Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Leo Vasquez Teams Up With Same Racists Who Defeated Him In Primary To Help Deny Hispanics And The Poor The Right To Vote In Harris County

Outgoing Harris County Republican Tax Assessor Collector Leo Vasquez is harassing the Houston Votes voter registration drive. Mr. Vasquez is responsible for voter registration in Harris County.

Houston Votes is seeking to register thousands of new voters in Harris County for the 2010 election. The goal is to encourage voting by the poor, by Hispanics, and by the young in Harris County.

This is work that should have been done years ago by the Harris County Democratic Party and by elected Democrats in safe low turnout districts.

Here is the Houston Votes web home. Please visit Houston Votes and see the good work they are accomplishing.

Mr. Vasquez says that possibly one-third of the approximately 25,000 applications turned in by Houston Votes so far are for various reasons not valid.

That’s what he says. Though it is entirely possible Mr. Vasquez could be making stuff up to keep voters he feels will be Democrats off the voter rolls.

If mistakes were made, then disallow the voter applications. Just be sure they are disallowed for valid reasons and not for political reasons.

Here is how the Houston Chronicle reported Mr. Vasquez’s attack on Houston Votes and on the concept of full representation for all—

“Though Vasquez announced his briefing as a news conference, the event was packed with members of True the Vote, an initiative of local tea party activists aimed at combating voter fraud. Members punctuated Vasquez’s prepared remarks with bursts of applause.”

Mr. Vasquez lost the Republican primary earlier this year. After the election, many observers felt that a big reason Mr. Vasquez lost was because Harris County Republicans would not vote for a Hispanic.

At the time, Mr. Vasquez himself seemed to think that one of the reasons he lost was because he was Hispanic.

Now Mr. Vasquez teams up with the same racist folks that helped put him out of office to make it more difficult for Hispanics to vote in Harris County.

Has Mr. Vasquez any self-respect? Is he so desperate to be seen as tough on Hispanics that he will consort with the extreme so-called Tea Party? Does Mr. Vasquez need to hold another political office someday that badly?

I’ve met the Houston Votes people and they are not fraudsters. They are folks, mostly Democrats, who really want to include more people in the political process.

Registering disenfranchised constituencies with a collection of volunteers and temporary workers is by definition going to be an imperfect process.

It is turned into something more sinister only when a lame duck, desperate-for-approval politician teams up with racist groups to subvert our political process by making sure that many of our fellow Americans will not be able to vote.

All this would be disgusting anywhere in America. That it is happening in racially and ethnically diverse Harris County  makes it even more appalling.

My friend Perry at the great Houston political blog Brains & Eggs has written on this issue. Leading local blogger John Coby at Bay Area Houston has also offered his views.

August 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments