Thursday, September 19, 2013

The most boring municipal election season ever

Yes, it's this one.

Ben Hall's team has been arrested for burglary (of thunder).  Eric Dick hasn't even put out any signs, for chrissakes.  Helena Brown and Brenda Stardig -- and Amy Peck and the rest of that Tea Pee gang out in Oak Forest -- are as quiet as churchmice.

Michael Kubosh has apparently put the kibosh on his own campaign. (Turn the cameras back on, buddy! Please!)  Jenifer Rene Pool and Rogene Calvert and all the rest of AL3 are similarly flying well under the radar. Even Big Jolly's post about the candidate forum held at the Pachyderm Club last week put my feet to sleep.

This is a wretched development.  I have never been so bored in my decade-plus of blogging.

To be clear, I like the stealth campaign of Don Cook for mayor.  He's had four LTEs published by the Chronicle.  I suppose I could link to them, if I could find them.  And James Horwitz, the challenger to Jack "You Don't Die from the Flu" Christie, is a great candidate in need of a little more exposure, just like everybody else.

I remember when city council campaigns had some electricity around them.  Even Ben Mendez and Graci Garces seem to have shot their wads early.  (I really thought that nasty "fat" joke was going to be a running battle.  Alas, no.)

And please don't suggest that I read whatever drivel Campos is writing.  The lights aren't on and nobody's home, folks.  It's an empty house.  Nobody wants to break into it, either.  Not even the hungry, homeless people want to crash there.

For today's example, he seems completely unaware of the fact that deathcare monopolist SCI, owner of Forest Park Lawndale cemetery (and every other boneyard in Houston), has a standing offer to purchase the adjacent Gus Wortham golf course whenever the city is ready to sell.  The price has only been going in one direction for years now, and it's not up.  Even the developers won't get interested in bidding for that very prime property, because the neighborhood hasn't gentrified enough for them.  And it probably never will.

I bet if he ever spoke to James Rodriguez once in awhile, he might have become aware of this.

Maybe this will have some fireworks.  Perhaps there will be a poll released on the mayor's race, or someone will sling some piece of mud that's larger than a crawfish mound.

But I gotta say that so far, it's been really lame.

Update: District I to the rescue!

Eastside city council candidate Ben Mendez’s campaign claims he  is being smeared by rumors and innuendos, and denied Mendez  blamed a gang rape of an 11-year-old girl on the clothes she was wearing.

Campaign manager Joaquin Martinez  confirmed  community leader  Bill Lawson has withdrawn his support for Mendez in the District I race. Lawson, a respected former pastor, wrote a letter saying he had “serious problems” with Mendez remarks on the sexual attack, as well as what he called negative campaigning against candidate Graci Garces.

“There have been people saying Ben made insensitive remarks, but Ben didn’t make any,” said Martinez. 

Martinez, you may recall, was a candidate in the SD-6 special last winter.

“Throughout the campaign we’ve had several people who have tried to smear Ben Mendez as a candidate, because he is the frontrunner right now.”

There's no polling of any significance that reflects who is leading in this race; that's just bravado on the part of Martinez.  Personally I don't see how Mendez could possibly have ever been ahead at any time.  And trust me, my opinion carries as much weight as Martinez's and everybody else's (except for the one belonging to Marc Campos, which is worth less than zero as usual).

This development has significance due to Lawson's high standing in the African American community (and the likelihood that black turnout in this year's election might be somewhat higher than in years past).

In the letter, Lawson wrote that he admired Mendez as a civic leader, businessman and a friend, adding he would make a good city representative for  the council district.

“I simply cannot continue to take a stand for underclasses and give public endorsement for someone who would ignore them,” Lawson wrote.

Pretty harsh.  After taking the summer off, it looks like there might be a resumption of hostilities between the Mendez and Garces teams.

I'll pop the corn.

Update: Texpate digs deeper into the details.

Update II (Friday, 9/20): Big Jolly has another kerfuffle involving involving Kubosh and a "racist" e-mail.  My feet are wide awake now.

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