Archive for December 2nd, 2015

Chris Carter may be traded or may not be signed by the ‘Stros. We may know today. Carter led MLB in strikeouts in 2013. How many whiffs did he have that season?

There will be a mayoral debate tonight at 7 pm on Channel 13. I wonder how much they matter at this point.

Early Voting in Person starts today. I wonder who will show up.

All I can say is that Bill King feels good about the election these days.

Folks need to subscribe to the Chron so they can read the editorials.

State Rep. Sylvester Turner got re-endorsed by the Chron E-board today. I am not surprised. It wasn’t that ringing, but they will take it though. It looks like the Chron wants more than going back to the basics. Easier said than done.

Here is the endorsement:

We thought that there wasn’t such a thing as a Democratic or Republican pothole, but Sylvester Turner has proved us wrong. In a race that’s supposed to be about the issues – pensions, public safety and, yes, potholes – Turner has gone full negative. His campaign is spending enormous amounts of money to hammer his opponent Bill King on matters that range from small to minute. Policies have been misrepresented. History has been distorted. A boat’s name has become a topic of speculation.

Politics doesn’t have to be a dirty game, and Houston’s nonpartisan elections have the fortune of avoiding the inherent battle lines that seem to dominate the national political conversation. Houstonians can feel free to vote for the candidate they think will do the best job, rather than worry about backing their home team.

Ideally, this means that ma-yoral candidates have the luxury of rising above the political fray and focusing on our city’s future. That’s the sort of campaign that Turner ran during the general election. That’s the Turner we hope to see as mayor.

The long-time state representative – and three-time mayoral candidate – offers voters the best balance between policy expertise and political acumen. As Houstonians have witnessed on issues like red light cameras, pensions and the Houston equal rights ordinance, having the right ideas isn’t enough. The mayor also has to usher policies through a political system of competing perspectives and countervailing powers.

Houston’s City Charter grants our mayor a degree of authority unique among Texas cities, with nearly total control over the executive and legislative functions at City Hall. But the mayor isn’t a dictator and still needs to build consensus – one of Turner’s political skills.

There’s much to admire in King’s passion for public policy. He has a firm grasp on the challenges facing City Hall, and there’s often little difference between him and Turner when it comes to listing the problems that vex our city.

But Houstonians deserve a City Hall that can address more than the mere basics. Yes, we can fix the roads, balance the budget and catch the crooks. We can also build roads that serve pedestrians and cyclists alongside drivers. We can balance the budget without burdening public servants. And we can catch the crooks while offering the after school programs that keep kids from falling into a life of crime.

We’ve also yet to see a solid proposal that sets Houston on a fiscally sustainable path without raising the revenue cap, which restricts property tax collection combined rates of inflation and population growth. Moody’s Investors Service specifically pointed to the trifecta of rising pension obligations, spiking debt payments and the city’s revenue cap as threats to Houston’s financial well-being. Turner wants to address all three of those issues. King instead continues to falsely equate lifting the revenue cap with a tax hike.

In the final year of the Parker administration, Houston feels like anything but a well-oiled machine. It is easy to point out the flaws in our city – and in the two candidates seeking to lead it. Both Turner and King would be able repairmen, but Turner boasts the talents best suited to the political problems that City Hall faces today.

212 strikeouts of course for Chris Carter in 2013.

Adios Chris?

Read Full Post »