Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Will Ernie Hernandez, Jr. Show Us His Tax Returns? Can't We Just Handle This In-House?

Ernie "Deductible" Hernandez, Jr.
Ernesto Hernandez, Jr. has a lot on his plate these days.  First, he has to find a job for Carlos Masso.  Masso, as you know allegedly funded Ernie's efforts to get his daughter a steady job in a JP position as the Hernandez clan had a little bit two much month left at the end of their money during the election.

  If Masso ended up covering for Ernie's cashflow problems by paying off the politiqueras, the drivers who shuttled the elderly, disabled and mentally challenged from the nursing homes and day care centers, then Ernie owes him bigtime.  The old saying that "there's honor among thieves" reminds us that even when politicos like the Hernandez are busy stealing an election via voter fraud, they don't forget the little people who ran the polling places, served as lookouts for vans of disabled, tricked seniors into trading their right of suffrage for a chicken plate or funded much of the above.  

Now, on the heels of the Masso problem, with Ernie trying to create a new JP position to repay his benefactor, the damn Internal Revenue Service complicates Ernie's life even further by hitting him with an $821,000 tax bill.  I'm certain Ernie, like Mitt Romney, pays his taxes.  But, how much money does he damn make off the cititzens of Brownsville and Cameron County to underpay by over three quarters of a million dollars?  How many millions does Ernie have stashed in offshore banks?  Is that money laundered or unlaundered?  

Horacio Barrera's law partner
Ernie played the whole thing off by saying the amount due would likely be much less than $821,000 and that he had two lawyers looking into it.  Are those two lawyers from the same firm defending the familty from election fraud, that is Horacio Barrera and Tony Martinez?  Speaking of Tony Martinez, how's that ethics code you said would be the number one priority of your administration coming along mayor?  

"Ernie wishes the county commissioners could settle his tax problem,"  offered one county observer.  "They would likely consider the matter too hot of a potato and simply turn the matter over to the Brownsville Police Department.  Meanwhile, the commissioners would name a new court annex building after Ernie and hang an expensive portrait of the troubled commissioner inside.  The expense would all be transferred to the taxpayers without so much as a purchase order."

"But, it would be out of our jurisdiction,"  offered a relative of the police chief just promoted to detective.  "We might consider the matter for 30 days, but eventually we would toss it back to the commissioners or even to Villalobos.  Of course, I would hate to bother Armando.  He's busy working on his upcoming trial on county time."

"What religion is old Ernie?"  shouted out a bailiff washing Ernie's truck.  "I heard the I.R.S. doesn't make the Amish pay social security taxes.  If Ernie converts, he might knock off some of his balance.  He could even say his conscience doesn't permit him to support the military.  That might save Ernie at least half."

"Hey Maclovio!  If Ernie's going to be on your show tonight, could you ask him to bring his tax returns?" 

Quintanilla Circles Over his Prey at BISD

Convicted Felon Quintanilla Controls BISD
RICO Felony conviction for bilking G. Heileman Brewing
Company of $800,000, allegedly once $85,000 arrear
in child support, over $12,000 in hot checks, liens against
his 421 S. Dwight Ave. residence for "theft of services,
other legal entanglements too numerous to mention.
Convicted RICO felon Carlos Quintanilla has done some good "work" for Ted Parker at Lubbock and Brownsville, Texas.  Healthsmart, the huge insurance company Parker once owned, faced huge lawsuits in both cities for enormous overcharges.  

Quintanilla's alleged assignment was to go to both cities, spend Parker's money to line up candidates who would reciprocate for their pumped up candidacy by dismissing the lawsuits against Parker.  It's a very simple plan, really;  spend money to save a lot more money.

The plan worked modestly well in northwest Texas, with the City of Lubbock  assessing the changing political landscape and quickly settling the lawsuit against Healthsmart for a reduced $4,000,000.  The plan would work almost to perfection in Brownsville where calabaza trumps the background check.  To be fair, the community also has its share of intelligent people who can be mobilized to defeat inept candidates as in Cheezmeh vs. Atkinson in the spring of 2011. 

With the BISD elections of 2010 looming, Quintanilla spearheaded a political action committee or P.A.C. appropriately named DefeatZayasCortezPowers.  It is known that Juan Montoya, Ben Neece, Pat Lehman and Art Rendon met to work out details of the P.A.C. at Lehman's Chinese motor scooter sales floor on Central Blvd., to be joined by Argelia Miller and Mary S. Rey, who would be named the "officers" of the P.A.C.  

Without retelling Mary S. Rey's revealing deposition of 2011, suffice to say Quintanilla assembled a stable of candidates who were successful in attaining a board majority in 2010, setting the stage for ultimately dismissing the $14,300,000 against Healthsmart.  His "girls," Cata Presas-Garcia, Lucy Longoria, Christina Saavedra and the sort of effeminate Enrique Escobedo became the board majority primed to do Parker's bidding under the guidance of Carlos Quintanilla.  His orchestration was sometimes fraternal(the group referred to him as "brother"), but, on occasion required some tough love to keep the ladies in line.  "Don't forget, I made you, bitch!"  were words Quintanilla was once heard screaming into a phone at Lucy Longoria, when she seemed uncooperative on a matter.

After that successful(for Quintanilla and Parker) school board election, Quintanilla had time for another quick scam, this time to be perpetrated on the City of Brownsville.  Again, it was Quintanilla, the charismatic Hispanic flim flammer, representing a rich anglo, this time with a 4 day old airline to sell, Fly Frontera.  The City Commission almost couldn't accept the deal fast enough, with then Mayor Pat Ahumada acting like a giddy school girl trying to convince her parents the bad boy was really "nice."  The proposed deal was so upside down for the city as to be almost laughable:  first 23 tickets NOT sold guaranteed by the city at $135 per ticket, $1,500,000 incentives for licensing, fuel, spare parts, etc.  The quickly thrown together company didn't even have any planes, but Ahumada kept repeating himself when some citizens became aware of Quintanilla's multi-paged criminal record:  "Don't blame the messenger!  Carlos Quintanilla has nothing to do with the deal.  He's just the messenger!"  Yeah, right.  Is that why the company's business address is 421 S. Dwight Ave., Dallas, TX, the address of Quintanilla's home?(Quintanilla is still fuming about the breakdown of this con, threatening only two days ago to finalize his lawsuit against me for my tiny part in snuffing out the scam.  He describes himself as "putting the finishing touches on a lawsuit agains(sic) Mr. Barton for his killing of Fly Frontera")

Parker's interest and Quintanilla's manipulation of the BISD board is not over.  There is always a chance of reinstituting the 14.3 million dollar Healthsmart lawsuit if the board majority changes.  Quintanilla is going all out to prevent that from happening.  He has assembled another stable of "girls" to run in the November 6 general election.  We will identify the obvious Quintanilla plants.  You can decided by your vote if you want that 14.3 million to be used by the children or to stay in Parker's pocket.  

Quintanilla's "Girls"

Cata Presas-Garcia:  A female pit bull, successful in ramming Quintanilla's program through BISD, stifled dissent with an acid tongue and clear violations of Robert's Rules of Order when she was board president.  Pretends to make her money in real estate, although no one in Brownsville seems aware of any activity.   Said to drive a new Cadillac that is titled to a cousin who works as a BISD janitor.  Catalina is an extension of Carlos Quintanilla on the board.  Switched at the last minute from Place 3 to Place 5 to avoid Mary Rey.

Linda Gill

Linda Gill:  May run as Hermelinda Gill Martinez.  Quintanilla is being coy with Gill, pretending to not be sure if he will support her.  She left on a trip to Chicago just before the filing date, not returning till Monday evening after the window to file had closed.  Somehow, her filing got done for Place 7.  Quintanilla is believed to be financing her campaign.

Argelia Miller:  An extremely gregarious, nice woman.  Told me she decided to run for Place 3 because "3 is her lucky number".  Known to be a Quintanilla associate.  Will not go against her "brother."

Finally, Shirley Ann Bowman:  A retired BISD teacher said to be a Quintanilla plant.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mary S. Rey Explains Her Withdrawal from BISD, Place 3 Race

From the editor:  Any hope of reducing the Carlos Quintanilla-manipulated foursome to a minority three took a severe blow when Mary S. Rey decided to withdraw from the race in BISD, Place 3.  Quintanilla puppet Cata Presas-Garcia had already shifted her aim to Place 5 to avoid Rey.  The elephant in the room for BISD is still the $14,300,000 Healthsmart lawsuit.  Yes, Quintanilla was able to elect pawns Lucy Longoria, Christina Saavedra, Cata Presas-Garcia and support Enrique Escobodo to drop the large suit for overcharges at the behest of Ted Parker.  

For Parker and his con man associate Quintanilla the danger is somehow losing a puppet majority on the board and having to face a reinstitution of the lawsuit.(Think about the obscenity of dismissing a lawsuit for overcharges at a time when students do not have enough art supplies, paper, hand sanitizer, etc.) Quintanilla has done his preliminary legwork in locating new puppets to promote for trustee:  Linda Gill, Argelia Miller and Shirley Bowman.  The painfully slow Joe Colunga and the tired Rolando Aguilar are not seeking re-election.  

Withdrawing with Students, Teachers and the Community in Mind. . . . . . . by Mary S. Rey

Mary S. Rey
It is with a heavy heart that I withdraw from the BISD race, so as NOT to split the vote between Mr Otis Powers and I, as I fully support him, and wholeheartedly ask you to do the same.  

In the past two years our BISD board has become completely dysfunctional at worst, and at best, functioning perpetually in crisis mode due to many poor decisions made by the current board majority.  Our children and our tax dollars deserve much higher standards of performance and professionalism from its board members and everyone involved in their education.  The track record of the current board majority shows lawsuit after lawsuit, extracting millions of dollars at the expense of our children.  This is unacceptable.  Your children and my grandchildren deserve the best education and resources our tax dollars can obtain.  Funding from tax dollars is being depleted rapidly under this current board with too much time, energy and resources being gobbled up unnecessarily or used for personal gain.  This constant manipulation creates a negative impact on the community at large.

Though our schools individually have done great things and celebrated many accomplishments, just think what they could have achieved if the board majority functioned as it should instead of operating under perpetual turbulence and in crisis mode.  In the interim they have wasted $20,000,000 by being manipulated to dismiss lawsuits of substance.  Unfortunately, our children will never see a dime of those potential settlements. 

Our students and teachers are the most valuable assets we have.  Let's not destroy them.  Let's help them by giving them the necessary tools, technology and a good working environment for teachers.  Teachers do not need micro-management from the board, but need to be allowed to do their job!  They do not need the board inside their classrooms.  Salaries must be comparable to the rest of the country.  

Nepotism and cronyism must be eradicated!  Within the last two years, many certified teachers were denied employment, while positions were being created for friends and relatives without the necessary qualifications.  It's sad that our beloved school district has become a laughingstock because of its board majority.

Sitting on a school board is not meant to provide trustees wealth or power or to sustain their lifestyle.  Sitting on the board should mean you care about your community's children.  Citizens who seek to serve should do so unyielding to outside interlopers and insiders looking for a payday at the expense of our children and our community's future.  

Two years ago, because of my vulnerability at that moment, I became entangled in a web of deception involving a group of people I had met only three months earlier.  Once I learned their intentions I detached myself permanently.  I have learned the valuable lesson of choosing my acquaintances very, very carefully.  In November of 2011, my friend Argelia Miller had a similar opportunity to come clean after my deposition, but chose not to do so, corroboration that she is easily manipulated.  We need a strong candidate like Otis Powers on the board.  

I fully support Otis Powers for BISD, Place 3 and humbly ask you to do the same.


Mary S. Rey

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Convicted RICO Felon Con Artist Carlos Quintanilla Manipulating BISD Election Again!

Convicted Con Artist Now Corrupting BISD Election
Mealy-mouthed con artist Carlos Quintanilla will just not go away.  Why should he?  He can smell the $500,000,000 BISD budget all the way from Dallas.  This outsider controlled the last BISD election by forming a P.A.C. with two Brownsville women as token officers, Argellia Miller and Mary S. Rey.  Records show Quintanilla contributed in $1,000 increments to this P.A.C., although the "Treasurer", Argellia Miller knew nothing about the financials of the organization.  Nor did Mary S. Rey, the "President."

Quintanilla with his buddy, Fake "Dr." Escobedo
Like everything else Quintanilla touches, the P.A.C. was a scam to elect  trustees who would eventually see the light of dropping the $14,300,000 lawsuit against Healthsmart for overcharges.  Ted Parker, the former owner of the huge insurance firm had sent Quintanilla to Lubbock on a similar mission.  Just to refresh our collective recollection,  Carlos Quintanilla is a career criminal whose extensive criminal record includes a RICO felony conviction for bilking the G.Heileman Brewing Company out of $800,000, an alleged arrearage of $85,000 child support, at one time over $12,000 in hot checks,  liens for "theft of services" attached to his home at 421 S. Dwight, Dallas, TX and numerous other legal entanglements.  

Frequently, Quintanilla's cons have a charitable connection.  As Bobby Wightman-Cervantes reported in the BROWNSVILLE VOICE 2/12/2012: 
Quintanilla with Trustee Presas-Garcia in Dallas
Promoting the Milk Scam
"Carlos Quintanilla remains relevant because he is promising to work with BISD Trustee Cata Presas-Garcia to bring to Brownsville his flim flam claims about feeding children. The bogus nature of his claims are now part of his bankruptcy proceedings. The entire feeding program was a con wherein at best Quintanilla was table server of food paid for by the people of Texas. He now wants to sue Texas for failing to pay him $30,000 for being a humanitarian. His partner in the feeding program is Bruce Carter, a fellow convicted felon. According to court documents Carter and his organization is facing a default judgment for $508,387 for non-payment for the milk used by Carter and Quintanilla to feed the children. Quintanilla is not a named party because like I said, Quintanilla appears to have been merely a table server for Bruce Carter."

So here we go again.  On his obscure, seldom read blog, Quintanilla promotes the candidacy of his longtime puppet Cata Presas-Garcia and a dear friend of ours, Argellia Miller.  I fear that just like last time with the bogus P.A.C., Mrs. Miller is an unwitting pawn in Quintanilla's game.  Of course, regardless of the outcome of the next BISD race, Quintanilla operatives Lucy Longoria, Christina Saavedra and Enrique Escobedo will still hold their positions.   

Mary S. Rey
One clearly independent candidate, Mary S. Rey, who filed for position 3, faces Argellia Miller and Otis Powers.  Soon you may see Quintanilla-financed articles blasting Ms. Rey.  You will hear that Ms. Rey has a son, facing a murder charge.  For that very reason, I suggested to Mary she not run for BISD trustee.  But, all who know Mary,  know she follows the beat of her own drummer.  Even in the face of a Quintanilla-manipulated majority, she will speak the truth.  She is not afraid of a fight.  She is not afraid of Quintanilla, as she proved in last year's deposition when she exposed him as not only a con artist, but a consummate liar.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Update:Ernie's In-Law Wants Cornejo-Lopez Recused Over Girl Scout Cookie Vindictiveness

From the Editor: The  Brownsville Herald reported that Attorney Nat C. Perez was finally successful in getting Judge Cornejo-Lopez recused from the murder trial of Ernie Hernandez relative Aroldo Cadriel.  Perez argued that Cornejo-Lopez held a bias against Cadriel that would interfere with his right of a fair trial.  Initially, Perez claimed that the bias was based on the attorney's refusal to buy Girl Scout cookies from Cornejo-Lopez' daughter.  Below is the MMB story from August 25, 2012:

Ernie's In-Law Wants Cornejo-Lopez Recused Over Girl Scout Cookie Vindictiveness

Aroldo Cadriel
It may not be a coordinated family effort to denigrate or ruin the reputation of 404th District Judge Cornejo-Lopez by the Hernandez-Cadriel families, but it seems so.

The latest verbal missile aimed at Lopez comes from the lawyer representing Ernie's brother-in-law Aroldo Cadriel in a murder case, Nat Perez.

Mr. Perez claims in a Brownsville Herald article by Jacqueline Armendariz that his refusal to buy girl scout cookies from Cornejo-Lopez resulted in banishment from Cornejo-Lopez' courtroom.  Left unexplained was why Cornejo-Lopez wasn't banning Perez now.  Instead, it is Perez who is trying to get Cornejo-Lopez recused from hearing the case.  

Nat (Cookie) Perez
Jerry Mchale, publisher of the Brownsville Blues blog first broke the story on June 28th that Ernie Hernandez was spreading a vicious rumor about Cornejo-Lopez to ruin her marriage and discredit her, paving the way for his daughter Erin to run for the district judgeship in the next go-around.  Is Ernie now orchestrating the recusal of Cornejo-Lopez for her alleged vindictiveness when Perez failed to purchase cookies her daughter was selling?

As Perez explains in his motion, when Judge Cornejo-Lopez saw him in the halls of the courthouse, she directed him to see her court coordinator about a matter.  Perez complied, only to be dunned by the coordinator to buy Girl Scout cookies being credited as sold by Cornejo-Lopez' daughter.  With Perez refusal of purchase came harsh reprisals in the courtroom according to Perez, stating that on three occasions Cornejo-Lopez prevented him from practicing his craft in her courtroom:  
"This conduct is an open, blatant and obvious indication of Judge Elia Cornejo-Lopez's animosity,  dislike and disdain for counsel and her desire to not have counsel practice in her court before her, possibly exacerbated by his refusal to purchase a case of Girl Scout cookies from her daughter's troop."

Friday, August 24, 2012

Robert Duvall Is A Deadbeat

Doesn't Pay His Bills
I just spoke with the sister of two brothers who worked as extras on the Robert Duvall film tentatively titled "A Night In Old Mexico," that was filmed partially in Brownsville.

It turns out that the two young men did everything asked of them in three days of work in the hot sun, but never got paid.

 Duvall stiffed the locals.  

A lady that owns a snack shop across from Market Square did say she got paid ten dollars for leaving her lights on all night.  The Duvall teams liked the way the small business looked lit up. 

Mean Mister Brownsville~Scattered Thoughts: Gems from Bobby, Tony's Horacio, Romney's Perryisms

Illogical Legal Expert
Bobby Wightman-Cervantes' blow-by-blow on the H. Garcia-Begum election fraud trial promises to elevate the chuckle level during the dog days of summer.  BWC is noted for providing nuggets of detail but stretching them beyond logic.  Common sense is not his forte.

Bobby is a brilliant researcher, a sort of super paralegal,  but brainless in implementation.  Perhaps, that's the tradeoff in consulting or reading the blog of a disbarred lawyer~brilliance and stupidity in one package.

Bobby is critical of Yolanda Begum's legal team of Michael Cowen and Ruben Pena.  Cowen gets a BWC demerit for not including the Secretary of State in his action.  Pena gets called on Bobby's carpet for taking so long to call for Judge Banales' recusal or replacement.  Yolanda gets blamed for hiring Cowen and Pena.  All of the above plays into Erin H. Garcia's hand, who Bobby claims is trying to "run out the clock."

Tony Martinez evidently could not talk his law partner Horacio Becerra into NOT representing the Hernandezes against Yolanda Begum.  Maybe Barrera needed the money or perhaps he is philisophically more aligned with the Hernandez' clan.  OMG, why didn't I see it before?  Tony, Sylvia Garza-Perez, Ernie Hernandez are all on the same team.   Why would a stable, well-heeled legal team need the stigma of being associated with Ernie Hernandez, politiqueras and election fraud?  Why do I keep wanting Tony to be smart?

Rick Perry
A friend deeply involved in politics called me in the wee hours last spring, somewhat giddy with the prospect of Rick Perry's presidential run.  I told him that he would be eaten alive, simply because he speaks before he thinks.  Mitt Romney suffers from Rick Perry disease.  While not political or party oriented,  I want a president who won't embarrass us when he opens his mouth.  Clinton, Obama and Reagan filled that bill despite having different ideologies.  I was not embarrassed when they represented our country on the world stage.  Romney has demonstrated the potential to do just that. 

My biggest Facebook fan this week
Two comments to my blog have threatened a pending lawsuit from Carlos Masso.  Interestingly, I have a Facebook application that let's you know who has been viewing your FB site.  This past week the number one viewer is Carlos Masso.  lol

Back to Bobby:  In a recent blog article Bobby reiterated his plan to take his ball home and leave the blogosphere playground.  "I cannot wait for this election contest to be over so I can shut the BV down, again. BISD can make the most rational person not want to care about anything."  That's Mr. Wightman-Cervantes at his Bobby best.  

Mean Mister Brownsville~Scattered Thoughts on Blogger Celebrity, Cronyism

The Price of Celebrity

Bobby Back in the Day
From the BROWNSVILLE VOICE comment section:

BobbyWC said:

"thanks for a constructive comment-I am fully aware of my impact as to BISD-it actually frustrates me when people stop me in the store or in the rare occasion I am eating out-now that is downright rude.'

MMB:  Bobby Wightman-Cervantes, the intermittent, petulant blogger comments above on the high price of fame.  What's next Bobby?  Being chased by the paparazzi?

Cronyism Paralyzes Brownsville

I prefer the word "cronyism" to compadrismo" or any other word that implies an ethnic influence.  Cronyism is not connected to local culture necessarily, but universal.  

The system in place in the city of Brownsville and Cameron County guarantees mediocrity.  Consistent in-house hiring gives us personnel in critical city and county positions who cannot do their jobs nearly as well as those whose resume's include the experience, training and skills they lack.  

While hiring a former police commander, for example, as City Manager in a city of 200,000 with multiple challenges borders on insanity, the hiring Robert Cadriel is criminal.  Both situations downgrade our community.  

The trade-off for mediocrity is that the in-house hire, the good ol' boy will cooperate when necessary.  Everything becomes uneven:  the awarding of contracts, hiring of personnel, the handling of crimes, negligence or incompetence.  Nothing is based on merit but on the familial and personal relationships.  

Imaginary Conversations

"Sheriff Lucio, Omar.  This is Aurora.  My boy Joey got himself in a bit of a mess. . . . . . . . "

"Hey Orlando.  This is Charlie.  Hey, great job so far. . . Say, I hear one of my boys got a little out of hand at the Toucan last night . . . . . . ."

Meanwhile, the kid without connections from Southmost goes to jail for carrying a 12 pack of beer out of a Stripes store without stopping at the checkout counter.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Did Cata Presas-Garcia Duck Mary S. Rey in BISD Position 3? Last Second Ballot Shenanigans at BISD

Mary S. Rey
Mary S. Rey is incapable of speaking without passion.  If a thought is worth expressing, it deserves a measure of force, enunciation and power behind each word.  Rey recocks her verbal rifle before each sentence, then carefully aims and fires.

Mealy-mouthed, convicted con artist Carlos Quintanilla learned the hard way that Ms. Rey also chronicles every conversation, text or email, reproducing the original when you try to lie or con your way out when confronted with the truth.  Rey's deposition last year exposed the fake hispanic messiah from Big D as nothing more than a scammer who lies only when he speaks.

Mary S. Rey would not be the preferred opponent of a Quintanilla puppet like Cata Presas-Garcia,  but that was not even a consideration when Rey registered at 4:45 pm as a candidate opposite Presas-Garcia in BISD district 3.  At 5:00 pm, according to an insider report, things changed dramatically with Cata-Presas Garcia pulling out of the district 3 race and putting her name in district 6.  At the same instant, the tipster continued, Argellia Miller was placed in the district 3 race, creating a threesome of Otis Powers, Argellia Miller and Mary S. Rey.  The new alignment favors the re-election of Presas-Garcia, but puts Rey in the difficult position dividing votes with her friend Miller while they both face Otis Powers.  

Speaking with Miller by phone, I told her I found it odd that she would be going up against her friend Mary S. Rey in the school board election.  "I find it odd, too."  she stated.  "I had no idea Mary was running and I don't know if she knew I was running."  "What made you choose District 3?" I asked.  "3 is my lucky number," Argellia responded.  "First, the number 4, then 7, 8 and then 3 are lucky for me.  So, I chose 3.  I did not know who would be running against me.  Maybe 7 or 8 candidates would be in that race.  I did not care.  I let the chips fall where they may."

In any event, one candidate runs in district 3 because it is her lucky number, while another candidate pulls out of district 3, finding it unlucky.  The jostling for position, the campaigning, the promises are just beginning.  Just out of sight may be a slimy con artist from Dallas, lurking around a $500,000,000 annual budget controlled by amateurs that he always finds to be easy plucking.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Slime Get Slimier~Ernie Proposes Political Payback Job for Carlos Masso

The Face of Political Corruption
Fresh on the heels of the Hernandez's latest stolen election, the Justice of the Peace, 2-2 position garnered for his daughter Erin with massive voter fraud,  Ernie has been burning the midnight oil conjuring up yet another way to steal from the taxpayers.  

Hernandez wants to reward Carlos Masso, the loser in the district attorney runoff, with a newly created justice of the peace position.  You may remember that during the primary race between Yolanda Begum and his daughter Erin, Mr. Corruption made a similar proposal.  Seeing that Begum was a more formidable candidate than expected, Ernie then proposed creating another JP position so both of them could have an office and Erin would at least be guaranteed a job.  That fell through when the Begum camp failed to bite on Ernie's scheme.

Yesterday, as democrats milled around the courthouse to witness the swearing in of the newly elected chairperson Sylvia Garza-Perez, Ernie was overheard working the crowd, getting a feel for how his idea to reward Masso would be received.

The New JP?

It makes perfect sense to the criminal mind.  The Hernandez camp was reported to be out of funds as the runoff wound down.  It was alleged by several that Carlos Masso picked up the slack, paying for politiqueras, renting vans to transport the elderly, disabled and mentally challenged to the polls, paying drivers.  That kind of political backscratching deserves to be reciprocated, proving once again that "there is honor among thieves."  

Is there even a remote chance this bogus concept to fleece the public for the cost of a new JP position including salaries, car allowance, office space, etc?  Well, our political backscratchers on the county commission just approved raises for the mediocre, but long tenured clerks Aurora De la Garza and Joe Rivera, ignoring the public outcry.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dumb and Dumber Running Veterans Memorial, STAMP Program

When Carl Montoya made three critical changes in administrative personnel in the first 48 hours of his superintendency before he even knew the location of the coffee machine, he fulfilled the prophecy of Cata Presas-Garcia days earlier when she declared him "a fit" for the job.  Of course anyone willing to have their puppet strings pulled by the corrupt 4 BISD trustees is a damn perfect fit.  

Carl Montoya is BISD's Roger Ortiz.  Much as Ortiz does the bidding of Ernie Hernandez and Gilberto Hinojosa, Montoya is a "hey boy" for Presas-Garcia, phony doctor Escobedo, Lucy, etc.  

Forget for a moment the 14.3 million dollar lawsuit dropped against Healthsmart because Cata, Escobedo, Saavedra and Lucy were manipulated by con artist Carlos Quintanilla.  Forget the hundreds of thousands of dollars BISD is paying former superintendents and administrators for NOT WORKING,  while teachers are having to foot the bill for hand sanitizer, paper towels and lost books.  

All of that is old news, millions of taxpayer dollars flushed down the toilet of incompetency.  Instead, focus on the new $75,000,000 high school designed for 2,200 students;  Veterans Memorial.  The full service high school, complete with athletic facilities, vocational training classrooms and other amenities had its focus abruptly short-circuited by declaring it a STAMP facility.  Hundreds of students within the school's geographic territory, but not in the STAMP program, had to be reassigned to other Brownsville high schools.  The outcry of taxpayers went unheeded as the corrupt BISD board simply 'knows better."

Michelle Seney
Placed in charge of the STAMP program is former Hanna administrator Michelle Seney.  By most accounts a shy wallflower, Seney has turned egomaniac with the appointment, expressing dissatisfaction with the size of the office afforded her and other like administrators.  

As reported in an earlier article, Seney requested the wall separating two classrooms be torn down to build a personal office sufficient to accommodate her swelling cranium.   This remodel to  placate Seney's ego displaced two teachers from their classrooms, forcing them to "float" to utilize other temporarily vacant rooms and lug their teaching materials with them.  

One commenter, while expressing appreciation for that report, indicated Sweney's  ego had done even more damage to Veterans than first expected:  

"I'm impressed! I thought I was the only one aware of the disaster at Veterans. You need to update that number of floaters to Six! Also, you yanked out all the two (2) year old desks for students and teachers and replaced them with new ones. All the two year old computers for the students piled up in some room and new ones for the STAMP program. What a waste of money! Also, another lost classroom for her secretary and another lost classroom for her counselor. Teachers are leaving as we speak in total disgust and it's only going to get worse. They told you about this awesome program between the community, the school, and the medical field. Mrs. Seney hosted a luncheon for all the medical community, doctors, hospital administrators, etc. etc. One doctor showed up, about 4 from the medical community, and your school administrators. About 25 total. They invited 250, does this look like the medical community is serious about this poorly planned attempt to keep our children from going to Mercedes to get a real education in medical fields. What a joke!"

Another commenter gave us a slightly different point of view:

"I can't imagine Seney knowingly doing anything that might even be remotely controversial, she has the spine of a worm and in general seems to be busier at covering her ass than dealing with what an Assistant Principal needs to be doing on a daily basis.

Most of the people at Hanna were not sad to see her leave, she became unaffectionaly known as the "Traitor Raider". Seney was picked for the STUMP program because she is so easily manipulated, as I say, no spine at all. Seney by the way was not the only Administrator that pushing the STUMP program while still supposedly working at Hanna.

When Seney was questioned about the mess that was going on when BISD decided to up-root the two most successful pathways in the district, she would just "hem and hah" and say "well I can't really talk about it." In the mean time people's jobs were put on the line and lies were told.

It's just a mess, but I don't feel in the least bit sorry for Seney, this is her baby now and it will make her or break her."

It's worse than we at first thought


Veterans Memorial High School, originally designed for 2,200 Brownsville high school students is now home to the 565 who signed up for the STAMP program.  Sounds like there should be plenty of room even with Seney and her cohorts converting valuable classroom space into offices for the inept.

Not so quick says one commenter, claiming that since Seney and her cronies used up so many classrooms, the underpopulated, under-utilized facility now has to bring in portable classrooms at taxpayer expense:

"About the Seney fiasco.... OK taxpayers, get a load of this one! Veteran's is getting portables! Yes that's right... they've outgrown their space, or is it, STAMP has taken over the much needed classrooms so now they are bringing in portables for the rest of the non-stamp children. What a mess! And why do the new STAMP teachers get 32 inch computer monitors? Why do they get those and the rest of the regular teachers get the ones half the size? Where do I sign up for an IPAD? Oh si I forgot, I am not STAMP so therefore I get to buy my own tablet if I want to keep up with technology! Nimodo all of the regular students are getting the two year old scraps if you ask me. And they said VMHS/STAMP would be one big happy family! Nada que ver!"

From the editor:  Has there ever been a more incompetent, inept, corrupt, unqualified group of people overseeing a $500,000,000 education budget than the BISD Board of Trustees?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mean Mister Brownsville~Scattered Thoughts on Cascos, Ortiz, Seney of VHS, Crazy Bobby and Prosecuting Ernie

Carlos Cascos
A few more observations from the Cascos/Bloggers summit:
Great question by Jerry Mchale to Cascos and Ortiz:  "On a scale of 1-10 how do you rate the politiquera problem in Brownsville, Cameron County?"   As we reported Cascos anwered "7" and Ortiz answered "5".  

Since the illegal activities of politiqueras actually determined the election, there is no other knowledgeable answer than "10".   

The CheezMasso Team
Without illegal vote harvesting Erin H. Garcia doesn't come close to winning.(Her poll levels were in the 30's)  Nor does her cheating compadre Abelardo Gomez.  The fact that Gomez may soon be indicted on non-election related charges is no consolation.(Carlos Masso is another story, a sad, sad one.  Reportedly, with the Hernandez team broke, Carlos footed the bill for the politiqueras, van drivers and other sordid expenses during early voting and election day.  He even gave big bucks to the inept Brownsville Cheezmeh dufus.  Carlos faltered  only because his was  a county wide election.  In Brownsville, the politiqueras deliver.  In Port Isabel, South Padre Island, La Feria, Harlingen, it's a level playing field.  Thus Saenz won.)  The fact that Cascos and Ortiz rate politiquera involvement as significantly high, but perhaps not game-changing shows they have not been in the trenches as many of us.  Well, in Ortiz' case, he is seemingly oblivious to the fraud so obvious around him.  He is either totally corrupt or one of the least competent department heads in Cameron County history.  I suspect the former.

Roger Ortiz
Mary Helen Flores pressed Cascos for a forensic audit of the election department.  Cascos was unsure that was realistic, but was willing to pass on the request once submitted in writing.  My personal take is that the statistical anomalies evident in the mail-in votes are enough to prompt the Secretary of State's office to look further into how votes are processed.  I'm told whole precincts have similar statistical anomalies with the breakdown of votes being equal for Erin Garcia, Abelardo Gomez and Carlos Masso in Brownsville.(Cascos didn't like the phrase statistical anomalies.  He sees the obvious politiquera involvement, thus no anomaly.  To outsiders, it will appear an obvious anomaly.)  Brownsville's voting totals look like a total joke.  If the Secretary of State so much as peeks at Brownsville voting, he will see the obvious.  
Michelle Seney

We reported recently on the arrogance of Michelle Seney, administor the STAMPS  program at Veteran's High School.  We reported that she absconded two classrooms for her personal office, forcing two teachers to "float" without classrooms.  That was bad enough.  Now, a commenter to this blog says there is more to the story:

"I'm impressed! I thought I was the only one aware of the disaster at Veterans. You need to update that number of floaters to Six! Also, you yanked out all the two (2) year old desks for students and teachers and replaced them with new ones. All the two year old computers for the students piled up in some room and new ones for the STAMP program. What a waste of money! Also, another lost classroom for her secretary and another lost classroom for her counselor. Teachers are leaving as we speak in total disgust and it's only going to get worse. They told you about this awesome program between the community, the school, and the medical field. Mrs. Seney hosted a luncheon for all the medical community, doctors, hospital administrators, etc. etc. One doctor showed up, about 4 from the medical community, and your school administrators. About 25 total. They invited 250, does this look like the medical community is serious about this poorly planned attempt to keep our children from going to Mercedes to get a real education in medical fields. What a joke!"

Crazy Failed Lawyer

Our own crazy, disbarred, failed lawyer, Bobby Wightman-Cervantes has resurfaced in the blogosphere, much to the chagrin of the clear thinking.  Bobby worships the God of Irrationality in the Temple of the Insane at the Altar of the Bizarre.  

Bobby's massive ego pushes him to weigh in and credit himself with voter reform in Cameron County, when and if it comes.  Like many of us, he claims a "private' meeting with Election Administrator Roger Ortiz where he claims to have articulated ideas many of us have been promoting for months.  That's fine.  If voter fraud is stifled in Cameron County, the credit will rightfully be spread around.  

In the blog he petulantly shuts down at the first sign of reader apathy, he continues to make wild assertions that defy sanity.  He declares Yolanda Begum "pure evil."  LOL!  Bobby is light years closer to evil than Yolanda Begum.  Bobby gives the actual lawyers of our region unsolicited advice in negotiating a legal system he could not negotiate as a disbarred, former lawyer.  Bobby failed at what they make a living doing!  

Ernie (Corruption) Hernandez, Jr.
When I asked Roger Ortiz why he had not turned over the 40 or so fraudulent acts committed by the Ernie Hernandez, Jr. camp during the 2010 Pena-Hernandez election, he did say "they can still be turned over."  With a new district attorney to be elected in November(Villalobos did not care one wit about prosecuting political corruption.  He was part of the problem.), Hernandez can still be pursued.  Add to the election fraud, the illegal manipulation of the Cameron County Human Resources office in the illegal hiring of his convicted felon brother-in-law Robert Cadriel and the subsequent coverup, the new DA can bring Ernie to justice.   

Friday, August 17, 2012

Judge Cascos Holds First Meeting with Bloggers, CAVA, Roger Ortiz~2nd Meeting to Include Election Commission

Mchale, Montoya, Valadez and Barton after meeting 
A fact-finding session including local bloggers, representatives of CAVA, Election Administrator Roger Ortiz, Judge Carlos Cascos and his administrative assistant Chris Valadez was held Friday at 10:00 in the judge's office in the Dancy Building.  

As the spirited 70 minute meeting wound down, groundwork was laid for a followup meeting after Labor Day that would include the 5 member Election Commission.

Mary Helen Flores of Citizens Against Voter Abuse handed all the participants a two-page handout with 18 comprehensive questions for the Election Administrator.  Time constraints prevented all of the questions from being addressed by Ortiz, but Flores was promised written answers.  Judge Cascos deferred initially to Flores, but also gave the bloggers an opportunity to air their concerns.  

Cascos opened by stating that Ortiz had described himself as "cooperative" with any efforts to correct problems with the election process in Cameron County.  Roger Ortiz said that, although he had received comments about election irregularities, he had never received a criminal complaint.  A blogger then mentioned nearly 40 fraudulent acts mentioned in sworn testimony in the Ruben Pena-Ernie Hernandez, Jr. trial.  "Judge Delgado did not question the merit of that sworn testimony, just indicating it was not sufficient to overturn the election.  Did you turn any of this information over to the Secretary of State?" asked Jim Barton of Mean Mister Brownsville.  Ortiz response was that the judge had not given him any such materials, but that those items still could be prosecuted.  

When Judge Cascos emphasized that affidavits of election misconduct were critical to correcting problems and prosecuting wrongdoers,  Juan Montoya of El Rrun Rrun commented:  "I don't know if any of you have read the accounts of election fraud detailed in my blog, but those accounts are backed up by affidavits that will be presented in the coming trial.  That includes the activities of Amadeo Rodriguez."

Jerry Mchale's comments kept coming back to the use of politiqueras, particulary in Brownsville.  He cited Ernie Hernandez, Jr.'s use of politiqueras to defeat Alice Wilson for City Commissioner some years ago.  Mchale of the  Brownsville Blues blog then asked Carlos Cascos if he had ever used politiqueras.  Cascos admitted he had used one.  Mchale then asked both Cascos and Ortiz to rate the politiquera problem on a scale on 1-10.  Cascos chose 7, Ortiz 5.  

Cameron Park Election Judge consulting with the Andrades
of the Abelardo Gomez camp
Nena Barton of Mean Mister Brownsville related the account of how the election judge at Cameron Park had called the election administrator and the sheriff's department as we were trying to document illegal activity.  I directed my comment to Mr. Ortiz:  "You were more concerned about us taking a picture of one of the vans than the outright election fraud being committed."

"We have a picture of the election judge, leaving the polling place to cavort with the Andrades brothers of the Abelardo Gomez camp.  She thought Nena and I had left Cameron Park."

"Have we prosecuted that lady?" Cascos asked rhetorically.  

"We need an election administrator who is pro-active, reaching out to the nursing home management, adult day cares and other similar facilities," Mchale continued.  Similar words were written in a Mean Mister Brownsville article on August 4, 2012:  

"Clear communication with the nursing homes, adult high rises and adult day care centers as to what the election code permits and does not permit. Surely, the training from the state covers this. That information needs to be communicated to the owners and managers of these facilities and subsequently to their support staff. This is long overdue."

After the meeting, I visited briefly with Chris Valadez.  We talked about going out to the the nursing homes, adult high rises, etc.  Somewhat out of turn, I told Chris:  "I don't think Roger Ortiz has the public speaking skills to handle this.  Someone like yourself, who can speak extemporaneously, inject a little humor, but communicate clearly is needed."  Valadez said he would be happy to accompany Ortiz on such pro-active missions.

Bloggers Testify At Cascos Election Fraud Factfinder

Mchale, Montoya, Valadez, Barton

STAMP Administrator Seney Proves "It's NOT About the Kids!"

Michelle Seney

Michelle A. Seney, the new-on-the job administrator for the Science, Technology, Architecture and Medical Professions College Preparatory Program(STAMP) at Veteran's Memorial High School has proven once again that BISD is NOT "all about the kids."

Recently, the new STAMP administrator decided that the normal administrative offices given to each administrator was simply not spacious enough for her compelling needs.  

As one observer noted:  "She instructed the school administration to knock the wall down between two classrooms, creating one double-size room to serve as her expansive office."

Meanwhile, at Veteran's Memorial High School, as a result of Seney's self-serving remodel, two teachers are forced to "float," that is function without an actual classroom of their own.  

"This is another prime example of the egotistical leadership at the school," offered one instructor.  "Seney is very simply about self-promotion and her personal comfort, not about the kids.  She just wants to make a do-nothing job easier with a larger office."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Monterrey Suburb of Guadalupe Fights Against Zetas~Borderland Beat

Report by Rachel Levin

Police Chief Florencio Santos has pushed the Zetas out of Guadalupe, a city of 700,000 on the outskirts of Monterrey.  Last year, before Santos assumed his duties, the city suffered 200 cartel-related murders. 


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cascos Calls Blogger Conclave at the Dancy Building

Cascos Summons Bloggers to Dancy Building

County Judge Carlos Cascos' right hand man Chris Valadez messaged on my Facebook:  "Jim call me."  Since the message came from the Valadez stage name Maclovio O'Malley, I asked:  "Is this a joke?" contemplating being asked to be the human punching bag on the live-streamed Maclovio O'Malley Show, the sacrificial anglo drilled from both sides with Spanish language expletives  from Valadez and his sidekick Rodrigo Moreno.

"No, Jim.  It's not a joke.  The judge wants a meeting with you, Juan Montoya of El Rrun Rrun, Jerry Mchale of Brownsville Blues and Mary Helen Flores of CAVA.  You can bring one other person.  By the way, do you have Mary Helen Flores phone number?  Oh, one more thing.  Roger Ortiz has agreed to attend. "

Juan and Jim
The next day I ran into Juan Montoya downtown.  Since Nena was shopping at Casa Anyer, he offered to buy me a beer. 

The Sportsman's Lounge serves Bud Light on tap for a buck.  "Why are you going cheap? Life should be lived to the full, richly." Juan asked.

"I always go cheap.  It's simply my nature," I responded.  "Are you going to that meeting in Cascos' office on Friday?"

Juan shook his head.  "Nah.  It's just a move to save face.  Nothing will get done.  I mean.  Why can't we prosecute election fraud?  I went to the last meeting they had about the back door deal with the prison commissary.  We talked and talked, but nothing got done."

"Well, I agree with you on one thing.  It's futile to talk with Roger Ortiz.  That man can't be rehabilitated.  He's definitely part of the problem.  He plays sort of naive, like he doesn't know what's going on, but he knows very well Ernie is controlling things, putting the election judges in place that will look the other way with the fraud," I added. 

"Juan, Nena and I talked to his assistant Norma Carrillo before the runoff election.  We brought her voting records that showed that Herminia Becerra worked her entire neighborhood for mail-in votes.   Western Blvd., where she lives is almost 100% mail-in.  Do you know what Norma Carrillo said to that?  She said the Hernandezes will bring them in vans next time.  She KNEW what they were going to do, and if SHE knew, Roger knew.  No, he's definitely part of the problem, not part of the solution."

On the way out the door, I shouted:  "Hope you change your mind about Friday.  We could use your detailed knowledge of the voter fraud." 

"Maybe Rey will go," countered Juan, referring to his close friend, Rey Guevara-Vasquez.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Cascos Distances Himself from Proposed Raises for County Officials

Carlos Cascos
The same group of county commissioners that just last year used up their allotted annual travel expense money in just four months, is now rapidly backpedaling from a proposed raise in annual salary, citing the economy, tight budget and the overriding need to compensate hourly employees first.

The headline writer for the Emma Perez-Trevino story in yesterday's Brownsville Herald used the word "ruckus" to describe the furor the proposed salary increases seems to have created.

In comments to the online version of the article, County Judge Carlos Cascos made it clear that the raises were not his idea: 

"Since I have been County Judge, I have never supported nor received a salary increase, nor has any member of the Commissioner's Court. I believe when one runs for public office, they are or should be aware of the responsibilities & the salary of the position they are seeking. Although a vast majority of County employees have not received raises in 4 years, I am cognizant of the unemployment rate & the economic conditions. I have not, nor will I support raises for elected officials higher than those given the employees & I will not support raising taxes to provide raises to anyone.
I frequently hear about the lack of raises for county employees, the reality is that these employees have gainful employment & have not seen any reduction in benefits. I will continue to be fiscally responsible & base my decisions on what I believe is to the benefit of all taxpayers."

Dan Sanchez
The only commissioner publicly admitting to supporting the raises is Dan Sanchez, who finds that clerks Aurora De la Garza and Joe Rivera are in dire straights because their salaries lag behind the salary of tax assessor Tony Yzaguirre:     

“It’s a matter of equalizing, of being fair with the others,” Sanchez said. Sanchez said he proposed to reduce his salary by the nearly $6,000 increase to De la Garza and Rivera, but that the majority of com-missioners had not agreed to do this. “I have to be willing to put my money where my mouth is,” Sanchez said.

Before we nominate Sanchez for sainthood, understand that his offer to sacrifice salary for the two mediocre, but long tenured clerks is simply grandstanding.  He knows his buddy commissioners would not honor that request.  Anyway, he has his sights on the county judge position.  

What Sanchez isn't telling us is that Yzaguirre used a bit of sleight of hand trickery to inflate his salary.  It is alleged that he feigned retirement, asking the commissioners to add his car allowance to his actual salary so he could go off into the retirement sunset with a higher salary base.  Then he flip-flopped on retirement, retaining the artificially higher salary.  Pretty smooth!  Sanchez also isn't ready to announce his reported interest in being a candidate for county judge in the next election, thus necessitating getting on the good side of politicos De la Garza and Rivera.  

Immortalized De la Garza and Rivera
(Mean Mister Brownsville's comments a few days ago:  "First it was an exorbitant portrait of the pair that slipped passed the County Commission without a proper purchase order or competitive bidding. Of course, the portrait was to hang in a building named for two Cameron County officials are so anxious to prematurely immortalize.")

Ernie Hernandez, Jr., who always seems shocked by unpopular developments in the county(usually initiated by his personal lack of ethics), stated that he voted for the salary increase for himself and other officials "reluctantly".  Did someone kidnap Ernie in a mini-van, shove a sample ballot in his face and force him to darken a bubble without his consent or awareness?  

In further online comments to The Herald, Teresa Saldivar questioned how a Public Notice of the raises could be posted without the consent of the county judge and full understanding of the commissioners:  "With all due respect Judge Cascos, shouldn't you investigate and reprimand the employee who initiated a Public Notice without your authority? Why would a discussion continue on an unoffical public notice in detail and in the public arena?"

Here is Cascos' reply:  "The public notice was authorized by the Commission. The individual responsible for the posting must have not heard me say, all elected officials with the exception of the Commissioner's Court. The notice simply alerts the public that the increase published would be the maximum paid to the elected officials. We don't have to give the raise, it was a public notice that that would be the most we would give. But if we can't provide all employees a raise, then I will not support any increase to any elected official.

The District Clerk & the County Clerk are the elected officials that a majority of the Court voted to give raises to. I don't support % increases, but rather $ amounts when & if we can. The justification was to match them with the Tax Assessor Collector..that was it. What was not talked about was the TAC has 9 offices throughout the County & these 2 clerks have 6 or 7 offices, combined."

Letty Perez-Garzoria Interview on Election Judge Misconduct~7/30/12 CAVA...

Ms. Perez-Garzoria details her encounter with an election judge at the Christ the King Church, while she served as a poll watcher.  She is interviewed by Daisy Martinez, who at one point questioned Ms. Perez-Garzoria's motives for coming forward, implying that her support of Yolanda Begum was the fire behind her complaint.

Those of us who know Letty understand her as an absolute straight shooter who does not varnish the truth for anyone, friend or foe.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Rancid Odor of Brownsville Politics~Erin H. Garcia Kickoff Party

Armando Villalobos, Erin H. Garcia, Ernie Hernandez, Jr.

Zeke Silva Interview at CAVA Event in front of Election Office~7/30/2012

From the editor:  Zeke Silva, interviewed by Daisy Martinez on the steps of the Election Office, details a situation where politiqueras interfered with him picking up his father from the Casa de Amigos day care facility.

Ruben Pena Interview on Voter Fraud~CAVA Event on Steps of Election Office

From the editor:  This video is the complete Daisy Martinez interview with Ruben Pena.  While he speaks generally about the problem of voter fraud in Cameron County, his likely motivation has to include the 2010 County Commissioner election stolen from him and the voters by Ernie Hernandez, Jr. using classic voter fraud techniques.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Will Aurora de la Garza and Joe Rivera Do the Honorable Thing and Refuse Raises?

Mean Mister Brownsville
From the editor:  First it was an exorbitant portrait of the pair that slipped passed the County Commission without a proper purchase order or competitive bidding.  Of course, the portrait was to hang in a building named for two Cameron County officials are so anxious to prematurely immortalize.  Now, we learn from Juan Montoya, publisher of the "El Rrun Rrun" blog, that Dan Sanchez slipped a motion into the meeting minutes of a commission meeting to honor the duo further with a $2,000 annual raise at the very time when commissioners are pretending to be in total anguish about the county budget.  

As always, in Cameron County, politics comes first, along with buying influence.  Juan's report is posted below:

By Juan Montoya
In a little noticed (and unreported) action, a majority of the Cameron County commissioners approved raises of $2,000 each for County clerk Joe Rivera and District Clerk Aurora De la Garza effective budget year 2012-2013.
The action came during an item to publish the salaries of elected officials. The motion was made by Dan Sanchez, commissioner for Pct. 4, and was included in the minutes of the Aug. 2 meeting. Voting along with Sanchez was Pct. 2 commissioner Ernie Hernandez and Pct. 1 commissioner Sofia Benavides.
But at least for two commissioners, their official actions and their public statements are somewhat at odds.
Hernandez, in comments to the local media, said of the budget: "We are going to squeeze that turnip a little bit more."
And Sanchez, also commenting on the upcoming trimming of the budget said: "We have a duty to taxpayers to run an efficient government."
Although the budget process is still underway and the County Judge Carlos Cascos has stated that he will try to get a pay raise for county workers making under $50,000, the $2,000 raise for the two elected officials makes for a nice chunk of change for both. 
In fact, with the increase, then total compensation for both in the coming year effective Oct. 1 will be upped from a base salary of $71,745 plus $5,400 for auto allowance plus the additional $2,000, totalling $79,143.
The justification for the salaries, according to Sanchez, was that both Rivera and De la Garza have been with the county longer than has Cameron County Tax Assessor-Collector Tony Yzaguirre who, according to figures from the auditor's office commands $93,210 in total compensation.
Yzaguirre, who had the court honor his request to have his car allowance of some $7,200 transferred to his salary during the court's efforts to trim the budget by 5 percent in the 2010-2011 budget year, has been making more than either since.
"Well, he did cut the his department's auto allowance line item to zero, but he gave himself a $7,200 raise by having it transferred to his salary," said a county worker.
And even though the 2011-2012 approved budget has him listed at .a $77,530 salary, his salary at the county auditor's office has him listed at $84,730 with an additional $960 per month telephone allowance. If these numbers are correct, he is receiving about $93,210 in total compensation.  
By comparison, Cascos makes a base salary of $64,062 which is augmented by a $5,400 stipend for serving on the County Juvenile Board.
"When Yzaguirre requested that the court transfer the car allowance to his salary in 2010-2011, the commissioners were all were under the impression that he was going to retire and was requesting that to increase his retirement benefits at the highest salary," recounted a county employee. "But he didn't retire and he ran again and won. The other two thought they should paid the same."
The raises of Rivera and De la Garza, coming as it does on yet another cost-cutting year for Cameron County, is bound to raise some eyebrows. Although the county will publish the elected official salaries in the coming weeks, the action taken by the commissioners won't take effect until after the budget is approved.

I don't think people know this has happened and probably won't be pleased that it was doe just to match their salaries with those of the tax assessor-collectors," said the same county employee. "We're supposed to be cutting the budget, not giving elected officials more raises."

When it comes to Cameron County, however, there always seems to be some political angle involved in the actions of the court. For a long time Sanchez has let it be known that he harbors dreams of filling the seat now held by Cascos as county judge and this move to appease two of the most powerful Democrats in county government isn't lost on some observers.

"Dan is running already," said a county administrator. "This is just one way of making sure that these two are on his side, or at least not against him."


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