Archive for April 27th, 2015

The Harris County Sheriff announced disciplinary action Friday on that mess over at the jail. We are talking about dismissals and suspensions involving 35 folks. Also on Friday, Rep. Sylvester Turner announced the endorsement of two local Latino State Reps. Here is a bit of what Kuffer said about the Sheriff’s Friday announcement and its impact on mayoral politics:

Most people – for better or worse – just don’t pay that much attention to this stuff, and those that are paying attention are either already aligned with a particular candidate or who are political junkies like me who may not be sure who they are voting for but who have a pretty good idea who they’re not voting for. I don’t think any of this has changed anyone’s vote, is what I’m saying.

Here is all of Kuffer: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=66804.

Let me put up a bit of what Teddy Schliefer wrote last month on the Sheriff deciding to run:

Garcia, who declined to comment, will portray himself as a fiscally responsible executive who has directly managed a large, complex agency and strengthened the financial health of the sheriff’s office, the sources said.

This is what the Chron reported on Friday:

At Friday’s news conference, Garcia – who is widely believed to be running for mayor but has held off announcing formally – defended his department and blamed the organization’s chain of command structure for creating the environment that allowed (Terry) Goodwin’s situation to fester unchecked.

“That’s the way we were always doing it – until we realized that we needed to improve it,” he said. “We learned about this and understood there could have been faster responses earlier on; it’s changed now. We wish the earlier documentation created bells and whistles to go off, but apparently it didn’t.”

Here is the entire Chron article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Sheriff-fires-6-disciplines-others-over-6222905.php?cmpid=gsa-chron-result.

And then this from Ted Oberg on Friday night:

Goodwin’s mother called the punishments, and particularly the one- to 10-day suspensions handed out a “slap on the wrist.”

“Ten days? I’m furious,” Mashell Lambert told ABC-13. “For what they did to our son just 10 days? This is not what I call justice. This is a slap on the wrist. They say and watched our mentally ill son deteriorate and prepare his cell to commit suicide and did nothing.”

Here is the entire Oberg piece: http://abc13.com/news/hcso-takes-action-against-35-employees-over-inmates-jail-cell-condition/680224/.

Kuffer is smart and so are the folks that run the mayoral races. I am just going to say that none of the other candidates faced these type of challenges when they launched their campaigns. It is kind of tough to say “vote for me and don’t pay attention to Oberg and the jail mess.”

And then it gets worse, err better, err interesting – depending on where one stands. Yesterday, Goodwin’s mom and Quanell X called for the Sheriff to resign and it got a lot of run on the local news last night.

Here is a bit from the Channel 13 story:

“If you didn’t know, Adrian Garcia, you should have known. You are incompetent and I want the citizens of Harris County, I want everybody in Houston and surrounding areas to understand, if this were your son, would three days punishment be enough for his heinous treatment,” said Goodwin’s mother, Mashell Lambert.

“Adrian Garcia was not in the dark about what took place with this brother in this jail. Adrian Garcia was kept in the loop,” said Quanell X.

And here are parts of the Sheriff’s response:

“The people of Harris County rightly expect and demand accountability and transparency in their government. My administration strives every day to give the public the highest level of transparency and accountability. I’m proud of that fact.

“When I took over the county jail there were many issues and challenges and I have implemented many reforms that have contributed greatly to our public safety. We no longer just warehouse inmates, as had been the practice for many years prior, but now there is incredible time and effort to helping those once in our custody to live more positive and productive lives. Under my leadership inmate GED instruction, vocational education, spiritual ministry and counseling has been a priority since I took office – a priority that wasn’t there before.”


“The county jail will circulate about 120,000 inmates this year, I have nearly 5000 employees, and on any given day there are about 9000 inmates in my custody of which almost 30% are suffering from a serious mental illness. We have dramatically reduced the jail population in Harris County and improved the conditions of those in our custody and at the same time coming under budget four consecutive years. This isolated incident should not let this track record be forgotten.”

You can check the full statement of the Sheriff, as well as the rest of the Channel 13 story here: http://abc13.com/news/activists-demand-sheriff-garcia-to-resign-over-jail-abuse-claims/682784/.

And then there is this from today’s Chron:

Though he has yet to declare, Garcia is widely expected to a run for mayor. Quanell X said other leaders in the black community had asked him to refrain from criticizing Garcia’s handling of Goodwin because it could hurt the sheriff’s chances.

“We thought when we finally elected a minority sheriff that minorities would be treated better – we were duped,” Quanell X said. “If Garcia runs Houston like he runs the jail, we’re all going to hell in a hand basket.”

Here is today’s Chron article:

I am sure that some folks will be dismissive of the call for resignation because Quanell X is involved. These folks will say since Quanell X is in the mix, it probably helps the Sheriff politically. That’s silly. The Sheriff certainly wasn’t dismissive. After all, the Sheriff put out a pretty lengthy response on a Sunday night.

I am also a bit puzzled by what Quanell X said. Who are African American leaders who are worried about the Sheriff’s chances for mayor?

Now let’s replay what Kuffer said:

Most people – for better or worse – just don’t pay that much attention to this stuff, and those that are paying attention are either already aligned with a particular candidate or who are political junkies like me who may not be sure who they are voting for but who have a pretty good idea who they’re not voting for. I don’t think any of this has changed anyone’s vote, is what I’m saying.

It is on the news and if you have the flat screen on, it made it into your living room or den. It may not have changed anyone’s vote, but it probably doesn’t help if the voter is undecided. Stay tuned!

The ‘Stros are 11-7. Can you believe? What is our best start ever after 18 games?

Andrea White has a piece on an effort to get a statue of President Lyndon Baines Johnson for Downtown H-Town. Here is Andrea’s article:

I am OK with that but I think it needs to be in a location folks will visit, like NOT across the street from the Downtown post office.

What I thought was Cecily Strong’s best joke was one that didn’t get a lot of laughs. Here it is:

“Let’s give it up for the Secret Service. I don’t want to be too hard on those guys. You know, because they’re the only law enforcement agency that will get in trouble if a black man gets shot.”

You know! You are not supposed to joke about the President’s security.

I think she did a good job.

Will Blue Bell ever serve another scoop? Check this tweet:

Lisa Falkenberg @ChronFalkenberg • Apr 24
Give that brewery an extra good scrub, @ShinerBeer. This Texan can do without #bluebell. But I can’t do without you.

How about this tweet:

Nick Mathews retweeted
Reid Laymance ‏@ReidLaymance 3h3 hours ago
After three weeks, Astros on pace for 99-63.

I don’t know about that.

In 1979, 1980, 1986, and 2006, the ‘Stros started out 13-5 for our best ever starts after 18 games of course.

We scrap the DH over the next three days as we visit Petco.

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