Bully Pulpit

Pushy, driven, and fearless, Texas Secretary of State Elton Bomer is Bush's big man on the border. But is he tough enough to cut through the red tape snarling efforts to help the poor people living in the colonias?

He then sent copies of the letter to each member of the Socorro city council, Pedersen of the Water Development Board, two state legislators who represent the area, and others who could apply pressure on the mayor.

Rodriguez, who returned a call from the Dallas Observer within 24 hours, says he didn't call Bomer back because "basically I've been busy. My reaction when reading the letter was, 'Hey, wait a minute!' I hate it when I get a letter like this that says we're not doing enough when I have the facts right here."

The facts, according to Rodriguez, are that the city holds one of nine liens against the bankrupt property and is trying is to convince other lien holders to waive the back taxes so the water and sewer system can be built.

"Everyone has to come to a consensus," Rodriguez says. "I have not forgotten the needs of the residents there." Rodriguez plans to respond to the letter.

Bomer is learning that nothing about colonias is ever simple.

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