Weekend brunch for 20 March 2022

Harris County judge Lina Hidalgo enjoys vacation as corruption allegations swirl (Image credit: Lina Hidalgo twitter feed)

[WB1] The fallout from Harris County’s apparent effort to steer a COVID-19 outreach contract to an unqualified, Democratic party operative (and away from a more competitive bid from UT Health) continued this week, as the warrants became public.

As Bill King argues convincingly, the warrants expose Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo as a liar and someone who was very engaged in “blatant bid-rigging.”

Time to flip the Harris County Corruption backwards gage thingie to Red Alert/Severe!

Hidalgo’s attorney dismissed the media coverage and associated outrage as a consequence of “politics” (although it’s unclear why the Texas Rangers would be engaging in Harris County politics).

Meanwhile, the county judge has been enjoying a little vacation – with the photographer who seems to follow her everywhere in tow.

[WB2] The Chronicle reports that after a child was shot at her Harris County apartment, her mom is scared to let her children play outside.

Apparently, the landscaping and lighting “crime-fighting” projects that Lina Hidalgo and Rodney Ellis favor aren’t having much impact on the violent crime wave that’s taken place since their takeover of Harris County.

[WB3] Elected officials continue to try to shift blame for the violent crime wave to the bail bond industry. Embarrassingly, the area newspaper tried to do the same thing last year. Nobody’s buying it.

[WB4] Even as the Houston area gets more dangerous, property becomes more valuable – to the tune of roughly 21% for the average homeowner this year (according to the Chronicle).

[WB5] Bob Choate’s review of Ballot-by-Mail applications in 10 of the 20 largest counties in Texas suggests that one Isabel Longoria bungled that process, along with the rest of the last election.

Undeterred, the League of Women Voters of Texas has chosen the disgraced elections official as the keynote speaker for its “Making Democracy Work” dinner.

[WB6] The City of Houston has secretly and non-transparently negotiated a new contract with the Houston Police Department.

[WB7] With County Judge Hidalgo increasingly likely to be tainted by a corruption investigation (if not charged), a columnist for the area newspaper seems to be moving on to a potential new young hero to carry the progressive torch locally.

[WB8] A “senior editor” at the area newspaper in the energy capital of the world apparently thinks jet planes run on gasoline (not jet fuel). Mind-numbing headline (uncorrected as of publication): Southwest, United Airlines cut thousands of spring flights over gas prices, staffing issues

[WB9] Bob Rehak at Reduce Flooding notes that HUD has approved $750 million to Harris County for flood mitigation.

[WB10] The area newspaper has published a nice profile of the University of Houston’s Dr. John Lienhard, the founder and original host of the nifty public radio program, “The Engines of our Ingenuity.”

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About Kevin Whited 4306 Articles
Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX