Wednesday, September 23, 2015

GOP food fight in Houston

Via Charles, a fight Houston conservatives didn't need to have has broken out into the open.

The Harris County Republican Party released a flier Monday attacking Houston mayoral candidate Ben Hall for his Democratic ties and previous support for a nondiscrimination ordinance.

Hall, a Democrat, is running on a socially conservative platform and aims to assemble a coalition of faith-based and fiscally conservative voters.

Among top-tier mayoral candidates, he is the most ardent critic of the city's equal rights ordinance, known as HERO. The law is set to appear on November's ballot.

"Ben Hall says yes to HERO ordinance in 2013," the GOP flier reads, citing a 2013 Harris County Democratic Party questionnaire on which Hall said he would support a nondiscrimination policy.

The ad also labels Hall a "current Democratic Party sustaining member" and claims he contributed more than $100,000 to Democrats, including President Barack Obama, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry, citing campaign finance reports.

It's also a reminder that the shroud of non-partisan municipal elections is worn through to gossamer.  The Republican establishment is pushing back against the rebels.   Or as I would prefer, the anti-Hotze, anti-Woodfill caucus going after the conservative front-runner.  They want Bill King and not Hall... and it may not even be racial.

"We won't stand by and let a political opportunist like Ben Hall try to fool the voters into thinking that he is some kind of Republican," Harris County Republican Party chair Paul Simpson said. "If some have endorsed Hall with the idea that he's a conservative, then they should have done their homework first."

Simpson beat Woodfill for county chair a year or so ago, and Woodfill hasn't gotten over it.  And Simpson, bullied by Woodfill's shadow chairmanship of the local Republicans, has to respond with the only thing political parties have that holds them together: loyalty.  Fealty.

Hall, a former city attorney, has been backed by several pastors' groups and conservative activist Steven Hotze, who publishes an influential endorsement slate.

However, state Sen. Paul Bettencourt said the majority of local Republican Party precinct chairs are supporting King.

No, it's not racial, but Hall really oughta play the race card just for shits and giggles.  Boy, these people have too much time and money on their hands.

If Simpson and the party cronies like Bettencourt are successful, then you will see two of  Sylvester Turner, Adrian Garcia, or Chris Bell in the runoff.  That's how good this is.

Update: In which I get a tip o' the chapeau from Big Jolly.

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