State Senator & Houston Mayoral candidate John Whitmire wants to bring 200 Texas Department of Public Safety troops to patrol the streets of Houston.
These troopers are in Austin. At first, Austin Mayor Kirk Watson was in favor of DPS being stationed in his city. Then there were concerns about Blacks and Latinos being targeted by DPS. Now Mayor Watson wants the state troopers to leave and Governor Abbott says no.
Here is what Senator Whitmire says about his ability to control how Governor Abbott would use the troopers in Houston:
“I’m not Gov. Abbott, I’m not the mayor of Austin. I have been in the Legislature long enough to know how the political scene works in Austin. I can handle the responsibility of telling the governor we’re going to do it the Houston way,”
You see in the Tweet accompanying this post what Governor Abbott thinks the mandate of the state police is in Texas. They can go anyplace they want. They will do what they want.
Senator Whitmire was unable to stop the HISD takeover.
Senator Whitmire has not been able to stop the legislative attacks on trans people.
Senator Whitmire was unable to stop House Bill 2127 which greatly erodes the political autonomy of Texas cities and counties.
Senator Whitmire has been unable to stop the sharp restrictions on reproductive rights in Texas.
Senator Whitmire offers the deal to Houston voters that his relationships with far right extremists like Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick will benefit Houston.
Maybe--maybe--it's a deal worth considering if Senator Whitmire could deliver. But it just doesn't seem to be the case. Senator Whitmire isn't able to convince Greg Abbott about the virtues of the "Houston way."
There is no reason to believe Senator Whitmire will be able to restrain Governor Abbott or Greg Abbott's police. It's not a solid wager with democracy at stake.
There is no public safety without democracy.
The anti-democratic Republican Party is a top public safety threat to the people of Houston & Harris County. For all his emphasis on public safety issues, Senator Whitmire appears blind to the threat.
Maybe what the Senator proposes with the DPS troops plays well in the polls. So it goes.
As we vote, organize, connect with one another across communities and think about self-protection as authoritarianism and white supremacy guide public policy in Texas, let's have a clear view of Senator Whitmire.
We can give Senator Whitmire every benefit of the doubt here and still say he picks questionable friends, has over his very long time in elected office lost a clear reading of the diseased-pulse of hateful Texas Republicans and lacks consistent judgement.
The Houston Democracy Project is working everyday to make protection and expansion of democracy a top issue in 2023 Houston city politics. Please share word of the effort and support the Project with your donation.
I'm Neil Aquino