Castro campaign tried to intimidate & suppress the anti-toll vote
San Antonio, TX, October 16, 2006– Today concerned citizens through San Antonio Toll Party.com sent a letter of request to the Secretary of State’s office to ask for the Attorney General to investigate possible election crimes in the District 125 State representative race. A paid campaign worker, Leticia Cantu, of State Representative Joaquin Castro was caught on tape (just after midnight on October 12) vandalizing and destroying a mock “toll booth” used by the Nelson Balido campaign and San Antonio Toll Party.com in a press conference where the Toll Party endorsed Balido over Castro and used the toll booth to demonstrate Castro’s record of voting for tolls that are now the top issue in his district.
“Clearly, the Castro campaign tried to suppress and intimidate those opposed to tolls on Bandera Rd. in his district. It’s a shame he stooped to violence and sought to intimidate those against the toll policies he voted for multiple times,” said Terri Hall, Regional Director of San Antonio Toll Party.com. “This is beneath a sitting legislator and shows utter desperation from Castro. His voting record that allowed tolls on Bandera Rd. and his contributions from toll road interests have become his biggest problem. Nelson Balido is clearly the best choice to lead District 125 and the candidate citizens can trust to fight against tolls on Bandera.”
Below is the text of the letter to the Secretary of State’s Elections Director:
Director of Election Division
Texas Secretary of State
PO Box 12060
Austin, TX 78711
October 13, 2006
Dear Ms. McGeehan:
Our grassroots citizens group is reporting a violent act of voter intimidation and an obvious attempt to suppress the anti-toll turnout on November 7 in a hotly contested race for State Representative District 125 in San Antonio. Incumbent Joaquin Castro’s paid campaign worker, Leticia Cantu, destroyed a mock “toll booth” constructed by the challenger Nelson Balido’s campaign. Our group had just used the “toll booth,” Wednesday, October 11 at 12 noon in a well-publicized press conference in the parking lot of Bandera Dental announcing our support of Nelson Balido as the authentic anti-toll candidate in this race.
Shortly after the stroke of midnight that night (technically, early morning October 12), Joaquin Castro’s paid campaign worker, Ms. Cantu, pulled into the parking lot of Bandera Dental (private property) at 8428 Bandera Rd. in San Antonio where the booth had been left for the night, and knocked over the “toll booth” cracking it (thus destroying it), and then took the “arm” (the part that goes up and down allowing cars to enter a tollway) of the “toll booth” and broke it over her knee, threw it into her personal vehicle (stealing part of it), and drove away. This was caught on videotape by Balido’s campaign (see it here: see it here) including the license plate of the vehicle registered to a paid worker with Castro’s campaign. This videotape and news story has subsequently been the top story for every tv and radio station in San Antonio since. Her identity has been confirmed, and her connection to the Castro campaign has also been confirmed by media outlets (and submitted to police) as well as by Castro’s campaign ethics reports that show she’s a paid staffer.
A police report has been filed with local law enforcement. We’re asking on behalf of citizens that your office ask the Attorney General to investigate this incident that reaches beyond vandalism and theft to voter intimidation and an attempt to suppress voters who are against the planned tollway on Bandera Rd. It’s obvious that the campaign of this sitting State Representative was sending a message to those opposed to tolls by destroying a prop used to communicate State Representative Castro’s support of tolls against the supermajority of constituents in his district.
We look forward to your help with this matter. Please contact me at (210) 275-0640 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to inform the citizens of when the investigation is handed over to the Attorney General for a formal investigation and subsequent criminal charges filed for illegal attempts to influence the outcome of an election.
San Antonio Toll Party