Yesterday, he announced that he is running for president in 2020. What many people don't understand is that Beto has always been running for President of the United States. His is no grassroots effort--he has been planning this since he first ran for city council. And yet, I talk to people every day who buy into his "man of the people, everyman routine." As an ex-patriot El Pasoan I have a different perspective than most Americans, so I am taking this opportunity to share why I would not ever vote for Beto.
- He is not a champion of the people with a grassroots campaign of little folks who are just looking for change. Beto is not only the child of El Paso elites, he is the son-in-law of billionaire developer Bill Sanders. Sanders is originally from El Paso, but he spent time in Chicago with the LaSalle Group. When Sanders did return to El Paso, he set up a number of elite organizations that operated largely in secret with the goal of redeveloping the city using eminent domain.
- As city councilman, Beto supported taking private property (both homes and businesses) to further the plans of his father-in-law's development projects, both through the Paso del Norte Group and the BorderPlex. He argued at the time that there was no conflict of interest in his votes to support seizing private property through eminent domain to turn over to developers (his wife's dad) because neither he nor his family could profit from his activities. (Sanders had promised to donate any profits from his REIT, Paso del Norte Group, to charity.)
- As city councilman, Beto supported bills that were difficult and burdensome to small business owners and private property owners, including a landscape ordinance that increased the cost of property ownership for commercial property owners and an ordinance that fined commercial property owners hundreds of dollars a day for failure to remove a dead tree from their property. On behalf of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce I spoke to City Council personally regarding that last ordinance and the hardship it worked on small business owners, and Beto responded by sneering that he was tired of people getting in the way of the city's progress. Mind you that all of this took place during the Great Recession, when many business owners in El Paso were struggling just to keep the lights on. In a city that constantly beats the drum that both it and its people are poor, Beto helped ram through bills that made it harder for small business people and small property owners to survive and to hang on to whatever they had managed to acquire.
- There is a reason that he brags about having an F score card from the NRA. Again, to understand why this is a point of pride for a former Senatorial candidate in Texas, where God and guns are prized, you need to understand El Paso. My sister-in-law was born in Guadelajara, Mexico. Right after she married my brother, she walked into the room where he was cleaning his guns. Instinctively she folded her hands behind her back so that she would not touch the guns because as a child of Mexico she had been taught that, "to touch a gun is to touch the devil." El Paso is sister city of Juarez, Mexico and Mexico has harsh gun control laws. These laws have had the net result of transforming Mexico into a society where the most violent criminals rule the society through guns and intimidation and law-abiding people are unarmed. Nevertheless, anti-gun sentiments are very strong there.
- Although he has benefitted hugely from familial connection to a powerful elitist developer, Beto champions environmentalism, green energy and "smart" development. He took several opportunities to ride his bike to work when he was city councilman to demonstrate to El Pasoans that individual cars are not the best form of transportation. He championed bike paths and biking in general as a tribute to his father who was killed while bicycling down a busy street. This dedication to all things "green" fits nicely into the elitist Agenda 21 mindset of Beto and his wealthy donor friends.
- He really does support open borders. In El Paso, cross-border commerce is essential to the city's economy. The fastest way to start a fight in the city is to stand the heart of downtown and yell "border security." There is NO support in El Paso for anything except a completely porous border that allows anyone who wants to do so to drift in and out of the city at will.
- Beto and his friends have always had plans for him that go far beyond the Senate. That was actually apparent years ago when he ran against former Congressman Silvestre Reyes. Reyes had been a very popular Democrat Congressman but his reputation was tarnished with corruption charges that he was illegally enriching his own family on the taxpayer dime. Beto ran for Congress and won the seat partly because Reyes was in the middle of a scandal and partly because Reyes did not take him seriously. But even then, anyone paying attention could see that the long-term goal was to run him for president of the United States. That is much more apparent now, as the National Review reports in last summer's Morning Jolt: