The BISD super search redux Part 2: Still no transparency

Ironically, the process began in a glass house.  Of sorts.

The Beaumont Independent School District Board of Managers convened in a glass encased conference room at the Edison Plaza to interview five persons.  One of whom could be the next superintendent of the district.

Of course for the interviews they went into a room with no view.

Five in all. That’s what it was narrowed down to. No names yet.

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The BISD super search redux: No transparency?


Two  superintendents in since October of 2012.

One chosen by the now defunct Beaumont Independent School District Board of Trustees and one chosen by Texas Education 
Commissioner Michael Williams.

One fired by the current BISD Board of Managers, the other on his way out according to carefully laid plans of the Texas Education Agency.

Upon being named to the Board of Managers, former Lamar University president Jimmy Simmons said that  “the [BISD] financial house will be set straight and will be transparent.”

But this promised financial transparency didn’t extend to other BISD matters.  It hasn’t extended to the search for a new superintendent to lead the district after the Board of Managers has served its term and a new elected board of trustees is in place.

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Texas open carry advocates continue to discredit themselves

Screen-Shot-2013-04-16-at-10.40.33-AM-620x346These days CJ Grisham, founder of Open Carry Texas likes to think himself a man of reason. But this was his reaction to an inquisitive police officer who stopped him and his son while on a “hike” in Temple, Texas.

You might get the idea that Grisham had planned this encounter from the start. Gun, camera for recording the incident, son as witness and particularly his quick draw reaction. His insolence toward the cop is even more shocking given this man is a Master Sergeant in the United States Army. A veteran. Ultimately man who would put his own son’s welfare in jeopardy to make a political statement.

But when put up against Kory Watkins head of Open Carry Tarrant County he could seem quite reasonable, though perhaps still highly annoying. Watkins is the star of a recent selfie video in which he threatens the entire Texas Legislature. Continue reading

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick finally speaks…and sticks his foot in his mouth


Photo credit: Bob Daemrmrich

Former state Senator now Texas Lt. Governor is no stranger to controversy.

Mostly due to his mouth and the words that come out of it. Words like “an invasion” and being “overrun” in reference immigrants entering the state of Texas illegally. And outright stating that they bring with them “Third-World diseases”.

None of which was true but it played well to the Texas Tea Party supporters in the primaries last March, and out of a four man field, it got him into a run-off with then Lt. Governor David Dewhurst.

He won the GOP nomination in May and dispatched Democratic opponent Leticia Van de Putte in November by keeping his mouth shut and himself mostly out of sight. And it worked.

Now the hard work actually leading the Texas Senate begins. Or maybe not.

Despite all Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s past crowing about how he supports Second Amendment rights, it was also just words. In an interview with the Texas Tribune, Patrick pooh-poohs the Tea Party notion that an open carry law would pass this Legislature. Rather flippantly.

“Second Amendment rights are very important, but open carry does not reach to the level of prioritizing at this point. I don’t think the votes are there.”

So says the self-proclaimed “leading national voice defending our Second Amendment rights”.

But that was Tuesday morning. After setting off a firestorm of criticism from his fellow state senators and open carry groups, he restated his position on the issue. For clarity of course. It was all a mistake of course. It was yet another media conspiracy against conservatives of course.

There were inaccurate reports in the media and across the Internet yesterday regarding my comments concerning Open Carry legislation. Despite reports to the contrary, I have never changed my position on the issue. I remain a steadfast supporter of the second amendment and Open Carry legislation.

As is typical of the media looking to build wedges among conservatives, many stories took words out of context. I did not say the bill was dead but suggested instead that, because the votes were not there (at this time), it had not risen to a level of priority….at this point. That is far different than saying an issue is not a priority, it just means work still needs to be done.

And so Lt. Governor has ended his pre-election silence…and thrust his foot straight into his mouth.

Hope for Texas Democrats? Reading the tea leaves in the early voting results.

It was the most probably the most conservative to in the history of Texas. The 82nd Texas Legislative Session of 2011. The year of the height of the Texas drought we are still experiencing.

The legislative session before Governor Rick Perry announced his intention to run for president of the United States. Some thought it was a disaster foisted upon the state by Perry’s political ambitions and a tragedy for impoverished women in the state of Texas. It was a session that produced the sonogram abortion law, deep cuts to women’s health care, the Texas Voter I.D. law, loser pays for frivolous lawsuits, balanced the budget and cut spending in a year of recession and gutted the funding of public education and Planned Parenthood.

Much has been made about the early voting results. That Democrat candidate for governor Wendy Davis will lose by double digits to her Republican opponent. That Battleground Texas has failed and Democrats did not get out their voters in key counties like El Paso. They are now available for the larger counties of Texas.

And now the results are in. At least for the counties with major population centers.

Is there really anything to glean from these numbers? Sure.

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In the race for Congressional District 14, don’t vote


Congressman Randy Weber

If ever there was a congressional race desperately in need of sanity Congressional District 14 is it.

The primary candidates for both parties were beyond dismal. The GOP incumbent, Randy Weber was unopposed. To call him a congressman is a complete bastardization of the word. A complete bastardization of the office.

The Jefferson County Democrats (because there may be no others in District 14) were derelict in their duty to produce a slate of viable candidates.

The best they could do was a carpetbagger from Austin. Gagan Panjhazari. An Indian-American. Not an American Indian. Never mind that few in this district could pronounce his name. Brown but not Mexican so most Southeast Texans probably thought him to be an Arab. A Muslim. You know what that means. A terrorist.

And there was “the only Democratic candidate who actually resides in Congressional District 14″, Buck Willis. Survivor of an “unsurvivable” small plane crash, scientist and professor. He ran on putting people first.  Ahead of what?  Vegetable?  Mineral?

But in the end Weber got the opponent he deserved. Another gas bag.

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Bob Wortham, born to be D.A.


wortham2_01He’s a big man. Red-faced and white-haired with a matching mustache.

Bob Wortham was born to be a district attorney. At least here in Jefferson County.

Before Wednesday night’s candidate forum at the American Legion Dorie Miller Post 194, he greeted the crowd of mostly veterans with gusto: “Good evening!” And they responded right back.

“My name is Bob Wortham, I’m your Democratic candidate for the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office”

Wortham then briefly recounts his life’s journey that led him to his destiny. Started in the D.A.’s office, private practice, Judge of 60th District Court, U.S Attorney (as a Republican), private practice (again), and then ran as a Democrat for the 58th District court where he served for seven years before resigning to run for district attorney. He says his resignation proves commitment to the people of Jefferson County.

“Let me tell you. Who wants to give up a job that you’ll probably never have a candidate..op, opposition for.”

He coulda been judge for life, man!

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