It is incredible but true. We just learned that City Rep. Cassandra Hernandez appointed a campaign treasurer, Tamara Davis, and is therefore running for Mayor of El Paso.
It is the equivalent of Darth Vader running for Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic.
The embattled politician was presented with a Letter of Reprimand on July 24 affirming that she used her position “to secure unwarranted privileges for [herself], relatives or others” and that the misuse was “intentional.” In 2022 alone, she purchased 1,944 gallons of taxpayer-funded gasoline at a cost of $6,691 and made purchases on consecutive days 23 times.
Far from expressing remorse, Hernandez released a statement on May 3, 2023 accusing the Financial Oversight and Audit Committee (FOAC) of using their power to “attack minority members of city council by cherry-picking gas card expenses.”
According to City Attorney Nieman, outside law enforcement, presumably the FBI, is investigating the misuse of gas cards, and Rep. Brian Kennedy has noted that the Internal Revenue Service is also involved.
Not only is she guilty of financial malfeasance, but she has the worst fiscal record in the history of City Council, voting to increase our City property tax six times, to authorize more than $500,000,000 in non-voter-approved debt, and to proceed with the Great Wolf Lodge rip-off, TIRZ 13, insolvent 380 agreements, and the odious multipurpose basketball arena. See Max Grossman’s guest column for the El Paso Times, August 17, 2023.
But what is most alarming is that during a City Council meeting she actually advocated for increasing our property valuations so that the City can collect even higher taxes from El Pasoans, stating: “It would be in our best interests, including every taxing entity, to ensure that all of the homes are being appraised at a higher level so that we can see more valuations and more tax revenue.”
Her January 15 financial report shows that as of December 31 she had only $1,302.37 cash on hand. Early this month she received $1,500 from the El Paso Municipal Officers’ Association, her only major donation since the gas card scandal became public last spring.
Hernandez is known by her constituents to give away turkeys at Thanksgiving and hold entertainment events for her constituents, but all the giveaways in the world will not convince the voters that she is anything other than an unscrupulous tax-and-spend politician with a bad temper and a huge axe to grind.