ConVis, formerly known as the Convention and Visitors Bureau, was recently audited and very serious misuses of public monies were discovered such as: Employees received $4,320 in parking allowances when they did not have any parking expenses; The Director Reint Reinders received a $50,000 tax-free loan to name just a couple of misuses. But with the promise to tightening up the reins on expenditures, and a slap on the wrist, by paying back a paltry $82,546 to the city of San Diego, everything is all right.
The San Diego Data Processing Corp., (SDDPC), was also audited, earlier in the year, and like ConVis was caught misusing monies in the same fashion and form. In this case, the City quickly moved to fire the Director, Roger Talamantez and to dissolve the SDDPC. The District Attorney immediately launched a criminal investigation.
Why the discrepancy in the handling of these two organizations? Why isn’t ConVis under criminal investigation by the DA and why is the director still employed? The answer, in our opinion, is simple, Reint Reinders, president of ConVis is a part of the good ole boy system and as such is protected. We all noticed the flattering article in the Union Tribune, after this misuse of funds came out, that extolled Reinders’ virtues. Meanwhile Roger Talamantez, then CEO of SDDPC, a Hispanic and on the outside looking in when it comes to being a part of the good ole boy network, had no flattering stories on his accomplishments or good works. In fact, the Union printed stories that made fun of the extravagant spending by the SDDPC and Talamantez. This unequal treatment is reminiscent of the Uvaldo Martinez, former City Councilman, who was forced out after a criminal investigation and conviction for charging dinners and lunches onto his city credit card. The sums involved were miniscule compared to the sums squandered by Reinders!
Is this a not so subtle message to the Hispanic community that despite our growth and few gains that we have enjoyed we are still on the outside looking in? The good ole (white) boy power structure takes care of its own!
At every opportunity that comes, the system attempts to bluntly confirm what place in the pecking order the Mexican American, Latino, or Hispanic is in. Fortunately many of our people reject the pecking order that is forced on us and take the power to define “who we are, and what we are”!