There are some of you that still do not believe me about what I believe to be Veronica Escobar’s end game with the El Paso Children’s Hospital. As you know, I believe that Escobar wants to keep the hospital as a separate private entity while having direct control over its budget. Keeping it a separate entity allows it to make budget decisions without public scrutiny. As a private entity, it is not subject to open records requests. Keeping it beholden to UMC allows it to use your tax dollars for operating expenses.
Sadly, no news media has asked any difficult questions of Escobar. The simplest and most important question that should have been asked is why does the El Paso Children’s Hospital pay rent on a building that you, the taxpayer, paid for? The bonds that paid for the building are tax-supported bonds. The reason the news media allows this unspoken truth to lie silent is because it would destroy the whole façade of what Veronica Escobar has created, a vehicle funded by your tax dollars that is not accountable to you.
It is the perfect scenario, keep the expenditures of monies away from public scrutiny through open records requests while using taxpayer monies. I am sure you know that almost anyone using taxpayer funds would love that scenario. This is the structure that the El Paso Children’s Hospital is using.
Notice the “public frustration” Veronica Escobar has with the possibility of a bankruptcy filing by the children’s hospital. Escobar acknowledged through her public relations outlet, the El Paso Times pretending to be a newspaper that the bankruptcy “would have ripple effects on the Children’s Hospital’s workforce, its patients, the Paul Foster School of Medicine and the community in general,” adding that “it would put a black eye on all” of them.
Clearly, the other issue driving Veronica Escobar is the political posturing around the El Paso Children’s Hospital. Escobar has been very public about the place the El Paso Children’s Hospital has in the public agenda she is driving. Politically, if El Paso Children’s Hospital files for bankruptcy it will reflect directly on Veronica Escobar’s political persona she has been cultivating.
Remember, according to Veronica Escobar, the solution to El Paso’s future lies in the expenditure of public monies to create a vibrant economy. Spend and the money will flow has been her mantra. The first cornerstone of this notion was the El Paso Children’s Hospital. Against those that pointed out the fallacy of that business model, Escobar and cohorts pushed forth arguing that those opposed were against El Paso’s future.
A bankruptcy filing will not only expose the ugly truth about the finances but it will also ruin Veronica Escobar’s end game. The problem for Escobar with the bankruptcy filing, besides the political fallout is that all of the hospital’s finances will enter the public realm. The secrets would be exposed. Even worse for Escobar is that the vehicle for incubating and keeping political allies funded, like Susie Byrd, would end.
The bankruptcy would kill the end game that Veronica Escobar is so desperately trying to keep.
Martin I hate your blog because you are so negative about El Paso but I come here because DavidK writes about your blog and how stupid you are. Grudgingly I have come to respect what you write although I do not agree with it. But you give such in depth analysis that it gives me a better understanding of what is going on. It is the only place I can get more information about the issues. I disagree with how you make it all about some conspiracy that frankly doesn’t make any sense. I wish you would stop making it about a conspiracy and just focus on the issue itself.
Michelle, if only you knew the whole story, because there is a cabal here whose purpose is to use the organs of government to extract wealth from the community tax base and send it into their hands. Really, the wealthiest people in town – builders, investors, AAA team owners – all focus on how to get their hands on cheap land, tax abatements, and outright public subsidy. You don’t think they talk to each other on the plane to their weekend retreats in La Jolla?
I think all the Shaplites have their signature on EPCH. I, too , am coming to the conclusion that the EPCH business model was set up to be a slush fund for local politicos out of sight of the public. They fell prey to their own PR that it would be a huge success. The business model was designed, as we are discovering, to funnel money into UMC as “rent” so UMC would look good and maybe they could send a little extra “rent” to their friends. It all backfired when reimbursement changes sent EPCH further into the red than it already was.
Didn’t Escobar inherit this or am I being overly kind?
A short answer your question “why pay rent”?
No hospital in the USA can do a deal with another hospital or doctor for free/ or less than fair market (Federal Stark Laws). If Children’s built a free standing building it would have to pay a mortgage. They pay rent and services, oh wait, they are NOT paying! That is the problem..the rent $$$ is owed to us Taxpayers
The reality of the issue IS the conspiracy. Only in this case it’s called making business deals. While they may not sit in the same room together, there’s a lot of phone calls, small and very private meetings.
The business deals appear to be made with the goal to skimp off the top, increase the profit margin and create contracts. Of course along the way street dealers have to get a little. With reasoning and deductions, we can determine who’s calling the shots. The inside trader was simply moved from one position to another. A reward for loyalty.
How have these people amass so much power, MONEY ! The middle level players do as told and in return allowed to set up a few deals of their own. The better earners move up the chain quickly. Eventually they will be provided with their own turf and crew.
Want to know why all the fancy gimmicks aren’t luring business or people. Read the headlines. Schools are in disarray, financial issues, sex with students, school officials doing time, one day we have too many schools the next day’s not enough. And let’s not forget, the current administrators always need new furniture and new buildings. As previously suggested, what’s wrong with renovating a school into an administration office building. Would you move your corporation or family to El Paso?
The hospitals and clinics on every corner. Hospitals failing financially and mismagement. Clinics that were not needed. A failed plan to turn El Paso into a free medical care city. Hospitals going broke. Would you move your corporation or family to El Paso?
Large numbers of foreclosures, but they keep building houses that don’t sell. Greedy apartment owners making rent unreasonable for the locals. No real jobs with real wages and benefits. No jobs for non-spanish speakers. Remnants of hippies and sixties type of groups. All past their time, overweight, balding or gray hair, pancaked faces to hide the network of facial lines. Trashing the Plaza. The bald with pony tails. Aged fat women with tie dye clothing and multiple silver rings. Would you move your corporation or family to El Paso?
Streets in extreme disrepair or blocked off for months with no workers in sight. Plans to rip up several blocks to set a trolley. Sounds ok until you take a look at the costs and the city debts. Buildings condemned overnight to make room for pet projects. Sounds ok until you realize the buildings are unique and historical. Small plaza that was destroyed and taking over a year. Then someone remembers NO toilets. A flat screen that collects bacteria from users and Palm prints that cause it to crash. What! No sink for washing hands? Oh, too expensive. Would you move your corporation or family to El Paso ?
A city that frowns when you don’t speak Spanish and demand that you learn. A city that screams that there is mass anti-Hispanic discrimination. Meanwhile, 70% of the police office has a Hispanic surname. Somewhere in the sea of brown faces, you spot a white or black face. A major disagreement about the building of a Hispanic cultural center. You see, only hispanics built this city. Don’t know where the myth of Chinese railroad workers, Buffalo soldiers or white farmers got started. We did it by ourselves ! Would you move your corporation or family to el Paso?
So what does this have to do with the county’s, city officials. They’re the reason the city is a total mess. A change in leadership is drastically required. Now look in the mirror, did you make an informed vote, vote at all, vote as told, vote to stay on the dole ? While this might not be unique to El Paso, we don’t live in other cities so stop pointing at them. We live here and while you might not point at Detroit, the wish to be like another city will happen. Don’t tell me to move, I am one that doesn’t flee the city, I stay to make it better so corporations and families will move here.
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