A few words from Judge Hidalgo

Plus a few words that she could have said but didn’t, which I will fill in.

Judge Lina Hidalgo

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who narrowly won re-election last week over a strong push from GOP candidates and donors, outlined plans for her next four years in office, including continuing anti-crime efforts and doubling down on early childhood education.

“In some ways, it’s a continuation of the past four years — the work we’ve done to tackle violent crime, for example. We’ve already been able to bring down that violent crime rate by at least 10 percent. These are August numbers. We need to do more. We’re going to continue doing that,” Hidalgo said in a press briefing held Thursday.

Hidalgo took a jab at the two Republicans on commissioners court, Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey and Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle, who broke quorum for more than six weeks to stop Democrats from passing their proposed property tax rate. While the Democrats were proposing a tax rate decrease, Ramsey and Cagle argued for a slightly lower rate on the grounds that residents needed more tax relief.

Because the court was not able to reach a state-required quorum of four members present to set the tax rate by the end of October, the county defaulted to what is known as the no-new revenue rate, the levy that would generate the same revenue as last year. The county is projected to take in an additional $45 million from new properties on the tax roll.

Facing a lower tax rate, the court voted to approve a lower budget, cutting nearly $100 million that was to be allocated to law enforcement, including raises for sheriff deputies.

“I’m proud of the record investments we’ve made in public safety, even despite the fact that two colleagues boycotted our budget process and forced us to cut some expenses we’d planned,” Hidalgo said. “Even with that, we’ve been able to see results and we’re working really hard, including with the recent bond that passed, to try to strengthen our criminal justice system.”

County government will keep tackling issues that traditionally have not been on the agenda, she said.

That’s what she said. She didn’t say anything about Constable/JP redistricting, either as a political goal or a policy goal. She didn’t say anything about taking all of those $100 million in forced budget cuts from Tom Ramsey’s precinct, which I would totally tell her to at least publicly muse about if I were advising her. She didn’t say anything about whiny crybaby sore losers pursuing their completely bogus “investigation” of the Elections office. She’s a responsible elected official, and I’m a yahoo on the Internet, so that probably has something to do with it. But these are things that could be said, and maybe will be said in a more measured and nuanced way at some point in the coming weeks. We’ll see. Oh, and be sure also to see the hilariously thin-skinned response she drew for her victory celebration from a local furniture salesman and gambling aficionado. Someone needs a nap, I’d say.

UPDATE: Said furniture salesman gets roundly panned by Chron readers.

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9 Responses to A few words from Judge Hidalgo

  1. Flypusher says:

    Mac needs someone to proofread for him. Also using 3rd person makes a bad impression. I commend him for his charity and support of the Astros, but do not care for his politics.

  2. Manny says:

    Even the devil does good deeds (offer wealth, rule, etc) to bring in customers.

    His gambling promotions are like candy to those that are addicted to gambling.

  3. Andrew Lynch says:

    Hidalgo has never held a job before her surprise victory in 2018. Her 1st term as county judge was marred with scandal and her staffers were indicted on felony charges in April 2022. Lina is a career politician with bigger ambitions than Houston. Thousands of Houstonians will celebrate when Lina finally decides to move on.

  4. C.L. says:

    Andrew, no previous employment ? Just not true. Simple Google search repudiates your assertions.

  5. Manny says:

    Like all “good” Republicans Andrew resorts to the Rs favorite, lie.

  6. Joel says:

    “Career politician” after serving one term? That’s my kinda career.

  7. David Fagan says:

    7 days and counting…………

  8. Flypusher says:

    Mac needs some thicker skin. He has every right to back the candidate of his choice, and actively campaign for her, but if you go after someone that aggressively yet they still win, don’t be shocked by a bit of clap back. Mac’s letter is an overreaction and methinks I see some projection there in parts of it. Hopefully Hidalgo quits while she is ahead and moves on. She’s got more important things to do.

    Also “career politician” is a stupid insult.

  9. Souperman says:

    At the risk of having “cancel culture” thrown at me for this (even though he’s not entitled to a single cent from anyone), I’m done with Mack.

    It’s one thing to have your opinion, and I can accept that. As citizens, we’re all allowed our voice and vote.

    If you stick your neck out in public, however, expect people to not want to be associated with that. I don’t want my money to fund ads he literally cuts for his right-wing pet candidates, simple as that, so I don’t see myself stepping into a Gallery Furniture ever, at least while he’s still running it. The diabolical three-step narrative he kept cutting ads for: first, to sell his furniture (sure, fine, whatever), second, do “public service” ads for Crimestoppers, which he didn’t do before, to amp up the right’s claims that dangerous crime is going to get us all and scare us (and you can’t easily go after Crimestoppers without sounding callous, even as their leadership has waded into right-wing issues unrelated to their mission), and third, cut ads with your pet candidate who has a “plan” for all of that crime that statistically is going lower, but that you’ve amped up in people’s minds. I swear, every Astros game in September and October had all three, often at least two of each ad.

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