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.