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This is NOT a Wikipedia article. This particular sandbox is used to compile a range of information about an ex-political candidate for the Texas Senate, and a current contender for the Texas State Representative race in District 78. All information within is sourced as well as possible, with much of it coming directly from the El Paso Times. This information is being compiled in anticipation that this candidate may win the election, and thereby be notable enough to be the subject of a Wikipedia article.

District 78 Race[edit]

"One of the hottest primary races is the battle in El Paso between Pat Haggerty and Dee Margo, who was recruited to run against Haggerty by Tom Craddick. Craddick's previous opposition to funding the Texas Tech medical school in El Paso has become an issue in the race. Eliot Shapleigh, who won reelection in 2006 by defeating Margo, has jumped into the fray to counter the claim by Margo contributor Woody Hunt that Craddick has been a supporter of the medical school." ... "During the Shapleigh-Margo race, Shapleigh accused Margo of asking Craddick not to fund the medical school until after the election, so that he could blame Shapleigh. Subsequently, it came to light that a Tech regent had indeed secured funding for the school, but the minutes of the regents' meeting were silent about it. This lent credence to Shapleigh's charge.

Now, back to the present. This is an excerpt from a story that ran in the El Paso Times on January 21, in which Woody Hunt defends Craddick:

The race, Hunt said, has nothing to do with Craddick but is about more effective Republican leadership in the only GOP-represented district in El Paso."


Margo was a NO SHOW at the Pearson Forum.


State Rep. Pat Haggerty and challenger Dee Margo faced off in a debate televised on Channel 7-KVIA on Monday. The two discussed House Speaker Tom Craddick, the Children's Health Insurance program, and why they are in the race.

Moderator Gary Warner opened the debate by saying that Margo has been accused of being a Craddick candidate, "a charge you have denied. … Is Tom Craddick a factor in the race?"

Haggerty answered first, and said "Of course. Mr. Margo moved into the district to run against me."

Haggerty said that Craddick is fearful of losing his power, and is seeking votes.

"Mr. Craddick is an issue in El Paso because of the agenda he fosters and the fact that Mr. Margo would support him," Haggerty said. ""Everything Mr. Craddick asked for in the Legislature is bad for El Paso."

Margo said Craddick is an issue "only from Mr. Haggerty's perspective."

Margo said he has been told while walking the district that "they want somebody who can get things done." He then attacked Haggerty's support, asking rhetorically "who does Pat Haggerty owe his allegiance to?"

Margo said that Haggerty's most recent finance reports show 93 percent of funds coming from Austin, and over the past five years 53 percent of donations coming from Political Action Committees, or PACs.

"I'm glad Mr. Margo brought that up," Haggerty replied. He said the PACs are teachers who pay $5, or a firefighter "who puts his life on the line," or Realtors, people from El Paso who send their money to the PACs.

Warner then asked Margo about the charge that Margo moved into the district to run against Haggerty at the behest of Craddick.

Margo said that he lived in El Paso for more than 30 years, and has been involved civically and in business. He mentioned his role in the Regional Economic Development Corporation and the Border Fund, and said that of the two candidates only one voted for Craddick "not once, not twice, but three times."

The next question: Warner asked the candidates if they supported enhanced drivers license, which Gov. Rick Perry has balked at, citing a $200 million price tag.

Margo said the governor wants clarification, so there is no redundancy with passport requirements to cross the border. "The governor is in favor of, as am I, for proper identification."

Margo then said that Haggerty voted for a bill that would prevent officers from asking people they stopped for identification.

Haggerty said he didn't know which bill Margo was referring to. He said the governor should have no confusion over enhanced licenses because the Texas Attorney General and Department of Homeland Security gave approval.

Haggerty then asked a question of Margo.

"We just spent a session and three special sessions" trying to come up with a fair business tax, Haggerty said. He said that Margo has stated he would get rid of a business tax and expand the sales tax, "which would include food and medicine." Is Margo still in favor of that, Haggerty asked?

Margo said he didn't recall bringing that up as a solution.

"It's here," said Haggerty, gesturing with a piece of paper.

Margo said that was Haggerty's notes, and Haggerty said, "that's yours."

"Well Pat, let's talk about taxes," Margo said. He said, let's talk about the 79th session, HJR 35, "you voted against lowering the appraisal cap to five percent a year."

Before Haggerty could respond, Warner stepped in and asked Margo for a direct answer to Haggerty's question.

"I think we need to reduce property taxes, and we need to revamp the franchise tax so it's a fair tax," Margo said. He said the commercial tax in El Paso needs to be expanded to shift the burden from homeowners, and said "I'm not in favor of a sales tax on food or medicine. … Pat's the one who voted on a gas tax, we've had enough."

Haggerty said, "In '91."

Margo replied: "No, in 2005 on House Bill 3540."

Margo asked Haggerty a question, asking how Haggerty could justify 18 years in the House when the state leadership is uniformly Republican and "you don't even have a committee chairmanship."

Haggerty said "obviously you have a very limited knowledge of the way the system works in Austin." He said that the speaker chooses his own leadership team, and "I don't support him. You do."

Margo said Craddick has been speaker for three sessions, and asked what about before that.

Haggerty said he was a committee chairman previously.

Warner moved to the next subject, CHIP, asking whether the program needed more work, even though the legislature "supposedly expanded" eligibility to another 127,000 children although whether it works "remains to be seen."

Haggerty said absolutely, and pointed to Thomason's recent report that it was $39 million in the black. Haggerty said much of that was due to CHIP, which keeps children from having to go to emergency care at Thomason.

Margo said he liked the way CHIP was reformed, although he said he though there needs to be some way to check that the "right people are covered" and not those who might "have eligibility for private health care."

He said the state needs to eliminate mandates on health insurance companies to have a "more open market."

Warner asked two other questions: Whether $110 million for border security ought to go to border sheriffs or be distributed through DPS, and whether there ought to be a paper trail when voting and whether people ought to show photo identification when voting.

Margo said he was in favor of the way it was previously, and Haggerty also said he thought the programs "such as Operation Linebacker have been absolutely fabulous."

As to a papertrail and voter identification, Haggerty said the House passed a bill in the last session requiring photo ID but it was killed by the Senate. Margo said he was not convinced of the need for a papertrail, and said he didn't see a problem in asking voters for photo ID.

The candidates then closed.

"We can do better. I envision research and development with the Paul Foster Texas Tech medical school, with UTEP, the defense industry. We're on the cusp of the finest growth this community has ever had," Margo said.

Haggerty said "this whole campaign is about one thing, and that's the fact that for the past 20 years I have been leading the charge for El Paso and putting El Paso first and not listening to anybody in Austin that tries to tell me what I'm supposed to do for a party or anything else. My opponent has been recruited to do exactly that."

Margo jumped in: "I've got to close by saying I've had no conversations with Mr. Craddick and I am running as an El Pasoan."


Residency Controversy[edit]

January 30, 2008 In the market for a Rim Road home?

Dee and Adair Margo put their Rim Road-area home on the market not too long ago. Click here to download the MLS listing for the four-bedroom, 4,716-square-foot home: Download Margo_home.pdf. If you don't want to take the time to do that, these are the details: Asking price: $785,000 Year built: 1930 Price per square foot: $166 Description (excerpts): "pampered," "updated," "stately," "a beautiful statement of gracious living" Having admittedly little knowledge of the El Paso real estate market and knowing that the El Paso County Appraisal District valued the home at $395,962, I made a few calls to local realtors to get an idea whether that was a reasonable asking price. As you may remember, where the couple lives has been an issue in Dee Margo's race against state Rep. Pat Haggerty, who has expressed doubts about whether the new residents of District 78 really plan to call the area home. The Margos bought a lot in House District 78 on which they say they plan to build a one-story home to make life a little easier for their crippled housekeeper who has been with them more than two decades. They also moved into an apartment in district 78 so that Dee Margo can qualify to run against Haggerty in the Republican primary March 4. Not surprisingly, the realtors I spoke with didn't relish the idea of getting in the middle of these unsavory politics. A couple who spoke on background said the price seemed realistic for the area and the number of luxury upgrades.


Legal Threat to The Media[edit]

Re: 1/15/08 Posting by David Karlsruher

by Mark C. Walker

In response to the January 15, 2008 column by Mr. Karlsruher, I believe it is important to set the record straight on two issues: first, there is no excuse to denigrate and disparage Mr. Moore, Mr. Thackston, and the good folks who are involved in the EI Paso Republican Party; and second, Michael Moore, like any other person in his position, was legally required to place Dee Margo, or any other legally qualified candidate, on the ballot.

Posted on January 23, 2008

Editor's note: The following letter was delivered to NPT after an article by David Karlsruher in which he discussed his experience with the El Paso Republican Party and his assertion that the party leaders in El Paso were following the lead of Dee Margo.

Via Hand Delivery

Mr. Sito Negron Mr. David Karlsruher c/o The Newspaper Tree

310 N. Mesa, Suite 900 EI Paso, Texas 79901

January 18, 2008

Re: 1/15/08 Posting by David Karlsruher


I applaud the Newspaper Tree for its fine efforts for regularly making available to EI Pasoans timely information and often interesting and entertaining articles, as well as documents.

I congratulate the Newspaper Tree on its successes and efforts, and strongly encourage you and the Newspaper Tree to provide all the facts and information to the wonderful folks of EI Paso on matters of current, public interest.

However, in response to the January 15, 2008 column by Mr. Karlsruher, I believe it is important to set the record straight on two issues: first, there is no excuse to denigrate and disparage Mr. Moore, Mr. Thackston, and the good folks who are involved in the EI Paso Republican Party; and second, Michael Moore, like any other person in his position, was legally required to place Dee Margo, or any other legally qualified candidate, on the ballot.

1. Personal Attacks are Inexcusable.

I am not here to address Mr. Karlsruher's personal opinions on politics; they can be judged in light of his other comments. Whatever his motivations, Mr. Karlsruher took apparent delight in attempting to demean, embarrass and personally attack Mr. and Mrs. Moore, Mr. Thackston, and the EI Paso Republican Party. As with any political party, the El Paso County Republicans are composed of a number of individuals from diverse backgrounds, almost all of whom believe sincerely and passionately in issues that they feel are best represented by the Republican Party. Those individuals invest their time and energy in support of their party and their cause. I am sure that the same is true for the stalwarts of the El Paso County Democratic Party, and the same would also be true for supporters of any other independents or other parties.

Regardless of any other issues, or agreement or disagreement on party political positions, these good people of the local Democratic and Republican parties are the folks who make the political system, and the ability to cast a vote in confidence, work. These are the good people who volunteer to act as election judges, election workers, monitor the activities of candidates at election time, and try to ensure that the polling booths work as they should. These local political party activists are typically the ones who work as precinct chairs, organize rides for voters, and do whatever they can to help voters get to the polls and cast their vote. Diversity of view and background are essential components of the volunteers who are active in their local party political organizations, and I celebrate that diversity and applaud their efforts, regardless of party affiliation, and regardless of whether they look or act like you or me.

It is incumbent upon those who are in a position to speak and act to protect those who are not in such a position. That Mr. Karlsruher uses his pen and position as a columnist to demean and embarrass others whom he apparently holds inferior is both despicable and unmanly. The tone of the article is at best regrettable and reveals only smallness of character of the writer. Unfortunately, revealed malice and contempt toward some whom the writer considered inferior serves only to diminish the value and credibility of the message and distracts from the important functions of the free press in this democracy.

2. Texas Law Requires the County Chair to Place A Qualified Candidate on the Ballot.

Second, Mr. Karlsruher's central theme, that Mr. Margo owes his position on the primary ballot to improper actions of a follower, ignores Texas law that protects the right of any legally qualified candidate, including Mr. Margo, or any other Democrat or Republican or Independent, to be placed on the ballot for election. Neither Mr. Moore nor any other county chair of a political party in Texas selects the candidates to appear on a ballot, because such county chairs must exercise their legal duty to place on a ballot the candidates who file their legal application for placement on the ballot for election. Like his Democratic counterpart, Mr. Moore exercised no more partiality in accepting an application from a state representative candidate than he did in accepting Duncan Hunter on the (long) list of presidential candidates.

Neither Mr. Moore nor any other county chair of any party has discretionary control over the placement a candidate on the ballot whose application is in proper order and who otherwise appears to meet the qualifications as candidate for the position. Nor does such county chair have discretion to reject the application of a candidate, if that candidate's application is not in compliance with Texas law.

An applicant for a place on the general primary election ballot must file the application with the county chair if the office sought will be filled by voters of a single county. A candidate for state representative district 78 must file an application with the county chair because the district encompasses a single county.

In addition to the Texas constitutional requirements for qualification to serve as a state representative, Section 141.031 of the Texas Election Code sets forth the requirements that a candidate must meet when applying for a place on the ballot in an election for public office.

Briefly, a candidate's application must be in writing, be signed and sworn to by the candidate and indicate the date that the candidate swears to the application, be timely filed with the appropriate authority and include information about the candidate, the office sought, provide information regarding residency and citizenship and provide other information as required by the subsection.

Section 141.032 requires that the county chair review all applications within 5 days of receiving such application, determine whether the application complies with the requirements set out in Section 141.031, reject any applications that do not comply, and immediately deliver to the candidate written notice of the reason for the rejection. If the county chair finds that the application is in compliance with applicable election laws, then the county chair is required to add the applicant's name to list containing the name of each candidate who filed an application for a place on the ballot with the chair.

In a separate part of the Election Code, Section 52.002(2) states that a county chair has the authority to prepare an official ballot for a primary election. Pursuant to Section 52.003 of Texas Election Code, the authority responsible for having the official ballot prepared shall have placed on the ballot the name of each candidate:

(1) who has filed with the authority an application for a place on the ballot that complies with the requirements as to form, content, and procedure that the application must satisfy for the candidate's name to be placed on the ballot; or

(2) whose entitlement to placement on the ballot has been lawfully certified to the authority.

Indeed, this responsibility for placing a candidate on the ballot is so important that knowing failure to do so is a criminal offense. Pursuant Section 52.004 of the Texas Election Code, a person commits an offense (Class A misdemeanor) if the person is responsible for having the official ballot prepared for an election and knowingly fails to place on the ballot the name of a candidate who is entitled to have the candidate's name placed on the ballot.

Therefore, if an applicant files an application for a place on the ballot and that application complied with the requirements set out above, then the county chair is required to place the applicant's name on the ballot pursuant to Sections 141.032,52.002, and 52.003 of the Texas Election Code. If the county chair who prepares an official ballot knowingly fails to place on the ballot the name of a candidate who is entitled to have the candidate's name placed on the ballot, then the county chair committed a Class A misdemeanor. In the event that the county chair fails to place the candidate on the ballot, the candidate can successfully sue to remedy that failure.

In this instance, Mr. Moore reviewed Mr. Margo's application and supporting documentation, heard questions raised about residency by his opponent, and determined that Mr. Margo's residency requirement was fully satisfied in accordance with Texas law. That should be the end of the story.

I respectfully request that in the future, The Newspaper Tree review submissions to ensure appropriate tone and content, and that the factual and legal bases of articles are sound prior to publication.

I greatly appreciate your attention to these issues.

Very truly yours,

Mark C. Walker


bc: Mr. Dee Margo Mr. Oscar Ornelas Mr. Michael Moore


Response From Reporter[edit]

<quote>I'm not intimidated.</quote>

I'm in BIG BIG Trouble!

Newspaper Tree posted a letter they received from a lawyer who very unhappy with my column about Dee Margo and the local Republican party. You can find that article here.

My thoughts...

Isn't it funny how lawyers go one of two ways when they pass the bar. Many lawyers who get their first job as a lawyer are all too excited to protect folks using the law of the land. They are thrilled by the thought of being able to apply the great laws of this country to honor and protect their fellow citizens. And then there's the kind of lawyer who can't wait to get their own letterhead so they can intimidate people.

I'm not intimidated.

I'm past the issue. I'm sorry they can't stand the heat in the political kitchen. If you don't want to be commented on, don't run for office. I can't make it any more simple than that.

I think it's odd that my column got that response. I have all but said that Sen. Shapleigh is hiding Osama Bin Laden in his basement. In fact, I have often said that Sen. Shapleigh views single mothers who graduate from UTEP in six years as failures. Not one letter from the Shapleigh camp with a JD anywhere on it.

I'm not sure if this guy is a lone gunman just trying to protect his buddies or if he was asked by the campaign and party to send a shot across the bow. Either way I think they are going to get some laughs from the public. Poor little Davey Karlsruher stirring up all this crap.

I wonder if would have received the same reaction if had written the same things about Haggerty?


Campaign Finance Reports[edit]

Pat Haggerty Total Contributions: $36,078.00. Total Expenditures: $13,078.11. Biggest Expenditure: $4,618.00 as a personal reimbursement for rent and utilities while in Austin. Biggest Contributor: AT&T Texas PAC, $3,000.

Dee Margo Total Contributions: $65,350. Total Expenditures: $916.42. Biggest Expenditure: $750 to the El Paso Republican Party. Biggest Contributor: Paul L. Foster, $25,000.

SOURCE: Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page).

As State Senate candidate, Dee Margo looks over election returns with consultant Kevin Shuvalov at the El Paso Chile Company. (Mark Lambie / El Paso Times)

Bio From JD Williams[edit]

Donald R. "Dee" Margo (born February 3, 1952) is running for the 29th Senatorial District of Texas. He is married to Adair Margo, current chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, appointed by George W. Bush.


Dee received a bachelor's degree in history and economics in 1974 from Vanderbilt University, where he met his wife Adair, also a Vanderbilt graduate. Dee played football for Vanderbilt on scholarship for the duration of his college term.

Dee and Adair, a fourth-generation El Pasoan and founder of the Adair Margo Gallery, have two sons, Wake and Don.

Local Businessman[edit]

For nearly 30 years, Dee has worked at the John D. Williams Company (the largest insurance companies in Southwest United States, working his way up through the ranks - from Vice President in 1977 to President and now to his current position of Chairman and CEO.

A current member of the World President's Organization, and past member of the Young President's Organization, Dee has been honored for his dedicated efforts to make a difference in his community and as an exemplary role model in business ethics.

Community Leader[edit]

Margo has been a long-time participant in El Paso business and civics, holding a diverse number of leadership positions within the community, including as an active member of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, the El Paso Regional Economic Development Corporation, and the Paso Del Norte Group.

Dee also helped found the Border Fund, a communities partner fund with the Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation. Working with Operation Noel, the Border Fund helps provide over 16,000 coats to needy children every year. Since its inception, the Border Fund has provided over $25 million in charitable grants to local volunteer groups aiding El Pasoans in immediate need of a helping hand.


Dee has been recognized for his generous work on behalf of others, receiving the Department of the Army's Outstanding Civilian Service Award, the U.S. Army’s third highest civilian honor. He has also received the El Paso Chamber of Commerce's Star Award, and the League of Women Voters' BRAVO Award. He was inducted into Junior Achievement’s El Paso Business Hall of Fame in 1999. [edit]

External Links[edit]

   * [ Dee Margo's Official Campaign Website]

Retrieved from [1][edit]

Categories: 1953 births | Living people | People from El Paso, Texas


Donald R. Margo is currently running against incumbent senator Eliot Shapleigh for the 29th Senatorial District of Texas. Margo hired an Austin firm founded by Karl Rove to be his campaign consultants in his bid to unseat Eliot Shapleigh.


Margo's great acheivement and and political ties are often perceived as being a result of his marriage. He is married to Adair Margo, current chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, appointed by George W. Bush. Adair was a Bush Pioneer [6] as well.

Margo's connections to the Bush administration run deep. The Margo's have enjoyed numerous sleepovers at Bush's house [7] in Austin, Texas since August of 1995, when George W. became governor of Texas. Margo received an invitation to spend the night in the Governor's Mansion before may prominant members of the Political community such as Condoleezza Rice, Dick and Lynn Cheney, and brothers Marvin and Neil Bush received invitations. The Margos spent the night at least 19 times between 1995 and the end of Bush's governatorial term in Austin. Margo began eating and sleeping-over in the White House [8] just before the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Margo himself helped run George W. Bush's El Paso Campaign and proudly launched "Maids for Bush." Margo's fundraising letters continually mention 'maids' donating funds to Margo's own campaign today. Other contributers include ASARCO, who own a heavily controversial copper refining plant centrally located in El Paso, with a close proximity to UTEP.

Margo brought Karl Rove to El Paso to speak at Temple Mt. Sinai, a Jewish Synagogue in Western El Paso, Texas.

For a year, Dee Margo was the chairman of the board of BIPAC, the business lobby PAC that heavily funds many Republicans nominees running for Congress. After noting business' influence over the 2000 elections, Margo participated in presenting the "2001 Business Citizen Award" to Lee Raymond [9], the ExxonMobil chairman who retired recently with nearly a $500M retirement package.

As President of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, he nominated Bob Jones as 'Entrepreneur of the Year', a man who made most of his money from government contracts that Republicans profess to hate. Then Margo accepted a $3,000 contribution of Bob Jones to run for the Texas Senate.

Many skeptics of Margo wish to know his position on public school funding, and how his position will effect El Paso. As of yet, Margo has been silent on the issue. Margo, who mimics the 'aw shucks' demeanor of his mentor, George W. Bush, managed to fill out only one campaign questionnaire before his consultant told him to quit. In his interview with the "Prosperity Project" of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, Margo took word for word the policy piece from the website of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a think tank funded by James Leininger, [10] a radical rightwing conservative who bankrolls projects to provide vouchers for private religious schools in Texas. If successful, Leininger's efforts would transfer tax dollars to private schools from public schools, resulting in their decimation.

Angry with Republican moderates who opposed his voucher plan, James Leininger spent $2.5-million [11] in an attempt to defeat the 14 House Republicans who voted for the Democratic alternative to Republican school finance proposals.

Leininger put $75,000 into Lorraine O Donnell's campaign to replace El Pasoan Pat Haggerty in the Texas House. O'Donnell, incidentally, failed to report Leininger's donation by election day as required by Texas law. While Margo flaunts about small donations from El Paso now, he will fill up with donations by November from Republican moneymen like James Leininger and Houston multi-millionaire homebuilder Bob Perry – the man who put up half a million dollars to launch the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth against John Kerry in the 2004 presidential campaign.

In his response in the Chamber of Commerce Voter's guide questionnaire, Margo indicates he wants to cover many more items under the Texas sales tax, at 8.25% already third highest in the nation, to pay for cuts in property taxes and then, amazingly, wants to "eliminate the franchise tax" and end all business taxes so Texas businesses pay no tax at all. No one, not even Rick Perry, has veered this far to the right. As Al Gore aptly once said, "He is so far right that the right hand does not know what the far right hand is doing!"

What would Margo's proposal do to the average El Paso family he wants to represent? According to 2000 U.S. Census numbers, the average home in El Paso is valued at $71,300 and the median household income is $32,124. According to the Texas Comptroller's estimate, Margo's proposal would raise the sales tax to17 cents on every dollar spent and would shift taxes so that 95% of El Pasoans would pay more, not less, in taxes. Only the wealthiest 5% would get any tax relief at all. And our schools? Instead of providing more money to teachers for better pay, Margo proposes cutting state spending by one per cent. Of course, Margo's proposal reflects exactly how he thinks: tax cuts are only for the wealthy. His Chamber staff used to say, "There are liberals, there are conservatives, then there is Dee."

Shortly after his so-called 'freedom ride' where he wrote what he thought, Margo got a consultant. Now, he has no proposals, only bumper stickers that hint about unity and "results."

The next few weeks will reveal Margo's radical record---his editorial in favor of ASARCO's new operating permit, his BIPAC record, his exploits with the Hispanic Chamber and a range of radical views never before seen in El Paso. We will get a sight that El Paso rarely gets---a real live radical Republican on center stage.

Let's remember this: Eliot Shapleigh's Senate vote is number 11. Under Senate rules, only his courage to do what is right and his strong voting record stand between El Paso and more CHIP cuts, more tax shifts, more hikes in tuition. Given the last decade of Bush misgovernance, given what we now know about Grover's Bathtub, does anyone really think El Paso can survive another radical Republican in the Texas Senate?

In November, El Paso voters should let Dee Margo know exactly what they think of his job application.

Controversial bulk email[edit]

  • /D- Dee Minus/**//*
  • /Dissing the Don/*
  • Perspective and Commentary*
  • by Don Kirkpatrick*
  • August 31, 2006*

Here on the Border, there is a saying: “Dios los hacen y ellos se juntan -- God makes them, then they get together.”

God made Dee Margo and God made Karl Rove. In the world of politics, it was only a matter of time until they got together.

Karl Rove is known around the world as “Bush’s Brain.” That is the title of a book co-authored by /Dallas Morning News /political reporter Wayne Slater that recounts many of Rove’s political tricks through the years, ( tricks like planting a bug in his Austin office and calling the FBI to blame it on his political opponent, or calling John Mc Cain’s adopted Bangladeshi daughter “his black baby” in the 2000 South Carolina primary. Rove’s dirty tricks also included “/swift boating/” John Kerry’s verifiable heroism in the Viet Nam war when Rove’s own candidate, George W. Bush, was AWOL for a year from duty in the Texas Air National Guard. In a few weeks, Slater’s new book will outline Karl Rove’s connection to convicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his role in fleecing the Tiguas out of $4-million. [12]

Suffice to say that Karl Rove has perfected the black art of dirty rightwing campaigns. Now it appears those dirty tricks have come to El Paso /big time/.

When Dee Margo launched his campaign to unseat Eliot Shapleigh from the Texas Senate, in December, 2006, on Rove’s advice, he hired Kevin Shuvalov, formerly of Rove’s political consulting firm, as his campaign consultant. Kevin Shuvalov moved from Rove & Company to Bush for President in 2000 and then served as a Regional Political Director for the Republican National Committee. When Dee Margo hired Shuvalov, it meant that El Paso was in for a ride---the ugliest, nastiest dirty trick campaign of all time. Shuvalov is well-schooled in Rove’s win-at-any-cost tactics.

In February, Margo began his campaign with a Rove-inspired “push poll” designed to tarnish Senator Shapleigh. Push polls are not polls at all, but a series of questions meant to “tar and feather” an opponent. Margo’s so-called push polls were conducted by Voter/Consumer Research of Washington, D.C., and Houston, the same pollsters used by George W. Bush and Karl Rove. [13]

In the February calls, El Paso respondents were asked a series of questions like, ‘Did you know Eliot Shapleigh sued the state of Texas?’ then were asked to tell the pollster what they thought of Shapleigh. These unsuspecting El Pasoans were never informed that the lawsuit involved Judge Edward Marquez’ Court of Inquiry and that Senator Shapleigh’s /pro bono/ work helped obtain millions of dollars to benefit El Paso.


Little did we know in the beginning that Margo’s dirty tricks would involve Hall of Fame Coach Don Haskins, one of the most beloved El Pasoans of all time.

Here’s what happened:

Several weeks ago, Dee Margo and his wife invited Don Haskins to the Adair Margo Gallery in the JDW Insurance building at Yandell and Stanton Streets. Margo told Coach Haskins that they wanted to host an ‘art show’ for him. The Margos proposed to sell Haskins’ early art from grade school and high school and earn money for him with no commission. It turns out that Coach Haskins is a pretty good artist.

For the Margos, it was a good deal: lots of publicity for their gallery and something they wanted even more -- photos of Dee Margo with “the Bear.”

The Adair Margo Gallery was packed for the Haskins show. People came to support Don Haskins and to buy some of his artwork. Part of the ‘deal’ for buyers was a photograph with Coach Haskins.

During the photo shoot, the Margos asked Don to sit for ten or so photos with Dee himself. Haskins has since remarked to close friends that he thought the request was very odd.

The next day the reason became apparent. Dee and Adair Margo asked Haskins to join the campaign to unseat Senator Eliot Shapleigh. They wanted to use Coach Haskins’ photo in TV commercials and on billboards as an endorsement of Dee Margo for State Senator.

Coach Haskins told Dee Margo what he has told every candidate who has ever asked him to join a political campaign: “Hell no.”

In 30 years, Haskins has never endorsed anyone in a political race. He has supported candidates financially as any citizen has the right to do. In fact, records show Haskins contributed $200 in 1995 and $250 in 1998 to Senator Shapleigh’s campaigns. But he has never agreed to endorse any candidate for obvious reasons: half of El Paso would be very upset. As recently as January, Coach Haskins turned down his old friend, Pat Haggerty, who asked him for an endorsement in Haggerty’s battle against a very well-financed rightwing campaign by Lorraine O’Donnell.

The Margos are aggressive, in a Rovian kind of way, so they didn’t stop with Coach Haskins’ refusal. During the next week, Adair Margo called Coach Haskins’ wife, Mary, and took her to lunch. Mrs. Haskins told Adair Margo that the coach’s answer was still “no” and that Don Haskins never changed his mind. Next, the Margos prevailed upon Bush Pioneer Jim Paul to get involved and ask Haskins to endorse the Margo candidacy. Jim Paul got the same answer from the coach: “no.”

Last week, Dee Margo apparently decided to use Haskins’ photo without the coach’s permission. In the most outrageous misappropriation of an El Paso icon, Dee Margo put Don Haskins’ photo on his “Miners for Margo” attack piece and sent it to UTEP’s season ticket holders, alumni and donors. How Margo obtained their names and addresses is the subject of open records requests to UTEP by outraged Miner fans who received Margo’s mailing and doubtless will be the subject of future lawsuits. (

Margo also may have used UTEP and MINERS designs in campaign materials and on his website without permission. (

Coach Haskins received a copy of Margo’s political piece on August 29^th and immediately called attorney Steve Tredennick, star guard from the 1965-66 NCAA Championship Miner basketball team. Tredennick has handled matters concerning /Glory Road/ and other legal issues for Coach Haskins and the team free of charge. He has represented Coach Haskins many times over the years.

The same day, Tredennick wrote Dee Margo and charged that he had misappropriated Haskins’ image without permission and demanded that Margo cease and desist from any further use of it in his political campaign. Tredennick demanded that Margo return all existing photos of him and the coach and apologize to Don Haskins for the unauthorized use of Haskins’ likeness.

Margo reportedly has apologized to Coach Haskins for his outrageous conduct.

That is where we are today.

It is fair to ask if this subterfuge was part of a larger, well-designed plot to snare the Bear into the Margo campaign.

In February, Dee and Adair Margo arranged for Coach Haskins and members of the 1966 Texas Western College NCAA National Championship basketball team to attend a special screening of the motion picture, /Glory Road, /at the Bush White House, but Coach Haskins was unable to travel to Washington because of illness. It appears the White House visit was part of a plan to insinuate Margo into Haskins’ good graces, then approach him with the offer of a profitable gallery showing of his artwork as a prelude to solicitation of his endorsement of Margo’s candidacy.

What happened here? Let’s state the obvious: Dee Margo is a far rightwing Republican. Karl Rove and Tom DeLay taught the radical right to be ruthless. Dee Margo apparently never intended to ask Don Haskins for permission to use his photograph because in Bush’s world, he may feel he was ‘entitled’ to use it.

Don Haskins deserves better. After 30 years as El Paso’s most celebrated citizen, he was used – shamefully and disrespectfully – for blatant political advantage. What drove all of this is the Rove campaign ethic: “do anything to win, at any cost.”

Last week, Margo’s campaign manger, Jessica Ellen Vickery – a former Washington lobbyist – left her post under circumstances that are unclear. Margo promptly announced Will Fullerton as her replacement with Adrian Porras as campaign coordinator and Spanish-language press coordinator. (Senator Shapleigh is fluent in Spanish and doesn’t need a Spanish-language press aide.)

When one has Karl Rove in his DNA, there is not much he can do to shed it. As we say here on the Border, “/Dios los hacen y ellos se juntan.”/


Don Kirkpatrick, an El Paso resident for 45 years, is former executive editor of the Texas Democratic Times. Currently, he edits The Demo Digest, an email political news service. To subscribe, send a blank email to [14].

The foregoing article was not paid for by any candidate or any candidate’s campaign.

If you do not wish to receive articles such as this, please reply to this message with the word ‘REMOVE’ in the subject line. SOURCE: Don Kirkpatrick E-newsletter.

El Paso Times article/Haskins[edit]

AUSTIN -- Campaign materials touting Republican Dee Margo's support from UTEP alumni and displaying an unauthorized photo of the Texas Senate candidate with retired coach Don Haskins has sparked a flurry of recent complaints and conspiratorial allegations.

The slogan "Miners for Margo" along with a miner's pickax has been splashed across fundraiser invitations, banners and campaign mail sent out last week.

The mailer also contained a photo of Margo with the legendary UTEP basketball coach, an image Haskins said he did not approve for campaign use.

Margo said that his opponent, Democratic Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, orchestrated the complaints and that the University of Texas System has found no wrongdoing by the campaign.

"This is simply my opponent using others to do his bidding," Margo said.

Shapleigh and some University of Texas at El Paso alumni and supporters, though, are irritated by what they view as an inappropriate use of school symbols for political purposes. And, Shapleigh indicated, he wonders whether UTEP administrators he has clashed with in the past are complicit in the association.

"What is clear," Shapleigh said, "is that when the UT regents ordered administrators to move UTEP to a 50 percent graduation rate or lose their jobs, many were upset."

Retired basketball Coach Haskins said he has rebuffed repeated Margo campaign requests for an endorsement. The photos, he said, were taken at an art show at the Adair Margo Art Gallery, which is owned by Dee Margo's wife.

Haskins said he called his lawyer Monday and told him to ask the campaign to stop using his image.

"I simply do not endorse political candidates," Haskins said.

Using the Haskins photo, Margo said, was a mistake for which he has taken full responsibility and has apologized to the former coach.

Barry Burgdorf, University of Texas System vice chancellor and general counsel, said he has received several similar letters asking about university rules regarding political involvement and whether the Margo campaign activities were prohibited.

UTEP donors Ralph Adame, Mike Wendt and Chris Balsiger sent one of the complaint letters to UT System Chairman James Huffines.

"We find this behavior by UTEP very disturbing, and we want to know what if anything can be done to do to stop it!" they said in the letter.

Wendt, vice president of Laser Tech Inc., said he, Adame and Balsiger -- who together have given Shapleigh more than $14,000 since 2000, according to Texas Ethics Commission records -- were concerned over the appropriateness of the university's activities.

"The point was, was this proper?" Wendt said. "I think I would have the same questions in regards to things Senator Shapleigh does in his campaigning or anyone else."

Though he said he spoke with Shapleigh before and after sending the letter, Wendt said he sent it of his own accord and was not asked to do so.

Shapleigh said he did not organize the complaint letter writing.

UT System lawyer Burgdorf said he investigated any possible connections between university officials or funds and the campaign.

State law prohibits public universities from financially supporting candidates and from using or permitting the use of their programs to influence elections.

"We zealously guard our neutrality in political matters," Burgdorf said. "And if there is anything that's inappropriate, we will police it, but we just haven't been brought any evidence of that so far."

In a response letter to Wendt, Burgdorf said neither university officials nor the campaign had violated either the law or system rules. He said others legitimately use slogans such as Texas A&M "Aggies for (Gov. Rick) Perry" and UT Austin "Longhorns for (U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey) Hutchison."

That response, though, did not satisfy Adame. He said it leaves the university open to become political fodder for all campaigns.

"The university is being dragged into a political campaign, and if it can be used in this campaign, I'm sure it can be used in others" he said.

Steve DeGroat, a UTEP alumnus who is also on the school's development board, was a host of the Miners for Margo campaign fundraiser June 8.

DeGroat gave Margo's campaign $900 in the first six months of this year, ethics commission records show. He said he has supported Shapleigh in the past but grew weary of a rocky relationship between the senator and university administrators.

Along with other disgruntled UTEP alumni, DeGroat said he offered to help the Margo campaign raise more money.

"It's not an official function supported by the university," he said. "It's an unofficial group of alumni."

Shapleigh, in the past, has sparred publicly with UTEP President Diana Natalicio over placement of a biomedical building on the campus.

Recently, he has harshly criticized administrators for the school's low graduation rate -- less than 5 percent of students graduate in four years. And he encouraged the UT System to require its institutions to graduate students faster.

"When UTEP has a 4.5 percent graduate rate, we can, we must, we will improve," he said. "If that causes controversy, then so be it."

This year, the UT Board of Regents called on its university presidents to make and implement plans to improve graduation rates or face tough consequences. UTEP has implemented a plan to increase its graduation rates significantly by 2015.

Despite the disagreements, Shapleigh has worked to support funding for UTEP at the Capitol, he said.

"Our record is the best in UTEP history," he said.

Richard Adauto, UTEP vice president for institutional advancement, said Miners for Margo "has nothing to do with the university."

Implications that university officials are allowing or encouraging association with the Margo campaign because of past differences, Adauto said, are "just bogus allegations being thrown out there for the hell of it."

Margo said hints of conspiracy between his campaign and UTEP are Shapleigh's efforts to deflect criticism of his record in the Texas Senate.

Margo, the JDW Insurance CEO, who has lived in El Paso for 30 years, said he would be more supportive of the city's university.

"I think advocacy goes a whole lot further than adversity," he said.

Brandi Grissom may be reached at; (512) 479-6606.

El Paso Times sports writer Bill Knight contributed to this report.

SOURCE: [15]

Additional From The El PAso Times:[edit]

Additional from[edit]

El Paso Times/Norma Chavez[edit]

AUSTIN -- State Rep. Norma Chávez said Republican Texas Senate candidate Dee Margo is not telling the full story about a conversation the two had last year.

"I would appreciate it if you would conclude with the facts," Chávez, D-El Paso, said in a polite but pointed letter to Margo dated Sept. 12.

In at least one speech Margo gave to the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, he said that Chávez called last year to ask for his assistance in passing a bill.

In the Aug. 16 speech, Margo said Chávez told him state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh could not get the job done, said Tanny Berg, who attended the event.

Margo, CEO of JDW Insurance, is running against Shapleigh, D-El Paso.Ê

"The suggestion was that Senator Shapleigh is ineffective," said Berg, a real estate developer and investor.

Shapleigh declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for Margo said that the candidate had not received the letter and that Chávez is trying to change her story more than a year after the fact.

"It's an unfortunate circumstance," said spokeswoman Elizabeth Margo. "É Dee has always worked as much as he could to help legislators who needed help passing bills."

Chávez, in the letter, said she asked for Margo's help because legislators were approaching end-of-the-session deadlines last May.

Chávez had drafted a bill, which Shapleigh co-sponsored, that would create a task force to study underage drinking and teen drug problems along the border. But several steps remained in the legislative process.

Nervous that the bill would not make it through the deadlines, Chávez said, she called Margo and asked him to call a state senator he knows well. She wanted to attach her measure to a bill already well along in the process by Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls.

Chávez said she routinely calls El Paso business men and women who have relationships with legislative leaders.

But it turned out the backup measure Chávez asked for help with was unnecessary. The bill Chávez and Shapleigh worked on passed the House and Senate and made it to the governor's desk.

"I felt it necessary to set the record straight and be very clear that I support and have endorsed Senator Shapleigh," she said.

Article Launched: 09/21/2006 12:00:00 AM MDT

Chávez asks Margo to clarify 2005 conversation By Brandi Grissom / Austin Bureau


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