From the InBox:
Corporate donations to political campaigns are illegal. Sylvester Turner and his campaign donor, Clear Channel Outdoor, blatantly disregarded the law when they donated 27 billboards and radio time featuring this failed mayor. The value of this illegal and unreported corporate donation will easily exceed millions of dollars. If they really care about public safety, why put this mayor’s smiling face and his campaign colors on the billboards? And if we are preparing for an anticipated emergency, why is he smiling? We will be initiating legal action in various venues to combat this foolishness. It’s time to end the blatant corruption at City Hall.
Do you wonder why Clear Channel Outdoor would be willing to risk both civil and perhaps criminal liability to put this current mayor’s face on those 27 billboards, and also provide him free radio spots, costing millions of dollars? Do you wonder why they did so only after he announced his re-election campaign? And given the firefighter debacle, can you understand why this mayor, who has done NOTHING for public safety, wants to be seen as someone who is a champion for public safety? Here is why: Clear Channel desperately wants a new ordinance in Houston allowing digital billboards. With digital billboards, Clear Channel can increase its revenue stream by ten, at just one billboard location. Currently, Houston–like most big Texas cities–prohibits digital billboards, because they are considered distracting and a safety hazard. Clear Channel wants Houston to change the ordinance and allow digital billboards.
How do I know this? Because Clear Channel admits it. Vice President of Public Affairs, Lee Vela, recently stated: “We have 20 digital billboards in this area,” Vela explained, “not in the city of Houston, unfortunately, but throughout Harris County and surrounding counties. The (Houston billboard) ordinance doesn’t allow us to do that just yet. It all comes down to the mayor.”
This corruption has to end. As you may have read, I have now sued Clear Channel and Sylvester Turner for conspiring to circumvent campaign finance laws. We will let a jury decide whether Clear Channel’s donation of these billboards is a complete or partial in-kind donation to a political candidate. Remember, in the past, the former County Judge also had billboards put up. At the time, one of Turner’s staff expressed outrage. It turns out, the County Judge actually paid for those billboards. Ironic, eh?
Through the lawsuit we have filed, we will be able to put this mayor under oath, and I think a lot of people in this city will agree that he needs to be under oath. We will ask him some hard questions. We will ask him about the back room deals that he has done in this city, specifically with Clear Channel. Then we’ll ask him about the deal he did with Waste Management. We will also ask him about the recent municipal worker healthcare contract, and then we’ll ask him about the $35 million contract where he pieced off $6.7 million to his former law partner. We’re gonna get to the bottom of these issues, because the residents of this city have a right to know.
We will never be able to put more police on the streets, properly repair the roads, deal with flooding, or fairly pay firefighters if we can’t clean up the waste and corruption at City Hall. I have run successful businesses for more than twenty years. I know that it is imperative that we hire administrators who are working for the good of the city, not to line their pockets. It will take backbone, but we will clean this city up.
Our campaign is on fire. We are making great progress daily. Will you join me? I’m not asking you for your money, but I would be honored if you’d sign up to volunteer, come grab a yard sign or bumper sticker, or come meet me at one of our many events. Tomorrow night, April 23rd, we will be holding a Meet & Greet at The Wynden (1025 S Post Oak Ln, Houston, TX 77056) from 5 – 7pm. Come out! I want to hear your ideas for how to change this city for the better.
I don’t know if his campaign is on fire or not but what I do know is that his aggressiveness in this campaign is much appreciated by anyone who is tired of the corruption at Houston’s City Hall. More power to him.