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Archive for the ‘HISD School Board Elections’ Category

The Chron E-Board candidate endorsements continue to be rolled out.  Today they endorsed HISD trustee candidates including District 1 Trustee and Board President Anna Eastman.  Check out this laurel and hearty endorsement:

District 1: Anna Eastman, the board president, has been a thoughtful leader and a strong advocate for tightening the board’s ethics policy. We heartily endorse her re-election.

Eastman, an HISD parent, joined the board four years ago. She believes that the turnover among the district’s best principals and teachers is too high, and that HISD needs to pay more attention to retaining and developing its staff, and not focus only on non-renewal of low performers: "You can’t fire your way to excellence."

She argues that openness is the best way to fight graft. "Corruption isn’t overt," she says. "You don’t see bad people lurking in the corners. It’s far more subtle, an assumption about the way that influence works. The best way to fight it is to make as much as possible accessible to outside third parties."

About Apollo 20, she says, "The program has noble, worthy origins, and I think it’s done an incredible job at changing school cultures. But it’s very, very expensive. The analysis that we’ve done to date shows that its biggest impact comes from the math tutors, which are the expensive part, but we haven’t seen whether their effects last beyond a year. Are there sustained performance gains?"

Way to go Anna!

Check out the rest of today’s HISD endorsements here.

The ATL got beat by the Dodgers in the NLDS opener last night.  How many World Serious titles does The ATL have?

Talk about running scared.  This is from an AP story on AG Greg Abbott saying Wendy Davis supporters worshipped the devil during her filibuster:

"It was a spectacle. There were people walking around the Capitol chanting ‘Hail Satan,’" Abbott said. "I don’t think that’s representative of where mainstream Texas is."

Don’t forget they were also carrying out bags of doo-doo.

Here is the story on the devil worshippers,

Quite a few TV stations across the state covered the Davis announcement live during their 5 pm newscast yesterday.  Perception is going to count a lot in this election.  Stay tuned and stay engaged!

I think someone over at the nonpartisan local League of Women Voters office forgot they were nonpartisan when they sent out the following tweet right before Sen. Wendy Davis announced:

LeagueOfWomenVotersH‏@LWVHouston

I’m with Wendy! Join me and support @WendyDavisTexas for the next Governor of TX! http://www.wendydavistexas.com #TXGov #TeamWendy

Oops!

The ATL has three World Serious titles of course:  1995 in The ATL, 1957 in Milwaukee, and 1914 in Boston.

The ‘Stros sent us a note yesterday saying things would be better next season.

 

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The Tea Party members of Congress are feeling the heat for sure and they are scrambling to get out of the kitchen.  Now they want to piecemeal their way out of a shutdown by trying to open up some popular parts of the federal government.  It is not going to work.  Like I said, it’s your GOP federal government shutdown so own it.

Meet Team Davis according to the Texas Tribune here.

The Tribe returns to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 when they won the AL Central.  When was the last time the Tribe won the World Serious?

I just got back from a well-attended Anna Eastman for HISD Trustee 8 am gathering for parents in Garden Oaks.  Nice job, Anna!

The author who created Jack Ryan is no longer with us.  I liked reading the Tom Clancy series of books on Ryan.

To Guv Dude:  You don’t need to try to clarify what the First Lady said.  We understand English.

I’m thinking that Democrats across the state will be whistling a different tune tomorrow afternoon.

I am also thinking that after yesterday’s Obamacare rollout, the Obamacare haters will be in the minority sometime next year.

I really don’t think we are going to hear any positive messages coming from the Mayoral candidates any time soon.

The Tribe last won the World Serious in 1948 beating the Boston Braves in 6.

Commentary mentioned last week that ‘Stros first base coach Dave Clark would be looking for a job after the season.  I was right. 

 

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The Save the Dome Campaign is now called the New Dome Experience.  I can’t find their website though.  I wonder if the Texans and the Rodeo are on board. I haven’t seen their campaign signs or a push card.  Good luck and stay tuned!

H-Town CM Jerry Davis probably needs to take 20/10 to lunch sometime soon.  20/10 was heads up for sure last night as he helped Davis hold on to the Harris County Tejano Democrats endorsement.  Way to go 20/10.

Name the ‘Stro with the most fielding errors this season?

Adriana Tamez for HCC District 3 won the Harris County Tejano Democrats endorsement last night.  Way to go!

Let’s see now, Guv Dude is heading up to Maryland to steal some jobs and the Governor of Maryland is coming to the Lone Star State to take our money.  Who wins?

The Chron has a good front page article today headlined “The last loyal fan” about a ‘Stro fan at The Yard.  It is only available to subscribers or if you have a hard copy.  The article could be about a number of us diehards.  I can certainly relate.

HISD Board President Anna Eastman dropped by the Tejano Democrats meeting last night and showed me a cool photo on her phone of Anna and ‘Stro catcher Jason Castro and his wife Maris at Moreno Elementary.  The Castros were donating 3,300 books to the school.  The books had been collected at The Yard earlier this season.  Way to go Jason and Maris Castro!

The General has a piece today saying Bud Adams deserves a spot in the Football Hall of Fame.  I don’t have a problem with that.

MariGirl tweeted last night about ‘blanket bingo” at H-Town Downtown.  I got her ask her what is up with that.

Tags tweeted this today: Chris Carter is six strikeouts away from becoming only the fourth different player to strike out at least 200 times in a season.

That’s another reason to drop by The Yard this weekend. 

Third baseman Matt Dominguez of course leads the ‘Stros with 13 fielding miscues.

Another reason to drop by The Yard this weekend is dollar dogs tonight.

Another reason to drop by The Yard this weekend is being able to bring your pooch on Sunday.

The Yankees are hanging in there. 

 

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Last night Shelley Kennedy hosted a fundraising reception at her home for HISD Board President Anna Eastman and a bunch of good folks attended.  The Dean, Blake Ellis, HCTD’s Lenora Sorola-Pohlman, Chris Bell, Orell Fitzsimmons, HCC candidate Zeph Capo, former HISD Trustee Paula Arnold, Traci Jensen, and education activist Carmen Nuncio were among those in attendance. My friend Vilma Moera and her crew prepared the delicious grub.  It was a great event.

We had two fielding errors last night.  Name the MLB club with the least fielding errors through last night?ISD Trsutee

A Democrat named Mike Collier is running for State Comptroller if State Sen. Wendy Davis runs for Governor.  I don’t know Mike Collier.  Like Burkablog said the other day, not much on the bench.

One would think that the Lite Guv would know better.  Why in the world would he hand over ammo to his opponents?  Then again why is he running for reelection?

Congrats go to Jenna Wolfe and Stephanie Gosk and their new one – Harper Estelle!

Hunker Down thinks County Attorney Vince Ryan violated attorney-client privilege on the Early to Rise opinion.  Who cares?  Will Early to Rise ever get some good run in the press?

B’More of course has only committed 38 fielding miscues.  The ‘Stros have 95 – ouch!

I really don’t want to talk about another one run loss and our 41-85 record. 

 

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I saw this tweet last night that kind of cracked me up during the Harris County Tejano Democrats (HCTD) endorsement meeting:

John C. Gorczynski ‏@JCGorczynski11h

I move the Harris County Tejano Democrats endorse @JJWatt for King of Htown.

It was an outstanding night last night for some of Commentary’s folks.  HISD Trustee Anna Eastman picked up the HCTD endorsement with the help of a lot of folks out in the crowd wearing her yellow stickers.  Anna’s eighth grader was there helping convince Tejano Dems to support her mom.

Graci Garces won out over two of her opponents and a motion to duel endorse.  Graci did it on one ballot – nice.   Graci had widespread support last night.

We managed to stop an endorsement in the HCC Trustee 3 race.

Folks pretty much got along last night although there was a bizarre moment when a Ben Mendez supporter got up and made a motion along the lines of “Sheriff Adrian Garcia nominates Ben Mendez.”  The sheriff was nowhere in sight – huh!

The Mayor was able to withstand a challenge from Ben Hall last night, quite handily may I add.

The Yankees have the record with most World Serious grand salamis with eight.  Name at least five of the Yankees?

In today’s Chron Lisa Falkenberg has a few questions about the details of Early to Rise.  Of course you have to have a subscription to read the Falkenberg take.  Here is a part:

Reasonable people, many of whom strongly back early education, are wary of a program about which they know little.

"While I appreciate the effort to increase access to high quality preschool," Houston Independent School District board president Anna Eastman told me, "when was the last time a self-appointed group of people said ‘we’re going to collect a tax and spend money on something that’s not clearly defined?’ "

If you ask me Early to Rise has done a terrible job of rolling out Early to Rise.

Here was a tweet that Commentary saw from my good pal Sue Davis a couple of days ago:

Sue Davis ‏@suedavis197414 Aug

Ben Hall whining about negative campaigning=laughable. Can’t stand the heat, get out of Oz. Click your heels 3 times, go home to Piney Point

Ouch!

If the local Dem Party wants to be useful, they ought to head over to Pasadena and help the Latino folks from a redistricting grab.  Check out the today’s Chron E-Board take:

After former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay‘s fall from grace, we thought that Texas politicians would know better than pursue mid-decade redistricting. Not so in Pasadena, where Mayor Johnny Isbell is trying to change Pasadena’s city council districts.

Isbell proposed last month to replace two of Pasadena’s single-member districts with two at-large seats. The Bond/Charter Review Committee recommended against moving forward with the changes, at least for the upcoming election. But the proposal alone is distressing enough. Historically, replacing districts with at-large seats has been used to discriminatory ends, and such moves are often blocked by the Department of Justice. Only a few months ago, that would have been the case here. Not anymore. For decades, the Voting Rights Act has been a useful speed bump in Texas. Due to our history of discrimination, any alteration to voting laws or processes had to be approved by the Department of Justice. When the Supreme Court struck down the part of the VRA that based preclearance requirements on past discrimination, it busted open a hole in that wall, and Texas politicians have wasted no time to climb through.

This newfound lack of federal oversight allows local politicians to implement maps that threaten to discriminate against minority voters. The current individual districts in Pasadena allow large, compact and politically cohesive minority populations to elect the representatives of their choice. Replacing these districts with at-large seats could dilute minority voting power, submerging the voting-bloc in a sea of majority voters.

As our Founding Fathers wrote in the Federalist Papers, our republic cannot function if the full spectrum of our nation’s diverse interests do not have representation in government. Decades of discrimination kept vast segments of society away from the table, and only now do we start to see representation rising to the ideals our nation was founded upon. That progress is brought to a halt when cities such as Pasadena make it more difficult for a growing Hispanic population to take part in the democratic process.

Even with the removal of direct barriers to voter registration, historic discrimination in education, housing, employment and health services hinders minority ability to participate effectively in the political process and elect representatives of their choice. Pasadena’s city government makes this point painfully clear – Hispanics comprise a majority of the voting-age population, and a majority of a voting-age population in six of the eight city council districts, but have yet to turn that into electoral success.

Anyone who cares about functioning government should be troubled by such a disconnect between population and representation.

Tony Lazzeri (1936), Gil McDougald (1951), Mickey Mantle (1953), Yogi Berra (1956), Moose Skowron (1956), Bobby Richardson (1960), Joe Pepitone (1964), and Tino Martinez (1998) are the eight Yankees of course with World Serious grand salamis.

We would have to go 24-18 the rest of the way to avoid another 100 loss season.

FOLLOW MARC ON TWITTER
@MarcCommentary

 

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Congrats to the candidates endorsed on Saturday by the Houston GLBT Political Caucus including the following incumbents:  The Mayor, Controller Ron Green, Council Members C.O. Bradford, Jack Christie, Ellen Cohen, Steve Costello, Jerry Davis, Ed Gonzalez, Larry Green, Mike Laster, and HISD Trustee Anna Eastman. 

Endorsements also went to Assata Richards in District D, Graci Garces in District I, David Robinson in At-Large 2, Jenifer Rene Pool in At-Large 3, and Zeph Capo in HCC District 1.

There wasn’t an endorsement in HCC District 3.  FYI:  Commentary’s clients are Trustee Anna Eastman and Graci Garces.  I’m also in discussion with Adriana Tamez about consulting on her campaign for HCC District 3 Trustee.

I have to hand it to the folks that run the Houston GLBT Political Caucus.   They certainly know how to run an endorsement meeting.  Granted Saturday’s meeting lasted four hours but that’s time you have to put in to make a democracy work. 

When you signed in you got a preprinted green credential with your name, address, phone number, and email address along with your membership expiration date.  The screening committee members explained their endorsements to the members attending. Way to go!

Everybody knows that catcher Jason Castro wears the numero 15.  Name the former ‘Stro that also wore the numero 15 and also owns a Cy Young Award?

It turns out the folks that were in charge of putting on the H-Town Thanksgiving Day Parade sold five of the so called major classical floats including Santa’s ride.  The border town of Hidalgo, Texas paid $30,000 for the floats for their Christmas parade.   It seems to Commentary that once the parade sponsor sold the floats they pretty much decided that the parade was a goner.  After all, you can’t have a Thanksgiving Day parade without floats.  You can’t have a Thanksgiving Day parade with Santa riding in the back of a convertible or riding a horse.  Like I said on Friday, if you can’t put on a cool parade, don’t put one on at all.  We’ll survive.

Eydie Gorme may no longer be with us but on Christmas Day her “Blanca Navidad” CD will be at our family Christmas for a while.

Doug Drabek of course wore the numero 15 from 1993-1996 and won the NL Cy Young Award as a Pirate in 1990.

There really isn’t anything to say about GM Luhnow putting together a $13 mil team and forgetting to include a bullpen.  That is unacceptable.  It is like building a car and forgetting to include the brakes.  It is like building a house and forgetting to include bathrooms.  It is like building a 25-story building and forgetting to include elevators. 

 

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About six or seven years ago Commentary attended the H-Town Downtown Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I had special seating.  I wasn’t impressed.  It was kind of lame.  It was maybe about one zillionth of Macy’s up in New York City. 

Since then while surfing through the channels on Thanksgiving Day morning I will run across it and still not be impressed.  The say a few hundred thousand folks attend every year.  I certainly can’t tell by watching on the tube.

It was reported earlier this week that a major sponsor pulled out of the H-Town Thanksgiving Day Parade so folks including The Mayor started scrambling to find new sponsors.  I guess they are trying to hold on to a tradition because the parade isn’t much.  I guess they don’t want to lose the parade on their watch if you know what I mean.  If you are going to hang on to the parade at least spruce it up.  It really needs a major makeover.  Oh well!

39 years ago today President Nixon resigned.  Name the team with the best record in the MLB on that historic day?

From Houston GLBT Political Caucus:

Candidate endorsements for the 2013 City of Houston, Houston Independent School District, and Houston Community College System elections will take place at a special meeting of the Caucus Political Action Committee on Saturday, August 10th at 1:00 PM. The meeting will be held in St. Stephen’s Pecore Hall, located at 1800 Sul Ross Street at the corner of Woodhead Street. 

In order to be eligible to vote in the endorsement process, you must be a current, dues-paid member of the Caucus. Members whose dues have lapsed within the last year can pay dues up to the meeting

Commentary will be there for sure!

The LA Dodgers of course led the MLB with a 73-40 record on August 9, 1974.  The Dodgers went on to lose to the A’s four games to one in the World Serious.

The ‘Stros were 58-54 on 8/9/74.

Today we’re 37-76 with no hope or help in sight and on pace to lose 109 with the Rangers in town for four.

 

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While folks are waiting for the SD6 Special players to exit the stage, H-Town city and school board races are getting geared up. 

Commentary will soon be getting our political page up so do not hesitate to forward your info. 

To be honest with you, I really have not had time to pay attention to the buzz.  Here is what I have so far.  

District A’s Helena Brown will face Brenda Stardig and others.

Nothing much will be going on in District B or C.

District D is open and Dwight Boykins and others are running.

Nothing much will be going on District E and I don’t know about F.

Nothing much will be going on in G or H.

Commentary will be helping Graci Garces in I.

Nothing much will be going on in J or K.

Everyone knows that Baggy leads the ‘Stros in career dingers with 449 followed by the Big Puma with 326.  Name the player that is third on the list?

I have not heard of At-Large 1 Costello, At-Large 2 Burks, At-large 4 Bradford, or At-Large 5 Christie drawing opponents.   

In the open At-Large 3 seat, I hear one of the Kubosh brothers is interested as well as for State Rep. Al Edwards.

Over at HISD, of those running for reelection, I have not heard of any drawing opposition.

I keep hearing that Trustee Larry Marshall might not run since he’s tired of reading about himself in the Chron.

I’ll try to find out what is going on over at HCC since they have just appointed two trustees that will have to decide if they will be running this November.

Oh, I forgot.  We have a Mayor’s race if Ben Hall really decides to staff up or consult up.

Feel free to help Commentary fill in the blanks.

B-G-O is third on the list of career dingers as a ‘Stro with 291 of course.

There is no truth to the rumor that Brownie is on the trading block.

 

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Early Voting in Person begins in three weeks and then we will start getting a picture of sorts on turnout.

Yesterday the Chron had a piece on how the Harris County countywide judicial races will fare.  My pal Robert Miller had this to day in the piece:

"I do not see a partisan sweep either way.  Strong Democrats such as (Sheriff) Adrian Garcia will win, as will strong Republicans such as (district attorney candidate) Mike Anderson."

I’ll wait and see if Robert puts forward a thoughtful and analytical piece on countywide races in the next few weeks or so.  

Here is the piece.

Kuffer has a take on countywide turnout and the Chron article.

Check it out here.

B’More clinched a playoff spot yesterday. The last time they made the playoffs was in 1997.  How did they fare in their 1997 playoff run?

Commentary attended the Community Voices for Public Education meeting this past Saturday in the Heights.  Around 50 folks showed up.  Four outstanding Democrats running for positions that have a major impact on public education spoke to the group and answered questions – Traci Jensen, Ann Johnson, Diane Trautman, and Erica Lee.   HISD Trustee Anna Eastman was there to lead a breakout pod on the HISD bonds.  There were also breakout pods on the post card campaign on reducing the over-emphasis on high-stakes standardize testing and one on the Chicago teachers strike.  It was a good gathering of folks concerned about public education.

Yesterday the Chron E-Board endorsed GOP candidate Mike Anderson for Harris County DA.  That was definitely an easy call for them.   Here is what they said about the Dem nominee:

The Democratic hopeful, Lloyd Wayne Oliver, has admitted that he files for office mostly to get his name before the public in order to drum up law business. That attitude is beyond shameful.

The E-Board didn’t say if they interviewed Oliver.

Check out the endorsement here.

Commentary watched the Schwarzenegger interview last night on “60 Minutes.”  He is an arsehole for sure.

Commentary put out this last week:

In 2008 in Harris County, 76,187 requested mail ballots and 67,612 (88.7%) were returned and counted.  In 2010 in Harris County, 69,991 requested mail ballots and 55,560 (79.4%) were returned and counted.

As of Friday in Harris County, 55,464 have requested mail ballots with 23,114 generated by the GOP and 17,778 by Dems.  I hope things aren’t slowing down.  Somebody better make a push.  We have some catching up to do.

Thanks to the Houston Texans, the Sports Section of Monday’s hard copy of the Chron is thicker than the rest of the paper.

In 1997, B’More won the AL East and went on to beat the Mariners in four in the ALDS then lost to the Tribe in six in the ALCS of course.

The ‘Stros and Rockets launch their own network this afternoon.  Comcast SportsNet Houston signs on at 5 pm today on Comcast 639.  It is not on U-Verse or DirectTV yet.  Check it out if you feel like having more ‘Stros misery.

We knocked the Brewers out of contention yesterday.  We’re sitting on 106 losses and now have three opportunities to put the Cubbies in the 100 loss column. 

 

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First of all let me say that Commentary is generally opposed to putting limits on campaign contributions.  We have them for Prez and Congress.  We don’t for Super PACs.  We have them for H-Town Mayor and City Council.  We don’t for Harris County Judge and County Commissioners.  We don’t for state offices or the state legislature.  We have blackout periods for the City and State.  We don’t for the Congress and County.  We have vendor-contract-agenda blackout periods at the City.

I have always thought if an elected official was corruptible, he/she would be corrupt for a dime, a trip, a ticket, a dinner, or a few Gs.  There are a whole lot of elected officials that will take thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and still vote against a campaign donor’s issue.  That being said, it looks like HISD Trustees are on their way to adopting a campaign contribution policy of sorts that basically says that if you want to do business with HISD, you better not give more than $500 to a Trustee in a calendar year. 

With all the bad press that certain HISD Trustees have received in the past year and a half on campaign contributions and vendor relationships, the proposed policy is a positive step.

Check out Ericka Mellon’s story here on the proposed policy.

Here is from the Chron today:

Trustees would have to abstain from voting on deals involving vendors who had contributed more than $500 to their campaigns the prior year. They also would have to disclose and abstain if they have a close relationship with a vendor.

And:

Houston political consultant Marc Campos said he expects vendors will donate less money to HISD candidates.

"I think it’s a positive step unless somebody can figure out how to game the system," he said.

Campos suggested that the donation rule also apply to political action committees that include vendors, and he questioned whether it would cover unions. The draft policy did not specifically mention unions.

For instance, if a vendor contributes thousands to a PAC, then the PAC turns around and contributes a few thousand to a Trustee, is the proposed policy being violated?  Same thing for a downtown law firm doing bond business with HISD that may give a few thousand to the HBEC PAC, that then turns around and hands out a campaign check to a Trustee.  Let me say that I’m certainly not picking on labor unions but they could also be doing business with HISD.  Same thing goes for a non-profit doing business with HISD.

This is certainly a work in progress and the kinks are going to have to be worked out.  Vendors, donors, consultants, Trustees, candidates, and the media are going to have to figure it out and not be afraid to ask questions and share info.  One thing is for sure, it looks like there will be less money to conduct campaigns unless of course you self-fund.

Today’s Chron Sports section front page is about the lousiest teams in MLB history including the last place 1962 Mets that went 40-120.  How many games did they finish out of first that year?

The Rockets want to buy the Dynamo.

Check it out here.

The ‘Stros owner had some things to say to Chron.com yesterday:

“We want the fans to stick with us. We’ll do a lot of events for the fans the rest of the year and do a lot of events starting next year to keep that nucleus of 10,000 season tickets.”

(Jim) Crane said he believes “sophisticated baseball fans” are in tune with the team’s plan to rebuild through the farm system and “work some free agents in there” as the minor league talent progresses to the point that the big league team can contend.

“If you look at the facts, the farm system has one of the best records now,” he said. “We’ve made a nice turn there. We want to bring up a few guys up (in September) and see if they can play, and we’ll get focused on next year pretty quick. We’re hustling. We want to win some more ballgames and get some more (fans) out.”

Crane also said the Astros have submitted their redesigned uniforms to MLB for approval. He said the design includes “traditional” elements from past Astros uniforms and “incorporates them in a very modest way. They’re very classy.”

He also said the Astros are soliciting fans’ opinions on the future of Tal’s Hill in center field and that fans have said “they don’t see a lot of sense in having that 436(-foot fence) in center. We’re looking at a design that would incorporate some other things out there. We could use that space for a lot of different things.”

According to this “sophisticated fan,” it looks like Tal’s Hill will be bulldozed and they’ll stick some high priced Outfield Diamond Level seats out there – just wait!

The last place 1962 Mets finished 60 ½ games behind the Giants of course.

The D-Backs are in town this weekend with Blue and Gold Star Lids being handed out tonight and Bagwell Bobbleheads tomorrow.

 

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