Let’s get straight to the crux of the problem. The El Paso Children’s Hospital was built on taxpayer monies but without the scrutiny of public oversight. It was designed to avoid taxpayer accountability while using your tax dollars.
In its simplest terms, the Children’s Hospital is the same thing Bob Jones did with the misuse of federal monies by lying about what he has doing with the money. The only difference is that Bob Jones sits in jail while Veronica Escobar and her cohorts, who were the staunchest supporters of the children’s hospital fraud, are “worried” that children’s will be sold to someone else.
Let me explain my thought process before some of you get heartburn.
Bob Jones took money, set aside to help disabled job seekers improve their lives. Jones lied to the federal government by telling them that he was contracting disabled workers when he was not. In other words, Bob Jones misused taxpayer monies to make money.
The proponents of the El Paso Children’s Hospital did something very similar. Against the counsel of experts in the medical field, who told them the project was not economically feasible, they borrowed taxpayer monies and gave it to someone else – the El Paso Children’s Hospital.
Yes, you read that right. Rather than get into the technical details about the whole debacle just take a moment to consider the following irrefutable fact.
Nowhere in the bankruptcy documents, in the public discussion or in the bond market expertise has anyone told the bondholders that they may lose the amount owed in the $120 million in bonds that were sold by the County in 2008.
All of the rhetoric is focused on the amounts of monies that the El Paso Children’s Hospital owes the University Medical Center (UMC) in rents. All of the political rhetoric is around the notion that the bankruptcy is a black eye for El Paso.
Yet, not once, has anyone asked or opined about the $120 million in bonds used to build the hospital building.
Because the swindle was to get the taxpayers to build a fancy building to house the children’s hospital, then turn around, and charge you, the taxpayer, rent money for the use of the building.
You, the taxpayer are paying twice!
First, you pay for the bonds through your taxes and then you will be levied fees to offset the losses from the El Paso Children’s Hospital inability to make payments.
I can see it now; the useful idiots are going to rally at the behest of Veronica Escobar and cohorts and proclaim how utterly wrong I am. They will attempt to reinforce the notion that the County has no authority over El Paso Children’s Hospital.
Guess what? They are partly right. The reason you, the taxpayer, has no authority over the El Paso Children’s Hospital is because, that is how Veronica Escobar and cohorts wanted it. It is part of the fraud of using your tax dollars to build monuments to themselves and the artificial “it’s all good” buildings of lies. Had they been above board with this swindle they would have built the children’s hospital as part of UMC since it was being built with taxpayer monies.
Think about it this way.
You buy a house with a mortgage.
You are fired from your job and you can no longer pay your mortgage. When you file your bankruptcy papers, you include a list of creditors you owe. Among them is, of course, the bank that holds your mortgage.
The bank holding your mortgage now has to figure out how to make sure it does not lose any money in your bankruptcy filing.
Where in the bankruptcy filing for the El Paso Children’s Hospital is the mortgage holders? You know the bondholders that are making interest on the $120 million you borrowed to build the building.
They are not listed and, more importantly, they are not worried about losing any of their money.
This is because Veronica Escobar championed a process whereby your money was given to someone that is not accountable to you. She took taxpayer monies and gave it away.
In my book, that is a fraud.
Now think about where else you were recently forced to do the exact same thing.
That would be the ballpark fiasco.
Like the children’s hospital, a private entity that is not subject to open records requests was given access to a building that you are paying for with your tax dollars.
If they cannot make their payments, guess who gets to make the payments to the bondholders?
That would be you. Think it can’t happen? That is what Veronica Escobar was telling you in 2007. As a matter of fact, she told you how wonderful the project was going to be. Escobar even told you that it would create jobs.
Well, why am I not surprised? It’s customary in this county for government officials to assume “royal powers” and do as they please.
Remember the way she yelled at Sen. McCain during a senate hearing. She, with “arrogance” reminded she is a county judge and in a manner that uneducated “how dare you”. That is most embarrassing for El Paso to represented by buffoonery.
So, I am not surprised that she is calling the shots with impunity and desperately trying cover her mess ala “cat using litter”. Of course her emasculated cohorts, except for one, are quick to agree with whatever she dictates.
The only crown she should wear is a dunce hat.
But, look in the mirror for the root cause and the solution.
You are absolutely right. The problem is, we will not learn the lesson that there needs to be a business case before you build public facilities, i.e., a way to pay for them. Unless you call Carmen A-C’s fuzzy math for the stadium a business case. Who did the fuzzy math for EPCH?
The delusion in government here is Field of Dreams, that somehow all this spending will generate tax base that will pay for it. Well, that depends of growth coming from outside and, so far, it isn’t happening in sufficient quantity to pay for the Field of Dreams and the rest of the QoL projects, much less EPCH.
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