September 17, 2004
Kristen Mack

The Chron has finally gotten around to replacing the departed John Williams as the weekly local-politics columnist, and I think they made a good choice in Kristen Mack. Most of today's piece is about the two cap-related city propositions on the ballot in November, but there's this priceless tidbit at the end which I think portends a good future for Ms. Mack:

State Rep. Talmadge Heflin says he's in tune with his district. On a recent television show Heflin said: "I have been very much in touch with the district. It covers part of Katy school district, part of Alief, part of HISD, part of Spring Branch and part of Stafford. I know the district, I know the schools, I know the needs."

Apparently he doesn't know it as well as he thinks. Turns out no part of the Spring Branch School District is in State House District 149, according to Heflin's Web site.

That's almost a Phil Crane level of out-of-touchness on Heflin's part. Nice catch, Kristen. Hubert Vo, I hope you're reading this.

UPDATE: Rob notes that there is in fact a small slice of Spring Branch ISD inside SD149, though from the sources he cites it appears there are no actual people there. So, Heflin's statement is in fact accurate, if in my opinion somewhat misleading - does one truly represent a piece of land with no people in it? I'll say this - he's welcome to all of the available votes in SBISD.

UPDATE: Rob has now dug up some data which indicates that there are indeed people in SD149's slice of SBISD. Fair enough - I concede the point.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 17, 2004 to Local politics | TrackBack


Kristen isn't quite right.

Posted by: Rob Booth (Slightly Rough) on September 17, 2004 7:02 PM

My wife and I own a business near the notch, so on the way home tonight I drove by the area. I took a north on Eldridge from Memorial. No residential streets going west, turned around at I-10.

Proceeded west on Memorial. Now, the SBISD map is unclear as to where the western boundary of the notch is, but I think it includes some new townhouses that are being built. You can see the complex from I-10. I'm not sure if any are sold yet, but one could say that Rep. Heflin is ahead of the curve.

I couldn't see the complex sign, so I don't have a web site for it. I'll try and find out.

Not that it matters that much. Kristen Mack said that 149 doesn't include SBISD. It does.

Go ahead, you can say it: "Rep. Heflin was right. The Chronicle was wrong." C'mon, you can say it. Don't be afraid.

Posted by: Rob Booth (Slightly Rough) on September 18, 2004 12:29 AM

Oh, and the 0 population figure isn't necessarily gospel either. That data comes from the TLC, which so far as I know doesn't track data below the precinct or census block level. They don't have household level data, so in a precinct split between two political subdivisions they can't report that level of detail. If I'm right, this isn't a knock at the TLC, there's a lot of detail in the state and they couldn't possibly keep track of every house.

Posted by: Rob Booth (Slightly Rough) on September 18, 2004 12:41 AM

According to the Harris County Tax Office web site, everyone in precinct 0095, sub 3 is in SBISD.

One of the addresses in sub 3 is 152XX Memorial. It's listed as an apartment complex, maybe townhouse complex.

I requested the voter reg data for precinct 0095 by e-mail and found one person registered to vote at that address.

I've obscured the data a bit for posting on the web. I can send it by e-mail if you're interested.

Posted by: Rob Booth (Slightly Rough) on September 18, 2004 1:40 AM

Although Representative Heflin's district does include a small portion of Spring Branch ISD, it's important to remember that he is the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, so he actually is concerned about EVERY school district in Texas.

Posted by: Kathy Haigler on September 18, 2004 12:54 PM

Sorry to fill up your comments, but I have to add this...

The townhome complex I mentioned is Village on Memorial:

The page above indicates that they are in Katy ISD. Having the voter registration info for one person registered to vote there, I was pretty certain they are in Spring Branch ISD.

So I called and the young lady who answered the phone said the web site is in error and they are in Spring Branch ISD.

Posted by: Rob Booth (Slightly Rough) on September 18, 2004 1:07 PM

I'm sure you and your readers read Chronically Biased every day, but in case one of them doesn't, here's my follow-up on the Chronicle's correction to this story:

Posted by: Rob Booth (Slightly Rough) on September 19, 2004 5:15 PM