Archive for October, 2015

Ballot History

The Mets won their first World Serious in 1969. Name the 1969 World Serious Mets players who are in the Hall of Fame?

Commentary hasn’t spent a whole lot of time talking about the H-Town City Council District H race for obvious reasons. I will talk about ballot history though. Does it matter? Commentary is talking about the current election and folks that have been on the ballot in past elections.

Roland Chavez ran for an At-Large position two years ago. Does that help? Karla Cisneros has run successfully and served before. Ditto for Abel Davila. Plus his wife Diana is also on the ballot this year and they have a pretty good record on Election Day. I am one of those that doesn’t underestimate the Davilas. Jason Cisneroz doesn’t have a ballot history but he has been closely involved with the last two District H city council members so that does help?

Speaking of, I got another Tom McCasland mailer yesterday. But he is going up against Harris County Dem Party Chair Lane Lewis and HCC Trustee Chris Oliver who both have past successful ballot history. On the other hand, Griff Griffin probably has way too much ballot history.

I really don’t have anything to say about yesterday’s Early Voting totals other than to say that today’s will be better.

Rebuild Houston took another hit in court yesterday. The judge ordered another election. Here is how the Mayor responded:

We are disappointed with the court’s ruling and are considering our legal options, including a possible appeal. This case places at risk the voter approved amendment to the City Charter that prohibits the City from using debt financing or spending the drainage fee on anything other than street and drainage improvements. Those two issues have nothing to do with whether the city is able to continue the Rebuild Houston program and the collection of the drainage fee. The ordinance remains valid and in effect.

And here is from the Chron:

Whatever effect the ruling may have on next week’s mayoral race is not likely to be felt until a probable runoff, said Rice University political scientist Bob Stein.

With the drainage fee in jeopardy, candidates will be forced to stake out a position on the contentious issue of whether they would take the fee back to voters and if they would modify or abandon the larger ReBuild program, Stein said.

In the last few days before Tuesday’s election, with six top candidates still jockeying for term-limited Parker’s seat, Stein said, it is unlikely to immediately force any meaningful debate.

“The good news is, this will focus the runoff campaign on really serious issues,” Stein said. “It’s not just a drainage fee; it’s something that links to recent flooding and the quality of the roads. The candidates are going to have address it.”

It will be a good topic of discussion in the runoff for sure.

Hall of Fame greats Tom “Terrific” Seaver and Nolan Ryan of course played for the Mets in the 1969 World Serious.

Here is from the ‘Stros website:

Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel, catcher Jason Castro and second baseman Jose Altuve on Thursday were named finalists at their positions in the American League for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, given annually to the best fielder at his position in each league.

The winners will be announced Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN.

A win would be glovely.

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2 Days

Commentary said this yesterday:

Commentary makes it a point to put a phone number on campaign literature in case a voter wants to ask a question or wants a yard sign. Guess what? We do get calls.

Many of the calls are in Spanish. Some of these folks are asking where the candidates stand on Proposition 1?

The pro-HERO folks have raised more than $3 mil since mid-August. I sure hope they bought some TV ads on Univision and Telemundo. They certainly had the money. If they didn’t, I don’t think that was too smart.

It turns out they didn’t. Really? Blunder?

I mean, they had Council Member Ed Gonzalez in an ad. You could have asked him to stick around and cut an ad in Spanish. Ed speaks good Spanish.

Adrian Garcia ran Spanish language ads and should have and he had the money to do so. I would not have recommended it for his opponents.

The pro-HERO folks had $3 mil and they should have run some Spanish language TV ads – period.

If HERO wins, not running Spanish language ads will end up not being a big deal.

If it loses in a photo finish – well.

If HERO wins, maybe Telemundo and Univision ought to be the first file a complaint with the OIG against the pro-HERO campaign for discrimination.

The Royals lead 2 zip in the World Serious. When was the last time we had a Serious sweep?

I got another mailer yesterday from the CWA slamming Adrian Garcia. That’s two slams in five days. This time it also went to non-Spanish language surname households. Oh, well.

And then this from Rebecca Elliott and houstonchronicle.com:

Former Houston Mayor Bill White publicly praised Adrian Garcia Wednesday, but stopped short of endorsing him for mayor.

Well short.

“Adrian is a problem solver who knows how to bring people together to get things done, keep Houston safe, and squeeze the most out of each tax dollar,” White said in a statement to be used in Garcia’s paid advertising. “His high personal integrity and humble, effective leadership style make him a public servant that all Houstonians can rely on.”

White insisted that it is not an endorsement, nor a statement of support.

He said he does not plan to endorse in the mayor’s race.

What is the point of even putting out something this late in the game? Go on ahead. You can scratch your head on this one.

I said this yesterday

The best day of Early Voting in 2015 was yesterday. Mendenhall was number two with 1015 folks showing up.

Well, the best day of Early Voting in 2015 was yesterday. Mendenhall was number two with 1025 folks showing up.

Two days of EV left. At this rate, nobody is going to show up Tuesday.

In 2012, the Giants swept the Tigers in the World Serious of course.

The Houston Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America named Dallas Keuchel team MVP and Pitcher of the Year, and Carlos Correa Rookie of the Year.

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Not Home

I am all for going door to door and identifying voters and getting them out to vote. On the block walk list you get to mark supporter, yard sign, undecided, no support, refused, inaccessible, and not home. You know which box gets the most check marks. Not home.

It is tough to reach a lot of folks by going door to door but you still have to try.

Commentary makes it a point to put a phone number on campaign literature in case a voter wants to ask a question or wants a yard sign. Guess what? We do get calls.

Many of the calls are in Spanish. Some of these folks are asking where the candidates stand on Proposition 1?

The pro-HERO folks have raised more than $3 mil since mid-August. I sure hope they bought some TV ads on Univision and Telemundo. They certainly had the money. If they didn’t, I don’t think that was too smart.

Watching the game last night reminded me of Game 3 of the 2005 World Serious at The Yard. How many innings did we play that night?

Here is the Trib’s take on the Prop 1 campaign: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/10/28/houston-ordinance-vote-next-big-test-lgbt-advocate/.

The best day of Early Voting in 2015 was yesterday. Mendenhall was number two with 1015 folks showing up.

The Roundtable Ballot is out. You get 5 points if you pick HERO to lose. You get 10 if you pick HERO to win. What about them odds.

Here is part of what the Bill King campaign put out this morning:

I have some good news for you. Another campaign organization polled about 2,000 people that have already voted. Their poll showed that Turner and I are pulling away from the rest of the field!

But please do not let up. Let’s build on this momentum for the run off.

Game 3 of the 2005 World Serious at The Yard lasted 14 innings of course.

This was put out by the team yesterday:

In a continuing effort to bring the most exciting and entertaining events to Houston, Minute Maid Park will host its first-ever cricket match on November 11 at 8:00 PM CT.

Global cricket icons Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne will headline a star-studded lineup of renowned cricket players from around the world in the inaugural “Cricket All-Star Series,” a three-game series in New York City, Houston and Los Angeles. The historic tour marks the first time these legends have played in the U.S., and also renews the famous rivalry between “Master Blaster” Tendulkar and “King of Spin” Warne.

The “Cricket All-Star Series” kicks off on November 7 at Citi Field in New York City, with the second match taking place on November 11 at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The final match in the series will be on November 14 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

The tickets aren’t cheap either.

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Here is from a Texas Tribune story today on the race for H-Town Mayor:

“For me, it doesn’t matter who’s in second or third,” (State Rep. Sylvester) Turner said after shaking hands at a retirement community on the city’s southwest side. “My deal is on November the third, I want to make sure that we’re No. 1 and that No. 2 is so far behind that it really doesn’t matter.”

That is pretty bold talk if you ask me. I am sure it does matter to his campaign folks who is in second. Yeah, yeah, the political observers are agreeing that he has pretty much wrapped up one of the runoff slots, but nobody is really talking about who will be in a Sylvester administration.

We still have a long way to go.

Here is more from the Trib on the mayoral contest:

At the same time, (Adrian) Garcia has faced more scrutiny of his time as Harris County’s top lawman. His rivals have taken aim at a drop in crime clearance rates under his leadership, as well as how he handled the 2013 mistreatment of a mentally ill inmate. Former congressman Chris Bell, a Democrat, has taken the lead in raising those questions.

(Garcia campaign spokeswoman Annalee) Gulley admitted September was “kind of a tough month” but maintained Garcia had a target on his back as a frontrunner. People outside the campaign offer blunter assessments of how he dealt with a series of unflattering stories about his record as sheriff.

“No question, he simply failed to respond to this, and voters penalized him accordingly,” said Bob Stein, a Rice University political scientist who predicted last week that Garcia would continue to be haunted by the slide through Election Day. “At this moment, I’m expecting to see a runoff between Bill King and Sylvester Turner.”

Analysts say the softening of Garcia’s support has made the home stretch even more critical for him, putting him in the position of having to re-galvanize a predominantly Hispanic base that has grown a bit weary after all the attacks. On a conference call Sunday, Garcia implored supporters to prove wrong the naysayers, warning that “there are people out there who are counting on the Latino community not showing up to the polls.”

I think more Latinos are showing up to vote. But so are a lot of other folks.

Here is the Texas Tribune story: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/10/27/houston-mayoral-race/.

Name the player who has drawn the most career World Serious walks? Hint: He is in the Hall of Fame and no longer with us.

This past June I had lunch with a highly respected player and he described a pathway on how Bill King gets into a runoff. I ran in to him last night and he was quick to remind me about our June conversation. Look, we are a long way from next Tuesday but Bill is certainly a topic of conversation.

Meanwhile, yesterday, the Steve Costello campaign went negative on Bill in a mailer yesterday.

Early Voting locations continue to surpass 2013 totals as we can now add Moody Park, Acres Homes and Octavia to the list.

Mickey Mantle of course leads in career World Serious walks with 43.

The World Serious gets underway this evening and yesterday the AL players voted Carlos Correa the Sporting News AL Rookie of the Year. Nice!

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First things first.

Happy Birthday today to my very good friend, State Representative Carol Alvarado!

The World Serious starts tomorrow evening. Including this year, how many times have the Mets been to the Serious?

The Communications Workers of America Working Voice put a brutal mail hit on Adrian Garcia this past weekend. The hit focused on the Ted Oberg KTRK-TV story on the inmate who was wallowing in his own you know what. The tag lines are: If Adrian Garcia can’t run the jail, how can we trust him to run the city. And: VOTE “NO” ON ADRIAN GARCIA FOR MAYOR ON NOV. 3.

Why the hit? To make sure Adrian doesn’t get into a runoff?

In order for negative mail to really work, you have to mail around three or four times. So let’s see if more mail lands this week after some folks have already voted. So far, I only know of Spanish language surnames that got the piece.

CWA endorsed Rep. Sylvester Turner. I wonder if CWA is going to play the role of third party hitman for Sylvester during the runoff.

I wonder if CWA is still smarting over AT&T losing the City of H-Town $10 million cell phone contract to Sprint four years ago.

Speaking of, I am sure the Turner Campaign wasn’t too happy to see the front page story in Saturday’s Chron on Sylvester and Wayne Dolcefino and what happened in the 1991 H-Town mayoral race runoff. Wayne is working for Ben Hall.

Did you see Friday evening’s story on KHOU-TV by Doug Miller where they said Sylvester and Bill King could be headed to a runoff? Yeah, you probably didn’t so check it out here: http://www.khou.com/story/news/politics/2015/10/23/who-will-be-houstons-next-mayor-early-voting-offers-hints/74491118/.

I am not going to say anything about the Texans. I don’t need to.

After all of Early Voting in 2013, Holy Rosary had a total of 1183, after a week this year, Moody Park has 1009 or 85% of their 2013 Early Vote total.

Ripley after Early Voting in 2013 had 1074, after yesterday, 772 – or 72% of 2013.

HCC Southeast 1688 and 958 for 57% of 2013.

Acres Homes, 2272 and 1886 for 83%.

Kashmere, 1576 and 866 for 55%.

Palm Center, 2987 and 1579 for 53%.

Clear Lake, 3622 and 2727 for 75%.

Kingwood, 3543 and 4202 for BINGO!

Mendenhall, 5367 and 3928 for 73%.

West Gray, 8390 and 5486 for 65%.

And just who is helped out if we have a better than average turnout? The anti-Prop 1 folks?

Including this season, the Mets have been to the World Serious five times of course: 1969, 1973, 1986, 2000, and 2015.

I got to hand it to my pal Bill Kelly who tweeted this during the football game yesterday:

Bill Kelly ‏@billkellytexas 19h19 hours ago
When do catches & pitchers report? @HoustonTexans @SeanTPendergast @OrtizKicks @astros

Sometime in February.

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Bill King will Vote Early in Person in Clear Lake later this morning. I wonder how many media folks will head down I-45 South to give him some coverage. Hey, Clear Lake is part of H-Town.

The Blue Jays try to stay alive tonight in the ALCS. Who is the only Hall of Fame great wearing a Jays lid?

Again, I am not going to make much of an analysis. I will just lay out some of the numbers.

After all of Early Voting in 2013, Holy Rosary had a total of 1183, after four days this year, Moody Park has 609 or 51% of their 2013 Early Vote total.

Ripley after Early Voting in 2013 had 1074, after yesterday, 489 – or 46% of 2013.

HCC Southeast 1688 and 555 for 33% of 2013.

Acres Homes, 2272 and 1201 for 53%.

Kashmere, 1576 and 622 for 39%

Palm Center, 2987 and 1101 for 37%.

Clear Lake, 3622 and 1600 for 44%.

Kingwood, 3543 and 2321 for 66%.

Mendenhall, 5367 and 2256 for 42%.

West Gray, 8390 and 3153 for 38%.

Again, don’t focus on the total votes. Focus on the percentage of the 2013 EV.

It looks like Kingwood was raring to go. I hope folks did some campaigning out there. Interesting, don’t you think?

I checked out some of Hillary Clinton’s testimony yesterday and she handled business if you ask me.

Here is the roll call of the mail hitting here at my place yesterday: Houston Unites and Doug Peterson.

Roberto Alomar of course is in the Hall of Fame wearing a Jays lid.

There is a story in the Chron’s Sports Section today about our Skipper and other teams. I am thinking he’s not going anywhere.

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After 3 Days of EV

Again, I am not going to make much of an analysis. I will just lay out some of the numbers.

After three days in 2013, Holy Rosary had voted 203, after three days this year, Moody has 487 – 140% increase.

Ripley after three in 2013 had 233, after yesterday, 379 – a 62% increase.

HCC Southeast 373 and 439 – 18% increase.

Acres Homes, 421 and 909 – +116%.

Kashmere, 345 and 474 – +37%.

Palm Center, 631 and 887 – +41%.

Clear Lake, 647 and 1201 – +87%

Kingwood, 533 and 1722 – +223%.

Mendenhall, 835 and 1700 – +104%.

West Gray, 1553 and 2422 – +60%.

Don’t focus on the total votes. Focus on the percentage increase. Interesting, don’t you think?

The Mets are back in the World Serious after sweeping the Cubbies last night in the NLCS. When they last made it to the Serious in 2000, who did they beat in the NLCS that year to get to the Serious?

Like I said, it was Commentary’s birthday yesterday and I got some congrats, so thanks. Best line goes to my client and friend Karla Cisneros who told me “next year you get The Beatles song.” Oh, no!

The lead story in today’s Chron is about the City of H-Town’s revenue cap and property taxes. For the past few years, some folks at City Hall have been griping about the revenue cap. Here is from today’s Chron:

Mayor Annise Parker lamented the $20 million the city was not allowed to collect during its last budget year and the estimated $112 million it will not collect during the current fiscal year, as compared to the cap never having taken effect. Driven largely by rising pension costs and a spike in city debt payments, a $126 million deficit is projected for the budget a new mayor must compile next summer.

“This is a huge problem,” Parker said. “When you have the extreme pressures of burgeoning pension costs and caps on revenue – pension costs are going up a whole lot faster than 4.5 percent. It puts the city in even more of a squeeze than we’ve experienced in the past.”

Councilman Dwight Boykins, who represents south Houston, has spoken forcefully in favor of lifting the revenue cap, saying his residents demand services far more than they demand keeping a few extra dollars.

“We have to be able to provide public safety, trash services and improving the quality of life through parks, through infrastructure, and we cannot do it by continuing to go down this path,” he said. “This is ridiculous. This revenue cap is hindering and will continue to hinder the future of this city.”

Go get you a Chron if you want to read the rest.

If the revenue cap is that big of a deal at City Hall, why didn’t they put in on the ballot and ask H-Town voters to repeal the darn thing?

Here is the roll call of the mail hitting here at my place yesterday: HCDP for Prop 1, MJ Khan, Ellen Cohen, and State Prop 7.

In 2000, the Mets beat San Luis in five to take the NLCS of course.

I don’t have anything from The Yard this morning.

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On Day 2 of EV

I am not going to make much of an analysis. I will just lay out some of the numbers.

On Day 1, Moody Park voted 200 Early Vote in Person. Yesterday, 165.

Ripley on Day 1, 122. Yesterday 132.

HCC Southeast, 140 and 157.

Acres Homes, 329 and 316.

Kashmere, 191 and 148.

Palm Center, 321 and 279.

Clear Lake, 387 and 424.

Kingwood, 432 and 626.

Mendenhall, 472 and 589.

West Gray, 844 and 819.

I think I can say that the percentage make-up of the electorate shifted slightly from Day 1 to Day 2. The folks that were feeling good after Day 1 probably are not feeling as giddy now.

Go check out Kuffer’s take on EV here: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=70431.

Name the pitcher with the most career World Serious losses?

Today is “Back to the Future Day.” You know, from the flick, October 21, 2015. Remember when the flick said the Cubbies would sweep the World Serious in 2015? Well, the Cubbies could be swept today in the NLCS.

“Back to the Future Day” birthdays go to Kim Kardashian, Benjamin Netanyahu, Judge Judy, one of my fav actors Ken Watanabe, Star Wars’ Carrie Fisher, and Hall of Fame great Whitey Ford, plus throw in Commentary.

MJ Khan sure is putting a lot of dough into TV ads. Don’t you think?

Here is the roll call of the mail hitting here at my place yesterday: County Bonds, Eric Dick, Houston Unites, and Amanda Edwards.

Whitey Ford of course leads in World Serious career pitching losses with 8 but he also leads in wins with 10.

The team announced a few front office moves the other day and that’s all I have from The Yard.

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The Royals are still up two games to one in the ALCS. Some of us remember when they played in the World Serious in 1985 versus San Luis. How many then future Hall of Fame greats played in the 1985 Serious?

In 2009, at Moody Park on Day 1 of Early Voting 100 folks voted, In 2013, at Holy Rosary, on Day 1 of Early Voting, 69 folks voted. On Day 1 this year at Moody, 200 voted.

Ripley in 2009 – 63, 2013 – 86, 2015 – 122.

HCC Southeast 51 and 128 and 140.

Hardy 28 and 72 and 103.

West Gray 518 and 540 – 844.

Acres Homes – 135 and 163 and 329.

Sunnyside 157 and 185 and 297.

Palm Center 158 and 189 and 321.

Clear Lake 168 and 200 and 387.

Kingwood 120 and 168 and 432.

Mendenhall 261 and 256 and 472.

I would say it is a significant bump.

Kuffer has a good EV take today. Here it is:

1. Clearly, Day One totals are up from 2013. I would caution anyone from reading too much into this. For one, as more people have shifted to voting early, a larger percentage of the final total gets cast early. To put that another way, we can’t say from this that we are headed to a bigger turnout year, or more specifically to a bigger year of a given magnitude. My guess is that the more enthusiastic voters got themselves out on Day One instead of spreading their vote out a bit more through the week, but we’ll see. Someone will have to review the daily roster to get a feel for how many of Monday’s voters were old faithfuls and how many were not – remember, in 2013, about 30% of all voters had not voted in either of the previous two city elections. This information will be available, but we don’t have it yet, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

2. Same for mail ballots. When I reviewed them two weeks ago, I guessed we might be at 36-37,000 total ballots mailed out by today. We exceeded that by about ten percent, which puts us a good 25% above the mail ballot total from 2013, so we are definitely in line for more such ballots being returned this year. Again, though, that doesn’t mean more new voters – some number of these people are surely folks who had reliably turned out in person before. About 80% of the ballots that had been mailed out in 2013 were ultimately returned. As of Day One in 2013, 30% of all ballots that had been sent out were in the can. For this year, that total is 35%, so in keeping with the in person crowd, the absentee voters have been more prompt this year. We’ll keep an eye on that to see if the final tally is up.

3. Remember also, these are Harris County totals, not just Houston. It’s possible that more people in the not-Houston parts of Harris County have voted so far than they did in 2013. I doubt that would be very much, but again, until we see the rosters we’re just guessing.

4. Anecdotally, I’ve been seeing a ton of activity on Facebook about the election, and in particular the need to support HERO. A lot of that is from the usual suspects, though not all of it. It certainly feels like more interest than 2013, but it’s easy to lose perspective on that sort of thing. I also don’t have that many anti-HERO friends – certainly not the hardcore kind – so my view is skewed as well. But hey, at least we’re engaged.

Hall of Fame greats George Brett and Ozzie Smith of course played in the 1985 World Serious.

Too bad “The Force Awakens” has already been taken. It could have been a cool slogan for the ‘Stros this past season.

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HISD Trustee Anna Eastman sent this out yesterday:

Dear Friends,

Karla Cisneros is in the final stretch of her city council campaign. I’m supporting her because she has proven high ethical standards and a commitment to neighborhoods. I hope you will consider contributing to her campaign and voting for her if you live in her district.

Thanks! Anna

Re: plus we need more women on council!


Anna represents a significant portion of District H.

It would be nice to see H-Town women who want more women on the H-Town City Council to support Karla. She’s got a great shot so come on aboard!

A few folks are saying that voting begins today, the first day of Early Voting in Person. That really is not true. I said last week that over 8,000 mail ballots were already in. So the voting continues today.

Commentary has been going to the H-Town Mayoral Forum/Debates for months now. There have been over 50 or so and I have missed maybe less than a handful. They sure have evolved. The Channel 2 and Channel 11 debates from this past weekend certainly tell where we might be today and might be headed tomorrow.

A photo of Bill King on his big boat made a guest appearance at the Saturday night debate. I don’t know about that.

Maybe it has something to do with the Channel 2 poll that was released last Thursday evening. Here is from the Channel 2 story on their poll:

As of Oct. 15, State Representative Sylvester Turner finishes just ahead of the rest of the pack of 13 candidates with 20 percent of the vote; attorney Bill King gets 14 percent, neck-and-neck with former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia at 13 percent;, former US Representative Chris Bell with 12 percent, and City Council Member Stephen Costello at 11 percent.

We will know a little about what is happening after Day 1 of Early Voting in Person.

The Cubbies are down two zip to the Mets in the NLCS. Cubbie fans know that the last time they won a World Serious was in 1908 – who did they beat back then.

Here is the roll call of the mail hitting here at my place this campaign season: County Bonds, Chris Brown (2), Firefighters, Lane Lewis, Proposition 7, GLBT, Amanda Edwards (2), Marty McVey, Ellen Cohen, Mike McCasland (2), and Eric Dick.

Here is from a Politico.com story:

Donald Trump does not appear to be too concerned about a Hispanic entertainment coalition that wants to prevent him from hosting “Saturday Night Live” next month.

In a letter to NBCUniversal CEO Stephen Burke and showrunner Lorne Michaels, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts slammed the network’s decision to invite Trump to host as “nothing less than a ratings ploy” and demanding that it drop him from the show.

Here is the entire story: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/10/donald-trump-snl-hosting-latino-entertainment-group-reaction-214916#ixzz3p0xffplD.

I strongly disagree. The more of Trump on prime time, the better for Latino voter turnout in 2016.

The Cubbies beat the Tigers 4 games to 1 in the 1908 World Serious of course.

Nothing to report from The Yard today.

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