An Election 2015 threefer

Three links of interest that weren’t quite worth a post on their own.

Cort McMurray deconstructs Bob McNair:

It’s not easy, being Bob McNair. Back in the old days, being a Houston billionaire was fun: Whether you made your fortune in the oil patch or, like McNair, you cashed in your Enron stock at exactly the right time, just before the soufflé imploded, life was lunch at the Petroleum Club and dinnertime ribeyes at Confederate House, and doing pretty much whatever you pleased.

You made deals. You attended charity galas. You bought a football team. And you basked in the grateful approbation of your NFL-deprived city. Those were the days, my friend, when you could step in front of a microphone and ask, “Are you ready for some football?” and have an ocean of Houstonians cheering and lining up to buy official Tony Boselli replica jerseys.

You were a community pillar, the Great Philanthropist, the Teflon Billionaire. You negotiated a stadium deal that would have made Bud Adams blush, and the fans chanted your name. You gave your team the most lunkheaded name this side of “Shelbyville Shelbyvillians,” and they lined up to buy licensed merchandise. You drafted David Carr, and Amobi Okoye, and Jadeveon Clowney, and it was someone else’s fault. McNair was the Billionaire Philanthropist, and Billionaire Philanthropists made no apologies.

That’s what makes this whole anti-HERO mess such a shock.


NFL football is more than a business. The Texans don’t belong to us, but they’re ours. Sports teams are the last unifying institution, the binding agent in a city that’s diffuse and diverse and in so many ways, divided. And while we’re glad the Rockets and the Astros are around, we only care about them when they’re winning. The Texans are different. The Texans are our football team.

McNair’s anti-HERO donation, despite his press release protestations that the contribution was a sincere attempt to encourage “a thoughtful rewrite” of problematic wording in the legislation, an effort to craft an ordinance that “would be less divisive of our city,” was a reminder that the Texans aren’t really Houston’s team; they belong to a Philanthropist Billionaire, who does what he pleases.

There is a surprised, hurt tone to the McNair’s press statement. From the pretzel logic opening — McNair argues that he made the anti-HERO donation so the city could craft an even better HERO ordinance — to the non sequitur Robert Kennedy quotation about ordinary folks changing history at the close, McNair sounds like a guy who can’t understand the fuss: He knows people are mad; he can’t figure out why. If dogs who were caught pawing through the kitchen garbage pail could write press releases, they would all sound like McNair’s statement on HERO.

Any relationship between McNair’s behavior and his team’s recent performance is strictly coincidental, I’m sure.

Jef Rouner says what a lot of people I know have been thinking:

This is the scenario people opposed to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance want me to believe is going to happen: my little girl, all pink eyeglasses, blond curls, and a sass level over 9,000, will need to use a public restroom at the park or a restaurant. Once in there she will be at the mercy of a transwoman, maybe even one with a penis, who will use the rights protected by HERO to… what? Pee within a certain amount of feet from her? Expose herself? Molest her? What diabolical she-penis monstrosity has the City unleashed on our powerless womenfolk?

I’ve got to tell you I know a fair amount of trans folks, and the idea of any of them in the bathroom with my daughter scares me way less than the thought of someone who honestly holds these beliefs being in there with her does.

For once, I can honestly advise you to read the comments following the story. The couple of idiots who snuck in got roundly knocked down by everyone else. It’s almost enough to restore your faith.

And finally, the Trib covers the Mayor’s race.

Adrian Garcia, once a solid frontrunner and potentially the city’s first Hispanic mayor, has seen his support slip amid increased scrutiny of his tenure as Harris County sheriff. Former Kemah Mayor Bill King appears to be consolidating Republican support that had been splintered among a number of hopefuls. And the whole field — including Sylvester Turner, who appears guaranteed a berth in a runoff — are starting to sense a No. 2 spot on the second-round ballot that is increasingly up for grabs.

“It’s going to be Turner and,” local political analyst Nancy Sims said, pausing for effect. “It’s the ‘and’ we don’t know the answer to right now.”

A batch of recent polls show Garcia and King neck-and-neck, finishing second in the race to replace term-limited Annise Parker, whose 2009 election made Houston the largest U.S. city with an openly gay mayor. Yet the surveys have found at least two other candidates bunched near Garcia and King within the margins of error, and election watchers are urging caution with nearly half the respondents undecided in one poll.

Watching the battle for No. 2 unfold has been Turner, the 26-year state representative who is making his third bid for City Hall. Armed with high name recognition and a reliable African-American base, he is seen as a lock for the runoff, and analysts say such inevitability has persuaded rivals not to waste their time attacking him, letting him float above the fray — for now.

Yeah, the runoff will be very different, and I agree with Nancy Sims that at this point no one is willing to stick their neck out and predict who will join Turner in the December race. Choose which Election Night watch party you go to carefully, there’s a good chance that it could be a bummer for your host.

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12 Responses to An Election 2015 threefer

  1. Paul kubosh says:

    One poster said why would conservatives read and post here. Its because if posts like this. Nice post.

  2. Paul kubosh says:

    Of not if…stupid phone.

  3. Steve Houston says:

    PK: “One poster said why would conservatives read and post here. Its because if posts like this. Nice post.”

    And yet, here we are along with numerous others that have conservative leanings who either read it, post on it, or both. Charles runs a progressive blog but even if you don’t like his slant on things, it is markedly more informative than most “conservative” blogs for the area. Reading a variety of such opinions helps give one perspective and a fresher outlook than just people we always agree with, yes?

  4. Paul kubosh says:

    Absolutely, a lot more informative.

  5. Paul kubosh says:


    Agreed totally with you.

  6. Brad M says:

    Does a conservative version of Off the Kuff exist anywhere? That would be a refreshing chance to balance perspectives.

  7. Steve Houston says:

    Brad, the short answer to your question is no, at least not for local events. There are some that try to portray themselves as such but they all fall far short.

  8. Paul kubosh says:

    I how have to agree with Steven although I wouldn’t use the adjective “far”. I have had people tell me.that kuffner is nothing more than parrot and I said maybe so but he covers issues that are important to me…”metro, transportation issues, (45 expansion) etc. ” although as far as my taste are concerned he spends way to much time on “planned parenthood”, “homosexual issues etc.” However it is a progressive democrat blog so I just wade through it. I am glad we don’t have to read about gay marriage anymore. Just wish we could have avoided that terrible California decision. has been legal for same sex couples to be married in texas for a few months now. Are you still married?

  9. Steve Houston says:

    PK, I’ll compromise and say that on occasion, some of those blogs goes into great detail getting something correct without parroting something from one of the self appointed king makers.

    As far as marriage is concerned, I’m waiting for the right gal to sweep me off my feet. If the gay guys down the street get married or my lesbian neighbors make it official, it won’t have any impact on me tying the knot or the quality of the resulting marriage. 😉

  10. Paul Kubosh says:

    Sorry..I thought you were married. I was making a poor attempt at a sarcastic joke. You know the attack on traditional marriage. This December will be 24 yrs for me.

  11. voter_worker says:

    Congratulations, Mr. Kubosh!

  12. Steve Houston says:

    PK, no worries. I didn’t take it in a negative manner. I was raised to view marriage as a much bigger deal than many I encounter, not so much a flexible social compact as a binding commitment with true meaning. Congrats on the big 24 and showing us it can be done, your “Two Principles to a Happy Marriage” has long seemed sound advice.

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