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too soon for updates ?
In the Mayor's May 21st letter to Rangel & Alvarez, he wrote:"I would note that the Elections Code does not provide an avenue for the opposing candidate to raise objections to a recount petition or to call for the cancellation of a recount. Nevertheless, out of an abundance of respect for both candidates, I have carefully reviewed Mr. Alvarez'sletter."
It could also be said the Election Code doesn't provide for an avenue to amend a petition if a notice of defects isn't submitted before the end of the review period, but it didn't stop him from doing it. In fact, Alvarez's letter apprising him of the defects wasn't written until after the review period. Thankfully, his generously abundant respect for the candidates compelled him to review Alvarez's objections. He pooh-poohs the objections but still directs Rangel to make the changes.
The Mayor goes on to say: "The election code requires that a petition for recount be reviewed for compliance no later than 48 hours after receipt of the petition. I have complied with this requirement. If the petition does not comply with the applicable requirements, the recount coordinator shall promptly notify the petitioner of each defect in the petition and shall enter on the petition a description of each defect and the date of the notice to the petitioner. The election code entitles any petitioner to amend a recount petition to correct any correctable defect. If the petitioner is notified of a defect after the initial deadline for the petition, the petitioner is provided until 5 p.m. of the second day after the date notice of the defect is received by the petitioner."
Yes, he reviewed the petition within the 48-hour window, but he didn't notify anyone of any defects during the review, which is required to enable an amendment after the petition deadline. In fact, he approved it as-is. "After the initial deadline" is not an indefinite time window. That period is clearly defined.
I'm beating this dead horse because these objections need to be chronicled for posterity, regardless of the recount result.
lbj and the duke of duval would be pretty damn proud of this group of victoria bandits.
ignoring state law ?
using their power to their advantage ?
is the ghost of ballot box 13 being resurrected today in victoria ???
we'll find out later this afternoon
Let's not forget Porking-Lot-Gate, CVB-Gate and Film-Fest-Gate. Controversial things will happen in all governments, but when the recurring theme involves the same cast of characters, you have to glean a mode of failure and correct it, which what this past (pending) election took steps toward doing. We should know today whether RecountGate will fade away or be etched in our history books.
You said, "I am not an attorney and I personally do not know if any procedure was not followed."
I replied, "Are you saying you aren't aware of what was supposed to happen during the 48-review period in order to allow for an amendment?"
You replied, "No I am not saying that."
Does that mean you ARE aware of the requirements of the 48-hour review period? Being aware of it is all that's needed to understand how the law was broken. You don't need to be a lawyer to grasp how a lack of notice of defect during the review period, ending Friday at 5PM, eliminated the opportunity for an amendment. As I see it, the errant payee on the cashiers check—considered a defect by the TEC—means the recount supervisor didn't receive a deposit, which should've nullified the entire petition on Friday. Let me be clear, though, that despite her fairly silent acquiescence, I don't believe Rangel is the one who has violated the law, and she should be afforded some legal recourse against the recount supervisor for violating her rights by not properly reviewing her sloppy petition. The recount supervisor, being the designated authority over the process, violated the law to protect himself.
First there was MooMooGate, then there was WasterwaterGate, and now we have TypoGate. It seems like some Philadelphia law firm would have set up a branch office in Victoria by now.
Yes Hicktoria, you mean pay attention to detail like when you are treasure of a board of a school, and that school gets closed down for financial mismanagment?
Josephine E Soliz, Board Treasurer - 2005 to 2009Emett Alvarez, Board Treasurer - 2009-2011
BSspotter – No I am not saying that.
Bighorn – I disagree with you. I do not ignore the laws of my own community. But you are entitled to your opinion just as I am.
Vox – Regarding your question, yes it is. I believe our city attorney is not perfect, but I do believe he is doing the best he can.
Edith Ann – I don’t think anyone is deliberately breaking any rules, that is your opinion. I am not the spokesperson for the city, I only speak for myself here, just as anyone else has the right to contribute here. Anyone is free to contact me directly if they choose, I get out of downtown often. :^)
Good to see such a great discussion. Again, good luck to both candidates today!
"I am not trying to make excuses. I am just saying I could see where this could happen, especially considering all the stress some of these individuals have been placed under recently."
Is it not their job to handle that kind of stress? Maybe the citizens of Victoria need to elect someone who can pay attention to detail and handle it. Sure mistakes will be made, but when exposed, do NOT pee on my head and tell me its raining.
I'd like to wish both candidates best of luck. May the person with the actual highest vote tally prevail. I believe that too often rules get in the way of justice.
Mr. Polasek says: "I will admit I am a bit curious about why someone would try so hard to prevent a recount."
Well, I will admit that I am a bit curious about why someone would deliberately break the rules and think no one is going to notice, or when they do, call their hand on it!
If you think this is about preventing a recount, you need to quit listening to those who are trying to protect their interests. They clearly have a skewed vision of what is happening here. Ms. Rangel WAS entitled to a recount. Ill advised, she flubbed her chance. Mr. Alvarez is entitled to question the process, and has. The recount is happening today at 4:00. What will remain in question is the legality of the recount process as carried out by the recount supervisor, the Mayor. We’ll have to see how that shakes out later.
Mr. Polasek, perhaps you could enlighten us (as the new spokesman for the city) as to the true reason for the effort. What exactly are they afraid of since Ms. Rangel lost? What is so important that an elected official and an attorney are willing to break the rules and risk being labeled cheaters?
And spin it anyway you want--it is not disconcerting to just a few. Integrity matters to many. Just because folks are not posting comments here does not mean that folks aren't wondering what happened to honesty and integrity in our city government. Maybe you need to get out of downtown and see what folks are saying elsewhere around town.
Surprise! The Emperor has no clothes.
"The city legal department, 1 attorney, 1 assistant attorney and 2 legal aids, handles personnel law for over 600 employees, all contracts must be reviewed by the office, the office provides legal advice for a police department and fire department, all property sale and purchase negotiations (There were probably 60 or more on the Sam Houston project alone), all meeting agendas, the entire municipal court and let’s not forget all day to day phone calls and contact with the public. I am not trying to make excuses. I am just saying I could see where this could happen, especially considering all the stress some of these individuals have been placed under recently."
I understand stress and workload that comes with a job like that. That's quite a lot of responsibilities that you mention. It's true that this is a fairly minor issue in the grand scheme of things, but if details this obvious were missed here, how can you be so sure all the t's are crossed and i's dotted in the more important contracts? Then again I suppose that's ok too, because it seems like we can always pull money out of some other fund to cover legal fees and mess-ups.
It's kind of the primary job of an attorney/legal department to make sure everything is in order, isn't it?
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According to the TEC, automatic recounts are only triggered by a tie in vote totals, not rounded percentages.
The theme of this race is holding true to the very end -- a rule-of-law challenger versus a color-of-law incumbent. Alvarez is challenging more than a recount; He's challenging a culture of arbitrary rule. As I asked before, would the same concessions have been afforded Alvarez if he'd made the same mistakes? We all know the answer to that one.
Yes, perhaps an automatic recount should be called for in our City's Charter in an election so close. Apparently, "house keeping" amendments are in order, Mr. Councilman?
Regardless, Ms. Rangel did not comply with the law. Her claim should be held invalid as she did not meet critieria, as now in force. She should have been forced to seek legal action to seek her satisfaction. A bureaucrat has NO POWER of interpretation except that granted by the ELECTED OFFICIAL!
YOU ARE WRONG, MR. COUNCILMAN! Recount is not the issue. FOLLOWING THE LEGAL LAWS SET FORTH BY THE CITY OF VICTORIA IS THE ISSUE! You ignore the laws of your own community. You are placing your own personal judgement as superior to the very items which you have sworn to uphold.
Are you saying you aren't aware of what was supposed to happen during the 48-review period in order to allow for an amendment? It's the crux of the objection. The defects were pointed out by Alvarez after both Rangel & Armstrong had opportunities to get it right. They failed to produce a defect-free petition within the legal time limit. That may not totally void the petition, but it may limit the scope of the recount.
If Alvarez had filed to run for this office a day late, would we have ignored election code to allow for extra competition, which is also good for the citizens? At some point, the law has to count for something.
The voters deserve a recount when an election is this close. As someone else remarked, I’m surprised that a recount is not triggered automatically given the closeness of the result. The result was 50/50, a statistical tie. Recounts are allowed with a less than 10% winning margin. To fight this so hard, Alvarez must feel there is a good chance a hand count could result in the re-election of Rangel.
Vox, yes, I could see where it might be a little disconcerting to some citizens. The key words being “a little” As I understand the only two real problems were the check for payment of the recount was made out to the wrong person and a polling place was incorrectly filled in on the paperwork.
The city legal department, 1 attorney, 1 assistant attorney and 2 legal aids, handles personnel law for over 600 employees, all contracts must be reviewed by the office, the office provides legal advice for a police department and fire department, all property sale and purchase negotiations (There were probably 60 or more on the Sam Houston project alone), all meeting agendas, the entire municipal court and let’s not forget all day to day phone calls and contact with the public. I am not trying to make excuses. I am just saying I could see where this could happen, especially considering all the stress some of these individuals have been placed under recently.
In the end the errors mentioned above will not affect the outcome of the recount. I will admit I am a bit curious about why someone would try so hard to prevent a recount. The recount needs to take place for the voters, so they can be confident an accurate election was held. I wish both candidates the best of luck Thursday.
Ms. Rangel incorrectly filed some paperwork. She is not an attorney, but should have been more careful.
Mr. Armstrong approved some incorrectly filed paperwork. He is not an attorney, and should have been more careful.
The only attorney involved in all of this (so far) was negligent (as stated by the mayor).
So it appears we have two people who have/are representing the city that lack or ignore attention to detail, and a lawyer who did the same.
Can you see how this might be a little disconcerting to citizens?
The 48-hour review clock started when the petition was submitted on Wed at 2:45PM and ended no later than Friday at 5PM. The petition was approved, and the Mayor made no notifications of defects during the 48-hour review process that would've started another clock for Rangel to amend the petition. It doesn't get any clearer than that.
Paul Polasek said: "Perhaps you are wrong? I am not an attorney and I personally do not know if any procedure was not followed. I would advise you to go visit with the city attorney, but based on your comment history here I am assuming you will not trust him. Perhaps you should find an attorney you trust. Or maybe attend a council meeting and ask your questions there so everyone else could benefit from the information also."
Again, I hope I'm wrong, but the public info being made available doesn't point that way. My conclusions are no different than those of Mr. Alvarez, and he's obviously on top of this, so my interests are being represented on the council already. Thanks for the recommendation nonetheless.
Regarding consulting the City Attorney, I'll just cut out the middle man and beat a few IQ points out of myself. He represents the City—not me—and he's told me as much. And if I ever want the City Attorney's opinion, I'll just call the Mayor directly.
Just a question but if she filed the petition on Wednesday at 2, when was it contested or found to have faults in it? Wouldn't the 48 hours start at the time it was found at default? So unless the document was found at fault between 2 (when she filed it) and 5 pm on the Wednesday, the 48 hours would end on a Saturday or at least after 5 pm on Friday which would give her until Monday at 5 pm at the earliest to have to have the corrections in.
However, I believe that any race that close should be recounted no matter what but that's just me.
Perhaps you are wrong? I am not an attorney and I personally do not know if any procedure was not followed. I would advise you to go visit with the city attorney, but based on your comment history here I am assuming you will not trust him. Perhaps you should find an attorney you trust. Or maybe attend a council meeting and ask your questions there so everyone else could benefit from the information also.
This is another incident of Armstrong over stepping his authority. Recall he has previously shown that following State guidelines for running his campaign was of no importance. Now it appears that following State guidelines for a recount request is also of no importance. He continues to manipulate State and local guidelines/ordinances to fit his personal agenda. City Council, four of you just took an oath to uphold Federal, State & local laws. Don't just look the other way, hold Armstrong to the same guidelines that every elected official is subject to.
You and me both. I need someone to debunk my interpretation for me to assign any legitimacy to the recount.
im very, very confused how will armstrong is allowed to go around state election law and simply make up his own laws on the go ?
something just doesn't make sense to me
VicAd: "However, the election code gives room for revisions, even after approval."
This is only the case if there's a notification of defect before the 48-hour review period expires. If only an approval occurred before the end of the review period, no further action can be taken, unless the petitioner initiates an amendment independently before that expiration. In Rangel's case, any changes made after Friday at 5PM were illegal. The Advocate needs to explore the legality of the amendment further.
BSspotter That is a very important piece of information you got there. That is proof the mayor dropped the ball , by approving the defective recount petition .I figured that was the case by studying the timeline.The letter confirms it.
Mr. Alvarez makes compelling arguments in his 5/22 response to the Mayor (p.19-20):http://bit.ly/MH9JGq
Spotter,I find it very difficult to imagine that anyone on our council would just do what they want with any disregard for the rules. In not having the almost 100% guaranteed 4 to 3 vote majority in any situation it will be difficult to follow the rules as written and some "flexibility" might occasionally be required. LOL!
Not saying it will ever happen because we have city attorneys that do all the necessary research to prevent this kind of thing from happening on both sides of the table on any decision, right?
Rules, regulations, policies, laws, codes, or whatever term you choose to use are very important and should always be followed... until they just become inconvenient.
Thanks for the research!
$10,000 Question: Would the same concessions have been made to Mr. Alvarez had he been down 3 votes?
I'll vote 'no'. He's not part of the WA voting block
this whole deal just seems sketchy. id wish local officials would just follow the letter of the law and be done with it.
VicAd: "Armstrong said he thought it was in the public's best interest to give Rangel time to revise her request. She resubmitted it at 2:08 p.m. Tuesday, and it was approved soon after. "
I think the Texas Election Code exists for the public's "best interest"—NOT a Mayor's arbitrary decisions—and he's chosen to bend it to his will. Let it not be said that a Mayor has superseded state election law under the guidance of the City Attorney. Boy, if I'm wrong, I hope someone can prove it so I can find some peace in knowing I live in a city (a voluntary collection of citizens) where laws matter and the whimsical powers of a few can't railroad an election recount. I genuinely hope I'm wrong because I'd rather eat crow than have this be true. However, if I'm right, I hope there's an attorney out there willing to defend Mr. Alvarez and those of us who'd like to withdraw our "consent of the governed" more & more with every passing day. (Does this not evoke memories of a fudged film festival funding fiasco? You're welcome for the alliteration.)
VicAd: "According to Sec. 212.030 of the state election code, Rangel could amend her recount petition to correct a defect, but it must be submitted after 48 hours or by 5 p.m. the second day after the notice of the defect."VicAd: "Rich Parsons, director of communications with the secretary of state, said in an email, "If the 48-hour deadline lands on a weekend, it would extend to the next business day.""
Since Rangel submitted her petition at 2:45PM on Wednesday, 5/16, the 48-hour (or 2nd-day by 5PM) review period ended on Friday, 5/18, which is when the window for notices of defects closed, which was the only enabler of amendments beyond the deadline. No action can be taken on the petition after that. I think the petition must stand and be judged as submitted. [See document: http://bit.ly/JmfsAe]
VicAd: "Sect. 212.031 of the code states that the recount supervisor can order the request to be amended or rejected after the recount coordinator has approved it. Armstrong is serving in both capacities. By final action, if the request does not meet requirements, the recount coordinator can determine if it is correctable by an amendment and delay action until it is amended, according to that section."
The parameters of "final action" in Section 212.031 are bound by the time limits described in 212.028–212.030. There is no time leniency granted outside of those sections. Amendments can't be made beyond the review period if the coordinator/supervisor didn't notify the petitioner of defects by the end of the review period (5/18). [See code: http://bit.ly/JB8ZfB]
Section 212.030(b) seals the deal since no notice of defect was given within the review period: "An amendment must be submitted to the recount coordinator not later than the deadline for submitting the petition or 5 p.m. of the second day after the date notice of the defect under Section 212.029 is received by the petitioner, whichever is later."
was state law broken in order to give Rangel time to revise her request ?
if alvarez was smart one of his eye witnesses would be a lawyer specializing in texas election law
had alvarez not pointed out the errors would the recount had taken place ?