November 29, 2003
Turner endorses everybody and nobody

Who needs to endorse a candidate when you can get both of them to agree to a set of ideals as Sylvester Turner did?

Standing with U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and state Rep. Al Edwards at the Four Seasons Hotel, Turner had [Orlando Sanchez and Bill White] sign the 15-point covenant he said represents issues he campaigned for.

Sanchez and White are battling for African-American voters, who gave about 80 percent of their support to Turner when he finished third in the Nov. 4 voting.

Jackson Lee said it is important for the two candidates to sign the covenant because this is the first strongly contested mayoral election since 1989 without a black finalist.

That's a pretty slick maneuver by Turner, especially since I'm not sure he had that much influence to peddle for the runoff. White has already gotten a number of key endorsements from various black officials (including one from Rep. Garnet Coleman from before the November ballot), and it's a little hard to imagine anyone successfully convincing black voters to push the button for Sanchez. There's also this to consider:

White said during the covenant signing that Sanchez has not always supported some of its elements. Afterward, the White campaign distributed a copy of a Harris County Republican Party questionnaire to support his claim.

In the GOP questionnaire, Sanchez said he would support "a policy of nondiscrimination in which everyone is equally treated as opposed to affirmative action policies that create special classes of citizens who are entitled to special treatment."

In the "Community Covenant," Sanchez agrees to "put forth a good-faith effort to see that diversity is reflected in city contracting and city affairs with an emphasis on those minority businesses which are locally owned and operated and are new and emerging businesses."

Sanchez claims that support for both statements is not contradictory, but I'm willing to bet there aren't a lot of proponents of either one who'd agree with that. Ultimately, I don't think this covenant will make much difference one way or another.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 29, 2003 to Election 2003 | TrackBack