As a blog, we have a duty to report what we hear and suspect. We also investigate to the best of our abilities to bring you information that is factual. Since the Valley Morning Star no longer reports on stories of interest, we have decided to reveal as much as we know.
Harlingen’s history is replete with allegations of corruption amongst the old guard. It’s no secret that we are no fan of the old guard, but the evidence is overwhelming. Because the VMS is beholden to the Old Guard for Ad money, they can’t reveal what they know. We can.
The Old Guard has a history of insider dealings. They “take” care of one another by referring land deals to one another, hiring their own attorneys, real estate vendors etc. It’s a circular atmosphere and lucrative if you can get in on it. The FBI won’t investigate them, because they are “white” and rich. Yet, they continue to steal, rob, and soak us because…they can.
For example, some of you read that the city commission had approved a lobbyist for the city of Harlingen. Hmmm…this was done without any Request for Qualifications, Request for Proposals, etc…it was the epitome of an insider deal because the Mayor and his ex law partner Randy Whittington will benefit. We are told that they get other contracts as an exchange for hiring this group. In addition to those two, the lobbyist will be working for Sun Valley aviation to handle some FAA issues.
Remember Sun Valley Aviation? They have tried for years to set up shop at the airport. All logic, economic reports, etc were negative towards their project, yet they are the Mayor’s friends and they get special treatment. Two of Sun Valley’s major players were in the audience the first time the lobbyist came up for a vote. Michael Scaief and Bill Eliff sat quietly and watched as the issue came up for a vote. They were there to ensure the Mayor produced for them as promised. He failed the first time but managed to get it through the second time. Old Guard politics always seems to get through unscathed and unnoticed.
Hence, we will be paying $12,000 a month for a group that is average at best, and will be working for Sun Valley Aviation. Sun Valley has some major issues and they are relying on the lobbyist to perform for them. Our question is why should we, the citizens, pay for a mistake Sun Valley made? The Mayor and Randy painted a dire scenario wherein we needed this group to help with the Medical School. Bullshit! Sun Valley Aviation’s owners invest in the Mayor’s bank, and have numerous dealings with him and Randy. Yet, we pay, they benefit.
People need to speak up and challenge this deal. The prior lobbying firm that sought to work for Harlingen, charged $10,000 a month. They were required to submit all kinds of information etc. The new group, charges more, and yet they were not vetted.
This is one example of corruption that plagues Harlingen. We have a slew of deals that we will be bringing in the following weeks. The Mayor and his cronies have ripped off Harlingen for years…it’s now time to show the public how he and his cronies have manipulated, abused, and benefited from their deals. It’s an ugly picture…but crimes never are pretty. In the end, we hope some law enforcement entity investigates and indicts.
We’ll keep you posted.