Archive for June 15th, 2015

Ballot Language

Everybody knows that Bill King is one of the country’s leading experts on hurricane preparedness and evacuations. He has been recognized for his work in the past. That’s not why they are calling the next tropical storm Bill though.

The Meyerland Dems will host a mayoral candidate forum this evening.

Here is the 2010 ballot language on Rebuild Houston:

City of Houston, PROPOSITION NO.1

Relating to the Creation of a Dedicated Funding Source to Enhance,
Improve and Renew Drainage Systems and Streets.
Shall the City Charter of the City of Houston be amended to provide
for the enhancement, improvement and ongoing renewal of Houston’s
drainage and streets by creating a Dedicated Pay-As-You-Go Fund for
Drainage and Streets?

From the Chron:

Houston’s divisive, multibillion-dollar effort to fund two decades of street and drainage improvements faces an uncertain future after the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that the ballot measure voters narrowly approved in 2010 obscured the nature and cost of the drainage fee at the heart of the ReBuild Houston program.


(Mayor Annise) Parker downplayed Friday’s ruling.

“This is but one step in the ongoing legal process,” she said. “It does not change the city’s ability to continue with the program that has resulted in millions of dollars of drainage and street improvements throughout Houston since its implementation. Of course, we, respectfully, disagree with the court’s decision and are reviewing our options.”


Houston appellate lawyer Richard Hogan, who is not involved in the litigation, said a separate legal action would have to be launched to make the drainage fee disappear from residents’ water bills. However, after reading the Supreme Court opinion and related filings, Hogan said he would put his money on an eventual victory for the plaintiffs.

“It’s hard for me to imagine that they’re not going to win the case when it goes back,” Hogan said. “I can’t imagine that, after the Supreme Court said all this, that a trial judge in Texas would thumb his or her nose at the Supreme Court and tell them, ‘No, it wasn’t misleading.’ ”

Here is the entire Chron piece: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Texas-Supreme-Court-sends-ReBuild-lawsuit-back-to-6324772.php.

Here is from Kuffer:

1. I freely admit this may just be sour grapes on my part, but I have a hard time seeing this ruling as anything but ridiculous. I don’t know how any actual voter who didn’t spend the last six months of 2010 in a coma could have failed to understand that voting for the Renew Houston proposition meant imposing a fee on themselves. I’m struggling to not see politics at the root of this decision.

2. So far the only Mayoral campaign reactions I have seen to this have been press releases from Bill King and Ben Hall, both of which hit my mailbox on Friday, and both of which were happy about the ruling. (Mayor Parker also put out a press release, which was quoted in full in the Chron story.) I’ve looked at the Facebook pages of the other five candidates, and so far nothing. Chris Bell, Sylvester Turner, Steve Costello, Adrian Garcia, and Marty McVey – what are you waiting for?

3. There’s still a lot of legal wrangling to come, but it’s fair to say that ReBuild Houston is on life support and may not survive. If it goes down, then what if anything replaces it? I feel like I spent a lot of time back in 2010 asking Renew Houston opponents what they would do to provide more funds for flooding and drainage improvements, and I never got anything resembling a coherent answer. So I’ll ask again, with an eye especially at the Mayoral candidates. If not ReBuild Houston, then what? How do you provide more funds to do more street repairs and flood abatement? Remember, we live in a revenue cap world, so simply proposing a property tax increase (not that anyone would, I suppose) is insufficient. If you don’t propose some kind of supplemental revenue stream, then as far as I’m concerned you’re not serious about wanting to do street improvements and flood mitigation. If you do have a proposal, then I want specifics, and I want to see evidence that you’re going to fight for it. Say what you want about Steve Costello, and I’m sure he’s going to take his fair share of abuse and criticism now, but he put his money where his mouth was in 2010, and he got something passed. If the Supreme Court has taken that away, what will you do instead?

The Mayor then tweeted this yesterday:

Annise Parker ‏@AnniseParker 24s24 seconds ago
Rebuild Houston added $600 mil of completed, in construction & planned street/drainage work. Ask mayoral candidates how they’d replace.-A

I guess she stopped reviewing her options.

Well this is a mess for sure.

Everybody knows that Commentary worked on the Renew Houston campaign back in 2010. It won and became Rebuild Houston after City Hall took ownership. During the 2010 campaign, it was kind of hard to get elected officials to support the campaign. They stayed away from the campaign. We did a lot better with organizations and groups.

It will be interesting to see what elected officials do with this now.

Name the MLB club with the highest run differential this morning?

When it comes to H-Town politics and campaigns I can speak with authority. When it comes to San Antonio politics and campaigns I don’t know squat.

I followed the recent SA mayoral campaign by reading articles on the Express News website or the Trib. I also had a few brief discussions about the race with a couple of H-Town folks who do business in SA. That’s it.

I have not had a chance to politic or campaign in SA since 2000, so I didn’t see any of the ads, read the mail, or talk to voters about the campaigns. So I could not even give you a half-arse take on what happened Saturday other than to report the final score.

The Trib has a thorough account of what happened and here is a part:

“At the end of the day, we needed 3,000 Democrats to get off their asses and go vote, and they didn’t,” said Colin Strother, a Democratic consultant who had worked for the fourth-place finisher in the first round of the race, former Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson. “And that’s the story of our life in Texas politics, is that Democrats could elect anyone they wanted to any position — statewide, local, you name it — if they would get off the couch and go vote, and they don’t do it.”

Here is the entire piece: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/06/14/taylors-triumph-new-day-or-another-fluke/.

The Jays of course are on top in the run differential category and have outscored their opponents by 71 runs.

Well, we still have a two and a half game lead. We scored 24 runs this past weekend and tossed two shutouts. The Rockies are now in for two and the crowds are getting bigger.

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