El Paso-centric info and commentary from the Center of North America

Archive for March 9th, 2009

NPT City: Everyone wants (to be) a Northeast rep

Ok, so that might be overstating it a bit. But check out the lineup! Melina Castro, who comes from the line of Luther Jones candidates. You can see her well-discussed mailer over at the Lionstar Blog (he also adds snarky comments and/or background, depending on your point of view). Luis Ruiz has his Obama connections — he was a volunteer for the organization — and his sister works in the office of state Rep. Norma Chavez, who officially is staying out of the race. Still … Then there’s Brian Burds, who is selling a house owned by County Judge Anthony Cobos and works with County Commissioner Dan Haggerty. Not sure about Gracie Cain, although ABC-7 KVIA reported that she also works in Haggerty’s shop. That leaves Carl Robinson and Walt Phillips. Robinson has run a few times before, but somebody is going to have to clue me in on whether he has a camp. Phillips too, although it came a little more clear (again, for those of you who knew this — I’m slow) with a news release Monday afternoon. You can meet Phillips at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Mulligan’s Bar & Grill, 10710 Gateway Blvd. North. Maybe you can meet his campaign folks, as well — the news release is sent by Morris Pittle’s Coyote Stategies and has on it the name of Gwen Pulido, who heads the Citizens for Prosperity General Political Action Committee.

Whew! So now you know some background. It will be an intense race with plenty of choices.

Sito Negron

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 9, 2009 at 10:15 pm

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NPT Capitol: Dunnam’s stimulus Committee in EP on the 28th

State Rep Jim Dunnam’s stimulus roadshow is coming to El Paso!

“Chairman Dunnam is … willing to take the committee to the people of Texas and recognizes the importance of having a hearing in El Paso so that El Paso’s voice is heard during the stimulus appropriation process.”said Rep. Chávez in a press release.

The meeting will take place on March 28. But that’s about all anyone can tell you right now – We know it’s planned, but the place and time are yet to be determined – a bit like the recovery the stimulus package is meant to bring…

For background go here. Read the full press release after the jump.

–Ben Wright
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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 9, 2009 at 6:23 pm

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NPT Capitol: Follow the cash, follow the bills

State Seator Eliot Shapleigh sent out the following press release instructing his constituents how to track a piece of legislation’s progress in Austin during the session.

Here’s a quote from the release:

Citizens may follow any Senate or House bill’s progress by visiting the legislature’s interactive Web site, Texas Legislature Online. A form at the top of the Web site allows users to search for specific bills by bill number or search for bills by keyword.

While we’re on the subject, here’s the link you need to find out who is giving money to state Reps and Senators.

Read the full press release (formatted by NPT to work with our blog software) from Shapleigh after the jump.

–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 9, 2009 at 5:51 pm

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NPT Capitol: Shapleigh pranks GOP Senators

shapleigh1State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, as you might have already guessed is not a fan of the Voter ID legislation his Replublican colleagues want to push through this session.

Because a Voter ID bill ia being rushed through the Republican controlled Senate Tuesday, the subcommittee on BRAC, which Shapleigh chairs, had to inform the public that they would not be meeting this week.

Here’s how the public notice (that appears on walls and notice boards around the capitol) put it today:

“The Senate Subcommittee on Base Realignment and Closure will not meet this week due to the Committee of the Whole meeting to address voter suppression legislation.”

Shapleigh, you’ve gotta love him… (Thanks, to Texas Monthly for spotting it!)

Voter ID is going to be a big scrap this session, with Republicans saying it is needed to preseve the integrity of the vote while Democrats decry it as a partisan tactic to scare away the poor, elderly and disabled from voting.

–Ben Wright

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 9, 2009 at 5:41 pm

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NPT City: One Old Salt pushes a new ethics ordinance

The loooooong process toward developing new ethics rules might be getting closer to a conclusion.

The Council Rules Legislative Review Committee — made up of city Reps. Eddie Holguin, Susie Byrd, Steve Ortega and Melina Castro — meets at 2 p.m. Wednesday in City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor of City Hall.

Here’s what Gerald Mangrum, who has pushed the issue since at least 2007, had to say about it: “This is the progression of the effort to revamp the city ethics ordinance. My PR efforts last year was the beginning of that process. The Ethics Commission has been working on this for some time and now it is ready for review and approval by the Rules LRC to send to City Council for introduction and then acceptance. It is not the solution to all ethical problems but a big step forward from the ordinance in place now. My goal all along was to get a better ordinance in place before the upcoming election.”

View the ordinance under discussion via the link below.


Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 9, 2009 at 2:04 pm

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NPT Capitol: TxDoT’s Houghton lashes out

ted_houghton_jr_2Last Thursday, TxDOT commissioner Ted Houghton called anti toll activist Hank Gilbert and his organization a “bunch of bigots” in a heated exchange over the use of stimulus money for toll projects.

Gilbert eventually retorted that Houghton was a hypocrite.

Thanks to the Austin Chronicle you can see footage of what happened below.

Follow the jump for the analysis of Texas Monthly’s Paul Burka.
–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 9, 2009 at 12:08 pm

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NPT Media: Whistling past co-workers’ graves at the El Paso Times

The juxtaposition speaks for itself.

Times are tough for newspapers. Because of that, earlier this week, the El Paso Times fired three newsroom employees.

Sunday, the paper published a column by Victor Martinez in its Living Section. The article was titled: “El Pasoans whistling past the U.S. recession.”

He bases the assertion on the fact that “just last week comedian George Lopez broke his own attendance record at the Don Haskins Center as a sold-out crowd of 12,800 paid to see the stand-up veteran.”

Also, he wrote, “A few miles away at the Comic Strip Comedy Club in East-Central El Paso, The Greg Wilson was performing two sold-out shows (350 people a show).”

I don’t think he knew exactly what he was doing when wrote the column, and someone should have noticed.

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Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 9, 2009 at 10:06 am

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NPT Drug War: Geraldo brings his ‘GAL’ show to EP

From the FOX News site:
• Saturday: There’s a new breed of terrorists and they’re closer than you think. Drug cartel killers and their war is quickly spilling into our communities. From inside Mexico to Texas, Arizona and California, ‘GAL’ investigates the ‘War Next Door’

• Sunday: Legalize pot? That’s right! We’re live from L.A. to discuss the latest push to legalize marijuana in hopes of driving up tax revenue

Here’s the video report from GAL (Fox’s moniker for Geraldo at Large). Geraldo was live from El Paso with U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, Mayor John Cook, Sheriff Richard Wiles, and Police Chief Greg Allen.

Here’s the piece on Geraldo by the local Fox affiliate, KFOX TV.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 9, 2009 at 9:09 am

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NPT City: An epic meeting looms for City Council

If this agenda holds, it’s going to be quite the meeting Tuesday. The Downtown Plan re-emerges in a big way (the calculation is that it’s going to run about $230 million in direct and indirect public cost); certificates of obligation are up for sale; the city will discuss impounding cars when the driver cannot show proof of insurance; the review of Public Service Board governance is to be presented, along with discussion on seeking legislative approval to expand the board; and city Rep. Eddie Holguin throws down a proposal — Discussion and action to exempt citizens over the age of 55 who cannot afford to pay for park programs and waive any fees charged to them for room usage.

Click here for the agenda. Follow the jump to see some of the items that have potential to be important and/or discussed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

March 9, 2009 at 8:29 am

Posted in Uncategorized