Thursday, May 24, 2012

We will be having another city wide signing event Saturday, 26 May at the locations listed below. Please pass the information on to your family, friends and others in your social circles. We have a little under two weeks left to turn in the petitions and we do not yet have enough signatures. There is and has been a concerted effort by some to paint this recall effort as a being done out of hatred, bigotry and vindictiveness. That is far from the truth. Monday we will celebrate Memorial Day, a day to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our rights and our freedoms. Chief among those rights is our right to vote and to have our vote heard. The mayor and four members of the city council (two on their way out of office) decided to throw out that vote. I would ask that we honor our fallen by protecting and treasuring it like the precious gift that it is. Saturday we will be collecting signatures at:

Album Park located on the east side at 2655 N. Yarborough from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Memorial Park located in Centrl El Paso at 1701 N. Copia from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Crestmont Park located at Sunland Park Drive and Chermont Drive on the west side from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Madeline Park located near UTEP on Baltimore Drive and Kern Place from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend and may God bless you, your families and our Soldiers.
Here is a good video that explains the reasons for the recall. Please view it and share it with as many people as possible.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Just a reminder
We will be collecting petition signatures tomorrow, 19 May 2012 at several locations around the city. The locations for tomorrow will be early voting sites. Please come out to sign a petition and then cast your vote in your party's primary elections.
The locations and times volunteers will be collecting signatures are:

Marty Robbins Recreation Center on 11600 Vista del Sol from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.
Festival Crossing 5830 N. Mesa from 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Vista Hills Shopping Center on 1840 N. Lee Trevino from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Regency Assisted Living Center 221 Bartlett Drive from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm.

Last week some local media ran a story on homosexual protestors gathered at city hall urging people not to sign petitions recalling Mayor Cook.  The organizer, Mr. Skip Rosenthal, said the petition was about hatred, bigotry and vindictiveness. Since none of the reporting media provided an opposing view, I will. President John Adams once said; "facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
Here are the facts. I am the one who initiated this latest recall effort and here are my reasons. In 2009 the city was 14 million dollars in debt. The mayor and city council were instituting austerity measures such as eliminating pay raises for city workers for a second year in a row, opening city hall four days instead of five and not hiring to fill vacancies. The mayor and city council also planned to furlough police officers if their union did not agree to delay, for almost a year, the cost of living raise guaranteed in their contract. In the middle of this fiscal crisis, the mayor and city council decided to extend taxpayer benefits to the homosexual and unmarried partners of city employees. At that time the mayor and city council had no idea how much the benefits would cost, but estimates were around $395,000.  At a time when the city was implementing austerity measures and preparing to furlough police officers, the mayor and city council were giving a taxpayer supported blank check for benefits to support the lifestyle choices of unmarried city employees. The citizens stood together and initiated a referendum to repeal this action. One of the largest percentages of registered voters to vote in a nonpresidential election voted 55 percent to 45 percent to repeal the benefits. While the referendum could have been worded better, the intent was unmistakable, the repeal of taxpayer benefits to the homosexual and unmarried partners of city employees. Unhappy with the election results, the mayor and city council chose an interpretation of the referendum that would strip benefits from some retirees, spouses and foster children of city employees. This was not the intent of the referendum and they knew it. The mayor and city council threw these people under the bus in an effort to gain support for overturning the referendum. The referendum was challenged and upheld by a federal judge. The city council voted on whether to challenge the referendum and decided 4-3 not to. In the last legislative session before newly elected council members took office, the mayor introduced another ordinance to overturn the referendum and this time the vote was 4-4. The mayor cast the tiebreaking vote to overturn the ordinance so the legal vote of the citizens was nullified and thrown out. I served over thirty years of my life, my entire youth, in the Army. I served in Germany during the Cold War, along the DMZ in Korea, in Panama, Kosovo, Djibouti Africa and I have combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. For the rest of my life I will carry the painful physical and emotional scars of my military service. I did this (and would do it again) not for hatred, bigotry and vindictiveness, but to support and defend our Constitution, the cornerstone of which is our right to vote and to have our vote count. So while Mr. Rosenthal and many in the media desire to spin this recall in another direction, these are the facts of why I initiated the recall. As for Mr. Rosenthal and his statement about hatred, bigotry and vindictiveness, he must have been remembering his actions from two days earlier. On Monday, 14 May, my wife was gathering signatures at the Regency Assisted living Center when she politely asked Mr. Rosenthal if he would like to sign a petition to recall Mayor Cook for throwing out the votes of the people. He rudely said no and kept walking.  A few moments later he returned to where my wife was and began verbally assaulting her. His language was so loud and abusive it caught the attention of several individuals that were campaigning for local candidates.  He also went inside the facility where it was reported he went on a profanity laced tirade demanding that my wife be thrown off the premises (she was on a public sidewalk.) He then returned and resumed his belligerent behavior towards my wife. Failing to elicit any response from my wife he left. This episode was witnessed by numerous individuals and can be easily verified. Now I ask you, who in this situation is acting out of hatred, bigotry and vindictiveness. This type of a bully attitude goes to the very heart of why I initiated this recall effort and underscores just how important it is to recall the mayor.  The mayor and four city council members decided they were going to force their values upon the citizens of El Paso and anyone who disagreed with them would be bullied into submission. If anyone disagrees with this assessment I would only ask that they look at things as they are and not as they would like them to be.

1. As I stated earlier, in the middle of a fiscal crisis for El Paso, the mayor and city council decided on their own to extend taxpayer funded benefits to the homosexual and unmarried partners of city employees.

2. The citizens of El Paso voted overwhelmingly for a referendum to repeal the taxpayer funded benefits.

3. The City chose a narrow interpretation of the referendum and was willing to strip the benefits from 32 adult dependants of city employees, 84 retirees, 42 dependants of retirees, and 40 children and grandchildren just to get support for overturning the referendum.

4. The referendum was challenged in court and upheld by a federal Judge.

5. Mayor Cook and several city council members, most notably Suzy Byrd and Steve Ortega declare that those who voted for the referendum did so out of hatred and bigotry. The city government that was elected to serve ALL the people repeatedly calls a latge majority of those people bigots.
6. The city council voted 4-3 not to challenge the referendum

7. In the last legislative session before newly elected council members took office, the mayor introduced another ordinance to overturn the referendum and throw out the vote of the people of El Paso. The vote was 5-4 with the mayor casting the tiebreaking vote.

8. Several people of high moral character, who are active in their churches and their communities and who exercised their constitutional right to petition their government did so and are now being sued by the Mayor.

9. A local pastor who has done more for the poor and needy in his local community is called a hate monger and a bigot and has his ministry labeled as a hate group because he said unmarried people who cohabitate and homosexuals are immoral, fornicators and sinners. The dictionary lists as a definition for fornicate “to have sex outside of marriage.” The bible says in 1 Timothy 1:8-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 1:18-32 and other verses in both the old and new testaments that homosexuality and fornication is sin and immoral behavior. So A Pastor reads from the bible and for this he is labeled a hate Group?
Lastly, I would like to remind El Pasoans that despite the voters passing a referendum to repeal taxpayer funded benefits for the  homosexual and unmarried partners of city workers and a group of clergy and civic leaders getting enough signatures to force the recall of mayor John Cook and city council members Suzy Byrd and Steve Ortega, at the end of the day, the homosexual and unmarried partners of city workers still have taxpayer funded benefits, John Cook is still mayor, Suzy Byrd and Steve Ortega are still city council members, Father Michael Rodriguez was reassigned somewhere in south Texas and Pastor Tom Brown has had his ministry labeled a hate group because he quoted from the Bible. I would just ask the citizens of El Paso if this sounds right to you. Is this the kind of city you want to raise your family in. If the answer is no then I beg you to please come out and sign a petition so we can force a recall of the mayor and remove him from office before he can something like this again, because if the people don't stand up together and send a message to all our elected officials that they were elected to their offices to serve the people of El Paso and not their own personal agendas this type of conduct will continue.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

We will be collecting petition signatures tomorrow, 19 May 2012 at several locations around the city. The locations for tomorrow will be early voting sites. Please come out to sign a petition and then cast your vote in your party's primary elections.
The locations and times volunteers will be collecting signatures are:

Marty Robbins Recreation Center on 11600 Vista del Sol from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.
Festival Crossing 5830 N. Mesa from 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Vista Hills Shopping Center on 1840 N. Lee Trevino from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Regency Assisted Living Center 221 Bartlett Drive from 10:30 am to 6:00 pm.

This page will be updated as more locations become available so please check back. Also, please check this blog after midnight tonight as we will be posting information all El Paso voters need to be aware of.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

To anyone following this blog and supporting the recall effort I apologize but I am postponing the signing event scheduled for this Saturday (12 May) to the next Saturday (19 May.) Since this weekend is mothers Day I want the whole weekend to be focused on our Mothers. They have done, and continue to do, so much for us that I want the focus to be on them this weekend. I will post another announcement on the signing event early next week. Have a great weekend and don't forget to pamper your mothers. May God continue to bless you, your families and our Soldiers.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A prelimenary check of our status reveals that we have not yet reached our goal of getting enough signatures to force a recall. We will be conducting another signing event this coming Saturday and we need everyone who believes it is wrong for a few individuals to overturn the results of a legally conducted election, results that were upheld by a Federal Judge, to come out and sign the petition. I know there are some who are getting pretty weary of this recall effort. I have to admit, it is pretty tiring to work all day and spend every other waking moment working on this recall. I have a backyard that looks like the moon with a landscape project half done. My honey-do list is growing exponentially and it's been so long since I had the time to wash my car I forgot what color it is. Ok, I do remember what color it is, but hopefully you get my point. Working this recall is like having another full time job.

Now having said all that, I do not regret for one second that I initiated this petition drive and I will continue to persevere until we get the signatures necessary to force the recall. This is not an insignificant issue as some would lead you to believe. It is a major assault on the constitutional rights of every voter in El Paso and an attack on our democratic form of government. When a people lose their vote, they lose their liberty. When Mayor John Cook and those four city council members threw out the vote of the people (two of whom did so in their last legislative session as they were leaving office) they seperated themselves from their accountability to the people who elected them to office.When they dodged the recall that was initiated last year they not only put more distance between themselves and the citizens they answer to, they also violated the oath of office they took when they swore to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States." Also, I would ask you to stop and take a look around at all the elected officials charged with corruption in El Paso; Mayors (Sunland Park and Socorro), Judges, Commissioners, School District Superintendents, and more still to come. These people didn't just wake up one day and say, "you know what? I think I'll be a little corrupt today and defraud my constitutients out of their hard earned tax dollars." They ended up like they did because they were never held accountable by the people that put them in office. We must stand up together and start holding our elected officials accountable. Please come out and sign the recall petition. Please tell your family, friends and co-workers about the petition and encourage them to come out and sign it. If we do not stand up and protect our vote, we will lose it.

I will post the new locations as soon as we hamer out the details.

Don't forget, Sunday is Mothers Day. Remember to tell your Mother how special she is to you.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I apologize for the change but we will not be at White Spur Park today. We will only be at Album Park, Memorial Park, Sue Young Park and Yucca Park.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

We are very close to reaching the necessary signatures to force a recall of the Mayor. To help get us there, we are conducting a city wide signing event this Saturday, 5 May 2012, at the following locations:

Northeast - Sue Young Park, 9730 Diana

Central - Memorial Park, 1701 N. Copia

East - Album Park, 2655 N. Yarbrough

Lower Valley - Yucca Park, 957 Lafayette

If you signed the petition last year, please come out and sign again, this is a new recall effort initiated this year. Please sign the petition and help protect our vote from those who think they can throw out our vote because they think they know more than the voters. Also, just to help clear up a little confusion, This recall effort is a new effort that was initiated on 5 April 2012. I am not affiliated with Tom Brown Ministries and I am not affiliated with El Pasoans for Traditional Family Values. I am a retired Soldier who initiated this recall drive because I gave thirty years of my life, my entire youth, to protect and defend our Constitution. Our vote is the cornerstone of that Constitution. Of the 27 amendments to our constitution, Our voting rights are specifically covered and protected in the 15th, 17th, 19th, 23rd, 24th and 26th ammendments. That's six amendments! That's almost a quarter of all the amendments. No other single topic is covered more. If we do not take a stand and hold our elected officials accountable, this type of thing will happen again and the corruption that is gripping our city will only get worse. Once again, please come out Saturday 5 May 2012 and sign the petition. We DO treasure every vote.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

We have another location to add where people can go to sign petitions or pick them up for circulation. This one is in the Northeast.

10105 Dyer. They are there Monday -Friday from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm and Saturday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

There are three new locations El Paso voters can go to sign recall petitions. They are listed below.

Far East: 12460 Weaver Road Horizon City

North East/Central:  1776 American Way(behind the Radisson Hotel on Boeing.)

West Side: 4026 Mesa, Suite B (behind Comos Restaurant.)

I want to thank these voters who have volunteered their locations to help in this effort. I also want to encourage everyone to tell your friends, family and neighbors about the recall. The vote does not belong to just one person, it belongs to us all. If it is lost, we all lose it.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Citizens of El Paso,

Today from 3-5 PM we will be at the Tax Day event at the Amphitheater located at 9700 Girl Scout Way in the Northeast. Girl Scout Way is off Transmountain between Rushing and Kenworthy. I will have petitions there.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This blog was created as an information distribution point in the ongoing effort to recall John Cook, the Mayor of El Paso, Texas. This blog is where info will be passed on as to the dates, times and locations where concerned citizens can sign petitions. I am also soliciting volunteers to help get signatures for the petitions. Anyone wishing to volunteer or contact me for any reason can reach me at  I will not accept any monetary or in kind contributions. I will only accept help in legally obtaining signatures on the petitions. I am initiating this recall as a private citizen and not as a member of any organization. Also, I do not speak for anyone but myself. Contrary to what our Mayor and several of our city council members have said about those who support a recall of the Mayor, I am not a bigot or a hate monger. I am an average citizen. I retired from the Army a couple of years ago after serving over 30 years in defense of our great nation. I have served on the DMZ in Korea, in Germany during the Cold War as well as in Kosovo,  Iraq and Afghanistan. I have seen what happens to people who have lost any voice in how they are governed and I refuse to stand by and allow that to happen here. At least not without a challenge. No matter how people feel about the referendum that overturned the domestic partner benefits, it was done legally and in accordance with the city charter. It was also upheld by a judge on appeal. If the Mayor and four City Council Members can disregard the vote of the citizens of El Paso once, the question has to be asked , "what will they do next?" Abraham Lincoln said ours is "a government of the people, by the people and for the people." It is not a government "of the few, by the few and for the few." The Mayor has said that overturning the referendum was the right thing to do because other city workers besides domestic partners would have lost their health coverage also. That is disingenuous at best. The law that allows the city council to overturn an ordinance, Article III,Section 3.9, C.3. states: the city council may amend, extend, or repeal any ordinance previously adopted. If the referendum had unintended consequences, Mayor and City Council should have respected the will of the voters, leaving in place the repeal of the domestic partner benefits and amending the ordinance to eliminate the unintended consequences. That would have been the right thing to do.  This is not an anti homosexual issue and it is not an anti John Cook issue. It is an issue where the incumbent used the position of his office to further an agenda that he was not voted into office to pursue and that the voters of El Paso soundly rejected at the ballot box.  A little known fact many people are not aware of is the referendum the voters approved that overturned the domestic partner benefits had the highest percentage of registered voters participating than any non presidential election in years. A higher percentage voted in that referendum than voted for Governor, U.S. Congress or our municipal elections. As a matter of fact, more El Pasoans voted for the referendum that voted for the Mayor and all City Council Members combined. This information can be verified by going to the El Paso city government elections website. Again, this is contrary to what many people have been saying, including some in our local media. I would like to conclude this post with two thoughts. The first is a quote from English philosopher Edmund Burke who said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.’ All one has to do is look around and see this is just as true today as it was in Edmund Burke's day. Violence has exploded across our border in Mexico and within our own country. You cannot turn on the news or pick up a paper and not find a story about a shooting or some other horrific event. Additionally, I have seen more stories of corruption here in El Paso in the last couple of years I have lived here than I could ever have imagined. It's time for good people to stand for what is right and defend our democratic republic. It may not be perfect but it's the best thing going this side of Heaven and it is definitely worth defending. The second thought is a story shared by Dr. Erwin Lutzer,Pastor of Moody Church for 30 years, wrote a book entitled “When A Nation Forgets God.” In his book, Dr. Lutzer shared an account from an eyewitness of how some church members reacted to the Nazism of their times:
“I lived in Germany during the Nazi Holocaust. I considered myself a Christian. We heard stories of what was happening to Jews, but we tried to distance ourselves from it because what could we do to stop it. A railroad track ran behind our small church and each Sunday morning we could hear the whistle in the distance, and then the wheels coming over the tracks. We became disturbed when we heard the cries coming from the train as it passed by. We realized that it was carrying Jews like cattle in the cars. Week after week the whistle would blow. We dreaded to hear the sound of those wheels because we knew that we would hear the cries of the Jews in route to a death camp. Their screams tormented us. We knew the time the train was coming, and when we heard the whistle blow, we began singing hymns. By the time the train came past our church, we were singing at the top of our voices. If we heard the screams, we sang more loudly and soon we heard them no more.” And then the eyewitness shared with Pastor Lutzer, “ Although years have passed, I still hear the train whistle in my sleep. God forgive me, forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians and yet did nothing to intervene.”
Now I want to make it very clear that I am NOT saying, nor am I implying, that John Cook, Suzy Byrd or Steve Ortega are Nazis or that they are mean evil or diabolical people, because I do not believe they are. But I do believe their actions in overturning the voter-approved referendum designed to rescind the tax-payer funded benefits for domestic partners of city employees is very detrimental to the citizens of El Paso and an abuse of the offices they were elected to and I cannot just stand by and allow it to happen. I refuse to just sing louder.