Sunday, December 04, 2011

Judge Rules Against El Paso Dictator on Recall

County Judge Javier Alvarez in Texas ruled that El Paso Mayor John Cook along with two city council members will face an April recall election spearheaded by Pastor Tom Brown because the city government overruled a ballot initiative regarding employee benefits. For months now, the mayor and the councilmen have fiercely attacked the pastor-led citizen uprising in trying to avert the recall.

UPDATE 4/1/12: Citizens' action against government headed to Texas Supreme Court

-- From "Judge Rules in Favor of Recall" by Chip Maxham, KTSM-TV9 (El Paso) 11/28/11

Pastor Brown is among a group of people who began circulating a petition for the recall of the officials after Cook, [Susie] Byrd and [Steve] Ortega reinstated health care to domestic partners of city workers. This action overturned a ballot initiative where voters had elected to deny health care for the unmarried domestic partners of city workers.

Cook and his attorney had argued that signatures were collected in churches, violating election laws. Mayor Cook says he is considering appealing Judge Alvarez's decision.

To read the entire article above and see TV news video, CLICK HERE.

From "El Paso Mayor John Cook recall effort moves ahead" By Marty Schladen, El Paso Times 11/29/11

Alvarez issued the order without explaining his reasons for doing so. In a court hearing last week, Alvarez hinted that although he believed the law had been violated in circulating the petitions, he believed the free-speech rights of those circulating them were at stake.

The law says that officers and agents of corporations that violate it are subject to criminal penalties and District Attorney Jaime Esparza has said he's considering charging Brown under that provision. Brown said he couldn't comment on that or on Alvarez's statement in court that he thought the law had been violated.

Brown said the mayor was a "renegade" for bringing the suit in the first place.

Theresa Caballero, one of the recall group's attorneys, had said she and two others were handling the case for free. On her blog on Monday, Caballero said she and the others plan to ask Alvarez to order Cook to pay their fees.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "District Attorney Responds to Harsh Criticism from Pastor Tom Brown's Lawyers" by Kai Porter, Weekend Anchor/Reporter KTSM-TV9 8/22/11

Theresa Caballero and Steward Leeds held a news conference Saturday and claimed that [District Attorney] Jaime Esparza has launched a "politically motivated" investigation into Brown and his recall effort.

"District Attorney Jaime Esparza is starting another one of his, in a long line, of political prosecutions," said Leeds.

Leeds also claimed Esparza is a political ally of Cook, Byrd and Ortega.

"He needs them and they need him to save their jobs from this recall. He's stepping right up to the plate for them."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Controversial Sign Calls Tom Brown's View on Sexuality 'A-Hole-Y'" by Kai Porter, Weekend Anchor/Reporter KTSM-TV9 9/23/11

. . . the sign in front of Freeway Carpets in the lower valley calls out Pastor Tom Brown. Co-owner of Freeway Carpets, Tom Avila, put it up a few days ago.

People have noticed the sign and one of them is Pastor Tom Brown. He says the carpet store absolutely has the right to express its feelings. But he thinks the sign is as wrong as anything he's been accused of and misses the real point of the recall debate

"Hate speech goes both ways. It’s the church's right to teach morality, and it’s important that statements like this don’t cross the line into hate. Is he also saying that the 39,000 El Pasoans who voted against those benefits are bigots? Is he speaking against those 39,000?” says Brown.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Tom Brown, Lawyer: It's Not a 'Gay Rights' Issue" by Staff KTSM-TV9 9/23/11

[Brown's attorney, Theresa Caballero, said] "It's no longer about gay rights or partner benefits. It's about a group of schmucks in office being financed by we need to find out whom," she said.

Caballero says she's filed her own motion for the same hearing to find out who's paying for Mayor Cook's legal fight.

"The population says we don't want any more of Cook, Susie Byrd or Steve Ortega. We need to get rid of them. Then you have this oligarchy. These individuals who really run the town propping them up cause they need their men in power," she said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Mayor: Freedom of speech is over" by Bob Unruh, World Net Daily 12/3/11

A video has surfaced that shows [Mayor John Cook] gave a woman who was addressing the city council on the issue of its criticism of faith and churches only some 70 seconds to talk, and then he told her to take her "freedom of speech outside."

During the heat of [the recall petition] arguments, Father Michael Rodriguez asked the city council not to extend benefits to same-sex couples.

That request prompted a member of the council to blast representatives of the Christian faith. Beto O'Rourke referenced the "moral failings of the church" and accused representatives of trying "to take the moral high ground" in the debate.

"I want to know why this for you has become the burning issue of its day and how you can stand here with a straight face and say that this is a priority for the church and, and I can think of two obvious cases where the church has failed on a global level, uh, for one, I know in the very recent past the pope, our current pope, was in Africa, telling the people in that country (sic) who are suffering a holocaust of HIV and AIDS infection not to use condoms. I can think of another very significant and serious problem within the Catholic church which is the proven widespread abuse of children within the care of the Catholic church. I wonder where your outspokenness is on those issues…"

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.