Greg M. Schwartz
The wide-open battle for District 5 is heating up, as candidates and their supporters attempt to discredit their competitors in what looks to be a tight race. The incumbent is usually the favorite, but Lourdes Galvan's frontrunner status is questionable. She failed to garner an endorsement from the Express-News, which decided not to endorse anyone in District 5.
The San Antonio Police Officer's Association originally said last year that they wouldn't endorse her either after her support of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, but now they've flip-flopped and decided to endorse the status quo. David Gonzalez, PAC chair for the SAPOA, says that Galvan has since apologized and said she “didn't know what the Bandidos stood for.”
“She found out that `the club's charity work` was a blip in what they really do, and has since denounced her appreciation of the Bandidos,” said Gonzalez. He says the Bandidos are a “criminal element from our point of view.”
“I'm sure there are some Bandidos who are nice guys, but for the most part they are not,” added Gonzalez. (If any Bandidos are reading, the Queblog is interested in hearing your side of this story.)
The police endorsement may not be a crucial factor in District 5, however. Inside polling information from a fly on the wall indicates that 2007 runner-up David Medina and 2009 newcomer John Carlos Garcia â?? who has won the endorsement of the Bexar County Young Democrats â?? are leading Galvan in the race to get into a two-person runoff. The chances of any candidate winning more than 50 percent of the overall vote on May 9 looks remote.
There seems to be plenty of bad blood between the campaigns of Galvan and Medina, where there's already been allegations of sign stealing from both camps. The exact details remain murky, but a couple of little birdies reported that Galvan's husband was involved in an altercation with Medina supporter Richard Olano on Wednesday in the parking lot at the Las Palmas Mall.
Olano apparently had accused the councilwoman of misspending, and Mr. Galvan allegedly responded with a derogatory homophobic insult. Initial reports suggested fisticuffs ensued, but this was later downgraded to mere verbal sparring. Inquiries with Galvan's office for comment were not returned. Medina still hasn't returned Queblog's calls since we inquired about the allegations that he didn't actually live in District 5 for the requisite six months prior to filing to run.
Now there are new carpetbagger allegations against Medina that he lied about graduating from District 5's Burbank High School, when he actually graduated from John Marshall High on the North Side. Sources say that while Medina did attend Burbank at one time, he did not finish there. A copy of Medina's graduation photo from John Marshall, class of 2004, is currently circulating.
Candidate Raymond Zavala also has a flyer out that takes Medina to task for exaggerating his political and work experience, as well as his failure to answer candidate questionnaires (including that of the Current.) Zavala also claims that Medina “has a habit of being impossible to reach,” a claim with which the Quebog can concur.
Then came a tip suggesting that candidate Garcia had a felony assault on his record. The felony characterization proved false, however. Garcia says, and Justice Center records confirm, that he was arrested in 2007 after a domestic dispute but that the misdemeanor charge was dismissed and is in the process of being expunged from the record.
“`The argument` happened outside my office and got the attention of a neighbor, which is why the police were called,” said Garcia. He says he and fiancee Bernadette Valdez have been together for ten years and have since had a second child, so “the incident is not anything in character.”
“It was just a misunderstanding between both of usâ?¦ and we've been fine ever since,” concurred Valdez.
A comparison of the rumored frontrunners shows that the forthcoming Garcia has all his answers to various candidate questionnaires posted at his site, while Medina's site has no such information at all.
Garcia has gone on the offensive against the incumbent Galvan with a flyer that attacks her for a lack of leadership in the district. It takes Galvan to task for her retroactive response to community concerns about the location of the Secrets Executive Club on New Laredo Highway, where two men were recently killed in a parking lot shooting.
“Only after this violent incident did Councilwoman Galvan bother to pay attention to the community's concerns. She expressed â??outrage' just as she did after the burning of a warehouse recycling plant at 5317 W. Commerce. Long before the building burned down on January 10, 2008, nearby residents reported numerous code-compliance concerns to Councilwoman Galvan, but their pleas for help fell on deaf ears! Galvan's retroactive â??outrage' approach has FAILED,” reads the flyer.
Pastor Conrad Palacios from the River Worship Church seconds this critique of Galvan. He says Galvan failed to show this week at an Infrastructure and Growth Committee meeting, where the issue of zoning distinctions for live entertainment venue was among those to be discussed.
“I guess two people dying is not enough for her to change her schedule,” said Palacios. He said he wants clarity between bars and strip clubs, noting that many of the latter simply register as live entertainment venues, allowing them to open up almost anywhere. “No one is trying to shut down the strip clubs, we're just trying to make it safer for the families.”
Queblog hasn't been able to track any mud flying at candidate Eiginio Rodriguez yet, which might lead one to believe the former zoning commissioner isn't making enough waves in the race to merit such attention, despite his outspoken questioning of the city's status quo on numerous issues. But Rodriguez reported this morning that all emails to his website address mysteriously disappeared yesterday. Does this represent a mere random cyberspace meltdown or something more sinister?
“The only new thing I can remember having occurred within the past week was having spoken to an elderly retired civilian military base research scientist that emailed me some information regarding the Kelly underground vapor/liquid contamination Congressional Hearing,” said Rodriguez in an email. “I also remember that he asked questions about the Medina Base explosion `in 1963` and why I had hypothesized why there was a possible correlation of thyroid disease and rare cancer incidents in the area.”
For the record, Councilwoman Galvan has failed for a week now to respond to a request for comment on the burying of the liver cancer report that connected some of the cancers in the district's Toxic Triangle with the contamination from Kelly.
Stay tuned for live web cast Election Day coverage from the Current on May 9â?¦