Monday, January 27, 2020

#TXLEGE: Pete Flores might be the Biggest Integrity Upgrade of All Time

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan."
Proverbs 29:2

During Policy Orientation last week, Senator Pete Flores spoke on the panel: "South Texas is Texas Too: Bringing South-Texas Priorities to Austin and D.C."  It was a good discussion.  Mostly about South Texas' impact on the broader economies of both Texas and the United States.

Throughout the discussion, however, we kept coming back to one thought: Pete Flores' predecessor.

Pete Flores' predecessor, for those who don't remember, was this guy.  Also this guy.  And this guy.

He's also this guy:
SAN ANTONIO — The courtroom was silent and thick with anxiety Thursday morning as the judge’s deputy read the verdicts: “Guilty,” “guilty,” “guilty” — 11 times over, and on all felony counts.

State Sen. Carlos Uresti sat stone-faced, his gaze directed at the deputy, as he heard the ruling that throws into question his two-decade career in the Texas Legislature and opens up the possibility of more than a century in federal prison and millions of dollars in fines.

If upheld on appeal, the 11 felony charges — including multiple counts of fraud and money laundering — would render the San Antonio Democrat ineligible to continue serving as a state legislator. Uresti, an attorney by trade, would also be disbarred.


Uresti was charged last year in connection with FourWinds Logistics, a now-bankrupt oilfield services company that perpetrated a Ponzi scheme against its investors. Uresti served as general counsel for FourWinds and owned 1 percent of the company. He also earned commission for recruiting investors, according to court documents.

Several of the company’s leaders pleaded guilty to fraud charges before Uresti’s case even went to trial, some of them in plea agreements to testify for the government. Prosecutors argued that Uresti had used his prestigious reputation to lend credibility to an unknown company; several investors testified that Uresti’s presence reassured them that their money would be safe with FourWinds. But Uresti’s lawyers countered that the lawmaker was never aware of, or involved in, the company’s shady dealings.

Uresti’s co-defendant, former FourWinds consultant Gary Cain, was also found guilty on all counts.


The prominent and at times salacious case has drawn dozens of unaffiliated observers to the courthouse over the past month. The courtroom was particularly packed for three days of testimony from Uresti’s former legal client Denise Cantu, who lost most of the $900,000 she invested in FourWinds. Cantu — who said she had an affair with Uresti — won that money with his legal representation in a wrongful death suit after her son and daughter were killed in 2010 car accident.
That's pretty much what you need to know about Pete Flores' predecessor (although the strong stomached can read more here).

By contrast, Pete Flores is just a guy who wants to maximize economic growth in South Texas.  We don't necessarily agree with every idea he has to accomplish that objective.  Still, our objections to the current Texas Senator from District 19 is limited to a few policy issues.

It's quite the disparity.

Bottom Line: The difference between the last two Senators from SD-19 speaks for itself.

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