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Volume XII Number 19 - October 25, 2013     RSS Feed   

A Periodic Newsletter for Committed Texas Conservatives

In This Issue

TCR 2013 City of Houston Voter Guide

Betrayed: Annise Parker's Sad Record Of Malfeasance

TCR Election Endorsements

TCR City Of Houston Candidate Questionnaire

Red, White and Blue
KPRC Houston Newsmakers
Raging Elephants Radio


What's Ahead

Hard Hitting
Conservative Commentary
Contact TCR

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Gary Polland
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TCR 2013 City of Houston Voter Guide
Read the Voter Guide Online

Betrayed: Annise Parker's
Sad Record Of Malfeasance

Almost five (5) years ago Annise Parker was elected Mayor of Houston. She promised many things, and for conservatives and Republicans none were more important than to run the city as a fiscal conservative, to be a nonpartisan Mayor, and to operate the city with transparency.

After her first term, it appeared she had delivered: cutting spending via layoffs, staying out of Democratic Party politics, and seemingly running a transparent administration.

As we moved into the second term, disturbing things began to be revealed. Among the things disturbing fiscal conservatives were: the systematic diversion of water and sewer funds; the inappropriate diversion of "Rain Tax" funds from flooding and infrastructure projects to public work salaries, another fraud on the voters perpetrated by the Parker administration while our roads are in terrible shape; the revelation by the Houston Chronicle this past summer that the city is not current on paying its bills; the continuing violation of constitutional rights in the Parker-ordered OIG employee discipline system which ignores basic fundamental fairness and has been described by Dave Welch, head of the Houston Area Pastors' Council, as "a department which fundamentally reverses due process and says one is guilty until they prove their innocence"; her out of control City Attorney who has on more than one occasion misrepresented facts in order to get authority to file suit against Houston businesses (making it difficult for businesses to operate within the city limits); and finally, two recent revelations that are the most disturbing...

First, her Democratic partisanship is front and center as she maneuvers to run as a state-wide Democratic candidate in the future.

Second, the recent uncovering of Parker's acts, which demonstrate that her fiscal conservative credentials (earned in her first term) were based on fraud because in her first term, at the same time that she was laying off lower level city employees, she was giving her high level cronies massive pay increases, also increasing their pensions.

The fact is, Parker is a career city-politician finishing up sixteen (16) years in office, and she bears responsibility for the dangerous fiscal situation Houston now faces. She has been unsuccessful in solving the long-term pension crisis, and when actions in the early 2000's increased pension benefits, what did Parker do? Nothing.

Finally, Annise Parker claims credit for Houston's economic resurgence, but a closer look reveals that Texas has had a resurgence while in the Metro-Houston/Harris County area the city economy lags!

TCR firmly believes the voters were sold a bill of goods by Parker, and the second term of Annise Parker has revealed the truth. It is past time for a change at City Hall, and fiscal conservatives, by voting in historic numbers, can make this happen in November.

TCR Election Endorsements

At TCR, it is our policy to tell you why we endorse specific candidates. We have carefully examined all of the candidates (and issues) listed on the ballot. Using position stances, voting records (for incumbents) and electoral viability, TCR has provided a list of the best, most qualified conservative choice for the races listed. Please take a moment to review our endorsement explanations and please use our complete list of endorsements (found at the back of the publication) to vote for the most qualified conservative candidates and issues.

State of Texas Proposition No. 6 - The Water Proposition

Vote For - We clearly have a water problem in Texas and this proposal funds a mechanism to put the money towards 562 critical projects needed to satisfy a growing population for the next 50 years.

Harris County Proposition 1 - Central Booking Center

This Proposition allows voters to approve the spending of $144 million to set a central city/county inmate processing center. The cost is reasonable and the County Commissioners anticipates no tax rate increase to pay for it. Vote For, we need it.

Harris County Proposition 1 - Astrodome

This is a $200 million bond issue to update the Astrodome into a multi-purpose special events center. The plan preserves the former "8th wonder of the world" and gives the county an opportunity to generate revenues. The alternative is to tear it down and create another parking lot and that costs a lot too. So Vote For.

Houston Mayor

Ben Hall - Even in a city where conservatives are a minority, we can still impact who becomes mayor. This year there are nine candidates and one of two will be the next mayor, Ben Hall or Annise Parker. A review of this year’s TCR Questionnaire shows Ben Hall with an "A" and Annise Parker with an "F". Why has Parker received a failing grade? Simply put, she has been governing and acting more liberal across the board on spending and social issues, and has been much more involved in Democratic politics as a precursor to a future partisan race. Fortunately, we have a strong option this year, Ben Hall, born of humble beginnings with a highly successful history both educationally and in the community. Ben is a strong fiscal conservative who supports a significant property tax reduction for hard-pressed Houston home owners. He has also pledged to run a bipartisan administration. He has pledged to not ever give pay raises to high level employees while laying off lower level employees as practiced in the Parker administration. TCR enthusiastically supports Ben Hall for mayor.

Houston City Council District A

Helena Brown - In 2011, TCR issued a dual endorsement of incumbent Brenda Stardig and upstart challenger Helena Brown, who ultimately unseated the first termer. Based on a number of factors, TCR sees no reason to split the endorsement this election, and is offering a strong and unequivocal endorsement of the fiery incumbent, Helena Brown. Brown's history is as an ideologue and longtime grassroots activist, both of which do not always serve the best interests of pragmatic governance; however, Brown has managed to balance idealism and constituent services, which is the real job of a district council member. Helena Brown has proven to be an effective advocate and representative for District A and TCR supports her re-election.

Houston City Council District G

Oliver Pennington - The race for City Council in District G represents one of the clearest decisions on the November ballot. It is a choice between two-term, veteran statesman Oliver Pennington and a first time candidate. Pennington's history as a 40-year resident of District G is contrasted by his opponent, who just recently moved into a rental property in District G, which hardly suggests intimate knowledge of the district he hopes to represent. Pennington's lifelong career as a lawyer specializing in municipal finance, municipal law and environmental law make him ideally suited to tackle many of the most pressing issues facing the city of Houston. Pennington's level of activity also sets a high bar; he is constantly visible and accessible at community events, civic association and Super Neighborhood meetings, which allows him to interact with his neighbors in District G and act on their concerns at City Hall. For four years, Oliver Pennington has represented the citizens of District G with the highest level of distinction, and TCR believes he deserves re-election.

Houston City Council At-Large Position 1

Stephen Costello - Like the District G race, this is an easy choice; because as much as we like his affable opponent, his qualifications and experience pale in comparison to engineer, business owner and two-term incumbent Stephen Costello. TCR recognizes that Stephen Costello will never be a standard bearer for all conservative issues, but he is consistent, unwavering and honest in his positions, which is comforting in an era of political expediency. Costello has been a leader on pension reform, which will keep Houston from becoming Detroit, and TCR believes that he will continue to be an asset on Houston City Council.

Houston City Council At-Large Position 2

Andrew Burks Jr. earned an "A" rating on the TCR City Questionnaire. Burks is now seeking a second term. His small business and community involvement background guides his way in politics. A pro-family fiscal conservative, he has focused on two critical needs in Houston: economic development and job creation. He has worked hard in a bipartisan way, and TCR is pleased to endorse Andrew Burks Jr. for a second term.

Houston City Council At-Large Position 3

Michael Kubosh is not your typical candidate. In fact the word "typical" is likely never to be used in the context of Michael Kubosh. But that's not a bad thing. In fact, someone like this straight-talking, former pastor and now bail bondsman is exactly what is needed at City Hall to shake up the "typical" types. Maybe a fighter of Kubosh's sort who eschews the typical, disregards political correctness and speaks his mind can make a positive difference in the future of our City. Kubosh is a proven business man, leader on the issues and a man who seems perfectly at home with the people; in fact, one of Kubosh’s favorite lines is that "the people are the City." It is this connection to the pulse of the community that helped Kubosh successfully fight the red light cameras and pull the plug on them permanently. But do not let Kubosh's populist veneer deceive you; he has a keen understanding of city issues. Michael Kubosh is the kind of proven leader that TCR believes we need at City Hall. Vote for Michael Kubosh for Houston City Council At-Large Position 3.

Houston City Council At-Large Position 4

C.O. "Brad" Bradford has a lifelong record of service to the Houston community - first as a police officer for 24 years, then 7 years as Houston Chief of Police, and finally representing citizens on Houston City Council for the past four years. Not surprisingly, Bradford holds public safety high on his list of priorities, and has the unwavering support of those in the first responder community including Fire and Police. He also stands tall to control wasteful spending. Bradford's extensive experience provides a valuable law enforcement perspective on Houston City Council that TCR believes merits a third and final reelection for this effective incumbent.

Houston City Council At-Large Position 5

Jack Christie is a chiropractor, businessman and U.S. Army veteran whose service as an elected member of the State Board of Education and Spring Branch ISD brings a unique set of experience and qualifications to Houston City Council. Christie has been a solid conservative performer during his first two years and TCR recommends Dr. Jack Christie for a second term on Houston City Council.

Houston City Controller

Bill Frazer - At a time when Houston's fiscal fitness and financial future are uncertain, the position of City Controller could not be more critical. Unfortunately, the controversy-marred incumbent Ron Green appears to be woefully under qualified, tragically in over his head and has demonstrated bad judgment that resulted in the loss of scarce tax dollars. The incumbent illustrates the point that qualifications and experience do matter. Fortunately for the taxpayers and the future of the City, voters have an exceptional alternative to Green this November in the form of veteran financial professional Bill Frazer. To start, Frazer is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) while the incumbent is not. It seems shocking that anyone would want to turn over the checkbook of one of the nation's largest cities to someone who is NOT a CPA. Frazer is not only a CPA, he is the former President of the Houston CPA Society, and has served on the Texas Society of CPA's for 20 years. Add to that Frazer's nearly 40 years of financial experience, over half of which was as a Chief Financial Officer, and you have someone who is truly capable of being a watchdog of our valuable tax dollars. He is not a politician looking for his next job, and the only political job he wants is city controller.

TCR 2013 City Of Houston Candidate Questionnaire

For 2013, TCR has devised a list of 11 yes or no questions (14 for Controller candidates). You can see the questionnaire and candidate answers below. There were some races where TCR could not find a viable conservative candidate. In those cases, the race is not mentioned. Participation matters so if a candidate chose not to respond, they received an automatic F.

  1. Do you support City Council capping residential property tax appraisals at a maximum 5% increase per year?

  2. Do you support a requirement that the City of Houston not raise taxes without a supermajority of at least 60% of City Council?

  3. Do you support a spending cap limiting the increase in city spending to the rate of population growth plus inflation?

  4. Do you support establishing a "GRACE" type commission to identify ways for the City of Houston to eliminate waste, fraud, abuse, incompetence and duplicative programs and operating inefficiencies?

  5. Do you support ending race and gender based affirmative action programs?

  6. Do you believe "Rebuild Houston" revenue is being used as it was intended?

  7. Do you support reform of the City of Houston pension plans switching to a defined contribution plan, which will help control runaway pension costs?

  8. Do you support the City of Houston paying its bills as they come due as opposed to accounting practices that hide excessive spending?

  9. Do you support privatizing certain city functions, such as the Convention and Visitors Bureau and police and fire training, which could be delivered more efficiently by private sector vendors?

  10. Do you favor the City of Houston modifying its medical insurance plan switching to a high deductible medical savings account plan that will encourage healthy habits and reduce medical costs overall?

  11. Do you support the City giving tax abatements to businesses that are located outside Houston city limits?

  12. Do you believe that the Houston City Controller has an obligation to provide an accurate report of the City's financial condition to the public?

  13. Do you support eliminating bond pricing trips and other unnecessary travel that can be replaced with online meetings and teleconferences, similar to the policy maintained by Harris County?

  14. Are you currently a Certified Public Accountant?
TCR 2013 City Of Houston Candidate Questionnaire
Question Numbers
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Grade
Annise Parker - - + + - - - + + - - na na na F
Ben Hall + + + + - + + + + + + na na na A
Eric Dick + + + + + + + + + + + na na na A
Victoria Lane + + - + - + + + + + + na na na B
Don Cook + + - + - + - - - - + na na na F
Cheryl Drab
Did Not Respond
Keryl Burgess Douglas
Did Not Respond
Michael Fitzsimmons
Did Not Respond
Derek A. Jenkins
Did Not Respond
Amy Peck + + + + + + + + + + + na na na A
Helena Brown + + + + + + + + + + - na na na A
Brenda Stardig + + + + + - + + + + + na na na A
Ron Hale + + + + + + + - + + + na na na A
Mike Knox
Did Not Respond
Oliver Pennington + + + + + + + + + + + na na na A
Brian Taef + + + + + + + + + + + na na na A
Stephen C. Costello + + + + - - + + + + - na na na C
Mike "Griff" Griffin + + + + - - + + + - - na na na D
Andrew C. Burks, Jr. + + + + - + + + + + + na na na A
David Robinson + + + + - + + + + + + na na na A
Moe Rivera + + + + + + - + - + - na na na C
Trebor Gordon + + + + + + + + - - + na na na B
Michael Kubosh + + + + - + + + + + + na na na A
Roy Morales + + + + + + + + + + + na na na A
Roland M. Chavez - - + + - + - + - + + na na na F
J. Brad Batteau
Did Not Respond
Rogene Gee Calvert
Did Not Respond
Jenifer Rene Pool
Did Not Respond
C.O. "Brad" Bradford + + + + + + + + + + + na na na A
Issa Z. Dadoush + + + + + + + + + + + na na na A
Jack Christie + + + + + - + + + + - na na na B
James S. Horwitz
Did Not Respond
Carolyn Evans-Shabazz
Did Not Respond
Bill Frazer + + + - + + + + + + + + + + A
Ronald Green
Did Not Respond

Check your mailbox for the TCR City of Houston Voters Guide with all the information you need to cast an informed ballot.

TCR on the Air

Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland, liberal commentator David Jones and moderator Linda Lorelle on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8.1, replaying Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8.1, Mondays at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at

Upcoming Shows:
KUHF/KHOU Election Polling Results with guests: Robert Stein, Ph.D Rice University and Doug Miller, KHOU.
The State & County Propositions with State Rep Jim Murphy & Harold Dutton, George P. Bush, New Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson. Election Recap with Richard Murray and Paul Bettencourt.

The current show as well as past shows are available on YouTube.

About Your Editor

Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his fifteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last twelve years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 10 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his twelfth year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.

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