January 20, 2009
Cisneros for Governor?

Last week, Harvery Kronberg posted an anonymous analysis of former San Antonio Mayor and Clinton cabinet member Henry Cisneros as a Democratic candidate for Governor in 2010. I've put a copy of it here (rich-text format document) for ease of download. Todd Hill at BOR goes into this at some depth, so I'll leave the heavy lifting to him. For now, I'll say that while the BOR commenters were more negative than positive to the idea, I think on balance Cisneros would be a decent candidate. I'm less worried about his baggage than some, on the grounds that if Rick Perry is the Republican nominee, he'll go negative on whoever the Dems put up, and if it's KBH the Democratic candidate will have to do the same. I don't think we'll get any more or less a negative campaign with Cisneros on the ticket, it'll just be a matter of what gets said. Finally, if neither Bill White nor John Sharp changes his mind about what race to run, Cisneros would at least qualify as someone with statewide name recognition and fundraising potential. If those two are out, we could certainly do worse than Henry Cisneros; we may wind up doing worse regardless. What do you think?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 20, 2009 to Election 2010

Kuff - Isn't Henry C. a convicted felon? If so, doesn't that disqualify him from holding elective office?

Truly, I think the Dems could do a *lot* better than him.


Posted by: Ed T. on January 20, 2009 8:34 AM

Ed - According to Wikipedia:

In March 1995, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno secured the appointment of an Independent Counsel, David Barrett to investigate allegations that Cisneros had lied to FBI investigators during background checks prior to being named Secretary of HUD. He had been asked about payments that he had made to former mistress Linda Medlar, also known as Linda Jones. The affair had been 'public knowledge' for a number of years - during the 1992 presidential campaign, George H. W. Bush's Treasurer Catalina Vasquez Villalpando (R) publicly referred to Cisneros and candidate Clinton as "two skirt-chasers." Cisneros lied about the amount of money he had paid to Medlar. The investigation continued for three and a half years.

In December, 1997, Cisneros was indicted on 18 counts of conspiracy, giving false statements and obstruction of Justice. Medlar used some of the Cisneros hush money to purchase a house and entered into a bank fraud scheme with her sister and brother-in-law to conceal the source of the money. In January, 1998, Medlar pleaded guilty to 28 charges of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and obstruction of justice.

In September, 1999, Cisneros negotiated a plea agreement, under which he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of lying to the FBI, and was fined $10,000. He did not receive jail time or probation. He was pardoned by President Bill Clinton in January 2001.

So the answer is no, he was not convicted of a felony, and in any event he was pardoned. I agree there are better possibilities, but there are plenty of worse ones as well. At this point, we may as well consider what is possible.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on January 20, 2009 9:13 AM

If you want another Republican governor in Texas, by all means, jump on that Cisneros bandwagon.

Posted by: texxasredd on January 20, 2009 7:45 PM

Texxasredd - I hear what you're saying, but give me an alternative. My first choice is running for Senator. I ain't interested in Kinky. Who else do we have right now?

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on January 20, 2009 7:48 PM

"So the answer is no, he was not convicted of a felony, and in any event he was pardoned. I agree there are better possibilities, but there are plenty of worse ones as well. At this point, we may as well consider what is possible."

I cannot think of any worse possibilities. The pardon by Bill Clinton in itself is a huge can of worms. It's a shame Texas does not have a stronger party with more viable candidates. Part of the problem is the power the Republican Party has held which has prevented many viable Democrats from even seeking office. But part of the problem is the party itself. I still am appalled that John Cornyn was returned to Congress. At least half of the Republicans don't like him. But the Democratic Party for some reason simply didn't put the effort or the money behind Rick Noriega.

And Arthur Schechter doing the Washington rounds during the inauguration with the Hispanic "movers and shakers" isn't going to heal the wounds that he himself is partially responsible for by opening up his home for a fundraiser with Bill Clinton for a state senatorial candidate instead of for a US senatorial candidate. Left a bad taste as they say.

Posted by: Baby Snooks on January 21, 2009 10:40 AM

How about Ronnie Earle?

Posted by: wcnews on January 21, 2009 11:44 AM

"How about Ronnie Earle?"

The Republicans would love to point out how Tom De Lay isn't in jail. And then point out how Kay Bailey Hutchison didn't go to jail. Talk about motivating Republicans to go to the polls - every Republican in the state of Texas would vote in 2010. A particularly bad idea particularly if Kay Bailey Hutchison wins the primary and is the Republican candidate.

Posted by: Baby Snooks on January 22, 2009 6:36 AM

People, you forget to read the writing on the wall before you. The majority in this next coming election (inspite of the republican party efforts to thwart constitution rights)will be the Democratic Party. The Republican Party needs to wrap itself around this new truth...It's no longer a "melanian deficient" society.

Posted by: Roberto Guerra on May 28, 2009 9:48 PM
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