December 23, 2005
Orlando Sanchez on the comeback trail

You heard it here first, and now Kristin Mack confirms it: Two-time Mayoral loser Out Of Town Orlando Sanchez is aiming for the County Treasurer job in 2006.

The job is strictly administrative and carries no real power. The county treasurer is the chief custodian of county money and accounts for and disburses funds as directed by Commissioners Court.

Local lawmakers have tried to kill the position in the Legislature, following in the footsteps of other Texas counties and of the state itself. Texas abolished the state treasurer's position by constitutional amendment in 1995 after voters elected a treasurer who campaigned to eliminate the job.

The low-profile county job wouldn't exactly be a move up the political ladder for Sanchez. It's not a steppingstone. But the pay isn't bad at $96,000 a year.

How the mighty have fallen, eh?

"I have a record of proposing and voting on tax cuts. While the county treasurer cannot cut taxes or set budgets, he can keep you informed about the financial matters regarding our county," Sanchez wrote [to Republican precinct chairs]. "If we are going to correct a problem, taxpayers need to know about the problem."

Sanchez also drew upon a hot issue among many conservatives, saying he plans to use the office as a bully pulpit to "bring to the public's attention the financial costs of what illegal immigration is doing to our county."

For what it's worth, a search on for "Jack Cato" (the current Treasurer) found only this article. Maybe that proves Sanchez's point that a Treasurer could keep people informed about things if he or she wanted to, and maybe it just means that nobody pays attention to a position that carries no real power. One might reasonably ask why it wouldn't be the job of the County Judge or the Tax Assessor, where the actual power does lie, to do this sort of thing. That's especially true for the bit about "the financial costs of what illegal immigration is doing to our county", which is just shameless demagoguery.

It hasn't been long since he got plenty of attention himself. Remember, this is a guy who attracted the notice of the Presidents Bush in his 2001 mayoral race. In the weeks before the runoff between Sanchez and then-Mayor Lee Brown, both George and George W. endorsed Sanchez.

The endorsements lent Sanchez credibility among Republicans and gave them hope in reaching out to the growing Hispanic population. Sanchez is Cuban-American.

Gov. Rick Perry was among other Republicans lending their names during that race, and after Sanchez lost, there was talk that he might get an appointment in Austin.

That didn't happen, though, and Sanchez failed to make the runoff in a 2003 mayoral bid. Once an up-and-comer who considered running for Congress, his contemplation of taking on an incumbent in a Republican primary isn't likely to win Sanchez friends within the party.

Actually, Sanchez did make the runoff in 2003, where Mayor White then crushed him like a bug. If this is how he plans to climb back into the limelight, I'm even more glad now than I was in 2003 and 2001 that he lost those races.

UPDATE: I've since received a copy of Sanchez's letter, which you can see here (240K Word doc).

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 23, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack
Now we're old and grey Orlando
And since many years I haven't seen a spreadsheet in your hand
Can you hear the drums Orlando?
Do you still recall the frightful night we crossed the rio grande?
I can see it in your eyes
How proud you were to fight the costs of illegals in this land

There was voters at the polls that night
Your star was bright, Orlando
They were voting there for you and me
For information regarding the financial doings of the county, Orlando
Though I never thought that you could lose
There's no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Orlando
Posted by: Michael on December 23, 2005 12:34 PM

The job is strictly administrative and carries no real power.

I like much of what the 19th-century Populists did, but this strikes me as one of their more foolish ideas. Why on earth is a job like that an elected post at all? It's not as if it matters whether it goes to a Republican, a Democrat, or even a Green.

We need to look at changing our Constitution to take some of these meaningless contests off the ballot.

Posted by: Mathwiz on December 23, 2005 4:56 PM

From the letter: In your roll as a Republican Precinct Chair, I am actively seeking your endorsement.

I try to stay away from typo snarks (my typo karma is bad), but you really want us to trust actual dollars and cents to a guy who can't pick the right four letter word? I've got a four letter word about that, too.

Posted by: Michael Croft on December 23, 2005 7:34 PM

:^D :^D :^D :^D

Oh yeah!

Baby Doc Brown was a REAL winner for Houston! :^D :^D :^D :^D :^D :^D :^D :^D

Why, if we had been deprived of Lee Brown, an entire corps of Federal Prosecutors would have been idled!

It's a good thing we didn't elect that nasty old gray haired Orlando as Mayor!

And then of course, we see the Texas democratic party's "Gene Green/Lloyd Doggett" syndrome at work!

'Population Trends Will make Harris County and Texas Hispanic'

Just be sure not to vote for any Hispanics that we don't approve first!

When push comes to shove, white liberals will do, anytime and anywhere! Even in districts designed to elect Hispanics!

We just can't have those poor Hispanics from the rural counties represented when a blazing "progressive" Austinite like Lloyd Doggett deserves to hold that seat!

And finally from "mathwiz":

"We need to look at changing our Constitution to take some of these meaningless contests off the ballot."

Posted by: ttyler5 on December 24, 2005 12:07 PM

Baby Doc Brown was a REAL winner for Houston

Like a lot of Houstonians, I had to choose between 2 more years of Brown and six years of Orlando (discounting the very real possibility that he'd ride his success to higher office sooner). Orlando didn't seem to have any ideas, Brown couldn't run again the next time, so Brown got my vote. He wasn't the man I wanted him to be, but he was the best man running, all things considered.

Posted by: Michael Croft on December 24, 2005 8:08 PM

Mr. Croft, that is a very reasonable explanation of your feelings on the matter and please (and this goes for mathwiz and Redscare as well!) don't ever confuse my boisterous declarations with personal disrespect!

BTW, Pink, are you out there somewhere? Not long ago we started a conversation on politics but business took me away from responding for a time, so if you are checking in from time to time, let me know!

And A Merry Christmas to All --- including all you biased, badly-educated, prejudiced, superstitious, atheistic, knee-jerk Politically Correct progressive prigs!

Posted by: ttyler5 on December 25, 2005 2:16 AM

Can anyone tell me in a single sentence what Orlando has been doing with himself these last couple of years?? The guy is an enigma and I don't think anyone really knows him. Further, all the issues raised last time about his finances, his daughter's tuition to a tony private school paid for by an "unknown benefactor" and paper thin resume are still there.

Posted by: cacafuego on December 27, 2005 4:11 PM

I heard he was still recovering from the ass kicking Bill White gave him.

Posted by: Red Dog on December 27, 2005 9:46 PM