A brief announcement (and a mini-post)
Hello everyone. Why yes, it has been a while.
Our crew got a little burned out, myself included, and life-outside-internet has taken precedence.
But we're about to get this thing going again, in some fashion. A new WordPress site has been in the works for a while. The archives are all moved onto it. I'll probably flip the switch on it pretty soon, but new posts may not follow for a little while longer (aside from this one).
Some of the old crew should be contributing, but I'd like to add some fresh blood. If you're libertarian/conservative or just of the watchdog mindset and have an interest in Houston/Harris County government/media/politics/policy, maybe we should talk over the next few weeks? My email: klw2005-at-gmail-dot-com
That's all I really intended to post for now. But then a couple of instances of politicos doing their thing (usually not good for taxpayers) came to the fore.
First, there was the announcement that Harris County Commissioners Court, where conservatives are allegedly well represented, will send their final Astrodome Boondoggle proposal (which will require a tax increase) to voters this fall. County Judge Ed Emmett, who has come out fully in favor of said boondoggle, tweeted after the unanimous vote that he has found the entire process "fascinating."
Commissioners Court has voted that the bonds for #Astrodome redevelopment will be on the Nov 5th ballot. This is a fascinating process.— Official Ed Emmett (@EdEmmett) August 13, 2013
That's not exactly the adjective we would use to describe the dithering and utter absence of political leadership on this issue over many years, which has resulted in many millions of dollars being squandered on a deteriorating liability. It is not the adjective we would use to describe early efforts by Astrodome Boondoggle supporters to deceive Houstonians about the cost of demolition (in order to make the preferred Boondoggle seem more attractive, relatively speaking), once it became apparent that private investors wanted nothing to do with any sort of rehab project. It is not the adjective we would use to describe the typically Houtopian pronouncements about what a great "asset" a costly facility in an unattractive part of town will be, if we will just use our imaginations and BELIEVE.
Depressing is a better adjective. Perhaps you can think of some others. But at least we get a vote on it.
Second, David Jennings reminds us that Texans Together, the parent organization of the lefty group accused of voter registration fraud back in 2010 (a group that was lauded by John Thornton's Texas Tribune way back when), has just completed a petition drive by which they hope voters will get an opportunity to approve a tax increase that will support early childhood education in Harris County. Jennings points out that State Sen. Dan Patrick has come out against the proposal, stating: "Squeezing $30 million out of Harris County tax-payers and giving it to an unelected nonprofit under a statutory framework that is no longer on the books is bad public policy."
This is another boondoggle that deserves to go down in flames this fall, should it make it onto the ballot.