From Dr Hall’s Facebook page:
It Could Be A Crime
During election season rumors abound. Many such rumors are absent of any truth, while others are embellished versions of but a kernel of truth. This election cycle seems not to be exempt from this regrettable election season practice.
Our campaign office has received the recurring refrain that strong arm tactics are being directed at city contractors, vendors, engineers, architects, bidders, etc. to dissuade support of anyone opposing certain incumbents. We do not ascribe any particular conclusion to the accuracy or inaccuracy of this persistent rumor. For now, we have chosen not to believe it despite its recurrence.
The Texas Penal Code makes clear that it is a crime for any public official, or person acting on behalf of such official, to threaten to withhold, cancel, terminate or condition the award of city business because of the political allegiance of a person, contractor, vendor, engineer, architect, etc. Should anyone be aware of conduct suggesting that city business, contracts, awards, bids or work are being denied, withdrawn, conditioned, withheld, terminated or threatened because of a vendor/person’s political choice in this year’s city elections, please call our office anonymously at 713.236.4255 (713.BEN.HALL).
Vote Ben Hall for Mayor!
I immediately commented on the post in an attempt to clarify the statement, asking if it were directed specifically towards Annise Parker and/or her campaign. A woman named Tarah Taylor, who evidently is affiliated with Councilmember Jerry Davis, and not Ben Hall’s office, responded quite vehemently that this was not the case. She included a long, quoted statement, which is not attributed to anyone but would theoretically make sense as coming from Dr Hall himself. I have copied it below.
We do not ascribe any particular conclusion to the accuracy or inaccuracy of this persistent rumor. For now, we have chosen not to believe it despite its recurrence.
This is very, very strange. It is obviously a backhanded way to accuse Parker’s campaign of coercing a public servant. That is a very serious allegation, and it appears that Hall has absolutely no substance to back it up. Even stranger, one of the people who like this status is Eric Dick, theoretically a fellow campaign rival of Hall. The remaining comments on the thread constituted unmitigated Ben-bashing. Some were less articulate and more mean than others. One of the best put critiques came from Neil Aquino.
I’ve asked this before, and I will ask it again. Who is running Hall’s campaign, children [Editorial note: No, Noah, that would be whichever candidate hires you]? His social media presence is dismal, and when there are posts, they resemble drunken rants containing little to no substance and chock full of things I bet he regrets in the morning.
Hall should not have gotten to this point. Gene Locke ran an impressive campaign full of honesty and integrity. Sadly, I cannot say the same for Dr Hall. He has an impressive track record, is quite well spoken, has some good visions for the future of this city and is a native Houstonian (that isn’t a jab at Parker, she is too). It is unfortunate that he made the unfortunate choice to run against an incumbent for no good reason. This has caused him to back off from any substance whatsoever in his campaign.
Parker has strongly aligned herself as the Democrat in the race. Hall is not necessarily trying to be the Republican, but he definitely the anti-Democrat. It will be interesting to see how much of the African-American community he can continue attracting as he moves further and further right.