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Courting the conservative voters

Conservative voters remain up for grabs in the Mayoral runoff, so both Annise Parker and Gene Locke were out at the Pachyderm Club on Tuesday looking to grab a few of them. I found this bit to be revealing:

Parker outlined her public safety initiative to allow any certified peace officer to respond to serious crime, regardless of jurisdiction. She also expressed support for the city’s affirmative action program, but got her loudest applause when she reiterated her pledge to not raise taxes.

“I have stated on a number occasions on the campaign trail that I don’t plan to raise taxes in this economy — that’s the wrong thing to do to struggling taxpayers and business.“ Parker said. “My pledge is not to raise the tax rate — certainly not in the near term. That’s not necessary.”

Locke recounted his East Texas roots, where his father was a farmer and his mother a school teacher, and introduced his wife of 27 years. He told the group he was a devout Christian who had raised five children.

“I’m not going to raise anybody’s property taxes. We’ve got to find a way to give property tax relief,” Locke said.

The voters who were at this forum spoke about “fiscal responsibility”, which is always a popular phrase among voters of all kinds of stripes. To me, being fiscally responsible means ensuring that you have the means to pay for the things you want and need. I have no idea how one can seek to lower taxes while simultaneously pledging to increase the size of the police force, which is not only the single largest line item in the budget already but has also been growing rapidly in recent years even without an increase in the number of officers, but it doesn’t sound fiscally responsible to me. It sounds like a path to deficits and cutbacks in other city services. Locke is painting himself into a corner here. Parker is leaving herself room to deal with reality. Which of these sounds more responsible to you? Mary Benton has more.

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9 Comments

  1. Baby Snooks says:

    Locke is painting himself into a corner here. Parker is leaving herself room to deal with reality.
    ____________________________

    Parker is lying. But then so is Gene Locke. You of course hit the nail on the head. “Spend within your means.” That means finally cutting otu the waste within city government. Which neither intends to do.

  2. Eric says:

    As a member of pachyderm club, I was at the lunch on Tuesday. Anise left after three or four minutes …literally…for another function, thus crushing her credibility with the crowd. With that said, it truly is an influential group who may have been wooed by her usually business like decorum and speeches which usually contain some flecks of conservatism.

    Locke entertained questions and stayed for the entire hour, giving the strong impression that the event was not a nuisance, but rather a meaningful club worthy of more than a Hollywood appearance.

    To clarify, the controller rejected any tax cuts under her administration, while Locke argued she has voted for tax hikes.

    Locke explained we need to couple more prudent spending, and let’s be frank here, the budget is rife with waste, with tax cuts, albeit small. He called for an increase in police spending as well as a return to community policing, a program I am a strong advocate of.

    Our budget is so filled with frivoulous and opulent line items that cutting an eight or nine digit sum is truely a very simple affair if you don’t mind steping on the toes of Houston’s vast back room left wing special interest segments.

    This article is a poor account of what really occurred at pachyderm.

  3. Baby Snooks says:

    Gene Locke also apparently made note that he will have a “first lady” which I suppose was a veiled way of making sure everyone knew he was straight and Annise Parker was not. I really wish everyone would just not vote for either them. Locke 0. Parker 0.

    My prediction is that in a year everyone will be wistfully wishing for Peter Brown. Regardless of who wins.

  4. Eric says:

    He made no such comment at Pachyderm.

  5. Eric Weinmann says:

    Again, the Chronicle account is not fully accurate. The Chronicle reporter was sitting on the front-most table on the right side of the room, he identified himself shortly after Parker spoke.

  6. Baby Snooks says:

    The Chronicle not fully accurate? You said it. I didn’t. But thank you for saying it. Just the same that’s what he reported Gene Locke as having said. You say he didn’t. Or didn’t say exactly what the reporter said he said. Or something. I wouldn’t know. I try to avoid “Pachydermers” and “Magic Circlers” and at this point anyone who publicly admits to being a Republican.

  7. Eric says:

    He said that she would be an asset, but did not say FL, I believe he said, active lady.

    I am a fully paid member of Pachyderm of Greater Houston and attend about twice per month. I am not a member of Magic Circle. It sounds too much like a Harry Potter thing for my liking.

  8. Baby Snooks says:

    Magic Circle is the “ladies club.” Founded by Barbara Bush when she was just a Tanglewood housewife and mother. Also known as the Dragon Ladies.