Tag Archives: El Paso

Goodbye El Paso – We hardly knew ye.

El Paso attorney Steve Fischer is arguing for a break from the Lone Star State.  Fischer thinks that El Paso gets no respect and that it would be better off seceding and hooking up with the Land of Enchantment (aka New Mexico).  El Paso is separated from the rest of Texas by a time zone and a lot of empty space and most Texans have never been there unless they were passing through on the way to California.  And as Fischer points out, there has never been a state-wide official elected from the capable ranks of El Pasoans.  Fischer also complains (rightfully) that El Paso is the step-child when it comes to higher education with only one 4 year university (UTEP) that has never been pushed for Tier One status and never asked to play ball with the other Texas schools.  El Paso is also the largest city in the country without a law school (views could differ on the benefits there – but who knew?).

The rest of the state doesn’t seem to understand us. Maybe it’s time to break up. Texas Republicans should be happy to get rid of El Paso because we are an overwhelmingly Democratic city. Democrats may prefer to keep us, but what did they do for us when they were in power?

Our marriage to Texas has gotten old. New Mexico is younger and more attractive. We would not be ignored, especially because we would be their largest city. Grant us a divorce and we won’t even request the back support. If there are any El Pasoans who think we need a wall to protect us, take ‘em. You can have custody and everyone will be better off.

Maybe Mr. Fischer has a point.

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Today in Texas History – March 7

From the Annals of the Temblors – In 1923, the only known fatality from a Texas earthquake occurred with a temblor shook El Paso causing an adobe house to collapse.  The house, however, was in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and the fatality occurred on that side of the border.  There are still no known fatalities to have occurred in Texas from earthquakes which are not common in the state.  Even so, more than 100 earthquakes have been recorded since 1847 but most are of low magnitude causing some fright but little real damage.  Most of the recorded quakes have been in West Texas and the Panhandle.

Today in Texas History

Back after a considerable hiatus!

Image result for maps of route to el paso from 1800s

From the Annals of the Roads West – In 1849, Maj. Robert S. Neighbors returned to San Antonio after completing an expedition to survey a northern route to El Paso.   The expedition was aimed at creating a usable wagon road to west Texas.  The expedition left Torrey’s Trading Post near Waco on March 23, 1849, crossed the Colorado River on April 2, and crossed the Pecos at Horsehead Crossing on April 17.  The expedition reache El Paso on May 2 after determining that the last 100 miles of its trek was not practicable for wagon traffic.  On the return,  Neighbors took the northern route previously used by the Mexican army between El Paso and the Pecos River.  His report included that route.  If you are driving I-10 west to El Paso you are fairly much following the route that Neighbors surveyed.

 

Red Endorses Beto O’Rourke for U.S. Senate

Last week Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D- El Paso) announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate seeking to unseat “Lying” Ted Cruz (TP-Texas).  O’Rourke comes from a political family – his father was El Paso County Judge.  O’Rourke himself has been in politics for about 12 years – first serving as an El Paso City Councilman and then barely unseating 8-term Congressman Silvestre Reyes in the Democratic primary in 2012.

O’Rourke carries some baggage from his days as a rock musician and two arrests – neither of which resulted in a conviction.  Since then, he has operated a successful business – making enough money to venture into politics.  His legislative track record is light, but that would be expected from a Democratic Congressman from Texas serving in a GOP dominated House of Representatives.

O’Rourke has taken strong stands on legalization of marijuana and protecting LGBT rights, but he kicked off his “campaign” when he and Rep. Will Hurd (R-San Antonio) embarked on a 3 day road trip to D.C. when airline flights were cancelled.  The two representatives live-blogged their discussions as they drove east and created remarkable internet buzz by rationally and civilly discussing the issues.

It is worth noting, that no one from El Paso has ever been elected to state-wide office and that O’Rourke is a long shot against the Cruz publicity and money machine.  The only hope would be that Cruz’s overweening ambition and narcissism will turn off enough moderates to consider making a switch.  Still it would be remarkable if O’Rourke could crass the 45% threshold.  But when faced with a choice of “Lying” Ted or a long shot, Red is not afraid of big odds.  Red is fully on the Beto Bandwagon.

If you are interested in O’Rourke’s campaign, you can find out more at betofortexas.com.

Beto O’Rourke to Take on “Lying Ted”?

The Austin American-Statesman reports that Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso may take on Senator “Lying” Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) in 2018 – that is assuming LTC survives a likely Republican primary challenge.  O’Rourke, little known outside of far west Texas, raised his profile by taking a road trip with Republican Congressman Will Hurd when neither could get a flight back to DC due to weather.

Beto O’Rourke had, it seemed, already made up his mind he was going to run for Ted Cruz’s U.S. Senate seat next year.

But among the many hurdles the three-term Democratic congressman from El Paso would face, semiobscurity seemed hard to crack. He was little known outside of his hometown — no El Paso native has ever won statewide office — despite recent trips to virtually every corner of the state to raise his profile.

That changed Tuesday, when O’Rourke and his colleague, Will Hurd, a second-term Republican from Helotes, found themselves unable to fly from San Antonio into snowbound Washington in time for some House votes Wednesday. Instead, at O’Rourke’s instigation, they rented a Chevy Impala and hit the road for the nation’s capital.

Thus was born a 30-hour bipartisan road trip (plus four hours sleeping at a Nashville, Tenn., hotel), much of it streamed on Periscope and Facebook Live, that O’Rourke from the outset described as the “longest cross-country livestream town hall in the history of the world,” and which over the course of their 1,600-mile journey garnered encouragement from politicians of both parties, 2.6 million views online and the kind of avalanche of positive media coverage that most politicians will never see in a lifetime.

Today in Texas History – April 5

From the Annals of the Gunslingers –  In 1896, U.S. deputy marshal George A. Scarborough shot John Selman in El Paso.  Selman was a notorious gunman and gambler. Selman was perhaps best known as the man who killed John Wesley Hardin in 1895.  Selman, as Constable of El Paso, had also shot and killed former Texas Ranger Bass Outlaw on April 5, 1894 after Outlaw killed Texas Ranger Joe McKirdict.  Outlaw had been a close friend to Scarborough.  Selman was tried for the shooting and found not guilty.  On the second anniversary of Outlaw’s death, Scarborough called out Selman into the alley behind the Wigwam Saloon.   An argument ensued followed by a fight.  Scarborough claimed both drew their guns, and that he then fatally shot Selman. Selman died the next day. No gun was found on Selman’s body.  Scarborough was indicted for murder.  Conveniently before the trial, a thief was arrested who claimed to have stolen Selman’s gun immediately after the supposed gun fight. Scarborough was acquitted but was forced to resign his position as deputy marshal.    April 5 was an auspicious day for Scarborough. As with many of his ilk, he died at the end of a muzzle.  He died at his home in Deming, New Mexico on April 5, 1900 following a gun fight with cattle rustlers in Arizona.

Photo of U.S. Marshall George Scarborough from murderpedia.org

Today in Texas History – January 12

From the Annals of Print Journalism –   In 1886, editor Simeon Newman published the last edition of the El Paso Lone Star.  Newman had learned the trade in Las Vegas, NM.  After teaching school for several years, Newman signed on in 1871 as an apprentice newspaperman for the Las Vegas Weekly Mail. A quick learner apparently, he bought the paper six weeks later.  The Weekly Mail regularly attacked the “Santa Fe Ring” for corruption.  After a ten year fight, Newman was enticed to move his paper to  El Paso and renamed it the Lone Star.  Newman continued his crusading ways in El Paso.  A staunch, Methodist, Democrat and reformer, Newman  chose “Hew to the line, let the chips fall where they may” as the Lone Star’s motto.  He attacked gamblers, saloon keepers, gunmen, and the criminal element, but also directed his diatribes at anyone he believed guilty of corruption.  This approach left Newman with few friends or supporters.  He was ultimately forced to close the Lone Star.