Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Aloysius Chronicles, Part V: In Which We Catch the Doofus Houston Councilman from Pearland in Another String of, Um, Fabrications, All Documented.

Please read closely, for context and meaning, in case the State Board of Education one day mandates that Texas schoolchildren study the inspiring story of Aloysius D. Hoang:

More from the public record regarding the new city councilman from District F, Al Hoang, a man of many names and many addresses, who, as reported here back on Dec. 13, was not even eligible to vote in the district he now “represents” until Oct. 16, less than three weeks before the Nov. 3 general election, in which Hoang advanced to a runoff that he won on Dec. 12. Here’s how Hoang, who now claims to reside in a dwelling at 4403 Bugle in District F (which he acquired in March 2009 from a person who was listed as a campaign staffer) tried to explain away this nagging fact to the Houston Chronicle in a story published on Dec. 28:
In his e-mail [to the Chronicle] Monday, [Hoang] said he sent the Harris County voter registrar a form with his new address in May 2008 and went to the office in person to change it after learning his prior address, in Council District G, was still listed as his voting address.
“Maybe it got lost in the mail,” Hoang said.
Maybe it got lost in the mail. That appears to be the Hoang M.O.––blame somebody else when you get ensnared in your own tangled web of deceit. In this case, Hoang would be blaming either the U.S. Postal Service--a screw-up by that entity is certainly not out of the realm of possibility––or, should the mail service have come through, the office of the Harris County tax assessor-collector, which we believe is rated much higher in competence and customer satisfaction than the post office.

But neither is actually to blame, because on this matter Al Hoang is lying, if we could be so blunt. Hoang did indeed apply to change his voter-registration address in May 2008, but the application did not get lost in the mail. As you can see here, records of the Harris County Tax Office show that in May 2008 Hoang switched his registration address to 10001 Westpark, Apt. 83, in city council District G, where he remained registered to vote until he finally got around to changing it to 4403 Bugle, deep into his campaign and just before the election. Prior to this 2008 switch, Hoang’s voting-purpose address was 9527 Almeda Bent Ct. in Houston. At the time he was registered to vote there, he also was a homestead-exmeption-claiming owner of record of a home at 2702 Sunfish in Pearland in Brazoria County. The switch in voter-registration address in May 2008 came after Hoang lost a March 4 Republican primary race for a Harris County district judgeship* (at a time he was a homestead-exemption-claiming homeowner in Brazoria County, etc.). Hoang transferred full ownership of the Pearland home to his wife on March 5, 2008.

Hoang was also a homestead-exemption-claiming Brazoria County homeowner of record when he ran for and lost a race for an at-large Houston City Council position in 2003. On his campaign finance reports for that effort––which, curiously, did list dates for his contributions and expenditures, unlike his 2009 reports––he claimed an address of 1900 North Loop West #500, a businesss address of Hoang’s.**

So how did Hoang “learn” that he was still registered in District G when he was running for the Distrct F seat? We can’t say definitively, but he question of Hoang’s residency was already being raised when he applied for the change on Sept. 16, 2009. In fact, on Sept. 28 another candidate in the District F race, Robert Kane, filed a complaint with the city’s Chapter 18 Ethics Committee (not the council’s Ethics Committee) challenging the residency bona fides of Hoang, Hoang’s fellow campaign-finance scofflaw Khalid Khan, and another candidate, Joe Chow (whom Kane later removed from his complaint after Chow made a correction in appraisal district property records). As shown here, the Ethics Committee did not rule on the merits of Kane’s complaint but concluded on Oct. 29 that it was "without jurisdiction” to consider his claims and that “the City Council shall be the judge of the elections and qualifications of council members.”

We're pretty confident that neither of the city's ethics committees would be moved to do much about Hoang should someone complain at this late date (after all, the voters in District F--the people, yes!--have spoken, few as they were). However, as noted on the applications we all must complete and sign to take part in the democratic process, it is perjruy under both federal and state law to procure voter registration by giving false information. So if some eager young assistant district attorney or assistant U.S. attorney is looking for the easily-removable scalp of an elected official, we’d say: Look no further than City Councilman Aloysius D. Hoang!

*Not only did Hoang illegally seek this position, he also got in trouble with the Texas Ethics Commission for failing to file timely campaign finance reports. He was assessed a $500 fine for missing the report due Feb. 4, 2008, although the commission staff recommended waiver of that penalty, and another $1,500 for missing the report due on Feb. 25, a penalty reduced to $600 by recommendation of the oh-so-tough staff.

**In between making his illegal bids for Houston city council and a state district judgeship, Hoang dug into is pocket to
to contribute $220 to the Republican National Committee on Jan. 26, 2006––using the Pearland address where he actually lived/lives. Despite this show of loyalty to the Republican Party, Hoang did not bother to vote for John McCain in the 2008 general election, or anybody else, according to the sign-in book of Precinct 566, after he went to the trouble of changing his voting address to the condo he owns in City Council District G.

Photo above: Hoang does Sinatra: “Yes, there were times/I’m sure you knew/When I bit off more than I could chew.” Photo ripped off from somewhere on the Internet and used without permission.

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