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.”]