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Archive for June, 2009

On June 9, 2009, here is what H-Town CM James Rodriguez sent out to Houston Area Latino Summit Attendees:

“The Houston Area Latino Summit Mayoral Debate has been set for Saturday, July 18, 2009. All mayoral candidates, Peter Brown, Gene Locke, Roy Morales, and Annise Parker, have confirmed. We are still scouting for an adequate venue in which to hold the debate and we will let you know as soon as we have one. The debate will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a two hour format in which we believe is reasonable time for such event.

“I have asked Campos Communications to coordinate this event. To insure impartiality, Campos Communications has agreed to not get involved in the mayor’s race. We need volunteers to help develop the format and structure of the debate. We ask that all volunteers who wish to assist not be committed to any mayoral candidate. You can e-mail your suggestions and contact information if you want to volunteer to info@houstonlatinosummit.com.  All Houston Area Latino Summit participants, regardless of whether or not you have committed to a particular candidate are encouraged to submit questions you would like to have asked at the debate.”

It looks like the Latino Summit Mayoral Debate will be THE local political event of the summer. More details will be released in the coming days.

Here’s what the Chron E-Board had to say Sunday about new Harris County Tax Assessor Collector Leo Vasquez and his Ed Johnson problemo: “…Vasquez should order Johnson to choose between his public and private gigs and eliminate the appearance of a conflict of interest.” Check out the entire Sunday editorial here.

Guv Dude gets some unflattering run in a Chron column today. Here is a part of what was said about Dude: “…who appears to have sacrificed benefits for thousands of unemployed Texans for better odds at the GOP gubernatorial primary and a few seconds of fair and balanced back-slapping on Fox News.”

Check out the column.

David Letterman put it all to rest last night when he apollyized to Governor Palin and her two daughters. It is time to move on.

When Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez takes the field tonight in Arlington, he will join Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk for the most games played behind the plate – cool.

One of the original Colt 45s left us a few days ago. Pitcher Hal Woodeshick was 76.

Meanwhile, the ‘Stros are hanging in there and that is good enough for me.

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In case you haven’t noticed, the economy has hit our mail intake pretty good. Junk mail is taking a break for now. One day a couple of weeks ago there was only one piece of mail in the mailbox. It is probably a good thing for political mail as folks maybe will take a look at it before they toss it in the trash can. Before I chunked a mail piece this past Saturday, I noticed it was from the H-Town Solid Waste Department. I looked at it closely and it was a card saying my garbage pick up day was changing from Monday to Thursday effective July 2. I guess they know what they are doing on the garbage pick-up scheduling side but it wasn’t a very good eye catching notice. I would have sent out a bigger piece with blazing red font screaming “YOUR GARBAGE PICK UP DAY IS CHANGING TO THURSDAY!!!” They need to get some better PR folks over at Solid Waste.

Along the same line, my recycling pick up day stays the same – Monday. Commentary would prefer my recycling and garbage pick up day be on the same day. It makes it easier to remember. I need to talk to my new council member about this.

Speaking of, congrats go to Ed Gonzalez and his campaign team for a pretty impressive arse whupping this past Saturday. They ran a good campaign. Give a hand to Maverick Welsh and his team for giving it their best shot. Commentary doesn’t think Maverick’s “tired” mail pieces backfired, they just didn’t work. Now we’re back to two Latinos on the H-Town City Council – James Rodriguez in District I and Ed Gonzalez in District H.

Speaking of, Hector’s preliminary take on the District H vote:  Ed got around 75% of the Latino vote and around 40% of the non Latino vote – interesting.

We went to see “The Hangover” this weekend and I left the theater with a headache caused by laughing throughout the flick. It is the only movie where you stay for the first half of the ending credits but don’t pay attention to them. I still can’t figure out where the chicken came from. It is hilarious so check it out.

The Big Puma got career dinger 300 Saturday night. Miggy got career base hit Numero 2000 Saturday night. Pudge gets to tie the all time games caught tomorrow night in Arlington. By the way, it is fun to watch the ‘Stros play great baseball these days.

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Harris County Tax Assessor Collector Leo Vasquez needs to say adios to Ed Johnson. He’d be doing himself and his election chances in 2010 a real big favor.  This is what you call a no brainer.  I’m sorry, but Johnson can’t be in a position of helping to determine the official voter rolls in Harris County and at the same time doing business with and making money off of GOP candidates. It just looks bad. Johnson could very well be Vasquez’ Achilles Heel in 2010. In 2008, lack of ethics at the Harris County Courthouse was a contributing factor to Dems winning countywide. Leo Vasquez would help himself and his local GOP by showing Johnson the door and taking this weapon away from Dems. If he doesn’t, Dems will dog him on this for the next 15 months. That is not a good thing for a fella (Vasquez) that has never run before.

Local State Reps. Carol Alvarado, Ellen Cohen and Debbie Riddle will be on the local PBS’ "Red White & Blue” with my pals Gary Polland and David Jones tonight at 8:30 pm and Sunday at 5:30 pm to discuss what the Texas Legislature did to us – check it out.

Here’s what the ‘Stros front office put out yesterday: “Houston Astros Chairman and CEO Drayton McLane introduced the ballclub’s new and unique summer ticket promotion called ‘Kids Free All Summer’ this afternoon at Minute Maid Park. For all Astros home games from June 23rd to August 23rd, fans will receive two free tickets for kids 14-and-under with the purchase of each full price adult ticket at one of the following three levels: Mezzanine ($20), View Deck 1 ($15) or View Deck 2 ($12). The "Kids Free All Summer" promotion is in partnership with Minute Maid. “

"‘The Houston Astros are proud to partner with Minute Maid to bring our fans this exciting new ticket offer,’ McLane stated. ‘With the current economic climate, we felt it was important to create an opportunity for more families to bring their kids to Astros games this summer.’ “

Way to go!

Before each game at The Yard, they tell fans – particularly those on the front rows, not reach over and snag a fair ball that may scoot down line. Commentary has seen some folks reach over and interfere then get escorted out of The Yard. It happened to a fella right next to me Tuesday night. I happen to be stuck in the St. Arnold line at the time so I wasn’t able to tell the fella to back off. At The Yard yesterday, in the bottom of the 13th with the score tied and two out, Pence was on second and The Big Puma was on first. Geoff Blum hit a shot down the right field line that was called fair but streaked right at me. Pence was on his way to score the winning run. There is no way the Cubbie right fielder was going to come over and pick up the ball and throw out Pence. I could have easily snagged it with my lid and took home the game winner but technically it would have been fan interference so at the last second I let it go – drats.

After Michael Bourn’s catch lying on his back on Tal’s Hill, it is now called Bourn’s Hill as the ‘Stros hit the road for nine over the next ten days.

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Now “The Roundtable” got into the Maverick Welsh “tired” mailer debate. FYI: “The Roundtable” are a bunch of folks – including Commentary sometimes – that think they know stuff and gather every Wednesday evening to talk about the stuff they think they know. Here’s what “The Roundtable” sent out yesterday:

“Maverick Walsh will strengthen public safety, supporting our police and firefighters and getting them out of their plush downtown offices and onto the streets.  Maverick believes in safe streets and clean water for our children.

“Ed Gonzalez talks about public safety, but where was he the night Gallery Furniture burned down?  Ed Gonzalez quit his job as a police officer to become a politician, then Yao Ming was injured and the Rockets lost the playoffs.  He says he supports working families, but it’s getting really hot outside and our air conditioning bills are getting higher and higher.  Ed Gonzales says he supports the gay community, but Adam Lambert lost on “American Idol.”  While Ed Gonzales was a Houston police officer, the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry, killing all seven crew members.  If he can’t protect our astronauts, how can we trust him to protect our children?

“We’re tired of empty promises and lies.  Bring torches and pitchforks to our rally tonight (actually last night) at 8:00 on The Courtyard at xxxxx (you have to know the secret “Roundtable” code to get the location – sorry).”

Understandably, the Maverick Welsh campaign folks are a bit touchy these days about their mail program getting so much run. They are making sure everyone gets the link to Tuesday evening’s Channel 13 news story about the race that includes the voter in Precinct 107 with dirty water down by the River Charles.

Speaking of, over 200 folks showed up at CM James Rodriguez’ Campaign Kick-Off Reception last night (Wed, June 10) at Cielo Mexican Bistro including H-Town city council candidates Stephen Costello, Karen Derr, Lane Lewis and mayoral candidate Gene Locke.  District H Special candidate Ed Gonzalez also made an appearance.  One Of My Best Friends – who by the way was looking great after her first legislative session – handled the emcee duties.

The Chron’s Ken Hoffman has a piece today about The Yard’s grub policy.  Check it out.  I agree.

Commentary missed last night’s win over the Cubbies – drats! I’ll sneak away from the office this afternoon to check out the homestand finale. According to my ‘Stros notes, if The Big Puma swats a dinger today, he’ll become the seventh switch hitter in MLB history to reach 300 career dingers. The Mick has 536, Eddie Murray 504, Cheeper 416, Chili Davis 350, Reggie Smith 314, and Ruben Sierra 306 – cool.

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First it was Chron.com. Then it was Commentary. Now it’s the Chron Columnist’s turn to provide a take on H-Town City Council District H Special candidate Maverick Welsh’s “tired” mail pieces.  Check it out. 

The Chron’s headline on the column refers to the mail as “bizarro.” The Columnist describes Maverick’s explanation on the mail as “lamely.” Generally speaking, when your mail gets written up in the Chron, it is probably not a good thing. Heck, one of Commentary’s campaign pieces made the front page about ten years ago and I got my arse kicked badly even though what we wrote ended up coming true years later. It was the so called infamous “vendido” piece that I occasionally put on ebay to make a few bucks. Back to Maverick – I’m guessing that in the end, his mail strategy will backfire. We will find out this Saturday evening.

Speaking of, CM James Rodriguez’ Campaign Kick-Off Reception is this evening (Wed, June 10) at Cielo Mexican Bistro, 300 Main – Downtown at 5:30 pm. It looks like we are going to have a great crowd so get there early!

Isiah Carey reports that H-Town Mayoral candidate Annise Parker will tell the Police Chief to hit the road if she gets elected – interesting.  I wonder how this will play?

About the only good thing that happened at The Yard last night was the picking of the ‘Stros shortstop of the future. I’m talking about the MLB draft and ‘Stros first round pick Jiovanni Mier, an 18 year old from Califas. The Big Puma got career dinger 299 last night but we still got our arses run. It’s Z versus Wandy tonight!

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“I’m tired of having a lousy school.”

“I’m tired of feeling scared walking home from school.”

“I’m tired of politicians who don’t listen.”

“I’m tired of the same old politics as usual.”

The above are the titles from mailers from the Maverick Welsh Campaign for H-Town City Council, District H Special.

In the mail pieces, Welsh says his opponent Ed Gonzalez “is part of the same, tired system that is all talk and no action” is “politics as usual” and “he’s too busy making back room deals.” I don’t know about that.  What back rooms were used to make deals?

The mail piece that got Commentary’s attention was the one titled “I’m tried of not having clean water to drink.” I wonder if the water usage needle in District H went down after folks read the mail piece. I wonder if the H-Town Mayor and the five at-large CMs that represent District H know that our water isn’t safe. I wonder if the eateries in District H that serve tap water in their establishments know that they are serving dirty water to folks like Commentary that go to places like Shade, The T, King Biscuit, Spanish Flower, Merida, Rico’s, Collina’s – you get the picture. Commentary thinks that the Welsh Campaign went way overboard on the not so clean water mail piece….tsk, tsk, tsk.

In today’s Chron you can find stories on the District H candidates.  Check them out: Gonzalez runs methodical race for CouncilWelsh hopes district breaks with tradition.

Speaking of, CM James Rodriguez’ Campaign Kick-Off Reception is tomorrow evening (Wed, June 10) at Cielo Mexican Bistro, 300 Main – Downtown at 5:30 pm – be there!

In today’s Chron Sports Section, there is a silly story about not being able to bring your own grub to The Yard. Oh brother! That’s the last thing on the minds of ‘Stros fans. There are a number of places you can grub out at before the game just outside of The Yard.  Check out the piece. 

When Commentary goes to The Yard, all I want is more runs on the scoreboard than the other team and no lines at the St. Arnold kiosk.

There will be a lot of activity at The Yard today as the MLB Draft gets going and the Cubbies come in for three. 

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“Texas Monthly” had the following to say about State Senator Mario Gallegos when they named him to their 10 Worst Legislators List again last week.

“Last session, Gallegos was sidelined by a debilitating illness, narrowly averting death thanks to a liver transplant. Now he looks better than he has in years. In fact, you could say the old Mario is back.

“We don’t mean this in a good way.

“When Gallegos makes the trip to Austin every two years, he packs his bags with old scores to settle and tucks in a few schemes to help his friends. The Houston Rodeo books alternative Latin music, rather than the Tejano bands that Gallegos prefers? He’s got a bill for that: an outlandish requirement that the charitable organization follow state bidding laws. An old opponent runs for Houston City Council while serving on a community college board? A Gallegos proposal would have required her to resign her board position. Houston firefighters, on the other hand, have their own personal representative on the floor of the Texas Senate. Gallegos, formerly one of their ranks, filed a bill requiring sports authorities operated by the City of Houston and Harris County to hire only City of Houston firefighters—to the exclusion of county and suburban forces. Then there was the bill to ban large trucks from parking overnight in driveways of residential areas. You guessed it: He had a problem in his own neighborhood. Thanks to the vigilance of Gallegos’s colleagues, most of these bills were sent on permanent vacation. Considering his recent health ordeal—and his track record in Austin—we believe Gallegos deserves the same, and more: a long, happy retirement. Soon.”

What else is new?

"I think she sounds like a winner and a good nominee,” said Laura Bush about Judge Sotomayor this morning on “Good Morning America.”

Commentary went to vote early in the H-Town City Council District H Special this past Friday and within 30 minutes of getting back to my desk a photo of me leaving the early voting location in my hybrid was being passed around the internet. I don’t know if I should feel honored or violated.

The Chron’s E-Board banged up the H-Town City Council today on their proposed budget.  Check it out.

UH’s Dr. Murray who knows more about politics than you and me and everyone else combined put out a take on State Rep Sylvester Turner running for H-Town Mayor. Check it out. The Annise Parker and Peter Brown campaigns probably want Sly in the race because that would split up the African American vote because there would be two major African American candidates running – Sly and Gene Locke. Commentary would bet that if Sly does get into the race Locke would seriously consider getting out. You see, Locke still has to overcome a name ID issue. Locke enjoys big time support from Mayor Bob and County Commissioner El France Lee – supposedly two powerhouses that don’t think much of Sly so that would be a victory of sorts for Sly. Stay tuned!

21 folks were arrested at Cowboy Stadium on opening night. They must have had a soccer game there.

Lisi, Hector, and Joaquin sat with Commentary in Pam-In-Charge’s seats Friday evening and Joaquin got him two balls tossed to him – cool. Commentary snagged Foul Ball Numero Seis Saturday evening and gave it to a kid. I wasn’t so lucky yesterday as a foul shot bounced off me. Things are looking better at The Yard these days as we take the day off and resume manana against the Cubbies.

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The past few days, Commentary has gotten a few calls about local political folks talking up the possibility of State Rep Sylvester Turner throwing his hat into the H-Town mayoral race – interesting. If he does get into the race, then we would have two major African American candidates running – interesting. It is no secret that Sly was looking at running in CD 18 if Cong. Sheila Jackson Lee had moved over to help run the State Department with Hillary but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. With Craddick out as Texas State House Speaker, Sly has lost a little bit of influence up in Austin, so like any normal elected official, he’s probably mulling over his options and maybe the third time running for H-Town Mayor can be a charm. As far as campaigners go, they don’t get better than Sly and his oratorical skills. Is it too late as this point in the campaign to get into the race? I don’t think so. FYI: Commentary was on Sly’s team in his 2003 race for mayor.

Sly will probably have to let folks know pretty soon if he is going to run. If he does get into the race then the political math is altered somewhat. Some Latino and Latina players would then start having serious conversations about getting a serious Latino or Latina into the race. CM James Rodriguez and The Lovely Wendy would certainly be getting a lot of calls about moving things up a bit – very interesting. Stay tuned!

Score it as an E-132. I’m talking about the foul shot that zinged under Commentary’s lid last night in Section 132 in the third inning. Of course nobody else would have had a shot at getting it, but Commentary is supposed to snag those so score it as an error. Right after that, the wheels came off as Wandy ended up letting the Rockies get four dingers so we didn’t get the sweep. The Pirates minus their All-Star center fielder Nate McLouth are now in for three this weekend.

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Just like Sergeant Schultz said – “I know nothing!” I’m talking about the press release CEWDEM sent out about a fella named Sean Roberts of the self described “Obama Generation” deciding to get into the CD 18 race. Commentary mentioned CD 18 politics back in February and all heck broke loose. I don’t think I know Sean Roberts. I don’t know his press person – Saki Indakwa – either. Maybe if they were dressed in Brick Red ‘Stros gear I might recognize them from The Yard. We will see what kind of traction this Obama Generation Democrat gets against longtime incumbent Cong. Sheila Jackson Lee. I wonder if he can be called an O-Gen Dem.

The Austin American Statesman has a piece today on 2010 political posturing. Check it out. 

"I just don’t think it’s appropriate. I certainly don’t endorse it. I think it’s wrong." This is what the Lone Star State’s Junior Senator had to say about Rush Limbaugh’s attacks on Judge Sotomayor. It looks like the GOP U.S. Senators are distancing themselves from the U.S. of A’s least popular GOPer – Rush.

Next time Commentary runs into H-Town mayoral candidate CM Peter Brown, I am going to suggest that he might try putting in an application for HISD Superintendent and ditch his campaign for mayor. According to today’s Chron.com, CM Brown says he will soon lay out a plan to “restructure our schools” – huh!  Check out the piece. 

Commentary now has no choice but to keep an eye on CM Brown. Heck, he might just lay out a plan to restructure the ‘Stros.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the ‘Stros have them a new kid playing named Edwin Maysonet. He’s been doing a great job at second base.

Also, on the ‘Stros website, Alyson Footer has left MLB.com and is now with the club. You can catch her Alyson’s Footnotes on the website. Brian McTaggart has left the Chron and is now with MLB.com and you can now catch him on the ‘Stros website on Tag’s Line – cool. Check them out.

From my ‘Stros Notes that are sent to me daily – the ‘Stros are one of only two NL teams that have three starters batting .300 plus – Miggy (.358), Pence (.346), and Numero 45 (.316). Oh, the other NL team has the worst record in the bigs – the Nationals.

Speaking of, Kathryn and Commentary sat with my good friend Drayton last night as the ‘Stros put it on the Rockies. Before the game, Commentary grubbed out on braised ribs, fennel, mashed potatoes, and a nice cabernet – you know, the usual ballpark grub. Commentary advised Drayton to stay the course as we’ve now won five of our last six and play one more with Colorado this evening.

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I don’t think H-Town City Council Members liked seeing the blurb in the Chron today about their offices getting increases in expenses in next year’s budget.  Check it out.  I’m thinking they will tighten and lighten up for sure.

Commentary got an invite yesterday called “Ladies for Locke.” It had a number of prominent women from H-Town supporting mayoral candidate Gene Locke. I guess we ought to be seeing an invitation any day now called “Dudes for Parker” – a bunch of fellas from H-Town lined up for mayoral candidate Annise Parker.

Yesterday, The President designated June as Gay Pride Month.

Yesterday, The President also signed the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act.

I wonder how you say “Hummer” in Chinese.

I think the front office is glad they read Commentary last week and stayed the course as we’ve now won four of the last five. The Chron says today that Miggy is “TE-HOT-A” – cool. He’s still on his “Apollyizing Tour” and hitting a league leading .362 following last night’s 11th inning walk off dinger. Commentary and my buddy Kathryn will be sitting with my good friend Drayton this evening. Hey, it’s a good deal! We get free Daimond Club grub and he gets a preview of tomorrow’s Commentary takes on the ‘Stros. Check out our mugs on HDTV this evening .

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