Last Saturday, May 5, the City of Del Rio elected Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano mayor who happens to be a U.S. Air Force veteran…and openly, flamboyantly gay. Ironically, Del Rio has for decades been known as the “Queen City”.
Lozano defeated longtime incumbent Mayor Robert Garza 2,128, or 61.54 percent to 1,330, or 38.46 percent, but voter turnout was considered low. Only 3,458 voted for mayor out of a city with a population of 36,000.
Garza was viewed as a terrible candidate who ran city council meetings like his own private club. He also was known to berate and disrespect citizens and city employees in public meetings.
Lozano’s election compliments Democrat and lesbian Gina Ortiz-Jones who is running for congress in the Democrat primary in the congressional district that includes Del Rio. If she wins the primary she will challenge Congressman Will Hurd.
While it appears this election was a perfect storm of one very bad candidate and a very disinterested electorate, it will be interesting to see how Lozano’s election and Ortiz-Jones’ campaign are interpreted by pundits and the media. Hispanics are often described as natural conservatives with traditional-family values, but they (like all voters) will not turnout if they feel candidates are not worthy of their votes.
Republicans and conservatives should take notice.
San Antonio Express and Local Fake News: SA Express staff writer Alex Stuckey writes this morning, Monday May 7, on the front page, “In just 80 years, with sea levels expected to be nearly 2 ½ feet higher than today, a storm similar to Hurricane Ike would cause catastrophic damage with a head-on hit to Galveston Bay, bringing an extra 10 feet of water or more into the area at landfall according to new research”. Apparently, Stuckey is a climate change believer who quotes a report by Texas A&M Corpus Christi’s Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies but never mentions any opposition points of view. The Harte Research Institute receives some public money but favors pro-climate change policies. The picture used by the SA Express is also very interesting depicting the Galveston 1900 memorial.
SA Express-News staff writer Jasper Scherer also writes this morning, a glowing positive report about the South Side Siclovia event on Sunday, May 6, that celebrated the Mission Trails and the city’s 300th anniversary with cyclists, joggers, and rollerbladers. The event, similar to the annual event on Broadway, is another pro-earth, environmentally friendly public relations effort by the city to “get people out of their cars”. However, citizens should support mobility and transportation freedom and oppose toll roads, street cars, and restricting driving lanes that allow the government to control your mobility and transportation freedom…and by definition, control where you live.
SA Express-News opinion columnist Elaine Ayala wrote this morning about another city 300th anniversary event, the “Day of Reflection”, held last Tuesday, May 1 at San Fernando Cathedral which involved several local church leaders. Ayala mentions the many faith groups that attended and they “planted the seeds of interreligious respect and cooperation” in San Antonio. However, it is ironic the Ayala ignores how traditional, family-values religious opinions are vilified in today’s city. It is also ironic (and amusing) how San Antonio has been called a “welcoming city” by some of these same city and religious leaders on the same week when the national GOP convention was disinvited, and when State Senator Jose Menendez (and Bexar County commissioner Tommy Calvert repeated) said Republicans might be poisoned by Hispanic union workers if they came to city. (Read related article, Ed.)
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff held a press conference yesterday, Tuesday, May 2, 2018, and ruled out any chances of rail being included in the area’s multi-modal transit plan that could go before voters next year. Their reason was not because voters have repeatedly said “NO” but because the federal government isn’t doling out funding for it as it did two decades ago.
Taxpayers have been fighting against a rail system for twenty years, and the SA/Bexar County Establishment kept bringing it up even after the voters said “No”. Apparently since the Trump administration is not going provide “free” money through the Department of Transportation, the city and county leaders have given up on the building a rail system…for now.
Rail supporters, like Judge Wolff, claimed a rail system was necessary in San Antonio because if made SA a “world class city”, and “all the other big cities have one”. Others like Mayor Nirenberg said the city needed an “environmentally friendly form of transportation” to help address world climate change.
However, opponents have shown that rail systems are costly, bottomless pits that consume taxpayer money and create debt with limited transportation service. Rails system went the way of the dinosaur because they had limited mobility and service to and for growing communities. Surprisingly, both Judge Wolff and Mayor Nirenberg agreed and called rail an “outdated mode of transportation” in their press conference.
Mayor Nirenberg says the new idea is to create “public mandate” (with the help of the SA Express and other media) for a “futuristic and diverse transit” that will include dedicated right of way for set, trackless routes that would be serviced by mass-transit vehicles that can scale up as demand increases. We assume that means buses, taxis, and other free moving vehicles running many and varied routes.
Taxpayers and citizens should recognize that freedom in mobility and transportation means freedom to live and work where you wish, which is directly related to the freedom to own private property. When government controls mobility and transportation, by definition it controls where you will live and work, which impacts of your freedom to own property.
Whether this abandonment of rail by the liberal, tax-and-spend county and city leadership is temporary, permanent, or just another political head-fake remains to be seen. Taxpayers should remain vigilant.
George Rodriguez is a syndicated writer, commentator, and webcaster; former President of the San Antonio Tea Party. George’s comments can be read on Facebook at El Conservador at his webpage at Elconservador.net.