Thursday, May 30, 2013

Is Steve Ortega Holding Office Improperly?

Is Steve Ortega Holding Office Improperly? 
Comparisons to Socorro Corruption

El Paso has Single Member District Representation, which requires City Representatives to reside full time in the District voters elected them to represent for their entire term in office.


Recently blogger David K publically disclosed on his blog, what apparently many people already knew that Steve Ortega moved out of District 7 into District 1 with his spouse near the Kern area quite some time ago – apparently around September 2012.


Ortega has an apartment address in District 7 and questions have arisen whether he is using that address to game the system to stay in office?


Why should you care? There are many reasons here are 3:


  1. An elected official should never be allowed to circumvent laws or regulations. Otherwise, isn’t that basically the definition of corruption?


  1. A representative holding office improperly, such as by not living in the District they were elected to represent, has serious implications for contracts, financial decisions, and close votes.  Votes may be invalid, including those votes to authorize debt, expenditures, and enter into contracts.


How much debt and expenditures have been authorized? How many contracts has the City Council voted upon?


  1. Single-Member District Representation was put in place because of El Paso’s long history of discrimination. Allowing circumvention defeats protective measures, and representative government for all 80,000+ District 7 residents.


Misinformed? Indifferent to District 7 Residents? Covering for Ortega?


Members of the public reported to DIEP that they have reported questioning local newspapers and local TV news about the lack of reporting holding Ortega accountable. A few members in the media are apparently aware that Ortega allegedly moved out of District 7 and lives in District 1.


The local media gave several responses to the public and these responses have given rise to allegations of a cover up. The same problem occurred a few years ago in the removal of a District 8 Representative so why not report now? The responses reported were disturbingly inaccurate including:


  1. During the year when the District boundaries are being redrawn, the regulations for representation of a District do not apply


  1. The City Attorney waived the residency requirement.


  1. Representatives only have to live in their District 6 months before running.


  1. A Representative does not have to live in their District for the last 6 months of their term.


What do the Authorities say?


DIEP called call the Texas Secretary of State’s Office and spoke to an attorney. Also, DIEP called the Department of Justice to ask of requirements of Single Member District Representation.


Here is a combined summary:


1. Single-Member District Representatives are required to live full time within their District boundaries to be eligible to run and if elected must reside full time within the District boundaries for their entire term.


2. If a representative moves out of the district that elected him/her to represent them, then the representative is required to resign immediately.


3. A City Attorney has no authority to waive Single Member District requirements.


4. The City Charter only further defines residency in a district as someone who has lived in the District full time for at least 6 months prior to running for the office.


5. The City Charter does not waive Single Member District requirements for continued full-time residence in the District for the entire term.


6. Single-member district regulations always apply regardless of redistricting.

Photo from "We the People of El Paso" Facebook site

The only exception is if a new approved redistricting map redraws boundaries such that the Representative’s current home is "drawn out" of their District during redistricting.


In this case, the representative is allowed to complete the remainder of their term if they continue to reside in their current precinct or should they choose, relocate back into the new district boundaries. 


A representative may not run for re-election for the district unless they move back into the new district boundaries.  If they chose not to relocate, then they may run for the office of the district they live in if th

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

71% of Tania Chozet’s Campaign Donations came from Steve Ortega’s Donors, Family, & Friends

71% of Tania Chozet’s Campaign Donations came from Steve Ortega’s Donors, Family, & Friends
Over half are Paso Del Norte Group Affiliated

District 7 City Council Representative Tania Chozet’s campaign donations confirm that she and Steve Ortega are funded and running as a slate to represent special interests and preserve the majority-voting bloc on City Council.
District 7 voters need to be aware that Tania Chozet will represent the special interests who funded her instead of the voice and interests of District 7 residents.
Tania Chozet reported collecting $34,630 in campaign donations prior to the May 11 general election.

$24,600 or 71% of Chozet’s campaign donations came from Steve Ortega’s donors and supporters.

Click Image to Enlarge: 71% of Tania Chozet's Campaign Contributors are
Contributors and Known Supporters of Steve Ortega

$19,900 or 58% of Chozet’s campaign donations came from Paso del Norte Group/Borderplex Alliance members and Associates, the same group that promoted the Downtown baseball stadium.

Click Image to Enlarge: 58% of Tania Chozet's Contributors are
Members of the Paso del Norte Group (aka Borderplex Alliance)
On one of her campaign literature flyer, Chozet states, “We need lead at City Hall that fight for all of us, not the special interests. I’m proud to be an independent voice for working families.”

Chozet’s quote sounds warm and fuzzy, but it appears by who her contributors are, that Chozet’s definition of “working families” are the Sanders, Francis, Cardwells, and Browns, among others, who happened to be millionaires.

Related Stories:

Tania Chozet throws hissy fits at recreation center

Is Tania Chozet JustSteve Ortega in a Skirt?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Comadres at the Wall: Ortega Questions Whether Oscar Leeser's Mom is Real Mom or Actress

Comadres at the Wall
Ortega Questions Whether Oscar Leeser's Mom is Real Mom or Actress

Steve Ortega Harassing Oscar Leeser's Mom? 

A source reported that Steve Ortega wanted KVIA to make Mrs. Leeser prove that she was actually Oscar Leeser's mother and not an actress.
So KVIA sent their “crack investigative team” for the job. They went to Hyundai of El Paso where she has an office. According to our source, Mrs. Leeser had family photos in her office and other momentos showing yes, she is definitely his mother and not only is "he such a good boy" she is a first-class lady.  
According to our source, the KVIA reporter said he felt like a complete ass for even asking her. Good! The Comadres agree and Steve Ortega is the bottom dwelling scum in a 50-year old un-flushed toilet.
A better use of the "crack investigative team" would be to visit Ortega's home in Kern Place.


Demanding Debates

Steve Ortega is demanding debates with Oscar Leeser. Leeser is not giving. And why should he?
There were more than 20 debates this election season, why more? Maybe because Steve Ortega blew off going to many of those debates? So now the El Paso Times wants to try to make Ortega look good?
Ortega should have attended all those debates during pre-election like Mr Leeser did, huh Steve?
All those debates you missed, maybe you could have convinced El Paso how you know what's best for them. Ortega blew off so many debates and now he's complaining.
Grow up. It’s called missed opportunity.

Chozet and Ortega Coordinating

Well, we now hear it is no coincidence that District 7 candidate Tania Chozet, like her pal Steve Ortega, hired the Forma Group as her political consultant and literally has the “friends and family service” with Stanton Street Technology Group, now led by Amy O'Rourke Sanders (Bill Sander's daughter) for campaign help.
Most likely Chozet's headquarters is there and not in District 7.

The Ortega and Chozet campaigns are closer than most think. Not only are their special interest campaign donors the same, much cooperation is occurring between the two.
One source revealed their campaign platforms and agendas are the same and the two are running as a special interest slate to preserve the current City Council majority voting-bloc.

Chozet, the District 7 candidate who will only represent Downtown and special interests.

Beto O'Rourke at "Let's Play Ball" rally in support of City Hall Demolition and Downtown Ballpark
Where’s that Bold Leadership?

Word at the wall is O'Rourke’s Chief of Staff is out and Beto is scrambling to find a replacement.  Rumor is the powers that be are not too happy with Congressman Beto O'Rourke.
It seems they are getting nothing accomplished because no one will listen to him in DC.

In the most recent debacle, 11,000 El Paso civilian employees are to be furloughed from Ft Bliss thanks to Beto’s vote supporting Republicans and sequestration. Meanwhile Beto is on tour promoting pot when he is not holding a sign for his pal Steve Ortega.

We've mentioned before how there is a lack of trust among congressional Democrats regarding the El Paso congressman. Well duh, if your father-in-law was a major Republican donor why would a Democrat trust you or listen to anything you have to say. 

Recommended Links:

Deep Inside El Paso

Is Tania Chozet Steve Ortega in a Skirt?

More than half of Chozet’s campaign contributors are the same special interests that fund Ortega. For an attorney that worked for the ACLU, this is a 180.

El Paso Speak

What Will He Do?

Many of us say that this election cycle has been about city management, not the city manager.
Incredibly the city manager has taken action that may make the runoff elections about her too.
Seeing is believing

Seeing is believing

This is sad.

Our current city councilman who is running for mayor filed two corrections to previous state mandated campaign finance reports on May 16, 2013.  I picked this up from the web site.  According to the article the candidate under reported $40 thousand in contributions.  Actually, it is hard to see.  Not understand, see.  The portion of the document where the contributions are listed uses typeface  that is so small and blurry that even after printing out each sheet and using a magnifying glass it was hard to see.  You can try it yourself.

El Paso News

Steve Ortega Hates El Paso

I have to give credit where credit is due. Steve Ortega hates the essence of El Paso. Unlike Susie Byrd who embraces her El Paso heritage publically but turns around and votes against it, Steve Ortega has consistently been open about his disgust for his El Paso heritage.

Steve Ortega Under reported $40K

Something has been bothering me about the Steve Ortega campaign finance reports. They just do not add up. As I sat down to review them, I wanted to check my numbers once again so I went to the Municipal Clerk’s office and lo-and-behold Steve Ortega had filed not one, but two amendments to his initial filings. The amendments were filed after Election Day. Bottom line, the Steve Ortega Campaign under reported approximately $40,000 in campaign contributions before Election Day.          

Thursday, May 16, 2013

El Paso Media’s “Unique Situation” is with Steve Ortega not Oscar Leeser

El Paso Media’s “Unique Situation” is with Steve Ortega not Oscar Leeser
Are Bob Moore and the El Paso Times trying to swing the Mayoral election for Ortega and extort advertising dollars from Mr Leeser?

By Eddie Torreal

In the latest and most pathetic attempt to apparently swing the Mayoral election for Ortega and retaliate against Mr. Leeser the El Paso Times and Kevin Lovell of KVIA would like you to think there is a “problem”.

Funny thing is neither Bob Moore or Kevin Lovell  have admitted this problem with Beto O’Rourke and his mother who spends big bucks advertising her furniture store in both the El Paso Times and on KVIA.

Many of Ortega’s big financial supporters such as Hoy-Fox Auto, Rick Francis of Westar Bank, Hunt, Paul Foster of Western Refinery, and Beto’s mom are also major advertisers who may also be “unhappy” if their financial investment and candidate, Ortega, is not promoted.

Then there is Del Sol Medical Center another major advertiser, who happens to employ Ortega’s spouse as their Chief Operating Officer, and recently received multiple city contracts, who may also be “unhappy” if their boy loses.

And let’s not forget the El Paso Times’ landlord has the biggest financial stake in Ortega. Can anyone say rent increase?

Furthermore many advocates of ethics in journalism have question the Times coverage of the stadium scandal, the demolition of City Hall, and the purchasing of the El Paso Times building by the city. National Public Radio (NPR) frequently reads disclosures on stories on individuals who may be underwriters to NPR. It’s been said the Times should have run a disclosure at the top of their stories regarding the stadium scandal that read: “Disclosure: El Paso Times is currently selling it building to the City of El Paso to replace city hall.”

It would seem Ortega presents the bigger problem because there are so many more advertisers financially invested in him who seem desperate to keep him in office.

Considering what has not been reported about Ortega and his conflicts of interest during his entire tenure on City Council it would seem neither Bob Moore nor his staff  know the meaning of  “thorough, accurate, and fair news reporting” much less journalistic integrity.

Before you listen to Bob Moore you should ask him why he has not required Steve Ortega to turn over all his personal emails in which he conducted City business before giving a blind endorsement.

If the advertising and journalism functions at the El Paso Times are really separate then why is this even a story and why would Bob Moore even know about Mr. Leeser’s advertising activity?

Kudos to Mr Leeser for his honesty, integrity, and finding better investments in El Paso than Bob Moore and the El Paso Slimes.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It's All Good: City of El Paso Chooses a 1993 Slogan to Promote City

Associated Pest
City of El Paso Chooses a 1993 Slogan to Promote El Paso
"Bring Back Memories of Me Jamm’n to MC Hammer," says City Manager

by Satria Sinverg├╝enza
Posted: 1:17 PM 05/15/13

Last month billboards appeared all over El Paso promoting the campaign, “El Paso, It’s All Good.”

“This is a campaign to promote how the El Paso City Council,” says City Manager Joyce Wilson, “is 20 years behind.”


The city manager refers to the “It’s All Good” slogan once popular in 1993.

“It’s all good to have this slogan back,” says mayoral candidate Steve Ortega, “like my silly socks and dress style before I started running for mayor, 1993 was the year, Boo Ya!!

It was 20 years ago that most cities in the United States fully realized the folly of having a city manager form of government.

“El Paso is still catching up,” says city manager Joyce Wilson, “the El Paso elites pulled a fast one on El Pasoans in 2004 when they promoted changing the city over to a city manager form of government.”
“We also realize,” continued Wilson, “that many cities, 20 years ago, found out that baseball stadiums do not bring any economic incentive, so now it’s El Paso’s turn to find that out.”

Mayor candidate Steve Ortega at last Friday's "It's All Good" rally

Last Friday, hoping to garner votes for its lagging mayoral candidate and to promote “El Paso, It’s All Good,” a Gavachanga Rally was hosted Downtown with free T-shirts and music. Episodes of Beavis and Butt-Head and the films "The Firm," "The Fugitive," and "Jurassic Park" were screened. Rep. Steve Ortega even dress up as Mrs. Doubtfire.

“The rally was all that,” says Ortega, “we played music of by 4 Non Blonds, Soul Asylum, Blind Melon, and of course Whoomp! There it is!”


Monday, May 13, 2013

Is the EL Paso Times Deliberately Misleading Voters to Help Steve Ortega?

Is the EL Paso Times Deliberately Misleading Voters to Help Steve Ortega?
Texas Tech wonders where El Paso Times gets their numbers

In an effort to promote Steve Ortega apparently the El Paso Times has resorted to making up information.

Click to Enlarge


Even Texas Tech School of Architecture is wondering where the El Paso Times got the number 500 people. The space involved is only 16,587 square feet.  




Texas Tech School of Architecture is hoping to reach 300 in about 5+ years.
Clerk to Enlarge. Facebook Wall says "...but where'd they get that number?"


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Did Steve Ortega Fail to Report $7,000 in Campaign Contributions?

Did Steve Ortega Fail to Report $7,000 in Campaign Contributions?
Ortega Has No Final Campaign Finance Report for His 2009 City Council Run according to Mun. Clerk website

by Jerry

As noted on the City Council agenda from 4-30-2013, Steve Ortega received $5000 from EC “Ted” Houghton and $2000 from Marlene and JO Stewart Jr. on March 25, 2013.

Texas Election Code requires these contributions be reported in the 30 day before election campaign finance report.

The $7000 in campaign donations are not reported in any of Steve Ortega’s campaign finance reports to date.


Item 4. Notation of Campaign Contributions

For notation pursuant to Section 2.92.110 of the City Code:  receipt of campaign contributions by Representative Steve Ortega on March 25, 2013, in the amount of $5,000 from E. C. Houghton, Jr.; in the amount of $2,000 from Marlene and J.O. Stewart, Jr. ; on March 28, 2013, in the amount of $500 from Joel Guzman; on March 29, 2013, in the amount of $750 from Ronald Wallace; in the amount of $1,000 from Robert Wingo; on April 1, 2013, in the amount of $500 from M. Nicole and Rafael A. Adame, Jr.; in the amount of $500 from Jorge Hernandez; in the amount of $500 from Thomas Mayr; in the amount of $2,500 from J W Rogers, Jr.;  in the amount of $500 from Phillip Rothstein; on April 2, 2013, in the amount of $700 from Scott Adkins; in the amount of $500 from Chris A. Cummings; in the amount of $1,000 from Dr. Manuel C. and Francoise Feliberti; and in the amount of $1,000 from Leonard Goodman, III. [Representative Steve Ortega, (915) 541-4124]

Also of interest is that Ortega’s final campaign finance report from the 2009 election when he ran for reelection for District 7 Representative is not posted. Did he file?

21% of Steve Ortega’s Campaign Donations came from 6 PDNG Special Interests

21% of Steve Ortega’s Campaign Donations came from 6 Paso del Norte Group/Borderplex Alliance Special Interests

Apparently Steve Ortega is the Sweetheart of the PDNG 6. Who says campaign donations don’t influence votes?

by Jerry

21% or $51,759.88 of Steve Ortega’s total campaign donations came from the following 6 Paso del Norte Group (PDNG a.k.a. Borderplex Alliance) special interests.

We mention employees because aside from getting their spouses and children to “contribute,” the oligarchs often do the same with their employees to spread the money.

1.    6.4% or $15,659.88 of Steve Ortega’s total campaign donations came from the owners and relatives of 500 W Overland, who 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 $8,500 or 3.5%.

3.  Woody and Josh Hunt and Hunt employees donated $7,600 or 3.1 %

4.  Paul Foster and a Western Refinery employee donated $7,500 or 3%

5.  Harold Hahn of Rocky Mountain Mortgage donated $6,500 or 2.6%

6.  Ted Houghton of the TxDOT Commission and Toll Road fame donated $6,000 or 2.4%*

The pie chart below shows the break down of total campaign donations by interest group

Steve Ortega Donor Breakdown

50% or $120,454.90 PDNG and their Associates which includes those named above

7 % or $18,250 PACs and Companies

1% or $3,125 Family and Friends

8% or $19,600 Builders and City Contractors excluding PDNG donors

7% or $18,300 Out of Towners

Only 27% or $67,384.50 was donated from the “Average Citizen”, less than received by other Mayoral candidates.

* Note that $5,000 of Ted Houghton's donation is not listed in Ortega's 8-day before election report or prior reports. This information is listed on the City Council agenda for April 30, 2013.

Comadres at the Wall: Drama at the Carolina Recreation Center

Comadres at the Wall: Drama at the Carolina Recreation Center
Tania Chozet throws hissy fits at recreation center
The most amusing whisper this week was the incident regarding Tania Chozet and the Carolina Recreation Center.


As some of you may know, the center is one of the most busy early voting sites in the county.


We saw some posting on Facebook stating that Chozet had went into the lobby of the recreation center and sat down for about 30 minutes. Now this is contrary to state law folks and we hear some of her rival candidates were trying to get each other to go in and talk to the election judge and finally someone volunteered.

A person went in and complained and the election judge made Chozet leave the rec center.

 She immediately confronted the person who reported her and chastised that person for tattle-tailing, and she said that she was inside “training her aunts to vote.” It’s rumor that this person after being confronted by Chozet responded, “how would you know, you’ve never voted,” referring to Chozets lack of a voting record since she returned to El Paso.


The second incident regarding Chozet and the Carolina Center was that one of the candidates hosted a tardeada. Chozet showed up and talked to the person in charge asking why they allowed the rival candidate to host a election party in a public facility.

The rec center employees responded that the rooms could be rented by anyone for any purpose and that the candidate had rented it. Chozet then said that she wanted to rent it. The rec center employees then responded that the candidate had rented it far in advance and that Chozet would not be able to get a date close in time.

Rumor is that the city got the Southside Neighborhood Association to organize a meeting of three neighborhood associations last night so that Omar Villa, candidate for El Paso Independent School District trustee could campaign. This was foiled when the incumbent Rosa Benedicto showed up and local activist countered the candidate and incumbent’s speeches.

Not really a rumor, but does Chozet have volunteers. Her 8-day before election campaign finance report shows her campaign is paying people to canvass. If you need a job, you can get about $200-$240 for canvassing for two days. We don't have her campaigns phone number, but you can probably Google her.

Also, we hear Vivian Rojas and Chozet are crashing events that other candidates are sponsoring, like showing up to Ysleta Teacher Association candidates events to pass our their own literature. Que gacho!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Are Steve Ortega & El Paso Times “Collaborating” to Influence the Mayoral election?

Are Steve Ortega & El Paso Times “Collaborating” on Stories In An Attempt to Improperly Influence the Mayoral election for Ortega’s Benefit?
Is a part-time divorce lawyer qualified to be Mayor?

Updated: 10:46pm MST, 5/06/13

Guest Post by Eddie Torreal

The El Paso Times and Steve Ortega’s campaign share the same office building and sources are reporting they are collaborating on news stories in an effort to help a few special interests protect their financial investment in their funded mouthpiece -- Steve Ortega.
Once again the El Paso Times attempts to derail the mayoral campaigns of Oscar Leeser and Robert Cormell.
In the most-recent effort, the El Paso Times attempts to chill voter enthusiasm for superior mayoral candidates with a proven track record of success in creating jobs, revenue streams for El Paso, and community investment in El Paso’s future – the children.

Long before stepping up to run for mayor, both Cormell and Leeser have made tremendous personal and financial investments in moving the community forward for many years. Both have attained significant levels of advanced education, are innovative, and have a proven track record of success.
Steve Ortega has blamed all the past mayors for not moving El Paso forward.
Unfortunately for Ortega and the El Paso Times, all the past Mayors in the last 35 years have had college degrees so clearly by Ortega’s public statements, level of educational attainment is not a factor.
In addition, the Mayor is no longer CEO of the City. The City Manager is, and that office in unfortunately in the hands of Joyce Wilson.

If Ortega and the El Paso Times really believed education and experience matter, then they both would have endorsed candidate Hector H. Lopez.

So how useful is Steve Ortega’s Law Degree?

It is natural for the public to presume that lawyers know and therefore follow the law. Unfortunately -- as we have seen in the public corruption cases -- this is not true (see "Disbarment of Former County Judge Luther Jones Final" and "Raymond Telles guilty of fraud").

Is Steve Ortega a wannabe career politician?
Following in the tradition of lawyers, like Luther Jones, who became career politicians, Steve Ortega has used his legal education to circumvent the public interest and laws in place to protect the public interest.

Here are a few recent reminders:

  1. Steve Ortega conducted City business using his personal email account to circumvent the Texas Open Records Act and has refused to release those emails in spite of specific direction from the Texas Attorney General;
  2. Ortega voted to use taxpayer money to hire outside attorneys to sue the Texas Attorney General in order to delay and avoid releasing his emails regarding City business. Even the El Paso Times has called for a release of these emails which is why voters should strongly question the integrity of the El Paso Times endorsement and apparent pass on accountability they have given Ortega;
    Click to Enlarge. Email from
  3. Steve Ortega relies on City Manager Joyce Wilson’s emails during City Council meetings to tell him what motions to make (see caption above). At a minimum, shouldn’t we require our elected officials to at least have critical thinking skills?
  4. Steve Ortega disregarded his fiduciary responsibility to his constituents as well as El Paso at large by failing to disclose the expected Western Refinery valuation and negative budget impact in August 2012. You can read the details here;
  5. Steve Ortega lacks the legal prowess to understand the City Charter. He allowed a referendum to go to a public vote in 2010 and then we were told in 2012 that the City Charter does not allow a referendum vote;
  6. Steve Ortega supported discrimination against a poor ethnic group to benefit his special interest funding sources. You can read the details here.
  7. Steve Ortega disregarded public sector employment prohibitions for elected officials in the City Charter and State law by teaching at EPCC during his first term in office.

Steve Ortega is a part-time divorce lawyer. 

Ortega states he has experience working with children as an attorney. Seriously???

Click to Enlarge
El Paso County records show Ortega has only filed in nine years.

El Paso County Court records show (see caption above) Ortega has only filed 10 cases since he was licensed in 2004 (that 10 cases in a 9-year period).  Of these 10 cases, the majority were divorces with no children and only 2 involved children which appear to be child custody.
Refusal to Represent the Best Interests of Children in District 7
In fact, Ortega has refused to represent the best interests and safety of the children and residents in District 7.
Recently he voted to approve placing all the railroad crossings in his district on a potential closure list jeopardizing public safety by limiting emergency routes and hospital access to just Yarbrough Drive.

Additionally, these closures would cost all Ysleta Independent School District taxpayers an additional $300,000 per year – money which should be used in the classroom for the education of children.

In May 2012, Ortega voted against helping YISD improving crosswalks in front of and near Bel Air High School.
Voter’s at the Cathedral forum got it right – Strong Moral Character and Public Trust matter and Steve Ortega is not qualified.