New Sports Authority Members Appointed
September 21, 2011

Houston city council members approved a request from Mayor Annise Parker to appoint or reappoint several people to the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority Board of Directors on Wednesday.

Those appointed include: Philamena Baird, Mark Lee. Matthew Rogers, Gregory Compean and Stephen Fraga.

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After the appointments breezed through council, the appointees posed for pictures with supporters including Council member Jolanda Jones and Sue Schechter.

District Attorney Will Not Prosecute Council Member Jolanda Jones
September 20, 2011

STATEMENT FROM HOUSTON
CITY COUNCIL MEMBER JOLANDA JONES

From the start, I have maintained that when the facts came to light, I would have acted within the acceptable standards of conduct and was always confident that the District Attorney would come to the same conclusion. In the face of baseless accusations, I cooperated, was truthful, respectfully observed the city’s questionable process and consistently maintained the confidentiality that was required by the Mayor.

I have never used my role as a council member to benefit anything or anyone other than the people I was elected to serve.

It is time for all of us to put this distraction aside and focus on the significant challenges this city faces. I am again asking that the Review Panel bring this matter to a close.

As a council member, I have worked to expand economic opportunities and equality for all Houstonians. I negotiated a water rate and drainage fee that provided for increased fairness to the poor, seniors and the disabled and advocated for property rights and flooding mitigation across the city. I pushed for city leaders to recognize the will of the voters and turn off red-light cameras and I supported aggressive change for BARC and spoke up against police brutality. I have never backed down from a fight for what I believe is in the best interest of Houston and I will continue to work hard for positive change.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my family, my friends and the many Houstonians that have stood by me and never waivered in their support. I want to thank Lori Hood and Vivian King for their exceptional legal counsel throughout this process. I want to especially thank Council Member Bradford for his dedication to conducting the Review Panel fairly and ethically.

I have never lost sight of the needs of our citizens and I take very seriously my role as an advocate for the people of Houston. I will always take a stand on important issues and I will never stop speaking up for citizens that have no voice at city hall. I look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor and my fellow council members to address the issues we were elected to resolve

A Rematch In The Race For City Council At-Large Position 5
July 19, 2011

While embattled Houston city council member Jolanda Jones fights ethics allegations, she is drawing a familiar opponent.

 

Jack Christie, who lost to Jones in a 2009 runoff ,  has announced he will run for Houston City Council, At-Large Position 5, the seat Jones currently holds.

 “After receiving a tremendous amount of encouragement from both past and new supporters to go for it, I have decided to run,” said Christie. “I have heard a lot lately from folks who are ashamed of what is going on in city government. I said 2 years ago that I would do 3 times the job than the current Council Member, I now know I can do ten times better. I will serve with integrity, as I did when I was Chairman of the Texas State Board of Education, but most importantly I will be a leader that Houston can be proud of. “Our city is thriving and growing, despite the national economic climate.”

In 2009, Jones defeated Christie by less than 1% of the vote. 

Some political insiders believe Jones is vulnerable because of the allegations she used her political office resources and staff to run her law practice.

The case has been refered to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office by the city’s Office of Inspector General.

However, Jones also has a lot opponents throughout the city.  She may be down, but it’s too early to say she’s out.

One thing is for certain – this will be an interesting rematch.

 

President of Houston FireFighters Association Responds
December 9, 2009

I received an email from Jeff Caynon, the President of  The Houston Professional Firefighters Association, regarding my earlier  post about Council Member Sue Lovell’s political mail piece targeting her council colleague Jolanda Jones.

 While Caynon says he didn’t have a problem with what I posted, he did what to reiterate that firefighters appreciate Lovell’s support.

He says she has fought for fairness and benefits for the men and women of the department.

Here is Caynon’s response: 

The nearly 4,000 men and women of the Houston Professional Firefighters Association regard Council Member Sue Lovell as a trusted friend. She is endorsed by our organization because she regularly fights for firefighters’ issues. Her recent mail piece was, in our opinion, an effort to do just that. Like nearly all of her City Council colleagues, she has been reasonable, respectful and responsive to the city’s needs. We appreciate her efforts and continue to support her.

Jeff Caynon  – President- Local 341

Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association

1907 Freeman

Houston, Texas 77009

Fight Between Council Members Exposes A Political Double Standard
December 9, 2009

Houston City Council member and mayor pro-tem Sue Lovell’s  campaign has sent out a political mail piece attacking  city council member Jolanda Jones.

Jones, who is seeking her second term, is in a runoff against  former State Board of  Education Chairman Jack Christie, a staunch conservative who has been endorsed by Dr. Steven Hotze.

You have likely heard  Hotze’s name a lot lately. 

 He is the mastermind of the political mail piece that was sent to thousands of conservative voters supporting Gene Locke for Mayor and attacking Annise Parker because of  her homosexuality.

I’m a little surprised  that all  of   the  “progressive democrats and bloggers”  who support Parker for mayor, have remained silent on what appears to be a  political double standard.

I guess it’s ok to criticize Locke, but not Lovell  for aligning with republiclans and appearing cozy with a conservative anti-gay political leader?

First, Lovell (who is openly gay like Parker) is in her own runoff race against Andrew Burks(who is African-American)  for a city council at-large  seat.

 Hotze has endorsed Burks and also criticized  Lovell’s gay lifestyle in the mail piece sent to conservative voters.

Second,  it’s very unusual for a sitting council member, who is also in a runoff race,  to  exhaust energy and money fighting against an incumbent colleague who shares most of the same progressive  and gay supporters.

So why the beef between two former close friends and colleagues?

Two years ago,  Jones recruited someone to challenge Lovell’s  position as a Democratic National Committeewoman from Texas.

(UPDATE: I received a call from a  Jones’ supporter. He said Jones did not recruit, but only  supported Rozzy Shorter who ran as a Obama delegate)

Jones, who supported Barack Obama, was upset that Lovell was backing Hillary Clinton in the party primary.

Also,  Jones’ style on council that has been described as “combative” by city hall staffers and elected officials.

Jones has also been a very vocal critic of the Houston Fire Department following an outcry  of  racism and sexism made by two female firefighters at Station #54.

Her tactics have angered many including  Jeff  Caynon, the President of   the Houston Professional Firefighters Association.

Canyon has  accused Jones of  calling him a “house Negro”  when he tried to defend the men and women of  the fire department.

Who knows what impact the flyer will have on the Jones vs. Christie matchup?

I do know that if  both she and Lovell are reelected, and Annise Parker is sitting at the mayor’s seat,  city council is going to get a lot more interesting to cover.

No one seems concerned about what appears to be a huge political double standard.