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



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”




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.”




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.

Ortega Campaign Fianance Report Debacle: Mishandling of Finances

Ortega Campaign Finance Report Debacle: Mishandling of Finances
Does Steve Ortega have the skills to provide competent oversight of taxpayer money?

Steve Ortega filed an amended report for each of the 3 filing dates. He filed the 30th and 8th day before election reports on May 16, 5 days after the May 11 General Election.
The 30th and 8th day before election reports had an additional $38,250 in contributions that had been omitted from the original filings.
What is disturbing is it is painfully obvious that the totals on the summary sheet do not add up.
That should have been the first clue to Ortega that his “corrected” reports may still not be correct and if necessary to seek some math help.
Based on his handling of his campaign financial reports, does Steve Ortega have the skills to provide competent oversight of taxpayer money?
This week’s recent debacle with the Downtown Ballpark costing more than actually predicted adds fuel to the fire.
There are important questions regarding Ortega’s campaign finance reports.
And these question are not necessarily about who contributors are as we have touch upon in previous post and as we touch upon on our next post. But -- we'll mentioned them anyway.
Did Ortega delay filing corrections so that voters would not know how much money he had on hand before the May 11 general election?
Did Ortega omit Paso del Norte Group (PDNG) donors to hide their influence on his campaign?
The table lists the omitted donors totaling $38,250.  $37,500 of this $38,250 are from PDNG Members or their family.


Last Name


















































The Table below is the summary sheet he signed and filed for each amended Campaign Finance Report.
It is obvious from a visual scan that Total Political Contributions Maintained as of the last day of the each report do not “look” correct, particularly for the 30th and 8th day before election reports.
 Ortega's Amended Report                  Jan 15       30th Day       8th Day        Total
Total Political Contributions                54,395       80,774.88     147,300.5     282,460.4
Minus Tot Political Expenditure          12,905.37  36,251.11      201,296.49  250,443
Minus In-Kind Donations                     125           1559.88         7429.5         9114.38
Equals Tot Political Contribution
       Maintained                                     41,479.63  23,162.41      23,496.24   22,893.03
Given the totals Ortega submitted, below is what one would expect to be reported as the summary totals, particularly for the Total Political Contributions Maintained as of the last day.
Based on the values provided, the actual contributions maintained as of the last day would have been $84,318.52 on hand rather than $23,162.41.
An underreport of $61,156.11 !


January 15th

30th day

8th day


Tot Political Contributions





minus Tot Political Expenditures





minus In-Kind Donations










equals Tot Political Contributions Maintained




Below is a table of the difference in amounts reported and expected for each amended Campaign Finance Report for Total Political Contributions Maintained as of the last day of the each report.


January 15th

30th day

8th day

Tot Political Contributions Maintained



Additionally, Ortega’s political contributions were checked multiple times and the summary totals do not add up to reported line item totals.
The largest is $6,121.00 in contributions that could not be accounted for in the 8th day before election report.
Overall, it appears there is $5,546.00 in donations with no line item donors but is included in the final summary page total.
                                                       January 15th       30th day      8th day      Totals
Tot Political Contributions              54,285                 80774.88     147,300.5  282460.4
Tot Political Contributions              54,060                 81,674.88    141,189.5  276914.4
Difference                                      325                       -900             6121         5546
Again, we pose the question, based on his handling of his campaign financial reports --

Does Steve Ortega have the skills to provide competent oversight of taxpayer money?