Obviously, I’m biased, so, I expected Mayor Annise Parker to stick to her platform and record, but I didn’t expect the rest of her opponents to do so terribly. Well, I liked Michael Fitzsimmons, but that’s because I like those who dare to be different; and I will say Keryl Douglas did OK.
Anyway, it didn’t take long to start wondering if Eric Dick was borrowing lines from Ben Hall’s press releases regarding the various accusations thrown at the Mayor. Ultimately, attacks by challengers on an incumbent without a reason to support said challengers does not win any of them any votes, especially if stuff just seems to bounce off the incumbent like it did last night.
Dick and Hall also attempted to provide conservatives with some red meat, but they all may have choked on the marrow in the process. Hall and Dick’s ideas to cut taxes and cut fees, while also complaining about infrastructure and services left them exposed to retorts from Parker’s campaign press shop, such as this one regarding Hall wanting to de-fund Rebuild Houston.
Hall’s plan would repeal the major source of current revenue for the fund. His plan includes no sources of revenues to replace those funds and would stop almost all street and flood prevention projects in Houston.
See what I mean?
Or stuff like this.
At the debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters Tuesday, Hall repeated his frequent and misleading claim that 65 percent of Houston properties are unsustainable because they do not generate enough tax revenue to cover the cost of the public services provided to them. Hall said if he were elected mayor, he would attract businesses to develop those properties, thereby increasing both their value and their tax revenue for the city.
Hall, however, hides the most important fact: the properties he calls unsustainable are homes below the median property value – in other words, homes owned by middle- and low-income Houstonians. According to a tax analysis by Better Houston, these are homes valued at $120,000 or less.
“Ben Hall hides the truth again. When you look at the numbers behind Hall’s rhetoric, it’s clear that his plan would require a massive tax increase on middle-class and low-income Houstonians – and at the same time gentrify their neighborhoods so they couldn’t afford to live there.” said Davis.
It’s easy to come up with these lofty ideas from one’s tony perch in Memorial, I guess.
Should this be classified as a win for the Mayor? If it is, it’s because it was handed to her. As she stated after the debate:
“Ben Hall revealed himself in tonight’s debate,” said Parker campaign spokesperson Sue Davis. “Mr. Hall has no plans to fight crime, no plans to create jobs and no plans to manage our city responsibly.”
While the Mayor did a good job of sticking to her platform and record, I didn’t hear much else offered by the others, other than Ben Hall’s big brother surveillance plan and his water caves.
But if you still aren’t decided on this one, there is a Mayoral Forum next Monday, October 14, at the Leonel Castillo Community Center sponsored by Neighborhood Centers.