January 15, 2005
Bev Carter censured

Bev Carter, publisher of the Fort Bend Star, was censured by the Fort Bend County GOP for endorsing Richard Morrison in the CD22 election last year.

Carter, the founder and publisher of the weekly Fort Bend Star, said she will not quit the post she has held since 2002.

"They can't make me resign. The only people who can make me resign are my voters in my precinct," Carter said Friday.

Fort Bend County Republican Party Chairman Eric Thode said he thinks Carter, who regularly skewers the county's leaders in her column, was wrong for endorsing Richard Morrison before the Nov. 2 election.

"It is inappropriate for an elected party official to endorse a candidate of another party. Absolutely unacceptable," Thode said Friday.

I don't disagree with what Thode says here. I'd be pretty cheesed at any Democratic precinct chair endorsing Republicans before an election, especially in as loud and proud a fashion as Carter did. So, as much as I appreciate and agree with what Carter wrote, I think the consequences are appropriate. Chris has a report from the meeting where the censure occurred.

Don Braley, who submitted the resolution against Carter, said Carter has been attacking elected leaders for years. But he said once Carter became a precinct chair she took on certain responsibilities.

"She came out in her paper and encouraged people to vote Democratic. That is definitely against the bylaws of which she is supposed to uphold as a precinct chair."

Braley, who is also a precinct chair in an area near Carter's precinct, said Carter is a Republican only because Republicans dominate county politics.

"If you are going to get involved in politics you are a Republican," he said.


Carter, whose precinct covers part of the Quail Valley subdivision, said her duties as a newspaper publisher and columnist require her to be critical of elected leaders regardless of their political persuasion.

"If I am going to criticize officeholders, they are going to be Republican because we only have two (there are three) Democratic officeholders in the whole county," she said.

Carter believes the local Republican Party is being dominated by people she calls the "religious right."

"I decided to become a precinct chair because I saw the Republican Party in Fort Bend being captured by the radical right wing," she said.

Bev, Bev, Bev. If this incident doesn't convince you that the Republican Party has left you and it's time for you to complete the process by switching to the Democratic Party, I don't know what would. Look at the numbers - Fort Bend County is becoming less Republican, and has been doing so every election cycle since 1998. It's not a swing county yet, but it's getting there. Don Braley is wrong, and he'll realize it soon. You want to make a difference, you want to reduce the dominance of the "radical right wing", you need to set an example for others like you by showing them they need a new home. You weren't going to reform the GOP from within before you wrote that October 27 column, and you sure as heck aren't going to do it now. Get out and bring people with you - it's the only way. I'm quite certain I speak for the Fort Bend Democratic Party when I say we'll be here for you when you do.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 15, 2005 to Show Business for Ugly People | TrackBack

I believe the woman's actions are equivelant to actually changing her party affiliation. It has always been my understanding--at least in the Democratic Party--that if you endorse outside the party, it's the same as voting in another party's primary, meaning you're no longer a Democrat---or Republican, as the case may be.

Case in point: One of our elected Democratic County Commissioners endorsed a Republican candidate for County Commissioner in another precinct. I consider him now to be affiliated with the Republican Party unless he files the necessary paperwork to reaffiliate.

Posted by: Vince Leibowitz on January 15, 2005 3:15 PM

I voted for Pat Buchanan in the 2000 GOP primary as a spoiler for Bush, since the Dem primary was pretty much settled in every race for me. Does that make me a Republican?

Posted by: Anonymous on January 17, 2005 12:15 PM

Anon - No, but you'll probably get mail from the local and state GOP as a result, since they will consider that vote to be a sign of partisan preference. But it's beside the point, since Bev Carter is a party official. I think it's fair to hold party officials to a higer standard of party loyalty than rank and file voters.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on January 17, 2005 12:33 PM

Didn't the local DP have to dump a party chair some decades years ago for supporting opposition candidates? I don't recall the details; I think it was someone from the LaRouche faction. Would someone with a better memory for details care to supply them?

(Oh, now I do remember one detail... the chair this person ran against was Larry Veselka, who is now one of Hubert Vo's attorneys.)

On the issue: I have no patience with a party chair who publicly supports opponents of the party's duly nominated candidates. And I don't expect Republicans to tolerate that behavior either. Other individuals can get away with it, but like you, Charles, I hold a party chair to a higher standard.

Aside to Anon: I can't speak for Republicans, but you can bet Democrats track primary votes for a long time in determining who's friendly. An isolated R vote may not mark you as an R, but it may get you some unwanted attention if you're really a Dem.

(SB exits, choking on the thought of having said that anyone should have supported DeLay...)

Posted by: Steve Bates on January 18, 2005 9:40 AM

Looks like Bev had something of a conflict of interest, being both a GOP party chair and publisher of a local newspaper. As a GOP party chair, she shouldn't be endorsing Democrats. But the paper goes to anyone who buys it, Democrat or Republican. If the county's becoming more Democratic, the paper's endorsements should reflect that.

One cannot serve two masters. Bev should resign as GOP party chair. And if she wants to go all the way and announce she's now a Democrat, good for her!

Posted by: Mathwiz on January 18, 2005 5:10 PM