Each election cycle the Oligarchs select their candidates for City Council in a bid to maintain their grip on our City’s financial policies.
It is easy to identify who these candidates are.
If they are incumbents, they have always voted for high taxation, deficit spending, boondoggle projects, and corporate giveaways, and they love the $500-million G-League basketball arena.
If they are challengers, they pretend to be fiscally responsible while they accept campaign donations from the Oligarchs and their bankers and attorneys.
Let’s take the case of District 1.
Rep. Peter Svarzbein is terming out. He has been an absolutely reliable supporter of the Oligarchy agenda, voting for every property tax hike but one, more than $500 million in certificates of obligation, and every 380 agreement and TIRZ without fail. He still thinks the Arena will “activate” downtown and that his trolleys, which lose $47 for each dollar in revenue, will help “revitalize” our downtown economy.
The Oligarchs are sorry to see him go. They have chosen to replace him with Analisa Silverstein, a “Sociable Account Executive” for a digital marketing firm called Hello Amigo, whose clients include Tropicana Homes, Mimco, and the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce.
I just received a doorhanger from her campaign, which I have attached for your viewing pleasure.
Among her bland, meaningless talking points is the phrase “Continuing our economic momentum.” That is, she would continue the City’s economic momentum toward Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
On her campaign webpage we read “I want to make sure we continue the economic growth in Downtown El Paso and complete important Downtown projects which I know matter to District 1 constituents and the whole city.”
Yes, that would include the half-billion-dollar Arena, the mother of all boondoggles.
Her July 15 campaign finance report reveals that she has already received many thousands in donations from some of our richest Oligarchs.
It is painfully obvious that she is the sequel to Peter Svarzbein. She even hired his fiancé, Tatiana Avila, paying her Zlota Consulting firm a total of $3,600 as of July 15.
Silverstein will face Brian Kennedy, a committed deficit hawk who is solidly with the taxpayers, and Fareed Khlayel, a local political operative who serves as a Trustee for EPISD and who masterminded the election of Oligarch surrogate Isabel Salcido.
The battle lines have been drawn.