March 14, 2002
One for the good guys

I don't follow the Republican primaries very closely, as I am not a Republican. There was one race that interested me, and I'm glad to say that the right guy won. That was the race for State Senator in District 17, where State Rep. Kyle Janek defeated former Harris County GOP chairman Gary Polland. Janek has a decent record as a pragmatic non-ideologue, while Polland is a total party hack who sees the world as Us Good and Them Bad.

I wish yesterday's Election 2002 section were still online, because the wrapup of this race shows exactly why we should all be glad that the vile Polland was defeated. I'll quote from the fishwrap version:

The campaigns' hard feelings were evident as the votes came in. Marc Cowart, Polland's campaign consultant, said his candidate fell behind because of "a combination of negative campaigning and being overwhelmed by a bunch of lobby money."

The sheer irony in this is monumental. First off, Janek got 64% of the vote. Maybe, just maybe, Gary Polland "fell behind" because the voters correctly perceived him to be a lousy candidate. Second, the charge that Polland was overwhelmed by lobby money is just too funny. While Polland was the county GOP chair he was a virtuoso at raising money and evading our admittedly weak campaign finance laws to siphon this money to candidates, including himself in this very race. The old joke about murdering your parents and then begging for mercy because you're an orphan applies here.

Later, Polland demonstrates very clearly why he was in fact a lousy candidate:

Polland laid into Janek, saying he received poor ratings from conservative groups, including the American Eagle Forum and the Young Conservatives of Texas.

Polland has accused Janek of often voting with Democrats.

"He's just part of the get-along gang in Austin," Polland has said. He's not part of the solution, he's part of the problem."

In other words, Polland would rather be right than be effective. He'd rather throw rocks than find workable answers. And to think that people didn't vote for him.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 14, 2002 to Election 2002