On May 8, 2013, KVIA reporter, Matt Dougherty shed more light on El Paso Police Officer Alberto Machorro’s road-rage incident with Dee Margo back in September of 2012. Some have speculated that this incident led to Margo’s reelection loss to Joe Moody. Was this incident a conspiracy?
As with all conspiracies the evidence is circumstantial, at best, but added to all of the other political shenanigans in El Paso it would not be surprising at all. Part of the problem with conspiracies is that the conspirators take steps to protect their actions from the scrutiny of the people.
So let’s connect the dots so that you can judge for yourself. But, first some background.
Dee Margo, a Republican, challenged Pat Haggerty in a bruising primary for the Texas House District 78 seat in 2008. Dee Margo then lost to Democrat Joe Moody in the general election. Two years later, in 2010, Joe Moody lost the District 78 seat to Dee Margo.
During the 2012 general elections, Democrats Naomi Gonzalez and Marisa Marquez publically endorsed Republican Dee Margo over his challenger, Joe Moody, much to chagrin the Democratic Party and the Haggerty’s. By the time the dust had settled, Joe Moody had reclaimed the House seat by about 3,200 votes from over 41,700 cast. Publically Dee Margo blamed redistricting for his loss, but privately political operatives whispered about the “October” surprise.
On September 7, 2012, prior to the election, Dee Margo was involved in a minor car accident with an off-duty police officer outside of the Westside Regional substation. Shortly after that, a whisper campaign alleging felony charges and allegations of drunk driving began to surface in the community involving an unidentified politician who the whisper campaign identified as Margo.
On October 13, 2012, El Paso Times reporter Daniel Borunda published an article stating that the El Paso Times was investigating a “month-old fender bender involving state Rep. Dee Margo”. As is typical with political conspiracies, the El Paso Police Department gave little information, hid behind the privacy excuse they use to obfuscate the truth and conveniently added that it was “an open investigation”.
It was just enough innuendo to give credence to the whisper campaign and Dee Margo lost his election in November.
A conspiracy involves more than one accomplice, enough information to affect an outcome and secrecy. Willing accomplices must be willing to keep secrets while getting dirty in the process and feel they will be protected. In the case of El Paso dirty politics, the players are well-known and their historical record is well documented. So, let’s take a look at the characters involved.
The first character is Jaime Abeytia.
Remember useful idiot Jaime Abeytia? The one currently getting paid by your tax dollars while under a felony indictment because Vince Perez thinks he’s so useful he can’t bring himself to put him on leave. Political operatives employ two useful tools to get their candidate elected. They employ “opposition researchers” looking to get “dirt” on their opponents and use whisper campaigns to start rumors about their opponents. Of course the candidates disavow all knowledge of this. And this is where the useful idiots come into the picture. Jaime Abeytia, through his now defunct “The Lion Star Blog” started creating the foundation for the upcoming whisper campaign against Dee Margo for the 2012 elections. Between September 27, 2010 and December 10, 2012, Abeytia posted no less than 32 blog posts and numerous Youtube videos denigrating Dee Margo. Over that 27 month period, Abeytia posted at least one monthly blog post targeting Dee Margo’s actions at the Texas House of Representative or his business connections. These were essential to fueling the whisper campaigns. In military parlance, the blog softened the target up before the attack was to be launched.
Although, it remains unproven, many, including myself believe that the “leak” of the police investigation into Dee Margo was passed on by Jaime Abeytia to Daniel Borunda, or Bob Moore, at the El Paso Times. Jaime Abeytia is deeply connected to political operatives that wanted to see Margo defeated.
This leads us to the El Paso Times, Bob Moore and Daniel Borunda.
I have written extensively since 2001 about how disgusted I am with the El Paso Times. I won’t bore you with the details. It is sufficient to state that, in my opinion, Bob Moore turned the El Paso Times into the mouth-piece of the Ray Caballero-Eliot Shapleigh-Jose Rodriguez cabal and now their disciples; Susie Byrd, Veronica Escobar and Steve Ortega.
It is no coincidence that The El Paso Times recovered some measure of respectability in El Paso as soon as Bob Moore left in 2005. It immediately lost it again as soon as Bob Moore returned in September of 2011. The public record is clear, when it comes to El Paso politics involving Ray Caballero and his cabal, Bob Moore is at the helm of the El Paso Times. But Bob Moore needs his own “useful idiot” to do his bidding. Enter Daniel Borunda.
I had the misfortune of crossing paths with Daniel Borunda once. In 2003, Daniel Borunda called me to tell me that he was doing an in depth story about my business ventures on the Internet. He wanted to interview me about our Internet innovations, or so he told me. After doing a telephone interview, Daniel asked if he could bring an El Paso Times photographer to take pictures of our operations. I accepted.
I found it strange that instead of a photographer; Daniel himself came to my office to take a couple of pictures and spent a lot of time looking at our equipment. For weeks no article appeared and I eventually gave up on an article showcasing our innovations.
I was naïve.
About a month later an article finally appeared in the El Paso Times. It wasn’t what I expected, instead it was a slam piece designed to stigmatize my business in order to protect felon Larry Medina.
After several court actions and in retrospect I finally understood that Daniel Borunda was nothing more than a hired-gun who was ordered to target me for the simple reason that I was in the way of the Ray Caballero renaissance. I was in the way because I happened to launch a small online newspaper that was indirectly connected to the Larry Medina recall.
Yes, the same Larry Medina sitting in jail today for public corruption.
I have no doubt that Bob Moore was directly or indirectly approached by Ray Caballero to silence me in order to help keep Larry Medina in office. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t leading the recall election. It just mattered that I was part of the mechanism that allowed it to flourish. I needed to be gone in order to allow Ray Caballero to continue to hoodwink El Paso into financial disaster.
Unfortunately for them, instead of going away I got angry and that is why I blog today.
Bob Moore left after Ray Caballero lost and returned to El Paso as soon as the Ray Caballero disciples; Byrd, Escobar and Ortega rose to power. Coincidence, I don’t think so.
But a conspiracy needs a motive and sustaining players to keep it going.
Joe Moody benefited directly from the Dee Margo whisper campaign, he won the election. More importantly, as we begin to connect the dots you will see where he fits in, in the puzzle that is the “Dee Margo Affair”.
But first we need another connecting dot, Alberto Machorro. Alberto Machorro was the police officer involved in the accident with Dee Margo. This is the genesis of the whisper campaign alleging a criminal act by Dee Margo shortly before the election he lost. According to public records, the accident was a fender-bender with little or no damage.
It is important to note that the accident happened in front of the Westside police sub-station. Cameras and witnesses had to have seen what transpired. But in a conspiracy the first thing to do is to bury the truth or delay it in order to get the desired outcome. Keep in mind that while the “allegations” about impropriety were having on effect on Dee Margo’s campaign the police was “doing an investigation” that necessitated secrecy. Thus the whisper campaign was allowed to flourish unimpeded.
Not until April of 2013 did the true nature of the events began to publically surface. What we know at this time, thanks to KVIA, is that officer Alberto Machorro and two “unnamed supervisors” were given verbal reprimands, in other words, a slap on the wrist. The violation was filing a “fraudulent report”.
This is important to note, an accident report is a government record and many people have gone to jail for falsifying government records. In fact, many El Paso police officers are currently indicted for filing falsified government records, in the ongoing over-time scandal.
Why is Alberto Machorro only given a “verbal reprimand”? Simple, part of the arrangement with useful idiots is that they are given protection. All conspiracies include some measure of protection in order to allow the useful idiots to participate.
So who is Alberto Machorro?
Understanding who Alberto Machorro allows us to further connect the dots. El Paso police officer Alberto Machorro is no stranger to allegations of wrong-doing. In May 2002, Alberto Machorro was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in the desert, along with another police officer. A very controversial investigation by the District Attorney’s office and the police department involving questionable investigative techniques that included charging the alleged victim with lying to police ensued. The “investigation” by the police department was so thorough that the two accused officers were never even asked to provide the clothing they wore on the night of the incident, much less their DNA specimens. This is important to note because, generally in sexual assault cases it is normally a “he said-she said” scenario. In order to determine the “truth” the accuser provides a “rape-kit”. The alleged victim provided one that showed the possibility of an assault. In normal cases, the accused is asked to provide the clothing they wore at the time of the alleged incident in order to look for trace biological matter. A DNA may also be requested. Neither officer was asked to provide their clothing on the night of the alleged incident even though the alleged victim had already provided information and undergone a medical examination.
Eventually a rarely used Court of Inquiry was filed in 2004. A civil lawsuit was later filed that same year. During the Court of Inquiry testimony and evidence was presented of police harassment of the alleged victim and her family. The sister of the alleged victim was also killed, during this time, by a hit-and-run driver who has yet to be identified by the police department.
Let’s connect some more dots.
The prosecutor tasked with investigating the police officers, and who also charged the alleged victim with lying to the police, even before an investigation of the two police officers was started is Jaime Esparza. Alberto Machorro, Sr., the father of police officer Alberto Machorro involved in the Dee Margo accident and also in this case, was hired by Jaime Esparza in July 2002. Machorro senior also happens to be a retired police officer.
Yes, you read that right, the father of one of the accused officers is working for the same office that should be investigating his son. Machorro, senior was hired two months after the alleged assault, in July 2002, but before the investigation into his son had even started, much less completed.
So now we have, a teenager alleging sexual abuse by two police officers in May 2002, one of them being Alberto Machorro, Jr. Before an investigation of the younger Machorro is started, his father starts working in the office that ultimately files making a false police report against the alleged victim and ultimately drops the charges when the spotlight is shined on the prosecutor’s office. Oh, and according to the prosecutor’s office, the false police report charge is filed at the same time that office is investigating the allegations of assault against the police officers.
In other words, after public scrutiny forces the prosecutors to “investigate” the police officers they have a pending criminal charge against the alleged victim for the same alleged criminal act, albeit they are accusing her of lying while investigating her allegations of abuse.
Now keep these two Machorro’s in mind because they both surface again in the Dee Margo Affair nearly eight years later.
Both the Court of Inquiry and the civil lawsuit resulted in finding no wrong-doing by Machorro. This fact complicates the connection of the dots but it must be kept in mind that court cases do not prove innocence rather they show that the prosecution did not present enough evidence to convict.
As you think about this, remember that Bob Jones was investigated by a federal agency that found no wrong doing before Jones was finally convicted. Likewise, EPISD and Lorenzo Garcia were investigated by a State agency and again, no wrong doing was found.
Both Bob Jones and Lorenzo Garcia sit in a jail cell today for wrong-doing. Those in a conspiracy love to proclaim but we were “investigated” and no wrong doing was found. Garcia held press conferences after press conferences proclaiming how he was being victimized. This is part of a cover up, we were “investigated” and they found nothing.
So now we come back to Joe Moody. Joe Moody worked for Jaime Esparza for four years. This is the office that prosecuted the alleged sexual assault victim. Remember Alberto Machorro, the father? He also worked for Jaime Esparza while Moody was there, and he may even still be working there today. So we know that Joe Moody and Alberto Machorro Sr. worked in the same office and conceivably knew each other.
Now let’s get back to the Dee Margo affair.
Seventy-two hours after the accident, an Austin based political consultant, Miguel Liscano filed an open records request with the city asking for information about Dee Margo’s accident. How did a consultant, linked to Joe Moody know about an accident involving Dee Margo that no one had made public and for all intents and purposes wasn’t even an investigation because each driver went on their separate ways after surveying the damage?
Here are the dots, so far. Joe Moody and both Machorros are connected to each other. Machorro junior is involved in a fender-bender that suddenly becomes a felony case. An out of town political operative finds out about it within 72 hours and the local paper starts to “investigate”. The El Paso Times found out about this case, most likely via useful idiot, Jaime Abeytia. All about an “investigation” that wasn’t really an investigation at all.
So was it a conspiracy? If so, was it successful? You judge for yourself.
Dee Margo narrowly loses the House seat, even after being endorsed by two Democrats. Alberto Machorro, Jr. is issued a five-hour suspension for participating in the creation of a police report accusing Dee Margo of felony evasion of arrest, in other words, falsifying a government record.
Remember that many police officers are currently being prosecuted for falsifying government records and have lost their jobs. Alberto Machorro gets a five-hour suspension, for a similar event. Why?
As if that wasn’t enough, during the police investigation and according to the KVIA report, the elder Machorro was approached by someone connected to the Joe Moody campaign asking to speak to his son, officer Machorro. When KVIA contacted the elder Machorro for comment about who had contacted him, he told them he didn’t know if he could “tell them that”.
Thirty minutes later he told the television reporter that “attorneys in the district attorney’s office told him not to give ABC-7 any information”. Who are these attorneys? The attorneys work for Jaime Esparza who also employs Machorro, the father. The elder Machorro is conveniently told by his coworkers not to talk to KVIA.
Keeping secrets is part of a conspiracy.
Once a conspiracy begins to be scrutinized it is imperative that secrets be kept. When people ask questions the answer is we can’t discuss this right now because we are “investigating”, or because we were ordered not to. Remember when the El Paso Times published the affirmation that Dee Margo was being investigated for felony hit-and-run? The allegation was facilitated because no one could talk about the incident because it was under “investigation”. How very convenient.
This served two purposes. The first is that it validated the illusion that Dee Margo was involved in a felony hit-and-run. The second is that the truth did not have to come out because the “investigation” stifled any serious investigation. These “investigation” delay tactics help to control the outcome and delay the truth. The last “investigation” delay tactic is designed to kill curiosity and therefore the issue disappears.
Jaime Esparza told the media that he would “investigate” whether the leak came from his office. This delays further exposure of the truth. The previous “investigation” gave Bob Moore, Daniel Borunda and the El Paso Times the perfect cover to run with an article that hurts a candidate without blatantly exposing the truth. The “investigation” gives the whisper campaign credibility and the newspaper gets to say, we asked but no one gave us the answers. It’s all under “investigation”.
The beauty of this strategy is that when the target first becomes aware of this, in this case Dee Margo, he is ambushed with an allegation that could put him in jail. So his initial reaction is incredulity, then a reactive statement of the event being something completely different to eventually it’s “nothing”. The public is left with the impression that it’s more than “nothing” but the culprit must be Dee Margo because the truth is so conveniently delayed by an “investigation”.
But why Daniel Borunda? Borunda has demonstrated to me personally how unethical he is when it comes to reporting the political events of the day. His body of work further reinforces this for me. Any decent reporter would have delved deeper into the police investigation and maybe reached the truth before the damage had been completed. Daniel Borunda accepted that it was an ongoing “investigation” and left at that. Conveniently it hurt the candidacy of Dee Margo. Daniel Borunda, is Bob Moore’s useful idiot.
Bob Moore’s record in local politics is amply demonstrated today, as it was during the Ray Caballero run up to office and during his term as mayor. Bob Moore leaves and the paper recovers some measure of objectivity. Bob Moore then returns and guess what happens, the paper not only sells its building to the City of El Paso but actively supports a controversial candidate and the accompanying political intrigue.
The El Paso Times was the instrument used to validate a whisper campaign that affected the outcome of the Margo-Moody race. The other instruments were the Machorros who created the actual event and are linked to the one who benefited from it, Joe Moody.
Had the police department truly valued transparency and accountability then Alberto Machorro would be treated exactly the same way as all of the other officers who have lost their jobs even before they have been convicted of falsifying government records. The police investigation found that Machorro brought discredit to himself by his participation in the filing of a false police report. How come his “punishment” is only a five-hour suspension?
There are too many dots connecting the players but unfortunately no smoking gun. This is why conspiracies work. The desired outcome is achieved with little or no ramifications for the perpetrators. But the fact is that someone benefited from Dee Margo’s loss.