Rogelio “Roy” Morales: This man has run for Houston city council, mayor, or congress during a minimum of five election cycles and has never won a City of Houston election. In 2009, after Roy Morales placed fourth in the Houston mayoral race, he felt enabled and decided that he would ask Annise Parker and Gene Locke to take part in a campaign mailer. Parker, desperately seeking endorsements in a mayoral runoff with Locke, was looking for Republican support and thought that Roy could provide assistance. She paid $64,000 to participate in Roy’s mailer.
After the 2009 general election, I ran into Roy sipping champagne at La Griglia on a Friday afternoon. My lunch guest, the ever-lovely Mrs. Hooper, thought it was odd for two reasons. First, what was Roy celebrating with a champagne toast with his male guest – he had just lost his third political campaign? Second, why was Roy sipping champagne at lunch on a Friday afternoon?
It is interesting to now look at Roy’s old campaign finance reports. This review shows us one clear reason why Roy may have been celebrating: he was using his campaign coffers as funny money. On November 16, 2009, Roy paid $400 to Medical Center Collision for a brake replacement. He reasoned that his car reached the 35,000-mile mark during his latest campaign. On November 29, 2009, he paid $60 to Mary Sergesketter for “reimbursement for Make-up Artist for Debate.”
Then, on November 13, 2009, Roy paid his $65 parking ticket that he received during his interview with the Houston Chronicle Editorial Board with campaign funds.
In 2005, Roy came on the scene to run for Houston city council against Peter Brown. Armed with Court Koenning as his campaign consultant, Roy received donations from folks such as Steve Radack. As you know, Brown became the city councilmember. It was around this time that I first crossed paths with Roy Morales in a fight over the light rail on Richmond. Roy seemed to understand the problematic light rail alignment; but, he quickly lost me when he was telling me about Al Qaeda operating on Harwin. He had some “super secret” intel about Al Qaeda cells operating within the Pakistani community.
Roy’s new campaign slogan is “more jobs, less taxes, a safer city.” Unfortunately, we know that Roy thinks that a small tax increase is not a problem. As recently as last year, Roy compared the cost of a package of cheese crackers to a proposed tax increase by the Harris County Department of Education. That kind of thinking brought us the rain tax.
During the 2013 election cycle, Roy decided to run against Michael Kubosh for Houston City Council At Large Position Three. During the general election, Roy sent out a hateful mailer about all of his opponents. Instead of touting any of his own qualifications, he chose to focus on his opponents. Michael received strong voter support in the general election and Roy barely made the runoff.
Clearly, Parker is afraid of Kubosh. Michael has been on the right side of many issues facing the city: red light cameras, feeding the homeless and less fortunate, and Prop 1. Even if you disagreed with Michael on the red light camera issue, his passion is undeniable. On Saturday, the Chronicle was forced to recognize Michael’s goodness. I can only imagine how painful that was for the Editorial Board.
On the political circuit, I have noticed that Roy Morales does not seem to have a political consultant. It is unusual to not see a local political consultant attached to a city council candidate. So, I decided to review Roy’s campaign finance report for some insight. Roy reports that he has paid thousands of dollars to a consultant located at 2504 NC Highway 54 in Durham, North Carolina. According to Google, this reported address is the home of the Extended Stay America motel.
Then, Roy reports a payment of $250 to “Eric Weidmann” on August 31, 2013. The payee address matches the voter registration address for Eric Jared Weinmann, Manager of Constituent Services and Community Relations for City Councilman Andrew Burks.
How is a city employee, a member of a councilmember’s staff, receiving money from Roy for political work? Is this part of the new and improved ethics plan laid out by Annise Parker and David Feldman? As Feldman said, “In my view of the world, that’s what ethics is – it’s a common, sensical moral compass.” I am somewhat familiar with Weinmann’s “moral compass.” A few years ago, he filed a bogus complaint on a PAC created to fight the Prop 1/Renew Houston scam.
Why is Roy sending money to a motel in Durham, North Carolina? Maybe these are issues for David Feldman to explore. Or, Roy can consult with George Bishop, the disbarred, former federal inmate that was advising him in his recent effort to remove Michael from the ballot. I am sure that this is all a simple misunderstanding that can easily be explained and Al Qaeda is involved somewhere. Between the Houston Chronicle, David Jennings, and this article, I think that we have covered Roy Morales and his campaign.
The runoff election will occur on December 14, 2013. We can’t afford Champagne Roy in Houston.
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