Thursday, April 30, 2015

Queen of the Politiqueras to Sergio Zarate: "Yo lo doy mucho apoyo!"

District 2 City Commissioner Candidate Sergio Zarate
with "Queen of the Politiqueras," Herminia Becerra
Sergio Zarate, a candidate for City Commissioner, District 2, was observed Thursday in front of the Brownsville Public Library, making a beeline for octogenarian politiquera, Herminia Becerra.

As two observers closed in on the couple, they overheard Herminia say to Sergio:  "Yo lo doy mucho apoyo!(I'm giving you much support!)"

Ms. Becerra's remarks could be totally innocent, although we've been told in the past that she does nothing for free.  When Nena and I encountered her in 2012, fronting the Abelardo Gomez and Carlos Masso tents adjacent to Cameron Park, she told us, while posing proudly for a pic:  "For fifty years, no one gets elected unless I say so!"

While Herminia's "support" could be voluntary, uncompensated, we doubt it, based on her track record.  She is widely recognized as a vote-gathering machine. The document at the left, created from election records by Laura Miniel, illustrates her control over her neighborhood around Western Boulevard.  Nearly every voter there is labeled in the records as EVBM(Early Voter Ballot Mailed), traditionally where voter fraud occurs.

In 2012 we published the picture at the left, where Herminia appeared to be supporting Luis Saenz for District Attorney. We asked Zeke Silva, campaign manager for Saenz, to clarify the appearance of a relationship.  Through Silva and also Gilbert Velasquez, who did graphics for the campaign, we offered Saenz the opportunity on this blog to distance himself from Herminia Becerra.  Saenz never responded.

We are offering the same opportunity to Sergio Zarate.  You have the opportunity via this blog to state your exact relationship with Herminia Becerra.  We will print your response without commentary.


Brownsville Herald Reporter Portrays Tony Martinez as Savior of Lincoln Park

Brownsville Herald's Ty Johnson
Valley Interfaith candidate forums frequently put politicos on the spot, asking when a certain street will have a sidewalk or a certain intersection a traffic light. Candidates are asked to simply say "yes" or "no" about an issue, not merely weasel out with double-talk or spin.  

At the Valley Interfaith Accountability Forum held Sunday at  St. Eugene de Mazenod Church, all six mayoral candidates, including Tony Martinez, promised to keep Lincoln Park "where it is."  

If there was any "weaseling" by Martinez, that was conveyed through Brownsville Herald reporter Ty Johnson, who typically chooses city government spin over facts in his coverage.  Johnson's report on the candidate forum published Monday did not deviate from that well-established pattern.  Note below a quote from the article:
Martinez has been portrayed by critics as the figurehead of the movement to sell the park for $6.5 million and rebuild it across from the Brownsville Public Utilities Board wastewater treatment plant on East University Boulevard, but he said later that he and the city were exploring options that could make everyone happy.

A vote about the deal late last year led to the filing of a lawsuit, and a city-run public forum to discuss amenities at the proposed new park quickly turned into a rally against the transaction as speaker after speaker railed against the movement of a park for the sake of university expansion.

Martinez said Sunday that the city is considering other options."
Actually, Martinez himself admits that the proposal to transfer Lincoln Park to the ultra-rich University of Texas system originated in a phone call between the mayor and UT.  Notice his comment at the 2/25/13 City Commission meeting:
"The land offered last time (2/5/13 resolution) are two different parcels, the "Fish and Wildlife" you mentioned(22 acre tract next to Lincoln Park) and the 55 acre tract east of the expressway. The University of Texas came back to us, to me, and said would we consider the 47 acre tract west of the expressway known as Lincoln Park."

Thus, Martinez self-admitted role in the Lincoln Park giveaway is real, that of a presumptuous, unilateral spokesperson for the City of Brownsville, not simply a fictional one, as"portrayed by critics."

As to the claim by Ty Johnson that speakers turned  "a city-run public forum to discuss amenities at the proposed new park quickly turned into a rally against the transaction as speaker after speaker railed against the movement of a park for the sake of university expansion," that is simply incorrect.  

City Spokesperson Patty Gonzalez
City Spokesperson Patty Gonzalez had attempted to spin the purpose of the meeting, but, make no mistake, a public hearing to consider whether or not to sell the park was legally-mandated. Here is how the Brownsville Herald initially characterized Patty's words:  

 "Brownsville spokeswoman Patty Gonzales is presenting the hearing as an opportunity for residents to be involved in the creation of the new park, which she noted could even warrant a name change if citizens voiced their displeasure at the dedication of a third Lincoln Park."

By the time of the October 30, 2014 town hall meeting, the city had corrected the agenda to be consideration of whether or not to convey Lincoln Park.  

As to Martinez, "considering other options," why not simply take Lincoln Park off the table?  The video below this article shares City Attorney Mark Sossi's attempt to explain why legally this couldn't happen.  Yet, as we've explained in previous articles, the resolution had already been changed quite easily with Assistant City Attorney John Chosy presenting a "clarifying" resolution. 

So, while young Ty Johnson attempts to portray Mayor Tony Martinez as a protector of the city's assets at Lincoln Park, he's actually a far different animal.

Hilarious Doublespeak by City Attorney Mark Sossi on Lincoln Park

Saturday, April 25, 2015

No, We Were Not Calling Out Gene Fernandez; Pre-Sunrise Old Cemetery Shots

From the editor:  Some jumped onto our photos of high grass inside the Old Cemetery as if we were criticizing Gene Fernandez, Historical Society Director.  Absolutely no one has been more gracious, more responsive in sharing Brownsville history than Gene.  The same goes for Javier Garcia, who rose to Fernandez' defense.

But, hell, the grass inside the cemetery was tall, sometimes, three, four or five feet tall.

Meanwhile, the Jewish section, behind the whitened brick fence, is pristine, something like Augusta National.  Perhaps, there is a disparagement between the funding for the Jewish and Christian sections.  A monument of the impaled Christ abuts that brick fence with Christ, and the cross holding him, leaning against the Jewish fence.  Let the reader use discernment.

Below are a few pre-sunrise Old Cemetery pics.  Please look for auras and entities:

Mira Nomas: Jim & Nena with Pat Ahumada, Maria Luisa Hernandez and USPS Retiree Richard

Maybe this is not the picture you expected to see:  Pat Ahumada and his lovely wife with Jim and Nena, our old friend, Maria Luisa Hernandez, and Richard, finally retired from the downtown post office.  The pleasant summer-like evening brought a diverse group to Rey Montanaro's perfectly groomed back yard, a sloping tract of St. Augustine grass ending at the resaca's edge.  
"What's the story on Casa del Nylon?" asked longtime downtown postal clerk, Richard.  

"It can't be explained logically," I answered.  "The building had been appraised at under $700,000, but Tony's law partner, Horacio Barrera, "negotiated" a sale for $2,300,000, giving Tony's friend, Abraham Galonsky, a windfall.  Barrera likely got a commission and Martinez, a kickback."

Retired USPS Clerk Richard
"I heard that the University of Texas needed the building," countered postal clerk Richard.

"No, Tony Martinez totally miscalculated.  UT doesn't need third tier downtown buildings for a campus.  They want state-of-the-art, and have the money to pay for it, if needed.  Casa del Nylon has been sitting for three years, now off the tax rolls, decaying, with no discernible use by the city.  The same could be said for a dozen or more other buildings purchased by the Tony Martinez-led City Commission. True to form, Tony Martinez has never explained why the buildings were needed or how they would be utilized."

Cutting the perfectly grilled brisket with a plastic fork and knife, an attorney who owns several properties downtown, said he found it difficult to find any method to Tony Martinez' madness:  "I don't know what they're trying to do, really.  It's ridiculous to think that the University of Texas, with its billions in P.U.F. monies needs one of our city parks.  They could write a check for the City of Brownsville and not blink."

Meanwhile, Ahumada worked the tables with his wife, posing for pictures.  His remarks to the group are preserved in a video below this article.  Nena's video suffers from the dimming post sunset light, as well as a street light behind Pat, but you get the gist of his message.

Pat Ahumada's Pachanga Remarks at Rey Montanaro's House

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

While Erasmo, Bobby Tussle for "Credit" on Lincoln Park Issue, Tony Grovels, Gowen Abstains

Erasmo Castro
Document-driven blogger Bobby Wightman-Cervantes calls Brownville mayoral candidate Erasmo Castro "a liar" on the Lincoln Park issue:

"Erasmo Castro proves once again why he is so disliked.
Another big lie by Erasmo - He and his organization had virtually nothing to do with the change of position concerning Lincoln Park.

First, Valley Interfaith look the lead.  Second, Michael Cowen working with myself and many others took the lead to file the lawsuit. We exposed the reality that Gowen's vote is void. 
There is more - but have to go."

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
Bobby and Erasmo can fight it out for "top honors" in protecting precious Lincoln Park from the carnivorous, ultra-rich University of Texas system.  UT may be rich, with a good football team most years, but they get a solid "F" in public relations.  While the UT Regents backslapped themselves silly at their El Paso board meeting that followed the town hall meeting on Lincoln Park, giddily reminding themselves of the bargain steal they got from a Hispanic community in extreme south Texas, literally the poorest in the U.S., they came off as dumbass goobers.  If UT cannot live without the 49 acres of Lincoln Park, let them write the check for a better park in Brownsville's Southmost barrio, not gloat over stealing it from a naive City Commission fronted by a groveling Mayor Martinez.  En otros palabras, show some class!

While Bobby and Erasmo battle for valedictorian, salutatorian Lincoln Park honors, this blog wrote 72 essays on a multitude of facets of the potential loss of Lincoln Park, starting November 4, 2013.  I don't recall either of the heavyweights weighing in on the issue back then.  In the immortal words of the mortal Charles Barkley:  "I may be wrong, but I doubt it."

Erasmo, in response to the above, states:  

"Bobby was just being Bobby. I agree with Mr. Cowen. I explained to Bobby that the article was actually taken from the Herald as it was written. The same way we have taken stories from this great blog and others as well. I have respect for the great work that Jim, Juan and Jerry do."
All of the foregoing is a prelude to Agenda Item #15 at Tuesday evening's City Commission Meeting: 

"Consideration and ACTION on a resolution to authorize City staff to continue discussions with the University of Texas Board of Regents regarding the planned location of the UT-RGV campus within the City of Brownsville focusing on alternatives to the Lincoln Park site."

The condensed resolution above and its more lengthy sister in the binder is merely a ruse, an apparent attempt to temporarily pacify opponents to including Lincoln Park in any package to placate UT. While it suggests looking for alternatives, it does not demand it. City officials can simply return to the commission with: "We tried, but cannot find an acceptable alternative to Lincoln Park." 

Attorney Michael Cowen evidently fears as much as a portion his comment states:    "But this fight may not be over. The resolution passed last night may just be a way to provide political cover until after the election, and those who want to give away the park may still try to get their way."

Commissioner Jessica Tetreau-Kalifa
When Commissioner Jessica Tetreau wanted the wording of the resolution to exclude Lincoln Park, City Attorney Mark "It's Legal!" Sossi said essentially "no can do," implying that would require literally moving a mountain in reversing or undoing a previous resolution.  Sossi, as usual, is incorrect.

We will let Mayor Martinez explain, as he did at the February 25, 2013 City Commission meeting:  

"The land offered last time (2/5/13 resolution) are two different parcels, the "Fish and Wildlife" you mentioned(22 acre tract next to Lincoln Park) and the 55 acre tract east of the expressway. TheUniversity of Texas came back to us, to me, and said would we consider the 47 acre tract west of the expressway known as Lincoln Park."

To refresh Sossi's recollection, it was as simple as pie.  Assistant City Attorney John Chosy came foreward the next meeting with a "clarifying" resolution as we reported back then:

"Assistant City Attorney John Chosy presented the action item: 2. Consideration and ACTION on Resolution Number 2013-022, clarifying property to be donated to the University of Texas system if a downtown location is selected for a campus.
(Mayor Martinez and Commissioner R. Gowen)

The "clarifying" was necessary because the first resolution, passed February 5,2013, did not include Lincoln Park, but only a "55.43 acre tract of land" and a "21.5 acre tract of land." Martinez stated the 55 acres were "east of the expressway" and the 21.5 acres were the "Fish and Wildlife" tract. Now, the University had informed Martinez they wanted neither, but instead, the 47 acre tract known as Lincoln Park."

So, when UT asked that Lincoln Park be included, actually substituted in the original resolution, all it took was a "clarifying" resolution, but when Commissioner Tetreau-Kalifa asks that Lincoln Park be excluded from the resolution, Sossi claims it can't be done.  As the nursery rhyme goes:  "Liar, liar, pants on fire!"

ADDENDUM:  In the video below, not taken by Nena, but by a shaky amateur, both Ricardo Longoria, Jr. and John Villarreal, to their credit, want to be included "in the loop" regarding Lincoln Park.  

When none of the puzzled commissioners came forward with a motion to approve the resolution, Martinez offered the self-serving explanation that he had unilaterally approached the UT President about seeking alternatives to Lincoln Park.  All of this seemed to be news to the commission as always.  Typically, Martinez insists on consensus, but does not have to skill set to create it. 

After the vote, Commissioner Gowen raised her hand, wanting it duly noted that she had abstained.  Actually, the same legal reason for abstention exists today that existed during the first two votes on conveying property to UT.  She is employed by the same.

Tony Martinez Tries to Look Like the "Good Guy" on Lincoln Park Issue

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Working Class Hero Roberto Uresti Still Running Against the Establishment

Story originally published Wednesday, April 17, 2013
As John Lennon said all those years ago: "A working class hero is something to be." We identified four Brownsvillians as such in a Mean Mister Brownsville story August 30, 2011, which described the outspokenness and persistence of Fernando Ruiz, Dagoberto Barrera, Robert Uresti and Letty Perez-Garzoria in appearing again and again during public comment with sharp words, suggestions and ideas for city leaders. Two of the four, Robert Uresti and Letty Perez-Garzoria are running this year for city commissioner.

We later backtracked on that designation for Dagoberto Barrera, when he made an unspeakably racist public statement during a public hearing on the border wall describing Mexican Nationals as "not of our culture. They eat with their fingers, their heads bobbing up and down to the table like ducks". Interesting indeed that someone of almost identical ancestry would ignorantly feel that a slow-moving river could could affect such a difference!

There are a number of stories in the Mean Mister Brownsville archives about Robert Uresti, the wiry Viet Nam vet with the "take charge" attitude. Unassuming and humble in person, Uresti seems to be at his best in an emergency.

An April 9, 2013 story quoted one of Uresti's neighbors: "Oh, he's a great guy," Ramiro started. "He's always doing things for the community. A couple of years ago our streets were all torn up. The city was building two small dams to control flooding, but after the dams were finished, the city did not release the dams on time. A lot of our houses were flooded. Robert walked the neighborhood, taking pictures of all the damage and went to the city with it. He got the city to pay for the repairs to our homes."

When Alex Torres, a candidate for State Representative, District 38 was accosted by Harlingen lawyer Ron Lozano at a Brownsville Cheezmeh candidate forum, Uresti quickly intervened. Torres was quoted in our March 13, 2012 story: "Exactly. This guy got into my face about capital punishment and some other things. He invaded my personal space. I mean I don't allow people to get jaw to jaw with me. So I asked Erasmo and anyone to get this guy off of me. . . . . Yes, Ron Lozano. He's what I call a conspiracy theorist. He always wears a ball cap and sort of a military coat. He's done something similar at City Commission meetings in Harlingen. . . . Yes, he did. He kept trying to start something. Then, Robert Uresti joined us. He told the guy to get out of here or he'd call the police. Some people wanted me to file a police report, but there's no need. He finally left."

Another incident where Uresti intervened on behalf of Commissioner Jessica Tetreau-Kalifa was detailed in MMB: "Actually, Uresti stepped in to prevent bodily harm in an incident at the City Commission building a couple of months ago. A group of citizens had just attended a commission meeting where they spoke out against a recycling center promoted by realtor Dutch Fisher being built in their neighborhood. According to reports, after the meeting some shouted exchanges occurred between a proponent of the salvage yard and the citizens. It was alleged that Commissioner Jessica Tetreau was pushed during the altercation. A bystander reported that Robert Uresti intervened on behalf of the commissioner and police were called."

It's an understatement to describe Uresti as a different sort of candidate for political office. He is neither slick nor smooth, an unpolished speaker. He appears awkward in a business suit, usually wearing a t-shirt and ball cap, but he works tirelessly for Brownsville already without yet holding office. What a concept!

Robert Uresti faces heavily favored incumbent Rose Gowen in the election for City Commissioner, At-Large B.

Posted by Jim Barton at 3:48 PM 6 comments:

Brownsville's Worst Mayor, Tony Martinez, Who Has Squandered and Pillaged City Assets, Must Be Stopped!

Tony Martinez
Thinking clearly, thinking pragmatically, thinking about what's best for Brownsville, Pat Ahumada is the only electable alternative to Tony Martinez, who has obviously used his tenure to enrich his cronies, while squandering city assets. The first priority of Brownsville voters should be to unelect Tony Martinez, historically Brownsville's worst mayor.

Frankly, all of Tony's five opponents would make better mayors than Martinez, despite four of them lacking the experience, support or funding to actually win. Ahumada, Garza, Castro, Joyas and Sanchez have shown they will talk and LISTEN to the citizenry, while Martinez acts as if he is intellectually superior to all of Brownsville, too busy to listen or talk with Brownsville taxpayers, routinely finding excuses to avoid campaign forums where he would actually face questions about his decision-making as mayor.

Pat Ahumada
Of course, Martinez does not have great intellect, but is merely following the gutless campaign formula advertised on the website of his Austin advertising team, M.A.P.S., that is "Message, Audience, Presentation, Inc., a firm whose website once contained such racist garbage as:  "Spanish in Texas is for the most part an oral tradition, among a community that has low education levels. While Spanish print has made a comeback, it is important to keep it at a grade level that ensures the widest comprehension. . . . . . No one likes to be embarrassed, and considering the low level of information most Hispanics have on political processes, basic information on how to participate is critical in overcoming issues of insecurity, fear and doubt."

Of the five Martinez opponents, Ahumada alone has aggressively put out his message, working hard enough to be seriously considered.  None of this diminishes his warts: the mishandling of the $26,000 check to a vendor and several D.U.I. arrests.  Can voters overlook these incidents in the name of saving Brownsville from further plundering by Tony Martinez?

Another approach to stifle, stymie and squelch Martinez' continued raping and pillaging of taxpayer assets would be to elect independent city commissioners capable of articulating an alternative to the Martinez' agenda AND create consensus.  The two new golden boys, Cesar de Leon, a candidate for At-Large "A," and Micheal Gonzalez, running in District 1, have both received heavy financial support from Martinez' crony Abraham Galonsky.  That is not a good sign.  Ricardo Longoria, Jr., the incumbent in District 1, has largely voted along with Tony Martinez, even declaring the purchase of Casa del Nylon, for triple its value at $2,300,000, "a bargain."

That leaves Roman Perez, in District 1, and Roberto Uresti, running for At Large "A," as independent voices.  While I'm still unhappy with the sleight of hand from Perez in giving me a partial email about his position with Wayland Baptist University, he is an independent voice. Uresti, while not an academic, has shown a propensity to fight for solutions to Brownsville's problems.  No one has done more to bring to the city's attention: dilapidated houses, flooding problems, ideas to control city spending and zoning problems.

Robert Uresti
What about the District 2 contest between incumbent Jessica Tetreau-Kalifa and Sergio Zarate?  Jessica, in her mid-twenties when elected, has experienced growing pains.  While responding to her constituents with brush and garbage pickup, she's been more timid in blocking Martinez, sometimes resorting to vote abstentions on crucial matters.  On raising meter rates downtown, she did exactly the opposite of what she promised downtown business owners, voting FOR the raise.

Zarate, on the other hand, has been on the staff of the Lucios for a number of years and, can be expected to support their preference to limit the growth of Brownsville's tax base in Cameron County. Sergio and wife Delores have worked tirelessly in recent years to establish a political base.  Sergio has supported every activity of the Brownsville Firefighters to garner their support.   Delores, in her judgeship race against David Gonzalez a couple of years ago, asked for my help in finding "dirt" on the man.  I refused.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Borderland Beat: Wow! Mexico Now Permits U.S. Agents to Carry Weapons

Peeved Mexicans: “U.S. Agents will be armed as though they own the place”

By Lucio R. Borderland Beat- some material used from Luengas Noticias and WSJ

A then president elect, Enrique Peña Nieto took a firm position of not allowing armed foreign agents.

At the time he said;

“I resolutely do not support the presence of armed U.S. agents in Mexico, but would consider allowing the United States to instruct Mexico's military training in counterinsurgency tactics.”

That was then.

Now, the Mexican Senate has approved the "initiative"of President Enrique Peña Nieto, that would allow foreign agents to carry weapons within the territory of Mexico, arguing they contribute to tourism and immigration and customs control.

The representatives of the PRI political party, along with the PAN and PVEM (green party), gave the green light to the legislation, which senators of the PRD and PT (labor party) opposed.

Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade defended the measure, arguing that will contribute to greater integration of the region of North America.

However many Mexican’s and leaders alike, are not only leery about the initiative, some are damn right peeved and outraged. Like Senator Manuel Bartlett.

Taking the floor the senator’s prophecy is that the names of the senators who make up this term will go down in history "as an abject Senate that fulfilled the commands of the neighboring foreign power to flood our country of armed foreign agents".

U.S. Agent gives a thumbs up before boarding helicopter 

U.S. Agents disguising themselves as Mexican Navy personnel

In a Wall Street Journal article published in 2013 and updated in November 2014, there was the following:

"U.S. Justice Department personnel are disguising themselves as Mexican Marines to take part in armed raids against drug suspects in Mexico, according to people familiar with the matter, an escalation of American involvement in battling drug cartels that carries significant risk to U.S. personnel. Both the U.S. and Mexican governments have acknowledged in the past that American law-enforcement agencies operate in Mexico providing intelligence support to Mexican military units battling the cartels. The countries have described the U.S. role as a supporting one only."

Read more »

Borderland Beat Reporter Lucio Posted at 9:14 PM 177 comments:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Jerry Mchale Shuts Down Blog


I have decided to close Brownsville Blues.

I love my job at the BISD. I teach four classes of British Lit to seniors and two classes of ESL to recently arrived immigrants. When I go to work, it's a day-long morning swim. I bring home a substantial paycheck and I don't pay health insurance. Brownsville Blues jeopardizes that lifestyle. I have always appreciated that the district has tolerated my art a la Vagina Dialogues. I can only write in a certain way and the district is feeling the pressure. There is only one rational option.

I am allegedly facing contempt of court charges. Pursuing my First Amendment Rights, free speech may cost me my freedom. As a result of an injunction, I exist in a nebulous world with no clear demarcation between the acceptable and the unacceptable. I have never willfully violated the judge's order, but I still find myself in a precarious position. In order to comply in unequivocal terms, I have no other alternative but to close the blog in order to prove to the judge that I am operating in good faith.

Last, but not least, my writings have wreaked havoc in my personal life. I have paid a steep price for succumbing to my muse's charms. And there is no way I can change.When I have an idea in my head, I can't resist the temptation to create something out of nothing. Unfortunately, many individuals can't distinguish fiction from reality. And since there are persons whom I love deeply but suffer from that blindness, I must pen my poems, short stories and novels via a different venue. I will continue to write.

In 1977 I became sports editor of the Brownsville Herald. I covered six schools. I wrote a column called the Peerless Observer. At the end of the football season four football coaches received their walking papers. Almost 40 years later I am still writing about Brownsville, but karma is a bitch and I don't want to find myself on the receiving end of walking papers.

But these recent blogging wars have shown me that I don't have the heart for the daily battles. I feel like those young soldiers who ask themselves amid the carnage, "What the hell are we doing in this war anyway? Am I giving up my life for nothing?"

As I was talking to a person whom I respect regarding the blog, it occurred to me the reason for my decision: I am not enjoying myself. I don't want my day determined by Bobby Wightman or Eddie Martinez or Jessica Tetreau or Melissa Zamora. These people are absolutely meaningless to me, yet I'm allowing them into my space. I don't want another political race occupying my time. They come and they go and nothing changes. After 40 years of reporting, I find Brownsville is worse than ever.

Don't get me wrong. It's been fun. In fact, it's been a ball, but I'm tired of Brownsville. I love the people and I love the town, but I'm tired of Brownsville. I am in a transitional period in my life. Walking on thin ice as I dangle by a thread, I have to focus on the goals I want to realize before I come to an abrupt end.

Brownsville Blues no longer puts me on that path. It has become a liability. I'm folding. It's time to move to another table. Un abrazo.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Announced Faceoffs for Brownsville Mayoral and City Commission Candidates

From the editor:  Below are messages received regarding scheduled candidate forums for mayoral and city commissioner candidates.  The first two, sponsored by the Republican Club of Brownsville, will be held at the Brownsville Public library.  

"Hello Mr. Barton. I am writing to let you know about the Briwnsville Mayoral Candidates Forun scheduled to take places tomorrow, April 14th from 6-8pm at the Brownsville Public Library - Central Blvd location. 5 of 6 mayoral candidates will be in attendance. The event is hosted by the Republican Club of Brownsville, of which I am the president. There will also be an second forum on Saturday the 18th of April from 4-6pm for the City Commission Candidates also hosted by the same club at the Brownsville Public Library. Please do share this information with your readers as it is an opportunity to see each candidate side by side and answering questions submitted by members of our community. Should you have any questions I am reachable by email at: Thanks!"

Another forum, designated the Valley Interfaith Candidate Accountability Forum, will be held at St. Demazenod Catholic Church, 5409 Austin Road, Brownsville, on Sunday, April 26 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM.  That forum will be for City Commissioner candidates only.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Borderland Beat: Former Houston "Officer of the Year" Arrested by FBI for Cartel Drug Trafficking

Feds Indict Houston PD ‘Officer of the Year’ for Trafficking Cocaine for Los Zetas Cartel

Borderland Beat posted by DD Republished from material at New York Daily NewsThe Free Thought Project, and from news video by ABCNews Channel 13, Houston.

Noe Juarez, former "Officer of the Year"

A former Houston Police Department ‘Officer of the Year’ award winner, Noe Juarez, was arrested this past Tuesday morning by the FBI during "roll call" after he reported for work at the central command station at 61 Riesner, in Houston. The FBI and DEA were working together in an alleged federal drug probe, serving a warrant out of New Orleans.

The Houston cop once recognized as the city’s officer of the year led a double life as a cocaine trafficker with ties to a notorious Mexican drug cartel, authorities claim.

Sealed indictments were opened on Wed. that showed federal charges of conspiracy to possess firearms connected with a drug trafficking offense and conspiracy to distribute five or more kilos of cocaine. Court documents accuse him of conspiring with Sergio Grimaldo, the brother of a convicted cartel boss, to distribute five kilos of cocaine in southeastern Louisiana.

His co-defendant, Grimaldo, 32, was previously indicted along with his brother, Efrain Grimaldo, a member of Los Zetas, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Louisiana confirmed in an email, according to The NY Daily News. Efrain was convicted of drug conspiracy charges in February 2014 and sentenced to 33 years in prison. The case against Sergio Grimaldo, who is in custody, remains open, and Juarez was named as a co-defendant in the indictment originally filed under seal on April 2, records show.
The charges against Juarez, unsealed on Wednesday, tell little about his alleged role, but police sources told KTRK the former hero cop worked as a hired gun for a drug cartel, escorting narcotics shipments across state borders.

If convicted on all charges he faces up to life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine.

Court documents accuse Juarez of beginning his drug trafficking operation in 2012.

The indictment came out of New Orleans, where investigators have been working in conjunction with Houston authorities since 2014, according to court records. There are a number people, including law enforcement officers, being investigated, but the FBI wouldn't comment at this time.
Read more »
Borderland Beat Reporter dd Posted at 12:40 PM 30 comments:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Walking Down Memory Lane with 2016 District Attorney Candidate Carlos "CheezMasso" Masso

Carlos Masso
Based on his political tricks of 2012, Carlos Masso will never be confused with Proctor & Gamble's "Mr. Clean." With a tent set up in Cameron Park next to a polling place, Masso apparently orchestrated a vote-gathering machine involving politiqueras, vans to pick up the elderly and mentally-challenged for controlled voting all in apparent close coordination with the election judge.

Adjacent to the Carlos Masso tent at Cameron Park was the Abelardo Gomez tent.  Longtime politiqueras Margarita Ozuna and Herminia Becerra flitted like queens between the two tents.  Later, when Margarita Ozuna was charged with Election Code violations, Carlos Masso would serve as her defense attorney.

  A statistical anomaly showing Abelardo Gomez, Carlos Masso and Omar Lucio receiving nearly identical numbers of mail-in votes, despite widely different vote totals, prompted then Election Administrator Roger Ortiz to say:  "They must have all used the same poliquera or group of group of politiqueras."

After losing a bitter battle in the Democratic Primary to eventual DA Luis Saenz, Masso returned to the private sector with a close connection to the 8-liner industry.  His nephew Rich Masso, along with Attorney Rick Zayas fell prey to Saenz much-publicized "Operation Bishop," a political, as much as law enforcement operation to appease Bishop Daniel Flores, who had complained that 8-liners were depleting the Catholic collection plates in Cameron County.

We stroll down memory lane with pictures from 2012:
A van used to transport elderly to Cameron Park polling precinct
Election Judge Arcellia Villalon Conferring with Gomez Camp during polling

Politiqueras Margarita Ozuna and Herminia Becerra splitting time between
Gomez and Masso tents at Cameron Park
These guys are Joey Garza (shorter one with dark hair) and Ralph Elizondo (older one with mustache). Both have been indicted and arrested for multiple counts of mail-in ballot theft.
Vicenta Guajardo Verino, Tomasita Ramirez Chavez, Facunda Banda Garcia, Bernice Garcia, Sara Virginia Perales, Margarita Rangel Ozuna are the politiqueras who go to trial on May 5th. Carlos Masso was representing Ozuna.
Borrowed from El Rrun Rrun



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