[WB1] Incompetent, unqualified Harris County elections administrator Isabel Longoria announced this week she’d be resigning from the office – on July 1. That means she’ll be in office to bungle two more elections, courtesy of Lina Hidalgo, Rodney Ellis, and Adrian Garcia (who have overseen a radical remake of Harris County governance).
The Republicans who run the state of Texas ought to be insisting on special oversight for the remaining elections in 2022 in Harris County. So far, all we’re really hearing is that State Sen. Paul Bettencourt is upset and the Harris County GOP and several political candidates are filing lawsuits.
[WB2] The Harris County district attorney’s office and the Texas Rangers executed search warrants this week in connection to Lina Hidalgo’s selection of a one-woman Democratic operative to receive millions of dollars for COVID-19 outreach in the county. The county judge’s attorney accused the law enforcement officials of playing politics with the warrants (seriously).
No word when they might decide to investigate Rodney Ellis’s art collection.
The appearance of corruption (along with incompetence) seems to run deep among the Democrats who run Harris County.
[WB3] KTRK-13 reports that Harris County’s $2.6 million crime initiative is falling short of its staffing goals.
[WB4] Houston’s first bus-rapid transit line is also falling short of its goals. The Houston Chronicle notes that ridership is only a fraction of what was projected:
After Uptown officials spent $192 million rebuilding the street to develop the line, operated by Metro, to carry 12,000 riders per day, bus drivers are ferrying fewer than 800 on many work days….
The Silver Line cracked an average of 800 daily riders for the first time in November and December, then fell to 669 in January, according to Metro ridership numbers.
That was entirely predictable. Indeed, Neal Meyer wrote the following on this website in 2015:
I’ve written before that the current Post Oak bus route carries fewer than 5,000 boardings per day for the entire 19 mile route. The best information we have is that the Post Oak bus route only carries 700 boardings per day in the Galleria area itself, where the BRT route is supposed to go. Hence, to achieve the ridership levels that the Post Oak BRT proponents are claiming would require a stunning 20-25 fold improvement in ridership over current usage!
[WB5] The Daily Mail ran a story (which most Houston media declined to report) this week about allegations over Sheriff Ed Gonzalez’s reaction to his wife’s alleged affairs with her supervisor. The allegations came up in the context of the sheriff’s nomination to head ICE.
[WB6] The area newspaper does like to run stories that seem to celebrate our borderless country.
[WB7] It’s remarkable that so many progressive advocacy groups regard themselves as “partners” of local spending entities (and vice versa), yet taxpayers rarely are treated as important partners or stakeholders.
[WB8] Here’s a collection of the more notable crime reports this week in the increasingly lawless Houston area:
- Car burglary suspect dies after being shot and run over in southwest Houston – KTRK-13 News (be sure to click and read – you can’t make up stories like this)
- Houston TV reporter encounters shooting while on other story – Mike McGuff (watch the video – like the story above, this one is WILD)
- Criminal district court judge grants low bond to murder suspect with criminal history – KRIV-26 News (of course)
- Suspect accused of shooting tow truck driver, ramming HPD vehicle arrested again while out on bond – KPRC-2 News
- Man killed by Houston police was suspect in fatal west Houston McDonald’s shooting – Houston Chronicle (the McDonald’s murder was in my once-safe, middle-class west-Houston neighborhood)
- History of violence (and low bonds) between couple accused of abandoning kids – KTRK-13 News
Try and stay safe out there, y’all.