Tuesday, January 20, 2015


This has to be quick because I am running late.

Unless she is being threatened, my sources are clear Estela Chavez-Vasquez will be a no show.  There will be no majority for Tony.  Tony cannot do anything without a quorum.

All Villarreal, Longoria, and Jessica have to do is walk out after the meeting is convened and it ends for want of a quorum.  They make clear to Martinez and the press they will not return until four things happen:

[1] Mark Sossi is placed on the Agenda for discharge;
[2] An agenda item is placed hiring independent counsel who specializes in the Open Meetings Act to Advise the Commission on the past abuses under Sossi, and how best to proceed to undo the damage;
[3] Lincoln Park is placed on the Agenda to end all discussions with UT; and
[4] An Agenda item is placed to hire independent counsel to advise the commission on the Chavez-Vasquez vacancy

This simple move will guarantee Jessica Tetreau-Kalifa and Rick Longoria are reelected.  It just may be enough to spook Portillo into working with Jessica, Rick and John in selecting a replacement for Estela, assuming it is a legal option.

The move may also be enough to encourage a highly qualified candidate of new blood to enter the mayoral race.

Tonight the Commissioners have the option to distance themselves from Tony Martinez and Mark Sossi, or go down with the ship.  None of them will have any defense at this point if they remain.

DA Saenz will find himself in even deeper trouble if Austin has to act to stop what is happening, while his office remains silent and takes no action.

Politics, in both a good and bad way promotes people based on earned political capital. If there is a time to act, it is now.

Even if for some reason, John Villarreal will not join Rick and Jessica in walking out, thereby giving Martinez a quorum, the message will still be sent, and at this critical moment in Brownsville history,  history will record John Villarreal on the wrong side.  Any criminal investigation which follows, will take down anyone who remains at the meeting with Tony Martinez.

The press will not be able to ignore what happened.  With a lawyer at their side, the three can spill the beans to the press on all of the illegal Executive Sessions.  The lawyer by their side gives them the "good faith exception" to avoid criminal prosecution in the event they accidently say something they should not.  Beyond that DA Saenz is many things, but he would never take the case against any of the three.

Do I think this will happen?  No - conviction is not a concept understood by enough Commissioners to do the right thing.  They are more governed by fear and deal making than conviction.

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