Endorsement watch: A bad call

I’m sorry, I don’t get this at all.

Laurie Robinson

Laurie Robinson

The race for the At-Large 4 City Council seat offers two of the most capable candidates running this fall. Amanda Edwards, a municipal finance attorney with Bracewell & Guiliani, and Laurie Robinson, a government oversight contracting auditor who runs her own consulting firm, are thoughtful and knowledgeable about city issues. Both are impressive.


Our choice, and it’s almost a toss-up, is Laurie Robinson, and it’s a choice based on her years of experience with government-related endeavors. Although her opposition to the city’s equal rights ordinance gives us pause – she says she favors an ordinance in principle, but this one has become too divisive – we believe she will be an effective councilmember from her first day in office.

Although we endorse Robinson, we recognize that her chief opponent has the potential to be an influential voice in public affairs and public service for years to come. Whether Amanda Edwards wins or loses this time, it’s a win for Houston if she stays involved.

It’s not that I expected Edwards to get the endorsement. It’s that I expected all of the Chron’s prior editorializing on HERO to mean something. If support for HERO – which Laurie Robinson expressed in her interview with me before doing a 180 for reasons unclear – isn’t enough to serve as a tiebreaker in a case like this, then what exactly does the Chron’s stated support for HERO mean? Why say you support something if you don’t back the candidates that agree with you on it? And I’m sorry, but saying HERO “has become too divisive” is a load of baloney. It’s like saying President Obama is “too divisive” because a significant portion of the Republican Party has gone completely bonkers since his election in 2008. Over 200 cities across the US have equal rights ordinances exactly like Houston’s. It is completely mainstream. One hundred percent of the divisiveness is the fault of the extreme zealotry of people like Jared Woodfill, Dave Welch, and Dave Wilson. Shame on the Chronicle for being so gullible.

The real tragedy of this is that Laurie Robinson is a genuinely well-qualified candidate. She made a bad decision in renouncing her prior support for HERO, and she does not deserve to be rewarded for it. Again, I don’t understand why the Chronicle doesn’t understand that. The time for Amanda Edwards, whose interview is here, to be an influential voice in public affairs and public service is now. I recognize that, and I hope you do too, even if the Chronicle doesn’t.

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18 Responses to Endorsement watch: A bad call

  1. Manuel Barrera says:

    What can I say, she saw the light, like several others, Jim Bigham is now against HERO also, Chris Oliver has also seen the light. The problem is where do they really stand on the issue?

    One would be surprised the calls from the I have the light candidates that are calling for endorsements from the anti-gay people (that is what bigots call them).

    A bigot is one that is intolerant of other persons opinions.

  2. Paul kubosh says:

    it’s real simple. Clearly the Chronicle is not using a litmus test to determine their endorsement. This is one of the few times that I actually agree with them. they have pleasantly surprised me on the upside. also when you’re talking about the people who are against hero you fell to list the African American pastors and their organization that is wholeheartedly against the hero ordnance. Mary Parker has managed to push democratic pastors together with Republican activists. I guess you could say she’s a unifier.

  3. Paul kubosh says:

    mayor Parker not mary Parker. voice to text typo

  4. Manuel Barrera says:

    Actually Paul, the Chronicle has seen the light and does want be on the wrong side by “endorsing” all the pro HERO candidates. The best track record thus far has been by Noah Horwitz, “They will endorse all white candidates.” The Chronicle editorial staff is the bastion of bigotry and racism.

  5. Steve Houston says:

    “The problem is where do they really stand on the issue?”
    I think that is a fair assessment given the initial strength of her support for HERO. The line that she “saw the light” is not very convincing though I suppose if I were against the ordinance and my choices were limited to someone that is quite possibly a panderer versus someone who still supports the ordinance, the choice would be clear as well.

    “The Chronicle editorial staff is the bastion of bigotry and racism.”
    Will you continue to espouse that belief if they support Turner or Hall for Mayor? I mean, King was their “boy” for a very long time but earlier this year, their unstated policy of hands off King seemed to fall to the wayside. The Chronicle editorial board does seem to be full of something but bigotry and racism?!? And just how can you credibly state that they are endorsing all the pro-HERO candidates when this very candidate is opposing the ordinance, they also endorsed Mike Kubosh who opposes the ordinance over others supporting it?

    PK, given their open and ongoing support for HERO, isn’t it realistic to question their endorsement when the candidates, by their own admission, are both so otherwise qualified? I understand that each candidate brings a different set of skills to the table so comparing them is an apples to oranges endeavor but one changing her support of a major issue just before the election (an issue so strongly supported by the editorial board at that) would seem to tip the scales or at very least call into question her judgement/motivations.

  6. Steve Houston says:

    Now I see why MB is so cheerful toward the editorial board: “Manny Berrera, a former City Hall staffer perhaps best known for his bizarre anti-gay tirades in the comment sections of local political blogs.”


  7. Greg Wythe says:

    Saw that quote in the Laster endorsement last night. Made. My. Day.

  8. J says:

    I’d be interested to see the racial breakdown on HERO polling. Many liberals are conveniently pretending that this is only a white Baptist driven issue, just like they pretended that the red light cameras (strong government intervention, liberal Democrat policy) were defeated by right-wing, anti-government, paranoid Tea Party voters.

  9. joshua ben bullard says:

    amanda edwards has always been overly abrasive and obstructive in seeking conversation with me,my personal encounters with her have resulted in a nose in the air on every interaction,i applaud the harvard law degree but lets be honest with each other ,weve never seen amanda edwards grounded in the community-ever.i myself convinced mayor parker to ad 3 million dollars in sidewalks for school children in , blue ridge reed wood subdivision that should have been in place in 1955 and i never saw amanda edwards anywhere,herself and her staff have gone out of their way to be anything but rude and non personal,this has been confirmed by hundreds of voters to me and others.Its like ,if your running to work for the people ,wouldnt it be a good idea to at least be approachable with the people?i meet these candidates over and over and over (after all,i was the sole political consultant for richard nguyens campaign that took him over the top in 2013)so i must be a good judge of character when it comes to who is good for the people,and amanda edwards is not=i will not vote for amanda edwards because she needs more interpersonal growth in order to serve the public.

  10. Steve Houston says:

    Greg, I knew you’d appreciate that, given some of the exchanges here. There were a few comments but apparently the Chron is wiping them clean, twice so far, though the quote remains.

  11. Manuel Barrera says:

    Steve, IF, they did choose Turner it would be the first time. Even racists and bigots will change spots to fool people.

    If they choose Hall, I will buy you dinner.

    I was being kind, I have been known to refer to the Chronicle as high priced whore. You buy ads they will go with the issue. Saw it often with Houston Community College who was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars buying ads from the Chronicle.

    As to the quote from the Chronicle, I wished they had spelled my last name correctly, it would mean more votes from all the other anti-gay haters (Well that is how some people refer to those of us that believe differently when it comes to marriage and men in women’s bathrooms).

  12. Steve Houston says:

    MB, they’ve supported/endorsed him for years in Austin, as well as other minorities locally on up to the president. I guess I’m curious to see if there is better evidence to call them racist than just “Noah said so”, most of the time the candidate they pick fitting their running narrative (again, whether you agree with it or not) rather than simply falling into the white male category.

    I agree with you in general about media being a bunch of whores, advertising dollars certainly increasing the chances of their support but their clear choice a year ago was King and scores of uncomplimentary comments disappeared all the time and nothing holding him up to critical light was allowed until recently. For the same reason, I doubt they are going to select Garcia, who got a free ride for a very long time from them, Bell who no one thinks will make the run off, McVey for the same reason, etc.

    And for the record, while you and I do not see eye to eye very often, they should have thrown something more of substance if they were going to lob that comment towards you, the spelling matter all too common since they went to an austerity budget years ago.

  13. Manuel Barrera says:

    For Mayor they have endorsed him, Turner represents acres homes, independence heights, like they had a choice.

    What was King running for a year ago? Why did King step back and let Gene Locke run in 2009?

    Annise Parker or Gene Locke? http://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/For-Houston-mayor-Chronicle-endorses-Annise-1731859.php

    I did not meet with them I have known a few of the editorial staff, none at present, at times they tend to be very shallow and not well informed. Wonder why they don’t let you record the interview? I did go once the person that they endorsed didn’t even bother to show up. Why don’t they post the names of the people conducting the interview?

    Garcia promised to support the homosexual agenda, he kept his promise the other side has not.

    The Chronicle did a number on two good friends, Abel Davila and Yolanda Navarro Flores. I have asked to meet with them concerning the Veselka investigation so that everything could be reviewed, they have refused. That offer was also refused by the darling of the liberals, Lisa Falkenberg.

    I have no love for those pompous self ordained protectors of Houston, Texas. You know they are in trouble when they offer Sunday delivery for $1 and include the all digital version. By the way Steve, if you were a friend, and were being unfairly attacked by the likes of the Chronicle I would come to your aid. They ruin reputations without a thought to the harm they have done. Another person cannot find a job because of the hatchet job they Chronicle did on her. They are evil!

  14. Paul Kubosh says:


    Red Light Cameras were not defeated by Republicans.

  15. I am still waiting for robinson and edwards to give a real stance and analysis of Tax Increment Financing and TABOR (revenue cap).

    Still cant believe edwards a harvard grad with 8 years of law practice has such a weak platform.

    Still waiting for robinson to ‘show me the goverment waste’

  16. Steve Houston says:

    MB, but to further the “the editorial board always endorses white males” or the “editorial board are racists and bigots” narrative, those exceptions where they pick a black male, a Latina female, or whatever others running against a “white male” candidate each weaken the premise. Keep in mind that more often than not, white males tend to comprise a large number of those who have purposely set out to have political careers and took steps to be groomed for specific spots both from political party insiders and those in the community that befriend them. As such, they are often better prepared to run and know the ins and outs to work the electorate better, regardless of whether they would best serve the community as a whole or only portions of it.

    As far as King is concerned, announced or not, he has been preparing to run for mayor spot for years now, no secret to anyone. That was why he bought that million dollar condo on the west loop, to establish residency, and used his tenure at the Chronicle to get his name out there. Like most, he seems to have acknowledged that timing is everything in these races, no incumbent mayor ever losing since term limits began decades ago, hence the plethora of candidates running now that won’t run in two years or four years unless something unprecedented happens.

    It is no surprise that they you consider them “very shallow and not well informed”, a belief supported time and again by many of their uncredited op-eds and the choices they make to populate the pages of the Chronicle, a great many agreeing with both of us on that fact. Given how truly poorly researched most of their articles are and the grammar displayed, I suspect anyone leaving the paper to work for a real newspaper outside the Hearst corporation are loathe to list their tenure on their resume.

    So you’ll get no argument from me on the lack of professionalism displayed by their staff, the piss poor job they do for the community (why do you think we are on this and/or other blogs to get information?), and their heavy hand at moderation, Dwight S. suggesting that they have been easing up of late meeting a tepid response at best. I’ve had accounts closed for no other reason than someone (guess who) did not like my questions in some of King’s columns. When I called up and spoke with someone, after getting bounced around, was given a believable story how things “are” under “current management”. So friend, friendly acquaintance, or person with some similar interests, it’s difficult to stand up to the paper using their own system when anyone there can get you banished regardless of TOS.

    PK: A coalition of interests combined to defeat the cameras, check.

    Joseph, I’d like to know their stances and understanding of those issues too. I’m not going to hold my breath.

  17. Robbie Westmoreland says:

    Just to answer my own question, for the sake of completeness, it is not, in fact, illegal for a man to enter a women’s restroom in Houston to pee, unless he does so “in a manner calculated to cause a disturbance.” (Houston muni code section 28-20)
    That ordinance is not affected by HERO.
    HERO does not change any legal status about men in women’s restrooms, and the people who contend that it does are clearly delusional, stupid or lying for some other reason.

  18. Eastender says:

    Laurie Robinson’s flip-flopping on this is truly disappointing.

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