Sunday, March 05, 2006

Popular Politiqueras

The Monitor's James Osborne looks at politiqueras in Hidalgo County, whom nobody says they like, but everybody hires. He notes that Democratic Party Chairman Juan Maldonado has taken steps to rein in these political mercenaries:
The longtime politico and former mayor of San Juan has since gotten agreements from virtually every Democrat running in Tuesday’s primary to pay politiqueras by check instead of cash, which he says will provide greater transparency and cut down on the fraud many officials are now calling endemic to the politiquera system.
The reporter also talks to some politiqueras, who say they're providing a valuable service and helping people perform their civic duty. Of course, they (and the candidates who buy their services) still manage to intimidate voters -- even longtime civic activists like Futuro McAllen member Nedra Kinerk:
When I was working as an election judge, I had politiqueras trying to intimidate us to get into the election area," she said. "I had one candidate who came in yelling at me and threatening me … I won’t say his name, but he’s still politically active."
I wish she would name this politician. The only way to halt this thuggish behavior is through public shaming of the bullying candidates.

Speaking of shameful behavior, The Paper of South Texas wrote about the politiqueras and their practices last week.


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