Protesters, Supporters Sound Off as Brockhouse Denies Domestic Violence Allegations at Forum

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Audience members hold signs in support of their favorite candidate.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

Audience members hold signs in support of mayoral candidate Greg Brockhouse

Protesters disrupted a mayoral forum Tuesday night, shouting at Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6) and carrying posters decrying domestic violence. One woman yelled, “We read the report!”

Brockhouse supporters drowned out her voice: “Clear her out! Clear her out!”

The crowd at Travis Park Church grew tense and vocal as Brockhouse again denied domestic violence allegations contained in a pair of police reports, indicating the mayoral race’s recent contentious turn. Around 400 people attended the forum hosted by the Rivard Report and Travis Park Church, where both candidates fielded questions – in separate sessions – about transportation, homelessness, and Chick-fil-A.

Domestic violence has become an issue in the mayoral runoff, even as Brockhouse continues to defend himself, accusing Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s campaign of using “personal slander” as a political tool.

At a Rivard Report forum held in April, Brockhouse had avoided discussing two police reports in which he was the subject of domestic violence allegations, in 2006 and 2009. He was never arrested or charged in either alleged incident.

“It’s absolutely false,” he said Tuesday of the allegations. “ … I have been consistent that these accusations are false.”

Brockhouse promised to commit “full funding” to addressing domestic violence if elected. He also read a statement from his wife, Annalisa, following the publication of what the San Antonio Express-News said was a copy of the 2009 police report filed when a police officer responded to the Brockhouse home for a domestic violence call. Brockhouse has denied being involved in such an incident.

I have never been a victim before, but Ron Nirenberg has made he me feel like one with his constant attacks on my character, my family and my husband,” Brockhouse read on behalf of his wife. Annalisa sat in the audience, watching her husband.

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick, who moderated the event with Travis Park Church Associate Pastor Gavin Rogers, asked Brockhouse if he had the 2009 police report expunged. The San Antonio Police Department has said the 2009 report didn’t exist in City records.

“No,” he said. “The report is false.”

As the shouting grew louder from protesters inside the church and with Brockhouse supporters shouting back, Brockhouse thrust his hands forward.

“You wanted to hear me speak,” he said. “Now I’m speaking. Now you need to listen.”

Brockhouse answered questions posed by the moderators and audience members for nearly an hour.

Nirenberg’s turn came next. He said that a public figure’s private life can become relevant, especially when running for office.

“I think it’s fair to question someone’s ability to manage themselves,” Nirenberg said. “It’s fair to question someone’s moral fiber when you’re vying to lead a city of a million and a half people.”

Nirenberg defended his record as mayor, responding to one of Brockhouse’s most-repeated campaign lines: that he has accomplished little in his two-year term. Nirenberg pointed to ConnectSA, a comprehensive multimodal transportation plan that he intends to bring to the voters to approve. He said he does not support diverting money from the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program and from funds for creating linear creekway parks.

(From left) Iris Dimmick, Gavin Rogers, and Mayor Ron Nirenberg

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

(From left) Rivard Report Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick and Travis Park Church Associate Pastor Gavin Rogers talk with Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

Brockhouse said he would shelve both ConnectSA and the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan if elected. His solution to solving transportation woes in San Antonio lies in the hands of VIA Metropolitan Transit, he said.

“VIA has received less than half of the major transit authorities in Texas,” Brockhouse said. “We have to increase that … VIA is the answer for me. We have to increase that funding, find the mechanisms to make that happen.”

Both he and Nirenberg said they would continue to help fund nonprofit efforts to support asylum seekers passing through San Antonio, even if the federal government was unable to provide reimbursement. City Council recently approved up to $141,000 to go toward Catholic Charities and other organizations in San Antonio who provide food, shelter, and other services to migrants.

“Our job is not to ask, ‘When do we get ours back?’ It is, ‘What we can do to help?’” Nirenberg said. “This is a very small portion of funding that is being the private sector and being quadrupled by other nonprofits pitching in their time. … We’re not in the position to say let’s wait until the check cashes to give somebody food. We can’t do that.”

Brockhouse said he understands concerns from community members, but stressed that the migrants traveling through San Antonio are legally seeking asylum.

“The scary part for people is how long it’ll last, how much it’ll cost,” Brockhouse said. That doesn’t help any of [the migrants]. They’re here lawfully. They’re asylum seekers here lawfully.”

Brockhouse dismissed concerns that his relationship with the firefighters union would give the union the upper hand in contract negotiations. The union returned to the negotiating table with the City after five years of no discussion.

“My commitment is solid,” he said. “The taxpayer comes first and we will balance that accordingly. Public safety is job one, period. We need to make sure [firefighters] are compensated and taken care of.”

Brockhouse said he also wants to address San Antonio’s problem with homelessness by helping Haven for Hope develop a sustainable funding model, and to bring in more faith communities to tackle homelessness in San Antonio. Nirenberg said understanding the root causes of homelessness is key to helping those who struggle with it.

“If you talk to these folks and learn their stories, it is highly correlated with incidents of mental [illness], domestic violence, to substance abuse – all of these contribute to homelessness,” he said.

Early voting starts on May 28, and runs through June 4. Election day is June 8. Want to watch the forum? Check out the Rivard Report livestream here and here.

30 thoughts on “Protesters, Supporters Sound Off as Brockhouse Denies Domestic Violence Allegations at Forum

  1. Unfortunately, Nirenberg’s chicken came ahead of the egg when he spent 18k on drapes for his office.
    He will be taking his Chick-fil-A in a “TO GO” bag.

    • I think drapes are expensive too….$18K drapes for a mayor’s office?….Actually it doesn’t sound unreasonable for the mayor’s office of the 7th largest city in the US, unless you’re accustomed to buying everything at Walmart for your hovel.

      Gregg’s supporters are worried about the drapes in the mayor’s office, and whether San Antonio’s citizens are eating enough chicken sandwiches because it’s not fair that people don’t want to do business with bigots.

      Ron’s supporters are concerned that their mayor be a person of character & integrity. Multiple reports of domestic violence, non-payment of property taxes, and refusal to pay child support for years give rise these concerns about Greg.

      • Chick-fil-A are NOT bigots. Foolish people ate equating where their Charitable Foundation makes contributions, with business practices. CFA DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE IN THEIR HIRING OR SERVICE. That’s why many in the LGBTQ community continue to buy their products.

        WRT domestic violence, not every woman tells the truth about that, as it’s often an easy card to play in an argument. I site Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugj. Men have been “demonized” falsely for eons.

        • The 15,000 women and kids who fled to the Battered Women & Children’s Shelter last year all agree— chick-fil-a sandwiches are more important than domestic violence. I assume that the 28 women killed by their husbands or boyfriends last year would probably agree, but they’re dead so we’ll never know. Any of those women who disagree need to stop hating America and the Bible.

          • There is a world of difference between accusation which are unverified, unproven and unvalidated and the physical realities that drive women to The Battered Women’s Shelter. Furthermore, it’s ludicrous to compare unproven domestic violence to murder. Finally, your assertion that anyone who disagrees with you hates America and the Bible is flabbergasting. I was a USAF Civilian for 23 years, serving with honor and distinction. When I went to work after my retirement from US Government, my references included two General Officers and a Bishop. You need to practice more discernment.

      • “Actually it doesn’t sound unreasonable for the mayor’s office of the 7th largest city in the US, unless you’re accustomed to buying everything at Walmart for your hovel.”

        Shocked that someone would write this. I hope other Nirenberg voters don’t share this anti-poor sentiment.

        • First, I am not sure they, this person, is a Nirenberg voter, and guess what neither do you.

          First, 18K on drapes, please someone cite the article? Otherwise it is just rumor.

          Whether someone shops at walmart or other store is no reflection on their character, honesty, or affluence. I am glad we ca shop at many different places, that shows that capitalism is working, generally speaking.

          I do support Ron.

          Reason: I approve of the equity lense. I believe that we as the 7th largest city in the US can be doing more to support efforts to make us less reliant on fossil fuels. I approve of Pre-K for SA and its expansion to all public students.

          I do not support Greg:

          Reason: Not fond of the heads of the police union or the fire union. I support firefighters and Policeman but I do not support extreme and aggressive rhetoric coming from the heads of the works union for our public service officials. I do not support more favorable taxes for businesses within our community as I believe that we need more tax base to make our roads and public schools better. I support local businesses at our airports, and am completely ok with the Chick Fil A situation. (Look they make a helluva sandwich, are complying with current equal employment rules and regulations, but their owner supports foundations that openly lobby the state/federal government to change existing federal employment laws carving out exemptions for religious business owners dictating national and state business regulations. I am not for that. I think it is wrong. But like I said they make a helluva sandwich.

  2. I keep wondering how Mayor Brockhouse will pay for all the things he keeps promising. I notice he’s now telling the firefighters that they have to negotiate for their contract and the taxpayers come first. I wonder how long it will take before the migrants/bus users/victims of domestic violence/trees hear the same thing?

    • Ron, wants most of those things and connect SA that has already been denyed fedral funding, how do you think they will pay for that?

  3. Yes, continue to use the talking head talking points to divert from the real issues facing the city. Poverty, Education, Affordability, Improved Living. Brockhouse has no plans for these, except re-wording what already exists to make it seem like his idea. At least Ron is FOR something. All Brockhouse can tell anyone is that he is AGAINST everything, never FOR something.

    • He is also for taxpayers . That alone gets him votes. RN and CC squander taxpayer money at an alarming rate…blatantly and in the shadows of city non-profits which are unaccountable to citizens. The same people who created current problems-for decades-are on the task forces, working groups,etc to now figure a way out! Wow! They get rich on both ends! The city needs to get back on track and provide the services and programs that are within their purview. When you get these under control we can talk . CC policies on CPS will create a deficit of millions in a year or two-instead of the surplus of millions they normally generate—that means higher energy bills for all as CPS is owned by the city.

      Taxpayers-esp homeowners-want to know their hard earned money is entrusted to people who will use it judiciously and effectively…with transparency.

      As for integrity..RN lied about the CFA vote. He should have owned his vote and been a leader who followed the legal bidding process.

  4. I am disappointed to hear that Mr. Brockhouse wants to dump more money into VIA. VIA does not support even a small fraction of San Antonio citizens and I don’t think more money will result in increased ridership. I have an idea for
    VIA and will share it when the time is right.

  5. The fact that Brockhouse read a statement “on behalf of his wife,” stating that he was not violent toward her, is absolutely cringe-worthy and a new low.

  6. Rivard is obsessed with this issue. The founder of the new local organization Metu was accused of domestic violence twice, but no one sees an article on that.

    Are the rest of San Antonio voters interested in this issue? That’s a good question. I know several who will vote for Brockhouse BECAUSE of how much Rivard and the San Antonio Express-News one-sidedly talk about this.

    • Voters should be concerned about domestic violence reports against Brockhouse, or anyone running for public office. Such instances speak to an individual’s character, personality, effectiveness, and credibility.

      Brockhouse’s denial of the existence of such reports, when a tangible copy of one report is presented as evidence, should give pause to any rational mind.

      As to the claim of one-sided coverage, there is a difference between news reporting and editorial opinion. News coverage has been balanced: Brockhouse denies the claims, yet documentation indicates they were real–and that has been reported, as well as has the candidate’s refusal to discuss them. That is news coverage.

      Voting for someone because of perceived bias against them is not the best way to choose the best candidate, but it is your right within a democratic voting system.

      • How could someone credibly vote for or against a candidate when the reporting lens is so biased, Steve? It doesn’t sound like Maria and her friends are voting poorly. There is not enough fair coverage on both candidates for them to make an informed decision.

        Let’s hear more about the pro-Nirenberg group Metu, for starters. Does Nirenberg repudiate the documented domestic abuse from Gina Galaviz Eisenberg, its founder? If he is against Brockhouse for that, he should be against Mrs. Eisenberg as well. Otherwise, he is an insincere hypocrite.

  7. How very odd that the video for Greg Brockhouse was cut short , but RN’s part of the video had no problems! I mean can this be any more obvious of who this publication is for? This might as well be called The Nirenberg Report because this man is like Obama he can do no wrong, and is the chosen one to save San Antonio! I wish you all would stop with the DV, child support, his credit issues, and how many children he had with different women and discuss the real issues facing San Antonio RIGHT NOW!! I want better streets, better city services, something done about panhandlers everywhere that come up and beg for money when all I want to do is go about my business without seeing these people strung out on drugs in public! Express News, and RR cannot do this because this FAILED Mayor has accomplished NOTHING so lets dig up dirt on Mr. Brockhouse so he doesn’t have to defend his record!! If it wasn’t for KTSA radio I don’t think the people of this city would of never known what this left liberal leaning Mayor, and council were doing! THANK YOU KTSA for doing REAL JOURNALISM! Where the HELL is the questioning on why $18,000 was spent on STUPID CURTAINS? $18,000 could have been spent on potholes somewhere in this city, but since it was done on RN’s watch all is good! I wonder how the media would be spinning this if Mr. Brockhouse spent this kind of money on curtains for his office? Its a DAMN shame that this FAILED MAYOR cannot defend himself, and instead depends on RR, and Express News to do it for him!

      • I hope you’re right! RN is one of the “progressive” liberals, and I think he has his eyes on higher office. San Antonio needs someone who will 1) LISTEN. TO CITIZENS PRIORITIES and 2) support those things.

  8. A special thanks to Iris Dimmick and Travis Park Church Associate Pastor Gavin Rogers for pulling together the most insightful forum of the election season. It was a rowdy crowd but there were some excellent questions. Both candidates made some good points, but Mayor Nirenberg is the clear choice.

  9. First the cheap shots, now they trot out the protesters. I wish political races were of more substance. Its just an opinion …

  10. Was he arrested? Because if there are signs if abuse the cops take over and press charges if the wife wants to or NOT. Cringe worthy, is the fact this is what Ron does to all his opponents. Because his closed door deals and policies suck!

  11. Political posturing is becoming so annoying. Look at those signs trying to look like the handwriting of some child. Obviously a political stunt by the Nirenberg campaign.

  12. “Nirenberg pointed to ConnectSA, a comprehensive multimodal transportation plan that he intends to bring to the voters to approve.”
    The greatest accomplishment of RN is a ‘plan’?!? After two years, we need more plan a ‘plan’, Ron.

  13. Don’t forget the climate plan-which left out major stakeholders like businesses…esp energy companies based in SA!! What happens to SA if one of them leaves? Also…no cost analysis on climate plan . It is such a bad, expensive plan that RN and CC wouldn’t vote for it before the election!! I guess you have to pass it to find out how much it will cost!!

    SA Tomorrow transit plan —look who worked on it and you will see that it needs to have fresh perspective. Really? Scooters and bike lanes are your plan?? How many residents of SA will be left out of this plan? I’ve seen nothing reasonable that addresses those living outside 410 . You need to come up with a better plan than that for a bond bc the day of trusting this mayor and CC are over.

    Under RN CPS -a city-owned utility is set to have a budget deficit in a year or so instead of a budget surplus. CPS contributes to the city coffers…a lot!!! So, who do you think will make up this difference?? You guessed it-the taxpayers, esp homeowners. Ordinary folks who work and pay taxes-inc property taxes. With a 54/55% poverty/near poverty rate in SA how much more does the city expect taxpayers to contribute to ‘plans’ with no price tag – or that create a deficit while at the same time the city gives massive tax abatements to developers? Get back to basics bc the taxpayers and working citizens deserve a city that puts them first…

  14. Wow, not a huge fan of brockhouse, but I think he’s right about shelving Connect SA and putting a lot more dollars into VIA, Connect SA focuses way too much on highway expansion projects and doesn’t have a lot of progressive solutions to alternative transit options. Now would Brockhouse dismiss highway expansion? Probably not.

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