Bill White's 9 Steps to Financial Freedom? (#2)

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As reported by the Chronicle‘s Bradley Olson, Senate Candidate Bill White recently warned voters to be wary of any new spending proposed by Houston’s mayoral candidates:

9 Steps

White, who has shied away from endorsing or even offering tacit support to those vying to replace him, weighed in last week with surprising advice for voters: Beware of any promises of new spending in 2010 and 2011.

“Texas has not come out of the recession, and sales tax receipts are dropping,” White wrote in a post on his Facebook page Tuesday. “Be sure not to vote for our next mayor based on commitments of more spending in the next two years.”

Houston Mayor Bill White, of course, has not been shy about spending money on his priorities. This week, KTRK-13’s Wayne Dolcefino checked out White’s prized weatherization program and found plenty of wasteful spending.

In Part 1, Dolcefino examines the high cost of the city’s light-bulb replacement program (as opposed to the cost at Home Depot).

In Part 2, Dolcefino examines the high cost of other items (caulk, ceiling fans) purchased as part of the program.

In Part 3, Dolcefino reports that the State of Texas has been much slower to spend federal “stimulus” dollars that have been allocated for a similar weatherization program, in hopes of avoiding some of the expensive missteps of the Houston program:

Part of the delay is making sure Texas and other states can actually manage to spend all that money efficiently.

“The problem and challenge now is that you’re going from a $13 million program to a $327 million program,” said Gerber [from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs].

[snip]

“There are going to be a different set of rules the city is going to have to adhere to.”

That will mean an end to spending the money the way Houston Mayor Bill White has been spending it: in handpicked neighborhoods where 50 percent of the homes met the guidelines.

We are not optimistic that the state’s program will be significantly less wasteful than Mayor White’s boondoggle, but kudos to Dolcefino for his investigation (we would love to see a followup on contractors who have benefited from the program). Be sure to click over, or check out the embedded videos below.

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Kevin Whited
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Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX