Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mayoral Preview: Roy Morales

Of the mayoral candidates, I have been most interested in hearing Roy Morales' positions. Unfortunately, his web site had very little information until recently. The retired Air Force officer currently is a Harris County School Trustee and business owner.

His web site addresses four issues: The Economy, City Services, Public Safety, and A New Vision.

On the economy, Morales sounds similar to the other candidates:
I will battle the current economic crisis by stimulating our economy, reducing the size of government and providing tax relief to our families. In the first 100 days of my administration, I will begin reducing the size of government. During these difficult times, when our citizens are struggling, we at City Hall need to set an example.

While I completely agree with reducing the size of government, he offers no concrete plan. As far as stimulating the economy, he claims that he will attract business. But the other candidates say the same thing. None have offered any specifics, and Morales is no different.

Morales argues that his military experience will help him fight crime:
I’m also the only candidate that has an active SECRET clearance and has had a TOP SECRET CLEARANCE with Sensitive Compartmented Information and Special Access Program accesses. This in-depth knowledge of our enemies will significantly assist me in protecting our region from man-made disasters.

I am not convinced that top secret clearance makes one better equipped to fight crime. And I am certain that phrases like "man-made disasters" are nothing more than political pandering. Ike was a disaster; 911 was a terrorist attack. Besides, fighting terrorists is primarily a federal responsibility.

Like the other candidates, Morales wants to assure us that city services won't suffer, even in these tough economic times:
I will ensure that the city improves your day-to-day services like trash pick-up, clean drinkable water to your homes and businesses, repairing your streets, and granting building permits in a timely manner. These improvements will be made by selecting better leadership in our city departments, using more efficient and effective procedures and cutting edge technology.

The problem isn't the leadership. The problem is that the government is doing things it shouldn't be doing. If Morales, or any candidate, truly wanted to improve services like water and trash collection it would privatize those services. If he wants to improve the permitting process, he should simply abolish it.

Morales' "New Vision" sounds a lot like stale altruism:
It is time to stop talking about breaking the cycle of poverty and start doing something about it. It should be our mission in the 21st century to move our children up the ladder of success not with welfare checks or government handouts but with education and hard work.

I certainly agree that education and hard work are important. But the only role the government should be playing in either is to get out of our way. But Morales wants to expand the mayor's role in education.

At the end of the day, Morales offers nothing new. He talks about cutting the size of government, but the absence of any specifics indicates that his reductions will be drops in the bucket. Like the other candidates, he embraces government's growing role in our lives. He just thinks that he will make a better czar.

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