In a city that is almost 2-1 Democratic, Bill King, in the non-partisan Mayoral election came oh so close. Closing the gap after round one, King tightened the numbers to a miniscule 4,129 votes out of the 212,696 cast!
When races are so close, it is important to review what could have been done to achieve victory:
(1) The Turner side was happy to make the race partisan after the opening they were given by the Harris County Republican Party (remember Ben Hall is a Democrat and other efforts). The GOP voters in the city are greatly outnumbered, so "partisan-ing" the race only hurts our side. On the other hand, pressing liberals on issues does help our side, and we needed more of that. Simply put, to be successful in city races, it must be about ideology and not about partisan labels.
(2) Insufficient stressing of Turner's out of touch support of HERO (the men in women's bathrooms ordinance). This could have been done by third party advertising, but there was insufficient funding to do so. Reminding voters of Turner's identical position on HERO as Mayor Parker's would have hurt Turner among the 67% of voters who voted "no" and the 62% of African American voters who voted "no," including over 40% of Turner's voters!
(3) Turnout. With overall turnout at 21.42%, a GOP increase in turnout of as little as 26% and King would have won. Paul Simpson, HCRP chair, ran as the man with the plan to assist precinct chairs in boosting turnout. We didn't do any better than the Turner side despite "claims" by some of a herculean effort on behalf of King. The facts do not bear them out. We guess it's back to the drawing board.
(4) Did the lack of ballot security result in no dropoff in the runoff for Mayor? While overall, the Harris County city vote turnout dropped by 58,078 votes or 22%, the Fort Bend Turner vote was up 6% with 93% of the vote! Was there an effort to ensure fair voting there? For the sake of ballot integrity, this needs to be checked out.
(5) Is there a conservative future to lead City Hall? Maybe, it depends on the candidate and turnout. Twenty-one percent for our side doesn't get it done.
All in all, it's a sad day. If Bill King were allowed to get the city back to basics, it would have been a major step forward. Now all we can do is pray that Mayor-elect Turner sees the light.
Ominous Spending Bill:
It's Enough To Make You Hurl
The incredible 2,000 page spending bill has just passed the U.S. Congress. There are a few things to like and many things to dislike.
First the good, it will now be legal to export oil and gas from the U.S., this is good for Texas oil producers and the Texas economy, and we got a needed increase in defense spending.
Now the bad, spending caps are finished and the spending is going up; no limitations on Planned Parenthood, and the bill funds Obamacare, refugee resettlement and sanctuary cities. The bill quadruples H-2B visas, bringing in more "low skilled" workers who can take jobs from Americans. It also sets no limits on Obama's climate change agenda. And this is just the beginning.
Finally, why did our people present a 2,000 page spending bill and give Congressmen less than three days to digest it?
This is not a way to run Congress in a democracy.
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Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8.1, replaying Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8.1, Mondays at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpublicmedia.org.
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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.