City Hall

In Wake of Medrano Family Voter Fraud Case, Herschel Weisfeld Wants Federal Oversight of May City Council Election

It didn't take long for the District 2 City Council race to turn into a mud-slinging match, even if the mud has come from only one side. The first volley came last month from Herschel Weisfeld, who seized on Adam Medrano's refusal to discuss his sexual orientation to question his opponent's openness and honesty.

Yesterday, Weisfeld unleashed another barrage, suggesting that the Medrano family might seek to illegally influence the May election.

"I can't predict that because I'm not a fortune teller, but what we know is that the family has a history," Weisfeld said. "What it appears [like] is that they're doing the same manner of operation that they have a history of doing."

Specifically, Weisfeld is speaking of voter fraud. He points to the conviction last year of former Justice of the Peace Carlos Medrano, Adam's uncle, for illegal voting in his 2010 election and other rumors of electoral misdeeds by family members.

"I believe that the federal government needs to be watching the polling places," Weisfeld said. "I think the city right now, today needs to stand on honesty and integrity and truthfulness when it comes to voting."

For his part, Medrano seems content to let the family political machine carry him. He's deflected questions about his sexuality, which is understandable, but he's also been a no-show at candidate forums and has mostly steered clear of the press. Neither he nor his campaign manager responded to a request to talk for for this post.

This is not, of course, the first time that allegations of nepotism and corruption have been lobbed at the Medrano family. Weisfeld's predecessor in challenging the Medranos for the District 2 seat, Billy MacLeod, leveled many of the same critiques only to lose handily.

And Weisfeld echoed another point previously raised by MacLeod: the use of Esperanza "Hope" Medrano Elementary School as a District 2 polling place. It's named for Medrano's great-aunt which, Weisfeld insists, violates state electioneering laws.

He hasn't filed a formal complaint with the city secretary's office, but it probably wouldn't do much good, said Brylon Franklin, the city of Dallas' elections manager. MacLeod already tried that in 2011.

"The state saw no electioneering violations to that, so that's why we continue to use it," Franklin said.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson