By Juan Montoya
And we thought that former city commissioner Charlie Atkinson – brash, abrasive and sometimes even endearingly obscene – was the perfect example of a public official expressing him/herself in bad taste.
When Charlie spoke in public or ranted and challenged his political opponents on his FB page, it was worth the price of admission to the performance.
With Atkinson safely ensconced in his BISD coaching job compliments of his sister at the district, others have stepped in to fill the void, all too eagerly, it would appear.
We have city commissioner Jessica Tetreau-Kallifa complaining about some lowlife in a car mistaking her for a strumpet trying to pick her up right in front of city hall. That was bad enough, we concur. But then posting the fact on the internet and igniting a few crass remarks casting aspersions on her chastity was even worse.
Them of course, there is the ever present and generally offensive Maclovio O'Malley, not an elected official mind you, but close enough to the public limelight to be considered one. Maclovio is an equal opportunity offender and sometimes downright cute with his digressions. When he posted a photo of an exaggeratedly endowed woman, who took the bait but yet another elected official, Brownsville's self-appointed Ambassador of Goodwill and current Brownsville Navigation District commissioner Ralph Cowen. Ralph, when he's not jetting with Da Mayor and the ports's CEO Eddie Campirano to Mazatlan, Vancouver, or other choice ports of entry, apparently has a fetish for large, buxom women as illustrated by his comments to the Maclovio post.
"Dual independence huh Chris?," was Ralph's salacious comment.
But Ralph is by no means alone in his use of colorful and descriptive language. Commissioner Rick Longoria thought it was funny to call his sister a "pendeja," a term he says is an inside family nickname for sis. When taken to task for the use of the pejorative adjective for a female, his indignant reply was that it was his sister and that it was the cariñoso way they talked to each other. Now, we know that the Longorias may have some quaint traits that are known only to them, but if this man is serious about throwing his hat in the ring to fill the seat of a Justice of the Peace, well, some voters may not be quite as forgiving as his family members. After all, there are a lot of family issues that make their way to that forum and upon which he'll have to sit in judgment.
"I rule in favor of la pendeja," wouldn't go down that well, we would think.
Anyway, Rick has stated in so many words that he doesn't read the blogs, so we wonder where he took the time to assess the exiting ones, criticize their content, and then come up with an acerbic rendering of their rank.
He said Jim Barton of Mean Mister Brownsville had "issues," thought El Rrun-Rrun was,...well, read it for yourself.
Now, Ricky doesn't really understand that by giving his stamp of approval to a newsman, he may as well give it the kiss of death. News types pride themselves in not pleasing elected officials, in getting under their skin and asking them embarrassing questions. When a bureaucrat gives you the thumbs up, it means you're not doing something right.
Way to go, Commish!
Former Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada, no stranger to controversy, also surfs the web, visits local blogs, and posts his comments as well.
Always the master of the tart remark (he crossed verbal swords with Rick once or twice), Pat has a background as a shrimpboat captain, a real estate appraiser, a businessman, maquinita operator, and lists a few scrapes with the local boys in blue. In fact, it was rick's brother Everardo who arrested Da Mayor when he was charged with a DWI before he complete his term.
(Everardo by the way, is known as the Policeman of the Stars because he was the officer who arrested State Rep. Rene Oliveira's babe when she crashed into the back of a van. Many said that Rene was in the car but high-tailed it to a nearby restaurant where he called in reinforcements to cover his tracks. (More on that later.)
Anyway, a seemingly inoffensive remark triggered a nasty dialogue when a Southmost blogger featured a woman (obviously overweight) commented about the rain. La Southmost latched on her and started a running dialogue about weight that was long on insult and short on charity.
Maclovio, in his inimitable style, chimed and defended her saying he only saw three chins. An Emily Jasso chided him and others for making fun of people. Then Pat weighed in with a "Telosico Pinche Emily _______"
Well, we don't know how they talk on a shrimp boat, but Pat, after all, has proven that he has a certain constituency that includes a Christian component and when in public office carried himself as a cultured man. This, however, does seem to go over the top, even for him. Who Jesse Galarza is we don't know, nor do we think we want to.
We could go on and on about public officials throwing social decorum out the window. These are but a few examples of some people forgetting that when someone holds public office, some small sacrifice of one's freedom must be made to uphold the integrity of the position they hold, or held. The social media somehow makes people forget that they live in a fishbowl and that they themselves chose to live their lives under a microscope because they asked the public for the opportunity to represent them.
Chuck Atkinson is looking better and better.