Oscar Leeser won the election by a 4 to 1 margin. That’s more than a little bit. That’s a landslide.
As a candidate, Oscar was for cancelling the arena in Duranguito, and improving the Abraham Chavez Theater. He said that explicitly in his campaign.
As a candidate, Oscar Leeser promised to make El Paso City Government work for all El Pasoans.
Mayor Leeser got almost 80% of the vote.
According to his campaign reports, my public school ciphering, and self-taught spreadsheet skills, Mr. Margo spent $682,904.24 on his reelection since January, 2019. He got 11,034 votes in the runoff.
Plus there was that anonymous, dark money, “Support Our Leaders” campaign.
Mr. Margo and his backers spent a lot of money for not that many votes.
The voters delivered a clear message.
Those arena proponents say 73% of the the voters supported the MPC, even though the arena was never on the ballot. The Quality of Life bond proponents tried to hide the arena with vague ballot language, buried among a lot of other projects. No one ever said it was supposed to be an arena, or that it was going to be in Duranguito.
Well, let me suggest that 80% of the voters rejected putting the MPC arena in Duranguito, because both Mr. Margo and Mr. Leeser explicitly stated their positions on the arena, and Mr. Leeser, who opposed putting the arena in Duranguito, got almost 80% of the vote in the runoff.
What? There were other reasons that the voters may have cast their ballots for Mr. Leeser than Mr. Margo?
Well, by the same logic, there were a lot more projects in those Quality of Life bond proposals, too.
I think really, most El Pasoans don’t care much about the arena, one way or the other. They’re tired of talking about it, and they’re tired of hearing about it.
I’m against the arena because I’m against higher taxes. I’m against the arena because numerous studies have shown that publicly funded arenas don’t promote economic development, and the QOL bond advocates said it was all about economic development. I’m against the arena because even if the arena raises the value of properties in the immediate vicinity of the arena, none of that increase in property taxes will trickle back to the General Fund, because downtown is covered by Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 5.
I’m against the arena because I don’t think the taxpayers should have to fund the hobby businesses and real estate gambits of the city’s richest citizens, and their anonymous investors.
The recent mayoral election represents a clearer representation of the voters’ wishes than the bait-and-switch shell game that was the 2012 Quality of Life bond election.
The voters have spoken. Get over it.
We know from reporting after that election that the bond was deliberately structured so that supporters of the children’s museum or the cultural center had to vote for the whole package, making it impossible to say how many wanted each item….and it included “Multipurpose entertainment and performing arts center IMPROVEMENTS” – Nothing about building a NEW structure! The word “arena” was not on the ballot, nor was the word “Downtown.” And the cost was projected at $180 million. How we get from that to a Duranguito ARENA at $400 million … Just ask yourself what the traffic would be like, not even to mention the parking, for an event in a 15,000 seat arena?? And who will pay for maintenance and operations? (Anyone remember The Trolley?)
The MPC was secretly intended to be another sports venue, i.e., a giveaway to You-Know-Who. I think this came out in the court case as an email or Wilson testifying that it was disguised so as not to cause the controversy of the AAA. Then you wonder why all those closed session CC meetings happen.
Our government is not to be trusted at any level. Hopefully Leeser will restore some transparency.
Yes, a landslide of 80% of the votes in a city of nearly 3/4 of a million? Granted, I got no use for this ridiculous idea, and am still unhappy about so many things pulled by our elected officials over the last twenty plus years, but if we do not overcome voter apathy, it will never end.