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Archive for December, 2009

The decade’s final day will be a slow one around these parts.  Ten years ago I spent it in Vegas as some folks fretted about Y2K which never happened. 

We now have us five Dems running for Guv – so far.  The H-Town Mayor, the fella with 10 mil to spend, a Latino, and a Latina are among the bunch.  Of course, everyone thinks the H-Town Mayor will win the primary, but can he win without a run-off with the race just a little over two months away.  Stay tuned!

From the Chron’s Business Section this past weekend: “Roman Martinez has been named president of Texas Taxi. Texas Taxi is the parent company of Houston’s largest provider of taxi services. It also has operations in Galveston, Austin and San Antonio. Martinez conceptualized and launched Taxis Fiesta with Greater Houston Transportation Co. in 1984. Marlise Skinner has been named president of Greater Houston Transportation Co., Yellow Cab, Taxis Fiesta, United Cab and Yellow Cab of Galveston. Yellow Cab Houston is Texas Taxi’s flagship company.”

Way to go Roman!

I wonder what is the over/under on Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano keeping her job?

Commentary was reminded yesterday that we now have three Houston Community College Latina trustees.  Speaking of, HCC got some run in today’s Chron.  Check it out.  Yikes!

One of the biggest stories of the last ten years was the election of The President.

Bin Laden stayed on the run.

We got a Supreme Latina.

ipods ruled!

Nobody buys camera film these days.

Newspaper deliveries are old school.

Reality TV dumb downed the U.S. of A.

The singing of “God Bless America” is now a staple at MLB games on Sundays and holidays.

In the NCAA and NFL, wide receivers and defensive backs don’t wear kneepads – ouch!

Two women now serve as anchors on network TV evening newscasts.

You can now buy cupcakes at The Yard.

I wonder what Commentary will be commenting about ten years from today.

Happy New Decade and I’ll see you Monday, January 4,  2010!

 

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Fresh from the No Guts No Glory Department:  The City of H-Town Term Limits Commission was announced yesterday.  Check it out in today’s Chron.  They will be meeting and maybe propose a change to the current three two year term system.  What isn’t on the table is eliminating term limits all together.  Come on now!  If you are going to have a real policy discussion about term limits in H-Town, you have to have the elimination of term limits as an option.  They should call the panel the Tinker with Term Limits Commission or the Tinker Toy Bunch.  Because of this, Commentary is going to be inclined to vote against whatever the panel recommends.

Let me ask this, since term limits were first approved by the voters in 1991, have city services diminished?  If so, can we blame term limits?

Another big decade story that impacted H-Town was the 2008 economic meltdown that now has us at a double digit unemployment rate.  Of course, here in H-Town, we got us a pre taste with the collapse of Enron.

In politics I would have to say getting Delayed back in 2003 was a big one and thanks to Obama’s coattails in 2008, we kind of got even here in Harris County.

Another one was the 2001 epic battle between Mayor Lee Brown and Orlando Sanchez – whew!  We had to pull out all the stops on that baby.

Of course, the recent election of Annise Parker has to rank among the decade’s top local stories.

I would also add the Obama/Clinton Texas Primary match of 2008.  Everybody showed up to Two Step.

For Latinos/Latinas, we have us now a County Commissioner, Sheriff, Treasurer, and Tax Assessor Collector, but only two H-Town Council member and our voter turnout is miserable.

Two folks that I wake up with most mornings have BDs today.  Happy Birthdays to Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer!  The greatest lefty in MLB history is 74 today.  Happy Birthday to Sandy Koufax!  Tiger is 34 today but probably feeling more like 74.  Happy Birthday Tiger Woods and I wonder where your soon to be ex-wife is going to stuff your cake!

The ‘Stros sent me a cool appointments calendar yesterday and Opening Day is just over three months away!

 

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CEWDEM put a scorching on former H-Town CM Gordon Quan yesterday over Gordon’s past support of GOPers.   I’m sure once Gordon starts going through the Dem groups screening process, he’ll get asked why he supported GOPer M.J. Khan over Dem Ron Green in the race for City Controller.  I’m figuring Gordon was thinking about November 2010 and sort of cut a deal to get a lot of the Khan backers.  Stay tuned!

Speaking of, former H-Town CM Ben T. Reyes got some run in today’s Chron. Check it out.  It is an interesting article.

Speaking of, future H-Town CM Al Hoang didn’t do anything wrong regarding his homestead exemptions.  Of course, he still hasn’t come clean on his residency and campaign finance reports questions. Check it out in today’s Chron.

With three days left in the decade, you would have to say that surviving W’s eight years was one of the biggest stories.  He lost focus on one war, got us into a wrong war, lied to us about WMDs, and left office with the economy in the ditch.  It was one heckuva job!

Locally, we had a kind of stormy decade – Allison, Katrina, Rita, and Ike all made things miserable for a bunch of folks.

In sports, the new venues – The Yard, Toyota Center, and Reliant Stadium – made H-Town a first class professional sports city. In 2005 we got to see a World Serious. The NFL returned and the Comets disappeared.  We got us a Yao that has yet to turn into a wow and the T-Mac experiment fizzled out.

Among the baseball related gifts I got this Christmas were a ‘Stros UNO game, a home plate shape door mat, a ‘Stros candy cane ornament, a baseball trivia desk calendar, and a wall calendar with a different MLB baseball stadium for every month – and yes, The Yard is included – cool!.

 

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In this last week of the decade folks will be putting out their lists of the best, worst, most, least, happiest, funniest and so on of the last ten years.  Heck, why not?

Of course, nothing tops September 11, 2001.  That changed everything for sure.  Now it looks like you can’t even go to the bathroom on an airliner during the last hour of the flight.

One of the biggest game changers of the decade is that everyone now has an opinion.  I’m talking about how we all communicate on the internet as compared to ten years ago.  We’ve now got fellas, errr bloggers analyzing how political campaigns are run that have never worked on a political campaign – go figure.

I don’t think text messaging existed ten years ago.

More to follow!

My pal Miya Shay put out the news last week that Gordon Quan will be running for County Judge.  That is very interesting.  She also said that Gordon endorsed M.J. Khan for Controller against Dem Ron Green.   Now that is not good.  Gordon will be running against County Judge Ed “Hunker Down” Emmett who most folks think has done a pretty good job.  Right now I would think that the political climate favors the incumbent County Judge.  Stay tuned!

It looks like the Texans gave us something to talk about all week.

My Brown Eyed Girl and I went to see “It’s Complicated” this past weekend.  Check it out!

All is quiet on the ‘Stros front this week.

 

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The Chron gave us a Christmas Eve piece today about a certain Al Hoang, an H-Town City Council member-Elect.  Check it out.  He and his wife apparently hold two homestead exemptions.  That is illegal.  The Harris County District Attorney won’t let us know if they are investigating.  It will probably be Pat Lykos’ call on whether or not to proceed.  Let’s see if a GOPer will go after a fellow GOPer.

He also fudged on his campaign reports and the local GOP Chair is saying all this is “sour grapes.”  I will be real disappointed if the local Dem Party doesn’t find someone to file a complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission against Hoang to at least get the violator to cough up a few thousand in fines.

Why are we now learning about this?  How come we didn’t know about it before the election?  Did someone drop the ball? Somebody needs to do some ‘’splaining!

According to the H-Town City Charter, the Mayor-Elect will have to be sworn in before the big public ceremony on January 4.  It is going to be in private.   Hope somebody sneaks in one of those iphone gizmos and sends it out.

Last night Miya read us her cute and very political “Twas the Night Before Christmas” that she won’t publish…awww!

Meanwhile, “not a creature was stirring not even a mouse” at The Yard.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good weekend!

 

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This Christmas season I’ve gotten cards from folks with their mugs on them.  I like them because of the message they send.  I have one from CM James and The Lovelier Wendy with Jake who looks like he wasn’t going to sit still and wait for folks to say cheese.  The Gordon Quan card looks like he’s got his campaign team ready to go.  My God Daughter Lisette and Mike are letting us know that a young one is on the way.  Judge Carter’s is definitely letting us know that he’s a family fella.  Hot shot lawyer Sofia Adrogue has got a lot going on with her family and she and her hubby are handling it in style.  Sheriff Garcia and Monica have one with their nearly grown up daughter.  Joe B. Allen’s law firm card looks like one of those pro sports team photos.  Of course Tessa and Eric are letting us see their creative side.  Heidi Hedrick has her two boys in Christmas land.  My old colleague Jim Nelson and his kids are all grown up.  My nephew Dave and Beth have Jackson in just his Christmas suit.  Cong. Chet Edwards is letting us know that they are an all American family.  I’ve been getting Bill’s and Andrea’s cards for a long time – their kids aren’t kids anymore

Commentary has gotten a few comments from folks on this year’s Christmas Card.  You can check it out here:  http://www.camposcommunications.com

Since there isn’t a whole lot of politics going on two days before Christmas, I’ll go back to the HISD District 1 canvass. I found in precincts 543, 677, 787 and 846 the run-off turnout was a tad higher than the November 3 turnout.  Now these are small precincts but I still found it interesting.

Commentary’s family opens their Christmas gifts on Christmas Day.  Santa drops gifts off in the wee hours of the morning. When I was a kid, I always wondered why some folks opened their gifts on Christmas Eve.

Speaking of, if you head to the Team Store today at The Yard, you can pick up long sleeve gear and ‘Stros jackets for half price.  Don’t pass up this good deal!

 

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In today’s Chron Sports section there is a story on the proposed Downtown soccer stadium. Check it out.

Here’s from the piece:  “The Chronicle reported last month that a poll of registered voters by Rice University showed opponents outnumber supporters of a new stadium by more than two to one.”

I would attribute the above to fallout from the mayoral campaign.

Here’s more from the piece: “’She’s (The Mayor-Elect) OK with the amount of money the city is willing to invest’ provided the county puts in its share, Janice Evans-Davis, Parker’s spokeswoman, said Monday. ‘She is not OK with putting any additional city dollars (into the project).’”

The soccer proponents need to march over to the county administration building and put some heat on the County Commissioners if you ask me.

Here are some interesting numbers from the official canvass in HISD District 1.   In Precinct 44 (near Northside), 44% of the total votes cast came from early voting.  In other Northside/Lindale precincts which are all east of Interstate 45, here’s what we have:  Pct. 46, 51% of turnout voted early, pct. 105, 50%, pct. 207, 45%, and pct. 637, 47%.

Meanwhile on the other side of I-45 in Heights/Garden Oaks/Shepherd Park Plaza, here is what we have:  Pct. 53, 35%, pct. 57, 36%, pct. 59, 36%, pct. 324, 31%, and pct. 663, 35%.

It could have something to do with the geography of the placement of the early vote location.

Speaking of, it looks like the Latino voter turnout will be seriously addressed early next year so stay tuned.

I know that the Mayor-Elect is a ‘Stros fan.  I hope she gets to throw out a first pitch in the opening series against the Giants.  I’m betting she can stand on mound and get it over the plate.

 

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Only the old school H-Town folks got to read the front page story about the Mayor-Elect in the hard copy of the Chron yesterday morning.  Commentary went out and fetched it off the driveway.  Others had to drag their arse to the local convenience store and plunk down a couple of bucks because it wasn’t online.  The front page story was promoted on Chron.com Friday and Saturday, but in a nice marketing ploy that probably brought in a few extra bucks, the Chron decided to hold off on posting it until late last night.  Some folks resorted to clipping, pasting and scanning and sending it out.  Way to go Chron!

The local GOP reads Commentary for sure.   The following ran this weekend on Chron.com.

(December 19, 2009) “GOP looks east”

Posted by the Chron’s Chris Moran

“The local Republican Party plans to open a satellite office on the county’s east side, in part as a way to reach out to Hispanics.

“The party will take over the lease on the eastside headquarters of the Roy Morales for mayor campaign in mid-January, Harris County GOP Chairman Jared Woodfill said. The party’s main office will continue to operate on Richmond Avenue near River Oaks.

“Woodfill said the party will offer free classes in English-as-a-second-language, as well as seminars on small business and Social Security benefits.

“A Pew Hispanic Center analysis of exit poll data in last year’s presidential elections indicated that President Obama received 63 percent of the state’s Latino vote, compared with 35 percent for John McCain.

“Woodfill argues that Republicans have an attractive message for Hispanics in promoting limited government, traditional marriage and opposition to abortion.

“’For too long, as Republicans we have not taken our values to the community,’ said Woodfill, a lawyer running for re-election as party chairman against three other lawyers in March. ‘We’ve allowed the Democrats to go in and define who we are as a party. Part of the battle is showing up and letting people know what you stand for.’”

Meanwhile, the local Dems do nothing.

Commentary along with UH’s Tatcho Mindiola, County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez, and Winstead’s Gracie Saenz gave our post election takes on Channel 13 yesterday morning.

Speaking of, some fella opened up his piehole this past weekend and put together his H-Town election winners and losers list and put in Latino Politicians in the losers’ list for the poor Latino voter turnout.   Of course nobody would even be paying attention to the Latino turnout issue if it hadn’t been for Commentary.

Commentary only drops by the Galleria once a year.  It is always right before Christmas to do some shopping.   Yesterday there were a bunch of shoppers there.  I was walking by Victoria Secret and there were these huge posters of scantily clad women.  One of them had one of those thong undies that showed all of her arse.  I don’t know about that with all the families there.  There was this other clothing store with a young male buffed up model type wearing only jeans that were barely above his you know what area.  He standing in front of the store shirtless and barefoot and young women were coming up to him and snapping up photos with him with their iphone and cell phone gizmos.  I also don’t know about that.

Commentary checked out the Team Store this past Saturday at The Yard.  If you are looking for nice gear, they got some good bargains over there and no crowds so check them out!

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The soon to be former H-Town Police Chief gave himself a grade of an A-Minus yesterday.  Of course, the Mayor-Elect’s grade is the only one that counts.

Commentary’s take on the nonexistent H-Town Latino vote last Saturday went statewide – sorta.  Texas Monthly’s political guru put me on his blog – thanks.

The Mayor-Elect announced key transition players yesterday. The next couple of weeks or so ought to be interesting as we get to see who gets what and who gets left out.

Commentary learned yesterday that one of the younger political players that Commentary thinks a lot of credited Anna Eastman’s victory in part to the “mommy mafia.”  That’s a good one.  Anna asked if members of the “mommy mafia” should be sent an invitation to her swearing in.  I reminded her of the “mommy mafia’s” code of silence which prevents the revealing of members.

From Hearst Newspapers today:  “Former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm headlines a group of 18 Texas economists who signed a letter released Thursday by House Republican Leader John Boehner opposing another economic stimulus package.”

Grammstander is one of the fellas that CNN named to their scoundrels list last year for being one of the major contributors to the 2008 economic meltdown – so shut up!

Commentary doesn’t usually mind the takes The Roundtable puts out every Wednesday afternoon, but that wasn’t a nice thing to say about Mayor Bob a couple of days ago.  I wonder if he read it.   Worse, I wonder if Elyse read it – yikes!

Once again, Tessa Goth gets the Best Christmas Card of the Season Award.  Tessa always does a take on notable album covers.  This year’s is the Carpenter’s Christmas Album – cool.  Commentary’s card will be going out today due to a late start due to a late run-off. 

It looks like the movies with the blue folks, Clooney, and rugby are on my list for now.

My pal Drayton still owns the ‘Stros today – whew!

 

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“Let me attempt to thank you all for your help in achieving a victory Saturday night.  I’m sure to leave someone out, but will still make a go of it.

“First let me thank the voters of District 1.  We had an uphill battle on many levels and your faith in my ability to do this job came through in the end.  I am humbled to have been selected by you and prepared to work diligently to do right by our kids.  I will count on you to inform me, to question me and to hold me accountable.

“I’d like to thank my family.  My dear, sweet husband Brad, who was telling friends I was going to run before I had fully decided myself.  He encouraged me from day one and defended me fiercely on the campaign trail when he wasn’t traveling for work or taking over household and parenting responsibilities.  Whenever I doubted myself, Brad was the one who consistently reminded me to remain true to myself and all would be well.  My three children, Ely, Abby and Daniel, have been patient and supportive over the last three months.  A campaign is hard on a family and this one was fast and furious.  I selfishly guarded their bedtime and tried to consistently be there for an end of the day snuggle, song or chat.

“I’d like to thank Natasha and Dianne for setting the stage for this race to play out as it did.  Their wisdom, support and guidance throughout the process have prepared me well to hit the ground running.  These women have worked tirelessly with their fellow board members to make our schools better places where all kids will have the opportunity to learn equally and well.  I hope that I can match their passion and smarts at the board table.

“I’d like to thank Marc Campos my political consultant, of supposed dubious reputation.  Marc was skeptical at first, but in the end worked as hard as anyone could have wanted.  I think everyone has heard the story of him suggesting I wear a little more make-up.  But not everyone has heard that within a couple of weeks of working together, he was encouraging me to be myself, gave me sage advice, did everything I asked, pointed me in a direction and used my ideas and words to help me present myself to the community.  He and Marisol are good people I am proud to be able to call friends.

“I’d like to thank Christine for organizing and rallying volunteers, but mostly for becoming a good and dear friend.  

“I’d like to thank Randy Twaddle and Dave Thompson and their team at ttweak for the school bus yellow signs and spectacular presentation of my thoughts, ideas and hopes.

“I’d like to thank the Houston Business Education Committee, Houston Chronicle, Harris County Women’s Political Caucus, HISD Parent Visionaries, Linda Toyota and Texas Support Personnel Employees for their confidence and endorsements.

“I’d like to thank my old friends, family and acquaintances who encouraged me from day one and were there to block walk, work the polls, email friends, contribute to the effort and not get mad when I failed to return calls or simply hung up mid-conversation to take a pressing phone call.  They were always there when called upon to lend an ear, tell me to buck up, laugh at the absurd moments and keep me grounded.

“I’d like to thank my new friends and supporters.  I have come to know an amazing array of people committed to the children of Houston, many who took a risk (and some flack) for stepping out.   Many thanks go to the volunteer effort, but also to financial contributors who invested in our kids and public schools through this campaign.  I look forward to looking back years from now and being able to call each of you old friends.

“And finally, I’d like to thank my opponent, Alma Lara, and her supporters for running a tough run-off campaign that made me work twice as hard to achieve success.  I look forward to working with her and getting to know and representing all of the constituents of District 1 over the next four years.”

You can go to Commentary’s website to check out Anna Eastman Election Night photos.

Let’s see.  The Kinkhole is running for Ag Commish and Lady Foghorn wants to run for Comptroller as a Dem.  Instead of telling voters how the Lone Star State should be run, the H-Town Mayor may be spending a lot of time running from the rest of the ticket.

Congrats go to my friend Keith Wade for snagging The Roundtable Pick’em Contest.  Commentary didn’t get a chance to drop by so I wonder if I cracked the Top 10.

Tiger Woods got named Athlete of the Decade by the Associated Press. 

The Chron’s Sports Columnist Know-It-All on his blog today wants that Mark Cuban fella to buy the ‘Stros from my pal Drayton – great.  That means St. Arnold prices will go up to cover all the fines from MLB that he will accumulate.

 

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