I was a write-in candidate......For
about 30 minutes, I was a write-in candidate for CD 22, that
district vacated by Tom “Cut and Run” DeLay because he was
afraid that Nick Lampson would beat him. Even though I have
always eschewed elective politics (except for that brief
four years when I became mentally deranged and was a
precinct chair. Naturally, I was asked to resign. I was
forced to run a write in campaign in order to cover the
Pearland meeting where all Republican precinct chairs in
Congressional District 22 would secretly meet and choose
someone to support as a write-in candidate after DeLay’s
crisis of conscience.
After I heard about the meeting closed to
all but precinct chairs and potential write-in candidates, I
decided to declare myself a write-in candidate and attend
the meeting. I only like to go to meetings where I know I’m
not wanted. It’s the same personality attribute/flaw that
made me refuse to resign as precinct chair.
About 30 minutes after I had made the
momentous decision to declare my candidacy and therefore
attend the meeting, I received a copy of an email that
Republican Party Chairman Gary Gillen sent out asking that
all Fort Bend candidates in CD 22 boycott the meeting
because it was closed to the press and others. Maybe he
didn’t use the word “boycott,” but he did ask that
candidates not attend.
I then had my own crisis of conscience.
Do I attend the “secret” meeting and report it, or do I
respect the county chairman and avoid it? It was also the
same night as my card night where we buffaloes meet at the
Swinging Door and play (not drink) gin.
Finally a bad hair day (seems to be a lot
of those lately) made my decision for me. I wouldn’t have to
fix my hair for gin. Heck, it is so dark in the room where
we play at the Swinging Door and we’re all getting so old,
we practically have to play with miner’s hats.
Just about that time, a phone call for an
emergency baby-sitter with my grandsons trumped politics and
gin. Not only do my grandsons not care about my hair, but
they can’t beat me in cards....yet.
Enough about me.....All of this is
just preface to a disclaimer that I wasn’t at the CD22
meeting, so I can’t report with absolute accuracy about what
Libertarian candidate Bob Smithers and
several of his supporters were stationed outside the church,
as were about 30 Wallace supporters who held up signs which
spelled out his name.
I did have some inside reports about the
sub-rosa meeting where Shelly Sekula Gibbs received the
straw vote nod as the Republican standard bearer on the
ballot (although some might call it the sacrificial lamb).
First, only about a total of 80 plus
precinct chairs were there, with 30 Fort Bend precinct
chairs attending after Gillen’s letter went out.
Gillen’s letter complained about the lack
of transparency. He said nothing about the fact that is was
not an official meeting; it was not called in accordance
with the party rules; and it had no “standing” as an
endorsement by the party. However, the state chairwoman
repeated several times that if they could decide on one
candidate, she had been promised $3-4 million from the
national party to pour into the write-in campaign.
According to my source, way more than the
precinct chairs attended. In fact, there were probably about
200 people in attendance--Tom DeLay, his bodyguards and his
handlers; state chair and vice-chair; Norm Mason (?); the
candidates and their entourage. You had to sign in. My
source said several volunteers were watching the doors,
signing people in, writing name tags, etc. and many of those
snuck in to hear the candidate speeches.
Sekula-Gibbs, Tim Turner, and Don
Richardson all spoke and supposedly, Sekula-Gibbs was in
really good form and gave an outstanding speech. Dave
Wallace was AWOL and his campaign manager had no comment.
All of the candidates were asked if they would withdraw from
the race after one candidate was chosen. They all agreed,
including Tom DeLay who was asked if he would discourage
anyone he might have supported. Wallace’s manager said he
would take the information back to him (Wallace later
Harris County had a few more precinct
chairs in attendance but my source was seated so she was
unable to count them easily. Precinct chairs were given a
blank sheet of paper on which to vote--no listing of
candidates on the sheet or on a blackboard.
The Fort Bend precinct chairs were made
up largely of Christian Coalition chairs, their fellow
travelers, Dean Hrbacek, and his fellow travelers.
Delay made a speech which received
several standing ovations, in which he blamed the entire
mess on the Democrats. It was Democrat congressmen who got
him in trouble; Democrat DAs who indicted him; and Democrat
judges who said he had to stay on the ballot. The Democrats
made him do it!
One reason why the list of potential
write-ins was so short is that any candidate that was in the
primary was precluded by law from running as a write-in and
several of the other elected officials who were mentioned as
potential condidates would have to resign their current seat
if they ran.
My source says Sekula-Gibbs apparently
had her votes before she got to the party.
The rest of the story......In spite
of earlier protestations that he would run in spite of
another write-in candidate, Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace
announced Monday that for the good of the party and in order
to have only one candidate, he was withdrawing his bid as a
write-in and would support Sekula-Gibbs.
I figure that Dave has gotten about as
much mileage out of this write-in thing as he’s going to get
and he knows it’s an ultimate losing battle, no matter who
the candidate. His well-turned-out face and family have
appeared on TV and most news media (announcing his
decision). Now the party owes him.
I’ve said many times that he was the only
logical choice and only the bitterness of former Mayor Dean
Hrbacek (who Wallace defeated) kept him from being the
standard bearer from the get go. For gosh sakes, Sekula-Gibbs
lives in Clear Lake, an area ably represented by Nick
Lampson before he fell victim to redistricting. He’ll beat
her like a rented mule, bless her heart. I even heard that
the Democratics in Congress will most likely restore
Lampson’s seniority when he wins.
In the heat of the summer....I saw a
terrible picture on the main front page or the city/state
front page of the Chronicle this past week. It was of an
emaciated cow that some rancher was selling for lack of
rain, affecting his cattle’s food crop. The cow’s ribs stood
out it was so malnourished.
I don’t know what is wrong with ranchers
nowadays. My daddy was a rancher and he would have never let
his cows suffer like that, even in a drought. He would have
spent every cent he had to continue to feed them and when he
ran out of money, he would have burned the needles off
prickly pear and fed them that. That’s where the expression
“pear burner,” referring to a flaming lighter, came from.
Maybe there’s no comparable crops on the Gulf Coast.