Religious leaders, who spoke out against the recently defeated Houston “Equal Rights Ordinance,” were handed subpoenas in response. Now, some council members are saying they too were unjustly targeted for voting against the controversial ordinance.

The Campaign for Accountability (CfA) is an organization based in Washington D.C. that, “uses research, litigation and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life.”

On December 3rd, the group filed open records requests to each of the six council members who voted against Mayor Annise Parker’s HERO when it came before council.

Council Member Kubosh released a statement saying:

“Those that voted for the Equal Rights Ordinance were rewarded with a bottle of wine from the Mayor, while those that voted no were rewarded with an open records request, which requires the council members’ employees to devote countless hours going over tens of thousands of emails.”

Typically, open records requests wouldn’t be cause for such outrage, but there are allegations that CfA’s requests were politically motivated.

Robin Brand, the former Deputy Executive Director of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and a Parker donor, just so happens to be a sitting member of Campaign for Accountability’s Advisory Board. In addition, Parker recently participated in the Victory Fund’s International Leadership Conference and, in the past, the Victory Fund’s PAC donated to Parker’s Mayoral campaigns. Parker and Brand’s unquestionable political ties only further calls into question the legitimacy and motive of the so-called investigations.

When Brand took the position of Deputy Executive Director of the Fund she released a statement saying:

“I’m proud to be able to help lead one of the most effective LGBT organizations in the country. As the election of Houston Mayor Annise Parker demonstrates, our officials can have a dramatic impact on efforts to change the hearts and minds of American voters. I look forward to working with some courageous candidates, LGBT officeholders and the Victory staff to help achieve this vital mission.”

Brand also assisted campaigns for California and Maine’s “marriage equality” propositions.

It should come as no surprise that Brand’s organization is now targeting elected officials who voted against an ordinance that she so passionately fought to advance. Although it’s unclear as to what they intend to find, their motives appear to be rooted in political retribution aimed at those who voted against Annise Parker’s signature ordinance.

Kubosh will be holding a press conference on regarding the issue on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 1:15 p.m., on the 1st floor rotunda of City Hall.

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.

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