Archive for February, 2014

Thanks to those that stopped by the Linda Garza-Martinez reception last night. It was a success and we had a nice crowd. Thank you!

Here is today’s Chron endorsement of Carol Alvarado:

In the House, Alvarado has a strong record of fighting for Democratic causes, such as education funding, women’s health and Medicaid expansion, without alienating the Republican colleagues she needs to get things done. She and her staff are notably visible and accessible, providing a high degree of constituent services in a heavily Hispanic district that stretches from part of the Houston Heights southeast to Beltway 8. She’s the clear choice in this race.

Thank you.

When was the last year Nolan Ryan took the mound?

This is a very interesting column by Lisa Falkenberg on the pay up scheme in the local GOP. Check it out:

Year after year, come election time, Republican precinct chairman Greg Aydt would look around his Seabrook polling place and shake his head at all the primary voters holding political mailers full of somebody else’s choices.

“I keep seeing people come in with these pay-to-play mailers and all the slates,” says Aydt, who has been a precinct chairman in the area since 2002. “They simply vote down the ballot. Whatever Steve Hotze has to say, whatever Gary Polland has to say, whatever Terry Lowry has to say, they vote that way.”

As an east side high school government teacher, it bothered him that many of these voters were entrusting their decisions to a few kingmakers and a paid endorsement process they might know nothing about. But as an election judge, duty-bound to remain neutral at the polls, he kept his mouth shut.

Then came Hotze’s endorsement of embattled family court Judge Denise Pratt this year.
Pratt came under fire last year amid accusations of falsifying court orders to cover up tardy rulings. That led to the resignation of her lead clerk and an investigation by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and a grand jury, which eventually declined to indict her. Pratt later abruptly, bizarrely purged hundreds of cases in her court, apparently without proper notice to attorneys and their clients.

“She’s a nice lady, personally, but she’s a disaster as a judge. Yet, this pay-to-play slate has endorsed her,” Aydt said. “Here is a judge who is not well-respected by the lawyers in her courtroom, not well-respected by the litigants, clearly doing a horrendous judge of running her court, but she’s going to be the best candidate running?

“This is someone we need to get rid of and, yet, because of the money going to this slate, there’s a chance of her being re-elected and that’s really troubling.”

Pratt has one thing going for her that may have influenced Hotze’s endorsement: She hired Allen Blakemore, Hotze’s own political consultant and friend, who has great sway over the doctor’s picks.
“Yes, I get the last word,” Blakemore told me, “but that doesn’t mean he’s going to endorse all my clients. He doesn’t.”

The “big three” kingmakers in Harris County Republican politics have been criticized through the years for soliciting contributions or “newsletter” ad buys from candidates they endorse. Radio show host Lowry is the most blatant offender of the democratic process: He has acknowledged he runs a “for-profit business,” something akin to the Houston Chronicle. Thankfully for the Chronicle, our advertising staff and editorial page editor aren’t the same person.

Lack of diversity

The Pratt endorsements only contributed to Aydt’s other concerns about the slates, which go beyond money. Aydt, who teaches at an overwhelmingly minority public school, has been worried by the lack of diversity in the kingmaker’s slates.

“It appears when given the choice between a white candidate and a non-white candidate they always vote for a whiter shade of pale. That disturbs me greatly,” he said. “I see this and think ‘will many of my students, who hold values similar to mine, will they ever consider voting that way when they grow up?'”

Aydt knew he couldn’t stay on the sidelines anymore. And, as a humble teacher and conservative blogger with no political prospects, he didn’t really have too much lose.

Taking a position

“I felt it was time to take a stand,” he said.

So he did. A couple of weeks ago, Aydt began circulating language for a proposed party resolution condemning the pay-to-play practice. He says he got a good response from friends and quickly amassed co-sponsors.

Then, Tuesday night, he presented a resolution at the Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee meeting. The language specifically states that the party condemns the practice of pay-to-play endorsements, “in which supposedly independent individuals, groups, or organizations request, solicit or require any fee, payment, or contribution as a condition of making or publicizing said endorsement.”

Some folks weren’t happy. David Jennings, of the BigJolly Politics blog, had a great play-by-play of the inside baseball and parliamentary parlor tricks some employed to stop the resolution. There were early requests to adjourn, random demands for quorum calls, apparent attempts to get people to leave and break quorum.

A rousing success

After a long night, the resolution passed overwhelmingly.

Aydt said he was “absolutely flying.”

“I’ll be honest, I had an adrenaline rush that night so high, I literally didn’t fall into bed until 2:15 and got up at 5:15,” Aydt said.

Just how much impact will the resolution have? It’s hard to say. Everyone I spoke with who has been beating the ever-louder drum against the pay-to-play system seemed encouraged.

Threatening a lawsuit

“I thought it was wonderful, a good first start,” veteran state Rep. Patricia Harless, R-Spring, said. “Even if it doesn’t stop them, the more attention we give it to the public, the more opportunity they have to be informed, intelligent voters.”

When I reached Lowry on his cellphone, he claimed he was in a meeting. Then he took my number, saying “when I call you back, I’ll be recording, I’ll do an introduction, and I’ll air this on my show Monday. Thanks.”

He didn’t call back. But late Thursday night, someone slipped me a letter from Lowry’s attorney, Ken Shortreed, to Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill. It threatens to sue if the resolution is officially posted, arguing the language is a “broad attack without any benefit to it,” that appears to restrict constitutional freedoms.

Polland said the resolution wouldn’t affect him because his endorsements have never been “quid pro quo.” The attorney says he backs the best candidates, period, and he doesn’t make money off of it: “It’s a labor of love.”

Blakemore said the resolution wouldn’t change a thing for Hotze: “We’re certainly not pay-to-play. Never have been.” He insisted Hotze asks for money to fund his mailer only after he’s decided whom to endorse. That’s a claim some have disputed. Harless, for one, says that after interviewing with Hotze several years ago, she was asked for a contribution before she knew if she’d get the endorsement.

Aydt said Blakemore and the rest “may be surprised” at the effect of the resolution, adding he’s gotten interest from party leaders across the state: “I think you’re going to find there’s a hunger for this sort of stuff on the state level.

“My great hope is that we reach the point with this that the candidates in Harris County don’t feel the need that they have to give money to these people in order to get an endorsement.”

Nolan Ryan’s last season was 1993 of course.

Spring Training is just about here!

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This is how State Sen. Dan Patrick’s campaign TV ad starts:

“If Sam Houston, Travis, Bowie, and Austin were here today, they would be proud of Texas and they would be ashamed of Washington.”

First of all if they were around today Houston and Austin would be 220 years old, Bowie 217, and Travis the youngster at 204. They would be real old.

It would be nice if Sen. Patrick went on ahead and ‘splain why these four would be proud and ashamed.

He can’t because he probably really doesn’t know anything about these four or their backgrounds.

Let’s say if the heavens let these four drop into the Lone Star State for a few days, what would they really think how things are going. What would they be most proud of the Lone Star State? That some folks still want to be at war with folks with Spanish language surnames?

Bowie and Travis, the two that gave their lives for our freedom at The Alamo on March 6, 1836, would they would be real proud of the amount of money that influences politics and public policy here in the Lone Star State? Would Austin would be real proud of the way we have fallen behind in addressing our transportation needs and extremely proud of choking traffic congestion in some parts around the burg that is named after him?

Houston would probably want to know why we are near the bottom in comparison to other states on high school graduation rates and near the top on teen pregnancy rates.

I don’t know if any of them would be ashamed of Washington. Austin, Bowie, and Travis all died way before Texas became a state so they would be probably asking “why in the heck did we become part of the U.S. of A.” Then all four would definitely be in a state of shock upon learning that an African American is President after all they all died when some folks in the south owned slaves.

I wonder why the Patrick campaign left out of their ad arguably the most popular Texas Independence figure – Davy Crockett. Come on! Crockett has been played in flicks by John Wayne, Fess Parker, and Billy Bob Thornton!

The fact is the four that are mentioned in the ad really have no relevance to the ad itself.

Yankee great Derek Jeter is number 9 all-time in career base hits with 3,316. Give me the last names of the eight in front of him?

I am going to have to give Sen. Cornyn a shout out for casting the right vote yesterday. Way to go!

Don’t forget this evening to join me, former Houston City Council Member James Rodriguez, Sabrina Midkiff, Al Luna, Billy Briscoe, Jerry Michael Acosta, Pam Gardner, Marisol Valero, Rachel Estes, Sylvia Lafuente, David Lafuente, Guerra and Farrah, P.L.L.C., and some of Linda’s Houston friends and family for a reception in honor of Linda Garza-Martinez, candidate for Webb County Court at Law #2, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, at Mojeauxs Louisiana Drinkery, 2024 Rusk at St. Emanuel. Your attendance would be greatly appreciated.

As of yesterday Dems accounted for 7,778 primary election mail ballot applications, GOPers 19,912.

Rose, Cobb, Aaron, Musial, Speaker, Wagner, Yastrzemski, and Molitor of course are ahead of Jeter on the all-time career base hits list. Molitor has 3,319. What are the odds of Jeter passing Molitor during the Yankees-‘Stros series at The Yard in April?

That is going to be one heck of a week at The Yard. The first three games with Jeter and the Yankees then the retirements of The Big Puma and Roy O on Saturday, April 5 before the game with the Angels.

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Just the Facts, Please

Remember back in December when that Mustafa fella was going around telling media folks that then H-Town City Council Member James Rodriguez was going to delay the payday loan ordinance because James’ longtime pal Giovanni Garibay, Cash Advance’s governmental relations person, had promised James a gig with the industry after he left City Council. On the day of the vote, Chron columnist Lisa Falkenberg prominently mentioned the rumor about James and Gio. James didn’t delay the vote and after the ordinance passed a number of folks tweeted the Falkenberg column including a few bloggers.

Well guess what? James never went to work for the payday loan industry. It would be nice if Falkenberg and those tweeters and bloggers now gave James a special shout out and kind of apologize to him for promoting a false rumor. That would be the right thing to do. You know who you are.

A lot of folks were quick to pile on James back in December. It was kind of a rush to judgment. How about a rush to say you were wrong?

I mention this because James got another mention today in the Chron but this time in the editorial page. A few weeks ago James was named Vice President of Texas Taxi, Inc. Today’s editorial is about deregulating the local cab industry. Apparently H-Town City Hall may take up the matter in the coming weeks and months. The editorial today mentions that the cab industry has hired lobbyists and point to James’ hiring as an example. Here you go again!

City ordinance says that once a city council member leaves office, he or she has to wait a year before they can lobby city council. So the Chron E-Board today just made the assumption that James was going to violate the ordinance and start immediately lobbying … tsk, tsk, tsk!

Why not give James and Texas Taxi a little bit more credit. I think they know how to follow the ordinance.

It might have made good political theater to run with the Mustafa rumor back in December even though it was dead wrong. It may make good political theater this morning to say James is going to lobby City Hall even though he can’t until January of 2015.

Roy O is hanging up his cleats. Roy O had 657 career at-bats. How career dinger did he have?

It is six days before early voting and I still haven’t gotten any mail from candidates. What is up with that!

Nolan Ryan has joined the team. I guess that is a good thing.

Roy O had only one career dinger of course and it happened at The Yard in August of 2006 against the Pirates.

I was checking out the guest list of the White House State Dinner last night and saw a James Crane from H-Town. I wonder if that was the team owner. Cool!

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GOP AG Greg Abbott is not backing off his Third World corruption remarks aimed at border communities.

GOP AG wannabe Barry Smitherman is now into South Texas bashing. Here is a line from his TV ad now running in the H-Town media market.

“It is time to bring law and order to South Texas.”

Who does he think he is? Wyatt Earp!

Doesn’t he know that a number of South Texas and border counties and municipalities have a lower crime rate than the State of Texas average? It is pretty obvious. Make Brown faces look like the problem and bash them. It gets you Tea Party votes.

At the end of the flick “42” the Dodgers are shown winning the 1947 NL Pennant. Who did they meet in the World Serious?

Commentary’s niece Linda Garza-Martinez was the Chief Prosecutor of the 49th District Court Felony Division in the Webb County DA’s office. She will be in town this Thursday evening. I am sure she has something to say about Smitherman’s claim to bring law and order back to South Texas.

Join former Houston City Council Member James Rodriguez, Sabrina Midkiff, Al Luna, Billy Briscoe, Jerry Michael Acosta, Pam Gardner, Marisol Valero, Rachel Estes, Sylvia Lafuente, David Lafuente, Guerra and Farrah, P.L.L.C., and some of Linda’s Houston friends and family for a reception in honor of Linda Garza-Martinez, candidate for Webb County Court at Law #2, this Thursday, February 13, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, at Mojeauxs Louisiana Drinkery, 2024 Rusk at St. Emanuel. Linda was born in Baytown, raised in Laredo and is a graduate of the University of Texas and University of Houston Law Center.

From more about Linda go to http://www.lindaforcountycourt.com.

I would appreciate it if local folks dropped by this Thursday.

The Dodger lost to the Yankees in seven of course in the 1947 World Serious.

On the day after Michael Sam lets the sports universe know he is gay, ‘Stros pitcher Jarred Cosart tweets the gay intolerant F Bomb. What a dumbarse! Who does this fella hang with anyway?

Here is what the team said:

“We do not condone the language used on Twitter today by Jarred. It is unacceptable from anyone in our organization. We’ve spoken to Jarred about this matter, and he is extremely remorseful. He realizes his mistake and has apologized.”

We don’t need this at The Yard!

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The NFL PR Machine

Everybody knows that the NFL is a control freak when it comes to their image. Here is what they put out yesterday on Michael Sam’s coming out announcement:

“We admire Michael Sam’s honesty and courage. Michael is a football player. Any player with ability and determination can succeed in NFL.”

Here is what some dumbarse unnamed NFL player personnel assistant said to a sports media outlet:

“I don’t think football is ready for [an openly gay player] just yet. In the coming decade or two, it’s going to be acceptable, but at this point in time it’s still a man’s-man game. To call somebody a [gay slur] is still so commonplace. It’d chemically imbalance an NFL locker room and meeting room.”

The NFL would be wise to get out in front of this and let every team know that the times they are a changing and their team and the NFL would be wise not to sit on the wrong side of history. If the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell allow dumbarse and backward comments to regularly and anonymously drip out of NFL front offices between now and draft day and in the process project an intolerance factor, then shame on the Commissioner.

Here is a suggestion for the Commissioner. Make it mandatory that every NFL club take all the front office employees into the team auditorium all at the same time and make them screen “42” and afterwards randomly select a handful of employees to each play out the role of the Phillies skipper and instead of dropping the N bomb, drop the gay intolerant F bomb – brotherly love my arse!

Of the 2013 ‘Stros 10 Opening Day starters, how many are still on the team roster?

The East End Rail underpass versus overpass debate certainly had political consequences over the past few years. Charges, accusations, and claims were made and the issue found its way into the forefront of recent political campaigns. Here is from today’s Chron:

Residents of Houston’s East End supported a 2003 transit referendum that included a light rail line through their neighborhood, but they balked six years later when they learned of plans for a large overpass – a “hideous monstrosity,” in the words of one community leader – that would cross freight rail tracks along Harrisburg.

Two years of often contentious negotiations ensued as Metropolitan Transit Authority officials responded to concerns that the overpass would split the neighborhood and inhibit redevelopment. With the city of Houston as peacemaker and financial partner, Metro shelved its overpass plan in 2011 and agreed to build an underpass, winning the wary support of residents.

But now, as work on the so-called Green Line nears completion, the discovery of a vast area of gasoline-polluted soil appears to have scuttled the underpass plan, reopening a wound that Metro, the city and the neighborhood thought had been healed. The city’s $20 million stake in the project is in question, and transit officials are seeking community support for a plan likely to send the light rail trains over the Union Pacific tracks rather than under them.

Here is what I don’t understand. At the beginning of this process, why didn’t METRO just dig a hole out there and test the soil. It certainly would have prevented a highly contentious debate. It probably would have also already had the line running today. METRO will play the blame game for now. Oh, well!

AG Abbott needs to stop playing fast and loose the with “Third World” lingo when talking about border communities. The fella has been the AG since 2003 so he might bear some responsibility for not doing anything while in office to stop “Third World” corruption. Using “Third World” terminology has racial overtones. If he knows geopolitical history he should know that “Third World” referred to those less developed countries. Last I heard the Rio Grande Valley has public schools, water systems, movieplexes, Luby’s, Whataburgers, car dealerships, colleges, universities, hospitals, nice hotels, libraries, and malls. OK, so they don’t have a major professional sports team – hey, but neither does Austin.

Last night CBS had a two and a half hour long tribute to The Beatles. No other band gets a TV tribute that involves Rock Hall of Fame members and Grammy winners. Walsh, Perry, Wonder, Lynne, Mayer, Urban, Keys, Legend, Stewart, and Lenox. As far as I am concerned it was a great two and a half hours – period.

Jose Altuve at second, Jason Castro behind the plate, Chris Carter in left, and Matt Dominguez at third all started last season on Opening Day of course and are still on the roster.

Spring Training opens later this week.

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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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Wendy Get Your Gun?

I don’t know about this. I really don’t want to live in a state where folks go around showing their heat. From the SA Express News:

Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis wants licensed Texans to be able to openly carry handguns, a position that could help her strike back against opponents in her race for governor who paint her as anti-gun.

Davis told the Associated Press that she supports a proposed “open carry” law that would allow people with concealed handgun licenses to openly wear pistols in public.

I strongly disagree with her position – period! I hope Team Davis knows what they are doing.

“Anything you can do I can do better. I can do anything better than you.”

In protest of Sen. Davis’ open carry position, I am cancelling today’s MLB question.

The GOP candidates running for Lite Guv and AG are heading so far right that in the event there is a runoff in either it would not surprise me if they rolled out an action figure of themselves riding a horse, clutching the reins with their teeth, with an S&W in each hand.

I saw Leno’s first and I will watch his last this evening.

I went out to pick up the fish wrap this morning and sleet was falling. What a winter!

That is all I have.

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Cheaters, Part III

Let me get this out of the way. Three MLB Hall of Fame greats have had their numero 44 retired. Name the three?

First of all, let me say that Commentary has hired Ralph the Sign Guy to put out signs for my candidates in the past and so have a bunch of other candidates – Dems and GOPers – as well as city candidates. Ralph has kind of got that sign distribution niche. I have never hired him to collect petition signatures.

Ralph was indicted yesterday for forging signatures on petitions. It is a felony rap.

Sooner or later something like this was bound to happen. Here is from the Chron from over a week ago:

The allegation first was raised by longtime Precinct 2 Place 2 Justice of the Peace George Risner, who is suing the Harris County Republican Party, claiming it violated state election law by placing candidate Leonila Olivares-Salazar on its party ballot even after being told her application included hundreds of falsified petition signatures.

It wasn’t a political party that nailed Ralph and it wasn’t local law enforcement. It was Judge Risner’s political campaign. Judge Risner had to sue the Harris County GOP but why should we expect the local GOP to be vigilant about petition signatures from a Latina candidate who is running in a JP Precinct that they are not going to win? So Judge Risner and his team did the necessary and much needed legwork.

Commentary is convinced that illegal campaign shenanigans happen all the time but I have said it before – state and local government don’t give a rat’s arse about enforcing this cr_p. Yesterday’s indictment is a good case in point. It was handed to them on a gold platter.

Mail ballot fraud and election worker intimidation of our seniors at the polls come to mind. It seems like every campaign I am alerted to an illegal campaign activity but I don’t even bother contacting the officials because they won’t do anything and local campaigns usually don’t have the resources or lawyers to investigate the allegations. So it continues.

Judge Risner did us a service and he deserves our thanks.

Now I wonder how many primary party campaigns had their sign distribution disrupted and or how many will continue with Ralph as their sign guy? Stay tuned!

Commentary mentioned yesterday to look at political party voter turnouts in the March 4 primary. On second thought, maybe we should not. As of yesterday in Harris County the GOP and their candidates had generated 17,594 vote by mail applications versus 3,631 generated by Dem candidates and the Dem Party. What is up with that?

Commentary has never been to a Twin Peaks and I don’t really plan to any time soon. I’ve been to a Hooters once and that was for a birthday gathering for someone back in the ‘90s. Twin Peaks wants to open a new location off of I-10 and Kirkwood and predictably the nearby neighborhood folks are mad and trying to stop Twin Peaks from opening up. Neighborhood folks have been showing up to H-Town City Council meetings lately to protest the Twin Peaks effort. Council appears sympathetic but sympathy will only get you so far. Good luck!

Reggie Jackson (Yankees), Willie McCovey (Giants) and Hank Aaron (The ATL and Brewers) of course have had their numero 44 retired. Hank Aaron is celebrating his 80th BD today!

The team’s TV network is now in bankruptcy – oh, well!

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Just Move On

Here is from today’s Chron:

Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott outraised Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis by more than 3-to-1 in the first three weeks in January in the race for governor, according to figures reported by each campaign Monday.

The $3.1 million-plus that Abbott raised from Jan. 1 through Jan. 23, the period covered by campaign finance reports due Monday, gave him $29.4 million in cash on hand for the race against Davis.

Davis, of Fort Worth, raised $912,996 over the same period, counting two of her committees and a joint effort with Battleground Texas, which is dedicated to making Texas competitive for Democrats. She reported she has $10.2 million in cash on hand.

The comparison could take off some of the shine from the big money that Davis hauled in during the last six months of 2013 when, counting the same three fundraising committees, she took in $12.2 million compared with $11.5 million for Abbott, long a top fundraiser.

Look, everyone knows that historically Dems never contribute campaign funds between January 1 and January 23. (OK, so I’m making this up.)

Here is the deal. Before we start setting this deal in concrete let’s see what the 8-day report in a few weeks tell us.

Both candidates have primary opponents so let’s see how they do against their opponents the evening of March 4. Let’s see who wins by the widest margin.

Let’s see the statewide primary voter turnout totals for each party on March 4.

Finally, let’s see how much money is in the bank when the July 15 reports come out this summer.

It’s a long way to Tipperary.

Speaking of New York City, in 1951 in MLB, New York – Yankees and Giants – produced the two Rookie of the Year winners. Name the two players?

Here is from the ‘Stros website:

The Astros added another veteran arm to their rotation by agreeing to a one-year contract with right-hander Jerome Williams. The deal is pending a physical exam, which Williams says will be performed Wednesday in Houston.

“Once that goes, it’s time to go out there and get on the grind and try and get what we all want within this organization: Get back on track and do what we need to do to win,” Williams told MLB.com.

The 32-year-old Williams was 9-10 with a 4.57 ERA in 37 games (25 starts) for the Angels in 2013, while working a career-high 169 1/3 innings. He joins Scott Feldman as experienced starters who have been added to Houston’s young rotation this winter.

The Astros have not confirmed the deal is in place.

In 1951, Willie Mays of the Giants and Gil McDougald of the Yankees won the NL and Al Rookie of the Year Award of course. Now that was easy.

I am not impressed with the latest team move. It sounds like we’re happy with mediocrity.

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Not Piling On

It is way too easy to pile on the Team Davis press operation. I just hope they figure out stuff. In her column today, Peggy Fikac says that Team Davis is bringing on someone to help out. That is probably a go move. It needs to be someone who has the respect of the media. Good luck!

Of the active MLBers, name the player with the most career three baggers?

Low point of yesterday was getting the news on twitter on the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman. I first noticed him as a storm chaser in “Twister.” So sad!

Lowlight of yesterday’s Super Bowl was Broadway Joe’s coat. Talk about wardrobe malfunction.

Maserati wasted a bunch of dough.

ScarJo was good because she is ScarJo.

Doritos hit the spot with the Lone Ranger and time machine.

Cute goes to VW and angel wings and the Russian and M&Ms.

Funny goes to Chevy Silverado stud bull and Toyota-Muppets-Terry Crews.

Coke probably pi__ed off the English only crowd.

Zimmerman was a good Eastwood Chrysler ad replacement.

Budweiser’s hero’s welcome and the puppy were the best of the evening.

Carl Crawford of course leads the MLB among active players with 117 triples of course.

Nolan is still mulling the team offer.

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