DAILY COMMENTARY
By Marc Campos




The Boo Birds

We’ve all heard this story before. A huge waste disposal corporation is looking for a site for a potential landfill. They line up support from local leaders including some elected officials. Maybe they sponsor some stuff for the local community. They hire some high powered lawyers and lobbyists. Problem is they are going to stick the landfill near a low income Latino neighborhood where education levels are not so impressive. Nobody bothered to ask for their opinion. Environmental activists get wind of the pending permit and organize the community and folks get irate because nobody was looking out for their arse. By law, they request and get a public hearing. They pack the hall and when the local leaders get up to speak in support of the landfill the community feeling betrayed boos every pro landfill speaker. The leaders realize that they have some very angry folks out there and withdraw their support. If neighborhood folks would have politely sat on their hands at the hearing with a “yes sir” here and “no sir” there, they would have been awarded a stinking landfill. Scoreboard boo birds!

Here’s what JO said on my CD 18 take: “It saddens me how we allow our elected officials to behave. Regardless of who is receiving the negative attention, regardless of if they have a "thick-skin" or not. When did it become OK for grown adults to "boo" another person because their opinion differs from them? More so, when did we decide it was befitting an elected official to "boo" another elected official when that person stands to speak? Why do we hold 8 year old children to higher standards than we do someone we have elected to represent our district, our city, our state? Do they have a first amendment right? Yes, no one said they should be arrested for their behavior. But they should be embarrassed by their behavior. The number one thing that is lacking in politics today is respect and maturity. I have never seen such immature and disrespectful behavior by a group of adults as I have seen exhibited in politics. Does this apply to every politician, of course not. There are those few who are able to conduct themselves with maturity and respectfulness and focus more on the needs of the people and not on petty grade school behavior.

“And if we want to compare what happened to Sheila Jackson Lee to A-Rod, then we better start serving beer and hot dogs at the capitol. Lets leave the petty and childish behavior in our childhoods where it belongs. We have a whole new batch of young politicians following the example of those currently serving in office. Show them with actions that as a man or woman who has been entrusted with the power and the responsibility of representing the constituents of your respective district, city, or state, that respect is paramount, that maturity is admired. We all make mistakes and we are all human. But lets not reward or defend the childish actions of those who know better.”

I was at the SD 15 Dem Convention and I saw Cong. Jackson Lee get booed. I didn’t see any elected officials join in. Was it one of SD 15’s finest moments – of course not. Was it one of our worse – heck no. I never want to see our system of politics evolve into one where our elected officials are above getting jeered, hissed at, or booed. If they are crooks, support stinking landfills, or on the other side in a political campaign, then the boo factor should not be eliminated from play. I can understand if a state legislature, commissioners’ court, or city council wants to pass rules saying you can’t applaud, demonstrate or boo during their proceedings. Just don’t even think about making that apply to political party conventions. What’s next then – one of those groans of disgust, a smirk, standing up and turning your back to an elected, a sign that says “up yours”, or a picture of the elected officials in one of those red circles and a slash.

In 2004, when MLB had the All Star Game at The Yard, then ‘Stros Skipper Jimy Williams was a coach and when he was introduced during the pre-game festivities, thirty--five thousand or so ‘Stros fans booed unmercifully in front of a national TV audience. Drayton was understandably embarrassed by the booing. The next day Jimy was fired.

JO was right though, I should not have made the A-Roid comparison. He makes a whole lot more money than a member of Congress.

I was going to have a take on being lectured by the Working Man Hero on my take on CD 18 but I realized what the heck, I’m going to skip it because some folks told me that they were amazed and puzzled how people reacted. Finally, at our Pct. 57 Dem Convention last March, Orel and I introduced the super delegate elimination resolution and it passed unanimously. I decided not to introduce my Dome Demolition resolution – I had a feeling I might get booed.

Like the reaction where I’ve been off the mark lately – oh yeah! Yesterday I said CM Peter Brown wouldn’t run a traditional campaign. Bingo! They were handing those “Vote for Pedro” t-shirts – cool move. Who knows? Pedro, errr Peter just might just be the fella that hits the right nerve with younger voters. He might just get them to buy into the notion that younger votes should have a say in which direction their city goes, errr grows.

A Chron first I think. Chron cartoonist Nick Anderson has his work in today’s Chron. Supposedly ex-Judge Kent squeezing some …… The problem is it looks more like Judge Hittner – yikes! Check it out.

From AP: “Clarence Swensen, who played a Munchkin soldier in the 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz," has died. He was 91.”

I wonder if he ever got to hang with the girls from the lullaby league.

ManRam might know something about the future of the U.S. economy that even The President’s most knowledgeable advisors don’t know. ManRam probably thinks the economy will rebound quicker than the experts predict. Why else would he be holding out for more that $45 mil over the next two years?

Wandy goes today against the Nationals and the College Classic returns to The Yard for the weekend.


February 27, 2009 9:00AM


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