Billy MacLeod Steps Up Fight to Move Polling Location From Medrano Elementary

Categories: Campaign News
medrano_ hopenoes.jpg
The polling location in dispute
By week's end, District 2 council candidate Billy MacLeod expects to file in state and federal court a lawsuit over the city's decision not to remove Esperanza "Hope" Medrano Elementary School from its list of polling locations for the May 14 election. As you're no doubt aware by now, MacLeod wants the polling location moved to Sam Houston Elementary because, after all, the school is named for the mother of his competitor -- Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano.

As far as he's concerned, having the name "Medrano" all over the place is a "clear violation" of the Texas Election Code, which prohibits electioneering within 100 feet of "an outside door through which a voter may enter the building." Brylon Franklin, who oversees election judges for Dallas County's elections department, told Unfair Park last week "can understand where [MacLeod]'s coming from."

MacLeod has taken his case to the U.S. Department of Justice, which has 60 days to respond and has yet to do so. He's taken his case to the City Attorney's Office, which told him just today it won't do anything unless there's "council action" on the matter of moving polling locations. Which means he's out of luck: City Secretary Deborah Watkins tells Unfair Park today she's not going to ask council to consider moving locations.

"We'll be taking some polling location changes and election judge changes to the council on April 27," she says. "I always do that close to election day. We aren't able to find and complete all the polling locations nor election judges by March 9, when the council OK'd the locations. Plus, people get sick, and all kinds of things happen. But I don't see any reason to make an exception in this case. And I sent that to Mr. MacLeod in a letter. I told him that about a week ago. But the council has already voted on Esperanza Medrano Elementary, and I'm not going back to council to ask them to change it."

In a letter to MacLeod dated April 6, Watkins told him, point blank, "There will be no recommended change for the polling location." At which point he called the city secretary and said he just might have to sue. At which point, Watkins said, "That's up to you. I don't control whether or not you sue the city. That's up to you." At least, that's how she recalls it.

And MacLeod says today that a lawsuit "looks like the only option I have to get a vote in front of the city council to counter her recommendation to keep the polling location at Medrano Elementary. I'll have to to sue in both state and federal court. ... The name on the building, and the placard on the front, violate the electioneering law. ... It's a sad day when I can't even get them to vote against me. The city secretary has ruled against me. That is her choice, and it is a choice. But the Dallas City Council has the ultimate decision on polling locations.

"All I am asking is for the council to vote for or against keeping Medrano Elementary the location. The fact that she will not allow a vote is telling. Everyone on the planet sees a problem with this except them, and that includes Dallas County. I gave them an opportunity to do the right thing and the City of Dallas has chosen to protect one of their own. It seems they are looking out for their Deputy Mayor. So if I have to go to court to wake them up to the reality of law that is what I will do. They had the option to vote against me. Now they give me no option but to file against them."

MacLeod has won one battle, at least for the moment: In that same letter, Watkins confirms what she told us last week -- that she will ask the council at its April 27 meeting to replace Armando Cruz as election judge for Precinct 3007. Cruz was recommended by Pauline Medrano. But, writes Watkins in her letter to MacLeod, "At my request, Dallas County Elections Office recommended Yvonne Williams to serve as the election judge for Precinct 3007. On April 27th, there will be an item on the agenda to recommend changes in election judges for the upcoming election that will include Yvonne Williams' name as election judge for Precinct 3007."

Which brings us to the final bit of business: Today MacLeod stopped by Dallas City Hall to file an ethics complaint against Pauline Medrano over her appointing Cruz to the position of election judge in the first place. Alleges MacLeod, Cruz works for the Medrano family. Messages have been left for the deputy mayor pro tem. She has yet to respond.Pauline Medrano Ethics Complaint

Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
22 comments
heart and soul
heart and soul

Hey Wylie, you racist thug, How is the city being shady? People in that precinct have been voting out of that polling place since before Pauline Medrano or any Medrano was on the ballot. I am glad someone is looking out for the voters and it sure isn't Billy or you.

If the city changed the polling place now many people will miss the notice and won't know where to vote. And for what? To give Billy a campaign issue? Won't make a bit of difference in the election. Billy ran a bunch of times and never won a single precinct. Also the place where Billy wants to move the poling place isn't even in the precinct. That is not even legal and it is not fair to the people that live in that precinct.

So the city is being shady? Bullshit.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Very disappointed in Deborah Watkins for turning a (mostly) blind eye to this. I suspect her brother, Craig Watkins, and Pauline Medrano both put some fairly heavy pressure on her.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Good going for billy..We need a serious change in district 2 politics and an end to the Medrano's cartel-style of politics. I know who i'll be voting for election day!!

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

The City is behaving in a shady manner, as usual. No surprise on the Medrano thing--- the family view political offices as their birth right.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

does Pauline not have a campaign advisor?

If she does, I suggest she find a new one, because they are not giving her good campaign advice.

She should've corrected this corruption the minute it aired. Now, it is not only hurting her in votes, but it is also helping her opponent to sway voters.

Billy MacLeod's accusations are very sound and it is just plain wrong for her to want to corrupt the voting process.

Mike3647
Mike3647

I have no dog in this hunt, but is this like when that governors candidate sued to get 'One Tough Grandma' on the ballot since 'Kinky' was running?

dfwrez
dfwrez

something kind of odd about suing the city you plan to represent. hmmmm what happens if it works and people elect him? does he just drop the suit?

we taxpayers like paying for lawsuits. keeping Dallas in the poorhouse...one lawsuit at a time.

glynn
glynn

Good for Billy in keeping his name out there but dude..... you go the judge changed, you got a win, now move on.... focus on the campaign.....

Billy MacLeod
Billy MacLeod

Point of fact Mr. Anonymous:

Under Texas Election Code Sec. 61.003. ELECTIONEERING AND LOITERING NEAR POLLING PLACE PROHIBITED. (a) A person commits an offense if, during the voting period and within 100 feet of an outside door through which a voter may enter the building in which a polling place is located, the person:

(2) electioneers for or against any candidate, measure, or political party.

The Medrano Elementary School reader board sign in front of the school and the sign on the school itself are both within the 100 ft. limit and this is a direct violation of State election law.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Actually, the city secretary is the Dallas County District Attorney's aunt.

anon
anon

Craig is not Debora's brother, you lazy troll.

Steve
Steve

I think it's more important, having a polling place with the same name as one of the candidates just smacks of banana republic, third world type corruption.

Howard
Howard

Even if Billy loses, I'd rather he lose with the public knowing it was clearly a fair fight, and the majority obviously did not want him. Holding a polling station at a school named after a family member of a competing candidate just comes off as a blatant smack in the face of our so-called democracy. We criticize other countries for looking the other way over this kind of stuff.

Billy MacLeod
Billy MacLeod

I agree with you 100% dfw. All I asked for was an up and down vote. The City Secretary had made her decision and all the City Council had to do was agree with her and this would have been a done deal. Personally I think it is very strange that at the last minute she changed her mind and made a decision not to put it before the Council for a vote. I do not want to sue the City of Dallas, the timing alone is simply not practical, but they basically told me to. The good news is that the Dallas City Council still has the opportunity to vote on this issue and I hope they make the right call. Why would they NOT remove all appearance of impropriety? It appears like they are protecting one of they're own and that is simply the wrong impression to give when my entire complaint was about removing all doubts about the fairness of this election. I do appreciate your point, this is not an easy decision for me.

Kathy
Kathy

I have no problem with someone standing up for what's right. Obviously, the City Secretary and the City Attorney and Councilwoman Medrano do not (1) know what is right or, (2) do not care about doing the right thing.

I feel it is our duty to enforce that they abide by the law, ethics. Mr. MacLeod is protecting all of our rights by taking this on. Afterall, where do we draw the line? How far would you want us to allow the City to step outside the law?

Ms. Medrano must think we are all stupid. She should not have tried to put her own relative in as election judge. Then, when that was exposed, she insulted our intelligence by putting her family's employee up for election judge.

I am extremely disappointed in Ms. Medrano's behavior.

Thank you Billy for tackling this issue.

Charlie
Charlie

Billy is right to fight to move the location. I hope he succeeds and, in my opinion he is focusing on the campaign, because the main reason he is running is to break up the Medrano cartel.

I like that he is exposing Pauline Medrano's blatant disregard for the law.

I do not know either candidate well, but I am extremely disappointed in the fact that Ms. Medrano is not taking the high road. Instead she is throwing walls up and continuing to overlook fair election procedures. This goes to character--and I don't like what I'm seeing.

InquiringMind
InquiringMind

How long has Medrano School been there? For 10 years, long before Ms. Medrano considered running for city council. Gee Billy, let's talk about what you have been doing for the citizens of district 2...., tweeting about where you are going, tweeting about articles in the paper, tweeting about everything except how we can work at making the Bridge better for the homeless. How we can keep from furloughing city employees, DPD and DFD; getting the sanitation workers at least to minimum wage.

These are some of the things that are important to me. Not whether Medrano's name is on a school. If you would have brought this up before announcing you are running for city council I would have been more understanding of your motives.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

Even if Billy looses, he will be back in 2013 when Pauline is reaches her term limits, and off top of my head the only Medrano I can see running is Adam, but even if he doesn't Billy will still loose against any other credible candidate bc Billy's campaign everytime is always why not to vote for someone else and not why to vote for him. Voters don't want problems, they want solutions...

Billy MacLeod
Billy MacLeod

Mr Anonymous: I am glad that you have started following me on Twitter. Twitter is used for moving messages, sharing ideas, and suggesting editorial content and that is exactly what I do. Thank you for noticing. Maybe you should dig a little deeper.

If you dig in to my Tweets you and everyone else will find that I have posted my complete platform and key issues which include fighting for equality and against discrimination again our GLBT community. I have offered new and dynamic ideas about increasing sustainable development in District 2 and I have put forward creative new ways of increasing revenue for our city. I have detailed my support for the Dallas Police and Fire Department as well as for small business owners who have been shut out and over regulated by Dallas City Hall. I personally go down to the Bridge and talk with the homeless weekly but more than that I go down onto the streets in the The Cedars and I talk with those who either don't use the Bridge or cannot sleep there because The Bridge is full.

It is interesting that you mention a living wage for sanitation workers because I have a portion of my platform specifically dedicated to that very issue. It is published in my Key Issues section of my website and I have been on the record on this issue for months. Indeed I have spoken to the Dallas City Council on this very subject. In fact I even demonstrated with their union Local 100 when they were out front of Dallas City Hall with the Dallas Peace Center protesting Pauline Medrano's support of contracting temporary workers who were taking their jobs.

It amazes me that you ask me these questions when your candidate has taken no stance on any issue related to this campaign. None. She has no platform whatsoever. Pauline Medrano has no website, she has no Facebook, she has no Linkedin, and she does not use Twitter. Pauline Medrano has taken a stance on no issues affecting District 2. She is a ghost. District 2 deserves better access to their elected representative than Pauline offers, most people don't use a fax anymore. Tell her she can cut and paste my ideas at http://www.billymacleod.com, that would be better than nothing.

Billy MacLeod
Billy MacLeod

All anyone has to do is go to my website to see that you are just blowing smoke OCR. Of course I have outlined the problems with Dallas City Hall but I also offer detailed solutions. I believe that we can still fix what your candidate has broken but we have to act at the polls. What does your candidate suggest we do to fill the hole she has dug us? Seriously, I can't find it anywhere, and maybe that is because your candidate has no website, no Facebook, no Linkedin, no Twitter, no Myspace, and she has absolutely no platform whatsoever. Say what you will about me OCR but your candidate is a freaking non-entity. If people want to know what I'm all about they can simply Google "billy macleod, dallas" and they will quickly find out what ideas I have put forward. If you want to communicate with my opponent you'd better own a fax. I say we are best off to fire them all and start over. Follow me on Twitter by simply clicking on my name and check out all the details at http://www.billymacleod.com.

anon
anon

So then you've been satisfied with your representation on the city council?

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...