Can’t buy me love, and apparently not a political race either.
We have watched with amusement as soon-to-be-former Chief Deputy Craig Brady spent over half a million dollars and four years in an attempt to get elected sheriff of Fort Bend County. This is seven times the amount of money ever spent on a political race in Fort Bend County.
He got 34.48% of the primary vote.
His opponent, Pct. 4 Constable Troy Nehls, got 54.38% which isn’t shabby considering he couldn’t openly campaign until 4 1/2 months earlier, and then only if a November, 2011 constitutional amendment passed allowing him and other officeholders to announce in January.
Not only did Craig Brady spend 1/2 million dollars to get elected to a job that paid less than his current job, he solicited and took money from questionable sources, although to be fair some rather loyal upstanding citizens also contributed big bucks in the waning days of the campaign. One wonders what they were thinking, when for example, in his last contributions filing, we learn that Gary Aber gave him $500, former Precinct 3 commissioner candidate Michael Baldwin contributed $2,100, and Marsha Bielstein, wife of Judge Sandy Bielstein, gave him $2,500.
His father, Dr. Kenneth Brady, gave him another $5,000, and Jamal Daniel, a Fulshear area developer, who offices in Houston, gave him $20,000.
Fall Creek Plaza 2, LP contributed $1,400, (that’s a business and it’s still illegal to accept contributions from those in Texas. I guess I’m going to have to complain to the Texas Ethic Commission about this one). Gutierrez Auto Parts threw in $3,000, (another business, another complaint to the TEC-ohh I just love to pour over campaign filings).
EA McCune gave $500, Jack Molho gave $500 (I wonder if Donna knows?), Todd Richey contributed $1,500, Reuben Stafford shelled out $1,000, and R.H. Stevens, Jr. gave $500. James Winne contributed $2,500, and David Vogelsang ponied up $5,000.
Brady’s big bucks didn’t translate into big votes and on Wednesday after the election, he announced that he was going to throw his support to the Democratic candidate. Brady has previously been a Republican precinct chair but didn’t run again. Maybe he was afraid he would lose that race also. Wags have said “Big deal. He’s taking 10 votes to the Democratic candidate.”
It’s not fair to make fun of him for losing but so many people have come forward and told of how he had bullied them for the past four years. Those chickens have come home to roost as someone said he was joining the POO party, as in Political Opportunist Organization.
There were many mistakes his campaign made, not the least of which was the fact that he had no experienced and reliable campaign manager. Some of his volunteers got on Facebook on an almost daily basis and although the sheriff’s department has rules against that sort of thing, they aired their dirty laundry in public, calling each other disloyal and snakes.
In addition, Brady’s family may have helped him with money but some of their campaign efforts had the opposite effect. One citizen called me and said she had Nehls’ signs in her yard when a Craig Brady relative knocked on her door and demanded she take them down as “this is my son’s territory!” the homeowner was told.
Brady fired a couple of popular bailiffs on flimsy reasons not long before the vote. In fact, it was just enough time for the ex-employees to mount opposition among their neighbors, relatives, and friends.
Nine years ago after I revealed a lot of embarrassing things about the sheriff’s department and its chief deputy, Craig Brady accused us of lying. He had extricated his own sons from some legal concerns and we chastised him for interfering and using his police power. He had his then 17-year-old son sue us as the burden of proof was easier for the son, Brady being a public figure and all.
We eventually lost that suit although no one ever proved that we lied. The case is under appeal. We didn’t lie then and we haven’t lied since.
When you are running for sheriff, you don’t have the largest circulated newspaper sued, particularly if you have questionable actions that can be written about.
Particularly if you have bullied your way through life.
It was offered to me to have the suit dropped if I fired LeaAnne Klentzman. You see, LeaAnne had worked at the sheriff’s department for many years. She even had run for sheriff. Milton Wright’s first official act (after hiring Craig Brady to really run the sheriff’s department) was to fire LeaAnne Klentzman. After that, few women were hired or promoted. To say the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s department had a war on women was an understatement.
Those old boys haven’t learned that hiring women means you won’t have to do even half the work.
Sheriff Wright even took to the street to campaign for his chief deputy. He worked at the polls at the main Fort Bend County Library in Richmond. Of course to say he worked was an understatement. He spent the entire day sitting under a shade tree and as far as we can tell, didn’t contact one voter. But it was just as well. He couldn’t find anyone to play dominos with him anyway. To see his day, go here. www.juanitajean.com/2012/05/29/election-night-giggles/
Every thing that could be done wrong in this political race was done.
Of course, the old boys over at the sheriff’s department aren’t through jerking Fort Bend County around. And now that Brady has lost, he, like Hitler flooding the subway tunnels in the closing days of WWII and killing his own people, is trying to do that to the taxpayers of Fort Bend County.
Brady and bunch are trying to figure out a way to put everyone on civil service, including himself, so he can’t be “fired.” Can you imagine Nehls having to run a sheriff’s department with Craig Brady still around?
So Craig et al is trying to figure a way to promote every detective to sergeant, meaning they will have to promote every lieutenant to what? General?
What it really means is a substantial raise for all his buddies and a kick in the rear for Fort Bend taxpayers.
The only ones standing in the way of all this are the commissioners and County Attorney Roy Cordes. Since I don’t think they know what they are doing about civil service and are not very knowledgeable about the subject, they’ll probably get away with it. Much like they got away with the $200,000 “anonymous” donation to the sheriff’s department.
Yep, they need some women. They may have to put up with a lot of yapping, but things will run smoother, faster, more legal, and cheaper. Ever tried to feed a family of four on $15 per week?