Saturday, July 19, 2014

Where the Hell Does City Council Rep. for Dist. 6 Candidate Claudia Ordaz Really Live?


Where the Hell Does City Council Rep. for Dist. 6 Candidate Claudia Ordaz Really Live?
Questions raised if Ordaz Gamed the System? Does Ordaz really live in District 3?
by Carmen Jones and George Billings 




Does Claudia Ordaz Live in District 6?


When applying for a place on the District 6 ballot in May 2014, Claudia Ordaz signed a sworn statement under oath that she has lived in District 6 for 24 years which legal documents show is clearly not true.  


Application for Place on Ballot, Filed May 6, 2014

On the Ballot Application, Ordaz says she's lived in District 6 for 24 years, yet in a January 2014 HUD Special Warranty Deed (see below) shes lives at another address.


City of El Paso's City Rep./District Search puts Ordaz' supposed David Carrasco address in Dist. 6

According to State Law as well as Local law, Section 2.2 Part A Item 2 of the City Charter, Candidates for City Representative are required to live in the district for 6 months preceding the election.

Although one would think the District 6 election began on July 2, 2014 with the start of early voting, a City employee ”decided” the election was July 19, 2014 so all legally eligible candidates must have lived in District 6 by January 19, 2014 to comply with the law.


Legal Documents filed in Official Public Records show that Claudia Ordaz lived in District 3 and did not live in District 6.


1. A DEED OF TRUST established that Claudia Ordaz purchased a HUD home located at 11372 David Carrasco Drive on January 17, 2014 in District 6 but did not live in the home (see above).


2. A SPECIAL WARRANTY DEED executed between a HUD representative and Claudia Ordaz established her residence at 11029 Bob Stone in District 3


Deed of Trust for

 
Deed of Trust


Special Warranty deed lists Bob Stone




Furthermore the City Property Tax Record for 11372 David Carrasco Drive shows that as of June 24, 2014:


1. Claudia Ordaz is the listed owner of the 11372 David Carrasco Drive but her mailing address is still listed as 11029 Bob Stone in District 3. The same is reflected by the Central Appraisal District.

City of El Paso's City Rep/District Locator puts 11029 Bob Stone in District 3




2. More importantly Claudia Ordaz did not take the homestead exemption on the 11372 David Carrasco Drive property. 


Claudia Ordaz would have to live in the home at 11372 David Carrasco Drive full time to qualify for a homestead exemption, which would also provide a discount on her property taxes as well as provide certain protections for the property.






It appears Claudia Ordaz may have gamed the system, with help from her County Commissioner boyfriend Vince Perez, to get around election law by using Perez’ address at 649 Londonderry on her February 2014 Campaign Treasurer filing.

County Commissioner Vince Perez is listed to live at this Londonderry address. Is Ordaz using Perez' address to gain the system.


February Appointment of a Campaign Treasurer by Candidate form list Ordaz at the Londonderry address.




Furthermore Claudia Ordaz is now using a PO Box as her address on her June 2014 Campaign Finance reports. 

Ordaz' June 19 Campaign Finance Report uses a PO Box in the 79917 zip code area




If we want to stop public corruption in El Paso we must first demand that laws are to be followed and not merely suggestions or if only convenient, especially a basic one like election law.



Mayor, City Council, and City Administration have an obligation to preserve the integrity of City Government as well as representation for District 6 residents and should immediately challenge Claudia Ordaz’ eligibility to take office in the unfortunate event if she wins.



The City is the filing authority for candidates for City Representatives and is responsible for certifying residency when a person applies for a place on the ballot.



Claudia Ordaz is a City Employee and certifying her residency was a simple matter of verifying her employment records.



Clearly we need to change the City Charter to require candidates to actually live in the district for 12 months rather than 6 months preceding the election to prevent special interests from corrupting District Representation by stacking the ballot with their candidates.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Steve Ortega recieves late contribution of 50 Grand from Hunt and Foster

Steve Ortega receives late contribution of
50 Grand from Hunt and Foster
 
In the January 2014 Campaign / Officeholder Report, former city representative and mayoral hopeful, disclosed that he received $50,000 from Woody Hunt and Paul Foster.
Conveniently, these contributions were made about a month after the mayoral runoff and the day after the post-election financial report was due.


DIEP speculates that Hunt and Foster waited to contribute to Ortega’s campaign to defray criticism on Ortega due to the Downtown ballpark debacle and association with the unpopular moguls.
Was Ortega told to spend as much as he wants and Foster and Hunt would reimburse the campaign after the fact?
 



Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tania Chozet’s Platform is Pure Fantasy and Fiction


Photo downloaded from Facebook 
Tania Chozet’s Platform is Pure Fantasy and Fiction



Editorial

 

District 7 Needs Intelligent Decisions in this post-Steve Ortega District 7 era.

 

Ask any private sector employer if they hire people who make intelligent decisions or “tough decisions”.

 

Hands down, they will pick intelligent decision makers because informed and thoughtful decisions are successful.

 

After a review of Tania Chozet’s campaign mailers for District 7 City Representative, it is painfully obvious she either has no clue what a City Representative does or she is hoping the District 7 voters do not.  

 

District 7 has suffered through 8 years of Steve Ortega who only represented and defended special interests while ignoring and harming the people he was supposed to represent.

 

Tania Chozet will continue to represent the same special interests as Ortega and not the interests of the people in District 7.

 

How do we know? --- Look at her record on County Commissioners Court

 

Chozet’s voting record as a County Commissioner shows she was nothing more than a rubberstamp vote and part of a 3-person majority voting bloc for the County Judge.

 

So What Does Chozet Claim?

 

Better Transparency and More Accountability

 

1. Chozet claims “She knows transparency in government means more than being informed after the fact. She believes the best decisions are made when the public has a chance to be heard first. She will make sure every voice is heard. She will make sure the bureaucrats at city hall are held accountable for every dollar they spend. She will keep all our taxpayer money from going towards administration and salaries”

 

Bull!

 

Without holding a single meeting in the district, she was appointed to represent to get input, feedback, or to hear all those voices before her vote:

 

  1. Chozet rubberstamped County Judge Veronica Escobar’s raise;
  2. Chozet voted for 110 million in Certificates of Obligation, non-voter approved debt;
  3. Chozet voted to raise the county tax rate 14.67%. The maximum allowed by Texas law that would not require voter approval. Anything above would have had to gone to voters –
    1. 40% of the increase was for - you guessed it – an increase in salaries of elected officials and employees -- 40% of the increase was to pay off the 110 million in non-voter approved debt she voted for.
    2. 20% was to reduce the County’s reliance on debt which means she shifted an increase to property taxes instead. Not exactly a watchdog for the taxpayer or a way to help local businesses thrive.

 

Chozet rubberstamped money in the County Capital Improvement Plan for $16,000 printers, $2000 trash cans, and a $1500 chair for the County Judge without question! Not exactly a watchdog for the taxpayer.

 

2. Chozet claims “In just a short time as Commissioner she was able to improve the QOL for families and make government more accountable to the people. She’ll do the same as District 7 Representative.”

 

Chozet never once initiated or hosted a community meeting!

 

How did Chozet make government accountable and transparent to the people when she did not hold herself accountable to those she was supposed to represent?

 

She never met with constituents to ask what their needs were much less initiate or fund any projects.

 

How did Chozet improve Quality of Life when she accomplished nothing?

 

More Jobs

 

3. Chozet claims “She will use her experience working with Fortune 500 companies to highlight our positive points and create new opportunities for companies to visit El Paso.”

 

Is Chozet inflating her resume? Is she exaggerating her experience?

 

According to her resume, as a new psychology graduate, she was employed by The GAP, a Fortune 500 company. She worked for a Fortune 500 company not exactly “with Fortune 500’s.” That statement is beyond misleading!

 

4. Chozet claims “She has a 3 point job plan to identify companies looking for expansion or new headquarters, promote El Paso as a relocation option, and work with existing companies to expand and bring better jobs.”

 

If Chozet has the skills, experience, and contacts to accomplish this then why is she a 37 year old unemployed lawyer living at home with her parents?

 

Chozet’s 3-point job “plan” is not exactly a plan and not a function of a City Representative.

 

Even the El Paso Times stated creating jobs is not within the realm of possibilities as a valid platform point for a City Representative.

 

Job creation and promoting the city are primarily a private sector and somewhat a Mayoral function.

 

Makes one wonder why the Times endorsed her.

 

The job of a City Representative is to work with and for the residents in the District they were elected to represent to improve quality of life in neighborhoods which in turn improves the city as a whole.

 

5. Chozet says “she’s going to partner with State and Federal governments for jobs.”

 

Seriously????

 

Did she sleep through both the State and Federal Legislative sessions? Or is she simply out of touch with reality?

 

Both the State and Federal government are furloughing and reducing their work force.

 

There is no money!

And if there were money, an entire City Council much less a City Representative has ZERO influence on how that money is spent.

 


El Paso already has too many government jobs and not enough private sector jobs.

 

Taxpayers pay the salaries of government employees and these jobs do not generate revenue and are not sustainable.

 

6. Chozet has stated she supports Downtown.

 

There are 630 properties in the Downtown district.

Half the properties are publically owned and not on the tax roles.

The taxable value of the all the property in Downtown was $282 million in 2009 and $285 million in 2012.

After the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in forced taxpayer investment, subsidies, and 10 year tax rebates all the Downtown properties combined only increased by $3 million dollars since 2009!

 

And Chozet wants to continue robbing revenue from the taxpayers for the benefit of a few ?????

 

Tough decision” - too bad it’s not an Intelligent or Informed one.

 

District 7 needs an honest and legitimate Representative and clearly Chozet’s record and “platform” proves she is neither.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bill Sanders Brings His Total Contributions to Steve Ortega to $17,500 with recent $5,000 contribution



Bill Sanders Brings His Total Contributions to Steve Ortega to $17,500 with recent $5,000 Contribution

by Ben and Jerry

The agenda for the Tuesday, June 6 City Council meeting lists that mayoral candidate Steve Ortega received a $5,000 contribution from magnet Bill Sanders which makes a total of $17,000 Sanders has given to Ortega's campaign.*

Sanders is the co-founder of the Paso del Norte Group, father-in-law of Congressman Beto O'Rourke, and the "man behind the curtain" in regard to the Downtown Land Grab and planned displacement.

Also of note on this coming Tuesday's agenda, are $5,000 from Rick Francis (WestStar Bank formally Bank of the West) which adds on to Francis previous contributions to total $12,500, $5000 from Charles Jordan, $1500 from Bill Burton, and Jack Chapman $1500.

Sanders has given $2,000 to District 7 Candidate for City Representative Tania Chozet. Rick Francis gave $1,000 to Chozet and Bob Hoy gave her $1,000. Steve Fox gave her $1,000.

According to the June 2, El Paso Inc. interview, Ortega says his top four campaign supporters are Dan Longoria, J. Kirk Robison, Bob Hoy, and Octavio Gomez.

Although Longoria, Robison, and Bob Hoy are part of the Baker's Dozen, they are not the highest contributors so Ortega's answer was incorrect.

Inaccuracies in his campaign finance report were mentioned in "Ortega Campaign Finance Report Debacle: Mishandling of Finances" and by Martin Paredes in "Steve Ortega Underreported $40K."

Among the allegations in these stories were that Ortega is trying to hide his contributions from Bill Sanders and other Paso del Norte Group and Mountain Star contributors. The alleged method used were the submission of hard-to-read financial reports (they appear to have been photocopied and re-photocopied, use of small font) and waiting until after the election to amend the reports adding the top donors' contributions.

Ortega's top donor was Bill Sanders followed by Fernandez, Francis, and Hunt.


*For couples donating, we count them under the person most politically involved.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

55% of Steve Ortega’s Campaign Donations came Paso del Norte Group and Associates


Steve Ortega: Doughboy of the PDNG
55% of Steve Ortega’s Campaign Donations came from PDNG Members and their Associates
38% came from the 13 PDNG contributors

by Jerry

The Baker’s Dozen
 


Editors Note: We previously analyzed Steve Ortega’s financial reports in 21% of Steve Ortega’s Campaign Donations came from 6 Paso del Norte Group/Borderplex Alliance (PDNG) Special Interests. Since Ortega later amended his 8-day financial report and it was notoriously hard to read, we had to reanalyze it.

Update (06/02/130): The agenda for the Tuesday, June 6 City Council meeting lists that Ortega received $5,000 from Bill Sanders (for a total of $17,000), $5,000 from Rick Francis, $5000 from Charles Jordan, $1500 from Bill Burton, Jack Chapman $1500


 


38% or $105,659.88 of Steve Ortega’s $276,914.40** in total campaign donations came from the following 13 PDNG Members and their associates (see chart above).

 

1.    The owners and relatives of 500 W Overland donated $15,659.88. They also happen to have a contract with the City. 

 

Coincidentally the 500 W Overland tenants include Steve Ortega’s Campaign Headquarters, Steve Ortega’s PR group, The El Paso Times, and Beto O’Rourke’s Stanton Street Technology Group.

 

2. The William “Bill” Sanders and O’Rourke Clan plus employees donated $12,500. Sanders owns the Wells Fargo building through the Borderplex REIT. He is currently leasing space to the City for the Tax Department and the Finance Department because the Finance Department did not fit in the new City Hall. It does not appear that either lease went out to competitive bid.

 

3.  Hunt family and Hunt employees donated $10,100. The Stadium-MountainStar.

 

4.  J Kirk Robinson of Pizza Properties donated $8,000

 

5.   Robert Brown of Brownco Capital, Inc. and Brown Ranch donated $8,000

 

6.   Paul Foster and a Western Refinery employee donated $7,500. The Stadium-MountainStar.

 

7.   Rick Francis family of WestStar Bank donated $7500

 

8.   Robert Hoy family Hoy-Fox Automotive donated $7000

 

9     Dan Longoria of Mattress Firm donated $6900

 

10   Harold Hahn of Rocky Mountain Mortgage donated $6,500. County records show Rocky Mountain Mortgage wrote a mortgage for Steve Ortega for a property he purchased.

 

11.   Ted Houghton of the TxDOT Commission and Toll Road fame donated $6,000

 

12.  JA Cardwell of C&R Distributing donated $5,000. C&R has had contracts with the City.

 

13. Jonathan Abrams of JD Abrams donated $5,000. JD Abrams is the contractor that built part of the Loop extension.

 

The pie charts below show the break down of total campaign donations by interest group

 



(See pie chart above)
 
55% or $152,254.90 from Paso Del Norte Group Members (PDNG) and their Associates which includes those named above (38% or $105,659.88 of the Paso Del Norte Group Members (PDNG) and Associates contributions are from the 13 interests above)

6% or $15,250 from PACs and Companies

1% or $3325 from Family and Friends

7% or $19,700 from Builders and City Contractors excluding PDNG donors

7% or $18,150 from Out of Towners

Only 25% or $63,234.50 was donated from the “Average Citizen,” less than received by other Mayoral candidates

 

** Note: Total campaign contributions are based on line item calculation of contributions which as noted does not match reported summary totals.