By all accounts, it was a smashing success. I decided at the last minute to stop by and say hi, didn’t bring a camera or anything. My mistake. You see, most of these meet and greets are small affairs that are friendly and such but nothing noteworthy. This one was different for a couple of reasons.
First off, they did it right. The venue is a place that I’ve been to many times over the years but it was always a different restaurant. It is no longer a restaurant but a banquet facility that is available to rent. Complete with a dance floor and disco ball, it is a beautiful place. Check it out – Bridgewater Events.
I’ve often wondered why the restaurants that opened in that building couldn’t make money: after all, it is a beautiful place with gorgeous sunsets – you sit at your table overlooking the ship channel, with the sun setting behind the Fred Hartman bridge. It turns out that it is because of city ordinances. I spoke with the owner for a bit and he has a nightmare story that everyone should listen to if you want to understand the effects restrictive ordinances have on small businesses. He estimates that he lost a quarter of a million dollars before deciding to give up and rent it out as a banquet hall.
The other reason it was different is that it was very well attended. I’d guess 80 or so actual voters were there. If you haven’t been to one of these routine meet and greets, you might think that number was low. Actually, it is very high, most of these events having less than a dozen or so voters. Candidates for other offices also attend, as was the case with this one, but getting voters out is tough to do.
There were a lot of Baytown city officials there, including an ex-mayor and several council members. It is clear that the leaders of Baytown feel betrayed by the incumbent congressman, Rep. Gene Green. They understand that his vote in favor of the cap and trade bill has the potential to destroy their community. Living only a few minutes away, I understand their pain and wish I were in his district to vote against him.
This type of event is where Roy excels. He has the ability to give a rousing stump speech and he didn’t disappoint the crowd. There was a lot of hollering and clapping as he talked about Cap/Trade, Obamacare and Illegal Immigration. All in all, a very productive night on the campaign trail for Mr. Morales.
(note: as I did not bring a camera, I asked Alvin Walker, Morales Campaign Treasurer, to send photos. I appreciate his help.)