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Archive for November, 2015

Re-endorsement

A lot of folks have already voted by mail and Early Voting in Person begins on Wednesday and the final results will be announced in 12 days.

Who was the starting shortstop for the AL All Stars this past summer at Great American?

Karla Cisneros’ opponent has gone negative in mail. Today the Chron E-Board endorsed again in the District H council race. I am pretty sure that Karla’s opponent is not thrilled with what the E-Board said. Check this:

District H: Karla Cisneros has served as a teacher and board member for the Houston Independent School District. From those positions she has seen how Houston has become a city of haves and have-nots. Cisneros wants City Hall to step up and help kids and families to succeed.

While she expresses an idealistic agenda, Cisneros is able to find solutions in realistic policy. The L-shaped District H covers the single-family neighborhoods of Near Northside and Woodland Heights, and the townhouse rows of the East End. Longtime residents are seeing their communities change, and the right councilwoman can mean the difference between healthy growth or losing a part of our city.

In this runoff, Cisneros faces Jason Cisneroz, who worked for the term-limited incumbent, Councilman Ed Gonzalez. There’s no doubt that Cisneroz cares about his community, but he lacks the depth of knowledge that voters should expect from a City Hall staffer.

Like I said, they are probably not happy about today’s E-Board take.

Here is from Saturday’s E-Board thumbs ups and downs:

[Down] Don’t be surprised if you see a few dirty tricks in the run-up to the mayoral runoff – early voting starts Wednesday – but we didn’t expect City Hall to step into the fray. Last week, Sylvester Turner’s campaign promoted a city report that ever so conveniently bashes an infrastructure funding plan proposed by Bill King. The report – published by the city of Houston Department of Finance – was done at the request of Mayor Annise Parker.

Alcides Escobar of the Royals was the AL All Star starting shortstop of course. In 148 games he batted .257 with 3 dingers and 47 RBIs.

In 99 games, Carlos Correa batted .279 with 22 dingers and 68 RBIs.

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Karla Cisneros was endorsed this week by the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF Local 341. Nice!

On Opening Day this past April 6 against Cleveland at The Yard, who batted seventh in the starting lineup for the ‘Stros?

I saw this tweet yesterday:

Sylvester Turner Retweeted

Suzy Chandler ‏@suzytweet 3h3 hours ago

Tea Party uncle said he’s voting for @SylvesterTurner because he’s “the only guy who can actually balance the budget.” #ThanksgivingMiracle

I am sure the usual suspects are putting out the welcome mat for this voter.

How about this that was put out a couple of days ago:

Houston business icon Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale of Gallery Furniture has endorsed businessman Bill King for mayor in a new TV ad to begin airing in the Houston market soon.

You can view the new ad titled “Save You Money” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2YPFDobPgA&feature=youtu.be

Nice!

It looks like Steve Brown answered the Chron E-Board challenge to Fort Bend Dems. Here is from the Chron:

The bad week for state Rep. Ron Reynolds is getting worse. 

Steve Brown, the former chairman of the Fort Bend County Democrats, wrote on Twitter Wednesday that he will challenge Reynolds in the March primary. A formal announcement will be made after Thanksgiving, Brown wrote. 

The move comes two days after a Montgomery County jury sentenced Reynolds, 42, to up to one year in jail for barratry, or illegally soliciting clients for his law practice. The Missouri City Democrat was freed sometime after Tuesday afternoon on a $25,000 bond, but a judge has barred him from working as an attorney while he appeals his conviction. 

Texas law prohibits lawyers, among others, from soliciting clients for accident or disaster claims until at least 30 days after an incident. The rule is meant to protect victims from fraud and swarms of attorneys. 

Despite his legal problems, Reynolds is seeking a fourth term representing House District 27, which covers parts of Houston, Missouri City, Sugar Land, Pearland, Stafford, Fresno and Arcola. 

Brown has worked on campaigns and in legislative offices of several public officials, including U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Houston; state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston; and former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. In 2014, he lost to Republican Ryan Sitton for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission, the state agency that regulates the oil and gas industry.

I sure hope Fort Bend Dem Party activists and donor folks get behind Steve on this one.

Jed Lowrie of course batted seventh for the ‘Stros this past Opening Day. He was traded away a few days ago and he kind of was not too happy because he signed a three-year deal with us last year and he lives in H-Town.  When he signed with us he should have known that Carlos Correa would soon be joining the team. Hey, that’s life in MLB.

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There wasn’t a lot of push back from the usual suspects yesterday after the Bill King press release on the latest endorsers to his campaign. I mean, what is there to slam.

Maybe the usual suspects were over the river and through the woods on their way grandmother’s house.

‘Stros skipper A.J. Hinch was runner-up for the AL Manager of the Year Award. The Baseball Writers of America first handed out the award in 1983. How many times has the NL Manager of the Year been awarded to a ‘Stros skipper?

Karla Cisneros’ opponent went negative yesterday in a mail piece. I guess he felt he didn’t have any other options.

Nowadays you have to have a subscription or pick up a hard copy to read the Chron E-Board takes. Today, the E-Board doesn’t think you can represent Fort Bend County in the Texas Legislature while living in Montgomery County. How do Fort Bend Dems feel about this? Here is the entire E-Board take:

Calling all candidates! 

The last day to register to run in the 2016 elections is coming up fast – Monday, Dec. 14 – and an exciting opportunity has opened up in Missouri City. State Rep. Ron Reynolds, a Democrat who represents the region, was convicted of misdemeanor barratry. For those who aren’t lawyers, that means Reynolds illegally solicited clients as an attorney. A jury sentenced Reynolds to a year behind bars, though the state representative will likely appeal the case. 

Fort Bend County is one of the fastest-growing, most diverse places in the entire nation, and it deserves representation by someone who can focus on fighting for his constituents instead of fighting allegations at the criminal courthouse. Yet even as he faces a year behind bars, Reynolds still hasn’t resigned from office. 

The destiny of Texas’ representative government shouldn’t rest in the hands of a tarnished incumbent. Instead, it falls on citizens to step up and run against Reynolds in the party primary and general election. 

In fact, those challengers have been a long time coming. 

Reynolds has been dogged by allegations of ambulance chasing going back to 2012. And in 2011, he was taken to court by the state attorney general for failure to file campaign finance disclosures.

You would think that a candidate with such a messy record would have been easy pickings for a strong challenger. However, the Republican Party stumbled at that first step – find a strong challenger. 

The general election for Reynolds’ seat last cycle had the odd distinction of featuring two candidates who faced trouble with the law – Reynolds for barratry and David Hamilton, a Republican, who was arrested in 2010 for disorderly conduct at a Kentucky abortion clinic. 

Then again, it is easy to understand why Republicans wouldn’t expend effort trying to oust a legislator like Reynolds. State House District 27, which Reynolds represents, is a strong safe seat for any Democratic candidate. He won the 2014 race with 66 percent of the vote and won in 2012 with 69 percent. 

Until Texas reforms the way we draw districts, the party primary will continue to be where the real election takes place. 

Those primary results are even more depressing than the general election. Reynolds has faced no competitive party primaries since he was first elected in 2010. 

Democrats could try to justify this sort of fealty to incumbency if Reynolds were an indispensable workhorse. But as Texas Monthly put it when they rated him one of the worst legislators of 2013, Reynolds was “destined for obscurity – until he began making the wrong kind of headlines.” 

For example, going through the list of Reynolds’ bills that successfully became law last session, it looks like his only job was to create local management districts and issue empty commemorations. Did you know that April 20, 2015 was Missouri City Day at the State Capitol? 

Political players often suffer from the delusion that incumbents are somehow uniquely qualified to perform their representative duty. But in a dynamic place like Fort Bend County, we have faith that there are smart and engaged Democrats and Republicans who are more than capable of meeting and even exceeding Reynolds’ performance in Austin – just as long as they aren’t busy fighting barratry charges.

What is the betting line on Fort Bend Dems giving Rep. Reynolds a free ride this time around?

Hal Lanier (1986) and Larry Dierker (1998) of course have won the NL Skipper of the Year Award.

The ‘Stros will host the Brewers for two at The Yard to end next season’s Spring Training schedule.

Hey, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends.  I will try to check back on Friday.

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Delay: More Endorsements

Hall of Fame greats Yogi Berra and Willie Mays will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom honor today. Of course, Yogi is no longer with us. How many times did Willie and Yogi face each other in a World Serious?

These are good endorsements for Bill King. I am sure we will see a spirited reaction from the usual suspects. I don’t think they will be able to delete them though. Check this:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 24, 2015 

TOP ANNISE PARKER ’09 CAMPAIGN LEADERS

JOIN BILL KING FOR MAYOR CAMPAIGN 

Businessman Bill King continued extending his campaign’s growing base of support with two of Mayor Annise Parker’s top campaign leaders — Metro chair Gilbert Garcia, and former Parker campaign finance chair David Arpin — announcing their public support of King’s campaign.

“Houston has a choice between two qualified candidates, and for me the choice is clear,” Garcia said. “Bill King is the best choice to steer us through what could be tougher times. For years, he has studied local issues which makes him uniquely prepared to solve future challenges. At Metro, we took a tip from Bill and focused on rebuilding the backbone of the system — the local bus network. It will yield excellent returns for our riders and for taxpayers.”

“Bill is right when he says Houstonians now have a clear choice for mayor,” Arpin added. “Bill’s thoughtful approach to the issues challenging our city will best serve all Houstonians and move us forward as a diverse, welcoming and affordable city that works.”

Parker appointed Garcia, who was chairman of her 2009 mayoral campaign and co-chair of her transition team, Metro chairman in 2010. Prior to that, he earned a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and joined Salomon Brothers in New York City where he became a Vice-President. In 1990, he joined former Mayor Henry Cisneros to build Cisneros Asset Management Company, ultimately becoming its president. In 2002, he joined Garcia Hamilton & Associates, a $6.5 billion money management firm in Houston, and is the firm’s managing partner.

Arpin served as 2009 campaign finance chair and treasurer of the Annise Parker for Houston campaign. He is a lifetime Democrat, and has served in the LGBT political leadership as a longtime National Board Member of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and former board member and treasurer of the Houston GLBT PAC. He is a retired healthcare executive and currently a real estate investor.

“I am proud to have these two accomplished Houston leaders join our team to get City Hall back to basics,” King said. “It sends a very clear and strong message that Houstonians that love this city are prepared to unite to address the serious challenges we face — and that my approach will be to include all perspectives in crafting the solutions to meet those challenges.”

King added: “While over the years I have been a frequent critic of Metro, I have been greatly encouraged by the current leadership’s refocusing on our bus service, which is the backbone of our transit system and on which so many working families rely.  Expanded transportation options for our region have never been more important, but any transit solution must be examined against a vigorous cost-benefit analysis to insure that our tax dollars are spent in the most efficient and effective manner possible.”

Yogi Berra and Willie Mays faced each other in the 1951 and 1962 World Serious of course and the Yankees won both.

HCC Trustee Dave Wilson wants HCC to pay his legal fees for faking his way on to the ballot and his HCC fellow trustees are saying no way. Wilson should have figured that this might happen so I guess that is the cost of doing business the Wilson way. Here is from behind the Chron’s paywall:

“Based on the attorney general opinion we’ve received regarding this request, I don’t feel we have the authority to reimburse trustee Wilson from tax dollars,” board chairman Zeph Capo said in a text message. “Wilson’s legal dispute with the county began prior to beginning his term as a trustee. Given the AG ruling, I’m taking the advice he often gives us in similar circumstances … Let ’em sue.”

The team will now start focusing on dealing with arbitration-eligible players which means they will increase the payroll which means the price of a Saint Arnold at The Yard will probably go up – yikes!

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The Week

Last night Commentary watched “The Hunting Ground” on CNN. I highly recommend.

Then I switched to the AMAs and saw them perform the “Star Wars” theme. I don’t know about that.

On Opening Day in 2014 against the Yankees at The Yard, who was our starting shortstop?

This is a kind of interesting political and campaign week. Folks are starting to focus on Thanksgiving Day and the holidays and Early Voting in Person starts in nine days. Only in H-Town.

The cavalry, err, Texas Democratic Party, is swooping in today. Here is from a press release they put out yesterday:

The eyes of the nation are on Houston as Houstonians choose their next mayor on December 12. The stakes are high in this election, either a Texas Democrat or a Tea Partier will run the fourth largest city in the country.

Huh! Some folks are predicting a 20% turnout. That’s not even the eyes of H-Town.

And more from the press release:

On Monday, Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa and Harris County Democratic Party Chair Lane Lewis will formally endorse Sylvester Turner, the next Mayor of Houston.

There is an interesting conversation going on in some H-Town communities on the mayoral race and it is certainly not about Tea Partiers. Oh, well.

Then this from Politico today:

Republicans are nearly three times as angry at the government as their Democratic counterparts, according to the results of the latest Pew Research Center study out Monday.

I don’t think they needed a poll to figure that out.

Our 2014 Opening Day starting shortstop was Jonathan Villar of course.

We traded Villar away last week.

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Texting and Refugees

Commentary would prefer banning all handheld gizmos while driving. How about in school zones? Here is from the Chron:

Officials are mulling a citywide ban on texting while driving that they hope will curb distractions, reduce road fatalities and bring Houston in line with more than 40 Texas cities and most states that already have such a law.

It’s not the first time Houston officials have broached the issue; Mayor Annise Parker has long lobbied to impose a Texaswide texting-while-driving ban. But months after another legislative session with no action, term-limited Parker said she would ask council members to consider a local ban before she leaves office at the end of the year.

Well I guess something is better than nothing.

Josh Donaldson of the Jays won the AL MVP Award yesterday. He was the 48th pick in the 2007 MLB Draft. Who picked him?

This from McClatchy:

Amid fears that the United States could become victim of a deadly Paris-style terrorist attack, the House of Representatives Thursday approved a bill to impose heightened security measures on Iraqi and Syrian refugees seeking to resettle in this country.

Lawmakers voted 289-137 on a measure sponsored by Reps. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., and Michael McCaul, R-Texas, that would prevent refugees from those battle-scarred nations from entering the U.S. unless the heads of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the director of National Intelligence certify that each refugee doesn’t pose a threat to the U.S.

“When we allow refugees into this country, we must be guided by one single principle,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said on the House floor. “If you are a terrorist or a threat to our country, you are not getting in. Period.”

President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the legislation.

“This legislation would introduce unnecessary and impractical requirements that would unacceptably hamper our efforts to assist some of the most vulnerable people in the world, many of whom are victims of terrorism, and would undermine our partners in the Middle East and Europe in addressing the Syrian refugee crisis,” the White House said in a statement.

Cong. Gene Green voted for. Oh, well.

Josh Donaldson was drafted by the Cubbies of course.

ESPN announced that they will air the ‘Stros and Yankees on Opening Day.

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All Endorsed

When the Rocket won the 2004 NL Cy Young Award with the ‘Stros, who was runner-up?

I am thinking just about everyone has handed out their endorsements. Well, kind of.

The Mayor still hasn’t endorsed. When she does it will not come as a surprise.

I will say I visited with an in-the-know Dem player yesterday and this person did acknowledge that the Chris Bell endorsement did indeed help Bill King despite the naysayer pushback.

I will say it again. All bets are off.

We will see!

Of course, there are still a few groups who will still be handing out last minute endorsements for the runoffs.

It seems like the past year, there has been ongoing construction on my block. Guess what? Got another tire air pressure alert. It looks like another nail in a tire.

Hall of Fame great Randy Johnson of course was runner-up in the 2004 NL Cy Young Award voting.

This was expected – from the ‘Stros website:

Coming off a breakout 2014 season that certainly proved to be no fluke, Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel took his performance to another level in ’15 and took home the American League Cy Young Award, presented by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, on Wednesday.

Keuchel finished with 22 first-place votes and 186 points, edging David Price (Tigers/Blue Jays), who had eight first-place votes and 143 points.

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