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Endorsement watch: Chron for White

The Chron gets an early start on endorsements this year by recommending Bill White for Governor.

[Governor Perry] has shown a distaste for dealing with budget details, fobbing them off on the Legislature and even suggesting in a recent news conference that Comptroller Susan Combs had better uses of her time than issuing deficit projections.

Fortunately, voters have the opportunity to replace Republican Perry with former Houston Mayor Bill White, a Democrat with credentials as a successful lawyer, corporate CEO and public servant who demonstrated his management capabilities and hard-work ethic during a six-year tenure at City Hall.

As he did in Houston, White can bring innovative financial solutions, a passion for environmental protection, and a strong bipartisan and ethical commitment to a governor’s office tarnished by charges of cronyism, partisanship and catering to contributors at the expense of constituents.

“Today our state is being run like a political machine to perpetuate Rick Perry in office,” said White during his screening with the Chronicle editorial board. Gov. Perry has declined to meet with Texas newspaper editorial boards.

“People want a governor who can bring people together to get things done,” White continued. “Leadership is not dividing the state into red teams and blue teams, playing people off against each other. Leadership is not having citizens and journalists have to pry information out of the government when it’s funded by the taxpayers.”

I doubt anyone is remotely surprised by this. The choice is clear, and the Chron lays it all out. Beyond that, given Perry’s refusal to meet with any editorial board – of a piece with his refusal to debate in that the only audiences he cares to address these days are sycophantic ones – it will surprise me if White doesn’t sweep the major newspaper endorsements. One wonders how White might do if he’d faced competition for them; I daresay he’d have won most of them anyway. What kind of effect it may have, I couldn’t say. But I know I’d rather have the endorsements than not. For those who may be wondering, in 2006 the Chron endorsed Grandma Strayhorn for reasons that remain unclear, and in 2002 they endorsed Perry. Given that history, I can understand why they wanted to publish this one as quickly as possible.

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  1. John says:


    beyond “I am not Rick Perry” not sure what their is that White has done well as Mayor

    1) raised budget nearly 40% in 6 yrs, well above CPI
    2) Police Budget up 43% yet NO new police officers
    3) Metro- if he is so involved as Mayor etc. how did he let the Buy America fiasco happen
    4) Pensions have a $5B unfunded deficit

    seems like as Mayor he always knew that he was going for bigger office so he just gave everyone what they wanted and never made a hard choice. I just see White as no different than any other politician who cares about his/her own ego and will gladly talk out of both sides of their mouth.

    Please someone address those 4 basic criticisms of his term and how they are not his fault. Not to mention the money he is causing the city for the Ashby lawsuit that was all the fault of his campaign donors

    I plan to vote for White but more a lesser of 2 evils vote

  2. I don’t know how much endorsements will make a difference either way. Just like the debates, obviously Perry thinks that they would hurt rather than help him. I think the majority of voters, unfortunately, don’t read those or study the issues and decide based on that. They go with their gut based on their impression of the candidates and then just look at the reasons to vote for the candidate they already picked. I imagine my sentiments are like most average voters on this governor’s race. I don’t like governor good hair, but is white ready for the big time? Has Perry screwed up enough to replace him with someone that is largely viewed as untested on a larger venue than a large city? That’s what is going through my head, and I haven’t answered that question yet. If it weren’t for his actions on the red light camera program I would probably have voted for White, but now I don’t know. Probably won’t make that decision until election day. I know, I know, I should thoroughly study the issues, read all of their positions, look at the pros and cons, but I will probably go with my gut, whichever way that is when the time comes. But, my admission, I think, is indicative of what a lot of voters are thinking so maybe it is helpful.

  3. mary t. says:

    One quality-of-life issue that Bill White addressed very quickly as mayor was timing of traffic lights. Within weeks of his taking office, I no longer had to wait through 3 cycles of red lights at the intersections of Shepherd/34th and Shepherd/610 at the start of my workday commute, and I noticed continuing improvement elsewhere with the timing of lights.

  4. yea, he did a lot of good things like that, I liked that he was more visible than other mayors, I saw him a lot on local news casts talking about things on AM news programing. Felt like he was really involved.

  5. Brad M. says:

    John, what is the source of your data/statistics?

  6. Bill Kelly says:

    The Department of Energy wasn’t exactly a small thing to be in charge of in 1993.

  7. Ron in Houston says:

    Speaking of the Chron:

    Charles what did you think about the write up on Dave Feldman?

  8. true Bill, but does the average voter know that? And if so would they be able to translate that into qualifications for the duties of governor? I don’t know, maybe.

  9. John says:

    Brad M.

    for budget numbers

    Use 2004 as the base yr for White. So for 6/30/04 the General Fund’s budget was $1.4B. And as of 6/30/10 it was $1.92B. That translates to a 37% increase.

    Using the same data for police on 6/30/04 their budget was $466mm, while on 6/30/10 it was $662mm. That results in a 42% increase.

    Pages 42 & 43 of the 2010 budget show the unfunded pension obligations of the city

    For the police data go to HPOPS website

    Notice they conveniently don’t have their annual report as of 6/30/10 (I know it has only been over 3 months yet they want to hide all of the data).

    As of 6/30/09 there were 5,251 active officers (35% are full vested)

    as of 6/30/05 there were 4,900 active officers

    so I was off we saw a 7% increase in officers while the budget was up 42%. Still kind of amazing nobody wants to talk about cold hard facts. I want to be excited to vote for Bill White but if you look at quantifiable data (the major numbers) he was beyond mediocre. But the comparison was Lee Brown and anyone looks better next to him.

    So if anyone disagrees with the numbers or wants to show data of what White did well I am all ears

  10. Jeb says:


    I agree with you that it’s almost odd how Perry has all but conceded the newspaper endorsements to White. Maybe Perry’s rose garden strategy will work. But, he’s looking increasingly defensive as more folks question him on the budget deficit and other issues.

  11. […] manner, so I must commend them for getting such an early start this year. They’ve covered the Governor and Railroad Commissioner races so far, and have now weighed in on the District Appeals Court […]

  12. […] Statesman, which joins the Chron in making this obvious choice, endorsed Perry in 2006. Good to see they won’t be repeating […]