Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The latest in the mayor's race (hold your nose)

Ben Hall still wants to make crime an issue in the Houston mayoral tilt.

Hall doesn't seem to understand why nobody shows up for his grandstanding press conferences at a murder scene.  For the mayor's part, her spokesperson is going to respond anyway, and will worsen matters by being hyper-aggressive about every non-thing Hall says.

(Parker's spokesperson Sue) Davis called Hall's appearance at Denny's despicable and a dishonor to victim Greig Placette.

"He was a friend of mine and he died protecting some children at another table and he was a hero and I am personally offended that Mr. Hall would use Greig's death for a political purpose," said Davis.

I don't wish to minimize the fact that minority neighborhoods in Houston have a disproportionate share of Houston's crime statistics.  Hall, just trying to make something stick at this point, is specifically targeting those residents.  He's hoping that he can increase minority turnout enough to make a strong showing in the runoff, wounding the mayor's re-election bid in the first round simply by placing a not-too-weak second.

The facts: Houston's statistics are contradictory as to whether crime is increasing or decreasing, and any increase in 2013 is probably attributable to Houston's exploding population growth as much as it is anything else.  As UH-D CJ prof Clete Snell put it...

"To take advantage of a decline in crime politically or to try to use an increase in crime politically, I think, indicates a lack of knowledge about how the statistics are developed," Snell said. "There's just many, many factors that can impact the rise or decline in crime."

Again... I'd like to feel something more than embarrassment about the state of play in the mayoral contest.  Both candidates are failing to talk about municipal topics of relevance to a real majority of Houstonians.  Hall isn't going to (perhaps he just can't) and Parker won't because Hall won't force her. The other eight candidates in the race are, as usual, on 'ignore' by the legacy media.  Update: If you've noticed the coverage of the New York mayoral race, with its mention of the multiple challengers just in the Dem primary, then you can understand how badly our local media has let us down in this regard.

Charles dissects Hall's "tuff on crime" tactic, while Stace is making the same point as I am with the mayor's acceptance of the SNAP challenge. And Texas Leftist has the rundown on that.

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