Monday, July 23, 2012
If you went by the Justice of the Peace 2-1 office held by Linda Salazar today, you would be told that the judge was out on a JP conference and would not return until Tuesday.
In fact, her administrative assistant Sylvia Rodriguez was also out today on a day off and would also not return until Tuesday.
"I am new to the office so I couldn't tell you where the conference was," said the young woman behind the glass partition.
But we asked the Justice of the Peace 2-2 staff next door if Judge Kip Van Hodge was also absent at the conference and were told that the judge was in and that – after they checked with him in his back office – that he knew of no JP conference that any of the Cameron County JPs had to attend.
In fact, we also checked with the Texas Association of JPs and were told there was no such conference scheduled for today in the entire state.
Then we realized that today was the first day of early voting and that even if Linda had already secured her spot on the November ballot without an opponent in the Democratic primary, she was out on the campaign trail because her son Ruben Cortez, a former Brownsville Independent School District trustee, is a candidate in the runoff for District 2 of the Texas State School Board of Education against Celeste Zepeda-Sanchez, of San Benito.
We also happen to know that Linda uses this day to go haul in voters to the early voting sites from different places in the city, including one where we have some relatives. As a matter of fact, she is scheduled to pick up voters at one of the many clinics around the Valley Baptist Medical Center complex. She will show up, joking and joshing with endearing crudity and hand everyone marked sample ballots with a check on the oval next to her son's name on the ballot.
Now reports are surfacing that in the past month, those getting married in her office were handed Ruben Cortez's campaign material along with their marriage documents and that some of the couples had received calls from her office soliciting donations for her son's campaign.
Now, we know a mother's love is one thing, but to use the public offices and the time while on the county payroll to push for a relative's political race is quite another.
We hope that the powers that be put a stop of this kind of behavior from public officials and their employees. We really can't blame the underlings from doing what they are told by their boss, but their boss should know better by now.
Posted by jmon at 1:58 PM