Sunday, January 15, 2006

Statesman Endorses Donna Howard In HAD 48 Race

Experience gives Howard edge

They cite Donna Howard's experience with school finance for giving her the nod over Bentzin:
Former Eanes school board member Donna Howard, a Democrat, and Republican Ben Bentzin, the retired Dell Inc. executive who has been a force in local community service, are both outstanding candidates. Howard receives our endorsement because of her experience with school finance issues.
Bentzin's business background would make him more qualified to be on the TTRC instead of the legislature. They also point to Bentzin's DeLay/Colyandro connections as being a major impediment to their endorsing Bentzin:
However, the recent revelation that Bentzin paid John Colyandro as a consultant in his unsuccessful 2002 campaign for the Texas Senate is bothersome. Colyandro was working with the Texas Association of Business and U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, both indicted for alleged campaign finance law violations during 2002.

Colyandro has been indicted as well for his part in that campaign. Bentzin has not been implicated in any of those investigations.

But Bentzin did pay Colyandro through a third party, which is another area of concern. Texas election law requires a full accounting of all campaign contributions and expenses. Bentzin has served the Austin area well in his various capacities, but Howard looks to be the better candidate for this election.
It looks like the editors are trying to make an attempt to say, "Well if Bentzin hadn't consorted with corrupt people he would be OK but since he did, we endorse Howard." My take on this is if you're worried about public schools it's a no-brainer, vote for Donna Howard. If Donna Howard wins it would give the Democrats two more votes in the house then they had through the last round of special sessions. Don't forget Anna Hernandez won the special election to replace Joe Moreno in District 143.


At 1/15/2006 5:03 PM, Blogger Sal Costello said...

In the process of our group, People for Efficient Transportation PAC (PET PAC), contacting all candidates for the State Representative District 48 special election endorsement, we experience a strange incident. Our process is a phone call followed by the review of a comprehensive questionnaire filled out by the candidates, and our volunteers vote who we will endorse.

Our volunteers overwhelming voted to endorse Donna Howard.

The Ben Bentzin "incident" will be a memorable one. It's also important to note that PET PAC is nonpartisan, and in the last election we endorsed Todd Baxter, a Republican, for this district, as he did fight to keep tolls we've already paid for. We've learned from past endorsements that politicians can be very slippery, even with questionnaires, so we have three rules.

Rules: 1) The CANDIDATE himself/herself MUST fill out the questionnaire. 2) The entire questionnaire must be sent back with all questions answered. 3) The complete questionnaire (questions and answers) must be submitted via email by a specific deadline.

Donna Howard: Filled out the questionnaire herself, Answered all PET PAC questions positively. Donna agreed to consider filing two (2) specific bills to curtail tolls on roads we've already funded. By all accounts Donna was open and honest during all steps of the process and is ready to fight the Perry new tax scheme of tolling our already paid for public highways.

Ben Bentzin: Failed to fill out the questionnaire himself (as rule #1 states). Question number 13, "who filled out this questionnaire", was left blank. Whoever filled out the form agreed to consider filing zero (0) bills. Before the questionnaire was submitted, Bentzin, told me on the phone that he didn't want to fill out the questioner, but wanted our endorsement anyway (On it's own, this was a unique and suspicious request - I told him we would not consider endorsing him without it). After it was submitted, whoever filed it, demanded that it not be seen by the public (this was also a first).

In two years of endorsing candidates throughout Texas, Ben Bentzin is the easily the strangest and most suspicious candidate PET PAC has dealt with.

Sal Costello,
founder of People for Efficient Transportation PAC
(nonpartisan Texans working to keep tolls off roads we've already paid for)

At 1/15/2006 5:04 PM, Blogger Sal Costello said...


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