It’s a rather long interview and the subjects discussed are literally all over the map. But I came away with a few thoughts and here they are.
While Morales sounds like a nice guy, he’s somewhat conflicted on property rights issues, and has some rather naïve views on taxation. He also seems to be convinced that Houston is the soft underbelly of America, and is not only vulnerable to terrorist attack, but is actually the prime target of an attack.
On property rights, Morales has a view that historical building preservation in Houston should take a back seat to the rights of the property owners. On the other hand, Morales’ Radio Interoperability project for the city involved erecting a 500-foot tall radio tower near an existing neighborhood. Property owners protested that the tower would drive down the value of their property, and the tower has yet to be built. In the interview Morales maintained that he “had some ideas for city council that we could probably get that up sooner than later.” Now I have a little knowledge in this area. What you would need is a cleared area to broadcast an unimpeded 360 degree transmission, and it needs to be placed in a fairly centralized locale so that signal can reach all parts of the city. These two factors tell me that the property rights of SOMEone are going to be trod upon should this tower go up. It’s called eminent domain. Morales needs to get behind that or his tower is going to stay horizontal.
And I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing about Morales’ views on property tax. Did I hear him say that property taxes could be eliminated if the city would tack on an additional 1.5% in sales tax in the city? Yes, he said that: “…so you go from 1 percent to 2 and a half percent”. Has Roy Morales checked with Susan Combs on this brainstorm of his? The state sales tax is 6.25% and state law restricts local sales tax to no more than 2%. That, all totaled up, is 8.25% which is what the sales tax is right now in the City of Houston. I didn’t make this up. It’s here. Oh and one more thing on sales tax. It is a Republican Party plank to replace income tax with a national sales tax. If Republicans keep up in this theme, and replace every tax with a sales tax, no one will want to go out to buy anything.
And finally this whole thing on the terrorists. These fear/scare tactics in campaigning have just got to stop. I call it waving the bloody flag. It worked for Bush in ’04 but people are catching on now. Today, I look askance at those who claim that they will be our protectors against the terrorists, and yes, that is exactly how Roy Morales sees himself. But don’t rely on my opinion, listen for yourself, or read this transcription:
“When I was growing up, Washington, D.C. was considered ground zero. …But in the 21st century, after the hurricanes and we saw what kind of devastation could occur to our economic situation. I believe Houston, Texas is ground zero. It’s already been reported that we have Hezbollah, we have Hamas, we have Al-Qaeda cells in our neighborhoods here. And we need to ensure that the FBI is working to ensure that our national interests are protected. And I will be working with the FBI to ensure that is happening. I had access to that information, it was classified at the time when I was in the military, I know that they have the capability and the resolve and we got to make sure we have someone in the city hall that will protect us.”That someone being Roy Morales, Terrorist Protector Extraordinaire.
Well I hope more people listen to this interview. In my humble opinion it is an incredibly huge reason to vote for Melissa Noriega for City Council. Melissa is just a little more balanced, and a little more informed. And a lot more qualified.