Our City is at a breaking point: thousands of potholes line our streets, police are not solving serious crimes, and the city’s debt surpasses Detroit. Bill King recognized these problems long ago and is running for mayor in order to rehabilitate Houston’s core services – taking local government Back to Basics. The local media and other candidates have followed King’s lead in framing the issues although no other candidate has developed thoughtful, workable solutions – the others just restate the problems and make impossible promises.
As a Houston Chronicle columnist, King provided readers with intelligent arguments and solutions concerning the city’s infrastructure, mobility, police department, crime lab, fire department, and pension problems. King does not shy away from difficult issues and never hesitates to take an unpopular position. This distinguishes King from every other mayoral candidate: he is unafraid of the unions and will tackle the sacred cows, even if they make him unpopular with some folks.
Bill’s candidacy is changing the debate. The local media has picked up on King’s themes. The Chronicle continues to report and print editorials on the city’s pension and financial crisis. The police department woes are well documented and continue to percolate. The city’s infrastructure narrative shifted after King’s campaign focused on our poor streets and let Houstonians know that they deserved something better. The fact that local media is following King’s campaign issues demonstrates leadership. The next mayor of Houston must be a consensus builder with actual, workable solutions and the only candidate who fits this description is Bill King.
King’s commercials are successful too. Recent HRBC Poll and KHOU polls have King tied for second or firmly in second place. Bill has secured the endorsements of the C Club, Kingwood Tea Party, and over 100 Harris County Republican precinct chairs.
Watch one of his TV ads. Bill has articulated these ideas for years and he demonstrates his strong communication skills.
The biggest “endorsement” for King came from Annise Parker herself. Mayor Parker’s non-endorsement-endorsement of King speaks volumes.
Parker recently tweeted a statement indicating that she supports five candidates as her successor –Chris Bell, Stephen Costello, Adrian Garcia, Marty McVey, and Sylvester Turner. As you likely know, Costello is doing his best to pose as the “conservative candidate” while also advocating for the GLBT endorsement, HERO, and receiving the endorsement of Planned Parenthood.
My complaints about Stephen Costello are well-documented. In 2009, he also posed as the “conservative candidate” by hiring “conservative” campaign staff members, showing up at Republican Executive Committee meetings, and arguing that city council needed an engineer to fix our infrastructure. Little did we know that his “fix” was the drainage fee. On September 15, Annise did us a favor and let us know that her “finance directors work for Costello.” While I could rest my case against Costello right here, I want to provide you with more information.
Costello promises to hire 1,500 new police officers – with an asterisk. When asked about this campaign promise over the weekend, Costello explained that his plan to pay for these officers begins with the Texas Legislature shifting control over police and fire pensions to the local government. First, I always find it interesting that Costello says he is for local control of our pensions; yet, he supported and voted for the 2011 police pension agreement that specifically prohibited the city from lobbying the Texas Legislature for local control until 2023. Costello did get the police endorsement that year. Second, the Texas Legislature does not meet again until 2017. So, under Costello, plan with an asterisk, pension relief could not occur until after the 2017 legislative session. What happens until then? What if the Legislature does not pass the local control bill? Simply said, Costello is the antithesis of Bill King.
Bill King has been around the Houston area for a long time and I have known him for years. He has built several successful businesses and met a payroll. I know him to be an excellent lawyer and his legal acumen will be very important as mayor. It has been many years since Houston has seen a mayor that wasn’t owned by the police and fire unions and, quite frankly, Houstonians deserve Bill King – someone who will identify problems, offer solutions, and get things accomplished.
Yesterday, I attended an event where Annise was applauded for ridding the city of the homeless veterans, which made me wonder if everyone else in attendance was blind. Bill’s campaign is representative of how he will lead our city – with dignity, honesty, and true fiscal conservatism. King is truly in position to vie for a spot in the December runoff election.
Go vote for Bill and take ten or twenty of your friends with you. Early voting starts Monday. This is not a choice of lesser evils – I firmly believe that Bill is the only choice for our mayor.