Archive for October 14th, 2014

Harris County’s Mail Ballot Director sent this message out yesterday along with the latest mail ballot numbers:

I have attached the campaign application source totals as of Monday, October 13, 2014.

We are very close to passing the Presidential totals and should pass them in the next few days.

As of yesterday (Oct. 13) here in Harris County, 84,480 mail ballot applications have been submitted. 37,869 of the applications have been generated by the Democratic Party or Democratic candidate campaigns and 36,241 by the GOP and GOP candidate campaigns.

It is obvious that Dems have ramped up their efforts. It also helps that both candidates for governor are on the air. It also helps that there has been a considerable amount of press and media coverage this election cycle – a heckuva lot more than usual. And then there is the latest Team Davis ad that just got covered on the “Today” show, it sure is generating a whole lot of interest.

The Chron has a story on the ad today and the Chron E-Board also has a take. Here is from the story:

Dennis Borel, executive director of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, said it is always a “good thing that candidates are reaching out to a community that is too often overlooked.” However, he said he wishes the both Abbott and Davis would use the spotlight on disabled people to discuss the problems they regularly face, including higher-than-average unemployment rates and underpaid caretakers.

“We’re not offended, we don’t feel pandered to, we don’t feel insulted,” Borel said. “But, hey, now that you’re talking about wheelchairs, let’s talk about the real issues facing three million Texans.”

SMU political science professor Cal Jillson said an apology may not be warranted, adding he thinks the ad’s reception already has evolved well beyond where it stood on Friday.

“I think opinion has shifted on the ad over the last couple days to a position that what made it shocking also makes it effective,” said Jillson, explaining that people are getting over their initial reactions.

“We’re in the middle of the match, and both people are back at the baseline hitting the ball as hard as they can,” he added. “Really, this is a stalemate in the sense that they are fighting for advantage over the imagery and the content of that ad. … This is a jump ball. It could go either way. But right now, it’s tending toward with Davis.”

Go to the E-Board take here: http://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/Bad-ad-5820089.php.

I think all the ad run helps Team Davis. I also think it helps Dem turnout here locally.

When the Giants swept the Tigers in four to take the 2012 World Serious, who was named the Serious MVP?

A mayoral skirmish?

This is interesting. Chris Bell thinks Rep. Sylvester Turner has an unfair advantage in fundraising heading into next year’s H-Town mayoral contest. Check this from the Chron:

Likely mayoral candidate Chris Bell is asking the city of Houston to reconsider its interpretation of an ordinance that would give Sylvester Turner a major fundraising advantage when he runs for mayor next year.

Bell’s law partner, Geoff Berg, sent City Attorney David Feldman a letter last week arguing that Turner and potential candidate Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia should not be able to raise money for their officeholder accounts and then transfer most of the funds to their mayoral accounts at the start of the race. As detailed in the Chronicle last month, Turner has raised money for his unopposed state legislative race this fall and has plans to eventually transfer the first $5,000 of each donation this winter. That is the limit for individual donations in a city election.

Feldman has signed off on Turner’s plan, but many campaign finance experts do not share his interpretation, instead arguing that candidates should merely be able to make a single $10,000 donation to the mayoral bid from their officeholder account. That is how much an entity like a PAC is allowed to donate under the city’s ordinance.

Bell, like other potential candidates who do not hold non-city offices, is prohibited from raising any money for a mayor’s race until Feb. 1. Berg argues in his letter that this unequal footing is ultimately unfair.

“The Ordinance simply cannot reasonably be read to mean anything other than what it says: the maximum amount which may be transferred from non-city campaign accounts is $10,000,” Berg wrote. “The blackout period was not intended to be a fundraising bonanza for officeholders at the expense of citizens who may wish to get involved in public service.”

Turner’s campaign raised more than $400,000 at a fundraiser last month, according to his campaign, and more fundraisers are planned.

The City Attorney is not going to change his mind. Maybe Bell ought to go get some of the former members of City Council who passed the current ordinance to explain their intent. If anything Bell can probably score some points on Turner by making noise on the issue and saying that the system is rigged, flawed and in need of reform. Stay tuned.

Pablo Sandoval of course was named the MVP of the 2012 World Serious.

The ALCS and NLCS get going again today.

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