‘Bummed out' Democrat on his way to a ‘dream job' in Buenos Aires

September 30, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — One of the Imperial Valley's most vocal and ardent Democratic boosters is disappointed he will not be here for the 2002 elections.

"I'm bummed out," he said.

"I'm not going to be here and I'm not going to be a part of it," he added.

Local radio personality and former Clinton White House intern Francisco "Frank" Salazar was looking forward to the upcoming elections because he thinks a Democratic Hispanic candidate will be elected to represent the Valley in the state Senate, the Assembly or U.S. House.

The 27-year-old wanted to be here when it happened but found out late last week he will not help out with the campaigns of local candidates and will not soon test the waters for a run of his own.

He's packed and plans to leave on a plane from San Diego today.

Don't cry for Salazar, Imperial Valley.

He's headed for Buenos Aires, Argentina and his "dream job" where he'll be working for both renowned and reviled political strategist James Carville, the husband of Republican pundit Mary Matalin.


"Until next winter my job is to be working with a soon-to-be- announced candidate in Argentina," he said Friday.

"I'm going to be the eyes and ears of James Carville. I'll be developing talking points and writing speeches," he added.

Salazar said Carville will personally introduce him to the Argentinean clients soon after he arrives to let them know that, "This is my guy."

"I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can from Carville. I've read his books and seen his movies," he added.

Carville was featured in a 1993 documentary "The War Room," which focused on the antics of Democratic spin doctors Carville and George Stephanopoulos during the 1992 presidential campaign.

Salazar got connected with Carville through a co-worker in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

He had been applying for a number of other press secretary positions since he returned to the Valley in March after his stint at the USDA but took this job for the opportunity to work with Carville.

Salazar is a graduate of Calexico High School, attended San Diego State University and graduated from San Diego's National University with a degree in "global studies."

When he returned from Washington, D.C., in March he resumed his broadcasting gig with Radio Bilingue/KUBO 88.7 FM.

In 2000 he worked on the failed presidential campaign of former Vice President Al Gore.

"I can't stand to see Florida or see (Gov.) Jeb (Bush). I get bad flashbacks whether it be Elian (Gonzalez; Cuban refugee) or the recount. It was horrible, sleeping on floors," he said.

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles