There is no two ways about it, El Paso voters clearly do not want Steve Ortega’s brand of a new El Paso. Much will be debated in the coming days about what the results actually mean. What we do know, by the May results, was that the electorate was angry. This was surely a surprise for Steve Ortega and his camp. To state that Steve Ortega was shell-shocked is an understatement.
The runoff election reaffirmed the anger. Steve Ortega was not voted out office, he was repudiated.
Because of the Election Day results two political strategies immediately developed for the run-off.
Oscar Leeser, with a very comfortable lead, initiated a wait and draw the game out strategy intent on keeping his lead through attrition and strategic silence. Leeser kept the public perception in play that he was the victor and therefore he had no need to engage or even acknowledge his opponent.
Political talking heads agreed that this was a good move on his part while the Ortega Campaign used the only tool at their disposal by stating that Leeser would not debate him.
In response to Steve Ortega’s very poor showing at the polls, his political strategists, The Forma Group, focused on mobilizing the untraditional voters. They realized that the engaged and informed voter was never going to support Steve Ortega. Their only hope and the only play they had was to mobilize the non-traditional voters. To accomplish this they engaged a three-pronged effort.
They first wrapped the “poor under-dog” cloak around Steve Ortega to serve two purposes. The first was to bait Oscar Leeser into the mistake of engaging Steve Ortega, thus validating him and the second was to give the untraditional voter a reason to vote. The reason was look at poor ‘ole Steve, look at how mean the oligarchs are to him.
The second was getting Steve Ortega out into the community by creating a social-media and traditional block-walking campaign to humanize him and make him one of the people. Both again targeted at the untraditional voters in order to mobilize them.
The third and final prong was to canvass the community with political propaganda in an attempt to demonize Oscar Leeser, revitalize Steve Ortega’s public posture and play into the fantasy of what the future of El Paso holds.
This was their only play. To pretend that The Forma Group knew anything is the understatement of the year.
Likewise, the El Paso Times stopped pretending to be a newspaper and instead championed Steve Ortega in the hopes that their gravy train would continue. Just as The Forma Group had no clear understanding of the electorate so did the El Paso Times masquerading as a newspaper. Bob Moore clearly has no understanding of El Paso.
And as for Steve Ortega the only thing I can state is that his arrogance would not let him understand that El Paso does not want his brand of the future. This is clear and unequivocal.
As for Paul Foster, Woody Hunt and Bill Sanders the results are not at all that surprising to them. They knew they had a short window in which to pull off the largest public works scam in El Paso. That is why everything was rushed through to assure that City Hall was demolished in order to keep their scam in play.
Contrary to popular belief and what Foster, Hunt and Sanders would have the community believe there is still time to take a pause on the ballpark and give the voters of El Paso an opportunity to speak their minds on the ballpark.
Tomorrow I’ll explore the possibilities of putting a pause on the ballpark.