(Houston News) President Obama in Town Friday

President Obama in town on Friday

President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Houston on Friday, March 9,  for two fund-raising events.

The first is a reception at Union Station at Minute Maid Park at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $500, with photo reception tickets for $10,000 per person or $15,000 for two people.

At 6 p.m., the president is scheduled to appear at a $38,500-per-head fund-raising dinner at the River Oaks home of Dina Alsowayel and Tony Chase.

Alsowayel is associate director of the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Houston.

Chase, a professor at the University of Houston Law Center and CEO of the recruiting and staffing firmChaseSource, became chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership in January. Chase served as deputy chairman and director of the  Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas from 2006 to 2008, when he resigned to raise money for the presidential campaign of his friend and Harvard Law School classmate Obama.

Chase’s fund-raising is not officially endorsed by the Greater Houston Partnership. However, when I asked CEO Jeff Moseley what he thought of having a Democratic fundraiser chairing what’s widely seen as a more Republican-leaning organization, he said, “Cool!”

With the waning of Texans’ influence in the capital, Moseley said, the partnership needs to be more innovative and pragmatic in its approach to government relations.

“Given the world that we’re in today, I’d say we’re pro-seniority,” Moseley said. Lack of seniority is the current problem for Houston, he said.

The connection to the president can help, Moseley explained, for although Congress makes the laws, the Obama adminstration draws up the regulations that implement those laws. For example, Moseley said, the administration issues rules governing offshore drilling, what to do with the space program and how to implement the president’s health care legislation. These could have huge impacts on the local energy industry, the Johnson Space Center and the Texas Medical Center.


(Credit: Houston Chronicle)

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