Last Wednesday I published a blog post on the costs involved with connecting Ann Morgan Lilly in order for Cortney Niland to sit away from Lily Limon. Frankly, I was surprised to see how some of you reacted to my article. I did not expect it because I thought my article was about sharing information about the actual costs to set up a new station at the dais and not really delving any deeper into the musical chairs fiasco.
To my knowledge, no news media has actually reported the actual basis for the $7,000 cost to set up the additional station other than to quote a city representative, or two or another city official as stating what the cost was. Rather than accept what others were saying I though it prudent to get the source documents that set the $7k figure. I filed an open records request and asked for any documents where an estimate, a proposal or a price quote was given to the city.
When I received the response from the city, it included one proposal from two companies each quoting two different pieces of equipment needed to setup an additional station. Basically, the move requires a computer and a microphone/touchpad combination. The two quotes were from two different companies, each offering to provide one of the two required pieces of equipment to accomplish the installation. One price quote from two companies providing each piece needed for the installation. I cannot be clearer about this.
Funny thing is that I wrote that article in order keep certain individuals; you know whom you are, from complaining that I select what to write about while ignoring certain things. If you remember, there was much discussion about how modular the dais was – that part of the reason for my open records request was to see if this was true.
Other than the inadvertent note (I will get to that in a minute, be patient), that I left on the article the rest of the article was based on the actual quotes with my normal commentary intermixed in there. For some reason some individuals overreacted to my blog post. At first, I assumed it was the normal reaction to me having the temerity to write about Cortney Niland. As the day progressed and almost 40-hate filled emails later, it became obvious that something was different about this post.
At first glance, it appeared that my note about a possible relationship between a vendor and Niland was the impetus for the reaction. (Hold on, I’m getting to that in a minute), however as I digested the reaction it seemed there was more to it then my inadvertent note. There seems to be three to five individuals that are the driving force between the commentary on my blog and the numerous emails. They are loud and attempt to project themselves in greater numbers than they really are. A vocal minority, if you will. I asked myself, why the sudden interest to attempt to silence my commentary about Cortney Niland?
Before I get to that let me address my side note (about time) about Jim Carlisle because I realize the vocal minority are chomping at the bit to see what I have to write about that. As I have stated so many times that, I can’t even number it now, one of the significant things I do on my blog is to “connect-the-dots”. When I’m writing a piece, I sometimes remember something or notice something and I add a note to my piece for further research. Normally I remove the note if I don’t have the research to back it up or I incorporate it into my piece when I do. Other times, the note itself becomes a full-blown piece for later publication.
By the time, I realized that I had left the note about a possible relationship between a vendor and Niland it had already been commented on; in fact that was when I realized it was still there. The fact is that I do not know if there exists a relationship or not. I know that Cortney Niland grew up in Houston and therefore a connection is unlikely, however, it does not mean there is not one.
Although I thought about removing it, I finally decided to leave it in place. First because it did not allege anything wrong between the vendor and Niland, rather it was a comment about a possible relationship. More importantly, had I removed it the individuals attempting to discredit me would have distorted what was written and used it to attack my credibility. Just look at the commentary. One blogger, you know who, wrote that I would be “okay” if I deleted the item. Why he is so interested in my wellbeing I am not sure but whatever.
Another commenter tried to insinuate that I “photoshopped” the proof on the spelling of the vendor’s name. This is important to note because this is how propaganda works.
The commenter first tried to create the illusion that I purposely manipulated the vendor’s name in order to attack Niland. When I responded with the source of the spelling, the commenter resorted to making it seem like I purposely manipulated the proof.
This is what I don’t get about those trying to discredit my writing. If I am lying, or making stuff up, why not prove it? If I had manipulated the image in question, it would have been a simple case of filing an open records request with the city asking for the original document. All of the elements to get the actual document are present in the image I shared. If I had manipulated the image, as the writer insinuated, then the writer would have had the proof and simply posted them side-by-side. That would have discredited anything I have ever written or would write in the future. I’m sure there are at least three bloggers that would have happily broadcast that proof.
However, that can’t happen because I do not manipulate the documents I base my commentary on. The truth though, is never an obstacle for those trying to manipulate the facts.
On Limon and Robinson
The vocal minority have been busy trying to create the fantasy that I focus on Cortney Niland for some nefarious purpose. I focus on bad government, whomever it may be. I wrote a piece on Lily Limon giving money to Project Arriba (El Paso: What’s another $250K Among Friends?). I wasn’t exactly nice to her and just like Niland; she has her political operatives that come to her defense. Believe me that the reaction I got from my Limon article resulted in lost readers and individuals that refuse to talk to me today. I mentioned in that article that Robinson was included in the debacle.
I have also written articles criticizing Limon for not helping me uncover the cover up at the city with an open records issue. I believe she didn’t help me because she was either afraid of the repercussions and/or because she was still upset about my article.
I recently shared with you how certain individuals have attempted to force me to “get with the game plan” and stop writing about Oscar Leeser. All of this is par for the course as I fully realize that when I criticize it will result in individuals being upset with me. I am not blogging to make friends.
I also recently wrote an article about a party thrown by Limon and Robinson. The impetus for the article was an anonymous email that I received suggesting that Limon and Robinson threw a party at taxpayer expense. It included enough information to make it seem so but I nonetheless did my due diligence and filed an open records request for more information. Although I believe the email was designed to get me to write a negative piece about Limon and Robinson, it did not matter to me because had they, in fact, used taxpayer monies to throw a party I would have written commentary about that. I did what I do all of the time, I looked for factual information and I filed an open records request asking for details, because I do not base my commentary on someone telling me something is wrong. I look for information to back up the assertion. As soon as filed my open records requests, the calls and the emails started up; why are you looking into this was the underlining theme.
When I got the response to my open records request, it clearly showed that Limon and Robinson paid for the party. Normally I would not have written about it because let’s face it; most readers want to read about the outrageous stuff, albeit as long as it is about the other politicians.
However, in this case I was in a quandary. I felt that the anonymous email sent to me was a trap. If I did not write about the results of my research another blogger would have written that he had it on good authority that I was given a lead about some Limon and Robinson waste of taxpayer money and I had ignored it. It would have been an attempt to discredit my writing by insinuating that I was picking on one politician over the others. To protect myself I wrote the article “Limon and Robinson Throw a Party” on October 6, 2014. It did not get much attention because it laid out the facts that didn’t merit political discourse because it was handled the right way by the politicians. Not writing the article would have resulted in the insinuation that I wasn’t interested in writing about Limon or Robinson, when, in fact, I have written about Limon before. However, the facts are the first things discarded when there is an agenda present.
Why the sudden defense of Niland by attacking my blogging?
Some of you probably remember that I wrote extensively about Steve Ortega and I still write about Veronica Escobar and Susie Byrd. None of those topics has resulted in the concerted effort to end my blogging that has resulted since I started writing about the musical chairs affair. Like, Niland there are Byrd, Escobar and Ortega supporters that would like nothing better than to see me stop writing about El Paso politics. However, none have been as relentless as those defending Niland.
The problem for the political operatives defending Niland is that the facts get in their way. They realize that individuals are reading what I write and it bothers them to no end. In order to attempt to dissuade you from reading what I have to write they rely on lies and innuendo. Through innuendo, they try to discredit me by alleging that I make up what I write or that I modify documents to my benefit.
If, in fact, I was making up documents or modifying them then it would be a simple thing for them to discredit me by proving that I do that. In the case of Wednesday’s article notice how one commenter first tried to insinuate that, I purposely misquoted the spelling of the vendor. When I replied by posting a portion of the actual city-sourced document the notion then became that I doctored the document.
However, the writer knows that neither is true so they are left with the task of trying to discredit me by inventing stuff up. Although I did not provide the original documents, I provided enough information for anyone, including frequent open records filer, David Karlsruher to get copies of the original documents and prove I’m despicable by posting a comparison of the original to the supposed doctored one I used.
I’m sure you know that there are bloggers just chomping at the bit to pounce on me when I mess up. So why is it that they don’t do a side-by-side comparison of the information I post with factually based information that proves I make stuff up? Because it doesn’t exist and therefore they are left with the only thing they can do is lie in an attempt to discredit me or distract you with allegations of a nefarious agenda.
The other thing they try to do is to argue that I’m only picking on Niland and ignoring the transgressions of Limon or Robinson. I have already shared with you the articles that I have written about Limon and yet those are ignored. They argue that I should write about Limon’s “unprofessional” behavior. Yet they do not provide documents from where to base that assertion. It is one thing to write “I’ve personally seen Limon be an unprofessional bitch” and another to document where she has been as described. For example, when I wrote about Niland not wearing her shoes at the dais it was not based on a rumor but rather on a picture clearly showing that she wasn’t respecting the constituents that put her on the dais. Likewise, when I wrote that Niland was reprimanded by Oscar Leeser for her behavior at the dais it was based on a recording of a public meeting where it happened. In short my statements are backed up by verifiable information that the reader can ascertain themselves about by looking for it.
Want me to write about Limon, Robinson or any other politician then provide verifiable documentation that shows their unprofessional behavior, the misuse of taxpayer monies or cronyism and I not only will I write about it, but I would also thank you for pointing me in the right direction.
Here is a challenge. Provide the information to me and if I don’t write about it then send it on to the other bloggers proving you sent me the information and I ignored it. Believe me, not only will they publish it but they will cherish discrediting me.
Instead, the political operatives will keep on posting innuendo because the facts are just inconvenient.
Oh, is he ever going to get to the end – is probably going through some of your heads about now.
Despair not, I am about to wrap this up. But first, I can’t end today’s piece without some of my notorious connect-the-dots connection. At the beginning of this piece, I asked why is it that the Niland operatives have been so relentless with their attempt to discredit me. I believe I have the answer. Could it be because Cortney Niland is realizing her public persona has been seriously damaged and is now attempting to revitalize it?
Sometimes, I laugh to myself because I cannot make this stuff up even if I wanted to. As I was looking at my private Facebook feed (I try to keep it separate from my blogging activities) lo-and-behold pops up Cortney Niland on my feed.
What ‘da was my immediate reaction. She’s haunting me now! (There, I wrote that I would eventually get to this at the beginning.) We have no common friends and my personal Facebook is closed up for obvious reasons. So what was she doing on me feed?
It then hit me; she was buying advertising space on Facebook. Notice the highlighted portion of her post.
That’s when I realized why her operatives have been trying to destroy my credibility so feverishly – she’s preparing to run for office again.
(As an aside, a note, if you will – no, I do not find anything wrong with Niland paying to revitalize her persona on social media, after all that is what politicians do with their campaign monies.)