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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."


 

Boy, is my face red......After I spent a great amount of space last week griping about campaign finance reports being so hard to access, I was informed that they were indeed posted on a county web site.

So go to the county’s web site. Over on the far right is a link called “Public Information Center.” A popup menu will tell you that you are leaving the county’s web site and going to the Public Information Web site. Click okay.

When you get to the Public Information Center, you will see a line of links at the top of the page. Run your cursor over “News” and a drop down menu will contain “Officeholder Campaign Financial Reports.” Then click on it again when the menu shows it.

You will find that County Judge Bob Hebert is current with his reports. So is Pct. 4 Commissioner James Patterson.

Pct. 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers is a full year behind on his, whereas Pct. 2 Commissioner Grady Prestage has not posted his 7/01/08 thru 12-31-08 report to keep himself current.

Pct. 1 Richard Morrison is the newly sworn in commissioner. He doesn’t have to file a report until July. If you want to see any of his financials from the campaign last year, you will still have to go over to the county annex in Rosenberg during regular business hours and ask for them.

Is there a connection?....A surprise announcement at an Andy Meyers fund raiser breakfast (more about that later) was that Chief Deputy Craig Brady was going to run for sheriff, when Milton Wright retires. At the breakfast, Wright reportedly said he was only going to serve one more term and Meyers introduced Brady as a candidate.

Quite a few people wonder what the connection between Brady’s announcement and a mandatory meeting later on where all the patrol and CID deputies received a $1000 cashiers check from an anonymous donor. Many people have wondered if the deputies were expected to contribute their $1000 windfall to Brady’s campaign fund. Was Brady making a list and taking names about this quarter million dollar contribution?

Brady claims not to know the name of the donor but most people think that whatever the sheriff knows that Brady knows.

The main concern is that the huge gift did not go through any “vetting” process and may run afoul of any laws prohibiting public servants from accepting money.

Brady’s announcement, four years out from election, has also been questioned. The Fort Bend Republican base, which is very conservative, might be hard-pressed to vote for a man like Brady who left his wife of almost 30 years with whom he had five children to marry a subordinate employee after getting her pregnant. That’s probably not going to fly.

Then Brady has hired Gary Gillen, the deposed Republican County Chairman, to be his campaign manager. Hey, things already don’t look good. The rumor is that Constable Pct 4 Troy Nehls is going to run but if he announces, he would have to immediately resign his current elected position.

Meanwhile, as an announced candidate, Brady will have to start filing campaign reports and we can look and see how many $1000 donations he reports.

More about that later.....Andy Meyers holds a campaign breakfast annually to which he invites all engineers, architects, construction owners, and everybody else who is a non-bid vendor to the county. They are expected to buy a table at differing prices.

Although may politicos do this, few do it every year. Most just do it the year they are running for re-election.

However, Meyers was recently elected to his fourth four year term. So he has four more years until he has to run again. Why is he having a fund-raising breakfast now? He’s having a fund-raising breakfast now so he will have money to pay for a lot of non-political things like cell phone bills, payment to his off-spring for campaign work, etc.

AND, he is a year behind on posting his campaign reports.

 

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:January 30, 2009