Mayor Sylvester Turner has been accused of vote stacking on the GLBT Caucus to gain an advantage at getting the endorsement from the member-driven political action committee.
The GLBT Caucus, founded in 1975, is the oldest civil rights organization dedicated to the interest of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in the south. Although it is a nonpartisan political committee, its endorsement is one of the most sought after, primarily by the Democratic Party members in Houston.
The Caucus membership is known to be active, and it has a solid track record of helping it’s endorsed candidates get elected, most notably was the election of Annise Parker.
In a Facebook post, Antonio Arellano, Communications Director for Jolt Texas, posted a screenshot of an email from Jake Burns, Turner’s campaign manager, which included names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails for 170 individuals the campaign paid for and intend to be registered as new members of the caucus, likely for the mayoral endorsement next month.
In the email, Burns indicated a check from Turner’s campaign for $4,660.00 would be mailed to the caucus’s PO Box address. Because a majority vote of the members makes the endorsement of the caucus, a candidate can artificially influence the outcome if not outright buy the endorsement simply stacking the members with your team and paying for memberships for the sole purpose of endorsement.
What is striking about this particular email is it’s what can only be described as an obtrusive business as usual tone. I personally know many people in the GLBT Caucus and know they are great people and great activist who have done tremendous work for the betterment of the community. It is truly disheartening to see such an exceptional institution under attacked by the highest level of corruption.
Thomas Wang (@ThomasWAngTX) is a community activist and former candidate for House District 147.