Throwing Shade, Religious Surveillance, Risky Business


Ted Cruz does not understand religious liberty.
Ted Cruz does not understand religious liberty.

Throwing Shade

The San Antonio Police Officer's Association wants the department's leader, William McManus, to resign.

In a no-confidence vote last week, the SAPOA claims 97 percent of police officers said they do not trust the chief, who has pushed for police reform and rescinded the indefinite suspension of an officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man in early February.

At a press conference on the steps of City Hall following the vote, where McManus was surrounded by city officials and a handful of police officers, he called the union's vote illegitimate, accusing SAPOA of manipulating the truth and lying to its own members.

SAPOA President Mike Helle responded by saying McManus is destroying the police department.

"The facts are plain and simple. The City Manager [Sheryl Sculley] continues to misstate the truth and Chief McManus is complicit in her actions that are destroying the San Antonio Police Department," Helle said in a press release. "Mayor [Ivy] Taylor, City Manager Sheryl Sculley, and now Chief McManus have chosen to ignore the voice of nearly 2,000 officers."

Oh, did we mention that the SAPOA is involved in a prolonged collective bargaining conflict and that the City has sued the union over an evergreen clause in its contract?

Religious Surveillance

Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz says he's all about religious liberty. After all, now that same-sex couples can marry, the attack on the Christian right is more explosive than ever. God-fearing Christians should never have to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. And bigot county clerks should never ever have to issue a marriage license to a lesbian couple, even if the Supreme Court did rule that same-sex access to legal marriage is a Constitutional right.

Religious liberty to only bake cakes for Christian couples should trump Supreme Court rulings.

Those views are hook, line and sinker for Cruz.

So, it's amazing, but not surprising, that after a terrible terrorist attack in Brussels, Cruz called for surveillance of all Muslim communities in the United States.

"We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized," Cruz said.

So much for that whole religious liberty thing, eh, Ted? Oh, wait, he never really meant that stuff anyway. Cruz just hates the gays, but clearly not as much as he disdains America's Muslims. If that was the case, he would have called for increased patrols of Christian cake shops to keep them out.

Risky Business

The controversial 142-mile Vista Ridge Pipeline is still afloat, even though Spanish company Abengoa, which was charged with building the lauded pipeline that would secure the future of San Antonio's water, is facing bankruptcy proceedings.

During Mayor Ivy Taylor's State of the City address, she announced that Abengoa's construction partner, Garney Construction, was taking control of all decision-making authority and would purchase 80 percent of the project equity from the beleaguered company.

Meanwhile, the Save Our Springs Alliance filed a lawsuit in Travis County District Court against the Central Texas Regional Water Supply Corporation, seeking to overrule an attorney general's ruling in favor of that organization, denying a public information request for documents regarding land condemnation of private land for the Vista Ridge Pipeline and pump stations, as well as basic info like meeting minutes.

"A private company has created this water supply corporation to get the benefits of a public entity, namely eminent domain, yet when the public requests access to information as straight forward as meeting minutes, the Corporation tries to hide from the open records law," says Lauren Ice, a staff attorney with the Save Our Springs Alliance.

The Central Texas Regional Water Supply Corporation four-member board's majority are affiliated with Abengoa.

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