It seems that for El Paso voters there is such a thing as too much corruption. But looks can be deceiving. As you likely know, Jim Tolbert was dismissed by the El Paso voters on Saturday. It may look like the eight percent of El Pasoans, that cast a vote, were repudiating Jim Tolbert’s corruption. In reality, the voters that cast ballots on Saturday were voting to replace a Veronica Escobar stooge that decided to abandon the Veronica Escobar stable. That too much corruption was part of the equation was just gravy.

As I have written numerous times before, corruption is not just a case of quid pro quo for favors, but rather a range of activities that politicos engage in to the detriment of the electorate. These activities range from ignoring their responsibilities, like Jaime Esparza refusing to prosecute public corruption in the community, to simply not showing up to work as the electorate expected them to.

Jim Tolbert’s short stint on city council demonstrates a whole range of corruption that permeates through El Paso.

  1. Jim Tolbert orchestrated corruption charges against his predecessor to make way for Jim Tolbert to be elected to fill the vacant slot left by the resignation.
  2. Tolbert used the Susie Byrd/Veronica Escobar electoral army to be elected. As soon as Tolbert was elected into office, he promptly dropped the Veronica Escobar public policy agenda to pursue his own agenda.
  3. Tolbert sent a local steak house an email that can best be described as an extortion attempt for a free steak for Tolbert to consider any legislative needs the steak house may have before city council.
  4. Jim Tolbert forced his way into a meeting regarding the proposed arena downtown that resulted in a Texas Rangers investigation of various officials.

As if these examples weren’t enough of text books examples of corruption, consider David Karlsruher’s numerous desperate blog posts to keep Tolbert in office. Karlsruher didn’t have any Tolbert public policy wins to showcase to encourage voters to keep Tolbert in office, so Karlsruher was forced to post, post after post on why the Texas Rangers’ investigation into violations of the open meetings laws was not really an investigation.

Think about that for a moment. David Karlsruher’s only option to champion Jim Tolbert was to attempt to make you believe that Jim Tolbert was not under criminal investigation. In other words, Karlsruher’s only choice was to distract you by pretending that Tolbert was not under investigation for corruption because Karlsruher could not point to a single legislative win that Jim Tolbert could take credit for.

There are those who mistakenly still believe that blogs and social media do not play a part in the elections. Voters do not vote based on blog posts but, are instead influenced indirectly by social media. Blogs and social media are used to influence how and what the news media reports on. When the news media refuses to cover a political issue, blogs and social media exposes them eventually driving them to report it.

For example, Tolbert’s steak-gate. It was blogger Ali Razavi who exposed Jim Tolbert’s attempt to get a free steak from a local steak shop for Tolbert to consider them in legislative deliberations. Likewise, David Karlsuher’s blog posts demonstrate how online posts are used to influence news media coverage to influence the voters. Razavi’s was effective, hence Tolbert lost and Karlsruher wasn’t, again Tolbert lost.

The problem for Jim Tolbert is that his short stint at city council was defined by corruption and thus he could not be reelected.

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...

7 replies on “Tolbert And Too Much Corruption”

  1. Well said. DavidK will perpetrate the myth that Susie Byrd controls District 2 voters. That’s an insult to voters and a lame excuse for his guy Tolbert who does well in the non-profit world but not in public office.

  2. I disagree. I think most people who who voted against Tolbert did so because of all the negative publicity surrounding him, in particular his participation in the walking quorum and the subsequent Texas Ranger investigation. The EPTimes had him (and the others implicated, but him in particular) on constant rotation espousing his negative qualities.

    Most people, contrary to what you and David K. believe, have no clue as to the connection between him and the Byrd/Escobar agenda. This is a common theme in blogposts (including mine) but very few people are in that loop. As truthful as this connection may be, it is something that isn’t even close to most El Pasoans radar.

    And just because only 8.33% of registered El Paso voters voted doesn’t mean they even know or care who they are voting for. I found this out when I garnered 448 votes with a lot of blood (literally), sweat, propaganda and dollars invested in my run for D2 City Council rep, while Dolores Baca received 442 votes without having invested anything into the race. She had no platform or presence that I am aware of BUT she did have the second slot on the ballot which is the only reason I can find that she got the votes. Not only are we dealing with inertia and apathy among local voters, but it seems we also have a problem with many who vote do so with various levels of ignorance.

  3. Come on, what is this Jud ? Return the playbook to Hillary. He lost the election because he is arrogant, coarse, did nothing during his short term in office. He made the mistake of using the city rep position for a pulpit.

    His loss was self inflicted period.

    As the voters, true, many are just drones. Quality of candidates is so bad people have given up. Whether we like it or not, no new ideas and monotone platforms. are the result of a one party system. El Paso has managed to create its own version of californium with a sprinkling of communism.

    The only opinions or comments that are excepted are leftist, any other view is fiercely attacked with venom. Anything different is labeled as racists, anti-(fill in the blank). What has changed in the last ten years ? NOTHING. Take a good look at county and for once be honest with yourself.

    The Republicans,in this area, are just as guilty. They do NOTHING. We even have Republicans being advised to run as Democrats.

    We are the problem.

  4. Mirror…I agree that we are the problem and most candidates weren’t offering anything new or honest, just the same old “I’ll make sure we get money for our streets” and “I’ll bring ethics back to City Hall” etc.

    And yes, Jim Tolbert’s ego is what got him into trouble although most people aren’t aware of his name-calling or the Ruth’s Chris fiasco. His ethical bumbling along with the media calling him out did him in.

    In fact, most people don’t give a rats ass as to what Byrd or Escobar are up to. That’s the way the two like it. The more ignorance, the better they are able to carry out their selfish and harmful agendas.

  5. Jim Tolbert had a history of spewing a barrage of insults toward those who showed up to City CONcil against agendas he was for. He lost because he was too much like the totalitarian types of the past. He really shouldn’t have been in office in the first place due to a possible conflict of interest in removing his predecessor. Now I wish all the others would leave too, and close down city govt.

  6. He created a cloud of corruption to get elected and got ousted amidst a darker cloud of corruption. If that is not poetic justice, I don’t know what is.

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