Council Candidate Allegedly Sends Out E-Mail Ripping Jolanda Jones, Even Though He's Not Running Against Her

bfraga.jpg
Bolivar Fraga could easily prove it wasn't him, but won't.
An anonymous, widely distributed e-mail criticizing Houston City Councilwoman Jolanda Jones appears to have come from the campaign of council candidate Bolivar Fraga.

Fraga and Jones represent different districts; however, Fraga was just endorsed by exiting At Large 2 Councilwoman Sue Lovell, who has criticized Jones in past campaigns.

Sent August 11, the e-mail comes from "jerryfifty@yahoo.com" and accuses Jones of being a "chronic tagger" -- meaning she asks that agenda items be held over before a vote.

"Why is Jolanda Jones not prepared to vote on items when she has the most staff on Council and receives information at the same time as the Council offices?" the e-mail states. (We e-mailed Jerryfifty and haven't heard back. But we're totally holding our breath.)

The e-mail continues: "She is a chronic tagger because she is not prepared, or she tags because she doesn't like someone."

The e-mail also contained an embedded image of a newspaper column Jones wrote for African-American News and Issues.

Sensing something strange, one recipient checked the image's sourcing information and compared it to an official e-mail sent by Fraga's campaign. Both images appear to have been sent from the same folder, via a marketing software program called Stream Send.

Fraga told us last week he wasn't aware of the e-mail and that he'd check into it and get back to us. He never did. But he eventually put us in touch with his campaign manager, Fidencio Leija, who told us that the campaign does not even use Stream Send. Leija said the e-mail must have come from a third party that was using its own client list and software to forward the content.

Leija also said Fraga would have no reason to attack Jones, since they're not running for the same district seat. He assured us that Fraga is running a clean, honorable campaign.

We asked Leija on Friday to send us an "official" press release in order to show us that the campaign uses different software, and we're still waiting. Meanwhile, we checked an August 3 press release that appears to have come directly from Fraga's campaign (it identifies "Bolivar.Fraga@ivotefraga.com" as the sender) and the embedded image is saved in a Stream Send folder.

Leija could've nipped this in the bud by sending us an e-mail showing they use software other than Stream Send, but he hasn't. We asked him on Friday and he said he'd send us a sample press release, but instead sent something irrelevant to the question of whether they used Stream Send.

We called Monday morning, and he said he'd get to it in a few hours. He didn't. So we called back Monday afternoon, and he said it would still be a little while longer. (Unbelievable how long it takes to e-mail these days, you know?) We also called the campaign office directly and asked a worker there to e-mail us. Still waiting. (She said she'd try her best to e-mail us by the end of business; it didn't happen.)

We don't understand why Fraga and Leija won't resolve this simple matter, and we'll be happy to update this if and when we hear back from Bolivar's campaign -- or the elusive jerryfifty.

UPDATE: Fraga's campaign has issued a press release in response to our post, with Fraga stating, "I am running an honorable campaign, and I have made no attacks against any other candidates or elected officials. Specifically regarding Council Member Jones, I respect her as a person and as an elected official. I have no reason to criticize her, nor have I ever criticized her. The e-mail in question did not come from my campaign. Stream Send API software is a web-based marketing tool, and it is not one to which we subscribe. My campaign manager and I explained this to Mr. Craig Malisow last week over the phone and by email."

(Although the embedded image in the press release indicates it was sent via Constant Contact, there is simply no way -- based on what Leija told us Friday and Monday -- to tell if this came from Bolivar's campaign or a third party. Neither Fraga nor Leija have provided the information we requested -- namely, press releases issued prior to August 3, showing that the campaign does not use Stream Send).

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15 comments
Rachel
Rachel

Well, it's obvious that Fraga is in the pocket of CM Lovell.  She has endorsed him.  His current boss is her girlfriend.  His family and CM Lovell go way back.  There are endless more connections.  CM Lovell wanted to recruit someone who she could influence and therefore continue to have some level of involvement in council after her term expires.  The conclusion is not difficult to make.

And CM Lovell hates CM Jones.

Its clear that he is doing her dirty work for her.  Just not in a very smart way.

The funny thing is this:  The email attacks Jones for tagging agenda items at Council and implies that CM Jones is not a full supporter of Mayor Parker.  And guess what happened this morning?  CM Lovell TAGGED the Mayor's proposal regarding red light cameras.  Something CM Jones has been against all along.  Coincidence much?  I think not.

Steer clear of this doormat and vote for one of the other, much more qualified candidates in this race!

Amen
Amen

Jolanda Jones is a lunatic and an unethical public "servant" (I put "servant" in quotes because everything she does is about her). If Bo Fraga is attacking her, good for him. It gives me all the more reason to support him.

Hillray
Hillray

The Fraga's have been responsible citizens and public/community servants for generations. I know Felix,(Bo's father) and Angel and respect them both. I have campaigned with them and know them to be and know them to be straight shooting honest campaigners. What this story is about is how outgoing Sue Lovell will use her friends to help in her dirty campaign against Jo Jones for the most personal and egotistic reasons. If I were Bo, I would distance my self from "Boss Hog" Lovell as soon as possible and forget her telephone number.

Shelly
Shelly

the truth is sue lovell is a bully. and she will try to get her hooks in you if you don't comply with her wishes. she will try to smear anyone that even dares goes against her. same for parker. but parker is more suttle. the fact that lovell is endorsing him, already turns alot of people off. fraga is nuts to think this was a positive thing. and he's already being seen celebrating the taking of people's property rights away against their wishes!?!? all sue's doing and bullying council to vote for it. WAY TO GO FRAGA!  now she is going to use him to do her dirty work. get the popcorn out, this is going to be good!

Gary Packwood
Gary Packwood

And while your at it find out why tagging is allowed in the first place.

Agendas are not typed with a typewriter anymore and anything can be removed instantly from an agenda after the item is approved for removal.

Just because 'agenda drama' has become routine for the last one hundred years doesn't mean it has to continue.

AnnaL
AnnaL

Why isn't he running against Jones if he has such a beef with her? Wouldn't it make more sense? And what about people who are writing this guy checks for his campaign, how happy will they be knowing he's using their money to attack someone he isn't even running against? Fraga is a gay guy, attacking the most gay-friendly city council person in city hall, self-hating much? The message here, don't vote for the candidate that does shady shit and lies about it.

Rumla1978
Rumla1978

I guess I am trying to figure out what you're getting at. Clearly you are circling the airport on something that is going unsaid. Land the plane already. Get to it you big gossip. What is this? The high school paper?

Yes indeed
Yes indeed

Well, someone has to say it about Jones. If it's some other candidate, why not.

David
David

The point of this story is not whether it is a fair criticism or not. The point of the article is that this is a stealth attack on a council member in a completely different race. Mr. Fraga would be wise to focus on his own race first. Win that first, and THEN, if he has a problem with a different sitting council member- address it there. Not on the campaign trail.

I might add, for a 'youth oriented' campaign and one that even self titled 'iVoteFraga', you might want to get some more tech savvy staffers!

roger
roger

Based on the author's previous articles concerning council-member Jones, I know the author of this story is a big supporter or hers, but come on.  This seems like fair criticism of a council member and fairly tame criticism at that. The author of this e-mail alleges she tables things because she's unprepared or wants to kill a bill.  Is the criticism untrue? Is this a libelous claim? Or Is Mrs. Jones unprepared? Is she "tagging" these items because she doesn't like someone?  You don't say, the only thing you seem to be outraged about is that someone dared to criticize council-member Jones.  As hard as you might try Mr. Malisow, Jolonda Jones is no martyr. Stop using the Houston Press as your soapbox and do what I assume you get paid to do, and that is to be an actual journalist.  If you want to work for Mrs. Jones campaign then quit the Houston Press and go do that. 

Oops
Oops

Carl, this whole new "Rachel Feldman" character is unconvincing.

David
David

CM Jones is NOT a lunatic or unethical!  First of all, I admit, I don't always agree with her tactics, and sometimes not even her position, BUT - She does fight for those with little or no voice.  She does take the unpopular side in MANY arguments.   Like her or not, when you are running for council in a different race, stick to the stuff that matters to your race directly.  The point is this:  Bo Fraga is sending out information under a pseudonym to a core group of people who support CM Jones and who DID NOT support him.  The sad thing is he isn't even smart enough to send out a truly anonymous email. You would think being in a race that has at least five opponents, he would focus on those he is running against.  Maybe he feels threatened by strong opponents like Kristi Thibaut, David Robinson, & Jenifer Rene Pool and so he is trying to draw attention off of his race as a distraction.

IF you think sitting CM's (more than Jones) are unethical then maybe you shouldn't vote for Fraga.  Where I come from, being a coward and attacking someone from behind a cover isn't considered ethical.

Stephen
Stephen

I totally agree...it's a now fact Sue is after Jones. Council member Jones wont allow them to cram their agendas into Houston citizens. Sue is pure evil and dangerous. That god her time is up. Karma will be her worst enemy.

Craig Malisow
Craig Malisow

Hi Roger,

Thanks for commenting. I think the point here is that it appears a candidate for public office created a fake e-mail account in order to criticize an incumbent (from a different district, mind you) without the criticism being traced back to him. And then when asked about it, the candidate and his campaign manager followed a general denial with an affirmative defense -- without backing up their claims.

Frankly, the criticism in the e-mail was pretty tame, and it may even be fair. Jones does tag a lot of items. But that's irrelevant. What's relevant is that we asked both Fraga and Leija to simply show us proof that the e-mail didn't come from the campaign. All that would involve is a simple e-mail. Two seconds. Yet for some reason, neither of them would do that.

Thanks,Craig

Bye Bye
Bye Bye

The point is: Jolanda Jones is a lunatic and shouldn't be in office.

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