(Houston, TX) – Today, mayoral candidate Ben Hall sent a letter to Ms. Annise Parker inviting her to join him in supporting a comprehensive reform package to eradicate the corrupt pay-to-play practices rampant in the City of Houston. Following last week’s discovery of Ms. Parker handing out $65 million in taxpayer funded contracts in exchange for $1 million in political campaign contributions this election cycle, it is clear that something must be done to stop this corrupt behavior.
Hall has outlined a 10-point ethics plan and has pledged his commitment to end pay-to-play. Ms. Parker has remained silent on this issue and has failed to bring forward meaningful solutions. For the good of all Houstonians, the Hall campaign encourages Ms. Parker to join us in support of these proposals.
The letter is attached and included below along with the new ethics rules to end corruption at City Hall. Now we wait for Ms. Parker to break her silence on at least one issue relevant to Houstonians this election.
October 2, 2013
Mayor Annise Parker,
It is evident that the City of Houston has become victim to rampant pay-to-play practices. This corrupt behavior should not be tolerated at any level of government. We must set an example here in Houston and open up the doors of City Hall to all Houstonians and foster a transparent process so that taxpayers are kept fully aware of how their tax dollars are being spent.
It is shameful for any individual or business to contribute money to a candidate and receive a lucrative reward in return. I believe that we must hold all our elected officials to the highest ethical standards.
Last week I committed to supporting policies that will eradicate these corrupt pay-to-play practices. I invite you to join me in supporting this comprehensive reform package that will increase transparency and remove the corrupt element. These policies include:
1. Two-year moratorium on accepting campaign contributions after vendors receive city contracts.
2. Two-year moratorium on accepting campaign contributions from municipal appointees.
3. A candidate may not accept any contributions over $250.00 from an officer, director, or employee of a city contractor.
4. When a contract is awarded or a person appointed, all campaign contributions given by that individual and/or company during the previous municipal election cycle must be disclosed immediately.
5. Two-year moratorium on any city employees registering as a lobbyist or working for a lobbying firm.
6. Require lobbyists to file reports and create a searchable online database showing information like names of companies they lobby for, amount paid, amount spent, amount spent on contributions, etc.
7. No gifts will be accepted by the Mayor within the six months preceding an election.
8. Create a searchable online database of city contracts awarded by all departments.
9. Create a searchable city check register available online.
10. Increased accountability through improving search capability for ethics reports.
I have enclosed these new ethics rules and my signature as a formal commitment to the implementation of these policies. I believe it would be in the best interest of all Houstonians for you to join me in support.
Benjamin L. Hall, III
Pol. Adv. Paid for by All for Hall Committee, William A. Lawson and Alvin Zimmerman, Treasurers. 4669 Southwest Freeway Houston, TX 77027