Yes, Norma Chavez dropped out of the Texas Senate race. She was bizarre right to the end.
I do not expect most letters to the editor, for any newspaper, will be thought-provoking, original, or insightful. But this one by is bizarrely stupid.
The Obamas would have you believe they originated from the oppressed underclass. This is untrue. Both benefitted from Harvard educations and have reaped the benefits of power and politics.
Why should I work so hard to increase my earning capacity just to have it taken away and given to someone with less ambition?
I promise you this: When the taxation Obama has planned for me makes it no longer profitable enough to work, then I will sit at home like the swill he is so fond of courting and I will stop paying so much in taxes. At least then Obama won’t use my money to spread around.
And then there’s one, on the same page:
If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one; a liberal wants to ban them from everyone.
It goes on in that vain for a few more setences.
I don’t necessarily blame people for being hyperbolic, stupid, and crazy. That’s their right; and people like them will be around until time immemorial. But I do blame the El Paso Times for publishing their articles. The letters to the editor page should either make the reader feel more informed or be enjoyable to read. These letters do neither. Nor are they even on topic; they refer to no article nor current event.
I wish the page editor took a little bit more pride in his newspaper and his section. I am sure the number of quality letters and writers are few; but I’d rather see a modicum of quality, rather than quantity.
The annoucement is: He’s running. KFOX has the video.
Nothing of note in the story. Supporters say they support him; everybody says he’s great; and he says he’s great. The one amusing part comes when, in front of the cameras and crowd, he awkwardly kisses his wife on the lips a little too long. Marisa Marquez makes an appearance in the video but says nothing..
I know very little about Rodriguez. I don’t know if he’s corrupt, ignorant, and embarassment—or intelligent, competent, and effective. For now, he’s the devil, as the expression goes, we don’t know—but he’s running against the devil we know very, very well.
Another part of the story that I found worthy of a post:
Chávez said lobbyists told her that Rodríguez was actively campaigning for the position and privately introduced himself as a candidate for the seat to donors and other politicians.
She said she could not disclose the names of the people because she did not have permission to do so.
Chávez accused Rodrí guez of using county resources to campaign for the seat because the county’s lobbyists introduced him to politicians and others.
“They are not awarding me the same opportunity to take me around to talk to a bunch of people about my candidacy,” Chávez said. “I wouldn’t ask them to.”
So Chavez, self-described “fighter,” is complaining about a political competitor talking to other people in the same room as her. She had the exact same opportunity to do so. The problem was that Chavez lacked the intelligence to engage with people on the same level as Jose Rodriguez.
Rodriguez responds within the story:
“For her to say that I have already announced is a pretty reckless statement given that she has not been there,” he said. “She doesn’t know. She is basing it, I suppose, on hearsay, or maybe she is just making it up, which is not unusual for Representative Chávez.”
“She is basing it … on hearsay,” Rodriguez says. Well, yes.
Rodríguez said the county’s lobbyists did introduce him to people but did so on their own time and did not charge the county. He said he paid for his trip to Austin.
“This is typical of Miss Chávez’s approach to public office,” Rodríguez said. “Rather than talk straightforwardly about issues, she wants to stir up trouble. She wants to personalize things, and she does it without really having the information.”
This is pretty rich: Chavez is chastising somebody about improper use of public funds and improper lobbying relationships.
Chavez, lest we forget, is the one who pressured lobbyists to fund her $3,500 graduation party.
Chavez, lest we forget, is the one who charges taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars to fund her college tuition.
And Chavez, lest we forget, is the one collects literally thousands of dollars from lobbyists from all over the state to support her lifestyle. Thanks to lobbyist money, she travels to Washington DC to among other things and attends fancy inauguration balls on January 20, travel to the Texas-Oklahoma football game, and go to South by Southwest and Austin City Limits concerts.
Many politicians say one thing to one group, then something completely different to another. But not Norma Chavez. She says the absolutely contradictory things within the same sentence. She told the El Paso Times:
“It was an announcement but not an official announcement,” she said. “The lobbyists and my colleagues know that. None of them will take it serious. They’re all asking me when are you going to announce? When are you going to announce?”
Say what you want about the El Paso Times—about its lack of depth, about its juvenile opinion pages, about its propensity to substitute news coverage for coverage of stupid lists (like this, among others). But for most constituents, reading the Times—as bad as the paper may be—is the only way to hear from and learn about locally elected officials. That’s why Chavez’s utter lack of respect of the electorate, right out the gate, is so infuriating. The entire episode illustrates everything about her: her lack of honesty, lack of intelligence (taxpayer-paid degrees from UT-Austin notwithstanding), her sloppiness, and, ultimately, her ineffectiveness as a legislator.
Paul Burka of Texas Monthly can’t understand the bizarre behavior and speculates:
What is “an announcement but not an announcement?” It is an admission that she may have jumped the gun by indicating her interest in succeeding Eliot Shapleigh in the Senate too soon.
Burka is simply wrong. That’s just Chavez being Chavez.
Finally, let’s consider the rest of the quote, about how “none of the lobbyists take it serious” (sic). Evidentially, Chavez is unable to keep her bull straight. Within the same quote, and later on in the Times story, she emphasizes just how utterly seriously she thinks these lobbyists take this running-or-not chit chat, and just how utterly seriously she takes this chit chat. If it wasn’t serious to them or herself, then she wouldn’t be complaining.
Norma Chavez said that she is running to replace the empty Senator Eliot Shapleigh seat. This is neither news nor a surprise. Everybody knew she was planning to run. But when contacted by the El Paso Times, she says:
Chávez, reached later by telephone, backed away from the announcement. She said it was not official because she was still gauging her support.
Yet Representative Aaron Pena tweets:
Rep. Norma Chavez made an informal public announcement at tonight’s event that she was indeed a candidate for the Texas Senate.
So let’s get this straight: Chavez says she’s running. Everybody knows Chavez is running. But when talking to the El Paso Times, she refuses to be straight with the paperand its readers—the people she wants to represent.
A commenter sheds light over at her motives over at Refuse the Juice, an El Paso blog:
El Paso County Attorney Jose Rodriguez surprised Norma Chavez by showing up in Austin on Wednesday to meet possible contributors to his campaign for the senate. Norma was really upset when several lobbyists she was counting on offered their support to Rodriguez. She got so mad that she started threatening several of them. She also promised she would get County lobbyist Steve Breznen fired from his job for helping Rodriguez. But the “shoot” hit the fan when Norma stumbled upon Rodriguez at a meeting of the Hispanic Caucus. She threatened to file an ethics complaint against Rodriguez for campaigning “on the job” and, in an effort to stop the bleeding of support from lobbyists, she decided to announce right there that she was running for the senate (see Aaron Peña’s twitter post http://twitter.com/AaronPena/status/5031489780). Poor Norma, she is getting desperate and making serious mistakes.
This episode is quintessential Norma Chavez: Lacking the brainpower to intelligently interact and impress people, she (ineffectively) resorts to empty threats. Jealous of the attention somebody else is receiving, and lacking self-control, she impulsively makes news by announcing that she’s running. The next day, Chavez regrets the announcement. But instead of being straight about the mistake, she lies.