Letters on Mack

I will never forget what happened 59 years ago today in Dallas, Texas.  It took me a long time to get over my dislike of Dallas.


I got my third COVID Moderna booster yesterday. This is my fifth COVID related shot. I also got my flu vaccine. One in each arm.  I got issued a second vaccine card to make room. I am taking my Dad today for his fifth Pfizer.


What did Mack expect. Here are the letters to the Chron editor on Mattress Mack’s full-page ad lecturing Judge Lina Hidalgo:

Regarding “ Mattress Mack claps back at Harris Co. Judge Lina Hidalgo for victory speech dig,” (Nov. 21): Jim McIngvale has gone to the mattresses! After funding a mean-spirited campaign to unseat County Judge Lina Hidalgo, “Mattress Mack” seems to have fallen out of his Tempur-Pedic firing a nuclear, full-page ad. His amazing example of humanitarian legacy hit the tarnish trifecta with compulsive gambling, foul-mouthed vitriol directed at avid fans and harsh admonishment of a candidate and her supporters with whom he disagrees.

Mack, we’ve had enough examples of how the accumulation of wealth fuels a narcissistic personality disorder. You sir, are better than that!

Cliff Bodin, Humble

I read with bemusement McIngvale’s diatribe against Judge Hidalgo in the Sunday Houston Chronicle. He should take a lesson from Alexandra Mealer who upon losing a tough race gave a gracious concession speech. I’m of an age where I remember when it was expected that the loser of an election would always wish the winner luck in their endeavors though they could disagree on policy. Judge Hidalgo made one passing reference to McIngvale in her press conference. It’s surprising Hidalgo did not take more potshots after suffering months of character assassination and vicious, inaccurate TV ads. I think the negativity of these ads turned off a lot of voters and probably cost Alexandra Mealer an election.

Mr. McIngvale, instead of taking the high road, chose to press on with the character assassination. It is sad to see because he has done much good for the community. Maybe his printed temper tantrum should not be that surprising. Didn’t we recently witness a profanity-laced meltdown at an Astros-Phillies game. That display made him a hero to some but since when is it considered classy to lose your cool and spew a tirade of F-bombs in a public setting? C’mon Mr. McIngvale. Your recent behavior is making me, for one, have a more nuanced view of your character. Please live up to the standards of your good deeds.

Richard Day, Katy

I have mixed feelings about McIngvale. I’m impressed by his many works of charity, such as opening his stores as a refuge for desperate people during floods. No fair-minded person can deny these generous actions. But there is a dark side to his character as well, as was on display in his expletive-ridden tirade in Philadelphia. Sunday’s full-page advertisement was pretty dark in my view. Though he raised some valid points — Lina Hidalgo was smug, and even threatening at times in her victory speech — there were ugly passages in his letter, which cried out for editing. One thing that caught my notice was McIngvale’s obvious disdain for simple fairness, as when he scornfully wrote of Hidalgo’s “penchant for social justice and equity.” Am I to understand that the very wealthy, very powerful and ultra-Republican Mr. McIngvale regards these qualities as contemptible? Apparently so.

Bruce Higginbotham, Houston

I agree Mr. McIngvale has done more for both rich and poor than Judge Hidalgo. The same favorable comparison would hold against most other Texans. Mack has and continues to do a lot for the community.

As for his list of complaints, crime has risen in practically every major urban area in the country and every expert and every political party has their own explanation for the reasons. However violent crime in Harris County, outside of Houston, decreased last year and has decreased further so far this year. The budget that was hijacked by the two Republican commissioners, trying to make political points prior to the election, included increases for all law enforcement agencies in the county. Also the decision not to allow agencies to roll over unspent funds from the preceding year is consistent with the practice of the state of Texas and most businesses. It is not Hidalgo’s fault that District Attorney Kim Ogg and the other complaining law enforcement officers cannot run their operations professionally enough to spend funds in the year for which they were budgeted.

I might add that I have been a fan of Mattress Mack’s since his “Owner has brain damage” notice was posted on the old white shed that I passed every morning as I drove I-45 into town, over forty years ago. I now do not expect to ever enter his store again. Politics is one thing — this was petty and ridiculous.

Kenneth B. Gunn, Magnolia

McIngvale seems overly obsessed with Judge Hidalgo. I could not believe the harsh words he used and the angry tone. It was petty and belittling. We all should strive to be better than that. It appears the judge was right when she said attempts were made to intimidate and bully her.

I do agree that Mr. McIngvale has been helpful to some members of our community over the years. When I was a school social worker he helped some of our families who needed assistance. He had a good reputation in our community. So why would he tarnish that reputation by delving so negatively into politics? It is so sad and not a good look, I hope he is OK.

It is too bad that the Houston Chronicle gave him a platform on which to express all of that negativity.

May we all work on being better to each other.

Sandra Thomas, Houston

I’ve long had a mostly positive attitude toward Mattress Mack. Never done any business with him, due to a longstanding reputation for hard-sell techniques. But his habit of helping his fellow Houstonians in times of need was endearing. He seems to have a gambling addiction, which he now is trying to spread to his customers (double or nothing!) but even so, I was willing to give him a pass. When he ventured into politics, it just seemed sad. OK he has a political opinion, as do we all, and he wants to express it — that’s fine. But his paid advertisement is a bridge too far. It’s just a mean-spirited screed, with no apparent point besides expressing his bile.

He wants an apology from Hidalgo? How about an apology to us, the residents of Harris County? He’s the one who is bringing this name-calling into our view. Hidalgo called him a “furniture salesman” — is that so bad?

But now Mack wants us to know his opinions about her: spiteful, gloating, unbridled ambition, jealous, smug, sanctimonious bully, bamboozling, browbeating, snarkiness — according to Mack, she must have no redeeming qualities, despite the votes of the majority of county voters. I have to question the attributes he claims for himself — “humanitarian legacy rivaled by none,” “his goodwill and unwavering support for our communities won the hearts and minds of millions.” I might have agreed in the past, but I regret that his latest communique has revealed him to be a small, mean, self-righteous man.

Jacqueline Clark, Houston

If anyone sounds like a sore loser, it is Mack. And how dare he harshly critique the Hidalgo voters. We may not have the mighty dollars that Mealer’s supporters had, but we have a vote, and a right to use it as we see fit.

I agreed with Hidalgo’s victory speech, as I share her opinion that he is nothing more than a rich furniture salesman who is looking out for himself and others like him. I like that Hidalgo seems to consider the needs of the “ultra-minority” ( Mack’s word, which I presume means the very poor).

Yes, Mack gives to the “needy,” but he makes sure cameras are there to catch the moment. It amounts to great publicity for him.

How dare he ask for an apology while he continues to run her down. I think the foulmouthed man we heard at the World Series is more indicative of the actual person Mack is. Hidalgo should ignore this loser’s sour grapes.

Hidalgo’s victory showed me the power of the vote, which should be greater than the power of the dollar.

Go Lina! You make me proud.

Lena T. Sidney, Clear Lake

While no one could dispute McIngvale’s credentials as a true booster of the city of Houston and an individual who has contributed to many local charitable causes, it comes as a surprise that he could also be such a spiteful and sore loser when his candidate did not win for Harris County judge. Ms. Mealer did not lack the basic qualifications for the position. What Mr. McIngvale fails to understand is that a candidate’s proposed agendas and policies also factor into a voter’s decision. This vitriol is inexplicable. If you can’t take the heat, Mr. McIngvale, get out of the kitchen.

Denise Marks, Houston

In McIngvale’s letter, he seems to think he can be publicly involved in politics without response from the other side. He attacks the character of the county judge who is the first to forego any campaign donations from those doing business with the county. Those interests who were used to grease the “pay-to-play” wheels have attacked her since she told them to take their money elsewhere. They did, but luckily the voters saw through it. If McIngvale is so concerned about crime, perhaps he should have a talk with his friends at the state capitol.

Joanna Pasternak, Houston

Oh, well.


Former MLBer Ricky Ledée is 49 today. Why bring up Ricky Ledée? It is easy. He hit the first dinger ever at The Yard on March 30, 2000, when the Astros hosted the Yankees in the first game played Downtown. Happy Birthday, Ricky Ledée!

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