I guess I’m just an idiot and I really don’t understand what corruption is because I can’t get over the text message shared by Armando Rodriguez with El Paso.

We can get marisa [sic] to run interference before that board gets taken over. Month to month crisis management and legislative advocacy. 13,500 per month, 6 mos contract. Let’s talk. Mark

As much as the useful idiots try to spin this text message the facts are these:

A lobbyist, Mark Smith sends a politician, Armando Rodriguez a message telling him that he, Smith can get “marisa” a State Representative to “run interference”.

Let me connect the dots for you.

The players are Forma Group, Woody Hunt, Marisa Marquez, Mark Smith and the Citizens for Prosperity PAC.

On my blog post “Who is The Forma Group” on June 6, 2013, I introduced you to all of the players, except for Marquez.

You will remember that Ricardo Armendariz is listed as the President of the Forma Group. Armendariz was the person that sent the follow up email to Armando Rodriguez in regards to Mark Smith’s text. Smith, for his part used to work for Hunt and lists Hunt as a client in his lobbying business.

In fact, according to the lobbying reports filed by Mark Smith at the city he has the following clients from October 2012 through October 2013; Forma Group, LLC, Investment Builders, Inc., Hunt Family/Companies, Inc. and IBI, Inc. I wasn’t able to track down who IBI, Inc. is however they are involved with the ArtSpace project that was recently rejected for a tax credit allocation.

Hunt Family and Hunt Companies, Inc. are obviously related to Woody Hunt. Investment Builders, Inc. is a company that does business with Hunt companies and recently partnered with Hunt on a development with the Housing Authority. Mark Smith works with the Forma Group and as you saw on previous blog it is the entity that Hunt and other Citizens for Prosperity PAC members give money to on behalf of the politicians they support.

Also as you will recall in 2007 Woody Hunt formed Citizens for Prosperity PAC. According to an El Paso Inc. article the PAC had decided not to give money directly to the candidates it supports. Rather their contributions go directly to the “Forma Group and attorney Mark Walker”.

According to the Texas Ethics Commission, from February 6, 2008 through January 2, 2013 the Forma Group handled at least $1.5 million. Of that, the Forma Group handled about $154,429 for Marisa Marquez, or about 10% of the total money Forma Group had to work with.

During that same period, Woody Hunt contributed $25,500 to Marisa Marquez.

So now we have a political lobbying company, the Forma Group that managed a substantial amount of money for Marisa Marquez, a PAC that tells its political contributions recipients that it will only give the contributions through the Forma Group, a lobbyist that is connected to Forma, Marquez and an arguably wealthy individual who formed the PAC and contributes to political causes; Woody Hunt.

So what does Woody Hunt have to say about public corruption?

On June 20, 2009, David Crowder published an article titled; “Woody Hunt, other business leaders think corruption has crippled competition, contributed to the poverty in El Paso” in the old Newspaper Tree.

Crowder quotes Woody Hunt as stating;

Then the service provider begins to try to manage the process in a way that is not competitive and is not transparent and tries to manage the outcome through campaign contributions or financial transfers.”

Hunt, according to the article, refers to service providers as many “businesses here [that] are providers of goods and services to local school districts and the city and the county governments and have become dependent on public contracts for survival”.

Crowder wrote that Hunt’s thesis was “that corruption has contributed to and may even be responsible for the high level of poverty” in El Paso.

As you connect these dots I ask you again, am I the only one that sees anything wrong with Smith’s text message?

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...

6 replies on “Woody Hunt on Public Corruption”

  1. “I guess I’m just an idiot and I really don’t understand what corruption is…”

    Good, Martín! You are finally seeing the light! Congratulations on your belated epiphany!

    “Am I the only one that sees anything wrong with Smith’s text message?”


    In short, here’s an analogy: If I send a text message to Steve Ortega saying that I can “run interference” with that delusional Orlando blogger, Martín, for just the tidy sum of $15K, that only proves that I’m a shady character, not you or Steve — especially if neither you or Steve know who I am.

    Prove that Marisa Marquez was in cahoots with Mark Smith before the text message was sent. Go ahead. We’ll wait.

    Instead, because you are blinded by your incensed hatred for anyone you cavalierly lump into “the horde,” you aren’t writing anything at all about the real shady characters like Armando Rodriguez. Why is that? What have you to hide, Martín?

  2. I am shocked that a lobbyist would:

    A. claim to have sway with a politician
    B. reach out to potential clients with the claim that they have sway with a politician
    C. Misrepresent just how much sway they have with a politician

    Maybe I’ve been in DC too long and just too cynical to care.

    Where do I fit in, Martin? I think Forma is the key to losing a campaign in El Paso and wouldn’t spend my money on their snake oil even if you put a gun to my head. Am I going to anger my handlers if I say this publicly?

  3. I do believe he connected some very conclusive dots here David. I think Martin pointed out how the money flows. That doesn’t bother you?

  4. How would Hunt benefit from this? You try to connect the dots but in this case your dots are miles apart. Just like the Naomi Gonzales post you got wrong earlier, when you got representatives wrong; it was Mary Gonzalez.

  5. I see a connection. Mark Smith is an idiot. Forma group is an idiot for associating with Mark Smith. The Hunt family companies are idiots for associating with either Smith or Forma.

  6. If nothing else, Hunt’s own words are an indictment of himself because who more than he is “managing an outcome through political contributions”? I see Mr. Paredes points as being VERY relevant.

Comments are closed.