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Interview with Ben Hall

Ben Hall

Ben Hall

In the era of term limits, we usually only get contested Mayoral races in the open years. Lee Brown faced a strong challenge from Orlando Sanchez and Chris Bell in 2001, prevailing in a runoff. Many people expected Mayor Parker to face a similar challenge this year after her bare-majority win over a field of low-profile opponents in 2011. Ben Hall, who had considered running in the open year 2009, stepped up this year to make that challenge. Hall served as City Attorney under Mayor Bob Lanier, and has been in private practice since then. He represented Chad Holley after that representing victims of accused rapist/HPD officer Abraham Joseph. He has run an aggressive campaign against Mayor Parker, accusing her among other things of lacking a vision for the city. As you might imagine, that was one of the first things I asked him about in the interview. In the interview, by the way, Hall mentions that he’s showing me a chart from the Kinder Institute website. You can see the chart he showed me here. Now here’s the interview:

Ben Hall interview

You can see all of my interviews as well as finance reports and other information on candidates on my 2013 Election page.

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4 Comments

  1. Sweet Cynic says:

    I don’t have a dog in this race, as my late father should say. But I don’t understand thinking of running for mayor for four years AND paying taxes late three of those four years. Normally, candidates “buff up” their record when considering a run.

  2. joshua ben bullard says:

    what kind of crockpot poll was that those so called political stategist mperfomed in this race=they take 400 people=i assume voters and they say oh 48% refuse wont say,parker at 33.9% hall at 14% and eric dick at 2% what drugs does rice university think we are on??? this is really whats going on with parkers camp and halls camp=number one,she is not trying to avoid a run off=let me repeat myself she is not trying to avoid a run off because the law of averages are against her camp in order to do so=now then, if we were in new york where she only has to get 40% and one vote then yes=but in texas its still 50% plus one vote,so what she is doing is trying to pull the eric dick camp in the run off with her opposed to ben hall=now your learning,now then,heres ben halls theory,his camp can spend money only to secure themselves a seat in the run off “that they think they already have sewed up”what hall doesnt realize is the mayor isnt attacking him to avoid a run off,shes doing it intentially to pull eric in the pool with her=its actually a fasicating campaign strategy,her thinking is that eric is a weaker link over hall, so why not pull eric in the deep end.halls camp never sees it coming and wouldnt believe me any ways,just imagine every voter the mayor deflects from hall converts to eric not her,ben hall has to hold his hand now in case he goes to a run off then he will spend full tilt,as of now, i am not certain ben hall ever makes it there.

    joshua ben bullard

  3. Steven Houston says:

    I dare any Hall supporter to listen to this interview and still support him. I can only guess at the methodology behind the chart presented (Thanks Kuff, it helps lock Hall into some seriously laughable stances) because it is Hall’s contention that 65% of the city’s home values are too low to support the services the city offers. Forget for the moment that the chart itself says a home must cost “$160,000 to 170,000″ to be sustainable yet the legend suggests anything lower than $220,000); even under this circumstance, Hall’s idea is to “incentivize industry to move into those areas” by giving tax breaks and other breaks. It should be noted that his chart only considers 25% of homeowners to be paying their share.

    As someone who has lived inside the city limits in a few of the areas that were not up to Hall’s snuff, I can tell you that I would not relish having heavy industry brought into any of those neighborhoods to push homeowners out (since we weren’t making the city enough money) and then pile on by giving them all sorts of tax breaks and other handouts to make it worth their while. Wouldn’t that, by definition, mean they would not be contributing enough to “sustain city services”?

    Then he goes on to talk about how he would bring employees to the table to lower their benefits and they would welcome the act. Was he making this up on the fly? Did you slip him something Kuff? That he thinks the private sector will assume the last 10 years worth of pension liability risk for a better rate than the city is amazing enough, I challenge him to name a single company that will accept the resulting losses with no strings attached. In an age when major corporations are getting returns well below half HFD’s pension investments, to suggest they are willing to assume several BILLION dollars worth of liabilities where they will have to beat pension system returns AND get a profit is just silly. I suppose some of us will have to school Hall on the time value of money, NPV, and other measures of the economic world before he gives another interview…

    I could go on dissecting his comments at great length but if that is the best he has to offer, maybe Parker is not so bad after all. I wonder if the vast majority of Houston citizens have heard Hall all but call them leeches, at least if their homes are valued under $170k (in Hall’s circles, I’m sure that is a pittance, his mansion outside the city worth a reported $3 million or so). Is it worse that his ideas were so bad or that he seemed to really believe some of them could work so easily?

  4. […] Matters show, is here. The reason I can say I’m not surprised by this is because in the interview I did with Hall, I asked him (as I asked everyone) if he would support an effort to repeal the 2001 […]

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