Harris County Republican Party chair Jared Woodfill sent out an email blast Friday morning (above) attacking Houston Mayor Annise Parker for marrying her longtime partner, Kathy Hubbard. Woodfill is the one who’s suing Parker and the city over same-sex benefits:
Remember those illegal “same-sex” marriage benefits that were ruled unconstitutional and a violation of Texas Family Code some weeks ago? Mayor Parker apparently cannot take a hint, and is now upping the stakes, taking her liberal political agenda for City Hall to a whole new level. Mayor Parker is now in a position to pay herself these same benefits under the guise of her new “marriage.” The law, and now taxpayer money, evidently matters little to the Mayor of Houston. We will not allow this reckless and lawless behavior to continue. We will continue to fight Mayor Parker and her illegal actions. The Harris County Republican Party will always stand on principle regardless of who opposes us. Join us in this fight!
Woodfill’s email is misleading. The benefits weren’t ruled unconstitutional or illegal. Rather, a Republican family court judge issued a temporary restraining order after Woodfill went forum-shopping with his lawsuit. But then Parker and the city moved the case to federal court, where a judge declined to extend the restraining order. There has been no ruling as to the legality of the benefits.
Also, despite Woodfill’s claims, the news release from the city announcing Parker’s marriage specifically said that the mayor’s wife, Hubbard, doesn’t plan to sign up for city spousal benefits.
But for Woodfill, this isn’t about facts, it’s about politics. Woodfill is in a contested GOP primary against a well-funded, more moderate opponent, Paul Simpson. Part of me wants Woodfill to win, though, so he can continue to run the party into the ground.