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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 30 years."


 

Just in case you are interested......Fort Bend County counted and posted all its votes at 10:41 p.m. Tuesday night. In the general election in November 6, 2002, Fort Bend County finished counting votes at 12:28:13 a.m. The reason I’m bringing this up is this shows the effect of the new e-slate voting machines.

This election had many more votes to count but the elections office did it about 1.5 hours earlier. In 2002 a total of 88,869 votes were cast. In 2008, 205,333 votes. By the way, Fort Bend County voted 71.13 %. To compare to Harris County, voters over there turned out 62.65%.

Sad special election....The special election for State Senator in District 17 boiled down to a contest between Democrat Chris Bell and Republican Joan Huffman.

Bell beat Huffman in Fort Bend and Harris County, no doubt helped by the Democratic turnout for President-elect Obama.

But what is unbelievable about this special election is the fact that former Senator Kyle Janek behaved as he did. Janek was generally well-liked by all the politicos when he was in office. His constituency liked him also. I had the highest regard for him and hated to see him go. However, I was particularly happy about the fact that he resigned at a time that a special election to fill his slot could be conducted during the regular election, thus saving the taxpayers several million dollars.

So the fact that he tried so hard to choose his successor was a real shock to me. I never realized he was so Machiavellian.

I sat with him at a Chamber luncheon 24 hours after I got wind of the Furse-Huffman feud. I had received an e-mail from the “Best for Texas PAC” that accused Huffman of everything bad in the world. When I started checking with the Texas Ethic Commission about who was the “Best for Texas PAC,” I discovered that Huffman and her husband were one of the founders of the PAC.

When I called her husband, he told me that Allen Blakemore had asked them to found the PAC the year before, then returned their money right before the current campaign started because, according to Huffman’s husband, “they weren’t going to like what the committee did.”

Then the “Best for Texas PAC” took in one huge contribution, the approximately $300,000 Janek had left over from his campaigns. I asked him then what in the world was going on and he told me that he turned the money over to “Joe” Somebody who he trusted and what “Joe” did with the money, he (Janek) didn’t know.

Bull Corn. He knew exactly where that money was going. He and Allan Blakemore (a long-time Houston political operative) recruited Furse to run in Janek’s place. They picked a callow youth to run against a tough woman. More’s the pity.

But what is tantamount is the loops Janek jumped through to assure his successor was someone of his choosing. Giving all your campaign money to your successor is a way to continue your power even if you are not influencing from the power of the incumbency. Thousands and thousands of dollars were spent, and Furse got a paltry under 15% of the vote. It makes me question Janek’s judgement.

And the Republicans should be just as mad. His meddling caused about six candidates to run and resulted in a Democrat getting the most votes, although a run off will be conducted in that race, thus not saving the taxpayers a penny in the long run.

Democrats turned out......George Bush beat Barack Obama in Fort Bend County 50.86% to 48.53%, but the Democrats outvoted the Republicans in straight ticket voting, 50.40% to 49.07%. However in contested races, the Democrats were only victorious in County Commissioner Pct.1 where Richard Morrison best Greg Ordeneaux by a scant 802 votes out of a total of 43,034 cast.

I think Ordeneaux lost because the voters in Greatwood and thereabout were concerned about Hwy. 99 plowing through their subdivisions and Ordeneaux had formerly been on the road commission. Some voters saw his candidacy as one supported by the road proponents.

I can’t help but believe that we will see more Democratic candidates in all the county races in the future. It has been that Republicans ran unopposed or candidates signed up to run in the primary as Republicans and by the time the general election rolled around, they ran unopposed.

I think it will be healthy for local elected positions. Of course, both parties want theirs to be the only one, but a two party system is the backbone of our democracy.

We’ve had a call wanting to know why we didn’t run a picture of Obama on the front page since this was such an historic election.

Well, number one, when we went to press Tuesday night, the election had not been called.

And number two, the only President of the United States we’ll ever run on the front page is if we ever have a President from Fort Bend County.

I usually don’t even endorse presidential candidates. I endorsed Obama this year because I felt like he was such a much better candidate. Evidently a majority of Fort Bend County did not agree with me, although the rest of the country did and gave Barack Obama the resounding vote of approval of 52.6% of the popular vote compared to McCain’s 46.1%. Obama received over 8 million more votes than McCain.

In Fort Bend the McCain-Palin ticket got 4710 more votes than Obama-Biden.

Another interesting election factoid: Three times more people voted early than on election day. Well, if my math is correct. In the presidential race, 154,178 votes were cast early, while 48,047 votes were cast on election day.

I was sick about losing Nick Lampson. Nick tried every way he could to represent his district and voted accordingly. But it just goes to show that it’s almost impossible to shed party labels. Lampson ran better in Fort Bend than Harris County. In Fort Bend he received 46% of the vote, while in Harris County, he only got 41%. That district was drawn strictly for Tom DeLay when he was at the top of his powers and it is going to be very hard for a Democrat to take that district. Nick got in because the Republicans could only field a write-in candidate.

I predict that we’ll seldom see Pete Olson.

 

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:  November 12, 2008