I originally thought Oscar Lesser was elected mayor of El Paso because of name recognition and a good image. But watching him in action these months has shown he’s a pretty good politician, as well.
How he has straddled the line on the new Triple A ballpark has been masterful. When I talk to ballpark supporters, they think Leeser is great. When I point out that ballpark opponents also think Leeser is great, they just laugh. “He’s never said anything against the ballpark. He throws out comments about ‘the process’ to appease the crazies, but meanwhile, that ‘process’ just keeps cruising along.” Leeser has found a way to get people on both sides to think he is on their side. Masterful.
But, come on, is it really that hard to see through the line all the politicians are using now: “I support the ballpark, just not the process.” Without that process, there is no ballpark. If you support the ballpark, you support the process. Just admit it. When I start going to games in April, I probably am not going to support the ‘process’ of finding a parking spot to pay for, then walking to the stadium and finding my seat. But if I’m going to enjoy the game, I’m going to have to deal with that process.
The extra $10 million
Leeser showed how great he is at politics again this week with the issue of the ballpark costs exceeding $54 million. Here’s the basic rundown of how it went down.
Mountainstar Sports Group: “Hey, the ballpark looks like it’s going to cost about $64 million. But don’t worry, we’ll cover the extra.”
Oscar Leeser: “The city will NOT pay a dime more! How DARE you ask for more money.”
Mountainstar: “Uhhh, we’re not asking for more money. We said it looks like it will cost more, but we’re going to cover the difference.”
Leeser: “That’s right! I showed you! Victory for the taxpayers of El Paso!”
Again, it’s masterful.
But did you notice the story in the El Paso Times showing a crack in the facade? Security increased at El Paso City Hall. It appears Leeser may be getting a little freaked out by the public of El Paso. It’s one thing to get both sides to vote for you, but it’s quite another to have to deal with all those people every day.
Leeser is starting to build his moat.