Low Life Scammer
Louis Bruni Un-Ethical Scammer Laredo Texas
I was a partner of the man below and I thought a friend. He is God Father to
one of my children and we made a business together. What a Mistake. When the
business became successful Louis Bruni stole my half of the business from me and
then acted like he never knew me. This man is of the lowest moral character and
a complete back stabber. I have watched him funnel money from the Bruni Mineral
Trust and receive kick backs on several occasions. Do yourself a favor and stay
as far away from this man as possible. Louis Bruni is NOT a man of his word; on
the contrary his words mean nothing.
More info on this bottom feeder.
Webb County Judge Louis Bruni had big plans. So lofty were
Bruni’s ambitions that he wanted to change the South Texas climate – not the
political climate but the weather itself. The man some people called King Louie
invested $1.2 million in private money in Russian technology that is supposed to
ionize the atmosphere and make it rain.
But how quickly the winds can change. In one of the most startling results of
the March 7 Democratic primaries, Judge Bruni, who reigned supreme over the
county since 2003, finished last in a field of four candidates. Now his
rainmaking machine sits on the ranch of his chief of staff, its future as
uncertain as Bruni’s and Webb County’s.
With no candidate clearing 50 percent in the primary, the top two finishers
are headed for an April 11 runoff. Danny Valdez, an unassuming justice of the
peace from Laredo, received 37 percent of the 31,657 votes cast. He’ll face
Carlos “C.Y.” Benavides III, a rich oilman and rancher who placed second with 23
percent. Current county commissioner Judith Gutierrez finished third and is now
looking at a full-time career as a Realtor.
The county judge controls a $58 million general budget, appoints people to
cushy county jobs, and has a say about who gets the lucrative county contracts.
As a regional powerbroker, the Webb County judge is second only to longtime
state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo.
Now, in the runoff between Valdez and Benavides, voters have a choice between
political opposites. And because Webb County is not partial to Republicans, the
winner in April can start planning his office d?cor.
Benavides, who raises exotic species of deer on his family’s land, may not
have been as well known as other candidates before the primary. That’s no longer
the case. By spending about $600,000 of mostly family money, he has covered the
county with his image and slogans. White stenciled stickers reading “C.Y. S?
’06” are on tinted car windows all around Laredo. Billboards portraying a dated
photo of Benavides with long sideburns—which he trimmed after someone told him
they made him look unserious—have sprouted up along Interstate 35, north and
south. His face is also on thousands of yard signs throughout the county.
Businesslike in his approach to politics, Benavides talks about his 20-month
campaign to increase name recognition as a marketing endeavor. To raise his
profile, he hosted an auto show, held an art exhibit with some of his original
pieces, and organized several concerts, including one that featured a member of
the 1970’s band Foreigner.
But Benavides also knows how old-school politics works, which he might have
learned from his father and uncle, each of whom served as Webb County judges.
His most recent campaign finance report shows thousands of dollars in payments
for contract labor, much of which was paid to people who claim the ability to
turn out votes. He doesn’t leave all the work to paid staffers and
vote-gatherers, called ca?oneros. Benavides has been a tireless campaigner. He
says he has taken only one vacation since kicking off his campaign; it was to
chase a longtime dream of hunting Marco Polo sheep in the subzero climes of
Danny Valdez says he’s taken one vacation, too, since he began his run for
county judge—a quick jaunt to Las Vegas. That might not be as impressive as
whacking big-horned sheep in central Asia, but it shows a style that might be
easier for the average Webb County voter to relate to.
Valdez says he will spend up to $160,000 by the end of the runoff, compared
with the $700,000 Benavides will go through. Benavides acknowledges the
financial advantage but claims he needs to counteract other factors. He says the
political machine of Sen. Zaffirini pitched in to help Valdez—a charge Valdez
denies and the Senator says she knew nothing about, but jokingly takes credit
for in light of Valdez’s margin of victory on March 7.
Having grown up in the barrios of west Laredo, Valdez embraces the image of
financial underdog. “I don’t need to match [Benavides], and I don’t need to
spend what he’s going to spend,” Valdez says.
A lot of people see Valdez as the hard-working, earnest, everyman candidate.
“I think he has a reputation of being decent and honest, and I think a lot of
people appreciate that,” said Jerry Thompson, a political science professor at
Texas A&M International University in Laredo. “Plus, [there’s] the fact that a
lot of people in the poor neighborhoods know Danny.”
As he campaigns in the neighborhoods, Valdez finds plenty of people he knows.
During a night of block-walking before the primary, one middle-aged man thanked
Valdez for being the justice of the peace at his wedding; an elderly woman
thanked him for staying with her the night her husband died; one young woman
credited Valdez with helping her raise money for the Miss Texas pageant. (The
woman recalled meeting Miss Corpus Christi, who turned out to be actress Eva
Longoria of ABC’s Desperate Housewives.)
Valdez had some commercials on television, but his campaign appears to take
place mostly on foot, as he walks door-to-door throughout Laredo. After working
his day job as J.P., Valdez gets into his silver Ford F-150 pickup, goes to his
campaign office, and then to the neighborhoods. Sometimes he’s solo. Other
times, his wife walks with him or volunteers join him. But there are no paid
staffers; he’s never paid anyone to work on his campaigns.
The Benavides campaign operates, by contrast, like a big humming machine.
Staffers around the county are on the Benavides payroll. Some work the phones to
identify undecided voters, and when they find one, the name gets added to a list
for a personal phone call from the candidate himself. Benavides told me he walks
blocks, but on the day I dropped in, he slapped backs at a bowling event for
kids and checked on the staff at campaign headquarters. He also spent a
considerable amount of time re-applying Neutrogena Healthy Defense makeup during
the taping of a television commercial. In this one, he responded to one of
Bruni’s attacks about tax dodging—an accusation that made Benavides so mad he
filed a defamation suit against Bruni. (The case is pending but not likely to
get too far in the courts.)
Those hard-edged tactics used by Bruni may have been partly what cost him the
election. Thompson, the A&M International political science professor, said
Bruni’s managers “gave him some bad advice” by urging a negative campaign. While
the challengers attempted to run on positive themes, Bruni went after each
opponent with harsh television ads. Thompson notes that negative ads can
backfire. “I think he went too negative, and I think also that he may have gone
overboard. People were just turned off by those negative ads,” Thompson said.