Morman: Corrupt liberal redistricting shows disregard for constituents by Hidalgo, Garcia, Ellis

Lina Hidalgo Rodney Ellis and Adrian Garcia

The recent redrawing of boundaries for the precincts of Harris County Commissioners clearly shows the ultra-liberal stewardship of our county government is a corrupt affair where honor is eclipsed by greed, true public service is a broken vow, and “equity” and “transparency” are meaningless code words used to mask partisan misdeeds.

In a 3-2 vote on Oct. 28, the Democratic majority on Commissioners Court – County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis, and Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia – horribly warped the redistricting process, which comes once a decade. They turned it into a naked power grab that will result in the disenfranchisement of roughly 2.5 million constituents.

What voters saw was a plan hatched by Ellis, fully supported by Garcia, and validated by Hidalgo, who punctuated her support of it with a childish screed on how she wants to raise your taxes yearly and resents being previously stopped from doing so.

What they did was deviously simple and makes their own complaints about redistricting in Austin ring hollow.

They introduced a map hostile to Republican Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey and, at the last minute, tossed away their big words about transparency by sneaking in a new map that instead targeted Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle.

They’ve created a situation where, thanks to simultaneous attempts to rig the 2022 election in Garcia’s precinct, they can have a chance to grab a 4-1 liberal majority on Commissioners Court – a majority that would remove all roadblocks to increasing taxes. They just had to push Cagle into a tough-to-win precinct, and that’s what they did.

They did this by approving unprecedented commissioner boundaries that geographically switch the precincts of Cagle and Ramsey. Their plan sucks Republican voters out of Cagle’s new precinct, adds more Democratic voters to Garcia’s area, keeps Ellis’ precinct strongly liberal and makes Ramsey’s area the most winnable for Republicans. And, like that, we go from 3-2 to 4-1, if their plan works.

CONNECT_ComissionersMarch2021

Of course, as a result, Cagle will run for reelection in 2022 in a precinct that Ramsey was essentially elected to represent in 2020 that’s now less friendly to Republicans. Ramsey will run again in 2024 in a precinct that is friendlier to conservatives but that he will still be getting to know.

And remember, these are precincts where voters already picked their commissioners – selections being undone by Hidalgo, Garcia, and Ellis.

It’s all part of an aggressive timetable to deliver to Hidalgo a Commissioners Court that will do her bidding and the bidding of Garcia and Ellis when it comes to defunding police, silencing crime victims, destroying county finances, scuttling transportation projects, ignoring the real causes of rising crime and murder rates, and delivering lucrative contracts to liberal buddies.

In the process, the longstanding ties that constituents have developed with their elected officials and parks, community centers, roads, senior programs, and other services managed by these officials will be twisted.

The management of these taxpayer resources could become more expensive, less efficient and county employees will be left to question their futures because the liberals on Commissioners Court will either keep budgets the same or shrink them for precincts run by Republicans. (Trust me when I say the liberals on Commissioners Court care less for these public servants than they do real public service.)

They will do all this while spouting false arguments about inequity.

They have argued, for example, that lines drawn in 2010 and 2011 by a previous Commissioners Court were gerrymandered. Of course, they ignore facts. They all won election in the precincts they now represent, and I was the first Republican to ever serve as Commissioner of Precinct 2 – something I was proud to do for two terms from 2011 until 2019. The lines weren’t fixed in the past.

That the liberals on Commissioners Court would lie is no shocker. They can’t open their mouths without lying. However, they have taken those lies to new heights. Now, their lies will damage something the county was previously known for – solid constituent service.

This redistricting plot by the liberals on Commissioners Court also sets the stage for more damage to constituent service. Look for Ellis, Garcia, and Hidalgo to now take control of road and park services from elected commissioners and place it in the hands of a central downtown authority they alone will control. They have made no secret of the plan. Just remember how big a failure the creation of an Elections Administrator has been – the last time they cut elected officials out of the accountability loop with taxpayers

We should all do everything we can to support Cagle and Ramsey as they participate in what I hope will be successful litigation to reverse this injustice. Failing that, support for them is needed for a transition among their precincts that will work and broadens their legacy of great service.

We should also see this as a call-to-arms for 2022. Commissioners Court must have a conservative majority again. Nothing less than quality of life in our community, public safety and honorable public service are at stake.

Republican Jack Morman is the former two-term Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner and is running in 2022 to regain his seat on Commissioners Court.

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Jack Morman

Republican Jack Morman is the former two-term Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner and is running in 2022 to regain his seat on Commissioners Court.