March 04, 2005
Is there an actual story in here?

OK, I've read this article twice now, and I still can't understnd why it's at all newsworthy. I mean, look at the subhead, for crying out loud: "Cash earmarked for purchase of headquarters instead is spent on campaigns, other expenses". Is someone seriously suggesting to me that the Texas Democratic Party, in the year 2004, with $250,000 lying around in a bank account, should have blown that on buying property for headquarters instead of spending it to win elections?

I don't really know the background on this. Andrew D does, and he spells it out. I'll put it this way: If I had heard that the party had in fact bought itself a "dream house" when it could have spent a few bucks helping people like Mark Strama and Hubert Vo get elected, I'd be royally pissed.

I see that the lady who bequeathed the money wanted the party to buy itself a place to operate. Maybe in 1999 that was a decent idea. I'm not sure why no action was taken until 2003, and I'm even less sure why continuing to sit on that money (waiting for what? another rich old Democrat to die and make a similar bequest?) was a good idea. Molly Beth Malcolm was State Party Chair at that time, and she seems to think it was wrong to have spent that money on winning elections. Given how few elections Texas Democrats won during her tenure, I can understand why the concept would be unfamiliar to her. Hey, Molly, you think some of that 250 large might have helped Henry Cuellar knock off Henry Bonilla in 2002? Then we'd still have Ciro Rodriguez in the House, and maybe Bonilla wouldn't be the frontrunner to replace KBH in the Senate. I'd have taken that trade. Why wouldn't you? Where were your priorities?

Maybe having a permanent home would be a good long-term investment, I don't know. It's my understanding that the state GOP rents its digs, and I hear they're doing pretty well these days. If that money wasn't enough on its own, and there was no clear plan to make up the difference, then what we had here was a missed opportunity. Charles Soechting decided to take that opportunity, and I for the life of me can't understand why anyone wouldn't applaud the decision.

UPDATE: Dos Centavos piles on.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 04, 2005 to Show Business for Ugly People | TrackBack

Internal strife within political parties (even the one without that capital R!) is always newsworthy. Journalists love it. Partisans don't so much.

What is odd about the story is the intimation by placement in the story that the Hughes donation was somehow tied to the party's new home. But the article doesn't come right out and say that, leading me to believe that the journalist preferred to intimate it instead. That sort of implies some wrongdoing, doesn't it? When that case hasn't been made (and perhaps can't be made).

It might be worth an email to the author simply to ask if he has any evidence the Hughes will specified her gift be used for a party headquarters. If not, why include that little tidbit where it was included?

Posted by: kevin whited on March 5, 2005 9:55 AM