Senator Bettencourt: Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I read the front-page story “Record number of Latinos fill ballot in Houston”, Houston Chronicle March 4th, and never have I seen such a numerical bias nor an omitted bias in a Houston Chronicle news story before against Republicans. The story covers 11 Democrats and only 4 Republicans in or running for office in Harris County, but a quick check of the Republican Primary Ballot left 10 more “Latino” Republicans completely out of the story!

Harris County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez is the longest serving countywide officeholder and was not included or much less asked to participate. There are three elected “Latina” Judge Republicans on the Ballot, Linda Garcia, Debra Ibarra Mayfield, and Vanessa Velasquez that are completely left out of the article and the associated video as well. The article and video highlights current Senator Sylvia Garcia and former Sheriff Adrian Garcia who are both well-known Democrats, but leaves out any of the 4 currently elected Republican Hispanic Office holders in Harris County that could have provided the Republican Counterpoint. That’s not fair or balanced.

Both Republican candidates for State Representative District 144, Mr. Pena and Mr. Villarreal, were not included, along with three Hispanic Judicial candidates Mr. Alfaro, Ms. Antu, and Ms. Fraga as well. Mr. Villarreal and Mr. Alfaro are the Republican Nominees after Tuesday’s Primary, and Ms. Fraga is in a runoff. Why were down ballot Democratic candidates featured, but not their Republican counterparts including Mr. Carmona who was the sole opponent to the Harris County Republican Party Chairman at the time? I think Houston’s Major Daily Newspaper has a responsibility to answer that simple question and get it right!

Finally, the posted video is extremely lopsided as a result… In addition, two of the Democrat candidates make direct attacks on the President Trump without any counterbalancing views. One Democratic candidate, Mr. Rodriguez, attacks 15 out of 16 Criminal Court Judges simply because they are Republican, again without any Republican counterpoint. (He even ignores or does not know that one of the Republican Latina Judges mentioned above got appointed from County Court-at-law to a State District Court bench!) The few Republican interviewed didn’t use these tactics, so why should the Democrats candidates have that privilege all by themselves?

At best, ignoring these ten Hispanic Republicans leaves the readers with an unbalance picture between the two parties of what is actually occurring in Harris County. At worst, running a faulty Front-Page Story with Video support two day before voters select a party primary of their choice is extremely disconcerting. Especially when a simple ballot name check would have revealed the truth in actual numbers.