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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 29 years."


A good campaign.....Although she didn’t received the promised “$3 million” in help from the national Republican party, Shelley Sekula Gibbs ran a darn good write-in campaign against huge odds. I wouldn’t have bet a plugged nickel that she would get 4,000 votes, what with that long, long name and short amount of campaign days left after the dithering of the Republicans, but she got a remarkable 23,990 write in votes in Fort Bend (Lampson won with 27,832) and 27,415 write in votes in Harris County (Lampson won with 31,378). So it’s a good thing I didn’t bet that she wouldn’t get over 4,000 write-in votes as she got a phenomenal 51,405 write in votes in Fort Bend and Harris County alone. And I got almost daily mail out pieces from the Republican National Committee, so while they probably didn’t spend $3 million, they did shell out a bunch in a foreordained losing campaign.

I don’t think her campaign was helped by the President flying to Houston, then on to Sugar Land. First he talked about how she was a doctor who saved lives and healed broken bones (Bush doesn’t know the difference between dermatologist and orthopedic), then he told the audience to be sure and bring their pencils to write in Dr. Shelley’s name. I guess the Prez doesn’t realize that most places have electronic voting machines and write-ins have to be dialed in, without use of a pencil.

To add more insult, Bush later repeated his admonition when making his “thumping--day after the election” speech. He said at his press conference on national teevee that he had to fly down to Houston and Sugar Land “to act as the secretary of state and tell them to take their pencil into the voting booth.”

But I guess the thing that really makes me think that Bush has lost touch is his first reference to Rep. Nancy Pelosi in that speech after the election when he talked of his willingness to cooperate: “I shared with her the names of some Republican interior decorators who can help her pick out the new drapes in her new office.”

Yes, he said that. He really did. I haven’t heard much about this gaffe, but I think that it was the most unbelievably, condescending, chauvinistic, frat-boy humor I’ve ever heard a politician utter in public.

Not only is Bush a lame duck, he’s just lame. That comment was demeaning to women. Doesn’t he realize that women vote also and a smart women who will be two steps away from the president of the country shouldn’t be greeted with a “drape” joke? We are half the population you know. Just because too many of us vote like our husbands tell us is no indictment of the whole gender.

Whose fault is it anyway.....I blame the whole Republican debacle on Tom DeLay. Yes, I know. You think I am kicking a dead horse. I will quit kicking Tom DeLay if he will stay off the airwaves saying stupid things as he did with Rita Cosby on MSNBC on the day after the election. I can’t understand why they are still giving him airtime because I believe that Tom DeLay was a symbol of everything that has been wrong in Washington for several years. He may have brought the party questionable legislative wins, but he intensified the poisonous partisan mood and even transplanted it to Texas when he led the mid-census redistricting effort in order to assure a permanent Republican cast in the House.

Up jumped the devil.....Yet the DeLay inspired redistricting that put Nick Lampson out of his constituency made him so mad he moved back to his roots in Stafford and was prepared to run against DeLay--and, according to early polls, beat him.

But less that 24 hours after moderate and conservative lawmakers in the House began circulating a petition that DeLay be permanently removed from the leadership, DeLay resigned. He did it because “the media hounded” him as he so often tells, not because the real truth--his peers repudiated him.

He could have withdrawn much earlier, allowing the Republicans to replace him with a viable candidate, not a write-in candidate with an impossible name.

Tom DeLay was a symbol of the Republicans abandoning their core principles. I’ve often said on these pages that this Republican party is not the Republican party I matured on with Everett Dirksen and Barry Goldwater’s philosophy of less is more.

DeLay’s congress was the congress of earmarks, those little additions to spending bills that benefit a particular area and have put us in a spiraling deficit. I read somewhere that during Reagan’s years, a road bill had 150 earmarks, whereas the 2005 transportation bill had over 6,000 earmarks. The voters are tired of that.

I noticed that for the first time in many, many years there were more Democratic straight party voters than Republican in Fort Bend County (25,257 Dems vs. 23,552 Reps). Before the Democrats get too excited about this abnormality, I want to point out that many Republicans heeded the call to write-in Sekula-Gibbs name, which negated a straight party vote.

And on that subject, there were 5,034 “under” votes in the Lampson on the ballot-Sekula Gibbs write-in race. What this means is that the large majority of those 5,000 “under” votes cast in that race where some of those straight party voters whose vote did not register in that race since Sekula-Gibbs was not on the ballot.

Oh well, it was fun and two years from now we’ll see what will happen. I think Lampson will turn out to be more conservative, or at least moderate, than the Republicans think he will be, but I don’t know what will make Fort Bend voters turn from blindly following the Republican party. I read somewhere that Bill Clinton once said, “Democrats want to fall in love, Republicans want to fall in line.”


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:  November 29, 2006