Monday, July 23, 2012

Tasconian musings....

The current mayor of Washington DC is under fire because during his 2010 campaign he, or his staff, used a database of 6,000 public housing recipients so as to contact them for whatever electoral purpose his campaign wanted.

Let's think about this for a few seconds, shall we?

First, let's recall that in the US of A the phone book is open to all parties and there is no wonder why so manya people chose to pay extra so as not to be published. The only thing illegal that Mayor Gray's staff may have done, is to create a specific subset of what is after all a legal data base.  In other words, what Gray's campaign is really accused of doing is a breach of ethics, using a population that has a certain political vulnerability due to its circumstances requiring they to live in subsidized housing.  Also, we are talking here maybe 18,000 voters out of a potential electoral base of 350,000.  5%....

In Venezuela in 2003 appeared the Tascon list, still applicable today (I got an example from a neighbor LAST week....).  That list made 3 million Venezuelan citizens second class citizens, 20%.  These people, and quite often their relatives even if they did not appear in that list, have been denied all sorts of services and state jobs unless they did the Stalinist recantation.  Or paid a substantial bribe somewhere.

These people were made pariah because they signed a petition to do a recall election on Chavez in 2004.

I still have the ringing of these chavista fascists that used to haunt comment sections of opposition blogs until moderation appeared.  They used such arguments as "public phone lists", and the like.  I still remember how many people were only too willing to minimize the Tascon list (named for the representative, Luis Tascon, who published it in his web site then, for public "escarmiento").

In short, I have in mind a certain left wing intelligentsia that was not too outraged at such behavior from Chavez....  Let's see if in future installments of the Gray story some one at the WaPo remembers Tascon.... in what is arguably one of the most left wing district of the US of A....

End of rant.


  1. Charly9:19 PM

    Tascon is on the other side of the Styx and nobody cares to spell his name right, same with William Lara, Lina Ron and other world improvers. Pretty soon another big wig "progressive" will join them. None too soon!

  2. The other side of what Mayor Gray did is to utilize government information for his campaign. In other words, he used his privileged government access to public housing records to target them in his election campaign. For this offense, he is being persecuted by media and the law.

    Gray's abuse of power, however, pales in comparison to the near-complete takeover of government media institutions to promote Hugo Chávez' campaign. Yet, neither the Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE), Supreme Court nor the international community sees it fit to stand up to this clear attack on Venezuela's democracy and Venezuelans right to free and fair elections. More information (in English) at

  3. Daniel, to compare what Gray's campaign did to the lista Tascon is a bit silly.

    Granted that the POTENTIAL to do the same things is there, but beyond identifying who wasn't registered and/or wasn't inclined to vote and getting them to the polls there has been no inference that their benefits are threatened.

    Sin embargo, it has always seemed to me that if there is one US city that is politically and ethically similar to Venezuela it is DC (although Chicago se las trae tambien). All local politics in the District per se seem to be full of ethics violations, nepotism, crooked contracts and pare UD. de contar. I cannot recall ONE mayor that did not operate under a cloud of suspicious behavior and graft filled proceedings.

    Trying to interface with any Department in DC, be it the Health Dept., Tax Dept. or any other city agency is EXACTLY like Caracas. You do better with a palanca, a "sweetener" gets you places, and there are "gestores" to grease the rails. So much so that I refused to set up my business in DC, preferring "boring" Virginia where there are relatively no scandals in public government.

    1. Roberto

      My point is not discussing DC. My point is to underline that other countries do not tolerate such actions, and even less a Tascon list. the thing is that most countries simply cannot believe that such a thing as a Tascon List can take palce anywhere in the XXI century.

  4. Roberto N,

    Just the other day, outside Walmart I was accosted by a birdbrained voter registrar activist , trying to make sure I was registered to vote....which in my opinion is nobody's business but my own, and in a democratic society,totally a matter of choice.She then proceeded to accost some Mexicans in broken Spanish.Well in my town,most Mexicans are illegal, use fake social security cards and should not be voting- which I pointed out to her.She then proceeded to say that she had no idea.Yeah sure....Her justification was they WOULD be asked for their birth certificates at the voting booth in order to prove their citizenship.Bhahahaha!!!She is either the dumbest broad in town or profoundly corrupt and spreading lies.

    Politics is always corrupt all over the world,which is why I will never vote Democrat or Republican( maybe for a government limiting Libertarian).....however a country needs to provide a substantial amount of possibility OUTSIDE of the government influence, which is something Venezuela does not have.Venezuela is way too political for its own good.

    Get people interested in private initiative and not crony capitalism and we might stand a chance.

    - firepigette

  5. Anonymous1:58 PM

    Washington is a corrupt city. I have lived outside DC for 40 years. However, politicians are routinely tried and found guilty in DC. In Venezuela, no one seems to be punished for corruption; they just get shifted to another position. The only punishment is for making Chavez look bad or being a scapegoat for Chavez crimes.


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