Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ed Emmett: Inside Out or Outside In?

Ed Emmett has consistently contended that he is an outsider to county politics. This is not true. Ed Emmett has been involved in the back room deals of the county for over 20 years. 20 years ago, he was a state legislator, he was also head of the Grand Parkway Association and the North Side Association. This was a problem, you see, because he was busy pushing legislation that would have benefited the Grand Parkway Association and the North Side Association at the same time. The Grand Parkway would have passed through Cinco Ranch, which was formerly owned by the Abercrombie Family before it was partially sold to the Mischer Family Real Estate operations. Walt Mischer Jr., Jack Hooper which represented the Abercrombie family, State Rep. Ed Emmett, Rolan Adamson of the George Family Foundation, and Charles Pense, another real estate developer, were appointed to run the Grand Parkway Association, while Al E. Knipe, an engineer with Turner Collie & Braden Inc., a large Houston engineering firm, was in charge of planning.

In fact the Attorney General at the time ruled that he had to step down from the GP Association because his chairmanship in the North Houston Association was in conflict with his membership of the GPA because some of the same developers were giving money to the North Houston Association. He was not the only politician that was in a position to benefit from the GP, seems the head of the State Highway Commission, a gentleman by the name of Bob Lanier, happened to own 1730 acres near Tomball, that just happened to have frontage on the proposed route. More recently Former State Senator from SD7, Jon Lindsay also has a large parcel of land that currently has an agricultural property tax exemption for "tree farming" in Klein that is not far away from the current proposed F2 segment. And of course we cannot forget the Abercrombie and Mischer family ownership of the 5,416-acre Cinco Ranch development, and Roland Adamson is the general manager of the George Foundation, which owned about 20,000 acres about one-half mile from the parkway route in Fort Bend County.. Emmett stepped down from the GP Association, but he remained a close associate of the group and remained the head of the North Houston Association, which still got developer monies. After his Legislative term was complete he ran twice for Texas Railroad Commission, which at the time also regulated trucking, but failed both times. He then became a lobbyist for small trucking companies trying to break open the trucking market in Texas. During one of his attempts to win a Railroad Commission position he made a rather ironic quote given his prior connection with the GPA. He said:
"The incumbent ignored the realities of the 1980s and is still trying to regulate the transportation and energy industries like a good-old-boy spoils system. Those days have got to stop."

In 1989, Bush the First nominated him to the Interstate Commerce Commission where he got to ingratiate himself even further to the road building and trucking industries.

Since then, he worked for a firm that lobbied for transportation issues.

So next time you hear Ed Emmett claim that he is an "Outsider", just remember all those land developers that he was trying to enrich with his road building. He isn't as far "outside" as he would have you believe.


Blogger IJ Reilly said...

Not following you on the populism, Rorsh.

1. Houston is growing; growth is good; growth breeds development; hence developers.

2. Maybe you got abducted by Blueprint Houston and brainwashed to hate developers, but they're necessary.

3. Never heard of Emmett using the word "outsider."

4. The guy running as an "outsider" is none other than Charles Bacarisse, who spent the last 14 years or so as an elected bureaucrat, following several previous years as an un-elected bureaucrat.

Sorry Mr. Huckabee, but I'm not sure when "conservative" morphed into "opposing economic growth" or "supporting career bureaucrats."

February 01, 2008 3:48 AM  
Blogger american woman said...

This is an eye opener and one of the best articles you have done! Thanks for the information.

February 01, 2008 7:53 AM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

IJ, my issue is not with developers. as you said, developers are good and necessary. I'm not even upset with developers making sure it is their property that has the frontage, they are after all private individuals trying to make a profit. Therefore it is only right and proper that they do everything they can within the law to maximize their profit. My beef is how he was profiting from it while being in a position to throw government resources his way. and then failing to see the conflict of interest involved.

February 01, 2008 8:17 AM  
Blogger Thunder said...


I remember it so well and when he voted to expand the sales tax to nearly all labor and things that he did not represent....

February 02, 2008 5:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emmett was the senator from Kingwood who authored the Grand Parkway legislation bill, then he became the Chairman of the Grand Parkway Association, and the North Houston Association, (a major proponent of the Grand Parkway). Yeah, he can't wash that stink off of him! I'll be looking elsewhere for my county judge, too. Just the fact that former senator Jon Lindsay so highly endorses him should be a red flag to all voters.

February 10, 2008 2:03 AM  

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