This is really beyond me.
Houston is a liberal city, for the most part, as Texas goes at least. It tends to vote heavily Democrat. and in keeping with that, Sylvester Turner is the latest in a long line of Democrats to run the city. (In fact, there are no living Republican former mayors, the last one being Jim McConn in 1982.)
In a disaster, there’s no need for politicking. There’s more than enough need for leading and managing a city of nearly 7 million. Yet Turner’s highest priority is promising “to personally defend undocumented immigrants who may be hesitant to seek help in the aftermath of Harvey over fears of being deported.”
“There is absolutely no reason why anyone should not call. And I and others will be the first ones to stand up with you,” Turner, an attorney, told reporters on Monday. “If someone comes and they require help and then for some reason [someone] tries to deport them, I will represent them myself.”
I’m sorry for Houstonians, because this is truly idiotic. Who in the U.S. government is running around looking at papers of people needing rescue? Who would even think this way?
It’s not like Turner has to worry about an election–he just took office. There’s no Republicans running around threatening to deport illegals in the midst of the flood. His statement is nothing but grandstanding.
I could even stomach grandstanding if Turner hadn’t been so ineffective and political about his city’s preparation and response to the storm.
Read streiff’s RedState report on exactly how Turner reacted to sound advice from the state’s governor, Greg Abbott. Abbott, a Republican, didn’t grandstand. He went with the scientific and expert evidence and advised people in certain parts of Houston to leave before the storm.
But Turner didn’t want a “Rita” evacuation mess on his hands, so he told people to stay put.
Please think twice before trying to leave Houston en masse. No evacuation orders have been issued for the city. #Harvey
— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) August 25, 2017
To quote the salient part of streiff’s piece:
Let me make an observation here. Usually local official know Jack Sh** about anything during a major disaster. Local governments aren’t equipped or staffed or trained to deal with a cataclysmic event like a Cat 4 Hurricane. Local officials don’t have access to the same information as available to state and federal emergency management organizations. By and large the caliber of people that you find congregating to the higher levels of emergency management in local governments isn’t that which you’d want to make calls about risk involving potential loss of life. There is documentary evidence to prove this guy’s f***ing incompetence and hubris on any television screen.
Only now, days after landfall, with the predicted massive flooding and follow-on cresting of reservoirs happening, is Turner reacting.
Not done with flooding even if the skies clear. Water coming off reservoirs, lakes, rivers means potential new flooding. #HarveyFlood
— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) August 29, 2017
But don’t worry, politics is always at the top of Turner’s list.
Turner, a Democrat, addressed the city’s immigrant community in a press conference on Monday morning, urging residents to put Texas’ Senate Bill 4 — which outlaws sanctuary cities — “on the shelf“ as emergency workers focus on rescue and recovery missions in the flood-torn city.
The whole “false rumor” of illegal aliens being checked was concocted as a political stunt.
We will not ask for immigration status or papers from anyone at any shelter. This rumor is FALSE!
— City of Houston (@HoustonTX) August 29, 2017
This is the mayor who has to rely on the New York Times and CNN to defend his non-evacuation decision. He is very, very fortunate that citizens from all over Texas and Louisiana responded to personally rescue those who were trapped. He’s very, very fortunate that the storm stalled in the Gulf of Mexico and didn’t turn north or east faster so that this army (and Cajun Navy) of citizen heroes could swing into action.
Turner dodged a bullet by nature’s fickle fate or God’s grace. The death toll could have been much, much higher due to his negligence and rejection of sound advice.
But don’t worry, Senate Bill 4 is on the back burner and illegal aliens can get free legal advice from the award-winning “grandstanding idiot” of Texas.
[Note: To be fair, Turner was asked by a reporter about the “rumor.” But the press is ever-liberal and ever-ready to supply an opportunity. Contrast this with how they treat Ted Cruz.]