Robinson told them it was Commissioner Andrew Haggerty that called.

He was apparently pissed about an ad that was done on social media about him. I'm not sure if he's talking about the one that focuses on the fact that Haggerty says its not someone's business how he votes, or the one focusing on Haggerty supporting Trump's wall.

But Haggerty was pretty pissed from what I'm told.

I'm writing about this for a couple reasons. One, because it shows that Haggerty has thin skin and a temper problem and two, because Haggerty apparently used my name and told Robinson that if I didn't stop attacking him that he was going to start going after Robinson.

First of all, no one tells me what to write. How many times do we have to go over this people? Ask Norma Chavez what its like to try to control what I write?

Second, I'm policy focused. Haggerty is a policy maker. If he doesn't like the fact that I exercise my first amendment rights, he should quit being a commissioner.

Third, Haggerty who is a young white guy is attacking an old black guy because of what a devilishly handsome young(ish) brown guy writes?

Is that some sort of joke?

And now that I think about it, what is a young white guy who never served (allegedly because of flat feet - something that the Army stopped barring people from service for long before Haggerty was even born) going to attack a more mature African-American Vietnam Veteran with a Bronze Star and more years of elected and community service about?

Mind you, this is pretty much about the fact that I use the above picture, and have been critical of his policy stances, and I posted a video of Haggerty speaking his own words. I actually have a picture of Haggerty in full clown make-up, that I also got from his own Facebook page. I wonder if he would prefer I use that one instead?

I got that picture from Haggerty's social media. I didn't photoshop that nose on him. So what exactly are you really mad about? You're a public figure that took a picture with a red nose and posted it on your social media that was open to the public and I'm the bad guy?

Nobody twisted your arm to post your own pics on your own page, Commissioner.

Just like no one twisted your arm to make the comment about how you vote not being someone's business.

Just like no one twisted your arm to essentially allege that bids are rigged.

Are you saying I doctored the video of you? Are you saying you weren't at that forum, didn't make that statement, and that I CGI'd you into that video? Because I assure you Commissioner, if that is what you are alleging, it is far above my modest old equipment and skill set with video.

Bottom line is that Haggerty called to tell his opponent that if I didn't stop being critical of him that he'd go after the guy.

My answer is this - grow up and stop trying to be a bully.

I didn't use a picture that you yourself didn't post.

I haven't used words that you yourself didn't say.

I haven't taken video of you making an assertion that you yourself didn't assert.

If you don't want people using pictures of you in a silly red noses, then don't take and post pictures of you in a silly red noses. If you don't want people to criticize what you say or policy stances you take, then don't say them or take them. If you don't want people to capture your allegations about what essentially amounts to corruption in the County, then don't go to public forums and make those allegations.

I didn't think someone from the Party of Personal Responsibility would need that spelled out to them.

But I'll tell you what, Commissioner. You wanna bully someone and tell them what to write, here's my number - (915) 694-5714.

I have my phone in my hand and I'll be waiting for your call and will be happy to talk with you about your policies and my First Amendment Right to write about them, Commissioner.

Retirement Rumors

There are two seats that rarely open up that are going to open up pretty soon - the Senate seat currently held by Jose Rodriguez and the District Attorney's seat held by Jaime Esparza.

Both have birthed a series of rumors about who is going to run for the seats.

Lets start with the DA seat. State Rep Joe Moody being interested in that seat is probably the least well-kept secret in town since Commissioner Escobar was considering a run to be County Judge.

That seat is Moody's if he wants it and he will likely sit in it for a long time. He has name ID, he's working on Beto's campaign, and he's genuinely liked. There's only one guy that has a shot at beating him and he's not someone who has run for office before. Moody's race to lose.

Now the Senate seat. There are all kinds of names flying around for this seat. Almost every state rep's name has come up including Lina Ortega and Cesar Blanco to former State Rep Marisa Marquez and even Dori Fenenbock.

I'm actually surprised that we haven't heard Norma Chavez throw her name in the hat. Although it wouldn't surprise me one bit if she did decide to run, that is the selfish Norma move we have all grown to expect. But she's clearly not viable.

For anything.


First lets throw out Fenenbock. She's not ever going to run for anything again. She's not viable. Plus she was in Austin again this last weekend and was seen hanging out with EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera.

Its really hard to see how anyone can beat Cesar Blanco for this seat. He's bright, he's punched his ticket, paid his dues, etc.

Blanco will be our next Senator barring any major development.

Hands down.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Eric Stoltz Would Make A Fine City Rep... for the Westside

Under normal circumstances I would've roasted a candidate like Eric Stoltz over a slow burning fire a long time ago.

Stoltz is all about Doo-ruhn-gui-toe, follows that Dandy Max Grossman, wants people in the valley to spend their tax dollars subsidizing wealthy white folks' infrastructure on the westside, and won't stop talking about "protecting" our mountains while never once mentioning anything to do with parts of the actual district he wants to represent.

Policy wise, there is pretty much nothing on the municipal level we agree on.

I must get three or four inquiries a week about why I haven't roasted the vato yet.

The answer is simple.

I really like his parents.

His dad is George Stoltz, who ran for sheriff a while back when Sheriff Wiles ran for the office the first time. His dad is a Republican, and we probably don't agree on a single policy, or Trump, or anything else, but he is a great guy. I've block-walked their house several times and his mom is pretty well-known in the community too.

His brother played for the championship baseball team from Socorro.

Eric was a Bernie guy too. He's a good guy from the valley, comes from a good family, and is liberal as I am. He also has a really strong, I-don't-give-a-fuck-if-you-don't-like-what-I-say way about him that a vato like me can't help but see a little of myself in him.

That being said, I gotta be real.

I think Eric would be a great city representative...for the westside.

Like the really, really, really, really far westside.

But he damn sure doesn't seem like he's standing up for Lower Valley or eastside families.

My issue with Stoltz is that he's the westside's candidate. Every issue he talks about is all about the westside.

Westside, westside, westside, westside. Its all he ever talks about.

His logo, done at least partially by City Rep Alexsandra Annello, even depicts another part of town. I'm sure after reading this he'll try to run over to the mission and start taking pics in front of the Ysleta Mission to give him some more valley cred.

He doesn't go to that parish, or at least I've never seen him at mass there. I think he went to Socorro High School, which is not in the district. Prior to running for office I've never seen him at any civic, charity, or religious event anywhere in the lower valley.

So the only connection I can see from Stoltz to the Mission Valley - prior to being a candidate - is that he still lives with his parents.

What I don't see from his history, which is a big problem for him, is any commitment to the valley. There’s no footprint of involvement from Stoltz in either part of the district - no civic engagement, charity work, church activities, community involvement, etc.





What I think voters should be most concerned about is the fact that he doesn’t appear to be very consistent in his message about what he wants to do as city representative. I hear him talk a lot about “investment”. He wants to invest in green energy, he wants to invest in small business incubators, he wants to invest in a lot of things.

Out of the other side of his mouth he’s talking about high taxes and debt.

He sounds like a typical politician that wants to have it both ways. He wants to talk about investment, which means spending, while at the same time he talks about not raising taxes and how people are living on fixed incomes.

Okay so this is the part where I should state the obvious. Eric Stoltz lives with his parents, he doesn’t pay property taxes. He’s unemployed near as I can tell from his campaign application where he lists student as his occupation.

So he’s not paying a mortgage, or rent to a property manager, utilities, etc. Maybe he has a car note, insurance (that I assume he has with his parents because he still lives at home and it’s probably more cost effective) and a cell phone bill.

That might explain why he wants to raise and hold the line on taxes simultaneously. He doesn't know what its like to manage a budget.

He gives general statements about "innovative solutions" but there is nothing innovative about saying you want to spend a lot of money, cut taxes, and raise the tax exemption by $10,000, which would mean cutting more revenue.

But in all this empty rhetoric of innovative solutions, he never says what he'd cut.

Is it parks?



First responders?

Street pavement?

But there is nothing in his rhetoric that shows he understands fiscal policy or the budgetary ramifications for what he's advocating for.


Well because its easier to just lie to voters. Which he seems to be more and more comfortable doing - lately going so far as to say that his opponent, City Rep Claudia Ordaz Perez isn't responsive to constituents. Before that he was saying she didn't do anything about a controversial medical waste facility that is being proposed in the lower valley.

The last thing Stoltz wants is a comparison to Ordaz Perez.

She's a homeowner, he's not.

She takes care of her parents and puts a roof over their head. He lives under his parents' roof. 

She oversees a multimillion dollar budget. He probably has car insurance with his parents and shares their Netflix account.

She has met with multiple levels of government including the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo and the State to try to stop the building of a medical waste facility in the Mission Valley, set-up a public meeting with TCEQ so that the community can be heard, created a petition opposing the location, mailed it out to constituents, and personally collected over 1,000 signatures...on a Sunday.

He made a Facebook post about it.

But lets talk about the one thing Stoltz has done, he got appointed to a commission on animals by his BFF City Rep Annello. What did he do? He immediately tried to use it as a platform against the TIRZ.

A Commission on animals was used for the political wishes of Annello. If that is the "innovative solutions" and "change" he said District 6 needs? If so, thanks but you can keep it.

Seriously you have to have a better argument for running for office than empty rhetoric, vague comments about change and innovation and wanting to make people in the lower valley pay for the infrastructure on the westside.

They can pay for their own, thank you very much.

District 6 needs someone who understands budget, policy, and the needs of the community - not another Max Grossman-bot.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Haggerty Alleges Corruption?

El Paso County Commissioner Andrew Haggerty appears to alleged that there is STILL corruption happening at the County during a recent campaign stop.

Specifically on the County Purchasing Board.

Here's the thing about that purchasing board - its has five members, three of whom are sitting judges.

So for those of you keeping score at home, Haggerty is stating that a department overseen by a board made up of three judges and two county commissioners, is allowing corruption to take place.

Oh it gets better....

Guess who is a member of that purchasing board?

Commissioner Andrew Haggerty.

Pay close attention to the video. He's alleging that contracts are fixed.

That is a pretty strong allegation to make.

My question is if Commissioner Haggerty thinks there is corruption going on, why hasn't he reported it to law enforcement?

I gave him an opportunity to answer what specific actions he's taken to alleviate the situation as well. Listen to his answer for yourself...

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Campaign Fundraisers / Events

Seeberger Threatens Williams?

So there is some bonus audio from a sit-down interview done recently that featured two of the four candidates running for the 16th Congressional District seat.

Basically this race is Congresswoman-Elect Veronica Escobar versus three guys she's going to trounce.

But this is a dust-up between Rick Seeberger the Republican nominee for the position and Samuel Williams, a candidate running as an independent.

I say running as an independent but honestly he sounds the more Republican of the two candidates. Had he run in the primary he likely would have been the Republican nominee.

Rick Seeberger is REALLY sensitive about that dirt that is out there about him - from the PTA not getting money due to them, to the Dona Anna thing, to multiple bankruptcies, and even a mention of a settlement with KVIA.

That is something Seeberger seems to pride himself in by the way. He loves to brag about making people settle and he apparently loves lawsuits.

For his part, Williams wasn't backing down when Seeberger essentially tells him to stop talking about the negative part of his record. I know, that is ludicrous. Seeberger is a candidate for public office and it is the height of arrogance or naïveté to believe that your record won't come up.

This is probably exactly what Chairman Telles was talking about when he allegedly told Seeberger not to run.

I think Seeberger is the only one that doesn't know he's a liability. Either way, its not a flattering portrait of Mr. Seeberger.

District 1 Voting Records

City elections are non-partisan but since the elections have been moved to a general election cycle, they will be on the ballot with partisan elections.

Parties give you a sense of priorities and governing philosophy, so I decided to compile voting records of all the candidates on the ballot in November.

I think you the voters have a right to know as much relevant information about the candidates as you possibly can.

So we will go in numerical order by district, starting with the incumbents where applicable.

NOTE: Which elections someone voted in is a matter of public record.

Monday, September 24, 2018

GOP Seeberger vs. GOP Chairman

The El Paso Herald Post did an interview with the congressional candidates. You can click on this link to read the post, but they also have audio of the interviews.

And there is some really interesting stuff that is on that audio.

Click this link to hear the audio and read the piece.

In the audio of the interview Rick Seeberger, the Republican nominee for the 16th congressional seat can be heard saying that he called for El Paso Republican Party Chairman Adolfo Telles' removal from office.

He also complained about not being funded by the Republican National Committee (RNC).

Seeberger gives no reason as to why he was calling for Chairman Telles' removal in the interview.

However sources in the local GOP indicate that this is allegedly the result of a conversation Chairman Telles had with Seeberger some time ago, allegedly telling Seeberger to reconsider his congressional bid because they had done some preliminary vetting of him as a candidate and some now well-known information came up.

I checked the GOP social media page and there is pretty much nothing about Seeberger's campaign on the GOP page, which is obviously something you don't expect to see when he is their nominee.

So there is clearly some discontent there.

Not that it matters anyway, he's gonna get trounced by Escobar whether the GOP was all-in or not.

This is reminiscent of an old fight in the GOP back in 2010. Tim "Why settle for Silver when you can have gold" Besco was not liked by the GOP leadership nor any of the auxiliary clubs. He complained about not getting any support or help from the local GOP. He went on to out-perform other GOP opponents. Honestly he's a joke and Besco himself did nothing to help his campaign. It was the big Tea Party Revolt and that is why he did so well.

I want you to take note of one particular part of the interview. Seeberger alludes to lawsuits he's been involved in and attempts to paint it in a positive light by saying that he has successfully forced settlements. That is a strange position to take, but it alludes to something else.

I was warned about writing about Seeberger because he is "litigious".

More on that in another post.

Ted Cruz is an A**hole

As you read this piece I want you to understand one underlining principle.

Ted Cruz is an asshole.

Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke squared off in their first debate on Friday and there are so many things to say about it. So lets get started.

First, Ted Cruz is really a libertarian, meaning he believes in all kinds of freaking strange fringe kind of bullshit. Chemtrails, deep state, aliens, 9-11 was an inside job, taxation is theft, the Loch Ness Monster, YouTube Videos, and the chupabra.

Although they want to bing the Chupacabra to justice and deport it, after they kill it.

All the while decrying the "deep state".

So last week Beto "the El Paso Kid", took on Ted"Canadian Bacon" Cruz in a debate. The first of several debates. O'Rourke easily outclassed Cruz, which is a big deal because Cruz really fancies himself a skilled debator.

But at the end of the debate, the panel was trying to get something civil out of the two. O'Rourke displays the rational and classy side of being a candidate. Cruz displayed your typical Republitarian double speak. Instead of just being a classy guy - like his opponent was - he used the opportunity to make a back-handed remark.


The answer is pretty simple.

Ted Cruz is just an asshole.

He could've been a statesman. He could've been a leader. He could've been classy.

But no, the high road isn't the path of least resistance. So he chose to just be an asshole.

And ultimately it back-fired on him. O'Rourke, probably expecting Cruz to be an asshole (why wouldn't you at this point) was ready with the now famous, "True to form" comment.

Cruz always prides himself on being a skilled debater and Friday's debate showed that he underestimated O'Rourke who demonstrated that he was more than Cruz expected him to be.

The bad news for Cruz is that he doesn't get any better in debates. That moment were he chose to be an asshole instead of a decent human is going to follow him. Better will only get better, stronger, and more effective.

So by the time of the last debate, which will likely have the biggest audience thanks to Trump, O'Rourke should be a peak condition.

And Ted Cruz will still be an asshole.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Socorro Judicial Update

Well once again the rest of Socorro city council had to come in and fix problems started by Mayor Elia Garcia and Councilman Ralph Duran.

Last night they basically undid the little movida that was underway that many in Socorro say was just a way to funnel the judicial seat to a friend of the mayor. Whether or not that is actually try I can't say, but that is the perception around El Paso County's second-largest municipality.

Duran and the Mayor was visibly annoyed at having their plans walked back, and council avoided having to get into a potentially expensive MOU with another entity to hear the cases that would normally be heard in Socorro.

So they keep the judge that they had, who is pretty popular in Socorro and there were residents of Socorro there addressing council urging them to keep Judge Velarde. She also gets a small raise of $2,500 per year.

In an obvious attempt at saving face City Rep Duran pretended to not be aware of the fact that the amount of raise being considered was $2,500 instead of $25,000. No one believed him on council and they called him out on it.

They also called him out on the fact that he was saying it was too much money for the current judge but he was trying to get the former judge, now mayor, an even larger raise when she was the municipal judge in Socorro.

So for once, Soco appears to have triumphed over loco.

Still don't know what is happening with the case where the Mayor of Socorro is representing a resident of Socorro against the police department of Socorro. The fact that she was ever on the case has boggled the minds of lawyers here in El Paso's legal community. The fact that she is still on the case, many attorneys have said, could be ethically problematic for her legal career.