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Posts Tagged ‘Don Sumners’

Endorsement watch: Chron for Leticia

It’s amazing how easy some endorsement decisions are, or at least should be, this year. The differences between the candidates this year could hardly be more stark. State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, the Democratic candidate, is not only knowledgeable and experienced but also congenial and easy to work with. Her Republican […]

Filing deadline today

Before I get into the details of who has or hasn’t filed for what, I have a bone to pick with this AP story. Perhaps what the candidate filings reveal most is the relative strength and depth of the political parties in Texas. Four top Republicans are in a fierce battle for lieutenant governor, three […]

Credit cards at the Tax Assessor’s office

If you’ve paid your vehicle registration fees in person at the Harris County Tax Assessor’s office, you’ve had to bring cash or check to do so, because they don’t accept credit cards for that. Thankfully, that’s about to change. More than a decade after the office began accepting credit and debit cards for property tax […]

Transition, schmansition

Don Sumners, ladies and gentlemen. “There is no transition,” said lame-duck Tax Assessor-Collector Don Sumners. The occasionally cantankerous 73-year-old anti-tax taxman said he and his two predecessors came in cold, and [Tax Assessor-elect Mike] Sullivan will have to do the same. “Frankly, I guess, it’s a little bit of bitterness on my part that he […]

Sumners for Controller?

Yeah, I don’t know about that. County tax assessor-collector Don Sumners, who lost his bid for re-election in the May GOP primary, said Wednesday he is considering running for city controller next year. “The part that has to be decided is whether I can actually win. I’m not a spring chicken,” said Sumners, 73. Controller […]

Endorsement watch: Martin and Sullivan

The Chron can’t quite believe that Steve Stockman is on the verge of being foisted on us again as a member of Congress, so they do what they can by endorsing his opponent, Max Martin. Max Martin is a credible, if long-shot, candidate. Martin, a retired pilot who now owns an education software business in […]

LULAC files suit against Tax Assessor over voter registrations

Texas Redistricting has the press release. Today, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and a number of Houston residentsfiled suit against Harris County in Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas maintaining that Harris County officials wrongly rejected voter applications through discriminatory practices against Latino and African American applicants. Representing LULAC […]

Settlement reached in “dead voter” lawsuit

It’s something. A lawsuit by four registered voters alleging that the state of Texas was violating their civil rights by purging them from voter rolls has been dropped after the plaintiffs and the state reached an agreement. The Texas residents brought the suit after receiving letters from their county registrar indicating that the office had […]

“Dead voter” purge finally laid to rest

Our long countywide nightmare is finally over. The running dispute over presumed-dead voters on Harris County rolls was substantially resolved Wednesday between the Texas Secretary of State’s office and Harris County’s tax registrar just hours before a Travis County judge issued an order that temporarily prevents the removal of names from registration lists statewide. [...] […]

Deal reached to restore SOS funding for Tax Assessor

This whole protracted standoff between Harris County Tax Assessor Don Sumners and the Secretary of State over the “dead voter” purge has apparently been the result of a misunderstanding. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett has brokered a deal with the Texas secretary of state to restore about $700,000 in funding the state had cut off […]

SOS ups the ante against Sumners

It’s getting real at the Tax Assessor’s office. Harris County election officials got a bit of a surprise Friday morning when they attempted to open the county’s spending account on the Texas Secretary of State’s office website and found their access blocked. State officials have temporarily cut off the county’s voter registration funding. “We received […]

SOS versus Sumners

It’s not a steel cage death match, but it’ll do. In a strongly worded letter today, the Texas Secretary of State’s office told Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar Don Sumners that his decision not to purge presumed-dead voters from the rolls before the Nov. 6 election likely violates the law and compromises the […]

Not dead yet

As they say, reports of their deaths have been greatly exaggerated. Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Don Sumners said Monday that he would not purge from the voter roll before the November election any of the 9,018 citizens who received letters from his office in recent days notifying them that they may be dead and are […]

HCDE election lawsuit dismissed

The lineup for the fall elections is now officially set. The disputed election results for the trustee runoff between two Democratic candidates will stand after a federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Harris County Department of Education after a flawed primary in May. U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal released a 16-page […]

Chron smacks Stanart and Sumners

Ouch. Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart is bad at his job. Specifically, Stanart has performed poorly as chief election officer in his duty to responsibly and effectively administer elections for Harris County. [...] Stanart said that the delayed results were due to faulty phone lines that could not be tested until Election Day. This excuse, […]

Is it time for an election administrator?

Campos revives an old topic. I think it is way past time to get an Election Administrator over at the County and take running the elections out of the hands of the ideologues and partisans. [County Judge Ed Emmett] and the County Commissioners need to do right and hand this function solely over to the […]

No settlement deal for HCDE election screwup

Just as well, because this wasn’t a good deal. A proposed settlement hashed out Thursday evening would have seen the Republican race – a blowout victory – stand, and the Democratic race – for which a runoff is under way – voided. In that race, the November ballot would list all three Democrats and the […]

HCDE sues for new election

From the inbox: The Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) today filed suit in federal court seeking new elections for Trustees whose district boundaries were wrong in the May 29th primary. HCDE officials learned earlier this week that outdated boundaries were used in the primary election for Trustees in Positions 4 and 6. The boundaries […]

Boundary screwup could affect HCDE race

This is just freakin’ great. Because of a mix-up with the new district boundaries, not everyone who was qualified to vote in a school trustee race was able to and some voters who weren’t supposed to, were allowed to cast a ballot. And the implications of all this may be far reaching. There are a […]

Sullivan confirms he will step down in January

There will be one more election on the ballot this November. Houston City Councilman Mike Sullivan confirmed Thursday that he will submit his resignation next month as a result of his victory in the Republican Party primary for county tax assessor-collector, keeping a promise he made before Tuesday’s election. Sullivan said his resignation will be […]

GOP results, Harris County

Bullet points for all these result posts, I was up way too late last night. See the numbers here and the chat transcript from last night here. – You could have sold me on any result in the GOP DA primary going into yesterday, but I definitely did not expect such a wide margin. Mike […]

Chron overview of the Tax Assessor primary

Having just reported on the vehicle registration problems at the Harris County Tax Assessor’s office, the Chron now writes about the GOP primary for that office. A Houston Chronicle story Friday reported Sumners’ staff is working overtime to process a backlog of auto registrations so motorists are not ticketed for driving with expired decals. [Challenger […]

I got those can’t get my car registration done on time blues

I have three things to say about this. The Harris County tax office is paying 32 clerks overtime on weekends to eliminate a large backlog of unprocessed auto registrations, a potentially serious problem that could force some motorists to drive with expired decals. Drivers can receive costly tickets and civil penalties for lapsed vehicle registration […]

Endorsement watch: Sullivan for Tax Assessor

The Chron made its first primary endorsement on Friday, and I just now noticed. The [Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector's Office] is, or should be, the quintessential service department – run with the customer’s satisfaction uppermost in mind. For almost half a century, the late Carl Smith was the agreeable face of the office, the boss […]

Harris County voter registration lawsuit settled

For now, at least. Something tells me we have not heard the last of this. Harris County officials and the Democratic Party have settled an ongoing legal dispute over denial rates of new voter registration applications – at least for now – though an attorney for party officials say they remain concerned that more voters […]

Harris County rejecting fewer voter registrations

In other lawsuit-related news: Harris County officials have rejected far fewer would-be voters since 2008, but Democrats are demanding more proof that voter rolls are not being illegally suppressed – particularly among Hispanics – as another U.S. presidential election approaches. The two sides [met] in secret mediation Friday as Democratic officials seek assurances the county […]

Still no voter registration cards yet

I’ve written about this before, but apparently there are some rumors running around regarding voter registration cards. Central Texas elections officials are warning against a rash of emails spreading false information about voter registration — an already confusing issue for many because of an ongoing battle over redistricting that has delayed every step in the […]

January finance reports: Harris County

January is a very busy month for campaign finance reports, since they are due for all levels of government. I’ve been busy updating the 2012 Primary Election pages for Harris County and elsewhere in Texas with reports as I can find them. Here’s an overview of some races of interest in Harris County. I’ll have […]

Sullivan says he’ll step down if he wins primary

He’s hoping to defuse a campaign issue. Houston City Councilman Mike Sullivan will submit his resignation in July if he wins the Republican nomination for Harris County tax assessor-collector in April’s primary, he said. The resignation would not be effective until January, when he would be sworn in as tax assessor if he wins the […]

Sullivan files against Sumners

I was writing a long candidate update for the weekend on Friday that’s pretty much junk now, but not every election is affected by the SCOTUS stay ruling. One such election is for Harris County Tax Assessor, where on Friday Houston City Council Member Mike Sullivan officially filed to take on Don Sumners in the […]

Sumners v Sullivan?

Well, this would be entertaining. County tax assessor-collector Don Sumners thinks Houston City Councilman Mike Sullivan may be preparing to take a run at him in next year’s GOP primary, and Sullivan isn’t denying it. Sumners took a swipe or two at Sullivan without referring to him by name at a recent Greater Houston Pachyderm […]

More on the drainage fee exemptions

Here’s the Chron story about the Mayor’s change in direction to exempt churches and schools from the new drainage fee. Under previous numbers published by the administration, exempting those institutions would raise the monthly fee on other property owners by about 7.6 percent. But on Friday, Parker said city officials had “refined our estimates” and […]

Dallas County’s elections administrator resigns

I spotted this story in the DMN the other day. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has called a meeting of an obscure commission charged with appointing a county elections chief, raising the suspicion that it’s an attempt to oust longtime Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet. The County Election Commission, which county officials say has not met […]

What now for Sylvia Garcia

This story about Sylvia Garcia’s last Commissioners Court meeting leads to the obvious question of what she might do next. A former Houston city controller and an attorney who hasn’t practiced for more than 25 years, she’s still interested in seeking public office, perhaps trying to win back her courthouse job in 2014 or running […]