Councilman Clayton Perry Says Flambeau Faux Pas Was Accidental

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Councilman Clayton Perry (D10), who is running for re-election, waves to the crowd during the Fiesta Flambeau parade.

Fiesta parades in San Antonio strive to remain above the political fray, but city electoral politics rolled into the Fiesta Flambeau parade Saturday in the form of a utility vehicle carrying Councilman Clayton Perry (D10) and displaying re-election campaign signs.

Several attendees seated in Alamo Plaza and other areas along the parade route informally complained to officials about the councilman’s appearance in the parade, said Bonnie Carrisal, president of the Fiesta Flambeau Parade Association, which organizes the event.

Carrisal said Perry, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was informed that the signs and his presence were not allowed in the parade, but he was seen by many along the route waving to crowds.

Perry, who is completing his first term on City Council and faces four challengers in the May 4 election, said no one told him to leave or escorted him away from the parade.

“If somebody would have said something to me, I definitely would have corrected. … That did not happen,” he told the Rivard Report on Tuesday.

“I had no idea that was going to be an issue,” said Perry.

Perry said he did not arrive at the parade expecting to join the event. He said the police union asked him to help hand out “a lot of water and a lot of tacos” to officers downtown along the parade route, and the vehicle entered the route to do that. Someone suggested that he put campaign signs on the vehicle, he said.

If it looked like a coordinated political campaign move, he said, “it wasn’t meant to be that way, and I apologize.”

Rivard Report staff observed Perry’s vehicle cruising in the parade, but did not witness parade staff speaking with him or the vehicle’s other occupants.

Linda Skop, the parade director, recalled telling the four men in the vehicle, including Perry, that politicians aren’t allowed in the parade. They said they were just passing out water, Skop said. “‘That’s fine,’ I said, ‘but you can’t be in the parade.'”

It isn’t uncommon for elected officials to try to find ways to appear on a group’s float, Skop and Carrisal said, but only the mayor is invited as a courtesy to represent the City of San Antonio. Parade volunteers are stationed along the route to make sure there aren’t any extra people – elected or not – hopping in, Carrisal said.

“It seems that every year there are one or two elected officials/candidates who jump into a parade unannounced, and the parade organizations do what they can to get that activity to cease immediately,” said Amy Shaw, executive director of the Fiesta Commission.

Carrisal said she hopes this incident will serve notice to other elected officials seeking a spot in the parade. “We do not allow it,” she said.

The parade is about celebration of culture and the City, Carrisal said. “Our limelight is what goes down the street, not politics.”

The parade association is considering sending Perry a letter outlining its policies and guidelines, she said.

No official complaints have been filed with the City, according to a City spokeswoman.

12 thoughts on “Councilman Clayton Perry Says Flambeau Faux Pas Was Accidental

  1. Are you really freaking serious? If that’s the case then the Mayor should not be allowed to be in the parade as well. In my view he’s not a good representive of the city! He’s the last person who should be in the parade. Look at how he has divide this city! Looks like the liberal rag is just irritated that certain council people have the backing of the police and fire unions! Try and report real news!

    • I hope that any candidate that has the backing of the police and fire unions loses big. The crooked unions have already done enough to this city and have cost the taxpayers a fortune.

      I hope the unions get their ears pinned back next Tuesday.

      • Actually it’s Saturday sir! I will always support police and fire unions. Who will you call when you are in trouble? I doubt the Mayor will go and rescue you!

        • You support police and fire unions? Sounds like a terrible idea. You really should be supporting police officers and firefighters. Hate to break it to you, but your boy Brockhouse will go down in epic fashion on Saturday.

  2. Why such a big deal about Perry appearing at the Flambeau Parade with his campaign sign. The only problem I would see is if he did not make a financial contribution to the organization. Why no one is complaing about Mayor appearing at the River Parade with the song “Volver, Volver” in the background, as the sound of the city council boat? I was surprised with the political environment, politicians did not block Chick-Fil A have a float car at the parade.

  3. The mayor should not have been allowed to ride in the parade either. His not a good representative of our city. Allow all or allow no one.

  4. Any sitting Mayor of any City is the de facto representative of that City. That’s just common knowledge and practice.
    Is it a crime or scandal or big deal that Perry jumped in the band wagon so to speak? Not really… But it is rude and dismissive to the Parade’s organizers and their long standing policy. As a parade volunteer, I came to serve those who ordinarily serve us, Mr. Perry seemed to have only served himself.

  5. Accidental? I think not. He knew deep down inside, but he thought he could get away with it. What else does he think he can “get away with”. If an ordinary citizen did this they would either ticketed, fined, or arrested. At the very least he would be fined.

    • Perry has a person in his office, a transgender male with a beard—super nice guy. I’ve talked to him before. He’s been around for many years and knows the rules. Perry can’t say he didn’t know because his staff guy would definitely have told him.
      PS: Kudos for Perry for hiring diverse people.

    • Kellis, That is not Clayton Perry’s character at all. He is honorable and has high integrity. Look at his voting record, speaks for itself. You have certainly let everyone know the type of person you are. I will stick with Councilman Perry. He represents “ALL” of his constituents no matter political affiliation.

  6. It seems that the parade director, parade nonprofit chair, and Fiesta Commission are willing to let things slide and it shows a lack of authenticity and knowledge of how to run an event without letting politicians get in during an election season. It’s embarrassing for the city and really is against the idea of a nonprofit being nonpolitical. One has to wonder if he also made the television coverage…. but with the size of crowd at the event, it shows partisanship. If the police union was involved, why did they not have a sign showing what they were doing for the police working?

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