Thursday, April 30, 2009


In the latest whispers prior to Maximum Manuel defending his seat, it is said that his controller Darrel Barger for years has appeared in front of Banales while employing all his children at the Barger firm? Pura Latina is on the case and a judicial complaint is being contemplated. Lawyers from Houston contacted seem to conclude this is a violation of the judicial ethics and a total conflict that many lawyers on the opposite side apparently had no clue about.

More to come. I smell political season and Maximum Manuel is going to face the election of his life. His opponents and potential people against him are legion.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

DORELLA ELIZONDO: A Role Model For Our Times

DORELLA ELIZONDO: A Role Model For Our Times
(Co-Owner Of DEL CIELO HOMECARE Seeking Reelection To The City Council)

Alice, Texas -- Dorella Elizondo is a team player. She is impartial and friendly -- yet at a moment’s notice -- she can summon the courage to stand up for what is right for her native community – even if she has to “swim against the stream.” Many in the community have told this publication that Ms. Elizondo seems to radiate with a sense of a “higher cause”. She has a higher ethical fiber than traditional politicians. Be it an issue of fiscal accountability, be it a community health concern, be it an issue that addresses a long ignored area – how many are the actions on the council that have connected her with the average citizen of Alice.

Councilperson Elizondo, who grew up amidst challenges and in a humble household, added: “I feel that most citizens trust me and see me as approachable because I have done my best to be an unbiased member of the council. I don’t just react to an issue; I reflect on it first, before I take action. I want to make sure all sides are heard and properly represented. I always remind myself of my humble origins, of the reason I sought this seat. I ran for office to make sure that the best interest of the city be made priority, and thus and so in the beginning I vowed not to submit to the whims of a few who are motivated by special interest.”

“Team work” – this is what will bring out the best in Alice, Texas: Ms. Elizondo emphasized. “You can’t promise someone the moon just to have a chance to sit on the council. One person doesn’t make a council. It takes a vote of three to have a majority and move things forward. Team work, forming a consensus, tolerating different points of view – these are the qualities a person who sits on the city council needs to have. I bow to no vested interest group. I am financially independent and do not have to compromise my beliefs to compensate my earnings. The citizens of Alice, Texas have been (and will continue to be) my conscience.”

Not too long ago Councilperson Elizondo did reflect on the idea of running for mayor but decided not to do so for very unselfish reasons. She knew the town had to be united at this phase – when one of the candidates (Rito Silva) announced for the mayoral seat, Ms. Elizondo felt he would be a good fit and live up to the full meaning of the word – “professional.” Instead, she decided to seek re-election to the council so as to continue to nurture the cause she had started.

The stimulus bill, the remodeling of Texas Boulevard (with the accompanying sewer and water lines) and other issues still on the table, the work that awaits to be done on South Highway 281 – these are just a few of the projects she wants to see realized. She feels come Election Day a receptive and professional acting city council will be in place. “I decided to seek reelection to the council and play an indispensable role at this juncture as someone who can share her experience in budgeting and in mustering a consensus in regards to many a project,” she chimed in.

Councilperson Elizondo is a prominent businesswoman that sits on the city council. She is the Chief Financial Officer and Co-owner (for over a decade) of Del Cielo Homecare. Her success and insights in the free enterprise system greatly compliment her tenure on the city council.

Elizondo did state frankly that incoming Mayor Dr. Rito Silva will infuse a novel intensity of optimism in the council. She also added that a bona fide passion in City Manager Ray De Los Santos Jr. (who has diligently mapped out a responsible path for the municipality) exists. She feels that “stability” – this word is like a “nutrient and vitamin” that will greatly improve the social and political and economic status of Alice, Texas. “We have had both ebbs and flows (when it comes to confidence in public officials) in the last few years. The reason: we have had to go through a pair of city managers and assistant city managers. But with City Manager De Los Santos Jr., I feel that this is where the tire meets the road. He is saying that ‘together’: we can revive the pride that one rang very loud in Alice, Texas.”

To zoom in on the larger picture: The Jim Wells County area is feeling an economic pinch due to a dwindling regional economic crisis. Ms. Elizondo explains why the City of Alice demands in this trying times a representative in the best sense of the word: “This area is a petroleum-based community; the layoffs are mounting. We are also starting to notice that our hotels and tourist industry not have as much business as they used to. This will logically lead in time (if the pattern continues) to decreasing revenues… This is the time that your representatives will be tested, tested via how they react and act to meet the concerns of both the public and their respective duties to the office.”

“I need your vote. I -- for one -- want to see a proactive council yet with a pragmatic consciousness in reference to the finances available. I’ve seen this before, I’ve been here. We will pull together and survive it.”

Councilperson Elizondo wants to zero in more assertively on both beautifying and renovating city parks. She shared an experience: “On a recent visit to Houston, I visited a park in the area constructed out of 70 percent recyclable material. Can you imagine the creativity involved? The park integrated bike and walking trails, a spot for skateboarding and a water area that had built-in fountains.”

The above experience brought her focus back on what local parks, such as Anderson Park, offer to the residents of Alice. “I want to see grant money be secured to realize such improvements,” she detailed.

“Anderson Park” – she wants to see walking trails and an enhanced pool. She wants to see the city attempt to acquire non-traditional monies and resources to finance the work at Anderson Park.

The city’s equity plan? This is an area she wants to see worked on to address the obvious discrepancies that many an employee face in the city. “We want to make sure they are compensated equitably,” she emphasized.

She wants to be fair and do her best to hearten employees to acquire both the educational and occupational skills needed. She is a firm believer in both continuing and adult education. “No one is ever too old (or vice-a-versa) to learn something new. I want to see the city hire people on a probation period, and offer them the opportunity to take GED courses (if they lack a diploma), so that we can get them the needed qualification. Our aim is to improve the quality of life for our employees and their families. This will lead to better job performance and will collectively encourage everyone to higher standards. It is an investment in our city’s future.”

“El Politico Baloney”

“El Politico Baloney”

Robstown, Texas -- One of the most insightful sayings in politics is credited to Alfred E. Smith, who in 1936 summed up the words of most politicians by saying, “No matter how thin they slice it, it’s still baloney.” Interestingly, we don’t have to look too far to find a politico who personifies this saying. This “Politico Baloney” is a former Robstown School Board member who is seeking to return to the board in the upcoming May 9th Robstown School Board election.
Two weeks ago, a front page article in a local publication noted that this former Robstown School Board member had illegally posted his campaign signs throughout the city. In response, the “Politico Baloney” claimed that what he did is “no big deal,” however; his actions clearly demonstrate a repulsive arrogance that completely disrespects the law. This “Politico Baloney” is none other than Oscar “Quate” Lopez, who despite having full knowledge that ALL his political signs did not comply with state law (because they did not contain legally required information and subject to a $4,000.00 fine); he went ahead and put them up—bragging that the only law that matters is: “Lo Que Diga Quate!” (What Quate Says!). This is unfettered arrogance. However, Mr. Lopez’ insolence is nothing new.
Anyone familiar with Robstown School Board politics may remember Oscar Lopez’ infamous hit-list when he served on the school board. In fact, Oscar Lopez’ hit-list was the blue-print Dr. Roberto Garcia used to fire 42 hardworking, long-time, Robstown ISD employees and their families. To further make his point, while serving on the school board, Oscar Lopez was also able to keep several highly qualified individuals from obtaining jobs with the district declaring that he do so because: “No Valen Madre!” (They’re not worth a damn!). Now, Oscar “El Politico Baloney” Lopez say’s he’ll rehire the 42 employees Garcia fired…Yea, Sure…Go poke someone else’s eyes. Oscar “El Politico Baloney” Lopez didn’t speak up for the 42 employees when they were fired, and he sure as hell won’t speak up for them to be rehired. In politics, this is known as “speaking from both sides of the mouth” something Oscar “El Politico Baloney” Lopez is very good at!
The truth is “El Politico Baloney” is disrespectful, self-serving, vulgar in his manner of speech, and harbors malcontentment in his heart. “El Politico Baloney” is no friend to teachers, students, parents, and education in general. Make no mistake about it, Oscar “El Politico Baloney” Lopez is for Oscar Lopez and the lone thing he’s interested in is adulation and self-glory. The only ones “El Politico Baloney” will ever help are a handful of indolent, comical characters that profit by doing his bidding. Recently, a former Lopez supporter confessed he heard “El Politico Baloney” boast that the “reason he’s running for the School Board is to help his protégé, Adolfo Lopez,” who was rightly removed as President of the Robstown School Board last month. Why isn’t “El Politico Baloney” running to help students, teachers, and parents, instead of running to help a “walking disaster” like Adolfo Lopez, who would rather defend the oppressor than the oppressed.
If Oscar “El Politico Baloney” Lopez blatantly defies an easy to follow law like the Election Code, “What can we expect of him when it comes to more important matters?” Sadly, the seeds of sleaze have taken root within this man’s being. Clearly, the next move is up to the voters— who truly care about our community. Let’s not allow a “Baloney Politician” like Oscar Lopez to use his bag of tricks against the most precious resource our community has, namely, our children. The only way to move forward is to vote for CHANGE!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kleberg County, TX -- Guadalupe Guerrero Convicted of Burglary of a Habitation

Kleberg County, TX -- The trial of Guadalupe Guerrero culminated this week in the105th District Court. The District Attorney, John Hubert, said that Guadalupe Guerrero was charged with Burglary of a Habitation with Intent to Commit or with Commission of an Assault, a Second Degree Felony. The jury deliberated for almost 4 hours and came back with a Guilty verdict. The Defendant withdrew his request for the jury to assess punishment.

By withdrawing his request for the jury to assess punishment, the Defendant was able to come to an agreement with the state regarding punishment only. Both sides agreed on 10 years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice but that the sentence should be suspended and that the Defendant would be placed on probation for 10 years and a $1,000 fine. No days in jail were assessed by the Judge since the defendant was arrested on a warrant out of Nueces County on a conviction in that county of Resisting Arrest.

This case revolved around a 911 call to the Kingsville Police on March 16, 2008 after 2:00 am in the morning. In the tape the victim was heard to say that someone was breaking into her apartment, then a statement that he was breaking in, a male voice, then the word “STOP” and the recording terminates. The police responded within minutes. They saw an open door, a broken frame, and hear cries for help from the bedroom. Upon entering the bedroom they testified that they saw the Defendant on top of the Victim with the Victim face down on the bed. Both officers testified that they saw the Defendant reach up and push the Victim’s head into a pillow, muffling her cries. The officers took control of the scene, arresting the Defendant. The officers stated that the Victim was very scared but immediately stated that she did not want to file charges. At trial she stated that was still her intent and that she had made up with the Defendant, who was a past boyfriend.

District Attorney Hubert, who tried the case, said the jury had a difficult time convicting the Defendant. "This was a typical crime of domestic violence where the Victim did not want to proceed forward with the case. But the evidence was substantial against the Defendant. In the end, it was apparent to the jury that the Victim was trying to cover for her ex-boyfriend and the truth was that she was assaulted.” Hubert also praised the jurors for their hard work. “The jury considered all of the evidence and looked at it from every angle. In the end, the jury sent a strong message to victims of domestic abuse that Kleberg County does care about you. It also sent a message to the offenders that the law enforcement won’t just ignore crimes of violence.”

The Defendant will remain in custody pending his return to Nueces County to serve his remaining jail time on the Resisting Arrest conviction.

Other Analysis from the Trial

In this case the Victim filed 3 affidavits of non-prosecution stating that she would not show up for Court. However, the Victim continually stated to the DA that the assault had happened. Additionally, there was evidence from a 911 tape, photos from the scene, and officer testimony of what they saw. During trial she both agreed that it happened and then recanted the story. The jury was unconvinced of her recantation.

"We worked hard to get the Victim to the trial so the Defense could ask her questions. But, she didn’t want to be there and made it very difficult for us to try the case," said Hubert. "The 6th Amendment guarantees the right of a Defendant to face his accuser, even one who is reluctant to be there."

Monday, April 6, 2009

Editorial: Let's Give Joe Adame A Chance ...

Let’s Give Joe Adame a Chance …
It is easy to be cynical about our politicians, especially when you have politician for profit operating openly amidst the crowd. Bonds, certificates of obligation, new development (funded by tax dollars of course) – these are just some of the raise red flags in the citizenry.
Mayor-elect Adame has expressed both motives that seem both tangible and honorable. He identified an area that he wants to work on – “Uniting the city.” If it is truly a top priority – it is one tha that has been in our minds for a long time. But Mayor-elect Adame is now in a position to do anything about it.
I pray that Mayor-elect Adame’s motives were not just a sales pitch to get elected. Again, I hope he is a man of reason and compassion. He cannot, of course, be given a free check of high praise such early in his career of public service.
There are politicians for too long associated with the EDC that have been venal, corrupt, self-seeking and amoral. Additionally, they tend to be over-endowed with vanity and ambition. We pray Adame departs from the culture of greed and will be more spiritually idealistic than the average, and more practically concerned with the welfare of their fellow citizens.
Most politicians follow a familiar sequence. They start as idealists, impatient with compromise, and become gradually more pragmatic with age. Often, amid the ruthless calculations necessary to make it to the top, they lose sight of the human values which first inspired them. In any case, the service of the public good becomes easily confused with vainglory. One of the motives for any mayor has always been to secure their place in history. Indeed, all the architects of the “Pro Growth” movement want to bask in public approval. That is no bad thing, however, and as a criticism it is a far cry from the cynical assumption that all politicians are sleazeballs.
El Defenzor has pointed out repeatedly that some politicians are subject to many universal human weaknesses: they can be stupid, greedy and dishonest. But they are also more likely than most to seek, as John Smith said in his unintended epitaph, "the chance to serve". Theirs is the spirit of restlessness on which civilization has been built: the desire to order society better, to make a difference to people's lives.
As a class, politicians are as much distrusted as lawyers and journalists, but they are, as one commentator has characterized them, "There can be some honest opportunists". As we await the verdict of the peoples of Mayor-elect Adame, we should pause before we pass judgment so early on after an election.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Editorial: Joe Adame Elected -- Will he rise above the limitations of the EDC Crowd?

Joe Adame is elected Mayor at Saturday (April 4) election; Henry Garrett ( as one political observer put it), “puffed away like an old cobweb into the distance.” What does the insider’s mathematical results of the election reveal?
Do the election results reveal a major leap in the dominant political structure in Corpus Christi?

The answer: NO!!!
Do the election results reveal a major departure from the status quo of the way the municipality has been running?
The answer: No!!!
Do the election results in their substantive analysis reveal we really have both a new face and voice in its figurative sense?
The answer: No!!
It reveals one very obvious fact that the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation (known as the EDC for short) reorganized after loosing their loyals on the city council. The major impetus for the following was fulled by the firing of “Skip” Noe as city manager.
Mayor Garrett was forced at some point to either align with the Pro-Growth’s agenda (EDC’s) or the Smart Growth’s (non-EDC’s). Loosing confidence in “Skip” Noe as City Manager marked a significant removal of the linch-pin and hold that the EDC “Shadow” elite had on the city council. Noe, in my estimation, had been the top administrative official that was for the most part serving as “Mr. Gadget” and emissary for the elite Corporate Sponsors of the EDC (e.g., Al Jones – President of American Bank; Mike Carrol – President of Frost Bank; Contractors Joe Fulton/Mike Barnett and Berry Construction, and so forth). The appointment of Angel Escobar as City Manager (Mayor Garrett being the swing vote – one can add the name of Melody Cooper also) raised the ire of the opposition (EDC elite) which was playing a low key role retrenched.
With what variables in mind did they retrench? The EDC elite that for the most part dominates the internal focus of the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation as a whole (known as the EDC) were aware that the ethnic demographics, and thus and so in this election were going to favor a candidate with an Hispanic surname in the next election cycle.
Joe Adame, whose father was a pharmacist in Robstown and a friend of the late Dr. Hector P. Garcia) (founder of the American GI Forum), because their investment. Their first return: the election results on April 4.

The final question: Will Mayor-elect Adame have an epiphany and rise above the limitations of the EDC?