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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."


 

Sorry about missing my deadline last week. I was so sick my doctor asked me if I had been hanging around with former Soviet spies.

Apparently......Has House Speaker Designate Nancy Pelosi made speech after speech about how the Democrats are going to get rid of the “culture of corruption” of the Republican Party? Apparently.

Has she supported two people with questionable ethical backgrounds for highly coveted committee chairs? Apparently.

Did Nancy Pelosi yield to her inner emotions concerning these committee appointments? Apparently.

Does Nancy Pelosi typify why women are no better as political leaders then their male counterparts? Apparently.

Has Nancy Pelosi embarrassed every female working for equality in the business and political world? Apparently.

Will Nancy Pelosi fall victim to her own press if she doesn’t snap out of it? Apparently.

Do I want to snatch her bald headed? Absolutely!

Republican fight....This Spring, a coalition of ultraconservatives, the religious right, and various other malcontents (David Wallace detractors) got together in the dark of night to craft a set of Fort Bend Republican Party by-laws that would successfully strip the newly-elected party chairman of all his power.

Little did they realize that newly-elected Party Chair Gary Gillen would use the same tactics on them by forming a PAC (Political Action Committee) that would appropriate the party’s main fund-raising event--the Lincoln Reagan Dinner.

Gillen claims the current by-laws tie his hands in making any quick financial decisions, including running the Lincoln Dinner. He has called the PAC a method of handling the event. Naysayers say the new by-laws were passed in order to get more “transparency” in party actions and this maneuver hides financial dealings again.

The new PAC is called Fort Bend Republican PAC and its treasurer is A.D. Muller, a Katy area Republican who became interested in county politics after working to elect Annette Hoffman as Fort Bend County Judge.

The new by-laws were sprung on the party’s executive committee (precinct chairs) at Gillen’s first executive meeting. Precinct chairs did not have copies of the by-laws before voting on them although the group supporting the new by-laws said the same set had been presented a year or so ago.

One of the main tenets of the new by-laws is the party chairman is no longer able to appoint assistants or committee heads who are not precinct chairs themselves. This resulted in the election of Linda Howell, who lost a close run-off to Gillen for party chair, as vice chair of the party. Gillen had previously hand-picked party activist and hard worker Linda Hancock as vice chair, but under the new bylaws, Hancock could not be appointed as she is not a precinct chair.

Of course, all sorts of consternation has resulted with Howell even threatening legal action in one news account. State Representative Charlie Howard and Pct. 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers are both calling for Republicans to boycott the new Lincoln-Reagan Dinner. Even Mandi Bronsell, who is a precinct chair, works for Meyers and in the past has helped put the event together (for which she has been paid), is reportedly withdrawing after Meyers said he offered her some “grandfatherly” advice.

The funny thing about the entire brouhaha is that the ultraconservative wing of the party and the two aforementioned elected officials have haphazardly supported the event in the past. Howard reportedly only buys a table in an election year although his campaign fund was, until this last primary, was chock full of money and has probably been replenished as of this writing.

I don’t think Meyers has ever bought a table at any event. He may have bought one last year, but, if so, he was shamed into it and I’m pretty sure some corporate bigwig with business before commissioners court, picked up the tab.

The Lincoln event brings in almost $200,000 yearly but what with expenses, nets less than half that. The party gets no state money as the state party was taken over by a bunch of ultraconservatives and its money has dried up as well. The other money used to support the local Fort Bend party and local candidates comes from individual contributions. This is an area where little money is reportedly given by the same group that rewrote the bylaws to strip the chairman of power. They want to dictate how the local party is run, but they don’t want to have to pay for it.

Since Tom DeLay and George Bush have run me out of the Republican party and made me an independent voter and publicly unafraid to endorse Democratic candidates, this move by Muller and Gillen is the first positive step I’ve seen anyone take locally to combat the corrosive effect of the local ultra right.

I’ve been sorely disappointed in the Republican party which has spent the majority of its time worrying about abortion, stem cell research, gay marriage and burning the flag while Iraq, my gas tank and the increasing onus cost of medicare have led to the largest deficit this country has seen in a generation!

The new by-laws were different from any bylaws adopted by any Republican Executive Committee anywhere in the state. They were written for one thing and one thing only, strip the party chair of all power and give it to the executive committee.

Someone rightly pointed out that the executive committee (precinct chairs) of both parties--Republican and Democrat--are made up for the most part, of ultras at both ends of the spectrum: right wing Republicans and left wing Democrats. So the average voters (and my average reader) could care less about the infighting between factions in the party.

However, it impacts who we get to vote for in the general election--whether we have good or bad candidates because the goings-on at the precinct level affect the primaries which in turn affect the general election.

The party system on both sides of the aisle is one of the reasons we have so many voters who say, “I had to hold my nose when I voted for so and so.” Or “I didn’t vote FOR (some candidate), I voted AGAINST the other candidate.”

Party politics is what gives us political hacks who end up making a mockery of their job.

Pleeze. Are Fort Bend representatives so bad that we’ve had to hire expensive lobbyists to represent us in Austin and Washington? Apparently.

 

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:  December 27, 2006