In a corrupt-ridden city like El Paso the ability to attain the highest levels of shamefulness is extremely difficult, yet the following outgoing elected officials were able to attain the highest levels of infamy reserved for very few. The Shameful Trio held their last meeting yesterday but their actions and inaction will hurt the city for generations to come.

As if the Steve Ortega repudiation by the electorate wasn’t clear enough both Ortega and Susie Byrd, once again, abdicated any decency and respect for El Paso voters by voting down Representative Eddie Holguin’s motion to postpone for one week the vote on adding additional debt to the ballpark fiasco. John Cook, although unable to vote on the additional funding for the ballpark, clearly supported the ongoing financial ruin of the city.

Outwardly idealistic, Susie Byrd and Steve Ortega are the city’s representatives of the Ray Caballero-Jose Rodriguez-Eliot Shapleigh clique that came riding into El Paso in early 2000 to grab power and reinvent El Paso into a figment of a reality that only lives in their minds. The remaining cohorts of the two being Veronica Escobar and Beto O’Rourke.

The havoc and destruction perpetuated upon the city by Byrd and Ortega were abetted by useful idiot extraordinaire John Cook.

John Cook

Guitar-toting wannabe barbeque sauce kingpin should spend his next years at the Waffle House because of his insatiable ability to say three different things on the same day without blinking an eye. His ability to waffle on one topic has become legendary in the annals of El Paso’s shameful political history. His ability to state one thing and immediately turn around 180 degrees and state the opposite has experts in talking out of two sides of their mouths salivating for chance to learn his technique.

As Cook has a hefty legal bill pending because he fought the will of the people, he should seriously consider holding workshops on his celebrated dillydallying techniques. Corrupt politicians would line up by the thousands to learn his technique.

Susie Byrd

Free spirit soccer field brawler Susie Byrd continues to worship at the later of Ray Caballero. She was recently elected to a non-existing board spending campaign funds just to be able to say she is a “trustee”. It doesn’t matter that the EPISD board does not exist today and is unlikely to be reconstituted in the near future. Expect Susie Byrd to resurrect a “Sidney Hall Maven” type character in either the revived Newspaper Tree or some other online media to focus in attacking the decisions of the incoming city council.

Byrd has become too comfortable with the titles of “Executive Assistant to the Mayor”, that morphed into “City Representative” and now into “Trustee”. Her campaign for EPISD is nothing more than a holding pattern for her true aspiration of higher office. It is likely that the four “Amigos”; Byrd, Veronica Escobar, Beto O’Rourke and Steve Ortega, along with their benefactor; Ray Caballero strategized their focus on a Steve Ortega mayoral ship and therefore Byrd was forced to wait her turn. Do not be surprised if Susie Byrd next surfaces in one of the public offices of Escobar or O’Rourke. After all it is public money that needs to be doled out for her benefit.

In the meantime she will spend her time getting “face time” in the political circuit and local media as a political pundit while attacking the Oscar Leeser administration in order to weaken it before the clique mount their next campaigns for office.

Steve Ortega

One would assume that the shellacking, El Paso culture-hater Steve Ortega received at the polls, twice in a row, would be sufficient to send him scurrying away. Unfortunately Ortega’s arrogance blinds him into thinking that his loss was just a misunderstanding. Steve Ortega has lived off of the public trough since he left home and it has become engrained in his DNA.

After licking his wounds, I expect Steve Ortega to appear in one of the campaigns for the next political season. Oh, he will do some “legal” work to keep his license active or he may actually scurry to Veronica Escobar for a plumb position at the County’s legal department to keep money rolling in but make no mistake, political mud rucking is in Ortega’s makeup therefore he will be back.

In the end, the legacy of the shameful trio ignored the will and authority of the voters of El Paso in the smug attitude that they know better than the electorate that elected them. All three have temporarily been expelled from doing more damage to the taxpayer’s of the community. But Byrd and Ortega will surely rise again because the public trough is just too tempting for them to ignore.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...