I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy Happy Happy New Year. I always find it interesting to see who will be aligned with what camp post election and this election cycle did not disappoint.
First, I would like to congratulate Michael Kubosh who won a well-deserved victory. Michael’s campaign message crossed all demographics, which is upsetting to many. Michael has good counsel as he embarks on his first year at the city. There are people who do not want the Kubosh family to succeed, shocking I know. Michael and his family are a threat because they are beholden to no one and can self-fund a race. These facts combined with their anti-corruption philosophy make Michael a major threat. Look behind Roy Morales and you will see politicians who are bound and determined not to let this idea brew: this idea of honesty, integrity, and yes, morality. The idea of putting a former Pentecostal minister on City council has many heads spinning.
Helena Brown lost to Brenda Stardig in a close race. Grant Martin, the Mayor’s consultant, triangulated Helena between Mike Knox and Brenda with the Republicans. It was fait accompli for Helena’s campaign when Ron Hale and Amy Peck supported the liberal Stardig in the runoff. It was disturbing to notice Dan Patrick’s lack of support for a conservative in the runoff. Dan praised Amy Peck as the best District Director in the state. Now, Amy is serving as the Chief of Staff for Brenda Stardig, a proponent of the rain tax. This is not surprising because Dan Patrick carried legislation for Mayor Parker in the last legislative session and many of the city vendors that brought you Prop 1 “the rain tax” are lining his campaign coffers for Lieutenant Governor.
Prop 1 or Renew Houston, as it is now known, has wreaked the havoc predicted by myself and others. The streets have never been in worse shape. And, even worse, everyone with a hand out has found a way to grab the money from this newfound largesse. Fungible is the key word here. The City of Houston has yet to respond to any of the open records requests on this subject. I suspect Stephen Costello and David Feldman lie awake every night trying to figure out a way not to comply with the numerous FOI requests. I need to start going back to council and asking about Costello’s contracts with the city. Clyde Bryan and I went to council every week for months trying to obtain the records of Stephen Costello’s contracts with the city. We were able to obtain some but we were denied others. Costello never recused himself from any vote on his own contracts or subcontracts. It is unconscionable that Costello’s contracts have not been disclosed.
I am also amusing myself watching Dave Wilson. Vince Ryan is attacking Dave Wilson’s residency post election in the courts. The key word here is post. Ryan had ample opportunity to attack Wilson’s residency before the election when Dave filed to run for the HCC board. Vince now wants to replace Dave with a candidate of his choosing. Meanwhile, ignoring Jack Christie, who lives in Bunker Hill and lists his office address as his residence. What about Ana Hernandez? Or Jessica Farrar, who lives with her husband in Austin where he practices law. It is the slippery slope when we start to overturn elections that our democracy ceases to end and ugly politics replaces your vote.
The inauguration was fun and Rachel and I were seated next to Reverend Nash and his lovely wife. I must say that I suffered through the worst political speech known to man. This was, of course, Mayor Parker’s inaugural speech. The speech was poorly delivered, written, and completely devoid of message. She did kiss her life partner on stage, once again honoring the campaign pledge not to flaunt or use her office to promote her sexuality. This is sarcasm for anyone wishing to misquote me. She also said that she would bring her homosexual agenda to a vote. Can’t wait. The upcoming marriage will be interesting. Envision Steve Radack giving the bride away with city vendors tossing rice and rose pedals. Stephen Costello and the engineering folks (the I’m smarter than you crowd) will be providing the cash bar. Remember, the city has never had more revenue and is billions of dollars in debt.
Parker has six new members of council who do not have a relationship with her. It will be interesting to watch and see how she handles the new members. The new council members will have a very different perspective with the reality that Mayor Parker will not be there for the bulk of their council careers. There is already an interesting mix of candidates lining up to replace her. Sylvester Turner, Chris Bell, Ed Gonzalez, Stephen Costello, and Ben Hall have expressed a desire to replace her and some have begun meeting with folks. Some of these potential candidates for mayor have helped the mayor and will expect like consideration. This will dilute her influence in the race. There are several others acting like they are running for Mayor and I will not be surprised to see over ten mayoral candidates with three or four viable candidates. Oh, yes, let the games begin. It will be fun and I expect a conservative or two.
I am sure the next year will bring many surprises and the fight is on in the Republican Primary. I have made a promise to myself to try and write more often. There is never a lack of subject matter and watch for the articles about the silent hand of the opposition and a force for destruction within the Republican Party. This is always where the real stories lie. People who do not wish you to know what or how they are influencing certain political outcomes are the folks to watch. I am watching real hard.