‘Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool . . . .
David Jennings (Big Jolly Politics) has conversation with Republican District Clerk hopeful Chris Daniel. The puff-piece interview (Jennings doesn’t even talk with Daniel about the actual duties of the District Clerk, of which Daniel continues to show himself ignorant) demonstrates why Daniel deserves the name “The Lightweight.” Here is the 30-minute audio recording; for those who would rather waste five minutes of their lives than 30, a rough transcript is here. I recommend it highly for aficionados of unintended irony.
It starts out like this:
David Jennings: Let me ask you something. Why, why did you decide to run?
Chris Daniel: In investigating the needs and wants of the legal community as I was going to night school for South Texas College of Law, it became apparent that the current incumbent was basically making a mess of the good works and the infrastructure that was in place for the last 16 years.
David Jennings: Really?
Chris Daniel: And so, it. . . I found it a duty more than anything else that I need to get in there and make sure that we put structure back into this county office.
This vague pol-speak is (to the extent that it has any meaning at all) unadulterated hogwash. If there is anybody from the legal community who says that Loren Jackson is doing anything less than a spectacular job of meeting their needs, they haven’t spoken up. And “structure”? Loren Jackson has turned what was, under almost a generation of Republicans, a clunky unresponsive office into a model of efficiency and user-friendliness. Remember, for later posts: he’s doing it for the legal community.
It gets better, though, as Daniel tries, with Jennings’s help, to make his membership on the Board of Trustees of the Lone Star College System (one of nine trustees) appear significant:
David Jennings: Yeah, ****. You were a, a busy guy. I can, I can attest to that. Well, let me ask you something. What, what were your duties at Lone Star College because one of the criticisms of, of you is that you have no experience in government.
Chris Daniel: Sure.
David Jennings: And so, what, what were your, what are your current experiences, I guess, and, and can, can you kind of relate how that would, would lead into public service as a district clerk?
Chris Daniel: Sure. The Board of Trustees is basically the – is the equivalent of a board for a Fortune 500 company. We manage a budget of over $252 million. We have over 5,000 employees. We have seven major campuses, eight satellites with more on the way, and two university centers. And so, while we don’t get paid a dime to be on the board, the purpose of the board member is to serve in a similar function of being behind the scenes of the chancellor who is the de facto CEO and the presidents which would be the division heads of the various campuses. And so, we set the policy, we set the direction, and we set the budget for the entire system.
David Jennings: So, do you have a full vote in that or, or how, how does that work **** –
Chris Daniel: We are all large and so we have a full vote. So, I don’t just vote for CyFair. I vote for the entire system.
David Jennings: And how big is that budget?
Chris Daniel: That budget is currently $252 million and growing.
David Jennings: Out of curiosity, how big is the District Clerk budget?
Chris Daniel: The District Clerk’s budget, last time I checked, was about $30 million.
Nice try, but by my math, having a one-ninth vote in the disposition of $252 million is nothing at all like having sole responsibility for a budget of $30 million.
There’s much more; stay tuned.