As we’ve done in the past, we are publishing a list of the various endorsement slates for the 2016 Republican Primary. Because most of us at BJP are located in Harris County, that will be the focus of the list but others will be included if we know about them. So, if you know of a slate that you would like to see represented on the list, let us know in the comments section.
It’s early in the process and many of the slates haven’t released their results. The first iteration of the combined list has three slates, the United Republicans of Harris County, Dr. Steve Hotze, and the Conservative Coalition of Harris County. Click here to view the first list. For the most updated version, be sure and click on the menu bar selection just below the BJP logo. Note that the organizations are listed in the order I received or found them and are not ordered by importance or any other factor.
I’m somewhat surprised by Hotze’s support of Valoree Swanson in HD150. Rep. Debbie Riddle’s record is almost a mirror image of Hotze’s stands on the issues through the years. Maybe he just wants a change there. The United Republicans didn’t even weigh in on that race, a critical race in Harris County. Also surprising is the relative lack of consensus on the candidates by the CCHC and leaving so many races without an endorsement.
I’d like to single out the CCHC for their work in gathering up questionnaires from the candidates and publishing them on their website. There is quite a lot of useful information in the responses from candidates, as well as an insight into the process the CCHC uses to screen the candidates. If you pay attention to the questions, you can easily see the bias of the group and can predict who they will endorse in certain races. For instance, their questions on the Harris County Department of Education are so uninformed about the department it makes it clear which candidates running to control the HCDE actually know anything about the HCDE. Totally weird. Current HCDE Trustee Marvin Morris is spot on in his response to the group:
I have attached to questionnaires you submitted. The questions asked cannot be answered in a yes or no manner and they show a lack of understanding as to what the HCDE does and the services they perform. I have been on the board for five plus years and find it one of the most worthy organizations in the state. Is it perfect, no. Can improvements be made, yes.
But to do away with the HCDE organization will serve no purpose for the tax payers of Harris County. The tax will not go away, as no taxes ever go away. The tax, like in 11 other counties in Texas, will be passed on to the county commissioners and they will place it in their general fund to pass out to the supporters of their office. Thus ending HCDE services to the local ISD’s. Then the services performed by HCDE will be thrown back to the ISD’s. The ISD’s will have to go to mostly for profit organizations in order to have or hire the people and rent the space to continue the services. Then they will, in turn, have to raise the taxes in their service area to cover these additional costs. Therefore, instead of deleting a tax, the end result will be increased taxes for all by closing HCDE.
I understand that your organization is endeavoring to be a watchdog for the peoples tax money. I have voted and been successful to keep lower tax rates to the people I represent for the last five years. If re-elected, I intend to see that the money is wisely spent and the tax rate remains at a level below the effective tax rate. The county published nominal tax rate was to be 0.00599. I moved that the board adopt 0.005422 and it was passed. As you can see, I am trying to keep the taxes as low as possible.
Harris County Department of Education
Position 1 – Precinct 2
And that is exactly why I’ll be voting for Morris in the primary. If people would take the time necessary to learn about the HCDE and how it helps local ISD’s save a ton of taxpayer money, they would ignore those self-appointed “watchdogs” over the department.
But kudos to the group for putting in the time and effort to get the questionnaires out there.
Be sure and let me know of any slates you want to see on the list.