On Tuesday, the Texas Attorney General’s office denied The Monitor’s request for the City of McAllen to disclose how much they paid Enrique Iglesias for his performance at December’s Christmas Parade concert.
The City of McAllen argued that it has a significant interest (legal concept) in economic development and remaining competitive in attracting other similar performers in the future to help benefit McAllen’s ability to attract vendors, sponsors, and attendees to turn a profit for the city.
From the ruling:
What that means, simply, is let’s say the City of McAllen offers Enrique Iglesias, ohh I don’t know, $500,000 to perform again and that information becomes public via open records request, who’s to stop State Farm Arena (who doesn’t have to disclose how much they pay their performers because they are a private entity) from offering $600,000 and constantly out-bidding the city of McAllen every time they make public how much they plan to pay for performers? This, in effect, puts the City of McAllen at a competitive disadvantage against State Farm Arena, Clayton’s, Pharr Event Center, etc.
The shit of it is that, obviously, you’re dealing with ALOT taxpayer money getting thrown around and now the City of McAllen has found one hell of a loophole to keep that money hidden. It means that as long as any money spent is labeled as an expense dealing with keeping the city “business competitive,” we’ll never see receipts for any of those. All we can do is speculate whether or not McAllen officials will abuse what Ken Paxton’s office just anointed them with.
Dark money and Valley politics.
What can possibly go wrong?