My dog ate my homework.....Itís kind
of funny that school board candidate Ken Bryant is using the
same political signs for his school board campaign as he did
for his losing run for state legislature against Dora Olivo
Sure enough, Bryant taped over the office
he was seeking on his political signs from ďstate
representativeĒ and inserted ďFort Bend ISD Trustee.Ē Same
issues, the very same sign. Only problem is, he forgot to do
it on the other side of one and a inquiring photographer
However, what is not so funny is that
Bryant, a lawyer and an incumbent who should know better, is
sending out political mailings that not only break the law
by not having a political disclosure, but also, according to
his most recent Campaign Finance Report, he doesnít even
have the money for.
Bryant filed the report on April 20,
which was already eight days late, which claimed he had no
contributions nor any expenses.
Yet on April 24, I received a four color
mail out from Mr. Bryant. Now I know printing and I also
know a little about the post office. I know it is physically
impossible to have a four-color mail out prepared, printed,
taken to the post office and delivered to my mailbox in four
days. Ainít gonna happen.
So what money was used for the mail out?
Who knows since there was no political disclaimer as
required by law. But even if someone did it for Bryant or if
Bryant paid for it himself, he is required by law to list
that on his campaign finance report as either a gift or
contribution if from someone else, or a loan from himself if
he paid for it himself.
Nope, Mr. Bryant doesnít like to do his
homework. What is so egregious about this is that Ken Bryant
is an attorney and should know the law, rules, and
regulations. He also had run for political office several
times before and should know the law, rules and regulations.
Maybe those are for someone else.
Bryant is not tardy alone......Only
two candidates turned in their campaign finance reports on
time. I know because I went to the school administration and
looked them up. The two candidates who somehow had the time
to do their homework and the ethics to do it on time were
Bob Broxson and David Reitz, both of whom had their reports
date-stamped by the deadline of April 12. Both candidates
reported receiving money.
The rest of the candidates, including
both incumbents, were either much too busy to follow the
rules or didnít think the rules applied to them.
Incumbent Lisa Rickert turned hers in on
April 19. She reported no contributions or no expenditures.
Bryant got his in on April 20 as has been mentioned
previously with no contributions or expenditures. And Ann
Hopkins dragged up on April 23, again with no contributions
and no expenses.
Tardy AND unreadable....A special
case is Noel Pinnock. His report was not only late (April
18), but it was also unreadable.
Now Pinnock has run before so he should
be aware of the laws and rules. Any candidate can either get
the forms from the state ethics committee or download them
online from the ethics committee. The forms are readily
But Pinnock had only the first page of
the report, and (youíre not going to believe this) paper
clipped to it was a sheet of lined notebook paper with a
listing of names and amounts by the names. We donít know if
the amounts listed were contributions or expenditures. We
donít have addresses of the contributors (if there were
any), nor do we have what the expenditures were for (if
there were any). Running for office before, he should know
better, but I guess he doesnít believe in homework either.
Remember, you can vote in both positions
no matter the part of Fort Bend ISD in which you live. If
you want to turn your school district over to a bunch of
rule-breaking yaloos, then donít vote. But remember that our
property values are contingent in some part on our schools.
Iíve already received several emails
about signs in the right-of-way. Lisa Rickert is guilty of
that in several places. Signs, no matter who they are for
and how long until the election, are not to be posted on
right-of-ways or property without the ownerís permission.
We need people who can follow the simple
rules on filing their campaign reports. We need people who
do their homework and treat the positions for which they are
running with ethics and respect. We need people like Bob
Broxson and David Reitz who can at least, among other
things, turn in their reports on time and, following simple
instructions, fill them out correctly.
Beaten by their own game.....I
mentioned in my column last week about an incident in the
Chinese community where a student has been punished with the
refusal to let him walk across the stage during graduation.
A contingent of residents were at the last school board
meeting to protest and called his punishment a racial
overreaction based on the recent incident at Virginia Tech.
The two incumbents who are running for
the school board met with the protesters in the parking lot
during the meeting. I remarked last week that was not right
for them to do so.
There is a procedure for students to
follow if they think they have been treated unfairly and it
involves four steps or levels, as the school calls them.
This student can easily complete the four levels and resolve
this on one side or another before graduation. However, it
will most likely be after the May 12 election.
So Lisa Rickert and Ken Bryant, the two incumbents,
perhaps looking for a bloc of votes, have pushed for
expediting this discipline problem.
Bryant, and board member Stan Magee even
went so far as to request an emergency board meeting. Under
local rules, any two members can request an emergency board
meeting and it has to happen. (Funny that Bryant knew all
about that rule.)
So board president Steve Smelley called
the meeting as required, but a quorum did not attend. It
seems the other board members were either out of
town, or otherwise occupied.
I guess they tried and the studentís
defenders are happy. However, you, dear voter, should be
aware that three of the board members wanted to offer
special treatment about student discipline before the
election, and two of the incumbents will do anything to get