I feel the need for a vent. My husband and I live in Deer Park, Texas. Near the Houston Ship Channel and in the heart of the petrochemical industry. We’ve lived here about 35 years, since our children began school in the seventies. Deer Park is a lovely city of 32,010 citizens (according to the 2010 census). A nice place to visit. A nicer place to live. The neighborhoods are quiet and safe, and boast the sense of community and camaraderie found in small cities and towns across our great country. Deer Park is often touted as the “birthplace of Texas” because of its location near where the Battle of San Jacinto was fought on April 21, 1836, and Texas won its independence from Mexico.
This past Monday, early voting for city elections began. That same afternoon we received a postcard in the mail from the mayor in which he endorsed one of the council candidates. He even went so far as to announce that he and his wife would be casting their votes for this candidate, and would “certainly encourage” others to do the same.
I do not know this candidate, nor his opponent, personally. But I found the mayor’s action an appalling abuse of power and an unethical attempt to sway voters. My humble opinion, of course. Frankly, the mayor’s action reeked of cronyism and immediately turned me off to that particular candidate. It made my husband and me wonder how effective the man would be as a council member or whether he would be “in the mayor’s back pocket,” so to speak?
It disturbed me enough to sit and write this blog. With “Big Time” politics presently front and center across the United States, with televised presidential debates and political ads a constant, with John Edwards on trial for misuse of contributions during his political campaign, I’m curious as to what others might think. Is this an over-reaction on my part— or a lapse in judgment by our mayor? Politics as usual? Thanks for listening. I’d love to hear from you.