Sunday, July 1, 2012

LMT: Mayor, council "flush with campaign cash" from Unitrade owner

Instead of paraphrasing, I will just let you read the following excerpt from an article on Raul Garza, owner of Uni-trade forwarding. The story appeared in today's Sunday edition of the Laredo Morning Times.

From LMT

Recipients of Garza’s contributions include nearly every sitting member of Laredo City Council and, before he was termed out, Valdez.

And in several of those cases, council members reported Garza and his companies as their top contributor.

Council members Mike Garza, Cindy Liendo Espinoza, Juan Narvaez and Johnny Rendon reported receiving between $1,250 and $2,900 each from Garza in campaign contributions between 2008 and 2010.

The mayor reported having received more than $15,000 in monetary and in-kind support from Garza since 2006 — making him the mayor’s second-biggest single contributor.

Garza found himself at the center of public attention four years ago when it was disclosed that the customs broker paid for flights to Mexico City for Salinas and Villarreal on his personal plane.

Councilman Charlie San Miguel, who abstained from voting on the cold storage facility contract, is the brother of Garros partner Raquel San Miguel.

Although the bid on the customs facility contract was considered by a council flush with campaign cash from Garza, a review by a city staff committee gave Garros strong scores compared to the other firms that submitted bids.

In the staff scores, the firm’s proposal received 80.2 of 100 points, while the Pharr-based firm received 53.7 and Laredo Facilitators, the firm led by Valdez, a 31.6.

“I think that council acted with prudence,” Salinas said.

1 comment:

  1. Garza is winning city contracts left and right - sometimes with the use of front persons to avoid scrutiny. Laredo needs to implement an ethics commission and it needs to remove these folks from office.