February 24, 2007
More reactions to the Culberson town hall meeting

This HAIF thread (scroll down to post #2532) has some reactions from people who attended the Thursday town hall meeting of Rep. Culberson's at Rice University. A brief sample, from "Quinlan":

It was a pretty full house and there was quite a bit of tension in the air. The crowd was overwhelmingly pro "Rail on Richmond"---I would say upwards of 80%. Culberson made many attempts to steer the conversation away from rail, but the crowd kept bringing the topic back to rail. There were many outbursts from the crowd, showing an obvious frustration with his, as one attendee put it, "pandering", and it seemed like many in the crowd had decided that he no longer deserves enough respect to keep these things civil and orderly. There were many times when Culberson, even with his microphone, could not make himself heard over the raucous crowd.

Culberson kept repeating, ad nauseum, that he was only respecting the intent of the voters in the 2003 election, by insisting on his designated route that only has "slight modifications" from the map allegedly put before voters. It was pointed out to him that the map he had on hand as his prop was not accurate and that the language on the ballot proposal included that the "final scope, length of rail segments or lines and other details, together with implementation schedule, will be based upon demand and completion of the project development process, including community input." All of this went in one ear and out the other (unsurprisingly, with incredible speed).


Some of my thought about Rail on Richmond after reflecting on the meeting:

*Even if his so-called map is the map voted on by the voters in 2003, why should he get to decide what "slight modifications" should be permitted to it?
*What really is his agenda here? It's obvious that it isn't to "respect the actions of the voters". He breaks that tenet on a nearly daily basis. It is also fairly clear that the majority of his constituents favor Rail on Richmond. What political purpose is served by his continued opposition to Rail on Richmond?

And from "Furious Jam":

He wasn't interested in having a meaningful discussion on the issue. He even categorized the issue as moot from the beginning. And when he did speak, it was nothing but constant contradictions:

"I'm a fiscal conservative", then "my option isn't much more expensive and the ridership will be nearly the same".
"I'm for control at the local level", then "I'm going to protect you from Metro".
"The voters approved Westpark only and we have to abide by that", then "my slight modification runs it inside the freeway".

He kept pointing at a map that he claimed was part of the ballot (it wasn't) and said that we all had to abide by that map, but then promised to block Metro from using the public easement illustrated on the map and again championed his 59 option, which was never on any map prior to the election.

Check it out.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 24, 2007 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Does anybody have a good treatment of light rail (used for transporting people short and medium distances across the city between) versus commuter rail (used for ferrying people from outside the city in to a central distribution point) and what METRO's thoughts are on the two different types? Seems like Culberson's 59 route would be a good place for commuter rail, but horrendous for light rail.

(I'd google the research myself, but need to return to moving my house.)

Posted by: Joe White on February 24, 2007 10:10 AM

what did you expect from Culberson? common sense? Intelligence?

Have you ever spoken with this man? He is a loon. A Major loon.

BTW What is a Congressman doing meddling in a city issue? Doesnt he have an illegal alien to capture or an Al Queda member?

Posted by: John cobarruvias on February 24, 2007 11:31 AM

I attended the Culberson 'Town Meeting" at Rice last Thursday. The audience was overwhelmingly white (+95%) and over 40 (+60%). I sat in the center of a sizable group of Republican-looking types who would rather die than use public transportation. I suspect the other town meetings that Culberson puts together in other parts of his district are nothing more than Republican Party caucuses and he is used to speaking to the choir. He started off wasting everyone's time with his discourse on a cure for cancer. Once someone objected to the topic, things went downhill for the Congressman. I must say I resent hearing Republicans associate themselves with dead Democrats who are no longer in a position to defend themselves against the tainted association. Culberson's target was Jefferson. Take a look at the Katy Freeway and tell me how Culberson is a Jeffersonian Democrat. Culberson started out this meeting with a prayer, which he gave. This may work in Memorial or Tanglewood, but it's merely offensive and obtuse in this part of the district. Offensive and obtuse because it's obviously a sanctimonious gesture that is a gratuitous insult to the diversity of the area. I don't know if Culberson is actually sincere about wearing his religion on his sleeve, but he later boasted about voting against funding to fight AIDS in Africa. Such a Christian attitude! Culberson later told us that he had seen ridership estimates for the 59 overhang that were competitive to Richmond. He did not provide those estimates. He said the difference in construction was "10%." He never actually said it would cost more. Such a Jeffersonian. Finally, he trotted out the "the President has access to information we don't" defense of the Iraq debacle. One thing that Culberson does have in common with the Busher is a total lack credibility and no clue that people have caught on to that fact.

Posted by: Jerry Mays on February 24, 2007 6:21 PM