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Politiqueras, start your engines
Politiqueras, start your engines

It’s that time of year again – Hidalgo County election season – when the campaign trail gets clogged with the politiquera(o) chain gang, mainly comprised of tough female white Caddy owners who haven’t filed tax returns in years, while often collecting welfare (not gainfully employed), but who do get paid good money by some politicians to get out the vote. Often by hook or by crook. Some candidates even fail to list them on their campaign reports since the politiqueras are paid in cash (what else?). Beware, however, the feds are watching, as convictions of several politiqueras and campaign managers in federal court have proven. To stay above the law, and out of the fed pen, politiqueras cannot give a voter anything, except for transportation to the polls, in exchange for their vote. A certain former female JP may also be watching, and if she doesn’t like what she sees, or who you’re working for, your name may be sent to the Secretary of State’s Office, then the AG’s Office, then the local DA’s office for prosecution. So, be very careful. If you’re a politiquera (female) or politiquero (male), it’s still okay to get paid to drive people to the polling places, hold signs outside the polling places, or go inside the voting booth with them to make sure they choose “the right name” (i.e. the politician paying you, hello), as long as the voter you’re with tells the poll watcher that they need help in the booth. You cannot, however, under any circumstances, hand them anything as a gift for voting, especially the illegal stuff, which includes, but is not limited to: cocaine, beer, Viagra, marijuana and/or free breakfast tacos. These are the very actions for which politiqueras and several campaign managers have been convicted in federal court over the years. “Trolling for voters” at nursing homes is also fair play, provided politiqueras follow a few simple rules. For example, the “voters” that the politiquera(o)s cart to the polling places must be awake upon arrival (but not necessarily when they’re wheeled out of the nursing home), but once they go behind the voting booth curtain, they can again return to dream land. With politiqueras in the booth to help voters “vote,” being awake is of no concern. If they’re still slouched over as they’re wheeled out of the polling booth, their chin resting against their chest, no one will ask any questions. Poll watchers are there ...

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