2015 Houston Runoff

It’s a Clear Choice for Houston Mayor: HOUSTON’S PENSION CRISIS

king-blk-pastorsFellow Houstonians,

Credit to Greg Groogan and Fox 26 for having the audacity to air this story last night (pasted below) about the single-most important challenge facing our city on Dec. 3, 2015: THE CITY’S PENSION CRISIS – click link to see video).

As you watch this story, remember that, on March 6th of this year, Sylvester Turner stood up with Mayor Parker – who endorsed him on 12/3/15 – and declared he was heading to Austin to solve this problem

Of course, Mr. Turner frequently cites his experience and connections in Austin as a selling point for his candidacy, and Mayor Parker made special mention of that yesterday during her endorsement.

So what happened when Sylvester rode into battle to save our pensions in Austin? Well, his colleagues thought so much of Sylvester’s “leadership” that his bill never even made it to the Texas House floor.

Sylvester had his moment. He failed.

Bear in mind, Sylvester carried the original legislation for Mayor Lee P. Brown – who endorsed Sylvester earlier this week (there’s a trend here) – that created this pension crisis in the first place.

Sylvester’s unique brand of “leadership” helped create the city’s pension crisis, and his failed attempt to fix this mess – his mess – would have made the problem even worse had it passed.

Houstonians cannot afford another four years like the last six – but that’s exactly what we will get if Annise Parker’s candidate carries the day.

It’s time for people who believe in good government to stand up, get out and vote, and save our city before it is too late.


Watch the video here:  http://www.fox26houston.com/news/55621222-story

Which mayoral candidate can solve Houston’s pension crisis?

By: Greg Groogan

HOUSTON (FOX 26) – The irony was pretty powerful.

Candidate Sylvester Turner pledging to solve Houston’s pension crisis while both flanked and endorsed by Lee Brown, the former Mayor experts blame for triggering the problem by bestowing unaffordable benefits.

“We have acknowledged that the system is not sustainable and we are going to come up with something that works in the interest of all Houstonians,” said Turner.

Here are the nuts and bolts.

Analysts say Houston taxpayers will spend six times more on pensions this year than they will repairing their dilapidated roads. Even with that outlay, the City is north of $3 billion in the hole when it comes to funding it’s employee pensions, a deficit that’s getting rapidly worse.

A commonly cited example – Houston Firefighters with 30 years’ service retire at 94 percent pay with the bonus of an additional, one time pay-out of up to $1 million.

Critics like Mayoral candidate Bill King call it a formula for bankruptcy.

“There were 76 firefighters that retired last year. The average age was 54. The average benefit was a distribution of a lump sum payment of $813,000 plus $58,000 a year for the rest of their life and their spouse’s life,” said King.

Backed by firefighters, cops and municipal workers, Turner says only he can broker a solution, leveraging both his credibility with unions and the strength of his long-standing relationships in the Texas Legislature.

“If someone puts forth a plan that does not have any buy in from police and fire it is already a non-starter okay and nothing will come about,” said Turner.

“They won’t get to dictate the terms and that’s what I’m concerned with about Sylvester,” countered King.

King claims salvaging the City’s financial health demands a fundamental change – moving all new hires away from pensions and into 401-k style retirement plans.

“You cannot dodge this bullet long term,”
adds King who, if elected, says he would
honor the pension terms of all existing city employees.

Career Politician Sylvester Turner Basing Mayoral Campaign on Staff Tweets and Boats … Really

Vote for Bill King for Houston Mayor, a businessman who will return Houston to being a refuge for families and businesses!

Failure to Deliver Pension Reform, Promises to Raise Taxes Not Featured in Turner Ads

Last Friday, a mid-day TV news report said that Sylvester Turner was promising “to run a clean cambill-king-friends-on-hard-times1paign.” In reality, the career politician running for Houston Mayor had already spent tens of thousands of dollars to attack businessman Bill King personally with a bought media campaign littered with juvenile smears and outright falsehoods.

If Sylvester’s promises to the media are no good, what about his promises to city voters?

More importantly, if you’ve spent 26 years in Austin, and your campaign is based on attacking your opponent for the high crime of owning a boat, you’re out of touch, out of ideas, and running out of time.

Since Mr Turner is interested, here is a quick fact-check on Bill King and boating: 

* Growing up the son of a union pipe fitter two blocks from Galveston Bay, Bill developed a lifelong love affair with the water. As a young boy, Bill worked the shrimp and fishing boats and cleaned so many sea trout and red-fish that, to this day, he rarely eats fish.

* After becoming the first person in his family to graduate from college — from the University Houston — Bill enjoyed great financial success before losing everything during Houston’s severe downturn of the 1980’s. Rebuilding his life and business career, Bill earned enough success to buy a boat which he dubbed “Hard Times” in reference to his own life challenges.

* Bill sold that boat in 2012, but not before he lent it to dozens of charitable organizations — who, in turn, auctioned off rides and use of the boat to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthy causes. At least 200 groups and over 5,000 people benefited from Bill King’s generosity with his boat.

* Between 2009 and 2012, in fact, Bill coordinated with Rev. Leslie Smith of Change Happens! in Houston to organize eight to 10 cruises with at-risk children. Several of these Change Happens! cruises are still featured on the organization’s website:



Sylvester Turner says “We’re all in this together” on his website, but the fact is: his only interest is in dividing Houstonians by class and distracting from his failure to address the fundamental challenges facing the City of Houston. After 26 years in Austin and after more than 60 debates and forums during the course of this campaign for Houston Mayor,  Mr. Turner still has offered no plan to address the pension crisis that threatens the city’s future.

To be fair, the career politician has proposed busting the property tax cap — known as the Rev Cap — so he can raise our taxes as much as he wants and anytime he wants. Curiously, this policy position is not featured in Mr Turner’s paid ads.