Let's continue our spate of gratitude with thanks to another Chuck, namely Jones, for inspiring the title of this entry. Yes, it's rather politically incorrect humor, but the cartoon Hassan isn't stupid because he's a stereotypical Middle-Easterner. He's a stereotypical Middle-Easterner who just happens to be stupid (or at least unable to outsmart a rabbit).
According to the Harris County Clerk's campaign finance figures, Ahmad Hassan had neither raised nor spent a single dollar on the campaign. What a coincidence! Neither had I! But then, I am the candidate for a "minor" party, with very little disposable income of my own, a full-time office job, and no time to go out shaking money trees. Hassan was the nominee of one of the two name-brand parties. It leaves one to wonder why
- he bothered to pursue the nomination in the first place, and
- the Harris County Democrats couldn't find a better sacrificial lamb to run against the incumbent, alleged Republican Ed Emmett.
"Alleged," you ask? Judge Emmett is officially a Republican. Until recently it was difficult for a Democrat to win county-wide office here, and, well, he does have some conservative leanings. But as the Republican Party nationally grows more outrageous and Medieval in its ideology, Emmett stands out as a Republican in the mold of New York Mayor John Lindsay back in the 1960s, or even Harris County Judge Jon Lindsay in the 1970s without the crooked dealings.
Hassan better fits the label "alleged Democrat" because of his electoral history: He was the Republican nominee for US House District 18 in 2006. (That's Sheila Jackson Lee's seat.) Perhaps it's more appropriate to refer to him as a part-time Democrat.
Emmett clearly understands the importance of government and doesn't crack jokes about drowning it in a bathtub. In 2008, at the time of Hurricane Ike, he embodied the importance of government. This is part of why Hassan dropped out of the race. And when Hassan dropped out, even though I share his respect for Emmett, I concluded that I could serve Harris County better by staying in.
Am I going to win this race? Not likely. Can I be the non-Republican alternative for yellow-dog Democrats and true progressives who will bother to vote this November? You bet.
My next report to the County, due in a few weeks, will have fewer naughts on it, because now that I've actually begun this campaign, I have raised a few bucks. I also believe that I understand the issues of importance to this county better than Hassan, according to Kuffner's diagnosis after their 2010 interview.
I also understand that Harris County will not be best served by a "business as usual" approach to county government. The Green Vision arose because "business as usual" has always served the top 1% well and left the rest of us to fight over scraps. Here is a small portion of that vision as it applies to our county:
- As a worldwide energy capital, Houston and Harris County can and must take the lead in the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
- As a region with an astoundingly diverse population, we can and must work to find ways to leverage that diversity to show the world how such a population lives harmoniously.
- As the county that sentences more people to death each year than most states and many nations, we have acquired an international reputation as a pariah; we can and must stop behaving as if "justice" means "a dark-skinned fellow gets executed."
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