Sylvester Turner will run for Mayor

KRIV reports that Sylvester Turner, a longtime State Representative, will run for Mayor of Houston in 2015. Turner has run for Mayor twice before, in 1991 and 2003. While he finished in a distant third place in 2003, he proceeded into a very close runoff election during his first run. In that race, he lost in a squeaker to Bob Lanier after Wayne Dolcefino ran a slimy expose based on utter falsehoods. Turner later sued Dolcefino for libel, but that is neither here nor there. My point is that if you think of Sylvester Turner with preconceived notions of alleged wrongdoing, you are totally incorrect.

In the 22 years since then (30 years total, in the House), Turner has truly become a force to be reckoned with on the State Legislature. He currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the House Appropriations Committee (the ranking Democrat) and is one of the biggest leaders among the minority party in the Capitol. Instrumental in the passage of a massive water-infrastructure constitutional amendment this past session, he earned a spot on Texpatriate’s list of Best LegislatorsTexas Monthly also noted his massive contribution to the session by naming him the Bull of the Brazos.

Click here to read Turner’s announcement!

Phony Scandal Won’t Go Away

Both KRIV and KIAH (Channel 5, not the Airport) have doubled down on this phony scandal about unethical pay increases. Like I said when I first responded to this story yesterday, until more information has come out (it hasn’t), this is a pretty phony scandal because Annise Parker wasn’t even the Mayor when they start measuring the salaries:

2009 is a year that keeps popping up. While Annise Parker was elected Mayor in 2009, she did not take office until two days into 2010. Accordingly, any salary received during any part of 2009 occurred before Annise Parker was the Mayor of Houston. If these individuals were employed by the City of Houston, they either worked for a completely different department or for Parker in the Controller’s office.

Now, KRIV has expanded this issue even more, fishing statements out of the Municipal Employees’ Union (HOPE) as well as the HPD Union. Melvin Hughes, the president of HOPE, criticized Parker harshly in an interview, calling the raises “heartbreaking.” The HPD Union was somewhat nonchalant about the non-revelation revelation, though KRIV could not help but to editorialize HPD Union President Ray Hunt, by adding in that HPD has received salary increases as well throughout Parker’s term.

KIAH, also known as Channel 5, also known as Channel 39, also known as CW, also known as NewFix, also picked up the phony scandal. They were able to get a statement out of Ben Hall in person. Hall, in the interview, simply stated that:

“They lost the paycheck that they needed to support their families, deserved equal opportunities and equal treatment to those who might have worked closely around the Mayor who were already in the six-figure range.”

KRIV also got a press release (thanks for the update, Dr Hall) out of his campaign, that denigrated Parker for “rewarding her buddies.” I find it somewhat humorous that none of the big three networks has picked up the story even as Fox continues to double down on it. Even EyeWitness News (KTRK) isn’t touching this with a ten-foot pole.

If there is one thing politics has taught me, it is that Fox is the only station carrying a story, do more than take it with a grain of salt: disregard it completely. The stories have all given the audience the impression that the initial salaries mentioned, in 2009, took place into Parker’s administration even though that is simply not the case.