As I’ve said in the intro to all of the video interviews in the race to replace Rep. Steve Stockman in CD-36, the district is geographically very large and includes deep East Texas and the Clear Lake area. The population is very diverse and I’ve asked each of the candidates that I’ve talked to about the differences between voters in Clear Lake and those in Woodville/Jasper because it seemed to me that there are little similarities.
So this quote of candidate Chuck Meyer in the Texas Tribune in an article by Aman Batheja caught my eye:
Near the end of the forum, candidates were asked how they would represent a district that includes part of urban Harris County and stretches across several rural counties. While some candidates spoke about the importance of balancing the needs of the district’s urban and rural residents, Meyer took a different approach.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I want to represent southeast Texas in Washington, D.C. I don’t want to represent Harris County,” Meyer said. “Harris County is in the district, unfortunately, but they have plenty of representatives there to represent that part of the district.”
After reading that, I noted on Facebook that Chuck Meyer had lost my vote. Meyer objected, saying that the quote was taken out of context. So I contacted the reporter, Aman Batheja, to see if Meyer was correct. Batheja did change a couple of words in after listening again to the audio recording of the forum and updated the article, which now reads:
“Ladies and gentlemen, I want to represent southeast Texas in Washington, D.C. I don’t want to represent Harris County,” Meyer said. “Harris County is in the district, unfortunately, but they have plenty of congressmen down there to represent the interests of that district.”
As you can see, instead of “representatives there” the correct quote is “congressmen down there”. That is such a minor difference it isn’t worth noting.
Batheja also sent me the audio recording of Meyer’s statement and if you listen to it, it clearly confirms that Meyer said he does not want to represent the Harris County part of the district. In fact, he repeats the idea a couple of times. Take a listen:
At about the 2:16 mark, this is what Meyer says:
This seat does not belong in the hands of someone from Harris County. Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, it does not. There are plenty of congressmen and congresswomen down in Harris County to take care of the needs of Harris County.
Meyer then talks about the needs of Southeast Texas and ends that line of reasoning by saying those needs are very different from those of Seabrook (I happen to live next door to Seabrook). And then he says, “Ladies and gentlemen, I want to represent Southeast Texas”. Those are his words, not the reporter’s and not mine. And the reporter got the context completely accurate. It is clear that Meyer thinks that “Southeast Texas” doesn’t include Harris County.
So folks, if you want to vote for someone that says publicly he isn’t going to represent you, that is your right. I want to vote for someone that will represent the entire district and understands that from a federal perspective, the issues of “Southeast Texas” and “Seabrook” are one and the same. I want smaller government, freedom from government, and a restoration of the 10th amendment. When I interviewed Chuck, I was impressed – he has a diverse background and seemed to know the issues. But after finding out he wants to leave my portion of the district out of his plans, I’ll find another candidate.