Saturday open line
It’s Saturday so it’s the reader’s turn to pick their topics.
We deserve better
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Did anyone see this report this morning? https://www.kvia.com/news/el-paso/city-o-rourke-campaign-pays-in-full-trump-campaign-warned-about-looming-penalty/1080722214
Beto’s campaign has paid its bill. Donnie’s? Not so much.
That’s weird, Trumps bill is $471k and O’Rourke’s is less than $30k.
The Trump campaign said that they were researching the billing as it was 10 times more than other similar cities.
It’s weird how people who hate Donald Trump find absolutely everything written about him to be a point of contention and evidence of wrongdoing or otherwise nefarious behavior.
If El Paso Electric sent out bills that were 10 times more than normal I guess no one would question anything and just pay it.
“Beto” isn’t Hispanic, he is of Irish descent and his name is Robert Francis O’Rourke. His father initiated the “Beto” nickname as a means to obtain votes and R.F.O. continues the practice to this day, having benefitted greatly from his cultural deception. He is also a self-admitted recipient of “white privilege” and a cis-gender male.
If you cannot admit he has in the past and is now falsely appropriating Hispanic culture and benefitting from that appropriation then perhaps you should examine your social justice warrior credentials.
P.S. – I hope no one will complain when John “Chuy” Smith runs for Mayor and talks to people in his Ivy league college “native” Spanish.
As a person with first-hand experience with presidential visits and logistics, I can assure you that Trump’s visit took ten times the resources of Beto’s rally, maybe even more. Even common sense tells you that.
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We aren’t comparing it to Buttholes rally. We are comparing it to other US cities the President visited.
President Donald Trump’s visit to the Phoenix Convention Center cost the host city more than $450,000 in employee overtime expenses.
The police department — which had a vast and visible presence outside the convention center before, during and after Trump’s rally — incurred the majority of the cost. But the fire, streets, water and public works departments all racked up substantial expenditures as well.
Here’s the cost incurred by each department:
— Public Works: $2,928
— Water Services : $4,481
— Street Transportation: $49,767
— Fire Department: $60,483
—Police Department: $336,887
Apparently, Hawaii has a lower cost of living than Phoenix or El Paso because the President ‘s visit there cost only $141,000 for all expenses even though he made multiple stops around Oahu. And Obama’s 15-day vacay there only ran $341,000 in police overtime. Source: https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/36910743/heres-how-much-the-city-spent-on-overtime-during-trumps-visit-to-oahu/.
Duluth ran up a tab of $90,000 but don’t plan to bill the President for it because they tried to bill President Bush $10k and never got paid. The article mentions there is a federal reimbursement program for this that they will use instead: https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/government-and-politics/4467251-presidential-visit-price-tag-nearly-90000-city-county-bear.
Portland did a summary of the cost of six months of Dem campaign visits in an audit report and mentioned campaigns never pay: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditservices/article/578387.
A similar rally in Springfield Mo ran $124,000: https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2018/10/31/trump-president-donald-trump-springfield-protest-rally/1818515002/
The bottom line, most cities I looked up aren’t billing the President’s campaign for the full cost. In most cases all they bill is the cost of the rally facility. The pattern is similar with Dem candidates and the NY Post ran a big article discussing why NYC wasn’t billing Obama for the additional costs incurred when millions were spent supporting his campaign visits to NYC during his re-election campaign. They chalked it up to supporting a sitting President and mentioned Homeland Security had a reimbursement program.
Hey, first hand experience, on those other presidential visits did the city use the FEMA reimbursement rate to calculate costs? Was the President even billed for costs? If so, what costs? How much did the Catholic Church pay for the security arrangements on this side of the border for his Pro Open Border ramp stunt?
If you’re this obsessed with Beto’s name, you should re-examine your priorities. Your claim that his dad nicknamed him Beto to get votes is another case of alternative facts. You complain about people who hate Trump, but you seem to have a lot of hate toward Beto.
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Maybe if you actually knew the community you live in, you’d learn a smidgen of Spanish. Why would anyone call himself “Chuy” when his name is John makes no sense. Beto is and has long been the appropriate nickname for Robert, and if you were not so latinophobic maybe you’d get over yourself.
If you read the KVIA backup links, Beto was just billed for police time using actual costs. In Trump’s case they used the FEMA reimbursement schedule and charged him for all equipment used at those hourly rates plus the salary costs of all employees, including any teams on standby. He was even charged for bus maintenance time in the Sun Metro piece. Now, if this is done every time a President or head of state (Pope) visits the region to account for the added security a visit of that magnitude involves that’s fine. But if this is just a scheme that Tommy G and our full of crap Mayor cooked up because it is Trump, once again our leadership is causing this region embarrassment. A lot of people criticized Chris Christie for his post-hurricane photo with Obama, but he pointed out that if he was going to serve his constituents he needed to work with the President who was in office regardless of party affiliation. Our city leadership is apparently too stupid to understand that and is simply ensuring that EP will continue to be regarded as a problematic border town.
The City charged more than 10 times what other cities have charged for this type of event and it certainly did not cost this much when Obama visited and he went to multiple public places requiring far more security.
Regardless of how one feels about the President, this is an embarrassing act of bad faith on the City’s part.
The charges for the police department alone covered almost the entire cost for a day of department operations.
The President was here for at best 3 hours from touchdown to takeoff.
The President’s team should question the integrity of the bill, considering the fire department chose to play politics and report to the media that their were no more the 6500 people at the event (and then later have to admit they did not count the people in attendance).
Your challenging the integrity of the city on behalf of a guy whose businesses have a long history of not paying contractors, suppliers, and banks what they were owed. His campaign staff is following that same playbook.
It’s silly to think that Trump’s visit only involved 3 hours of work. Anyone who has ever dealt with a presidential visit or event knows the giant sucking sound of tons of resources being consumed for days and sometimes weeks before the event takes place. You get swamped with Secret Service advance teams, White House staff, campaign staff, and other organizations making demands and telling you how things will be done in your city.
It is fairly simple, at least 10 times more people would like to hurt the POTUS than Beto. So, that is why it costs more for his protection! 🙂
Did the Trash Nazis strike on your street lately? For the 2nd week in a row, my recyclable (blue) bin was not picked up. Last week they said (nastygram attached to the bin) it was because the recyclables were bagged and to empty the bags into the bin. I did. This week it was because the empty plastic bags were still in the bin and that I should return them to the merchants where they were acquired.
OK, those bell peppers I bought at the Farmers Market two weeks ago. Let me see, which bag was that? Duh – paper, metal, plastic – are recyclables, right? Aren’t plastic bags made of plastic?
I just assumed this was Mayor Margo’s revenge on the 79912 ZIP for voting in Lost Dog Trail so he couldn’t give it away to Paul and Woody? The trash vendetta seemed to be more on my street, Espada, than on the surrounding streets. You know, Espada Drive, those politically incorrect retired geriatrics like me 🙂
So I wrote to the ESD czar, Ellen Smyth, who responded promptly that, “ESD is working to educate El Paso one street at a time on Recycling. Plastic bags are “technically “ able to be recycled but China changed what they accept January 1. So El Paso no longer accepts any film or bags. We pay Friedman recycling for every piece of unacceptable material. Last year it was $800,000 and so this program is working to reduce that payment.”
I got two takeaways on this: 1) We can pay the stadium and trolley deficits without complaint but not the trash collection deficit that all of us use; 2) the Chi-Comms are in charge and telling an American (sort of) city how to take a dump.
I did cc Rep, Svarzbein on this and he was kind enough to call me but I missed his call because I left my phone at home while I was enjoying happy hour with a friend.
Even the commercial trash haulers have requested that recyclables not be bagged. It’s a pretty simple reason. Some idiots have been putting non-recyclables in bags with recyclables. The bags then have to be opened to sort and screen. So give them a little break on this one. Sorting through trash isn’t an easy job or a job that most of us want to do.
No problem with not bagging the trash. The problem is the bags and how to dispose of them. I’m thinking of putting them in the grey bin under the dog doo doo so unlikely to be discovered by random inspection.
What we have been told by our commercial hauler is that you can toss empty plastic bags in the recycle bin. Just don’t put stuff in them. Of course the City of El Paso always finds a way to make things harder than everyone else.
Part of the problem was that for years, the city told folks to bag shredder waste and recycle it. Then for a while they told us to recycle plastic bags by putting a bunch of bags in a single bag. As the China market changed, Friedman changed what it would take, but the city failed to communicate the change. Then they rolled out an education campaign and now a trash Nazi audit blaming folks for putting the wrong stuff in the bins. The real reason “mistakes” have been made and this has cost so much has been the city’s inability to provide timely communications about changing rules to folks recycling. It’s time for the city to re-evaluate whether a recycling program is really beneficial given the penalty element of the contract they have with Friedman and variability of that market.
If they can only do one street at a time, they won’t even complete this “education” process in time to make it part of their 25 for 2025 marketing campaign.
Yeah, the trash Nazi hit me too. I stood on the street and recited the correct new rules right as she was opening my bin and she praised me and skipped my audit. I truly felt like the guy in 1984 when he was foolish enough to think giving lip service to a regime he hated was going to keep him safe from torture by rats.
Im just here for the comments 🙂