Archive for March 8th, 2010

A local teachers’ union staffer cracked on Commentary this past Friday because I talked about voter bias last week.  Here’s what he sent me:

“Wow, this is rich coming from someon (Commentary I suppose) quick to cash a check from a less qualified candidate (HISD Anna Eastman I suppose) in a race against a very qualified Hispanic candidate (Alma Lara I suppose)).

“Outside that small group of folks that no ones listens to, you have lost ALL credibility on the issue of bias in politics.”

Oh yeah!  I guess the Chron’s E-Board didn’t get the message.  Here’s today’s editorial about the gubernatorial campaign that Commentary has mentioned before.   Check it out. 

Here’s how I was included:  “As Houston political consultant Marc Campos observed in his Daily Commentary blog, the White-Perry collision will feature ‘everything you wanted to know about H-Town but were afraid to ask. We’re fair game, I suppose.’”

Here is an AP story that ran this weekend in newspapers across the land on the Guv Dude – Former H-Town Mayor match-up that had a quote from Commentary.  Check it out. 

Here’s what I said:  "’We’re going to find out if Bill White can take the punch,’ said Marc Campos, a political consultant who worked for a candidate (Rep. Sly Turner) running against White in the nonpartisan mayor’s race.  ‘It’s going to be interesting how he reacts to a full-fledged negative campaign against him. He’s never done that. He’s never had to go through something like this.’”

Here’s what someone sent me after they read the piece:

“Dear Mr. Campos, I read your comments yesterday about Bill White. ‘We’re going to see if Bill White can take the punch.  It’s going to be interesting how he reacts to a full-fledged negative campaign against him.’

“I assume you’re working for Rick Perry, and I can’t help but wonder why? Why would you run a negative campaign against an honorable man who can do so much good for Texas and its people? Why would you hire out to man who encourages discrimination toward Latinos, who has failed to make the education of our children a priority, who has turned a blind eye to the poor, to abused children, to the retarded and disabled in the state, who favors corporations over people, who has advanced cronyism in all facts of state government, who has ignored strengthening responsible environmental oversight and with his failed tax plan has bungled the budget. If it weren’t for the stimulus, Texas couldn’t balance its budget.

“I just don’t get it. We all have to make a living, but to promote evil instead of good is a moral choice. I would not want to have your job. To paraphrase Rush Limbaugh, for the good of all the people of Texas, my children and yours, I hope you fail.

“Shellie from Franklin, Texas."

I think they need to check the drinking water in Franklin, Texas.

The reason Commentary gets written up is because the reporters know that I don’t read from the daily talking points like other political consultants.  They know they can get a pretty good observation from me – that’s all.  Commentary is not afraid to call it like it is.

Who holds the AL team record for most consecutive wins without a tie – Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, Tigers, or A’s?

This fella needs to get to the end of the line if you ask me.  I think he’s a Dem Party officer:

From Allan Jamail:  “To name just a few let me say I’ve seen the Mexican language used on yards signs, flyers, letters, door hangers, bumper stickers, T-shirts, large signs, robo calls, ballots, TV & radio ads, Democrat Party rules, door to door Hispanic speaking campaign workers”

Here’s how someone responded to Allan:  “As I’m sure you know, Mexican is not the official language of Mexico any more than Lebanese is the official language of Lebanon.  Perhaps Mr. Jamail should educate himself a little more about Hispanic culture before commenting on it.  Then he would be a little more credible.  Yes, I know that I am now vulnerable to the slings and arrows of the redneck folk out there, but I felt I had to speak up.”

I really don’t make this up!

From this weekend’s SA Express News:

“Non-Hispanic judges caught in crosshairs

“Granted, these are three Democrats — Karen Crouch, Michael Mery and Linda Penn — and their races were local, not statewide like Carrillo’s. And, obviously, there’s not a Hispanic surname among them.

“But just as Carrillo’s last name played into his defeat, their surnames factored into theirs. Each judge fell to youngish Hispanic attorneys: Liza Rodriguez beat Crouch, Richard Garcia beat Mery, and Ina Marie Castillo beat Penn.

“’The greatest judge we lost was Michael Mery — he’s a good man,”’(attorney Luis) Vera said. ‘I talked to him in my office a couple of days (before the election). I told him my fear was that (racially) polarized voting would get him, and it did.’”

From the FW Star Telegram this past weekend:  “In Fort Worth, the defeat of Judge Ruben Gonzalez offers some parallels to the Carrillo race. Gonzalez, whom Perry appointed to the new 432nd District Court in August, was endorsed by major Republican groups and had several straw-poll victories under his belt, but he lost to veteran criminal defense attorney Tom Zachry. But unlike Carrillo’s opponent, Zachry was known in the community and had been one of 10 candidates for the judicial post that Perry ultimately awarded to Gonzalez.

“Gonzalez, in a telephone interview, said he doesn’t believe that he was the victim of outright racism but says his Hispanic surname may have nevertheless aroused Republican voters’ impassioned reactions on illegal immigration, voter fraud and demands for new legislation requiring voter identification.

"’You shouldn’t be so Pollyannaish to believe that it doesn’t exist,’ he said. ‘There are people out there who are obviously racist. But I try to believe in the best of people instead of the worst of people.’

“Echoing the views of many experts and political analysts, Gonzalez said it is virtually impossible to gauge the extent to which subtle and not-so-subtle racial bias comes into play when voters are trying to make up their mind in a race in which one of the candidates has an Hispanic last name. He recalled one incident that occurred when he flashed a card bearing his name at a campaign stop in Tarrant County.

"”This fellow walks up to me, takes a look at my card and spits on the ground,’ Gonzalez recalled. ‘You could say that was racist or you could say he was a real fervent Democrat … or maybe he was a convicted felon. Maybe he just had a really bad day.’

"’How do you know what’s going through somebody’s mind? You really don’t know.’

“Zachry, who doesn’t have a Democratic opponent in the general election, acknowledges that ethnic biases could have surfaced in his race with Gonzalez.

"’I think if I’m going to be honest, that’s probably true, unfortunately,’  the attorney said. ‘I hope it’s not true, but I would be something other than candid if I didn’t say that I would not want to have traded.’

“Even after more than four decades of civil-rights advances, they say, racially polarized voting is an enduring social pattern that can thwart the advances of Hispanic and African-American candidates.

"’It certainly is a legitimate concern,’ said Nina Perales, the San Antonio-based regional counsel for the Mexican American Legal and Educational Fund. ‘It means that we still have a long way to go in moving toward a race-blind society.’”

Enough said for now.

Back to the teachers’ union guy that cracked on Commentary.  It looks like he was having a bad week.

Here’s a CNN story:  "In a small, poor city in Rhode Island sits a low-performing high school with a graduation rate of 48% and a math proficiency rate of 7%. ‘Within the same school sit teachers—many making over $72,000 a year—who do not want to take on reform responsibilities without significant pay increases. They have the union’s backing.

“Enter School Superintendent Frances Gallo, who is under pressure from Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist to reform Central Falls High School, which is one of the worst performing schools in the state.  About a month ago, Education Commissioner Gist tells Superintendent Gallo that she has to use one of four models to reform Central Falls High School. Gallo chooses the “transformation” model, which allows her to work with existing staff members to improve the school’s abominable performance.

“Gallo lays out six conditions. She tells union leaders and staff that if she can’t adopt the ‘transformation’ model by getting their cooperation, she will resort to the ‘turnaround’ model, which means that everyone will be fired and the district will be able to hire 50% or less of the staff back for the next school year.

“The six new staff responsibilities Gallo presents are:

“25 more minutes added to the school day, some tutoring shifts before and after school, once a week eating lunch with students, undergoing more extensive evaluations, attending teacher planning sessions once a week, and 2 weeks of training during the summer.

“Gallo can only offer $30 an hour and only for some of the additional duties, but the union leaders say the teachers should earn $90 an hour and for all of the additional duties.

“As a result, the union leaders say no, we do not agree to your six conditions. They, I conjecture, effectively try to strong-arm Gallo and call her bluff.

“They find out that Gallo wasn’t bluffing because she fired them all. Every teacher and administrator.

“And from this situation a major media story erupts that asks a lot of fundamental education reform questions."

Here’s from a follow up NY Times story:  “Mr. Obama’s endorsement of the Rhode Island board’s tough action infuriated many of the four million members of the two national teachers’ unions, thousands of whom campaigned vigorously for him in 2008.

“’I ripped the Obama sticker off of my truck,’ said Zeph Capo, a midlevel official at the Houston Federation of Teachers who trains classroom teachers. ‘We worked hard for this man, we talked to our neighbors and our fellow teachers about why we should support him, and we’re having to dig the knife out of our back.’”

The Oakland A’s of course won 20 in a row in 2002.  The A’s won the AL West but lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Twins.

It was good to be back out at The Yard this weekend for the College Classics and be there for Jake’s debut Friday night.


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