Some of the first direct shots in the Mayoral election have been fired today. First, Ben Hall broke a long silence on the Mayoral election by posting a long rant about the state of the election. From Dr Hall’s Facebook:
Really, No Debate?!
Over the weekend, Ben Hall attended the Juneteenth parade and celebration at Emancipation Park. He encountered the incumbent mayor standing by herself with her 6+ HPD bodyguards. Clearly, the crowd did not seem interested that the mayor of the city was even present….In any event, Mr. Hall greeted her and suggested they debate. The mayor responded she was NOT going to debate him! It is quite telling when an incumbent is too afraid to debate a challenger like Mr. Hall. After 16 years of being paid by the taxpayers, you would think the mayor would want such a debate. She says she does not! Well, enough said!
A reluctant mayor doesn’t deserve more time to carry out policies she can neither publicly debate nor defend! The public deserves to be fully informed before voting this year!
The Ben Hall for Mayor Team!
Without missing a beat, Mayor Parker’s campaign fired back on her Facebok:
Get your facts straight Mr. Hall!
The mayor will debate all her major opponents –not just you – because the voters deserve to hear from all serious candidates!
The Annise Parker Campaign Team
Then, in an apparently random comment, Dr Hall’s Facebook page posted this soliloquy in the comment section of the preceding status. Evidently someone felt compelled to respond to the tax troubles thing:
If you check your facts, you will see that the IRS lost the appeal of that lien and was forced to withdraw it within less than 24 hrs of erroneously posting it. More evidence of IRS abuse! Next time, dig more completely! One more for the good guy, Ben Hall.
Immediately following that, a commentator remarked “Who are you talking to?” A comment that garnered more “likes” than Hall’s original talking point. Wow. After that, the crossover fans on both the Parker and the Hall pages really went at it. One of them even tried to use one of my articles as her “proof” in the internet debate. Perhaps someone needs to have a conversation about what and what not a reputable source is, but I digress.
Anyways, I find it to be a little troubling that Hall would actually think for a moment that Parker would refuse to debate her. For being a layperson, Parker is actually pretty quick on her feet and can hold her own in a debate (though Peter Brown wasn’t the best at the podium either, I suppose). There were a number of debates in 2009, I was even in attendance at a few of them.
Again, this is not a good strategy for Hall to use. As I have said many times, there are nearly 30 times as many Facebook likes for Annise Parker than Ben Hall. Accordingly, many more people will read what she says on the issue, rather than what he says.
I went to Parker’s campaign office opening last Saturday, and noticed a striking parallel. With a few exceptions, the relationship between the Parker and Hall candidacies is like a traditional Democrat versus Republican face. Parker’s supporters of very diverse, very enthusiastic and very young. Hall’s supporters are generally older, less enthusiastic and instead of being predominantly White they are predominantly Black. But still no diversity.
Dr Hall is quickly finding himself stuck in a morass of his own: the token “Conservative” candidate’s.
In other news, “the Caucus” (GLBT) reported on their Facebook page that Michael Fitzsimmons is running for Mayor. Fitzsimmons ran for Congress against Gene Green last year, and is part of the Socialist Workers Party. And I thought leaving the People’s Republic of Mass for the summer would stop me from having to write about any more darn pinkos! Fitzsimmons is part of a colorful tradition of Socialist Workers running for office in Houston. Texas Liberal has the full story on that.