Democratic Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg recently attended a campaign event for Republican Houston At-Large 3 City Council candidate Twila Carter. There are Democrats in the At-Large 3 race. Ms. Ogg is on the left next to Ms. Carter in the first picture.
Without forgetting that DA Ogg is a poor Democrat with a seeming vendetta against County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the issue here is not a bipartisan approach to city politics.
(Here is a spreadsheet that does a great job in reporting the political party identification of Houston municipal candidates.)
The issue is did DA Ogg ask Ms. Carter to publicly step away from the election denial of the Republican Party? Did she ask Ms. Carter to push back against Republican Party attacks on democracy? I don't make any presumption of Ms. Carter's views. But I know what the Republican Party is about.
There is an old saying that there is no Republican or Democratic way to fill a pothole. But we don't need authoritarians in charge of filling the potholes.
Republicans on Houston City Council are full partisans comfortable with dangerous extremism. Republican Houston Councilman Mike Knox has testified in Austin about voters waiting in line getting food and water and saying civic-minded election workers should be held responsible. Republican Houston Councilwoman Mary Nan Huffman wants the state government of Abbott, Patrick and Paxton to investigate our elections.
Republicans don't see municipal races as non-partisan. Neither should Democrats.
Republican Houston Councilman Dave Martin is running for City Controller. There are Democrats in the race. Mayor Sylvester Turner and Democratic City Council members David Robinson and Sallie Alcorn attended a recent Martin campaign event. The second picture in this post is of Mr. Robinson, Mr. Martin and Mayor Turner.
It may or may not be that Mr. Martin is a supporter of Donald Trump and insurrection. But so long as he is silent, what is the difference?
Councilwoman Alcorn spoke at a recent Democratic Party precinct chair meeting. She thanked the crowd for support they offered her 2019 campaign. Showing up for Republican Matin is an odd way to show appreciation.
There are many people in Houston and Harris County who donate money and volunteer for candidates and the Democratic Party. They are correctly concerned that the Republican Party is crazy with election denial and hate. Is it too much to ask the people we help elect, to make certain they are not consorting with authoritarians or with people silent about the anti-democratic reality of today's Republican Party?
Instead of hanging out with Republicans, there should be discussion of the 2023 Houston campaign trail about how we will be kept safe from the Republican Party and the right. How on Earth are we safe in Houston when we have unaccountable Ken Paxton as the state's top law enforcement office, local police unions calling for the removal of elected officials and refusing to distance themselves from election-deniers & Trump leading the Republican Presidential race with his calls for vengeance against political opponents.
And then there is Mayoral candidate State Senator John Whitmire, a Democrat, who has great relations with all sorts of far-right Republicans and is likely dependent on Republican votes to win in 2023.
Again--This is not about bipartisanship. What I'm writing here would not be of great note If we had functioning two party politics in Harris County and Texas.
But we don't have a functional two party system. We have one party--The Republican Party--that does not respect election results, and as such is a threat to the well-being and the futures of those outside the Republican conception of who is a real Texan or who is a real American.
The Democrats we work hard to elect and who we rely upon, should take the Republican threat seriously while there is still time.
The Houston Democracy Project is working everyday to make democracy a top issue in 2023 Houston politics and to inspire, organize and strengthen pro-democracy coalitions in Houston and Harris County.
Please share word of the Project and support the effort with your donation.
I'm Neil Aquino