Friday, June 16, 2017


By Juan Montoya
With the stroke of his pen, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made the harvesting of mail-in ballots an organized crime.
No automatic alt text available.The bill, HB 1735, was signed into law by Abbott and had bipartisan support.

In South Texas, where  numerous prosecutions under the old laws which made it a misdemeanor resulted in probated sentences and allowed politiqueros and politiqueras to complete it and go out and sin again, the new stricter laws may prove the death knell of the industry.  

Mary Helen Flores, the head of Citizens Against Voter Abuse (CAVA) who was invited to Austin by its sponsors to testify for its passage, was jubilant. 

"Great news today!," she said on her Facebook page. "Vote harvesting is organized crime in Texas! HB 1735, signed by the governor, contains the language making vote harvesting an organized crime!"

Flores said that had this law been on the books when the none or so politiqueras were prosecuted locally by the Cameron County District Attorney's Office and the Texas Attorney General's Office, instead of a year's probation, the perpetrators might still be serving jail time for engaging in organized crime.

Until recently, mail-in ballot fraud has been a scourge on local politics. Numerous complaints have been filed with the local DA's Office and the TAGO where documentation has been given them by CAVA and others that shows that many local politicians have paid these people to manipulate the vote, often tricking elderly people and the handicapped who attend adult day-care centers.

Image result for norma hernandez, politiqueras"These people ingratiated themselves with gullible elderly people, often elderly Hispanic clients of the day care, and help them fill out the mail-ballot application, pick it up at their home and had them sign it without knowing who they voted for, and then the harvester mails it in as a legitimate vote," said a former CAVA volunteer. "When we went to the Brownsville Housing Authority High Rise we found that some of these people were getting the ballots from the elderly for as little as piece of pan dulce or a half dozen tamales."

At least twice, members of the Hernnadez family from Brownsville were dragged into court by their opponents – Ruben Peña running against Ernie Hernandez for county commissioner and Erin Garcia running against Yolanda Begum for JP – and filed lawsuits alleging they had manipulated the mail-in vote. Each time, the lack of teeth in the law allowed them and their politiqueros to walk scot free.

With the new changes in the law, CAVA, its supporters, and the bipartisan coalition in the legislature in Austin that made it harder and more costly to commit voter fraud hope it may signal an end to this nefarious practices.


Anonymous said...

Many local campaigns have historically depended on the harvesting of votes from the elderly, the handicapped or those who are willing to give up their vote for a piece of pan dulce or some tamales. The politiqueras were a big part of the election operations by the Democratic Party. But, will the new law actually be enforced....especially since those running for DA, judge, or sheriff depend on those harvested votes????

Anonymous said...

Finally? Someone figures this out? It has been going on since before I was born and that is 89 years ago. It will continue because respect and pride is no longer a part of our values. Me first y que se chinge el otro! To the blogger at 3:32, you left off the "piggy who was giving out ice cream cones at Dairy Queen during the last board elections - licking everyone's ass for a dirty vote.

Anonymous said...

Making the organized action of stealing votes from the elderly and infirm prosecutable as criminal racketeering will break the stronghold that a certain faction has on Cameron County. Truth be told, the Democratic Party has allowed and looked the other way, as have many Republican candidates, because the politiqueras work both sides, all about the money. You will find unusually high mail in ballot votes on both Democrat and Republican historical votes. Politiqueras are for hire to the highest bidder.

This is about a clique of politicians who are used to winning because they cheat. They pay lots of money to cheat, organize specific methods of cheating, and promise their friends they have the "secret" to winning elections that involves paying certain people to go to the old folks homes and mail-in ballots from mentally retarded and incompetent people, because that is the nitty gritty of winning vs losing elections here.

The sense that certain candidates are "unbeatable" is due to the politiqueras, their vaunted ability to buy up hundreds of fradulent votes, the dealbreaker in most races in this low-turnout area.

Are we free of these vampires finally? If so, it opens up brand new avenues of true political representation for the RGV. Is someone like Eddie Lucio III still invincible? He claims to be a Democrat, but sells out to oil companies and gets a nice paycheck on the doll for LNG.

Used to be common knowledge, there was nothing anyone could do about it, since the hundreds to thousands of paid for mail-in and fraudulent votes would override any kind of citizen discontent expressed at the voting booth.

But without the politiquera cushion, how vulnerable are these sellout losers? How badly would Ernie Hernandez have lost without his politiquera cushion of votes? Who is really propping up the RINO Sucio Lucios, aside from their lobbyists and politiqueras? Times are a changin', and with them, the carpetbaggers leeching off the public, who use paid for votes from the elderly to steal offices they have no business representing.