Archive for August 1st, 2014

Laura Murillo, CEO and President of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, is telling folks she will be running for H-Town Mayor next year. I said this yesterday:

She would certainly be a fresh face. Being a Latina and the only woman in the race would help her. I think she could raise the money – certainly as much as the other three could. She is smart, articulate, and bilingual.


Here in H-Town we kind of know who is seriously thinking about running for Mayor. Council Member Stephen Costello, State Rep. Sylvester Turner, and former Congressman Chris Bell are the ones most mentioned. We pretty much know what to expect from these three. They have all been around for a while if you know what I mean.

I can see folks getting excited about a Laura Murillo candidacy. She goes into the race with a built-in relationship and record working with hundreds of Latino business owners and professionals. They know her well.

Her going up against three veteran male politicians would certainly provide voters with a choice. A Murillo candidacy also means that the other three candidates will probably not be doing a whole lot of Latino voter outreach.

Everybody knows that Jose Altuve leads the team with 42 stolen bases – who is at number 2?

After negotiations broke down yesterday between the City and the firefighters, here is what the Mayor put out:

It is unfortunate the union has chosen to walk away from the bargaining table. The city had made an offer that was fair to the rank and file and the taxpayers who cover their paychecks. Like any other business, the city has to know how many workers are to be off on any given day. Without this ability to plan ahead, it is impossible to know if there will be adequate staffing available to avoid taking fire trucks or ambulances out of service. It would be fiscally irresponsible to agree to any pay hikes or other contract benefits without some assurance that the rank and file is going to be willing to commit to showing up for work when scheduled.

And from the firefighters:

“So now I’m looking at a 3 percent offer that reduces the cap on holidays, reduces the cap on vacations and I’m not supposed to take that, or have these members take that, as, in essence, a slap in the face,” union negotiator Michelle Bohreer said.

I don’t think they are getting along.

What is the point of the following? This is from today’s Chron:

As Harris County continues its quest to prove that Dave Wilson did not live in Houston Community College District II when he ran to represent the district, some are asking whether enough is enough.

The question in the case – whether Wilson lived in an apartment in a warehouse on West 34th Street or with his wife at a home outside the district, which he has listed on tax forms – was answered earlier this month by a jury. The panel unanimously determined that Wilson lived at the 34th Street address. But the county this week asked the judge in the case to throw out the jury’s decision, arguing Wilson can’t legally claim two residences.

“I’m not a fan of Wilson. He’s a social conservative, I’m not. He’s a Republican; I’m a liberal Democrat,” said Marc Campos, a political consultant. “But that being said, there are some folks that I’ve talked to privately who have kind of wondered, you know, why, after he was elected, why they decided to go after him then, nobody went after him when he first filed. … I think some wonder whether it’s the proper (use of) resources of the county attorney’s office at this point.”

The county is using a legal tactic wherein a party can argue that the facts in a case are indisputable and a judge can determine a jury’s verdict was wrong. It’s called non obstante veredicto, Latin for notwithstanding the verdict, and is essentially the after-trial version of a summary judgment. While it’s not unusual, it’s not typically successful, legal experts said.

“You take your shot at it and see if it works – and usually it doesn’t. Ninety-nine times out of 100 it doesn’t,” said David Crump, a professor at the University of Houston Law Center who teaches civil procedure courses, among others.

The case needs to be settled once and for all by the courts, said assistant county attorney Douglas Ray. He said the jury’s ruling sent a message that “anything goes” when it comes to claiming residency to run for office or claim tax exemptions.

Meaningless concept?

“A lot of people are looking at the result of this and concluding that … the concept of residency, as far as qualifying for election goes, is meaningless,” Ray said. “If Mr. Wilson can claim he lives in a warehouse at the same time he has a homestead exemption at another location, then anybody can claim to live anywhere.

“I’ve been kidding around with people saying I’m going to put up a cot in my office and register to vote there. Who’s to say I’m wrong? It’s really come into focus since the case was decided … that a lot of people are looking at this as a license to basically ignore the rules.”

‘A long shot’

Wilson said the home is in his wife’s name and she is the sole beneficiary of the exemption.

Jury verdicts tend to be regarded as final, said Frank Carroll, who runs TexAppBlog.com, an appellate law blog for non-appellate lawyers, and coaches moot court and mock trial at the University of Houston Law Center.

“There’s almost a dogma that when a jury makes a verdict, we don’t like to upset those verdicts,” Carroll said. “As far as the odds go, it’s kind of a long shot. It’s not the longest shot, but certainly the odds are against you.”

However Judge Mike Engelhart rules after an Aug. 18 hearing, the dispute is likely far from over.

“No matter which way he rules, it’s going to go to the appellate court for a better answer,” Ray said.

Dexter Fowler of course has six stolen bases this season – the second most on the club – and Dexter is still on the DL.

The team made a trade yesterday. We will just have to wait and see if it is a good trade or not.

Big Puma bobble heads will be given away this evening and Roy O. bobble heads will be handed out Sunday afternoon.

Don’t ask me what the club is doing. Don’t ask me how long we have to wait before we start winning more than we lose.

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