Archive for February 7th, 2014

It Was 50 Years Ago Today!

I am talking about the British Invasion hitting the gates of JFK Airport 50 years ago today and the rest is history yeah, yeah, yeah! CBS is the network to catch this Sunday evening so take a sad song and make it better.

We are holding a reception/fundraiser for my niece, Linda Garza-Martinez, candidate for Webb County Court at Law #2 next Thursday, February 13 at Mojeauxs, Rusk at St. Emanuel at 5:30 pm. Hosts include former Houston City Council Member James Rodriguez, Sabrina Midkiff, myself, Al Luna, Billy Briscoe, Pam Gardner, Marisol Valero, Rachel Estes, Sylvia Lafuente, David Lafuente and Cristina Lafuente.

Linda was born in Baytown and raised in Laredo and is a graduate of the University of Texas and UH Law Center. For more on Linda check out http://www.lindaforcountycourt.com. Be there!

Who started for the ‘Stros at first base last season on Opening Day?

Lisa Falkenberg’s column today is about the pain GOP Latinos are feeling in the Lone Star State because of the anti-immigrant rhetoric spewing out of the pieholes of their candidates. Here is how Lisa’s column starts:

Every few years, I like to check in with Massey Villarreal to see if he’s still a Republican.

He still was on Thursday. But it’s getting harder all the time. The Houston businessman and former national chair of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly didn’t bother to hide his anger when we talked. The anti-immigrant rhetoric he was railing about years ago in bygone campaign seasons has found new life in his party’s primary race for lieutenant governor.

Villarreal and several other Hispanic GOP leaders are sickened by it.

“I have made the Kool-Aid for many years for other Hispanics to come into the party – I made the Kool-Aid and people drank it,” said Villarreal, who is also a former chairman of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “And I refuse to make that kind of Kool-Aid anymore. Not for this party. Not for these leaders.”

For a party that desperately needs to appeal to Hispanic voters, a loudmouthed few among Republican candidates seem to be doing all they can to push the growing population of potential voters away.

Right now, the poster child of the loudmouths is state Sen. Dan Patrick, who has run a shockingly nativist campaign, even for Texas. He wasn’t the only candidate singing the “secure the border” mantra at the debate the other night. And all four lieutenant governor candidates want to repeal in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants.

Here is BurkaBlog’s take on the local GOP:

For years Harris County politics has been controlled by a small group of political operatives and consultants. Foremost among these is Steven Hotze, a doctor who heads an organization called the Conservative Republicans of Texas (CRT). The CRT and other groups Hotze is affiliated with send out mailers to voters that look like ballots, but as Big Jolly Politics points out, the candidates who appear on them help pay for their cost or contribute to the PAC. The mailers are designed to look like ballots, and they are pre-marked to indicate who the “right” candidates are.

The cost of producing the mailers this year was $457,643.74 and among the beneficiaries are state senator Dan Patrick and attorney general candidate Barry Smitherman. In effect, what the candidates are doing is purchasing political advertising, but what they are really doing is paying for an endorsement. The money that goes into this is considerable. George Ryan, of Ryan Co. gave CRT/Hotze $200,000, which is the largest single contribution from any party to any other party reported in 2014.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett is no fan of the “pay to play” system. When I spoke to him, he told me, “We cannot allow a small number of individuals who put out slates to control the primary. [The remedy] is to elect a new party chairman; to support other groups to put out slates that are not paid for; and to have all candidates appeal to Republican voters to vote in the primary.”

This is a terrible system that is not illegal but is long overdue for reform. The system allows a small group of insider operatives to control Harris County elections and to profit from a system that borders on machine politics. It has been going on for years, and it needs to be stopped.

Well do something. GOP Latinos need to do more than comment to Falkenberg.

Figure it out.

Hunker Down and his folks need to get more aggressive against the slate patrol.

Here is from the ‘Stros website:

While officially announcing they agreed to terms on a previously reported one-year deal with right-hander Jerome Williams on Thursday, the Astros opened up a spot on their 40-man roster by designating infielder Brett Wallace for assignment.

Wallace, 27, is off the 40-man roster, was expected to be one of a handful of players competing for the starting job at first base this spring. He appeared in 79 games across two stints with Houston last year and hit .221 with 13 homers, 36 RBIs and 104 strikeouts in 262 at-bats. The Astros have 10 days to trade Wallace, outright him to the Minor Leagues or release him. He is out of options.

Brett Wallace of course started at first for the team on Opening Day last season – oh, well!

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