Summer break has concluded here at blogHOUSTON. Here’s hoping you had a good summer. We’ll start by catching up on a few notable news items this time (with a truly fresh start next week):
[WB1] The big news in recent weeks has been the revelation that Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo unduly influenced the award of a contract for “vaccination outreach” to an unqualified, one-person Democratic campaign shop that actually lost out in the evaluation process to the UT Health Science Center (despite unqualified Hidalgo staffers unfairly influencing the scoring) but somehow still wound up with the contract.
Holly Hansen of The Texan news first covered what initially looked like a fishy deal, and Greg Groogan of KRIV-26 news along with Bill King dug deeper, discovering just how corrupt the award process was. Michael Berry has been all over the matter.
King went so far as to call on the county judge to resign. At the very least, criminal charges should be explored for this blatant example of partisan political corruption/cronyism and contract-fixing.
Neither is likely to happen in this blue city and county, unfortunately, as so many area journo-activists have invested so heavily in promoting and lauding the inexperienced (but very progressive) county judge, who did announce she would pursue plans to cancel the contract, complaining that it’s become “politicized” (with no apparent irony).
The Chronicle, which was finally forced to cover this story, notes that over a half-million dollars has already been paid to the Democratic campaign firm in question.
[WB2] Mayor Sylvester Turner halted work on a major city financial transparency initiative, drawing criticism from City Controller Chris Brown. Oh, and the bill for the airport reconstruction just keeps going up up up.
[WB3] Remember when promoters of the Houston-Dallas “bullet train” told you it would be privately funded? In reality, the financial plan hinges on massive support from Congress (read: taxpayers). That should come as no surprise to blogHOUSTON readers.
[WB4] KRIV-26 news continues to cover the Democratic judges who have made Harris County much less safe. Kim Ogg has also gotten in on the act.
[WB5] Colleen Vera takes a closer look at what she has deemed State Senator Carol Alvarado’s “filibuster for fraud.”
[WB6] It is no secret (though it may be news to some Houstonians) that the importation of low-skill immigrants has become big business in Houston – a major growth industry (of sorts). The Houston Afghan edition is now gearing up, with strange stories like this one (strange in that the linked story doesn’t match the headline, but instead reports on the low-skill jobs the immigrants will likely be filling).
[WB7] In possibly related news, KPRC-2 News notes that Houston is the 11th least-educated large U.S. city, according to one study.
[WB8] This is your periodic reminder that a city that criminalizes feeding the less fortunate is not a very charitable or decent city.
[WB9] Why is the US Postal Service’s North Houston Processing and Distribution Center – the largest mail distribution center in the country – so bad at mail distribution?
[WB10] At one time, it appeared that billionaire John Arnold’s think tank would do some innovative work on problematic public policy areas (like public pensions, which are unduly influenced by public sector unions rather than taxpayers and, in many cases, do not seem sustainable). Instead, they’ve become just another predictably woke/progressive outlet. It’s unfortunate.
[WB11] The Chronicle, whose journos do little to conceal their disdain for Governor Greg Abbott, is now stirring up trouble with Buc-ee’s, whose owner has been a big donor to the governor. We’re guessing Buc-ee’s will come out just fine.
[WB12] The so-called “Ike Dike” plan will soon be headed to Congress. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Nicholas appears to be gearing up to send a great deal of rain in our direction. Get prepared and be safe, Houston!
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