Thursday, January 18, 2007

Tabasco, Mexico: Ex-governor Humpty Dumpty Andrade continues to fatten up with the peoples' money

Ex-governor Manuel Andrade Díaz of Tabasco must have been seriously misinformed by his staff. Someone convinced him, erroneously and, I am sure, unintentionally, that the citizens of Tabasco all had more than they could possibly wish for. Hence, there was nothing left for the state to do with its overfilled coffers but spend money like, well, Massachusetts Democrats.

The humungously fat ex-governor, famous for being invited to a tamale festival and gorging himself on 12 of them in front of horrified onlookers, spent more than 20 million pesos refurbishing the governor's mansion in Tabasco, known as the Quinta Grijalva. He installed new cedar and oak woodwork, new marble floors, a new kitchen, a new dining room, an office for his wife, another office for his private secretary, a nursery bedroom for his newborn son and even bought a forklift for "unloading food".

Manuel Andrade bragging that he lost 44 kg (100 lbs.) last year. Mercy!
He says he accomplished this by taking walks and "driving his own car".
The new forklift will also be used to help him get into and out of the car.
Note in the above photo that the Reforma photo editors, in order to get anything else in the picture besides the governors paunch, had to squash the image. Hilarious.
The additions also included an upstairs spa, a billiard room and yet another kitchen and dining room. The design was supervised by Elvira Pola de Andrade who is neither architect nor design engineer but does happen to be his wife.

The 20 million peso figure is the announced cost for the new construction only. The total cost for all of the modern conveniences, furniture, contemporary art, historical art and sculpture and the billiard room as well as the luxury appointments has not been released.

To top it all off, Andrade commissioned a 199 page cocktail table book detailing the planning and work that went into the project along with 40 photographs. He was, however, clever enough to avoid posting said photos on the net thereby keeping them out of the greedy hands of Mark in Mexico who surely would have splashed the colorful tributes to his wife's interior decorating skills all over this web page.

Governor Andrade also spent some 33 million pesos to refurbish the government palace during his tenure. That's more than 53 million pesos (and still counting) in 4 years spent to improve the lives of the average Tabasqueño provided, of course, that any average Tabasqueño could ever gain admittance to either of the opulent installations.

Andrade unveils monument to the "taco de cochinita", his favorite junk food.

Not yet finished with the dispensing of what must have been a disturbingly fat and unspent state budget surplus, Andrade commissioned a giant 40 foot monument to . . . himself. This fantasma is slowly having its ugly head raised smack in the middle of the Reforma-Dos Bocas highway in Villahermosa, the state capitol.

MA -- Monumental Ass

The cost of this mega project, whose usefulness and advantage to the average $2 per day wage earning Tabasco campesino has yet to be determined, has yet to be announced. The current state administration's Secretary of Communications, Héctor López Peralta, says the budget for the Monument to a Fat Man is, "under restriction". That means that the cost of this particular white elephant is none of anyone's damned business.

The Secretary of Communications defended the monument as being indicative of the governor's ability to spend federal funds on highways. "I think that it is worthwhile in that it will remain as a symbol that will be representative of the governor's administration." If he was referring to the ablity of Andrade to flush tens of millions of pesos down the sewer of incompetance and corruption as well as self-agggrandizement, then I'm sure we must all whole heartedly agree.
Note: After the completion of the 22 million peso (and still counting) fix-up of the governor's mansion, Andrade held an open house. He invited Tabasqueños to all come and visit a home such as they could never dream of occupying. He gave out lollipops to the children, one each, and a glass of punch to the adults, also one each.

He handed out little flyers to everyone which stated that the upstairs included 4 bedrooms, an alcove and an 8-sided sitting room. He then made sure that no one was allowed uptairs to see the second kitchen and dining room, the spa, the bar, the billiard table or the nursery. The 199 page cocktail table book with the 40 color photographs was also, er, scarce.

If you go to this webpage, you can see that two photos are posted of the open house. Both photos show people lined up to get into the mansion. There were originally 6 photos. Four of them seem to be missing. There does not seem to be a single photo available of the inside of the mansion. Reforma had one posted yesterday but I cannot find it today. When you snooze, you lose, I guess.

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