Only 9,209 El Pasoans voted for Proposition K. That is merely 23% of the number who signed the Sunrise El Paso petition to place the measure on the ballot. Apparently many of the signatories got cold feet when they realized the proposed charter amendment would raise their taxes, cost thousands of jobs, and seriously damage our economy.
40,680 El Pasoans voted against it.
Miguel Escoto, the most outspoken leader of Sunrise El Paso, commented to the El Paso Times on the results: “They wildly outspent us, they lied, and they showed their hand about how much they hate our community.” Got the message? If you donated money to oppose Proposition K then you hate our community.
Sunrise El Paso expressed no joy when El Paso Electric announced their purchase of a 100% stake in the largest solar power plant in New Mexico, which will produce enough electricity to power 60,000 homes; nor did they care when El Paso Electric declared their same ultimate goal: to generate 100% carbon-free energy by 2045.
That is because for them El Paso Electric is a degenerate capitalist enterprise that aims to earn a profit, and so it must be municipalized at a cost of over $8 billion so that it can be forced to obey their will.
We learned from El Paso Matters that of the 389 donors who supported Proposition K, none of them resided in El Paso. Even Beto, who publicly supported the measure and is worth tens of millions of dollars, did not donate a single penny to the cause.
How could Sunrise El Paso expect the voters to support their proposition when it was 100% financed by outsiders?
Escoto’s disappointment was echoed by the Chair of the El Paso County Democratic Party, Michael Apodaca, who accused “anti-climate change Republicans” of spending “over $100,000 using Trump-like tactics such as misinformation, lies, fear over job losses, and other negative tactics.” I have respect for Mr. Apodaca but his partisan posturing is unhelpful. A large number of Democrats also rejected Proposition K and he and his party should try, in an honest and objective manner, to understand why rather than blaming the GOP.
PROPOSITION J PASSES
The media have totally missed the significance of Proposition J, which passed with 55.63% of the vote. Now the Chief City Auditor, Edmundo Calderon, will report directly to City Council rather than to the City Manager and his supervisor will be Rep. Brian Kennedy, Chair of the Finance Oversight and Audit Committee (FOAC). This is very scary for Rep. “Gassandra” Hernandez and her ilk, who are accustomed to writing blank checks on the backs of El Paso taxpayers. Calderon has already uncovered the gas card scandal and I have no doubt that under Kennedy’s leadership he will produce a mountain of very interesting information about how our City has been governed while no one is looking.
PROPOSITION F FAILS
Proposition F would have eliminated the need for a second petition process for placing an ordinance on a ballot (which is good) but lowered the number of signatures required for a petition to only 7,500 or 5% of El Pasoans who cast votes in the most recent general election, whichever is less. I am in favor of empowering the citizens to promote ordinances but if the process is too easy, the voters may be bombarded by too many ballot propositions that are unpopular and/or counterproductive. Can you imagine having to fight off initiatives like Proposition K at every election?
PROPOSITION I PASSESThe only loss for the El Paso taxpayers is the passage of Proposition I, which mandates that the City contribute a minimum of 18% of the amount it spends on wages for Police and Fire Department employees to the El Paso Police and Fire Pension Fund. The City can now raise this figure even higher without voter approval. This presents a serious conflict of interest because Police and Fire contribute significantly to the elections of City leaders. Police and Fire already have City contracts that are extremely advantageous, and the voters continue to increase their wages and benefits because they consistently support them without question.
The other propositions do not have anywhere near the importance of these four.
Generally, the voters of El Paso have a lot to smile about today.