Posts Tagged ‘Mayor Bob Lanier’

As expected a who’s who were among the few hundred that attended Mayor Bob Lanier’s funeral service yesterday. It was SRO.

Pastor Joel Osteen officiated. The eulogies were delivered by two of Bob’s grand kids and his close friends Kenny Friedman, Vince Kickerillo, Charles Hurwitz, and Doug Pitcock.

Some of the 1991 campaign folks were there including Craig Varoga and Sabrina Midkiff.

The Mayor was there along with some members of City Council.

Former council members were there along with current members of Congress, the Texas Legislature, and other local elected officials.

Former Mayor Lee Brown and former County Judge and State Senator Jon Lindsay were on hand.

Some of the Mayoral candidates were on hand – I saw Chris Bell, Bill King, Ben Hall, and Council Member Stephen Costello.

Austin super lobbyist Bill Miller came down. Outgoing GHP Chair Paul Hobby and his wife Janet attended.

I saw former Governor Mark White. County Commissioner El Franco Lee and Bob’s trusted friend Dave Walden served as pallbearers.

Every TV station had their big satellite trucks parked in front.

Kenny’s eulogy focused on Bob’s record of service. Among the accomplishments he listed was letting Bud Adams take the Oilers to Tennessee and the subsequent building of the three major sports venues. (I kind of mentioned that yesterday.)

The songs performed included “Amazing Grace” and “What a Wonderful World.”

Looking at the Order of Service program that was printed and handed out, I thought we might be there for a couple of hours. It was over in an hour and fifteen minutes.

Even though yesterday’s gathering was a funeral, it was a celebration of his life and did have an upbeat flavor.

I am glad I was there.

Again, I will skip the MLB question.

I won’t be have a take tomorrow and maybe I will have a quick one on Friday.

Have a Merry Christmas!

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It is two days before Christmas and politics is just about shut down. I am sure a lot of local folks will be at Mayor Bob Lanier’s funeral this morning. I put this out yesterday from the Chron:

A man who never forgot his modest upbringing, a man who seemed more at home among common, everyday folks than the country club set, he took pride in being mayor of all the people. No wonder he left office as arguably the most popular mayor in Houston history.

And this was in yesterday’s Chron:

“He was a real hardball player,” said John Williams, who covered Lanier as the Houston Chronicle’s City Hall reporter. “That’s what made him one of the most powerful mayors in the city’s history. I try to think of what he failed at. He didn’t fail much.”

John makes a good point. While Mayor, where did Bob come up short?

Some folks might say that he let Bud Adams and the Oilers leave town under his watch – kind of an adios to Luv Ya Blue. Of course, some folks might say letting Bud Adams take the Oilers to Tennessee was probably good for H-Town because look what we have now.

Of course, letting Bud Adams and the Oilers get away forced us to look at the Astrodome as a venue for the ‘Stros which led us to the successful 1996 Downtown stadium vote campaign that Bob helped lead and look at that part of Downtown now. Not bad at all!

Here is from the Chron on Bob’s service this morning:

A funeral service will be conducted at eleven o’clock in the morning on Tuesday, the 23rd of December 2014, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston. Prior to the service, the family will be receiving guests in the grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons commencing at ten o’clock in the morning.

I will see some of you there.

No MLB question today.

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Most Respected

The accolades keep coming for former H-Town Mayor Bob Lanier. Here is from yesterday’s Chron:

At various times, for various reasons, Lanier was likened to Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. The commonality was that Lanier, the son of a Methodist minister turned oilfield roustabout, invariably was measured against America’s greatest movers and shakers.

“I’d put him with (Chicago Mayor Richard) Daley and (New York City Mayor Fiorello) La Guardia as one of the great mayors in 20th century history,” University of Houston political science guru Richard Murray once said. “He has the ability to get things done.”

Let me add that he is probably the most respected elected official I have ever encountered. He just commanded that respect.

I have discussed before his 1991 Mayoral campaign and have mentioned that he overwhelmingly won the Latino vote. I have said before that his campaign manager Craig Varoga and his trusted advisor Dave Walden advocated a strategy of engaging the Latino vote.

Bob was a numbers guy. He knew that in order to win we had to put together a coalition and the Latino vote was a key. He and I talked about it on numerous occasions during the campaign. He was all in.

His message to our community was Latinos will be full partners at City Hall. The 1991 redistricting battles were just about over and City Hall had rejected Latino redistricting proposals. There were a number of us that were frustrated with City Hall.

Bob engaged Latino civic and business leaders. We ran ads on Spanish language TV and radio. Bob attended numerous church bazaars and community events and Latinos responded with enthusiasm. He showed us respect and in return earned Latino respect and support.

No other Mayoral candidate in H-Town history had campaigned in the Latino community like Bob did in 1991.

Here is what the Chron E-Board said today about Bob:

A man who never forgot his modest upbringing, a man who seemed more at home among common, everyday folks than the country club set, he took pride in being mayor of all the people. No wonder he left office as arguably the most popular mayor in Houston history.

You can’t argue with that!

Bob’s funeral service is tomorrow.

Dante and I spent most of Saturday taking my parents (his great grandparents) to get a Christmas tree, setting it up, and getting it decorated. Dante also assisted my Dad with the outdoor Christmas lights. We had a great time!

Again, I’ll skip the MLB question today.

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