by Max Grossman

Michael Apodaca, Chair of the El Paso County Democratic Party, issued a press release today attacking the non-partisan effort to recall City Rep. Cassandra Hernandez of District 3 from Office because the leader of the recall team is Irene Armendariz-Jackson, a Republican.

Armendariz-Jackson is not a candidate for any office and has declared that she will not run for District 3.

Armendariz-Jackson is an unpaid volunteer whose team includes Democrats who are gathering signatures in triple-digit temperatures while the Chair of their own party undermines their work.

Not only did the Chair launch an all-out partisan attack on a non-partisan effort, he invited those who signed the petition to rescind their signatures!


Mr. Apodaca was gracious enough to take my phone call some minutes ago.

I asked him if Congresswoman Veronica Escobar put him up to the press release, and he replied that she did not.

That is hard to believe.

But he did admit that he issued the press release without putting it to a vote of his Party committee, even though the release purports to represent the Democrats of El Paso County.

In other words, his press release represents only himself.

So let us be perfectly clear.

The Democratic Party Chair is more concerned that a Republican who holds views he does not like is leading a recall effort than he is with Cassandra Hernandez, who stole thousands of dollars from the taxpayers, was reprimanded by the City Ethics Commission, is facing an investigation by outside law enforcement, and whose husband filed a bar complaint against the attorney who led the investigation of her conduct.

Mr. Apodaca told me he feels it is important that El Pasoans “know who Armendariz-Jackson is.”

Really? When is he going to issue a press release warning El Pasoans who Cassandra Hernandez is?

I suggested to him that the Democratic Party is free to mount its own effort to recall Hernandez, but that is apparently not a Party priority.

I have no personal beef against Mr. Apodaca, who by all accounts is a fine man, but today he essentially endorsed Cassandra Hernandez rather than support an effort that unites El Pasoans from the Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian parties, and that is shameful.


  1. Apparently corruption is a partisan issue, and the local Democrat party is on the side of the corrupt.

    Congresswoman Veronica Escobar didn’t ask Mr. Apodaca to intervene on Representative Cassandra Hernandez’ behalf. But I bet Rep. Hernandez’ husband Jeremy Jordan did. Mr. Jordan, like Mr. Apodaca, is a political operative.

    I’m not a Republican, and I’m not a Democrat. But I guess for some people, party affiliation is thicker than good government. That Mr. Apodaca would throw his support behind Rep. Hernandez says a lot about politics in El Paso, and a lot about the local Democrat party.

    Imagine. All Mr. Apodaca had to do was shut up. That’s hard for some people.

  2. I arrived here 27 years ago this week and spent the first 20 trying to get out. It cost me a marriage, my financial security and at one time I thought my reason was at stake. It was because I could see all this happening whether it was a Rep. Hernandez, Luther Jones, Bob Jones, the EPISD serial fraudsters, Dolores Briones, Cobos…you name the rogues gallery of what the FBI termed, “a culture of corruption.” It ate at my soul but I did what I could to make the city a better place for future generations. BTW, El Paso is blessed with a young demographic, something more tony places can’t take for granted anymore.

    Things turned around for me when a gal friend said (after two bottles of wine between us) , “Maybe El Paso is your destiny?” I let that soak in and decided not to fight it and, you know, I have since been blessed with many great friends, opportunity to work in areas I love like community sustainability, water equity, the chance to help the less fortunate (Food Bank volunteer) and even the occasional chance to monkey-wrench the plans of the Usual Suspects. It isn’t all bad anymore for me.

    As for Rep. Hernandez, the voters will decide her political fate one way or another and I am content to leave it there because that would not have happened even a a few years ago. Her backers would have seen to it.

    The times they are a changin’.

  3. Interesting when Micheal Apodaca attacked Claudia Rodriguez, the only conservative Council person, Max unified with Apodaca to get her out of office by spreading his very partisan press release. Max is a hyper, Middle Aged, bitter man. Very sad that his whole life revolves around his made up hysteria.

    1. I don’t want to pick on Ms. Rodriguez since she’s no longer on City Council, but since you brought her up: the City’s Chief Auditor Edmundo “Mundo!” Calderon revealed that Ms. Rodriguez made five purchases from Walmart on the same day, with each purchase just under the $1,000 limit. Legit? Maybe, but it doesn’t smell fresh.

    2. Hello Mike,
      I do not know you and clearly you do not know me. I do, however, know Claudia quite well. I was among her original supporters when she first ran for City Council and I helped her very significantly. She was disappointing. I can tell you that Claudia voted to raise our property tax and she supported Tommy Gonzalez and his spending priorities. Just because she calls herself a “Republican” does not make her a conservative. Her replacement, Art Fierro, is a lifelong Democrat but is more conservative (and ethical) than her, which is why District 6 voters supported his election. He is committed to never raising our property tax or issuing a certificate of obligation. He voted to eliminate TRZ2 and TIRZ10A (saving $20M plus $8M/year), restrict the arena to its original budget (saving $300M), and fire Tommy Gonzalez (with untold savings there). If your business, The Hannigan Company, LLC, is paying higher taxes than four years ago, it is no thanks to Claudia. Believe it or not, this “hyper, Middle Aged, bitter man” is on the side of the taxpayers.

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