Pol­i­tics and en­dorse­ments

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - OUTLOOK -

De­serves an­other term

Re­gard­ing “For the 10th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict: Mike Siegel” (Hous­tonChron­i­cle.com, Oct. 16): As we ap­proach Elec­tion Day, I am com­pelled to write you in sup­port of U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul and the ex­cep­tional work he has done in re­sponse to Hur­ri­cane Har­vey. I serve my area in the Cinco Ranch, Canyon Gate, Kel­li­wood, Grand Lakes area of Katy as a di­rec­tor at Wil­low Fork Drainage Dis­trict and as co­founder of Barker Flood Pre­ven­tion, an ad­vo­cacy group pur­posed to ob­tain im­me­di­ate and sub­stan­tial flood con­trol so­lu­tions for Barker Reser­voir as well as the greater Hous­ton area.

McCaul has worked tire­lessly to se­cure fund­ing for flood con­trol so­lu­tions that will re­pair the dam­age from Har­vey and pro­vide ad­di­tional in­fra­struc­ture to cre­ate a stronger, more re­silient me­trop­o­lis. His goal of pro­mot­ing and se­cur­ing in­fra­struc­ture (typ­i­cally cited as the “third reser­voir”) to man­age the Cy­press Creek is a crit­i­cal com­po­nent in the re­gional flood con­trol plan for Hous­ton. In flood events such as the Tax Day Flood and Hur­ri­cane Har­vey, Cy­press Creek over­flows into the Ad­dicks Reser­voir and takes up much needed ca­pac­ity. Since Ad­dicks and Barker work in tan­dem and feed into Buf­falo Bayou, many wa­ter­sheds in the Hous­ton area are af­fected by the Cy­press Creek lo­cated in the north­west quad­rant of our re­gion and within the bound­aries that McCaul rep­re­sents.

McCaul has not only helped to se­cure $17.4 bil­lionin fund­ing for the U.S. Army Corps of Engi­neers to com­plete needed flood mit­i­ga­tion projects, but he also ini­ti­ated and helped to pass the amend­ment to Wa­ter Re­sources and De­vel­op­ment Act 2018 to ex­pe­dite USACE stud­ies — such as the Cy­press Creek study — on flood and dis­as­ter re­cov­ery in the Hous­ton re­gion.

Wendy Dun­can, Katy Un­fair at­tacks

Re­gard­ing “For At­tor­ney Gen­eral: Justin Nel­son” (Hous­tonChron­i­cle.com, Oct. 15): Texas At­tor­ney Gen­eral Ken Pax­ton should be ashamed of him­self. He is run­ning TV ads ly­ing about Hous­ton-born law pro­fes­sor Justin Nel­son, his Demo­cratic op­po­nent. Those ads claim that Nel­son “sup­ports a dan­ger­ous open borders pol­icy.”

Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth. Justin’s own web­site makes it clear that he will “ag­gres­sively in­ves­ti­gate, ap­pre­hend, and pros­e­cute dan­ger­ous crim­i­nals who would pass through our border.”

Pax­ton is tak­ing a page from Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s play­book. He is spread­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion about il­le­gal im­mi­grants in an at­tempt to scare vot­ers, and he also is try­ing to dis­tract Tex­ans from the fact that he is in­dicted for felony fraud and fac­ing time be­hind bars.

Beatrice Mladenka-Fowler, Hous­ton Dial down the rhetoric

As a Jewish Hous­to­nian, I was re­lieved to see Har­ris County Clerk Stan Sta­nart re­move prom­i­nent and in­cen­di­ary ref­er­ences to Ge­orge Soros from his cam­paign web­site. Anti-Semitism is a weird and scary an­i­mal that comes out in in­sid­i­ous ways on both sides of the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum.

One of the most pow­er­ful and age-old anti-Semitic tropes is that of “elite fi­nancier glob­al­ists” who are run­ning the world. Sta­nart should know bet­ter than to im­ply Soros is evil and is try­ing to take over Har­ris County. He did the right thing by re­mov­ing it.

Norri Leder, Bel­laire In Trump’s shadow

Re­gard­ing “For the 8th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict: Steven David (Hous­tonChron­i­cle.com, Oct. 16): Good for the Chron­i­cle ed­i­to­rial board for choos­ing not to en­dorse the re-elec­tion of long-serv­ing U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady. And in your cri­tique of his per­for­mance you didn’t even men­tion that low mo­ment at the re­cent Trump rally at the Toy­ota Cen­ter in Hous­ton, when Brady smiled and gave a big thumbs up when Trump falsely told the crowd that a 10 per­cent mid­dle-class tax cut was just days away.

Texas de­serves much bet­ter.

David Bradley, Spring Un­de­served back­ing

I was so dis­ap­pointed in the ed­i­to­rial board’s en­dorse­ments of Har­ris County Judge Ed Em­mett, state Sen. Joan Huff­man and state Rep. Sarah Davis. I know you want to have read­ers be­lieve that you are fair and non-par­ti­san. But sadly, in your at­tempt to be even-handed, you fail to eval­u­ate ap­pro­pri­ate pri­or­i­ties. All three Repub­li­can can­di­dates are sup­port­ive of un­fair poli­cies and poor al­lo­ca­tion of tax funds.

Em­mett’s op­po­si­tion to bail re­form is clearly an in­di­ca­tion of his fail­ure to rec­og­nize the true in­jus­tices in our sys­tem of mass in­car­cer­a­tion of mi­nori­ties.

Davis’ co-sign­ing of SB4, the “show-mey­our-pa­pers” mea­sure, was a strike against hon­est, hard­work­ing im­mi­grants and His­pan­ics as well as Hous­ton and other Texas cities.

Huff­man’s sup­port of the dis­crim­i­na­tory bath­room bill and voter sup­pres­sion bills should au­to­mat­i­cally dis­qual­ify her from your en­dorse­ment. Just be­cause Em­mett, Davis and Huff­man are Re­pub­li­cans who are less evil than Trump doesn’t mean they de­serve sup­port.

Michael Ni­chols, Hous­ton In de­fense of science

A re­cent tele­vi­sion ad at­tacked U.S. Rep. John Cul­ber­son for sup­port­ing a NASA robotic mis­sion to Europa, a very large moon of Jupiter that has what many sci­en­tists think could be an ocean of wa­ter un­der its ice-en­crusted sur­face.

The im­pli­ca­tion is that he should not sup­port the Europa mis­sion be­cause it does not di­rectly ben­e­fit his dis­trict.

It is true that a Europa mis­sion would not bring tax­payer dol­lars to the con­gress­man’s dis­trict. It is also true that this mis­sion will com­prise a rel­a­tively small per­cent­age of NASA’s bud­get (it­self about 0.5 per­cent of fed­eral spend­ing). How­ever, NASA’s mis­sions do not launch dol­lar bills out into space.

That money is spent right here, in Amer­ica, down on earth. Across many con­gres­sional dis­tricts, Demo­cratic and Repub­li­can, bol­ster­ing our na­tion’s econ­omy, in­spir­ing stu­dents, and im­prov­ing our stand­ing in the world. All things we badly need to­day.

I’m writ­ing this not to take sides in a par­ti­san fray, but to try to bring san­ity to is­sues like science that should be apo­lit­i­cal.

Terry Virts, for­mer as­tro­naut and au­thor of “View From Above” Fo­cus on Trump poli­cies

Re­gard­ing “Border bam­boo­zle” (Ed­i­to­rial, Fri­day): The ed­i­to­rial board is spot on with its as­ser­tion that Pres­i­dent Trump’s bom­bas­tic bel­liger­ence re­gard­ing the car­a­van of Cen­tral-Amer­i­can refugees is all about show­man­ship, fear-mon­ger­ing and falsehoods.

But in the penul­ti­mate para­graph, the writer points out the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s plans to elim­i­nate pro­tec­tions for pre­ex­ist­ing con­di­tions, tax cuts to bil­lion­aires, and the elim­i­na­tion of the min­i­mum wage. Now the ed­i­to­rial board is cer­tainly within its pre­rog­a­tive to have an opin­ion on these is­sues. How­ever, you are us­ing these dis­agree­ments to re­in­force your neg­a­tive per­sonal feel­ings about the pres­i­dent.

If in­deed you dis­agree with him on health care, taxes, or wage con­trols then write a sep­a­rate ed­i­to­rial stat­ing your rea­sons, and leave out the char­ac­ter at­tacks.

David M. Woods, Hous­ton

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