Controller candidates take aim at each other

December 10, 2009 3:44:01 PM PST
Election Day is just two days away, and while the mayor's race is driving voters to the polls, there's another powerful position up for grabs -- city controller, also known as the watchdog for city spending. M.J. Kahn says the reason for running for controller is a simple one, that as a long time business owner, he's the right person to be the city's financial watchdog.

"I'm running because I'm the most qualified candidate in this race, based on my education and my experience in the private sector," he said.

Khan sits next to his opponent, Ronald Green, on city council, who says his legal practice and his MBA makes him the most qualified.

"My finance background coupled with the fact that I chaired budget and fiscal affairs on city council. I've been very actively engaged in the minutia of city finance," said Green. "I think that's what people want."

The two men have also not been shy attacking each other. Khan has pointed out that the IRS placed a lien on one of Green's properties. But Green says it's a just a simple dispute.

"I did pay my taxes," said Green.

"Why did they put a lien?" we asked.

"There's an amount that we're disputing," he said.

Green says Khan doesn't even live in the city, pointing out that Khan bought a small condo in southwest Houston, but his wife still owns a multi-million dollar home in Piney Point. Khan says he meets all legal requirements.,

"My wife has a house in Piney Point," he said. "But I live in the city. My residence is in the city."

Both candidates call each other's attacks baseless, and our political analyst says the bigger factor may be the candidates' backgrounds. One is Pakistani, the other African-American.

"It represents a voter group that's perhaps one percent of the electorate," said KTRK political analyst Dr. Richard Murray. "Ron Green is an African American. They're about 30 percent of the vote. That's a bigger handicap than who lives where."

We need to point out that Dr. Murray's son is working on Ronald Green's campaign.


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