Kiniority(a deleted article I can't find the original date of article)
I, Ron Konstantin, recently ran for Mayor of Abilene, Texas, against the 'kiniority' machine in power here.
Kiniority [kin-yawr-i-tee, -yor-] 1. A phenomenon were the rules for everyone else, do not apply to you if you have enough money, the right friends, or are "kin" to the right family. 2. A good lawyer knows the law, a great lawyer is kin to the judge. 3. It's not seniority that counts in the real world, it's kiniority.
I have been advised to write about topics that are a bit less controversial, but I am out to make a difference. I am not sure I am cut out for politics or writing about it professionally, but somebody needs to do it. If you think you can do a better job, be my guest. One warning though, be careful what you wish for. After three unsuccessful campaigns for the other 85% in Abilene, I have gained much insight on the harsh realities of the political system. Campaigning can be incredibly hard, not just on you, the candidate, but your family and supporters as well. Please keep in mind, when you speak poorly about someone running for office, there is a spouse, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, or devoted follower your harsh words may hurt as well. I have been shocked how poorly some, but not all, of the local media chose to treat certain candidates in the past.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
To golf, or not to golf, that is the question!
According to councilman Robert Briley, who was courteous enough to discuss this with me, it initially cost around $8 million to build the Diamondback course. Recently, I hear it was appraised at $1 million. Now, the selling price is $2.5 million? We need to see the books that have not been made public. I'm afraid not all is well in Abilene. For those of you who missed it, I apologize for the allusion to Shakespeare.
Anyway, step one is to get Sam "AYSA" Chase and his fiscally liberal protégés off the City Council. To accomplish that, we need to start with a candidate for the May election, who can beat him, to step forward. (Preferably, not once more into the breach for me, dear friends). Aye, there's the rub.
Step two, look into improving the city's only existing skate/bike park instead. I hear it is too small and could be safer. In this case, "Our kids are more than worth it!" For that allusion, I do not apologize!
An article that was leaked before I had a chance to publish it and ended the Konstantin For Abilene Advisory Board before it had a chance to get off the ground...
Member of Konstantine Movement For Abilene
Editorial On Sheriff's Candidates in Taylor County
Wild_bill you wrote to me: 'DCK4A, I'll say it to you just like I have to lillian5, if you've got proof, please share it. Allegations and whispers are all you will ever hear because Les Bruce wouldn't do anything like that. He has as much or more honor and honesty than anyone running for public office. Not putting down Art when I say that either. I know him to be honest and honorable as well.' I Believe I have absolute have proof. As a Republican myself it makes me very sad. You are right about one thing. Allegations and whispers are all you will ever hear. The editor of this paper Barton Cromeens will not allow the truth to come out against candidates the paper endorses. Mr. Cromeens would not allow Mr. Konstantin to respond to a very personal criticism against him during his recent campaign for mayor either. I do not want to be banned like Konstantin. Here is what Konstantin wrote about our board's decision. Over the years, I have seen a need to have coverage of political candidates that is more balanced. We at the Konstantin For Abilene Movement, are made up of people of differing backgrounds and political affiliations. I was a candidate in last three city council elections, including the most recent, for Mayor of Abilene. During this time, I met many people that make up the diverse population of the Key City and surrounding area. From my many contacts and numerous advisers, I decided upon myself, 2 republicans, 2 democrats, 1 libertarian, 1 Ron Paul supporter, and 2 non partisan residents of Taylor County, to make up my advisory board. Our goal is not to necessarily influence the outcome of any election. We simply want to provide more information to help you, as a voter, make a more informed decision. The objective is to review and comment upon how positive or negative an effect candidates in local elections, have on Abilene, and the Big Country as a whole. Our hope is to investigate campaigns not only by personality perception, but also on a deeper level. We need to know the candidates stand on issues, and the likelihood they might actually follow through with their campaign promises. After discussing the candidates at great length, we came to a consensus. Taylor County Sheriff,Since this seems to be the most heated among the local elections on the November ballot, we decided to tackle the Sheriff's race first. The candidates are Leslie 'Les' Bruce(R) who defeated our current Sheriff, Jack Dieken, and his challenger, Arturo 'Art' Casarez(D). Originally, I had intended to write a biographical/non opinion piece over both candidates for an article, and then discuss this race with my advisory board for the Konstantin For Abilene Movement before releasing it. Although I attempted to contact both candidates, Bruce chose not to respond. Despite a lack of interest by one of the candidates, my endeavor to give a fair add balanced portrait, to present to the board continued, nevertheless.
Casarez:Arturo 'Art' Casarez was a delight to speak with. He has a masters degree, as compared to his opponent, who does not even have an associates degree. He has been A policeman, Department Of Public Safety officer, and a parole officer, not to mention quite a few more years of law enforcement than his opponent. He is also involved with a ministry effort in the county jail in his spare time. Like Bruce, he is well respected by fellow law enforcement officials, but has earned quite a bit of 'street credit' with people in the community as well. He is admired by some of the prisoners for his efforts at rehabilitating those incarcerated by our county over the years. He is a family man with many connections to the community. A few years ago he ran as a Republican. He explained this saying that he was a political moderate, that filed with a party since it is a necessary evil of getting elected in a partisan race. Although I am a moderate Republican, have avoided partisan races because of the 'yellow dog' mentality of some voters. (Some people would vote for a yellow dog as long as an 'R' or 'D' followed their name.) He seemed to be in touch with the concerns and needs of deputies. Bruce:Leslie 'Les' Bruce, despite his effeminate name, is a tall, well spoken and almost nauseatingly typical politician. In various appearances he has touted very proud connection to the Republican party and the Republican Party Chairman, Curtis Tomme. He spent some time as a patrolman, S.W.A.T. Team sniper, and Narcotics Detective. This is not a problem in most races, but the majority of board members considered the Sheriff's job one best practiced with as little interjection of politics as possible. Questions we had about Les Bruce, the Republican candidate for Sheriff were varied and extremely troubling. Included in the allegations:
1. Property tax evasion
2. Bribing the Taylor County Tax Assessor
3. Taking bribes and drugs from criminals in return for not arresting them.
1. Racial slurs against Native Americans and Hispanics
2. Lies about his previous actions during his campaign
3. Misrepresenting his personal financial worth as being poor after building an almost $300,000 home.
4. Arrogance in the form of not responding to: phone inquiries by numerous parties, a debate with Connecting Caring Communities against his opponent, and refusing a radio interview with a local Latino radio station.
We at the Konstantin for Abilene Movement Advisory Board had not planned on endorsing any candidates for the upcoming election on November 2nd. However, by unanimous decision, we have all agreed. In the interest of the greater good of the county, we are compelled to strongly endorse the Democratic candidate: Arturo 'Art' Casarez. There is a disproportionate of minorities in the makeup in our county jail. Since here in America you are considered innocent until proven guilty, the only offense of some, is the crime of not having enough money to bond out. Not everyone who is locked up there has been convicted of a crime. Some are simply awaiting trial. The cost of housing as many people we do, could be better spent. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Maybe it is time we have a Sheriff as concerned with rehabilitation as incarceration. I think you will find there is no S.W.A.T. team mentality with Casarez. Are those footsteps I hear the boots of Barton Cromeens, set upon stomping out my freedom of speech and press, that he himself so greedily enjoys?
Monday, November 24, 2008
Abilene City Council should go "Frontiering"!
The first time I heard the new brand for Abilene "frontiering" I thought it was a joke. After the being made aware of the $107,000 it cost us to pay a business in Nashville Tennessee, humor was not one of the emotions I felt. Now they are trying to tell us, if we just see some presentation it will all become clear. My question for the city fathers is this: Will all the people that drive through town see these presentations too? The proposed signage is going to cost us an additional $400K.
I say no way!The city needs to understand that we Abilenians are smart, capable people. We have several colleges with professors and students with bright minds. They could take on many of the expensive studies, that are farmed out to other places. The sheer number of studies, and eventually money spent out of city, is not a good idea. Apparently the majority of people agree with me.
If the city council's stance is to ignore us, at least they could keep the money in Abilene! Then again, why not have a city wide contest of elementary students to come up with a new brand? It is a win/win in that no money would have to be spent, and the youth of the city could learn something by taking part in city government. One of the candidates suggested this during the city council/mayors race. Kudos however, to councilman Higgins, who is the sole member who voted against it.
Konstantin For Abilene Moral Eyesore Of The Month - September 2008
I hope you enjoy my first installment of Konstantin for Abilene 'Moral Eyesore or Guidepost Of The Month'. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me. If you have any suggestions for a recipient of the eyesore (negative) or guidepost (positive) award, let me know. My goal is to act as a watchdog on behalf of, as I call us, "the other 85%". I do ask you restrict submissions to public people or organizations that have a very good or negative impact on Abilene and The Big Country. Please, no private individuals! Obviously, this is an opinion piece based upon my personal opinion, observations, and always, exhaustive research. If I am in error in even the smallest detail, please let me know, and I will take appropriate steps to correct the error. My intent is not to smear anyone unfairly, or cause undue distress. This effort is a direct result of multiple, unsuccessful attempts to expose issues that are, in my opinion, of great concern to the area, that local media will not print. I can't beat them, so I decided to join them. I pledge I will never intentionally mislead or misrepresent the facts of the issue. If you have the slightest suspicion my thoughts my upset you in any way, please choose not to read them. My goal is to benefit the greater good, not upset individuals. In other words: READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! I would like to thank Abilene City Councilman - Sam Chase, Stan Alcorn and the Deacons of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, George Levesque - Station manager KTXS TV, and most of all, Barton Cromeens - Editor of the Abilene Reporter News, for inspiring me to take up this endeavor. So, God bless America, the freedom of speech, and the freedom of the press.
Here is the "edited" version of my article:
I would like to respond to a recent letter to the editor(Abilene Newspaper - http://m.reporternews.com/news/2008/apr/30/konstantin-wrongly-aligning-himself/ ) entitled, 'Konstantin wrongly aligning himself,' that appeared in the Abilene Reporter News. This letter to the editor contains many factual errors, and slandered me personally. As of this writing, it still remains on m.reporternews.com. My complaint is centered on the actions of the person who wrote the letter to the editor, Philip Lawler, and how the Abilene Report has handled the situation. To summarize one of Philip Lawler's points, he said I inappropriately quoted his grandfather, Shorty Lemens, as supporting my campaign. Philip Lawler also added several other untruths about my character to his letter to the editor. Everyone is welcome to their opinion, regardless of how unfounded it may be. I had hoped to respond to Philip Lawler's accusations. The Abilene Reporter would not allow me to add my comments to their online edition, and rejected my submission for the print version's letters to the editor. I contacted them about this, and they said I had not followed some of their online posting rules. So, I modified the piece according to their specifications, but it was rejected again with no explanation. OK, I can live with that. It is their newspaper. However, I was upset when they allowed Philip Lawler's slanderous and untruthful comments to remain on their website, as well as filthy, vile, and obscene comments on the blog section under the letter. I requested that the Abilene Reporter remove his, as well as the obscene comments, since I was not allowed to answer them. They refused to do so. Also, my father submitted a letter to the editor that was also ignored, despite a lifetime of media experience as an author, columnist, television reporter, and most importantly, a corroborator of my claims. So, let me address some of the issues brought up in Philip Lawler's diatribe against me: I agree that anyone who knew H.W. 'Shorty' Lemens knows he would not have allowed his name to be mentioned in a political campaign... until recently. Shorty was my friend, and like a grandfather to me. He is not here to stop the claims of his grandson, Philip Lawler, against me. Mr. Lemens supported me, and my campaigns. For the first time in his 90+ years, he allowed my political signs in his yard, and even accompanied me on political meetings with people such as the city manager, Larry Gilley; why would Lawler think it is not acceptable now? Mr. Lemens filed charges against Mr. Lawler with adult protective services, for elder abuse. Since I assisted Mr. Lemens write his initial complaint, this tell much about Philip Lawler's true motives for his letter to the newspaper. I may not have been family member, but I had been employed directly by Mr. Lemens for about a dozen years, including taking care of him in his home, as a resident. Lawler has been arrested multiple times for DWI. He has no moral basis to judge my character, or my viability as a political candidate, past, present, or future. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Lawler visited his grandfather around six times in 12 years, even though they live in the same city. Keep in mind, I lived with Mr. Lemens, as part of my job, and I had daily exposure to his thoughts on an almost exhaustive level. Mr. Lawler’s lack of knowledge or concern for even the most basic needs of Mr. Lemens should be considered, when weighing the validity of his statements on his behalf, or against me. But don't take my word for it. I have plenty of irrefutable proof that many of the assets, that used to belong to the elderly man, are now owned by Lawler. To top it all off, Philip Lawler had for years been taking property from his grandfather, while wrongfully accusing Mr. Lemens, and his big sister for the decline of the business Mr. Lemens founded: Lemens L P Gas. Considering that neither worked there by that time, displays the inane nature of this elder abuser's lies. His sister no longer works for the former 'family business' now that it has been sold, mainly as the result of the greedy and insecure demands of her baby brother. As a part of the sale agreement, Mr. Lawler has been guaranteed a job by the new ownership. I was not allowed to respond to this assassination of my character in the Abilene Reporter News, even though it appeared in the middle of an election. Nor was I allowed to speak of the involvement of Lawler's lawyer, Abilene City Councilman Sam Chase, and his associate Charles 'Mike' Walls, as well as Detective Donnie Pratt at the Taylor County DA's office, in the theft of this elderly man's life work, and dignity. Obviously, this says much about the lack of honesty, and integrity of the editor of the Abilene Reporter News, Barton Cromeens.
Congratulations Phil Lawler, Abilene Texas, as the recipient of Konstantin for Abilene 'Moral Eyesore Of The Month' of September 2008. You have earned it!
Ron Konstantin - Abilene political activist Konstantin For Abilene Movement
New zoning laws for drilling are unsafe
Friday, April 18, 2008
I was shocked when I read the article, "Council approves CIP projects." The regulations for oil drilling rigs in the city were there for good reason.
The zoning changes amount to nothing less than greed coming before protecting human life. Two hundred feet is just too close to homes. In the case of an oil fire, the paint can be melted off a vehicle up to 400 feet away. Think what it would do to the trailer houses you want to drill by.
Removal of warning sirens outside the city, much less inside it, is just insane. Salt water reinjection permeates into groundwater that will kill almost anything living and make water undrinkable. How many people in town who use wells to water their lawn will this effect?
And have you ever smelled an oil rig? Are you ready for the huge vehicles needed to service a rig to constantly drive down your street, day and night?
Those of you who talk about eyesores in the community have seen nothing yet! Oil can be a great source of revenue, but not at the expense of safety and just good old common sense.
As a conservative who supports business, I am not opposed to drilling in town if it is done safely, but this is nothing short of foolish. I can only hope the dollar signs they are seeing are not replaced with gravestones.
Ever consider the millions of dollars in damages an accident could cost the city?
Congratulations, city council, you have really outdone yourselves this time!
Konstantin for Mayor of Abilene Campaign
Lend a hand - don't point out local 'eyesores'
Friday, June 15, 2007
A few people have asked me why, during my campaign for city council, I took on the whole ''eyesore'' issue. Well, I am a Christian, and a minister in training.
On a personal level, it seems judgmental and not very neighborly. If you want lower property taxes, be proactive and dispute the accessed value Taylor CAD placed upon your home. I suspect the eyesore fines will not lead to your taxes being lowered. Step up and be a good citizen. Pay your fair share, instead of passing your responsibilities on to someone else. Better yet, offer to help them clean things up.
On a religious level, Matthew 23:25-28 says, ''Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.''
These are the words of Jesus. I am sorry they offend anyone, but I am not trying to be ugly. I am just pointing out what I think is obvious to me, and what my fellow Christians should already know.
Leave political yard signs alone
Saturday, May 19, 2007
For the second year in a row, I have observed a problem that should be addressed. Please leave political signs alone. I think I speak for all political candidates when I say this. You might have zeal for the candidate you support, but this kind of thing just makes the ones with signs still standing look bad. Also, signs are expensive if you buy them, or time consuming if you print them yourself. If someone places a sign on your property in error, call them. Most candidates will send someone to pick it up.
Let's keep elections friendly here in the Friendly Frontier.