Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Roger Ortiz Incompetence Continues~Hires Brownsville Cheezmeh Head Mistress As Election Judge!

Linda Castro Dragustinovis
Before this week, I was tempted to view Election Administrator Roger Ortiz as simply incompetent, inept, not man enough to stand up to more assertive, corrupt individuals like Gilberto Hinojosa and Ernie Hernandez.

But with Roger turning a blind eye to all of the Hernandez/Masso/Gomez shenanigans this week, I've had to reassess.  Roger Ortiz is simply on board with the gross election fraud being committed in Cameron County.  He is not simply complicit, but is orchestrating the control of the electorate by the Ernie Hernandez machine. 

Roger ignores the rafters of blatant election fraud, but tries to enforce the mere straws of triviality, like charging Nena and I with loitering outside an election office while dozens of others outside the office during the day were never so charged.  

It's not simply that the election judges at Christ the King Church on Southmost and Cameron Park allegedly work for Ernie, but Roger has tossed all pretension of impartiality aside by appointing Linda Castro Dragustinovis, the head mistress of Brownsville Cheezmeh, as Election Judge at Benevides Elementary School, located at 3101 McAllen Road,  for the July 31 runoff.  

Erin H. Garcia with the new Election Judge earlier this year
Los Fresnos resident Dragustinovis is not only an avid and very public advocate of Erin H. Garcia, Carlos Masso and Abelardo Gomez, but her Notary Public office at 1315 E. Madison St., Brownsville, TX is the address of the Bringing Brownsville Change Political Action Committee with her brother, Austin resident Erasmo Castro as president.  It is the strategic appointing of election judges with clear partisan interest that has allowed Roger Ortiz to taint Cameron County elections beyond what was thought possible.  With these obviously partisan officials in charge, appointed by Roger Ortiz, the stage becomes firmly set to allow politiqueras to illegally present the ballots of the elderly, disabled and mentally impaired without proper safeguards or protocol.

What About the Investigator Roger Called For?

Much ballyhoo was made earlier this week with Roger calling for an investigator from the Secretary of State's office to monitor this election.  Notably, Roger did not call for such an investigator during early voting during which van after van of elderly, disabled and mentally challenged were bused to early voting locations.  

It turns out this inspector, Paul Miles, is not from the Secretary of State's office after all.  A call to that office revealed that Miles was no longer associated, but instead was now a member of an organization called the Texas Association of Counties.  Miles investigative work will also not include a monitoring of how ballots are handled and the protocols of accepting them, but only the actual arithmetic of the count.  Any competent middle school student could have rechecked Ortiz's count.  

Regardless of the outcome of the July 31 runoff, it is obvious that Brownsville and Cameron County will NEVER have clean elections as long as Roger Ortiz is Election Administrator.  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mexican Cartels Stealing Millions of Texas Oil Field Equipment

Narcos Stealing Millions in Texas Oil Field Equipment
Friday, July 27, 2012 | Borderland Beat Reporter Chivis

Borderland Beat
Narcos buy or trade drugs for stolen oil field equipment used to cap PEMEX pipelines, subsequently, trucking the PEMEX stolen oil back into the U.S. and selling it to American oil brokers....Chivis

KRGV - Investigators say Mexican cartels are stealing millions of dollars in equipment from oil companies along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Officials said the equipment is behind used to steal fuel from Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex.
"The cartels (are) buying, or trading narcotics for stolen oil field equipment so they could put taps on Pemex's pipelines," said Midland County Chief Sheriff Deputy Ed Krevit.
Many of the thefts are happening at oil fields in the Permian Basin.
"There's more oil field theft in this area than any place I've ever worked," said Dustin Brown, with Savanna Drilling.
Krevit estimates that Pemex may be losing up to $350 million a year from illegal taps on their pipelines.
He said cartels often truck the oil back to the U.S. where they sell it to oil brokers.
"Some of the cartels have been shouldered out of their traditional smuggling paths, so they've had to turn to other ways of generating revenue," Krevit said.
The cartels use the money to buy weapons and ammunition, he said.
"If they are doing it in West Texas, they're doing it in South Texas," said Phil Jordan, former DEA supervisor.
Jordan said there is intelligence that cartels are stealing equipment in South Texas.
More than a dozen companies drilled more than 3,000 wells in South Texas last year.

"If I'm losing equipment, losing parts, losing pieces, it's passed on to the operator and the operator has to pass it on to the consumer," Brown said.
Task force investigators said they are trying to stop the cartels in their tracks. They will start training law enforcement to spot oil field thefts.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Masso Claims Receipt of Crude Flyer~Real, Fake or Attempt at Disinformation?

A very strange twist in the heated Saenz-Masso district attorney's race was the release by Carlos Masso of what he purports to be a negative flier by his opponent Luis Saenz. 

The flier does not have anything approaching the professional quality and graphics of campaign fliers done by Gilbert Velasquez and his son, Gilbert Velasquez, Jr., who create campaign materials for the Saenz campaign.  It does resemble three poorly done fliers handed out at tortillerias last week, one of which was identified as from Brownsville Cheezmeh.

The crude flier attempts to link Masso with Abel Limas and Armando Villalobos in a very juvenile way.  Carlos Masso released this on Facebook as an example of the "dirty" campaigning by his opponent.  The posting was met with immediate indignation from Masso supporters.  Some even stated that this negative flier cinched their support of Masso. 

So, what do you think?  Was this flier produced by Masso's opponents or authorized by Masso himself to put his opponent in a bad light?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Hernandez's, Organized Crime Without Impediment, Thriving in Apathy

There are no assassinations like the violent turbulence of the Chicago mob families in the 1930's, no drug turf war like the one between the Zetas and the Gulf cartels, but make no mistake, the Hernandez are a crime family, living outside the law, stealing elections, ignoring ethics and election codes and getting away with it.

The simple, unvarnished truth is that there's no local enforcement of any kind with the integrity, fortitude or will to deal with this crime family.  The Brownsville Police Department kept the case of the Ernie Hernandez orchestration of the illegal hiring of his convicted felon brother-in-law Robert Cadriel for 30 days while figuring out an expedient way of not touching it, finally settling on "out of our jurisdiction."  

Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio was quoted in 2008,  saying he uses politiqueras, not paying them, but allowing them to intercede on behalf of traffic offenders.  The statistical anomaly in the primary involving mail-in votes seems to indicate Lucio has not changed his philosophy.  Look for no help fighting political corruption there.

District Attorney Armando Villalobos has always looked the other way on political corruption, and no wonder, as he's up to his own eyeballs in and indictment for the same.   His days now are spent looking for angles of defense, investigative missteps, anything to beat this rap.  

A possible safety net, Election Commissioner Roger Otiz has shown the utmost complicity in tolerating political corruption,  yielding meekly to the heavyhandedness of Gilberto Hinojosa, ignoring the cries from poll watchers of numerous abuses and treating ballots with such carelessness that even the simple arithmetic of a voting count becomes a comedy of errors.   Now, in this election, Ortiz enforces the trivial, the inconsequential straws of the Election Code while ignoring the rafters of significant abuse by the crime family.   

Cameron County is down to one last hope;  the voter.  Only a heavy voter turnout July 31 can overcome the cheating by the Hernandez's, the slimy work done by the arrogant politiqueras and the unfortunate herding of our elderly, disabled and mentally challenged citizens like cattle to the polling booth to follow the mob's sample ballot.  Remember in professional polls, Erin H. Garcia showed a following of 15%, but actually garnered 25% in the primary.  That upswing represents a huge block of harvested votes to overcome.

Since the 2010 Ernie Hernandez-Ruben Pena trial for voter fraud focused on mail-in ballots, the politiqueras under the direction of the Hernandez's have switched strategies to herding the elderly, the disabled and the mentally challenged in vans to the polling places.  Witnesses have observed the election officials go out to these vans, ask the how many ballots are needed, while the "voters' remain in the vehicle.  

Brownsville and Cameron County have suffered two decades of personal enrichment, stolen elections and cronyism from the Hernandez's.  If we miss our opportunity to vote on July 31, we enable that corruption to continue on into the next generation.  No one else will stop the crime spree if we don't.  

A Winning Team!

Filemon Vela and Yolanda Begum

Friday, July 27, 2012

"I Could Kick Robert Duvall's Ass!

Charlie's Bar is a colorful little cantina on 14th Street.  It doesn't take much theatrical imagination to visual the club somewhere south of the border.  That's what Robert Duvall's temporarily titled movie "A Night In Old Mexico" wants us to do.

Nena and I wandered around the set before filming in the afternoon, talking to a few bystanders and bar girls, taking some pics of the work being done and the current motif.  

I doubt Duvall could find a more rustic marquee, even if he wanted one, with mismatched letters and a large hole in the cover.  All part of the charm.  

Fuego must be the house band because I seem to recall Grupo Fuego on that sign almost every time we pass by.  

The Brownsville Herald revealed a bit of the story line, but the main thing is that the company is paying those cast with non-speaking parts $85 per day.  I spoke with a young woman who said her brother is cast.  "He gets his money even if they only shoot for an hour," she said.  

Of the two guys leaning against the van, the one of the left said he could "kick Robert Duvall's ass."  When I looked at him kind of strange, he added:  "Well, he's 81."

Nena thought the guy in the aqua shirt on the right looked a little bit like Dave Handelman of the Doc Scully Blues Band.  

Maybe tall, artistic ex-hippies tend to look alike.  

This was just one of several trailers on the side street.  

Several more pictures below.  I have no idea why there is such a gap between the pictures.

I went inside looking for actors and actresses.

Hollywood seemed to be the magic word for these ladies.

The girl in the black dress below brought out her fan and strategically placed cell phone.


The Hernandez Get Out the Vote~Van after Van of the Elderly, Disabled, Mentally Challenged

From the editor:  Many of you are tiring of hearing about the Yolanda Begum/Erin H. Garcia JP race.  Some feel there are abuses on both sides, but make no mistake:  The Hernandez family have been stealing elections for decades and are about to steal this one.  If you want clean, honest, fair elections, you should find the report below disturbing at the very least. . .JB

Nena and I Almost Arrested

The lady on the left, a supervisor of the Cameron Park Polling Station, walked to the edge of the park to confer with some in the Abelardo Gomez group.(We were told that this lady works for Ernie Hernandez, but that has not been confirmed.)  Earlier in the afternoon the same lady had called the Sheriff's Department and Election Commissioner Roger Ortiz to complain that my wife and I were sitting in front of the polling station in the last 2 of perhaps a dozen chairs lined up in front of the recreation hall.  (We were later told that the only time those chairs were used all week was by people coming outside in anticipation of a van delivery of voters.  The officials would sit, waiting for the van to pull up, then assist those inside with ballots.)

When the supervisor had first approached Nena and I about our reason for being there, my wife, in her typically candid manner, explained that we were there to document the van traffic delivering voters.  The poll supervisor explained that no pictures could be taken on the premises.  Nena said:  "I see the signs.  I'm aware that I have to step outside the gate to take a picture.  My camera has a zoom lense so that will be fine."  The supervisor flipped open her cell phone, apparently dialing a number.

In a few minutes, Roger Ortiz drove up.  Several minutes later, a county sheriff's vehicle appeared as well, but the officer never approached us, likely realizing there was no violation.

Ortiz, Part of the Problem

Add caption

Maybe ten minutes after the election supervisor called him, the normally reticent, almost backward Election Administrator, Roger Ortiz,  became suddenly macho in temperament,  accusing us of having a camera.  Nena repeated what she had told the supervisor.  "I told her I would go outside the polling area to take any pictures, but she did not listen."  She still called Ortiz and the sheriff.  When Nena explained, that, yes, we had a camera, but we had taken it to the truck, Ortiz shifted gears and accused us of loitering.  Can you imagine?  Election Administrator Roger Ortiz, sitting idly by while the Hernandez steal their 3rd or 4th election, bringing van after van of elderly, disabled and mentally challenged to the polling place with the Hernandez/Masso/Gomez sample yellow ballot clutched in their hands and he is worried about two innocent people sitting in front of the polling place, talking?  Give our community a collective break!  Astonishingly, later that afternoon, the same poll supervisor wanting us to be arrested, walked across the street to tell a campaign worker not to talk to Zeke Silva.  What country is this?

Collusion Between Election Officials and the Hernandez?

I'm raising this as a mere question.  Here are our observations:  We heard on Friday morning that vans were delivering voters to Cameron Park.  We were told an election official would go out to the van, ask the driver how many ballots were needed.  The passengers would then fill them out in the van.  That's what we were told.  We wanted to see for ourselves.  During our first two hours, we saw almost no vans at all delivering voters to Cameron Park, only a trickling of able-bodied voters in individual vehicles.  So we left.

No sooner did we get home, then I get a call:  "Jim, as SOON as you left, the vans began coming in again."  We raced back to Cameron Park.  Once back at the polling place, the vans stopped entering through the gate of the park, but stayed outside with the voters being walked in small groups to the polling place.  Who was tipping off the Hernandez/Masso/Gomez camp?  Was it the election official seen openly cavorting with them in the picture above?

You Can't Write Down Our Plate Number!  Na Na Na Na Na!

Early in the week a young woman in the Begum campaign was writing down the plate numbers of the numerous vans under the direction of Norma Hernandez.  Roger Ortiz came outside his election office and told the young woman to not do that.  He offered no explanation.  In any event, the Hernandez/Masso/Gomez camp had another trick up their collectives sleeves; renting vans from a used car dealer.

A lady who sat across from the Cameron Park polling place all week offered:  "They get them at Junior's.  They rent them so no one can take the plate number and trace them to a certain person."  At the left is one of several vans used Friday.  It has a sticker on the windshield giving the model year and a paper temporary plate behind.  Folks, the Hernandez have been working elections for a long time.  

Settling Up for $5 per Vote?

Carlos Masso with the Drivers
A persistent rumor today was that the politiqueras were delivering voters at five dollars a head.  Actually, that seems cheap.

We also learned that some home health aides were rewarded for rounding up patients from adult day care centers.  Juan Montoya of the El Rrun Rrun blog reported that when Zeke Silva tried to pick up his dad at such a day care facility, it was a home health aide who tried to steer his dad into her van instead.(We have more detail on the Zeke Silva incident which will be provided in another story.)

"If They Want to Win, They Have to Go With Me!"
Herminia Becerra with another politiquera to her left

The politiquera on the left tried to interfere with our picture taking in the Masso/Gomez tent, but Herminia Becerra would have none of that.  She demanded a picture, while bragging:  "I've been doing this 56 years.  No one wins without me.  I'm the best there is."

Actually, with all the van activity witnessed this weekend, she may be correct.  It will take a very good runoff turnout to overcome the shenanigans of the Hernandez's, the compliance of Roger Ortiz and the track record of Herminia Becerra.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Is Election Administrator Roger Ortiz An Accessory to Election Fraud?

From the editor:  Below is another bombshell article from Juan Montoya of El Rrun Rrun, detailing apparent election fraud by the Erin H. Garcia campaign and acquiescence by Election Administrator Roger Ortiz.



By Juan Montoya

The convoy of rented vans appeared unannounced at the Santa Fe Adult Day Care facility on Tuesday and a politiquera announced that they were there to take the clients to vote.

No one in management – who had expressly banned the Hernandezs from campaigning or hauling their elderly to vote – was conveniently there at the time. The elderly were herded into the vans by the politiqueros working for Erin Hernandez Garcia and her mother Norma, wife of Cameron County Pct. 2 commissioner Ernie Hernandez, notorioud for "harvesting" the votes of the elderly and the infirm.

They drove the group to the main court6house and gave them marked sample ballots indicating the three candidates they were to vote for: Erin Hernandez Garcia for J.P. 2-2, Carlos Masso for Distict Attorney, and Abel Gomez for Constable, Pct. 2

"I told them I wanted to vote for Yolanda Begum," the woman said. "They insisted that I vote according to the yellow paper (sample ballot) they gave us.

Although the woman does not suffer from an incapacity and is not disabled, the driver would not allow her to alight the vehicle and insisted she vote under his gaze. Instead, the elections judge gave the driver the required number of ballots for the elderly in the van and waited outside in the sidewalk in front of the elections office until they were filled out.

The woman said she filled in her vote and the driver took her ballot. Whether he included hers along with the rest is unknown.

For three days Norma Hernandez and her band of politiqueros and politiqueras have been driving vans full of elderly and the disabled from day care centers in town and herded them to early voting polling places where they assisted them to cast their votes – often under the disbelieving eyes of passersby, attorneys and other candidates – and in front of the nose of Cameron County Elections Administrator Roger Ortiz and polling-place election judges.

In some places, such as the Centro Comunitario in Cameron Park, a Hernandez campaign worker will drive the rented van up to the entrance of the building, keep his charges in the van and call out loud that he has brought them all in to vote for Erin, Masso and Gomez.

At the main courthouse and at the Cristo Rey Catholic Church, visitors to the courthouse watched on in amazement as some obviously disabled people stayed in the vans as the driver went in to have the poll workers bring out ballots and then he assisted them in darkening the ovals next to the candidates marked out in the sample ballots.

In many cases, the elderly, like the woman described above, were not allowed to get off the van even though they could walk unassisted.

"This is incredible," said a visitor to the main courthouse. "I have heard stories about this happening, but I would have never in my life believed that this could actually happen out in the open. These poor people couldn't even hold a pencil. They just did as they were told by the driver."

It's not like Ortiz didn't know. We know that he has received at least a half-dozen reports of these irregularities and outright voter abuse from these three sites, but they have continued nonetheless.

"The Hernandez people act like they own the county polling sites," said a resident living next to the Cristo Rey voting site. "I actually saw them standing next to the door at the polling site handing out marked sample ballots.

Now he has told the local newspaper whose logo is only half a sun, that he had requested state inspectors to keep an eye on the "acrimonious" campaigner from both sides. This amounts to the same thing as locking the gate after the horses have left. For three days out of five, he has allowed the Hernandez to basically coerce, cajole and threaten their way to steal the election as he has stood watching idly by. And where are these inspectors? This morning (Thursday) they were nowhere to be seen. Was Roger merely buying time para taparle el ojo al macho?

At the main courthouse, on Tuesday, Norma Hernandez carried a case of water bottles to the elections office for the polling place workers. The, standing at the curb, she could be heard telling the elderly arriving in the vans to vote for her daughter Erin.

"We could hear her across the street," said a paralegal who works in one of the legal offices. "But she was too far away for anyone to take a photograph to prove it."

This type of brazen interference in the electoral process and blatant disregard for the law has happened right in front of the eyes of Ortiz and the election judges at the early voting polling places. Instead of calling attention to the perpetrators, they seem content to watch all this happen right before their eyes. Who can the other candidates call to report this besides Roger?"

The apparent disregard for observing the law and thumbing their noses at their opponents might be because Erin is the daughter of Commissioner Ernie Hernandez and Norma Hernandez is his wife. Ortiz, a county employee, must deal with him and has to count on him for support in his budget and even his employment. Those that have crossed him know that Ernie never forgets and will find a way to make them pay if he doesn't get his way. Wonder why Javier Hernandez and Ismael Tapia, both county employees, have not endorsed anyone in this race even though they have made it clear they support Begum? Ernie Hernandez's reach is that long.

Additionally, the election administrator's wife Elvira works under Cameron County District Clerk Aurora De La Garza and also comes under the commissioners court. District Attorney Armando Villalobos, who is supposed to be investigating the employment of Ernie Hernandez's brother-in-law Roberto Cadriel for being hired in violation of the county Civil Service policies, has so far shown little interest in prosecuting this brazen violation of election law.

Villalobos, of course, has problems of his own. He is under indictment for bribing and taking kickbacks in relation to the Abel Limas racketeering case.

"Who do you go to complain in this case?" asked a campaign worker for one of the opponents' campaign workers. "It's happening in plain sight and no one is moving a finger to put a stop to it. This election is being stolen right in front of everyone's eyes."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ed Stapleton, Former Democratic Party Chairman, Suing Erin Hernandez Garcia

Son of Elderly Man at Adult Day Care Files Charge Against the Hernandez's

From the editor:  Juan Montoya, publisher of the El Rrun Rrun blog, continues to expose the methodology of the Hernandez's in stealing elections for two decades in Brownsville.  His latest story, reposted below, details the confrontation between the son of an elderly man being herded into a van for transport to a polling place and Norma Hernandez, the mother of Erin H. Garcia and a well-known politiquera.

As you read the story below, think about your elderly parents or relatives being herded like cattle into a minivan and handed a "sample" ballot with voting instructions.   Do your parents or family need strangers to take them to the polls and influence their vote?

If you own an adult day care or nursing facility, think about the liability issues if one of these patients, still under your care is hurt in an accident while in control of the politiqueras.  Will the Hernandez family cover any liability your business might face? 

Finally, as a Brownsville citizen and voter, how do you feel about the arrogant, self-serving, entitled attitude displayed by the Hernandez family in scamming our most vulnerable residents?  When will we, as a community, finally have enough courage to say "no" to this election year ritual, acted out again and again?  When will we demand clean, honest elections? 




By Juan Montoya
The son of an elderly man who saw his father being herded unwillingly aboard a van and given a sample ballot with the ovals for three candidates filled at a local adult day care has filed terroristic threat charges against Norma Hernandez, the mother of JP 2-2 runoff candidate Erin Hernandez Garcia and her son Ernie Hernandez III.
The ovals on the sample ballot given to the elderly residents as they were boarded onto the vans by Hernandez and her helpers were next to the names of Carlos Masso, Erin Hernandez Garcia, and Abelardo Gomez.
Masso's name was marked with the biggest arrow followed by Erin Hernandez Garcia with a smaller arrow and then Gomez with the smallest arrow.
Masso is in a runoff race for Cameron County District Attorney with Luis Saenz. Hernandez is in the runoff contest with Yolanda Begum for JP 2-2, and Gomez is in the runoff with incumbent Pete Avila.
According to the police report filed in the case, the 43-year-old man arrived with his wife to pick up his father Tuesday at the Los Amigos Adult Day Care on El Paso Road when they saw the man's father being directed toward a blue van by a provider with the day care who was outside the building and directly in front of the ramp the elderly use to walk outside instead of to his relatives vehicle.When the man questioned the woman and told her that she could not force his parent to get into another vehicle, she responded that "her boss wanted her to get people and put them in another van to take them to vote."
At that time, the man reported that Norma Hernandez appeared and confronted him and "threatened to cause him harm," swinging a clipboard she was carrying with her. He further told police that Norma's son Ernie III later called him and told him he was, "going to beat him up and kill him."
What had started up as a disturbance escalated into a complaint of terroristic threats, according to the police narrative in the incident.
Both the man and Norma Hernandez called the police to report the confrontation and neither was arrested. However, the terroristic threats complaint was being investigated by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Brownsville Police Department and the man gave a taped statement later in the day.According to the initial report, when the man arrived at the day care, a convoy of vans was parked blocking the doorway and exit to the parking lot. The reporting officer reported that the man had "verbally harassed her while she was at the location trying to pick people up so they could go vote. Hernandez informed that she was parked at the location and that the suspect arrived while she was escorting people to the polling place."
She said the man was angry because his father was one of those who were being put in the van and that "it was a misunderstanding and that she thought the suspect's father needed a ride to vote."
She said she tried to apologize but that the suspect had gotten aggressive and verbally abusive toward her and her assistant Margarita Torres.
However, the man's version is very different.
He told police that when he arrived, the Hernandez group's vans were blocking the sidewalk where he was going to pick up his father who uses a walker and asked them to move. At the time the group was directing his father to one of the Hernandez vans and handing the elderly the marked sample ballots. He told police both Hernandez and Torres told him they could park there because they were picking people up.
Then, as the officers were taking the statements from both parties, Virginia Sandoval, the Los Amigos day care manager, arrived on the scene. As the officers informed her of the reason for the confrontation, "Sandoval informed (them) she did not give anyone consent to go and use the parking lot as meeting ground...(She) further stated that she does not want the complaintants (Hernandez and Torres) and to please remove the vehicles. Sandoval informed that the parking lot is only for the residents and the family of the residents."
Norma Hernandez and Torres then complied and said they would not be shuttling people to the polling place.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Heavy Voter Turnout Only Hope to Overcome Erin Hernandez Garcia Cheating

  Reposted from El Rrun Rrun


By Juan Montoya

Like a well-oiled (or shall we say, greased) political machine, the vans hauling the voters in for Erin Hernandez Garcia started rolling in with the van pictured at right making at least six trips to the early voting site at the Cameron County Elections Office.

Vanload after vanload made were driven to the curb to cast their vote. Hernandez-Garcia is in a runoff for JP 2-2 with Yolanda Begum, who garnered some 500 votes more that she did in the first go-round May 29.

Now, after activists with the Citizens Against Voter Abuse (CAVA) have analyzed the applications for mail-in ballots, they have discovered that about 500 applications were handed in for the runoff.
On Tuesday, the driver of the van (the same one pictured here) made numerous trips to deliver the Hernandez walk-in early votes.

When a poll watcher for Begum challenged some of the votes because they lacked identification, a brouhaha erupted and Erin herself made an appearance. Elections administrator Roger Ortiz walked across Harrison Street to soothe her ruffled feathers and spent some time pacifying her before walking back to the office.

How seriously Ortiz is taken by Erin Hernandez, whose father Ernie Hernandez is a county commissioner who oversees his budget is anyone's guess. Ortiz is also married to Elvira, who works for Cameron County District Clerk Aurora De la Garza.

But nonetheless, when a representative of CAVA arrived to collect more information on the mail-in votes that have decided elections in favor of Hernandez in the past, Ortiz made himself circumspect and went into his back office.

In the picture below, the driver of the van was photographed speaking with Erin as her entourage at the corner of the parking lot across from the voting site as cheerleaders headed by politiquera Herminia Becerra shouted out chants against the Begum group across the street.
"I left early because we've already had double the number of the votes in two days that I was supposed to deliver the whole week," Becerra claimed later in a phone call. "We no longer have any need to be there."
On Monday, Ortiz received complaints that Erin had planted herself directly in front of the polling place and was actually approaching each of these voters as they were getting off. Since this was a violation of the election laws due to the proximity to the poll, Roger Ortiz was called and he asked Erin to please remove herself from this particular area.

Now, Erin has sought the support of the voters with a slogan that she can deliver "Legal Experience You Deserve."
Yet,as her actions at the polls and in the photos above clearly show, skirting the law is more to her forte, as this blog has previously documented.

Meanwhile, at Cameron Park, reports that elections workers were providing curb service to voters who were clearly not incapacitated also generated a complaint from at least two candidates. According to the reports, the workers – and not the voting site elections judge – made the determination to take the ballots to the waiting cars and assisted the voters with their ballots.

Meanwhile, as this was happening, the voters who emerged from the polls were treated to a plate of barbecue chicken from the candidate they allegedly voted for.

Early Voting July 23-27~Democratic Polling Places and Times


BROWNSVILLE - Main Elections Office (8 AM to 8 PM)

BROWNSVILLE - Christ the King Catholic Church (from 10 AM to 7 PM)

BROWNSVILLE - Brownsville Public Library (from 10 AM to 7 PM)

BROWNSVILLE - Cameron Park Community Center (10 AM to 7 PM)

HARLINGEN - Cameron County Annex Building (10 AM to 7 PM)

SAN BENITO - San Benito Community Building (10 AM to 7 PM)

PORT ISABEL - Hon. Bennie Ochoa III County Annex Building (10 AM to 7 PM)

LA FERIA - La Feria Fire Station (10 AM to 7 PM)

LOS FRESNOS - Los Fresnos Community Building (10 AM to 7 PM)

Weekly Reader to Shut Down According to New York Post

From the editor: My first recollection of the Weekly Reader was coverage of the presidential race between Adlai Stevenson, Jr. and Dwight D. Eisenhower. We didn't take it seriously or get graded on it, but it helped us keep up with what was going on in the world like another Sputnik launch or the International Geophysical Year. 

by Oliver Staley

Mean Mister Brownsville


Scholastic (SCHL) Corp. will cease publication of the Weekly Reader, a magazine circulated in classrooms since 1902, after buying it earlier this year, the New York Post reported.

Scholastic, publisher of the Hunger Games books, plans to fold the magazine into Scholastic News and fire 55 of 60 Weekly Reader employees in White Plains, New York, the newspaper said. The Post didn’t say where it got the information on job cuts.

The New York-based company agreed to buy the Weekly Reader from Reader’s Digest Association Inc. in February, the Post said. Weekly Reader’s circulation fell from 1 million in 1990 to less than two-thirds of that, the Post said. At its peak, Weekly Reader had 13 million subscribers, according to the newspaper.

Combining the Weekly Reader and Scholastic News will result in “a better news and information experience in print and digital formats for teachers and students,” Cathy Lasiewicz, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg. She declined to comment on the job-cut numbers, saying some Weekly Reader employees joined the company, others are candidates for positions and some weren’t interested in commuting to Scholastic’s New York offices.

Monday, July 23, 2012

UPDATE: Jeffrey Cutlip Confesses to Murders

From the editor:  Mean Mister Brownsville reported the story May 22, 2012 of Jeffrey Cutlip's arrest in Brownsville as a non-reporting sex offender.  Since he had violated almost every aspect of his parole, including geographical limitations on his travel, no interaction with young people and, of course, reporting as a sex offender, I was very surprised to spot him at a bus stop on Central Blvd. in mid-June.  I called 911 three times while watching Cutlip move to another bus stop after seeing me.  Eventually, Cutlip vanished.  On my third call, dispatch told me that Cutlip was "alright" according to a detective, but they appreciated my call.  

 San Francisco Chronicle, July 23, 2012

Jeffrey Cutlip
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A 63-year-old man with a long criminal record has been arrested in Texas after police said he confessed to two Oregon homicides committed in the 1970s.
Portland detectives arrested Jeffrey Paul Cutlip over the weekend in Brownsville, Texas, police said Monday.
Authorities said he admitted his involvement in two slayings — one in 1975, the other in 1977. However, authorities haven't released the names of the victims or other information about the crimes.
Cutlip is being held in jail in Cameron County, Texas, awaiting extradition to Portland.
"It's always good to close a cold case, make an arrest, give closure to people's families," said Sgt. Pete Simpson, a Portland police spokesman.
Oregon Department of Corrections records show Cutlip has spent most of the past three decades behind bars, in and out of prison for crimes including sodomy, burglary and robbery. He was required to register as a sex offender following a 1982 sodomy conviction. State sex offender records label him a "predator" and say he targets adult female strangers using threats and weapons to gain compliance.

Cutlip was initially charged with several offenses in 1982 and ended up pleading guilty to burglary and sodomy for crimes committed in 1978 and 1982, respectively.

In the 1982 case, a lawyer for Cutlip wrote that Cutlip had a history of mental problems and was admitted to a mental hospital several times since the 1960s, according to Multnomah County court records. The lawyer wrote that Cutlip was taking medication for manic depression.

Cutlip at Brownsville Cheezmeh/Brownsville Loving Valentine's Day Event
Brownsville police spokesman Billy Killebrew said Cutlip called police Saturday and later came in to speak with investigators. Portland detectives flew in Sunday to check out his stories.
Brownsville authorities said he confessed to killing four people. Simpson declined to release any information about what Cutlip has told detectives, including any motive for coming forward or whether he is being investigated for other crimes. He also did not explain why Cutlip was arrested for two crimes rather than four. Simpson said he wasn't sure whether victims' families had been notified of Cutlip's arrest.

Brownsville police arrested Cutlip in April for failing to register as a sex offender, Killebrew said. He told police he'd lived in the area for about a year.

Early Voting July 23-27~Democratic Polling Places and Times


BROWNSVILLE - Main Elections Office (8 AM to 8 PM)

BROWNSVILLE - Christ the King Catholic Church (from 10 AM to 7 PM)

BROWNSVILLE - Brownsville Public Library (from 10 AM to 7 PM)

BROWNSVILLE - Cameron Park Community Center (10 AM to 7 PM)

HARLINGEN - Cameron County Annex Building (10 AM to 7 PM)

SAN BENITO - San Benito Community Building (10 AM to 7 PM)

PORT ISABEL - Hon. Bennie Ochoa III County Annex Building (10 AM to 7 PM)

LA FERIA - La Feria Fire Station (10 AM to 7 PM)

LOS FRESNOS - Los Fresnos Community Building (10 AM to 7 PM)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Facebook Officials Share Some User-Tracking Secrets

by Sarah Kessler from Mashable Social Media

For the first time, Facebook has revealed details about how it tracks users across the web.

Through interviews with Facebook engineering director Arturo Bejar, Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes, Facebook corporate spokesman Barry Schnitt and Facebook engineering manager Gregg Stefancik, USA Today‘s Byron Acohido was able to compile the most complete picture to date of how the social network keeps tabs on its 800 million users.

Here is what Acohido learned:
Facebook doesn’t track everybody the same way. It uses different methods for members who have signed in and are using their accounts, members who are logged-off and non-members.
The first time you arrive at any Facebook.com page, the company inserts cookies in your browser. If you sign up for an account, it inserts two types of cookies. If you don’t set up an account, it only inserts one of the two types.
These cookies record every time you visit another website that uses a Facebook Like button or other Facebook plugin — which work together with the cookies to note the time, date and website being visited. Unique characteristics that identify your computer are also recorded.
Facebook keeps logs that record your past 90 days of activity. It deletes entries older than 90 days.
If you are logged into a Facebook account, your name, email address, friends and all of the other data in your Facebook profile is also recorded.

Data about web searches and browsing habits could be used to figure out political affiliations, religious beliefs, sexual orientations or health issues about consumers. According to USA Today, this type of correlation doesn’t seem to be happening on a wide scale, but the concern of some privacy advocates is that selling data could become a tempting business proposition — both to social networks like Facebook and online advertising players such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo that similarly employ cookie tracking techniques.

Facebook told USA Today that it uses data collected via cookies to help improve security and its plugins and that it has no plans to change how it uses this data. It has, however, applied for a patent on a technology that includes a method that correlates ads and tracking data.

“We patent lots of things, and future products should not be inferred from our patent application,” Facebook corporate spokesman Barry Schnitt told USA Today.

Regardless of how Facebook is handling the data it collects through cookies, by doing so it has entered a very sticky debate about whether consumers should be able to opt out of being tracked by such methods. Aproposed law that would create this option was introduced in February.

While a recent poll found that about 70% of Facebook users and 52% of Google users were either somewhat or very concerned about their privacy, some argue that online commerce would suffer without online tracking.

Illegal Flyers Dumped in Brownsville~Cheezmeh?

Crude Flyers

Illegal Flyers Given Wide Distribution in Brownsville

An associate of Alex Begum was approached by two men passing out flyers in Brownsville.  Two of the three flyers did not identify the campaign of record as required by the Election Code.   A few minutes later, he again noticed the two men,  but when he approached, they fled.  

Political Flyers with Barbacoa

By sheer happenstance,  it was noticed that the flyers were being tucked into paper bags of barbacoa at a small tortilleria.  When it was pointed out to the store owner that one of the flyers contained inaccurate information about a prominent attorney, he decided to stop putting them in his bags of barbacoa.  Several stores nearby had also been issued a stack of flyers for distribution to their customers, but pointed to them in the trash.

This distribution seems to be the work of the some individual or group representing the Corrupt Three, Erin H. Garcia, Carlos Masso and Abelardo Gomez as the flyers attack Yolanda Begum and her son Alex, Luis Saenz and Pete Avila.  One of the flyers claims to have been paid for by Bringing Brownsville Change, the P.A.C. or Political Action Committee of Brownsville Cheezmeh.  The address listed is 1215 E. Madison St, Suite D, Brownsville, TX 78520, where Linda Castro Dragustinovis has her Notario Publico.   The other two flyers do not comply with the election code and identify the campaign producing them.  

Crude Graphics

The flyers are crude and amateurish with a weird graphic illustrating sexual abuse.  Recently, the campaigns of Carlos Masso, Erin H. Garcia and Abelardo Gomez have joined forces to form a disreputable ticket.  In the primary, Gomez and Masso had a corresponding number of mail-in votes.  It is speculated that the group may use the same politiquera or group of politiqueras to harvest a block of votes for the runoff.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Are the Commissioners Tiring of Tyrant Tony?

It's not always easy to change the dynamics of a situation.  If someone in the group has been assertive while you've been passive, the moment you try to stand up for yourself, the group says:   "Woahhh!  What got in to you?"   You've upset the rhythm, the dynamics, the predictability.

Last June the city welcomed a man of retirement age  as mayor and three young adults as new commissioners.  The mayor won a majority of the votes among five candidates, what's normally called a mandate.  The new young commissioners were just happy to be there. 

We citizens learned quickly that Mayor Tony was not an idea man.  That should not have been a big surprise, since he verbalized no concepts, dreams or plans for the city during his campaign.  At the UTB/TSC mayoral debate forum he had promised that his first order of business would be a new ethics code, gave some general platitudes about downtown revitalization and sang the chorus of his campaign that he "believed in Brownsville."

John Villarreal
Estela Chavez-Vasquez
At the first City Commission meeting of the Martinez era, the mayor moved quickly to yank two critical appointments away from two newbie commissioners.  

In the blink of an eye the commissioners had lost power and the area's represented by those commissioners had lost representation and influence.   Some described the new commissioners as timid or having the dreaded "deer in headlights" look.  Actually, that was accurate.

Ricardo Longoria
Two of the three seasoned commissioners did participate.  Melissa Zamora questioned why Purchasing Manager Robert C. Luna seemed less than forthright with respect to awarding or recommending contractors.  More often than not someone named Escobedo got sole source privileges with the city.  Estela Chavez-Vasquez and Jessica Tetreau-Kalifa also learned to speak out when things were seeming being hurriedly pushed through without merit or explanation.  Rose Gowen got involved in health issues almost exclusively, but otherwise just occupied a seat.  Ricardo Longoria frequently explained how things had been done in the past, but Mayor Tony seemed to find his comments irritating and found a reason to stifle his comments, usually with a Robert's Rules of Order technicality.  John Villarreal continued to mostly observe.  

So, has the City Commission settled for lackluster?  Is everyone sitting there idealess?  I've said many times that I expected Martinez to hit the mayoral ground running with a yellow legal pad full of ideas for improving the city.  In my naivete I envisioned him working on a rough draft of the ethics code  in the weeks after the election before he took office, touring downtown, talking to the code enforcement and heritage officers and lighting a proverbial fire under their posteriors, looking at department redundancy and efficiency.  But most of all, I expected him to be asking questions.  How can we improve our city?  OK, that fleet of ships has sailed.

But we still have commissioners, ranging in age from 29 to 52, the prime of life.  What prevents them from taking a notepad with them everywhere they go and asking everyone they meet:  "How can we improve our city?"  Write the bad ideas alongside the good, filter them through what's practical and doable and have one or two agenda points nearly every City Commission meeting about making Brownsville better.  It doesn't have to be something grandiose or costly.  

No mayor or commissioner should come to any commission meeting flat-footed, without something to contribute and an opinion about EVERY non-ceremonial agenda item.  Why should important agenda items be rushed through just because the mayor wants to get home to watch Boston Legal?  A good city commission meeting is not a quick meeting, but a meeting that accomplishes something for the city.  An agenda point, refined and streamlined by serious discussion is almost always a better decision than one rushed through.

A good chairman doesn't try to steer an agenda point, but solicits viewpoints.  He or she can comment, but stepping away from moderating to add that comment.  If a commissioner NEVER has anything to add or question, why is he or she a commissioner?

Recently, I received a report that some on the commission had tired of Mayor Martinez "tyrannical" control, that commissioner disagreement was taken as being anti-city or anti-progress.  Hopefully, the report is untrue or exaggerated, but, if not, there is such an easy solution.

mayor=1 vote(in case of ties)

commissioner=1 vote

If a commissioner  feels strongly about something, he or she only needs to sway three others to have a majority.  Isn't that sometimes called "building a consensus?"  It's a skill that could improve our city.  

I was told years ago that the control people have over you is only the control you give them.  Sometimes, you just have to take that control back.

Introducing the Politiquera Ticket~The Corrupt Three

Abelardo Gomez, Erin Hernandez Garcia, Carlos Masso

The Bigger War Behind the Election Battles~Mail Ballot Requests Now Total 643!

Norma Carrillo, Administrative Assistant
Cameron County Elections
Visiting the Elections Office

There is a much larger issue than Saenz vs. Masso, Begum vs. Hernandez or Gomez vs. Avila.  Cameron County elections are not clean.  The disillusionment in the electorate, the low voter turnout certainly is deeply rooted in that common knowledge.  Votes can be bought in Brownsville, Cameron County, overriding ALL the work done by poll watchers, election administrators and ballot counters. 

Election Administrator Roger Ortiz was not in his office Friday morning when Nena and I stopped in to see him.  He was in a training meeting.  Norma Carrillo, Ortiz administrative assistant did visit with us, and, as usual, we came away with a little better understanding of the Election Code and how things work in Cameron County.  

First of all, 643 applications for mail-in ballots have been picked up or sent out with 462 of those automatically mailed to those using mail-ins in the primary.  That was something we learned;  those voting by mail in the primary automatically receive mail-in ballot applications for the run-off.  Here is a brief part of our conversation with Ms. Carrillo:

MEAN MISTER BROWNSVILLE:  "Can anyone just walk into the elections office and ask for 100 mail-in ballot applications?"

Ms. Carrillo:  "No, we do not allow anyone to get that many.  Candidates are limited to 25 per month and non-candidates to 10 per month."

MEAN MISTER BROWNSVILLE:  "So, if Ernie Hernandez walks in?  Or Norma?  Or Erin?"

Ms. Carrillo:  "Ernie and Norma as non-candidates could get up to 10 each per month.  Erin, as a candidate could get 25 per month.  But, of course, we accept copies or reasonable facsimiles  or faxes.  
MEAN MISTER BROWNSVILLE:  "So, really, all you need is one copy and you could go to Staples and make 500 copies?"

Ms. Carrillo:  "That is correct.  We even accept handwritten notes asking for a mail-in ballot."

MEAN MISTER BROWNSVILLE:  The last time we talked with Roger, we looked at the election code and talked to the Legal Department at the Secretary of States' office about assisted ballots.  We learned that generally you can witness one ballot, but assist on an unlimited number.  But, what about the mailing of that ballot?"

Ms. Carrillo:  "The election code is clear.  It is actually illegal to possess someone else's mail-in ballot.  Section VIII, 86.011, article b states that possession of 1-9 mail-in ballots is a Class B misdemeanor, possessing 11-19 is a Class A misdemeanor and possessing 20 or more is a state felony."

Our visit with Ms. Carrillo concluded with our leaving of copies of the Western Blvd. voter records that were color-coded by Laura Miniel for Mr. Ortiz.  We explained the research being done by CAVA, etc. and the obvious geographic patterns indicative of voter harvesting, not random mail-ins as one might expect.  This concentration and pattern of voting was being sent to the Secretary of State, we explained. 

Voter Fraud Negates Polling

Alex Begum told me Wednesday:  "We paid for two polls done scientifically out of Washington, D.C., working from lists of those who voted in the last election.  The question was phrased:  'Who do you support in the Justice of the Peace, District 2-2 race?'  Both polls came out with very similar numbers with an accuracy of, as they say, plus or minus 5%.  The polls indicated my mom(Yolanda Begum) at 28%, Javier Hernandez at 25% and Erin H. Garcia at 15 and 18%.  Yolanda Begum and Javier Hernandez finished that way but somehow Erin got 25%."

OK, Which Candidates Support or Use Politiqueras?

Omar Lucio
Lucio admitted in a 2008 interview with Bobby Wightman-Cervantes that he uses politiqueras.  He does not pay for their services, however, but allows them to intercede for friends who receive traffic tickets.  Any compensation is between the politiquera and the person they are helping.  

Lucio received the exact number of mail-in votes in the primary as Gomez and Masso.  Even Roger Ortiz could see that they used the same politiquera or group of politiqueras.

Carlos Masso

Carlos Masso has spent freely in this election, advertising everywhere including billboards, blogs and signs.  Some have reported that he has outspent his opponent 4-1.  In any event, it's pretty obvious he used the same politiqueras as Lucio and Gomez because of his mail-in totals in the primary.

Erin H. Garcia

Erin and her family are deeply connected to the use of politiqueras.  Her father Ernie was quoted in the Brownsville Herald in 2001 defending their use.  Her mother Norma is generally regarded as a politiquera.  Herminia Becerra attends all of Erin's functions wearing a laminated "administrator" card for the Hernandez campaign.  

Abelardo Gomez

Same mail-in vote total as Masso and Lucio.  Received this unconfirmed comment: 
 " I know Gomez paid each politiquera $350 a week, I know this because they don't care for him and came to us. They asked for the same amount to help us. $350x7 for 8 weeks up to the last election. That's a lot of money, then $350 x7 for the last month of runoff. That's a grand total of $19,600 plus the runoff $9800. AN INCREDIBLE $29,400.00 to politiquera from only Gomez. What a shame that these candidates do this."


Grandson Jack in Market Square Walking with grandson Jack downtown is a challenge.  He frolicks, skips, cuts in front of you, runs ahead,...