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

Shapleigh not running for re-election

The brief item on the Quorum Report reports that a news release from Shapleigh’s office states he is not running for re-election. However, there is no news release on Shapleigh’s web site. Soon as we get the release we’ll post it up.

UPDATE: Here is the release:

Senator Shapleigh will not Run for Texas Senate in 2010

“In our family, public service is the highest calling. While other public service may lie ahead, I will not run for the Texas Senate in 2010. During each day of the last decade, we have endeavored to do our very best for the people of our great community and state. In public life, especially in Texas during this decade, doing what’s right, not what’s expedient is what matters. I am grateful to the people who elected me for the opportunity to serve.”


EL PASO – Today, October 16, 2009 at 12:00 p.m., at Senator Eliot Shapleigh’s District Office, Senator Shapleigh will host a press conference announcing that he will not seek re—election to the Texas Senate in 2010.

“In our family, public service is the highest calling. While other public service may lie ahead, I will not run for the Texas Senate in 2010. During each day of the last decade, we have endeavored to do our very best for the people of our great community and state. In public life, especially in Texas during this decade, doing what’s right, not what’s expedient is what matters. I am grateful to the people who elected me for the opportunity to serve.”

First elected in 1996, Shapleigh spearheaded the creation of the El Paso Medical School—the first new medical school in the US in 30 years. In the early 90’s, working with Judge Marquez and others, he brought attention to dramatic underfunding of Texas Border communities, then crafted innovative laws to create the Regional Mobility Authority, move people and products faster and safer across international borders, and fund $1b in infrastructure money to complete El Paso’s outer loop.

In 2001, he established the “International Intelligent Transportation Center” in El Paso, to research and promote state of the art technology solutions to safer, smarter mobility. From 2000, to date, working with regional state, federal and municipal leaders, he led the fight to stop ASARCO’s 7,000 air permit, remediate and redevelop what is one of America’s most contaminated sites. Over the last decade, Senator Shapleigh co-founded “Community Scholars’, a nationally recognized youth leadership program to build a new generation of ethical regional leaders, and worked across business and governmental agencies to promote the first County Ethics Commission in Texas. More recently, he and other community leaders launched “Invest in the American Dream” a community wide effort to build financial literacy and entrepreneurial expertise.

In the Senate, he authored or sponsored over 400 bills and resolutions. As Senate BRAC chair, he passed laws to promote Texas’ military value, and worked hard to increase troops, funding and new programs across Texas’ 18 military installations—including historic growth at Ft. Bliss and Ft. Sam Houston. Early on, as a member of the CHIP conference committee, he worked to add 300,000 children across Texas to quality health care. For his work on CHIP, he received the Hannah Solomon Award in El Paso.

For his work on “Texas On Line” and laptops in schools, he was named a “Visionary Technology Innovator” by the Center for Digital Government. In 2001, the American School Health Association, named him national “Legislator of the Year” for his pioneering work to combat obesity among young Texans in public schools.

During the Sensenbrenner hearings on immigration, when Texas lawmakers were barred from testifying in Congressional field hearings, Shapleigh organized the City of El Paso to pass a ‘common sense resolution on immigration reform’, then fought and beat every extreme and harmful immigration measure in the Texas Senate. For his work, he was given the “Matt Garcia-Public Official of the Year’ by MALDEF.

Consistently a strong, clear voice for better schools, rigorous curriculum, competitive universities, and quality 21st education, in the contentious debates of 2003—2005, Senator Shapleigh worked to improve school funding formulas, make the Texas tax system more fair, and bring Texas teachers to national pay standards. For his work, he was named “Conscience of the Senate” by Texas Monthly, “Texas Classroom Advocate of the Year” by the Classroom Teachers Association and “Texas Education Leader” by the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce.

His work on improving funding equity for all Texas schoolchildren earned him the “Champion for Children’ award from the Texas Equity Center. In the Texas Senate, he is the recognized expert on cutting edge, evidence based bilingual education programs. He is the Senate’s lead voice on improving financial literacy and his fight to rein in predatory lenders whose annual interest rates now exceed 1100% has gained national recognition

As a member of the Texas Sunset Commission he wrote the Texas Higher Education Sunset bill to require performance measure reports of Texas’ 35 universities to improve value to students, transparency to parents and graduation rates as low as 3.8%. Last session, he worked hard to establish more Tier One Universities in Texas, and to create a ‘competitive, transparent’ process for all seven emerging Tier One universities.

In October in Ft. Worth, the National Association of Social Workers—Texas Chapter will honor him as “Texas Legislator of the Year” for his determined fight for better schools, quality heath care, and improving tax equity in Texas.

More than all that, he is the proud father of Zoe and Ben Shapleigh. For more on Senator Shapleigh’s Senate record, please click here.


Written by newspapertreeelpaso

October 16, 2009 at 10:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Amnesty International alert for Chihuahua human rights official Hickerson

The entire alert can be seen here. An excerpt:

Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson has been in charge of the Ciudad Juárez office of the Chihuahua CEDH since April 2008. He has been one of the few officials to publicly recognize that there has been a large increase in the number of complaints of serious human rights violations, including torture and extrajudicial executions in Ciudad Juárez, by the armed forces carrying out police duties. The CEDH has only limited powers to receive such complaints, but as other institutions have failed to take action the Ciudad Juárez CEDH office has undertaken to accepted complaints, publicly criticize military abuses and press the appropriate authorities to respond. This has led to severe criticism from the local military commander. The president of the CEDH based in Chihuahua City has ordered Gustavo de la Rosa Hickerson to stop receiving complaints from victims of alleged abuses by the military and refused to support his request for protection.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

October 14, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Unusual exchange on Times’ editor’s column

Someone calling themselves “small-media-large” flamed Times’ Editor Chris Lopez on this column by Lopez. The weird thing is the response from Lopez (unless it’s someone naming themselves Lopez, and the comments have been unmoderated and unseen by Times’ management). Lopez tells the writer to “get a little tonight.” Is that what one would consider “earthy” and of the people or is that inappropriate for an editor of a daily publication? Not the typical fare, that’s for sure!

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

October 12, 2009 at 8:29 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Jobe called out for desert trail destruction on land leased from state for quarry

Jim Tolbert at the blog El Paso Naturally has this take on actions recently taken by Stanley Jobe to begin a quarry on land leased from the state. Here is the opening of the posting:

Stanley Pruet Jobe has destroyed the Lower Sunset Trail and with it the cherished mountain to river corridor. With bulldozed trails he has marked his territory much like many male mammal beasts mark theirs with their odorous urine. His No Trespassing signs are aligned like a barbed wire fence over and around the hills above Arroyo 42 and dip down into what was once scenic walkways of sedimentary rock and animal habitat.

Just this past Monday evening Jobe met with the Borderland Mountain Bike Association who first discovered his clandestine slashings of huge swaths of desert. He told them pointedly that he intends to quarry 480 acres of the land that the State of Texas General Land Office leased to him. He is in the right place where transporting mountainsides of dirt and gravel to developers, road builders and landscapers will be cheap and easy and very profitable.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

October 9, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Another gubernatorial candidate, Debra Medina

From the NPT Inbox:

The El Paso Campaign for Liberty to Host Meet and Greet With Texas Gubernatorial Candidate Debra Medina

EL PASO, TX (October 7, 2009) – The El Paso Campaign for Liberty will welcome Debra Medina to the Sun City by hosting a meet and greet session followed by a Town Hall Meeting October 23, 2009. The event will take place at the El Paso Police Department Westside Regional Command Center located at 4801 Osborne, El Paso Texas 79912. The public is welcomed to shake hands with and talk to Debra Medina from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm and is encouraged to participate in the Town Hall Meeting that will take place from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. There will be light refreshments served.

To learn more please visit or watch Debra Medina’s message at

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

October 8, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Shapleigh’s Supreme wedding judge

Former EP Times reporter Brandi Grissom reported recently that state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh got married. Here’s another tidbit: Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who grew up in El Paso, officiated at the wedding.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

October 8, 2009 at 6:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Burnt Orange Report on TTC Commissioner Houghton: ‘Arrogant’

See the video here. Maybe they don’t get much of Ted Houghton out there, but from here, sounds like he’s being sarcastic, a reference to the heat he took from among others, state Rep. Joe Pickett, chairman of House Transportation and a leading critic of the Texas Department of Transportation, which the Texas Transportation Commission oversees.

Written by newspapertreeelpaso

October 7, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized