Monday, September 26, 2016

The 2016 D.A. Debate

So, I just finished watching the Harris County District Attorney candidates debate, and I had a few thoughts.

First off, with the possible exception of the Sheriff's race, this is the most important local race on the ballot in November for Harris County.   For some reason, it aired between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. and no news network carried it -- not even Channel 2, whose own Khambrel Marshall was the moderator.  It kind of reminded me of the ending of Rocky 3, when Rocky and Apollo had a private fight that only they knew the outcome of.

I had to watch the debate via Kim Ogg's website.  Not that I'm supporting Kim, but she appeared to be the only game in town if you wanted to watch the debate online.  Dave Jennings over at Big Jolly Politics made his long-awaited return to blogging to point out that perhaps Devon didn't exactly want to maximize coverage of the debate.  I'm not sure that I entirely disagree with him.  Given the current news cycle, I actually think that it took a lot of guts to agree to a debate at the moment.

All in all, there were virtually no surprises in the debate, other than the fact that the audience was surprisingly unruly.  Both sides clearly had their supporters who seemed to be trying to outdo each other with their applause.  Disappointingly, some of Ogg's supporters began talking over Devon and yelling out things, which was extremely annoying.

Devon touted her new diversionary programs such as those for cases involving small amounts of marijuana, and prostitution.  Kim attacked systemic problems in the criminal justice system and the need to change.  I missed the closing statements due to a phone call and an overactive two-year-old, but I understand that Devon brought up some character issues with Kim.

As I've said before, Kim is a formidable candidate with some good ideas, but she diminishes them with her pandering and politicking.  Devon called her out on her politicking and she was right to do so.  If Kim would stick to her principles instead of manipulating statistics, it would make her a much more appealing candidate to me.

In the end, I doubt that the debate changed anybody's mind about the candidate they were supporting in the first place -- and I doubt that anybody who was undecided was actually watching it.


Anonymous said...

Well it changed my mind...#officallyteamogg

MCM said...

Excellent blog Murray!

Anonymous said...

Murray, I agree with you here, perhaps the local media didn't cover it since they know the bulk for votes locally will be straight ticket for both sides. Independent voters are then faced with the inevitable choice between Ogg, a politician who really does seem to promise far more than she can deliver, or Anderson who has made incremental changes based on input from direct stakeholders but few sweeping reforms. Neither candidate is nearly as bad as the national top of the party ticket jokers up for election but neither candidate is as good as their frothing at the mouth supporters would suggest either, the debate pushing me into Anderson's camp.

If Ogg has some special power with the state legislature, local police agencies, or Harris County Commissioner's Court to install some of the very expensive reforms she suggests she can force of them, by all means she needs to pony up and let us know about it now. As it stands, her campaign rhetoric describing all the reforms she wants to push through are meaningless given the lack of authority the position currently has. So while she makes some good points about what is needed, without the basis to make them, she falls well short of the mark needed to convince me she is a worthy candidate. A toothless reformer is no good to us and a democrat in a state/county controlled by republican's holding the purse strings just means she would be a placeholder for four years.

Anonymous said...

"If Kim would stick to her principles instead of manipulating statistics..."

It's hard to stick to "principles" when she has NONE.