Tag Archives: CFISD

Why was the Status Quo Upheld in CFISD Board Election?

Trustees Covey, Ogletree, and Ryan were reelected Tuesday, some by large margins, over an effort by conservatives to oust them from office.

Cy-Fair ISD voters returned John Ogletree, Don Ryan, and Bob Covey to the board of trustees for another three-year term Tuesday, after a concerted effort  to oust the incumbents.

Conservative challengers Bill Henderson, Kay Smith, and Scott Adams lost in their bids for the board, by 20 percent, 11 percent, and just 4 percent respectively.

Despite a banner year for Republicans and conservative candidates, I am a little surprised all three challengers failed. But in the end, what I think helped Ogletree, Ryan and Covey was group cohesiveness.

Did the signs cause CFISD's board challengers to fail?

People always seem to respond to “groupspeak.”  With the Citizens for Quality Cy-Fair ISD Trustees PAC behind them, joint signage, and what seemed like a good presence of canvassers at the polls, people more easily identified with the incumbents in a year when anti-incumbent sentiment was the theme.

If cohesion was a winning strategy, the conservative triumvirate had a mixed message of sorts, with similar-sized signs and apple logo, but different colors.

Adams, who was closest to winning, had black-on-yellow signage, far different from the red and blue signs the other two challengers used.

Sheer numbers clearly were also in play online and at the polls; on Facebook, the PAC has over 750 supporters, versus just 127 for the conservative challengers.

So, was it the cohesiveness and ease of incumbency, or the failings of the challengers to use such a strategy that caused them to fail? Hit me up in comments…

Bill Henderson: Elder Attacks “A Personal Vendetta”

This morning, TL was in receipt of an open letter from CFISD Board candidate Bill Henderson, addressed to Harris County Republican Precinct Chair Ramsay Elder, who is accused of dirty politics in Henderson’s race against incumbent board president, Dr. John Ogletree, Jr.

The letter addresses Elder’s talking points, and calls the attack on his character “a personal vendetta.”  The letter is presented herein in its entirety, sans addresses:

October 24, 2010
Dear Mr. Elder:

I am disappointed that you would wait until 10 days before the election to disclose your negative comments about me; hardly allowing me the time to address your concerns. It is apparent that your motives have nothing to do with the well being of the 100,000 students in the CyFair district but is more about a personal vendetta you have against me.  The beneficiary of your comments is a Democrat that has supported President Obama and who believes that a property tax increase is necessary for the District.

Nevertheless, I will address the issues you have raised about my personal background.  The events that occurred in 1997-98 were a result of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filed in 1992 and a divorce that was filed in 1993.  I am not proud of either event; however, there were several financial circumstances that influenced my decisions and I feel I have learned valuable lessons as a result.
I truly believe that the felony bankruptcy fraud charges were politically motivated because when I agreed not to seek reelection, the charges were dismissed and I plead guilty to a contempt of court charge.  Even the final findings by the State Judicial Conduct Commission did not prohibit me from serving as a district court judge in the future.

I am particularly proud of the job I did as a Family Court Judge and the fact that the Chronicle would label me “one of the worst” judges based upon the evaluation of the attorneys totally disregards the condition of the family courts in 1994 when I was elected.  If you will recall, 1994 was the year Republicans swept to victory in 53 of 55 judicial races.  The family courts were infested with the “good old boy network” of attorneys and  the other Republican judges and I instituted a number of procedural changes, including new scheduling orders and greater use of mediation, to move our dockets more expeditiously.

Lastly, the incident in 2003 involved a deputy constable who was trying to arrest my stepson and several of his buddies in my front yard.  When I tried to intervene and prevent the arrest, I was charged with interfering with a public servant.  No charges were ever filed against any of the boys and, upon the completion of several requirements, including writing a letter of apology, all charges against me were dismissed.  I did not believe the incident justified the expenditure of attorney’s fees to take the case to trial.

My sincere opinion, Mr. Elder, is that my experience advocating for families, and sitting as a family court judge, has equipped me to make the tough decisions that face public school trustees.  For the last 12 years, since returning to private practice, I have limited my practice to family law matters, representing parents and their children and mediating over 500 family law disputes.

Furthermore, for the last two years I have served as President of the Downtown Pachyderm Club and worked tirelessly to help Republican candidates from the Courthouse to the Congress to take back our country.  I truly believe that our school districts need the same kind of conservative leadership.

There are many in this community who are able to speak about my abilities, including Jared Woodfill, Ed Hubbard and Paul Simpson.  And if you want more information about me, please feel free to contact Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison or Judge Paul Pressler, both of whom have known me since 1972.

I have the demeanor and intellect to be a strong advocate for our public education system and I look forward to the opportunity to support with the wonderful teachers and staff of the CyFair School District.  I also believe that my faith has helped me deal with the challenges I have faced and has made me a better person.  I think I will be an excellent role model for the over 100,000 students of our district.

–Bill Henderson
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