DECATUR, Texas–Democratic candidate for Texas Railroad Commissioner Art Hall (D-San Antonio), Tuesday night refused to state a position on the Trans-Texas Corridor during a forum sponsored by the Wise County Democratic Party.
During the question-and-answer portion of the forum, Hall was asked a question about contributions he received from pro-toll road interests as a San Antonio City Councilman, specifically contributions from H.B. Zachry, a Texas-based company that teamed with Cintra, a Spanish Company, to develop the first stage of the Trans-Texas Corridor, and whether or not he supported the Trans-Texas Corridor.
Hall never answered the question about the Trans-Texas Corridor, but defended the contributions he received from the Zachry family and launched into a lengthy litany about being escorted to the home of a San Antonio millionaire while running for Mayor of that city, and being offered a $10,000 contribution he refused to take.
In addition, Hall was also asked during the forum if he believed it constituted a conflict of interest that his wife, Stephanie Hall, is an attorney for Valero Energy. Hall replied that he had contacted Valero and was told it was not a conflict of interest because his wife’s work dealt mainly with the company’s international affairs.
We need someone on OUR side for Railroad Commissioner
It’s not just me!
Art Hall and a real conflict of interest
Let me first state that despite his age and his lack of skill as a politico, I’m voting for Dale Henry for RR Commissioner. He knows the oil and gas industry from the ground up and will do an excellent job both for industry and consumers. The RR Commission regulates the oil and gas industry in Texas and we’ve had nothing but industry rubber stamps on it. It’s time that we have someone there who’ll actually do a good job for Texans and our environment.
That said, I didn’t have much of problem with his opponent. Until now. Last night in Decatur, during a candidate forum, Art Hall was asked a direct question about a possible conflict of interest should he win. Specifically, he was asked if it was a conflict of interest for his wife to work for Valero Energy, one of the companies he would be regulating if elected. He stated that it wasn’t and he knew it wasn’t because he contacted Valero and asked them.
Wait… Art, you contacted Valero and asked them, the company you’d be regulating, if it was a conflict of interest?
Hall is a bright guy so I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say it wasn’t an issue of a lack of knowledge. So, then what was it? What is the explanation for contacting the wolf about whether or not it was OK to allow them to eat the sheep? Was it so easy to accept that her job (working on international issues for Valero) wouldn’t be at risk should you vote the wrong way?
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
- Web |
- More Posts(5116)
Regarding Hall–and the Valero interests! It may not be a conflict of interest for his wife (who works for Valero)–but it SURE IS a conflict of interest for MR HALL who is running for the RRC!!!
Sharon was Not at the forum and is posting second hand information. She did not ask the question.
Tracy, I actually have FRIENDS who inform me.
Tell me, have you ever used information from other people? Or did you once live in Winona?
No one can be everywhere at all times so we have to rely on others for information.
Please get over your obsession with me.
You again got it wrong. The Wise County Active Democrats sponsored the Venue. It was posted as an event on the TDP website, on Texas Kaos, the Wise County Active Democrats website, and had you attended, you would have seen the Paid political ad on the programs. If you get facts wrong such as this, is it feasible that maybe your second hand knowledge about Mr. Hall could be wrong as well? Just saying….
Our venue was designed to highlight the DEMOCRATIC TICKET to all voters of Wise County. We are trying to build Democrats, not destroy them. Mr. Henry took the high road and chose not to respond to the asked question of Mr. Hall even though he had the opportunity to since the forum was set up to allow equal time for all candidates. Mr. Henry can and will be elected on his own merits as an experienced man for the job. If he does not, then Art Hall will be the Democratic nominee and whoever that may be, I will support that candidate because they have a different view than the Republicans do.
Just asking, have you ever attended an event and heard Art Hall Speak?
As far as obsession goes, Pot meet kettle. You are the one posting about an event and got the facts Wrong again! If you are wrong and present a blog as fact to your diatribe, then be willing to have your critics and wasn’t this an event you posted about Wise County and I, as a resident who participated and help coordinate this event, wouldn’t that be considered…OBSESSION when you address it?!!
I thought the obsession had passed.
Wish people would just post useful information and let the readers investigate further and draw their own conclusions.
Yes it was nice seeing Dale Henry again and he is the best qualified person for the RRC. The event was sponsored by the Wise Active Democrats but it was nice to have the Wise County Chair as our moderator and several precinct chairs in attendence.
I posted a pre realeased press release. It said Democratic Party and not ACTIVE Democrats. BFD.
I am not a member of your club so I don’t feel obligated to protect any politician whether (s)he be Democrat or Republican. I prefer to operate from my principles.
The observation about Mr. Hall is valid. I have combed hundreds of pages of Mr. Hall’s record as Councilman and almost without exception he favors business and expansion over the environment. This is especially troubling considering the Edward’s Aquifer was sacrificed.
Talk about pot meet kettle: The pens that were given out said:
“B ENTHATIC VOTE DEMOCRATIC.” I’m not sure what your message was but it didn’t get through. =)
Please feel free to start your own blog that you can call TXsharon Sucks but I’ll not give you a forum here.
Oh and, yes, I’ve heard Art Hall speak. He is very good at it because he was trained as a trial lawyer. No big surprise there.
His voting record and conflicts of interest are troubling. We don’t need more of that on the RRC.
Those pens were donations by a gentleman, not associated with our group, but rather a Democrat in Wise County who wanted to do something nice for Democrats. We felt privledged that he a wanted this message to get through and chose our venue to do so. Again, you weren’t there and of course don’t know as much as you think. Your “Source” should get it right or at least should have asked about it first. No where on those donated pens did it say, Pd for by the Wise County Active Democrats. Get over being so bitter Sharon. You are acting Childish and I wonder again what your motives might be for trying to destroy the Democratic Politics in Wise County.
Your “Idea(ology)s” about protecting/not protecting Democrats is why I for one am glad that you are not a member of our group any longer. It is against the by-laws of our PAC to support any one candidate before a primary that is running on a Democratic Ticket and with you on our Board and as a web site administrator, put our credibility in jepordy.
I do not want a blog about Tx Sharon. That won’t be neccessary to insure the conclusion that people will draw from your own postings and what you prefer to blog about.
BTW, as you well know, because of the history, it is and will be a BFD on who supported the Venue at the Wise County Active Democrats Forum and you are not press.
Oh and BTW, Dale Henry, as a petroleum engineer, worked for the operators once, didn’t he? Would that be considered a “conflict of Interest” for you too? Therefore, your point is mute. They both have received money from the industry they are set to regulate I guess. What is needed on the RRC is experience in field engineering, not to hinder development, but control efficiently the development of our natural resources and diversify operations. This will make it better for both Industry and the People. Both candidates made good speeches that highlighted this view and will attract both industry and socially responsible advocates. Running good, clean campaigns is imperative to change the view. Democrats shouldn’t waste time being petty of each other, but rather focus attention on the real enemy, the Republicans.
I would assume since you enthusiastically offer no support for Art Hall that you will vote for the incumbent currently serving on the Commission if Art Hall wins the nomination. Correct? I guess that since it’s still feasible that Mark Hall also might win the nomination, you might be able to vote for him instead, in the general election, but with no experience in politics and field operations, we could loose the general election anyway.
What a patsy you are Sharon and you don’t even know it. Throw enough shit on the wall and let’s see what sticks. What a fool. Not to give credit for Sharon Wilson’s political opinion or otherwise view, and the assumption that she is anything more than a pot stirring plant and her views should be held in such such high regards, but what ever will you do if voters get turned off and vote for the incompentent Republican currently holding this position because of things you have said about some Democrats. What happened to that sworn oath you took in public that you demanded be done at a Democratic meeting? You change like the wind, you blow north and then you blow south. Your hot, then your cold. You are not credible in the least, just another bitcher who accomplishes nada in the end and constantly destroy any progress that could help people because of such a myopic view.
My only intention for a continued forum discussion on this blog is that I hope to help bring differing opinions and views to an otherwise wonderful event that made all our Democrats a great success in Wise County.
Statement of Non Affiliation
So now you are an expert on Art Hall after hearing one speech? Amazing! If you want to comment on every negative Art Hall post across the bloggosphere you are going to be one busy girl. Somehow, though, I think I’ve been singled out. I must be special. =)
Anon 8:43 noted:
“Mr. Henry took the high road and chose not to respond to the asked question of Mr. Hall even though he had the opportunity to since the forum was set up to allow equal time for all candidates.”
Actually, That isn’t correct. The moderator moved directly on to the next question because, I assume, the question was directed at his opponent. Mr. Henry was not asked if he supported the TTC, but his answer would have been a resounding, “no.”
Vince Leibowitz says
Anon 3:15 also noted:
“Oh and BTW, Dale Henry, as a petroleum engineer, worked for the operators once, didn’t he?”
Dale Henry, as a petroleum engineer, worked in oil field services and in research and development. It is a little different than the association which Mr. Hall’s wife has with the oil companies. Also, Dale was an independent subcontractor for the Texas Railroad Commission–working for the Commission and not the oil companies–plugging abandoned wells. It was in this capacity that he got first-hand exposure to many of the failures of the RRC.
You can not Read or obviously have a hard time understanding the view I am trying to make. We showed no favortism to any candidate at the forum last night, why? because they are all Democrats. No claims of being an expert on Art Hall, just simply first hand knowledge that I was there at the venue, I heard what was said by all the candidates and you got it wrong! You have implied things that he said, that he did not and have taken, again, second hand knowledge of events in which you are uneducated about. You are not credible and I for one, not speaking on any other members behalf, would like to let people know that the Wise County Active Democrats, in no way supported and still don’t, a baited question so you can blog about it. The very sense that you did shows the true intent of the question and I for one am quite upset you and whomever your plant was chose to use our venue to do so. Chalk it up and sway it however you would like, (ie: obsession,singled out,ect. ect. ect)but you sweetie planted a baited question at an event meant to support Democrats in a venue that you didn’t even come to. I have every right to be angry and make an opinion about what you did. I am confindent that others will see that to.
Well let’s see… I have your version of what Hall said and two other people’s versions. They both seemed to think he completely avoided answering the questions.
Now let me see who I shall believe…the person who lied about her identity by claiming to be Liberally Lean and got CAUGHT because the IP addresses matched, or the two other people who were there…Gee, that’s a hard one.
I certainly did not plant the question. In fact, believe it or not, I never gave the forum a thought until I heard reports after it was over. Still, it’s a valid and important questions. I do not support the TTC! It is important to know where a candidate stands on that issue.
Hon, it’s a little late to try to take the high road. You seem to have your own little credible gap so I don’t think you can point a finger at me. Of course that won’t ever stop you.
And as far as accuracy goes, seems from the other comments you’re a little off there too.
What worries me about Hall is the fact that his wife is a lawyer for Valero. Valero is the largest independent oil refiner in the US. It is also one of Texas’ leading polluters; and, to make matters worse, while our pockets are getting hit hard at the pump, Valero has been profiting from its thousands and thousands of gas stations across the State. How can we trust someone who is literally MARRIED to big oil?
Serious conflict of interest here…
Since I did not attend the Candidate Forum because it was so poorly advertised that I didn’t know anything about it, I did read in the paper Art Hall took a little heat during the question and answer session.
Since Dale Henry had a close associate who speaks for him all over the state, I’m not surprised that he was singled out.
The polictical action committee, consisting of only a few people let the local Republicans off the hook by interferring with the Wise County Democratic Party participation in the traditional forum sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce primary forum. In 2006, Democrats could go up against the Republicans before the Primary and force Republican candidates to debate one another.
As a voter in Wise County who is very concerned about other issues than who is going to be the Democratic nominee for Railroad Commissioner, the small group of Actives, did not help by breaking with tradition and getting involved in the process.
They are so under funded because they have asked members to leave the club and have not gained any support from the core base of the Party.
Anyone who has tried to work with their leader, Tracy Smith, completely understands how it is all about her and not about supporting candidates.
Anonymous poster: I received your comment at 8:11 this morning. I wish I could allow your comment for these reasons:
1. You are from Decatur so what you have to say is relevant.
2. Your experience parallels mine to a certain degree.
I do think, however, that the RRC race is probably the most important race for Wise County citizens because we need protection from oil and gas pollution. Also, I don’t see that the County’s Democratic Party has been successful in supporting or electing Democrats.
I feel that your comment will only add fuel to an obsession that needs to burn out so, I’m really sorry, but I’m not going to post it.