I now understand that politics is a dirty business. There is no respect nor ethics in politics and there is a lot of hypocrisy. Politicians treat voters as cattle, gather them at the trough for election day and ignore them until the next election. That is the reality. Some readers question whether I’m working for Dori Fenenbock or Norma Chavez – the answer is neither. So why do I spend so much time on Veronica Escobar? The answer is simple, I believe Veronica Escobar to be unethical bordering on criminal. Let me explain.
You all know about the Chico’s Tacos comments, her using taxpayer funds to pay her bills (Caballero’s office, Community Scholars and County government) and her propensity to build her notion of public policy on the backs of the taxpayers. You might even be aware of her hypocrisy in pretending to care about immigrants while her husband orders them deported.
But what really bothers me about her is what happened to me starting around 2001. Back then I was naïve enough to believe that things in the United States were different, that corruption wasn’t as rampant as it is in my country. I was trying to grow my business by expanding into the U.S. I was hoping to showcase the power of the Internet when the Internet was nothing more than AOL by building an information site for politics, which evolved into El Paso’s first blog. I was stupid enough and naïve to believe people, especially politicians respected the right to freedom of speech. That was my only involvement in politics at the time.
As a place to discuss politics, my sites were leveraged for all sorts of politics, things I agreed with and others I didn’t. It bothered Ray Caballero to no end that his political shenanigans were put on display and he had no power to control the information about his policies and political initiatives. Caballero tried all sorts of intimidation tactics to shut my sites down.
Where things got extremely difficult for Ray Caballero was when a recall petition was filed against Larry Medina because of the TIF districts in Segundo Barrio, today’s Duranguito controversy. As you likely know, Larry Medina went to jail for public corruption years later but back then he was a useful idiot for Ray Caballero because he was a vote on city council, that Caballero desperately needed for the TIF districts and other initiatives.
In response to my part in the recall and opposition to the Caballero regime – providing technology – Ray Caballero went after my livelihood telling my clients that they needed to stop doing business with me. According to customers who filled me in on what was going on, Caballero, or the mayor’s office reached out to them and told them to stop doing business with me. According to my clients, they were threatened if they continued to do business with my company. Years later, Sito Negron, then a journalist and now the District and Communications Director for state senator Jose Rodriguez asked me, point blank, how it felt to be “blacklisted” in El Paso?
Over the years I have compiled other examples of others suffering the same consequences from government officials who went after their livelihoods to silence dissention. They couldn’t intimidate me into shutting down my sites or even paying me off for goodwill, so they went after my livelihood.
My sin? Providing a platform to challenge government, you know, a government of the people by the people.
But that was Ray Caballero, what does that have to do with Veronica Escobar, you might be asking yourselves.
Although I know that Ray Caballero went after my business, which I consider criminal, I do not know if Veronica Escobar actively engaged in attempting to destroy my livelihood. However, I feel that she either had to know what was happening, or she may have participated in it. I can’t prove it, but I do not see how she was not part of it, or at the very least wasn’t aware of it.
Remember, Veronica Escobar was the Communications Director for Ray Caballero from 2001 through 2003, the same time that Caballero was going after my livelihood. Numerous times, Escobar has referred to a close relationship with Caballero and even as her mentor. As a close-ally, working in implementing Caballero’s agenda and managing his public persona, there is no doubt in my mind that Veronica Escobar was aware of me, my sites and most likely how Caballero was attempting to silence my platforms.
Going after my livelihood is neither fair nor correct and in my opinion – it is criminal. Without a doubt, it goes against the ideal of a government for the people and by the people. It is immaterial whether Veronica Escobar actively engaged in attempting to destroy my business because her mentor or close friend was attempting to do it, meaning that she holds the same ideals of destroying people to get her agenda in place. If she was involved, well that speaks for itself.
Regardless, I do not believe that Veronica Escobar has any business in Congress, in many ways it would be worse then the Donald Trump presidency. In Donald Trump, we at least know his stripes, there is no pretense in Trump to be someone else. In Veronica Escobar, there is the public persona of being ethical and for the people, and then there is the reality which is the exact opposite.