Monday, January 13, 2014


By Manny Fernandez
The New York Times
DONNA, Tex. — In this Rio Grande Valley town of trailer parks and weedy lots eight miles from the Mexico border, people call them runners or politiqueras — the campaign workers who use their network of relatives and friends to deliver votes for their candidates.
They travel around town with binders stuffed with the names and addresses of registered voters, driving residents to and from the polls and urging those they bump into at the grocery store to support their candidates.
Despite rumors that some politiqueras went over the line in encouraging voters, the tradition continued in Donna and other border towns and cities, and campaigns for nearly every local office or seat have paid politiqueras to turn out the vote in contested races.
(In the photo at right is a screen shot from a campaign video for Alfredo Lugo, whose suicide in Donna, Tex., added to criticism of voter turnout practices.)
But in recent weeks, the suicide of the school board president here and accusations of vote buying against three politiqueras have rocked the system. The charges may threaten the existence of politiqueras in Donna, an impoverished community of 16,000, where politics and jobs are inseparable. The school system is the largest employer, and city government is the second largest; local politics rivals high school football as a favored pastime.
To read the full article, see:


Anonymous said...

Yet another element of local culture makes its way into the mainstream media. The culture of corruption in the RGV is surely worthy of a mainstream TV show; if the culture of corruption in NY, NJ and CA are worthy of TV productions, surely the RGV can provide enough material for equal time. Great opportunity for Hispanic actors to present their heritage and culture in prime time and in HD. Meanwhile, we will continue to live in this corrupt and greedy RGV culture. Remember, it is us, the citizens who promote this corruption by electing corrupt people to office.

Joaquin said...

Well, I'm disappointed the article didn't make it clear this is a Democratic tactic that's been going on for years and has kept generations of families in the political game but at least it said it was "mostly Democratic." I'm sure folks in counties where Obama votes exceeded the number of registered voters are taking note for the upcoming election.

monkey shines said...

juan this has always been a way of doing elections in south texas for decades and it will not go away at any time, maybe slow it down or curtail it some but never get rid of it completely. ms