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Endorsement watch: A late roundup

Some recent endorsements in City elections over the past few days. Going back to last week, here are the endorsements from the Houston Black American Democrats (HBAD):

Mayor – Gene Locke
Controller – Ronald Green
At Large #1 – Karen Derr
At Large #2 – Andrew Burks
At Large #3 – Melissa Noriega
At Large #4 – C.O. Bradford
At Large #5 – Jolanda Jones
District A – Lane Lewis
District B – Roger Bowden
District D – Wanda Adams
District F – Mike Laster
District G – Dexter Handy
District H – Ed Gonzalez
HISD District IX – Adrian Collins
Proposition 4 – Yes

HBAD also endorsed John Sharp in the whenever-it-will-be Senate race. More on that in a bit. Next up is the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce PAC, which thankfully put its endorsements online where I could easily find them:

Gene Locke, Mayor

Ronald Green, Controller

Sue Lovell, At Large Pos. 2

Melissa Noriega, At Large Pos. 3

Noel Freeman, At Large Pos. 4

Jarvis Johnson, Dist. B

Anne Clutterbuck, Dist. C

Wanda Adams, Dist. D

Mills Worsham, Dist. G

Ed Gonzalez, Dist. H

James Rodriguez, Dist. I

Alma Lara, HISD Dist. 1

Mary Ann Perez, HCCS Dist. III

And finally, and also nicely online, the Noah’s Ark PAC:

Noah’s Ark PAC endorses Gene Locke for Mayor of Houston. Following a personal visit to Houston’s Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC), Gene Locke met with a group of Houston’s most vocal advocates for BARC to ask for their input and suggestions for making lasting changes at BARC. Locke incorporated their input into his policy for BARC which can be found on his web site at:
http://www.genelocke.com/release_details.asp?id=68#

Gene Locke was selected due to his obvious commitment to working with advocates and for providing tangible, realistic solutions to addressing the problems at BARC.

Noah’s Ark PAC also endorses the following candidates for controller and city council:

City Controller- Pam Holm

City Council
At-Large 1- Karen Derr
At-Large 2- Sue Lovell
At-Large 3- Melissa Noriega
At-Large 4- C.O. “Brad” Bradford
At-Large 5- Jolanda Jones
District A- Lane Lewis
District B- Jarvis Johnson
District C- Anne Clutterbuck
District D- Wanda Adams
District E- no endorsement
District F- Peter Acquaro
District G- Oliver Pennington
District H- Ed Gonzalez
District I- James Rodriguez

Noah’s Ark PAC congratulates these candidates and thanks the many candidates that completed the PAC’s candidate survey. Noah’s Ark PAC would like to specifically recognize Karen Derr for being the first major candidate for Houston city council to make the issues at BARC a campaign platform issue. The PAC also recognizes candidate for mayor, Annise Parker, for routinely discussing the problems at BARC in her newsletter and campaign literature, helping to elevate the public discussion. Noah’s Ark PAC also recognizes Councilwoman Jolanda Jones for her commitment to thoroughly researching the problems at BARC and for asking tough questions when they needed to be asked.

That’s a pretty good week for Gene Locke. (It may be a little less so if this story about the Sports Authority needing to refinance a bunch of debt gets any legs.) You can read the responses they got to their questionnaires here and here. And here’s the Chron profile of Locke, the second in their series.

Not endorsement-related, but Annie’s List sent out another mailer in support of Annise Parker, this one attacking Peter Brown for being a “serial exaggerator”. I’ve put a copy of it beneath the fold for your perusal. So far, I have not seen or heard of any pushback on the mailer, which distinguishes it from the hit piece they did on Gene Locke last month.

Elsewhere, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Schieffer announced the support of several South Texas legislators.

Announcing their support for Schieffer were Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa of McAllen and Representatives Veronica Gonzales of McAllen, Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles of Alice, Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande City, Eddie Lucio III of Brownsville, Armando “Mando” Martinez of Weslaco, Rene Oliveira of Brownsville, Aaron Pena of Edinburg and Tara Rios Ybarra of South Padre Island.

The full release is beneath the fold. Schieffer’s release prompted a response from Hank Gilbert that said the announcement of all this support so early in the game is an acknowledgement that Gilbert is a serious threat to him. Maybe so, but one could also ask at what point Gilbert will start to get official support like that. In particular, I’m wondering which candidate for Governor guys like Reps. Jim McReynolds, Chuck Hopson, Stephen Frost, and Mark Homer – all Dems from Gilbert’s neck of the woods – will endorse.

Finally, circling back to the Senate race, John Sharp announced the endorsement of State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, while Bill White received the nod from the Texas Legislative Black Caucus.

Endorsing members include Rep Alma Allen (Houston), Rep Garnet Coleman (Houston), Rep Dawnna Dukes (Austin), Rep Harold Dutton (Houston), Rep Helen Giddings (Dallas), Rep Barbara Mallory Caraway (Dallas), Rep Ruth McClendon (San Antonio), Rep Sylvester Turner (Houston) and Rep Marc Veasey (Fort Worth).

Coleman, Allen, Dukes, Caraway, and McClendon were on the first list of endorsees that White released. He’s now received the nod of 37 of the 74 Dems in the House (full list here), including 11 of 14 from Harris County; in addition to Dutton and Turner, Hubert Vo and Armando Walle have signed on since that initial list came out. The three holdouts are Senfronia Thompson, Al Edwards, and Kristi Thibaut. This release is beneath the fold as well.

Dear Charles,

It is hard not to see a lot of Councilman Peter Brown these days in Houston. He is using his considerable personal fortune to saturate the airwaves, mailboxes and phone lines of voters in his bid for Mayor of Houston (almost $3 million to date). In fact, he is outspending his opponents, including Annie’s List endorsed candidate Annise Parker, by 300% or more in some mediums.

And yet, even with that vast financial advantage, Peter Brown has a BIG problem…his apparent compulsion for constantly exaggerating accomplishments and padding his resume. And after dozens of public candidate forums, debates, mail pieces and TV ads – we mean ‘constantly.’

Last month the Houston Chronicle busted Peter Brown for listing over 30 people on his website as supporters when those same individuals had actually endorsed his opponents. He was notified a week earlier to remove the names but it wasn’t until the Chronicle wrote a story that he took action.

Then on Saturday the Houston Chronicle called out Peter Brown AGAIN. This time about his claims on the stump and in his TV ads that he “initiated” or “created” a recycling program at City Hall that has saved taxpayers more than $1 million.

“The program in question revolves around keeping yard and tree waste from going to landfills and is one of many ways the city has stepped up recycling efforts this year.  The savings are real, and are much higher than $1 million. But the idea for the initiative came from a task force co-chaired by his opponent in the mayoral contest, Annise Parker. Mayor Bill White and Harry Hayes, the director of the Solid Waste Management Department, have highlighted the role the task force played in initiating the idea in press conferences and press releases.  Neither has mentioned Brown.” ~Bradley Olson, Houston Chronicle, 10/10/09

So, not only did he grossly exaggerate his role in the creation of the City’s recycling program, he took credit away from others who actually did the work, including Annise Parker. Neither is acceptable.

Then, yesterday it just got ridiculous. During the filming of his candidate profile on KHOU Channel 11, reporter Lee McGuire probed Brown about an often repeatedclaim that he was “instrumental” in getting Houston’s Real-Time Crime Center built (a state-of-the-art HPD facility to track criminal activity around the city as it happens).

Here is Peter Brown’s response when pushed on the issue: “I gave the Mayor an article about the real time crime center in Los Angeles and I said ‘Mayor, we need one of these,’ and he understood that we needed it and now we have it.” However, as noted by KHOU, a spokesman for Mayor Bill White said plans for the real-time crime center were already well underway by the time Brown showed the article to White.

So just to be clear, not only was Peter Brown’s claim that he was involved on the front end of developing the Crime Center discounted by Mayor Bill White’s office, but Peter defines “instrumental” as passing along an article that he read in the paper.

If the stakes in running the fourth largest city in America during an economic downturn weren’t so high, Peter Brown’s serial exaggerations might be funny and even endearing. But with the economic and social well being of millions of Houstonians on the line, this is no laughing manner.  Nor do these appear to be isolated incidents.

Instead of standing on his own record, he seems to regularly use puffery and word play to place himself at the center of important and not so important issues. Just cursory research shows that the media and his council colleagues have seen this pattern as well.

  • Mimi Swartz of Texas Monthly described Brown as “a wealthy, white eccentric”who is considered the flakiestcandidate for Mayor. ~ August 2009

That being said, it has become clear that what Peter Brown actually has a blueprint for is a revisionist history modeled in his honor. He fully intends on using millions of dollars of his own money to paint his own picture on the Houston airwaves. All the while making more grandiose claims about things that he may or may not have done in his very short tenure in public office.

However, we have faith that the voters of Houston will see through the fancy ads about lofty plans and ask themselves, “What has this guy REALLY ever achieved in his FOUR YEARS on the City Council and can I trust him to get the job done as Mayor?”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Schieffer today earned endorsements from nine legislators from the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas. Their backing further strengthens his support in that key part of the state and among the Hispanic community.
“These Democrats are some of the hardest-working, most-respected members of the Legislature. They, like me, are committed to improving our public schools, making health care more available, increasing job opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley,” Schieffer said. “I am proud to have earned their support.”
Schieffer said the endorsements demonstrate the faith the lawmakers have in his determination and ability to address the crucial concerns of South Texas and the entire state.
Announcing their support for Schieffer were Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa of McAllen and Representatives Veronica Gonzales of McAllen, Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles of Alice, Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande City, Eddie Lucio III of Brownsville, Armando “Mando” Martinez of Weslaco, Rene Oliveira of Brownsville, Aaron Pena of Edinburg and Tara Rios Ybarra of South Padre Island.
Schieffer earlier won endorsements from five Democratic House leaders – Representatives Senfronia Thompson of Houston, Garnet Coleman of Houston, Jim Dunnam of Waco, Jessica Farrar of Houston and Pete Gallego of Alpine. Representative Thompson, the Democratic dean of the House and member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), co-chairs Schieffer’s Senior Advisory Committee.
Schieffer also has been endorsed by the Association of Hispanic County Judges and County Commissioners. Former Judge Gilberto Hinojosa of Brownsville, a member of the DNC and the State Democratic Executive Committee, co-chairs Schieffer’s campaign.
“Tom Schieffer is a lifelong Democrat and proven leader who is addressing issues critical to South Texas and the entire state – stronger public schools, a better health care system and a stronger economy. His focus is on bread and butter issues that will improve the quality of life for all Texans,” said Senator Hinojosa, chairman of the Senate’s Hispanic Caucus and a well-respected Senate leader on criminal justice issues and appropriations.
“I support Tom Schieffer because he is an experienced leader who has the ability to address the challenges facing South Texas in education, health care, transportation and unemployment,” added Representative Gonzales, chair of the House Border & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. “Tom will be good for the Rio Grande Valley and all of Texas.”
Representative Gonzalez Toureilles, chair of the House Agriculture & Livestock Committee, said she was endorsing Schieffer because “he cares about the needs of South Texas – education, health care, clean air and water and economic opportunity. He is not an ideologue. He is a leader who can move South Texas and the entire state forward.”
“I look forward to Tom Schieffer’s leadership in the next legislative session to help pass many of the initiatives I believe are vital for the working men and women of this state,” Representative Guillen said.
Representative Lucio said he supports Schieffer because “he understands the key issues that are most important to my constituents and me – improving our current education system, access to affordable health care and a greater quality of life for the Rio Grande Valley. Tom has the experience and the leadership skills to make it happen.”
“I am proud to support and endorse Tom Schieffer for governor of Texas,” Representative Martinez said. “Tom is a Democrat who understands the needs not only of the Rio Grande Valley, but all of Texas. His past experience as a public servant on both the state and federal levels provides him the leadership to lead Texas to a prosperous future.”
Representative Oliveira, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, added: “After 13 terms in the Texas Legislature, I have served with many governors. I rank Tom with the late Ann Richards and the Honorable Mark White, two great governors who fought for working Texans and for those people who did not have a voice in Austin. Tom Schieffer is good for South Texas, and I am proud to offer my support.”
“Tom Schieffer has been a successful businessman, and he has served his state as a legislator and his country as an ambassador to two critical allies,” Representative Pena said. “His service abroad gave him a unique perspective from which to view the importance of public education in a globalized economy. A lifelong Democrat, he will provide Texans the thoughtful leadership we need in the governor’s office.”
“Tom Schieffer is talking about education, health care, the economy and other issues important to me and to South Texas,” added Representative Rios Ybarra. “He will be a strong leader for this state, and I am happy to endorse his candidacy for governor.”
Schieffer has assembled a diverse leadership team from all parts of the state with deep roots in the Texas Democratic Party. His campaign co-chairs are former Judge Gilberto Hinojosa of Brownsville and veteran Democratic activist Susan Longley of Austin. Former House Speaker Pete Laney of Hale Center and Representative Senfronia Thompson of Houston head his Senior Advisory Committee. His finance co-chairs are Lyndon L. Olson Jr. of Waco, a former Democratic legislator and former ambassador to Sweden under President Clinton, and Alann Sampson, longtime civic leader and philanthropist in Fort Worth.
Schieffer, of Fort Worth, is a former United States Ambassador to Australia and Japan, former president of the Texas Rangers baseball team and former Democratic member of the Texas House.

Members of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, the main African-American legislative body in the Texas House of Representatives, today endorsed Bill White as Texas’ next U.S. Senator, praising his record of fighting for families. TLBC members emphasized White’s problem-solving approach to better educational opportunities, safe neighborhoods, energy efficiency and affordable housing.

Endorsing members include Rep Alma Allen (Houston), Rep Garnet Coleman (Houston), Rep Dawnna Dukes (Austin), Rep Harold Dutton (Houston), Rep Helen Giddings (Dallas), Rep Barbara Mallory Caraway (Dallas), Rep Ruth McClendon (San Antonio), Rep Sylvester Turner (Houston) and Rep Marc Veasey (Fort Worth).

TLBC Chairman Sylvester Turner said the individual members’ endorsement relied on White’s strong record as mayor of the fourth largest city in the United States. “We need someone who understands big cities in the Senate. As a legislator for 20 years in the Texas House, I know what it takes to be effective in the lawmaking process. Mayor White will fight in the U.S. Senate, as he has for many years as Mayor, to enhance the quality of life for all Texans. I have no doubt he is the best candidate for the position,” he said.

“I am very appreciative of Mayor White’s leadership and commitment on a number of issues, especially his commitment to ensuring Houstonians receive affordable electric rates,” Turner said.

White, who has worked with Turner for more than two decades, accepted the endorsement from nine members of the TLBC. White said, “I’m honored by the endorsement from my good friend Sylvester and members of one of the most influential groups in the Texas Legislature. I want to be a voice for all Texans in Washington. My record in Houston is bringing people together and getting things done, and as your next Senator, I’ll continue to fight for the issues that matter most to Texas families.”

State Representative Ruth McClendon of San Antonio noted White’s success in bringing kids back to school in Houston. White and his wife, Andrea, started Expectation Graduation in 2004 and approximately 6,700 students have returned to school as a result. The initiative, which has been replicated in communities across Texas, includes a “Reach Out to Dropouts” program that mobilizes volunteers to knock on doors of homes of students who have not returned to school. White, who attended college on an American Legion scholarship, also believes that higher education must be more accessible and affordable.

McClendon said, “A good public education is something every child in Texas deserves. As Mayor of Houston Bill White has shown time and time again his commitment to this important issue. I know that he will do the same as our United States senator.”

State Representative Helen Giddings of Dallas recognized White’s leadership during crisis.

Giddings said, “Bill White does what’s right for people, even when nobody else will, and even when no one is watching. He showed real character during Hurricane Katrina, mobilizing 100,000 volunteers to help evacuees get back on their feet. And after Hurricanes Rita and Ike, he worked behind the scenes for one of the most successful recovery efforts our state has ever seen. Texans need to elect Bill White to make our state a better place for our children and grandchildren.”

The son of San Antonio school teachers, White helped build a law firm and managed a successful business before being elected Houston’s mayor in 2003. Since then, he’s been re-elected twice with 86% and 91% of the vote. During White’s administration, Houston led the nation’s cities in job growth, adding more jobs than sixteen states combined. At the same time, he cut property taxes five years in a row and helped seniors with tax relief. White also started a special initiative that gives returning veterans the welcome they deserve with coordinated social services, reductions in red tape, and employment opportunities. After Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike, Bill White mobilized an effective disaster response including first responders, businesses and churches. For the compassionate, hands-on leadership after Katrina, White received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2007. Previously, he served as Deputy Secretary of Energy of the United States.

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One Comment

  1. houtopia says:

    Kuff,

    Just FYI – Kristi Thibaut has endorsed White as well.

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