Lewis Rosen’s recent guest column (“Editor missed the point on GHA,” The Daily News, June 17) makes the best case yet for why Mr. Rosen is unfit to lead our City. His entire campaign is nothing more than an attack on Galveston’s plans to build affordable housing. In his final guest column on the subject he completely blew his credibility.
I’m going to call Lewis Rosen out for spreading dangerous disinformation. Galveston faces enormous financial risk if we don’t get on with rebuilding our affordable housing stock, and there is a July 13, 2011 letter from HUD to prove it. Mr. Rosen literally denies the letter’s existence, citing “reliable sources.” Rhetoric is one thing; willful disregard for the facts is quite another.
In his recent column (“There are bounds on the GHA discussion,” The Daily News, June 14) Heber Taylor wrote about the City’s obligation to keep its promise to rebuild affordable housing in exchange for $700 million in federal disaster funds. Mr. Taylor quoted the HUD letter, signed by three HUD Assistant Secretaries, warning Galveston of the consequences of accepting over $100 million so far to improve private homes and city infrastructure, and not coming through on our part of the deal.
Responding to Mr. Taylor’s column, Lewis Rosen wrote: “Reliable sources in the city council and city administration said they know of no such letter.” It’s clear from his column that Mr. Rosen believes the letter doesn’t exist; he has “reliable sources” on City Council and in the City Administration that have told him so. Those are his words, and we are entitled to take him at his written word, especially when he submits them for publication under his own name.
I’ve written MYTH vs. FACT columns before, and now it’s clear another one is in order. FACT: The HUD Letter in question was not only received officially by the Mayor on July 13, 2011 – nearly a year ago – it was then sent via email to every City Councilmember, the acting City Manager, the City Attorney, the City Secretary, the Director of Grants and Housing, the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners and the Daily News City beat reporter and Editor. Daily News writer Amanda Cassanova wrote a story about the strongly-worded letter the following day (“HUD: City has ‘Commitment’ to rebuild,” The Daily News, July 14, 2011). A copy of the HUD letter was placed on the Daily News website that same day; it generated several reader comments. A copy of the letter was broadcast throughout the community, and it was widely discussed.
This causes us to wonder why Mr. Rosen, a candidate for mayor, would question the letter’s existence now.
I don’t know of anyone who reasonably questions the letter’s existence. In fact, the Daily News re-published the letter for all to see on its website last week in Heber Taylor June 14 blog “What Would HUD Do.”
I don’t know who Mr. Rosen is speaking to, but he and they are dangerously uninformed.