Houstonians cannot say that they don’t have candidates to choose from come November–whether they like them or not. CM Stephen Costello, as expected, has tossed his hat in the ring for Houston Mayor. Some expect a few to half-a-dozen more before the deadline.
And, as expected, Costello is running against the recent City-Firefighters Pension deal, which is probably a good position on which to begin, given that another candidate, Sylvester Turner, helped broker the agreement. That’s if you believe this is THE issue. (Kuff has more on the pension deal back and forth.)
As Costello seems to see it, it’s a battle for “local control,” which is something the Republicans at the Texas Lege have turned away from recently. While Costello wants local control for Houstonians to decide on the pension, Republicans have been dead-set on seizing local control from cities who have passed nondiscrimination ordinances.
Local control is local control, so, how Costello navigates between the pension and the NDO (which will be an issue in 2015 one way or another) will be interesting. Whatever the debate on pensions, though, there probably won’t be much of a battle for the firefighters union endorsement this time around.
Of course, there are others in the running, including Chris Bell, Ben Hall, Marty McVey, and Bill King. And from these folks, we’ve seen everything from Pre-K (Bell) to international investment (McVey), to potholes on Kirkwood and elsewhere (King). So, if you’re looking for an issue, someone is bound to offer it up for discussion at a candidate forum.
So, Ben Hall pulled an Elise Chan (SA’s anti-gay ex-councilmember) and stated he would be against a non-discrimination ordinance for the City of Houston. Anyone who’s surprised he would pull the anti-GLBT card to appease the GOP, stand on your head.
Frankly, I’m not surprised. At all. And my friend Kuff, too, who has links to the KUHF interview and other stuff. What is disturbing is that Ben Hall would lie to Democrats about supporting an NDO and then attempt to appease Republicans by saying otherwise. Of course, I’d like to know what organizations and unions that endorsed Hall feel about that, too.
Things aren’t going well for the multi-million dollar candidate, so, he’s taken mostly right-wing stances on issues during early voting. He doesn’t seem to believe in paying his fair share; he doesn’t believe in fair rules for businesses and corporations; and now, he doesn’t seem to believe in basic civil rights. He really is Hall for Hall.
Texpatriot, Texas Leftist, and Coby have more.
A few minutes ago, Mayor Annise Parker announced that there WILL be a Thanksgiving Parade, thanks to the good folks at HEB and other private donors. Soon after press questions regarding the parade, Parker answered some campaign questions.
Regarding ad buys, Parker stated that her opponent Ben Hall’s recent ad buy was about him trying to introduce himself to Houston, and that she intended to help him get known.
I guess this is how it’s done.
Update: In a Facebook post announcing the ad, the Mayor had this to say:
Friends, I’m never going to stop working to keep Houston the best city in America – and I’m never going to let my multimillionaire opponent and his right-wing consultants Swift Boat us. Here’s our response.
Update #2: The Parker campaign released an official statement, too.
HOUSTON, TX – Houston Mayor Annise Parker has released a campaign television ad that begins running on broadcast television today. The ad is titled, “The Man Who Wasn’t There.”
“Ben Hall says that voters deserve the truth. We agree,” campaign spokesperson Sue Davis said. “Hall can start by answering the simple question, ‘Where have you been?’
“Hall rhapsodizes about how much he loves Houston and says he has a vision for the city. But his vision didn’t include living in Houston, voting in Houston or paying Houston property taxes on his home. His vision didn’t include solving any of the city’s problems, either. When Houston was hurting in the recession, Hall offered no vision, no ideas and no leadership.
“Under Mayor Parker’s leadership, on the other hand, Houstonians came together to change the way we do business – and we’ve made real progress creating jobs, fighting crime and cutting government waste.”
In 2011, Houston Chronicle columnist Rick Casey pointed out that Hall “lived in an 8,000-square-foot house in suburban Piney Point Village with a tax appraisal of $2.9 million. With Piney Point’s tax rate at a third of the city of Houston’s, had Hall’s house been in Houston last year our deficit would have been about $12,000 less.” Houston Chronicle, March 24, 2011.