Hilmar Moore, 1920-2012

Hilmar G. Moore, perhaps the longest serving public official in American history, died today at the age of 92. Moore had been the Mayor of Richmond, TX for 63 years, roughly my father’s entire lifespan (THAT is a long time!). Moore came from a Fort Bend area political family. His grandfather, John Moore Sr, was a State Representative, Congressman, and the Texas Secretary of State, while his father, John Moore Jr, was a Fort Bend Judge, and also a Mayor of Richmond.

Hilmar Moore took office in Richmond in 1949, and was re-elected over thirty times. In that time, the city has gone from 2,000 residents and being considered “in the country”, to a 12,000 person suburb of the burgeoning Houston metropolis. Even though city elections are non-partisan, it is pretty obvious that Moore was a Democrat (a Republican in rural Texas in 1949?). Also, a cursory google search shows myriad campaign donations to Lampsons and Clintons over the years.

A Chronicle article lists the praise the late Mayor received from all over the state, and mentions Ford Bend flags will be flown at half-staff. The Mayor Pro Tem of Richmond, Bill Dostal, will serve as acting Mayor until further notice. Mayor Moore was a staple of accountable government through the years, may he rest in peace.

 

Just for laughs, I have compiled a list of things that have changed throughout the country since Richmond had another mayor.
President–Harry Truman
Governor–Allan Shivers
Mayor of Houston–Oscar Holcombe
World Series–New York Yankees defeat Brooklyn Dodgers
NBA Champions–Minneapolis Lakers
Football Champions  (there was no Superbowl)–Philadelphia Eagles defeat Los Angeles Rams
Cost of a stamp–3 cents
Cost of a gallon of gasoline–27 cents
$100.00 equivalent–10 dollars, 29 cents

Jack Brooks, 1922-2012

Jack Brooks, the former Beaumont-area congressman, passed away yesterday at the age of 89. The New York Times presented quite an obituary for the late politician. First being elected to the Texas House in 1948, he served for two terms before being elected to the US House of Representatives in 1952. He served for forty-two years, twenty-one terms in all, before being defeated for re-election in the 1994 sweep by Steve Stockman, the former one-term Congressman who was just sent back this year.

Brooks was one of the most liberal members of a southern delegation, a big protege of other Texas liberals like Sam Rayburn, Lyndon Johnson, and Ralph Yarborough. A big supporter of the Civil Rights Act and Great Society/New Frontier legislation, he was also present in the motorcade when President Kennedy was assassinated.

Brooks was given universal praise today after word of his death came out, from both sides of the political aisle. He was one of the good ones and he will be missed.

Brown vs Brown

This was in the news a few days ago, and I thought it was not very noteworthy, but since the news has been so slow, I’m going to cover it.

The Chronicle ran a story about Helena Brown. Yeah, she’s still in the news. She was in the news a few weeks ago for using city money for “magnets” that constituted re-election advertisements (embezzlement?).   Anyways, Brown has re-payed  the City of Houston for these expenditures. $3000.00 to be exact, that is. When asked for comment, City Attorney David Feldman, has a very smart explanation where states he will not be “antagonistic” towards Brown, but insinuated that she is certainly guilty of an infraction. All I can say is that it doesn’t surprise me that the self-proclaimed  “most fiscally conservative” Councilmember wastes money like this.

Also, the other Councilmember Brown, Peter, is in the news again. Now the head of “Better Houston”, he has put out a youtube video about the need for more projects vis-a-vis pedestrian walkways. The video, found here, labels Brown as “Pedestrian Pete.”

Also it is worth noting that the comments on the Chronicle article about P. Brown are mildly supportive, whereas the comments with regard to H. Brown are horribly slamming (including a few comments I would not be comfortable repeating in public). Again, I look forward to taking a bowl of popcorn and watching the 2013 District A election unfold.

Voting now open for the Texpatriate Person of the Year

I have, in some way or another, been awarding “Person of the Year” for Houston politics for a few years. From the vaults, let me bring up some of the editorials from the past:

2009–Annise D. Parker
This is a real no-brainer. Even though my original allegiances were, in fact, for Gene Locke, I have no ideological quarrels with the Controller, and am certain she will do a fantastic job in office.

Additionally, even though this was not a major theme of the campaign, no one can doubt the historical significance of Controller Parker’s election to be the Chief Executive of a city of Houston’s size. For the first time in many years, we have been getting national coverage for a good reason
.” –Published 12/29/09

2010–The Houston Public Employee
The decision would have been clear if Mayor White would have won the election, or at least not suffered the shellacking he did. At any rate, even though I have always opposed abstract designations for “person of the year”, I find it necessary today.

So, in giving this award to the civil servant, we stand in solidarity with their struggles. We stand with HOPE, the local AFSCME and SEIU, we stand against furloughs for the working class while our city and county wastes their money, our money, on outlandish parks.
” –Published 12/26/10

2011–Andrew C. Burks, Jr.
The 2011 gave mixed messages to the perennial candidates among us. Griff Griffin, after his umpteenth campaign, finally called it quits, while Andrew Burks, after his, finally claimed victory. Though I supported Representative Thibaut, and am cautious about just how liberal Mr Burks is, it is a milestone for our city that a candidate, once dismissed as not serious, has finally won.

In closing, I wish Mr Burks luck in this pursuit of his, and for a city with a newly re-elected Mayor.
” –Published 12/31/11

So, therefore, I introduce the candidates for Texpatriate Person of the Year, 2012:

Ted Cruz
While probably despised by the vast majority of my readers, no one can doubt just how amazing Mr Cruz’s primary victory over Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst was. In addition, he will now be the first Latino Senator from Texas, and is set to become a national figure.

Julian Castro
Much like Mr Cruz, Mayor Castro thrust this state into the national spotlight, though with good effect. As the first Latino keynote speaker at the DNC, he showed the nation a new face for Texas.

Sylvia Garcia
After being one of the many casualties of the Republican landslide of 2010, Commissioner Garcia has come back from the political dead to run for the late-Senator Gallegos’ seat. If she wins, this will be much more pressing, if she loses, it will be moot, and if the election does not occur until next year, I would probably also advise against the selection.

Mario Gallegos
Senator Gallegos unified the entire Houston-area Democratic establishment at the time of his death, something not easily done. While in office, he was a tremendously powerful figure, looming larger than life.

Annise Parker
Parker once again was a major figure in the news this years, providing over a non-contentious start to her second term. Considering the issues abound throughout her first term, that is quite an accomplishment.

Lane Lewis
After surviving a nasty, bitter fight to be the Chairman of the HCDP, Chairman Lewis has been unbelievably successful at his job, keeping Judicial losses this year to a minimum, while loosing neither Countywide office up for election.

Adrian Garcia
Speaking of countywide offices, the Sheriff did an impeccable job of fending off his re-election battle. Rumors of higher office are already abound.

Mike Sullivan
Being one of the few big Republican successes in Harris County this year, Councilmember Sullivan was the first CM to make the successful switch to higher office in nearly four years, on the heels of aborted or failed quests by Lawrence, Johnson, Adams, and Khan. Sullivan, as the new TAC, also did quite an admiral thing in his early retirement announcement, which set up a cheap, concurrent special election.

The “Dead” Voter/Voter Fraud
In honor of all those invisible people who commit voter fraud, and, according to the King Street Patriots, showed up to steal the election for the Democrats.

Also, add your own poll option. To stay in the style of Houston politics, we may or may not have a runoff poll.

https://texpate.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/poll-link/