Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Politics As Ususal in Fort Bend County, Texas

You can go from one day to the next without seeing it, but every once in awhile, here in Fort Bend County, you walk right by the snake pit that is our county government and GOP – because they’re one and the same - and they’re all down there, writhing, spitting venom, and eating each others’ young.

It’s the GOP bashing other GOPers, and it wouldn’t be so bad except that what’s going on now affects the forces of good also.

It’s all spelled out in FortBendNow. County Elections Administrator J.R. Perez wants to combine some voting precincts and eliminate voting locations, all of this in an effort to avoid spending tax dollars to buy more voting machines. That all sounds nifty, but I have a couple of points of concern.

First, they tell me that there is a lot of growth in the county. All you have to do is take a drive along the Grand Parkway or FM 762 and see the houses spring up like mushrooms after a rain. New houses mean new voters and that means you need to buy more voting machines, OK?

Second, since the county is growing, what is all this guff about elimination of 8 precincts and consolidation of 40 others? Shouldn’t it be going the other way?

But then, all you have to do is listen to who howls the loudest, and it’s comes from precinct chairs that would be eliminated: seven of the eight are on the GOP county executive committee. This represents a sizeable chunk of the committee that has been nipping at the heels of GOP county chair Gary Gillen since he was elected. One of them, Dean Hrbacek, is rumored to be considering a run against Democratic Congressman Nick Lampson next year.

So it’s not about saving taxpayer money, is it? It’s all about eliminating the opposition within the GOP.

I tell you, they think that they own this county. Well . . . maybe it’s because they do.

As pointed out in the FBN article, the howling and cries of foul essentially brought everything to a screeching halt (JR, Gary, you didn’t think they’d object?) and we’re back to square one. And now we have J.R. Perez wringing his hands, complaining that he doesn’t “have enough equipment to do a presidential election. If you add 10 new voting locations, I definitely don’t have enough equipment.”

So get some.

J.R. needs to get off the dime, stop playing with the maps, and get on the phone to Hart Intercivic, the makers of that glorious voting machine that every write-in voter loves to hate, and order up some more of those machines.

Because if you don’t have enough machines to run an election, and you know it, and are down on public record as saying it, can you spell v-o-t-e-r s-u-p-p-r-e-s-s-i-o-n?


TexasSusan said...

Hey, Hal, we've got them fighting over there so we don't have to fight them over here.

As long as they are squabbling among themselves, they're helping us. You go, J.R.. Keep them at each other's throats.

Ah, the smell of Republican self-inflicted wounds in the morning.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if I was the only one at training who felt that "Sir" JR was just a bit too full of himself? I got the distinct feeling that unless an idea was his (or he could claim it as his) he would never recommend it to the county commissioners. Or, if they didn't do something the way they did in wherever-it-is-that-he-last-worked it would never get done here.

Steve Raborn was just as nice as he could be to all of us who worked the polls. He would do anything he needed to do to get the job done. Sir JR's nose was bit too high and wrinkled too frequently for my comfort when it came to answering some questions from some people. I'll never forget the horrified look on his face when one of the workers asked for his personal phone number which Mr. Raborn had always done in case of emergency. Or when he was asked if he would be working late the night before an election. It was surely evident from which side of the fence his nest is feathered. He sure acted much more snooty than the pay justified, so that makes me wonder if he wasn't given more power than is SOP?