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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."

I’m not going to embarrass myself in the pages of this website by ranting about national stuff I don’t know about (like other columnists). I don’t know what happened to my son. I don’t think I dropped him on his head when young, but something happened along the way.

I do remember when he was young, I used to worry that he was growing up in the suburbs and would only be exposed to a very homogeneous way of life. It seemed to me the future would be culturally diverse, and I felt like my children were missing that part of their life education.

Then, my daughter went to the University of Texas, where cultural diversity was celebrated. But my son went to college in San Marcus, and the only cultural diversity there was whether you drank lite beer or dark beer.

Thus the results. Let this be a cautionary tale when dealing with your own children and their college choice.

But there is one thing I do know, when it comes to hinky campaign expense reports, I can spot those a mile away.

My favorite commissioner and obviously yours in Precinct 3, one Mr. Andy Meyers, turns in a campaign finance report that bears no resemblance to real life.

You see, each reporting period, office holders have to report how much money they took in, how much they spent, and how much was left on the last day. Six months later, they have to report it all over again. Now if you take what they ended with the previous reporting period, add all their contributions, subtract all their expenses, then you should have what they will start out with their next reporting period.
Is your head hurting yet?

Guess what, seldom is that number the exact amount it should be. I honestly think our county commissioners pull that number out of some part of their anatomy we don’t want to discuss.

For example, in Commissioner Meyers report, he is from $1,237 to $7,910 off from one reporting period to the other.

I’ll show you:

7/01/2007 through 12/30/2007
Contributions 22,089.50
Expenses 34,482.00
Amt. on last day 38,572.93

1/01/2008 through 6/30/2008
Contributions 74,850.00
Expenses 31,993.67
Amt. on last day 80,192.68

If he started with $38,572, then got $74,850 more, and spent $31,993, you would think he would have $81,429 left on the last day. But no, he claims $80,192. What happened to the $1237?

But let’s go on to the next reporting period.

7/01/2008 through 12/30/2008
Contributions 11,000.00
Expenses 20,842.60
Amt.on last day 62,440.00

Now if he started with $80,192.68 and received another $11,000.00, that would be $91,192.68. Then he spent, according to his report, $20,842.60, which should leave him $70,350.08.

But he claims that he only has $62,440. left. Where is the other $7,910?
And the next reporting period.

1/01/2009 through 6/30/2009
Contributions 41,875.00
Spent 18,281.65
Left 81,016.19

Here we go again:

He started out with $62,440 (he claims) and received another $41,875 for a total of $104,315. He spent $18,281 leaving $86,034. But his report claims he only had $81,016 left. Where is the other $5,018?

See what I mean? I don’t know what calculator Mr. Meyers is using, but it sure doesn’t match mine. And remember, Mr. Meyers is a CPA.

Meyers pays his son a lot of money to manage his campaigns. July 07 to Dec. 07, he paid him $6,200.

In that same period, he did not list any occupations or employers of his contributors, although I recognized the names as lawyers, engineers, architects, land developers. It was also the only period he posted on the county’s web site. And during the same period he paid Dean Hrbacek, the fomer mayor of Sugar Land who was beaten for another term by Dave Wallace, a total of $4,117 for legal fees for his campaign.

His largest donations were from the Bob Perrys who gave him a combination of $3,000.

In Jan 08 to June 08, he paid his son $5,500, Hbracek $1,769, and the Texas Ethics Commission $1,600 for mistakes on his reports (the ones he was caught with). His largest donation was to the Women’s Pregnancy Center for $2,500.

From July 08 to Dec. 08, he got another $2,500 from Bob Perry and paid his son $3,445 and Hrbacek $750. He reimbursed himself $548.

From Jan, 09 through June 09 with no election for four more years, he took in $41,000 in contributions. He got another $2,500 from Bob Perry and gave Dean Hrbacek $2,089 in legal fees. He gave the Simonton Christian Academy several large donations.

Here’s what concerns me about these campaign finance reports. We have no idea if what the officeholders are reporting is true. They have admitted to my sources that they just “make up” the numbers.

County Judge Bob Hebert gives a lot of his “campaign money” to charities, yet some of these charities have told me that he wrote personal checks to them. Is this because he can take it off his personal income taxes? If you are using campaign money to donate to a charity, something that is a good thing, can’t you use a campaign check to donate the money. And if you don’t, what is the reason?

I would like to see some of these officeholders champaign checkbooks and receipts. Who is going to be the first to step up and show me the money? Judge Bob? Prestage? Meyers? Come on, guys. What do you have to hide?

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:
September 10, 2009