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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."


 

The blame game......Iíve been doing exactly what Iíve told you not to do. Iíve been listening to all the economic pundits on television and radio. So what does this have to do with the price of eggs in Fort Bend County? Iíll get to that in a moment.

As near as Iíve been able to figure out, we had an economy built on questionable mortgage financing and outdated industrial models. There was an unholy alliance between Washington and Wall Street. Washington was unduly influenced by lobbyists to strike down and relax laws and regulations that governed finance. Washington was happy to do that because easy credit (albeit temporary) made their constituents happy.

So what does that have to do with Fort Bend? Right here in River Cities, we have a situation whereby the County Judge and Commissioners Court can be unduly influenced by non-bid vendors (our version of lobbyists) who contribute to campaign coffers to County Judge Bob Hebert and Commissioners Andy Meyers, James Patterson, and Grady Prestage. Our newly elected Commissioner Richard Morrison hasnít had an opportunity to establish a track record yet.

Anyway, those guys have to make regular reports of their campaign contributions and expenditures. They have to file reports twice a year and more frequently if they are running for re-election.

These reports are filed (and only kept for two years) in a hidden file cabinet in the elections office over at the Rosenberg annex. This is a process not exactly characterized by openness and transparency.

The only newspaper in Fort Bend County that has ever reported on these filings is the ďStarĒ and weíve not had the space to run all the information on each report.

Yet, putting these on the countyís web site would take up very little space, and since most of the reports are now available in a downloadable format (except for the Commissioners who use old, old, forms), it would take very little time to post these on the web.

And when one considers what the County Judge and Commissioners vote to pay some of these non-bid vendors, the amount of money to put these up pales in comparison.

But no, they donít want you to see who they take money from because you may start questioning their votes.

In other areas the county is quick to put the information on the web site. It has the agendas, the minutes, and even a video of the more important commissioner meetings.

Most other entities all over the state post their campaign reports on line, including all state offices and even our congressional candidates.

If you want to know what State Representative Charlie Howard takes in and spends, you only have to look at the stateís web site. If you want to know who is financing Pete Olson, that information is available at the federal election commissionís web site.

One canít help but wonder why Fort Bend County Commissioners are so reluctant to put their campaign finances on line like most every other elected official.

Ahhh, those Republicans...The Republicans have had a motley crew to speak at their annual Lincoln/Reagan Dinner. Theyíve had that toe-sucker Dick Morris, the female impersonator Ann Coulter, that rabid ball of hate Sean Hannity, the ďDaddy didnít love meĒ Michael Reagan, and finally snooze-arama Fred Barnes.

But this year theyíve really hit the big time with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. This was the guy appointed by former President George Bush who served one year and his most prominent claim to fame when he was appointed was his public criticism of the United Nations. Of course, he was pretty typical of Bushís other high profile appointments that made people wonder what was he thinking?

So the local Republicans want $85 ($150 if you want to attend the V.I.P. reception) from you to hear John Bolton and to hear Governor Rick Perry make a campaign speech.

It was pointed out to me that there are only about three people from Fort Bend on Kay Bailey Hutchisonís campaign committees. In Fort Bend, Hutchison is the wrong sex to be in Republican politics. Now if she were to run for something like precinct chair or where you take money or notes, itís okay to be a woman.

The funniest line Iíve seen about the epic battle between Perry and Hutchison was one penned by Susan Bankston on her ďKiss My Big Blue ButtĒ website. She said: ďThat one will involve pitching, hair pulling, and lots of witchery. And then whatever Kay does.Ē

I donít think the local Republicans have the same problem as the national party does. The national party canít seem to figure out what it is as a political party. It canít figure out if it should launch an all-out attack on the Stimulus Plan, or drop back and see if it might work. It is sort of like the surge in Iraq which included a substantial increase in U.S. troops which seemed to work in the long run.

Locally, Republicans seem to know what they want. They want anything Teresa Raia tells them they want. Many people think County Chairman Rick Miller runs the party, but they are wrong. Actually Teresa Raia runs it.

Donít forget.....Shop locally. The local businesses need your business.

 

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:  February 25, 2009