Letís get this straight.......The
run-off for the primary is April 11 with early voting
starting next Monday, April 3. Three important races are in
the Republican runoff and I want to clear up some
misconceptions about primary run-offs.
First, even if you didnít vote in the
primary, you can vote in the primary run-off in either
party. However, if you voted in one partyís primary, you
canít vote in the other partyís run-off.
Second, you can vote in the primary or
the primary run-off even if you plan to vote for an
independent candidate in the general election, i.e. Kinky or
that tough grandma. So many people were confused about this
because the independent candidates were publicly asking
voters not to vote in the primaries. The only thing that
voting in primaries does vis a vis independent candidates is
that if you vote in the primary or the primary run-off, you
canít sign the independent candidateís petition to get on
the ballot in November. But you can certainly vote for one
of the independent candidates in the general election in
November if they get on the ballot.
Another aspect of the Republican primary
run-off that I want to discuss is the position of Republican
Party County Chairman. County Chair Eric Thode has moved out
of the county and will be replaced. Itís almost at the very
bottom of the ballot in the primary election, so some people
didnít see it and didnít vote. In fact, there were 5,078
undervotes (people who voted in top-of-the-ballot races that
didnít bother to vote in this race) or 21.22%.
The person who got the most votes was
Gary Gillen, but there were two other people in the race and
as Gillen didnít get a 51% majority, there is a run-off. I
want to urge readers to got back to the polls for the run
off and vote for Gillen. Iím worried about the future of the
party in Fort Bend County if Gillen isnít elected.
The local Republican party runs on two
important things for the most part--money and volunteerism.
Gary Gillen has donated various sums of money to the local
party over the last 20 years, some years small amounts and
some years larger amounts, but every year Gillen has stepped
up to the plate with his check.
Additionally Gary Gillen has served the
local party as a precinct chair every year for the past 20
He was a member of President Bushís
Strike Force team for the past two elections, traveling to
other states to work for the Presidentís election.
Gillen has also worked for many local
candidates and if all those elected officials will just get
out and work for him now, he should win the election
handily. But he still needs Republican voters support and I
want to recommend him to you. I tell you about the other two
races in the run-off, county attorney and
county-court-of-law judge, next week.
Clear as mud.....I donít know if you
remember the HIPAA flap several weeks ago when Commissioner
Andy Meyersí friend, former City Councilman Brian Gaston,
received a contract from the county to ďauditĒ where Fort
Bend County was complying with the federal laws involving
medical privacy. The ďauditĒ was timed to be completed right
before the election when County Clerk Dianne Wilson, running
for re-election, was being assailed for publishing county
information on the internet.
At the time, I asked how Gastonís firm
got the contract and was told by county officials that it
beat the heck out of them because they thought they gave the
contract to City-County Benefits Service, a firm run by Fort
Bend County resident Bob Treacy, who also works for Sunday &
Assoc. At the time, Meyers said City-County Benefits was a
Houston-Galveston Area Council preferred vendor.
Well, lo and behold, the contract ended
up in the clutches of HIPAA Solutions, run by Gaston and the
job was performed by Gastonís roommate, Georgia attorney
Peter MacKoul. When I finally contacted Bob Treacy after
Spring Break and asked him how HIPAA Solutions got the
contract from City-County Benefit Services, he said it was
inserted in the language of the original contract per
Commissioner Andy Meyers. Treacy also said the cover letter
accompanying the contract spelled that out and it was
obvious from the beginning that HIPAA Solutions would be
completing the audit.
So I guess all those county commissioners
that denied knowledge of how HIPAA Solutions got the
contract just didnít read the cover letter?
Although Meyers pushed for the release of
the HIPAA Solutions report before Wilsonís primary election,
the county nor the press fell for it. Canít you just see
Meyers saying, ďRats, foiled again!Ē