White Talks To Bellaire Rotarians About Border Security, More

March 19, 2010

As the FBI yesterday searched for El Paso gang members to gather clues about the weekend murders of three Americans in Mexico, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White gave his opinions on drug violence and border security to a small group of Bellaire residents in an intimate setting.

Bill White

Bill White answers a rotary member's question about border security on Thursday as Bellaire/Southwest Houston Rotary President Byron Holloway listens.

White talked to about 40 members of the Bellaire/Southwest Houston Rotary Club about his six years as mayor of Houston and his thoughts on the Mexican violence, funding for NASA and alternative energy. He recalled working together with the cities of Bellaire and West University Place when he was Houston’s mayor, and said he was happy to visit with local residents.

“Whether there’s 40 citizens or 500 citizens, I want people to have a chance to know who I am and to ask questions,” he said. “Letting people know who you are, not in some environment controlled by consultants and media gurus, but by citizens who get a chance to talk to you.”

White took the chance to make jabs at Gov. Rick Perry, his opponent in the November general election. A Bellaire rotarian asked the candidate whether he would still take time to visit the club if he were elected governor.

“Old so-and-so has been in office too long,” White jokingly responded. “Whenever you get some politician who is too big in his britches to come see you, that’s when the public needs to impose term limits.”

White told rotarians that after speaking with law enforcement on the border, if he were elected he would order more drones to patrol the area to gather real-time intelligence for border security personnel. He said he thinks the state should use modern technologies to better identify the masses of ordinary, innocent people crossing the border every day, versus the drug traffickers.

White chats with Rotarians

Bill White chats with Rotarians Craig Wooten, left, and Don Beckner before his speech to the club.

White said he doesn’t fear the violence in Mexico will spill over to the U.S. unless traffickers are targeting the relatives of their Mexican enemies.

“We have honest law enforcement on this side of the boarder,” White said. “Generally the bad guys, they don’t want to commit a crime where there’s honest and effective law enforcement.”

White told InstantNewsBellaire he remembered working with Bellaire leaders in the past on solid waste and freeway projects, and partnering with West U. officials on sidewalks and street construction on Kirby Drive. Those interactions were “cordial and businesslike,” White said, and he’d use the same skills of merging diverse viewpoints to run the state if he were governor.

“We need folks who will work in particular to cut the drop-out rates and to remove barriers to higher education so we could move our economy forward in the future,” he said. “People in West U. and Bellaire are deeply committed to access to public education. Some of the best public schools in our state are in those communities. They should be proud of that.”

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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