Archive for August 13th, 2015

Their Terms

How can one argue about this? This tweet:

Bill King ‏@BillKingForHou 5h5 hours ago
Mid-West SN mtg. We need to decentralize the City and give discretion to neighborhoods to manage their affairs. BK

Last season’s base hit leader Jose Altuve has 130 base hits this season and is tied for 13th in MLB. Name the player who leads in base hits this season?

Everybody knows Commentary’s position on City of H-Town term limits. I oppose term limits. If we are going to change them, we need to put together a serious grass roots, business community supported campaign. We have not done that.

Yesterday, City Council put forward a term limit ballot measure for this November. Here is from the Chron’s Katherine Driessen:

Under a measure approved Wednesday by the City Council, Houston elected officials could serve a maximum of two four-year terms instead of the current limit of three two-year terms, starting in 2016.

The council voted 12-5 in favor of sending the switch to voters, with Councilmen Richard Nguyen, Mike Laster, Steve Costello, Michael Kubosh and C.O. Bradford voting no, several saying it was the wrong time to seek the change.

The change, if passed, would take effect for officials elected this fall. Current freshman council members could pick up two four-year terms and those serving their second terms would be permitted one four-year term. Elected officials already in their third terms, such as Mayor Annise Parker, would not be eligible for any more time in office.


The council generally has supported lengthening terms, but there has been disagreement about whether such a change should go into effect immediately or in 2020, when no current office holder could benefit.

Mayor Annise Parker said the 2020 proposal would be more favorable to voters, but supports the general principle of lengthening terms regardless of the start date. At the council meeting, Parker paused several beats and exhaled deeply before casting the first “yes” vote to send the 2016 proposal to voters.


Parker warned that without a robust campaign, the issue was unlikely to gain traction with voters. She has committed her time to supporting the equal rights ordinance, which, by court order, also will be on the ballot under a repeal measure.

University of Houston political scientist Richard Murray said that without a popular city leader pushing the change without standing to benefit personally, it is likely to fail at the ballot.

“It’s difficult enough to get something like that passed,” Murray said. “Unless you get an outside group that would not have a direct stake, it’s just an overwhelming task.”

Rice University political scientist Mark Jones called it the wrong time to take the issue to voters. The presence of the city’s equal rights ordinance on the ballot, along with an open mayoral race already are taking up much of voters’ attention, Jones said.

The decision to support the 2016 proposal over the 2020 one inevitably will invite criticism, he said. A recent KHOU/News 88.7 poll found that just 25 percent of likely voters surveyed supported the change to two four-year terms.

“The hole was already deep, and they dug it a little bit deeper,” Jones said. “If your goal is at some point to modify term limits, you are doing that cause a great disservice by placing it on the ballot now. If it loses by a landslide, you run the risk that for the next decade opponents can say they rejected it. You can’t keep going back to the well.”
Around the dais Wednesday, council members supporting the 2016 proposal attempted to head off criticism that the switch is self-serving.

Councilman Jerry Davis, who authored the 2016 amendment, said voters can always oust a council member. For those council members already serving their districts well, he said, the lengthened terms will allow for more time spent on policy rather than campaigns.

Here is the entire Driessen article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/City-Council-adds-term-limits-to-busy-November-6441001.php.

Make no mistake. This is a City Council driven initiative. We should fully expect those that voted for the measure and who stand to benefit to go out and raise money for this campaign and spend their own campaign funds.

And we had this tweet yesterday:

Rebecca Elliott ‏@rfelliott 10h10 hours ago
.@BenHall2015 gets applause here at Heights-Area Chamber event for line warning against #HERO because of transgender bathroom provision

Nelson Cruz of the Mariners leads MLB with 140 base hits of course.

We won yesterday and now have a two game lead with 47 games left to play. Tomorrow we start a 10 game homie. We host the Tigers for 3, the Rays for 4, then the Dodgers for 3. The Sunday Dodger game on August 23 will be carried nationally on TBS.

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