Getting DeLay out of the way.....I
read in the Houston Comical (Iím sure they have an equally
silly name for me--whoops, Iím not that important) that Tom
DeLay had continued to use his airport parking pass after he
left office. Thereís fussing about that privilege in Houston
now because it seems some officials have misused the perk.
According to the Comicalís reporting of
DeLayís spokesperson, using his card after he left office
was an accident on his part because he had always been
driven to the airport by security before and he didnít quite
know what to do.
Hey, Tom, I think you knew what to do
before you attained so exulted a rank and it hadnít been
that long ago.
According to the news report, the
officials misusing their airport parking card will be billed
for the time it was (mis) used.
Other Republicans are at it again....I
went to a meeting of the Republican executive committee last
week. For the political neophyte, the ďexecutive committeeĒ
is all the precinct chairs in Fort Bend.
This meeting was two days prior to the
accounting before the judge about the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner.
This judicial accounting was a result of Gillenís forming a
political action committee to handle the dinner after the
precinct chairs voted on new by-laws that stripped him of
his power to make decisions about the dinner, which led to a
group of the precinct chairs suing him. Last weekís meeting
was supposedly called by Linda Howell, who lost the election
to Gillen, and a group of the precinct chairs. Gillen wanted
to wait to call a meeting until after the judicial
settlement, but Howell and other precinct chairs petitioned
for a meeting and thereby controlled the agenda. Gillen said
he told Howell that he was planning to call the meeting
after the legal matter was settled, but she took matters
into her own hands and pre-empted him.
The precinct chairs are at such odds with
each other that this was the third attempt to get the
minutes of the three previous meetings approved. A stand-up
vote was called which resulted in a vote of 18-19 to approve
There were several motions made which
resulted in unanimous decisions, but the tenor of the
meeting was less than cooperative.
The local Republican party has been
rocked by infighting during the past year as a group of
precinct chairs, unhappy with the results of the county
chair election, have attempted to thwart the actions of
elected County Chair Gary Gillen. Members of the group,
approximately 35 in number, always attend the executive
committee meeting, and mostly vote as a group. Although
there are 90 precinct chairs in Fort Bend, many do not
attend because, it is thought, the infighting has become too
The chairs also heard a financial report
of the proceeds of the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner which netted
$69,000 after expenses for mailings by both the PAC and the
party and the PAC legal fees.
Death by committee.....At the
meeting, the executive committee voted to name Rick Miller
as chairman of the 2008 dinner with co-chairs Frank Yonish
and Walter Sass.
Miller has previously been head of the
committee in charge of voter registration but quit right
before the election due to lack of time to devote to the
job. Party insiders say he might challenge Gillen in the
next county chairman race.
Although this meeting was held two days
before the judicial accounting, the partyís attorney in this
action reported that an amicable agreement had been reached
which the judge would ratify. (He did.)
There was another move to have another
executive committee meeting to decide on questions about
time and place for the 2008 dinner, but cooler heads
prevailed when it was pointed out that most speakers and
venues would be booked before another executive committee
meeting could convene. It was decided that the events
committee and three chairs could meet and make those
decisions and report back.
The size of the finance committee was
doubled. That committee now has an unwieldy 22 members.
Another committee which has problems is
the newsletter committee. The committee chair reported there
was a problem getting a quorum at meetings so more members
were appointed to serve on that committee with promises to
attend the meetings. It was decided to now use the second
lowest bidder (Star Printing bid the lowest but was not a
good enough Republican to get the business) and to only
accept ads from Republican clubs, elected officials and
A suggestion was also made that a
newsletter editor be hired who would pay for his salary by
Ah, for the good olí days of Eric Thode
who handled all those details, albeit in a dictatorial
manner. But it got done and the party was all the better for
A new group wants the power to do all
that now and Gary Gillen is standing in their way. They want
to mow him down, yet they donít even show up for committee
meetings. I donít think they realized how much time Thode
put into being County Chair.
Meanwhile, the Democrats are grinning and
planning to win elections. They wonít have to do much as the
Fort Bend Republican are going to immolate themselves.
There is even a move afoot to make the
Republican executive committee meetings non-public. Howís
that for transparency in government.
Some people accuse me of being a Thode
apologist. Iím not. Iím just a lazy pragmatic who liked
letting him make the decisions and do all the work,
particularly since I agreed with many of his decisions.
Going back on my promise....I said I
was not going to remind you again about the voting
registration for the local city and school board races. I
only said that because I figured that I would forget to
Well, I didnít. Thursday, May 12 is the
last day to register to vote. Donít forget it as we got us
some school board members to get rid of!
B.K. Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort
Bend/Southwest Star. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.