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I Voted Yes On Houston School Levy So Kids Can Take More Civics Classes And Question Legtimacy Of Political Structure Unable To Address Global Economy And Climate Change

I voted this morning in our Houston city elections. I voted just a few minutes ago. I did not get the sense of high turnout.

High turnout would require voters that care, a Republican Party that thought Houston was worth fighting for, and a Democratic Party that had the competence and imagination to make at least some effort to generate turnout of Democratic voters.

We don’t have any of those things in Houston.

For Mayor of Houston I voted for Amanda Ulman. I posted about this last week. Bill White did not need my vote and voters deserve options.

Can you imagine that not one Republican in Houston cared enough about his or her city to run and offer competing ideas in contrast to Mayor White to our citizens? 

I voted forJolanda Jones for Houston At-Large Position 5. Hopefully she’ll make it to a run-off and the sneaky Zaf Tahir will not. Please click here to read about Mr. Tahir and the things he has been up to as a candidate.

I voted for Melissa Noriega and Peter Brown in other at-large Council races. I’m looking forward to Mr. Brown’s possible candidacy against Annise Parker for Houston Mayor in 2009. I think Mr. Brown will offer a hopeful vision for Houston in sharp contrast to the deadening business-as-usual pragmatism that characterizes Ms. Parker’s type of politics.     

In addition to the city candidates, there were a number of important school levies, county bond issues and Texas statewide matters on the ballot.

I voted yes on the Houston school levy because we need to prepare these kids to have the civic awareness to realize that both major parties are selling them down the river on the global economy and climate change.

I think that with a few more social studies, civics and history classes, kids might begin to ask questions about the basic legitimacy of a system that either cannot or will not address the most important issues of the future.     

November 6, 2007 Posted by | Houston, Houston Council Election '07, Politics, Ways We Hate Children | , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

“Labor Donated” Mailing From Zaf Tahir With, Again, No Party ID & No Union Bug

I got another mailing yesterday from Houston At-Large Position 5 City Council Candidate Zaf Tahir. I was not planning to write about this again. But I have some questions.

Last week I wrote that Mr. Tahir had no union bug and no party identification at all on his first mailer. Mr. Tahir replied with a comment on Texas Liberal saying he was a loyal Democrat and a supporter of unions. He did not convince me to vote for him, but his reply seemed fair enough.

Now I have this additional mailing that says “Labor Donated” in a blank space just above the address. I’d like a better understanding of what that means. The first mailer did not say that anywhere. 

In a comment on my first Tahir post, Steve Bates from The Yellow Doggerel Democrat said sometimes underfunded campaigns will note on campaign materials that all the labor involved in a campaign mailer was volunteer labor and in certain circumstances that might be okay for a Democrat to use.

Okay. (Let me be clear, Steve was not taking any side or criticizing anybody. He was just giving information he had as politically active union man. I cite him because he was more informed on this question than I was.)

Am I to infer that for some reason, Mr. Tahir must cite that he had donated labor on the second glossy multi-color mailing he has sent out within a week?  Money does not seem to be an issue for Mr. Tahir.

Or maybe labor donated means something else in this case. Somebody please fill me in if it does.  

While I believe Mr. Tahir is a Democrat and that he supports unions as he claims, why can’t he say he is a Democrat and why, if he can afford two fancy mailings so far, can’t he have a union bug on the lit pieces?  

Here are questions raised by Matt Stiles in The Houston Chronicle about claims made in a radio ad by Mr. Tahir about how long he has lived in Houston.

Listen to the radio ad on the Chron site. All Republican themes.

Are Democrats supposed to discount the mass appeals being made by Mr. Tahir and just assume he is okay because he’ll tell you in certain settings that he is a Democrat? 

Here is a final link to Matt Stiles with questions about other claims Mr. Tahir has made on the campaign trail.

I think some concerns are being raised about Mr. Tahir as we move towards Election Day.

Here is a link to Position Five Candidate Jolanda Jones. Ms. Jones may merit strong consideration.

October 25, 2007 Posted by | Houston, Houston Council Election '07, Politics | , , , | 13 Comments

No Union Bug, No Party ID—Why I Won’t Be Voting For Zaf Tahir For Houston City Council

I got a mailing the other day from At-Large position #5 Houston City Council Candidate Zaf Tahir.  So far, I’ve not focused on this race.

Based on the mailing, it wasn’t hard to decide I won’t be voting for Mr. Tahir.

First of all, no union bug on the mailing. 

The union bug is the small mark at the bottom of a political piece showing that what you have in your hands was printed at a union printer. Just about every Democrat will have a union bug. Most Republicans will not

There was also no party identification on the mailing. People have a right to know what party a political candidate represents. This is basic in our democracy. ( Please click here for my post on why Houston City Council races should be more aggressively partisan.) 

I then went to Mr. Tahir’s web site. He mentions crime and the tax burden as big issues.

I know they all mention crime. But what about the causes of crime? How about helping people? We have no income tax in Texas and yet we have a high tax burden? 

On the mailing in big letters it says Mr. Tahir is “A proven business leader for a smart Houston.”

Government is not a business and smart is not a moral value. Being “smart” does not tell me anything. Plenty of no-good politicans are “smart.”  

I could have simply trashed the flier when I did not see the union bug. People need some shorthand in a busy world. 

Many voters are simply left confused by people hiding their political identity while running for an office with silly six-year term-limits and a musical chair membership.        

October 20, 2007 Posted by | Houston, Houston Council Election '07, Politics | , , , | 7 Comments