Dear Friends and Media,
In the November 6, 2012 general election, 71.67% of El Pasoans who cast a ballot voted in favor of Proposition 2, which reads as follows:
MUSEUM, CULTURAL, PERFORMING ARTS, AND LIBRARY FACILITIES
“THE ISSUANCE OF $228,250,000 GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS FOR MUSEUM, CULTURAL, MULTI-PURPOSE PERFORMING ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT AND LIBRARY FACILITIES IMPROVEMENTS, INCLUDING NEW CHILDREN’S MUSEUM, CULTURAL HERITAGE CENTER AND INTERACTIVE DIGITAL WALL.”
To this day, our local media continue to report that El Pasoans voted overwhelmingly for a new multipurpose sports arena rather than for “improvements” to existing “performing arts and entertainment and library facilities” as the ballot language clearly states.
Just days ago, El Paso Matters cited the “El Paso Downtown multipurpose arena overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2012,” even though the voters approved no such thing, much less in Downtown.
Some in the media have told me privately that voters knew the bond proposition included an “Arena” and that is what our City leaders meant, as if ballot language and the rule of law count for nothing!
DAVID CROWDER’S INTERVIEW WITH RICK HORROW
Just before the 2012 election, David Crowder published his stunning interview with Rick Horrow, the Harvard-trained consultant whom the City hired to promote the “Arena” and help finesse the bond language.
Crowder wrote: “It was likely on his advice that the ballot doesn’t include the word ‘arena,’ because it’s not a term voters like much anymore. But a $180-million arena is in there, described as a ‘multi-purpose performing arts and entertainment ‘facility.'”
Wait a second…
Is basketball a “performing art”?
Why were the words “arena” and “sports” omitted from the ballot?
Why did City Council empower itself to use eminent domain for an entertainment purpose?
How will our City fund a project that will cost triple its advertised price tag?
Shut your damn mouths! Who are you to ask such questions? You’re only taxpaying voters!
You see, the deception was by design, and the message was crafted by the nation’s leading expert in persuading voters to build insolvent sports complexes.
TIME TO KILL THE “ARENA”
Nine years later, all but one of the projects of the 2012 Quality of Life Bond are fully funded, and thanks to the $96M issuance of non-voter-approved debt on Tuesday (over the strenuous objections of the Mayor and two City reps), so are the huge cost overruns.
The “Arena” is the exception, and there are only $154M remaining of the original $180M earmark to pay for this $500M+ financial trap.
Yes, litigation has stopped the “Arena” in its tracks for more than four years, but the truth is there was never enough money to pay for this thing in the first place and, in any case, the project has become very unpopular.
Notice how the City reps who voted for this lie have stopped promoting it at all. They no longer even mention it. It is the political kiss of death.
The voters are not as stupid as some of them think. They sense they have been deceived. They smell a rat.
As we know, the “Arena” has been a major factor in ending several political careers, and it will weigh heavily on incumbents who wish to stay in office.
It is time to follow the Mayor’s guidance, kill this project dead, and allocate the remaining bond funds for the renovation of the Abraham Chavez Theater (which actually is a MPC) and the Convention Center.
Honk if you agree!