When the FBI raided the County offices a few years back, Susie Byrd and Veronica Escobar literally danced a jig on the streets. As news filtered out that Anthony Cobos’ office was being raided by FBI agents with a search warrant, Byrd and Escobar gleefully laughed and exchanged high-fives. I witnessed this escapade with my own eyes. They, like most of us at that time, didn’t realize at that Cobos was not the target that day, but rather an Escobar cohort – Dolores Briones. The FBI agents were looking for evidence on public corruption cases involving Bob Jones and his nexus with Briones. Cobos was also eventually arrested on public corruption charges, although he was not the initial target. Dolores Briones, the previous County Judge, was the target. As soon as Byrd, Escobar, Eliot Shapleigh and other cohorts realized that the FBI was investigating Briones and others at the County before Cobos, a sense of fear permeated among their ranks. This was evident by many of their actions.
As the Poisoned Pawns investigations winded through their processes, the Veronica Escobar cohorts embraced a public persona of not being corrupt. They went so far as to hold a public spectacle of signing a pledge that they were not corrupt.
However, their actions and activities speaks volumes.
I believe that the Escobar cohorts belong to a protected class of politicos that are allowed leeway to do as they please without fear of repercussions. The local district attorney, Jaime Esparza, has yet to prosecute a single successful public corruption case. I have shared many examples of outright corruption evidence that does not seem to cause Esparza to blink an eye.
One of the things about the Veronica Escobar cohorts and their governing model is the notion that as politicos they know what is best for the community. They have no time for a representative form of government. It is a model first espoused by the three amigos – Ray Caballero, Jose Rodriguez and Eliot Shapleigh. They set out to lead the city kicking and screaming towards their view of a utopian future.
It is an elitist attitude of believing that they are elected to make decisions for the city.
Although Ray Caballero was summarily kicked out of the city, Byrd and Escobar picked up the mantle and continued their public policy agenda. One of the tools that they use is to incubate and run candidates to stuff elected offices so that their agenda can be pushed forth. One of those useful idiots is Jim Tolbert.
A few days ago, I showed you Tolbert’s corruption via his missive to the Chris Ruth’s steakhouse bemusing his lack of an invitation for a free steak.
Last Tuesday, Jim Tolbert showed you the elitist attitude that Byrd and Escobar have imparted upon him. Jim Tolbert has no use for the electorate. Tolbert has no use for the constituency to articulate their wants and needs. Tolbert showed you at the last city council meeting that he has no need for you.
Don’t believe me?
Take a look at the video of the December 20, 2016 city council meeting.
Did you notice what he told Miguel Patino in an open session of city council?
Just think, at one point in his life, Tolbert was an Episcopal priest.
I always wondered why he left the priesthood. I think I now know the answer.
However, the most important thing to keep in mind is that Tolbert ran on a platform of integrity. It is the same platform pushed forth by Byrd and Escobar. As a matter of fact, both were instrumental in his run for office.
Now that you know what he thinks of the constituency that put him into office and how he expects a free steak to do his job, do you still believe he is ethical? He is an extension of Veronica Escobar and Susie Byrd. He represents the misguided idea that leadership is about doing as he pleases instead of representing the will of the voters.