In the Medrano Vote Fraud Case, Let's Not Tie the Noose Just Yet

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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OK, I do understand that we're all primed now to string up the entire Medrano family for a massive vote fraud conspiracy bordering on terrorism, communism and cannibalism. All I want to do is toss out a couple modest words of caution.

The Dallas Morning News has a lead editorial today insisting that somebody "get to the bottom" of charges against seven members of the family charged with vote fraud and lying to a grand jury. Just for the sake of argument, I'd like to get to the top of the story instead.

First of all, this is a really good family, beginning with the patriarch, the late Pancho Medrano, who was a respected political activist at every level from neighborhood politics to national presidential politics. Pancho Medrano was a gentleman and a force to be reckoned with.

panchdan.JPG
Via.
Pancho Medrano
He could play a tough game, but he always dealt from the top of the deck. He was one of those old-fashioned '50s and '60s minority leaders who thought the way for people from minority backgrounds to achieve equality was by out-performing the whites. A member of the family told me once that Pancho insisted they all show up 15 minutes early for everything because the Anglos expected them to be 15 minutes late.

The charges here are that the Medranos ordered two teenage girls in the family to vote from the wrong address, along with something else about encouraging a felon to vote. So here are my words of caution.

For the most part, the Texas Legislature has never given a big flying shit where people vote from. The legal standard isn't even about where you live. It's about where you intend to live. The courts in the past have sanctioned voting by RV-dwelling snowbirds who vote in South Texas because they have post office boxes there, even though some of them virtually never spend a night where they have the post office box.

Why does the Legislature allow stuff like that? Think about it. When this business comes to the surface, it's always about minority Democrats, especially since the Tea Party has so aggressively targeted minority voters. But if you back away 10 yards and view the phenomenon whole, it will occur to you that lots of kinds of people have shaky claims to their declared voting residences, including about a zillion white college students and who knows how many old folks who get toted hither and yon in the course of things.

For whatever reason, the Legislature has never seen fit to close this circle tightly and definitively, despite lots of chances. I talked to former Dallas County elections director Bruce Sherbet about it yesterday. He worked closely with former State Representative Steve Wolens in 2002 when Wolens authored a successful vote fraud reform that did close some loopholes.

But Sherbet said most of those loopholes were technical and small-bore. He said he knows what kind of reform would clean up the violations that still occur: "Make the candidates responsible, so they can't blame it on some campaign worker over here."

Well, the Legislature consists entirely of candidates. How eager do you think they're going to be to make themselves responsible, criminally and civilly, for everything that goes on in their campaigns? For one thing, they all know how crazy campaigns can get. Politics, remember, is what we do instead of war.

So what about this thing with the Medranos? Why did the teenage girls vote in the wrong place? I'm telling you: This story is going to get into all kinds of family stuff about telling teenagers what to do. Think about your own family. How much of this crap do you really want to hear?

The backdrop for all of this is a massive national cultural and political trend at the conservative white end of the spectrum to believe that minority voting is somehow per se a bad thing and therefore probably a fraud. You cannot divorce the Medrano case from that context, especially when you have a conservative white Texas attorney general taking the case out of Dallas and prosecuting it instead in an ultra-conservative suburb.

Some great journalistic work has been done on this story, which I do not mean to denigrate. The guy pushing it in the community is former Dallas J.P. Luis Sepulveda, whom I admire because he's tenacious. I hate vote fraud when they sell the minority votes to white candidates who then get elected and operate against the interests of the minority community.

But painting the Medrano family as some kind of vote-stealing mafia is bullshit. They're a good family with a longer record of public service on boards and commissions than maybe any other Dallas family I can think of, of any ethnicity.

When the lawyers finally drill down into this specific case in court, I suspect it's going to be a bunch of family child-rearing stuff that the rest of us have no need to know about. So, with that said, I invite you to unholster your sidearms and burn down the landscape calling me a libtard Mexican-loving hippie bastard fraud-enabler. Actually that would be 95 percent true.

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99 comments
Billy MacLeod
Billy MacLeod

I always feared you were in the Medrano camp Jim, I think they've made they're own bed...

courtside
courtside

love how Schutze thinked those indictments didn't mean shit.  Go ask a Medrano if they are meaningless.  Oh, well, at least this whole process saved us from having Pauline Medrano run for County Commissioner and they work their corruption up that side.

Jose
Jose

Jim how about all the Seniors that had their votes stolen via mail ballots147 testified?? All but one named a Medrano who picked up their vote. Go to www.Luisdanielsepulveda.com/tr...

Pancho Medrano and Hope sold government cheese in their store for startersRobert Medrano DSID Trustee convicted of Drunk DrivingMedranos stealing votes from seniors for:Carlos Medrano, Adam Medrano, Ricardo Medrano, Pauline Medrano, John Loza,Jose May, Domingo Garcia, Elba Garcia, Jaime Cortez, Ted Lyons just to name a few

All democrats and their opponents were all democrats.

Oh I forgot Republicans made them do it.    

Kelsiebj27
Kelsiebj27

if they did what they say than there is no reason to make excuses for them no matter if they all were good and there was only one bad apple they all new what was going on so they all should be thrown in jail its called guilt be association and they new what is wrong and what isnt

Meredithlol
Meredithlol

Just becuase someone smiles and talks nice, doesn't make them nice or good.  The Medrano's are a good family if you want to get paid off,  They have stolen from housing assistance programs, are slum lords, and have done nothing but put their own interest ahead of anyone they have pretended to represent.  Get real Jim.  These people are corrupt, money grubbing, cheating, scam artists and it looks like you are just another fool who in spite of all the evidence will side with someone willing to smile and pretend.

Jay
Jay

"These people are corrupt, money grubbing, cheating, scam artists....................................... someone willing to smile and pretend."

--So you're saying they're politicians.

Billy MacLeod
Billy MacLeod

The simple fact that all of you smart and engaged people are digging this deep into this subject makes me giddy as a school girl. Jim you surprised me on this one. I have been feeding you pieces of this story for 10 years, I republished articles not seen for decades, and you never published a bleeping word. Now you finally publish piece about the story, after the indictments came down, and it ends up being a PR puff piece laying down your position that this is an upstanding family. I am stunned. It is almost funny, it actually may qualify as comedy.

That being said Jim, time will tell, but at least I can say that from my personal experience you are in some sort of a trance brother, seek medical attention immediately. The Medrano family manipulates elections, they intimidate voters and candidates alike and they chastise their supporters into submission. This is well documented both through speculation and with some hard facts to back it up. Funny thing is, even with all this readily known in local political circles,  the Medrano family still has a direct line of influence to public officials numbering in the hundreds. Their entire family is in the business of pursuing power in all sectors of Dallas Jim, let's be real, these allegations are not coming out of left field.

I ran against this family twice Jim, I think I can talk to this issue. It's public record that I have personally been threatened by this family, they have tried to intimidate me. They came to my work and told me to get out of the race, they came to my home and told me to get out of the race, they threw firecrackers at me in Deep Ellum and told me to get out of the race. I had to have undercover protection Jim, special investigations unit had to get involved. look it up Jim, be a reporter.  The truth hurts brother, you have made that your business for years, I for one am just glad this story is now in the eye's of the public and that there is open thoughtful debate about this subject. Your position is laughable.

The Genius
The Genius

thanks for that wonderful piece of "journalism" jim! i guess we're just lucky to have such a nice group of folks who take the right to vote so lightly- i'm almost surprised acorn wasn't involved!

JimS
JimS

Anna! Got to bed!

boris the cat
boris the cat

Wow, it's been 6 years since Monica Greene lost and you dumb bastards still can't get over it! Monica lost because she was a dumbass who didn't understand squat about City Hall and never even tried to learn. Now she's gone back to opening mediocre restaurants for white people who don't know better, so go get some bad Mexican food and get over it already!And by the way, early votes are NOT the same as "absentee" votes, all it means is that someone voted in person before the election, as we in Texas have the right to do (at least until the Republicans take that away, too).

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

I just discovered Monica's Aca y Alla restaurant in Deep Ellum and I love it.

I've been back at least 2 times a month in past 3 months.  The food is good. Can't beat the prices. 

Monica comes out and says hello to the customers.  It's a pretty good place to go.

heart and soul
heart and soul

Hannibal, this had been repeated many time but maybe you can't count.

Throw out all the mail ballots in the Medrano/Greene race and Medrano wins anyway. Look it up.

replay
replay

It's actually so simple. I'm sure you'll get it.

There were 1,120 ballots cast on election day. Medrano got 528 of those votes (about 47%) and Barros-Greene got 592 of those votes (about 53%). So, based on just the election day votes, Medrano would have lost.

There were 1,086 absentee ballots cast:

There were 541 "in person" absentee ballots cast. Medrano got 346 of those votes (about 64%) and Barros-Greene got 195 of those votes (about 36%).

There were 545 "mail in" absentee ballots cast. Medrano got 470 of those votes (that's a whopping 86+%) and Barros-Greene got only 75 of those votes (less than 14%).

So, the combination of absentee ballots ("in person" and "mail in") were a decisive factor in the election because Medrano got 816 of those votes (more than 75% of the absentee vote), while Barros-Greene got only 270 of those votes (less than 25%).

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

If you are looking at Dalco Elections and you put "in person" those are not absentee ballots those are Early Vote "in person" and the absentee ballots would fall under Early Vote "absentee". Just for clarification...

heart and soul
heart and soul

It is simple. Throw out the mail vote and Greene still loses.  More people walked in and voted for Medrano and many people made their mind up in this race before election day.There is nothing odd about that.

If your point is Greene is a bad campaigner or that she ran a bad campaign then I agree.Medrano did a good job of getting her vote in early. Most of that early vote walked in.Most candidates that win early voting win the election. Medrano won the election with like 61%.  Sorry, mail vote didn't steal this election. LOL

replay
replay

You'd be wrong. I wasn't on either side, and really didn't care who won the election. I'm merely analyzing the numbers for what they are and what they say. Also, not smearing anybody. Once again, the numbers are what the numbers are. Intelligent people can draw their own conclusions.

heart and soul
heart and soul

Oh I am being very objective. I just can't stand to see some nice people get smeared without proof. Doesn't seem fair to me. Also think that the people that claim that an election got stolen were probably on the losing side.

replay
replay

It is clear you can't be objective about this.

RTR
RTR

I believe AG Abott needs to look into this election from way back!

heart and soul
heart and soul

The point is that more people walked in for Medrano.  So mail vote didn't win the election. You said otherwise. You were wrong.Get it?

replay
replay like.author.displayName 1 Like

No, the point is this. Absentee voting is the area most vulnerable to manipulation (especially "mail in" ballots). And, the absentee votes made a "huge" difference in this election. When you take into consideration the "in person" absentee ballots, the race was still pretty close (Medrano had 874 votes excluding "mail in" absentee ballots, and Barros-Greene had 787 combined votes). But, the "mail in" absentee ballots created the "landlslide win" for Medrano. THAT IS THE POINT, get it?

replay
replay

My math says differently.........the absentee ballots made a huge difference.

heart and soul
heart and soul

Of course it doesn't. You want to share your numbers and where you are getting them? It is online you know. Mail vote didn't win that election.Medrano got 1,344 total with 470 mail votes.Greene got 863 total with 75 mail votes.

You Monica fans can't count. Maybe that is why she lost. LOL

heart and soul
heart and soul

Well then you have some fuzzy math. Can you add?

ChuckE
ChuckE

35% of Medrano's votes were mail-in? As opposed to 8% for her opponent and an average of 6% for the other six candidates in the other runoffs? Wow! Just, wow.

replay
replay

I concede the Medrano campaign did a "phenomenal" job getting out the absentee voters (both "in person" and "mail in"). If it weren't for that, the election outcome would have been different. ChuckE is right........WOW,,..........and, WOW!

BTW, these are not "e-mails", they're called "blog posts"...........

heart and soul
heart and soul

You might want to read the e-mails before you chime in correcting people, replay. ChuckE mentioned other candidates and I said in the general election. 

It looks like all of Tyler's votes, mail and otherwise, went to Medrano in the runoff. 

I remember Greene did a radio show that older people like and talked about her sex change on the show. That had to be a mistake. LOL. I am not surprised that older voters went with Medrano big. That doesn't seem all that odd.

replay
replay like.author.displayName 1 Like

Your calculator is lying to you again. Medrano got MORE THAN 86% of the "mail in" absentee vote, and Barros-Greene got less than 14% of "mail ins".

ChuckE is right. About 35% (470, divided by 1,344) of the votes Medrano got were "mail in" absentee votes, and a whopping 61% (816, divided by 1,344) of the votes Medrano got came from Absentee voters.

BTW, I could care less who won the election.

heart and soul
heart and soul

Wrong ChuckE. Your math is bad too. Or maybe it is just your motives?% of mail vote for Medrano was 17.8%. In the general. Her opponent didn't even get 8%. Face it Monica just ran a poor race against a better candidate. Get over it.

RTR
RTR

I agree with you replay. 

Old in east dallas
Old in east dallas

Widespread voter fraud does not occur with in person voting, as the right wants you to think. It is the mail ballot system. Why on earth am I going to go find real people to go to polling locations when I can get just a few to harvest and sign mail ballets? It's possible that the Medranos did something wrong but this is just another diversion from where the real issues lie.

Hannibal Lecter
Hannibal Lecter

You hit the nail on the head. Look at the in-person versus absentee voter numbers for the Pauline Medrano/Monica Greene city council election. 

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res like.author.displayName 1 Like

WTF!!! Now before I say what I want, I must preface this by saying I love the Medrano family and their work.  Now Jim??? John Wiley Price has not been charged with any crime but you already want to give him the chair.  Indictments have come down and you think its all fluff??? Isnt this the exact same thing the JL Turner Assoc was saying to you that you disagreed with about JWP? Either you dont remember or just plain dont believe what you write, you have double standards or Im calling you bull shit right now.

JimS
JimS

Indictments don't mean shit.

Travis Rex
Travis Rex

 You don't need indictments to see the legacy of questionable activity by Dallas politicians..

Cut the Crap
Cut the Crap

yeah, right.  you go on thinking indictments don't mean shit.  You ask the Medranos all 7 of them, if they don't mean shit.  Most rationale thinking people think feel they are something to avoid at all costs. 

In fact, because of those -- as you put it--meaningless indictments, Pauline Medrano will not be running for County Commissioner.

And, I firmly believe those indictments had everything to do with the murder of Carlos Medrano's brother-in-law yesterday.  It's kind of hard for the Attorney General's investigation to question a dead man and I'm pretty certain he won't be able to testify at trial. 

I don't know what planet you're from, but from where I sit, I'd just as soon live my life without being indicted.  If for no other reason than the legal fees they incur. 

Oh, and you may want to ask Terri Hodge, or Jamie Cortez, or Don Hill and his wife how much they enjoyed their indictments.

heart and soul
heart and soul

Where did you get your information that Pauline Medrano is not running for Commissioner?

I think you pulled that out of your ass along with the rest of the hate you are spewing.

cp
cp

What's the saying about indictments and ham samdwiches? Terri Hodge pled guilty while Don Hill went to trial and was convicted by a jury. An indictment is NOT a convictoin nor a plea.

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

If indictments arent shit, then why are you already convicting someone that has not even received one yet???

AintNoSunshine
AintNoSunshine

I know I would have shit in my pants if I had ever been indicted. But that is just me. Guess some people wouldn't be phased by it. 

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

As I recall, didn't Mr. and Mrs. George H.W. Bush vote from a vacant lot in Houston while in the White House?

heart and soul
heart and soul

This is a good family. The indictments are completely lame. Thanks telling the truth Jim.I am so sick of the bull coming out of DMN.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

This so-called "good family" is already turning against one of their own who testified.... portraying her in the media as some sort of nut job.  Real classy, Medranos.... real classy.

mind games
mind games

i think the "bull" is now coming out of DO articles.

You should go read the indictments against the 7 Medranos.  These are not lame. 

Thought we knew ye
Thought we knew ye

So, you only go after African-American crooks and cheaters? Or do you just believe in a special 'accommodation' for the Medrano family?

replay
replay

The "spin" is already out there from their Attorney. My clients are innocent.......this is the vendetta of a white Republican (State AG Greg Abbott) targeting minorities..........they had to convene a grand jury in Rockwall to get these indictments.

What if the white State Attorney General (Greg Abbott) is just doing his job, prosecuting those who have broken the law?

Why did the Dallas County District Attorney ignore this situation? Or if not ignored, did the District Attorney welcome the involvement of the State Attorney General?

And we have to ask ourselves, "Why was the grand jury convened in a neighboring county (Rockwall) instead of in Dallas County?" Is it possible that Dallas County is so corrupt that a grand jury convened there would have refused to issue indictments?

Deep thoughts.............

HowdyDoody
HowdyDoody

Pancho was a real Dallas hero, but the rest of his family are criminals. I can't believe you'd stand up for people as corrupt and sleazy as them.

VoteDemo
VoteDemo

Pancho was caught selling cheese he stole from the FEDS Pantry in his family store.  Pancho was a womanizer like Roberto and Ricardo but I guess the apple does not fall very far from the tree.

Sharon Boyd
Sharon Boyd

Pancho was not involved in the cheese scandal.  It was 2 of his children.Don't know about Pancho's or Roberto's womanizing, but Ricardo Medrano is no womanizer.   He and Janie have a very strong marriage.   This was a very sad week in Dallas.   You have to admire Luis Sepulveda for fighting back even with all the Medrano's and Garcia's against him.   I just hope there is a mistake about Ricardo's indictment.   Janie and Ricardo are two of the sweetest people I have ever known.

heart and soul
heart and soul

You may not be admiring Luis very much longer, Sharon. FYI, the AG made another indictment that DMN is not mentioning. A "vote harvester" (as you call them) that worked for Sepulveda in the primary against Carlos Medrano.

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