The Texas border city of McAllen was hoping Enrique Iglesias would be their "Hero." Instead, the Latino pop star's Christmas performance in the city earlier last year has led to a protracted public records fight as the city tries to hide how much it spent on the concert.
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Iglesias was the headlining act for a pre-holiday parade concert that the Valley Town Crier said more than 15,000 people attended (although one police officer working at the event would later post on Facebook that the show was a sign of the "slow but steady decay of morality in our society").
The trouble started months later when local TV station KGBT reported the event cost the city a total of $771,000, more than two-thirds of that just for the concert. That seems like a lot for a municipal holiday celebration in a Texas city with a population of about 136,000. An economic impact analysis commissioned by the city claims the concert led to millions in consumer spending, but at the end of the day the actual event earned a meager profit of $5,500.
But the real interesting part is that we still don't know how much the city spent on Iglesias's performance. The city is refusing to disclose that number, saying it would put them at a competitive disadvantage for negotiating future contracts if people knew how much it paid the singer. That sort of spills the beans that the answer to "how much did you pay Enrique Iglesias" is going to be "a lot."
The state's attorney general, Ken Paxton, is backing the city up. In a letter sent to the McAllen Monitor last week, the attorney general's office issued the opinion that this was a legitimate reason to avoid disclosure.
That decision was enough to anger local Texas state Rep. Terry Canales, a Democrat, who took to Twitter to register his displeasure.
So what does Iglesias think of the controversy?
This is just a guess, but I don't think he's been following.