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Jolanda versus the world

If you’re on Carl Whitmarsh’s mailing list, you’ve probably seen this, which is one of several mailers being sent out by the Jack Christie campaign. That one is going to the Heights, Montrose, and District C. The others are this one, being sent to voters in Council Districts A and G; this one, being sent to voters in District E; and this one, also being sent to voters in District C.

Looking at all of these, I think it’s safe to say that Council Member Jones has alienated a number of her colleagues. I can’t recall anything like this in recent years, where sitting members have openly support a challenger to a colleague. (Did anyone do this to Shelley Sekula Gibbs in 2003 when Peter Brown ran against her?) What’s damning about it is that much like the earlier mailer Christie sent out, it uses Jones’ own words and actions against her. I like CM Jones. I think she has a lot of talent, I think she represents a constituency that otherwise doesn’t have much of a voice, and I think she has the potential to do a lot of good. But she has definitely provided her critics with a lot of ammunition, and it’s stunning to see so many of her fellow Council members try to oust her like this. If she does survive, it’ll be very interesting to see what her relationship with these members will be like going forward. I’m thinking it’ll be awkward for awhile.

With all that said, I don’t think anyone has too much trouble with CMs Lawrence, Clutterbuck, Sullivan, and Holm, all of whom are on the opposite side of the political fence as Jones and none of whom are currently involved in an election of their own, supporting a fellow member of their party. The mailer by CM Lovell is the explosive one. It’s a little bizarre to think that at this time in 2007, Lovell was working to help Jones get elected. The relationship fell apart pretty quickly after the election, and the two have been feuding ever since. I happen to think that Sue Lovell is also a pretty good Council member, but it’s no secret that she is not the forgiving type. She has reportedly been telling donors not to contribute to Jones. I’m not going to defend what Jones said about HPFFA President Jeff Caynon, which is the basis of Lovell’s attack on her, though I will note that Jones did get a $1000 contribution from the Houston chapter of the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters. But I believe Lovell crossed a line here, and judging from what I’ve seen elsewhere, that may be one of the more restrained reactions to this. If Lovell was still thinking about running for County Clerk next year, something that already seemed unlikely with the entrance of Sue Schechter and her show of strength early on, I’d say her odds of getting nominated just got a lot longer. Not to mention the fact that she still has an election of her own to win. She’s certainly stuck her neck out, I’ll say that much.

I guess what really bothers me about this is precisely that both Jones and Lovell are talented Council members. All of this is just a needless distraction and a waste of energy. I wish Jones had not put herself in this position but had instead channeled her energy and passion on Council in more productive ways. I hope that should she survive this election, it will spur her to do exactly that. I wish Lovell would learn to put things behind her and focus on what’s ahead. I hope whatever happens in their respective races, the next City Council finds a way to work together and help the new Mayor deal with the challenges that we face. Surely we all deserve that.

UPDATE: The Lovell mailer was sent out by her campaign, not by Christie’s. My apologies for the confusion.

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22 Comments

  1. Baby Snooks says:

    Sue Lovell crossed the line? I didn’t vote for her. And reading this, I’m glad I didn’t. She prefers a Republican on city council? I would call that more than crossing the line. Unless she is becoming a Republican herself. She hasn’t done Annise Parker any favor by favoring a Republican on city council.

    Jolanda Jones did nothing but reiterate what Legal Momentum said in January of 2008 in a letter to Bill White. The “investigation” White ordered seems more a whitewash than an investigation. It will be interesting to see how Legal Momentum reacts. For those who don’t know, Legal Momentum was once the legal arm of NOW.

    Most expect Jolanda Jones will lose. Sad that Sue Lovell will be partially responsible for it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The first of your links is a link to a mailer sent out by Sue Lovell, not Jack Christie.

    I guess Sue doesn’t want to run for office again because this will surely piss off a lot of people.

  3. Corey says:

    How do you sign up for Carl Whitmarsh’s mailing list?

    Thanks

  4. John Cobarruvias says:

    Be careful what you ask for.

  5. Temple Houston says:

    Great comment, Cobarruvias! Well, it looks like Lovell has done her best to help create that coalition of Republicans and African-American ministers I fear may be one of the results of this round of municipal elections. I’m really disappointed, but not surprised at her short-sighted action. I held my nose when I voted for her last Saturday and I’m already sorry. Lovell is no asset to the City.

  6. Baby Snooks says:

    And the worst is that Jack Christie sought the endorsement of Steven Hotze. He only rejected it after the furor started. But that’s who Sue Lovell prefers to work with on City Council.

    It does raise the issue of the hypocrisy at work in all of this.

  7. Baby Snooks says:

    And by the way Jolanda Jones’ comment about the “house Negro” is pretty common in the African-American community. The word “Negro” in fact to some is an insult when an African-American uses it. It just sounds bad to all the “politically correct” to those who aren’t African-American. Her only mistake was stating it publicly. But I doubt many were really insulted. After all, the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters endorsed her.

    Bottom line is she didn’t say anything, really, that Legal Momentum didn’t say in January of 2008 in a letter to Bill White and probably will say again in a letter to the next mayor. And for those who don’t know, Legal Momentum does take on cases and handles the lawsuits.

  8. David Rosen says:

    Baby Snooks — Jack sought the endorsement of Hotze? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

    In 1996, when Christie was on the State Board of Education, Hotze wanted to replace him with an arch-conservative. So Hotze started spreading the rumor that Christie was performing abortions in his doctor’s office.

    Jack is a chiropractor.

    Christie has rebuked the Hotze endorsement privately — sooner than ANY other candidate to be on that list — and did so again publicly in the Chronicle. These two men have a history together, and it is not a warm and fuzzy one.

    It began, based on my understanding, when Christie was chair of the SBOE and the radicals on the board wanted to fire the gay teachers in public schools across the state. Jack said no.

    Cheers to Sue Lovell for being brave enough to stand up and say “Hey, Jolanda might be a Democrat, but she’s also an embarassment.”

  9. Bloody Mary says:

    Michelle Obama was right…politics is dirty!

  10. CG says:

    Baby Snooks is always willing to totally, flat out make up, mislead, lie to make a point, tarnish someone he opposes, etc. To use the old-style lingo, he is a troll. I have taken to just skipping over any comment he makes.

    David Rosen is completely correct. Christie spent years trying to keep the State Board of Ed from being overrun by fundamentalists. He is a very balanced, cooperative person.

    All you 100% partisans need to start living in the real world where the average person is willing to vote for a combination of Annise Parker, MJ Khan, Steve Costello, Sue Lovell and Jack Christie. Particularly in a non-partisan election.

    And, lastly, I believe from talking to people I know at the City that if you asked every single member of City Council and department heads in the Mayor’s office and Controller’s office, off the record and honestly, “do you wish you had the guts to do what Sue Lovell did?”, each and every one of them would say yes. You have no idea, sitting in your insulated blog worlds.

  11. Working Dem Blues says:

    I’m proud that Councilmember Lovell stands up for the firefighters! They put their lives on the line everyday and deserve the respect of our city and especially our elected officials. Good for Sue, firefighters deserve respect. Go HFD!

  12. Baby Snooks says:

    Even trolls have opinions. And I never say anything I wouldn’t say in front of a judge. Which of late frightens some judges.

  13. Baby Snooks says:

    http://www.legalmomentum.org/assets/pdfs/letter-to-mayor-white.pdf

    Here’s the letter that Legal Momentum sent to Bill White in January 2008. Sort of backs up Jolanda Jones. Sort of calls into question everyone slamming her over her positions with regard to the fire department. Maybe some don’t believe women don’t have a place in the fire department?

  14. Erik Vidor says:

    Well BS if you “never say anything I wouldn’t say in front of a judge” then why are you afraid to use your real name? Seems like people would take you more serious if you didn’t hide behind a stupid anonymous handle. Sack up brother.

  15. Baby Snooks says:

    I’ll use my real name just as soon as everyone else does. Including “Arthur Schechter.”

  16. Jeff Caynon says:

    The nearly 4,000 men and women of the Houston Professional Firefighters Association regard Council Member Sue Lovell as a trusted friend. She is endorsed by our organization because she regularly fights for firefighters’ issues. Her recent mail piece was, in our opinion, an effort to do just that. Like nearly all of her City Council collogues, she has been reasonable, respectful and responsive to the city’s needs. We appreciate her efforts and continue to support her.

  17. […] Ms,. Lovell is sending out a political mailing meant to benefit the far-right conservative challenge…. […]

  18. […] (Here is some disturbing late information about Ms. Lovell. She has been helping a Republican in his effort to win against Jolanda Jones for At-Large # 5. Why must these people do this kind of stuff?) […]

  19. P.Henry says:

    David Rosen, you’re also working for Steve Costello, a republican, who is trying to act like a democrat even though he’s not. You work for a man (Costello) who has accepted $10,000 from Bob Perry(and his wife) who funded the Swiftboat Veterans Against Kerry, was a member of Mitt Romney’s Texas Leadership Team and gave over $150,000 to Delay’s TRMPAC which helped facilitate one of the most devastating redistrictings in Texas. So it’s not surprising you’re spinning this in a way that supports the Costello block.

    Let’s be clear Sue didn’t do this on principle, she did it because she practices slash and burn politics and has a long history of carrying out vendettas. She’s using the firefighters as political currency as much as the next politician is.

    Kuff’s analysis about Jolanda is also accurate, she needs to practice restraint but she is also raising issues that need to be raised. She could be better and more effective, but so could the rest of council.

    CG, yes people shouldn’t just be partisan hacks but the candidates you listed I suspect you’re supporting not in the spirit of bipartisan cooperativeness but because it’s personal. ie You’re a Lovell apologist, bitter at Derr over District H/Maverick Welsh or that Herman Litt didn’t make runoff, and who knows why you would support MJ Khan who has run his District into the ground, is ineffectual and a liar. If you can tell me one good thing he has done for District F, I’d love to hear it. The District F candidates didn’t even care to seek his endorsement they were too busy explaining to constituents at forums that he was part of District F’s problem.

    I’m not defending the Democratic Party because it’s deeply dysfunctional but I’m also not going to support politicians like Christie who are anti-choice and using the immigration issue as their main platform when in reality he’ll have little control over the immigration issue but instead is feeding off of bigotry.

    Ironic that Lovell is supporting Christie, even though her partner, Angela Blanchard heads up Neighborhood Centers which serves undocumented and documented residents routinely.

    Some on here are worse than partisan hacks because your spun comments are only to serve your personal interests. Campaign vulture is the term that comes to mind, you’ll work for whatever candidate you think will give you a job if elected until the next campaign cycle and never work on actually enacting meaningful policy because you’re focused on the next election and political spin.

  20. CG says:

    To P. Henry — Guess what? Some people are more complicated than “Me Democrat, only vote for Democrat; me Republican only vote for Republican.”

    Go ahead and vote for Ronald Green and his ads that very specifically remind voters that Khan is a Pakistani and a Muslim. Hmm, why would he do that? Racist and religious bigot would be the charge if Christie ran that ad against a Democrat who was a Muslim.

    And be sure to maintain your purity and never vote for the dozens of Democrats to whom Bob Perry has given money in recent years. I don’t feel like doing your research for you, but you could start with Carol Alvarado. (Who, by the way, I vote for without any personal vendetta reason…and I appreciate politicians who can draw support from a variety of people).

  21. CG says:

    What the hell, one more I just remembered. Bob Perry and his family gave bigtime Democrat Melissa Noreiga $20,000 in the runoff to defeat Roy Morales — a bigtime Republican in case your memory is short.

    Oooooh, that nasty Bob Perry, messing with knee-jerk Democrat minds.

  22. […] the Chron story about the mailers being sent out opposing Jolanda Jones. The effort by five council members to oust Jones, arguably the most controversial and well-known […]

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