Saturday, February 5, 2011

Taxes Used For A Publicity Stunt

I was going purging some old videos when I saw this one and it made me ask myself. Why is the Sheriff's Department using employees for a publicity stunt? We went through the whole buget short fall fiasco yet nothing was done about Richard Wiles using county employees to further the agenda of a supposed non-profit organization. Most of you might remember this video. Fernando Garcia led many members of Border Network of Human Rights (BNHR) to turn themselves in at the El Paso County Jail in an attempt to influence legislation.

This was the biggest misuse of county employees caught on camera in recent history. Yes it was only a couple deputies used but it was blatant misuse of county employees. Sheriff's Spokesperson Jesse Tovar was waiting for the crowd in his very well starched uniform. Keep in mind Jesse Tovar's office is all the way on the other side of town. The media was notified the day before of BNHR's planned actions so having the Sheriff's spokesperson there would only make sense. Right? But how much prior to the event did the Sheriff's office know and most importantly how much was the Sheriff's department involved. If the Sheriff's department knew of the protest they could have prevented it from even happening if they wanted to. But that was not the case. Sheriff Richard Wiles wanted this protest to happen.

Tovar's position in front of the main entrance, nice demeanor and smile on his face tell us he had no problem with the protest. I know that if I would hold some sort of protest in the main entrance of the county jail I would be detained, not by the Sheriff's spokesperson in his pretty uniform, but by detention officers wearing tan uniforms or even worse their black "Ninja Turtle" Swift Repose Team Uniforms. 

So where am I going with this. Sheriff Richard Wiles is a huge supporter of and a participant in BNHR. You can visit and see Sheriff Richard Wiles several times in his uniform. Should he be in those pictures wearing his uniform advocating or trying to influence legislation with a 501(c)(3) considering that  501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct. 

"An organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation.",,id=163392,00.html

I'm no genius but I'm pretty sure BNHR video taped themselves (video courtesy of one of their members) opposing SB 1070 and any law like it here in Texas. If these guys want to be lobbyist then let them be, but then they can start paying taxes as well. I say they revoke their 501(c)(3) status. Their website used to say they were that but has been removed since I brought up this issue before. If they are no longer a 501(c)(3), then my job here is done. If they are then something has to change. BNHR has also removed a post on their website that showed them contacting and asking the public to contact Congressman Silvestre Reyes asking him to oppose a piece of legislation. Once again, I brought it up before and it was removed from their website.

I have said it several times this week. Our elected officials should be doing what we elected them to do. They should not be participate in illegal actions with a fraudulent "charitable organization". Richard Wiles should be held accountable for his actions and not be given a pass like he has been given since he was the Chief of Police.

Forgive me if I make some of you angry, but you guys should practice what you preach. You should lead by example and not be a "Do as I say and not as I do" type of leader.

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