Sunday, April 30, 2017

BILL FISHER: THE BEST COMMISSIONERS MONEY CAN BUY


By Juan Montoya
Why would a tax-credit, low-income housing developer from Dallas throw in $7,500 to keep two incumbents on the City of Brownsville Commission?
The last contribution and expenditure reports indicate that Bill Fisher, of Naples Investments, has thrown in an additional $2,500 to try to help District 4 commissioner John Villarreal keep his seat. This report was due eight days before the election.

Gowen, incumbent of the At-Large "B" seat  is facing challenger Erasmo Castro. Villarreal is facing retired Chief Municipal Judge Ben Neece.

On last contribution report, At-Large "B" commissioner Rose Gowen reported she received $5,000 from Fisher. In her latest report, she said she received $1,000 from Ambiotec's Carlos Marin, and $2,000 from OP 10.33's Michael Hernandez.

Fisher and his company, as we have noted in the past, have set up development companies such as Naples and its housing management firms, to entice investors (banks, etc.) to apply for dollar-for-dollar tax credits through the federal government's Low Income House Tax Credits which is included in the 1986 Tax Reform Act of the Internal Revenue Service to encourage investment in affordable low-income housing.

Image result for bill fisher, brownsville(In the photo above, Fisher, at right, is seen at the ribbon-cutting ceremony to a new affordable-housing development in Brownsville. The woman in the middle is District 3 commissioner Deborah Portillo, who chose not to run for reelection.)

Fisher has been successful in developing this type of housing elsewhere – in particular in Dallas – where he ran afoul of the law when he got involved with city commissioners and to whom he admitted to the FBI that he paid them thousands to "facilitate" his projects in their city. He then cut a deal and agreed to wear a "wire" resulting in some of them were indicted and convicted to taking bribes.

Lately, he has been active in creating these type of housing development here and then getting securing contracts from the Brownsville Housing Authority to manage them after they have been built. With millions in the balance, it's obvious that he would rather have the incumbents stay in power and not chance it with independent candidates that he cannot control. Apparently, Gowen and Villarreal fit the bill.

A local Realtor contacted us after we first posted this article and told us that Fisher is active in similar projects throughout the Rio Grande Valley and is not above greasing a few palms to get his way.

An interesting side note to the Villarreal-Neece race was their participation in a recent forum held by the Brownsville Police Officers Association. Villarreal criticized Neece for letting defendants make payment plans for traffic fines, and for making extensive use of community service in lieu of fines. Villarreal claimed that community service was costing Brownsville money.

Neece responded that Villarreal, who received $1,000 contribution from Linebarger Goggan Blain and Sampson, was looking out for the bottom lines of that company who receives a commission from the city to collect delinquent taxes and not for the people of the city.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

neece is not getting traction. Villareal winning.

Anonymous said...

You should perhaps look around, Juan. this is NOT big money at all, bro!

Anonymous said...

John Villarreal has to go
vote Ben Neece is you want a real Commissioner

Anonymous said...

Villarreal is w puppet of Marin

Anonymous said...

Gowen, Villarreal and Portillo are controlled by Da Mayor
Theay are know as the gang of Brownsville

Anonymous said...

Obviously Villarreal is for sale
Shame on you kid

Anonymous said...

Son puras ratas de dos patas ese Villarreal y el panzon del Fisher

Anonymous said...

Villarreal and Gowen are corrupt vote out

Anonymous said...

On your dreams vato

Anonymous said...

Bull fucking shit!
Not only is Neece is leading his opponent in the polls by leaps and bounds, Neece is an eloquent speaker.
Neece can capture and hold his audience's attention while his opponent can barely mumble and stumble thru a few sentences. Vote BEN NEECE FOR CITY COMMISSIONER DISTRICT 4.

AT said...

Portillo is a really attractive women.

Anonymous said...

If Villarreal thought the Judge was not being fair; or being too fair, why didn't he raise that as a member of the Commission...who hired the Municipal Judge. John is shakey....again, not taking action as a commissioner and then blaming someone else. That is our commission and why Ben Neece should be elected.

Anonymous said...

I think we should secede and become our own country. We will need a new zip code cause da blimp occupies 78520-78529

Anonymous said...

Ben Neece has my family support

rita