Archive for February 2nd, 2016

Cruz for Now

Back in 2012, Commentary was a panelist at a Partnership session on the elections. The panelists were asked about a fella named Ted Cruz taking on then Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for the open U.S. Senate seat. I took a pass on the question. A local GOP consultant said Dewhurst would put away Cruz without a runoff. Last night, Sen. Cruz proved to be a giant killer again.

I think running for president is tough. I try not to make fun of those that end up dropping out. So I won’t other than to say I was really tired of hearing Mike Huckabee’s shtick.

I really don’t think the Hillary Clinton folks should be doing celebratory dances unless they think surviving is cause for celebration.

If Jason Castro is our Opening Day starting catcher, that will make it five Opening Day starts in a row for Castro. Brad Ausmus has the team record for consecutive Opening Day starts at catcher. How many does he have?

The Chron E-Board endorsed Steve Brown for the State House in the District 27 race. Here it is:

If state Rep. Ron Reynolds, D-Missouri City, is looking for a campaign theme song, may we suggest one by the British rock band Coldplay. It’s called “Trouble.”

Since he first ran for office in 2008, the private personal-injury lawyer has been sanctioned twice by the State Bar, fined $10,000 by the Texas Ethics Commission for failing to file campaign-finance disclosures, sued several times and convicted, most recently, on five counts of barratry, the legal term for the illegal solicitation of clients (otherwise known as ambulance-chasing). A couple of weeks ago, a Montgomery County judge denied his request to resume practicing law while he appeals his misdemeanor conviction.

Reynolds, 42, the first African American to represent Montgomery County since Reconstruction, maintains his innocence. (His conviction is currently on appeal.) He also maintains that his legal and professional troubles are not a distraction from his work as a legislator. He told the Chronicle editorial board he’s “laser-focused” on his legislative duties.

In our view, the issue is moot. All three of his challengers in the March 1 Democratic primary are capable and qualified. The winner of the contest will go on to face the victor in the Republican primary for the District 27 position.

Reynolds, a three-term incumbent, was named Freshman of the Year by the House Democratic Caucus at the end of the 2011 session; two years later he landed on Texas Monthly’s “Worst” list. This year he needs to attend to his own problems while someone else takes on the task of representing District 27. The district covers most of Missouri City and parts of Houston and Sugar Land.

Challenging the incumbent are first-time candidate Angelique Bartholomew, 46, a certified mediator and director of compliance for a medical firm; Chris Henderson, 30, an assistant district attorney in Galveston County who also is running for the first time; and Steve Brown, 40, a former White House intern who owns a public affairs firm. The former Democratic Party chairman of Fort Bend County, Brown also worked as a budget analyst for then-state Rep. Sylvester Turner and was the Democratic nominee for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission in 2014.

Our choice for the Democratic primary is Brown. With 15 years of experience in politics and public affairs, including an unsuccessful run for the District 27 seat in 2006, he’s conversant with issues that resonate in this diverse, fast-growing district, including education and school finance, health care and economic development. He told the Chronicle editorial board he’s eager to help reform the state’s “vastly antiquated” public education system, make the case for Medicaid expansion and address what he sees as a growing foster-care crisis in the state.

Already familiar with the legislative process, Brown is likely to be an effective elected official from the moment he’s sworn in.

Former Fire Chief Lester Trya sent this letter to the Chron:

Regarding “Pension problems” (Page B6, Friday), the editorial that included comments from Jamey Rootes, chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership, contained some truth: Mayor Lee Brown and state Sen. Mario Gallegos did orchestrate the pension changes. However, the editorial failed to mention that the changes only affected the police and municipal pension funds. The firefighters’ pension fund elected to not go along with the suggested changes, as they appeared to be too risky for the future of the firefighters’ pension fund.

As the fire chief during that time period, I was repeatedly asked to support the changes; I refused and referred those who sought my support to the firefighters’ pension fund trustees for their consideration. Once again, only half the story is being told. Firefighters have always and will continue to be good stewards of the pension fund.

 Brad Ausmus has six consecutive Opening Day starts at catcher of course.

Nothing to report from The Yard today.

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