Kevin R. McCarthy for Jefferson County Commissioner

Arts in Southeast Texas

Once again an organization ignores locals to bring in outsiders for business.  KFDM reports a woman called in from out of the area to paint murals from a children’s book on the walls of a church.

The one thing that really struck me was her blatant use of the word ‘copy’ when describing her work.  It makes me wonder if she (or the church) has permission to use the images and copy them onto the walls.

Once again though, local groups are going outside the area to have work done that could be done be local people.  ( see this blog entry for a list).

It has also come to my attention that local artists and organizations could get grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts, SETAC, and the Stark Foundation.  So it wouldn’t cost the City of PA or the church anything to have the work done.

Please note, I would be mad about anything that could be done locally that wasn’t.  It’s just that I know about the arts because of my wife (who happens to be a professional artist and have work in the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, but no one does a news show on her!).

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March 14, 2008 Posted by | Jefferson County, Texas | Leave a comment

Kicking out the Wildcatters

Jefferson County has kicked out the Wildcatters (link to story by KFDM)

OK ‘leaders’, now what?  Tell us just what you are going to do with a hockey rink in SE Texas.  I’m sure the citizens that skate will cover the costs of the entire thing… oh wait, you don’t have skate days.

I’m hoping that you have some grand plan to put something else in place.  If so, you really need to let someone know because right now you look pretty stupid.

Is the goal of the Jefferson County Commissioners Court the complete destruction of SE Texas?  Heaven forbid that something good stays here.  I may not be a hockey fan, but these things take time.  It’s not like the Wildcatters suck or anything, they lead their division in wins by a significant margin.  They’re still in the playoffs…

Check out this letter to the county…

It’s a real shame that our ‘leaders’ (through malicious intent or complete inattention) are losing (losing? driving away with a truck and pushing out onto the highway) something that has real potential in SE Texas.

March 14, 2008 Posted by | Jefferson County, Politics, Wildcatters | Leave a comment

Libertarian County Meeting

Tonight (Tuesday the 11th), there will be a Libertarian meeting at Sertinos Cafe in the Best Buy shopping center in Beaumont. The meeting starts at 6:30 PM.

We have a new county chairman. I will be there.

If you have any questions for me, about the Liberty Party, or what’s going on, stop by and say hi.

For more information, you can contact Dean Tucker 409 626-4691

I hope to see you there.

March 11, 2008 Posted by | Jefferson County, Libertarian, Politics | Leave a comment

Thurman Bartie’s Position and Kevin McCarthy’s Responses

I just can’t help myself.  I have to comment on this from Bartie’s website.  My comments in red… and yes, I’m being kind of snippy here, deal with it.

1.  Roads & Bridges
Bartie will maintain the roads and bridges of Precinct 3 and appropriate wisely the statutory fund dedicated to this cause.
 It’s good to know that you would do the job that is expected of you.
2. Public Works
Bartie will properly maintain ditches and waterways within precinct 3. Will approach the need of services in rural areas according to availability.
It’s good to know that you will maintain ditches, though I really don’t ever expect to see you with a shovel.  Rural areas are a part of the county.  If you don’t do jobs in the rural areas at the same priority as jobs within PA City Limits, then you are putting the needs of one area above the needs of another area and that’s not right.
3. Tax Rate
Bartie will maintain the tax rate and strengthen the economic growth and development.
This one ticks me off.  Don’t maintain the tax rate… LOWER IT.  Here’s what I want to accomplish if I’m elected.  One, reduce all department budgets by 5%.  Two remove the $25 million emergency fund portion of the taxes.  We haven’t used it right?  No emergencies right?  With those two things, the tax PAYMENTS should be lower.  If the county raises property values again, then the tax RATE should be waaaay lower.
4. Park System
Bartie will maintain  the park system within the precinct (Umphrey State Park, Keith Lake Park, work to reopen Sea Rim State Park).
Do you know what “State Park” means.  That means that the state is responsible for it.  Quit trying to make us pay for other things.  BTW: You can scratch Sea Rim off the list.  Texas has the money to fix it now.
5. Coastal Erosion
Bartie will further study coastal erosion and seek a cost effective method for eradication.
Coastal erosion is a fact of life along the Texas coast.  You can’t stop it.  You can do some short-sighted things to limit erosion in one area, but it always causes more problems in other areas and more long-term problems.  Don’t ask an environmental company, ask a couple of scientists at Lamar or A&M Galveston whose life is studying the Texas coast.  They’ll tell you the same thing.
6. Employment
Bartie will work closely with industry and the Texas Workforce Commission to assist South and Southwest County residents with gainful employment.
There are lots and lots of available jobs right now.  OK, the jobs aren’t making $20/hr at a refinery, but they are jobs.
7. Public Health & Welfare
Bartie will further support the County Health Care system; Indigent Care and  Veteran Benefits
Aren’t Veterans Federal?
8. Intergovernmental Relations
Bartie will work with all governmental agencies from Sabine Pass, Fannett, to Port Arthur for a better quality of life for all citizens.
Something I can agree with.
Bartie will work with both the U.S. Congressional and Texas Legislative Representatives to rebuild Hwy 87.
 WHY!?!?  Highway 87 is dead, just let it go people.  Please.  (See Coastal Erosion)  I would rather see some efforts spent towards the HWY 69/ 365 area to improve that (I know it’s in progress) and 365 between 69 and West Port Arthur Road improved.  The intersection there needs some work too.  

Bartie will  work in harmony  with all City Officials, County Officials and Regional Officials for a more effective government. I’m not so sure about this one.  Can you work in harmony, Bartie?  It seems to me you’ve had issues with working with people in the past.

Bartie doesn’t mention one of the 3 fundamental jobs of a county commissioner and it’s one that he should be well aware of… that is maintaining the county courthouse and courts.

I really think that Bartie will get the Democrat nomination.  But he has the same problem that a lot (all?) of the other candidates have, except me.  He wants to push for more government doing more things at a huge cost.

I’m the only candidate who WILL NOT agree to a budget increase.  In fact, the proposal I outlined above for the next county budget cycle is the minimum that I will vote to accept.  Will I win, probably not, but I will fight for it.  If I fight for it this year, then the other precincts can elect others who will fight for lower taxes as well.

P.S. I will allow one exception on the department cuts.  Mosquito control gets one year without a cut, since they have had budget cuts recently.

P.P.S. I think I did pretty good and didn’t bring up any of the major problems with Bartie at all.  This is all (well, almost all) based on his position.

March 9, 2008 Posted by | Campaign, Jefferson County, Libertarian, Politics, Port Arthur, Texas | Leave a comment

Jefferson County Primary Results

So, for precinct 3 it’s a runoff between Mike Sinegal and Thurman Bartie.  Are you kidding me?

I can understand Mike, he seems to be popular in Port Arthur.  But Bartie??!??!?!?!

I would like to run against Sinegal.  I think we would have a good competition.  I would really like to run against Bartie, a defrocked judge with anger management issues.  If he somehow gets the spot, then I’m leaving.  I will now that Jefferson County can’t be saved and it’s merely a playground for those who want power and money and I’m gone.

Let’s go for the runoff.

March 5, 2008 Posted by | Campaign, Jefferson County, Libertarian, Politics, Port Arthur, Texas | Leave a comment

The Politics of Change

Everyone wants change in politics.  Yet few are willing to vote for anyone who really will change politics.

The Democrats and the Republicans are to entrenched in the system.  Everyone seems to think that the president can change the system.  He/she can’t without congress.

Instead vote for a real agent of change… Libertarians.  We have plans that actually work and cost less than the Democrats and the Republicans.

Try it out.

March 4, 2008 Posted by | Campaign, Libertarian, Politics | Leave a comment

Jefferson County Good and Bad

You know, we have an amazing dichotomy here in Southeast Texas. It’s truly awesome when you think about it, however, it is NOT good for us. Let me explain.

This Port Arthur News article about the Valero expansion project is great news.  Port Arthur will be one of the largest refining and petrochemical centers in the US. There’s going to be another 2.2 billion dollars spent on a refinery here. That’s great!!! Until reality sets in.

We now have three major plant expansion projects underway and the LNG terminal is almost finished. We have a huge number of people working in construction right now. What happens when all the projects are completed (approximately two years from now)? That Valero project with up to 2000 construction workers, will be a permanent job for 30 people. That’s less than 1 in 10 for most of our area high schools’ graduating classes.

I ‘m so pleased that our area citizens will have jobs… wait, what’s this, most of the workforce will be hired from out of town and will be staying in the 300 new hotels we have built in the last few years?  I heard one news source talking about a company creating a ghetto (used in the classical sense of the word, not the derogatory version)** for the huge number of Indian welders coming over here to work on a project. So SE Texans won’t be getting as many jobs as we suspected.

I can’t believe (heh) that Judge Walker is quoted as saying the expansion project is “unbelievable”. Let me explain how economics works… listen close, I might have to do this again if I’m elected. Gasoline is $3 a gallon with it estimated to hit $4 a gallon this summer. At this point, major oil companies are making more profits than they ever have before. Since gas will probably never go down to $2 a gallon again, it’s time to make some money by increasing production.  It’s unbelievable to me that anyone would not see this coming.

PA City Manager Fitzgibbons is another one with a seemingly questionable grip on reality.  “It means more jobs”… man, have you seen the signs?  Almost every business in SE Texas is begging for people to come work.  Lowe’s is hiring, Walmart is always hiring, we’re getting new restaurants in, dozens of banks and hotels have been built.  There are tons of jobs out there.  OK, these jobs might not be making $25 an hour with overtime pay, but it’s a job with benefits.

Many of the people, especially the high school and college students, here in SE Texas seem to think that minimum wage is beneath them.  Most of my students expect to be making 6 figures by the time they are 24.  We don’t have high unemployment because there aren’t any jobs.  We have high unemployment because the people don’t want to work.

Ms. Reid of the PA Chamber of Commerce understands what I’m talking about.  She’s already considering what’s going to happen 6 months to 2 years from now.  That’s a leader.  We have to keep moving forward.
The stuff now is done, the rank and file can take care of that business.  A leader needs to be figuring out what comes next and where the next 2.2 billion dollar project is coming from and how to make sure we get it here instead of somewhere else.

I have some ideas for major projects that will continue our construction programs, help our economy, and our environment.  Let me try.

BTW: Don’t get me wrong, these projects are still pretty good for our area.  It could be better, but it could be a lot worse too.

** The word ghetto [any segregated mode of living or working that results from bias or stereotyping] originally applied to the areas of European towns where Jews lived. It has been associted with slums or poor, densely populated areas mainly because the Jews of the time (middle ages) couldn’t get decent jobs and afford to keep their area nice.

March 1, 2008 Posted by | Jefferson County, Politics, Port Arthur, Texas | Leave a comment