"Someone's got it in for me...they're planting stories in the press." - Dylan, Idiot Wind
By Patrick Alcatraz
McALLEN, Texas - We've always said that public service this far south always takes on a sickening and cheap, Third-World bent. Politicians who represent often-passive residents of the Rio Grande Valley obviously believe that election means coronation. They will do as they please and see who they please and answer only to themselves and their financial backers. Everybody else can keep working their stupid jobs. Yeah, we got better things to do...
U.S. Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, the proud-as-punch Democrat who represents U.S. Congressional District 15, apparently has fallen in with the caudillos best known for plying their brand of self-serving politics south of this border. Hinojosa has staunchly fended-off any idea of him hosting a town hall meeting to with the roiling national issue of health care reform. Indeed, he has said he wasn't about to do it.
But now he has changed his mind and will appear in a bizarre television Studio Town Hall meeting hosted by KGBT- Channel 4 of Harlingen a few miles downrange from here. We say it's bizarre because the studio audience - those who may or may not be allowed to ask questions of His Excellency Hinojosa - will number only 25, and how those 25 managed to gain seats is one mystery. The second one is why Doctors Hospital At Renaissance is sponsoring it (paying for the show by way of advertisements).
We have been looking at comments from citizens entered in response to the stunning news. In today's edition of The McAllen Monitor, someone typed this into the comments section of the story to do with the Studio Town Hall: "Solomon Ortiz, Henry Cuellar, Ruben Hinojosa, and Hillary Clinton all recieved $10,000 from the Border Health Federal PAC in 2008. Many of the doctors owning Doctor's Hospital have given a lot of money to Border Health Federal PAC. Dr. Lawrence Gelman, a vocal advocate against reform, has given over $3,000. Border Health Federal PAC is a PAC representing Doctor's Hospital At Renai$$ance. Doctor's Hospital is sponsoring this forum on KGBT Channel 4. Why are these doctors spending so much money to make their voices heard? Are they really keeping the patient at their best interest? Wake up, people. I think we should lobby Austin for increased liability on doctors & surgeons. They have been making way too much money off of us anyway. $250,000 is just pennies for them anyway. Besides, they are practicing "defensive medicine" anyway. Who really benefits from not passing the healthcare reform? If you want to see whose been donating to which campaigns, etc. go to http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/ Just type in name or business, etc."
Danged good advice, says this observer. But our beef with Hinojosa, a family member of a well-known meat packing enterprise, is that he needs to be told the meaning of representation; that is, he needs to know that the constituency wishes him to fight those who disagree with him, if that is what he must do. As it is, residents in his district do not know where he stands on this particular hot-button issue. It would seem that, being a Democrat, Hinojosa would side with President Barack Obama's plan to reform health care. Yet, Hinojosa's approach has been to play Little Boy Ghost in this debate.
Perhaps his recent mining of monetary contributions from the health care industry explains some of his slouching, do-nothing posturing. A looksee at campaign funds generated by his staff up until 2008 show that those monies did not come from health care providers. Since then, much has...
As the dominant culture down here would say, "Que pasa, Rube?"
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[Editor's Note: A review of the televised Town Hall yielded this: Lame, lame, lame. Cuellar looked like some foreigner speaking as if to a gang of Pachucos drinking at some low-rent bar in Laredo. Hinojosa speaks as if on Valium. There is little in his speaking style to believe in. An expensive get-up does not a statesman make. Ortiz may better serve humanity as Third Base coach for some going-nowhere RGV minor league baseball team. In a word, the contrived show: Sucked. Ortiz, Cuellar and Hinojosa came off as a Trio of Empty-Suit Bureaucrats...]