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Bev's Burner
Some's Hot, Some's Not 

By B.K. Carter

"Bev Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend Star, winner of numerous state and national awards. She has been a voice of Fort Bend's largest circulated newspaper for 28 years."


Politics, politics, politics.....I went to a standing-room-only candidate forum at the Fort Bend Chamber last night (Tuesday). One of the reasons it was standing room only is the chamber didnít go to the trouble to put out all its folding chairs. For the life of me, I canít figure out why. They should have known that if just the candidates and their posse came, it would be crowded.

It would have been crowded if just all the candidates for State Representative District 28 had shown up. District 28 is that district that has been abandoned by Glenn Heagar so he could run for the state senate. I donít mean to disparage Heagar. Heís generally well-liked by his constituents and by his peers.

District 28 has seven candidates; well six because one dropped out although I think his name will appear on the ballot anyway. The three most well known in this part of Fort Bend are Mike Baldwin, David Showalter, and Dr. John Zerwas.

Baldwin ran for county commissioner a couple of years ago; Showalter is a local lawyer who advertises a lot; and Zerwas bought really nice refreshments at the last executive committee meeting. (Well, it may be a shallow reason, but itís the truth. Iíd never heard of him before.)

And speaking of refreshments, the Fort Bend Chamber did offer them and I thought that was nice. Plus, they kept things moving. Each candidate got three minutes, and they kept to the time pretty efficiently. We werenít allowed to ask the candidates any public questions, although many of them stuck around and you could buttonhole them individually.

Other observations.....Tom DeLay must be worried as he deigned to show up, complete with his retinue to protectors.

I heard several people comment that candidate Tom Campbell made a nice presentation. Campbell is the environmental attorney running against DeLay.

I thought it was interesting that several of the Republican candidates, when questioned by the candidateís committee about the concerns of the people in the district, said that Tom DeLay was one topic high on everybodyís list. Interesting.....They didnít say if the local residents were berating him or thinking he was getting a raw deal--just that he was a high priority on their list.

I shouldnít have worried.....That mean Eric Thode took the Animal Hide Inspector off the ballot this year. I have been worried that we would lose our comic relief at those numbingly boring candidate forums. The Hide Inspector does nothing and it is a non-paid job. Itís been fun in the past when candidates for the job said they could do nothing better than their opponent, and other such campaign slogans.

Pam Beach was running again after her crushing defeat the last time, but this time she had cards printed up which she was sure would win her the race. Then Eric came along and took it off the ballot. He said the Secretary of State said it wasnít a real elected position and hadnít been on the ballot anywhere else but Fort Bend County for 75 years.

It used to not be on the ballot in Fort Bend until local lawyer and prankster Charlie Michulka found a little-used law and made someone put it on the ballot about 10 years ago. Charlie won as a Democrat and served until the Republican rout in the 1990s which turned out even the Inspector of Hides.

Pam seems to think itís a Texas Constitutional job and she can get it put back on the ballot after we get rid of that mean Eric. Sheís keeping her cards because she had the foresight to print them undated.

But hereís the ďI shouldnít have worried part.Ē The Republican candidate committee interviewed most of the candidates running for local offices, up to and including state representative. Some of their answers were a hoot! Please go and look at them if you donít believe me. Here is the web site--- http://www.fortbendgop.org/documents/2006%20Inter-views.pdf. Or you can just Google ďfortbendgopĒ and the interviews are on the start-up page plus it tells you who was on the committee.

I hope some of the things said are simply transcription mistakes, so Iím not going to name names. Here are some of the lulus:

Q. What does being a Republican mean?

A. Itís a way of life for our country. It represents everything that is good about our country.

Q. Why are you qualified to run for the office you have filed for?

A. It doesnít take a whole lot.

Q. When you talk to Fort Bend residents, what impresses you about their concerns?

Peopleís concern of protecting their confidential information for protection from identity theft.

Q. Party Platform?

A. Not familiar with the platform but generally agree with the platform.

Q. Why are you qualified to run for the office you have filed for?

A......I have always wanted to be a Judge.

Q. What does being a Republican mean?

A. It puts me in good company.

Iíve pointed out these answers just in case you think the Republicans have a lock on smartness. The candidate committee also had this to say:

ďThe majority of the candidates have outstanding credentials and presented themselves as excellent representatives of the Republican Party.

ďThe Candidates Committee was, however, disappointed at the lack of conviction of some candidates in expressing their support of the principals of the Republican Party and the fact that several candidates had never read the platform.

ďAlso, we feel that in general candidates will make better office holders if they have experience in the political process by working on Republican candidates campaigns and participating in Republican organizations and activities prior to running for office.Ē

Although a particular party canít keep a candidate from running for office if they want to in this free country, I am glad to see the Fort Bend County Republicans quizzing all its candidates and then letting all see the results.


Contact bkcstar@earthlink.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  September 07, 2006