The Rio Grande Valley has “creeping corruption” resembling “third-world country practices that erode the social fabric of our communities and destroys Texans’ trust and confidence in government”. ~ Attorney General Greg Abbott
“Abbott’s comparison of activities in South Texas to those of a third-world-country is untrue, hurts our state, harms economic development in our border communities and won’t help the hardworking Texas families who live there.
I join you in calling for Attorney Gen. Greg Abbott to apologize for his offensive and erroneous comment that problems facing South Texas resemble third-world-country practices.” ~ State Senator Wendy Davis
Greg Abbott recently made remarks comparing practices in parts of South Texas to those of a “third world country.” The remarks were quickly seized on by Wendy Davis’s campaign and McCallen’s biggest newspaper, The Monitor, criticizing Abbott for “pitting white Texans against Hispanics”.
It gets so routine. Every time a white politician tries to talk about crime or corruption in predominantly minority communities, they are decried as racists. How are we ever going to address problems in certain regions when that is the knee-jerk response?
As reported by the San Antonio Express News, Davis’s letter to The Monitor called Abbott’s remarks “hurtful to the state and harmful to economic development in border communities.”
“Our state needs leadership that is grounded in facts and is ready to open up new opportunities with trade and commerce which currently support hundreds of thousands of jobs in Texas,” Davis said in a statement to the Tribune that mirrored her comments in the paper.
The Abbott campaign responded via Twitter with a statement calling Davis “clueless about the (Rio Grande Valley).” She must be. The rest of us are certainly aware of rampant corruption in the Rio Grande Valley, it’s been all over the news. For months.
After Abbott’s initial remarks last week, I decided to travel around the Rio Grande Valley for a few (bitterly cold) days last week to come to my own opinions about the region. After poking around Harlingen, McAllen and Rio Grande City for several days, I concur with Gen. Abbott. Wendy Davis is not dealing with reality.
Visiting the Valley, the first impression is that, yes, indeed, inside the bigger cities of Harlingen and McAllen there appears to be economic vitality, the restaurants are busy, the stores are bustling. But just a few steps away, and throughout the entire region along Highway 83, the business of politics appears to be the only commerce that is taking place. Political signs everywhere, politics on TV, politics, politics….yet, the people I talked to, personally in random interviews (I’ll discuss this in a later post) seemed so unbelievably totally uninformed.
Judge Eloy Vera, current Starr County Judge reportedly recently went onto private property to put his campaign sign on a billboard. When asked by the property owners to take it down, he wouldn’t, saying doing so would “hurt his image”. The police department declined to file trespassing charges. Did you get that? The police department declined to press charges even when the property owners asked them to.
The Judge is also accused of property tax evasion.
Action 4 News visited Judge Vera’s office to ask why he hasn’t paid these taxes.
He said the majority of unpaid property taxes shouldn’t be under his name because it’s property he sold through his company.
He said clients are not filing the lots they purchased so property taxes are listed under his name.
“My first impulse was I’ll go pay them but then I said why should I?” Judge Vera said. “I need to run my business as a business, and giving money away is not good business.”
Here’s the truth that any honest and objective person would tell you. Most of the Valley outside of the two major cities does resemble a third world country; the one immediately to our South, the one full of narco and political corruption, which the Mexican government is more than happy to export here. (Some don’t even see it as exporting, just driving business northward into what they see is rightfully theirs for some reason.)
There is a political sign on every corner, every main road, in front of every boarded up business, every dumpster. It appears to be a place where people have been indoctrinated to look to government to solve all their problems. It is the most glaring thing that you will notice driving around the Rio Grande Valley. Trash, lots of trash — and politics, as far as the eye can see.
I ventured into a Chilis off 83 towards Rio Grande City. It looked fine on the outside, but I stepped inside during lunch hour and what I saw made me immediately turn back and get into my car. Every single table needed to be cleared, not one table was clean enough to sit in and yet the restaurant was only half full. I thought to myself: If the eating area looks like this, what does the kitchen look like? The WalMart parking lot was a train wreck full of shopping carts left anywhere and everywhere, where-ever their temporary users decided to leave them, even in the middle of the aisle. Stray dogs sauntered around in front of a mall cop.
Is this a problem government can solve by throwing more taxpayer money at it?
There is already taxpayer money coming into the Valley. As proof, there is a beautiful new HS on Texas 83:
Another new HS is being built in Starr County (on Highway 755) with plenty of wire and stone fencing.
Ornate stone motif walls adorn the sides of a bridge on 281 outside of Falfurrias — facing business that are boarded up. The business of government is doing quite well, it seems.
Will politicians, and the politically entrenched admit to the problems caused by welfare-state progressive political policies that reward incompetency and failure in many parts of South Texas? Don’t hold your breath. Keeping the status quo is their livelihood. Making promises, promising to change things and never doing so, is their modus operandi. Wendy Davis, a star member of the progressive political class, is simply stirring the pot, posturing for the elites who make a living off taking taxpayer money and wasting it.
These are just a few photos to help you get the feel of the economy along the border, where those who are so pumped up to make Texas a blue state are in charge. [I have over 100 more photos not posted that are just as bad.]
And it’s not just in the Valley. Further up the Texas border, in El Paso, the political posturing is not much different. They close their eyes to the corruption and creeping third world lifestyle there, too.
Richard Dayoub, president and CEO of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, said comments that elicit a negative perception of areas along the border are bad for business for all communities in the region because they lead others to question safety.
“The unfortunate thing is that we have vibrant economies all along the southern border despite misstatements and misrepresentations that occur,” Dayoub said, adding that several state officials in high-ranking positions have made “blanket statements that are detrimental” to the area. “But for every ounce of sweat that we put into the effort of trying to appeal to corporations across the country, statements like that set us back.”
Photos taken on my recent trip to El Paso:
A recent corruption scandal involving El Paso public officials who took bribes in exchange for awarding contracts might help you with background.
Lest this all sound too negative, some things are thriving on 281 at the Falfurrias Checkpoint: