It was an interesting election with Bill King and Sylvester Turner emerging in the Mayoral runoff. King was able to consolidate the "run government as a business" voters and Sylvester, the liberal Democrats.
With the defeat of HERO especially, in the Afro-American community Ben Hall is probably kicking himself for not putting significant resources behind tying Turner to HERO and an increasingly unpopular Mayor Parker.
Another looming issue in the runoff is the public pension crisis facing Houston and how to solve it. This is the elephant in the room, especially with Turner's longtime close alliance with the public employee unions standing in the way of reform.
For down ballot races, here is our take. In the At-Large City Council races, former HPD Detective Mike Knox leads Georgia Provost in Position 1, with Democratic Chair Lane Lewis in fifth place. In Position 2, incumbent Parker ally David Robinson held to 32%, and will face-off with Pastor Willie Davis, who will be formidable in the runoff. In Position 3, Michael Kubosh rolls. In Position 4, in a battle for second for the runoff position against liberal darling Amanda Edwards, Roy Morales narrowly beats Laurie Robinson. In Position 5, Jack Christie has been forced into a runoff with Sharon Moses.
In the City Controller race, Bill Frazer, CPA, faces off against Chris Brown, current First Assistant to lightly regarded incumbent Ron Green.
In the key district races, District F incumbent Parker ally Richard Nguyen is in some trouble against challenger Steve Le. In District G, Greg Travis edged out Sandie Mullins Moger in a spirited race. Travis' victory owed to a significant late, effective mail program. In District J, Parker ally Mike Laster will face Jim Bigham in a runoff.
In the other city referendum, 2-year terms are now 4-year terms, based on the voters' preference.
On the State Constitutional Amendments and County referendums, here is our take: Everything passed. All four Harris County bond issues and all seven State Constitutional Amendments, including more funds directed to highways and an increase in the homestead exemption. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick informs us that more homeowner tax relief is in the works.
A Look Behind The Pro & Anti HERO Campaigns,
Why The People Won
With combined spending estimated at over $5 million, and after outspending anti-HERO, pro-family forces by an estimated 8 to 1, and with the full-throttled support editorially in columns and the news pages of the Houston Chronicle, they still lost big? 60.97% to 39.03% - a landslide.
They lost because, first and foremost, there was significant overreach and no buy-in by the citizens. The Parker forces lost every ethnic group, and never got out from under the nature of the ordinance, their failure to protect bathrooms and locker rooms like ordinances in cities such as San Antonio and Plano do. For the umpteenth time in her career as Mayor, Annise Parker listened to former City Attorney Dave Feldman (author of HERO), and watched as once again he drove her car into the ditch (remember subpoenaing pastors' sermons and others?), this time taking her political future with it.
This vote revealed for all to see, not the fiscal conservative who ran six years ago, but a committed gay activist, more concerned about LGBT issues than the city's infrastructure, pension crisis, and crime problem. What was once a possible successful countrywide race in her future is now dead and buried as a consequence of the HERO fiasco.
Does this vote mean Houston approves of discrimination? No way. We are a very accepting city. Remember, Parker got a majority of GOP votes six years ago. This ordinance was a solution in search of a problem. An ineffective government looking for new ways to spend money it doesn't have.
The voters have spoken. It's time to get back to basics.
That Iran Nuclear Deal Is Already Over,
No Contract As No Meeting Of The Minds
It's not in the headlines anymore, but much goes on as the Obama deal with Iran unravels. Let's see:
- The Iranian parliament voted to ratify a document that was not what the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in Vienna, but a doctored version (At least that had an up or down vote. We are still waiting for the U.S. Senate to do so.)
- The version they approved gives Iran the option to disavow the deal at any time. The deal they approved requires a total revoking of sanctions, not staged ones. (Here come $150 Billion for terror.)
- Their version allows Iran to renounce the deal if sanctions are reimposed, if (when) Iran is caught cheating.
- The JCPOA agreement to convert the Iranian Arak reactor from a heavy water to light water, is now, per Iran, contingent on an agreement granting Iran benefits.
- Inspections have gone from anytime, anywhere to a permission request in advance to Iran's Supreme Council for Nation Security to inspect. (Goodbye IAEA.)
- Iran has rejected any limitations on the deployment of missiles and other weapons. Just last week, they tested an ICBM that is nuclear weapon capable. Such testing is a violation of UN sanctions, and Iran couldn't care less.
The conditions are analyzed in an insightful article by Yigal Carmon and Ayelet Savyon of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) (http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/8813.htm), which states, "These conditions constitute a total change of the JCPOA. Khamenei is not allowing any execution of the JCPOA by Iran until this is accepted in writing by the other side, and thus he is nullifying the JCPOA as agreed upon on July 14, 2015."
So again, can someone explain what the Obama deal got us? Anyone in the Congress who voted to confirm this turkey, including the spineless Senators who filibustered to avoid the vote, deserve to be ousted from Congress the next time they face the voters.
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About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his sixteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last fourteen years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 13 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his 14th year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.