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Joe Martinez, Democratic Party Primary candidate for Harris County Constable, Precinct 2 has a problem.  It is a problem that some candidates just have to live with.  He keeps getting his campaign signs (yard signs and the big ones) stolen or ripped up because some of his opponents think he’s doing a real good job engaging the voters of Precinct 2.   Joe Martinez is Commentary’s client.

There are 10 candidates running for this open position.  Understandably many of the Democratic elected officials are on the sidelines.  Not so for H-Town CM James Rodriguez.  Rodriguez, who lives in Precinct 2, says this:

“I urge the Democrats in Constable Precinct 2 to join me in supporting Joe Martinez.  I’ve known Joe for a number of years and have always admired his dedication to his profession and to community service.”

Of the candidates running for this position, Joe does have the most years of experience working in a constable’s office.  Joe has ideas on what he’ll do to make the office work better.   I have nothing against the incumbent, my pal Gary Freeman, but every office can be improved.

I’m not going to say or reveal much about Joe’s campaign other than to say that Joe and his crew certainly know what has to be done between now and May 14 and May 29.  Joe knows how to focus.

Joe Martinez has also been endorsed by the Coalition of Police and Sheriffs, Local 911 (C.O.P.S), Democracy for Houston, Harris County Tejano Democrats, Houston Area Stonewall Democrats, Houston GLBT Political Caucus, International Union of Police Associations (I.U.P.A.), Mexican American Bar Association of Houston, and Momentum PAC.

I hope more folks will consider supporting Joe Martinez.  He’ll be a great Constable.

‘Stro second baseman Jose Altuve turned 22 yesterday.  Altuve is currently in the MLB Top 10 in three offensive categories – name the three categories?  

Like I said last Friday, Commentary got interviewed by Huffington Post.  Here is part of the piece on politicians and Cinco de Mayo:

I have to give it to President Obama. He’s actually been pretty smart about this stuff,” said Marc Campos, president of Campos Communications in Houston, referring to the annual White House Cinco de Mayo reception and the president’s Rose Garden push for immigration reform on Thursday. “But you just know some politician is going to show up somewhere this weekend in a guayabera (a type of shirt) or a sombrero at some party with the fajitas and the guacamole and no knowledge whatsoever of what the people in that room are really concerned about. That’s, unfortunately, how it’s often done.”

Campos, a Mexican American who has worked as a political strategist for dozens of for Democratic candidates since the 1970s, has seen so many politicians try to appeal to Latino voters with cultural celebrations and food that friends this week called him to joke that that they wished the White House reception included the bacon-wrapped shrimp that are a standard of Washington parties. Instead, pork and fish tacos, pico de gallo, sopes and various mole-marinated meats were on the menu.

In 2000, Campos did “truth-squad” research on George W. Bush’s accomplishments in Texas. And, he served as a deputy campaign director for the Democratic Party’s get out the vote effort the last time a Democrat carried Texas. The candidate was Jimmy Carter and the year, 1972. (Actually it was 1976).

Here is the entire HuffPo piece.

Speaking of the Latino vote, Politico had a lengthy piece yesterday on the Latino vote in the 2012 race for Prez.  Here are parts:

He (Romney) called Arizona’s immigration law a national model, and said he would veto a “Dream Act” that provides a pathway to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants if they serve in the military or go to college. He advocates “self-deportation” — essentially making life so difficult for undocumented residents that they see little option except to leave the country.

“He (Romney) hasn’t begun an aggressive, national campaign for Hispanics,” said Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist in Miami. “He needs to introduce himself, define himself beyond the narrow narrative coming out of the primary and at the same time go after Obama hard, both on immigration and economic failures.”

I disagree.  I think Latinos have already been introduced to Romney.   Sadly GOP strategists think we’ve been on siesta or something like that.  Latinos have been watching the immigrant bashing going on over in the GOP Prez primary.

And:

The Obama campaign is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars advertising on Spanish language TV stations in Colorado, Nevada and Florida.

But neither the Romney campaign nor the conservative political groups paying for pro-Romney ads has bought any time on Spanish networks.

And:

“Hispanics are shopping around,” said Jennifer Korn, executive director of the Hispanic Leadership Network and Hispanic outreach director for the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign.

What are we supposed to be shopping for – a Mitt wearing a sombrero?

Here is the entire politico piece.

I was watching “Meet the Press” yesterday and one of my favorites, Tom Brokaw, was on and he kind of mildly chastised the White House Correspondents dinner.  Here is from a web piece about his remarks:

Veteran NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw on Sunday said Washington’s annual White House Correspondents’ dinner has become a symbol of a press that is increasingly out of touch. ”If there’s ever an event that separates the press from the people they’re supposed to be serving, symbolically, it is that one. It is time to rethink it,” he said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“Look I think George Clooney is a great guy, I’d like to meet Charlize Theron, but I don’t think the big press event in Washington should be that kind of glittering event, where the whole talk is about Cristal champagne, taking over the Italian embassy, who had the best party, who got to meet the most people. That’s another separation between what we’re supposed to be doing and what the people expect us to be doing, and I think that the Washington press corps has to look at that, and by the way I’m a charter member of the White House Correspondents Association, I was there early on and often enjoyed it, but it’s gone beyond what it needs to be.”

It is what it is.  White House correspondents and many of Washington and national news reporters, anchors, and columnists are celebrities themselves – Tom Brokaw included.  They show up on Leno, Letterman, Colbert, Stewart, Maher, Fallon, Kimmel, and Conan. They also interview celebrities like Clooney, DeNiro, Theron, Pitt, Jolie, Penn, Bono, and countless others that give their time and money to humanitarian efforts. Sorry Tom, but we’re never going back to the good old days.

Goober Pyle is no longer with us.  That’s too bad.  George Lindsey left us yesterday.  I always cracked up when Gomer would ask Goober to do his Cary Grant impression and Goober would rattle off “Judy, Judy, Judy!”

‘Stro Jose Altuve is 9th in batting average (.352), 4th in base hits (38), and tied for 2nd in triples (3) of course.

We’re 13-15 and Dante is already asking if he can go with me to the World Serious – huh!  What does he know? 

 

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First of all, before I talk about Traci Jensen, let me say that I got called last night by an automated poll.  They wanted to know who I would vote for in the Harris County Democratic Primary races for sheriff, DA, Judge Kirkland – Palmer, and Dem Chair Lane Lewis – Douglas. I was also asked about the direction of Harris County.  I wonder what’s up with this poll.

Earlier this year, my good friend HISD Trustee Anna Eastman asked me to meet with Traci Jensen candidate for State Board of Education (SBOE), District 6.   Traci and I visited at length about her background, her experiences and knowledge about the SBOE, curriculum issues, politics, and the challenges of campaigning in a district roughly covering half of Harris County and twice the size in population of a congressional district.  I came away from the meeting very impressed with her grasp of the issues.   She knows what’s happening in the classrooms.

We decided to work together.   I’ve watched her campaign, go before numerous screening committees, and grow as a candidate.    Her campaign is starting to get noticed and picking up support.  Here is what a few key Democratic leaders are saying about Traci:

“I am supporting Traci because of her common sense approach to education and commitment to a rich, deep curriculum for Texas students.  Traci is also willing to advocate for evidence based, medically accurate sex education a critical factor in reducing the high teen pregnancy rates throughout the state, but particularly in Harris County.  Her experience as an educator and as a current parent of a public school student will offer a new perspective to the State Board of Education.” – Anna Eastman, HISD Trustee.

“The State Board of Education needs strong and knowledgeable leaders like Traci Jensen.  I hope you will join me in supporting her candidacy.” – State Senator John Whitmire.

“Traci Jensen respects and embraces the richness of our community’s diversity.   She’ll make a valuable member of the State Board of Education.” – Noel Freeman, President, Houston GLBT Caucus.

“Texas has gone from the leader of public education to an embarrassing punch line on late night TV talk shows.  Traci Jensen will work to end the divisive rhetoric and put ALL Texas school children ahead of politics and ideology.” – Houston City Council Member James Rodriguez.

Traci has also been endorsed by Alief Federation of Teachers, Harris County AFL-CIO, Houston GLBT Political Caucus, Houston Federation of Teachers, Houston Young Stonewall Democrats, Katy Democrats, and Area 5 Democrats.

I’ve learned a lot from Traci in the time we’ve been working together.  With 25 days remaining before the May 29 Election Day and 10 days before Early Voting begins, the campaign will continue the daunting task of reaching out to voters from Montrose to Tomball and from the near Northside to Katy.  Hey, but who’s complaining! 

You’ll be hearing about a couple of receptions for Traci that will be held next weekend and the following Monday. Go to www.jensen4stateboard.com  to learn more about Traci.

What was accomplished in MLB 37 years ago today?  Hint:  It involved a ‘Stro.

Speaking of, H-Town CM James Rodriguez and his son Jake went to The Yard Wednesday afternoon.  James’ Milby High classmate, Adrian Johnson (AJ), is now a MLB umpire and was calling first base Wednesday.  Before the game, he brought James and Jake on to the field and James got to visit with one of his old bosses, Mets skipper Terry Collins.  Collins was skipper of the ‘Stros during part of James’ batboy days – cool. 

Yesterday, Commentary was interviewed by Huffington Post about candidates campaigning and appealing to the Latino vote through Cinco de Mayo events.  I don’t think the story has been posted yet.  What do I know?

Bob Watson of the ‘Stros scored the 1,000,000th run in MLB history of course at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on May 4, 1975, the day after CM Rodriguez was born.

The Big Puma, Carlos Beltran, and San Luis visit The Yard this weekend with Belted Pink Bags, Los Astros lids, and Pink Yoga Mats getting handed out to the early arrivers.  See ya there!

 

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Happy Birthday today to H-Town CM James Rodriguez!

Local billionaire John Arnold is getting out of the energy trading business to “pursue other interests” according to today’s Chron.   I wonder what he’s going to do now.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with John on a couple of political campaigns.  He and his wife Laura are definitely players in H-Town.  Here is some from today’s Chron:

They became interested in Barry Scheck’s Innocence Project, for example, and helped bring him to Houston to explain the organization’s needs. Not long thereafter, they paid for research into testing ways to reduce false identification in criminal cases.

And:

In the small world of the Houston ultra-wealthy, the Arnolds cut a different profile. They are not on the political right – they have donated significant amounts to the Obama campaign and Democratic National Committee – and they do not seemed concerned about preservation of their wealth. They have signed the Giving Pledge, an effort promoted by billionaires Warren Buffet and Bill Gates to get wealthy Americans to commit to giving away most of their money before they die.

Whatever interests they decided to pursue, you can bet they’ll be good at it.  Maybe they will decide to take over the local Dem Party.
Here is the entire Chron piece.

Last night, Commentary was with my client, Traci Jensen, candidate for State Board of Education, District 6 in the Democratic Party Primary at a LULAC forum for candidates.  One of our opponents, Patty Quintana-Nilsson, said she would work to do away with the bilingual education program.  I don’t know about that.

Who had a better won-loss pitching record as a ‘Stro, The Rocket or Andy Pettitte?

My pal Bill King has a good piece today ‘splaining the GMPs or general mobility payments.  That’s the money that Houston METRO hands out to their municipalities every year.  We’re going to be talking about GMPs a lot this year so it would probably be a good idea to read Bill’s column in today’s Chron. 
Here it is.

Last night’s “Rock Center” was must see TV.  The entire hour was about events surrounding the Situation Room and the take down of bin Laden. 

Rolling Stone released their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and The Beatles snagged four of the Top 10 slots:  Sgt. Peppers (1), Revolver (3), Rubber Soul (5), and The White Album (10).  I definitely don’t have a problem with that.

The Rocket (38-18) of course had a better won-loss record than Andy Pettitte (37-27) during their three year stay with the ‘Stros (2004-2006).  Of course The Rocket probably has Rolling Stone’s Album Numero Uno because the feds allege he had a little help from his friends.

‘Stro third baseman Chris Johnson had two dingers and 6 RBIs yesterday.   Albert Pujols only has 5 RBIs for the season.  The ‘Stros swept the Mets yesterday and are now 11-14.  We have the day off then San Luis comes in for three.

 

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My pal radio talk show host Michael Berry won’t be charged on that hit-and-run incident that looks like it never happened and a bunch of folks jumped the gun including Josh Innis over at Sports Talk 610.  Here is from the Chron:

Paint samples taken by Houston police from the vehicle that was hit did not match Berry’s car, according to the documents.

Here is the entire Chron piece.

Of course Commentary is not going to say that Michael was unfairly treated because Michael probably unfairly treats some folks that he talks about on his show every now and then.

At this point in the season, how many ‘Stros have more dingers than Albert Pujols – he’s with the Angels?  

East Downtown continues to get better as the official ribbon cutting of the BBVA Compass Dynamo Stadium was held yesterday with the Mayor and CM James Rodriguez participating in the celebration.   Commentary is not a big soccer fan, heck I’m not even a soccer fan, but if it’s good for East Downtown, then I’m OK with it.  Ya’ll enjoy it!

Nine ‘Stros of course (Jed Lowrie and J.D. Martinez at 3, Matt Downs, Numero 45, and Jordan Schafer at 2, and Jose Altuve, Brian Bogusevic, Justin Maxwell, and Chris Snyder at 1) have more dingers than Albert Pujols who doesn’t have any at this point in the season – yikes!

Thanks to a Jed Lowrie dinger off of the Chick-fil-A fair pole last night, Commentary will have one for lunch.  I also got a Denny’s free Original Grand Slam breakfast with the purchase of a beverage of course thanks to Chris Snyder’s three run dinger in the second inning and we’re now 10-14.  Commentary won’t be at The Yard this afternoon to see the Mets.

 

 

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Get with the times!  I’m talking about the system for those candidates that still have to file their campaign and expenditure reports with the County.  Memo to Hunker Down, Vince, and the County Clerk:  How come candidates can’t file online like at the State and the City of H-Town? Commentary had to go drop off a couple of reports at the courthouse yesterday and I parked on the street.  One parking gizmo was out of paper and one down the block wasn’t working.  Thinking I could just zip in and out without running down another block to get a parking slip, I ended up waiting in line just to turn in a couple of freaking reports.  You guessed it!  When I finally returned to my car I was welcomed by one of those glowing green parking tickets slapped on my windshield.  All this could have been easily avoided if the County just got with the times and allow for folks to file online.  Hunker Down, it’s time to Hunker Up on this!

The Mets are in town.  Of course everybody knows that the Mets and the ‘Stros came into MLB at the same time way back in 1962.  Everybody also knows that the ‘Stros still don’t have a former player in the MLB Hall of Fame wearing ‘Stros gear.  Do the Mets have any former players in the Hall of Fame wearing Mets gear?

The Chron E-Board has a good take today on ethics over at HCC and HISD.  This is how it starts:

We’re glad to hear that the boards of both the Houston Independent School District and Houston Community College are discussing their ethics policies ("HISD, college develop plans to buff image," Page B1, Friday). We’ve seen too many smelly deals that didn’t break either Texas law or any of the current rules.

Here is the entire take.

Here is from Alyson’s Footnotes:

* The Astros have greatly improved in plate discipline from last year. In 2011, the Astros ranked 30th (last) with a 2.5 walks-per-game ratio. This year, through Sunday’s game, they were drawing 3.6 walks per game, good for seventh-best in the Majors. The difference of 1.1 walk improvement is the second- best in the big leagues, behind only the Indians (2.0).

Tom “Terrific” Seaver of course is the only Hall of Fame great that wears Mets gear.

We got two walks last night and the ‘Stros won 4-3.  The Chron said we would go 10-13 in April but we went 9-14.  What do they know?

 

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Ted Cruz is getting hammered by that killer ad that the Lite Guv’s campaign has put out.  I’m sure most folks have seen it.  It’s the one that has the U.S. of A. business owner calling out Cruz for representing a Chinese company that supposedly stole blueprints from the business owner’s company.   In today’s political environment, probably the only thing worse than representing a Chinese company that ripped off a U.S. of A. company is representing a child molester.  He’d been better off representing a serial killer or the mob. 
The SA Express News has a column on the matter here.
The ad could very well help the Lite Guv avoid a dreaded runoff with Cruz.

My pal H-Town CM Mike Sullivan got endorsed by the Chron E-Board this past Friday in his race for Tax Assessor-Collector in the GOP Primary.  Here is part of what the E-Board says:

"We have a responsibility to register people," Sullivan says. "Voter registration is really what it’s all about. Voter registration drives are as vital as paper drives."

Sullivan’s view that the tax office should be administrative not political makes his case for election most convincingly. For too long, it has not been that way.
Here is the entire endorsement.

In Phil Garner’s first full season as the ‘Stros skipper in 2005, the team won 89 games.  Of course Scrap Iron also was the skipper for the Brewers and Tigers.  Did any of his Brewers or Tigers team ever win more than 89 games under Scrap Iron?

There was report in the Chron the other day about a developer fixing to build a 254 unit four- story apartment building over by Heights and Washington.  That’s right down the street from where the new WalMart is going up.  I don’t know about that.  A new big arse Kroger is going up on Studewood right across the street from the Arnie’s.  I also don’t know about that.  The traffic is certainly going to get thicker in those parts.  I sure the City of H-Town planners have prepared for this.  If not it is going to give CM Cohen a bunch of headaches. 

In 1992, Scrap Iron’s Brewers team won 92 games of course while still playing in the AL.  Scrap Iron is celebrating his 63rd BD today.

The team gets back to The Yard tonight limping along at 8-14 and starting a nine game homie that includes a visit by the Mets, San Luis, and the Fish.

 

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Channel 11’s Shern-Min Chow dropped by Commentary’s place yesterday to talk about a term I coined that made it to the anchor desk last night on Channel 11’s 10 pm newscast – “foul ball etiquette.”  Commentary was asked to provide analysis of the video of the couple that is being vilified for not handing over that foul ball to a three year old at a Rangers-Yankees game Wednesday evening in Arlington.  Since I’ve snagged close to 90 foul balls over the years at Minute Maid I’m considered to local expert of sorts on when to give it to a kid and when it’s a keeper. 

If you catch a hard hit lined foul ball barehanded, that’s a keeper. 

If one bounces around in the stands and it lands at your feet and a kid is standing close to you, hand it over.

If you catch an easy one with a glove and a kid is around, hand it over.

If you get one at a World Serious or All Star game with the Serious or All Star game imprint, that’s a keeper.

If it’s Chipper Jones’ last game at The Yard and he hits the foul ball, that’s a keeper.

You get the picture.

To play it safe, take a kid like I take Dante or go on a school night when a lot of kids aren’t at The Yard.

There is a good story today on ethics at HISD and HCC.  Here are some highlights:

"We want to clean up our reputation in the community," HCC trustee Carroll Robinson said.

And:

HCC trustee Richard Schechter is advocating restrictions on the timing and amount of campaign donations.

"We don’t need to be raising money year-round for six years as community college trustees," he said at a board meeting last week.

And:

Richard Shaw, the secretary-treasurer of the Harris County AFL-CIO Council, has called for HISD and HCC to go further, banning contributions from any vendors.

And:

Marc Campos, a Houston political consultant, said limiting campaign donations could result in only wealthy people running for office. But he believes some caps are needed due to perceptions of a pay-to-play system.

Here is the entire piece.

Stay tuned!

A lot of folks know that Larry Dierker made his debut with the ‘Stros on his 18th BD on September 22, 1964.  Name the team that he faced and name the Hall of Famer that he struck out in the first inning?

Every now and then Commentary has to clear stuff up.  I put out Commentary in the morning and folks can go online and read it and send it out if they want.  I think you can even go and sign up and it gets automatically sent to you – I think.  I try to let everyone know if I have conflicts or stuff like that related to clients.  I don’t play the hidden ball trick.  I also don’t tell CEWDEM to put my stuff out.  He does it on his own.  He got this yesterday related to my client Traci Jensen, an outstanding candidate for State Board of Education, District 6:

My name is Patty Quintana-Nilsson and I am a candidate for the Texas State Board of Education.

While reading today’s commentary, I noticed that Mr Campos used todays platform to promote his own personal client’s link to the KHOU interviews that were recorded for all of the Democratic SBOE candidates.

(Jensen, Scott and myself).

I fully appreciate his disclosure, however, the more appropriate action would have been to fairly provide the link to all of the Democratic SBOE interviews, disclosing the fact that Jensen is his own client.

I would sincerely appreciate a correction to this as this forum and emailing is not, to my understanding, a platform for one person to promote his own personal clientele which he represents for financial gain.

Here is what my pal Harold Cook put out:

I have no dog in this hunt, but this made me laugh. What "more appropriate action?" Appropriate is whatever the blog owner says it is, since they’re paying the freight. She should get her own blog and knock herself out promoting the bejesus out of her own campaign. Marc promoting his client’s opponent would have been malpractice. In no other business (and for Campos, it is a business – until his mortgage company starts accepting his good looks as payment) would the competition ask to be promoted. Campos never confuses his readers as to the nature of his business, his schtick is totally fair game.

Enough said!

Patricia Kilday Hart’s column today is about a day in the life at the courthouse with my GOP pal Gary Polland.  Of course, you can only check out the piece if you are old school like Commentary because Hart’s pieces are tape delayed.  Gary handled himself well.

Dierk faced the Giants in his MLB debut and struck out Hall of Fame great Willie Mays in the first inning of course on his 18th BD.

The ‘Stros are in Cinncy this weekend for three.

 

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