Friday, March 23, 2018


From the editor:  We publish below a statement sent to us by Rafael Collado, an emerging voice in extreme South Texas.

While the statement contains criticism of SBOE candidate Tad Hasse, someone we support, there is also analysis of political argument itself and some insight into the psyche of the insecure Duardo Paz-Martinez, a rabid attack dog, foaming at the mouth for a decade or more using aliases, pseudonyms, fake blogs, fake stories and impersonations to bring down a peg or two those more successful, more productive, intellectually and in popularity:

Rafael Collado
You know, I wouldn't be hesitant to engage in a discussion of any level of contentiousness with Paz-Martinez if my problem with him was purely political/ideological, but the truth is that I largely agree with him on, for example, his assessment of Tad Hasse. 

Tad Hasse
In fact, I was able to draw-in Hasse to an ample public discussion on Jim's blog of the issues brought up by Duardo. Despite my hephebrenic writing style (adjective courtesy of Duardo) I managed to do two things that Duardo hasn't figured out how to do: 1.- I got Hasse to engage in discussion with me, and 2.- I believe I thoroughly exposed him, punctuated by Tad's forfeiture of the discussion. I did this without recurring once to ad hominem. 

I think if Duardo would take the time to read these, he could take some notes about maieutics and dialectical method. 

But he probably didn't read them, as he considers me "wordy," which is quite a goofy accusation from a writer. 

Duardo Paz-Martinez
See, Duardo, style has no fucking place in a political discussion. It is a solid ideological foundation and a functional handle of rhetoric that make these serviceable to discourse. 

In politics, argumentum ad hominem tends to fill argumentative gaps. And why do I mention ad hominem? Because your "style" is entirely structured around it. From asking a possible rape victim if her attacker "fucks good," to incessantly mocking and reveling in the poor health and passing of somebody's wife. Just vicious, visceral personal attacks. 

Your style is basically being shitty to people and a horrible person, but with some level of literary flair. 

I think you're just an aggressive man who utilizes politics as a vessel for personal rage, because I can't discern a proper operating ideology in your writing, and your reporting is just too permeated with character attacks and insults to be taken seriously. 

I, of course, have to wonder what nasty, unfair shit you're going to dedicate to me, and how justified you think you will be, but I'm sorry, dude, as of right now, you're contributing nothing to the issues you seem to care about, other than a haze of unnecessary tension and negativity. 

Colloquially, "bad vibes."

Rafael Collado

Monday, March 19, 2018


Laptop selfie taken by
Duardo Paz-Martinez
When I told Nena that a McAllen blogger was eager to play around with the writing of her obituary, she simply asked: "Who?"

When I showed her the picture at the left, she responded: "Oh, I'll probably outlive that guy!"

To refresh her recollection, I asked: "Do you remember those 30 or 40 anonymous blogger comments we received daily for a solid year with someone saying how they were going to 'sex you up,' etc.?"

"Oh, that guy!" Nena exclaimed.

Jim, Nena Barton
"Those comments started the morning after we had his blog shut down on Google for harassment and continued for exactly one year," I continued.

"Now, he's looking forward to writing your obituary, 'playing' with it.," I added.

We've cut and pasted below an excerpt from the 3/19/18 edition of his current blog, the Brownsville Republic, on Wordpress, written from McAllen.

He refers to me as Jim "Clara" Barton because I once referred to Red Cross Nurse Clara Barton as a forebear, although she was evidently childless.  She as actually an unproductive branch on my family tree related to my feisty old great aunt, Harriet Barton.  Duardo also maligns local advocate Rafael Collado.

"4.) In his latest projectile defecation, Blogger Jim “Clara” Barton throws out a name of someone who apparently cannot “stand” me, some Aztec by the name of Rafael Collado. Don’t really know the New American, but I’ve seen a bit of his hebephrenic writing style. Headache stuff. Too wordy and dense, always like the English of someone who just learned how to flip-open a dictionary and find the Beeeeeeeeeeeg words. Maybe Nurse Barton is now out on a hunt for people who hate me. Go for it. His hysterically paranoid style is funny.

But, lad, tend to your lovely wife. I’m getting nervous. Haven’t even started working on her obituary, which will, you know, get good “play” here at The Republic."

Nasty stuff, even for a blogger!

Sunday, March 18, 2018


Laptop selfie by
Duardo Paws-Marteenez
Bloggers are shameless self-promoters.  The hype is constant, mostly inaccurate, simply insecurity rearing its ugly head.  Blogger "wars" are nothing more than catfights with neither girl getting actually hurt, just some scratches and a torn blouse.

Notice how McAllen blogger Duardo Paws-Marteenez, an on-again, off-again friend of Brownsville blogger Jerry McHale, describes the hissy fit the two counter punchers had two years ago in fabricated epic terms:

"I laugh because I still remember the nuclear shootout McHale and I had a few years back. It was brutality at dawn and throughout the day, me punching and Jerry reeling and Jerry jabbing and me taking it. In the end, McHale was Hiroshima and I was Nagasaki. Cool, fucking real-as-Hell Blog War, yes."

Jerry McHale
We all laugh at that because no blows were landed in this obviously staged fight.  Nuclear Armageddon it was not, more like a pajama party pillow fight.  When Duardo threatened to share private info about Jerry's ex-wife, Jerry did his best imitation of Roberto Duran and quit.  It's been all love and kisses since."(Just a quick note to historically-challenged Duardo: Hiroshima and Nagasaki were on the same side in WWII)

While real journalists do not need to constantly remind us of their credentials, insecure, unemployed bloggers do.  Remember the Dustin Hoffman character Raymond in the movie Rain Man saying:  "I am an excellent driver?"  

Duardo is Hoffman's Raymond, repeating again and again, to any who will read or even click:  "I'm a great journalist!  I've been hired in Denver, New York, Boston and Mexico City."

Honestly Duardo's list of successes is actually a list of failures, as he was at his jobs for insignificant amounts of time, just enough time to be terminated.  A cup of coffee at the Boston Globe is not a career.  More telling, Duardo, is ZERO jobs in any form of legit journalism in the two decades since!

Blogging, for me, has taken, not merely a back seat, but a third seat in a three seat van.  

Nena, a survivor of three strokes and one seizure since 2014, cannot be left alone.

Grandson Jack daily negotiates the curriculum.  Grandpa insists on ten workbook pages completed daily, but I allow Jack some leeway in which subjects he works on.  If math, grammar, reading comprehension, or some other subject starts to fall behind, I put it on top of the pile for the next day.

We worked today, the Sunday following St. Patty's Day.  Grandpa doesn't believe in Spring Break, holidays or teacher's workshops, only two hour school days and a glass of merlot for grandpa.

From the editor:  Shortly after this article posted on Facebook, we received a comment from Rafael Collado, an articulate Mexican-born advocate for civil rights among other things.  We will add his comment below:
Rafael Collado
"Duardo is a producer of grotesque political gossip, poorly justified as “style.” Always antagonistic, and consistently offensive. Unpleasant. Distasteful. Arrogant. 

Can’t stand him."

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Mayor Tony Martinez, City Commissioner Ben Neece


Allison Bastian, former Deputy
City Attorney
With the termination of City Attorney Mark Sossi seven months ago and no replacement for Assistant City Attorney John Chosy, Deputy City Attorney Allison Bastian has been carrying a heavy workload.

But, after eight years as Deputy City Manager preceded by service as a City Planner, Ms. Bastian is leaving the City of Brownsville to work as an attorney in the Harlingen office of Denton Navarro Rocha Bernal & Zech, specialists in labor relations and civil litigation.

The firm's website says the company reaches out to hire attorneys with city government experience:

"In addition to having extensive trial experience, many of our lawyers have worked as employees of governmental entities, giving us profound insight into the day-to-day issues and challenges inherent in public entity service."

Readers of this blog may recognize this firm as extremely active in handling labor arbitration cases for the City of Brownsville, particularly those cases connected to the Brownsville Fire Department.

We wish Allison the best in her new position.

While the City Commission formed committees several months ago charged with selecting applicants from those screened by a national search firm, no announcement have been forthcoming for a new City Attorney or City Manager.

Denton Navarro Roch

Friday, March 16, 2018


Duardo Paz-Martinez
Two unlikely compadres, co-conspirators, have teamed up on their respective blogs to charge Charles "Tad" Hasse, candidate for the State Board of Education, District 2, with racism.

Duardo Paz-Martinez and Bobby Wightman-Cervantes, both elderly bachelors, notorious for bloody internet catfights with no declared winner, have joined laptops to defame Hasse, Brownsville's resident nerd, scoutmaster and I-Tech guru for the City of Brownsville.

Wightman-Cervantes, you will likely recognize as the publisher of the BROWNSVILLE VOICE, self-proclaimed as Brownsville's only "unbought" blogger, with insider knowledge to BISD's problems, but also human interest stories about his beloved canine friend Buster and his young protégé, Bella.

Duardo Martinez may be less familiar, with a dozen or more discontinued blogs opining on affairs in Harlingen and Brownsville, currently working his magic on The Brownsville Republic of McAllen, an obscure site with a tiny readership.

Duardo did his due diligence.  He researched the Hasse name, finding it to be of German origin.  "Neo-Nazi" was one of the carefully selected adjectives used by "journalist" Duardo to describe Tad.

Blogger Duardo then proceeded to attempt an  "interview" with Mr. Hasse via Facebook inboxing with juvenile questions like:  
Tad Hasse

Hell-o, Tad. Question: What exactly is your job title? How long have you been worked for COB, and what is your salary?…

How old are you and when were you divorced? Date & place…

Is your mother Joanne Strother or Mary Hasse?…

Why do you always run under your turtle shell, Hasse? Is there more I don’t know?…

You are a “rabbit.” Scooting away, eh?…

Time to Man-Up, Taddy. Politics demands answers. Or are you banking on the Neo-Nazi vote? Not typical for a Dude from Brownsville to go mute. Gotta have cojones, cowboy…
Does your silence mean we’re dead-on about you, that you’re a Neo-Nazi wannabe?

OK.  "Journalist" Duardo equated Mr. Hasse's "silence" or lack of response to his juvenile questions, with racism.  

Actually, the vast majority of Brownsville politicians Duardo has attempted to "interview" via Facebook have ignored him.  He's simply irrelevant in this town.  That does not make them racists, simply prudent.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes, who has made no secret of his fondness for Hasse's opponent for SBOE, District 2, Ruben Cortez and his mother, Linda Salazar, a Justice of the Peace, seized on Duardo's charge of racism and has now verified the assertion on his blog:  

"Duardo Paz-Martinez did story claiming he found some disturbing twitter comments on Tad Hasse's account. I am not questioning the truthfulness of the claims. My readers know I must verify.

I immediately went to the account and it was closed to me and locked. So I immediately sent both of Duardo's articles to the Corpus Christi Caller Times alleging they failed in their due diligence before endorsing Hasse. I asked that they communicate with him for his side of the story, and if verified to do the right thing and pull the endorsement.

Well I have waited for anyone to come to Hasse' defense or for Hasse to deny the claims. I think Duardo's claim that Hasse's silence verifies the claims made by Duardo is now accurate.

So now we wait to see if the publisher of the Caller Times retracts their endorsement or let it stand. Hasse is free to give them access to the twitter account to get to the truth of the matter. But his silence is telling."

So Bobby uses Hasse's "silence" or refusal to answer Duardo's juvenile questions and Tad's locked twitter account as evidence that Tad Hasse is racist?


Jim Barton, Publisher of Brownsville Observer
I'm not a legal expert like Bobby Wightman-Cervantes or a blogger vagabond like Duardo Paz-Martinez, but I have considerably more life experience than either man.

A charge of racism is difficult to defend against just like a charge of being a bad father.  Anger or rhetoric mean nothing in defense.  You just have to live your life.  Some will see you as something you're not.  Most will recognize your inner core.

This is what I tried to explain to Rafael Collado, one of Brownsville most articulate writers, a native of Mexico.  He, too, viewed Hasse as a racist because of his political views and support of Donald Trump.  

Yes, I told Rafael, Tad is a Republican, a Trump supporter.  That doesn't, in itself, make him racist.  

Tad has worked for the City of Brownsville for nearly three decades.  He is beloved, as a problem solver and as a person by co-workers 90% Hispanic.  

I've personally observed him dealing with locals willing to perform public service in lieu of jail time.  He is not condescending and DOES NOT assign them to toilet cleaning.  Hasse deals with these public service citizens as equals, respectfully and graciously.  

If you, like Duardo and Bobby, think Tad Hasse is a racist, think again!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Otis "Arkie" Henshaw brought country ways to the city, turning his large back yard in North Little Rock into a family size garden.

Despite Mrs. Henshaw's passing, Otis still raised a "right smart" amount of sweet peas, okra, yellow squash, turnip and collard greens,"t'maters" and watermelons, chopping weeds between the rows with  an old hoe that looked like it'd survived the Civil War.  

Otis gave most of the produce away to anyone who would come get it, mostly to young black mothers in what had become a mixed neighborhood of old white homeowners and black renters.  

Protected from sun and rain in Mr. Henshaw's carport was a bright red '62 Mercury Comet, called a "race car" by its owner.  Otis had his mechanic swap out the 144 cubic inch straight 6 "Falcon" engine for a 390 V-8 Ford "police" motor.

Smiling at his own car, Otis explained that the paint job cost him two grand.

"It took three coats of paint, then a clear coat to get the job done," he told me.

"Wanna drive it?" he asked.

"It will knock yer socks off!"

Without revealing my reluctance, I got behind the wheel, sitting on clear plastic seat covers Otis had mail-ordered to protect his upholstery.  Over the rear view mirror dangled a pine scented car deodorizer.  

"Hit the I-40 freeway!" instructed Otis.  

"Floor this thing, then back off so we don't get Ol' Smokey on our tail!"

The old car did have power when I gave it a full gas pedal, pushing me back into my seat.  It was still accelerating when the speedometer hit 90 and I backed off.

"It'll do 150!" Mr. Henshaw exaggerated.

I threaded the hot rod between the wooden posts of the carport.

"Care for some tea?" Otis asked.

We talked on Henshaw's screened-in porch for a couple hours, washing down homemade beef jerky with sweet tea, while Otis talked mostly about his time working in north Texas. Every story ended with an Arkie outsmarting Texans, solving a problem they couldn't solve or simply having more country smarts.

"Yeah.  Heh, heh, heh.  These Texans were hauling a load of pipe across this field on a big flatbed truck.  The pipe was bouncing all over the place, about to jump off the bed.  They had tied it with more than enough rope, but just didn't know what they were doin'," explained Henshaw.

"I jumped up on the bed of the truck and cut the rope in two or three places, then used Arkansas slip knots to tie it back."

"There you go!" I told 'em.

"You won't have a problem now."

Henshaw looked at me and winked:  "An Arkie will outsmart a Texan every doggone time!"  he reminded me.

From the editor:  Otis Henshaw, was a mentor, one of many.  While I didn't buy the regional or even ethnic bias, bigotry he spit out, I did learn some things from Otis.

Even in his 80's, he was willing to try new things, expose himself to different ideas.  

His work ethic was undeniable, his hospitality without attached strings.


From the editor:  Posted below is a letter posted in the "YOUR VOICES" section of today's "Brownsville Herald" by Joseph Linck.  We've published Mr. Linck's statements before generating some discussion:  


Joseph Linck
Mexico is finally going to auction off oil exploration rights in Tamaulipas to private oil companies.  The federal secretary of energy announced this recently in Reynosa at a conference hosted by Governor Francisco Garcia Cabeza de Vaca.  

Most of President Enrique Pena Nieto's oil reform so far has been focused on offshore exploration.  However, the latest action in the oil patch is onshore, which is much cheaper and produces far quicker results.  This means countless smaller oil companies can participate as expensive offshore exploration is restricted to big, major oil companies.  

Indeed, offshore is capital intensive, while offshore is labor intensive.  Perfect for Mexico.  

Texas is home to most smaller- and medium-sized oil companies.  They are innovators and owners of this high-tech exploration industry.  As such, this is a big opportunity for Tamaulipas and Texas.  

Lucky Matamoros and its sister city Brownsville are located right in the middle of it.

For years, Brownsville has been exporting its children to the Texas boom towns in the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin to find jobs.

The Permian Basin is the most exciting oil play in the world right now and is known in the industry worldwide as the new Saudi Arabia.  These Spanish-speaking kids will return home quickly to Brownsville and help adjacent Tamaulipas with their knowledge and expertise in this high-tech industry when the opportunity arises.  They are a valuable, hidden asset for Tamaulipas.

The USA still imports millions of barrels daily in crude from the very dangerous, violent and war-torn Middle East and Venezuela.  With effective oil reform, Mexico can replace these violent and volatile countries, making North America the titan of the energy world.

Might Tamaulipas become another Permian Basin?  Perhaps.  And our lucky sister cities sit right in the middle of it.

Joseph Linck

Sunday, March 11, 2018


Self-Described "Trump Girl" Miriam Cepeda
During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump would shade his eyes and peer out over the campaign audience looking for a black supporter.

"Where's my Afro-American?" Trump said more than once, oblivious of the obvious condescension.

"There he is!" the candidate would say.

"Isn't he great?"

Miriam Cepeda Addresses "Pachanga
4 Trump" Audience in 2016
Trump also had a Mexican, a beautiful 24 year old Hispanic in McAllen, Texas, Miriam Cepeda, a post graduate student at UT-RGV, one of the organizers of the "Pachanga 4 Trump" event held in Hidalgo County during the campaign.

"I completely agree with Donald J. Trump's policies as far as creating a stronger border and enforcing our border security," Cepeda says. "I first hand have seen ... friends that are getting involved with illegal activity that's associated with drugs or human trafficking. It's an issue that people need to realize is reality."

Paradoxically, while Cepeda supports Trump, her undocumented father and uncle, with alleged ties to the Mexican drug cartels, have both been convicted of murdering a cartel lawyer in Southlake, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth.

The "Trump girl" states:  "People need to wake up and realize that the illegal immigrants that are here, that have no other form of self employment, do turn to drugs, do turn to the cartel business, do turn to illegal immigration. And I'm saying this because I have family members that are involved in this stuff, and they are in the state jail at this moment, and I would love nothing better but for them to be deported," she said.

Ms. Cepeda views Ivanka Trump as a role model: 
Ivanka Trump

"Just look at his daughter, Ivanka Trump," she told CNN. "Look at an inspiration she is to any woman, any woman that's seeking a career, and wants to be a mother. She's the perfect example of the ideal, classy, professional woman. That just shows as a reflection of her father."

Cepeda's goal is to someday have an official role in the Trump administration.  Meanwhile, she works with Empower Texans, a quasi-lobbying group that works to elect right-wing candidates.

Friday, March 9, 2018


Jim Barton
 From the editor:  District 37 Incumbent Rene Oliveira's failure to win without a runoff illustrates his weakened position with the voters who have simply tired of his failure to do anything for the district.

Alex Dominguez
Blog commenters show that they indeed would have supported Alex Dominguez' effort to unseat Oliveira had not Dominguez showed total disdain for the taxpayers by not only supporting LNG, but voting to forgive one LNG firm, Rio Grande LNG, $373,100,000 in county taxes.

It's not as if Rio Grande LNG was not locating at the Port of Brownsville if not given such a huge tax abatement.  They'd already paid several $ million to the Port of Brownsville to satisfy a lease agreement.  

Also, the huge natural gas pipeline from 150 miles north is nearing completion.

If Dominguez, Sofia Benavides, David Garza and Gus Ruiz felt they were in danger of losing the LNG plants unless they totally ripped off the taxpayers for the next two decades, they are beyond foolish.

If the "Foolish Four" choose to authorize similar tax abatements for the other two LNG plants frothing at the mouth to locate here, they will end up giving ONE BILLION DOLLARS in incentives to these multi-billion dollar companies.

We repost two pertinent blog comments, the first in the "Brownsville Observer," the second from "El Rrun Rrun:"

Anonymous March 7, 2018 at 7:59 PM

100% agree. This should have been a shoo in. Olivera has made bad choices. But no one is going to vote to incinerate their own neighborhood in a Texas City like LNG inferno disaster. Voted for Alonso as 'none of the above'. WE have a nice island, with many jobs! Jobs in tourism, shrimping, fishing, hotels, investment, wildlife, rentals, restaurants, travel and whoever would sell us out to to trash the place must be clueless!! He was doing the dirty work of sucio Lucio. Worst deal you ever made young man, taking advice from the sucios who only look out for themselves! Guessing he struck a deal with the Lucios to vote for LNG. They probably promised to deliver their full support to topple Olivera in return. In reality their support meant nothing, he couldn't break 40%. He had the support of the blogs, but the voters get in the booth and they are like, do I really want to see my kid's school explode in a ball of flames? Its your hide being hung out to dry in this election.

The following comment was submitted to Juan Montoya's "El Rrun Rrun:"

AnonymousAnonymous said...

Dominguez could still turn this around. Look at the district map for Oliveira's district 37.

Oliveira's district 37 is South Padre, Port Isabel, the Laguna Atascosa Wildlife sanctuary, the Las Palomas Wildlife protection area, Boca Chica beach and state park, turtle nesting sites and East Brownsville. How anyone convinced Dominguez to cast a vote for LNG to pollute these people's land and water is crazy. LNG is political cyanide. See the results of the pro LNG slate of OP1033 port candidates that got flushed out a few years ago.

Shrimpers alone create 1500 regular jobs, 5 times what LNG is promising. The shrimp industry is careful to protect the baby shrimp to guarantee a good harvest year after year. The health of the estuary where the baby shrimp grow is very important for our jobs. If the baby shrimp die, there are no big gulf shrimp anymore. The fishermen abide to protect from overfishing. The hotels thrive on clean beaches. Anyone who would dump a bunch of chemical wastes here doesn't get it. Oliveira attends the Blessing of the Fleet every year when the shrimpers go out. How did Dominguez plan to bless the fleet, by killing all the shrimp with LNG mercury poison?

Eddie III's voters live in Harlingen. His district doesn't include South Padre or much of Brownsville. III wants to trash our areas with a dirty LNG plant and pipelines, consequence free. Dominguez was ambitious, a potential future rival. Sent on a wild goose chase against Oliveira, when Oliveira's district is South Padre and the shrimp estuaries and large wildlife protection areas. Cut throat move. Who knows maybe he would have run against Eddie III in a few years. But now he's been cut down early. U got played.

Dominguez could turn it around. There have been a few times where commissioners have rescinded their votes. He is still on the County Court. Make a public announcment of rescinding his vote for LNG, joining Eddie Trevino who also voted against LNG. Do the right thing. Explain he now understands it threatens the residents health and welfare and their lives. Look at the district map for 37, the proposed LNG site is right in the middle. It threatens everyone who lives here.

Well Trevino was no dummy. Who could forget it was the Island that decided the Cascos / John Wood election. The island voters came out in droves for Cascos because he protected the Isla Blanca nature preserve from greedy developers who would have trashed it. The island has some of the wealthiest investors, highest property values and strongest economies in the valley, anyone who would fuck with that is crazy loco. Dumping a pollution factory on Port Isabel to kill the baby shrimp and the fish and the sea turtles and turn the water into brown acid. For 300 pissant LNG maintenance jobs. Nope. Why not drop a nuclear power plant next to the causeway while you are at it. Jobs jobs jobs right Lucio? Lucio would, he doesn't care, his voters live in Harlingen. You wonder if these people even consider the effects of what they are doing. If the only thing that matters is winning elections, Dominguez should have studied the old Wood/Cascos election or the OP33 fiascos to understand why never to ever consider doing what he did. The coastal voters they know who butters their bread every year and it's not a mercury cloud LNG plant. Dominguez should have followed Trevino's and Cascos' example if he wanted to represent this area. Well its not too late if he is willing to make a dramatic rescinding. Lead. Take the bull by the horns. Anything can happen in a runoff.

March 8, 2018 at 4:04 PM

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Ruben Cortez, SBOE Board Member,
There's an old adage, frequently repeated among the working class, who can be heard lamenting that, in their life, "they were too busy working to make money."

No doubt, hardworking Brownsville, Cameron County citizens, locked into a 40+ hours weekly grind are chagrined watching a local homeboy or homegirl win a seat as an unpaid BISD trustee, upgrade their ride from a an old Ford to a new Cadillac, open a restaurant or otherwise seemingly raise their lifestyle with no visible means of additional support.

Ruben Cortez, the son of Justice of the Peace Linda Salazar, is one of those homeboys, living proof that money can be made without working up a sweat, if you have the right political connections and chutzpah to make the deals.

Ruben is, perhaps, the poster boy for working the system, starting with his service on the BISD board.  Quickly, Ruben ingratiated himself with insurance vendors, becoming a player of influence in contract negotiations.  Did money change hands?  Nothing's been reported.

Next, Ruben partnered with fellow BISD Trustee Attorney Rick Zayas in filling a "need" at the Ruckers-Carrizales Detention Center for toiletries, underwear, deodorant and feminine products for the detainees, who couldn't leave the facility for a run to Walmart.  

Like most good "businessmen," Rick and Ruben "bought cheap and sold high," making hundreds of thousands of dollars during their tenure supervised by Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio.

Since 2013, Ruben Cortez has been involved in his latest gig, "serving" on the State Board of Education, where decisions involving millions of dollars are made annually concerning school textbooks, educational materials, policies and curriculum.  

Yet, maybe, just maybe, Cortez is not using this office for personal gain.  He may just have a passion for education, an insatiable thirst for knowledge with an overriding conviction to work for students.

Take a look at Cortez' work history above, coupled with his educational background and judge for yourself.  

Cortez, a high school dropout, did, we're told, achieve his G.E.D. or high school equivalency document.  We respect him for that effort.

There is nothing on his resume' to indicate that he's added a college degree since, not during his 5 year tenure on the SBOE or in his 30 years since achieving his G.E.D.  Does that indicate a "passion for education?"

"Let the reader use discernment."
St. Matthew, Chapter 24, Verse 15

Ruben Cortez just won the Democratic Primary for SBOE Board Member.  His Republican opponent is Tad Hasse.

Our next article will review Hasse's qualifications.


From the editor:  We publish below a statement sent to us by Rafael Collado, an emerging voice in extreme South Texas. While the statem...