Caballero, continued from page 19 Vietnamese language. Cook counts himself among those who personally urged Caballero to run for mayor, and during Caballero’s first weeks in office he was a strong supporter. But, he says, his admiration soured at the City Council meeting where the mayor denounced Stanley Jobe. As Caballero angrily denied that he had Stanley!” he yelled as Jobe stalked from the microphone. Caballero and his administration also distrust John Cook. They think he’s been bought by the Jobes of the city. If so, it’s in the same amorphous, winking way that almost all El Paso politicosincluding Caballero supportershave been purchased. “During my first election:’ Cook remembers laugh McKelligon quarry. Cook didn’t say, `Let’s talk about it.’ Instead, he said that Jobehe called him `Stanley’provides jobs.And he said,Ruben, you’re young, you’re ambitious. You don’t want to make enemies of people who can help you out.'” Caballero staffers are horrified that the Jobes show up at City Council with a pet issue and immediately dictate the Cast of characters, left to right: Stanley Jobe at City Council, Jaime 0. Perez, developer Bobby Bowling III speaks against Caballero, Joe Wardy campaigning on the streets of El Paso, Theresa Caballero at City Council. ever threatened to shut down the quarry, Cook interrupted to describe a conversation the two had had weeks earlier: “You said, ‘Stanley’s going to have to get his rock somewhere else:” Since then, Cook says, Caballero has virtually stopped meeting or talking with him and he’s concluded that Caballero is simply not a political leader. He’s not willing to share information with City Council. Water and other issues appear on the agenda with no prior notice. He complains that Caballero promises that they’ll get together later, but it doesn’t happen. Caballero’s staff also lament the communications problem, but blame the mayor’s self-imposed, gargantuan work load and the lack of enough people to help with it. They bristle when discussing constant attacks on the administration that they say are motivated by little more than political opportunism. The most frequent come from councilmen Luis SarinanaJaime Perez’s protegeand Anthony Cobos. When Caballero publicly denounced Jobe, for instance, Sarinana did not even . pretend to hide his loyalties. “Way to go, ingly, “I called Stanley Jobe. He said, ‘Do I know you?’ I said, `No, but I was wondering if I could get you to contribute to my campaign. As I recall, you got into some trouble with the law because you were writing checks before the money was there. And I have the same problem. I’m out of money, I’ve written checks.’ Jobe starts laughing and says, ‘Come by my office.’ He left a check for $500.” Cook also talks about the real payoff: when the Jobes tout him to their friends as the candidate to back. He is proud that the couple threw a fundraiser at their house for him. “I’ve got a pretty good reputation with the business community,” he says. “They think I’m reasonable. They’ve been very generous.” Cook often votes against Caballero, but says it’s not because contributors are pressuring him. Clearly, though, he wants to stay on their good side. “Here’s a Jobesque experience I had once with John Cook,” says Ruben Reyes, a UTEP student, Green Party activist, Caballero supporter and current contender for a spot on the City Council. “I went to Cook to get him to consider looking to see if Jobe was following the law at the outcome of a vote. They point to a measure proposed after September 11, 2001. Because of the World Trade Center attack, traffic at international bridges on the U.S.-Mexico border normally snarled to begin withis slower than ever as agents check for terrorists. Concerned that exhaust fumes might be making bridge inspectors sick. Caballero asked the Council to vote for funding to install air-quality monitors. The Jobes freaked out. They accused Caballero of plotting to help plaintiffs in the quarry lawsuit. Bridge monitors, they said, would really be used as quarry monitorseven though the quarry is nowhere near a bridge. City Council, including John Cook, voted down the mayor’s request. And at a meeting I attended recently, members of an ecology club at UTEP asked the Council to support their request that the EPA hold hearings on the environmental impact of Jobe Concrete’s plans to do new quarrying on El Paso’s west side. Martie Jobe and a Jobe company lawyer charged that the students just wanted to “scapegoat” their firm. Councilman Cobos declared that 26 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 4/11/03
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