Friday, July 11, 2014

Julian Castro as HUD chief is a fox guarding a henhouse

Julian Castro as next HUD Czar would be good for San Antonio; bad for the United States

Twins Rep, Joaquin and Mayor Julian Castro | PHOTO CREDIT: Public Domain
Twins Rep, Joaquin and Mayor Julian Castro | PHOTO CREDIT: Public Domain

Various news outlets already started circulating indications that Obama may tap San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julian Castro as his next Housing and Urban Development (HUD) czar. As of May 19, 2014, Obama still has yet to officially nominate Castro. Castro has yet to officially accept the nomination. However, there are strong indications that the nod it in the works.

Castro still needs to be vetted and cleared. They will screen his background to make sure that no outstanding issues are lurking that may prevent his confirmation. Castro is a Democratic National Committee golden-boy, so he is a likely shoe-in. In addition, Castro requires a security clearance code-named “Yankee White”. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the FBI are likely doing the background checks already. But they take a few weeks, even if expedited.

Castro’s appointment would be good for San Antonio. For one, it wold prevent Castro from seeking another term as Mayor. Another thing it will do is make it more difficult for Castro’s light-rail plans to come to fruition and cost city residents millions of dollars each year for a project that is doomed to fail before the first train runs. The move will save Castro some political face on a national scale. However, fiscal conservatives in Bexar County, Texas won’t soon forget it.

This will be the second San Antonio mayor to hold such a federal position. The last one, Henry Cisneros, left office amid scandal. Cisneros resigned and plead guilty to paying off a former mistress, partially with taxpayer funds, then lying about it.  Could this be history repeating itself?

Take a look at Castro.

First, his twin brother is the US Representative for the congressional district serving west and southwest San Antonio. The two identical twins already have a history of standing in for one another, attempting to dupe the public. Their blatant and unapologetic public deceptions should be reason enough to end their careers. Instead, the documented incident is laughed about as an anecdotal urban legend.

The Castro administration’s track record on HUD is less than exemplary. Most “section 8″ housing includes what are known as morality clauses. These clauses state that any arrests on suspicion of felonious activity results in termination of housing. Yet many San Antonio police officers avoid these housing areas, especially at night. Rumors and tales of residents’ 911 calls originating from these areas sitting on hold for more than 10 minutes, or operators not even answering the calls. Of course, these are mostly rumors, though San Antonio’s 9-1-1 long response times and operators’ negligence is documented.

Further, the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank audited Castro and city planners for misuse of National Stabilization Program category one (NSP-1) funds. From 2009-2011, under Castro, the city awarded over $2.5 million in HUD contracts in violation of federal regulations. By law, contracts must be subject to a competitive bidding process. The contracts were awarded without opening the jobs to auction or accepting any bids.

In addition, as this communication indicates, the city awarded renovation contracts then sold properties without providing proper documentation or notifications. Castro is not named, directly, in the report. The HUD IG did not investigate further because the Castro Administration claimed it did not have proper guidance for allocating these funds, but had to do so within 18 months.

However, the Julian Castro and his city managers have a history of awarding no-bid contracts. Former Telecommunications Manager John Foddrill found a revolving fund in his department. While auditing the account, per his duties and responsibilities, Foddrill found discrepancies. The fund, nicknamed “the variable”, was established as a means to pay the city’s telephone and internet bills from a consolidated account. However, Foddrill discovered contract payments for work unrelated to communications infrastructure or service billed to the fund. As he dug deeper, he was threatened to leave the account alone and stop his audit. Eventually, Foddrill was fired then banned from city properties. He was not allowed to attend city council meetings, meet with his city council representatives, or even conduct routine business required of most citizens.

Foddrill wasn’t the only former city worker treated in such a manner. Micheal Cuellar discovered issues with funding and the city’s 9-1-1 system. When he attempted to blow the whistle on the problems, he also received a restraining order prohibiting him from visiting city hall or other city properties. Cuellar sued the city. His suit resulted in both his and Foddrill’s restraining orders being overturned. The San Antonio city council passed an ordinance to settle for $90,000. The settlement begs questions leading to rumors the city settled to avoid having evidence of graft and corruption from seeing a courtroom.

It appears that Police Chief William McManus and City Attorney Michael Bernard regularly employ a tactic of threats, intimidation, and unconventional restraining orders to silence whistle-blowers and protect Castro.
Another issue to consider regarding Castro and HUD includes his actions and ideology on illegal immigration and border security issues. Castro’s mother was a high-ranking member of the Hispanic supremacist group “La Raza Unida”. La Raza uses critical race theory to push a narrative that claims “racial equality” for Latinos. The name itself means “the race united”. However, the group regularly supports a Latino takeover of the government and racially segregating, collectivist left-wing extremism. The group, and Castro, support amnesty. They support open borders that would allow any currently illegal immigrant to freely enter the US and benefit from US taxpayer-funded social programs. Castro’s mother once worked for the city of San Antonio Housing Authority.

Castro has enabled San Antonio becoming a de facto “sanctuary city”. The city rarely actively participates in taking action against illegal aliens. Castro has made statements regarding providing taxpayer-funded housing to illegal immigrants, among other taxpayer-funded services. Castro pushed for city-wide tax increases, including an increase in sales taxes, to fund the “Pre-K SA” program, designed to provide schooling to so-called “anchor-babies” and “dreamers”. Anchor-babies are US-born children of illegal aliens. The children are, by law, US citizens. Dreamers are illegal aliens who entered the US, illegally, as young children, usually infants, who were too young to decide to jump the border of their own free will. In recent years, Texas has experienced a sharp increase in minors illegally entering the US, many of them from Central and South America, known as OTM (Other Than Mexican) illegals. The so-called “DREAM” act may be responsible for this influx. Castro is a strong supporter of the DREAM act.

Should Julian Castro be appointed and confirmed as Obama’s next HUD Czar, it would be good for San Antonio. San Antonio may replace him with a more conservative mayor, even if that mayor is the more moderate-leaning democrat Ivy Taylor. With his place among the left-wing cult of personality, where lies and smiles mean more than actions and morals, Castro will fit right in with Obama’s cabinet. That would be bad for the United States.