Blogs » Paradigm Shifter » Recount Retrospection

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First, let me congratulate Emett Alvarez on his super-official victory. May his legacy be built upon sound, upright, humble decisions and not upon monuments to government largesse and cascades of unintended consequences.
Next, I offer my best wishes to Denise Rangel in her future endeavors. I have no doubt she'll continue to leave her mark on the community. Her real, hands-on impact won't be hindered in the least. The best community actions are those performed voluntarily by motivated citizens using their own power & volition, not those funneled through government. Finally, I'd like to distill the recount down and address the most troubling part. There's no denying that Rangel submitted a shoddy petition, and I busted her chops pretty good for it, but the real culprit in this ordeal is the legally-designated recount supervisor, Mayor Will Armstrong. Not only did he not notify Rangel of the glaring defects in her petition in the required time, he approved it a day early. When Alvarez did the Mayor's job by pointing out the defects that insufficiently ordered a full recount, the Mayor avoided responsibility by violating the Texas Election Code by amending the petition beyond the prescribed 48-hour review window. This made Rangel a potential victim of the recount supervisor. However, I felt no compassion for Rangel because she didn't acknowledge she'd been hosed by Armstrong (or anyone she deemed responsible)—assuming she discerned as much. There wasn't a shred of humility in the Mayor's response letter, and it was only by virtue of his generosity and "abundance of respect for the electoral process" (and "both candidates") that he considered Alvarez's objections and allowed Rangel's amendment. This is the height of arrogance in the face of blatant culpability. He was ultimately responsible for the review of the petition, and the City Attorney was only a resource at his disposal. I believe Armstrong's actions & attitude during this process are a microcosm of his tenure as Mayor, and I look forward to being served by someone in that position whose tendencies are governed by a genuine, deep-seated respect for the law and those he/she serves. Until then, I'll just watch him squirm while being on the other side of 4-to-3.