Thursday, April 29, 2010
Andy's family does not have the equipment or training to be able to take care of him at their home. The family is looking for a rehab center that will take him in. They can call 915-504-3488 or contact the family by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if they are willing to help the family out. The family is running out of time and running out of options.
These pictures show how Andy's life was changed forever due to the actions of an off duty police officer.
He will never be able to jump into a pool again, he will never be able to hug his little cousins, he will never be able to live a normal life.
"He is still just a kid that did not deserve this, no one does." said his aunt who lives in Austin. "All we can do now is trust in God. God has a plan for our "Indio" I know it."
It is amazing to read and hear all the good things about Andy. Family, friends and even strangers have sent well wishes and shared stories about Andy with me. It is good to know that there are alot of people who love him and stand by him during these tough times.
Please share these pictures with someone, you never know they might be the one that will be able to help Andy.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
This weekend the LNRC was invited to take part in the First Thanksgiving hosted by the El Paso Mission Trail Association in San Elizario.
There was a whole lot of things going on. You had the First Thanksgiving reenactment, art displays, vendors, equestrian show, performances by gun fighters, ghost chasers,speakers, music, car show, bikers, food, there was definitely something for everyone.
I didn't see too many elected officials out there. But I do have to mention El Paso Mayor John Cook was out there with his guitar in hand. But there was another elected official out there.
State Representative Chente Quintanilla was out there early Saturday morning. Unfortunately he wasn't representing himself very well. He walked passed by our booth, looked back over his shoulder and muttered "What the hell are Republicans doing here? Don't you know you can't be Mexican and a Republican?"
Chente must have thought that I did not know who he was. In his defense, the way he was dressed he just looked like any grumpy old man. His attire did not reflect that of a State Representative and neither did his racialist remarks. I'm surprised he didn't say I wasn't Mexican enough because my name isn't Pancho or Chito or Paco.
I bit my tongue and pretended that I didn't know who he was. I wasn't going to stoop down to his level in public. I rather do it on my blog where more people can enjoy it.
Representative Quintanilla isn't exactly your model State Representative. He has a reputation in the House for being a laydown. He will sign anything that is put in front of him and untill recently had never sponsored a bill himself.
Chente Quintanilla had some students write up a bill to make the sopapilla the official pastry of Texas as a school project. It's bad enough that it was the only bill he has ever sponsored on his own but he didn't even draft it himself, he had kids do it for him.
He has been in office way to long and for someone whose campaign logo is "Chente por la jente" he definitely needs to learn how to speak to la jente. Treat people like you would like to be treated Representative Quintanilla, you never know, you just might insult someone who will blog about it. Be thankful you weren't in a Socorro city council meeting or it would have been up on you tube. Politics in the lower valley can get interesting.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The El Paso Latino National Republic Coalition held its very first fundraiser Monday April 26, 2010. We were honored to host a luncheon for Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. Over 200 people heard the Lt. Governor speak on issues like taxes, the state budget and immigration. When asked about the controversial Arizona Senate Bill 1070 and if the state of Texas would pass a similar bill the Lt. Governor told the group that there was a better way to have handled the immigration issue. “We all came from somewhere else” he said and focused on the fiscal security of our state. According to the Lt. Governor having the federal government hire more border patrol agents to secure the borders instead of having the state of Texas pay millions of dollars to handle federal law is better way of handling the issue.
The El Paso LNRC is one of the newest chapters of the Texas LNRC. Our chapter has only been around for a few months but we are tackling a problem that has plagued El Paso for way too long. For many years conservative Latinos in El Paso have felt like they were left out, like they weren’t apart of something and have not participated in the local political process because of it. Our chapter is determined to change that and do everything we can to engage, empower and elect those of Latino heritage in our border community. We have taken a step closer to achieving those objectives by bringing in a speaker like Lt. Governor David Dewhurst to El Paso and introducing conservative Latino candidates at our event. Francisco Canseco candidate for Congress, Dan Chavez candidate for Senator District 29, Jaime O. Perez candidate for El Paso County Judge and Rene Diaz candidate for El Paso Community College Board of Trustees District 1 were all in attendance and introduced to the group. Two more candidates, Charlie Garza candidate for Texas State Board of Education and Gracie Valenzuela candidate for Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 were not in attendance due to scheduling conflicts but equally contribute to the conservative movement by Latinos in El Paso. The demand for conservatism by Latinos in El Paso is nothing new; it just hasn’t been tapped into properly by any group. We hope that the El Paso LNRC is the catalyst that finally makes this a reality in El Paso.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
We moan and groan about how tired we are of what happens in our community. We claim to be bothered by the same 'ol same 'ol mentality from our leaders. We ask for help and are offended when we are turned away. We want to hang our city representatives by their toe nails on the drop of a dime yet when one of our own asks for help we turn our backs on him.
Not too many people know how it feels to be in real need and have people turn their backs on you when you don't know who to turn to. They don't know how it feels to not have anyone by your side when you feel so alone. I think this is one of those times where we need to listen more and doubt less. We as a community need to unite and stand up for what is right. We need to stop closing the doors on the possibility that there is a flaw in our system. After all no one is perfect.
This song has played in my head and in my heart many times. We all feel this way at some point of our lives. We feel like we have no one and are alone to take on the world. Lets work together and show each other that we are here for those who need us. Lets not give these people our backs, lets give them our attention instead. We might learn a thing or two.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
There has been many people who are defending Andy and there are many people who are defending the police officer on this issue.
People have posted on the Internet that the police officer did the right thing and that he should be commended. Some have gone all out and attacked Andy and said he got what he deserved.
People from across the country have posted their support for the officer stating that we were not there to see what really happened and shouldn't question his actions. The officer is considered a hero on many blogs.
Lets take a look at this so called hero, this officer that is being put on a pedestal for his so called off duty heroics. I'm leaving out all the extra curricular activities, the rumors, the chisme, the he said she said stuff.
Lets take a look at some facts. It seems that some new information has come out in the last couple days. Here is a Notice of Suspension for officer Jorge Gonzalez. Seems that he had 10 violations on this suspension alone. Officer Gonzalez was put on an 80 suspension for lying about what happened when he pulled over a man who was speeding to his business because of a security alarm that went off. Read the document yourself and ask, Could this officer have lied to cover up what really happened?
It was hard for me to justify a yes answer before this document surfaced but now it I can easily shout HELL YEAH he might have lied about what he did to Andy. I can't gurantee he did but the odds are definately stacked against him on this one.
There are plenty of hard working, respectible police officers on the force. Unfortunately this is not one of them. Good officers have to work twice as hard to get half the respect they desrve because of bad apples like him. Let's toss put the bad apples.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Thanks to everyone who drove by and donated to Andy's cause. Many were kind enough to drop loose change and dollar bills into the buckets.
There was about 40-45 people who collected donations in buckets, waved signs and passed out fliers. It was the most fulfilling four hours of our lives.
Family and friends wanted to accomplish two things at this event. They wanted to raise money for Andy and they wanted to find anyone who might have seen anything that would come forward with information.
The final count has not come in on the bucket full of money, but I am happy to report that we gathered some new information. Andy's family got what they were looking for......they got answers.
Stay tuned, I should have more details coming soon.........
Sunday, April 18, 2010
As many of you have heard Andy Cortes was in a shooting involving two off duty officers. He now has a bullet permanently lodged in his neck and has had two surgeries since the shooting April 1st. Andy's life has been drastically changed by this event. Andy did not have any health insurance and his family is struggling to take care of the staggering medical bills and does not have the means to purchase the medical equipment he will need on a daily basis. The family is asking for your help.
A fundraiser will be held Monday April 19th from 3pm-6pm on the corner of Yarbrough and Gateway West. Friends and family will hold containers with pictures of Andy collecting loose change at the same corner he was shot at on April 1st. It only takes a split second to help Andy, just like it only took a split second to change his life. Your participation would be greatly appreciated.
An account has been set up at Wells Fargo in Andy's name for those who can't attend but would like to contribute financially. The account number is 7606316987.
If you have any questions or would like to help please feel free to contact Sammy Carrejo at 915-633-4724 or at email@example.com. The family asks that anybody with information about the events that occurred on April 1st contact them by e-mail at GETWELLANDY@GMAIL.COM or by phone on a special hotline at 915-504-3588.
Monday, April 12, 2010
The race for District 76 has been and interesting one to say the least.
There has been alot of dirty campaigning and very little talk about issues. There was very little talking at all. In fact there was more screaming and yelling than anything else.
One of the issues that was not brought up by mainstream media that was very significant in my mind was the 96% funding of one candidate by TLR. As a Democrat people should find a problem with a Republican group funding a Democrat candidate.
But as a Republican I find it insulting and so should you. Why did TLR give a Democrat about $400k to run against another Democrat? Some people in Austin might say that a Republican can't win in El Paso. Really? Maybe because we don't get the support we need from Austin. Why didn't TLR give that money to a Republican in El Paso? You give me $400k and I'll make things happen or find another Republican who can. $400k can almost win by itself, just put a suit on it. Oh wait, I think they did.
Giving a Democrat candidate that much money is not a very good investment. $400k for the District 76 Seat? That's a whole lot of money for a seat. What are you going to get out of it? OK, she might vote for some of your issues here and there but will still be a Democrat. You have given that much money to a part time Republican so really all your doing is trying to buy yourselves a time share for that seat.
Now if you had given that money to a full time Republican then you could have had someone vote conservatively in that seat on a full time basis. There are plenty of hard working qualified Republicans here in El Paso who deserve that money. Republicans who would stand a great chance of winning if they would only have that much support from Austin. Why TLR? Why not one of us?
You stand for conservative beliefs yet you don't believe in us.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
I was having a conversation with my TMI texting buddy and fellow radio personality Jaime Abeytia, yeah the guy that sits to the left of me. Or do I sit to the right of him? Well you get the point that our seating arrangement coincide with our political views.
In one of our off the air conversations we started talking about the Tea Party movement.
For some reason people have the idea that members of the Tea Party movement are only Independents or disenfranchised Republicans. I'm going to try to burst his, I mean their bubble on this one.
According to Wikipedia The TEA Party movement is an anti-tax political movement that uses the letters T-E-A to form the acronym "Taxed Enough Already".
I don't know about you but I think taxes affect all of us equally. Tax brackets don't separate us by political affiliation. There are many people with different political beliefs right now that are not happy at all with the way they are being taxed by the government. Are you happy with the way the government is taxing you?
Having said all that here is some interesting information that I found online. Like I said on air, I'm not that smart, I just have a pretty good Internet connection.
"The national breakdown of the Tea Party composition is 57 percent Republican, 28 percent Independent and 13 percent Democratic, according to three national polls by the Winston Group, a Republican-leaning firm that conducted the surveys on behalf of an education advocacy group. Two-thirds of the group call themselves conservative, 26 are moderate and 8 percent say they are liberal."
Go check it out for yourself. Its just some food for thought.
Oh by the way, if you are interested in finding out what this movement is all about there is a Tax Day Tea Party April 15, 2010 from 5pm-8pm at Western Playland Amusement Park 1249 Futurity Drive Sunland Park, NM 88063 or you can get more information on their website www.grassrootselpaso.org
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
The media has reported many things about the shooting that occurred on April 1st. The shooting that has had Andy laying unconscious in critical condition in the hospital. Not many have been positive in any way.
Well I have some good news to report today. Andy has regained consciousness. He can't talk very much, still needs machines to help him breath and still has not gained feeling in his arms or legs. But he is awake, it is a step toward his recovery.
I walked into Andy's room yesterday and was able to communicate with him. Not quite talk but communicate with him. He had tubes coming out of his throat, a neck brace keeping his head stable and his arms and legs were completely motionless.
I didn't expect Andy to be awake. I actually walked in to the room to find him laying by himself. His mother had stepped out to take a break after being by his side for so many hours. I can understand, she needed a break from the emotional stress caused by seeing her son in the state that he was in.
I thought I was just going to stand by him for a few minutes and leave. Then I saw his eye twitch, I didn't think very much of it, then I see his eyes open. Honestly it scared me and made me take a step back.
I gathered my composure, called out his name, asked him if he knew who I was and if it was OK for me to be in his room. He struggled to remember who I was. We had only seen each other a handful of times so I didn't expect him to remember me considering what he had just been through.
I told him my name and who I was. I asked him if I it was OK to ask him some questions. He very slowly nodded yes. Before I started asking him questions I relayed all the well wishes from friends, family and from strangers who have submitted them via the Internet. I told him he had the support of alot of people. His eyes teared up.
"How are you feeling?" I asked him. Andy shrugged his face and mouthed the words OK. I wanted him to feel comfortable. I noticed the T.V. was on the cartoon network and asked him if he would like me to change it. He quickly nodded no. I later found out from family members that he loves to watch cartoons.
We talked a little bit about his wounds. We didn't get too much into the details. I didn't know if he was aware of the whole situation.
I told Andy we would do everything we could to help him and that we were all on his side. I was talking about his friends and family. I told him that I had written a piece about him on my blog and that I wanted to keep writing about him. I wanted to do whatever I could to help.
I didn't want to overstep any boundaries so I asked him "Will you let me help you?" Andy's lip quivered, his eyes teared up and he nodded yes. You guys just don't understand what they felt like.
Andy can't even complete a full sentence yet he told me so much with his response. I saw the pain, the anger and the confusion in his eyes. He was laying helpless in his bed yet I could see how strong he really was. He asked me to call his mother. He struggled to mouth her telephone number. I called her from the lobby.
I was able to meet with his mother at the hospital later in the day. Talking to a mother about her son that is laying in a hospital bed is not exactly the easiest thing to do.
Andy's mother was surprisingly strong. "I have to be strong for him and for my daughter." "I can't show him I'm upset." We talked outside in the hallway outside of Andy's room. I asked her to tell me what Andy had told her, how he felt about what happened and what he knew or didn't know.
She told me that he didn't really know much about the event but that he had asked her"Who shot me?"
It had been four days since the shooting took place and Andy didn't even know there was an officer involved!
That raises some very important questions. Didn't the "shooter" say he had identified himself as a police officer? Did he really identify himself or did he just say that because that is what he was supposed to have done. Did everything happen so fast that he didn't have time to identify himself? Did everything happen so fast that he can't remember if he did or didn't? He had a very short time to make that decision. DID HE IDENTIFY HIMSELF BEFORE HE PULLED THE TRIGGER?
I asked Andy's mom to give me her take on what happened.
"He took his life and rights away"
Andy is alive but he will never be the same. Andy is going to have a second surgery to try to repair damage done by the bullet that was lodged in his neck. There is a chance that Andy may never walk again.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
I'm not going to lie, this is a hard piece to write.
Most of you guys were either stuck in traffic because of it or saw it on the news. I'm talking about the shooting that took place at the McDonald's on Yarbrough and Gateway West. Yeah, the one with the off duty police officer's and the yellow Pontiac Sunfire.
You probably have have heard or read alot of things about this story. But as long as it didn't involve anyone you know you will just move on with your busy life.
That's not the case for me. I knew both parties involved. Yes, this cruel small world has played an evil joke on us and put my family in the middle of this. Both the driver that was shot and the female officer that was injured are friends of the family.
They didn't know each other, their paths had never crossed to my knowledge.
Michelle was the officer that grew up with one generation of my family while Andy was barely growing up with another generation. Only 20 years old he is still considered a kid to the family.
Let me take you back to that day, before I knew who was involved.
I was one of the many stuck in the traffic jam on April 1st. I remember complaining about the rubber neckers that were causing me to be late. The incident was not even on the freeway yet traffic was slow on both east and west bound lanes. Somehow I made it to my destination. Then someone mentioned it at the meeting. They said it involved a yellow Pontiac Sunfire. I paused but then thought....what are the odds?
I figured I would see what happened on the 10 o'clock news once I got home. The story came on and I saw the Sunfire.......NO IT CAN'T BE! I grabbed my phone and dialed frantically. No answers. I began to worry. I finally got some sort of response.....a text message telling me my family was fine but Andy was shot!
The yellow Sunfire belonged to a member of my family.
I was up late, consoling some family and desperately tracking down others. There was a sense of outrage but I had to be the voice of reason for them. I just couldn't understand why this could happen.
I said all sorts of explicit things about the police officer's, not knowing who they were at the time. To me they were just badges that shot a friend of the family. They were nobody to me and their well being meant nothing.
Andy was taken to the hospital in critical condition with a bullet wound to the neck. His mother was notified and was by his side. Andy went through surgery the next morning and has been unconscious in critical condition since.
I talked to a family member to check on his status the day of his surgery. That's when I was told Michelle was the officer who was injured. That threw me for a loop. All the anger and explicit things I said about "that officer" were on hold now that the officer had a name, a face and history with my family.
Now I wondered, is she O.K.? Was she badly injured? How is her mom handling it?
I didn't know what to think, didn't know what to do. Whose side should I take? Who have I known longer? Who have I interacted with most? Do I like one more than the other? Do I ask my family what I should do? I just didn't know!
It was a long day for me. I had meetings all day, had to drop off then pick up the kids. I had to catch up on some work that I had been falling behind on so I didn't have much time to myself to think. But then I stopped and thought....What is the right thing to do? I catch myself asking myself that alot now that I am getting older. Some people say its called growing up.
I read all the stories and saw all the videos. I put myself in the situation and it came to me. I can't be biased on this. I had to remove myself from any relationships and knew what ever came out would make somebody upset with me. So no use in holding back.
It seems that it all started with a fender bender. Yeah, just a simple fender bender. Now remember I was not there, I am only making assumptions from information I gathered.
According to the news the two off duty officers got out of the SUV they were in after being hit. The report said they were going to get the drivers information. The driver then tried to escape and somehow the female officer was trapped underneath the vehicle. That's when the male officer gave verbal orders to stop then shot the driver in the neck fearing for the life of the female officer. That sounds cut and dry to me. But is it?
I can't say what Andy was thinking or can I ask him since he is still unconscious. I don't know why Andy would try to flee the scene but I know that if I saw two people coming at me and at least one had a gun, considering all the violence in our neighbor city, I would probably try to run too.
But let's analyze the shooter real quick. Yeah, I'm the only one calling him the "shooter" while others refer to him as the officer. In most cases referring to him as the "officer" minimizes his actions and frankly almost justifies his actions.
The media has frequently said that their was no relation between the two officers even though they shared the same last name. They are right, they are not kin but seems like they did have an romantic relationship. Why is that relevant? You'll see in a minute.
Judging by the video taken by the TXDoT camera and footage taken by an onlooker that provided it to the media, Michelle was not badly injured. You can see her a little distraught but definitely not laying on the floor bleeding to death.
You can also see several people on cell phones that we can only assume are calling 911. But if you look closely, Andy is still in the vehicle. No one is helping him! You have a wounded person in a car and the two police officer's cant render aid?!
They claimed they didn't help him because they feared he would hurt them. He has a gun shot wound in his neck and is hunched over on the steering wheel. They were within 10 feet from him. If they feared for their lives they would have fled or at least been farther away from the vehicle. Or did they think he was dead? Did they not want to touch anything that would risk the investigation? Was their investigation more important than Andy's life?
Lets go back to the romantic relationship between the two officers. How would you feel if someone hit your girlfriend with a car? You would be furious just like I would be if someone hit my girlfriend. I think having that relationship clouded the officers reactions and caused him to over react and shoot Andy. Passion makes people do some crazy things. Remember the officer is human and humans do make mistakes.
I also come to that conclusion by watching Michelle get near the car as Andy is still bleeding inside and puts her hands to cover her face in what seems to be disbelief. She walks away and seems to gesture to the male officer on the phone a hand gesture that normally means get away or leave me alone. Judging by her actions I can only assume that Michelle didn't agree with the actions taken by the male officer.
Friends and family have visited Andy at the hospital praying for his recovery. Officials say that "if he survives" he will be charged with aggravated assault. Yes, Andy is under arrest as he lays unconscious in his hospital room and once again is not given any hope.
I really can't say what happened that day. But I ask you guys;
Does he deserve to die?
I would like to see the police department perform an in depth investigation and not allow the possibility of lawsuits against the department hinder their efforts.
Both men should be under investigation and should both be treated equally. We like to use the saying "Innocent Until Proven Guilty" very loosely yet we have Andy under surveillance at the hospital and the shooter on administrative leave.
I wonder if that would be the case if there wasn't an officer involved. What if it was two guys off the street. Would the shooter still be at home or would he be in county jail as Andy lays in the hospital? Why does the badge make such a big difference?
All I'm saying is that investigations in El Paso that include police officers have historically not been handled to the liking of many. Let he who was at fault be justly punished and not just punish the one who can't defend himself.
After reading this both you and I can tell what side I took on this matter. It was obvious that I was one sided no matter how much I tried not to be. And we now know which family will be angry at me. My apologies to them.
I have never been a fan of police abuse since I myself have been down that road. It is not a pleasant feeling to say the least. It is something that you never forget as long as you live. Fortunately for me I can walk around and talk about it.
Let's just pray Andy can do the same.
WHO DETERMINES THE FINE?!!
Many Americans like myself are frustrated and want answers. But why can't someone give us those answers? I thought Bill O'Reilly asked a simple question yet Congressman Weiner danced around the question and even stuttered when put on the spot. This interview only leads us to believe one of two things.
1) Congressman Wiener is not qualified to answer a simple question and was sent out as a sacrificial lamb (pobresito)
2) The current administration is hiding certain details about the bill
It seems that the administration is trying to paint a pretty picture for us with a broad paint brush but as we all know it is the small details in the painting that really give it character.
The idea that the Health Care Bill will give all Americans access to health care is a perfect example of broad brushing. Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny anyone with any preexisting condition. Sounds great, but what they fail to realize is that the insurance companies can and will rate those conditions.
So by law they can't turn you down but they can charge you a ridiculous amount to cover the preexisting condition. Many say they would pay more just to have the coverage but honestly the rating will be so high that they won't be able to afford the coverage. Have you seen an insurance companies rate sheet? As a former health insurance agent I have seen a few in my life. I can tell you that the new rate sheets are going to make both agents and customers run for the hills.
The extra charge will be so high that once again those who so desperately need affordable health insurance will be be left without and to make things worse will be fined for not having any. This is their way of denying you without saying the word no to you.
If we really want to give all Americans affordable health insurance, key word here "affordable", we should ditch this unconstitutional bill, address TORT reform and put more control on insurance companies.
"Our rate increases are less than theirs" All health care insurance companies increase their rates annually to adjust to inflation. I think they do it to adjust to all the money they have to pay out that year. How would you feel if you went to go buy a car and they tell you your car payment is going to go up a certain percent each year because they have made some bad investments? Don't make any sense.
How many times have you driven down the street and seen one of those billboards with a lawyer claiming to get you a ridiculous amount of money for an injury? Almost makes you want to get into a car accident just for all that money. Or the commercials on TV that claim a lawyer can make you a millionaire by suing for medical malpractice.
Those are they guys that make affordable health insurance impossible. So much money is paid out and as we all know nothing is free in this world. So each time our insurance companies pay out millions we have to pay more to cover the loses.
In the words of one of our local leaders "This is a Feel Good Do Nothing" bill.