The recent on again, off again Tejano Democrats endorsement of Carlos Leon for Sheriff raises questions about the integrity of the process and the players themselves. According to a news blurb on Sunday’s newspaper, the Tejano Democrats endorsed Carlos Leon for Sheriff, yet on Monday’s edition of the paper a correction was issued. Throughout the game of public manipulation the actions of those involved only raises the question if integrity plays any part in the political process of the city. Unfortunately for the voter, the facts are few and the innuendo is plenty, yet the players themselves are completely oblivious to the question of integrity.

What we do know is that the Tejano Democrats president, Luis Mata submitted information to the local daily that led the daily to print an erroneous blurb in Sunday’s paper, coincidently the most likely read issue of the week, which incorrectly stated that the Tejano Democrats had endorsed Carlos Leon. We also know from a KVIA interview of Luis Mata that he, Luis Mata is Carlos Leon’s campaign manager and “proudly” so according to the interview. From these facts, the following questions must be addressed by the community.

The El Paso Times

The first obvious player in this latest debacle is the newspaper itself. Although the paper can convince individuals that its participation was peripheral at best, that it was lied to or that there was some misunderstanding, the fact remains that the newspaper has no compulsion to serve the news needs of the community. At the very best, the newspaper can pretend to serve the community by running a correction the following day, but the real issue of a possible manipulation of the process should have, at the very least, being addressed as this serves the needs of the community. At the very least, the paper was mislead into printing an erroneous piece of information that may affect the decision of a voter and yet the paper doesn’t even bother to question why and how did this happen. By all accounts the information was delivered to the paper by an individual, Luis Mata, an individual that has an obvious conflict of interest and one that benefits from misleading the paper, yet the management of the paper doesn’t bother to question if this was intentional or not. Makes one wonder if the news of possible political shenanigans is insufficient to expend some of the paper’s resources to look into, or is it possible that the paper doesn’t care if it was duped or not.

The Tejano Democrats del Norte

The obvious conflict of interest that exists in the presidency of Luis Mata and an endorsement from this organization should have been sufficient for at least some member to step forward and think about the integrity of the process. Are the Tejano Democrats so small that there was no one else capable of handling the issue of endorsements for the organization, if for nothing else to avoid the appearance of impropriety? What about the other candidates in contention, doesn’t the integrity of the process demand that at least some question of what transpired be on the minds of all concerned. Serving two masters, as Luis Mata appears to be doing at this time is unfair for all concerned and especially when the integrity of the whole organization is at stake. Inaction by the organization would only signal that the public’s perception of their endorsement process doesn’t matter to them.

Carlos Leon

Carlos Leon is in the running for a position the demands the utmost in integrity and leadership. In this case of a non-existent endorsement, the actions of the subordinate ultimately lay at the feet of the leader. Leon is ultimately responsible for the actions of Luis Mata. As a leader, Carlos Leon should be willing to correct the deficiencies perpetuated in his name by his subordinate if for nothing else but to demonstrate the leadership of taking responsibility and dealing with the issue at hand. Willingly allowing one’s self to be surrounded by individuals that have caused integrity to be questioned only shows a tactic acceptance that integrity is not an important component of the Leon candidacy. Of course, to ignore the issue and allow the public’s perception of the endorsement to remain only serves one person, Carlos Leon. Leon’s unwillingness to step forward and set the record straight speaks volumes for his unwillingness to integrate integrity within his campaign, a possible reflection of what can be expected of his leadership skills should he win the primary.

Luis Mata

The issue was started by Luis Mata from the moment he chose to participate in the process of endorsing candidates by the organization he currently leads. If Mata advised his organization of his conflict of interest or not is still to be determined. What is not at issue is that Luis Mata participated in a process replete with conflict of interests that ultimately only serve his own selfish interests. Assuming for a moment that Mata did not realize the conflict of interest posed to him by serving as a campaign manager in Leon’s

Campaign while also serving as president of an organization that was voting to endorse a candidate does not address the issue of his subsequent actions. When confronted by KVIA’s cameras, Luis Mata had two options. The first was to admit that he had made a mistake and correct the record, or the second, the choice he ultimately made, was to use the event to further bastardize the process by ignoring the issue and stating for the viewing audience that he “proudly” serves in Carlos Leon’s campaign. Instead of acknowledging a potential problem, Luis Mata chose to use the opportunity to further promote his champion then to deal with the issue at hand.

In the end the loser in this debacle is the community itself. The mediocrity and lack of accountability displayed by the players only reinforces the notion that in our community, mediocrity and shenanigans rule in the elections. Of those involved not one entity chose to do the right thing and step forward, and instead all of them chose to either ignore the issue, bury it hoping no one notices or just used the issue to further bastardize the process. These actions, in themselves speak volumes for the integrity of all the players in this latest example of political trickery in El Paso.

Guest Author

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