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Archive for March, 2010

Commentary told a reporter the other day that the race between Guv Dude and The Former H-Town Mayor would be interesting in that we would see if the Former Mayor could take a punch.  I meant could he take the stuff that Dude’s campaign throws at him and the media scrutiny that comes with running a major statewide race.

Well it has started.  Here’s what a recent Beaumont Enterprise editorial had to say about the Former Mayor refusing to release his personal income taxes while serving as mayor:

“The campaign for governor takes precedence. If (Bill) White won’t release the information, he is telling voters he will always put their interests first – unless they conflict with his own.”

Ouch!

Here’s the complete editorial.

In today’s hard copy of the Chron, here is one of the headlines on the front page: “White tied to company facing pollution probe.”

Ditto Ouch!

The Chron’s R.G. wrote the story that I’m sure has Dude’s staff salivating.  Check it out.

On the front page of the Chron’s City & State Section, the Chron’s Columnist also weighs in on releasing the tax returns.  Check it out.

Ditto, ditto ouch!

Plus you have to throw in the sides so to speak.  Like the other story in today’s Chron about the Former Mayor’s METRO Chair ordering an investigation of the METRO CEO.  Check it out.

The Former Mayor appointed the majority of the METRO Board so he owns it for now.

Ditto, ditto, ditto ouch!

Look, we know Dude can take a punch because that’s all we’ve been doing to him for the past ten years.  We’re going to find out soon if the Former Mayor can take a punch.

Which African American MLB pitcher has won the most games – Fergie Jenkins, Dwight Gooden, Vida Blue, Satchel Paige, or Bob Gibson?

Deem and pass gas is what I have to say about the health care reform bill.  I really don’t care what kind of procedure is used.  The GOP is going to say we voted for the Cornhusker Shuffle, the Louisiana Purchase, Obamacare, the DH in the National League, the BCS System, Hillarycare, Medicaid for Gatos, Instant Replay in the MLB, and anything else they want to throw in.

Tiger is coming back and that’s A-OK with me as long as it is A-OK with his wife.  I’m betting at least one of his others shows up at Augusta sponsored by US, or TMZ, or some other media outlet and sets up a tent to give interviews so they can get another fifteen minutes of fame.

Fergie Jenkins of course won 284 games.

From the ‘Stros:  “Continuing an effort started in 2009, the Pink in the Park initiative, dedicated to breast cancer awareness, will be complemented with several ‘pink’ items on Mother’s Day weekend. Items include a pink cap (May 7), tote bag (May 8) and t-shirt (May 9, Mother’s Day). The Astros will also be celebrating Father’s Day (June 20) with the traditional Father’s Day Tie that features a prostate cancer awareness theme. “

How come they don’t hand out pink T-shirts to the fellas?  I’d wear one with honor and pride.

 

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Since our Dem leaders are predicting a vote on health care reform at the end of the week, it looks like it will pass.  They wouldn’t call a vote to see it go down in flames after all. 

Former GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey is saying that the GOP is pi__ing off Latino voters on the immigration issue.  Here’s one of his quotes from an article in the Chron: "Republicans have to get this right and get off this goofiness.  Ronald Reagan said ‘tear down this wall.’ Tom Tancredo said ‘build this wall.’ Which is right?"

What else is new?   Check out the article.  

Commentary got the Census 2010 form yesterday and I filled it out and will be putting it in the mail today.  To deal with the expected undercount in the Latino community, I added a few more names in my household just to play it safe.  What the heck!

There was a rumor swirling around yesterday in the MLB about an Albert Pujols for Ryan Howard “monster” trade – huh!  I didn’t believe it.  I’ve been to Busch Stadium and the favorite jersey that Cardinal fans wear is Albert’s.  What is his jersey number?

Yesterday afternoon a Houston METRO bus ran into a Houston METRO train a couple of blocks from the Houston METRO headquarters.  No wonder there was a story on Channel 11 news last night about the Houston METRO CEO looking for a new job.

Numero Cinco of course.

This season at The Yard, the ‘Stros will be commemorating their 45th season as ‘Stros – get it!    We were the Colt ‘45s in 1962 but became ‘Stros when we moved to the Dome in 1965. On Saturday, April 10 when we play the Phillies at The Yard, both teams will be wearing their 1965 uniforms – cool!  I wonder if they will have 1965 concession prices for grub?

 

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Now I know why they call it March Madness.  East Regional games are played in San Jose, California and New Orleans.  South Regional Games are played in Providence, Rhode Island and Spokane, Washington.  Midwest Regional games are played in Providence and Spokane.  West Regional games are played in Buffalo, New York, Oklahoma City, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Chron’s E-Board weighed in today on HISD’s decision to review its alternative schools program.  The E-Board supports the HISD Superintendent’s decision.   Check it out.

The H-Town Mayor will be making her five METRO appointees this week.  I think they will be pretty good picks just based on how The Mayor has been handling stuff her first 75 days or so.  Stay tuned!

Before the March 2 Primaries, Commentary predicted that even if Hutch barely made it into a run-off with Guv Dude, there would not be a run-off.  Some folks kind of wondered what the heck I was talking about.  Well remember when Buddy Temple made then run-off against Mark White in 1982 then dropped out a few days later and there wasn’t a run-off?  Here’s what is in the Statesman’s online edition today:  “Besides, even if she’d squeaked into a runoff, (Jim, one of her finance guys) Francis said, Hutchison had already decided to concede if she trailed Perry by 20 percentage points or so — and she did.”  Hey, what do I know!

Who in MLB would say something like:  “When I am right, no one remembers.  When I am wrong, no one forgets.”

Former Dem VP candidate John Edwards’ mistress/girlfriend gave an interview to GQ and included some photos.  She shows a lot of leg for sure if you know what I mean.  I checked it out on the “Today Show” this morning.

Actor Peter Graves left us yesterday and he also left us this killer line from “Airplane”:  “do you like movies about gladiators?”

An MLB umpire named Doug Harvey of course.

If you like movies about frequent flyer miles, check out “Up in the Air.”  Also check out Best Picture “The Hurt Locker.”

Speaking of, if you have access to HBO, you need to be checking out “The Pacific” that just started last night.

The Big Puma was sidelined over the weekend with a surgical procedure on his knee but he hopes to be ready by Opening Day on April 5 when we take on the Giants.  My ‘Stros tickets came in and featured are The Big Puma, Hunter Pence, Wandy, Numero 45, Bourn to Run, and Roy O.

 

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Edgar sent Commentary a note yesterday about the H-Town Mayor’s quotes in the Chron the past couple of weeks and the probability that Guv Dude’s campaign folks would use them against the Former H-Town Mayor.  Here are the quotes from the H-Town Mayor again:

“For years now, we have spent more money than we have taken in. You can’t spend more than you earn. It is a very unbusinesslike approach to running things.”

“METRO is a dysfunctional organization.”

Sure enough, Dude’s campaign pounced on the quotes.  I guess that’s why Edgar teaches politics at UH-Downtown. 

If the stuff at Houston METRO, you know, tax dollars being spent on romantic getaways, gets traction, expect Dude’s folks to wrap it around the Former Mayor’s neck.  Stay tuned!

As far as the H-Town Mayor goes, she has to worry about running the City and not worry about her predecessor’s campaign.  I don’t think she will measure her words based on how they will play out in Wichita Falls or Bowie, Texas.

This former ‘Stro is 68 today and was also involved in one of the ‘Stros’ not so good trades.   Name the player and the trade.

Here’s from an AP story running in a few papers today:

“Cell phone use has contributed to thousands of Texas automobile accidents since 2005, according to records obtained by a San Antonio television station through an open-records request.

“WOAI examined the Texas Department of Transportation database and found that investigating officers cited cell phone use as a contributing factor in more than 17,519 accidents with 7,519 injuries and 167 deaths. San Antonio led the state with 1,611 crashes in the past five years.

“San Antonio attorney Mitchell Ginsburg told the station he’s seen an increase in cases involving drivers distracted while texting or talking on their phones, with many of those cases more severe than others.”

What’s the hold-up on ordinances or state laws banning these devices while driving?

Jimmy “The Toy Cannon” Wynn was traded to the LA Dodger for Claude Osteen and Dave Culpepper after the 1973 season.  The Toy Cannon went on to help the Dodgers win the NL Pennant in 1974 and had a dinger in Game 1 of the 1974 World Serious versus the A’s.  He made the NL All Star Team as a Dodger in ’74 and ’75.  He ended his career after the ’77 season.  Osteen had a so-so season as a ‘Stro in 1974 and we traded him away after one season.  He was out of baseball the year after.  Culpepper was a minor leaguer and never made it to the Bigs as a ‘Stro.

Happy Birthday Toy Cannon!

The Toy Cannon works for the ‘Stros and you can usually catch him signing autographs before games on the main concourse.  He’ll be there Opening Day for sure.

 

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The H-Town Mayor says she doesn’t think we have the money to build all the light rail lines.  So for right now, it doesn’t look too promising for the Uptown and University Lines.  She also says she is going to appoint her five new METRO Board members next week.  That’s good news because METRO’s current leadership has just about lost all credibility with most of the public. 

The fella that runs Houston’s METRO has some serious issues he’s got to ‘splain.  According to last night’s Channel 11 news and today’s Chron, folks are alleging that he’s involved in a romantic relationship with his, err METRO’s chief-of-staff – yikes.  On the news last night, they showed the METRO chief leaving the courthouse and he was asked questions about his alleged relationship and he couldn’t even muster a “no comment.”  He had that look of:  “I wonder what I’m going to be doing next week.” 

When they can your arse over at METRO, do they at least give you a bus token to get home?

Of the ‘Stros’ projected 25 player roster that will open the season at The Yard on April 5, how many have a World Serious Ring?

Meanwhile, according to the Chron, the City of H-Town is looking at a $100 mil shortfall in the next budget.  Here’s what H-Town’s Mayor had to say:  “For years now, we have spent more money than we have taken in. You can’t spend more than you earn. It is a very unbusinesslike approach to running things.”  Ouch!

I’ll say this.  Commentary very much respects how the H-Town Mayor is dealing with this mess.  She’s letting us know what to expect.  She’s not going to sugar coat anything.  She has some good council members that she can work with to get us thought this problem. 

One of the most unusual names in the MLB is 30 today.  Happy Birthday to Second Baseman Dan Uggla of the Fish!

Also 30 is outfielder Bobby Abreu of the Angels of Anaheim of Los Angeles.  Abreu was originally signed by the ‘Stros.  Happy Birthday to Bobby Abreu!

Three of course – they are Geoff Blum (White Sox in 2005), Pedro Feliz (Phillies in 2008), and Brett Myers (Phillies in 2008).  I wonder what’s in store for Opening Day festivities?

 

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In November of 2003, METRO Service Area voters went to the polls to vote on extending light rail.  Here’ the ballot language on the measure:

“Authorization of Metro to issue bonds, notes, and other obligations payable, in whole or in part, from 75% of Metro’s sales and use tax revenues in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $640 million for Metro’s transit authority system, including the Metro Solutions transit system plan, which includes construction of extensions and new segments of Metro’s rail system known as "MetroRail," approval of such plan and construction of MetroRail and commuter line and dedication of 25% of Metro’s sales and use tax revenues through Sept. 30, 2014, to street improvements and related projects, as authorized by law.”

Here’s from today’s Chron on METRO going way beyond the $640 mil in bonds:

“The Metropolitan Transit Authority intends to issue an estimated $2.6 billion in bonds in the next four years to help pay for five new light rail lines, about four times the debt capacity voters authorized in a 2003 referendum, Metro officials confirmed Tuesday.  Metro leaders insist the borrowing will not exceed the $640 million debt ceiling set by voters because the agency is allowed other borrowing capacity by state law, and much of the bonds will be paid with money from ridership fares.”  Check out the article.

I don’t know about most folks but it sounds like a disingenuous way to treat the voters.  My pal Bill King agrees: 

“This is just a different deal than what they made with voters in 2003 and if the voters want to approve that, that’s fine, but they ought to go back and ask the voters if they’re OK with spending three times as much and borrowing four times as much as they were told in 2003. The truth of the matter is that they’re doing what they told the voters they would not do in 2003.”

Bill goes on to say METRO’s argument is “pure sophistry” – huh!  (I had to look up “sophistry” and it means “subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation.”  Bill needs to use easier words.)

I have to agree with Bill King on this.  Six years ago during the election we were led to believe that all we needed was $640 mil in bonds.  If METRO wanted more bonds, they should have put it on the ballot last November.  METRO is making a mockery of the 2003 election and that’s too bad.  All METRO is doing is fueling the cynicism folks feel for government these days.

Commentary dropped by new HISD Trustee Anna Eastman’s Community Meeting at Davis High School last night.  It was well attended by teachers, parents, community activists, labor leaders, and HISD staff.  About 70 or so folks showed up.  Anna ran a good meeting.  It was informative and those in attendance got to ask questions.  Way to go Anna!

Former MLBer Willie Davis left us yesterday at age 69.  According to the LA Times he was  “blessed with blistering speed.  Davis played with the Dodgers from 1960 to 1973 before being traded to the Montreal Expos.  He played in two All-Star games, won three Gold Gloves and set a Dodger record with a 31-game hitting streak in 1969.  Davis also played for the Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres. His last season in the majors was 1979 with the Angels.”

Davis won two World Serious rings with the Dodgers in 1963 against the Yankees and in 1965 against the Twins.  In the 1966 World Serious against the Orioles, Davis committed 3 errors in one inning.  In what game, inning, and name the batters?

Forget about that I said “enough said” on voter bias.  The Chron’s Columnist jumped into the fray.  Here are some lines from his column that is directed at local Dems:

“But before Democrats start feeling morally superior, they should take Republican Judge Ed Emmett’s advice and look at their own performance in the Harris County primary. By my count, 14 candidates with Hispanic or Hispanic-sounding names appeared on the county-wide ballot in contested races. Of those, only two won or led in their fields.  And one, Mary Connealy Acosta, who defeated Miles LeBlanc with only 52 percent of the vote, isn’t personally Hispanic. She might have increased her margin if she had used only her maiden name.”  Check out the column.

AT&T is launching it’s “It Can Wait” campaign which urges folks not to text and drive.  If the mobile phone company doesn’t have a problem with it, then the City of H-Town should go on ahead and put together an ordinance banning texting while driving in H-Town.  What’s the hold-up?

In Game 2, in the top of the fifth inning, Oriole center fielder Paul Blair hit a deep fly ball that Willie Davis lost in the sun for an error.  The next batter catcher Andy Etchebarren hit a fly ball that again David lost and he compounded the error by making a bad throw to third base.

Meanwhile, on who will start behind the plate on Opening Day in 27 days against the Giants, here’s from Alyson’s Footnotes:  “It’s still early and the Astros haven’t even played a full week of spring games. But it’s nice to look at the stat sheet and see that (J.R.) Towles is hitting at a .667 clip (8-for-12), and (Jason) Castro had six hits in 12 at-bats after Tuesday’s game in Port St. Lucie.  It’s healthy for teammates to engage in Spring Training competition, and it’s nice to see the Astros have some depth behind the plate. “

 

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The Houston Independent School District Superintendent has been here six months and he is making changes.   Reorganizing, cutting, trimming, reevaluating, adding, subtracting, dividing – hey, folks want change within HISD.  The latest is the controversial Community Education Partners (CEP), HISD’s alternative schools program.  That’s the program that handles students with various levels of discipline issues.  The program has drawn criticism from some community leaders.  The Superintendent is putting the contract out for bid.  Here’s the Chron story. 

The Superintendent’s leading – maybe only – critic in H-Town is the honcho of the local teachers’ union.  Here’s what she said about the Superintendent’s move on CEP:  “That jerk (the Superintendent) is willing to throw these kids away rather than save them so he can divert a few dollars into his asinine new programs that no one wants.”

The Chron says in the piece:  “Houston Federation of Teachers President Gayle Fallon, an ardent supporter of CEP whose union has exclusive bargaining rights at the Houston campuses, criticized Grier’s idea.”

The honcho doesn’t elaborate on the programs that “no one wants.”

So far it looks like to me that the only person that is publicly unhappy with the Superintendent is the teachers’ union honcho.  Everybody is A-OK, just observing, or keeping their pieholes shut.  Commentary is one of the ones that is A-OK.

Only six MLB players have career World Serious dingers  in double digits – name them and how many?

Commentary spoke to Edgar’s class last night at UH-Downtown on politics of course.  His students were pretty knowledgeable I might say.  They hadn’t read what the teachers’ union fella said about me last week so they still found me to be a credible speaker. 

In today’s online Statesman, the Former H-Town Mayor is saying no se puede to casino gambling in the Lone Star State:  “White says he doesn’t support slots, casinos.  Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill White said Monday that he does not support the legalization of slot machines and does not think Texas should legalize casinos across the state. ‘I don’t think the State of Texas should be promoting gambling and something for nothing,’ White said during an interview with the American-Statesman.”

Interesting in that a lot of his key supporters are Dem members of the Texas Legislature and support the legalization of casinos in the Lone Star State for additional revenue.

On this day, March 9 in 1959, Barbie was born.  We’ve had Barbie in a bikini, as a soldier, as a Navy SEAL, as a flight attendant, race car driver, cowgirl, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader,  Air Force pilot, and even as Gomez’s Morticia.  Barbie is 51 today….. hmmm, Barbie the Cougar?

Mickey Mantle (18), Babe Ruth (15), Yogi Berra (12), Duke Snyder (11) and of course Reggie Jackson (10) and Lou Gehrig (10).

Here is from Alyson’s Footnotes on former ‘Stro Morgan Ensberg:

“Ensberg has been retired from the game for about a year and he’s hoping to begin a career in broadcasting. When he was with the Astros, I always felt he would be successful with whatever he decided to do in his post-playing career, whether it was politics or coaching or broadcasting. As much as I liked him as a player, I had 100 times more respect for him as a person. That’s why I was delighted to see he started a blog.  In his most recent entry, he talks about how it ripped his heart in half to be booed by the Houston fans: ‘As a result, I no longer concentrated on the game and instead concentrated on not getting booed.’  Check it out. Interesting stuff.”

 

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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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The Chron has a piece today about GOP Railroad Commissioner Victor Carrillo and GOP Harris County Tax Assessor Collector Leo Vasquez claiming that GOP ethnic bias cost them their elections.  They’re right.  Of course, GOP consultants and leaders say they ran bad campaigns – oh brother!   Check out the article.  GOP consultants say Carrillo ran a bad campaign.  However, his opponent that beat didn’t even run a campaign.

Is ethnic bias solely the property of the GOP?  What about in Harris County?  Commentary received an interesting call yesterday from a ranking GOP local elected official to talk about Latino Dem candidates getting the old chile here in Harris County in Tuesday’s election.  We both lamented over the fact that there is probably a little bias going on in both party primaries.  In contested countywide judicial races in the Democratic Primary, only one Latino candidate won outright.  A candidate with a Spanish-language surname won, but she is an Anglo (Mary Connealy Acosta).   A Latino and a Latina are in run-offs.  Seven Latino/Latina candidates bit the dust.

In Harris County, in the Dem race for Lite Guv, Linda Chavez -Thompson received 40.21%, Ronnie Earle 46.32%, and Mark Katz 13.47%.

In Harris County in the Dem Land Commissioner’s race, Hector Uribe received 41.16% and Bill Burton 58.84%.

Here’s what a local Dem elected Latina sent me: “Let’s be honest – Hispanics/Latinos did not fare well in either party. What does this say about our community? You know the answer – until we vote in large numbers – no respect, no concern, no consideration, no need.  No candidate in a contested race with a complete Spanish surname won, except for David Longoria, and he’s been an associate judge for years and he should have won – I’m glad he did – but unfortunately he is the only one we can point to who really had a victory. “

Eight-eight years ago today, this MLB player signed a three year deal to become the highest paid player – who and how much?

Here’s what Harris County Judge Ed Emmett told the Chron yesterday:  “I have the easiest campaign of all to run. If you do a good job as County Judge, you get re-elected."

Back to the low Latino voter turnout in Harris County, if Dems continue to ignore this, countywide Dem candidates are going to wake up with a severe hangover on the morning of November 3.   So far it looks like a strategy of changing minds rather than adding to the universe. 

Babe Ruth of course for a little over $50,000 a year.

The ‘Stros go to Lakeland today to take on former ‘Stros Adam Everett and Jose Valverde and the Tiger as The Yard is open for business this weekend with UT, Rice, UH, Missouri, Texas Tech, and TCU playing in the College Classic.

 

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Here are the voter turnout numbers for Dem State Representative Districts in Harris County:

HD 131 (Allen) – 7,104 (10.76%)

HD 133 (Thibaut) – 2,512 (3.89%)

HD 134 (Cohen) – 7,284 (7.65%)

HD 137 (Hochberg) – 1,325 (3.89%)

HD 139 (Turner) – 6,961 (10.06%)

HD 140 (Walle) – 1,913 (4.45%)

HD 141 (Thompson) – 6,187 (8.19%)

HD 142 (Dutton) – 7,232 (9.97%)

HD 143 (Hernandez) – 1,951 (4.63%)

HD 145 (Alvarado) – 2,357 (5.33%)

HD 146 (Edwards) – 10,747 (13.2%)

HD 147 (Coleman) – 8,670 (11.62%)

HD 148 (Farrar) – 4,987 (8.29%)

HD 149 (Vo) – 2,981 – (3.88%)

 

Obviously, the activity in CD 18 and HD 146 drove up some numbers.

Here’s a dumbarse quote from a soon to be former dumbarse elected official in today’s Austin American Statesman: “Given the choice between ‘Porter’ and ‘Carrillo’ — unfortunately, the Hispanic surname was a serious setback from which I could never recover although I did all in my power to overcome this built-in bias." This is from defeated GOP Railroad Commissioner Victor Carrillo. 

Hey fella, why did you sign up with a political party that bangs around paperless folks?  Wah, wah, wah!  What did you expect!  Wah, wah, wah!  They don’t want you at the dinner table!  Wah, wah, wah!   So just shut your piehole!

My name is Marc Campos and I don’t think my Spanish-language surname is a serious setback from which I have to recover.

Speaking of, Guv Dude is 60 today.  He got his BD present a couple of days early.  I guess even Dude gets a Happy Birthday shout out so Happy Birthday Dude!

Still speaking of Canada, who holds the Montreal Expo record for most dingers in a season – Rusty Staub, Valdimir Guerrero, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter, or Larry Walker?

Hutch said she’s going to quit so let her quit.  There are a couple of stories in papers today about GOP folks wanting Hutch not to quit.  She’s already been made to look stupid about the whole resign issue.  Why make her look stupider!

Someone told me about a sort of R-Rated website dedicated to Cameron County (Brownsville) politics.  Look up El Rocinante. Remember, I warned you it is R-Rated.

Vladimir Guerrero of course hit 44 dingers in 2000.  He was tied for 4th in the NL that season in the dinger category – tied with Richard Hidalgo of the ‘Stros.  Sammy Sosa had 50, Barry, Barry had 49, and Jeff Bagwell had 47.

The ‘Stros first spring training game is today versus the Nationals.

 

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