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
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
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
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.