City of El Paso, Inc.

Here’s a list of lobbyists registered with the City of El Paso. There are links to their lobbying activity during the quarter ending October 1, 2017.

Curiously, there is no reported lobbying activity for Franklin Mountain Management. From the El Paso Times:

The project will cost about $78 million, and it will be financed by El Paso billionaire Paul Foster and millions of dollars in federal, state and city tax incentives, said William Kell, vice president of Franklin Mountain Management, a Foster company that manages many of his properties and other business ventures.

. . .

The City Council in September approved a term sheet that would provide Foster’s company with about $23 million in city and state hotel tax rebates, property tax abatements and other incentives to renovate the Plaza. A final incentives agreement is scheduled to go to the City Council in January.

Imagine. Franklin Mountain Management got $23 million in city tax incentives without even asking for them. If you can believe that city officials follow the rules about lobbying activity.

Also curious is the lack of reported lobbying activity from the Borderplex Alliance, or MountainStar Sports Group, or any other members of the Star Chamber where all the important decisions get made before they are presented to City Council.

Unless, perhaps, those activities are behind Marisa Marquez’ work for the Forma Group. Ms. Marquez reports that she engaged in lobbying on economic and industrial development, real estate development, and tourism. Obviously the Forma Group is engaged in those areas on behalf of someone else, but apparently we don’t get to know.

Here’s another anomaly. Mark Smith reports that he engaged in lobbying for Hunt Companies, Inc. Regarding what, exactly?

Other, determined by client.

Apparently that’s sufficient information for the City Clerk. Perhaps Mr. Smith himself is unaware what he was lobbying for.

If this is all legal, then the law needs to be changed so we don’t have lobbyists working for unknown parties and towards unknown objectives.

I told you that the El Paso city government is a secret public/private partnership. This is more evidence.


  1. What in the world is El Paso going to do with all the hotels ? Is there a plan to rival Las Vegas ?

    There is nothing that will bring tourists here. Anyone that believes that a trolley, a minor league baseball team, a children’s museum is going to make the city a tourist meca is fantasizing on peyote.

    We are a region that there should be concentration on infrastructure improvement, lower taxes, and improving the area for the residents.

    They’re NOT coming, look at the airport stats. Stop using the bs that “hotel tax” will pay for everything.

    All the half empty hotels and empty new housing must make the N Koreans smile. We are following their policy of building empty structures with timed lighting.

    1. Kim. Kim Kim Kim Kim Kim. Of course people are going to come here. In the words of District 1 Representative Peter Svarzbein:

      You can stop at the Hal Marcus Gallery, Savage Goods Vegan Bakery & Café, Artspace lofts, before turning left onto Franklin street. Hop off here and walk down to San Jacinto Plaza. There, marvel at some of Henry Trost’s most iconic and historic buildings: the Cortez Hotel, the Mills Building, the Plaza Hotel, just to name a few.

      Or, maybe just play a game of ping pong at the placita. After Franklin street, the streetcar makes a right on Kansas, passing by Hotel Indigo, Aloft Hotel at the Bassett Tower, City Hall and the County Courthouse (and the Tap, too!).

      Next, as you pass over Paisano, the trolley will take you down to one of our most important and vibrant neighborhoods, Segundo Barrio. You can visit Sacred Heart Church, grab a pan dulce at Bowie Bakery and check out the myriad of murals that adorn this proud neighborhood. As the streetcar continues and turns right on Santa Fe, it passes by bustling El Paso street and Paseo De Las Luces.

      Traveling up Santa Fe, our streetcar passes the Children’s Museum, the Museum of Art and Southwest University Park. And this is just a partial list of what the streetcars connects us with.

      Ping pong! Pan dulce, baby! And hotels! We’re on our way to becoming a tourist mecca.

  2. Oh come on now, Kim. You’re just one of those pessimistic ‘pot half empty types,’ while l am the more optimistic ‘pot half full…..of crabs’ types. ln all seriousness, of course you’re correct. ln all non seriousness, maybe that’s why we have 9 million buses, BRIO buses, and a trolley – to make our slow traffic even slower and so cumbersome that people will have an even harder time trying to move away from El Paso.

  3. So Franklin Mountain Management and Paul Foster are putting almost no money into renovating the Plaza? By the time all the tax rebates are in, they will make out like a bandit. At the same time, I’m delighted to see an old building saved but I’m tired of rich people gaming the system. Joe Nebhan couldn’t get the grants to rebuild the Gardiner Hotel and ended up spending almost 5 million renovating it.

  4. Calling El Paso politicians corrupt is like announcing that water is wet. The are no news outlets around here, only cheerleaders. KVIA is a joke, they have never had a critical thing to say about a single city or county politician who voted for any of these tremendously expensive ventures like the baseball stadium, the Children’s hospital or the extremely expensive bus system.

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