2009 Texas Conservative Review Houston Election Editorial
by Gary Polland on October 30, 2009 at 9:34 AM
It's been said that all politics is local and city elections prove it. This is government closest to its citizens and it impacts all of our daily lives more than the State of Texas or the Federal Government combined. This is a good thing, because government closest to the people is most accountable to the people.
City elections may be non-partisan, but they are definitely not non-ideological. For conservatives, the City of Houston makes many policy decisions which create opportunities to advance our conservative philosophy. City elections also can be a farm team for future partisan election candidates.
For 2009, TCR in consultation with key conservatives has devised ten questions for the candidates. TCR awards a letter grade based on the number of correct answers, A+ being the best and F being the worst, just like your school grades. The mailed edition will feature the questions and answers and grades of the Mayoral candidates and grades only for the other races. Our online edition of the questionnaire results is posted below, along with everything we received from the candidates. Just click on their names to see any remarks or comments they may have added. What follows are comments on some of the candidates and where appropriate in down ballot races, TCR has endorsed and it is our policy to tell you why. There will be no Mayor endorsement due to your Editor's involvement with PBS Channel 8's Red White & Blue, who during October features interviews with "the big four" candidates for Mayor.
Peter Brown, Grade C. Brown, an architect, brings a unique set of qualifications to the Mayor's race. A two-term Councilman, he is a leader in the Houston non-profit community. He is running on making Houston a more pleasing community, reducing crime, improving the quality of life and attracting more businesses and jobs to Houston.
Gene Locke, Grade D. Locke is an attorney, government lobbyist and former City Attorney under Bob Lanier, and former Chief of Staff for Congressman Mickey Leland. Over the years his politics have moderated from where he started in college. He has been a key player on the deals involving the now financially troubled Harris County Sports Authority. He is running on his ability to bring the diverse city of Houston together.
Roy Morales, Grade A. Roy is presently a Harris County School Trustee, Pct. 1. He was elected in a partisan race as a Republican. Roy has previously sought election to City Council. If elected, he will work to ensure efficient city government, improve city services and strengthen public safety, emergency services and homeland security.
Annise Parker, Grade B. TCR was pleasantly surprised that Annise Parker scored near the top. Clearly her answers indicate she is a fiscal conservative. She is a former executive at Mosbacher Energy and has been involved in City government for 12 years. She is a skeptic when it comes to more sports stadiums at City expense and is running on her ability to control spending and run an efficient City Hall.
Ronald Green, Grade F. The pick here is NOT Ron Green. Limited business experience and an attorney. He did not bother to respond to TCR. Holm and Khan both scored well on the TCR questionnaire and its obvious Green could care less about any conservative support.
Pam Holm, Grade A+. In the last year, Councilwoman Holm has emerged as a leading fiscal conservative on council and was the canary bird regarding Houston's over spending. Prior to her election she was active in many local civic organizations. As a council member, she has the reputation of having among the best constituent services.
MJ Khan, Grade A+. MJ Khan is the narrow choice over Holm. TCR has known MJ for twenty years and he can be trusted. A long time successful businessman with significant community involvement. He has been a leader in the fiscal conservative bloc on City Council and a person involved in uniting the different communities in Houston. He will be a true fiscal watchdog for the city that is needed in these troubled economic times.
City Council at Large Pos. 1
Stephen Costello, Grade B. The choice here is clear. Costello, an engineer, has come on like gangbusters and is a future star on Council. A strong fiscal conservative, he also brings experience and skills the Council needs.
City Council at Large Pos. 4
C.O Bradford, Grade A+. Former Chief Bradford has told TCR that he is a fiscal conservative who gets what ails the City. You can read his exciting answers below and you will be excited too. He is the pick here.
City Council at Large Pos. 5
Jack Christie, Grade A+. How lucky are Houston voters? Dr. Christie, with a proven record of getting things done, wants to serve. TCR says give him a chance, he will make you proud.
City Council District A
Brenda Stardig, Grade A+. A number of good choices here, Brenda has coalesced support from fiscal conservatives in the District.
Jeff Downing, Grade A+. As I stated, there are some great candidates and you couldn't go wrong with Jeff Downing.
City Council District C
Anne Clutterbuck, Grade A+. Two-time incumbent, a former Congressman Bill Archer's District Director deserves a third term. She is smart, sophisticated and understands taxes and spending. A conservative leader on Council TCR enthusiastically supports.
City Council District E
Mike Sullivan, Grade A+. Mike Sullivan is the choice here.
City Council District F
Khalid Khan, Grade A+. He is the strong choice here as he is a businessman that is involved in our community and making a difference. He understands it's your money and wants to get control of City spending and will reign in runaway homeowner's property taxes.
City Council District G
Oliver Pennington, Grade A. A hard choice here but Oliver Pennington is the first choice narrowly over Mills Worsham. Oliver's long experience representing clients as an attorney dealing with City government means he will be up to speed rapidly - and he will be an effective member from day 1.
City Controller Candidate Green in Arrears
Ronald Green, candidate for Houston City Controller, has outstanding tax liens filed against him according to a report by TexasWatchdog.org. The report indicates he owes more than $100,000, going back to 2002. There is an additional report by this leading investigative organization that shows he failed to file a state franchise tax report, which caused his firm to lose its charter. How can Ronald Green even be considered for such an important position as conducting the City's financial affairs, when he can't even keep his own house in order? Simply, Ronald Green is not fit to be Controller and should not even be considered by voters when they go to the polls for the November 3rd City of Houston election.
TCR 2009 City Of Houston Elections Questionnaire
- Do you support capping residential property tax appraisals at a maximum 5% increase per year?
- Do you support a requirement that the city not raise taxes without a supermajority of at least 60% of city council?
- Do you support a spending cap limiting the increase in city spending to the rate of growth of population plus inflation?
- Do you support establishing a "GRACE" type commission to identify ways for the city to eliminate fraud, waste, abuse, incompetence and suggested operating efficiencies?
- Do you support the consolidation of city functions with Harris County where it is practical?
- Do you support ending race and gender based affirmative action programs to be replaced by a needs based system?
- Do you support the right of City Council members to add items to the City Council Agenda if approved by a majority of members?
- Do you believe that government should take private property from individuals or corporations for the "good of the community" without paying fair compensation?
- Do you support the granting of public tax funds for private or semi-private economic development in areas that are not economically disadvantaged?
- Do you support expansion or reorganizing the police department so that officers patrol with a partner, at least during night hours?
|TCR 2009 City Of Houston Elections Questionnaire|
Click on candidate names to view questionnaire which may contain extended remarks and comments.
|Amanda Ulman||Did Not Respond||F|
|Luis Ralph Ullrich Jr.||Y||Y||N||Y||Y||N||Y||N||N||Y||B|
|Dan Cupp||Did Not Respond||F|
|CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT A|
|Lane Lewis||Did Not Respond||F|
|Darrell Joe Rodriguez||Did Not Respond||F|
|Bob Schoellkopf||Did Not Respond||F|
|CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT B|
|Roger F. Bowden||Did Not Respond||F|
|Jarvis Johnson||Did Not Respond||F|
|CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT C|
|CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT D|
|Otis Jordan||Did Not Respond||F|
|Larry McKinzie||Did Not Respond||F|
|Wanda Adams||Did Not Respond||F|
|CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT E|
|CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT F|
|Robert Kane||Did Not Respond||F|
|Mike Laster||Did Not Respond||F|
|Al Hoang||Did Not Respond||F|
|Lewis Cook||Did Not Respond||F|
|CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT G|
|Richard Sedita||Did Not Respond||F|
|George Foulard||Did Not Respond||F|
|CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT H|
|Edward Gonzalez||Did Not Respond||F|
|CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT I|
|James Rodriguez||Did Not Respond||F|
|CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE POSITION 1|
|Don Cook||Did Not Respond||F|
|Herman Litt||Did Not Respond||F|
|Lonnie Allsbrooks||Did Not Respond||F|
|Stephen C. Costello||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||N||Y||N||Y||N||B|
|Karen Derr||Did Not Respond||F|
|Kenneth Perkins||Did Not Respond||F|
|J. Brad Batteau||Y||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||N||F|
|CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE POSITION 2|
|Sue Lovell||Did Not Respond||F|
|Andrew C Burks Jr||N||Y||N||Y||Y||N||Y||N||N||Y||C|
|Roslyn 'Rozzy' Shorter||Did Not Respond||F|
|M. Griff Griffin||Did Not Respond||F|
|CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE POSITION 3|
|Melissa Noriega||Did Not Respond||F|
|CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE POSITION 4|
|C.O. 'Brad' Bradford||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||N||N||Y||A+|
|Deborah Shafto||Did Not Respond||F|
|CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE POSITION 5|
|Carlos A. Obando||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||N||Y||Y||A|
|Davetta Daniels||Did Not Respond||F|
|Jolanda 'Jo' Jones||Did Not Respond||F|
|Ronald Green||Did Not Respond||F|