Gubernatorial candidate promises 100,000 jobs or $10 million

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by Shern-Min Chow /11 News

khou.com

Posted on January 11, 2010 at 10:50 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 13 at 9:33 PM

HOUSTON -- Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Farouk Shami was busy Sunday, shooting a new campaign TV commercial with a stunning campaign promise to Texas voters. 

The commercials air in two weeks and showcase what amounts to a money back guarantee if he wins the Governor’s race. 

“I'm hoping within the first two years I will create a minimum of 100,000 jobs or I will resign and I am thinking I will give the state $10 million,” Shami said. “What do you think of that?”

Voter Laura Imming, who was busy returning items at an Academy Sports store on Kirby Monday, said she liked the idea or a return policy for politicians. 

“Wow, That'd be pretty good, I wouldn't mind that,” she said.

Rice University and 11 News Political Expert Bob Stein had a different view. 

“I think it will probably come off looking more like a gimmick than serious public policy,” he said.

Shami is facing former Houston Mayor Bill White who was arguably the most popular mayor in Houston history. 

“He's trying to define himself in a way and not go after Bill White, which many thought he would do,” Stein said.

The highlight of Shami's jobs plan is to create factories in inner city neighborhoods to build solar panels and install them in homes. 

“We will not charge the people for installing the solar panels,” said Shami, the owner of a billion dollar hair care business.

Instead, generated solar electricity would be sold to power companies to pay the bill.  After that, homeowners could use it for themselves.

 Voter Scott Nethery said he wasn’t buying it right away.

“My first initial thoughts would be: unrealistic,” he said.

University of Houston Economist Barton Smith agreed.  He called it “a stretch technologically” because solar panels are so expensive. 

“(It is) something the private sector could not possibly do on its own given the current technology,” he said.

Shami, a business mogul who arrived in the US as a poor immigrant, said stay tuned for details. 

“I put my money where my mouth is,” he said with conviction.

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