The El Paso Progressives and Me

By Brownfield

This story is inspired by one of my favorite movies of all-time ROGER
AND ME. If you haven’t seen it, a brief synopsis is Michael Moore a
Flint Michigan native returns to his hometown in it’s time of crisis
as the auto industry is leaving town.

It’s 2010 in El Paso. Better days have come and gone. Days of garment
manufacturing and copper smelting have given way to…..well…..we’ll
get to that. The city is in crisis mode. Corruption on all levels of
local government, no industry, an international tragedy of Biblical
proportions right across the river, and a city searching for an
identity.

El Paso we have a problem. Forgetting our economic problems let’s take
a look at our trusted leaders and servants shall we? We have had
numerous guilty pleas over several years regarding public corruption
in an ongoing and going and going FBI investigation that has resulted
in exactly ZERO people in jail. Judge Montalvo is apparently deferring
to God and allowing him make final judgement. In the wake of the FBI
investigation the County of El Paso created an ethics commission. Just
this week the chairman was charged with Sexual Abuse of an underage
female relative. He has reportedly given his verbal resignation to the
commission. The city of El Paso also has an ethics board. One member
just recently resigned. He is former El Paso City Representative Larry
Medina.

Ripped from the el paso times not sure if that is legal

His business was fined $36,300 last year by Immigration and Customs
Enforcement for 31 administrative errors that inspectors found in the
company’s I-9 forms, which are used to verify a person’s eligibility
for employment. The errors included missing signatures, hiring dates
and employee’s initials.

Ripped from tc blog…not sure if that is legal

In 2001, it was reported that Medina and three others survived a small
airplane crash in the Chihuahuan desert. Medina, at that time a city
representative, Carlos Aguilar a Comissioner on Commissioners’ Court
and at least one school board member were on a small plane with a
local architect who did business with all three public entities. They
were on a fishing trip. It appeared that the architect had chartered
the plane but when questions regarding the ethics behind the trip and
who had paid for it came up, (questions NOT raised by the El Paso
Times controlled by Dionicio Flores,) the public officials, including
Medina, said that they had paid for their fare “in cash.”

With qualifications like that you must wonder what the woman who
appointed him thought about his resignation.

—-el paso times——>Medina was appointed by city Rep. Emma Acosta.
Acosta said she didn’t yet have a replacement in mind. “Trying to find
somebody of his caliber will be difficult,” Acosta said. Indeed.

We have a former Judge in prison right now because jurors found him
guilty of devising a scheme to receive sex and money for a judicial
ruling. Classy. Not to mention guilty pleas from others too numerous
to mention regarding public corruption. Not a pretty picture.

Now to the economy. We’re dead! No real industry to speak of. Mostly
government jobs, low wage retail/service, or welfare and not much
else. I would be remiss to not mention the oil refinery in the middle
of town. At one time El Paso was a big garment production town but
that died with NAFTA. The local copper smelter went down do to the
economics of smelting in the late 1990s and the death blow was local
opposition to the reopening. Our city leaders have had many bold plans
since then to revitalize El Paso. At the beginning we were
looking/dreaming of a Boeing coming here with a maintenance facility
or a automaker building something locally. That died. Then we kind of
went Flint Michigan and started dreaming of tourism as our new
economic savior. Ideas that were tossed about included a Star Trek
somethingorother, old west town, a gateway to Juarez in order to
“explore the border”, turning downtown El Paso into Rodeo Drive where
people from all over the country would visit El Paso to shop. The
current plan is becoming a center for medicine and medical research.
Some progress has come in this endeavor, but as usual, the government
is the biggest player and politics has had a ton to do with it.
Nothing organic in terms of business here. We are like the Old Soviet
Union, the El Paso PolitBureau along with THE KARL MARX Central
Planning Unit at city hall approve projects and giveaways to those
loyal to the party.

Just like Flint our city leaders in order to attract tourists and
conventions gave a bunch of tax breaks and incentives to build a
hotel. In Flint it was the Hyatt regency in El Paso it’s the
DOUBLETREE HOTEL or as I call it the DOUBLETAXATION HOTEL. The Hyatt
in Flint has to close due to a lack of visitors. I guess hosting
things like a scrabble tournament just wasn’t the economic driver they
hoped it would be. Here in El Paso the DOUBLETREE HOTEL is still open
although they had to go back to city council and ask for permission to
renege on the amount of employees on the payroll. Apparently occupancy
isn’t what was hoped. We have our own AUTOWORLD of sorts. If you
remember from the movie the city of Flint helped build a theme park
called AUTOWORLD where visitors from all over would visit to see
things like the worlds biggest auto engine or my favorite the “me and
my buddy” section where you see an automated assembly line take away
jobs that people used to do. This closed do to a lack of visitors as
apparently people do not like to celebrate human tragedy while on
vacation. What we have is an old garment plant being turned into a
retail mall by the local oil refinery owner and land speculator Paul
Foster. The location by the way is right across the street from one of
the largest retail malls in El Paso. Brilliant! We are going to
subsidize low wage no benefit jobs for a self reported billionaire who
apparently cannot use his own money to build his mall of dreams. This
fiasco has been called “THE PEOPLE’S MALL” by yours truly. I wonder
what is next? Are we going to subsidize a spiffy gas station
(tourism), funeral parlor (green space), or maybe a restaurant?

The city is trying to clean up the visual image of the city by
removing “blight”. How do they do this? Well they find properties
owned by politically connected insiders who let the property fall into
disrepair and then give them abatements and incentives to fix it up.
Currently the staff at the BROWNFIELD EMPIRE LLC is working on a
presentation to City Council and County Commissioner’s Court to allow
the palatial estate of W. R. Brownfield (me) to fall into disrepair
and then get me some abatements and incentives! Of course since I am
not a campaign contributor or a member of the PDNG (paso del norte
group, sort of the phoenix 40 for El Paso) my property would likely
get the eminent domain treatment. Oh well, that is life in El Paso.

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