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Rep. Ted Poe, and Venezuelan Corruption Comes to Houston: Friday’s Show (April 21, 2017)

Congressman Ted Poe has had an eventful spring so far. The Republican representing the Second Congressional District of Texas, which covers many eastern and northern suburbs of Houston, announced his decision to leave the House Freedom Caucus after that group of more conservative representatives wouldn’t budge on a proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Rep. Poe […]

Ted Poe houston public media

Congressman Ted Poe has had an eventful spring so far. The Republican representing the Second Congressional District of Texas, which covers many eastern and northern suburbs of Houston, announced his decision to leave the House Freedom Caucus after that group of more conservative representatives wouldn’t budge on a proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

Rep. Poe said of the move: “In order to deliver on the conservative agenda we have promised the American people for eight years, we must come together to find solutions to move this country forward. Saying no is easy, leading is hard, but that is what we were elected to do.”

On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk with Rep. Poe about how he came to that decision and then discuss other developments in Congress and the nation. Plus we welcome your questions and comments for the congressman.

Also this hour…

Venezuelan “Boligarchs”

There’s been more unrest in Venezuela in recent days, following economic collapse in that country over the last several years. Many Venezuelans have settled in Houston, so much so that some of them in Katy call that area “Katy-zuela.” Well, apparently some of the people allegedly tied to the downfall of the Venezuelan economy are here too. One of them is Roberto Rincón, who is under house arrest in his mansion in The Woodlands while he awaits sentencing in one of the few Venezuelan corruption cases the U.S. government has prosecuted. Rincón and another businessman are alleged to have bilked Venezuela’s state-run oil company out of a billion dollars.

Venezuelans call men like them “boligarchs,” which is a hybrid of “bolivar” (Venezuela’s currency) and “oligarch.” We learn more about these men and their connection to Houston from Zach Despart, managing editor of the Houston Press, who recently (April 18, 2017) wrote about this story.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Houston News

A lot can happen in a week. Some of it good. Some of it bad. Some of it downright ugly. When faced with intriguing developments in the week’s news, we turn to our rotating panel of “non-experts” to parse The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of it all.

On today’s panel: Joe HolleyNative Texan columnist and Houston Chronicle editorial writer; Natalie Arceneaux, host of Your Business with C+A on KNTH 1070 AM; and Marcus Davis, owner of The Breakfast Klub restaurant and host of Sunday Morning Live on Majic 102.1.

Texas Independence

On this day (April 21) in 1836, Texas forces won the Battle of San Jacinto, concluding the Texas Revolution. To mark the day, we listen back to a conversation Craig Cohen conducted on Feb. 24, 2016 about the people who prompted the revolution, with Dr. Eddie Weller, professor of History at San Jacinto College.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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