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Orlando: It’s all about meeeeeeeee!!!

Orlando Sanchez gets at the real reason why Commissioners’ Court wants to abolish the office of Harris County Treasurer now: They all hate him.

Sanchez said Tuesday that eliminating the post would kill the immediate prospect of a Hispanic for the first time holding a countywide elected administrative office. Some Hispanics previously have won countywide judicial races.

Since commissioners didn’t consider abolishing the office after the March primary when Cato was nominated, Sanchez also said the attempt now may be personal.

“It is interesting that up to Mr. Cato’s death, they were supporting Mr. Cato and obviously keeping the office. After Mr. Cato died, they adopted a resolution to abolish the office,” said Sanchez.

“It makes you wonder, especially since I could become the first Hispanic and the first immigrant elected countywide.” Sanchez’s family moved from Cuba when he was a child.

Orlando. Please, stop. You’re embarrassing yourself. Now put the press releases down and slowly back away.

I mean, I really don’t have to point out that Orlando’s opponent in this race is named Richard Garcia, right? He’s been running on a platform of abolishing the office since 2002. And as noted before, the effort to do away with the Treasurer predates Jack Cato.

Democratic Commissioners Sylvia Garcia and El Franco Lee were the first to suggest abolishing the seat, [Republican Commissioner Steve] Radack said.

“The point is, we have a situation where you have a Democrat who wants to abolish the office and you have a Republican who has said he wants to use it as a sounding board,” he said.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to eliminate the office.”


“It has no auditing authority, does not issue official financial reports, and, in fact, no longer even writes checks. It is an antiquated office which duplicates other functions for no reason or benefit,” said Garcia, who served as Houston controller before she was elected commissioner. “The citizens of Harris County should have the right to abolish the office, just as voters in other Texas counties have.”

This was a matter of timing and opportunity. There should have been a continual push to do away with this office all through Cato’s tenure, but that’s the way things work in politics – being the right idea isn’t enough if it isn’t the right time for it. Maybe if Orlando Sanchez could make a case for what the Treasurer’s office does and what he would do with it other than gad about and spout off on issues that have nothing to do with the office’s official functions he could convince people of the position’s merits instead of making it abundantly clear that what he really wants is a cushy do-nothing job. And if not, then he can watch as Richard Garcia, who unlike him has a clear and compelling vision for this office, becomes the first Hispanic countywide elected official (non-judicial).

By the way, Orlando’s outburst did very little to convince his fellow travellers that he deserves this position. One comment, for David Benzion:

As far as I’m concerned, the Harris County GOP should have figured out a way to call the Democrat’s bluff. Get [Richard] Garcia on record supporting abolishment of the office, refuse to nominate ANYONE, and then work cooperatively with Treasurer Garcia to eliminate his job.

Garcia’s advocacy of abolishing the office is not a bluff. Neither, I expect, are Sylvia Garcia and El Franco Lee bluffing, as they voted to support abolishing the office. I’ll admit that this was likely an easier call for them given the current climate, but who’s to say Richard Garcia can’t or won’t win? It’s not like he won’t pick up some Republican support, given how this race has gone. How much would you wager on Orlando Sanchez right now? Republicans may have an overall partisan edge in Harris County (for now, anyway), but candidates still matter. Especially when Orlando Sanchez is your candidate.

(Would have posted this earlier, but was too busy with redistricting stuff. Sorry about that.)

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  1. Dennis says:

    Please, appoint Sanchez to this job. Let Republican conservatives justify the expense of his office and the travel expenses of the County Treasurer lobbying Washington on issues clearly unrelated to his office. Clearly, if they are unable to justify cutting this obvious government waste, then the rest of their words about “fiscal conservatism” will ring hollow.

  2. Charles Hixon says:

    The office cannot possibly be abolished before Election Day and another Treasurer takes office. The winner will naturally feel doomed – and both do, because Commissioners Court has officially established its vehement hatred toward the position and working with him.

    This is a strike against Commissioners Court if they intending on projecting to the State a level-headed, responsible attitude towards taking on the responsibilties of the position, Commissioners Court’s respect for the State structure, county government in general, and its implications to the State – because the State has enough trouble with Harris County as it is.

    How do you campaign for such a position? How do you raise money to campaign? I know if I ran for the office I’d become schizophrenic because of Commissioners Courts contentious behavior.

    If there is a delay in a resolution, how can we possibly find qualified candidates?

    May I reference your phrase above: “[Richard Garcia has] been running on a platform of abolishing the office since 2002. And as noted before, the effort to do away with the Treasurer predates Jack Cato. Democratic Commissioners Sylvia Garcia and El Franco Lee were the first to suggest abolishing the seat, [Republican Commissioner Steve] Radack said.”

    Wrong again Radack: Sylvia Garcia was elected in 2002 and Cato has served since 1999. Anytime a Commissioner points his/her finger at a “problem”, look who’s doing the pointing to find the “source of the problem”: Radack.