Thursday, August 26, 2010




NUECES COUNTY, TX -- While political trickster and attorney Filemon "Phil" Vela Jr. (and his wife-Appellate Court Rose Vela) -- is in the Valley both constructing their new home in an upscale neighborhood and crafting his "new conversion" back to the party his father used to lead in the Valley -- i.e., the Democratic Party (Note: his dad, the late Federal Judge Filemon "Phil" Vela Sr, played a major role and had a cult following in South Texas), here locally Corpus Chrisi's attorney Rene Rodriguez (Phil Jr.'s business partner and political side-kick) has been brought into the county’s GOP by top Republican players (such as County Judge Loyd Neal & former Republican Chair Mike Bertuzzi). Rodriguez (known as “El Cucuy” – or “The Boogie Man”) as the top consultant of the Republican party in this election cycle. Rodriguez, who still brags he is a Democrat and utters his mantra in tight circles: "Once a Democrat; always a Democrat".

“Word is circulating around that Rene’s faction of Democrats (some are now running as Republicans) are being both bankrolled and given a “free ride” in the ‘circus elephant’ that the Repubican party has become in this year's election,” a downtown Corporate lawyer who is an orthodox Republican told our publication. “How can this be! You have the true conservaties running as Democrats this election such as Clarissa Gonzalez for County Judge and Mark Skurka for District Attorney and even District Judge Manuel Banales who has always been tough on crime).”

Republican Candidates -- Anna Maria Jimenez (running for District Attorney; she was appointed District Attorney by a Governor's Republican Committee – where County Judge Loyd Neal and brashly even Sheriff Jim Kaelin served as members), Angelica Hernandez (who is running for the post held by District Judge Manuel Banales), and Amanda Torres (who is running for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, Place 1) – how many are the candidates that have become known as “Rene’s Girls.”

“Why the elaborate political scheme?” – this is the reoccurring question in many circles. Because Loyd Neal (who is considered by many to be a “faux” Republican) needs to keep his post and maintain his power according to the behind-the-scenes elite that fuels his crusade. Neal (who has over 40 years in the insurance business) is in the twilight of life and purportedly working on the biggest insurance deal of his life. It has become know as the “TRI-FACTA” (the aim is to control or implement the Health Insurance Contracts for three government entities – the City of Corpus Christi (which they have in their pockets-where Mike Scott sits as a councilman), Corpus Christi I.S.D. (which they are working diligently on via Carol Scott and network), and Nueces County Government (where Neal has concentrated his top staff and “top-guns” to assist him in the deal).

This is not “conspiracy theory” – these are the bare facts. The veracity of the political schemes implemented by Neal and his network in the last few months has become so grim that many “spot on” Republicans do not even want to talk about it. NEAL is micromanaging the HEALTH INSURANCE OF THE COUNTY. He has removed the person in the county that should be in-charge of the Health Insurance – the AT-RISK MANAGER (Severando Caballero) from participating on this business deal. He has instead used the influence of his office to hire his former Insurance Associate – Tomas Duran (who has a history in the region of serving as the “middle man” and “power broker” in this specialty – as a full-time “insurance consultant” for the County: a consultant position that has traditionally been commissioned part-time.

Government offices should not be used for personal business profits; yet Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars are involved in this government/tax-payer bankrolled endeavor. Duran is not legally allowed to receive “commissions” while working for the county government, yet he is negotiating deals with pharmacies, doctors, Third Party Agencies and their administrative structures. “No one seems to be questioning who is going to get a cut or a rebate?” one specialist in the area said. It involves a complex rigmarole dealing with the “non-Fully Funded Insurance” Health Insurance Plans (which Neal and Duran specialize and have a history of being agents for in the past); there is more than meets the eye. Incentives and rebates are so cleverly shrouded in this type of insurance structure and stratagem that even a specialized insurance agent cannot adequately trace any crafty doctoring of funds.”

To add fuel to the fire, County Judge Loyd Neal has used his power to employ his own personal business secretary, Claudia Lobell. She is being paid over $80,000 (salary plus benefits) in the county. Her title: “Chief Executive To Loyd Neal” -- WHILE the top execuitive secretary that has tenure in the county and was highly trained for the post is only being paid $30,444.

Historical notes: This abuse of tax dollars by a county judge is unprecedenced. There is a gulf of difference between Neal’s administration and even former County Judges. For example, former County Judge Terry Shamsie had one top secretary and was paid close to $30,000.

While the NEAL NETWORK FOR PROFIT turns over parcel of power and departments (such as the District Attorneys Office) and weakens the Nueces County Republican Party, the true Republican Chair, Ron McLain (with LIBERTARIAN leanings and a member of SOUTH TEXANS FOR LIBERTY), is both shunned and ridiculed both openly and behind his back by the Neal Network and the Rene Rodriguez faction. More of Rene’s “Democrats” are being recruited to run in subsequent years. “We can work around him (Ron McLain),” former Chair Bertuzzi (Phil’s Jr. intimate buddy) said in the Lago show (visit this Link?).

The latest news. “Phil Jr., (and his wife, Rose) plan to ‘turn’ Democrat – again soon. “It is clear that the Republican Party has been hijacked by the NEAL NETWORK FOR PROFIT. Neal has sold out the party I feel to keep his post and make a 'killing' in the insurance business. The Velas and the Rodriguez-es are implicitly and explicitly laughing at the great ruse they have managed to get away with. It has weakened the Republican Party and has made it ripe for a Democratic Party take over. Do we have a Republican Party anymore? This has clearly taken us back decades.”

We need to get that GRINGO (referring to MIKE SKURKA) and other GRINGOS OUT from the DA’S (DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S) office,” a close associate with the Phil Jr. camp daringly said at the courthouse. "They don't understand us and never will."

“I feel Neal ran as a Republican because it was the fad at the time. It would optimize his chances of getting the top post in the county. He never believed in my estimation in the ideals of the party. His deal as well as his NETWORK was to use PUBLIC OFFICES, PUBLIC DOLLARS for PERSONAL BUSINESS GAINS,” a disgruntled Republican concluded.

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