Archive for January, 2013

The SD6 Special money reports got some run by Kuffer, Stace, and Chron.com.  Here’s a taste from all and a link:

From Stace since he went first:

Well, the Ethics reports are in and, not surprisingly, there seems to be a lot of money going in and going out in this race, especially through the campaigns of Sylvia Garcia and Carol Alvarado. (I prefer to look at the raw numbers report than go page-by-page).


The bigger story is the fact that over $700,000 (and if you include the TOP in-kind, a lot more) has been spent and both are left with over $700,000 with  10 days until election day (of course, they could raise some more in the closing days, too). Thus far, and as of Tuesday, a little over 3,400 souls have voted, including 1,776 ballot-by-mail voters. In other words, less than 1,700 have voted in person, thus far.

Check out the rest of Stace here.

Here is Chron.com:

In the Jan. 26 special election for state Senate District 6, state Rep. Carol Alvarado was winning the money race, as of Tuesday. According to campaign finance reports filed Tuesday, Alvarado had collected $343,653.13 in contributions, while former Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia had collected $244,086.33.

Here is their link.

And Kuffer re Carol Alvarado:

Notable contributions: Several of her current and former House colleagues, plus one former Senator, kicked in – Burt Solomons, Ellen Cohen, David Farabee, Kip Averitt, Diana Maldonado, Rep. Marisa Marquez, and Rep. Richard Raymond, to the tune of $10K; the others all contributed modest amounts. Other big numbers that caught my eye include $26K from HillCo PAC, $23K from HPOU PAC, $13,500 from HPFFA PAC, $10K each from Kamoru, Kase, and Mickey Lawal, $10K from Bob Perry, and $10K from Bill and Andrea White. As Stace noted, Alvarado received a lot of support from various police and firefighter groups – a firefighter PAC from Fort Worth chipped in another $2,500. Alvarado, who mentioned in her interview with me has filed legislation to expand gambling in Texas, also got $2,500 from the Chickasaw Nation and $1K from the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas. Finally, Alvarado has a direct connection to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast through her sister Yolanda, and has a $145 contribution from PPGC CEO Melaney Linton to show for it.

And Garcia:

Notable contributions: Garcia also got support from current and past legislators – Ana Hernandez, Armando Walle, and Ellen Cohen, plus 2012 candidate Ann Johnson and 2010 candidate Silvia Mintz. She didn’t get any donations that I saw from a member of the Senate but did get one from Senate spouse Carlos Zaffirini. As noted by Stace, Garcia got the single biggest contribution of any candidate, $106K in kind from the Texas Organizing Project PAC for ground support. Steve Mostyn kicked in $12,680 in cash and in kind. Finally, Garcia got my two favorite contributions of this cycle. One was $100 from fellow candidate Susan Delgado. I can’t be certain this is the same Susan Delgado, but contributor Delgado listed the same ZIP code as candidate Delgado did on her July 2012 report, so you make the call. Finally, all the way from Hawaii where she lists her occupation as “retired”, former Houston Mayor Kathy Whitmire, now Kathy Whitmire Wehner, gave $200. How awesome is that?

Here is all of Kuffer.

Of course, Carol Alvarado is going to need that money to deal with the fourth negative mail piece to hit in 10 days.

Carlos Pena is the ’Stros DH.  How many times has he made the All Star Team?

Chron.com has a story about Ben Hall saying he’s running for Mayor but he doesn’t say why he’s running.

Check out the story here.

I guess we will find out why soon enough.   I wonder if he will really stay in the race.  Show me some signs!  Show me some ads!

Commentary has said before that I really don’t like to talk about college athletes because they don’t get paid so I really don’t have much to say about the Fighting Irish player and his imaginary girlfriend other than to ask if she was magically delicious…awwwww!!!

As a member of the Rays, Carlos Pena made the AL All Star Team in 2009.

There is no news from The Yard today.


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Here in H-Town, The Mayor has a little over a million in the bank and Ben Hall didn’t file anything best I can see. 

District A incumbent Helena Brown has a couple of grand plus in the bank and the same goes for At-Large CM Andrew Burks.  That could be a problem for both.

The big news out of Austin is the AG Abbott’s 6 to 1 edge over Guv Dude in cash on hand.  Of course, Dude is the more experienced campaign fighter and I can’t remember the last time the AG ever went mano-a-mano.

How many of the nine 2012 Opening Day starters for the ‘Stros are on the 2013 roster? 

The Texas Ethics Commission search engine is running kind of slow so there is nothing to report on the SD 6 Special contributions and expenditures totals.

Today begins four straight days of 7 am to 7 pm Early Voting in Person.

Speaking of, Ben Hall apparently just put out a statement saying he’s running for Mayor but he didn’t crack on The Mayor.  Don’t worry – he’ll be cracking on her soon.

The Houston Press says the ‘Stros are to blame for the Rockets not being on DirectTV.

Check it out here.

Jose Altuve (2B), J.D. Martinez (LF), Jason Castro (C), and Marwin Gonzalez () of course started on Opening Day against the Rockies last April and are still on the roster.

I don’t have anything from The Yard.



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GOP Statewide Candidate-to-Be George P. Bush reported raising over $1.3 million for a statewide race in 2014.  That’s not bad at all if you ask me.  I’m thinking that GOP leaders want him on the ballot in hopes that he will attract Latino voters.  They are going to run interference for him.  I don’t have a problem with that.

I am also thinking that the media likes this potential story of the new generation of Bushes.  Plus he’s of a different color of sorts.  I also don’t have a problem with this.  Of course, the hard part for this Bush is how he reacts during the upcoming legislative session on restoring funding for our public schools, sanctuary cities, and Medicaid expansion.  Does he adopt the hard right mantra coming from Guv Dude and the Lite Guv.  Plus, what does this Bush say when the debate on immigration reform begins in the coming weeks?  Does he become a kinder and gentler GOPer.  It is tough staying on the tightrope these days.  Stay tuned!

Geoff Blum – new ‘Stros broadcaster – played for 14 years in the majors.  Was he ever an All Star?

The Campaign and Expenditure reports are due today and folks will be doing some talking about them.  I wonder if H-Town potential mayoral candidate Ben Hall will file one.  Of course the reports of the SD 6 Special candidates will get some run.   So will the GOP statewide candidates.

Here is from HuffPo:

Arizona will participate in the expansion of Medicaid, Gov. Jan Brewer said Monday in her State of the State address, making her the third Republican governor to agree to one of the key components of President Barack Obama’s health care reform.

Brewer said that if she did not accept the Medicaid funds for Arizona, other states could claim those federal dollars and create jobs that otherwise would be created in Arizona. Fellow Republican governors Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Brian Sandoval of Nevada  also plan to expand Medicaid to anyone who earns up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, which is currently $14,856 for an individual.


Although Brewer has been a consistent opponent of Obamacare, she acknowledged Monday that the law is now an unavoidable reality and that Arizona would be worse off turning down the federal dollars that will come with broadening Medicaid.

Brewer is just accepting the reality of good public policy.  Guv Dude is just playing to his base and ignoring good public policy.  I wonder what George P. Bush thinks.  I wonder if the media will ask him in the next day or so.  The Tribune today has an interview with this Bush and he really doesn’t get into specifics.

The Texas Tribune has a lead story about them asking Lone Star State Legislators to release their tax returns.  Only three have including Carol Alvarado.  It is online so I know her opponent will check it out.

A lot of folks were commenting yesterday about Jodie Foster’s riddle the other night. 

Geoff Blum never made the All Star Team of course.  He had 990 career base hits, 99 career dingers, 19 career stolen bases, and 479 career RBIs – 9-9-9! That usually doesn’t get you selected to the midsummer classic.

Spring Training is next month.


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You just knew it was going to be one of those games when we couldn’t put it in the end zone after a 94 yard opening kickoff return.

I don’t ever want to hear discussion about whether our QB is one of the top QBs in the NFL.  He’s not.  He never will be.

The defense didn’t show up last night.  I wonder if they got lost on their way to Foxborough.

It was one big letdown after an 11-1 start of the season. 

Carol Alvarado’s opponent sent out another negative mailer Saturday.  That’s three negative mailers in six days.  We expect more.

Diehard ‘Stros fans remember when then White Sox Geoff Blum broke a 5-5 tie in the top of the 14th inning in Game 3 of the 2005 World Serious at The Yard with a two out dinger. Name the ‘Stro pitcher that served up the Blum dinger.

Here is from Politico today:

House Republicans are seriously entertaining dramatic steps, including default or shutting down the government, to force President Barack Obama to finally cut spending by the end of March.

The idea of allowing the country to default by refusing to increase the debt limit is getting more widespread and serious traction among House Republicans than people realize, though GOP leaders think shutting down the government is the much more likely outcome of the spending fights this winter.

Here is the entire piece.

I don’t think they are thinking this through.  We will see.

Ezequiel Astacio served up the Blum dinger in Game 3 of the 2005 World Serious of course.

Blum will be part of the TV broadcast team this season.


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Commentary is the last guy to talk about what happens within the Lone Star State GOP.  Burkablog has a take today on AG Abbott setting his sights for Governor.  Burkablog kind of hints that Guv Dude isn’t interested, is hanging them up, or is not focused.

Check out Burkablog’s take here.

Of course the current legislative session is the stage to show folks how hard right you can run so folks need to watch out and stay tuned!

The second highest vote getter of the 1996 MLB Hall of Fame voting didn’t get inducted until 2000.  Name the player?

Politico has a story today about prominent GOPers gathering in Miami this weekend to talk about fixing their Latino problem.

Check out the story here.

Of course, I don’t know why they have to meet.  They can just pass around some of the stuff I’ve been saying about bashing the Latino community and giving a nod and a wink to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.  How about fully embracing immigration reform and The DREAM Act?  Get right on our issues first.  We get to dictate our own issues, you know!

Some folks were a bit surprised when Houston Woman Magazine came out with their H-Town 50 Most Influential Women List for 2012. H-Town Council Member Helena Brown made the list.  All I can say is to get your own magazine and produce your own list.

Tony Perez was second in the 1996 Hall of Fame balloting with 65.7 % of the votes.  He got in with 77% of the votes 14 years after he stopped playing.

Sunday afternoon will be an all steel blue, battle red, or liberty white afternoon as folks around these parts hope for a minor miracle, a Hail Mary, a statue of liberty, or heck, even a dipsy doodle.

Afterwards we get to watch the Golden Globes and see if the fella on the five dominates the evening.

I don’t know if B-G-O needs a political consultant, PR guy, media advisor, or just a plain talking to.  B-G-O needed just 39 votes to get into the Hall of Fame.  B-G-O said yesterday that he would have voted for Barry Bonds and The Rocket.   That certainly isn’t going to win him any friends among the voters.  B-G-O just needs to worry about B-G-O if you ask me.


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Commentary read where only 44 MLBers had made the Hall of Fame on their first ballot.  B-G-O got 68.2%, short of the 75% needed.  Is B-G-O among the top 45 Hall of Famers of all time?  He is probably not.  Oh, well!  Maybe next year!  Baggy got 59.6%.

The Rocket got 38.8% – embarrassing.  Barry Bonds got 36.2% and Sammy Sosa got 12.5% – humiliating.

Here is what the Players’ Association said yesterday:

“To ignore the historic accomplishments of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, for example, is hard to justify.  Moreover, to penalize players exonerated in legal proceedings — and others never even implicated — is simply unfair.”

Here is what one of The Rocket’s lawyers not named Rusty said:

“Clemens went to hell and back to defend himself. To now lump him in with people who admitted to it, I think it’s just really unfair and in some sense un-American.  I really do.”

I don’t think The Rocket will be heading to Cooperstown anytime soon.  ‘Roids don’t rule.!

1996 was the last time nobody got elected to the Hall.  Who was the top vote getter in 1996?

On a miserable flash flood watch and warning rainy day, only 328 folks voted early in the SD 6 Special on the first day.  73 at Ripley and HCCS led the day. Let’s see if the weather and turnout improves today.

Carol Alvarado’s opponent dropped her second negative mail piece in three days.  This one has Carol smiling and holding a wad of cash – 22 fifty dollar bills.  That’s $1,100.  Oh, well!

The Oscars were announced this morning and the director of “Zero Dark Thirty” got a snub but the flick did get a few nominations.  I think Hollywood had to give it a Best Pic nomination but kept the director off the list so as to not endorse torture.  That’s just a guess of course.

I won’t be going to the movies anytime soon though.

Phil Niekro of course led the 1996 balloting with 68.3% of the vote.  Knucksie got into the Hall the following year.

I’m not going to say much about the top prospect for the ‘Stros that got 50 days off.


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Commentary has never been to Cooperstown even when My Brown Eyed Girl was featured a few years ago.  If B-G-O, Baggy, or both get the call today that they make the Hall of Fame, I’ll be there this summer for the ceremonies.  I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed all morning.

Where does B-G-O rank in all time career total bases?  Is he in the Top 50?

My good friend Janiece Longoria was appointed yesterday to Chair the Port Commission.  Congrats to Janiece.

She will set a high standard over there.  Here is what she had to say yesterday after getting the nod:

“We can and will strive to do better, to look for alternative ways to finance our infrastructure, to be more open and transparent, to build the template for future generations of prosperity, to include all stakeholders, to act always with integrity and honesty and to align public perception and re-establish public trust.  This will be done.”

It’s a new day over at the Port.

The Chron E-Board did a duel endorsement yesterday in the SD 6 Special.  Carol Alvarado was one of the duel recipients. 

Early Voting starts today and at Ripley, our opponent has a fellow out there making personal accusations about Carol Alvarado.  Oh, well.  I don’t see how that works as it only gets our folks fired up and gets voters upset. 

At Ripley they are also handing out that bridge mailer.  The bridge they supported.  Ditto on oh, well!

B-G-O is 33rd all time in career total bases of course with 4,711, just 1 behind Hall of Fame great Roger Hornsby and 5 ahead of Hall of Fame great Ernie Banks so I don’t want to hear that B-G-O isn’t worthy today!

Oh, I forgot.  The Big Puma will be here on Opening Day sitting in the visitors’ dugout.



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Burkablog has a good take as the 83rd gets underway today.  Here is a part:

The session that begins tomorrow (today) will mark the 25th in which I will be a participant–one, eons ago, as a reporter for the Daily Texan, one as a House staffer, three as a Senate committee clerk,  and the rest as a staff writer for TEXAS MONTHLY. No theater does a better job of putting human strengths and weaknesses on public display.

Here is all of Burkablog.

There is kind of a sad piece in the Chron today about Baggy.  I’m rooting for numero 5.  The article is only available to hard copy readers or subscribers.

How many post season dingers does Baggy have?

Carol Alvarado’s opponent dropped a negative mail piece attacking Carol yesterday on a bridge.  You know what that means.

Meanwhile, Carol’s campaign started running a Spanish language TV ad today about her bridge.

Check it out here.

It looks like there is only one conference in college football these days.  It also looks like the Aggies made the right move.

Check out Burkablog’s take on the Aggies and the SEC.

Baggy has two post season dingers – both against The ATL in the 2004 NLDS.

Tomorrow we find out if any ‘Stro makes it to the Hall of Fame.


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This from my pal Robert Miller:

Janiece M. Longoria is expected to be elected Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Port of Houston Authority next week.  A joint meeting of the Harris County Commissioners Court and Houston City Council is planned for January 8 at 9:30 a.m. at the County Administration Building.  Mayor Parker and Judge Emmett will preside over the meeting.  If Commissioner Longoria is elected, she will be the first woman to Chair the Port Commission as well as the first minority.

An H-Town Latino community historic milestone indeed!

In 2002 One of My Best Friends, then H-Town City Council Member Carol Alvarado nominated my friend Janiece Longoria to the Port Commission.  Carol led the fight to get Janiece appointed by the H-Town City Council.  It happened during the administration of Mayor Lee Brown.

In 2010, a well documented major play was made to replace Janiece and H-Town CM James Rodriguez led the effort to keep Janiece on the Port Commission.  Carol was there with James to help lead the effort on Janiece’s behalf.

Tomorrow morning Janiece Longoria will become the first female and Latina to Chair the Port Commission.

A big THANK YOU goes out to the H-Town City Council and Harris County Commissioners Court.

Congrats to State Representative Carol Alvarado and Council Member James Rodriguez for all their work to get us to this milestone!

Way to go Janiece!

Here is Robert Miller’s take.

Alan Ashby spent 17 years playing in the MLB including his last 11 years in a ‘Stros uniform.  Did Ashby ever reach the 100 career dinger plateau?

It will be an all about the Texans this week in H-Town

There will be some mention of the legislative session that begins tomorrow.

Early Voting in the SD 6 Special begins in a couple of days.

Alan Ashby never reached the 100 career dinger plateau of course and ended up with 90 – oh well. 

From the ‘Stros website:

Alan Ashby, the former Astros catcher who became a popular broadcaster with the club and for the last six seasons has announced games for the Blue Jays, is coming home.

Ashby resigned from his position in Toronto and has agreed to terms to join Houston’s television broadcast team alongside Bill Brown next season, replacing Jim Deshaies.


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A crown jewel of Downtown H-Town is soon to be no more.  Macy’s, a Downtown fixture for decades, is about to go down the drain and Commentary is disappointed our City leaders couldn’t keep it open.   Come on now!   It was our only major retailer Downtown and it couldn’t be saved?   I was there Christmas Eve and again two days after Christmas.  Heck, I bought MariGirl one of her Christmas gifts there!  

Here is part of what the Chron E-Board said today:

The closing of Macy’s is a wakeup call that something must be done to bring retail to downtown now, while our city’s center is on a roll. In the last couple of decades, downtown has recovered in a grand way, with Discovery Green, Minute Maid and Dynamo stadiums, and new hotels and residential developments. Retail is the missing piece of that revival.

This is a time to think big. What sort of downtown do we want, and what public-private partnerships do we need to make it so?

H-Town CM James Rodriguez learned about the closing from Chron.com.  That ain’t right and downright bush league.  District I CM Rodriguez is one of the few Downtown City leaders that know how to get a deal done Downtown and he didn’t know about this?   City leaders got caught with their pants down on this one.   There is no way to sugar coat this.   They are going to try to make some lame excuse and counter offer by trying to bring a few food trucks to the site – how ridiculous!  I want Macy’s and not food truck tacos, or hot dogs, or cupcakes!  I’m glad CM Rodriguez can’t take the blame or look goofy on this deal.

Fix it!

Jeff Bagwell will know next week if he gets into the MLB Hall of Fame.  Is Bagwell in the top 50 all time in career RBIs?

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will swear in Vice President Joe Biden.  That’s cool!

This is a bit from the Austin based Q-Report on the SD 6 Special:

We would be the first to admit it’s something of a fool’s errand to attempt to predict with any certainty a legislative special election, much less an 8-person scrum like what is happening in the vacant state Senate seat that had been held by the late Mario Gallegos.

I’m sure a few folks will have a few takes on the SD 6 Special but you really have be in SD 6 for a few days to get a sense on what is going on 5 days before Early Vote begins.  Talk to voters, tour the district, and stuff like that.  That’s all I’m going to say on this except for the fact that State Representative Carol Alvarado made her taxes available to the media and had a few takers – oh, well!

More on the Macy’s closing from Chron.com yesterday:

Mayor Annise Parker quickly released a statement announcing a new downtown retail task force that will work with the Houston Downtown Management District to “research all available options for a new downtown Macy’s, as well as additional department stores and major retailers”

I like the Mayor but I sure would hate to be the one to tell her that the chickens already left the barn so don’t bother closing the barn doors or however the saying goes.

We finally got some interesting news from The Yard:

ESPN and Major League Baseball announced Thursday that the Astros’ home opener in their first AL season will be the 2013 MLB season opener at 7 p.m. March 31 and will air on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.”

This is the first time the Astros have been selected for the Sunday night ESPN opener, which is the only game on the opening-night schedule.

Yikes!  Now we got to put together a team!

Jeff Bagwell has 1,529 career RBIs and is tied for 46th on the all time list of course with Hall of Fame great Tris Speaker.

Some group did an unscientific poll of Hall of Fame voters and came up with this sample:

B-G-O 70.6%, Baggy 68.2%, Piazza 64.7%, The Rocket 45.9%, Bonds 45.9%, and Sosa 14.1%.  You need 75% to get in so if this holds up, nobody makes it – yikes!


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