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Archive for June, 2012

Now this is what you call a game changer and this is why I love The President of the United States of America!  POTUS ROCKS!!!!!

Hot off the presses an AP story on Chron.com:

The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies.

The policy change, described to The Associated Press by two senior administration officials, will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, a long-sought but never enacted plan to establish a path toward citizenship for young people who came to the United States illegally but who have attended college or served in the military.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was to announce the new policy Friday, one week before President Barack Obama plans to address the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials’ annual conference in Orlando, Fla. Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak to the group on Thursday.

Under the administration plan, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed. The officials who described the plan spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it in advance of the official announcement.

Here is the entire piece.

I hope DREAMERS across the U.S. of A. are hugging and high fiving their family and friends today!  Put yourself in their shoes this morning and imagine what they are feeling!

As you well know, there have now been 22 perfect games tossed in MLB history.  Name the hurlers that have tossed perfection that are in the MLB Hall of Fame? 

At next Wednesday’s H-Town City Council meeting the budget will be considered and a couple of amendments to the budget deal with putting term limit changes on the November ballot.  I’m still kind of perplexed how term limits is a budget issue but I guess I’ll find out.

Two years ago a citizens term limit review commission held hearings to get citizen input.  Not a whole lot of folks showed interest and not a whole lot of folks showed up to testify.   The review commission recommended to council to put on the ballot two four year terms.  The measure would have had implications on length of service for then sitting members of council and those members of council running for another office while sitting on council – got it.

Here is what Commentary put out on August 18, 2010:

HOUSTON CITY COUNCIL THIS MORNING FAILED TO ADOPT THE TERM LIMITS REVIEW COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION.  THE MOTION FAILED ON A 7-7 VOTE.

MAYOR PARKER, CMS STARDIG, JOHNSON, ADAMS, SULLIVAN, HOANG, AND PENNIGTON VOTED FOR.

CMS CLUTTERBUCK, GONZALEZ, RODRIGUEZ, COSTELLO, LOVELL, NOREIGA, AND BRADFORD VOTED NO.

CM JONES WAS ABSENT.  END OF STORY FOR NOW!

I guess the story isn’t over.   I’ll say it again and again. If you want to change term limits, go out and gather the signatures and get grass roots support. 

HISD, HCC, and the City all want to have bond campaigns this November and don’t forget the METRO GMPs campaign. There could be voter bond fatigue in the fall.  The last thing the City would want is for the term limit supporters to do a little payback and organize against the City bonds if a term limit change is on the ballot so we better all stay tuned!

My pal H-Town CM Mike Sullivan wants to reduce city council member pay by five percent.  I’d be really impressed if he would shoot out a press release in the next day or so saying that if he is elected to the Tax Assessor-Collector position, he would take a ten percent cut in pay.

Tiger looked like the Tiger I like yesterday.  Lefty and Bubba struggled.  Tiger will hit the course later this afternoon and I’ll be watching.

Six members of the MLB Hall of Fame tossed perfection of course:  Jim Bunning, Catfish Hunter, Addie Josh, Sandy Koufax, John Ward, and Cy Young.

The ‘Stros are in Arlington for three and face Yu Darvish this evening.

 

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Way to go to Time Magazine for their cover story this week on DREAMERS.  It is titled: We Are Americans — Just Not Legally.

Check it out here.

I used to have a dog named Burglar.  We got Burglar a day after our home was burglarized three days before Christmas.  The burglars knocked down the Christmas tree, stomped on the ornaments, and took all of the wrapped gifts.   I’ve been burglarized twice in my lifetime, I’ve been held-up at gunpoint, my cars have been broken into a couple of times, and a car has been stolen and stripped to the frame.  To the best of my knowledge, the perps were never caught but I have to figure that their life of crime eventually caught up with them.

Coming home and finding out that your home has been burglarized is a sickening and frightening feeling.  You also feel a major sense of personal violation.  You feel like wanting to take a shower and also want to wash down everything in your home. 

A few weeks ago when the former HPD officer was found not guilty someone that I really respect said he was glad the cop got off and reminded me that Chad Holley was part of a burglary ring and deserved to get the s__t beat out of him.

I don’t feel sorry for Chad Holley this morning after watching him in orange jail gear over at the county jail.  He got arrested for burglary yesterday.  He ought to be thanking his lucky stars this morning that he didn’t get the s__t beat out of him this time when he was arrested or worse catch a round up his dumb arse.

You have to figure that prosecutors aren’t thrilled about going forward and prosecuting the other former cops that beat the s__t out of Holley.  Oh, well.

Maybe folks ought to go back and review the tape to see if parts of his brain fell during his arse whipping  by the cops a couple of years ago because he’s not acting like he has any brains these days

I’m looking forward to watching the H-Town City Council meeting next week when they take up the budget.  I kind of want to know how extending Council terms from two years to four years is a budget issue.  I want to know how eliminating plastic bags at grocery stores is a budget issue. 

My pal CM Mike Sullivan wants to reduce the salaries of council members.   Considering the fact that CM Sullivan has already announced that he’s leaving at the end of this year, I’m sure this isn’t sitting well with his fellow colleagues.

After last night there have now been 22 perfect games thrown in MLB history.  Which league owns the most perfect games?

The fight for the METRO GMPs has begun.  City Council members are now starting to receive emails that look like this:

I am a Metro rider and I believe that spending our entire transit sales tax on transit is crucial for the future of the City of Houston and the Houston region. Please put a ballot referendum forward to the voters this November that ends the wasteful diversion of one fourth of our transit taxes to the General Mobility Fund.

I support Metro in their continued efforts to expand high quality transit to build a stronger, more equitable local economy, healthier communities, and cleaner air and better environment for the Houston region. We want the transit system we voted for in 2003 and we want it as fast as possible.

Thanks for all that you do to improve the quality of life for all the people of the Houston region.

It looks like METRO service area voters will be the GMP deciders later this year.

The American League of course owns 13 perfect games and the National League owns 9.

During my pal Drayton’s 18 year watch, we had two no-nos tossed against us.  The new owner and his GM haven’t even been here a year and now they have the mother of all no-nos tossed against us – perfection.   Let’s see if we can rebound this afternoon in San Fran.

My pal Chris Canonico (of CDM fame) can say he witnessed MLB history.  He was at AT&T Park last night.  He posted his game tix and the following after the game: I guess I can cross “perfect game” off of my list of things to do.

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“Economic Development and Jobs” was H-Town CM James Rodriguez’s campaign slogan last year.

Here is what the Chron E-Board said when they endorsed CM Rodriguez’s reelection last October:

In his two terms, Rodriguez has been a strong proponent of economic development within the district. He supports the Metro light rail line currently under construction along Harrisburg and worked to make sure a key segment includes an underpass to facilitate traffic flow.

Rodriguez also was heavily involved in the Dynamo soccer stadium project and expects a new hotel, to be built in the same area, will increase economic opportunities for local residents.

Here is from CM Rodriguez’s Chron Op-Ed from April, 2010:

It’s about jobs, economic growth and quality of life.  There is no question that the construction on the stadium will create close to 1000 jobs.   Development of surrounding retail, commercial, and residential areas will also add hundreds of part time, full time, and permanent employment. 

And:

Eight years ago we had 4 Downtown hotels with 1,800 rooms.  Today we have 15 hotels with close to 5,000 rooms.  You have to figure that this increase is due in part to the demand created by non residents visiting Houston to take in an Astros series, a Rockets game or a concert at Toyota Center.  Now we can add Major League Soccer to the list.

The development that accompanies the construction of a major professional sports venue and a Downtown park will allow for the surrounding property values to increase.

It has now been two weeks since the 16-1 vote to Free Hobby and I’ve been meaning to mention the nice month of May for H-Town CM James Rodriguez.  On Saturday, May 12, CM Rodriguez was beaming with pride at BBVA Compass Stadium for the inaugural match between the Dynamo and D.C. United.   I heard he got a high five from just about every one of the 22,000 plus in attendance.  CM Rodriguez’s dogged efforts over the years to get the stadium built finally paid off.  BBVA Compass Stadium is in CM Rodriguez’s District I so he put in the time to make sure it got done right and on schedule.   FYI: CM Rodriguez is always quick to credit The Mayor for  getting this project moving right after she first took office.

Here if from an Op-Ed by CM Rodriguez that appeared in community newspapers a couple of months ago:

Because of the economic and social benefits associated with greater airline competition, the time is right to move forward with the proposed international expansion at Hobby Airport.  More options in international air travel and greater competition will benefit Houston’s business and leisure travelers, as well as create new jobs and business opportunities for Houstonians. 

On Wednesday, May 30, CM Rodriguez was a key player in a major collaborative effort to Free Hobby by a whopping 16-1 vote.  Here is what Commentary said the day after the 16-1 vote:

And of course, CM James Rodriguez’s (my client) advocacy, playing the role of the whip, and offering strategic advice was essential in getting the deal done.

CM Rodriguez was there at the beginning when the Free Hobby movement was hatched.  Hobby is also in District I and CM Rodriguez worked his arse off on this one.

FYI: Commentary will once again say what I said the day after the 16-1 vote:

It was an outstanding win for The H-Town Mayor and the City.   The Mayor’s leadership and handling of this issue was right on.

Oh, I also forgot that CM Rodriguez celebrated another BD in May.

How many times has a ‘Stros pitcher started the game for the NL at an MLB All Star Game?

Here is from hoping you don’t wish upon a star or maybe the Harris County Dem Chair should not have said anything department.  It is from a Houston Press piece today about waiting on Godot, errr the local Latino vote to show up:

Democrats may presage the looming Hispanic vote, but the percentage of residents in this demographic who actually do so has, in fact, dropped. In 2004, roughly 42 percent of Latinos went to the polls. Then, in 2008, that number deflated to 38 percent. Two years ago, even lower: around 22 percent. Across the nation, the population of registered Hispanic voters shriveled from 11.6 million in 2008 to 10.9 million in 2010.
So what’s going to make this year any different?
We asked that question to our local Democrats and, after some stuttering and hesitation, we got an answer on the Hispanic vote. "It’s not going to happen this election," said Lane Lewis, Harris County Democratic chairman. "We’re still waiting for it." He added: "Texas is already blue." Awkward pause. "In our hearts. People just aren’t voting."

I’m sure the Chair will be ‘splaining this today.

Here is the entire Press piece.

The Houston Press made it to last Saturday’s workshop on "Ignorance Is Not a Texas Value: Electing a Smarter State Board of Education," put on by the Texas Freedom Network at the Lone Star State Democratic Convention.

Here is the Press’s take on the workshop.

Speaking of yabba dabba doo public education thinking, a billboard or two will be going up around H-Town promoting the Creation Museum in Kentucky, I think.

Check out the story here.

The fight over the METRO GMPs has landed over at the County Courthouse.  This one continues to get interesting.

Check out the Chron.com piece here.

Meanwhile the Harris County Commissioners Court delayed action on the future of Port Commissioner Jim Fonteno, Jr.

Here is the Chron.com blow-by-blow.

A few weeks or so ago the New Orleans Times-Picayune announced it was only going to print three days a week – yikes!  They started informing staff about layoffs yesterday.  The editor says their top priorities to cover will be New Orleans politics, culture, food, music and sports.  What about NOLA business?

MLB fans still read Commentary.  ‘Stros second baseman Jose Altuve moved up a notch to fourth place in the All Star Game balloting.  I guess MLB fans didn’t finish reading all of Monday’s Commentary because ‘Stro shortstop Jed Lowrie still hasn’t cracked the top 5 in the NL.

‘Stros pitchers have started four MLB All Star Games for the NL of course:  J.R. Richard (1980), Mike Scott (1986 and 1987), and The Rocket (2004).

Speaking of, I wonder if The Rocket jury will reach a verdict today.

We lost last night so we’re now 7 ½ back.

 

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There is really not much in politics to talk about today other than Harris County Commissioners Court politics as they decide the fate of Port Commissioner Jim Fonteno, Jr. today, so stay tuned!

The Battleship Texas is taking in water today and is listing according to news reports.  It would be sad if she rolled over on her side and took a nap.  Then we would have to have a lengthy debate on how much we should pay to wake her up.

Commentary forgot to mention the six pitcher no-no thrown by the Mariners Friday night.  Four no-nos have been tossed this season.  When was the last time MLB went through a season without a no-no?

For the local Dems that are interested in the HD 137, CD 7, Constable Precincts 1 and 2, County School Trustee Pos. 6, Precinct 1, and the U.S. Senate Run-offs, Early Voting begins on Monday, July 23, 2012, and ends on Friday, July 27, 2012. There is no Saturday/Sunday Early Voting.

Speaking of yabba dabba doo public education, the Traci Jensen for State Board of Education, District 6 campaign has still not received a response to our letter.

2005 of course was the last season in the MLB that went without a no-no being tossed.

Commentary isn’t going to say much about seeing Elaine Palmer at the Lone Star State Dem Convention this past weekend working at the Information Booth.  What’s up with that.

FLASH!!!  The Chron’s Ken Hoffman is 99% sure that the ‘Stros will retire Junction Jack at the end of the season.  Apparently Jack ain’t up to American League standards.  I guess he’ll go to mascot heaven where he can spend time with Orbit and Chester Charge. 

The ‘Stros open a three game series tonight in San Fran.

 

 

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I was floored when I learned Friday morning that my old pal Lori Rodriguez was no longer with us.  She had not been reporting or writing the last few years and had taken a medical leave of sorts from the Chron.  She was a true pioneer in H-Town journalism, that’s for sure.  She was the reporter that most covered the emergence of the H-Town Latino political and civic community.  When somebody ever gets around to writing the history of local Latino politics, Lori’s articles will be a big time source and reference.

I don’t even remember when I first met Lori but I will always remember her professionalism and passion for her work.   Having covered and followed the Latino community for most of her career, of all the media members I’ve met, she knew our politics and our players the BEST.  We had a very good working relationship that was based on trust and respect.  In our numerous conversations throughout the past few decades, she never hesitated to let me know who was genuine, who was full of BS, a wannabe, or a fake.  

Later in her career she told me on an occasion or two or three that every now and then she would a get a call from some Latino leaders complaining that she quoted me too often in her articles and columns.  She would tell me that she would blow off those phone calls by telling the complainers that I could always be counted on the be honest, candid and not play games.  I never told Lori that her telling me that made me feel that she had awarded me a special badge of honor.

Lori always defended her work.  On that rare instance where I would call her and challenge a part of her article she wouldn’t hesitate to get in my face and that would sometimes lead to heated exchanges.  But we would be OK with each other after a couple of hours of cooling off. 

A few years or so ago, I kind of paid a little tribute to Lori when I was asked to be part of a panel on dealing with the media.  My presentation was titled “Never lie to Lori …she’s a player too.”  She gave me permission to use her name and articles for my presentation.   During my presentation I explained who she was and that her coverage helped shape the local Latino political landscape.  I said then that if there is a perceived split within the local Latino leadership it is because Lori said so and that the split would be over when Lori got around to saying it was over.  I also said that Lori pi__es off folks and in dealing with her be honest and careful and never try to threaten, intimidate, or even get mad, and don’t ever try to go over her head and talk to her bosses.  It won’t work and will only pi__ Lori off.

Even though I was often a source for Lori on numerous stories, she never cut me, my clients, or my work any slack. About 12 years ago, in a kind of high profile local race I put together a mail piece going after a candidate and calling him a “traitor”, “hot head”, “mentiroso”, and “vendido.”  Lori did a story on the mailer and it landed on the front page of the Chron.  I think that’s the only time the Chron has put a story about a campaign mail piece on the front page.  That certainly wasn’t my best campaign moment.  It turns out about three years later the candidate that I went after did end up selling out by switching from a Dem to the GOP.

Lori didn’t promote our politics, she just covered them.  Her coverage however created a greater awareness of our community and for that I thank her.  Many local Latino leaders have and will in the coming days pay tribute to Lori.  If Lori had not left us so soon and was still covering our community, this being an election year she would probably be getting ready to write one of those mega articles she was known for this time analyzing why the local Latino vote is still sitting on the bench and indirectly chastising all of us including those that our paying tribute to her today for not doing a better job with our politics.  That’s the story that Lori liked to write.

I have a lot of favorite Lori moments but one of the most memorable was totally unrelated to our work.  We were at The Yard together when it first opened in 2000 and I was able to snatch a foul ball and gave it to her.  She was wearing a ‘Stros lid and had this “you did the right thing by giving me the foul ball” look. 

Here is what CM James Rodriguez told the Chron about Lori:

"There were not many Latinas covering politics for major newspapers.  She was a very aggressive, fair and balanced reporter who took the time to develop relationships in this city and cover the growing number of Latino politicians and elected officials."

Here is the Chron story on Lori leaving us.

And another.

Commentary has nothing but praise for Kathy Miller and her Texas Freedom Network (TFN) crew for putting together a couple of outstanding and informative workshops this past weekend at the Lone Star State Dem Convention. On Friday they put on “Not Your Parents Progressive Movement: Training & Tactics for Youth Activists”.  Saturday morning it was SRO for “Ignorance Is not a Texas Value: Electing a Smarter State Board of Education.”  Way to go, TFN!

MLB watchers know that ‘Stro Jose Altuve leads all MLB second basemen in batting average – .326. Who is numero 2 among second basemen?

Traci Jensen, Democratic nominee for State Board of Education, District 6 made the rounds at the convention this past weekend and received a lot of encouragement and offers of assistance.  Stay tuned!

Bonus:  Who leads the MLB in dingers this season among shortstops?

Here is an AP story on the 2012 Latino vote.  This is how it starts:

The nation’s rapidly growing Latino population is one of the most powerful forces working in President Barack Obama‘s favor in many of the states that will determine his contest with Mitt Romney. But Latinos are not registering or voting in numbers that fully reflect their potential strength, leaving Hispanic leaders frustrated and Democrats worried as they increase efforts to rally Latinos.

Interviews with Latino voters across the country suggested a range of reasons for what has become, over a decade, an entrenched pattern of nonparticipation, including a distrust of government and a fear of what many see as an intimidating effort by law enforcement and political leaders to crack down on immigrants, legal or not.

Here is the entire article.

Commentary got some AP run this past weekend on The President’s campaign ads directed at Latinos.  Check this:

"It makes sense for Obama to run nice ads in Spanish that only Latinos watch. It’s a way of saying, ‘We’re the candidate and the party that respect you,’" said Marc Campos, a Texas-based Democratic strategist who produces campaign commercials targeting Hispanics. "When they see positive, feel-good ads in their native language it reinforces the notion that this administration is working on their behalf."

And:

"Latinos were bashed during the primary, especially on immigration," Campos said. "They don’t live in a vacuum. They’ve heard what Romney has to say."

Check out the entire piece here.

I’m not going to comment on that silly tweaking of the Lone Star State GOP Platform plank on immigration because it is more of a PR gimmick than serious public policy discussion.

Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano of course is numero 2 among second basemen with a .296 batting average.

‘Stro shortstop Jed Lowrie of course leads all MLB shortstops with 12 dingers this season.

If this keeps up I wonder if Altuve and Lowrie will be All Star game bound. 

The ‘Stros finally won their first road series of the season yesterday and take the day off today.

 

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Good morning, Lone Star State Dems.  Did you pick up our local daily and see what Patricia Kilday Hart had to say to start off her column?

As the Texas Democratic Party gathers in Houston this weekend for its annual statewide convention, an obvious question suggests itself:

Why bother?

Check out her entire piece here.

Of course she didn’t mention failure to engage Latino voters.

Point of clarification, Patricia Kilday Hart is not part of the Welcome to H-Town Delegation. 

Well at least GOP delegates are booing the Lite Guv up in Fort Worth.

Commentary and Traci Jensen, Democratic nominee for State Board of Education, District 6, made the rounds last night.  We saw a lot of folks.  The Stonewall Dems Reception was kind of lively.

Carlos Correa signed a contract with the ‘Stros yesterday.  The numero 1 draft pick wore the numero 12 jersey.  Name the last ‘Stro to wear the numero 12 at an MLB All Star Game?

The Statesman has a piece today on a former GOP state legislator turned lobbyist who is spending his leftover campaign cash on lobbying expenses.  Hope he didn’t spend it all.  He’s going to need some to pay a likely hefty fine.

Check out the piece here.

So how do you really feel about Guv Dude, Burkablog?

Perry thinks he still matters, but he doesn’t. He tries to remain relevant (he told the GOP convention that he wasn’t “riding off into the sunset,” but the sun is getting mighty low on the horizon). This is what happens when you stay too long. Everyone has always said that it is impossible to get to Rick Perry’s right, but it turns out the entire Republican convention is already there.

Check out Burkablog’s take here.

There may be leadership changes over at the Port.

Check out today’s Chron.

Jeff Kent of course wore the numero 12 as a ‘Stro at the MLB All Star Game that was played at The Yard in 2004. 

I’m glad I wasn’t at The Yard last night.  I hate seeing massacres.

 

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Lone Star State Dems start arriving today here in H-Town to elect DNC members, Party officers, and National Delegates.  I’m sure there will also be some discussion on what we have to do to start WINNING!

The state’s political press will also be here but don’t pay attention to what the Trib said today:

Texas Democrats limp into Houston on Thursday for yet another state party convention that will highlight how far they have sunk into statewide oblivion.

Ouch!

Here is the entire Trib piece.

There are 48 former and active MLBers in the 400 career dinger club with Barry, Barry at the top with 762.  Name the two that are tied for 47th?

Commentary will be at the Dem Convention with Traci Jensen, Democratic nominee for State Board of Education, District 6 (Commentary’s client).  Traci is an outstanding candidate.  I hope fellow Dems get a chance to meet her.  We’re looking forward to attending a seminar that will be held Saturday morning at 9:30 am on “Electing a Smarter State Board of Education.”  The Party told me that the Texas Freedom Network is putting it on. 

BTW:  Traci still hasn’t received a response to her letters.  Stay tuned!

My pal Bill King must be suffering from writer’s block.  I guess he couldn’t think of a topic to tackle today so he took the easy route and endorsed candidates.  Here is from his column:

Hopefully the July 31 runoff will promote (David) Dewhurst and (Paul) Sadler to the title match in November. Both have legitimate qualifications for being a U.S. senator. But there is no telling what the turnout will be in the runoff. In those circumstances it is not inconceivable that in November, Texas voters would have to choose between (Ted) Cruz and (Grady)Yarbrough to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison. Either would be quite a step down.

Check out Bill’s column here.

If out-of-town Dems want to do something tonight after or in lieu of the Kick-Off Reception, the ‘Stros are hosting San Luis just a few blocks from the Hilton Americas.  There are plenty of seats and St. Arnold still available.

If you want to eat something other than hotel or convention center grub, the Chron’s 29*95 just put out a list of H-Town’s Top 100 Grub Spots.

Check it out here.

A couple of the grub spots are within walking distance, but you better bring plenty of dough. 

The Dynamo won’t be playing this weekend but if Dems take a peek at what’s behind the George R. Brown Convention Center, they’ll be able to see the brand new BBVA Compass Stadium.  If Dems happen to run into The H-Town Mayor or CM James Rodriguez at the convention, give them a high five or a “way to go” shout out on getting the new soccer stadium built.

The late Hall of Fame great Duke Snider and Paul Konerko of the White Sox of course are tied for 47th with 407 dingers each on the MLB All Time Career Dinger list.

The ‘Stros got a little too aggressive on the base paths last night and paid the price in a one run loss – DRATS!!!!

 

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Traci Jensen, Democratic nominee for State Board of Education, District 6, sent the following letter to the Houston Chronicle, Greater Houston Partnership, League of Women Voters – Houston, Texas PTA, and American Association of University Women – Texas.  (Traci Jensen is Commentary’s client.)

I am the Democratic nominee for State Board of Education (SBOE), District 6 and I am writing to ask you and League of Women Voters – Houston to facilitate a series of debates over the next five months between myself and my Republican opponent Donna Bahorich. The State Board of Education which oversees the creation of curriculum for Texas public schools is arguably the most important political entity in Texas. However, Texans know very little about the SBOE or its members. Ms. Bahorich and I have major policy and philosophical differences that should be debated throughout SBOE District 6.

As you well know, there are 15 State Board of Education Districts with each representing over 1.6 million people. If SBOE, District 6, were a Texas municipality, we would be the second largest city in the state. Recent news coverage on the SBOE has focused on the size of the district and difficulty in campaigning and representing these huge constituencies. This past April the Texas House of Representatives’ Redistricting Committee held a hearing in Austin to gather testimony on whether the “size of the districts inhibits the ability of board members to provide representation to their constituents.” SBOE District 6 includes parts, most, or some of ten ISDs. Although we fully intend to conduct a voter intensive campaign, we believe a series of debates will go a long way toward educating the voters on this important position.

In 2010, when the State Board of Education dismantled the social studies curriculum, many of our state’s most respected business and civic leadership expressed concern and outrage at the SBOE’s decisions. I believe that it is now all of our responsibility to properly vet the candidates that are running for the SBOE. We propose that a series of debates be held in every ISD represented by District 6 and that the debates begin later this month. We have also asked the American Association of University Women – Texas, Greater Houston Partnership, Houston Chronicle, and the Texas PTA to participate in facilitating the proposed debates.

Civic engagement is a hallmark of an active and vibrant democracy. It is my hope that you and the League of Women Voters – Houston will answer my call and provide the leadership in the exercise of civic engagement that will better serve the community.

The letter speaks for itself.  Stay tuned!

The ‘Stros’ numero uno draft pick, Carlos Correa of Puerto Rico, has prompted the Chron sports section to run a story on baseball in Puerto Rico.
Check it out here.
The story mentions the three Puerto Ricans in the MLB Hall of Fame:  the late Roberto Clemente, Orlando Cepeda, and Roberto Alomar.  Of the three, name the one that never won an MVP Award?

When you gotta go, you gotta go and when you gotta hate, you gotta hate.  I’m talking about the haters that went after Pizza Patron for their free pizza promotion.  For three hours yesterday they handed out free pizzas to folks that came in and said “pizza, por favor,” and of course the haters said this was very un-American.  Oh, brother!

Rachel Barrios-Van Os keeps sending me emails telling me what she is going to do if she becomes the next Chair of the Lone Star State Dem Party.  Her opponent keeps sending me emails letting me know who is supporting him.   I want to know what they think about what happened last night in Wisconsin.

Pirates great Roberto Clemente won the NL MVP Award in 1966, Orlando Cepeda won the NL MVP Award in 1967 with San Luis, and Roberto Alomar of course never won an MVP Award.

Thanks to Brian Bogusevic’s fourth inning dinger off the right field fair pole, lunch is on Chick-fil-A today.   We held on to a win last night and that is all that matters.

 

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The Lite Guv wants to debate Ted Cruz en espanol.   This is from the English-only bunch.  What a silly ploy!  Here is from Chron.com:

However, Cruz’s Spanish speaking is suspect. He is a second generation Cuban-American that grew up speaking “Spanglish” and is not fluent like his father, Rafael Cruz, Sr., who travels and often speaks at his son’s campaign events.

Therefore, allowing candidates to speak only in Spanish would likely play to Dewhurst’s advantage, who learned Spanish while on assignment with the Central Intelligence Agency in Bolivia in the 1970s.

“When I came back from Bolivia, my Spanish was in some ways as good as my English,” Dewhurst said. “I  am rusty today. But I am comfortable talking in Spanish. I am not flawless or fluent, but I am comfortable. It takes me a day or two speaking a lot of Spanish to get back into a rhythm.”

And:

Cal Jillson, an SMU political science professor, said Dewhurst realized the dynamic of the race has turned to one-versus-one and is attempting to put Cruz in an uncomfortable position of explaining his Spanish-speaking ability.

No se puede if you ask me!

Last night the ‘Stros had the first pick of the 2012 MLB Amateur Player.  It was the third time the ‘Stros have picked first.  Since the draft started in 1965, eight teams have never had the first pick – name them?

Lone Star State Dems will gather in H-Town in the next couple of days or so.  I am actually looking forward to the Convention.  I wonder if we will have a decent size crowd.  We will see.

Former MLB pitcher John Rocker of The ATL who during his career made more news when stuff fell out of his piehole than how he performed on the mound said he would rather vote for the devil than President Obama.   Who gives a rat’s arse what this fella thinks anyway?

Commentary and MariGirl dropped by the draft party at The Yard last night.  Food and drinks were on the ‘Stros.   I think a number of folks were surprised we didn’t go with the Stanford pitcher.  I like that we picked 17-year old Carlos Correa out of Puerto Rico.

Commentary explained to MariGirl about Stanford pitcher Mark Appel and that maybe his agent Scott Boras might have been the reason he slid down the draft.   When Appel was finally picked at numero ocho they showed his family clapping and MariGirl wisely observed that they didn’t look too happy.  The slide down only cost him a few million.

The Blue Jays, Dodgers, Giants, Reds, Red Sox, Rockies, San Luis, and Tribe of course have never picked first in the MLB Amateur Player Draft.

Speaking of Scott Boras, Carlos Beltran and San Luis are at The Yard for three as we try to win a few.

 

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Last month, my pal Bill King wrote a column about the METRO General Mobility Payments (GMPs).  That’s the money that METRO doles out to the participating cities every year.  This November the voters get to decide how to handle future GMPs.

Here is Bill’s piece.

Today the Chron has a preview on what may be before the METRO service area voters this November.  Here is a part of the Chron article:

As Metro prepares to ask voters whether it should continue providing part of its sales tax revenues for road work, its board chairman has called for the agency to freeze these payments at 2014 levels and retain any increased revenues for transit needs.

And:

The coalition of multi-city mayors, however, wants the payments to continue in full.

"The 14 of us are not interested in capping our payments, and we will fight it," said coalition chairman and Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen. "The whole problem with it is that people think Metro subsidizes us. It’s the reverse, we’re subsidizing Metro. We don’t intend to give them any more than what we’re giving today."

Here is the entire article.

This debate ought to be very interesting so we need to stay tuned!

If you are a MLB fan you know that tonight the MLB conducts the 2012 Amateur Player Draft.  The first ever draft was held in 1965.  Name the first player taken in the 1965 inaugural draft?

My pal H-Town CM Mike Sullivan says win, lose, or draw, he will resign from City Council effective January 1, 2013.

Here is from the Chron.

Giving council six months’ advance notice of his intentions allows it time to place an election for Sullivan’s successor on the November ballot instead of holding a stand-alone election in District E that would cost taxpayers an estimated $150,000 to $200,000.

Of course if there is a runoff, it would be a stand-alone election that would still cost the City some bucks. 

Commentary plans to attend the Democratic Party State Convention this weekend.  I wonder how many delegates will show up.

Rick Monday of course was drafted by the KC Athletics with the first pick in the inaugural MLB Amateur Player Draft in 1965.  Monday had 241 dingers in his career.

After work today, Commentary and MariGirl will head over to The Yard to the team’s draft party.  Last season’s 106 loses ended up getting us the first overall pick tonight. 

It was good to see Tiger back in form yesterday.

It was also good to see the team finally win one yesterday.

 

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