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Why stealth campaigns can work

Here’s the Chron story about the HCC Trustee election results. See if you can spot what’s missing.

A total of 13 candidates, including the four incumbents, vied for the five open seats on the nine-member board. Many ran on a platform that called for more transparency, a stronger ethics policy and hiring a new chancellor who can move the institution forward.

The candidates agreed HCC is an asset to the community. As one of the nation’s largest community college systems with 75,000 students, HCC plays a critical role in producing skilled employees and degree holders who are prepared to enter the workforce, they said.

The HCC board has been dysfunctional, and some board members have engaged in unethical practices by awarding contracts to relatives, friends and political allies in recent years, damaging the community’s trust, said many candidates. They vowed to restore that trust.

In the District 1 race, incumbent Yolanda Navarro Flores was headed for a runoff against Zeph Capo, based on final unofficial results. Flores, who was censured by the board for unethical behavior in 2011, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

District 2 incumbent Bruce Austin, first elected in 1989, narrowly lost to small-business owner Dave Wilson. Austin, 60, had said the district has to work on ways to get students to graduate on time and to improve developmental education. Transparency is also an issue, he had said, noting that the board requires ethics training for board candidates.

So a 24-year incumbent gets ousted in a race decided by 26 votes, and what do we learn about his victorious opponent? Just that he’s a “small-business owner”. Not that he’s a notorious, longtime anti-gay activist who ran against Mayor Parker in 2011 and is currently embroiled in a legal battle against the Harris County Democratic Party over his attempts to run for County Commissioner while claiming his business address as his residence. Not the fact that he meddled in the HCC 1 race by sending one of his patented attack mailers, sliming Zeph Capo and Kevin Hoffman for being gay. Not the fact that the mail he sent on his own behalf would make you think he himself was African-American, which he is not. Just, you know, a “small-business owner”. Nothing to see here, folks.

Barring anything strange from the provisional and overseas ballots, we appear to be stuck with this asshole for the next six years. I call on all the other Trustees to do everything they can within the rules to marginalize him and prevent him from doing any damage to the HCC system or its students. I also remind everyone that while Wilson might have snuck into office, you can at least help oust the incumbent candidate he tried to help. If you live in HCC 1 – and if you’re not sure, check your voter registration card now or go to the Tax Assessor webpage to find out – be sure to show up in December and vote for Zeph Capo against Yolanda Navarro Flores. Because these races do matter, and bad things can happen when we’re not paying attention.

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6 Comments

  1. Brad M. says:

    Thanks for calling it like it is about this intolerant jerk, Dave Wilson.

  2. Mainstream says:

    There are reports that Dave Wilson is also supporting the campaign of Herlinda Garcia in District 3 of HCC.

    Wilson has business acumen, and no doubt will be critical of some HCC activities and expenses, which may be subject to fair criticism. In particular he has complained of the Qatar campus and other overseas expenditures by HCC.

    I believe he also has hired HCC apprentices in his business, and may have a good understanding of some of the practical aspects of HCC operations.

  3. […] three runoffs and the victory by hatemonger Dave Wilson, there’s not much out there. What coverage we’ve gotten since then still leaves out the most salient information about Wilson. All […]

  4. ModernDayDean says:

    So the status quo is better? What is it with Houston that corruption, incompetence, greed, slang, trash-talking, lowering the bar, and illegal immigration are OK, but a man with Bible-based faith and values is not? Just like Quannell — blame the HCSO instead of the worthless thugs that shot up a birthday party. Hypocritical, liberal and out of touch with honest, hard working Americans don’t make it right.

  5. Ross says:

    The Bible doesn’t condone bigotry and hatred. I would have voted against Wilson just for bringing the issue into a race where it is irrelevant. Being a Christian family man doesn’t make you more qualified for the HCC board than your gay opponent.

  6. Ross says:

    The Bible doesn’t condone bigotry and hatred. I would have voted against Wilson just for bringing the issue into a race where it is irrelevant. Being a Christian family man doesn’t make you more qualified for the HCC board than your gay opponent.

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