Friday, June 16, 2006

Slap on the Wrist

A politiquero gets a 30-day jail sentence, a $250 fine and two years deferred adjudication for his role in last summer's vote-buying scandal in McAllen.

Joey Lopez pleads guilty to theft for taking money for votes, then whines to Channel 4 that "he's taking the fall for all politiqueros who engage in illegal practices." He then bitches that he shouldn't get jail time because he has no prior record. He got lucky. Deferred adjudication means if he stays out of trouble for those two years, it won't go on his record.

Lopez goes on to tell the TV station and Rio Grande Valley citizens how screwed up elections really are in the Rio Grande Valley:
"You have to have money to win an election in Hidalgo County. If you don't have the cash you will not get elected. It's not about how honest you are or how your heart feels about serving that position or serving the public. That's a bunch of BS. It's about how much money you've got. And the only way you get money is by selling out to contractors and businesses, and wrecking companies and EMS services to give them the contracts. That's the way you win elections in Hidalgo County."
The recent raid on Alton City Hall in response to election complaints shows Lopez knows what he's talking about: dirty elections infest the county. And until we start seeing some harsh sentences for vote-stealers, the slime won't go away.


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