It appears that Greg Windham, Democratic candidate for County Commissioner Precinct 3, is getting under the skin of the GOP Commissioners Court. So much so that County Judge Dan Gattis, Sr., interrupted him while he was speaking and asked him to leave the Commissioners Court meeting podium on Tuesday, (See clarification by Greg Windham in Comments). Going so far as to threaten him with contempt.
On his blog Windham states he was told there was “to be no political ‘campaigning’ during citizens comments” and was threatened with contempt if he did not leave. Reading over the WCCC’s Rules of Procedure, Conduct & Decorum, political campaigning is not specifically mentioned as being against the rules. Here’s what it say Section IV:
E. It is not the intention of the Williamson County Commissioners Court to provide a public forum for the demeaning of any individual or group. Neither is it the intention of the Court to allow a member (or members) of the public to insult the honesty and/or integrity of the Court, as a body, or any member or members of the Court, individually or collectively. Accordingly, profane, insulting or threatening language directed toward the Court and/or any person in the Court’s presence and/or racial, ethnic or gender slurs or epithets will not be tolerated.
It would appear that these vague rules have been interpreted to include a commissioners opponent speaking at court meetings. And, of course, how these “new” rules would be interpreted was a concern from the beginning. From yesterday’s actions it’s pretty clear that the commissioners no longer want to allow Greg Windham to speak at their meetings, and they’ll use their rules to make sure he doesn’t. Here’s what he would have said had our elected officials allowed him to exercise is First Amendment Right.