In over 13 years of blogging about El Paso stupidity and outright corruption I sometimes have fleeting moments, ever so slight, barely peeking out of my subconscious, that I’m going to run out of stuff to write about. And in a flash that fleeting moment is replaced with the dread of having to decide what shenanigan I’m going to write about today. There are so many acts of idiocy or corruption that my fingers wouldn’t hold up to the onslaught of the keystroke pounding it would take and my readers would be so overwhelmed that they’d just give up trying to keep up, that I limit myself to one post a day. Picking which one I’m going to focus on is sometimes a very time consuming thing.

The idiocy of the politicians is so overwhelming that I’m nauseated by the thought that I ever bothered to live in El Paso.

I sometimes think that I’ve seen it all and no matter what an El Paso politician does next, I’ll just shrug knowing, yes I’ve seen it before. And just as that thought surfaces, bam, I’m so shocked that electro-shock therapy would be a welcome respite.

As I sat watching city hall last week half-listening to the droning tone of the proceedings that I thought about taking a quick siesta, when low and behold, out of nowhere I’m startled so awake that sleep has been irreparably snatched from my being, never again to pay me a visit.

The cause of my sleepless nights?

Lily Limón with some help from Carl Robinson.

As the annual time-honored Project Arribatime-to-pay up politicians” dishonest hand-me-money came up on the agenda; no sooner had the item been presented that without bothering to wait to be called upon, Lily Limón moved to give Project Arriba $300,000 annually for five years!

Say what! My brain just couldn’t handle the onslaught it was being subjected to.

My brain still refuses to accept what it knows to be true.

Not a week after Lily Limón pontificated about how she diligently balances her household checkbook as the city should she had stated that she moved to give Project Arriba $1.5 million over five years.

Carl Robinson seconded that idiotic motion.

Never mind that Project Arriba had just requested and with much city staff time negotiated a deal where it said it only needed $250,000 a year to do what we say we are doing was now getting an additional $50,000 of much blood and guts and sweat, hard-earned citizen money.

Just in case you missed it, Project Arriba after much negotiation with the city was asking for $250,000 a year.

So what does the illustrious politician, who stated she couldn’t support the city budget not more than seven days ago do; she gives Project Arriba an extra $250,000 they didn’t ask for!

She moved to give them $300,000 a year and her motion was supported Carl Robinson.

Yes, I know that the money comes from the 2010 Electric Impact Fund and as much pontificating as city council did the fact is that any money coming out of city hall ultimately came from hard-working saps just feeding the whims of politicians who don’t care that it’s not their checkbook the money is being drawn from.

To say I’m disgusted is an understatement! This is beyond disgusting.

How can anyone pontificate about having a hard time accepting a budget and comparing the city’s tax increase to a family balancing their checkbook and then without blinking an eye and without being asked to, moves to give an additional $250,000 of your hard-earned money to some non-governmental entity.

It is with the stupidity of politicians like this that I will never run out of things to write about.

Fortunately for me, there is a small silver lining. Buried in the nonsense that was the Limón motion is a promise from Project Arriba to not solicit monies from politicians or candidates during the term of this latest El Paso taxpayer shakedown.

I realize that the promise really means nothing because although Project Arriba may hold true to its promise nothing stops EPISO or other city shakedown artists from holding “accountability sessions” with candidates in the future. But the fact is that Oscar Leeser sought that promise after acknowledging that he felt uncomfortable being forced to state whether he would support Project Arriba during the election process is a good step forward.

Whether the “accountability sessions” continue, or not, the fact is that the community is starting to acknowledge that forcing a politician to state whether he will support funding a non-governmental project to get a vote is tantamount to an old-fashioned political shake-down where votes are handed out on a quid pro quo basis.

As for Lily Limón, well she just exemplifies why politicians have made El Paso what it is; a corrupt infested city led by a bunch of baboons masquerading as leaders.

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...

5 replies on “El Paso: What’s another $250K Among Friends?”

  1. My question is: How much money is available in the 2010 Electric impact fund, and how is the rest of it being used? The city should find ways to help nonprofits providing quality services to El Pasoans. Although the amounts being allocated here are nothing compared to those being spent on the ballpark and city hall baloney, it is a heckkuva lot of money to be given to a single organization over a period of time when most if not all of those city councilors will be long gone…even the $250,000 amount being proposed by Arriba was too much for too few, one, that is, in light of all the other good service organizations that are struggling. As for the campaign promises and the promise from Arriba not to solicit…gimme $1.5 mil and I’ll promise you anything! Limon and Robinson, how are you honestly and with a straight face, going to tell other organizations that come to you, pointing to this extravagance, “so sorry, we’re on such a tight budget!”

  2. Mr. Paredes. I’ve really enjoyed reading your blogs about the political scandals happening in the city. This particular article doesn’t sit well with me, it didn’t have a full-spectrum scale of investigation that you normally include in your writing. There was no in-debt look at Project Arriba, the 2010 Electric Impact Fund, or maybe a look at why Limon and Robinson were pushing for this funding. Instead, there was heavy criticism on two politicians (one who has been extremely marginalized by the past “cavildo”). What is behind this push to give this non-profit all this money? You know what I mean? I hope you keep us posted on that! Looking forward to more great reading!

    1. Hello Edith,

      Thank you very much for your kind comments. You are absolutely correct in that I neglected to provide more details about Project Arriba and the Electric Impact Fund. I am working on a piece on Project Arriba that I hope to publish in a few weeks. I’m trying to track down some difficult to get information and as soon as I have it, I think it will be very eye-opening for many. In the meantime I will strive to remember to offer more complete information on my future postings.

      Thank you for your support,

  3. I’ve seen EPISO work the politicians for money and I’m pretty sure Project Arriba operates in much the same way. What you might look into is that I’ve never heard any of the groups receiving taxpayer money being audited to see how well the money is spent. Have any of the people ‘”educated” and given English language lessons found a job as the groups’ mission statements posit? Are there any paid executives in these groups and how much money do they make?

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