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Archive for December 16th, 2010

Chris Bell responded yesterday to Ross Ramsey’s Texas Tribune piece on the demise of the Texas Democratic Party.  Ramsey questioned why the donors would keep investing in the Democratic Party.  Bell says to keep investing in the Democratic Party.   Check out what Chris says.  I don’t have a problem with what Chris says as long as the Democratic Party gets a new set of investment advisors.  If the Party keeps using the same bunch of advisors, you may as well throw your money down the toilet drain.

My pal Gary Blankinship, president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, tried to come to the rescue of the H-Town Mayor and responded to Rick Casey’s column in Sunday’s Chronicle in a letter-to-the-editor today.  Here is part of what Gary said:

“The truth is, Mayor Parker and her team deserve credit for their nonpartisan professionalism in attempting to clean up any number of problems left by the previous administration.”

Gary for sure missed the whole Port Commission reappointment episode over at City Hall where partisanship ran amuck.  Gary also took some shots at the Former Mayor.  Here is Gary’s letter:

In the mayor’s defense

Regarding Rick Casey’s “The symbol of Parker’s problems” (Page B1, Sunday), it was disappointing to see City Council members stoop to petty, anonymous quotes attacking the mayor’s chief of staff, Waynette Chan, when Houston is facing so many sobering challenges.

The truth is, Mayor Parker and her team deserve credit for their nonpartisan professionalism in attempting to clean up any number of problems left by the previous administration.

To give you an idea, our organization has been in contract negotiations with the city since March 2010. This contract should have been finalized months ago, however, the Department of Finance — whose head was appointed by the previous mayor – had no clue what the true base rate of compensation is for HPD officers. Even though the Houston Police Department‘s finance people had detailed information, the city’s finance group wouldn’t allow HPD to be part of the process.

Fortunately, Parker grasped the reckless implications of this problem; since her engagement, negotiations are back on track. Thanks to Mayor Parker and her senior staff, in fact, I feel reasonably certain that the city and police force will soon have a deal that balances public safety and the city’s fiscal responsibilities.

Furthermore, I doubt previous Mayor Bill White consulted often with council members – as one of Casey’s anonymous sources suggests. If so, I feel certain such meetings were as unproductive as those the Houston Police Officers’ Union had with the former mayor.

Recall this is the same mayor who used symbolic property-tax cuts, one of several empty and ill-advised ploys that helped drive the city off into the financial ditch it is in today.

This is the same ditch Mayor Parker and her staff need help from the council, city employees and the public to get all of us out of today.

They are doing a good job, and they deserve more help and less anonymous backbiting.

Gary Blankinship, president, Houston Police Officers’ Union

Who is the only MLB pitcher to throw an Opening Day no-no?

Commentary has to hand it to Tessa Goth Rudolphy’s Christmas card again this year.  Tessa always does a take on an album cover.  She’s done The Carpenters, The Beatles, Dylan, and others.   This year she does a take on Simon and Garfunkle’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” – cool.  Way to go, Tessa! 

My pal Bill King has a piece today in the Chron on The DREAM Act and immigration.  It has a lot of good facts.  Check it out. 

Cleveland’s Bob Feller of course no hit the White Sox by a 1-0 score at Old Comiskey Park on Opening Day, April 16, 1940.  Bob Feller was also on the last Cleveland Indians team to win the World Serious way back in 1948.  Bob Feller left us yesterday.

I’m not going to say anything about a bunch of fees being raised over at the City of H-Town yesterday other than to say I wonder if the Council Members that put out their electronic newsletters will list and include them in the coming days or weeks.  Stay tuned!

Commentary went to The Yard last night to check out the sales and I picked up a never used fitted mesh batting practice lid for $10 from the early brick red days.  There were also a number of blue and gold jackets and jerseys from the late Dome days.  There were also a bunch of Moises Alou and Adam Everett baseball bats.  You should have been there!

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