If we know, we tell…..I noticed that former FBISD school board president Sonal Bhuchar announced her candidacy for state representative last week, running in Charlie Howard’s district. Charlie claims he is running but there are those of us who think he won’t. And Sugar Land city councilwoman Jacquie Chaumette has not only already announced, but she has moved her residence after Charlie gerrymandered her and about 20 of her neighbors out of his district, lined up support from many of the leaders in the district and sends out campaign updates every week. I think Sonal is swimming against the tide and she has barely started.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Jacquie. I’ve heard complaints from some who feel she is a little over self-promoting, but when I quiz them closely and ask if they still like her, they admit they do. I always point out that since she is small in stature and very black, she HAS to self-promote to get any attention at all. Someone told me, “Hell, I’d respect her for her wardrobe alone!” making reference to the fact that Chaumette is always faultless dressed and has the aura to carry it off.
What those that don’t know her don’t readily see is that she is highly educated, reasoned, and smart to boot. She has had many honors and continues to expand her horizons.
And that is not to short Sonal Bhuchar who has many of the same qualities. However, Sonal made a lot of enemies as the former president of the FBISD school board. That disapproval that many feel for the superintendent, Dr. Tim Jenney, is also transferred to Bhuchar, as these same people feel she never questioned Jenney’s decisions.
Of course, the political question is whether Charlie Howard will run. Charlie promised his supporters long ago that he would only serve two terms, a promise he broke and claimed that he said THREE terms. After three terms, he avoided the question and usually said that he would quit when someone HE felt would do a good job came along.
Charlie has the stereotypical politician’s ability to forget what he told you before. I’m too much a lady to call him a liar, but I’ve noticed that his pants are on fire.
For example, he claims he didn’t gerrymander Jacquie out of his district because he didn’t even know where she lives. Jacquie thinks that is funny since Charlie and his wife have been in her home before, as recently as last Christmas. Guess he didn’t know where he was going.
Those are minor things but are the picture of how I think he deals with the truth.
There must be some reason that Charlie hasn’t quit before now because he would make much more money in retirement than as a state representative. State representatives get paid so little ($600 per month) as compared to their retirement benefit which isn’t that bad. It’s calculated on the salary of a state district court judge which is $125,000 yearly. You can retire at age 60 after 8 years of service or 12 years to retire at age 50. The longer you stay on the job, the better your pension even though you were making $7,200 annually. One Texas legislator who never made more than that, retired after 39 years for an annual pension of $92,704. That’s not bad considering you are in session only 149 days every other year.
Charlie has been state rep since 1995.
So why is he still running since he is certainly able to retire? I believe it is because no one that he can control or who is like-minded has agreed to run. And with former county chairman Rick Miller standing on the sidelines, I think if Charlie thinks Rick can beat the two women, then he will not run and support Rick. If he doesn’t think Rick can beat the two women, then he will continue to run.
However, I do think Charlie may have met his match this time. I believe the voters are unhappy with how the current legislature handled the budget crisis, resulting in massive cutting of school funds, and they will express their unhappiness at the ballot box.
And other candidates…..The new district, #85, which covers most of Richmond/Rosenberg, Needville, Wharton, and part of Austin County, is seeing candidates line up if the justice department lets the redistricting stand. The Democrats have won the first round but I’d be surprised if the lines didn’t stand.
Anyway, two Republican precinct chairs have expressed an interest in running–Bruce Fleming and Craig LaTulle and then, the surprise of all, Lee Duggan III, the son of the former mayor of Sugar Land.
Lee III was also the president of the Central Appraisal District board recently, a job that might not make him popular, but would give him name identity. I didn’t realize he lived in the new district, but those Duggans (they won’t like me saying this) have land all over, so he might have some acreage in one of the three countries in the district.
Pat Hebert’s birthday….I was very disheartened to learn that Pat Hebert, wife of County Judge Bob Hebert, is younger than I. Her birthday was this week; mine was in April.
Not only that, but she had a much bigger blowout. However, it was all for a good cause. You were asked to bring food for the food pantry, and I heard they collected, according to the last count, about 2,010 pounds, plus about $1,000 in checks and cash. That was great! I’ve known Bob and Pat Hebert since our days in Alief and I have great respect for both of them and their dedication to their community.
Be sure and see the October issue of Fort Bend Focus for photos and some more of my musings on the subject and all the people there.
Okay, I just can’t stand it…..Even though I got some very encouraging mail from people about my columns about the national political scene, I told myself I wasn’t going to write about it because Fort Bend is such a Tea Party county that my rantings fall on deaf ears. And many people, if they disagree with you about one thing, they don’t trust anything else you say or write about. Since I have some local people who I really care about, I hate to muddy up the waters when I get into party politics.
But I just can’t stand it. I’ve been watching about the Libya situation and it just torques my jaw when I see Republicans continue to criticize Obama about his handling of the Libyan question. It looks as if Libya has overthrown a dictator with help from the U.S. with us spending little money, getting cooperation from a diverse group of foreign allies, no loss of one American life, and still the Republicans can’t bring themselves to do anything but criticize Obama. What is that saying? “They wouldn’t be happy if we hung them with a new rope!”
I used to think it was a black thing. But after all, Obama is half white, so maybe it’s something else. I’ve now come to the conclusion that it’s a Democrat thing. They hate him because he is a Democrat. They hated Bill Clinton just as much. Hell, they even impeached him for having sex in the White House.
Republicans refuse to believe that anybody can run the country as good as they can. They would hate any Democrat in the White House.
We didn’t treat George Bush like that. We will feel the effects of George Bush’s presidency for several generations (my family is still emotionally paying for losing my uncle in World War II and that was a righteous war), but we don’t question his religion, parentage, or love of country.
I have a message for Republicans: Democrats can love their country just as much as Republicans.
And I have a message for Congressional Republicans: This is becoming a class war. This economy is hurting the lower and middle class much more than anyone else, and we know who you are protecting.
I’m pretty much middle class. I don’t make $200,000 per year. My retirement has been decimated. This economy is hurting my business and my income. I don’t blame Obama. I blame the political leaders who can’t get along long enough to figure it out. I’m going to vote accordingly. If you make under $200,000 per year and you vote Republican, you’re crazy!