San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 16th, 2010
Shami calls Perry and White ‘proven failures’

021610shamiTexas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Farouk Shami speaks with a supporter last week at Cafe’ on the Square. Photo by Andy Sevilla.

By ANDY SEVILLA
Associate Editor

Palestinian-born Houston businessman Farouk Shami, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Texas, made two campaign stops last week in San Marcos, where he called Democratic primary opponent Bill White and Republican Governor Rick Perry “proven failures.”

Shami went even further about White and the Democratic Party, telling the Texas State College Democrats that he faced “discrimination” within the party once he announced his run for governor. Shami said the “party machine” opposed his bid because of his name, religion, and origin. At a recent campaign stop in South Texas, Shami called White a “racist” because of a campaign advertisement in which White identified himself as a Texas native, born in San Antonio.

“I didn’t have a choice where to be born,” Shami said. “But I do have the choice of where to live. And I choose Texas … I wasn’t born here, but I’m more Texan than he will ever be … We should be an open-minded state. If we elected Barack Hussein Obama as president of the United States, why can’t we elect Farouk Shami as governor of Texas? My name is easier to say… We elected Black, why not Brown?”

Taking more aim at White leading up to the March 2 primary election, Shami told a political rally at Café on the Square last week that Houston’s $103 million shortfall is due to White’s mismanagement of Houston when he was the mayor of that city. The Houston 2010 Fiscal Year began July 31, 2009. White was mayor of Houston from January 2004 to January 2010.

“Their (Perry and White) experience is failure,” Shami said. “My experience is success.”

Shami, 67, first came to the United States when he was 20 years old with only $71 in his pocket, he said. He first arrived in New York and then moved around the country, waiting tables before realizing he could make more money styling hair and ultimately being awarded the title of the nation’s top stylist. Shami said he then opened several businesses, including hair salons, and created several products, like CHI (ceramic heating iron) and Biosilk, which account for his fortune.

“I’m an example that the American dream still exists,” Shami said. “If you work hard in the United States of America, with honesty and opportunity, you can reach the American dream.”

Shami said his history is proof that he can balance a budget. He said Texas is on the verge of “bankruptcy” and the state needs him as the “Chief Executive Officer.”

Said Shami, “I’m a businessman. Let me clarify that. I’m a businessman, not a career politician.”

Shami attributes “Perry’s failures” to his loyalty to lobbyists. Perry’s Republican opponent, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, makes the same charges against Perry.

“They (White and Perry) are career politicians who are really slaves to lobbyists,” Shami said. “They created this recession – not you and not me. This is what encouraged me to run. I’m a businessman, and I know how to balance budgets. I’m funding my own campaign, so I will not owe it to anybody. I will work for the people of Texas… Yes, I’m not conventional and I don’t have political experience, but to me, that means I’m a clean man.”

Shami said in San Marcos last week that he already had spent $11.1 million out of his own pocket on his gubernatorial campaign.

Shami said Texas needs new jobs, which he said, he has experience bringing, highlighting his companies that have created thousands of jobs in Texas. Along with jobs, Shami said, Texas needs casinos. He said jobs and casinos will get Texas out of debt and “create prosperity.”

Shami said he also wants quality education, adding that community colleges should be tuition free to all Texas students. He said he also want to reform health care in Texas, and preserve the environment.

“I will work hard for this state, to make it the riches state in America,” he said. “I don’t believe in raising taxes. I believe in creating revenue. We’re in the verge of bankruptcy in this state, we need to create jobs.”

Poverty should not exist in America, Shami said, adding that an educated population and employment opportunities would save the state millions of dollars in unemployment benefits and other social programs.

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6 thoughts on “Shami calls Perry and White ‘proven failures’

  1. Perry once was found but now he is lost. He knows he is going to lose so he is putting up his best friends in offices. How dare he fire the General from A & M. Lost my vote along with several other Aggies.

  2. No offense, but I don’t know that it’s exactly appropriate for you to be basing your vote on loyalty to a university. I would hope that the future of Texas means more to you than being an Aggie.

    That point aside, I wouldn’t bet against Rick Perry just yet. Dude has more lives than a cat…..

  3. I was excited about the prospect of Shami running for Governor–that it would test racial tolerance within the democratic party and the State of Texas if indeed he turned out to be a good, qualified candidate. His campaign and debates thus far have disappointed. If you are going to be governor, you need to hang your hat on something more than “look at me, I built a factory in Texas.” So he might understand job creation. However, being governor of Texas requires broad knowledge of public policies and the complexity of government. You don’t have to have prior elected experience per se, but you better be able to communicate that you understand. If you watched the debate, then I don’t know how you could reasonably feel that Shami is remotely qualified to serve as governor. I have not seen anything indicating that he understands issues beyond possibly job creation (which his ads repeat over and over like a broken record). The guy can’t even name the state representative and senator for his place of residence, nor could he name the attorney general or comptroller (I would expect a candidate for any elected office, local or state, to know those four people). Plus, he played the race card on White when White simply said that he was a native Texan when describing himself. No thanks. I’ll pull the lever for Mr. White, a moderate democrat that actually understands the state’s issues and how to lead in governance.

  4. Who is Farouk Shami? The real issue is not necessarily his religion or national origin but his CREDIBILITY. Are his Public Statements factual or just Beauty Show hype?

    Farouk in San Antonio (10/21/09): “I manage business in 106 countries, I have tens of thousands of employees, and we’ve brought billions of dollars to the state of Texas,” Shami said.

    Fact Check:
    • Farouk manufacturers the products and sells them to independent distributors/importers (in US and overseas), who in return sell to the salons. He DOES NOT manage these companies. They are his customers.
    • Likewise the employees of these distributors or the salons which use his products are NOT Farouk’s employees.
    • Farouk has always claimed that he sells only to the professional hairdressers, yet his products can be found in Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, HEB, as well as discount stores.

    Yes, Farouk has done well for himself BUT… He is NOT the sole owner of his companies – Farouk claims (as well documented in many articles and interviews, and then repeated by the media) to be a Billionaire; however he is NOT listed on Forbes List of Billionaires – with his ego, he definitely would make sure that he would be listed if he just could prove it

    Farouk claimed to be Quaker?
    Having attended Quaker School does not make Farouk a Quaker – maybe that is all what was available at the time (or even today) for quality education in Ramallah.
    • Wikipedia: “The Friends School currently serves as the School for the best and the brightest. It is well known to educate the children of Palestinian elites.”
    • MilitantIslamMonitor: “Guilford College controversy Being Manipulated By CAIR -Quaker school tied to pro terrorist Friends school in Ramallah”
    • Farouk said that he is Quaker – his son told a reporter that Farouk is Muslim – Farouk then clarified that he is Muslim-Quaker
    • King of Jordan had sent his personal message to Farouk Shami (to a Quaker?) during the last two company conferences – Amman, Jordan (2006) and Cancun, Mexico (2008)
    • Farouk is a member of, guest speaker to, and honored by many Muslim organizations – He is a member of the Board of the American Task Force on Palestine, as was Tareq Salahi, the Whitehouse party crasher
    • Shami : Muslim Media Network Sep 24, 2009 … Houston hair executive Farouk Shami says his focus is …. At his Annual Ramadan Dinner (Quaker?) at the Arab Cultural Center (ACC) Houston, …

  5. Shami fans might find it interesting to know his campaign is unraveling fast….major news sources have a story this afternoon about several of his top campaign aides—including campaign director and the spokesperson—all resigning ffrom the campaign today…

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