Just A Few Things About the Blog, Petition and Veronica Escobar

quick-redFirst of all, I want to thank each of you for supporting my blog by your thoughtful comments, suggestions, participation and encouragement. I also want to tie up a few lose ends today and clear up some misconceptions. Before I do that, I want to thank Abel Rodriguez for having me on his Dialogue radio program last Saturday. As always it was lots of fun. If you missed the show you can always listen to the podcast by clicking here. First, let me clear up a few misconceptions that I’ve come across in the last few days. After that I’ll share with you the latest on Veronica Escobar’s attempt to withhold public records. Then I’ll close with something new and an invitation for all of you to participate more on my blog.

There seems to be a misunderstanding that I am going to file a lawsuit to force Veronica Escobar to release her public records. I am not. I am submitting a letter to the Texas Attorney General requesting that they intervene on behalf of the State of Texas to enforce the open records laws. I will not be filing a lawsuit and even if I wanted to, I would have no legal standing in Texas.

The other misconception that seems to have originated on the Chucopedia Facebook page is that I am raising money to file a lawsuit. Let me be clear, I am not raising any money. The Change.org petition is just that, a petition signed by people who believe that transparency in government is fundamental to Democracy. I’ll share more details with you about the petition later in this post.

The other issue I want to address is the notion that I will not post anything from other blogs. There is a comment by “Thomas” on my post about the county commissioner’s recent raise that I want to clarify. I am not really sure what “Thomas” is referring to when he posted that I would not let him “put up information where people could easily contact CCC members”. However, I think I know what he meant.

I am not picking on “Thomas” as others have had similar concerns, his comment just dove tails into a misconception I want to clear up. Much of the misconception is a result of my not being clear enough about my blog policies.

First of all, my blog is constantly evolving and will continue to do so. It evolves because readers such as yourselves let me know what interests you, what doesn’t interest you and what you all would like to see.

I believe that the misconception comes from my stance discouraging links to other websites. I did this because I did not want to deal with individuals using my comments space for creating links to their projects for search engine optimization (SEO) and for generating hits to their individual projects. If someone wants to use my blog’s reach, they can purchase advertising space to do so.

However, that does not mean that something as important as organizing voters to contact the County Commissioners to voice their opinion about their raises would not be welcome on my website. Yes, it would be welcome and encouraged. I did not find out about this movement until well into the weekend. If someone had tried to send me information and I missed it then I apologize. If you send me a message through my blog, I normally respond to you within 24 hours on weekdays and the following Monday on the weekend.

If a comment was removed that included links for reaching county commissioners, then please note that 99% of the comment moderation is an automated process. Very rarely do I manually remove comments from the blog. Since it is an automated process it tends to have false positives. Unfortunately, if I were to remove the automated process then I would literally spend every hour of the day just managing the SPAM in the comments section.

If you are experiencing problems with your comments not being allowed, please let me know and I’ll take a look at it.

In regards to the Veronica Escobar petition, there are a few people that have taken it upon themselves to do the outreach for gathering signatures. I very much appreciate the efforts. I do not personally thank them here publicly because I do not have their permission to do so. But I appreciate every effort that has generated almost 50 signatures since last night.

Today is the last day to sign the petition. After today, I will close the petition and submit it along with the letter to the Texas Attorney General asking for their intervention. I will keep you updated as the process moves along. If you, or your friends haven’t signed the petition then now is the time. After today, I will close it down.

This brings me to something that I have been thinking about and the future of my blog. As I stated initially, my blog is continuously evolving.

One of things that I want to encourage is more diversity on the content of my blog. As many of you know, Barbara Carrasco has been gracious enough to submit guest editorials. I may not agree with her on all of her positions, although we agree more often than not, but when we disagree I learn from her point of view. Others have also kindly submitted guest editorials. I truly believe that the more perspectives we have the better it is for everyone and I want to encourage that.

Whether you are someone that I have written about or someone that just completely thinks I’m bonkers does not matter if you want to post your thoughts on my blog. You are welcome to submit a guest editorial for consideration through my contact me page. It should be at least 300 words. If I choose to publish your work, I will not alter it or edit it in any fashion whatsoever. It will be published as submitted.

Even if you wish to write an essay of why I am wrong, I will happily publish it as long as you stick to the facts. For those of you that like what I write but would like to add more to the discussion, you, of course, are more than welcome. Some of the individuals that comment frequently on my blog post superb comments that in many instances could be blog posts by themselves. I also encourage you to submit an essay for consideration.

However, it does not have to be an essay, or write up. It could a recording of your thoughts that I would post as a podcast. Or, a graphic, a cartoon or even a video. All of them are welcome.

Thanks again for all of your support, especially to all of the readers that take time to read my content. If you know of someone that hasn’t signed the petition and wants to, please encourage them to as today is the last day to do so.