Public Denied The Chance To See The $400 Million Quartet

You probably didn't notice, but Democratic gubernatorial candidates Bill White and Farouk Shami debated Monday.

It was a snoresville of an event, but now we know why: Organizers turned down the chance to hear $400 million worth of political charisma.

Who could be worth that much money for a political debate? Some hybrid android of Obama, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill?

No. It's a different Fab Four: Alma Aguado, Star Locke, Felix Alvarado and Clement Glenn. (Yes, the Clement Glenn.)

The four have sued Dallas public-TV station KERA for excluding them from the debate. As a damage figure, using a highly sophisticated analysis that apparently consisted of "Why the hell not?" they asked for $400 million.

Which is probably one million dollars for everyone who watched the actual debate and was not related to or working for one of the candidates.

Star Locke is a Houston area developer; according to his website his tax policy consists of this:

TAX his cow, TAX his goat, TAX his pants, TAX his coat
TAX his crops, TAX his work, TAX his tie, TAX his shirt
TAX his chew, TAX his smoke, teach him TAXES are no joke!
TAX his medical, TAX his pills, TAX his business, TAX his play
if he hollers make him pay more money every day
TAX his licenses, tax his car
drive him to drink...then TAX the bar !

It goes on in the same vein for some length. We're assuming he's not calling for the above taxes but instead is inveighing poetically against them.

KERA has issued a statement on the suit:

We are disappointed that these candidates have chosen to ignore years of judicial precedents upholding our right to use viewpoint neutral criteria in selecting candidates to participate in the Texas Debates. We are confident in our debate policy, and we will seek the speedy dismissal of this complaint as we have successfully with others in the past.

We're reminded of promoters offering untold riches to have the Beatles reunite on stage. We don't think the offers ever got as high as $400 million, but then again Star Locke wasn't on the bill.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly