Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Deadlines And Bombshells

Image via August 25 issue of the LMT

A week after the City Secretary (City of Laredo) disqualified three candidates from the November election because of incomplete applications, hope remains for one.  District 7 incumbent George Altgelt (he who speaks very good Spanish) will learn soon enough if a judge rules in his favor.  At stake is his name appearing on the ballot.

Altgelt turned in his candidate application on July 26, 2016.  The deadline was August 22.  It was the duty of the City Secretary, or his staff, to review the application and notify the council member if changes needed to be made.  They had five days to do that, we've all learned.  Up until the filing deadline, the incumbent was supposedly reassured by staff that his application was in order.

Naranjas! -- It turns out that a section was not filled in, the one that states how long Altgelt has lived in District 7.

Then the bombshell came.

The day after the Monday deadline, City Attorney Raul Casso, and Andre Montgomery (Office of the Texas Secretary of State) gave city staff their legal opinion: the missing information on Altgelt's application was grounds for disqualification.  

    Email image via Our Laredo on FB

George Altgelt was disqualified from running for re-election because he forgot to fill in a space on his application, and not because of: incompetency at the City Manager's office; poor legal advice from the City Attorney; corruption; or anybody at city hall trying to make attempt to vouch for Altgelt's residency.

And then there's the issue of two candidates filing to run against Altgelt an hour before the deadline.  They were encouraged to do so, according to Altgelt.

The councilman was quick to allege corrupt machinations within the bowels of city hall.  The mayor urged his constituents, through a Facebook post, to report any malicious activity related to this case.

At this point, the only thing anyone will own up to is that inexperience at the City Secretary's office is to blame for this election fiasco.

Judge David Peeples ordered the city to withhold the printing of ballots until he had spoken with all parties involved.  Altgelt is due for another hearing in two days.  Perhaps we'll learn more about his fate as a candidate for the November election.  We'll keep our ears open.  In the meantime I can only wonder.

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