Entries in Houston (2)


First Lady Postpones Houston Fundraiser at Home of Ex-Enron Exec

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy(WASHINGTON) -- First lady Michelle Obama has postponed a campaign fundraiser that had been scheduled for Tuesday at the Houston home of billionaire and former Enron executive John Arnold, her office announced Monday.

The White House advisory cited “scheduling conflicts” for the change. Dana Guefen, a co-chair for the event, declined to comment to ABC News on why the event was moved.

Obama was to also appear at an earlier, larger fundraiser at the Westin Oaks in Houston. She was slated as the keynote speaker at both events.

Arnold, 37, one of the 400 richest Americans according to Forbes, was one of Barack Obama’s top financiers in 2008, bundling between $50,000 and $100,000 in contributions for his election campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He has personally given the legal maximum -- $5,000 -- to Obama for 2012, records show.

An Obama campaign official said the Houston fundraisers would be rescheduled as soon as possible. They were to benefit the Obama Victory Fund, a joint account run by President Obama and the Democratic National Committee. Ticket prices for the Arnold event ranged from $10,000 up to $35,800, the combined legal maximum.

The first lady will still travel to New Orleans Tuesday to attend a campaign fundraiser and an event for her “Let’s Move” initiative, the White House says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry’s Religious Event Mired in Controversy 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- A prayer event initiated by Texas Governor Rick Perry will take place Saturday in Houston, Texas, but the religious revival is mired in controversy concerning exclusion of non-Christian religions, controversial figures, and the question whether a public official is violating the separation of church and state by hosting a religious event.

Perry, a self-described “man of faith” and Methodist who attends an evangelical mega-church in Austin, laid out plans for the event called “The Response,” a gathering of Christians dedicating a day to prayer and fasting for a “nation in crisis,” which will take place in Reliant Stadium, a football arena home to the Houston Texans.

Perry, who many speculate will run for president this election season, has insisted the event holds no ulterior political motives.

“The event’s not political. The event’s not about promoting an organization, it’s not some fancy promotional event. It’s going to be simple. This is simply people coming, calling out to God,” Perry told a Christian radio show hosted by Tony Perkins and Tim Wildmon last month.

Approximately 8,000 people plan on attending the event in a stadium that seats 70,000. Perry extended an invitation to his fellow governors to attend, but none have committed, including Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who once said he would attend but is now stepping back from the event.

Though he conceptualized the event, Perry will play a minor role on Saturday. He is expected to read scripture and lead the group in prayer. Many religious figures from across the country will attend the event, including Sam Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Leadership Conference, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.

But some controversial figures will be leading and participating in the event, including Dr. James Dobson, founder and former president of Focus on the Family. In the past, Dobson has likened embryonic stem cell research to operations performed by the Nazis during WWII and criticized the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community, saying homosexuality could lead to incest and beastiality.

The event is paid for by the American Family Association, whose website describes the group as being on the “frontlines of the culture war.” The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the American Family Association as an anti-gay group.

Alternative rallies are planned in the Houston area throughout the weekend. The LGBT Political Caucus will hold a rally to “recognize and honor the many contributions made by members of the LGBT community to the quality of life in Houston, Harris County, Texas and the nation, and will also be attended by Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who is openly gay.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio