The upcoming May 2017 municipal elections include the same political characters and the same challengers mounting an unwinnable race. This is because at the core of El Paso remains an unpleasant truth about the electorate that few realize and no one knows how to fix. It is an electorate that votes themselves a paycheck while the majority stays home oblivious to the part they play in their own taxation.

I have written before that the El Paso electorate is made up of a large group of vested voters who vote themselves paychecks, a very small group of concerned citizens who vote for good governance and a large group who stays home on election night. The voters who vote on the issues is small and getting smaller each year as they are generally senior citizens who still have the sense of citizenship that was instilled upon them as they were growing up. This group of voter is small.

There is a significant group of voters that stay home and avoid casting a vote. There are many reasons for this – busy family or work commitments and an attitude that their vote doesn’t matter. Nonetheless, they are the ones that pay the taxes that fuels the public policy of prosperity through taxation. They are the reason that taxes are so high and the corruption persists in the city.

My prime example for this is Emma Acosta. That Acosta is a credible candidate rests on the fact that many in the community either do not know about her close association to Larry Medina or the part she played in the questionable practices at the city’s waste management department that led to her receiving a lucrative pension from taxpayer funds in return for her silence.

That Emma Acosta, or Dee Margo, for that matter, are credible candidates’ rests on the fact that most of the electorate either doesn’t care of isn’t informed about them.

This brings us to the electorate that drives the public agenda of prosperity through taxation.

The real electorate in El Paso are the government employees and their families who cast votes to ensure their paychecks remain. Any politico that argues fiscal conservatism will be immediate shut down by this electorate. Any politico that argues against tax-funded scams, like the arena, will be shut down because it goes against the government employees that depend on their taxpayer funded paycheck. That includes the elected officials, of which many have made a life off the public’s trough for most of their professional lives.

It is a large electorate composed of public employees who through their extended families vote themselves a cushy government job. Take for example a single police officer. That officer’s spouse, adult children, parents, siblings, cousins and friends will vote for the politician that is promising to increase public pensions, medical and other benefits and higher public wages. When the paychecks are threatened, the family mobilizes to cast a vote. In other words, higher taxes to increase the public government paychecks.

But it doesn’t end there.

This electorate is also composed of the employees at the numerous nonprofits who depend on the government entities’ largess for keeping their salaries. For example, the workforce commission and other nonprofits that need government assistance and grants to remain viable. In addition are the chambers of commerce whose members depend on government handouts to keep the paychecks coming.

The advertising agencies, the architectural firms, the engineering firms and the technology shops depend on projects such as the arena to make payroll. That money trickles down through the community suppliers such as the printers and the sign makers, and so on.

That is why any politician who advocates against the arena is not going to get elected. Even moving it out of the Duranguito area reduces income potential for those lining up at the public’s trough.

That is the vested electorate that continually puts people like Emma Acosta, Susie Byrd, Veronica Escobar, Dee Margo, Larry Medina, Jim Tolbert and many others into office.

Challengers looking to safeguard communities like Duranguito or alleviate the taxes driving the prosperity through the taxation agenda have no chance at being elected. Even if one squeezes by the wall of the vested electorate, they still must contend with a majority that has no interest in squeezing the paychecks of the electorate they depend upon for their taxpayer-funded paycheck.

The only way this reality will change is when the silent majority of the electorate stops being silent and actually casts a vote. Until then, taxes will continue to rise, the arena will displace the people of Duranguito and individuals like Emma Acosta will remain electable.

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...

10 replies on “The Electorate of El Paso 2017”

  1. large group who stays home on election night.
    One of the less pleasant aspects of the Mexican culture here. Where is Zapata?

  2. You forgot to mention all the democrats that vote straight ticket because “no beneficios” mentality that the ELP politicians for years had instilled in the electorate.

  3. Change the names and you are talking about anywhere in this great country. We got where we are because the great citizens, and non citizens of the U.S. don’t see a need to bother voting any longer. Those who get dirty and fight for what they want have a good chance of getting it done. If you sit on your fat ass you have zero chance of accomplishing anything and no that does not give you the right to complain. El Paso seems to have a lot of the park & bitch folks! Many of them seem to be attracted to this particular blog. I find what you write about interesting but then I read the comments and it makes me wonder the intellect of who is reading!

  4. Plain and simple. There is small group politicians that only change seats every election. We need new candidates. When the gene pool is small and political interbreeding occurs, the conditions for are there for stupid decisions.

    Don’t agree just watch the old movie Deliverance.

    1. Now Dori Fennenbock (READ MY LIPS, NO NEW TAXES) turns around and votes Juan Cabrera a big salary increase-to include others? Now she is going to be running for City Representative? Corrupt to the marrow. Al Velarde running and managing Jaime Barceleau District 3 campaign? He does sit on the EPISD board? Maybe perhaps this is not illegal, however, are there not moral and ethical questions to be raised from such “guilty by association?” Anthony Casey Williams District 3 candidate? I seem to recall someone named Isela Castanon Williams during the EPISD corruption (ongoing I still think) corruption debacle? The son running to cover Mama’s messup? This is very bad you all. Cassandra Brown Hernandez and Elias Camacho politico contributions from EPISD teachers association?

  5. We have Martin back. Thank you. Hopefully we can appreciate his investigative journalism talent and Genius.

  6. I’m one of those candidates that is challenging the status quo via my message and my James No Bond blog that started as a EPISD bond warning tool. I have been stating my opposition to the building of the arena since the beginning of my campaign. (see link below for my much better option) I may not win the race but I certainly will not compromise myself or my message the way your typical pols do daily in order to curry favor. I am reaching out to the inert voters and hoping to encourage them to get up off their sofas and make a difference for the very reason Martin states.

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