On Thursday's episode of "Pat Gray Unleashed," Pat Gray and Keith Malinak discussed a town hall meeting from 10 years ago that was captured on cellphone video by a woman from then-council member Beto O'Rourke's district calling him out for what appeared to be a conflict of interest.
What's the background?
Ten years ago, O'Rourke was a city council member and represented a Mexican-American neighborhood or "barrio" in the historic district of downtown El Paso, Texas.
William D. Sanders, a national real estate developer, and O'Rourke's father-in-law proposed a plan to the city to gentrify 300 acres of land, including some that was located in O'Rourke's district, according to the New York Times.
Sanders' plan aimed to acquire the land, which included the barrio using eminent domain, the Times reported. For the plan to be accepted by the city, the barrio residents would have to agree to turn their property holdings over to a private trust.
O'Rourke took on the task of pitching the plan to his constituents but was unsuccessful, according to the Times.
In the following weeks, O'Rourke's constituents expressed their disapproval of the plan. Some of whom accused him of having a conflict of interest because of his relationship with Sanders.
“Mr. O’Rourke was basically the pretty face of this very ugly plan against our most vulnerable neighborhoods,” David Dorado Romo, a local historian told the Times.
A group called Land Grab Opponents filed an official ethics complaint against O'Rourke with the city but the complaint was ultimately rejected, however, the complaint stirred enough controversy that O'Rourke elected to recuse himself from casting a vote for the plan when it was held by the committee.
Why does this story matter?
O'Rourke, who is running against incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz for the U.S. Senate seat, touts himself as being a man of the people, but the town hall meeting that was captured on video tells a different story.
Click here to watch the video.
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