Thursday, September 23, 2010

ACTIVIST ATTORNEY JOE FLORES: "Giving UP Is Not The Language Of The Democrat Party!"


Nueces County, TX -- The NUECES COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS FIGHTING FOR ITS VERY SURVIVAL. Make no mistake about it. Why? One of the patriarchs of the regional Democratic Party -- Attorney Rene Rodriguez (and his followers) -- double-crossed it. Some are shocked; some are in denial; some, fatalistic.

But, all factions that remain (within the local Democratic Party) agree on one thing: The party was used as a stepping stone by some ravenous lawyers within this faction to try and gain control of the courts over the last two decades and the District Attorney’s Office. The Loyd Neal Faction (of the Republican Party), gauged the Rodriguez Faction’s throb of motivation and tapped into their dream of dreams, and baited them, roping them in with a quid pro quo deal (quid pro quo in Latin means: an equal exchange between two groups or as some have angrily stated: “Selling your party to the highest bidder”).

Firstly, one associated with the Rodriguez Faction (Attorney Anna Maria Jimenez: sister-in-law to County Attorney Laura Jimenez) was strategically offered the top post in the District Attorney’s office (after Carlos Valdez stepped down) by a few Republicans who sat in the Governor’s ad hoc committee (e.g., Loyd Neal, Jim Kaelin and a few others). What was “The catch?” To turn Republican: and this Ms. Jimenez did and so did the top players and main supporters of the Rodriguez clan – including non-lawyers. The unwritten muddied political deal was implicitly and explicitly obvious: the two factions (who had for many years waged a long relentless battle against each other) – the “Loyd Neal Network FOR PROFIT” (as it is known among insiders) and the Rodriguez Faction would join forces (as a coalition of convenience) to try to maximize their odds under the umbrella on the regional Republican Party at actualizing complete control of respective targets of interest that they want to manage. In other words: the Neal Network wants complete control over county government (e.g., insurance deals and so forth); the Rodriguez Faction, over the courts (e.g., court appointments) and District Attorney Office.

Secondly, immediately upon taking office, Ms. Anna Maria Jimenez acting as District Attorney called for a re-organization of the entire Department – what some called “House Cleaning.” Forced resignations, firings, a hostile working atmosphere – how many were the consequences of this action. From one day to the next, “experienced” prosecutors found themselves out in the halls without a job; “inexperienced” newbies, promoted to administrative heights that equate with the Peter Principle (the principle that is said to exist when an employee rises or is promoted to a level of occupational incompetence) espoused by the elitists within the Rodriguez clan.

The above clearly demonstrates that the Neal and Rodriguez join coalition is more concerned about the acquisition of power and jobs and resources than party loyalty. However, some argue that “ideological differences” in all coalitions eventually will surface. Others claim that legal technocrats (such as Rodriguez) are not as concerned about what belief system dominates as long as they are in the good graces of the majority of the power figures that exert control over them. Lawyers, falling in this category, gain a special advantage due to the technical knowledge of the system that they have and thus acquire – and consequently are difficult to remove from entrenched official offices.

But the Neal Network operates in more terrain than just the county government: it is linked to the many of the city councilpersons (e.g., Mark Scott, Brent Chesney, and so forth), key municipal administrators, both the Hispanic and regular Chambers of Commerce, and to the infamous Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation (known as a hangout for powercrats that had made a cottage industry with taxpayer dollars). The Neal Network also extends into the net of the present tenure of top administrators at Corpus Christi ISD that some claim are using data bases of both students and families to tap into and mobilize at election time.

Keep in mind that the Corpus Christi School Board Elections will be held at the same time as the General Election on November 2 of this year. Carol Scott and John Longoria – two key figures in the Neal Network (and school board members who are up for re-election) -- are also using their brigade of supporters to push for a sweep at the polls in all the regional top offices this coming election by the Neal/Rodriguez garden variety Republicans. Longoria (a former rival of Rodriguez) was recruited by the Neal Network to run for the school board (along with Carol Scott – wife of Mark Scott: not to be confused with Connie Scott running for State Representative) to push for bonds and COB (Certificates of Obligation) and even gain control of arbitrary roles in the spending of those bonds – i.e., what insiders call promoting a “Networking For Profit” agenda and “Maintaining An Elitist Cottage Industry” with taxpayer dollars.

Law enforcement associations, civil rights groups, and environmental groups are other organizations that are gradually being co-opted by the Neal/Rodriguez coalition – a relationship of mutual expediency.

What is the defensive action the local Democratic Party as a whole can take to stop the vast coalition put together by the Neal/Rodriguez factions?

“What the Democrats need is a kick on their behind by its own mascot – the jackass -- to wake up and smell the Elephant’s dung that is spreading from Nueces to Kleberg Counties” -- this is the on-going joke being exchanged at the courthouse by some observers.

One of the reoccurring themes has been that the party needs to quickly reorganize and identify its available resources in order to recover its momentum. The election is around the corner.

Remarkably, one highly respected activist attorney, a staunch party loyalist – Joe Flores -- has been attentively working to fill the local Democratic Party’s leadership void. He is using his own money and resources to bring out the valiant spirit of the loyalists.

“Flores and other Democratic leaders have responsibly picked up the banner of our party. Flores, to be specific, has been burning the candle at both ends and has begun to invest in his TV Show (which airs on KTMV-Times Warner channel 6) known as South Texas Crossfire to mobilize and lift the party to an effective degree,” Joe Benavides, candidate for Justice of the Peace shared. “Most of the commercials promoting the local Democratic Party that appear on KTMV and some stations and print media are being crafted by Flores. He is a good example of how leaders arise naturally due to a crisis.”

Some go as far as to say that Flores recognized that the regional party was somewhat getting frail from the very start and began to invest in it. Flores has optimized and altered the model that has architected the success of the regional Democratic Party. He learned from his father and then other politicos in the Democratic Party in the 1990’s. He has fast become known as a formidable architect of campaigns.

Attorney Flores explained his involvement: “I became involved in this election cycle by supporting people I believe in -- former Judge Jose ‘JAG’ Gonzalez (the Democratic candidate for County Commisioner) and Joe Benavides (the Democratic Candidate for Justice of the Peace. I also helped Clarissa Gonzalez, running for County Judge, in the Democratic primary, who did not have much name recognition in political circles but had a successful business and energy and drive and helped her obtain the Democratic nomination for County Judge by a 60% margin. We also were victorious in run-offs for Joe A. Gonzalez for County Commmissioner and Joe Benavides for Justice of the Peace in hard fought battles with tough opponents. After that experience many Democrats felt that my efforts were helping the entire slate as well."

Flores detailed: “I noticed that the Democratic Party was weak and going through a crisis. I launched a campaign on my own knowing that Lucy Rubio, the former Democratic Party Chair, would no longer be around, and a new one would soon be elected but fresh to the office. Eventually Rose Meza-Harrison did fill in that gap.”

Flores added: “The Democratic Party is where my heart is and where I find great joy addressing issues that affect us. Although I am an attorney and have conservative business and moral values, I don’t think that conflicts with Democratic Party’s values at all. Ultraconservative Republicans want everyone to believe that Democrats in South Texas are all liberal, which is simply not true. You have a primarily conservative base, consisting of a majority of Hispanic voters, which do not reflect the liberal spin on the national scale of what it means to be Democrat. In other words, we are not Nancy Pelosi Democrats down here, and want jobs, fiscal responsibility and transparency in our leaders.”

[IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: An in-depth interview with Joe Flores will run in KTMV (channel 6-Time Warner) on Friday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m. The founder of El Defenzor, Homero Villarreal, will be the host of SOUTH TEXAS CROSSFIRE (a show that is the brainchild of Flores). The table will be turned and Flores will be the guest. Villarreal will attempt to query Flores to reveal what lies deep inside his chest and mind. Villarread added: “I believe that one’s true personality and who one is lies beyond the impressions that are managed. The real disposition, the wrinkle of one's true self is glimpsed at somewhere in the back region of the person – this is my goal.”]

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Editorial: Thoughts on the Blake Farenthold Campaign (against incumbent Solomon P. Ortiz); ED MISHOU - this is the independent candidate.

Editorial: Thoughts on the Blake Farenthold Campaign (against incumbent Solomon P. Ortiz); ED MISHOU - this is the independent candidate.

Blake Farenthold -- there are many red flags regarding his candidacy. Some are unconfirmed reports that have been obtained via a dialogue with the voters and the players and the specialists. Many in the Corpus Christi area are familiar with the Farenthold family history and the fact that they were largely responsible for getting Solomon P. Ortiz elected to the 28th Congressional District 28 years ago. Many feel that family connection may still be there.

Farenthold did not enter the race until the last minute and some believe it was just to keep William "Willy" Vaden, who was running against Ortiz in the previous elections from posing an even bigger threat this year. Some, who have known Farenthold since his childhood, are very leery of his past ethics and honesty. His campaign rhetoric is based on generalities with little substance. Evidence of his campagin activities in the southern part of the district is very shallow and the anecdote is that he has written off all but his small core group down there which is for all intents and purposes to write off Cameron County and that is tantamount to writing off the election. The latter adds some credence and weight to the thought that he only entered the race to keep Vaden out.

Farenthold only won the runoff election by a very small margin. Many seem to think he has done little to recover those voters who did not support him. There remains, I understand, a lot of ill-thought and suspicion regarding his conduct during the primary and runoff elections. There seems to be a lot of smoke and some observers are confident that beneath it all there may be some fire but it is not too obvious to pick up on and tap into it successfully.

If Ed Mishou (a well-like independent who is nimble minded and has a hefty base) was not in the race, running as an independent, Farenthold would more likely not score any better, or even as well, than Vaden did in the last two, but with Ed Mishou in the game, Farenthold might just drop to third. A memory lingers during the Republican Primaries. Vaden walked up to Farenthold, and then addressed the audience jestingly: “Do you want a ‘poodle’ like Farenthold or someone… (or someone that will be assertive in this campaign?)”.

Finally, why would the Republicans voters select a candidate with absolutely no qualificaitions or experience over the other two more viable candidates?

Monday, September 20, 2010



NUECES COUNTY, TX -- By way of background tort reform which was passed in 2003 affecting lawyers by decreasing not only the amount of medical malpractice lawsuits but created a cap on other lawsuits as written in the language of the Proposition. Regional lawyers like Rene Rodriguez were crippled in the amount of money they could make. The very atmosphere changed the way the jury looked at awarding verdicts in the 7 and 8 figure range. Tort reformers such Bay Area Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse saved corporations and insurance companies millions while decreasing the revenues lawyers made to fuel candidates primarily in the Democratic Party. That coupled with Rene Rodriguez’ scandal with Jaime Capelo whereby $100,000.00 exchanged hands and for the first time both Capelo and Rodriguez faced public scrutiny in reference to their orbital network of expediency. It further fueled the media spin to pass tort reform measures. Then Rodriguez leaped here and there until he crossed the confines of his political camp.
Attorney Tony Canales (whom Rodriguez had taunted and egged on during many an election) defended his reputation by further defending disgruntled clients who had been represented by Rodriguez in a major settlement. This led to further injury to his practice. Years went by and Rodriguez stayed within the Democratic Party and subsisted via giving lipservice to the expected motions.

He then followed Fil Vela's footsteps and decided to cross over to the Republican party. But first, he send his “girls” (Angela Hernandez and Amanda Torres and a few others) to serve as the friendly “doves” (as some critics have described them). He then came into the regional GOP as the “hawk” to promote his agenda to put in lawyers to replace justice of the peace candidates and further limit the working man's access to the courthouse doors… In fact, a candidate has been lined up againat JP Robert “Bobby” Gonzalez (from Robstown).

By cutting a deal with Amanda Torres, establishing a bizarre precedent of lawyers and the elite to replace nonlawyer justice of the peace candidates an agenda to limit a day in court had now been established. Rodriguez benefits by obtaining benefits for his school that Amanda refers troubled children to and Anna Jiminez, the other “Rene girl” promotes associates within the Republican controlled District Attorney’s office. Conspiracy? We think not.

As Rene Rodriguez Leaves The Democratic Party, Attorney JOE FLORES Emerges To Fill In The Gap


As Rene Rodriguez Leaves The Democratic Party, Attorney JOE FLORES Emerges To Fill In The Gap

Nueces County, TX – November 2 (General Election) – This date was first expected to be a normal, routine one (by many a local political analyst). But, it seems that it will be one far from from “normal.” The General Election is about a month and a half away; yet both the regional Democrat and Republican Parties have been hit with an unexpected maelstrom. They have been disconcerted with an eddy of drafts and undercurrrents that have brought about challenges in attempting to regroup the two political parties after unforeseen shifts and startling “back-stabbings” and permutational re-positioning by former top and moderate players. It seems that the expectant socio-political universe of a few months ago has now been cast away into a distant sea or as theologians refer to politics as :” the sea of trouble”.

It appears that Rene Rodriguez, long known as the patriarch of the Democratic party, has departed to the other side and created the void that ironically is fast being filled by a younger attorney, Joe Flores who has optimized and altered the model that has architected Democratic success. Flores learned from men like Rodriguez and other politicos in the Democratic party in the 1990’s and has fast become known as a formidable architect of campaigns.

The Democrat Party has a new chair – Rose Meza Harrison – yet “too new” to have any robust roots and left the San Patrictio County chair abruptly. The strangeness is that she works for the county attorney (Laura Jimenez – a Democrat) who is none else than a sister-in-law to Anna Maria Jimenez (who was appointed by Republican Party after Mark Skurka the next in line refused to run as a Republican for the post). A few key leaders question Ms. Harrison’s loyalty – some claim she has some veiled factional ties to a group that “trojan-horsed” itself within the Republican party. As one cynical insider questioned off-the-record: “The key in any campaign is not to allow anyone affilaited with the rival’s side to penetrate the ‘inner core’ or the main organizational, concentric circle because here lies the fundamental intelligent and strategic information that could win or lose an election.” However a large portion are given her “the benefit of the doubt” (as a member of the Democratic Women group put it). Thus begs the question, if Loyd Neal is her boss, and Laura Jiminez her immediate boss, who is family to Anna Jiminez, how far away can conflicts in party loyalty be?

The Republican Party also has a new chair who was scarcely appointed (not elected) – after Attorney Ron McLain (with Libertarian leanings and who was elected in the March Primaries) stepped down after enormous pressure (as some informants within his faction put it) from what was called the “establishment” group. McLain’s main qualm was that (even though he had won for the post) the “executive committee” of the party was still stratifying itself and stripping him of his authority to assign people to committees and so forth.

After McLain’s resignation was processed and all was said and done, On March 13 of this year Kimberly Curtis, a lifelong Republican was appointed by the Executive Committee of the Republican Party. The last time a chairman has been approved by the Executive Committee in this manner was in 1975. (See video on youtube... On the "Swearing In" Ceremony and how County Judge Loyd Neal has his own ritual before they take office... If you notice, as pointed out by a "patriot" on facebook, the constitution of the U.S. States was never cited: "a Mason normative requirement?"! "

Mike Bergsma who was next in line (to be chair because had challenged McLain in the election) was disregarded. However Ms. Curtis, the new chair, immediately upon being sworn in by County Judge Loyd Neal and then again by County Commissioner Mike Pusley, recommend Bergsma as Vice-Chair and was appointed by acclamation.

Ms. Curtis is described as “organized” and “enthusiastic” by the “in-group” of the party, as one put it: “She loves our community and country. She's married to a doctor and is a small business owner. The party was smart to vote a younger person with fresh ideas as Chair. As I have said in the past Ron (McLain) was not pushed out, he chose to resign when things didn't go the way he and his crew had planned.” Berlanga added: “He did not do this alone, he took his whole faction with him except, except his wife, who continues to pretend and claim she is gonna run as a Democrat when her re-election is up for the 13th Court of Appeals.”


The main spotlight is on both the draft and undercurrent of the political maelstrom in the county. It seems to be focused on a former Democratic faction (i.e., Rene Rodriguez’ clique) that crossed the fence that was political taboo and plugged into the Republican Party and becoming a familiar staple. Rodriguez, --who for years had both prided and marketed himself as being a byproduct of the defunct radical organization known as Raza Unida of the 1970s and its tenets and who had used the latter to sulfurously stigmatize as well as demonize many while working within the regional Democratic Party as sellouts to “los Republicanos” (e.g., Connie Gutierrez whom he referred to as “La Republicana” and others like former State Representative Hugo Berlanga) who did not support his slate of candidates -- now finds himself in an antipodal position where he himself is being tagged a “flip-flopper” and “vendido” (sell-out).

Hugo Berlanga took the opportunity to respond to the above issue via text: “Republican hypocrite (referrring to Rene Rodriguez), always critical of every one that does not see eye to eye with his slate, now supports all the Republicans. He was making everyone think he was a true believer in the Democratic Party and its precepts and the issues that matter to the working class and Hispanics and the oppressed, now openly (without any shame whatsoever supports all the Republicans). Why? He is out of favor with the Democratic Judges (in the region).”

Amanda Torres (running for Justice of the Peace against longtime community activist Joe Benavides), Angelica Hernandez (running for district judge against incumbent Judge Manuel Banales), Anna Maria Jimenez (candidate for District Attorney ) – how many are the new candidates that Rodriguez has inveiled to run as Republicans. The door that leads into the Republican party was advertently left ajar for Rodriguez’ faction by some key figures affiliated with County Judge Loyd Neal’s network. This came after a poll indicated that young Hispanic women needed to be enrolled in order for other key Anglo Republican candidates to have a chance to win. Then again, Filemon “Fil” Vela’s interpretation (a political strategist) of what went wrong in the last election could have been the major driving force. [Other notes: Some insiders claim that District Judges like Nanette Hassette and Nelva Gonzales-Ramos – who have long been affiliated with the Rene Rodriguez Faction – continue to remain embedded as Democrats. Some insiders go as far as to claim they have been assured they will not get a Republican challenger as long as “Fil” Vela occupies a high-level and pivotal function as political swami within the party).

On a daily basis on FACEBOOK, one can read the disenchantment. Roland Gonzalez writes: “Ironic isn't it? A few of the leaders and shakers of the Democratic Party, Rene Rodriguez, Angelica Hernandez, Amanda Torres and Anna Jiminez (the ‘A Girls’ of Rene Rodriguez) all have flipped, cut deals and turned on the Democrats. It’s a sad day in South Texas.”

What tactics are being used by the Rodriguez clique operating in the “potbelly” of the Republican Party to recruit Democrats? “The overtones of their rhetoric among Democrats is that they are adherents of an Hispanic cause – La Causa (as it is know) – but I feel it is just that, rhetoric. The reason is that at debates I see Republican candidates sitting next to them openly express anti-Mexican and Latino sentiments and using the phrase ‘anchor babies’ and ‘social parasites’ and they clap. It seems they are stepping on their own raza (people) for their own advancement rather than being genuine to any higher cause of social equality,” Matty Bosquez, a Nueces County resident, opined.

The Democrat Party is recovering from this wound – the “Rene Rodriguez Flight” (as it is referred to by some). It was a chaotic blow. In the last decade, the regional Democratic Party has seen attorney “Fil” Vela (and his wife, current 13th Court of Appeals Judge Rose Vela) switched parties, and now in this election cycle, his longtime business partner and political associate, attorney Rene Rodriguez. The “brain-drain” situation was not palliated either when Attorney Mikal Watts “got out of the kitchen” (so-to-speak) and moved to San Antonio to retrench. Watts dissolved the “Good Government Pact” that used to fund many a Democratic campaign. Watts never helped all Democrats but was very selective. He still participates but many in his orbit claims he conducts polls to determine who he “picks and chooses” to assist via campaign contributions and Skurka apparently is his only pick at this time. All this factors combined have created a void.


Many have also been critical of those who are seen as subordinate functionaries in the Rodriguez faction that were swayed or converted to cross over to “tabooed” Republican territory. The role of the latter is to help execute Rodriguez’ agenda. Some example of the aforementioned are Roland Garza (a community activist and Democratic Party precinct chair who after appearing on the payroll of Republican candidates was asked to resign as a representative of the Democrat Party), Susie Luna (who also was a precinct chair for the Democratic Party was asked to resign), Vicente Carranza (who is a radio personality is a co-host on the Roland Garza TV Show has also been criticized but did not hold a position within the Republican Party) and a few others involved in union activities who are now enrolled in an agenda that runs against the grain of “anti-collective” bargaining and wholesome union organizing (yet they are loyal to the Rodriguez faction).


While what is known as the SOLOMON P. ORTIZ FACTION remains Democrat, the cold reality hits: one faction is not enough to effectively hurl and propel a party forward. “It is like attempting to fly a plane; it takes a lot of momentum and energy to get it off the ground, the plane representing the DEMOCRATIC PARTY,” candidate Joe Benavides for Justice of the Peace shared. “There is no doubt in my mind that Attorney Joe Flores who coordinated both the media and organizational dynamics of my campaign as well as Joe (JAG) Gonzalez’ has risen as a top player and organizer in the regional Democratic Party.”

Attorney Joe Flores learned quite a bit about politics from Attorneys “Fil” Vela and Rene Rodriguez during the 1990s in his twenties and has now emerged as a leader in the Democratic Party nurturing his own organization and running candidates. Flores, who comes from a family of political orientation in South Texas that is staunch Democrat, broke political ties with Rodriguez after Rodriguez switched parties.

Flores gave a brief soundbyte to El Defenzor regarding the situation but gave deference to Rodriguez who had been one of this political teachers in the 1990’s: “The Democratic Party is where my heart is and where I find great joy addressing issues that affect the masses. Although I am an attorney and have conservative business and moral values, I don’t think that conflicts with Democratic Party values at all. Ultraconservative Republicans want everyone to believe that Democrats in South Texas are all liberal which is simply not true. You have a primarily conservative base, consisting of a majority of Hispanic voters, that do not reflect the liberal spin on the national scale of what it means to be Democrat. In other words, we are not Nancy Pelosi Democrats down here, and want jobs, fiscal responsibility and transparency in our leaders. I will not speak ill of Mr. Rodriguez and as I always underline, I can separate friendship from politics and business which is the way things should be.”

An indept interview with Joe Flores will run in KTMV (channel 6-Time Warner). It will begin to air late next week. The founder of El Defenzor, Homero Villarreal, will be the host of SOUTH TEXAS CROSSFIRE (a show that is the brainchild of Flores). The table will be turned and Flores will be the guest. Villarreal will attempt to query Flores to reveal what lies deep inside his chest and mind. Villarread added: “I believe that one’s true personality and who one is lies beyond the impressions that are managed. The real disposition, the wrinkle of one's true self is glimpsed at somewhere in the back region of the person – this is my goal.”

Attorney Flores explained his involvement: “I became involved in this election cycle by supporting people I believe in -- former Judge Jose “JAG” Gonzalez (the Democratic candidate for County Commisioner) and Joe Benavides (the Democratic Candidate for Justice of the Peace. I also helped Clarissa Gonzalez, running for County Judge, in the Democratic primary, who did not have much name recognition in political circles but had a successful business and energy and drive and helped her obtain the Democratic nomination for County Judge by a 60% margin. We also were victorious in run-offs for Joe A. Gonzalez for County Commmissioner and Joe Benavides for Justice of the Peace in hard fought battles with tough opponents. After that experience many Democrats felt that my efforts were helping the entire slate as well."

Flores extended: "As for Clarissa Gonzalez, she ran against a good friend of mine, Attorney Juan Reyna. I told Juan (Reyna) during the primary and afterward that he was my dear friend but that my father had taught me early on how to separate my politics from my friendship and after the primary both of us have healed and extended our hands in friendship again as gentleman should. I had a fiduciary relationship to aid Ms. Gonzalez and had a job to do. When I work with a candidate I give it my heart and soul to win. The campaign was an aggressive one and some of my media techniques and organizaational strategies were highlighted in that particular race that I will share with my audience on South Texas Crossfire which will air this week on Friday at 7 p.m. and for various days thereafter until early voting. I hope my enthusiasm for politics will inspire our youth to get involved and encourage others who have not voted or registered to vote by the end of this month to do so. It will be hosted by Homer Villarreal, founder of El Defenzor. Remember, SOUTH TEXAS CROSSFIRE, KTMV, Channel 6-Time Warner, starting Friday, September 27, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. following my distinguished colleagues on South Texas Politics.”

Flores gave a glimpse of what he will be talking about in the interview: “When I began helping Joe Benavides and Jose “JAG" Gonzalez, as well as Clarissa Gonzalez in their campaigns, I noticed that the Democratic party was pretty much broken up into factions, into separate identifiable groups. I observed that there was no major media coordination; so I painstakingly put one together with only the help of the Lopez Family, who in my estimation, are underestimated by the Democratic party, which is a major mistake if you want to achieve victory. The Lopez family are the cornerstone of politics and offer an important radio/television powerpunch and if my party doesn't wake up and realize that collectively, the other side will, which is concerning to me. For 21 years many radio and television shows have highlighted our collective identity as Mexican Americans in South Texas and have educated all voters, regardless of color or creed about politics. Carlos Lopez (KTMV), El Defenzor, La Politica, blogs, facebook, social networking used together and timed precisely right, which is not an easy feat, can achieve miracles… Many in the party felt something was being done that they had not seen for a long time -- a RE-BRANDING of the DEMOCRAT PARTY. I used my media branding to do so for my candidates and had a collateral benefit, in my estimation, for all the Democratic party. Many told me they began to feel a strong sense of collective identity (this captures who we are) at the media level. Now I am pleased to see many beginning to attempt to use my media format, but I have to underline that this takes years to develop and once you start it, you have to work day and night at it to keep the cause alive. A show is not just slapped together and neither is a message. I stopped my law career and took some film classes and learned to direct, script write, use story boards and coordinate with the best cinematographers at an affordable rate. It is not easy to host, direct, write and produce a show every week and put out a decent product. Everyone wants to develop television programming but it is a lot harder than it looks to have a consistent show, that doesn't look like a home movie, and develop a message and to be able to orchestrate multi-media to achieve mass affect and be willing to fund much of it yourself. I have spent a great deal of time, money and effort to achieve a measure of media success and I encourage anyone to contact me if they need help in getting out their own message. ”

To recap, Joe Flores is a young lawyer who learned about running campaigns from the former lions of the Democratic party in Nueces County, from Filemon Vela to Rene Rodriguez to many a prominent other. Now, a vacuum has been created in leadership and the knowledge obtained from former advocates and leaders in the party. Much of it has been left with Joe Flores in addition to the influence of others. He has ingenuously married grassroots politics with modern media methods in a formula that has worked remarkably well. Now, as Rene Rodriguez and Filemon Vela have left to join the Republican party, and Mikal Watts apparently out of the picture except for some polls he contributed, a serious void is being filled with the media and grassroots voice that this lawyer, nurse practitioner and community activist offers. Flores -- conservative in his beliefs but compassionate with the elderly and children because of his healthcare background -- brings a different kind of leadership to the party that has not been offered for years.

[NOTE: An interview with Joe Flores in reference to his experience and new developments in politics and law and in the nursing field will begin to air next week on KTMV, Time Warner Channel 6. Tentative day and time: Friday, September 24 at 6:00 p.m. It is expected to be one of the most interesting shows dealing with “IN THE KNOW” activism.]

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

“YOU NEED TO BE A LAWYER (Like Me) TO BE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE!!!” -- AMANDA TORRES (infers), Republican Candidate for Justice of the Peace


-- AMANDA TORRES (infers), Republican Candidate for Justice of the Peace

NUECES COUNTY, TX -- Amanda Torres – lacking in experience, far removed from the daily orbit of the masses – was appointed to the Justice of the Peace court due to a politically charged agenda by some Republicans. She is running for the JP post; the election will take place on November 2. She was appointed after a poll indicated that some Nueces County Republican candidates needed female Hispanics on the ballot to generate votes for other Republicans.

An Ocean Drive resident stated: “To me she is not a Republican; she is a RINO. She was recruited and appointed due to Attorney Rene Rodriguez’ influence. She is known by our group as ‘Rene's girl’ (inferring a political/factional link). She is being used to bring in votes - that is all. ”

But others feel that Ms. Torres has no practical experience. “She has been in office eight months and has already stirred up a hornet’s nest. She claims to be highly qualified, but has barely graduated from law school and has not acquired any real practical, longterm experience,” a local attorney shared. “My understanding is that her own supervisor at the District Attorney’s Office is endorsing Joe Benavides and said she lacked quite a bit (Chris Dorsey).”

In her short terms the complaints keep trickling in on a regular basis. “Amanda Torres as JP has allowed several children to continue to be truant; to get in trouble and now are facing charges as adults. She retarded the prosperity and community success that former JP Jose 'JAG' Gonzalez did in that court.”

But in the last few months, some are censorious and taunt that her “walk” or “trot” has changed from one of normalcy to one with a swaggering exaggeration, an overstatement, an amplication that mirrors flatulency that her “official power” has conjured up – a reflection of the distension of her ego and social pretentions. She flaunted her lawyer credentials at various events, and thus implicitly and explicitly emphasizing how lawyer and technocratic credentials place her above her rival -- community activist Joe Benavides. The new agenda resounds with a bitter note that lifts a jejune-laden compulsion to new heights. The claim infers that one has to be a lawyer (like her) to be a JP. This publication interviewed several JPs in the area, they recurrently stated: “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

JP Robert “Bobby” Gonzalez, JP (Blackie, JP Robert “Bobby” Balderas, JP “Milo” Pena, JP Stoner and so forth – how many are the persons that now after taking office that Ms. Torres feels must not be qualified?).

“Esta loca la mujer (She must be crazy). El poder se le fue para la cabeza (Power must have gone to her head,” a former JP told this publication. “This is a people's court, not a court that needs a lawyer in there. Over 90 percent of JPs in Texas are not lawyers.”

But Ms. Amanda Torres does not seem to be overly concerned about a consistent tenure in the office. Word circulates that she has been peering at another post to run for in the near future. “I hear she is using the job, the appointment, whatever you want to call it, as a stepping stone. I feel Ms. Torres’ over ambition is a bottomless pit which will exhaust her in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction. In my opinion, she could care less about the job or the kids that come before the court. That is the difference between she and Joe Benavides (her Democrat opponent),” a courthouse employee felt.

[Note: Click on "COMMENTS" below to read the feedback and posts. Attorney Rene Rodriguez, who is sponsoring Ms. Amanda Torres as a Republican Candidate for JP was quick to expediently respond to this article as soon after it was posted on this website. An excerpt from his post: Mr. Rodriguez: "For example, there are no legitimate well researched facts and statements in the article and absolultely nothing is predicated on objectivity or the truth. If the quotes in this article are from real people, I question their agendas and their emasculated and cowardly manhood/womanhood in not identifying themselves..." ... Other posts are included. Hugo Berlanga (former State Representative in RE: Rene Rodriguez): "You don't get into a pissin match with someone who buys a lot of ink and is more intellectual than you are." ... Other comments are included. ... ALSO BELOW PLEASE FIND OTHER COMMENTS posted on FACEBOOK...

Monday, September 13, 2010




- Race for Nueces County Commissioner -

JAG, Despite Being On The Receiving End of Gil's Mudslinging, ReceivedThe Police Officers Association Endorsement

Nueces County, TX -- At the forum sponsored by the Police Officers association today in Corpus Christi, Gil Hernandez (who is running as a Republican for Nueces County Commissioner) turned to mudslinging against his Democrat opponent, Jose A. Gonzalez (JAG), former Justice of the Peace. Gil was trying to win an advantage by referring to as facts what were really “suspected” rumors and unfounded accusations against his opponent – why? Gil is behind in the polls.

Gil, who has a limited resume, instead of emphasizing his own positive attributes and preferred campaign platform used venomous tactics, he veered into sulfurous ad hominem attacks (that is, verbal attacks not related to the core issues at hand but that were more inclined to attempt to destroy Gonzalez’ personal standing in the community). He – Gil – tried to clothe reality with convenient accusations without proof. “He (Gil) showed a murky and vicious spot in his chest charged with the worst earmarks of evil. He intentionally and maliciously meant to destroy Gonzalez’ character, record and moral fiber,” one local lawyer felt.

Gil’s enslaved focus was in trying to assert that former Judge JAG abused his office and influence. Gil, not being an attorney but nonetheless trying to play one unsuccessfully, confused “ABUSE OF OFFICE” with “MISUSE OF OFFICE”. “Abuse of Office” takes place when a public official “intentionally” tries to “harm” the community he serves, while “Misuse of Office” means that trying to “help” the community but not meeting the “fine details” of the financial transactions (and the like) appropriately.

Gil, not being a Certified Public Accountant, not being privy to the “fine details” of the issue involved felt he could get away with bending the factoids of a cited incident. He, in a hazard way tried to expose “audit” faults (minor faults that he exaggerated) that date back to when Gonzalez was a Justice of the Peace.

What are these “audit” faults that both Gil and his brother-in-law Randy Mandonado (founder of the Franchise business known as Pete’s Chicken and Move) and other cohorts are trying to expose about former Judge JAG? One of the auditors involved in the process told El Defenzor: “It is almost funny how this audit that we did is being used. The ‘We The People' newspaper who is bankrolled over the years by Gil’s brother-in-law via advertisement is also taking this matter way out of context. Gil/Randy Maldonado/We The People rag are directly trying to mislead the public by claiming Judge JAG broke the law. We never said that, for the record. To quote We THE PEOPLE (whose quote I feel was incorrect) was “HE (JAG) was allowing defendants to donate to charities of his choice instead of paying fines or completing community service in violation of county and state statutes.’ WE THE PEOPLE falsely continues: ‘Defendants were given double credit on fines for their donations. Judge Gonzalez long term program assistant Joe Benavides is running to replace him as Justice of the Peace in Precinct 1, Place 1.’ For the record again, WE THE PEOPLE is clearly being bias and seems to be catering more to his client (Randy Maldonado) who runs advertisements of PETE CHICKEN N MORE in that rag. Misleading and fallacious, this is what it is… for the record.”

“I never have seen such wickedness in my life personified in a person as I saw in Gil (I believe it is being egged on by his brother-in-law Randy Maldonado also from behind the scenes). He (and his brother in law have stooped to a gutter-level and left more of a bad breath in the community than anything resembling a positive impression,” one spectator shared.

A local social activist said: “Gil was fixed exclusively on conjuring up negative portrays of the opponent – this is the main impression he left. Gil was trying to exploit people’s fears and loack of complete knowledge of some of the issues. He disingenuously tried to manipulate and lower the impression voters have of Gonzalez and even senior citizens and youth that donated in a positive manner to healthy social causes. Gil (and his brother-in-law) dang, feel that attack tactics have more potential and impact than if he contrasts himself with Gonzalez on his own merits. Gil has little experience; Gonzalez, a lot,” another spectator opined.

Many feel that Gil was inveigled by a cabal of politicos who like to resort to “dirty” tactics. Gil instead of using more normatively appropriate attack strategies such as a balance contrast (that would have contained more impartial information and would have revealed more essential impartial info both about he himself and his opponent) turned to a sadistic cultural craze. In a contrast strategy, the information Gil put out about him could have been all positive, while the information put out about his opponent could have been a tad critical. It would have been less damaging to the political process. Instead, he tried to drive a stake through the heart of his rival portraying him as if he was a vampire,” a source observed.

Gil – who has little name recognition -- seemed to have gone too far in his sly and crafty ambitious – inaccurately picturing Gonzalez who has a majestic track record as dishonest and corrupt, and a danger to the county commissioner’s court.

However, it appears the truth has been discovered and now it could severely damage Gil’s campaign instead. Other “dirty tricks” used, as cited, was when Gil and his cohorts tried to fed the WE THE PEOPE publication false information hoping they will use it (which they did apparently due to expediency) and embarrassed former Judge JAG.

“WE THE PEOPLE, in my estimation, was clearly used to launch attacks. WE THE PEOPLE made it seem it was a neutral source, but it was not – Gil’s brother-in-law is the life blood of that paper via running advertisements on a regular basis. This way negative campaigning can be conducted by proxy."

Gil’s negative campaigning instead of mobilizing voters is alienating them. .

The bottom-line and top line is that Gil’s campaign has decidedly gone negative because the Independent vote is leaning toward his rival. And it cannot be dismissed that negative ads have had a greater impact on Democrats than on Republicans in the last few years in many an election. According to local analysts, base Republicans in Nueces County will vote no matter what (and will vote only for a Republican), but Democrats can be influenced to either stay with their party and not vote at all or to switch sides and vote for a Republican. This, combined with the effect negativity has on folks on JAG. It also leads many an observer to conclude that Republicans benefit more from going negative than Democrats in the November 2 election.

Gil’s sequences of attacks appear to show a trend. It has done more damage to him as a candidate than to the opponent, particularly in that he used the technique of mudslinging, where the negative information presented is of little relevance or value to the overall political process in Nueces County. Additionally, Gil, even at this early stage, is beginning to show that he has failed to prove why he is a more worthy of the elected position than former Judge JAG.

But on Election Day – November 2 -- will Gil’s Negative tactics produce a backlash?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Trouble with Career Politicians Like Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal

The Trouble with Career Politicians Like Loyd Neal

Politics was once a respected calling. Strong principles, a genuine platform – these and other things were touted. Many a person that got elected were considered persons of faith and integrity and common sense who viewed high political office as a way of trying to make a better world by way of public service, not to turn it into a lifetime career. Nonetheless, some did it – and our current cranky, ailing, diseased County Judge (Loyd Neal), who has over a dozen years in politics, is one of them. He is suppose to be our face, our voice, the nimble mind that can quickly think on his feet keep the wheel of progress moving forward, epitomizes what is wrong with a political career.

County Judge Loyd Neal is described as “off-color,” “dragging,” “ infirm,” “ sick as a dog” by those that surround him on a daily basis – yet he (and the behind the scenes elite pushing him) is still capricious about keeping the seat, the power, the monopoly.

Let us get real, Neal is about to hit his mid-70s, slurs simple names, forgets the menu of agenda items, his eyes embarrassingly droop before a TV camera, forgets the names of other commissioners, in a moment of irritation turns downs federal dollars for infrastructure. He has admitted publically that a neurological ailment is overtaking him.

Does he care about our future? No! He won’t even plant a garden because his mindset is no longer about believing in the future and the new generations but about accomplishing one last personal business deal (i.e. in insurance) via his public office. The trademark of the Neal Network For Profit. He has hired his former business secretary Claudia Lobell (at some $80,000 salary/plus benefits) and his former Insurance business partner/mentor (Tomas Duran) as a consultant with county dollars (forking out thousands upon thousands of public dollars that are not his to get his way).

“With his feet on the grave and his hands in the taxpayer piggy bank” – this is the picture that even his close political affiliates paint. Why re-elect him? Can he be out warrior, our voice, the positive cloud that we need in the horizon? Can he stand up to the buffetings destined to be his high-stress, social-political lot in the next few months and years? NO!

We need a fresh perspective, a healthy new start. Someone that is dynamic and has the entreprenual spirit and business-mind, someone that still has the gusto to plant a garden and water it and provide it with the indispensable nutrients – someone who zestfully believes in the future of the county.

Neal has a political machine, bankers and builders and real-estate and insurance interests that bankroll his re-election war chest. His machine can fight and even win against his younger challenger’s (Clarissa Gonzalez’) odds. But in these battled economic downturns is it worth it?

It is a heartbreaking fact that nowadays politics has become not a calling but a game of preserving power and influence. Gaining public office is achieved by the person with the most well oiled machine. Even our local newspaper (the Corpus Christi Caller-Times) by running a front-page story romanizing Neal’s Neurological ailment has made its readers pay more attention to the messenger than to the message, the one who can lie (due to his experience) with the straightest face.

Everyone knows Neal policies are achieved by backroom deals and downright sellouts. The Caller-Times has hurt us for too long. It has never stopped to think about just whose bacon they're sending and "by the people, for the people, of the people" has turned into, buy the people, fool the people and rob the people. The former owners of the Caller-Times left a terrible legacy.

Neal has taken politics to new and insane heights but claiming his ailment will be a plus. Our founders did not design this system for career politicians, but rather citizen politicians who would serve a couple of terms and let someone fresh off the street serve, someone who is acquainted with what's happening now, not over a decade of years ago when this bunch of hacks took office.

Political offices, like those of the county judges were intended to be made up of common folk, entrepreneurs, druggists, farmers, carpenters, and some but not all lawyers.

The corruption that plagues Nueces County, Texas is not just confined to the county but rots our local governments as well – Corpus Christi and other surrounding cities.

Over the years, the one-sided attitude of the Caller-Times dissuaded a lot of honorable people from going into politics. The Caller-Times was a mouthpiece of this power elite that dates back to the days of the political boss Hayden Head Sr. If you're not a member of that elite the Caller-Times would come after you with both barrels blazing, examining your whole life with a microscope trying to unearth some juicy little tidbit that will turn the public against you and undermine your campaign. Who wants to put their familia through that awful scene?

There's a dirty little club in downtown Corpus Christi and its orbits both American Bank and the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation, a club whose membership fees are to toe the line and be willing to sell out your own region for a place at the big hog trough.

And readers, with the exception of a handful of good men and women that actually keep the faith in this environment full of vulturine wolves, that's what they are, pigs with an insatiable appetite for power, all yen to become byproducts of what Neal’s predatory culture has succumb to in this capture of the county. Gluttonous Politicians who see their constituents as walking prey.