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Archive for July 21st, 2015

Sign Me Up!

Trump in the headlines is always helpful to Dems. Keep on trumping. Who is next on the insult list?

The struggling Red Sox are in town for three. Name the Red Sox player with the highest batting average on the team?

Is Rep. Sylvester Turner the favorite to win the GLBT endorsement for H-Town Mayor after signing up a bunch of folks? He is playing by the rules. We will see on August 8. Check out Rebecca Elliott’s piece today from the Chron:

Houston’s mayoral candidates are angling for the GLBT Caucus’ coveted support, with state Rep. Sylvester Turner’s campaign purchasing dozens of memberships and others urging supporters to sign up ahead of the group’s August endorsement meeting.

In the last month, caucus membership jumped by about 200 people, from 325 to 525, leaving some longtime members, particularly supporters of former congressman Chris Bell, concerned that this year’s endorsement already may have been bought.

Caucus President Maverick Welsh, however, said the campaigns’ efforts will not be enough to tip the scales.

“We know campaigns actively try to push as many people into the room as possible, and that’s why we’ve strategically tried to grow our membership over the last year and a half,” Welsh said. “I don’t think any candidate has enough members to be able to buy an endorsement.”

The group was formed in 1975, in an effort to provide support for gay-friendly candidates. Spurned in its early days by candidates seeking elected office, the GLBT Caucus endorsement now is highly sought-after in citywide races, its nod having become a stamp of approval for the city’s progressive voters. As a result, campaigns often push people to sign up in an effort to accrue more votes on endorsement day.

Former congressman Chris Bell has been actively encouraging supporters to join and show up for the August meeting, while City Councilman Stephen Costello has pursued what his campaign described as a “low-key effort” to get people to join the caucus’ ranks.

Turner, on the other hand, opted to write the group a $3,040 check two weeks ago – enough for at least 76 memberships, according to spokeswoman Sue Davis.

“It’s something that’s done every year,” Davis said.

All three candidates, as well as former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, are seen as contenders for the caucus endorsement.

However, the scale of Turner’s purchase has garnered attention within the group’s ranks, and caused some in Bell’s camp to worry.

“It’s insulting to the caucus, I think,” said member David Arpin, a Bell supporter. “What does that say about the organization’s endorsement, if the organization’s endorsement is basically worth as much as you’ll pay?”

The issue is particularly acute for Bell, a longtime ally of the gay community – one of the few that consistently votes in Houston’s municipal races – as he currently has less money in the bank than any of the top-tier candidates.

“If he doesn’t get the endorsement, that may cause a reassessment of his campaign,” said Richard Murray, a political science professor at the University of Houston.

The group’s backing is less crucial, but still important, for Turner, who already has a sizable base of support, Murray said, noting that Garcia least needs the endorsement.

Former caucus president Noel Freeman, a Costello supporter, said campaigns also purchased or sponsored memberships during his tenure, though not enough to sway the outcome of the endorsement process.

“I never saw an endorsement vote that was so close that (it) would have made a difference,” he said, adding that he never saw a campaign purchase more than 45 memberships during his tenure from 2011 to 2013.

Welsh, who expects the caucus to send its endorsement card to upwards of 41,000 households, played down the idea that the campaigns’ efforts would swing the vote, but said the uptick in membership is a good thing.

“It’s kind of nice to be in the position of being the belle of the ball for once,” he said.

Former caucus president and Turner supporter Kris Banks agreed.

“I think everyone signing everyone up is just to kind of keep up with everyone else,” Banks said. “I think the members are going to decide for themselves.”

I just hope the folks that got signed up believe in the cause. I wonder if Rep. Turner signed up folks for Tejano Dems?

I am flabbergasted why they go through these exercises knowing full well that it will never become law. Immigrant bashing just guarantees the Latino vote for Dems. Here is from CNN:

The immigration debate, which has roiled the Republican 2016 presidential field, is coming to the House of Representatives this week.

House GOP leaders have scheduled a vote on legislation that withholds federal money for states or local governments that have policies that prohibit federal officials from enforcing immigration laws.

After Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman, made controversial comments about the danger posed by Mexican immigrants in announcing his candidacy other GOP candidates have been pressed about their own positions on how they would reform immigration laws.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts of course leads the Red Sox in hitting with a .309 batting average.

We have won two out of three but have fallen two games behind. We can’t let down against the Red Sox who are on a five game losing streak.

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