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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."


What goes around...I promised myself that I wouldn’t tease our state representative Charlie Howard about his ineffectiveness in Austin this year.

Well, I can’t help it. I am just greedy (for a laugh). It reminds me of many years ago when Charlie was first elected. He started hitting various business entities and developers in Fort Bend to pay him a retainer to represent them in Austin. I think the guys at Sienna Plantation fell for it, but Sugarland Properties, who were very familiar with Charlie, drew the line and reminded him that he was elected and paid by state taxes to represent the people of Fort Bend in Austin. He wasn’t supposed to then ask for a “retainer.”

The story goes that Charlie admitted that he probably shouldn’t but that he was just greedy. Supposedly he told people that he realized it was a sin and he prayed about it every day.

Well, we have some other chickens coming home to roost with Charlie, and hence my desire for a laugh.

Several years ago Charlie told a roomful of Republican women that men were the head of the household, and intimated that men should make all the important political decisions. When that roomful of Republican women threw a hissy fit and asked Charlie what they should do if they weren’t married, Charlie suggested they go borrow a neighbor man.

Honey, you could hear the squawks all the way to San Angelo. I know that for a fact because I just happened to be in San Angelo when that happened. My telephone rang like a pizzeria offering 2 for 1 pizza.

I’ve taken you the long way around to tell you why I think Charlie is getting his just desserts after all these years.

Charlie was Tom Craddick’s boy. He stuck with him to the end. Craddick was the only speaker to appoint Charlie to head a committee. So Charlie, who has been in the legislature for 14 years (seven terms) and is 26th in seniority out of 150 members, was appointed to two committees this session--Urban Affairs, where he is Vice chair, and Ways and Means. The funny thing about it is that Charlie will serve on these committees under two, not one but two, Democratic women.

And why is someone from a decidedly suburban/rural on an Urban Affairs committee?

I think Charlie has made someone mad.

Another boondoggle.....Fort Bend County commissioners voted to hire two lobbyists to the tune of $36,750 each to represent the county in Austin. This is going to cost $73,500 for 140 calendar days. That’s $525 per day.

Can you believe that? My question is why do we have to hire someone to represent us. Don’t we elect people to do that? If the people we have elected can’t do that adequately, then why don’t our commissioners campaign to elect new representatives.

If you ask the County Judge or a Commissioner if we have good representation, they will inevitably say we do. What are they afraid of? Many qualified individuals have run for the state legislature in the past, but we keep electing the same (obviously) inept ones.

If the county has to hire lobbyists, then something is wrong.

C Club is alive and well...The C Club had a blow-out meeting last week to hear Joanne Herring King, of “Charlie Wilson’s War” fame. It was at the beautiful Sweetwater home of Drs. Ayeez and Shelena Lalji. Ms. Herring talked about the Afghan people and what they have had to endure over the years. If you didn’t see the movie, it was about freeing Afghanistan from Soviet rule and the role that Mrs. Herring and U.S. Representative Charlie Wilson played in kicking the Soviets out.

Dianne Wilson is the new president of the club and she’s doing a great job.

I’m a member of the C Club but I think the Republicans are ruining the reputation of Conservatives. The Republicans have such a bad name in the county that they have taken to calling themselves “Conservatives” now, giving all of us fiscal conservatives a bad name. But with them, it’s the same old ideologues--anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion, and pro guns.

Phone calls....I’ve heard from several people just this past week about the over- aggressiveness of their homeowner groups. I will be doing a story about that soon, so if you have some stories to tell, e-mail me at Beverly@fortbendstar.com. Be sure and include your phone number..

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:
April 30, 2009