Texpatriate’s response to Dick’s allegations

Three members of this board attended Eric Dick, Clyde Bryan and the Kubosh brothers’ press conference yesterday morning. We went into the event without any biases, equipped with open minds. However, we were not adequately convinced that any wrongdoing occurred on the part of the Mayor, as was their allegation.

Each and every member of this board either currently or historically has served as the leader of an organization. This board has long known that, whenever any individual feels slighted, he or she will always directly and personally assign blame to a person of power. This is what we fear has happened with both Mr Dick and Mr Bryan’s allegation.

Pink signs simply labeled in large font “DICK,” were a ubiquitous feature of the 2011 election. They were rampantly littered across the city, both along public right-of-ways and placed atop utility poles. If you have ever wondered why you rarely see candidates with such an advertising presence, the reason is because it is illegal to do so. The City of Houston has a bandit sign ordinance which prohibits erecting signs, for political campaigns or for other reasons, along public thoroughfares. Additionally, a power pole is private property (in Houston, typically Centerpoint Energy). Accordingly, it constitutes trespassing to place signs thereupon.

Eric Dick’s campaign was fined for all of these allegations, as was Clyde Bryan, another unsuccessful City Council candidate. Dick and Bryan, represented by Kubosh brother attorneys, now argue that they were maliciously targeted by Mayor Parker’s administration because they are Republicans.  They alleged, as well, that the Mayor ordered similar charges against Councilmember C.O. Bradford to be dismissed, because he is a Democrat.

This board finds a number of issues with that. First, as Mike Morris of the Houston Chronicle noted in a question (before our Noah Horwitz could do the same), Councilmember Bradford and Mayor Parker are not allies. To this, Dick simply responded that they were both Democrats. However, Bradford has endorsed Mayor Parker’s opponent (Ben Hall, not Dick). Such a comment on Dick’s part, in this board’s humble opinion, represents a troubling ignorance of this City’s politics and an overzealous tendency to retreat into partisan talking points unfit for the decorum of municipal politics.

This board does believe, however, from court information provided to it, that Dick and Bryan were treated unevenly compared to Bradford. Paul Kubosh, when discussing this, noted the group’s opinion was that the Courts were correct in dismissing charges against Bradford and they now recommended doing the same for their clients. This board takes the opposite view. The City and the Courts were and are correct in prosecuting campaigns that violate the bandit sign ordinance, and were wrong in dismissing charges against Councilmember Bradford’s campaign, if he indeed violated the ordinance. Paul Kubosh talked at length about Mayor Parker’s oath to uphold the Constitution, but municipal officers also take an oath to follow the law. The horrendous disregard for the law, specifically the bandit sign ordinance, shown by both Dick and Bryan is, in this board’s opinion, unbecoming of an aspiring public officeholder.

Dick made many references to the recent IRS scandal involving the improper targeting of conservative groups. This board agrees with Mr Dick and finds the supposed scandal to be a perfect metaphor. Both Dick and Bryan were treated unfairly when their bandit sign ordinance violation charges were dealt with differently than Councilmember Bradford’s campaign. Such a wrongdoing, similar to the wrongdoing visited upon conservative groups by the IRS, was the work of some overzealous bureaucrat, who should be dealt with properly. It is not, however, the malicious doing of the Mayor or the President, respectively. This board finds such a connection to be highly unlikely.

This board wishes Mr Dick good luck in his Mayoral campaign. Morris has his own take at HoustonChronicle.com (behind that stupid, asinine paywall).

The Texpatriate Editorial Board is comprised of Noah M. Horwitz of Boston, Olivia Arena of Austin, George Bailey of Boston and Andrew S. Romo of New Orleans.


Kubosh et al is in

My plane lands in Houston tomorrow morning, I’ll be there for six days, and then Austin for two more.

Anyways, Michael Kubosh was on the steps of City Hall, announcing his intentions for Councilmember Noriega’s term-limited seat. I haven’t seen Michael since I interned at the Criminal Courthouse, but he is quite an interesting guy, so I expect this race to be a lot of fun.

According to the Chronicle article, Kubosh was flanked by prominent Republicans, including Chris Daniels and Allen Fletcher, as well as many leaders in the African-American community, James Nash and Quannell X. In short, if he ran for Mayor, he could very well expose all of Parker’s weaknesses at once–but more on that later. The article named a lot of names, including Chris Carmona, an attorney who ran against Noriega in 2011. Carmona will seek the seat again, and already has a website here. The GOP has claimed the guy, for the record.

The article also mentioned a few names for District A, District D and District I that I have not seen before. 5 to be exact. First, there is a woman named Assata-Nicole Richards, who is the Vice-Chairwoman of the Houston Housing Authority Board. Then, there is Georgia Provost and Keith Caldwell. I have never heard of these people, but I do not think that they have run for office before. I’ll go out on a limb and say that Richards is a Democrat (how many Housing board people are tea baggers?). A curosry search of Provost will show that she does some fundraising with TSU, specifically with El Franco Lee. Further, she likes a lot of Democratic officeholders on her facebook page, so I’ll label her a as well. Finally, Caldwell has this weird dead link with the HCDP, so it is probably safe to assume he is a Democrat as well.

In District I, Ben Mendez is mentioned. Mendez has a website. A quick search on the TX Trib will show that Mr Mendez has run for office twice before, both times in HD145. He ran in the 1998 Democratic Primary, when Diane Davila retired, ultimately losing to Rick Noriega. Further, he ran in the 1992 Democratic Primary for the seat, when Davila was first nominated.

Ronald Hale will be running for District A. Still ambiguous on this guy’s leanings, but he sounds like a Republican. Big Jolly has confirmed, too, that Mike Knox is a Republican.

I will update the election tab page, but this election season sounds like fun.

UPDATE: It’s MICHAEL. MICHAEL Kubosh, as Kuff so publicly point out. I read the Chronicle article, and then wrote this, pretty quickly on my phone right before I got on an airplane, so I am sure there are a few grammatical errors herein.