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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."


 

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 the minutes.

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 much.

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 candidates.

A suggestion was also made that a newsletter editor be hired who would pay for his salary by selling ads.

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 it.

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. Idiots!

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 remind you.

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 bkcstar@earthlink.net.

 

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:  May 02, 2007