The City released a copy of Tommy Gonzalez’ answers to the questions asked of him by the investigator looking into how Gonzalez and Larry Romero handled the financial advisor and other issues. In the case of the financial advisor debacle, there are two major issues that need to be addressed. The first is whether Larry Romero and Tommy Gonzalez followed the proper procedures to make a change with the city’s financial advisor. Related to that issue is whether Larry Romero was attempting to benefit from the change in financial advisors. The second issue that is conveniently overlooked by the El Paso Times and certain public officials is whether Joyce Wilson and certain city representatives delayed the sale of the bonds in order to help the Steve Ortega’s campaign.
In his answers, Gonzalez states that he was not aware of any relationship between Larry Romero and Estrada Hinojosa until after the news media reported it. Romero has not submitted his answers, as far as I am aware. Therefore, at this point we must rely on Gonzalez’ answers to whether he was influenced by Romero inappropriately. As I have written previously, I am not sure if Gonzalez acted properly at this point and I believe his actions should be investigated. However, it appears to me that Tommy Gonzalez is currently being “Luther Jonesed” for political purposes. It has been my contention that Bob Moore uses the El Paso Times as a vehicle to support a political agenda. The latest reporting reinforces this notion for me.
It is unlikely that Tommy Gonzalez has any direct knowledge of the delay of the bond sale because he took office after the sale was delayed. As you know by now, Joyce Wilson has acknowledged that the bond sale was delayed for political reasons. The delay cost the taxpayers $20 million. What we do not know is who were the city representatives that directed that the bonds be delayed. Some of us have inferred who they are but no one has publicly provided proof. Absent the naming of individuals we must rely on inference to attempt to identify them.
Obviously, the likely suspects are Susie Byrd, Ann Morgan Lilly, Michiel Noe, Cortney Niland and Steve Ortega. It is unclear if Emma Acosta played any part in the actual delay of the bonds. Eddie Holguin and Carl Robinson were unlikely to have tendered any help to Steve Ortega.
Tommy Gonzalez may not have direct knowledge about the delay, but his answers provides us further information that will help us glean who may have been the city representatives attempting to help Steve Ortega. More important though, is that the coverage of the Gonzalez answers by the El Paso Times provides further evidence of Bob Moore’s manipulation of the news.
In the first questions asked of Gonzalez about “any communications…with anyone” about the RFQ for a news financial services contract, Gonzalez provided the following answer. “Still after those meetings (budget hearings) I was told by Representative Niland ‘Yes bring that back all day long so we can vote on it.’” It is no secret that Niland has been very critical of Gonzalez so his response could be “payback.” However, it is interesting that she was the only one quoted by Gonzalez. Note that the El Paso Times made no mention of Niland’s statement.
Tommy Gonzalez reiterates that the bond sales was delayed because “First Southwest was directed to hold off on the bond sale, until after the mayoral election.” (page: 6)
You will notice that the El Paso Times managed to quote Gonzalez’s answers to this question by selectively taking one answer that agrees with their agenda while ignoring the other answers that do not. The paper quotes; “As a point of clarification, I still believe that it was first [sic] Southwest fiduciary responsibility to have said something in public to City Council.” Although the paper bothered to make this quotation it completely ignored the other two important ones, “First Southwest had not mishandled the ballpark bond sale,” and “First Southwest was directed to hold off on the bond sale, until after the mayoral election.”
Did you notice the selective quotations? As you can see an agenda is at play.
This latest example further adds to the cumulative examples I have been sharing with you on how Bob Moore manipulates the news reports towards a specific political agenda.
The issues involving Tommy Gonzalez and Larry Romero involve the inappropriate resurfacing of streets in Romero’s district and speed bumps at his alma mater. Even if we accept the inappropriateness of the resurfacing as fact, when compared to $20 million in the cost for the delay of the bond sale it becomes apparent how Bob Moore is manipulating the news coverage.
Look closely at their word usage in their report about the Tommy Gonzalez answers and I believe you will agree that their coverage is part of a political agenda.