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The reason why those “Bill White for Governor” rumors won’t die

Shorter Burka: “KBH says in her new TV ad that she’s needed in the Senate. So why is she running for Governor?”

It’s a good question. And given that no one knows what KBH will do, it’s the reason why this keeps coming up.

Despite protestations to the contrary from the White campaign — now nearly a year old — it’s easy to find prognosticators and pundits who’d be willing to bet that come Jan. 4, the filing deadline for the primary, White’s filing papers will have “candidate for governor” at the top, not U.S. Senate.

Houston’s own Dick Murray, ubiquitous pundit and fearless prognosticator, is one of those who wouldn’t be surprised. (I haven’t asked him whether he’d put money on it.)

I think if the choice is between that and waiting till 2012, it’s a no-brainer. That’s what I’d be telling Bill White if I were on his campaign team, anyway. There are no guarantees, of course – KBH could still surprise us all and do what she’s been saying she’ll do, for example – but if there were a Vegas betting line, it’s pretty clear what the favorite would be. No matter what White says.

On a related note, you really should read this Texas Monthly story about Bill White, available for the usual limited time only. Greg highlights one of his favorite bits, but there’s too much there to do that justice. Just read and enjoy.

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  1. Baby Snooks says:

    The Texas Monthly piece is what is called a
    ‘fluff piece” and focuses on his image as “Dudley Do-Right” while glossing the other image as “Dudley Do-Wrong” which unfortunately is part of the reality of Bill White. We tend to stick with whoever is mayor which perhaps is merely reflective of the lack of interest on the part of the voters in Houston and why the incumbents always seem to have such overwhelming support in their second and third runs.

    Bill White won the first time in great part due to support of the Republicans who saw the association with Issam Fares and the “Friends of the Bushes” phenomenon which at this point is perhaps a liability rather than an asset and the reality no one paid attention to the reality of that association but many are now and it is reflective of the hypocrisy of the “war on terror” which is no more evident than in that association with Issam Fares who not only admitted his support of Hezbollah but defended that support as if Hezbollah was merely a group of “freedom fighters” in Lebanon which is curious to say the least given the fact that Hezbollah was behind the attack on those Marine barracks outside of Beirut that killed over 200 US Marines.

    It will be interesting to see what impact that has on a future race. I suspect it will have quite an impact because of course the Republicans no longer will hesitate to use it.

  2. Bill says:

    Or the fact that President H.W. Bush honored him, called him his “dear friend” while hugging him on stage in front of tv cameras. Goes to show, BS is about as knowledgable as the 2003 Orlando Sanchez campaign.

    Nothing new to report on the “get your own blog” movement for BS. Guess whoring off Kuffner for attention just never gets old.

    Oh, and you can put 91 & 86% in your pipe and smoke it.

  3. Baby Snooks says:

    No offense but after 9/11 I have a problem with people who support terrorism and that includes people who work for them and everyone can say what they want but the statement of Issam Fares speaks for itself.

    I think Bill White at some point said something about how he didn’t pay attention to the personal affairs of his employer. Didn’t pay attention or didn’t care?

  4. Shadowguv says:

    The Texas Monthly piece:

    Simply an excellent article so hats off to S.C. Gwynne. Alas, I disagree with one portion of the piece. The notion that Bill White has run a fiscally tight ship during his tenure:

    “He balanced his budgets every year—meaning that the city did not borrow to pay for operating expenses—and used the additional revenue both to cut property tax rates five times and to build up the city’s surplus fund, all while increasing key city services. ”

    While the stated definition of ‘balanced budget’ might be technically correct, a review of the annual City of Houston finance reports (FY2008 pg. 198) reveals a differing view.

    The COH has run a spending deficit every single year since 2004 for an accumulated deficit of over $3.6 Billion. Debt (Long term liabilities) has increased by about $3.0 Billion, with increases in property & sales taxes filling in the gap. Page 12 of the 2008 report says clearly “The City’s total debt increased by $399 million or 3.7% during the current fiscal year (2008).”

    This data can be sliced and diced to justify so called ‘balanced’ budgets but the facts remain, spending (and borrowing) soared under Bill White. At the current rate of growth city debt will have doubled in ten short years. ‘Balanced Budgets’, ‘surplus funds’? Not really.

    As the article notes, Bill White did a great job as Mayor and will be very effective in the U.S. Senate or the Governor’s Office.

  5. Baby Snooks says:

    This data can be sliced and diced to justify so called ‘balanced’ budgets but the facts remain, spending (and borrowing) soared under Bill White. At the current rate of growth city debt will have doubled in ten short years. ‘Balanced Budgets’, ’surplus funds’? Not really.


    And who was the controller during this period?

  6. Shadowguv says:


    You imply that Parker could have/ should have, what? The finance situation is no big secret, it’s just that most people don’t care. The Mayor runs things in this town, not the Controller or Council.

    My beef is the inaccurate characterization of fiscal restraint by the author Gwynne. Did Mayor White inherit a complete mess from Messr. Brown? Without question. But the whole, ‘reduced the tax rate’, ‘surplus fund’, ‘balanced budget’ spin was too much for me.

    I’ll bet Bill will run for Guv, win, and do a fine job.

    Best to you!