Farouk Shami Spins Voting Record and Talks a lot about Jobs

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This morning on WFAA's Inside Politics, Democratic candidate for governor Farouk Shami defended his voting record and lackluster Democratic primary performance as resulting from his focus on business and jobs:

Well, you know, I never was involved in the Party.  I voted for a person normally.  My focus was on my business and I'm not saying I did the right thing, but my focus was on my business and to me it didn't make a difference normally, you know, one candidate versus the other because as a minority I didn't think I could make a change.  But since we have a new president that is minority my view of politics has changed and I feel we can make a difference.  That is my history of voting.


Well guess what my business is, Mr. Shami?  It's your business.  As an active Democrat and active Democratic primary voter, I have a big problem with the fact that you haven't felt compelled to show support to the Party and our candidates through the primary process, or join many of us at the grassroots level and beyond as we rebuild our Democratic Party here in Texas from the ground up.  You've made the decision to become a public figure running for public office and now your business is our business.  

Going just a bit farther, to say that your vote never made a difference and that because you are minority you didn't feel you could make a change is simply nonsensical.  It's a slap in the face to the thousands of minorities within the Democratic Party ranks who work tirelessly and aggressively within their communities to organize, mobilize, and energize voters every single election cycle to get out and vote.  The power of democracy is the right to vote.  It's no one's fault but your own that you have chosen not to exercise that fundamental right.  And citing the president of the United States, Barack Obama, as sudden inspiration for you to enter the public domain of politics, yet not see fit to even vote for him in the primary or general election, makes this Democrat question your sincerity in running for governor.Pressed a number of times in a number of different ways by Brad Watson and Gromer Jeffers about platform specifics such as balancing the upcoming state budget in 2011 or how he'd create jobs, Shami could only cite his desire to create jobs as the answer to Texas' problems:

By creating more jobs here.  When you create more jobs you are creating more taxpayers and that is the only solution to create money is to create jobs.  The current people in this state with the current governor, a Republican, not doing anything about it.  Neither is the candidate from Houston.  He is on the verge of bankrupting the city.  We need to get rid of those things that really delays our budget and put us in a worse recession that we are in.


Pressed harder by Watson to explain his job creation plan–specifics of a plan and how to pay for it, Shami claims he'll open factories across Texas to build solar panels, but Watson wasn't buying it:

Watson: You're going to do that, you're going to open factories and make solar panels and do you have any experience in any kind of environmental industries?  As far as I can tell you don't.

Shami: Sir, let me tell you.  I am a manufacturer.  I am an innovator.  I am a problem solver.  I've got the people from NASA already…

Watson: But how do you do that as governor using the levers of tax or budget policies?

Shami: Let me tell you.  We are going to use community money, umm…community money, to start those small factories.  We are going to use the Texas Enterprise Fund and the emerging fund.  We are going to use these funds to create jobs and encourage people to bring jobs–give an incentive to people to bring jobs from the orient to the state of Texas while creating local jobs.  Manufacturing solar panels will give us 150,000 jobs.  Ok.  Bringing jobs back, hopefully we can do entertainment centers also that brings us a couple of million to.


Oh my, where should I begin? Job creation is only one element of a multi-pronged effort to address Texas' economic and societal issues.  Farouk Shami should be applauded for his successful business career and creating jobs right here in Texas by bringing his company's factories here and employing Texans to do the work.  However, solar panel manufacturing plants from community money?  I don't quibble with encouraging manufacturers to consider manufacturing solar panels in Texas, but that is not a job recovery plan.  What is community money anyway?  Are you going to fundraise to build these factories?  And in order for the Texas Enterprise Fund to be tapped you must have the consent of the Speaker of the House and Lt. Governor of this state as well—both of whom are Republican.  If you decide to vote this election cycle you can help us potentially have a Democrat in each of those positions, but given your voting history I'm not certain we can trust you on that.

Mr. Shami, you lack substance and what substance you toss out as a platform isn't logical.  As much money as you are willing to spend on your race, and enough consultants you have aiding your candidacy, I'm certain you can do better than this.    

Look, I'm not afraid to admit I'm skeptical.  I'm listening, but I'm not hearing substance or experience.  I'm looking, reading, and studying your record and I see holes that Greyhound buses can drive through with regard to your record of voter participation.  I see someone who has been a successful business man, but inactive in Party politics who is suddenly telling me and the rest of Texas you are the right man to lead Texas in 2010 and beyond.  At this point I'm not buying it.  You've got a lot of explaining to do and not much time to do it.  As the holidays approach I hope you'll consider retooling your campaign and launching a more aggressive, specific effort to address how you will lead the Lone Star State should you be a general election candidate.      


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  1. Farouk CHI Flat irons
    work beautifully to quickly style hair and straighten it out. Applying that same approach to government…I don't know.

    The patchy voting record…big issue.  

  2. Shami is a sham insulting the Dems
    I am still trying to figure his campaign out. It's like he just wants to buy the race and can't understand why that doesn't work. His voting record shows he has no real understanding of the issues of Texas and how to fix them. Minorities across Texas should be insulted by this farce. I'm not saying we don't need a competitive gubernatorial primary but please, at least give me a sensible candidate.

    Farouk you're about to get a hard lesson in what public service means and I'll be in line with others like Todd and Elsbeth to help deliver it.

  3. Sometimes you are busy………………………..
    When I was 22 y/o back in the days you needed to prove you'd be unavailable on election day, to vote early, I went into labor on a Sunday before an off year election.  I went to the hospital, delivered our baby and checked out on Tuesday, election day.  My husband and I dropped the baby off with my mother and drove 60 miles round trip to our precinct to vote.

    I voted early for Carter in 1980, since I was scheduled to be out of town in the hospital for a series of tests to determine the protocol for my cancer treatments.  I still remember sitting in my hospital bed watching the election returns as lab personnel came in to draw blood.

    And you can check my voting record.  I have NEVER missed an opportunity to vote.  

    Mr. Shami, YOU should be ashamed of yourself!!

  4. TexianPolitico on

    Shami Wow!
    Yep, I'm starting to think the rumor/joke about Shami hiring Vince Offer as his spokesman and using “Shami, Wow!” as his campaign slogan is increasingly the truth!

  5. Not for nothing…
    but half the population, at least, declines to vote almost every cycle.

    Rather than beat those people up, wouldn't it be more helpful to work hard at getting them to give a crap?

    • And How Does Letting Shami Get By Get Them To Give a Crap?
      If Farouk Shami declared his lack of voting a mistake and began proposing ways to get more folks such as himself more involved, i would probably be easier on his voting record.  Instead, he seems to be defending it as apparently “ok” for someone now interested in elected office, and he says that the answer is Obama's inspiration even though he, himself, did not vote for Obama?

      Not only is his voting history pretty unacceptable for any gubernatorial candidate, but his spin is amateur at best.  If we're going to beat Perry, we can't have that leading our ticket in 2010.

      • Part of leadership…
        is leading by example.  If you want people to get out and vote, having a voting record of your own helps encourage people to do exactly that.  Shami's record is not one I would even categorize as spotty—I categorize it as simply empty.  

        Michael is exacly right too that if you are going to cite Barack Obama as your motivating example for running for public office, but you didn't see fit to vote for him in the primary or general election, buries your credibilty.    

        Explaining to people that you previously weren't motivated to vote but I have $10 million dollars to throw around, now I'm running for governor, and I want you to vote for me, smacks of political opportunism.  


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