Local Republicans are a pretty predictable lot -- they're against everything, and they're against it loudly and insistently. Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt is right with them when it comes to being anti, whether it's light rail or the latest property-tax scheme. But instead of frothing at the mouth and trying to outshout everyone, Bettencourt takes another route: He calmly produces reams of paper factually backing up his opinions. You may not agree with those opinions, but you can discuss them with Bettencourt without feeling you've been harassed and insulted. Bettencourt isn't exactly loaded with charisma -- what tax assessor-collector is? -- but if Houston ever decided it wanted a politician who steps back from the circus atmosphere, Bettencourt would be a wise choice.
Readers' choice: Tom DeLay