Democrats running for Houston City Council who take the endorsement of the Houston Police Officers Union must ask the union to step back from backing politicians who support election-denial.
If the Houston Police Officers Union wants to support Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick or Alexandra Mealer before Election Day--Fine. It's terrible judgment. But it's a (Somewhat) free country. (The union also endorsed Ken Paxton.)
But when Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick say Harris County is running unfair elections and should re-do elections, that's when the union can withdraw support. When Alexandra Mealer files a lawsuit she later withdraws to overturn her defeat, thats when you say I can't go further with you.
Lawsuits challenging 2022 Harris County election results were tossed out by a Republican judge. A partisan Republican audit of the elections found little.
There is no public safety without democracy. It is not difficult to imagine law enforcement unions working with far-right statewide officials to bypass multi-racial and Democratic voting cities and counties.
Underlying all of this is the clear frontrunner for the Republican Presidential nomination who is using words and phrases right out of the Nazi playbook.
The Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Donald Trump for reelection in 2020.
Here is some of what they said:
"President Trump has shown time after time that he supports our law enforcement officers and understands the issues our members face every day. The FOP is proud to endorse a candidate who calls for law and order across our nation. He has the full and enthusiastic support of the FOP.”
Below are 2023 Houston municipal Democratic candidates who have accepted the HPOU endorsement:
Mayor: John Whitmire
At -Large #1: Melanie Miles
At -Large #2: Nick Hellyar
At-Large #4: Letitia Plummer
At-Large #5: Sallie Alcorn
District B: Tarsha Jackson
District C: Abbie Kamin
District D: Carolyn Evans-Shabazz
District F: Tiffany Thomas
District H: Mario Castillo
District I: Joaquin Martinez
District J: Edward Pollard
District K: Martha Castex-Tatum
When political candidates make the call to determine if law enforcement unions meet the standards of their campaigns, they should consider the role such unions play in backing officials who don't support our most essential freedoms.
Failure to do is irresponsible and puts our most basic safety and freedoms at risk. Maybe our elected officials can imagine some place of safety or even success in an authoritarian America. It is unlikely however that many of the people they claim to represent will have such good fortune.
The Houston Democracy Project works daily to make democracy a top issue in 2023 Houston politics and to inspire, organize and strengthen pro-democracy coalitions in Houston and Harris County.
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I'm Neil Aquino