Does Greg Travis remove opponent panels?
A video is circulating on Facebook of an individual removing a political sign from Shelley Barineau. I understand that other media have/are covering this story, but I have been overwhelmed with the court for the past two days so I have not watched other media reports yet. Although the image quality is not crystal clear, looking at the individual in the video and comparing it to the campaign webpage and Travis’ Facebook page leaves no doubt that the individual in the video is Mr. Travis.
How can we tell the individual is Mr. Travis? His campaign webpage features a photo of him in an almost identical outfit. A side-by-side of the video and her photo from her campaign webpage are strikingly similar. Also noteworthy is the walking boot on the right lower limb, and an image from Mr. Travis’ Facebook page shows a similar walking boot on the right lower limb. I cannot distinguish the license plate of the vehicle from the video, but even without that information, it appears that the individual in the video is Mr. Travis.
We’re in the midst of a crime wave in Houston, and a lot of the campaign themes that are being used — regardless of race — have to do with runaway crime in Harris County. For a prominent Republican to allegedly act in this way not only undermines the message of the crime, but creates an opening for Democrats to point out how Republicans are not acting in accordance with our beliefs.
Sign wars are stupid, mean-spirited behavior not befitting a chosen one at any level. It’s worse when it happens in a cycle where criminal behavior is the drumbeat that fuels the cycle. This harms all our candidates.
Besides hurting the overall message for the Harris County election, this type of behavior is not the type of behavior we want an elected official to exhibit. Character matters. If this individual is in fact Mr. Travis, this is the latest example of a concerning trend of character issues.
A simple Google search will show Mr. Travis’ statements about Michelle Obama. Apart from that, there was a very low, unnecessary conflict between his staff and me when I ran for the board of HISD. I called to ask about his endorsement of one of my opponents, and without trying to figure out who I was, they just said “you need to be with Bert Keller” and disconnected the call. Later, my campaign receives the text below.
Not knowing if the story was true is odd since the endorsement came out after the Chronicle endorsement that covered the story. But, giving the benefit of the doubt, people make honest mistakes. When someone makes a mistake, they go back and correct the mistake and their subsequent behavior demonstrates the honesty of the mistake or a change in behavior. Here, there is a longitudinal history of the suspicious behavior. Do we really want someone like that in Austin? In a second round where they can be in Austin?
The circumstances also raise interesting external considerations. The evidence is strong that the individual involved is Mr. Travis. Character matters, and Mr. Travis has important endorsements. Will the individuals and organizations that endorsed Mr. Travis withdraw their endorsement? This is a question that is already being asked behind the scenes and something to watch.
Full disclosure: Bert Keller, as mentioned above, is one of Mr. Travis’ opponents and served as my campaign treasurer last year.