DINO (Democrat In Name Only) Dori Fenenbock and EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera have been parasitically feeding off of each other for some time now, joined at the hip like the Siamese twins Chang and Eng of Guinness Book of World Records fame.
When the astronomical EPISD bond was front and center, it was this duo that rallied the troops and led the charge. They popped up all over town and television with their repetitive talking points, touting the virtues of spending $670,000,000 of our taxpayer dollars to shut down schools, turf fields, patch leaky pipes, buy new buses and generally make up for the steady stream of lost EPISD revenue due to a yearly exodus of students to better school districts.
Passage of the bond was a devil’s bargain and we all know that Satan always crosses his fingers when shaking hands.
It didn’t take long for the afterglow of the bond’s success to dim and Fenenbock and Cabrera’s true intentions to surface.
Dori Fenenbock is a highly funded politician.
Juan Cabrera is a highly paid businessman.
El Paso’s kids and their educators are just pawns in their quest to advance their careers.
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Just what did we expect when businessman and ex-EPISD Board of Managers President Dee Margo hand-picked fellow businessman and lawyer Cabrera to become EPISD’s next superintendent?
EPISD is treating superintendent Cabrera like he is a Fortune 500 CEO. And CEOs are rewarded for profits at whatever cost they exact from people. In this case it was passing El Paso’s single largest bond which addressed the superficial rather than the most pressing issues plaguing our local school district.
Dori Fenenbock has been his biggest fan and chief apologist, always defending every questionable situation he bumbles into.
When El Pasoans discover Cabrera has the biggest salary and compensation package of any Texas school district Superintendent while educators go without, there’s Fenenbock to the rescue.
When Cabrera gets a $45,500 raise AND winds up with 35 yearly vacation days that he can convert to an additional $54,000 if he doesn’t take them AND receives a one-time bonus of 20 additional sick days that he can use for vacation so he can pocket the unused vacation days…there’s Fenenbock justifying it by stating she was “absolutely worried that he might be lured away to another job”. It’s all “for the kids” with Cabrera until the bigger bucks come beckoning according to Fenenbock.
When Cabrera was found to have spent more than 100 business days in 14 months (20 work weeks to you and me) outside of El Paso and the district he is superintendent of (4 times the amount of his fellow superintendents of YISD and SISD) there’s Fenenbock justifying his absences by stating that “it doesn’t matter whether Cabrera is in the office or traveling because he can work from anywhere with mobile devices”.
Jesus, Joseph and Mary. Tell that to the educators and students of El Paso who have yet to find Superintendent Cabrera visiting the halls of their schools.
Fact – Cabrera spent over $78,000 for travel and food during that time, while the SISD super spent $13,000 and the YISD super spent $20,000 during the same timeframe.
When Cabrera was discovered to have a tendency to fly first-class on tax-payer dime there was Dori Fenenbock justifying itby stating he has “severe health issues”. Apparently he literally shot himself in the foot and can’t stand for long periods of time. He has figuratively “shot himself in the foot” more times than I can remember.
Do you really think Cabrera is there in line sitting in a wheelchair with the 90-year olds and physically disabled folks on his way to first class? Time to man-up and fly coach Cabrera.
Maybe all the justification has something to do with the fact that EPISD board president Fenenbock herself took 19 trips on tax-payer dime, 8 trips more than the SISD superintendent and 9 trips more than the YISD super.
Fact – Fenenbock’s travel expenses of $17,500 almost equaled the total expenses of the 6 members of the board combined ($20,000).
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Between January 2016 and March 2017, Superintendent Cabrera and Board president Fenenbock traveled together some 20 times to various conferences and events across the country. That is something unheard of in school district administrations…anywhere.
“Great networking opportunities” they both called the trips.
There were award ceremonies and speeches where Cabrera was padding his reputation as some kind of educational genius that was revolutionizing EPISD.
There were Betsy DeVos influenced conferences that train districts to incorporate charter schools, private school vouchers, school choice…in short, programs that drain money and steal resources from public schools…all things that Cabrera had stated he was against.
There was a Sunday detour from EPISD business to attend an AIPAC conference (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) in Washington D.C. On the surface an interesting little jaunt but in light of where things stand today, a very telling side trip into the world of high finance political networking and connections.
This was more than likely a pre-planned trip that Fenenbock piggy-backed onto EPISD business so that she could schmooze and glad-hand potential donors and supporters for her congressional run.
Cabrera has taken an obvious interest in Fenenbocks’ political run which is probably why he tagged along on this particular side trip.
Not long after, he was caught red-handed lobbying support for Fenenbock when he made that call to City Council contender Shane Haggerty, offering him a campaign contribution in exchange for a meeting with himself and Fenenbock. I would imagine they were rallying his support should he have won the City Council seat.
Rather than accept Fenebock’s Fenenbucks, Haggerty went straight to the El Paso Times and blew their cover.
Cabrera then embarrassed Fenenbock when he was on record as saying that she was campaigning at the tail end of EPISD district meetings, informing people about her upcoming political run, gathering support while on EPISD business which is a textbook conflict of interest and could be a violation of state law and district policies.
But then again, conflicts of interest have never been conflicting for either of them.
The El Paso Times informed Fenenbock that Cabrera said she had spoken about her campaign at district meetings and she asked whether Cabrera shared any specifics. When she was told he did not, she told the Times she “can’t recall either”. An instant lapse of memory. Let’s not forget that she went to law school and knows how to gracefully weasel out of potential legal problems.
At that point our fumbling political duo opted to stop making statements to the media, instead having the EPISD spokesperson let everyone know what they REALLY meant to say, because they apparently couldn’t string proper sentences well enough to say what they mean and mean what they say.
And that gets me back to calling Dori a DINO. Politicians have always had a reputation for not meaning what they say and Fenenbock is no exception.
To make her run for congress as a Democrat is as disingenuous and counterfeit as a three dollar bill. It is purely an underhanded political move meant to benefit Dori Fenenbock only, not local democrats or people who ascribe to this agenda.
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To hijack one of Fenenbock’s favorite and over-used phrases, we need to “be laser-focused” on the twist and turns she and Superintendent Cabrera take because I believe in the not too distant future it will become apparent that personal gratification is the fuel that drives them.
While I would like to believe their motivations have always been the kids and their educators, actions speak louder than words.
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