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Archive for May, 2012

First of all, Commentary was working to Free Hobby on behalf of a client.

The H-Town City Council yesterday overwhelmingly voted to Free Hobby 16-1.  It was an outstanding win for The H-Town Mayor and the City.   The Mayor’s leadership and handling of this issue was right on.  Chairs Melissa Noriega’s and Stephen Costello’s guidance of the four public hearings allowed for all concerned parties to state their case.  And of course, CM James Rodriguez’s (my client) advocacy, playing the role of the whip, and offering strategic advice was essential in getting the deal done.

I also can’t say enough about the team that Southwest Airlines assembled to guide the project through City Hall.

Way to go!

Here is the Chron story.

Here is what CM Rodriguez put out after the vote:

I am honored to have been part of today’s historic vote at City Council approving the expansion project at Hobby Airport that will allow for international flight service. I want to thank my colleagues for supporting this important initiative.

Last year when I was first approached by Southwest Airlines about their proposal to construct a new five-gate international facility at Hobby Airport for service to Mexico, the Caribbean and cities in Central and South America, I advised them to prepare to fully engage the entire community. I want to thank Southwest Airlines Chairman of the Board and CEO Gary Kelly, his team, and their employees for answering all of our questions and concerns in the most professional and timely manner.

Hobby Airport is in my council district, District I. I chose to take an active leadership role in this endeavor because it is good for our community, good for my district, and it makes good economic sense. This expansion project will create jobs and business opportunities as well as provide competition and lower airfares to and from Mexico, the Caribbean and cities in Central and South America, allowing our city to benefit from more tourists and business owners travelling to our great city.

Today Houston once again asserted that we are truly a great international city.

Of course one has to wonder if there was payback on the part of United when they put out a statement after the vote saying they were going to pink slip 1,300 of their H-Town employees beginning this fall.  I don’t know about that.

From Channel 13, here is how CM Rodriguez responded to the United announcement:

"It’s just a bit puzzling to me that they would make the announcement right after the council vote.  Southwest hasn’t built the facility yet, they haven’t started international flights. We are looking at 2015. And so to announce that they are not competing yet is probably a bit premature."

I’m thinking that this may be the summer of United payback.  I won’t be surprised this Friday to see during the seventh inning stretch at The Yard United employees snatching their sign off of the center field façade.  Stay tuned!

Among active MLBers, name the top two players with career doubles?

Speaking of, Ty Wiggintonner’s Brother is having a going away party after work today at Sheer Luck’s on West Gray.

CEWDEM endorsed Gene Wu out in HD 137.  CEWDEM has a right to do that and if you don’t like it, delete him or don’t send him your takes.

The Chron E-Board today deservedly lectured Lone Star State Dems today.

Check it out.

Here are morsels from the lecture:

The party watched another worthy aspirant forced into a runoff by an unknown with a familiar political name. This would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

And:

But Democrats seem unable to get their house in order, and some of the best candidates cannot survive their own primaries, let alone the general election.

And:

Texas Democrats need to tend their own garden, not only to help themselves, but the state as a whole. A functioning republic requires competing interests. Without an alternative to Republicans, large portions of the Texas populace will go unrepresented. And without a strong opposition, any political party can slide into complacency and irrelevance, or worse.

Texas deserves better.

You can say that again.

In the Harris County Democratic Party Primary Runoff in Precinct Constable 2, Zerick Guinn goes in as the leader after getting 2,017 (32.53%) in round 1 and Chris Diaz getting 1,018 (16.42%).  An analysis of the early voting showed that of the 3,461 that cast ballots, 38% were African American, 36% were Latino, and 23% Anglo.  There was also a higher than usual percentage of voters without a recent Democratic voting history.  Guess what?  Most of these low propensity voters were Latino that we figured were coming out to support the seven Latino candidates in the race.  It is going to be a huge challenge to get these folks back to the polls in the runoff.  By the way, Guinn is African American.   Guinn is the strong favorite in this runoff.

Dodger Bobby Abreu (562) and Rockies Todd Helton (561) of course lead active MLBers in career doubles.

I have absolutely nothing to say about losing five in a row. 

 

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Commentary is really disappointed that Joe Martinez (my client) didn’t make it into the runoff in the Democratic Primary Harris County Constable, Precinct 2 race.  Joe and his family and crew worked real hard.  I thought we would do better.  It was definitely the curve ball of the evening for me.  I’m really bummed out about this one.

Congrats to Traci Jensen (my client)!  Traci is now the Democratic Party nominee for State Board of Education, District 6.  We’ve got a very difficult race ahead but a tremendous candidate to run with.  Stay tuned!

Congrats to Precinct 6 Constable Victor Trevino (my client)!  23 years and five months of service to the community certainly paid off.

I don’t know what to say about the Harris County Democratic Party this morning.  We threw out an outstanding judge yesterday in Judge Kirkland.  We said no way Jose to Zack Fertitta for DA.  CD 22 is an embarrassment. 

In the Harris County Democratic Party Primary, more folks voted early than voted yesterday – by a hair or two.

Among active MLBers, name the player with the most career triples?

Well at least our Dem Party Chair is Lane Lewis – whew!

Let me say this and I also blame myself.  Dem campaigns need to do a better job of getting folks to the polls.  We may send out good mail and make good phone calls but we don’t do a good job of hauling voters to the polls.  Yesterday’s results here in Harris County are proof if you ask me and thank you for asking me. 

Former Cong. Ciro Rodriguez is definitely not going away – at least for the next 60 days.

The GOP will have a high profile runoff for U.S. Senate and Dems will have a low profile runoff.  Here is from an online article yesterday on the Dem race:

“The Democratic race is the political equivalent of a witness protection program. Once they’re nominated, no one knows who they are, and they’re never heard from again,” said political scientist Jerry Polinard of the University of Texas-Pan American.

Commentary is on his way to City Hall today to Free Hobby.  I’ll have more tomorrow.

Carl Crawford of course of the Red Sox leads active MLBers with 112 career triples.

The ‘Stros need to get back on track tonight as they took E-Day off yesterday.

 

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Commentary was real glad to see this in the “in” box yesterday:

Friends and colleagues:

I have completed my deployment with the US Navy in Afghanistan.  Beginning tomorrow, I return to the firm and resume my government relations practice. 

Thank you very much for the prayers, good wishes and support that so many of you offered for my family and me.  They were much appreciated and much needed, and my time down range would have been much more difficult without them.

I look forward to seeing you very soon at the Capitol or City Hall or on the hustings. 

Best,

Jim Grace

LT, US Navy Reserve (once again, thankfully)

It’s great to have Jim back!  I look forward to seeing Jim “on the hustings.”

Here is a line from Burkablog today:

We’re going to see some surprised candidates on Tuesday night.”

Among active MLB pitchers, only two have 200 plus career wins – name them?

Can you believe that the New Orleans Times-Picayune is only going to be published on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.   In this case no news is bad news!

Roll Call:  Yesterday I received a Judge Kirkland robo call. I also received a Back to Basics PAC robo call slamming Elaine Palmer.

I don’t think we will have much of a turnout here locally today.

Jamie Moyer (269) and Andy Pettitte (242) of course are the only active MLB pitchers with 200 plus career wins.

I’m not going to say anything about losing a twin bill yesterday.

GO VOTE AND GO GET EVERYBODY ELSE THAT YOU KNOW TO GO VOTE!

 

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This is the first time (I think) and hopefully the last time we have ever had an Election Day the day after a national holiday.  We really can’t measure it against anything in the past and hopefully we will never have to measure against anything in the future.  For Dems here in Harris County, if more folks vote during early voting than vote tomorrow, turnout is going to s__k atrociously rather than s__king normally.

In 2010, in the Harris County Dem Party Primary, 33,771 voted early in person and 6,959 voted by mail.  In 2012, 30,142 voted early in person, and to date, 7,735 have mailed in their ballots.  There are still 5,352 Dem mail ballots out there that still haven’t been returned.

West Gray (2,188) was knocked off of its perch and fell to third place and replaced by Sunnyside (2,599), followed by Fiesta (2,239).  Palm Center was fourth (2,132), Northeast was fifth (1,960), and Acres Home sixth (1,897).  Now that is interesting.  

Remember when we were little the grown-ups used to tell us to be careful and not play with matches because we could start a fire.  I guess the Lite Guv and Ted Cruz campaigns didn’t listen to the grown-ups.  It seems like the incendiary immigrant bashing by the GOPers started a kitchen fire of sorts.   The Lite Guv’s campaign has an ad running accusing Ted Cruz of supporting amnesty and the Cruz campaign pulled the crybaby act.  Check out from the Star Telegram:

The Dewhurst campaign made available for comment Jacob Monty, who serves with Cruz on the board of the Hispanic Alliance for Prosperity Institute and said the right-leaning policy group has "been champions of immigration reform since 2002."

Monty added of Cruz, "he defended our position. But that was pre-tea party."

"I think it’s a fallacy that, in order to be elected, you have to use illegal as a noun and call people ‘illegals,’ " he said. "Ted Cruz was there with us. He’s not there now."

The Cruz campaign countered with its own surrogate, George P. Bush, who serves on the boards of both the Hispanic Alliance for Prosperity and the Hispanic Leadership Fund.

"It’s very disappointing to see David Dewhurst resort to blatantly false attack ads," Bush, nephew of former President George W. Bush, said in a statement. "I was offended not only as a Hispanic but as a Republican."
Awwwwww!

Here is the entire Star Telegram piece.

I pulled this from the Trib:

"When I first heard this false attack ad, I was offended not only as a Hispanic but as a Republican," Bush said in a statement. "We are a party of inclusion that welcomes the fastest growing demographic in our state that largely shares our conservative values of limited government, strengthening the family and supporting small business."

Shut up!  You don’t belong to the party of inclusion and your party is not interested in helping out the fastest growing demographic!  In fact, your party would love to figure out a way to make us Latinos disappear!  Callate! 

Everybody knows that the MLB Wild Card was started in 1995 and this year we will have two Wild Card teams in each league.  Name the teams that have been the Wild Card winners the most in both the AL and the NL?

This election season we have learned that conservatives have four caucuses.  We’ve got severely conservatives, movement conservatives, establishment conservatives, and constitutional conservatives. Got it? 

If the Lite Guv doesn’t put Ted Cruz away tomorrow, over the next to months we will also get introduced to the rabid conservatives and the frothing at the mouth conservatives.

Roll Call:  On Friday I received a Cindy Vara-Leija for Precinct 1 Constable mail piece, on Saturday I got a Zack Fertitta for DA robo call, yesterday I received a Sheriff Garcia robo call, and last night I got a Back to Basics PAC live call for Judge Kirkland.

The Red Sox of course have been the Wild Card team 7 times (1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009) to lead the AL and the Rockies of course have been the Wild Card team 3 times (1995, 2007, and 2009) to lead the NL.

Speaking of the Rockies, the ‘Stros play this afternoon and evening in a scheduled doubleheader at Coors – cool.  We’re 22-25 as we were only able to get one at Chavez Ravine this past weekend.  Let’s play two!

 

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Ty Wiggintonner’s Brother will be leaving the City of H-Town next week.  He’s been in charge of making sure the City doesn’t get cracked too hard during Lone Star State legislative sessions. He’s handled the job well if you ask me.  Lately, he’s also been serving as The Mayor’s Deputy Chief of Staff.  His next stop will be down I-45 at the University of Houston where he will head up government relations.

Commentary has always been impressed with his professionalism, his political savvy, his takes on politics, and just being a real good guy.  He is certainly one of the better ones in this business. (He also knows MLB stuff.)

He’ll be missed at the City.  Of course, I hope he at least makes one more contribution before he heads out the door – and that’s to make sure Hobby gets freed. 

Good luck, Darrin Hall!  We will see you down the road!

Roll Call:  I got a robo call yesterday from Erika Lee’s mom.

Name the first African American MLBer to lead either the AL or NL in dingers for a season?

After 2012 EV Day 11 for Dems, Sunnyside (1,986) still leads with Fiesta (1,732) and West Gray (1,730) locked in a battle for second.  Dems need to get 10,691 folks to show up in person today to match the 2010 total.  It’s not going to happen. 

Commentary was listening to Sports 610 yesterday and they were talking about the Astrodome.  Some fella called in and suggested that they strip down the Dome to just the skeletal beams and paint them, fix them up to look nice,  put in park benches, and plant some grass.  Folks would still know that that is where the Eighth Wonder of the World once stood.  Why not? That’s what they do with dinosaur bones.

Meanwhile, on Chron.com, 1,544 (77%) said they would vote not to fix the Dome and Reliant Arena if a tax hike was involved.  280 (14%) said yes.  183 (9%) wanted to see the size of the tax increase before deciding.

Larry Doby of course as a member of the Tribe lead the AL with 32 dingers back in 1954, becoming the first African American to lead a league in dingers.

Patricia Kilday Hart’s column today has to do with “pay for play” endorsements over in the local GOP Primary.  You know Hootzie and my pal Gary Polland’s money making slate makers.  Of course, you have to have the hard copy to find out more.  Dems don’t do money making slates, do we?

H-Town is bidding for the 2017 Super Bowl but the Chron’s General said we have no chance of getting it.

Here are more Chron stories related to fixing the Dome:

Plans for Dome and arena would likely bring tax hike.

and:

Astrodome revival is fine, but Reliant Stadium’s welfare comes first, McNair says.

The ‘Stros have a 5-13 record on the road.  Let’s hope we can improve as we head into LA for three this weekend.

 

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They could have just paid Commentary a couple of six packs of St. Arnold and I would have told them just to tear the Dome down if you ask me.  Guess what?  They didn’t ask me!

So the folks that are in charge of watching the Astrodome decay paid for another study.  Here is from the Chron:

Many of the consultants’ proposals, detailed in a $500,000 study to which taxpayers contributed $50,000, are similar to those outlined in a preliminary study released two years ago.

You can say that again.  And:

The multipurpose Dome could be used to host concerts of all sizes, as well as football, soccer and hockey games, basketball and tennis tournaments, livestock shows, conventions and other events, ….

We already have venues for the above – duh!   And, from the it ain’t happening now department:

Commissioner Steve Radack said the county’s budget cannot accommodate the annual debt payments that would be required on a $523 million bond issue, and said he does not support the tax increase that would be required to fund it.

"Given the choice of maintaining the status quo or having an ad valorem tax increase by Harris County government, I believe we should remain in the status quo," Radack said. "I will not support putting this bond election before the voters. This initiative should be delayed."

Here is the entire Chron story.

So what was the whole point of this exercise?

When was the last time an MLBer stole 100 plus bases in a season?

Roll Call:  CORRECTION:  Yesterday I meant I received a Grady Castleberry for Precinct 1 Constable robo call.  Traci Jensen for State Board of Education, District 6, Judge Steven Kirkland for the 215th, Cindy Vara-Leija for Precinct 1 Constable, and Alan Rosen for Precinct 1 Constable visited my mailbox yesterday.

After 2012 EV Day 10, 7,120 Dem mail ballots have been returned, surpassing the 6,959 in 2010.  We’re now at 19,324 EV in person with Sunnyside still leading and West Gray and Fiesta tied for second.

Vince Coleman of course of San Luis stole 109 bases in 1987, the last time a player stole 100 plus bases in a season.

Here is from the Chron’s Sports section:

The Astros are nearing submission of a new 2013 uniform to Major League Baseball for approval, and while Jim Crane couldn’t share specific details, he did suggest the old colors are coming back.

“We’ll blend some of the new with the history of the team and some of the colors in the past,” Crane said.

I don’t know about adding a handgun or the brick red to the rainbow.  How about just keeping the brick red and putting the rainbow on the star?

We swept the Cubbies and are now 21-23.  We take today off and then head to LA.

 

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Sean Hubbard, Dem candidate for U.S. Senate in the Lone Star State got him a nice write-up in today’s Chron.

Check it out here.

A couple of weeks or so ago, my pal Harold Cook said some nice things about Hubbard.  Here is what Hubbard says today in the Chron:

"I just got tired of watching the Democratic Party being afraid all the time.  It’s just a theory at this point, but I think part of the reason Republicans do so well here is that they take a stand on an issue. I thought, ‘Hey, let’s try that.’ "

The UT/Texas Trib poll said former State Rep. Paul Sadler and Hubbard might be headed into a runoff.  Today’s Chron write-up certainly helps him out.

In 2010, West Gray made up 9.6% of the Harris County Dem Primary EV in person.  In 2012, after EV Day 9, they are at 7.8%.  In 2010, Fiesta/Sunnyside/Palm Center combined for 22.7 % of the EV Dem in person total.  After EV Day 9, they are at 23%.  Only 86 Dem mail ballots came in yesterday but who’s counting anyway.

Josh Hamilton of the Rangers is being mentioned as a Triple Crown hopeful.  Everyone knows that Hall of Fame greats Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox won it in 1967 and Frank Robinson of B’More won it in 1966.  Who was the only player to win it in the 1950s?

Roll Call:  I got a Glen Castleberry for Precinct 1 Constable robo call and a Lane Lewis for Dem Party Chair robo call yesterday.

It is kind of hard to pick the Dem candidates that will make the run-offs in State Rep. Districts 137 and 144.  The candidates are all working hard and dropping mail. 

It turns out the Chron E-Board did endorse in the Dem Constable Precinct 1 race.

Check it out here.

Mickey Mantle of course won the Triple Crown in 1956.

Commentary doesn’t care if the Cubbies have the worst record in baseball, a win still counts as a win and we are now 20-23.  Soccer fans and ‘Stros fans will converge this evening so get there early. 

 

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