In an effort to bring Crónica readers local news many of you are asking for, the Cornica has decided to write an occasional column we are going to call, “Word on the Street”. This column is going to be dedicated to local and political news that we hear you might be interested in hearing too. “Word on the Street” is less about breaking news and more about keeping our community informed. If you have information you would like to provide, as always, our door is open to you, our readers. If you believe you justify a retraction, show us proof and as always, we will set the record straight. So, grad your popcorn folks, we are about to spill the tequila.
Word on the Street, Edition One
The “Word on the Street” is that County Judge Barbara Canales is going to be your next Port of Corpus Christi CEO. Barbara Canales is desperately unhappy as the County Judge after having lost her 4-1 Democratic majority by screaming, demeaning, removing Commissioner’s items from the agenda, name calling, and using her COVID emergency powers to bypass Commissioners in the normal court processes. Barbara knows that she isn’t going to win re-election with her low approval rating and no record of success at the County. How does that Nueces County Courthouse rebuild, her big campaign promise, look to you now? There’s a political hurricane brewing.
Insiders are telling us that she is eying the highest paid job in town, the $700,000+ Port of Corpus Christi CEO position. We all know this plum position comes with an endless expensive account, Country Club Golf membership, car allowance, and involves extension international travel to anywhere you want in the world with zero accountability. As Port of Corpus Christi CEO, you can also live with your wife in Panama and simultaneously with your girlfrieu
nd in Palm Beach and the Commissioners won’t say one word. How do we know this? Because current Port of Corpus Christi CEO Sean Strawbridge spends endless amounts of money on travel, fine dining, wine, furnishings for his new office, and has spent more time in Panama and Palm Beach than in the city of Corpus Christi or the service area of the Port of Corpus Christi. Babs wants the money that comes from the job, she controls the Port votes, and it is hers for the taking.
Except, there is one problem, Barbara Canales’ common law dude, or whatever she’s now calling Doug Allison, is an outside legal counsel for the Port raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars. We have heard that Doug Allison has already made more than a half million dollars off the Port and is probably making more like a million bucks through the referral of other Port outside counsel. The word on the street is that Barbara Canales intends to keep her long time lover as the Port lawyer because she doesn’t believe in conflicts of interests or disclosing his financial statement like every other partner of an elected official. Sometimes he’s Mr. Canales and sometimes he’s not.
So what about Strawbridge? Well, he needs to find a job with the “green” energy folks he signed the Memorandum of Agreement with last month. Strawbridge is failing on big deals at the Port, and causing too much embarrassment for the Port Commissioners. Strawbridge’s crazy spending habits have finally caught the public’s attention and he has made serious enemies in powerful elected officials. Some say Sean Strawbridge is his own enemy, constantly picking legal fights with big names with big money in Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, Portland, and Ingleside even if it hurts Port business. So, this might be a great opportunity for him to bail on his own and still bring in the big bucks. Maybe. Or is Barbara Canales turning on Sean Strawbridge? The word on the street is that she’s taking his job.
Except, there’s another problem. If Babs takes the Port CEO job, how does she still control the Port votes? Bring in Larry Elizondo, the Republican who intends to run as a Democrat and take on beloved County Commissioner JAG. Elizondo is expected to announce his candidacy for County Commissioner any day now and like a junk yard dog is already slinging mud. Our readers may recall that recently JAG took to public comment to call out Barbara Canales for being “an unethical dictator committing illegal acts.” Now Babs is seeking revenge and promising support to Elizondo. But, as a candidate in the public eye, Elizondo will need to be able to fully explain his service to the Venezuelan oil company he worked for and the rumors that surround his departure. Because, there are women in the community that are lining up to ask him the tough questions. Watch for his announcement soon.
Get out your popcorn, or take your shot of tequila, it’s going to be an epic showdown for the ultimate power grab on who gets control of the Port of Corpus Christi and the hundreds of millions of dollars that are in the eye of the storm.