Max Powers is kind of perplexed by the El Paso Times' handling of the District 76 endorsement like a lot of you. Let me break it down for you.
First of all, their endorsement of Cesar Blanco couldn't have been weaker if they had tried. Maybe they could have been more honest and just wrote "because he's not Norma Chavez or Naomi Gonzalez and he's running." Or, "Cesar Blanco because we're butthurt at Naomi."
The El Paso Times editorial board knows that there's no real difference in what a Democrat can do in Austin for El Paso. They are all powerless. They show up, drink some free booze and meet some nice people. Other than that... they're the folks who showed up to the swim party without a swimsuit. Their treatment of Blanco's endorsement reflects that. They can endorse him and know he can't mess anything up even if he wins.
The El Paso Times gives Cesar one paragraph, Naomi three paragraphs and Norma one punishingly honest paragraph (that we all loved). That doesn't sound much like they think all that much of Cesar... who I'm sure is a great guy. It's like they took Cesar on a date and then spent all of their time talking about their ex - Naomi Gonzalez.
So why did the El Paso Times take the time to write all that about Naomi and then not endorse her? It's because Naomi didn't give them the news story they wanted to write about her DWI. The El Paso Times is having a public fit over the fact that Naomi was smart and kept her mouth shut after her arrest and they didn't get to make much news of it. They don't care about her legislative record or her tangible qualities as a representative; they're more interested in pushing news stories. Naomi took from them the fuel that runs their engine and they are a little pissed about it. And they aren't shy about it - they come right out and admit that the only reason they didn't pick her is because they didn't get their story. They make sure and stay clear of criticizing her legislative record.
The problem for the El Paso Times editorial board is that they actually wanted to endorse Naomi and they couldn't keep that desire out of their write-up on the race. Like I said - talking about your ex-girlfriend the entire time you're on your first date with your new boyfriend - it's obvious who you really want. I think the more intelligent readers saw that when reading the endorsement.
I think it should be noted that the El Paso Times doesn't pick the winners, they pick the people they like. That means very little to some and a whole lot to others. You can't live and die by their endorsements, but a few people do. I think you can only hope to capture some insight into what others are thinking about your ballot choices.
Ahhhhh, who the hell am I kidding? There isn't a single undecided Democratic primary voter in El Paso. These races were over before they started. Everybody is already on a team. If the election had been held on January 1st it would be the same result you'll get in March. The group that turns out is so small and plugged in campaigning is just a stunt.
Can we revisit that face punching the El Paso Times gave Norma?
"Chávez served 14 drama-filled years in the Legislature, frequently fighting with other members of the El Paso delegation and making a habit of calling attention to herself. Her defeat in 2010 was a good thing; let's not send her back to Austin."
A respectable news source like the El Paso Times - a member of the "real media" - can't explicitly call anyone a "f*cking asshole." Even if they absolutely are a "f*cking asshole." The El Paso Times' two sentence whacking of Norma Chavez is the way a respectable news source like the El Paso Times calls someone a "f*cking asshole" without actually saying it.