Sunday, December 7, 2008

Why Resign???

Dear Friends

The story that has been dominating the weekend news has been the resignation of Mr. Paul Bettencourt as Harris County Tax Assessor. Given that he had just won re-election his decision to resign at this particular time with a pending investigation by the US Justice Department civil rights division is highly suspicious.

Is this pending investigation the reason that he has has decided to resign?

It is no secret that Mr. Bettencourt had been under media attention for his office failure of processing the application of qualified voter; that his office has been questioned about the fact that a number of these rejected application had Hispanic, Middle Eastern, or Asian surnames; that his office has purged thousand of register voter from the voter rolls just before elections with little or no justification and that this questionable practice may have effected the out come of a number of election. In an attempt to justify his actions, Mr. Bettencourt had presented 300 plus cases to the Texas House of Representative of allege voter fraud during the last legislative secession. Subsequently, of all these cases presented, only one case was found to be questionable and the individual involved was convicted of a misdemeanor offence.

Would the Justice Department find these practices worth and investigation?


Further given the fact that a number of other Harris County GOP elected officials are under investigation (DA Rosenthal, Sheriff Thomas and Harris County Commissioner Eversole) a normal vote has to ask themselves if the local GOP leader knew of these practices and if they did they approve of they collages actions.

NOW we needed is a STRONG ETHICAL candidate that is aware of the present problems that have plagued the Tax office, that has the experience in the financial world, is able to work in a bipartisan era and is respected by the community. We are fortunate to have such as candidate in Diane Trautman.

As most of you know, Diane Trautman supported my campaign, is a friend and I admit that I would be overjoyed if she were to gain the appointment but rather that repeat her gold star resume I would prefer you read her response.

When contacted about Mr. Bettencourt’s resignation, Ms. Trautman stated, “Since the beginning, my campaign has been about protecting the rights of voters, and ensuring that their voices are heard. It is unfortunate that Mr. Bettencourt has deprived the voters of an opportunity to decide who will lead the tax office at this critical time in our county’s future. But I don’t want to spend my time focusing on the wrongs of my former opponent, but rather, we should be focusing on how we as a county, Republicans and Democrats together, will go forward and select a leader that will put the needs of the people of Harris County above partisan politics. I believe that I am that leader, with my background in ethics and administrative experience, all of the things that earned me the endorsement of the Houston Chronicle. I hope that the choice will not be about partisan politics but rather the good of Harris County Residents.”

Now it will be up to the Harris County Commissioners Court to fill the position. The present make up of the court is 3 Republican and 2 Democratic giving the edge to the GOP however, given their track record this year, I am sure that the decision will be closely watch by every Harris County resident.

Knowing well what is at stake, I am asking my family, friends and all my supporters (21,000 plus) to follow my example and contact your Harris County Commissioner and ask that they support the appointment of Diane Trautman to Harris County Tax Assessor.

As always I welcome you thought and comments.

Joe A. Montemayor

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