District E Councilman Mike Sullivan, until January by far the Council’s most conservative member, was so outflanked from the right by a Council newcomer Wednesday that he found himself uttering into his microphone: “I am not a communist.”
The energy company Entergy is proposing raising rates on 1,500 of his Kingwood constituents by about 13 percent. He championed the Council’s denial of Entergy’s request.
But when the item came up for discussion, District A Councilwoman Helena Brown announced she would vote against the denial. That is, she would support the rate increase.
“We need to support their rate increase because it is justified,” Brown said. She then continued:
I understand my colleague Sullivan expressed the concerns of his constituents in the Kingwood area. But I also understand the folks in Kingwood are conservatives. They do not believe in the regulation of rates of businesses. That’s communism. I will be standing in support of this business and the need that they have.
“Truthfully, I don’t think you have a clue what Kingwood believes in,” Sullivan shot back.
Sullivan explained that a study commissioned by a coalition of cities in Entergy’s service area concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support a rate increase.
“I am not a communist by voting for this rate denial,” Sullivan said.
As Dogbert says, sometimes no sarcastic remark seems adequate. The woman defies parody. If anyone reading this happens to bump into Toni Lawrence or Bruce Tatro, would you mind asking them just what it was they were thinking? Thanks.