Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Downtown Arena: What Exactly Happened Yesterday

Downtown Arena: What Exactly Happened Yesterday?

We have not seen the filings, but last week Judge Patrick Garcia was going to rule on an injunction stopping demolition in Duranguito.
From what we understand, the City of El Paso, when choosing a site for the arena, did not have the Texas Antiquities board review their proposed site. We are guessing that we are waiting for a ruling from them. Also, several places are the listed for potential national historical recognition.

Judge Garcia continued the hearing until Sept. 11.
At that hearing, it appeared Judge Garcia was ready to make his decision, but there appeared to be some stalling from the attorney for the City.
The City’s attorney began asking questions of the Judge. The Judge had announced he was ready to grant the injunction, however, close to 5pm, the attorneys for the City had somehow circumvented Judge Garcia to “stay” his decision.

Witnesses say another person came in and told the attorney for the City, “Osborne,” that “we got it” and Osborne informed Judge Garcia that they had gotten a stay.
Witnesses said Judge Garcia said what had been done by the City’s attorney was “dirty.”
Attorneys, who had been arguing for the injunction, immediately wrote out a motion for an injunction with the Texas Court of Appeals.
The media took photos and video of them standing outside the clerk’s office writing the motion out.

Meanwhile, the City began hauling in equipment to begin demolition of the buildings.
Supporters of Duranquito quickly spread the word and social media inflamed with calls for support.
Hundreds gathered in Duranguito.
Several events occurred including the blocking of the removal of the equipment from the tractor trailers and removal of fences that had been already erected. El Paso Police Department was called out and crowds grew.
Commissioner David Stout and Senator Jose Rodriguez were present at the action including members of Paso del Sur, Gilbert Guillen, Tonita, historians David Romo and Yolanda Leyva, and Professor Max Grossman.

While this was occurring, the lawyers supporting Duranguito announced that the Court of Appeals had granted their motion for injunction.

However, even though the Court of Appeals had issued the stop, the City wanted to leave the equipment in Duranguito, so protestors blocked the leaving of equipment until finally the tractors trailers that brought the equipment, left the neighborhood.

Also earlier Monday, Paso del Sur presented the second set of petitions to the city to put the question of using Duranguito for an arena on the ballot.

What occurred were dirty tricks by the City of El Paso’s attorneys, but was met with legal action and people power by Duranguito supporters.

We will publish more information as it comes in.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Cassandra Hernandez Brown: From the People that Brought You Steve Ortega

Cassandra Hernandez Brown: From the People that Brought You Steve Ortega and Joyce Wilson
District 3 City Council Candidate Hernandez Brown's Campaign Finance Reports Show Who Friends Are

Recently posted Campaign Finance Reports by Cassandra Hernandez Brown show us that Hernandez Brown comes from the same school as Susie Byrd, Joyce Wilson, Beto O’Rourke, and the Paso del Norte Group (PDNG)(now Borderplex Alliance. 

More out-of-control spending and higher property taxes are sure to follow.

Hernandez Brown is running for the District 3 City Council seat, a position that will be vacated by Rep. Emma Acosta.

We looked through her contributors and have listed those who contributed over $100. 

There are some we list that are under $100, but we decided to list them because we know you’ll find interesting who they are.

Connections to Former City Rep. and Failed Mayoral Candidate Steve Ortega

We thought the last mayoral election was a referendum that the people of El Paso did not want Steve Ortega. I’m sure you thought you’d seen the last of him. 

However, Hernandez Brown holds a special connection to Ortega in that she was his legislative aide (also see http://brownforelpaso.com/meetcassandra). 

Steve Ortega gives Hernandez Brown $500 for her campaign. Ortega’s aunt, Lina Ortega, and now Texas congresswomen also chips in (see below).

Connections to Susie Byrd

Hernandez Brown was also a legislative aid to former City Rep. Susie Byrd who now sits on the El Paso Independent School District Board of Trustees (see http://brownforelpaso.com/meetcassandra).

Hernandez Brown has hired Moxie Communication and Consulting, which is a registered company of Byrd. This company, or shall we say Susie Byrd, is kept on its feet mostly from the expenses of Congressmen Beto O'Rourke (See our post Almost 50% of Beto O'Rourke's Top Expenditure Went to Suzie Byrd).

Connections to Joyce Wilson

Possibly the “Most Hated Women in El Paso,” Joyce Wilson gave in-kind contributions to Hernandez Brown through venue and food. Wilson is currently the CEO of Workforce Solution Borderplex. If we are matching things up right, Hernandez Brown works for Joyce Wilson!!!

Cassandra Brown's web page states: "Cassandra is the Deputy Director at Dynamic Workforce Solutions (DWFS) for the non-profit Workforce Solutions Borderplex (WSB)" so we know she works under Wilson.

Wilson also provided Brown Hernandez an in-kind contribution of $331.62 for "campaign event venue and food" (PDF page 21).

Connections to the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce

Hernandez Brown's website also states she served as Director of Policy and Programs for Education and Workforce Development at the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce. 

You'll remember that the Chamber of Commerce recently sent that letter to the Texas Historical Commission to block the historical designation of sites of significant history to Mexicans, Chinese, and Chicanos.


Here is some more:

James Graham $50 – Graham became known as the “Redistricting Bigot” from the City of El Paso’s redistricting meetings. We remember him well, not wanting to be in the same district as those “brown” people south of I-10.

Steve Ortega $500 – You thought you’d seen the last of this vendido after you thanked him for the debt he instill on you and made your property taxes soar. He’s back!

Deborah Kastrine – $500 - lobbyist and sister to Veronica Callaghan (see http://www.legis.texas.gov/tlodocs/78R/witlistmtg/html/C5802003040113001.HTM). Also see Lobby Watch (http://info.tpj.org/Lobby_Watch/pdf/MedicaidDentalFraud.pdf).

Jeannete Antunez - $550

Julie Zimet - $100 

Veronica Callaghan – $200 - Deborah Kastrine’s sister, daughters of the late William Kastrine. Callaghan is one of the ones promoting Butterfield Trail warehousing and was one of the major pushers along with Robert "Beto" O'Rourke and William Sanders, for a port of entry at Yarbrough and the Border Highway. $50

Edward Holland and Susannah Byrd $60 – yes, Thanks for the Debt Susie Byrd

Susan Melendez – Yes, known as the Wicked Witch of the Borderplex Alliance (Paso Del Norte Group). 

A few years ago she engineered the firing of many Borderplex employees, with security watching over you as you put your stuff in the box, walked out of the building by security. 

The Borderplex Alliance’s former name is the  Paso del Norte Group. It was founded by William Sanders, Beto O’Rourke’s father-in-law. It was once run by Myrna Deckert. It was responsible for the Downtown Plan and the Glassbeach Study.

Steve Ortega  - $100

Ricardo Fernandez – $100 – Transtelco – owes El Paso Times Building. The City was very careful not put the arena near or over any property in Union Plaza that Ricardo Fernandez owned.  A bosom buddy of Beto O’Rourke.

Deborah G. Hamlyn – $75 – She did not give much, but former Asst. City Manager “Debbie” Hamlyn was known for her racism toward people of color even before Joyce Wilson arrived. 

She engineered much of the stadium debacle for Joyce Wilson before Hamlyn retired from the city. Then she was immediately hired by the El Paso Tomorrow PAC which was pushing the 2012 Quality of Life Bond and HOT Tax in support of the baseball park.

Robert Wayne Mays –$100 – Don’t know much about him but we think he has some association or former association with the Thomas Manor Neighborhood Association

Celeste and Ryan Kieffe – $100

E.C. Houghton Jr. - $1000 – Yep, Ted Houghton who offered no support in saving Lincoln Center. Long-time association with Texas Department of Transportation.

Joshua Hunt $1000 – Yes, son of Woody Hunt and a big pusher for the downtown baseball park.

Edward and Martha Escudero $1000 – member of the Paso Del Norte Group

Lane Gaddy - $1000

Miguel Fernandez – $500 -  brother of Ricardo Fernandez of Transtelco. He was involved in funding the PAC that trashed former Congressmen Silvestre Reyes when he Beto O’Rourke ran against him and one. He was also implicated in running an Internet connection across the international bridge without city approval. However, it was put it before city council to approve it after the fact, when O’Rourke was in office. Also see El Paso News Story: The Miguel Fernandez DWI Arrest.

Gary Porras $2000 - contractor

Leonard Goodman –$ 500 – Yes, you remember him. “Tripper” Goodman, spearheaded El Paso Tomorrow PAC to support baseball stadium and demolition of city hall. (see New PAC to promote quality of life bond).

El Paso Police Municipal Officer Association - $2500

Amy O’Rourke $150 – wife of Congressman “Beto” O’Rourke and daughter of billionaire Bill Sanders. Runs Stanton Street Inc..

Lina Ortega $100 – Steve Ortega’s aunt and current Texas congresswoman. Long associated with former Mayor Ray Caballero and former Senator Elliot Shapleigh.

Ann Morgan Lilly – $500 – yes, our former District city representative who was asleep at most city council meetings. 

Member of the PDNG and was present when her husband assaulted Mayor Leeser (Mr. Lilly was never charged and is innocent until proven guilty).

Laura Pople – $573.14 – this is a rental expense. We know from Chucoleaks that Pople's name was in some emails regarding the 2012 Quality of Life Bonds in concerning aquatics on the Westside.


As we mentioned earlier, Hernandez Brown spent $2,151 to Moxie Communication and Consultation, which is Susie Byrd’s company.

Hernandez Brown also paid Stanton Street Inc. $541.25 in “fees” for “Online Software Acti-Vote.” This is Congressman O’Rourke’s company currently run by his wife Amy O’Rourke.

More out-of-control spending and higher property taxes on the way folks.

Read the entire Campaign Finance Report

Disclosure: Well, some people don't have a sense of humor. No, Donald Trump, Jr. is not a supporter of Melendez-Brown, but look more closely at the photo and see if you get it.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Even City Attorney Does Not Believe the City's Arena Outreach

Even City Attorney Does Not Believe the 
City's Arena Outreach
Lie #3 Part 1: City Atty Silva Firth Admitted the Arena Does Not Have to be Within 1,000 feet of the Convention Center

KTSM reported on January 24, 2017 quotes Silva Borunda Firth admitting that the arena does not have to be within 1,000 feet of the convention center. 

“It doesn't have to be within the 1,000 foot, necessarily,” said City Attorney Sylvia Borunda Firth. (http://www.elpasoproud.com/news/local/el-paso-news/arena-could-be-built-outside-downtown-el-paso/644786302)

So why does the City, in their outreach, continued to use this ploy:

Panel used in City of El Paso's propaganda, which incorrectly describes the 1,000 feet.
Furthermore, doesn't the City read the El Paso Inc.? David Crowder already dispelled this myth which we will discuss in another post and further decipher these "incentives."

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Thank your for the Debt Cortney!
Cortney Nilland resigned from City Council

More than anyone, Niland was the hentchwomen of the current cabal of Kingmakers.

Implicated in the open meeting violations that proceeded the Southwest University Park vote, many of the open records that came out of that scandal portrayed Niland as not a very nice person.

Perhaps the greatest black mark on her record is her alleged involvement in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raiding a local domestic violence shelter.

Regarding Niland's change of heart in December 2016, when she voted to take Duranguito off consideration, Niland may have had the Grinch moment then she grew a heart. Ironically, this all took place around Christmas time.

But then she split. Did not attend anymore meetings. And suddenly resigns.

We should also questions whether Niland "set up" other council members to violate the Texas Open Meeting act.

We know evil people have family tragedies too, so we won’t press her too hard.

Niland leaves us with tons of debt and higher property taxes, all to the benefit of her masters. She will not have to worry about it as she's splitting El Paso.

But perhaps, next Christmas Eve, at midnight, Jacob Marley will pay her a visit.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Suckers: Has the City of El Paso Run Through Its 2012 Bond Money

Suckers: Has the City of El Paso Run Through Its 2012 Bond Money?
It's Highly Likely The City Has Spent Funds Allocated for Libraries, a Cultural Center, and Museums

Updated 11:08 April 4

With the City of El Paso barely having meetings to discuss the Children’s Museum, you wonder why has it taken almost five (5) years to get off the ground? The arena, or really the "Multi-Purpose Performing Arts and Entertainment and Library Facilities” was not worded an an "arena" on the ballot.

(I should remind readers that a major lawsuit was won because the defendant were not using the Oxford Comma so check out the original wording.)

Anyway, getting back to the issue. We were also promised a Children’s Museum (remember we tore ours down to build a baseball park), and least we forget a Cultural Heritage Center. Digital Wall, yea, that went up fast.

The City was asking for $228,250,000. Let’s say that we go with our estimate that the arena will cost double what the City says it will cost, from $180 million to $360 million. But let's give the City their due, they are not that bad with money. Let’s subtract $100 million. 

That would leave us at $260 million. That basically takes all our bond money allocated for that proposition. That is all the money allocated for the "multipurpose performing arts center" and all museums, libraries, etc.

Remember our Allentown article we posted yesterday. Allentown had already spent most of the money before even the first brick was laid.

No wonder the City is asking for more money in the form of Certificates of Obligation (COO). And remember, COO’s allow the City to borrow money without voter approval

The City is saying it needs these funds for libraries, roads, and other things. Hey! Wasn’t that what the 2012 Qualify of Life Bond (QOLB) was for? Libraries!?

Well, guess where your money is going to folks?

Yes, our roads suck, but guess where all your tax money is going to?!

It is no doubt, like Allentown, El Paso has spent the majority of the bond money that was to go for libraries, a children’s museum, cultural center, etc. on the arena. They’ve spent it before the arena has it first brick laid.

Like the other QOLB that included aquatics, I’m sure you are wondering why they have not built my pool in my neighborhood? What about those improvements? Well, the City has priorities. It’s called the Westside and Downtown.

      Least we forget the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website lists El Paso Tax-Supported Debt at $1,046, 440,000. (1 billion, 46 million, 440 thousand dollars)? 

2.  The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website lists El Paso Revenue-Supported Debt at $547,055,00. (Five Hundred Forty-seven million, 55 thousand dollars)? 

      Isn't our city tight with our money?

Do you feel you were played? 

Yes, you should feel that way.
In the words of the late former El Paso Mayor Ray Salazar, "Joyce, weren't you suppose to save us money?"