Sunday, May 12, 2013

3 Out of 4 Ain’t Bad

Well the Uniform Elections of May 2013 are now in the history books. These are very local city and school board elections and turnouts usually stink.
In Fort Bend ISD there was a truly dismal turnout of 3.27%. This is about half as much as usual. When there is a truly hot button election Fort Bend school board races can attract up to 6% turnout. So in this election, every participant cast a vote for themselves plus 29 of their neighbors who are registered to vote in the district.
Results were uninteresting. Jim Rice won handily. He was running against an empty chair so it stands to good reason that the vote was heavy in his favor.
Dave Rosenthal fended off his seat from Cynthia Lenton-Gary who was appointed to the seat to serve out Jim Babb’s term. She then lost it to a TEA Party geophysicist. Interestingly enough, had they been the only two running Rosenthal still would have won handily.
In Lamar CISD things ran a little more interesting. Most notable was Kay Danziger’s squeaker in her race for District 2 against Beth Horstman. Danziger lost to Horstman in early voting by 14 votes, but scored 20 more Election Day votes than Horstman, putting her over the top by 6 votes.
Both Anna Gonzales and Frank Torres slaughtered their opponents who were supported by PAC money that was chiefly funded by a Tomball homebuilder. The PAC, known as Whistle PAC, was founded by the brother of a local political consultant who was chiefly responsible for recruitment of these candidates. The brother, Rodney Vannerson, is up on charges of Criminal Mischief when he was caught red-handed stealing Frank Torres’ campaign signs.
Karen Mendoza’s race – a 3-way – resulted in the election of Kathryn Kaminski. Kaminski was also funded by Whistle PAC, and in this case, the out-of-district money came in handy and bought Kaminski a seat on a school board where the pay for her service is Zero Dollars. Kaminski is a LCISD contractor. That’s right. A contractor. Did anyone bother to explain to her all that stuff about conflict of interest? It’s big in the public sector.
Still, results in LCISD could have been much worse. Elections have been bought and paid for before and this one had dollar signs stamped all over it. A really good school board trustee was replaced by someone whose business brings her in direct conflict with her service on the school board, but in three other races the outcomes were good ones.
3 out of 4 ain’t bad.

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