Archive for October, 2013

On Votes

Early Voting in Person starts Monday so the games begin!

In Harris County, Democrats have generated 37.6% of the mail ballots sent out while Republicans have generated 37.2% – whatever that means.

Of course everybody remembers the Red Sox getting rid of the curse by sweeping San Luis in the 2004 World Serious.  Name the 2004 World Serious MVP?

The Chron E-Board today endorsed H-Town CM Jack Christie in At-Large 5 and Rogene Calvert in At-Large 3.

Yesterday the Houston Turnout Project sent me a Dr. Seuss piece on Ben Hall’s green huevos.

UH product Case Keenum will start at QB for the Texans this Sunday.  One of Keenum’s former coaches said he could run for any political office in H-Town and win.  Who cares?  Commentary wants to know if he can lead the team to a victory on the field and avoid throwing a pick-6.

The Texans are 0-6 against the spread this year.  Take the 6 points against the Chiefs this weekend.  I got a feeling.

Go get you a copy of today’s Chron and check out the story on the District I race.

Manny Ramirez of course won the 2004 World Serious MVP Award by batting .412 and having 4 RBIs.

The ‘Stros were in the hunt for the latest Cuban prospect.  Well at least we were in the hunt for something.

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For Graci Garces

The Chron E-Board endorsed (Commentary’s client) Graci Garces today for District I.  Here it is:

// // Draw a map of where you think Houston will see some of the biggest growth over the next six years, and you might as well draw a map of District I. Extending from downtown into the East End, District I is the face of Houston’s future. With key landmarks and booming neighborhoods, it may be the most important city council race this election – and that includes the at-large seats.

While most district council members have a certain luxury of focusing on constituent-specific issues, the council member for District I needs to have a grander vision.

Houston has its diverse business clusters, but the central business district is still home to our tallest skyscrapers – not to mention the George R. Brown Convention Center, the theater district, Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center, BBVA Compass Stadium and Discovery Green. The list grows even longer when you add all the upcoming plans for downtown apartments, convention hotels and Super Bowl celebrations.

Whoever represents District I should have no learning curve at City Hall, and be ready to serve families in the district’s Hispanic communities and also booming downtown businesses. An inexperienced city council member risks killing the goose that laid the golden egg. We believe that Graci Garces, with her years of service within local government, is the best candidate for District I.

Once represented by Hispanic political kingpin Ben Reyes, before he was busted in a federal bribery sting, District I has been held by a clean line of succession for the past 12 years. State Rep. Carol Alvarado was elected to that seat for three terms, followed by her chief of staff, James G. Rodriguez, who is completing his third and final term on council. Garces, Rodriguez’s chief of staff, would continue the Alvarado dynasty at City Hall.

That isn’t necessarily a good thing. Lifelong staffers like Garces, 33, lack important private sector experience, and may have a greater sense of loyalty to their mentors than their constituents.

But Garces hasn’t been some behind-the-scenes insider. For the past 10 years, she’s been the eyes and ears for City Hall in District I. Her specific, localized ideas go beyond the usual infrastructure and jobs agenda, with goals of reducing animal overpopulation in neighborhoods and tearing down blight. She’s walked the streets for a decade and knows the area well. After working in D.C. and Austin for a host of Hispanic representatives, Garces will be able to serve as a bridge between government and the community.

Garces faces some impressive opponents in this race, notably city-wide Latino leader Ben Mendez. Founder and president of PMG Project Management Group, LLC, Mendez has extensive private-sector experience. He also has managed Houston’s Capital Investment Plan, the 5-year agenda for city construction and renovation. Mendez and Garces pose an interesting prospect of inverse qualifications – big-money businessman vs. community-driven staffer.

Representing District I will be a balancing act between pro-development downtown areas and neighborhoods trying to survive gentrification.

Garces knows what the district needs and how City Hall works. She should be the voters’ choice on Election Day.

Way to go Team Graci.

The World Serious MVP was first awarded in 1955.  Who was the first to win it?  (You will never guess it.)

The Chron E-board also endorsed H-Town CM Bradford this morning here: http://www.chron.com/opinion/recommendations/article/For-C-O-Brad-Bradford-for-Houston-City-Council-4901889.php.

This is the 17th Amendment to the Constitution:

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

The Lite Guv and Dan Patrick want to do away with it.  Where did this come from?

Sen. Ted Cruz, junior Sen. John Cornyn, and every Texas GOP member of Congress voted against yesterday’s deal.

Keep heading far right!

Dodger pitcher Johnny Podres of course won the first ever World Serious MVP Award back in 1955 as the Dodgers took the Yankees in seven.

There is nothing to report from The Yard.



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On Turnout

An Anna Eastman for HISD mailer hit my mailbox yesterday.  I also received a Bill Frazer for Controller mailer.  Not very much in political campaign mail is landing my way as we prepare for Early Voting in person in five days.  You have to wonder how many folks are going to show up at the polls this year.  It is kind of difficult to find indicators.  For instance, in 2011 around 10,600 folks voted by mail in Harris County.  As of yesterday over twice that number have requested mail ballots.  Does this mean anything?  Probably not as more campaigns are engaging older voters in the vote by mail process.  Stay tuned!

In 1968 everybody knows that the Tigers won the World Serious and in those days there wasn’t a Wild Card, ALDS, or ALCS.  How many regular season games did the Tigers win that season?

Sen. Ted Cruz is deservedly getting the blame for the government shutdown and pending debt limit crisis.  Even his own GOP senate colleagues are calling him out.  House Speaker John Boehner is being hammered by some of his fellow GOPers for not having the guts to lead.   It is political party and selfish political interests for those two over serving the interests of the country.  What a mess and what a joke!

Today the Chron E-Board endorsed all nine constitutional amendments for those who care.

There is not a whole lot of campaign mail being sent and the only TV ad that is running is negative so expect another dismal voter turnout.  The Dome initiative is nothing but a yawner.

In the NLCS, San Luis has scored 8 runs and the Dodgers have scored 7 and San Luis leads the series 3-1.  Go figure!

The 1968 Tigers won 103 games of course.

The ‘Stros are in court over the TV mess.


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The writers of the CBS hit comedy series “Two Broke Girls” certainly pay attention to what is going on in the Lone Star State.   Here is what Commentary tweeted last night during “Two Broke Girls”:

Line from @2BrokeGirls_CBS “This thing hates women so much they should call it Texas.” – a malfuntioning espresso gizmo. #LoneStarJoke

The whole country heard it!  Take that!  That’s Ok with Commentary if a lot of the rest of the country has a laugh on us because of Guv Dude, the Lite Guv, AG Abbott, Ted Cruz, the GOP, and their Papi the Tea Party.   Some of the viewing audience may just want to send some of their campaign dough down here to help folks like Sen. Wendy Davis.  Keep it up!

What is there to say about The Lite Guv calling for The President’s impeachment other than to say don’t bother tossing a life line out to The Lite Guv because he himself has jumped way into the far far far right deep end.  Check this out:


Yesterday was 10th anniversary of the Steve Bartman incident at Wrigley.  Who was batting?

The Chron E-Board rolled out another endorsement of sorts today.  They want immediate changes to the Texans’ strategy.  Check this:

We don’t like Monday-morning quarterbacking, so we saved this editorial for Tuesday. By now, we’ve taken a collective deep breath, so maybe we’re ready to engage the question of the hour: Where do we go and what do we do with our Texans?

We’re in the midst of huge national crises, everything from atrocities in the Middle East to flooding in Central Texas, not to mention a potentially dangerous government shutdown. The headlines are enough to make you wonder why sports even matter, and yet they do. Our national pastimes are healthy distractions that bind a community.

The Texans aren’t winning, and they’re looking miserable while losing. Unlike the hapless Astros, who were expected to lose during the first of what may be several rebuilding seasons, the Texans began the season with a Super Bowl in their sights. In addition, the Texans are a franchise that has done just about everything right. They’ve signed first-class individuals, the owner is a benevolent man who brought the NFL back to Houston and has used the Texans brand as a positive extension throughout the community. The Texans are a class act.

Regrettably, some Houston fans showed no class on Sunday. By nature, fanatics can get a little loud, but to cheer an injury to a player is outrageous. To be fair, some of the loud-mouthed louts may have been cheering for T.J. Yates, Matt Schaub‘s backup, but, still, it looked bad.

What made the cheering worse is that it came in the wake of fans burning Schaub jerseys and allegedly stalking his house.

That’s not Houston. When it comes to fan support, this city has a history of excellence, whether it’s congratulating the Rockets on their 1994 and 1995 NBA championships or welcoming the Houston Oilers back home after their almost-championships.

It’s easy to agree on fan behavior. It’s not so easy to agree on what the Texans need to do. Houston knows all about taking risks; maybe it’s time for the Texans to take a risk, as well. Blow up season plans, Bob McNair. Go for broke. And let’s see what happens.

Fish second baseman Luis Castillo was batting of course during the Steve Bartman incident.

All is quiet at The Yard!



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This past Saturday I checked my mailbox and I found a mailer that included skeletons and it was an attack mailer on Ben Hall.  I don’t have a problem with this because that is the name of the game.  I thought the skeletons were kind of creative it being 17 days from trick or treat and the skeletons referenced Ben Hall’s closet.

I checked the disclaimer and it said Houston Turnout Project.  I could not find them on the City’s political action committee list or with the Texas Ethics Commission so I put them in the google run and found a not so fresh website.  On one page was a generic message to vote in the 2009 elections and on another was touting the H-Town Mayor running for Mayor before she became a Mayor back in 2009.  I just made the assumption that this was one of those so called independent expenditures not so aligned – wink-wink – with The Mayor’s campaign.  According to the website, it certainly didn’t look like the IE had been doing a whole lot of turning out voters since 2009.

Here is what I tweeted:

@anniseparker to @Benhallforall: “Dem bones, Dem bones, Dem dry bones!”. pic.twitter.com/sLwYxY26yF

The “Dem bones” was a reference to the song “the foot bone connected to the ankle bone” tune to kind of inject a little humor into the mailer and tweet.

If Commentary had seen or heard of Houston Turnout Project activity over the past four years, my tweet probably would have looked different.

Name the Red Sox with the most dingers in a season?

Let’s get back to my Saturday night tweet.  The Chron and a few others retweeted my tweet and called it a negative mailer and it brought a quick denial and pushback from The Mayor’s Campaign.  They said to check out the disclaimer.  The Chron immediately tweeted a correction and Commentary kind of clarified a correction via tweet.

I guess the Mayor’s Campaign had to point out the disclaimer on the attack. Of course all they have done on TV is go negative so stay tuned.

The Chron E-Board as expected endorsed The Mayor yesterday.  They also had a lengthy piece on her.

I would hope that Dems would have enough sense to make sure The Kinkhole isn’t on next year’s ticket.

Some of the Texans players were not happy with some fans booing Matt Schaub when he went down yesterday.  I don’t want to defend the fans that booed but you have to expect this when a whole frenzy is created over a football team and just about everyone in H-Town contributes to the frenzy.

In 2006, Big Papi hit 54 dingers and is the top Red Sox of course for most dingers in a season.

Big Papi hit a game tying grand salami last night as the Red Sox went on to beat the Tigers in Game 2 of the ALCS at Fenway.  It was a Salty and Papi night.

The only thing to say about the Texans is scoreboard.  I wonder when the ‘Stros report to training camp?


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I tweeted this the other day because it did happen:

#Campaign protocols: Never show up at your opponent’s fundraiser and rant and rave and cause a scene.

It happened here locally with a candidate running in this year’s elections.  I have no idea what the candidate was thinking.

The Chron has a story today on the Mayoral race.  The story is only available to those that buy the hard copy or subscribe.  The story focuses on Ben Hall’s TV buy strategy or lack of strategy.  Respected political scientists think it is odd for Hall to pull back ads this late in the game.  We will see.

On the other hand, I still have not seen a positive ad for The Mayor.  We will also see.

The NLCS begins tonight with the Dodgers in San Luis.  Name the first two teams to ever play in the NLCS?

The Chron E-Board rolled out two more endorsements today:  Challenger David Robinson in At-Large 2 and incumbent CM Al Hoang in District F.

I’m thinking At-Large 2 CM Andrew Burks isn’t too happy this morning.

Here is the Hoang endorsement.

Here is the Hoang endorsement.

You know who doesn’t read the Chronicle these days?  Matt Schaub.

Commentary just learned “digin.”

Commentary also just learned what the fox says.

In 1969 the Mets swept The ATL in three to win the first ever NLCS of course.

I’m thinking MLB likes the fact that the Red Sox, San Luis, and Dodgers are still in the hunt.  It is good for the ratings.  I am sure they would love a Dodger/Red Sox Serious.  I have nothing against Detroit.

The Yard is quiet today.


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The Chron E-Board continues to roll out their endorsements.  Today’s nods go to At-Large 1 CM Stephen Costello and former CM Brenda Stardig in District A.  Commentary is not surprised.

Here is the Costello endorsement.

Here is the Stardig endorsement.

The most interesting part of the Costello endorsement is this:

Costello readily acknowledges he plans to run for mayor following his council service. We would recommend that the best way for someone in his position to reach the big office on the third floor at City Hall is to be the best at-large councilman he can be if elected to a third two-year term.

I guess CM Costello becomes the first declared 2015 Mayoral candidate.  He better start voting in Dem Party primaries.

San Luis punched their ticket to the NLCS last night.  Last year San Luis retired the Numero 10.  Who wore the Numero 10?

Here is another exercise in exercising.  RNC Hispanics and AG Abbott and former State Rep.  Errant Pena are putting together a GOP outreach to Latinos voters – YAWN! 

Here is the Tribune story on the outreach that is going nowhere.

It is about issues.  It is about immigration reform.  It is about health care.  It is about voting rights. 

Commentary received a Zeph Capo for HCC mailer yesterday.

Forty years ago today Vice-President Spiro Agnew resigned.

Tony La Russa of course wore the Numero 10 for San Luis.

Here is from the ‘Stros website:

Astros owner Jim Crane said last week the team would be in position to increase its payroll next year, and on Tuesday he provided the first indication of just how much money could be spent on players in 2014.

Crane said the Astros’ payroll, which was at about $13 million to end the season, could be between $50-60 million next year regardless of whether the club is able to settle its dispute with television partner Comcast.

We will see.


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The Chron has a poll for readers on who won last night’s H-Town Mayoral Debate.

Check it out here.

Today the Chron E-Board endorsed H-Town CM Oliver Pennington in District G.  Again, this is not a surprise.

Check it out here.

The Red Sox are back in the ALCS.  When was the first time the Red Sox won the AL East Division title?

If you support The Mayor you probably think she won the debate.  If you support Ben Hall you probably think he won the debate.  If you support any of the other candidates, nobody cares what you think.  If you support handshakes, you probably think Ben Hall won the debate.  If you don’t think debaters should sit down in chairs that are for sitting down, you probably think Ben Hall won the debate.

If you think that going to Matt Schaub’s house for the purpose of chewing him out in front of his family is a good idea, then maybe you need to get your head checked for brain damage.

Here is a question folks should be debating today in H-Town.  Has H-Town overreacted to the lousy games the Texans’ QB has had the last three or four weeks?  It seems like it has become H-Town’s Numero 1 public policy discussion when it is only a game.   The nation is debating the GOP federal government shutdown.  The state is talking about Sen. Wendy Davis’ gubernatorial bid.  H-Town is talking about our QB situation.  Have we gone overboard?

The Red Sox won their first AL East Division title in 1975 of course and we know what happened then.

The ‘Stros owner talks about the TV mess here.


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Today’s Chron E-Board endorsement goes to District B CM Jerry Davis.  That is expected.

Check it out here.

In Sunday’s Chron there was a story written by the SA Express News’ David Saleh Rauf and Peggy Fikac on South Texas turnout being key to a Sen. Wendy Davis victory.  I don’t have a problem with that.  It would be nice though to see a piece about Houston area Latinos also being a key.  Stay tuned!

The Dodgers advanced to the NLCS last night after beating The ATL in four.  The Dodgers last won the World Serious in 1988, taking the A’s in five.  Name the 1988 World Serious MVP.

A shout out goes to Laura and John Arnold for plunking down $10 mil of their own dough to help keep Head Start running during the GOP federal government shutdown.

Here is the Chron story.

Graci Garces led District I candidates in money raised during the last reporting period.

Ben Hall gave money to Gary Polland  and his Texas Conservative Review which means Hall will be getting Polland’s endorsement. 

Dodger pitcher Orel Hershiser of course won the 1988 World Serious MVP.

The ‘Stros hired a new pitching coach yesterday so now they have to go get them some bullpen pitching


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Yesterday the Chron E-Board endorsed Bill Frazer for Controller.  Commentary is not really surprised considering the stories the Chron has written in the past about Controller Ron Green.

Check out the Frazer endorsement here.

On Saturday the Chron E-Board endorsed Anthony Robinson for H-Town City Council District D.  That was kind of surprising.

Here is the Robinson endorsement.

Name the stadium the Pirates called home from 1909 – 1970?

Yesterday my friend Bill King wrote about doing away with H-Town Mayoral, Controller, and City Council term limits because the current governance structure doesn’t encourage council to deal with long term financial issues.   Blah, blah, blah…….   I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  If you want to do away with term limits get out there and put together a serious grass roots campaign and get signatures on a petition.

Here is Bill’s column,

Also yesterday H-Town CM C.O. Bradford and HCC Trustee Carroll Robinson co-wrote an Op-Ed calling for a City Charter Review Commission to look at how city government is run.  They want the Commission appointed right after the election so they can have recommendations ready to the November 2014 election.  I don’t know about that.  I think we need to have a good discussion first as to why we need a Review Commission.  I am also thinking that Trustee Robinson should maybe focus on putting together an HCC Review Commission.


The “SNL” spoof Saturday night on Speaker Boehner, Michelle Bachman, and the GOP federal government shutdown was deservedly brutal. 

Commentary was impressed by “SNL” guest host and musical act Miley Cyrus’ performance.  She is an entertainer for sure and currently owns the number one song on the charts.

I don’t think the Texans will go 13-3.  We are definitely not prime time material. 

Forbes Field of course is where the Pirates played from 1909 – 1970.

No that wasn’t the ‘Stros playing in Candlestick last night.


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