Open Government Project
A Government Watchdog Group
State of Texas
City of Galveston
Public Interest Groups
by David Stanowski
30 May 2013
One of the differences between a representative republic and a banana republic is that the former is based on the rule of law and the latter merely uses the law to selectively support their cronies and to punish their opponents in order to enhance the power of the ruling click. Tuesday, the City Council clearly demonstrated that they are moving this city closer and closer towards becoming a banana republic, as they ineptly tried to use the power of local government in a bungled effort to punish their opponents. (see The Inquisition)
The City Attorney is supposed to be a kind of “legal referee” who makes sure that the City Council follows the law, and lets them know when they are about to violate a law.
However, voters have watched for many months as the Gang of Five passed various pieces of their Public Housing plan that clearly violate the Fair Housing Act (FHA) while the City Attorney said not a word, and in fact assisted their wrong doing with bogus procedural maneuvers and rulings when the Gang of Five needed help to continue. In short, the City Attorney has had absolutely no interest in enforcing the FHA.
Now, when a local Deep Throat might have violated an obscure local ordinance, she demands a special meeting, hires a Special Prosecutor, without Council approval, and is hell bent on spending thousands of tax dollars on a witch hunt for a source that will never be found! Her self-righteous comments about her solemn duty to enforce “the law” are outrageous and hypocritical in light of her duplicitous failure to enforce the FHA in this city.
The leaking of the Terry Morgan memo caused no harm to anyone in the City while the violation of the Fair Housing Act will result in families being trapped in segregated reservations of poverty for generations to come. Note which violation of the law is important to the City Attorney and the Gang of Five!
The Gang of Five believes that they will be rewarded with millions of dollars of infrastructure money, making them "local heroes", for their willingness to satisfy certain political factions by rebuilding Public Housing in violation of the FHA, so the search for Deep Throat, who leaked a document that might derail their corrupt deal, must be pursued with the full might of the government power that they control and wield.
They don’t care that Deep Throat might have only broken some petty and meaningless City ordinance, because he/she threatens their power. This Political Inquisition has nothing to do with fair, unbiased and uniform enforcement of the law. If the Gang of Five was truly doing that, they would have to sanction themselves!
A source told us that the City Attorney attempted to implement a similar Inquisition in a previous job, so this is nothing new. Horrified voters may think that it’s time to replace this City Attorney, before the witch hunt really gets out of hand, but that’s not going to happen as long as the Gang of Five sits on Council. She is doing their bidding. This is how a banana republic works; the improper use of government power in a quest to punish the political opposition!