Archive for February 23rd, 2015

Benched Dems

There was a Chron piece by Brian Rosenthal from this past weekend about Texas Dems not being on the attack on the current state contracting scandal. The piece kind of speaks to where Dems aren’t right now. Here is how the Chron piece starts out:

Four high-ranking state officials have resigned, a criminal investigation has begun and ethics reform has become an “emergency” item for the Legislature after reports found that hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money may not have been spent wisely.

But two months into the scandal, Texas Democrats have done little to take advantage of state contracting irregularities that took place on the watch of former Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican who is widely seen as pursuing a 2016 presidential candidacy.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, called attention to that fact this week, casting it as a missed opportunity for a party scrambling to recover from yet another electoral smackdown.

In interviews since then, Democratic leaders have said their lack of emphasis of the scandal has been due to its unique timing, their poor organization and an intentional decision based on the complicated nature of the subject matter and an effort to try to make some progress in a Legislature that allows them to chair some committees.


The strategic questions started with Castro’s comment Thursday, which came in response to a question about how Democrats could become competitive in Texas.

The prominent congressman brought up the scandal, which centers on a $110 million Medicaid fraud detection contract awarded without competition to an Austin technology firm that had no Medicaid experience.


“Listen,” Castro said, “if you can’t point out to the people of Texas when the other side is doing bad things, then how would you ever expect the people of Texas to think that they’re doing bad things?”

Political experts agreed with the congressman’s assessment.

“The Democrats desperately need to press this issue if they have any hope of toppling Republican incumbents,” said Brandon Rottinghaus, a University of Houston professor.

Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak said he did not know why Democrats had not made a bigger deal of the no-bid scandal.

“They’re not very well organized and appear to have no coherent strategy,” Mackowiak said, “so nothing they do or don’t do surprises me.”

Here is the entire Chron piece: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/In-state-contracting-scandal-relative-silence-6092886.php?t=71ab79ec4829895b84&cmpid=twitter-premium.

I have to agree that Dems are not very well organized these days. Honestly, who are kind of the statewide Dem leaders these days? Who are Dems supposed to look to anyway? Who is in charge?

We came away from the 2014 elections thinking that nothing works including attacking the GOP here in Texas so why continue the attacks? We have to have a strategy if you ask me and we don’t have one. Do we even have anyone to put together a strategy?

I guess for now it is a story of the benched Dems!

By now we know that former ‘Stro Jason Lane smacks a dinger in “Boyhood.” Who were the ‘Stros playing when Lane got his dinger?

Commentary is a fan of the “Sound of Music” classic movie and I have to say that Lady Gaga nailed it last night. I also want to say that “Birdman” director Alejandro Iñárritu and Sean Penn are friends and worked together on “21 Grams.”

You can pretty much scratch Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker off of the list of folks that could become president. You don’t get to be elected president after saying something like the following. Here is from Politico:

Walker was also asked by The Washington Post whether the president is a Christian and answered “I don’t know” to that as well. “I’ve never asked him that,” the governor said. “You’ve asked me to make statements about people that I haven’t had a conversation with about that. How [could] I say if I know either of you are a Christian?”

Really? You gotta be kidding!

A GOP State Senator has filed a bill that would have the Texas Secretary of State Office issue marriage licenses. What is next? How about having folks pick up their marriage license at the local GOP headquarters instead of having to drive to Austin?

I was browsing through a 1969 ‘Stros game program the other day. You know what was the most expensive concession at the Dome in 1969? How about a combination sandwich for a buck. The cheapest concession? Peanuts, popcorn, potato chips, a seven ounce soft drink, and coffee for fifteen cents each.

Jason Lane smacked his “Boyhood” dinger off of Matt Wise of the Brewers of course back in April of 2006.

The rest of the team reports to Spring Training tomorrow.

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