I have had a good laugh at how badly the naysayers have taken this ballpark deal. Not getting your way isn’t fun. God knows as a conservative guy in El Paso I never got my way on anything. However, I didn’t always claim a crime was committed when things didn’t go my way. I learned to embrace the system of democracy we live under. I figured if you can’t get your way in your neighborhood because nobody agrees with you, it might be time to move!
Let’s look quickly at what the anti-ballpark crowd is claiming and how ridiculous it is and then I’ll tell my own story of loss and redemption.
First of all, there’s this hilarious claim that since a guy who never claimed he was against the ballpark beat a guy who never cast a vote to build the ballpark, it was proof that the citizens don’t want the ballpark. Think about that for a second because it’s factual. Leeser never once said he’d stop, hinder or even look twice at the ballpark. In fact, he said over and over again that he would see it through and make sure it got done on time. Ortega couldn’t even be bothered to show up for the City Council meeting where they voted on the matter. He was on his honeymoon. I guess you have to make a pretty good leap in logic to suggest that voters were actually voting on the ballpark deal in the last mayoral election.
Let us not also forget that three times as many people voted to have the HOT monies pay for the ballpark in a previous election. However, the anti-ballpark crowd claims that the HOT ballot item wasn’t a referendum on the ballpark. They will tell you that it has nothing to do with it at all and is a terrible way to measure the public’s support for the ballpark. But… the mayoral election was… hmm…
You have to wonder about the intellect of those who dislike the ballpark deal when their logic is just so patently wrong. For some of these folks I can’t pretend they are stupid, because they are not. I think they call it “intellectual dishonesty” because these people know better. Playing dumb and shooting half-cocked accusations around won’t fix the problem or make you feel better.
Now, I personally don’t like where they put the stadium or how they funded it. Unfortunately for me, nobody asked my opinion, so I won’t give you what I think should have happened. Why? Because it’s a done deal. Not the way I would have done it, but there was a vote and those elected to represent the taxpayers on these issues liked the deal. That’s how the process works. If you don’t like what happened – you can vote out those who don’t represent your ideals.
Claiming that the law was broken because you didn’t get your way is just stupid. It’s also a sign of how narcistic you are. You’re saying “I can never lose and if I do, it’s because someone cheated!” We all know that’s not what happened here. After 7,000 emails and three lawsuits there’s nothing even a little fishy with what happened. There’s just your bruised ego that you can’t get over.
My story of loss and redemption…
You all may remember that we all voted to “build a children’s hospital” a while back. Come on – you remember it was “for the kids!” I think you do remember because everything going on with the county and the hospital district is costing you money now and it all started with this project.
I won’t go into every little detail of why I thought it was a bad deal (if you want, I will in another post… but only if you request it). What’s the point now? I’m not really a “told you so” type of guy. Besides, I spent a lot of words on this blog and on my radio show at the time explaining just how the public was getting fleeced on the deal and what the future ramifications of it would be. I took a lot of shit from a lot of different folks for that stance. If you remember, this was a Shapleigh and a business community thing. There weren’t many naysayers out there to recruit to my team. My wife would plead with me every night to stop talking about it because her friends were bitching about my stance on the issue to her and she was tired of hearing it. It was tough to be me, but I knew I was right.
Well, nobody agreed with me and the bond passed. For weeks afterward people ridiculed me both publicly and privately. People were still wishing cancer on to my yet-to-be-born children, but now they were lamenting the fact they wouldn’t die because El Paso would have a children’s hospital. It was like I was a Redskins fan and they were Cowboys fans and this was some kind of game. People took my argument that the children’s hospital wasn’t exactly as it seemed as a bet that the proposition would fail on the ballot. I couldn’t explain that I knew the bond would pass, but that wouldn’t change what the outcome I was forecasting.
As bitter and angry as I was about how people around me were not listening and making a mistake with their money (and bragging about it, nonetheless), I couldn’t claim that there was some kind of conspiracy behind it all. The election was not rigged. Nobody was dealing under the table or behind the scenes. At most the people trying to sell the project were using some language that was purposely misleading, but not in a criminal or unethical fashion (you’re the voter, it’s up to you to figure out what “stand alone” actually means).
What I had to do was move on. A function of the democratic system we live under was used to move the project forward. I could only be happy that at least there was choice given. If I didn’t like what happened I could move away or run for office… or do nothing. I ended up doing all three. Creating a fake scandal and calling the process, people and county corrupt would have been dishonest of me. Just like it’s dishonest for the anti-ballpark crowd to keep claiming a crime was committed with their issue.
The good news is that it’s a few years later and every single thing I said would happen – happened. I was right, all of you were fooled and now it’s costing you a ton of money with no end in sight. I sleep no better at night knowing that. I wish it wasn’t such a burden on you. I wish you were free of that bad decision you made. However, I think you all are learning and that’s what is most important after making a mistake – learning from it.
You ballpark naysayers may get your “told you so” moment when it comes to your disagreement with the plan itself. You will never get that moment when it comes to your corruption accusations because you know, and I know, they aren’t true. Why waste your time and credibility with the parts of the equation you know you can’t square? All you have is time now. The plan will either work, or it won’t. We’ll all be around to see who guessed right and who didn’t. Until then, chill out and stop embarrassing yourself by crying “they cheated” because you didn’t get your way. It’s a democracy and it’s infuriating sometimes, but other times it’s a blessing . No matter what, it’s not easy.