Weekend brunch for 22 December 2019

News and views from around the web

Image credit: Pixabay (CC0)

[WB1] In the Washington Post, Salvador Rizzo demolishes HPD Chief Art Acevedo’s latest deceptive, if not outright dishonest, effort to politicize an HPD officer’s death. The newspaper ultimately gives Acevedo a pass on its “Pinnochios” measure because he conceded to Rizzo his comments were misleading and because that’s what so many fact checkers do when they tend to agree with the sentiment or ideology behind factually incorrect statements.

The problem we have locally is that the chief repeatedly makes these sorts of misleading/deceptive political statements that he never recants or is held to account for.

We’d still like to know how this killer was able to obtain the murder weapon that he should not have had under existing law.

[WB2] In this column, a relative newcomer to Houston tries to explain Houston’s most recent election (not entirely successfully).

It is worth noting (again) that incumbents won without too much trouble this time around (although some required runoffs). None of the challengers to those incumbents ultimately made a case for removal that resonated with a majority, despite some outspending the incumbent (Buzbee in the mayoral race – ultimately drowning out the one mayoral candidate who spoke substantively about problems in the city and how he would address them – and Salhotra versus Knox in their at-large race). And for the most part, the winners across the board were seen at numerous neighborhood meetings across the city presenting their program and listening to voters (I personally saw Councilmembers Travis and Knox and successful council candidates Pollard and Thomas at the regular meetings of one poorly run Super Neighborhood that is lucky to draw 10 people to its meetings) rather than just sending mail pieces to voters.

So here are some additional takeaways since my initial recap:

  1. Incumbency matters as much as money
  2. Even in a disengaged district (or perhaps because of it), an awful incumbent may get the message from constituents as well as strong challengers to decide not to run in the face of likely defeat (looking at Steve Le here)
  3. Candidates and incumbents alike who are seen out and about in the community, speaking sensibly and debating their opponents respectfully, have a shot at winning office (though money helps a great deal!)
  4. Eccentrics who never establish or convey much interest in the details of running a major city may not be the best type of mayoral challenger for the local center-right to hang their hat on.

[WB3] Neal Meyer comments on the successful takings lawsuit against the US Army Corps of Engineers related to Harvey flooding. And a recent study suggests that it may not be the best idea to build (or rebuild) properties in floodplains. This is the state of affairs two+ years after Harvey.

[WB4] A Chron writer notes the difficulties of getting to Houston sporting events without driving a car, in what is really an unintentional critique of how poorly Houston mass transit serves many residents (especially if you’re outside the loop). But, on a more positive note, trinkets like the troubled, delayed Post Oak BRT will give car drivers like progressive news-excerpter Charles Kuffer some additional options for lunch, eventually, when they find themselves in the Galleria area. So there’s that.

[WB5] Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath makes his case for the state takeover of HISD, noting the district leadership’s “chronicle neglect” of children.

[WB6] The Chronicle takes a closer look at the two Jerry Garcias in a Harris County constable race.

[WB7] Congrats to the Houston Texans for clinching their bad division with Saturday’s road win!

Best holiday wishes to all!

Kevin Whited
About Kevin Whited 4237 Articles
Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX