Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Cassandra Hernandez in Major Conflict of Interest

Word around the campfire is that the PD Union is going out for a ballot initiative, similar to what the Fire Department did a couple years ago. And thanks to a document that was leaked to the media, the boyfriend and would-be political consultant of a city representative is likely benefitting greatly from the leak.

The real story here is the alleged source of the leak. I don’t think any laws were broken, but it is likely ethically bad. I'll get to that in a minute.

We have the same number of PD on the streets now that we have had for years, so I'm generally supportive of the idea of taking something out to the voters to approve and its smart to get someone to help them pass it.

Multiple sources indicate that Jeremy Jordan is working for the Municipal Police Officer's Association. His work with any entity that does business with, or has items in front of the City of El Paso, is a major conflict for his current girlfriend, City Representative Cassandra Hernandez.

And it may have already been a major breech of public trust on the part of Hernandez, allegedly. According to sources, the document literally has Rep Hernandez's name all over it. The document I'm talking about is Tommy Gonzalez's contract. If you've seen news stories lately a copy of the City Manager’s draft contract was leaked to the media and sources indicate that the only people who had copies of the draft agreement were members of council. Their copies allegedly contained a watermark that was specific to each member of council.

The leak likely has major financial implications to tax payers. The public disclosure of the document, while PD’s contract is still on the table, made public issues that will impact the PD contract.

So if what my sources says is accurate - that the leaked document has Hernandez’ name on it - then there are serious questions as to why it was leaked. That contract contains information that Jordan wouldn’t otherwise have access to, nor any other member of the public.

If it wasn’t coordinated, it was extremely coincidental and at the very least conflicts Hernandez out of negotiations with the PD union.

Normally who someone is dating is really no one’s business and doesn’t impact policy. But it is a different story when the significant other is involved with political work or work that ultimately comes before council. The two have been dating for several months now and he accompanies her to high profile public events - most recently riding together in the Sun Bowl Parade on Thanksgiving.

She takes him to pretty much all city functions. He banks on that relationship and its his political currency. So any vote relating to this issue is now going to be up for scrutiny, which is why the guys at the union should look to find someone that doesn't have those ties and restraints, but can still get their item passed.

********************************************
Bad Ties for PD Unions

I can tell you right now, Jordan doesn't have the skill set to pass a citywide initiative. Also, if you're the PD union, you can't have your item being quarterbacked by someone who was fired follow an arrest for Domestic Violence a few years ago involving his now ex-wife and then have multiple Orders of Protection, sought against him by the same individual.

That just flat out looks terrible for the PD union and puts the city rep in a bad position as well.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Rodriguez to File Bill to Move School Board Elections

There's an old saying about the road to hell being paved with good intentions. I was at a meeting the other day where Sito Negron, staffer for State Senator Jose Rodriguez, indicated that the Senator was going to file a bill to move school board elections to November.

And I think its a terrible idea because it will make rich business people more influential and grassroots candidates less competitive.

We are coming off of an election cycle where they moved city council elections to November general elections.

The idea was to get more people to vote in municipal elections. Whoever came up with the idea had good intentions - but its not better for the community. At some point you will start to get a more educated electorate that is engaged and knows the issues and the candidates.

Maybe.

Someday.

If that happens eventually (I'm not convinced it will to be honest) it will take a lot of election cycles to become a realization. Elections have consequences and as such, some pretty bad decisions may take a long time to undo as a result.

We already don't pay enough attention to school board elections despite the fact that they are very important elections. School boards leverage the largest part of your tax bill. They are unpaid positions. The public corruption scandal was birthed at school districts.

Moving the elections to November has a terrible consequence. It makes those elections much more expensive as a candidate. That means money will play a bigger role. Rodriguez should know this by now. He made a sizable contribution to Eric Stoltz who was taking on incumbent City Rep Claudia Ordaz Perez. But the size of the contribution became inconsequential because the city council races were moved to November and you need more money as a city rep candidate to get your message out to voters.

So moving the school board elections to November means that candidates will need even more money to have their votes heard. It takes those offices out of the reach of regular El Pasoans. Gone will be the days that an average parent will be able to serve their community on a school board.

Only the independently wealthy or those with wealthy or business-bakers will be able to run. And that is something we should be afraid of. Charter schools are looking to have a foothold in our community. If you watch the movida going down in EPISD you can see that it is wealthy people that aren't representative of the El Paso population that appear to be lining things up to give charter schools a foothold in our community.

So if you're a wealthy person who wants to get charter schools into the community, the easiest way to become a part of that cash cow is to make financial contributions to charter-friendly trustee candidates.

And let me remind you all of something else really important. These positions don't pay. Do you really want them to be beholden to business interests that elect them?

I realize that Rodriguez has good intentions. He wants to save some money. But what we lose in the long run is far more expensive. We've got to keep school board elections within the reach of regular folks and not in the pockets of big business.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Congressional Winners & Losers

Sorry, been slacking it lately on blogging.

My bad.

Let’s talk winners and losers in the congressional race.

Obviously the big winner is Congresswoman-elect Escobar. Just like she kicked the shit out of Dori Fenenbock and Norma Chavez in the primary, she kicked the shit out of Rick Seeberger in the general.

However Rick Seeberger is channeling his inner Norma Chavez apparently. Which is ironic if you remember that a source very close to Norma told me that she tried to work with Rick Seeberger after Escobar gave Norma Chavez a beat down in the primary like she owed her money.

Seeberger sent out an email to his supporters declaring that he didn't concede the election to Escobar.

SHOCKING NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOL, JK, No one gives a shit. I mean other than Seeberger.

I don't think he understands that whether or not he concedes the election, Escobar still kicked his ass.

But he's following the Norma Chavez Playbook of Losing.

First deny that you lost. Second, come up with some reason to explain the fact that so much of the electorate rejected you. Third, blame the process rather than accepting the fact that people in El Paso would rather listen to Nickelback at full volume, smell Hector Montes' breath, and eat San Antonio "Mexican" food than vote for you. Fourth, vow that you are going to fight on and come back some day.

Like bad fashion.

Or herpes.

Anywho, Seeberger much like Norma Chavez and her cohort of candidates that Escobar beat down in the primary, is attacking the Democratic process rather than admit defeat.

It speaks to the arrogance of the candidate that simply cannot grasp the fact that the electorate rejected them.

Instead they have to delve into Trumpism and create an alternate reality that justifies in their mind, the outcome of the election.

So Seeberger adopted the Norma Chavez model. He lost, his ego couldn't process the fact that he lost, so his mind creates an alternate reality to explain to him why he lost.

But Chavez and Seeberger don't understand that they are really attacking the institutions that our society is actually built on.

Neither of them are now viable for anything going forward, but its a pretty sad commentary on their state of mind as candidates.

The reality is that Seeberger ran in a midterm in which Republicans across the country took an ass beating.

And next year is going to be worse. Lisa Wise and the Elections Department didn't take anything from you.

Americans just rejected you.

Act accordingly.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Mayor No-Show at Sun Bowl Parade

There were almost no elected officials at this year's Sun Bowl Parade on Thanksgiving Day. Most notably absent was Mayor Dee Margo.

Only City Reps Peter Svarzbein and Cassandra Hernandez were in the parade.

Margo may have made the calculation to not attend due to the fact that the parade goes right by the El Paso County Democratic Party Headquarters. Last year in the parade they trolled him. The Imperial Death March from Star Wars was played as he drove by.

Thats Darth Vader's music for those of you that don't know.

Margo is a Republican and the Democratic Party is coming off of an election cycle in which they swept out the last Republican elected officials in the County.

Mayor Margo is a Republican but city council races are non-partisan and he ran against the weakest field of candidates in the history of a mayor's race.

Margo probably knows that the Democratic Party isn't happy about the fact that the only Republican still in office in El Paso is the mayor.

So since Margo wasn't there, they trolled City Rep Cassandra Hernandez instead. They haven't forgotten her opposition to changing Robert E. Lee street to Dolores Huerta. The backbone of the Democratic Party in El Paso is Latinas, so they aren't happy with her.

If he had gone, it probably would've been uncomfortable for him.

I was sent a couple of pics of the welcome for him they had ready.



Leeser still has at least one more term open to him should he decide to run for Mayor.

Like I said earlier, Margo won because there was an incredibly terrible field of candidates running. If Leeser runs again, Margo is toast and he probably knows it.

He'll have to spend a little more money this time, but I doubt anyone else will run and if they do, Leeser is going to suck the air out of the room.

Either way, Margo not showing up to the Sun Bowl Parade is funny to me.

Trump is apparently afraid of rain.

Margo is apparently afraid of sun.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

D6: Ordaz-Perez Gets Mandate from Voters

The District 6 race was the most solid win for a candidate in El Paso County not named Beto O'Rourke of this election cycle. Its also arguably the most solid win of any municipal candidate going back quite awhile.

Well, other than Claudia Ordaz-Perez's last election in which she also got 72% of the vote.

Ordaz-Perez, for which I am just going to abbreviate it as COP at this point, earned 72% of the vote for the second time, defeating her opponent by almost 45 points. Normally you'd expect some erosion of support over time of an elected official but COP's first election netted her a voting percentage in the high 60's - which politically speaking is a major ass-whooping - and has gone up to the 70's in two subsequent election cycles. I don't know that another elected official has achieved such an accomplishment.

Actually I do know - and I can't find another that has.

COP has 18 precincts in her district - 9 north of the freeway and 9 south of the freeway. She won every single precinct convincingly. It wasn't even close in one single precinct. Even in her poorest-performing precinct her margin of victory was over 20 points.

That was the precinct she came the closest to losing. Let that set in for a minute.

There wasn't a high undervote. She wasn't the first name on the ballot. Voters went in and chose her over her opponent in shockingly high numbers.


Despite the diversity of the district, she had equally strong support in the barrio portion as well as the eastside, with the valley having slightly stronger support. 

In the 9 valley precincts she was over 70% in all of the precincts except one, in which she had 67% of the vote and had a few precincts were she was pushing near 80% of the vote.

All of that happened without COP ever hitting her opponent. Trust me, there were plenty of messages she could have leveraged against him in mail or lit in a block walk. But despite her opponent going negative on her (which he had to do by the way), she completely obliterated him in the polls. Had she educated voters about her opponent, she may have reached 80% of the vote.

Let me put that into perspective. As I've written before, a 10 point win in an election is considered a solid win. Anything more than that is pretty much a blow-out. To illustrate my point, let me just select a couple candidates in another election for comparative purposes. I'll pick someone at random, like say, oh I don't know...Jud Burgess.

Burgess took on an incumbent in a recent election as well. He took on a political wounded incumbent in Jim Tolbert. And as you can see by the results, he was trounced. Tolbert got more than double the voters Burgess did and was well out of contention for even a run-off appearance. In fact, Burgees was taken out to the woodshed and was trounced by Annello by more than 20 points.


Again, COP defeated Stoltz by almost 45 points.

By any measure, that level of support is a mandate from her constituents. COP is the only incumbent who isn't in a run-off, the only candidate in the municipal elections endorsed by the Times that actually won, she was never shy about what policies should stood for.

Policies that her constituents overwhelmingly support. Since she's the first of her colleagues that currently sit on council to win re-election during the general election cycle and did so with such overwhelming support, it makes COP that much stronger than the rest of her colleagues. She can lead on basically any issue she wants at this point because her third and final election to be on council had such strong support from all parts of her district. Thats a huge vote of confidence from her constituents.

Let me tell you a quick anecdote about election day that underscores the support she has. COP and her opponent Eric Stoltz were at Sierra Vista Elementary to end the day. That polling site hosts three precincts and they are all high-performing precincts. At the end of the evening, there were 300 people standing in line out of the door to vote. Not sure how many were inside, but there were 300 from the entrance of the door until the end of the line. Actually a few more than that, I stopped counting at 300 and that line held that way for over 90 minutes.

Stoltz had family members present with him and COP had a poll-sitter and her husband Commissioner Perez with her when I arrived at the location. COP had her poll-sitter working the line handing people lit and giving a small pitch to voters standing in line. Stoltz and Ordaz-Perez were closer to the front of the line. Essentially they each had an equal opportunity to talk to voters since the line wasn't moving very fast for so long. Stoltz would deliver his message - which was mostly negative about COP and her votes or positions on issues. Actually he mostly just lied a lot about COP's positions. Or he would tell voters that the district needed a "younger voice" on city council. That line works well when you have a huge age difference in candidates. But when the incumbent is a homeowner in her early 30's and you're in your mid 20's and still live at home with your parents, that message falls flat.

COP spoke to voters last. She introduced herself to voters and after telling them who she was asked them if they had any questions for her and told them about what she'd done and updated them on the latest developments on a lot of issues. No hard sell, no negative message against Stoltz. Just a handshake and her record.

What did Commissioner Perez do while all this was happening? He drove to a convenience store around the corner, picked up 7 cases of bottled water and he and I went down the line offering voters a bottle of water while they were waiting in that long line. No sales pitch, didn't even mention a candidate. Just thanked voters for staying in line and gave water bottles to thirsty voters and answered the occasional voting question like if they'd be able to vote if they weren't inside the polling place by 7pm and what forms of ID would be accepted etc.

The result? COP carried those precincts with over 70% of the vote by standing on her record.

Whats Next for Ordaz-Perez?

Based on her performance in this election - a strong turnout with a low undervote - she set the bar for the rest of council now that the elections will be in November. Which makes her that much stronger on council because none of her colleagues will be able to approach that level of support and they probably all know it.

For the next couple years everyone is going to be playing the Guess-What-Claudia-Gonna-Do-Next game. She's essentially viable for whatever she wants to run for locally.

Time is on her side. She's very young so she can play long-ball.

El Paso has only had a few Latino mayors and never a Latina mayor. Latina mayors of large cities are going to be the future. With at least three of the city council districts being somewhat of a mirror of District 6 along with strong support on the eastside being the fourth district she's likely have support in before she even started, you gotta figure that she might be thinking about mayor some day.

Well know the Jose Rodriguez will be retiring from the senate soon. He actually donated to Ordaz-Perez's opponent. Its doubtful she'd run for anything soon but that race is Cesar Blanco's race to lose anyway.

That would open up his house seat. Can't see anyone that lives in the area that would lock horns against COP if she wanted that seat, especially given that show of strength last week.

Hell COP could bide her time and be a strong congressional candidate whenever Escobar is done serving in congress. That would make two people in that household that are potentially strong congressional candidates.

Or...

She could just decide that she wants to raise a family and go off into the private sector.

It is really up to her what she wants to do, but everyone will be planning for her going forward.

Losers

Obviously Eric Stoltz for his abysmal performance. With a recent arrest record, and the fact that he's actually only a freshman at the school he attends, he's several years away from being viable for any office run.

Max Grossman - again. His candidate got waxed - and so Max got waxed. The district 5 and 6 outcomes were the most gacho rejections of his policies and slammed the door on the idea that Grossman is even the least bit influential. After outing himself as a conservative extremist who was anti-Beto and anti Democratic Party, he just showed himself to be a liability. His support was literally the kiss of death.

But I actually think the biggest loser in this particular race is Rep Alexsandra Annello. Aside from being the least effective member of council before this election, she is further weakened by this election result. Annello was assisting Stoltz with his campaign. She solicited support from a former city representative and even helped with things like Stoltz's logo. Hell, she even appointed him to a city commission. When you help someone against your colleague, you damn sure better make sure your candidate wins because if you don't, things are going to get pretty uncomfortable if the person you have to work with wins.

Especially when that colleague wins reelection the way COP won.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

D5 Winners & Losers

District 5 winners and losers is gonna be short and sweet.

Isabel Salcido won with a big margin despite a crowded field of candidates. Pretty easy to see that Saucedo had really strong support on the eastside. If it wasn't for D6, Saucedo would probably be the big splash story of the municipal elections this cycle.

Latina candidates all did well election night and Salcido was no exception. She trampled her opponents in early voting and maintained her lead throughout the night on election night.

The other winner in this race - Forma Group. The team at Forma have been on an epic losing streak. Seriously they make the Cowboys look like actual Super Bowl contenders. They are sort of the Raiders of political consulting but they FINALLY got a win on the board. I mean as usual all the campaign money appears to be sucked up by consulting fees, but hey in this game wins and loses matter and they finally got a win.

Salcido is another example of how voters have shown that Duranguito "issue" just doesn't matter to the electorate. Her motto was literally "continuing the vision". She was pretty clear about where she wanted things to go on council and she won by an overwhelming majority.

Losers

Shocker, its Max Grossman again. Another example of his candidate losing. Another conservative white guy who was supposed to be some defender of the barrio. I genuinely think that none of the candidates really cared too deeply about Duranguito, it was just a matter of convenience for them to take up the issue so they could access Grossman's sugar daddy money.

Kizito Ekechukwu is also a loser in this race. He placed a distant third and it proved that all the money in the world isn't going to make a recent arrest on domestic violence charges go away. But hey, he finally has a voting record now - assuming he voted for himself. Not that it matters, he's got no future in elective office.

Truth be told, the field of candidates running never had a shot. They just weren't very good candidates and Salvido didn't even lose a single precinct. If you win without even losing one precinct, its a pretty solid victory.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

County Races: Winners & Losers

The Democratic Party flipped the last two seats in El Paso County that were held by Republicans.

So in a way, the El Paso County Democratic Party were winners because it was party muscle that helped make those wins happen. For the first time in YEARS the Democratic Party was actually the machine that has been talked about. Dozens of volunteers filled HQ the last few days helping the party.

I'll be honest, there are still clicks. I got really annoyed at the click that showed up to only put out signs for Escobar and Beto, but didn't take the straight ticket signs or any of the other westside candidates' signs to put up.

But I was heartened to see some of the old school Veronica-Beto haters have come around and were actually WORKING and WORKING hard for all the Democrats. Seriously, for a vato like me who has been in the Party for a long time, no matter how much a lot of them hate my guts, it was really really really nice to see those folks all-in.

That is 100% because of the current Party leadership. El Paso County Chairwoman Iliana Holguin and Tejano Chair Eddie Holguin set the tone from the start and everyone else fell in line. So that means that this could've happened years ago but the Party had leadership that failed us. We had leadership that rather than try to get passed factionalism, they actually fanned the flames and made it worse for years.

Commissioner's Court Pct 4

Every time people sell Carl Robinson short he somehow manages to win. It was probably a decade ago when Carl Robinson defeated Melina Castro for city council. Back then I wrote about the comeback upset and ended the post by saying "Robinson Bumaye".

It was a reference to the chant for Muhammed Ali when he was fighting in a comeback to boxing and did the improbable.

This time Robinson's win is more like when George Foreman won. He's an older fighter than was counted out as a has-been and used the Geritol punch to knock out a much younger kid who didn't take him seriously.

Well, down goes Haggerty, down goes Haggerty.

The other winner in this race is Eddie Holguin and Lily Limon. The two former city representatives have teamed up to start their own consulting firm. I think they had three candidates overall and it looks like they went 2-1. Its pretty likely they'll get picked up for a run-off election.

They get extra sprinkles for pulling out all the stops on this campaign to get the win.

Losers - Max Grossman...again. This is ANOTHER campaign he was involved in where his candidate lost. Seriously Duranguito people - do you really think white Republicans like Haggerty and Grossman really give a damn about the barrio? They don't. The talk is that Grossman recruited a Democratic Party precinct chair to file an ethics complaint against Robinson in a last-ditch effort to help Haggerty. It was a spectacular failure. Grossman was apparently feeling the heat about going after Robinson like that tried to distance himself from the stunt. He said he never knew the guy, but then went on to praise him like he's known him.

Grossman has been very careful to try to kiss Robinson's ass while simultaneously trying to stab him in the back. What Grossman doesn't know is that Robinson's team sees right through what he's been doing. I called them to get comment about Grossman's tactics, him going after Robinson on social media posts while trying to kiss his ass at the same time, etc.

Their quote was, "Max who?".

Then they proceeded to laugh. Needless to say, Grossman's public ass kissing doesn't appear to have been very successful.

Another loser was former JP 5 candidate who ran as a Democrat Lucilla Najera. Turns out the alleged Democrat, and member of Tejano Democrats, was out helping Haggerty on Election Day. She's always been pretty duplicitous (she's probably googling that word right now), but she got caught trying to play both sides throughout this campaign. At one point her and her spouse were allegedly collecting signs for Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez, but just days later she was driving Haggerty around. She also got caught trying to play both sides of the District 6 race. I'd be shocked if she had the audacity to show up to a Tejano meeting after supporting Haggerty.

Justice of the Peace Race

Stephanie Frietze is also one of the winners. I don't even remember which JP race it is because well, I hate the westside. But Frietze flipped the seat to blue. Its been a Republican seat practically going back to when Texas was in the confederacy. She had the smallest margin of victory, but it was still a blow out win for her. "Frietze Flipped It" was the first thing I said when I saw the early voting numbers on election night.

The losers in this race were some of the Democrat lawyers I saw that were supporting the Republican candidate. I assume that had to do with personal relationships with her because it damn sure couldn't have been qualifications. Either way, I hope they learned their lesson.

Winners & Losers: District 1

Winner -

Obviously the big winner in the District 1 race was Veronica Frescas. The least-funded candidate beat out Rick Bonart who essentially self-funded his campaign. He also proved that you should never hire someone to do a job that they haven't demonstrated they have the ability to actually do.

There was probably a collective "Holy shit" exclaimed by people across the city when the numbers were published. Her performance shocked everyone and she alone deserves the credit.

This was the upset no one saw coming.

She made me look like a prophet when I wrote a couple months ago that she would surprise people, although I predicated it on her having a little money. She did it pretty much without any money and having absolutely no one to help her with her campaign but herself.

She was an army of one.

Roni was the first name on the ballot. She was the only Latina in the race. She, probably more than anyone else on the ballot, benefitted from the Beto Bump of turnout.

Losers -

Peter Svarzbein is in a run-off and whenever candidates are in run-offs they are dead meat. An incumbent in a run-off is a sign of candidate that has been rejected by voters and the anti-incumbent voters are usually the ones most likely to go back to the polls and vote out the incumbent.

Svarzbein needs to take a long hard look in the mirror and realize that there are a lot of people that don't have faith in him as a leader. He needs to realize that the run-off election is about one thing.

Its not about taxes. Its not about Duranguito. Its not about an arena, a trail, or contributions.

This run-off election is about Peter Svarzbein.

Its the reason there is a run-off and its frankly the only thing that can help him.

Svarzbein is frequently his own worst enemy. He's seen as immature, indecisive, and an unreliable vote on most issues.

Rick Bonart had name ID and a fat wallet. He blew a lot of money on David Saucedo. Seriously people look at the amount of money he spent and Saucedo's performance speaks for itself. Bonart is a good man and a good candidate. ANYONE should have been able to get Bonart into second place. Seriously, anyone. Rick Bonart is probably not going to run for another office now. Whats worse is that Grossman, true to form, didn't even wait until the body was cold before he was in Frescas' ear trying to make her his new candidate.

I don't consider Corral a loser in this scenario. He had no name ID, no base, and was outspent. By his own admission he had a team full of rookies. He performed about where you'd expect him to given those circumstances. He should have been smart enough to recruit talent to his team and it might have made him a little more competitive. But he's young and has time to run for something down the road, maybe even this seat once its open again.

Runoff

The runoff is in mid December, depending on the outcome of the D8 race. That could delay things because elections has a timeline they have to meet and since there are literally only a handful of votes that separate the two, it is still unclear as to who is going to be in the run-off.

But a run-off in this scenario is actually where Svarzbein has an advantage. Everything I said about Svarzbein being in trouble is true, but only to the extent that there is a field game in place to take advantage.

Frescas already made a huge, perhaps fatal mistake but running to Grossman's side. This election isn't about Duranguito. The voters have shown over and over its not an important issue to them. The courts have decided. Hanging on to this issue isn't going to win votes that weren't already going to anyone but Svarzbein.

Peter has the advantage in the run-off for a couple of reasons. One, since its a runoff election its a more predictable universe of voters. Peter has a ground game. He's got block walkers in place. They know who their support base is and they just have to execute their GOTV to get them back to the polls.

Frescas doesn't have any of that.

Svarzbein has money and the ability to get more of it. He needs funds to feed that field effort and it'll be there for him. The Jewish community has shown time and time again that they support Svarzbein and he'll get the financial support he needs.

Most of the good field people in town won't work with anyone associated with Grossman. He's a conservative extremist and they won't want to be anywhere near that guy, except maybe one person. IF I know that person like I think I know that person, they have or will be calling on Frescas very soon.

But they don't work for free. They will only work on that race if the price is right. Something tells me it'll happen.

Its a steep hill to climb for Frescas but it can be done.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Winners & Losers (The Series)

I normally do a winners and losers post after an election.

Since this one had so many things going on, I decided to do a series of posts.

We'll start with some broad strokes in the municipal election.

By far the biggest loser in this election cycle is Max Grossman. Grossman had a stable of candidates and they all had the same message.

And they all got their asses handed to them. Seriously Max Grossman should stick to whatever the hell it is he's good at and leave politics alone because he got a serious ass-whoopin' last night. None of his candidates that he funneled thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to from the Houston Billionaire sugar daddy performed well.

Stoltz took a major beating - and he didn't even get hit. I can't imagine how much worse it would've been had a negative campaign message been leveraged against him.

Wright is in a run-off, but that is because he's Rich Wright. Its not because of Grossman. He's smart and dynamic, that has nothing to do with Grossman. But he barely made it in. The run-off was almost Cissy and a guy in a cabbie and sunglasses who has a hard time putting a sentence together who had no campaign money. And even then, that kid had Grossman's message more than anyone else in the field!

And the biggest loss -BONART!

This is where Grossman and David Saucedo should split the title for the biggest loser. Seriously there are a lot of people that fancy themselves as consultants. I think things really got crazy when Josh Dagda lost and decided he wanted to start consulting.

All of a sudden all these people that never won a race decided they wanted to be consultants. And the most ridiculous caricature of a candidate that lost that suddenly decided to be a consultant is David Saucedo. Saucedo came out the gate with a wet-dream of a client in Rick Bonart. Bonart is well-liked, smart, a known quantity and has some decent name ID. But more importantly he had a boatload of cash and was ready to spend it.

In short, Saucedo had every advantage that most consultants would kill to have. Cash was certainly not a problem for Saucedo's first campaign venture.

And he somehow managed to lose it. He lost to a candidate that they all wrote off. Saucedo lost Bonart's race to the LEAST FUNDED candidate in the field. She had no money. She had no base. She had no field. She had no mail. She designed her own stuff and her team was essentially her and her spouse. That was Team Frescas.

And Saucedo - who has paid a TON of money - lost the race for Bonart.

Seriously, the fact that Grossman and Bonart couldn't even get Bonart into a run-off - who was their best hope at getting one of their candidates on council - is an embarrassment and proof positive that if you've never won a race, you have no business telling people how they should run their race.

Let this be a lesson. Don't hire people that can't win. You think Saucedo would be in business as a locksmith if he never opened a lock or made a key that worked? Of course not, no one would give him any business.

So why the hell do you people hire people that have never won an election? Grossman and Saucedo are by far the biggest losers this election cycle.

Honorable mentions:

The Duranguito issue. I said all along voters didn't care about it this is now the second election that they showed they don't give a damn about that so-called issue. How many times do you have to be told by the voters before you get it? Maybe now we can start working on that damn arena so we tax-payers can at least start getting our money's worth.

The El Paso Times Editorial Board - in the city races they only had one of their endorsees win. Bonart was their endorsee in D1 and he didn't make a runoff. There was no endorsee in D5 and in D8 their endorsee also failed to make the run-off. Sorry Carlos Sierra, you still suck too.

The voters. I don't know who the dumbass was that thought putting municipal races on the same cycle as a general election was a good idea but they are an idiot. Maybe they had the best of intentions but all you did was make those races more expensive and therefore campaign donations a bigger part of the equation. We are stuck with it, but its terrible.

Up next winners and losers in each of the municipal races...

Monday, November 5, 2018

Stoltz's Problem with the Truth

District 6 candidate Eric Stoltz has a big problem with the truth, and by that I mean he's not very good at telling it.

The vato flat out lies a lot.

And its been catching up with him.

Lets start with his arrest record and the term "slander". That is a legal term and its pretty specific. So Stoltz has been whining about the fact that his arrest record has become public. First of all, its 2018 and you're surprised that your arrest record came up? Come on Stoltz, you're a candidate for goodness sakes. Be a big boy and accept the fact that as a candidate you will be scrutinized.

Its not only relevant, but it is the public's business. You are asking voters to be in charge of their tax dollars and you think the fact that you have an arrest for theft isn't a big deal?

I assure you, its a big deal.

Seriously, grow up.

You think the fact that you were arrested just last year for probation violation isn't relevant?

Stoltz tries to explain away his arrest record as being his private life or as he told a D6 voter, he blames the whole 7 year situation (2010 when he was initially arrested to 2017 when he was arrested for probation violation) as everyone's fault but his own.

He was on pre-trial diversion and someone else with the EXACT SAME first and last name was arrested and that is why he was taken off of PTD and given probation, is the story he gives.

Well ask him who else has the same first and last name he does and what they were arrested for?

I'll bet he doesn't tell you.

Then he says he wasn't aware that he didn't pay all of his fines and no one informed him about it and that is why he was arrested in 2017.

Its always everyone else's fault but his. He fails to take responsibility for it.

But when an unscrupulous businessman lies to the community about what kind of business he's trying to put in our community Stoltz suddenly has a different set of rules.

So lets put aside Stoltz's whining about his arrest record for a minute.

He's also bitched about his "personal life" being used against him. I'm not exactly sure what he's talking about but near as I can figure he's talking about this pic of him bragging about "#HighTimes" and munchies, which anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows is a reference to smoking weed.



Look, I have no problem with him being a marijuano. Smoke all the weed ya want as far as I am concerned. Not my thing, but I know plenty of people who do it and function just fine in their lives.

But you're a candidate and you had this picture on your instagram - and oh by the way, you were on probation at the time. I've been on probation. I know for a fact that you're not allowed to drink or use drugs while you're on probation. You basically admit that you were violating the terms of your probation in public and I'm the bad guy?

Again, everything is everyone else's fault.

Now he's whining about the fact that the Latino community came out to support Ordaz. He posted on his Facebook that she received a bunch of donations from prominent Latino business leaders.

Let me tell you about this little hypocrite. He'd very gladly take that money if they had any faith in him. But they don't and it bothers him.

Then literally a couple of days later its revealed that 80% of his donations come from one Houston Billionaire sugar daddy that is donating to all the candidates that Max Grossman wants elected.

You think there's not an agenda here? Max Grossman is a HARD CORE Democrat-hating conservative extremist. Stoltz is as liberal as I am.

How is it you think 80% of his funding on the last report ended up with Stoltz? Because Grossman funneled that money to him. You think its because Grossman believes in his politics?

Hell no.

Its because Grossman is looking to buy a city council and Stoltz was for sale. Its just that simple.

You might be wondering about the image used in this post. Its my take on an image Stoltz is using on lit against Ordaz were he has a bunch of text behind an image of Ordaz. Problem is, there are several things on it that are just flat out untrue.

One of them says "deleted texts". He's either lying or stupid, both of which should disqualify him. Ordaz didn't delete texts, in fact she's been by far the most transparent of any member of council when it comes to text messages.

He says that Ordaz voted for a $60k+ raise for Tommy Gonzalez, but she was also the one that brought the issue back to council, and voted against it. He doesn't tell voters about that.

He implies that Ordaz diverted funds from Pavo Real to somewhere else. But the reality is that Ordaz was responsive to her community and the splash park is a project that is extremely popular and it is always packed. More kids and families get to have fun in the water and even their family pet. And oh yeah, its AT PAVO REAL.

Stoltz cares more about Duranguito and saving trails on the westside for El Paso's upper-crusters to use than he is about working-class families in the valley and eastside.

Stoltz supports a policy that would divert eastsiders' and valley tax dollars to pay for infrastructure on the westside.

Stoltz should be honest with voters about what he wants to be.

He wants to be the Westside's third city rep.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

D8 Candidate Debate on KVIA

I caught the District 8 candidate debate and I thought it was pretty interesting and inspired me to write down a few thoughts.

Click here to watch the debate. I couldn't find an embed code to display it here on my blog, but follow the link to catch the debate.

Incumbent Cissy Lizarraga didn't attend the debate so it was just the challengers. If there is a turning point that ultimately leads to a run-off, which could be a tall order as I said previously, then its possible Dylan Corbett ends up in it.

I'll admit, I'm becoming a bit of a fan of Corbett. Don't see eye-to-eye on policy with the guy on several issues, but he clearly comes across as very qualified and ready to lead. Corbett is head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of speaking and knowledge of the issues. He's a pretty gifted speaker. Again, I say that as someone who disagrees with a lot of his positions on policy, but he articulates his positions much better than his opponents.

I continue to be unimpressed with Baine. I expect a retired Colonel to be a more effective communicator and it just doesn't appear to be his strong suit.

Rich Wright didn't have as strong of a performance as I expected either, but he and Dylan were the political adults in the room. Nicholas Vaszquez just simply has no business on the stage with the rest of the candidates. I'm sure he's passionate about what he's doing and could one day become a solid candidate, but he comes across as inarticulate, ill-prepared, and I can't for the life of me understand why someone hasn't pulled him aside to tell him that he needs to take off those sunglasses and dress like an adult that wants to represent constituents.



Seriously the Chicano answer to John Lennon isn't going to win him votes on Election Day.

I can't understand why they don't want to look professional when they are on television or whenever they are trying to ask a voter for their vote. Come on vato, put on a shirt, a tie, and a coat and look like you take the job seriously.

Going back to Corbett, its clear that he understands that he has to make it into the run-off. He understand that he has to be the one to essentially prosecute the incumbent and I thought he did so effectively when it came time to ask one another a question.

Baine came across as really condescending when he posted his question to Nicholas Vazquez but I guess that's not really a big deal.

But what I think IS a big deal is the fact that Baine is a Republican. In light of Trump's latest policy moves regarding immigration, which often leave immigrants in the middle of a city for local authorities to handle, I think the candidates' position on immigration is even more important and relevant in this cycle than its every been.

In fact, I think its a priority.

Especially in a community like El Paso.

If there is a run-off in this election, it will be a much more reliable turnout. The nature of this race will change entirely. If Baine is somehow in the run-off, immigration should be one of the main issues of the debate, which isn't normal in a city council race.

But then again, neither is Trump.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Socorro Mayor Refuses to Sign Judge's Contract

Socorro Mayor Elia Garcia is apparently still fuming about the fact that the Municipal Judge in Socorro did what any decent judge worth a damn would have done - kicked a case that was full of conflict out of her court.

Really I think she's still mad that she's not the municipal judge herself anymore. If you recall, she was aiming to triple her tax-payer funded salary in the City with a Mission.

Anywho, Garcia and her partner on council Ralph Duran were trying to run a movida to get rid of the Judge that Socorro hired over Garcia. They failed and what appears to be a retaliatory move, Mayor Garcia has apparently refused to sign the contract for Judge Velarde.

She also appears to have been delaying the process which ultimately has lead to an expense to tax payers. They now have to contract with Justice of the Peace Lujan to hear cases that Judge Velarde can't or hasn't because there has been a judicial limbo due to the delay.

To bring you back up to speed, Mayor Garcia is an attorney. She's representing a constituent from Socorro, in a case involving the police department of the City of Socorro and wanted the case heard in a Socorro court.

She also apparently wants to be the JP when Judge Lujan decides to retire.

Its the most elemental example of a conflicted case. Its comical that she ever took the case in the first place and the legal community has been joking about it since they realized that it was a real scenario and not the start to a joke.

Garcia allegedly has issue with a particular term of the contract for Judge Velarde. That is the reason she's been giving for refusing to sign the contract. Problem is the identical provision is in the city attorney's contract and guess what?

Mayor Garcia signed that one.

So the only reason for not signing the contract has to be retaliatory.

People had a lot of hope for this mayor. They thought having an attorney for a mayor would've been an improvement. There's a lot of disappointment in Socorro right now.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

80% of Stoltz Contributions from Houston Billionaire

Sunday morning District 6 candidate Eric Stoltz posted a facebook message about the need to "address campaign finance if we want a future that involves our community and not large campaign donors".

In a shockingly hypocritical finance report, 80% of Stoltz's contributions come from one person - an out-of-town billionaire from Houston.

This really is an about-face for a guy that has been talking about "bringing community voices to City Hall".

In the post that Stoltz was being critical of Ordaz's contributions he featured a screenshot of a report to council about regarding her campaign donations. She had a fundraiser thrown for her by Latino business leaders in this community.

Stoltz would have very happily taken their money if they had given him their support. Hell many of them were realtors and he competed with Ordaz for that endorsement.

Now that the 8 day finance reports are out we get a clearer picture of the fact that while Stoltz has been talking up addressing campaign finance, he very happily look a check from an out-of-town billionaire for an amount that accounts for 80% of the money raised in this reporting period by his campaign.

The Houston Billionaire is Max Grossman's Sugar Daddy who made a large contribution in the county judge's race not too long ago.

He's also been the main political contributor to another race on the westside. The issue is simple.

Duranguito.

Stoltz's main issues have been stuff that have nothing to do with the lower valley or the eastside like Duranguito, a TIRZ on the westside, and protecting trails for El Paso's upper-crusters to hike on.

Here's the post where he was talking about campaign finance and "community voices".



Here's a look at his total contributions this reporting cycle:


As you can see he raised $6,320.00.

Of that total, $5,000 of the contributions came from the Houston billionaire.


So apparently the "community voices" that Stoltz wants to bring to city hall are from a wealthy community in Houston.

The political reality is that you have to take money to make a campaign work. Its the system we have and there's no way around it until there are some serious campaign finance reforms.

And under our current system, as I have said before, you have to have leaders that will be able to tell campaign donors "no".

But when your campaign is almost entirely funded by one wealthy billionaire from out of town, that should throw up some serious red flags, especially when they are talking about out of one side of their mouth about finance reform.

Hernandez & Annello Redefine Hypocrisy

It takes some next-level hypocrisy for me to actually come to the defense of Mayor Margo but the level of hypocrisy from City Reps Cassandra Hernandez and Alex Annello is legendary.

They sent out a letter complaining about the fact that yet again, El Paso's dynamic duo of failed leadership lost on another vote. And its the most middle school bullshit I ever heard.

The two are apparently pissed because the majority of council selected a home-grown El Pasoan who is Latina as the new city attorney instead of an old white lady from out of town.

Why they are advocating for an old white lady from out of town over one of our own is a mystery to me, but the letter they sent out complained about the fact that Representative Noe wasn't around for most of the interview process for the new city attorney and they feel that because he wasn't around that the people that live in District 5 (El Paso's eastside) shouldn't have a vote in who the new city attorney would be.

But you memmur when the city had to pick an interim city attorney? City Rep Henry Rivera wasn't around for most of that hiring process.

He voted on the issue.

I don't remember Alex Annello complaining in real time about the fact that he wasn't there for the whole hiring process and that he should recuse himself.

Did Hernandez and Annello send out a letter then?

Hell no.

They were Team Neiman back then.

But now that they lost the vote, all of a sudden the city should be operating under different rules to appease them?

This is 100% because they didn't get their way.

Its not because of process.

And frankly, why kind of bullshit is it that they think they get to decide what parts of town get to have a say in selecting the city attorney. If the District 5 constituents have an issue with Noe showing up at the last minute to vote that is something they can take up with him. Its their role as his constituents, not the Mean Girls of City Council.

This is the exact reason why each of them have highly-qualified opponents that will be well-funded waiting in the wings for the next election from what I've heard.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Haggerty's Expensive Screw Up

You know for a Republican, Andrew Haggerty is pretty cavalier about how he blows through campaign money.

He dropped a mailer recently - and I won't even get started on the racial undertone to it - that he sent to Lower Valley Democrats.

Why on earth the mailer would be sent to Bel Air, Ysleta, Riverside, and Del Valle areas is mystery to me and definitely an indicator of a major campaign screw up.

But the bigger screw-up and waste of money is WHO he sent it to.

I don't mean that he sent the mailer to voters with just some casual Democratic voting history, I mean he sent it to people with a madre Democratic voting history.

His mailer landed all over the place but its hilarious that it landed so far away from the westside and landed in homes of people that even if they actually lived on the westside, would never vote for him.

I don't know who the hell screwed that up, but its one hell of an expensive screw up!

Talk about a massive waste of campaign dollars. I've heard of mail landing outside of a district before, which Forma has done several times, but this one isn't just a few streets out of the district. We are talking hard core Dems in the Lower Valley and Horizon!

I'm waiting for the 8 day report so I can tell you who the genius was that screwed that one up, but its really a huge screw up at a very critical point in the campaign.

Getting it Wright - Voting Records & Integrity

So City Rep Cissy Lizarraga said in a debate recently that none of her opponents had voted in the special election she won to replace City Rep Cortney Niland.

Turns out that Rich Wright in fact has. Lizarraga sent me a text a few days ago to let me know that she had discovered the error. There are a few people with his name and she apparently saw the wrong guy's voting history. I actually made the same mistake.

I give credit for Lizarraga correcting the record.

But the El Paso Times ran an article about the issue and fellow D8 candidate Greg Baine, who I hear may be being run by everyone's favorite slime ball Carlos Sierra, had a rather interesting quote.

Baine basically said what difference does it make, and then turned it around to say that Lizarraga was attacking his integrity. I'm not sure how bringing up his voting record is an attack on his integrity, but if is voting record is in fact an attack on his integrity, then he's in trouble.

Before we get into Baine's "integrity" allegation, lets talk about why his voting record is important. First, I am of the believe that your right to vote is your right to bitch. Baine rarely votes. He's got a very spotty voting record. So its a pretty legitimate critique to level against him since he hasn't demonstrated any civic interest.

But lets talk about that integrity argument. I think Lizarraga should absolutely challenge the Colonel's integrity. Lets do an integrity check shall we?

Baine is a Republican. He doesn't tell people that. He conveniently leaves it out. But he is in fact, a Republican. What little voting history he actually has since 2006 demonstrates he's a Republican. He should be honest about that with voters. Lizarraga, Wright, and Dylan Corbett are all solid Democrats.

Here's a screenshot of Baine's voting history that he never talks about with voters. As you can see, I circled the part to show he voted in the most recent primary he voted in the Republican primary. He's the only candidate in that field to do so.

But more to the point, look at the giant red box. Notice anything about it?

Its empty.

There should be a solid voting history there. Wright and Lizarraga have that same area FILLED with solid voting history were as Baine has shown absolutely no civic participation in the same time period.



So what difference does it make? I'll show you.

Let me tell you why party affiliation matters in city elections. Most everyone wants to hide behind the fact that the elections are "nonpartisan". Just because there is no party attached to the voters doesn't mean they party isn't important. More and more often issues that are rooted in partisan affiliation are coming up at city council.

A perfect example is immigration.

Trump's camp out in Tornillo is outside the city limits but if you saw what has transpired over the last few days, then you know that immigrants were basically dumped downtown like trash.

If your city rep candidate supports Trumpian policies like that - then they have an obligation to be open and honest with the voters. Baine hasn't been. That is why his integrity is an issue.

But one candidate has actually demonstrated real integrity during this emergency situation and I like catching politicos doing the right thing since so often we catch them doing the wrong thing.

No one would blame District 8 City Rep Candidate Dylan Corbett for focusing on his campaign right now. After all its crunch time and he's scrambling to try to make a run-off against incumbent Cissy Lizarraga. But while Greg Baine is acting self-righteous, Dylan Corbett put aside his campaign to focus on helping the immigration situation with these families. Corbett runs a non-profit, the Hope Border Institute, and they sprang into action with other non-profits in the immigrant rights community to help the families.

This is a national policy that is now having a direct impact on local policy. This situation shows who displays leadership and who is posturing.

I respect the fact that Corbett unselfishly put aside his campaign at a very critical juncture to roll up his sleeves and actually do something.

Baine should be honest with voters about the fact that he supports draconian immigration policy coming from the Trump Administration.

Wright told me he knew Lizarraga got the facts wrong and he was right.

Lizarraga admitted she got the facts wrong when she found out she was wrong.

Dylan Corbett put aside his campaign to show true leadership.

And Baine hasn't been honest about his support of draconian Trump policy.

Hell every candidate OTHER than Baine has shown integrity. He might not want to act so self-righteous.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Dandy Disses Dems; Deletes

Ah yes, El Paso's Dandy Max Grossman has once again gone after Democrats. I hope all you slacktavists are paying attention because once again your Pied Piper has proven he doesn't really care about you.

He's just using you.

I warned you guys a long time ago that the guy was just using you and none of you listened. It really wasn't until he went after Beto that the majority of you woke up about him.

Max Grossman is an extremist conservative.

Those are his values. Although Mr. Small Government actually feeds at the government trough because he has a tax-payer funded job, which is hilarious to me.

When he did that, he used the El Paso History Alliance Facebook page to launch his attack. True to his MO, he did it again.

This time he used the page of the El Paso History Alliance to lob an attack on the Democratic Party.

I guess he quickly re-thought the attack and deleted the post. But here is a screenshot of the post. I know what you're thinking, how can we see what the video says if it was deleted. Fear not friends, I found the video and its posted below. Its save to watch around other people, its not like John Hogan's attack that was downright too dirty to watch around other people. -







That who was leading the Duranguito effort.

And anti-Democratic conservative extremist white man.

I guess Rush Limbaugh was unavailable.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Stoltz & Ted Cruz...AGAIN!

The funniest thing in the world to me is to see the lengths people will go to for a vote. Remember David Saucedo's boxing commercial. And the time he was dancing?

Or Chente's pachangas...

Or Dora's knock-off pachanga..

Or Norma's dine and booze...

Or a myriad of other examples.

But one of my favorite examples is Eric Stoltz. Stoltz is super liberal. He's even backed Green Party candidates.

To show you just how far candidates will go for votes sometimes, Stoltz's pretty much has one consistent poll sitter. For those of you that don't live in the valley, poll sitting is something of a cultural phenomenon in valley races. It can be best described as in-your-face Democracy. Its the last chance you get to touch a voter before they go in to cast a vote.

Poll sitting in the valley is the stuff of legend! I could write about the stuff I've seen for days.

Anywho, Stoltz's main poll sitter is a big time Ted Cruz supporter. Today he even showed up with a home-made sign that says "Keep Texas Red". Yesterday he was holding a Cruz sign along with this Stoltz sign.

A couple of his friends were mad at me for poking fun at him about it. But for whatever reason, Stoltz seems to attract Cruz supporters.

Here's ANOTHER funny picture about Stoltz and Cruz that just made me laugh my big lower valley ass off.

This yard sign is at the home of Fred Chavez. He's a BIG TIME Republican. He ran as a Democrat for years as the JP for the valley. But once he left office he's been a Republican. He even ran against Commissioner Vince Perez in 2012. He received an epic beatdown at the polls.

He happens to be neighbors to Commissioner Perez and City Rep Claudia Ordaz, Stoltz's opponent. He's also the only guy in the neighborhood that has Ted Cruz signs. Actually, I take that back. I've walked turf throughout the lower valley...he's the ONLY home I've seen with Ted Cruz signs.

He's yet ANOTHER Stoltz supporter that is a Cruz supporter.

Stoltz's dad, much like my own grandfather, is a Republican. Although I can attest with 100% certainty that my grandfather wouldn't recognize this current version of the GOP.

Now before y'all say that maybe Stoltz doesn't know that a hard-core Republican has his sign in his yard - along with the ridiculous idea that he didn't know his main poll sitter is also a Cruz supporter - I witnessed Stoltz personally deliver the sign to Chavez. It was last night around 6:25.

And I find it hilarious.

Times Endorsement Part 2

The editorial board wouldn't be doing their job if everyone agreed with all their endorsements. I think in the case of the Precinct 4 race they threw a bone to Commissioner Haggerty. Speaking of bones, I'll talk about Haggerty's assertion of being flat-footed as his reason why he wasn't admitted into military service in just a bit, but for now lets talk about the tax-and-spend Republican...

The Times' editorial board cites Haggerty's "fiscally conservative outlook" in their not-so-ringing endorsement of Haggerty.

What fiscally conservative outlook? Actually, what policies at all? What has Haggerty accomplished or even proposed of any substance? What is is signature accomplishment or issue?

I can't think of a single one.

Its comical to refer to him as fiscally conservative when his votes are the exact opposite of fiscal conservatism. In a recently televised debate Haggerty attacked Commissioner Perez's efforts at reducing costs at the County!

Haggerty is no fiscal conservative if he not only doesn't vote in favor of cutting costs at the County, but is openly critical of such efforts and wants to keeping hundreds of unnecessary tax-payer funded jobs for the sake of keeping jobs. That is the exact opposite of fiscal conservative.

And oh yeah - he voted for his own raise. He's damn near doubled his salary since he was elected. Now I support a higher wage for elected officials - but I'm a liberal Democrat.

Hell, the ONLY time Haggerty is consistently a Republican is each and every time immigration is an issue at Commissioner's Court.

So when fiscal issues resulting in saving money for tax payers comes up, he votes against it. But when it comes to Trumpian policy he suddenly remembers he's a Republican.

UPDATE: I forgot to finish my thought about the foot thing. Commissioner Haggerty called me a while back to talk about the issue I had with his claim about not being able to serve because of being flat-footed. As I mentioned, the Army stopped disqualifying people from service for that many years ago. Obviously that annoyed me hearing him say that he didn't serve because of that reason. A lot of veterans hate that whole Lt. Bonespurs stuff.

But Commissioner Haggerty further explained that he had several foot surgeries and that is why he wasn't able to serve.

Which is what he SHOULD have said, rather than saying he didn't serve because he was flat-footed. I promised him I would clarify his answer as to the issue with his feet, so I'm a man of my word.

He still shouldn't have said it was because he was flat-footed.

--------------------------------------------------------

I take issue with their non-endorsement of a candidate in District 5. Not because they didn't choose a candidate they felt was worthy of endorsement, but because they almost made it sound like you should undervote in that race. I don't think that serves El Paso well.

The bigger issues on the eastside of El Paso should take note of is candidate Kizito Eckechuckwu's bullshit argument of trying to turn the fact that he was arrested for domestic violence recently as some sort of positive trait.

Domestic violence is a serious issue. Its nothing to joke about or make light of. Eckechuckwu does just that. He minimizes it saying that he and his alleged victim are fine now.

Stat after stat shows that domestic violence incidents happen more frequently than reported and are almost never reported the first time they happen.

He is only accused of a crime, he has not been convicted. He should have the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. I firmly believe in that.

But we live in the era of me too. We live in an era were we have become so cavalier and cynical about female victims of sexual harassment, assault, and family violence that its a wonder anyone is ever convicted of abusing a woman.

Ekechuckwu turning this into some story about how he's the victim and is somehow over-coming adversity is the most Kavanaugh bullshit I've ever seen.

He actually said this shit with a straight face, "I'f I'm able to deal with my own personal adversity that means that I'm able to also deal with strong city issues."

First of all, what the fuck is a strong city issue? But more importantly - I spoke to him and read the police report - he is accused of hitting his fiancé in front of their child while the fiancé was DRIVING! If true, and we have to presume his innocence until proven otherwise, it would mean he hit a woman who was defenseless, not even looking at him at the time of the incident, while she was operating a vehicle. Putting them ALL in danger, including their child.

She's the one dealing with personal adversity if you ask me.

Domestic violence isn't a joke.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Times Endorsements - A Big Effin' Deal

Apologies to Uncle Joe for jacking his catchphrase but the fact that the El Paso Times endorsed Rick Bonart is a big freakin' deal.

It will likely be the most influential thing that has happened to Bonart's campaign and may be what drags Svarzbein - who until now - seemed to have well in-hand.

The Times endorsement is a real shot in the arm for Bonart, though I think that had the endorsement got another way many of his supporters would have been talking about how the paper is biased and no one reads it and blah blah blaaaaah.

Its not often that the Times endorses challengers over incumbents in municipal races, so when they do, people take notice.

Bonart will likely get a lot of mileage out of this.

But to compound Svarzbein's really, really bad day...he ends up with yet ANOTHER self-inflicted wound. He voted against the applicant that ultimately was selected as the city attorney. Ms. Neiman was selected as the city attorney. Other than trying to appease the doo-ruhn-gui-tow crowd, it makes no sense for him to have voted against her.

She's a qualified Latina attorney. Pastor Neiman is her suegro.

Beto's stickers are the second-most common sticker you see on cars in El Paso.

Abundant Living is the most common sticker. They live on the westside. They have a he congregation on the westside.

Incumbents have a pretty big advantage in this election cycle, but the door just opened to a run-off.

Svarzbein is toast if he ends up in a run-off. Sure, he can raise a lot of money but he would also need the advantage of a flawed opponent. All the challengers in his race are solid.

He's done if he ends up in a run-off.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Carl & Equality

As the father a gay child, I've had to dry my share of tears off of a child for being bullied for who she was.

There is one thing I want to make clear. There is no way on earth that I would ever support someone if I had any reservations at all about where they stand on equality.

I'm a veteran and I know what that culture can be like. I've shared with you all in the past that when you're in that culture, its very easy to be dragged in to the high-testosterone rhetoric where gay slurs come flying out of your mouth.

When my daughter came out to me, I was ashamed about how comfortable I realized I had been about using gay slurs like homo, fag, faggot, and other really bad stuff.

Its terrible that it took my daughter coming out for me to realize how much of a bigot I was.

But it changed me.

You all know how I feel about equality.

A friend of mine questioned where Carl stood on LGBT issues and frankly I had never even spoken to him about. So today I did.

I grilled him.

I asked him about his personal views and about his votes. He's not always the most artful communicator, and was in the military much longer than I was, but I can state with full confidence that Carl Robinson believes in equality.

There is no circumstance where I would support a candidate - especially a Democrat - if I even had the slightest doubt about their stand on equality.

Carl Robison undoubtedly supports equality.

Full stop.

To underscore that point, his campaign took the unprecedented step of using the rainbow flag as a backdrop on his logo.

Thats never been done before.

Bravo Carl.

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.

Maybe.

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.