AT ALL COSTS: Candidates spend more than $60k on campaigns

By FRANCISCO E. JIMENEZ
Staff Writer
reporter@sbnewspaper.com

money

Candidates for the upcoming May general elections filed their first of three finance reports on Thursday, April 10.

Hopefuls in the San Benito CISD School Board elections spent a combined total of $40,120.54 on their campaigns while candidates for the City of San Benito spent a combined $21,966.31.

Place 4 SBCISD incumbent June Aguilera’s total political contributions were $4,354.66, which equaled her total political expenditures. All of Aguilera’s contributions came from Jesus Aguilera Jr., her father. Aguilera’s finance report shows that she spent a total of $3,778.58 at Chuy’s Custom Sports and $452.41 at McCoy’s Building Supply on “advertising expenses.”

Aguilera’s challenger, Arnold Padilla, received a total of $6,020 in contributions including $2,000 from O’Hanlon, McCollom and Demerath, PC; $750 from Alberto Treviño and $600 from Rogerio and Joaquina Padilla.

Padilla’s expenditures totaled approximately $4,241.90, with $1,778.10 of his contributions maintained. Padilla spent a total of $1,735.11 at M5 Designs on four separate occasions for “advertising expenses.” He also spent approximately $923.40 at El Gallito Restaurant on food and beverage expenses, and $324.75 at MJ Screen Printing on advertising expenses.

Pl. 5 SBCISD incumbent Hector Leal received a total of $2,750 in contributions, $2,000 from Kevin O’Hanlon and $750 from Bob Treviño. Leal listed his total expenditures as $1,390, maintaining $1,360 in contributions. Leal’s only expenditures were listed as $875 on signs and stickers at MJ Screen Printing, $240 on metal stakes and supplies at Tractor Supply and $275 at McCoy’s and Stripes on gas, nails and straps.

One of Leal’s opponents, Joyce Aguirre, reported a total of $260 in contributions, with $220 coming from Norma G. Devine. Aguirre listed her total expenditures as $2,500.09. While reviewing Aguirre’s finance report, the San Benito News discovered a discrepancy in her individual expenditures. When brought to her attention, Aguirre cited a “misunderstanding” while filling out her report.

Roberto “Bobby” Benavides, who is also challenging Leal for his seat on the school board, listed his total contributions as $2,550, which includes an $850 contribution from Mr. and Mrs. Eduardo Benavidez and a $500 contribution from Mark A. Guzman, among others.

Benavidez reported a total of $3,000 in expenditures, including a combined total of $703.63 at M5 Designs and $2,211.91 at Chuy’s Custom Sports on “advertising expenses.”

Pl. 5 candidate Rene Salinas listed a total of $1,050 in contributions, including $500 from Becky Valdez and $300 from Chuy Aguilera. Salinas listed his total expenditures as $2,525.24, including a combined total of $2,018.87 spent at Chuy’s Custom Sports on political signs and $506.37 spent at Home Depot on posts for the political signs.

Pl. 6 SBCISD incumbent Oscar Medrano reported a total of $5,800 in contributions, including $1,000 from Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson, LLP; $2,000 from O’Hanlon, McCollom and Demerath, PC; $1,000 from Norman Jolly, PC; and $750 from Bob Treviño Insurance.

Medrano listed his total expenditures as $5,645.09, maintaining a total of $154.91 in contributions. His individual expenditures included $2,851.07 at MJ Screen Printing for signs, bumper stickers, t-shirts and magnetic signs. Another of his individual expenditures listed shows $1,549.80 spent on advertising with the San Benito News, among others.

Medrano’s opponent, Orlando “Papas” Lopez, listed a total of $2,350 in contributions, including $1,000 from Onesimo Lopez Jr., $500 from Adam Martinez and $500 from Roel Farias. Lopez’ total expenditures are listed at $5,036, including a combined total of $3,147.51 at Grande Valle Apparel on political signs cards. Lopez also spent $418 on advertising with the San Benito News, among others.

Pl. 7 incumbent Julian Huerta listed his total contributions at $2,600, including $1,000 from Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson, LLP; $500 from Yzenia Huerta and $500 from Mark Guzman. Huerta’s total expenditures are listed at $2,741.15, including $1,782.88 spent on “political propaganda” from Chuy’s Custom Sports and $399 for a “meet the candidate” event at Oak Hill Event Center, among others.

Challenging Huerta is Jose Angel Mendez, who reported a total of $3,550 in contributions. His contributions include $2,000 O’Hanlon, McCollom and Demerath, PC; $750 from Alberto Treviño and $500 from Norma Linda Alaniz, among others. Mendez listed his total expenditures as $1,644.20, including $1,244.88 on signs from MJ Screen Printing and $192.67 on ink for flyers at Office Depot, among others. He also reported a loan of 1,244.88.

Also vying for the Pl. 7 seat is Esteban “Steve” Rodriguez, who reported a total of $3,999.51 in contributions. He listed Juan and Raquel Hernandez as contributing $500, amongst others. As such, Rodriguez’ report also lists a number of loans which range from $1,000 to $7.50. Rodriguez’ total expenditures are listed as $3,888.84, including a combined total of $3,195 at Lone Star Printing for campaign signs.

Also seeking Huerta’s seat is Gilbert Weaver, who did not fill in the amount of total political contributions, nor did he include a list of individual contributions. Weaver did report a total of $3,153.37 in expenditures, including $1,732 spent on printing expenses at MJ Screen Printing and $662.65 spent on advertising with the San Benito News, among other expenditures.

Mayor Joe H. Hernandez, who is seeking re-election to the San Benito City Commission, reported a total of $2,075 in contributions, including $500 from Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson, LLC and $500 from Ramiro and Cynthia Gonzales, among others. Hernandez reported a total of $1,839.63 in expenditures, including a combined total of $788 for advertising from the San Benito News and a combined total of $570 from MJ Screen Printing, among others.

Hernandez’ opponent, Celeste Zepeda Sanchez earned a total of $1,800 in political contributions, including $1,000 from Edelmiro Lucio, among others. Sanchez reported a total of $11,323.33 in expenditures made from her personal funds, including $5,184.10 at M5 Designs for printing expenses, $1,677.88 at MJ Screen Printing for printing expenses and $1,345 at the San Benito News for advertising expenses, among others.

Pl. 1 City Commission incumbent Antonio P. Gonzales reported a total of $2,000 in contributions, of which $1,000 was from Cruz-Hogan Consultants, $500 from Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson, LLP and $500 from Republic Services-Allied Waste. Gonzales reported a total of $1,590.94 in expenditures but did not include a list of individual expenditures. He also reported that $409.56 in contributions had been maintained.

Challenging Gonzales for his seat on the city commission is Joe F. Rodriguez, who reported a total of $766.95 in contributions. He did not include a list of individual contributors. Rodriguez’ total expenditures were listed as $766.95, including $490 spent on online advertising with the San Benito News and $181.86 spent on political signs from M5 Designs, among others.

Pl. 2 incumbent Rene Villafranco listed a total of $2,250, including $1,000 from Marc Ramirez, $500 from Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson, LLC and $500 from Eddie Lucio III. Villafranco reported a total of $2,319.05 in expenditures, including $649.50 spent at MJ Screen Printing and a combined total of $239.70 spent at McCoy’s Building Supply.

Pl. 2 challenger Shirley Vega reported a total of $4,862 in contributions, including a combined total of $2,332 from Pablo Vega and a combined total of $910 from “various contributors,” amongst others. She reported a total of $4,126.41 in expenditures, including a combined total of $1,446.69 from All Valley Media and a combined total of $1,693.03 from M5 Designs. Vega reported that she maintained a total of $735.59 in political contributions.

The next finance report is due on May 2 and the last one is due on July 15. Early voting will begin Monday, April 28 and end on Tuesday, May 6. Election Day is Saturday, May 10.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2014/04/12/at-all-costs-candidates-spend-more-than-60k-on-campaigns/

37 comments

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    • LOVE on April 16, 2014 at 8:01 am
    • Reply

    I read what IFTHEN put in their comments. It reads only that because important responsibilities such as hiring/firing and budget/salaries are tasks the school board is in charge of, perhaps a school board member qualification should be to have a college degree. In every reply, you have twisted and turned what they commented on. It’s very clear that you defend one of the non educated board members (and that’s fine) and are going to this extent to twist their comments and argue the issue. However, the comment is not an attack on a specific board member. The comment is an opinion/suggestion raised to all board members in an effort to make the school board better than it currently is – to give it a better chance.

      • The Negotiator on April 16, 2014 at 2:23 pm
      • Reply

      I’m not trying to twist or turn anything around. All I’m stating is that the board should be composed of a diverse mix of people, each bringing their own knowledge and experiences to the table. For example, when you serve on a jury not everyone is educated; yet they let you serve, and the fate of your life will fall in the hands of the educated & non educated alike; it’s a huge responsibility. A fact to consider, a school board member is not a paid official, they are public servants who serve their time in the best interest of their communities. Remember, the superintendent runs the “meat & potatoes” of the district under the supervision of the board members, this is where the criteria for a good board member comes in; they need to have the willingness to learn, have common sense, good communication, and a strong moral foundation. So the point, a college degree matters, but isn’t everything; It’s good to have diversity, if you give it a chance and elect persons that will work together, the results will be great. I’m not trying to attack anyone,(not my intention) I am just stating my opinion. I understand, education is a priority when it comes to our children, but not everyone is college material. For the record, I’m not on anyone’s side, just stating my opinion. Thank You

  1. Our SB School Board History has presented educated and non educated members thoughout the years, and the members who take advantage and don’t not respect their post have been exposed. The voters / taxpayers will not forget people who disrespect our district for their personal gain at the expense of our children’s education. At the end of the day, respect and integrity is not determined by education just lack there of..

    • stg2 on April 15, 2014 at 3:48 pm
    • Reply

    i agree that one having a degree doesn’t necessarily makes you a intelligence person, but seriously, if you are to be a member of a SCHOOL BOARD, OR HAVE TO MAKE ANY DECISIONS CONCERNING THE EDUCATION OF OUR STUDENTS, AND YOU NEVER BEEN IN A CLASS ROOM BEFORE AS A TEACHER, OR ADMINISTRATOR, THE LEAST YOU SHOULD HAVE IS A COLLEGE DEGREE .ISN’T THIS THE MAJOR PURPOSE OF SENDING OUR KIDS TO SCHOOL, TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO FURTHER THEIR EDUCATION AFTER HIGH SCHOOL.

    NO SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS IS GOING TO HIRE PERSONNEL BASED “PEOPLE THAT USE COMMON SENSE” , OR BECAUSE “YOU ARE A HARDWORKING PERSON” , AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE COMPANY WILL HIRE ACCORDING TO YOUR EDUCATION, AND IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE DEGREE , YOU BETTER HAVE YEARS EXPERIENCE IN THAT PARTICULAR FIELD. (HANDS ON )

    NO DISRESPECT

    • IFTHEN on April 15, 2014 at 3:08 pm
    • Reply

    statements are statements. don’t twist them or make them sound a certain way. statements are statements. makes complete sense to me now. thank you for making that statement.

    • The Negotiator on April 15, 2014 at 2:05 pm
    • Reply

    You are correct, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I can respect that, but the fact still stands; a college degree is not a requirement to run for school board. The way you’re stating it, sounds like you feel one is better than the other. Example, your cleaning lady has been loyal to you, and like you said no degree that alone should tell the kind of person she is, and I’m sure she can make those difficult decisions you talk about; maybe she should run for school board.

    • LOVE on April 15, 2014 at 1:54 pm
    • Reply

    gotta love san benito! only in san benito would someone argue to have a non educated person on board rather than an educated person on board. as far as integrity and responsiblity go, when it comes to san benito politics (city or school), it clearly does not exist. there are both educated and noneducated people representing the city and the district that lack integrity and responsibility. the reason they are there is because of who knows who and votes. arguing that a non educated person has integrity is irrelevant. i agree that, if anything, sbcisd should look into making a college degree a requirement for running for school board. bill gates = non educated school board members. shoot, comparing him to an educated school board member is a joke too! bad point/example to make, in my opinion.

      • The Negotiator on April 15, 2014 at 4:03 pm
      • Reply

      To say I’m for a non educated person to be on the school board is not the issue. The issue is, some make it sound like a non educated person can’t make the big decisions, and is not entitled to think like an educated person does. The fact still is, what makes an educated person the right candidate? Why is it okay to believe they will make the right decisions just because they have a degree? Like another blogger said, our current school board president and interim super is educated, and look at the decisions they’ve made. I think you are having trouble with the idea that a non educated person’s ideas also count, and they deserve the respect that you are trying to take away. It doesn’t matter if the person is educated or not; what if all board members elected are educated and make bad decisions, then who are you going to blame? In the end, even the non educated are going to suffer for mistakes made by “the educated”, but that’s okay so long as it was an educated person making our decisions, right?

    • Greetings on April 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm
    • Reply

    NEGOTIATOR:

    i cant speak for IFTHEN, but as for me – i am secretly from another planet. but shhhhh, please dont tell anybody.

  2. @ we the people,
    It’s obvious you feel that Medrano is a fine school board member but let the voters/ taxpayers that have been at the receiving end of his leadership speak for his actions.. Supporters will always sugar coat their politicians actions but keep it really, we the people, are not ignorant and are tired of Medrano.. I’ll put it very simple people, look back at exactly what Medrano has stood for the past 8 years and you be the judge.. I have all the confidence that taxpayers/ voters will vote smart…. Trust me… Medrano will be history if not our school district will be!!! Make a choice!!!!!

    • Anony_mouse on April 14, 2014 at 4:05 pm
    • Reply

    Bad Politicians are elected by good people who never bother to vote.

    ANON

    • Pciture That on April 14, 2014 at 2:04 pm
    • Reply

    Again, San Benito at it’s best! Criticism, Bullying, and most importantly, failing to progress!!!

    • gg3 on April 14, 2014 at 10:48 am
    • Reply

    At least its not green, white, and red.

    The labeling of signs was quite funny and made this morning’s coffee that much more enjoyable. Thank you. I do have a question though: Are the “player” and the “double chin” the same person?

      • *** on April 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm
      • Reply

      Too funny Mr. Chon! Maybe the “double chin” will blend in with all those in the coffee shops!

      • WeThePeople on April 14, 2014 at 2:39 pm
      • Reply

      What is also interesting is how the evil people behind many of the faces on the election posters are rarely mentioned in the blogs; and EVERYONE knows who they are. I guess the puppets are too stupid to figure out they are being used?? With this much money being spent on these elections, you can be sure SOMEONE is really going to cash in.

    • IF THEN on April 14, 2014 at 10:39 am
    • Reply

    Ron J,

    No it does not; however, education/leadership/responsibility (all by example) should be qualifications/expectations because of responsibilities given to the board members and because it is a “school” district. I am by no means qualifying one person over another or disqualifying one person over another. I am simply stating an idea that is practiced throughout the planet Earth. I will state again: there is a reason why teachers teach, administrators administrate, and janitors janitor. An uneducated (w/o degree) person would not be handling the responsibilities of hiring/firing and finances of any legit business with the same workforce and budget that the SBCISD has.

      • The Negotiator on April 14, 2014 at 6:29 pm
      • Reply

      My question to you is this; what planet are you from? Here on earth I believe we are an intelligent species that knows how to survive, and doesn’t need a degree to handle any type of crisis .I do agree the budget for the district is a good size, but remember “intelligent one” there are 7 members on the board; each bringing something they are good at to the table. To put in simple terms for you to understand, ” There are other qualities,skills, and experiences that are just as if not, more valuable in some cases, than a college degree. People without a college degree can often-time teach others, including people with college degrees, just as much, if not more, about what is important in education. By writing this doesn’t mean I’m putting anyone down with a degree like you are with somebody who doesn’t, but be careful what you write, because there are a lot of intelligent people out there without a degree that vote too.
      Remember a Mr. Bill Gates for example , he didn’t have a degree when he started his now billion dollar company. That proves that anyone can achieve greatness if they choose to, and don’t need people like you who belittle others. I believe one is intelligent enough to know the difference. In conclusion, I do agree not everyone who doesn’t have a degree should sit on the school board, but I also feel that not every person with a degree should be on the board either. It really falls on the person and their moral attributes.

        • Oye Pluma Of Jo on April 15, 2014 at 9:48 am
        • Reply

        Using Bill Gates to justify the inabilities of uneducated board members is flat out AWESOME!

        • IF THEN on April 15, 2014 at 9:59 am
        • Reply

        Negotiator,

        I agree with some of the points you made about not having an education and possessing other qualifications. I am not putting anyone down. As a taxpayer and a voter, I do believe that, because the school board makes very important decisions such as hiring/firing, pay rates, and budget, board members should have a degree.

          • The Negotiator on April 15, 2014 at 11:45 am
          • Reply

          Again I ask , what makes you think that a person that doesn’t have a degree can’t make decisions like these? The person must have good integrity,be responsible,and have the right intentions for the district . This is not rocket science. That is whats wrong with today’s society always trying to judge a person instead of sitting back and listening to what the person has to say. I know what your saying is true to a point, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. I’ve met a lot of people without degrees and let me tell you can learn a thing or two from just listening. Again I am not putting down an educated person, because I’m sure they have earned their degrees, all I’m saying is don’t judge a book by it’s cover, it might turn out to be the best book you have ever read.

            • IF THEN on April 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm
            • Reply

            you are misunderstanding my point completely. my comments have nothing to do with judgement, listening to others, or reading books. i am not saying that the person with the degree is better than the person without a degree. the lady that cleans my house does not have a college degree. the lady that cleans my house has been doing so for 20 plus years. never once has she been late or asked for a day off. she has never stolen from me. she has never complained. she is an amazing christian and attends and serves her church faithfully on the weekends. she has raised 3 children and sent them all off to college. two of them have already graduated while the third is still attending. she has great integrity, responsibility, and loyalty to her god, family, and employer. the same could be said, as you are trying to point out, for many people without degrees. in this world, there is a reason why the janitor at a school is a janitor, the teacher at a school is a teacher, and the principal at a school is a principal. again, great points negotiator. you have your opinion. i have mine. comments are comments. non-offensive comments will be offensive to some. offensive comments will be non-offensive to others. it is what it is.

            • TwoCentsWorth on April 16, 2014 at 4:01 pm
            • Reply

            I believe what IF THEN is saying is that an individual with a college degree has, at least, received a formal education, and in today’s world, that is a “plus”. Given a scenario where a business is hiring for a position that requires basic skills that a formal education brings, which would you hire–a non-degreed person or a degreed person. Advocates of non-degreed individuals on such an important position as school trustee have no reason to encourage their siblings to attend college.

    • Polaroid on April 14, 2014 at 7:57 am
    • Reply

    Picture That,

    Your comment is a prime example of the point your comment is trying to make.

  3. @ Glam Glam you noticed the diva look, but I noticed the rediciulois streamers( red, whit and blue) on political signs, now that’s away to much! Once again, welcome to San Benito politics and the rediciulois lengths someone would go through to get attention and re-elected.. Too funny..

    • Picture This on April 14, 2014 at 12:00 am
    • Reply

    San Benidiots…now now…..temper temper……

    • Denny Crane, Jr. on April 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm
    • Reply

    @GlamGlam, That would be “Madam Mayor Diva” or “Madam Commissioner Diva” to you!

    You “troglodyte”!

    Unfortunately for all of San Benito, @PictureThat is very correct in his statement “Regardless if done correctly, San Benidiots always resort to criticism”!

  4. Just for the record, I am filing an amended “Candidate Campaign Finance Report” due to an error in my filing.

    I incorrectly listed $766.95 as “TOTAL POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS” when, in fact, I had “ZERO” political contributions.

    My “TOTAL POLITICAL EXPENDITURES” of $766.95 were “Political Expenditures made from Personal Funds” and reported/itemized in Schedule G.

    I am also filing the legally required “CORRECTION/AMENDMENT AFFIDAVIT FOR
    CANDIDATE/OFFICEHOLDER”
    form COR-CO/OH allowed to be filed within the 14 business day time-frame after the date of error discovery.

    My apologies for the confusion/error

    Joe F. Rodriguez

    JoeFRodriguezpl1.blogspot.com

    • Picture That on April 12, 2014 at 7:50 pm
    • Reply

    Regardless if done correctly, San Benidiots always resort to criticism. That’s why this city will NEVER progress. I know it may come with the territory, but it’s typical of this city. I’m sure if you ran they would also criticize your picture and your costs. That’s why this city has made little or no progression over the last couple of years.

    • Picture This on April 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm
    • Reply

    As I drive around our beautiful city I can’t help but see all those signs in full bloom. We have the “Hey I am a Player” look, the “I am a tough guy from the hood” look, the ” I used to look like that in HS” look, the ” I am a business professional” look, the “rough cowboy” look, the “oh my I am hiding by double chin” look just to mention a few. And speaking about hiding things some of the candidates did a good of job of hiding their contributions.

      • Glam Glam on April 13, 2014 at 8:23 am
      • Reply

      You forgot the “the I’m a diva look, give me some more lipstick please!”.

        • Picture This on April 13, 2014 at 11:56 pm
        • Reply

        Good one!

      • WeThePeople on April 17, 2014 at 9:13 am
      • Reply

      As you are driving around, I hope you notice the squalor, graffiti and trash piles as well. But if you need a payday loan, a snocone or some fried chicken, we got ya’ covered!

    • Keeping it real on April 12, 2014 at 8:11 am
    • Reply

    I couldn’t help but snicker when I read Mr. Medrano’s ad on this weekend’s edition of the San Benito News. So, after all that jargon Mr. Medrano, what degree do you possess? So much emphasis has been placed on his “attributes” and “education” yet I’m still wondering what degree he obtained. Certifications do not amount to degrees. Many people help many organizations but does not necessarily make them members. We are well aware that many current members do not hold degrees, but why try to spice up something you are not?

      • IF THEN on April 14, 2014 at 7:54 am
      • Reply

      IF school board members are responsible for making important decisions such as hiring and firing, finances, etc
      THEN school board members should have a college degree.

      There is a reason why teachers teach, administrators administrate, and janitors janitor.

      My vote is to get rid of ALL non educated board members from the board and to be sure those voted on are educated. After all, this is a school district.

        • Ron J on April 14, 2014 at 9:49 am
        • Reply

        Having a degree does not mean you are intelligent. SBCISD school board president has a degree but continues to throw away taxpayer money.

        • innominate on April 15, 2014 at 12:58 am
        • Reply

        Degree or no degree, it makes no difference. He is a working man, he contributes to society which is more than I can say about other school board members who rely on our tax dollars to support their families.

      • WeThePeople on April 14, 2014 at 11:00 am
      • Reply

      Degrees have nothing to do with having integrity and demanding accountability. If you don’t have integrity, NOTHING ELSE matters! Unfortunately the district in large part is being run by incompetent people with NO integrity. Mr. Medrano is not one of the problem people. If Papas is elected, we are in trouble.

      ~~~
      “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

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