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Archive for the ‘Latino Voter Registration’ Category

A few GOP members of congress and some GOP talking heads are in big time denial when they refer to last Tuesday’s results as a status quo election.  You gotta be kidding!

A president was reelected with a 7.9% unemployment rate.  The GOP only got 27% of the Latino vote (23% according to Latino Decisions), about a third of the Asian American vote, and around 5% of the African American vote.  Three states voted for marriage equality.  Two states voted to legalize pot.  The President racked up 332 electors.  At the beginning of the year, the betting was Dems would lose the Senate but on E-Day we picked up two seats.  None of this sounds like status quo to me.

Oh yeah, I forgot – Karl Rove spent $300 mil and got nada.

Name the skippers who are tied for the most World Serious rings in MLB history as skippers?

Commentary is proud of the fact that I was the first to start talking about Dems needing to engage Latino vote in the Lone Star State.  That was over a decade and a half ago.  Now it seems that everyone is talking about it.   Here is from a story I got off of the Star Telegram:

Political experts and Hispanic leaders say that for Texas Democrats to pull off a transition from red to blue, the party must mobilize Hispanic voters, using the same kind of ground game that the president’s campaign workers did in Tuesday’s election.

And:

"They were in all the key states and it was critical that they turn out," said Valerie Martinez-Ebers, professor of political science at the University of North Texas and an editor of the American Political Science Review.

So-called Dreamers, undocumented children who were brought to the United States by their parents illegally, played a key role in that movement, Martinez-Ebers said.

Here is the entire piece.

Run “Latino vote” through your local search engine these days and you’ll pull up stories about the Latino vote riding in like the cavalry and saving some states for The President – cool.  Now you see some GOP leaders starting to talk about The DREAM Act and a pathway too citizenship.  Si se puede?

Here is one more story from the Chron yesterday on the Latino vote and the Lone Star State.

Dems need to invest and start working.

Commentary hardly spends anytime talking about college sports because those guys don’t get paid anything.  You have to hand it to the Aggies and their huge win over the Crimson Tide.  I think they have adjusted quite well to life in the SEC.

Commentary isn’t going to spend time on the general and his biographer. What is the point? 

I’ll tell you what, there aren’t going to be very many Thanksgiving Dinners in H-Town next week starting at 11:30 am – that’s for sure.

The late greats Joe McCarthy (Yankees – 1932, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941 and 1943) and Casey Stengel (Yankees – 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1956 and 1958) have seven World Serious rings apiece of course.

I don’t have anything from The Yard.

 

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I was out in Northwest Harris County this morning before the polls opened and there were lines forming.

Name the ‘Stros that had dingers in the 2005 World Serious? 

For today’s take, I think it is appropriate on this E-Day to put in an op-ed that ran in yesterday’s HuffPo that MariGirl help put together. The op-ed is authored by Cristina Jiménez, Managing Director of United We Dream.  Here goes:

The influence of immigrant youth leaders, also known as DREAMers, was felt in June with the announcement of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and will be felt again on election day. DACA, announced by the Obama Administration on June 15, allows a specific group of undocumented youth to live without fear of deportation for 2 years, and to fully contribute to America. This policy came as a result of years of hard work by DREAMers, their allies and their families. For 2 years DREAMers led a grassroots campaign to stop the administration from deporting them and won relief. While this may seem like the only victory they have achieved, it is not. They have also won the hearts and minds of Latino voters. The victory of DACA is directly responsible for the increased enthusiasm by Latino voters.

Both Democrat and Republican talking heads have made deferred action and the protection of DREAMers the number one talking point when it comes issues that matter to Latino voters. Accomplishing this feat wasn’t easy. Under President Obama’s tenure, DREAMers saw an alarming increase in cases of DREAMers being detained and shuffled into deportation proceedings. As immigrant youth leaders, we came together and created campaigns to stop these deportations, while pointing out to the nation and the administration that the immigration policies they were enforcing were failing spectacularly.

Every day, we saw stories of undocumented youth and their families being detained and put into deportation proceedings and the Latino community took notice. Immigration is a key filter issue for Latino families. Jobs, health care and the economy are important but immigration is what will get you into our living room to discuss those issues. It didn’t take long for Latino leaders to hold the Obama Administration’s feet to the fire. There were just too many injustices happening and our community was not going to stand on the sidelines while families were being separated. The Latino vote was up for grabs and it wasn’t very happy with President Obama.

When the announcement was made, we celebrated. It was as a step in the right direction but our work continues. Our mothers and fathers, tios and tias, are still being detained and deported. And while deferred action was one step in the right path, some states still refuse to grant those of us who have been approved for deferred action driver’s licenses. Immigration — particularly as it affects us young, law-abiding, hardworking, aspiring citizens — resonates more and more with Americans, not just Latinos. We still need a permanent solution, and it remains our top priority.

Latino voters are critical in determining who will win the White House and control Congress. That is why DREAMErs have intensified their voter education and mobilizing efforts is states like Arizona, Colorado and Florida.

That work is already paying off — in Arizona, where SB 1070 is law, 60 percent of Latinos are more motivated to vote this year than four years ago. In Colorado, 69 percent of Latinos were "very enthusiastic" about voting in two weeks. In Virginia, an astonishing 73 percent of Latinos expressed similar levels of enthusiasm about voting this year. And in Florida, possibly the most swing state this past decade, 53 percent of Latinos stated that deferred action made them "more enthusiastic" about voting for President Obama.

Regardless of the election results for president and congressional races, we will continue to push for permanent solutions that provide a path to citizenship for our families, ending enforcement policies that have broken up so many families, and focusing on action at the state level, so aspiring citizens can be granted licenses and benefit from in-state tuition at state universities.

Nice job MariGirl!  If the Latino vote helps turn this election, give major credit to Cristina, MariGirl, United We Dream, and DREAMers  all across the U.S. of A.

Morgan Ensberg, Mike Lamb, and Jason Lane of course had dingers in the 2005 World Serious.

It is just about all over but the crying so go vote and vote for outstanding candidates like Traci Jensen.

Former MLBer and four-time All Star Dennis Martinez is now bullpen coach for the ‘Stros. 

 

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The Chron E-Board endorsed in a couple of civil court races today.

Check them out here.

Bittersweet is probably a good word to describe last night.  After going to a meeting of the Spring Branch Dems with Traci Jensen I zipped over to The Yard to catch the last few innings of the game against San Luis.  It was the last home game of the season.  It was the last home game as an NL team.  It was Milo’s last game.  It got a little teary eyed and emotional when Milo took the mike during the seventh inning stretch and said his “Holy Toledo” farewell to the fans on El Grande.

Most of the 18,000 and change stayed at The Yard as the ‘Stros headed to the top of the ninth with a two run lead.  In the last inning every pitch was cheered.  It was probably fitting that our only All Star Jose Altuve fielded the final ground out and then we won and there were hugs, tears, high fives, and fist bumps for all.  Everyone had forgotten that we were still sitting on 105 losses.  It was a good night and one that I’ll remember for a long time.

Here is the Channel 11 story about our last NL home game that includes Commentary.

How many no-nos thrown by the ‘Stros did Milo call?

As of yesterday in Harris County, 53,042 had requested mail ballots with 22,185 generated by the GOP and 17,331 by Dems.

Commentary might have to go get a check-up on my eyes to see if I need new eyeglasses because I can’t see the hand writing on the wall that my pal Gary Polland apparently sees.  Gary’s latest review blames the media (that’s fresh) for Romney’s problemos, he gives a big mention to Vince Ryan getting hammered by Wayne Dolcefino, rants about The President’s logo on the red, white, and blue, and posts a piece from a right winger who says that if The President wins, he is going to “replace Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum.” 

Boy that’s scaring folks!  What about baseball, hot dogs and apple pie?

You can check out Gary’s take here.

The Golden Bear endorsed Romney yesterday in Ohio.

My old pal Yolanda Black Navarro put this out yesterday:

Friends, as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and where we have been, where we are, and how much more we have to do, I want to inform you of the following:

Tomorrow (Today) at the Metro Board Meeting, at 1900 Main, Sylvia Gonzales and myself will address the Board and President with regard to dismal amount of Latinos employed by Metro overall, and in particular in Senior Level positions and see how our Latino community can begin to work outside the box to recruit as Metro has not had success.  Please join if you would like as supporters at 9 am. at 1900 Main. Metro Headquarters

Friday at 10 a.m. at Holy Name Catholic Church, we will hold a press conference, Latinas Enhancing Advocacy and Development (LEAD), LULAC, NHPO and others to unite and address the change of early voting location of Moody Park to Holy Name Catholic Church.

In addition we are asking everyone to do their part and reach out to churches, congregations, organizations and set up voter registration tables and register Latinos to vote.  Registration deadline is Tuesday, October 9th.

On the Moody Park Early Voting location change, I asked the folks in charge of the election about the change last week and they told me that Moody Park wasn’t available.  It is a City of H-Town facility so maybe the City needs to ‘splain why it isn’t available.

My pal Bill King has a piece about the METRO referendum.  Here is part:

The conventional political wisdom is that with all the heavyweight political support for the "For" proposition, that is to continue the rebates, it will be easily approved by the voters. However, I am not certain.

Steven Klineberg’s regional surveys show widespread support for transit and for rail playing a significant role. Even though Metro’s light-rail plan covers only a tiny fraction of its service area, it has been able to persuade many that the light rail is precursor to a large commuter system. Notwithstanding that the proposition is total nonsense, suburban voters who believe it might be inclined to say the money should stay at Metro to advance such a mythical regional system.

Predicting a result is further complicated because there seems to be a great deal of confusion among voters as to what the "For" and "Against" propositions actually mean.

Either way, Metro will likely never be the same. If the "For" proposition prevails, Metro will be forced to spend much more of its time and resources on the bus system – a good thing in my opinion – and light rail will effectively be shelved indefinitely – also a good thing in my opinion.

If the "Against" proposition prevails, you will see an all-out, knock-down-drag-out fight in the Legislature next session over Metro and its governance. In such a fight, the city of Houston would likely lose its control over Metro, another reason why the city is anxious to see the referendum pass.

Here is all Bill’s column.

I still haven’t run in to anyone that is voting for the METRO deal.

Milo called four no-nos thrown by ‘Stros pitcher of course:  Don Wilson’s against The ATL when Milo was with The ATL (1967), Mike Scott’s against the Giants (1986), DK’s against the Mets (1993), and the six pitcher no-no in Old Yankee Stadium (2003).

We ended up 35-46 at The yard this season.

 

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The Chron E-Board still reads Commentary and that has to be a good thing.  Commentary is just going to lay out what the Chron E-Board had to say today on the Latino vote.  It is an interesting take that concerned folks should slowly digest:

Addressing his people in October 1939, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill spoke of Russia as "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."

Nearly three-quarters of a century later, the statesman’s World War II-era formulation can be applied to a very different and modern political subject: the Hispanic vote in the 2012 presidential election. With apologies to Churchill, it, too, is a riddle, a mystery and an enigma. It’s also a significant electoral prize; one being ardently pursued by both major parties.

The riddle: Is there really such a thing as a homogenous, straight-party Hispanic vote?

The mystery: Why do Hispanics as a group so dramatically under-perform their vast demographic potential at the polls?

The enigma: Which major party will claim this prize? Or will both?

Chronicle readers received an up-close and personal view of this dilemma/opportunity, via separate Sunday profile stories on two very different Hispanic-Texan politicians – GOP U.S. Senate nominee Ted Cruz and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.

Both men are considered rising stars in their parties. Speaking in prime time Tuesday at the Republican National Convention, Cruz shone brightly, sparking comparisons with GOP icon Ronald Reagan. Castro will have his moment to shine when he delivers the keynote speech to the Democratic convention in prime time next week in Charlotte, N.C., filling the speaking slot that launched Barack Obama in 2004.

But that is where the similarities end. Cruz and Castro promote political positions that are as unalike as black beans and menudo.

Cruz, 42, is a tea party conservative who sprang from obscurity to defeat the GOP establishment favorite, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, in July’s Republican primary runoff. The Houstonian, a former Texas solicitor general and college debate champion, is the son of a Cuban immigrant father and attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Castro, 37, the son of a single mother, has a twin brother, Joaquin, a Texas legislator running for Congress. The Castro brothers both attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School. As mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro has dealt with the nitty-gritty issues confronting a growing bicultural city.

Both Cruz and Castro can lay fair claim to a fully pedigreed Hispanic birthright, as well as a place at the center of the battle to win this electoral prize for their respective parties.

But it is far from clear that there is a definable "Hispanic vote" in the sense that there is, for example, a unified African-American vote that can be counted upon by Democrats in good times and bad.

Rather, there are expanding millions of Latino voters with vastly different geographic, educational, cultural, racial and economic backgrounds. Cuban lawyers and bankers. Mexican-American entrepreneurs. Sixth-generation Latino ranchers and farmers all across Texas. Devout traditional Roman Catholics and growing numbers of evangelical Christians. Non-believers, too.

Hispanic-Americans proudly defy the stereotypes others would place on them. And therein lies the challenge for both parties in pursuit of Hispanic/Latino support. This is not a homogenous group. Far from it.

But first things first. If Hispanics are to gain political power to match their demographic heft, voter turnout must improve. It is notoriously low, and for as long as it remains so, the myth of Hispanic political power will remain just a dream.

Convincing evidence of that is as near at hand as Houston’s U.S. House District 29, created after the 1990 census as a Hispanic district. Since that beginning, the district seat has been held by Rep. Gene Green, an Anglo with strong ties to the Hispanic community, but a gringo, nonetheless. This is the proof that creating a Hispanic district requires more than redrawing political boundaries.

Meanwhile, younger rising Hispanic stars – Republican and Democrat – are continuing to make their presence known in Texas and across the nation. The highest political profile in Texas or anywhere else surely belongs to George P. Bush, grandson of President George H.W. Bush and nephew of President George W. Bush, who is the GOP state party’s finance chairman. But he is only one of many.

The most basic act of leadership these young worthies can perform will be in bringing greater numbers of Latinos to the nation’s ballot boxes. Till that is done, the dreams will remain elusive. The Hispanic vote will continue to be a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

How many MLB clubs have never won a World Serious and name them please?

Speaking of riddle me this, the Trib has a piece today on the Lone Star State GOP going after a share of the Latino vote. 

Check it here.

The Trib also has a piece on some GOP delegates wanting Guv Dude and the Lite Guv to retire.

Check it here.

Eight MLB teams have never won the World Serious and they include the Padres – 2 appearances (1984, 1998), Rockies – 1 appearance (2007), the ‘Stros – 1 appearance (2005), Nationals/Expos- 0 appearances,  Rangers/Senators- 2 appearances (2010, 2011), Mariners – 0 appearances, Rays- 1 appearance (2008), and Brewers- 1 appearance (1982).

The Rocket will pitch in Skeeterville on September 7.

Last night I witnessed Hunter Pence blast a three-run dinger and then watched us lose numero 90 for the season.  Again only 13,000 and showed up last night. 

 

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A few months ago Hector mentioned to me that there were around 360,000 Latinos registered to vote in Harris County and that 57% of the 360,000 lived at around the beltway and beyond.  He also told me that only 16% of the 360,000 resided inside of the loop.  A lot of the Latino growth is in northwest Harris County and that’s why Cy-Fair ISD, the third largest school district in the state, has an over 40% Latino student population.  Lesson for local Dems:  If you want to turn Harris County blue, get out of your comfort zone and head northwest and engage Latino voters.    FYI:  SBOE District 6 candidate Traci Jensen (Commentary’s client) is running in a king size district that includes most of CY-Fair ISD and other areas with a lot of Latino voters.

On a related note, here is from today’s Politico:

Latino Decisions, the polling outfit that showed a jump in Latino enthusiasm for President Obama following last month’s policy shift on deportation, finds today that the president is winning 70 percent of the Latino vote in 2012.

The poll is sponsored by a pair of progressive groups and finds Obama leading Romney by an even wider margin than he beat John McCain in 2008:

“Latino Decisions released new national poll of Latino registered voters showing Barack Obama winning 70% of the Latino vote compared to 22% for Mitt Romney.  The poll, commissioned by the Center for American Progress Action Fund and America’s Voice,  illustrates an increase in support for President Obama, and comes after a month of outreach to Latino voters, starting with the June 15 Dream announcement, appearances by the President and Vice President at NALEO and NCLR conferences, and comments opposing Arizona’s SB1070 immigration law.  This poll marks the first time Obama has received 70% of the vote in Latino Decisions polling on the presidential election over the past 20 months.”

The final margin among Latinos in 2008 was a 36-point gap in Obama’s favor. Right now, he’s up by 48 points. Which gives you a sense of why Republican elites think it’s so urgent for Romney to make up ground with this bloc.

Today I would say that the polling numbers are about right even here in Harris County.  Of course the polling numbers don’t mean squat if we’re not engaging the Latino voters.

A rarity in MLB these days is stealing home.  Name the player with record for career steals of home?

From yesterday’s Chron.com, a Joe Holley Moment:

U.S. Senate candidate David Dewhurst probably didn’t need a press release to communicate his nose-thumbing disdain for President Obama’s visit to Austin and San Antonio this week, but a press release we got nonetheless.

“President Obama is using Texas as an ATM, the same way he’s using taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars to spend our country into oblivion,” the lieutenant governor proclaims, before delivering himself of a jeremiad worthy of talk-show ranter Michael Savage. His upstart rival, former Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz, routinely describes the president as “the most radical president in American history,” but Dewhurst ramps up the screed. “President Obama,” he asserts, “is the most serious threat to America since World War II.” (Worse, apparently, than Cold War nuclear threats, Al Quaeda attacks, the hearbreak of psoriasis)

Our national fate, Dewhurst warns, is a dismal Obama-led Continental tour: “Through his disastrous and reckless policies like Obamacare, it seems Obama is trying to mirror America in the image of Europe. If we do not change the path we’re on, Obama will kill our economy, spend America into bankruptcy and relegate us to a failed future.”

The relatively low-key lieutenant governor, who has fallen behind the energetic and hyper-articulate Cruz in recent polls, calls for “a complete transformation of how our government works” and “leaders who will get government out of the way and allow the private sector to flourish.”

He’s waited 66 years for his Mr. Dewhurst-goes- to-Washington-moment, and now, even if he gets by the pesky Cruz, he may find the Capitol crumbled, thanks to “the most serious threat. . . ” Like Charlton Heston’s Statue of Liberty moment in “The Planet of the Apes,” all he’ll be able to do is shake his head at the folly of his fellow Americans, take one last look at the fallen dome and then trudge on back to Texas. It’s that bad, folks.

Or so says an over-heated candidate in the home stretch of a long, bitter race.

Also from Chron.com is Guv Dude’s Welcome to the Lone Star State letter to The President:

“Perhaps while the President is visiting Texas, he can take a break from big-dollar fundraisers to disavow his Attorney General’s offensive and incendiary comments regarding our common-sense voter identification law.

“In labeling the Texas voter ID law as a “poll tax,” Eric Holder purposefully used language designed to inflame passions and incite racial tension. It was not only inappropriate, but simply incorrect on its face.

“The president should apologize for Holder’s imprudent remarks and for his insulting lawsuit against the people of Texas.”

Every time The President visits the Lone Star State, GOP leaders go bonkers.  I love it!

Burkablog is sorta making a prediction in the GOP U.S. Senate race:

I believe this is going to be a very close race. The bigger the turnout, the better it is for Dewhurst. I think the breaking point is around 825,000. If the turnout is less, Cruz wins. If it’s more, Dewhurst wins.

Commentary isn’t going to say anything lincredibly silly about H-Town’s newest resident Jeremy Lin other than to ask if he is considering moving to Lindale – home to former Commissioner Sylvia Garcia, Sheriff Adrian Garcia, CM Ed Gonzalez, and HCC Trustee Yolanda Navarro Flores.

Hall of Fame great Ty Cobb of course stole home 54 times in his career.

I also said I wasn’t going to say anything about Jeremy Lin other than to ask if he can play shortstop because Jed Lowrie is out for 4-6 weeks and we now have 36 roadie losses – HELP!

 

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Don’t forget to join us to celebrate the life of a great journalist and our dear friend — Lori Rodriguez.

From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday (Saturday), June 30, 2012 at the Downtown Club at the Met. 

You enter through the 6th Floor of the Parking Garage at the Allen Center, 340 West Dallas Street.

I am honored that I have been asked to say a few words tomorrow.  We hope to see you there.

Last night Commentary accepted the Best Politics Blog Award at the 2012 Second Annual Houston Web Awards presented by the Houston Press.  MariGirl couldn’t make it so 20/10 went with me.  There were a lot of folks in attendance.

One of the highlights of the evening was spending a little time with fellow recipient Houston Texans linebacker Connor Barwin who took home the Best Local Sports Star Twitter Award.  (Later on today you can go to my website and check out our photo together).   Barwin is all muscle for sure.  He was definitely enjoying the evening and having fun.  He was very appreciative when I told him it was great to see him come out in support of marriage equality.  A couple or so months ago Barwin was interviewed by Outsports Magazine where he said he was for marriage equality – cool. 

If they ever give an award for Best Class Act Ever on Television, my vote goes to no longer “Today Show” Co-Host Ann Curry.  She said a tearful adios yesterday with this memorable line:

"For all of you who saw me as a groundbreaker, I’m sorry I couldn’t carry the ball over the finish line but, man, I did try.”

For the past week or so while the lawyers worked out her departure details she could have just packed it in and slept late.  Instead she showed up to work and yesterday she handled her farewell with class and dignity.  Good luck Ann!

Obamacare!  From the 1931 classic: Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!”

Befuddled outrage is the best way to describe the reaction of GOP right wingers to yesterday’s decision by the Supremes.  They thought they had the votes.  Heck, I thought they had the votes.   That’s why yesterday’s decision was highly anticipated because most folks thought the individual mandate was going into the trash can.  A 43 appointee saved The President’s most prized accomplishment of his first term – go figure.  The Chief Justice now gets on the cover of today’s Time Magazine, a couple of weeks after The DREAMERS.   There is a lot of teeth gnashing and hair pulling going on in halls of the right wing.   It’s been fun watching the GOP’s supreme reaction the last couple of days.  Heck, I even listened to that Rush fella just to hear him bawl.  Scoreboard POTUS!

Who was the last ‘Stro to bat in a post season game?

My fellow Dems will probably get mad at Commentary for giving advice to the GOP on the Latino vote.  I’ll give it anyway because they won’t listen to me.  It is about talking immigration smack.   You won’t listen to your own GOP consultant Ana Navarro who says the GOP needs to come up with an immigration plan that Latinos can embrace.  They won’t listen to her.  If you are not going to listen to her then keep quiet.

Immigration and The DREAM Act have become one of those hot button issues in our community.  Sure we also want jobs and a more stable economy but immigration and The DREAMERS stir things up because you are talking about me – you talking to me?  Then when the media and talking heads provides a backdrop like Latinos can make the difference in places like Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico, that really gets the sangre flowing.  

Following Navarro’s advice with a gimmick free DREAM Act and pathway to citizenship immigration reform would score huge points in the Latino community.   Of course, the GOP is not going to follow Navarro’s advice because the Tea Baggers won’t let them.   Then the GOP allows Arizona GOP Governor Jan Brewer to be one of the faces of their immigrant bashing rhetoric.  That’s like riding into the barrio waving the Jolly Roger.  Every time her mug is shown on Univision it is met with a chorus of boos throughout the Latino community.

The H-Town City Council Committee on Ethics, Elections and Council Governance chaired by CM C.O. “Brad” Bradford will meet on July 9 to discuss the term limits proposal.  They will hear presentations from Dr. Michael Adams from Texas Southern University, Dr. Robert Stein from Rice University, and Robert Lemer with Citizens for Public Accountability.  I may drop by since the ‘Stros are on All Star break that day.

Former ‘Stro Orlando Palmeiro pinch hit of course in the bottom of the ninth with two outs in Game 4 of the 2005 World Serious and grounded out to shortstop for the final out in our 1-0 loss to the White Sox.

I don’t even want to talk about coming home last night and watching Brett Myers’ meltdown and turning a 3-1 lead into a 7-3 loss in the ninth inning – ouch!

 

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First of all, let me apologize for yesterday’s delay.  We had a major email problem with our server – sorry.

It has been fun to watch the GOP squirm like a worm the last eleven days after The President provided relief to The DREAMERS.  A debate on immigration is a loser for the GOP when you are talking about the Latino vote – period!  You could sum it up yesterday on CNN watching Mitt Romney’s press secretary do a Porky Pig "Th-th-th-th-that’s all, folks" on the press plane.  Romney can’t figure out what wave to catch when it comes to immigration.

Latino voters are not dumb.  They’re paying attention and that’s why The President holds a 40 point plus lead in the polls among Latino voters.  They can see through Romney’s BS when he says he’ll have an immigration reform plan when he takes office but won’t be specific on the details.

Romney was even called out last night on CNN by a GOP Latina political consultant.

Then Guv Dude said yesterday’s Supremes’ ruling was a victory and "is one step forward and two steps back — simply not good enough” – huh! 

My math says one step forward and two steps back equals one step back, Dude!

In battleground states like Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico where the Latino vote will be the decider, the immigration issue is a tone setter.  Arizona GOP Governor Jan Brewer said yesterday’s ruling that upheld for now the “show me your papers” provision was a winner for her administration.  The “show me your papers” provision will also help motivate Latino voters in battleground states to show up this November and assist in the getting The President reelected.

Even though the Lone Star State Dem Party has failed to engage the Latino voter, here in the Lone Star State Dems could see a bump or two in certain communities like H-Town.

Check out today’s Chron column by Patricia Kilday Hart here.

Here is how it ends:

Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, called the ruling "a blow to the states’ righters. They lost. As simple as that." Still, he predicted that someone would "file a bill" to get the issue back before the Supreme Court.

The statement proved prescient: Shortly after my interview with Coleman, Perry, claiming the court’s decision blessed state anti-immigrant enforcement, pledged to pass a "sanctuary city" ban when the Legislature convenes in January.

While Dude continues to play up to the Tea Baggers, Latino voters just get motivated to turnout.  Stay tuned!

Name the pitcher that holds the ‘Stros record for throwing the most career shutouts?

It looks like there may be another ballot initiative for H-Town voters.  The Kubosh fellas are behind an effort to get a measure on the ballot that does away with the recently enacted ordinance on how you go about feeding the homeless in parts of H-Town.

Check out the Chron article on the effort here.

Now that Alyson Footnotes is gone I’ll be checking out “Everybody Reads Raymond.”  Dave Raymond is one of the ‘Stros radio announcers and he has takes on the ‘Stros website.  Today he talks about interleague play:

Did you know that in 16 years of interleague play, the Padres have never been to Toronto?  That’s ridiculous.  The Rangers haven’t gone to St. Louis (during the regular season, anyway).  The Dodgers never visited old Yankee Stadium.  Worse, they haven’t even been to new Yankee Stadium.

The Braves have never been to Kansas City.

In 16 years, we couldn’t figure out how to get the Twins to Atlanta?  Come on.

Here is all of “Everybody Reads Raymond”.

Larry Dierker of course leads the ‘Stros with 25 career shutouts.

We should have won last night.  I hate to see losses like last night.

 

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“Economic Development and Jobs” was H-Town CM James Rodriguez’s campaign slogan last year.

Here is what the Chron E-Board said when they endorsed CM Rodriguez’s reelection last October:

In his two terms, Rodriguez has been a strong proponent of economic development within the district. He supports the Metro light rail line currently under construction along Harrisburg and worked to make sure a key segment includes an underpass to facilitate traffic flow.

Rodriguez also was heavily involved in the Dynamo soccer stadium project and expects a new hotel, to be built in the same area, will increase economic opportunities for local residents.

Here is from CM Rodriguez’s Chron Op-Ed from April, 2010:

It’s about jobs, economic growth and quality of life.  There is no question that the construction on the stadium will create close to 1000 jobs.   Development of surrounding retail, commercial, and residential areas will also add hundreds of part time, full time, and permanent employment. 

And:

Eight years ago we had 4 Downtown hotels with 1,800 rooms.  Today we have 15 hotels with close to 5,000 rooms.  You have to figure that this increase is due in part to the demand created by non residents visiting Houston to take in an Astros series, a Rockets game or a concert at Toyota Center.  Now we can add Major League Soccer to the list.

The development that accompanies the construction of a major professional sports venue and a Downtown park will allow for the surrounding property values to increase.

It has now been two weeks since the 16-1 vote to Free Hobby and I’ve been meaning to mention the nice month of May for H-Town CM James Rodriguez.  On Saturday, May 12, CM Rodriguez was beaming with pride at BBVA Compass Stadium for the inaugural match between the Dynamo and D.C. United.   I heard he got a high five from just about every one of the 22,000 plus in attendance.  CM Rodriguez’s dogged efforts over the years to get the stadium built finally paid off.  BBVA Compass Stadium is in CM Rodriguez’s District I so he put in the time to make sure it got done right and on schedule.   FYI: CM Rodriguez is always quick to credit The Mayor for  getting this project moving right after she first took office.

Here if from an Op-Ed by CM Rodriguez that appeared in community newspapers a couple of months ago:

Because of the economic and social benefits associated with greater airline competition, the time is right to move forward with the proposed international expansion at Hobby Airport.  More options in international air travel and greater competition will benefit Houston’s business and leisure travelers, as well as create new jobs and business opportunities for Houstonians. 

On Wednesday, May 30, CM Rodriguez was a key player in a major collaborative effort to Free Hobby by a whopping 16-1 vote.  Here is what Commentary said the day after the 16-1 vote:

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.

CM Rodriguez was there at the beginning when the Free Hobby movement was hatched.  Hobby is also in District I and CM Rodriguez worked his arse off on this one.

FYI: Commentary will once again say what I said the day after the 16-1 vote:

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.

Oh, I also forgot that CM Rodriguez celebrated another BD in May.

How many times has a ‘Stros pitcher started the game for the NL at an MLB All Star Game?

Here is from hoping you don’t wish upon a star or maybe the Harris County Dem Chair should not have said anything department.  It is from a Houston Press piece today about waiting on Godot, errr the local Latino vote to show up:

Democrats may presage the looming Hispanic vote, but the percentage of residents in this demographic who actually do so has, in fact, dropped. In 2004, roughly 42 percent of Latinos went to the polls. Then, in 2008, that number deflated to 38 percent. Two years ago, even lower: around 22 percent. Across the nation, the population of registered Hispanic voters shriveled from 11.6 million in 2008 to 10.9 million in 2010.
So what’s going to make this year any different?
We asked that question to our local Democrats and, after some stuttering and hesitation, we got an answer on the Hispanic vote. "It’s not going to happen this election," said Lane Lewis, Harris County Democratic chairman. "We’re still waiting for it." He added: "Texas is already blue." Awkward pause. "In our hearts. People just aren’t voting."

I’m sure the Chair will be ‘splaining this today.

Here is the entire Press piece.

The Houston Press made it to last Saturday’s workshop on "Ignorance Is Not a Texas Value: Electing a Smarter State Board of Education," put on by the Texas Freedom Network at the Lone Star State Democratic Convention.

Here is the Press’s take on the workshop.

Speaking of yabba dabba doo public education thinking, a billboard or two will be going up around H-Town promoting the Creation Museum in Kentucky, I think.

Check out the story here.

The fight over the METRO GMPs has landed over at the County Courthouse.  This one continues to get interesting.

Check out the Chron.com piece here.

Meanwhile the Harris County Commissioners Court delayed action on the future of Port Commissioner Jim Fonteno, Jr.

Here is the Chron.com blow-by-blow.

A few weeks or so ago the New Orleans Times-Picayune announced it was only going to print three days a week – yikes!  They started informing staff about layoffs yesterday.  The editor says their top priorities to cover will be New Orleans politics, culture, food, music and sports.  What about NOLA business?

MLB fans still read Commentary.  ‘Stros second baseman Jose Altuve moved up a notch to fourth place in the All Star Game balloting.  I guess MLB fans didn’t finish reading all of Monday’s Commentary because ‘Stro shortstop Jed Lowrie still hasn’t cracked the top 5 in the NL.

‘Stros pitchers have started four MLB All Star Games for the NL of course:  J.R. Richard (1980), Mike Scott (1986 and 1987), and The Rocket (2004).

Speaking of, I wonder if The Rocket jury will reach a verdict today.

We lost last night so we’re now 7 ½ back.

 

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I was floored when I learned Friday morning that my old pal Lori Rodriguez was no longer with us.  She had not been reporting or writing the last few years and had taken a medical leave of sorts from the Chron.  She was a true pioneer in H-Town journalism, that’s for sure.  She was the reporter that most covered the emergence of the H-Town Latino political and civic community.  When somebody ever gets around to writing the history of local Latino politics, Lori’s articles will be a big time source and reference.

I don’t even remember when I first met Lori but I will always remember her professionalism and passion for her work.   Having covered and followed the Latino community for most of her career, of all the media members I’ve met, she knew our politics and our players the BEST.  We had a very good working relationship that was based on trust and respect.  In our numerous conversations throughout the past few decades, she never hesitated to let me know who was genuine, who was full of BS, a wannabe, or a fake.  

Later in her career she told me on an occasion or two or three that every now and then she would a get a call from some Latino leaders complaining that she quoted me too often in her articles and columns.  She would tell me that she would blow off those phone calls by telling the complainers that I could always be counted on the be honest, candid and not play games.  I never told Lori that her telling me that made me feel that she had awarded me a special badge of honor.

Lori always defended her work.  On that rare instance where I would call her and challenge a part of her article she wouldn’t hesitate to get in my face and that would sometimes lead to heated exchanges.  But we would be OK with each other after a couple of hours of cooling off. 

A few years or so ago, I kind of paid a little tribute to Lori when I was asked to be part of a panel on dealing with the media.  My presentation was titled “Never lie to Lori …she’s a player too.”  She gave me permission to use her name and articles for my presentation.   During my presentation I explained who she was and that her coverage helped shape the local Latino political landscape.  I said then that if there is a perceived split within the local Latino leadership it is because Lori said so and that the split would be over when Lori got around to saying it was over.  I also said that Lori pi__es off folks and in dealing with her be honest and careful and never try to threaten, intimidate, or even get mad, and don’t ever try to go over her head and talk to her bosses.  It won’t work and will only pi__ Lori off.

Even though I was often a source for Lori on numerous stories, she never cut me, my clients, or my work any slack. About 12 years ago, in a kind of high profile local race I put together a mail piece going after a candidate and calling him a “traitor”, “hot head”, “mentiroso”, and “vendido.”  Lori did a story on the mailer and it landed on the front page of the Chron.  I think that’s the only time the Chron has put a story about a campaign mail piece on the front page.  That certainly wasn’t my best campaign moment.  It turns out about three years later the candidate that I went after did end up selling out by switching from a Dem to the GOP.

Lori didn’t promote our politics, she just covered them.  Her coverage however created a greater awareness of our community and for that I thank her.  Many local Latino leaders have and will in the coming days pay tribute to Lori.  If Lori had not left us so soon and was still covering our community, this being an election year she would probably be getting ready to write one of those mega articles she was known for this time analyzing why the local Latino vote is still sitting on the bench and indirectly chastising all of us including those that our paying tribute to her today for not doing a better job with our politics.  That’s the story that Lori liked to write.

I have a lot of favorite Lori moments but one of the most memorable was totally unrelated to our work.  We were at The Yard together when it first opened in 2000 and I was able to snatch a foul ball and gave it to her.  She was wearing a ‘Stros lid and had this “you did the right thing by giving me the foul ball” look. 

Here is what CM James Rodriguez told the Chron about Lori:

"There were not many Latinas covering politics for major newspapers.  She was a very aggressive, fair and balanced reporter who took the time to develop relationships in this city and cover the growing number of Latino politicians and elected officials."

Here is the Chron story on Lori leaving us.

And another.

Commentary has nothing but praise for Kathy Miller and her Texas Freedom Network (TFN) crew for putting together a couple of outstanding and informative workshops this past weekend at the Lone Star State Dem Convention. On Friday they put on “Not Your Parents Progressive Movement: Training & Tactics for Youth Activists”.  Saturday morning it was SRO for “Ignorance Is not a Texas Value: Electing a Smarter State Board of Education.”  Way to go, TFN!

MLB watchers know that ‘Stro Jose Altuve leads all MLB second basemen in batting average – .326. Who is numero 2 among second basemen?

Traci Jensen, Democratic nominee for State Board of Education, District 6 made the rounds at the convention this past weekend and received a lot of encouragement and offers of assistance.  Stay tuned!

Bonus:  Who leads the MLB in dingers this season among shortstops?

Here is an AP story on the 2012 Latino vote.  This is how it starts:

The nation’s rapidly growing Latino population is one of the most powerful forces working in President Barack Obama‘s favor in many of the states that will determine his contest with Mitt Romney. But Latinos are not registering or voting in numbers that fully reflect their potential strength, leaving Hispanic leaders frustrated and Democrats worried as they increase efforts to rally Latinos.

Interviews with Latino voters across the country suggested a range of reasons for what has become, over a decade, an entrenched pattern of nonparticipation, including a distrust of government and a fear of what many see as an intimidating effort by law enforcement and political leaders to crack down on immigrants, legal or not.

Here is the entire article.

Commentary got some AP run this past weekend on The President’s campaign ads directed at Latinos.  Check this:

"It makes sense for Obama to run nice ads in Spanish that only Latinos watch. It’s a way of saying, ‘We’re the candidate and the party that respect you,’" said Marc Campos, a Texas-based Democratic strategist who produces campaign commercials targeting Hispanics. "When they see positive, feel-good ads in their native language it reinforces the notion that this administration is working on their behalf."

And:

"Latinos were bashed during the primary, especially on immigration," Campos said. "They don’t live in a vacuum. They’ve heard what Romney has to say."

Check out the entire piece here.

I’m not going to comment on that silly tweaking of the Lone Star State GOP Platform plank on immigration because it is more of a PR gimmick than serious public policy discussion.

Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano of course is numero 2 among second basemen with a .296 batting average.

‘Stro shortstop Jed Lowrie of course leads all MLB shortstops with 12 dingers this season.

If this keeps up I wonder if Altuve and Lowrie will be All Star game bound. 

The ‘Stros finally won their first road series of the season yesterday and take the day off today.

 

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First things first:  Commentary’s Mom is celebrating her BD today.  Happy Birthday, Mom!

Julie Luna is celebrating her BD today.  Happy Birthday, Julie! (My Best Friend Al is Julie’s hubby).

Commentary will be on Access TV today talking about local races so check it out at 6 pm today.

222 taquitos, err folks showed up to vote at Bayland this past Saturday thanks to the Tacos and Votes community gathering.  The 222 was the second best of the day among Dem locations.  West Gray was tops with 232.

The following help put together the event Saturday – it is from their press release:

Participants in the consortium of non-partisan groups and individuals: Familias Inmigrantes y Estudiantes en la Lucha (FIEL), Greater Houston Civic Coalition, Latino Giving Houston, League of Women Voters of the Houston Area, Mexican-American Bar Association of Houston (MABAH), Mi Familia Vota, NALEO Educational Fund, National Hispanic Professional Organization (NHPO), NHPO Leadership Institute, Texas League of Young Voters Education Fund and the UNO Project.

The Chron has a story today on EV and mentions the Bayland event.  Here is a taste:

Bayland Park, where the event was held, is located in District J, an area that has historically had low voter turnout, said Claudia Ortega-Hogue, state director for civic engagement for the National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials. Latinos make up 60 percent of the voting age in District J, but only about 17 percent are registered to vote, she said.

While the upcoming general election will center on the presidential race, Ortega-Hogue said the Latino community needs to remember to participate at the state and local level.

More must be done to energize the community, advocates said.

"We see this as a first step in Latino civic engagement," (Mi Familia Vota state director Carlos) Duarte said.

Here is the entire Chron article.

It was great to see their efforts pay off.  Way to go!

West Gray voters read Commentary – that’s for sure.  They are getting off of their arses.   After EV Day 7, West Gray is poised to take back the lead in Dem EV turnout.  They are at numero 2 with 941, right behind Sunnyside’s 951.

Two years ago, 33,771 Dems voted early in person in Harris County.  After 2012 Day 7, 11,580 Dems have voted early in person.  Let’s see how the rest of the week goes.

With 2,504 career wins as a MLB skipper, this former skipper is numero 4 on the all time career win list.  Who am I talking about?

Bonus:  At The Yard this past weekend, there were three players that saw action that were all picked in the First Round of the 1999 MLB Amateur Player Draft – name the three? 

The Stop the Magnet, err Madness folks were at West Gray yesterday gathering signatures on their immigrant bashing petitions.  Stay tuned!

According to a just released UT-Texas Trib poll, the Lite Guv and Ted Cruz could be headed into a run-off in the GOP U.S. Senate race.  I’m OK with that.  The Lite Guv dropped by West Gray yesterday.

Here is a Chron.com piece on the poll.

Roll Call:  Friday’s mailers included Traci Jensen for SBOE, Dist. 6, Constable Precinct 1 candidate Cindy Vara-Leija, and the Houston GLBT Caucus endorsements card.  I got a live call from the Lane Lewis for Dem Party Chair Campaign.

Kristen Wiig got a nice send-off on “SNL” the other night.   She got hugs and kisses from her fellow cast members while the Rolling Stones’ "She’s a Rainbow” and "Ruby Tuesday” played.  It was definitely a teary eye TV moment.  Mick Jagger was a great guest host.

Former The ATL skipper Bobby Cox sits at numero 4 of course with 2,504 career wins.  Cox is celebrating his 71st BD today.

Ranger Josh Hamilton (1st pick by Rays), ‘Stro Brett Myers (12th pick by Philly), and Rangers Colby Lewis (supplemental, 38th overall by Rangers) were 1999 first round draft picks of course and all saw action this past weekend at The Yard.  Hamilton is celebrating his 31st BD today.

As expected, there were a whole lot of Ranger fans at The Yard this weekend.  Saturday was SRO.  We were only able to take one and it was a doozey of a thriller that ended in a weird DP that went Numero 45 to shortstop Jed Lowrie to closer Brett Myers – huh!  The Cubbies are now in for three.

 

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