Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Will "new" ethics ordinance change fund-raising practices?

Time for a brief look back at the begining of this election season. Here's an excerpt of what the Laredo Morning Times reported for several of the current city council candidates. The article, by Andrew Krieghbaum originally appeared on July 18th, of this year.

The article details some donations directly from parties doing business with the city of Laredo. It remains to be seen how much of this practice, if any, will continue with the new ethics ordinance taking effect.

From The Laredo Morning Times

Three Laredo City Council members face re-election contests in November, but none of them were among the biggest fundraisers over the last six months.
Narvaez and Liendo Espinoza both reported $1,500 in contributions, while Vera reported only $500. Perez reported $3,850 in contributions; San Miguel and Garza each raised more than $7,000 in campaign funds.

Vera said he expects to have only one fundraiser in August to fund his campaign and would otherwise reach out directly to voters.

Both Vera and Liendo Espinoza received $500 contributions from the law firm of Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson or partner Paul Chapa.

The firm, which handles the city’s contract for collection of municipal court fees, gave $500 to Garza as well.

Daniel Markson, senior vice president of NRP Group, also gave $125 to Garza. NRP is working with the city to finance construction of La Terraza at Lomas Del Sur Apartments, a 128-unit affordable housing complex in South Laredo.

Garza received $495 total in contributions this year from NRP employees.

Perez received contributions from a number of local businesses, including $100 from Sherfey Engineering Co.

The engineering firm is providing consulting services for the second phase of the Chacon Creek Hike and Bike Trail.

Several council members spend money through their campaign in support of nonprofits or other charitable donations.

Garza, who spent more than $7,900 in campaign funds, said almost all of it went toward scholarships for United Independent School District graduating students.

He holds a bowling tournament each year that provided $500 to five students each from three South Laredo high schools.

He said 2012 would be an “awkward year” for candidates looking to raise campaign funds.

“It’s difficult to raise money when another election is going on,” he said.

“It’s going to be a short window between the runoff and city elections.”


  1. How about all the money and gifts and trips that Garza received from Kell Munoz? You know Kell Munoz, the SA company that ripped off the Laredo taxpayer for over $500,000.00. Ask any Council Member or City Manager employee why they have not returned the money or why KM did not fulfill their contract, they won't answer the question. What a scam!

  2. I agree. I attended the "public hearings" that Kell-Munoz had at the civic center. They too were a joke. They sat everyone in groups and then as time was running out, they would have one person from each group talk for about 10 seconds and that was it. OH, yes and on the third meeting they gave some sort of powerpoint presentation showing all sorts of ideas that even they could not expect to come to fruition.