Is a statement about a fellow candidate for elected office a smear if the statement is the truth? Or is it simply the truth? A story has surfaced about a candidate in the Houston Controller's race by way of another candidate.
Controller candidate Ronald Green and his wife, Hilary, a Justice of the Peace have two IRS liens against them for unpaid taxes. The liens amount to $120,043.11, according to public documents brought to light by Texas Watchdog. The site says the taxes are owed back to 2002.
When asked about this, Green said he wasn't trying to hide anything - he just hadn't been asked about it. "No one asked, but it is not a secret." Well, no it is not a secret. Now. Thanks to Texas Watchdog and their much needed service of shining sunshine on politicians.
Green says he is disputing the liens and owes them due to the fact he "restated his income", according to Texas Watchdog. Thus, a greater tax liability.
Green accuses the campaign of fellow Controller candidate Pam Holm of a political smear. True that her campaign is alerting voters of this inconvenient truth of Green's but it is hardly a smear if it is the truth. And, Texas Watchdog posted the story on their website, a story written by Steve Miller. The website provides the reader copies of the documents. And, verifies that County Clerk Beverly Kaufman's office stamped the liens on June 24 and July 7.
This is the City Controller race. This is the candidate who boasts of a law degree and a newly acquired MBA. He is a sitting At-Large council member. This is not his first political campaign. Instead of blaming another candidate in the race, he should have apologized for his lack of total disclosure with the Houston voters. He should have disclosed this matter upfront and let the voter decide if he is the one to be in the office of the Controller. He is not a victim here.
Elected officials are held to a higher standard. Elected officials are not above the law, nor are they above regular taxpaying citizens. Honesty and integrity are essential for public trust.