Hall lists his supporters

Perhaps I missed this, but it is news to me that Ben Hall now has a gigantic list of his supporters on his website. Many of these names stood out to me. I have taken the liberty of creating a Wikipedia page for this year’s mayoral election, which lists most of this info, but I would like to go over some of the more surprising supporters.

It is no surprise that Dr. Hall would receive the bulk of his politician endorsements from the African-American community, but it did catch me off guard how pervasive his support was. There were rank-and-file politicos like Jarvis Johnson and Carol Mims Galloway who were listed, which is almost expected. However, the three African-American politicians who were on the list, and three who were off the list, which I would like to talk about a little bit. C.O. Bradford, Lee Brown and Al Green were all listed as supporters of Dr. Hall’s candidacy. However, Dwight Boykins, Ronald Green and Sheila Jackson Lee are all conspicuously absent.

Now, Bradford did support Parker in 2009, but got into a somewhat high profile feud with her before the 2011 elections, during which rumors actually floated about him challenging the Mayor in the election. I cannot remember if he ever came around to Parker’s candidacy in 2011 after nobody feasible ran against her, but it makes some sense that he would immediately jump on the bandwagon to endorse Parker’s opponent. Ronald Green, on the other hand, never really had a rocky spell with Parker, and, by all accounts, the two still get along pretty well. However, Ronald Green and Bradford have something in common: they both have higher ambitions. Personally, the first time I met both of them, I felt a very strong inkling that they wanted to be the Mayor, sort of like when one meets the Castro brothers, you know they want to be Governor/Senator/President. Accordingly, I find it interesting that Bradford would endorse Hall, who will probably lose, if he might be interested in running in 2015.

Second, I find it very intriguing that Dwight Boykins,who is running for the City Council with some very high profile support, is not listed among Hall’s supporters, but his honorary campaign treasurer, Lee Brown, is. For that matter, some of Boykin’s supporters, like Borris Miles, have also stayed out of the race. I am going to assume it has something with the fact that as someone who is probably getting elected, Boykins won’t want to be on the Mayor’s bad side.

Third, Al Green is a public supporter, while Sheila Jackson Lee is not. Green, if you might remember, was the one who made Hall stand down and endorse Locke back in 2009. I guess Green felt obligated to help Hall this time around. I suppose that Jackson Lee is more tepid to support Hall as some of her former political opponents (e.g., Jarvis Johnson and Craig Washington) are in Hall’s column.

Another point I would like to make is that Bob Lanier is quoted and prominently featured on Hall’s website, as providing a testimonial that reads “He is exactly what Houston needs at this time.” However, Lanier is not mentioned among Hall’s official list of supporters, and the quote isn’t dated, leading me to think that, maybe, he said this back in 2009.

Finally, I was surprised by how many people in the Jewish community support Hall. Alan Rosen, the recent Constable for Precinct 1, and Alvin Zimmerman, his campaign strategist, aren’t really surprises, but I saw a few names of the parents of people I went to Hebrew School with (PLEASE NOTE: The “Hurwitz”s that endorsed Hall are not related to me, I have an “o” in my last name).

Just as an aside and a blast from the past, Rod Paige, Bush’s 1st term Secretary of Education, is listed as a supporters. Also, someone is listed with the name “Drayton McClane,” which may or may not be a typo for Drayton McLane, as in the former Astros owner.

Parker doesn’t have a supporters page, but I assume it will be a priority now. Can’t wait to see who I find on her list!

Parker for Congress?

Bear with me here. I think Annise Parker is going to run for Congress, in the eighteenth district, most likely in 2016. If Sheila Jackson Lee runs again in 2016, she would be 67 by the time she’d take office, and would have been in office for 22 years. Parker, on the other hand would be 59, and still with a strong zeal and spirit. I don’t know if Parker could win the African American dominated district, but I am somewhat confident she will at least try. Here’s why:

1. Parker spent her first term trying to follow the tradition of Bill White, making everyone happy. She kept White’s style of business, moderating on budget issues and steering clear of big issues. However, the sheer extremism of the Texas GOP wants to run her out on a rail simply because of sexual orientation. That whole thing about whether or not Obama’s detractors are motivated by racism is up in the air, but I am absolutely confident that Parker’s major detractors are motivated by homophobia. However, when she was re-elected, against virtual nobodies, it was not by any means by large margins. White was re-elected with 91% of the vote, Parker had about 51%. Parker has now taken to a more Lee Brown-esque style, pandering to the left. Among her left-leaning accomplishments for the second term have been being less confrontational with occupiers, appearing on the Colbert Report, speaking out against racist hpd officers, and taking standing on national issues, such as marriage equality. Doing this, made Parker hated by the right and loved by the left. Luckily for her, there are a whole lot more people on the left in Houston.

Specifically, Parker has seemed to try to appeal to the African-American community. That whole thing about Bloomberg (the HPD officer who beat up the kid) really solidified this belief for me. Parker stood with African-American pastors and declared she did not agree with the verdict and that “They will never again be Houston police officers whatever the verdict is in the criminal trial”. This is major leftward shuffling for someone like Parker who wants higher office.

2. Parker has established that she has aspirations for higher office. However, as we have discussed, Texas will probably not go blue in the Governor’s office until 2018 and not the other statewide offices until 2020 or 2022. Parker’s terms at City Hall run out on the first day of 2016. 2016 is therefore the year she would run.

So if SJL retires for 2016, there will be A LOT of candidates very interested. To name a few: Rodney Ellis, Sylvia Garcia, C.O. Bradford, Jarvis Johnson, and Sylvester Turner. Parker could have the advantage of great name recognition and connections with the business interests. Further, TX-18 is not as strongly African-American as it always ways. I believe last I checked there are more Latinos, which if they rallied behind Parker, could defeat the African American interest’s candidate.

But it’s an off day on news, and the farther you get from the present the more outlandish the claims become.