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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."


 

Looking at numbers.....In our continuing saga of analyzing political contributions and expenditures of our county officer holders, we will look at County Commissioner James Patterson this week. I am able to do this because a local web site has all the C & E reports posted. You can see them at http://www.kissmybigbluebutt.com.

This has been a sticking point because the commissioners, unlike the state office holders, do not have to file their reports online, although they could easily do so. Additionally, they have voted to keep them in the county archives for only two years, claiming lack of storage space. Of course, if they were online, the storage problem would not exist. The next time you run into one of those guys, why donít you ask them why they donít file their reports online and keep them on the web? Iíll bet they have some interesting answers. Like maybe they canít work a computer. Or their bookkeeper canít. Remember, these are the officials who are going to lead us in the 21st century.

In any event, looking over James Pattersonís contribution and expense reports isnít near enough fun because Patterson has avoided the habit of some of his peers who pay family members from campaign funds to do things for them--like County Judge Bob Hebert, and County Commissioner Andy Meyers, who weíll look at next week.

Patterson only took in $1,500 for this reporting period. I believe I mentioned last week that most of that money was from uber political contributor Bob Perry.

I never knew Patterson was such a supporter of the fair and various high school ag programs. He gave $1,000 to the Fair Art project, $444 to Kempner FFA ag project, $,1280 to the Fair, $200 to the buyers group of fair animals, and $450 to the Dulles High School Ag. As he is a former principal, I can only assume he thinks the program is very good for the kids.

Patterson gave many $50-$100 contributions to many Fort Bend County charities. Traditionally, he has been very active in the ARC so they received $900 for this reporting period.

The Republican Party got around $2,000 and his campaign manager was paid $660 for this reporting period.

Patterson only spent about $12,000 and had about $31,000 left in his account at the end of December 2006. He does not have to run again for four years.

FYI: Judge Hebert, part two.....I got a clarifying e-mail from Bob Hebert after I talked to him last week about his C & E. In it he opined that he still thought that paying his wife to do his campaign books was legal because she provided a true service which could be assessed at fair market value. He said the $8 per hour she paid her was less then the going rate and that she didnít even ask to be paid in the first place. Bob said he initially made the decision to pay her based on his research that he had done five years ago. He wrote: ďI made the decision to pay her the small amount involved because I believe it was a way to legitimately compensate her for performing a vital but complex, time consuming task at a rate far less than the cost of hiring the work out to a third party bookkeeper. I also made the decision to refund the payments to my campaign fund because the action was not worth extended controversy or additional costs.Ē

Well said, Bob, but why in the heck does someone that is already wealthy, someone who makes over $100,00 per year, someone who got an 18 percent pay raise, still want to bring another $6,000 into his household? Iím sorry. I always thought that you had the skill set to be an excellent county judge. I still think that for the most part, you have been a good county judge, but I think you have the disease common to politicians of your ilk. GREED.

I hate that in a person, and I particularly hate it in a politician that I have continually supported.

The honeymoon is over, Bob, and when you hire your good friends and pay them big bucks, guys like you that donít need the money but that are greedy like you, Iím going to complain.

I appreciate you trying to placate me with the e-mails and all, but itís time you got busy being a real county judge and make some real improvements in all that spending over there in Richmond.

You know that doofus sheriff has too many take home cars, yet when he comes before the court wanting even more, you donít even question his requests.

It took you four years to get rid of that HR head who didnít have a lick of sense and couldnít even keep employees in his own department.

I could go on and on but this is getting too long. Iíll think of some more by next week.

Shelley Sekula-Gibbs is running.... for District 22 U.S. Representative next election cycle. And I know this because? I got a press release this past week deprecating Nick Lampson already and claiming he was voting against the interests of Texas and District 22. I didnít even bother to read. Nick and I are still honeymooning.

Weíre moving.....But not to worry. Ha! Ha! Weíre not moving far. The minute this edition of the Star hits the street, we are going to pick up our computers, secret files on all things political, and doughnuts and move down the street. Our new address is 4655 Techniplex, Suite 300, Stafford. Phone 281-690-4200.

We started in a warehouse in Stafford almost 30 years ago and although we have been in Staffordís ETJ for the past six years, we feel we are coming back home. If you donít know exactly where 4655 Techniplex is, itís almost directly behind Hooterís.

All our internet stuff stays the same.

 

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:  March 07, 2007