Real note: We still maintain large respect for Dr Hall, but we had this old fake interview lying around. In a spirit of evenhandedness, we will be making jokes about everyone else this evening in The Houston New Post. Make sure to check it out!
Editorial note: This is the thirty-third in our series of electronic interviews with City Council, City Controller and Mayoral candidates. We have sent 10 questions based on seven different templates: (1) incumbent City Council, (2) challenger City Council, (3) open seat City Council, (4) challenger Controller, (5) incumbent Controller, (6) challenger Mayoral and (7) incumbent Mayoral. The following are verbatim copies of the questions sent out and the answers received.
Ben Hall, candidate for Mayor
Texpatriate: What is your name?
BH: Fake Ben Hall
T: What is your current occupation?
BH: Trial Lawyer, unless you’re a Republican. If you are, then I am a “small business owner.”
T: Have you run for or held public office before?
BH: There was a time, briefly, in 2009 when I thought maybe the City of Houston deserved me. Al Green talked me out of it. Also, it would be a huge pain to be mayor then, because the economy was a mess. I reasoned it would be much better to swoop in and buy the office once the economy was stronger. What’s that, Weaver? Oh. I mean, Houston is a morass.
T: What is your political affiliation? We understand that City Council elections are nonpartisan, but this is a point many voters find important. If you are not comfortable currently identifying with a political party, what was the last Political Party’s primary election you voted in (a matter of public record)?
BH: Apparently, you can’t win as mayor if you’re a Republican. So, I’m a Democrat.
T: Typically, this board will defer to incumbents unless we are convinced the incumbent has failed in some way. Do you believe the incumbent has failed at her or his job? If so, why?
BH: This race is not about the incumbent, or how strong the Houston economy is now, or how the entire nation is turning to Houston for jobs, or how we have a diverse range of growing industries, or how we have a vibrant, international culture, or how we have a world-class restaurant scene, or how the entire world has noticed suddenly what a great city we have, or any of the other profound achievements over the past few years that have made Houston a big success story. This race is about whether or not we want to turn that over to me and my great vision and my plan to get us there, which I’m sure I will share with you at some point, possibly November 6.
But yes, I think Mayor Parker has failed in a number of unspecified ways, which I will allude to generally throughout the campaign.
T: Why are you specifically running against this incumbent?
BH: It’s really not fair for her to have this office, when it calls for my greatness.
T: What do you hope to get out of serving as the Mayor?
BH: I think of it more as what Houston will get out of me. I have finally deigned to grant this city my residency, and even my tax dollars! But I have further determined that, maybe, this city deserves me as its leader.
T: What is an ordinance you would introduce as Mayor?
BH: Details coming soon! But did you know that the city has a habit of building highways above ground? And for some reason, TxDOT does it. I will change that as mayor. Also, a great city that deserves a great mayor also deserves a great school system. And that school system may never be as great as its mayor, but it can only aspire to be so great if the great mayor is leading it. So, as a great mayor, I will lend my greatness to the school system by taking it over. But that’s unconstitutional, you say! Not according to the Constitution I made up. Anyway, there has to be a way to do it. How complicated can it be, and how much bureaucracy can there be, for the one school district in Houston?
T: Obviously, an officeholder strives to maintain a diverse core constituency and political base, but all candidates have interest groups they have been traditionally strong with and traditionally weak with, respectively. For you, what would be one example of each type of group?
BH: I plan on reaching out to everyone who has been personally offended by the Mayor, and I plan to win those votes. But there are some people that like all of this growth and progress that our city has experienced, and they will be a tougher sell. Chief Strategist John Weaver hasn’t run the numbers yet, but I’m pretty sure the former group outweighs the latter.
T: What has been the most important thing you have learned in your campaign?
BH: There are some real jerks on Twitter.