An e-mail that popped into various in-baskets around the state this morning claims that the African American community is perturbed with Bill White for not meeting with President Barack Obama when he was in Austin and Dallas this week and for not voicing support for Obama in 2012.
"I found this interesting," the messager writes, "since Bill White was at a Tea Party event where we know they have traded their white sheets for short sets and business suits."
The message purports to be from a Margaret Wilkins. Michael Moore, White's campaign manager, called to say he has concluded the message is a fake.
"Margaret Wilkins" also complained that when White was mayor of Houston he ignored minority contractors, hasn't invested any money in Houston's African American community and plans to merge Texas Southern University with another system to "cut cost" and "streamline state government."
Moore said the message is similar to a fake e-mail sent out during the previous election cycle and that the White campaign has no plans to respond officially. The purported sender did not respond to an e-mail from the Chronicle.
Wilkins still has questions for White
Margaret Wilkins, the woman who sent an e-mail last week questioning Bill White's commitment to African Americans, is a former Houston resident who still spends time in the city but lives primarily in Dallas. In a phone call this afternoon, she told me she is a former member of Houston Black Amnerican Democrats.
She was particularly upset that White didn't meet with the president when he was in Texas last week. "That was a slap in the face," she said.
She still has questions for White: "Does he support our president now, and will he support him in 2012? Does he support the merging of Texas Southern University? How many blacks will he be supporting and appointing?"
Wilkins said she's a former state employee, now semi-retired, and that she volunteers with the elderly.
She was a big Ann Richards supporter, she said. "Ann Richards was for us. We knew Ann Richards. We never had to ask whether she was going to be for us."