Some say that things come in threes, others say that when it rains it pours. Right about now, I'm tending to believe the latter as opposed to the former.
Over the past couple of weeks, three major scandals have rocked the Obama administration: the truth about Benghazi with the tragic loss of US lives, spying on the Associated Press reporters, and the IRS abusing special interest groups with beliefs that are contrary to the current administration.
The fourth scandal, which we will term HUDgate for now, reflects the curious and otherwise unexplainable behavior of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. As part of the Westchester County Affordable Housing Settlement, the county has submitted six separate successive analyses of impediments to fair housing. The required analysis is intended to identify zoning in Westchester County that is discriminatory to particular racial groups.
I had the opportunity to repeatedly ask the federal monitor James Johnson several weeks ago if he was able to identify any zoning in Westchester County that he found was discriminatory. He answered that he has not had enough time to complete his analysis. I then asked, is it then possible that County Executive Astorino’s assertion that there is no zoning in Westchester County that is racially discriminatory is indeed accurate. Mr. Johnson did not answer the question. (I've also asked every county legislator to identify to me any zoning in their legislative district that is discriminatory. To date: zero responses).
As time goes on, it is becoming increasingly apparent that US HUD is taking on the same position as the Anti-Discrimination Center, the plaintiff in the origin of the 2009 Affordable Housing Settlement, that any zoning anywhere in Westchester County, in absolutely any neighborhood, that does not allow high-density, high-rise housing, is discriminatory.
The Obama administration apparently felt comfortable with using the IRS to target and harass organizations that have opinions contrary to theirs, such as fiscal discipline and the integrity of the U.S. Constitution. The extremely antagonistic approach US HUD has taken towards Westchester County seems to lack basis in reality. If we were to find out that US HUD’s actions toward the county had political motivations because the County Executive happens to be an individual who promotes fiscal discipline, believes in the integrity of the U.S. Constitution, and just happens to be a rapidly rising star in the Republican Party, who exactly would be surprised?
As a hard-working taxpayer, I am more than extremely disappointed to watch my federal government strip away my constitutionally-granted rights. The premise that zoning in Westchester County is designed to create racial segregation is scurrilous. That US HUD bureaucrats in Washington, DC can eliminate local home rule to advance their “grand social experiment” will eventually be looked back on as one of the more disgraceful abuses of power of this governmental millennium.
It would be poetic justice if any of the Associated Press journalists who were inappropriately targeted and wiretapped, investigated this HUDgate scandal and uncovered the truth that Westchester County is indeed being inappropriately targeted and harassed because some of us believe in fiscal responsibility and the integrity of the U.S. Constitution. When proven and eventually reported on nationally, the evidence of scandal flooding will temporarily discourage us once again. Ultimately, however, we must believe that the disclosure of the truth will eventually lead us to honest representation by our elected officials. We should settle for nothing less.