Archive for October, 2016

8 Days a Week

We have eight days to go and here in Harris County we have a 26% voter turnout through yesterday. Not bad.

Texas is no longer a toss-up state according to realclearpolitics.com. Hey, it was fun while it lasted.

Alan Ashby will no longer be calling ‘Stros games. As a ‘Stro, Ashby caught three no-nos. Name the three pitchers who threw the no-nos?

About 10,000 or so voters are eligible to decide the Heights wet/dry issue. There are two pro/con op-eds in today’s Chron. I know this isn’t scientific, but it looks like the Keep Heights Dry side has more signs in yards.

If you are a Dem here in Harris County, you have to feel good about a couple of stories in today’s Chron. There is one on the rise of straight ticket voting and one on more Muslims voting Dem this year.

This email stuff isn’t going to move the needle. Sorry. The FBI director is getting what he deserves. He knew what he was stepping into.

It looks like more Latinos are voting in Harris County and that is without a lot of paid media ads. In 2012, 7,014 voted early at Ripley. Through yesterday, 6,190 had voted at Ripley. Just saying.

Alan Ashby caught no-nos tossed by Ken Forsch, Nolan Ryan and Mike Scott of course.

Nothing else from The Yard today.


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DA in Trouble

Through yesterday, Harris County has a 16.8% voter turnout rate. Just saying.

Here is the Chron story on Mrs. Gallegos: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Olga-Gallegos-Mexican-American-politician-who-10418817.php.

Today is October 28, 2016 and realclearpolitics.com still has Texas as a toss-up state.

Commentary is thinking that the incumbent GOP Harris County DA Devon Anderson is in trouble in her reelection bid. Why else would she pull the “lesbian” card on Kim Ogg? Here is from the Chron:

Thursday afternoon also saw the release of an open letter to Anderson from well-known attorney Randy Schaffer about a comment she made earlier this month about Ogg’s sexual orientation in an interview with conservative podcaster Vlad Davidiuk.

The comment came after Anderson was asked about criticism she has received from fellow Republicans for her actions in a well-publicized case involving Planned Parenthood. Those charges were eventually dismissed.

“We filed over 116,000 cases last year. That’s about how many we file every year. They have a problem with me on one, maybe two cases,” she said. “When they get a liberal, pro-choice, lesbian district attorney, I wonder how many cases they’ll have a problems with, with her?”

In his open letter, Schaffer wrote that Anderson’s decision to “play the sexual preference card” demonstrates that she is not qualified to be district attorney.

“How can the community have confidence that the Harris County District Attorney’s Office does not discriminate on the basis of sexual preference when you suggest that a lesbian is less qualified to be the district attorney?” he wrote. “If your opponent were African-American or Jewish, would you have referred to her race and religion?”

The letter asks if Anderson believes prosecutors or judges who are gays or lesbians are not qualified for public service.

“You insulted every gay prosecutor and member of your staff, not to mention our courthouse community, when you suggested that a person is less qualified for public office because of sexual preference,” he said.

When the interview surfaced last week, Anderson said the “feigned outrage” was not newsworthy.

“I was making a point about how conservative, pro-life, Republicans would feel about how Kim Ogg might address the approximately 116,000 cases this office handles on an annual basis,” she said. “I have described myself as being conservative and pro-life. The description is factual. I said she was a liberal, pro-choice, lesbian. She has proudly described herself as such in the past.”

Ogg called the statement homophobic.

“It is not surprising that a district attorney who jails rape victims would resort to homophobic attacks on me and my family in the closing days before voting begins,” Ogg said. “It is further evidence of her poor judgment.”

Maybe the DA’s campaign team think they can score anti-Lesbian points in places like Baytown, Pasadena, Crosby – you get the picture. I think most folks are more interested in your political party affiliation. To the ticket splitters, I really don’t think that sexual orientation matters, regardless of your Harris County address.

Here is the entire story on the DA’s race: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/DA-s-race-heats-up-with-allegations-of-misleading-10418584.php.

To me, this is a no-brainer. I am talking about voting yes on HISD Proposition One. The local commercial property owners think voting no on the proposition is a bad idea. Check this from the Chron:

A local trade association for commercial property owners has come out in favor of a controversial vote that would send millions of local tax dollars to the state to be distributed among poorer school districts.

The local chapter of the Building Owners & Managers Association warned this week that rejecting the so-called recapture measure could saddle some of the city’s premier commercial properties with higher tax bills and make them less competitive. BOMA’s local head says there are simply too many unknowns.

“It’s a huge concern for commercial real estate,” chapter CEO Tammy Betancourt said.


On Nov. 8, voters will be asked to authorize the coming recapture payment. But Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has called on voters to reject the measure in hope lawmakers will make meaningful changes to the school funding system during next year’s legislative session.

That’s a gamble Betancourt does not want to take. If the recapture is turned down, the most valuable properties within HISD’s boundaries would be reassigned to another, as-yet-undetermined district for property tax purposes. Depending on the rates in the recipient district, owners could see their already soaring tax bills rise even more.

That could affect scores of high-profile properties, including downtown’s Houston Center, Pennzoil Place and Chase Tower. Betancourt said some owners could face an unfair competitive advantage if they are paying a different tax rate than their neighbor.

“It puts the whole market into question,” she said.

Here is the entire article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/real-estate/article/Commercial-property-group-supports-recapture-vote-10415824.php.

They are the ones that are going to take a financial hit.  Like I said, a no-brainer.

Commentary sure hopes Sen. Ted Cruz gets a primary opponent and get his arse kicked.   He doesn’t care about the country or his state. He only cares about himself. His latest take on the Supreme Court is all about him.

There will be no MLB question today.

Congrats to Jose Altuve for being named Sporting News MLB Player of the Year. MLB players are the voters for this award. Nice.

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Mrs. Gallegos Voted

Here is the obituary for former HISD Trustee Olga Gallegos. It is interesting to note that the obit points out that Mrs. Gallegos voted by mail. Here:

Olga Ramirez Gallegos 1926-2016

Olga Ramirez Gallegos, born August 4, 1926 in Houston, TX, went to be with the Lord on October 24, 2016 at the age of 90 after a short battle with lung cancer.

Olga worked at the Pentagon during World War II. During the 1970’s, Olga moved to Brownsville, TX with her husband who served as Fire Chief. She formed the first Firefighter’s Ladies Auxiliary in Brownsville. Upon her return to Houston in 1980, Olga served as an Administrative Aide to State Representatives Ben Reyes, Al Luna and Roman Martinez. She also served on the HISD School Board for 16 years (1987-2003) having served in numerous positions on the board, including that of president in 1998. Olga was also a past member of the Houston Community College Board of Trustees. She received numerous recognitions and awards for her community activities including the Fiestas Patrias Mexican-American Award and the Metro 2000 La Familia Award.

Olga was an active member of the Harris County Democratic Party and served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in New York City and an alternate delegate with the Texas Challenging Delegation to the 1968 convention in Chicago. She was the first Hispanic Precinct Judge in Precinct 64 in Magnolia Park neighborhood in Houston. She would want everyone to know that she voted by mail ballot for the upcoming General Election. She was a member of the American Legion Post 472 Ladies Auxiliary. Olga was a devoted wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and aunt to many Houston Firefighters. She was “Mom” to many of her children’s and grandchildren’s friends and always gave them advice or told them stories about how things were in the early days. Olga will be remembered as an exemplary Hispanic role model, a source of strength and inspiration to others.


Visitation will be held at Forest Park Lawndale Funeral Home, on Friday, October 28, 2016 from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. with the Rosary to be recited at 7 p.m. Funeral services will also be at Forest Park Lawndale Saturday, October 29, 2016, at 10 a.m. with burial to follow at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to a reception afterwards at American Legion Post 472, 7599 Ave. C.

Here is the entire obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/houstonchronicle/obituary.aspx?n=olga-gallegos&pid=182152253&fhid=10997.

A new poll in Texas has Secretary Hillary Clinton down 3 points in Texas. Here is from a story in Politico:

“There’s an outside chance,” said one veteran Texas Republican operative, who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the state of play. Clinton would need to show more seriousness about the state to truly compete, this operative said, and even then it would be a long-shot. “But it’s not impossible…The Clinton team would have to come and spend a million and a half, two million a week on television to have a one-in-four, one-in-three shot of doing it.” 

Trump’s potential effect on Hispanic turnout is at the heart of Republican worries. Polls show the GOP nominee has repelled Latino voters nationally, and they make up an increasingly large share of the Texas voting population. Results from the first two days of in-person early voting suggest there have been turnout surges in populous, Democratic-leaning areas like Austin’s Travis County and also in the Dallas/Fort Worth area — places with sizable Hispanic populations.

Here is the entire story: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/trump-clinton-texas-red-state-230368.

We are still a toss-up state.

More folks voted yesterday in person here in Harris County. All I can say is that it appears that there is an enthusiasm factor out there. Is it going to be a record breaker? I don’t know.

There is no MLB question today.

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The Share

Happy Birthday to one of my best friends State Rep. Carol Alvarado!

Happy Birthday to Secretary Hillary Clinton!

After Day 2, let me point out the share of the vote from a few Early Voting locations here in Harris County.

In 2012, Champion Forest Baptist Church was a 5.5% share of the total Harris County early vote total. After Day 2 yesterday, they are at 3.8%.

Kingwood, 3.8% in 2012, 2.6% after yesterday.

Bear Creek, 3.2% in 2012, 2.4% after yesterday.

Tomball, 2.6% in 2012, 2.3% after yesterday.

Northeast, 2.3% in 2012, 1.8% after yesterday.

Kashmere, 1.7%in 2012, 1.2% after yesterday.

Sunnyside, 2.4% in 2012, 2.2% after yesterday.

Ripley, 1% in 2012, 1.4% after yesterday.

HCC Southeast, 1.4% in 2012, 1.3% after yesterday.

Hardy, 1.4% in 2012, 1.3% after yesterday.

Holy Name, 1% in 2012, Moody, 1.5% after yesterday.

West Gray, 5.1% in 2012, 4.5% after yesterday.

I think I saw some number yesterday that showed Latinos accounted for 16% of the total Early Vote in Person vote after the first day here in Harris County. That is a pretty good number for Dems if you ask me.

Cleveland pitcher Corey Kluber had a 18-9 won-loss record this past regular season. What was his won-loss record when he won the AL Cy Young Award back in 2014?

The Chron E-Board wrote again about opposing HISD Proposition One. Here is a part of the take that concerns me:

Critics of our position are right that a “no” vote is a gamble. But a stand against recapture could have a lasting legal impact that we believe is worth the risk. It could finally force state lawmakers to confront and fix a school funding mechanism that doesn’t actually do what it’s billed to do.

I don’t know about that.  That is a risk based on a shaky assumption. Do you really expect the legislature to bail out HISD or for that matter the school children of Texas?   When was the last time they did that?

Here is the entire E-Board take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Saving-HISD-10339151.php.

Corey Kluber was 18-9 in 2014 of course.

Cleveland needs to win 3 out of the next six and the Cubbies needs to win four out of the next six. Advantage Cleveland.

Again, nothing from The Yard today!

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Enthusiasm Factor?

Former HISD Trustee Olga Gallegos left us yesterday. She was a longtime dedicated public servant. She will be missed.

According to RealClearPolitics.com., Texas is still a toss-up state.

Here are comparisons of Early Voting Day 1 for 2012 and 2016.

West Gray: 2556 and 3158.

Champions Forest: 2657 and 2311.

Kingwood: 1619 and 1741.

Bear Creek: 1636 and 1593.

Tomball: 1475 and 1563.

Acres Homes: 1275 and 1398.

Palm Center: 886 and 1185.

Sunnyside: 1137 and 1524.

Ripley: 460 and 1120.

Moody (Holy Name): 506 and 1100.

HCC Southeast: 659 and 971.

It is only Day 1 so you can make your own analysis. The doubling of voters at Ripley and Moody is interesting. Looks like they were ready to vote. That is what I would call an enthusiasm factor. We have not seen that with Latino voters like ever.

I am skipping the MLB question today.

Burkablog’s R.G. Ratcliffe has a take today on the vote in Texas:

Throughout this election, I’ve been skeptical that Hillary Clinton could carry Texas, even as polls suggested the gap in support between her and Donald Trump is closing. But there is a wild card that might make it possible: There are 532,000 more registered Hispanic surname voters this year than in 2012.


Trump has been playing to the worst fears of white voters around the county by demanding the construction of a wall along the border with Mexico and decrying Mexican immigrants as “criminals, drug dealers, rapists,” and “bad hombres” with the caveat that “some, I assume, are good people.” The problem with that rhetoric in Texas is that many of the new registered Hispanic voters here likely are the U.S. born children of undocumented immigrants who arrived in the late 1980s and early 1990s. When Trump talks the way he has, he is talking about their mothers and their fathers.

Texas this year, according to the Secretary of State’s office, has a record 15 million registered voters, an increase of 1.7 million over 2012. Hispanic surname voters account for 30 percent of that increase. In Harris County, the number of Hispanic voters has increased by more than 91,000 in the past eight years; 69,000 in Bexar County; and 46,000 in Dallas County. Statewide, there are 3.5 million registered Hispanic surname voters this year, 23 percent of the total number of registered voters in Texas.

The odds remain low for Clinton to carry Texas. If she does, Republicans can blame Trump, and Democrats can praise the strength of a new Hispanic voting bloc.

Here is all of R.G.’s take: http://www.texasmonthly.com/burka-blog/texas-sees-surge-latino-voters/.

Like I have been saying, this election is in large part about Latinos.

Just look at this from the Tribune:

A leading Hispanic Republican in Texas says he has decided to vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. 

Lionel Sosa, a veteran ad maker from San Antonio, told The Texas Tribune on Monday he will cast his ballot for Clinton to send a “clear statement” against Republican nominee Donald Trump’s candidacy. 

“I want to make sure that I do everything I can to see that Trump doesn’t get elected,” said Sosa, who has worked for Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. “I’m doing this because I don’t think he’s a good representative of the Republican Party. It’s not the Republican Party I know.” 

Here is the entire Trib article: https://www.texastribune.org/2016/10/24/top-hispanic-republican-texas-will-vote-clinton/.

Come home? I have heard that before. Here is from Politico:

Mike Pence is pushing a new message for the final two weeks of the campaign, and it’s aimed squarely at Republicans wavering on support for Donald Trump: “It’s time to come home.” And:

“It’s time to come home and elect Donald Trump as the next president of the United States,” Pence said. “It’s time to come home and re-elect Republican majorities in the United States House and the United States Senate. … It’s time to come home and come together and do everything in our power to make sure that Hillary Clinton is never elected president of the United States of America.”

Here is all of the Pence piece: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/mike-pence-republicans-home-trump-230259.

Sound familiar? Here is from George McGovern’s acceptance speech at the 1972 Democratic National Convention:

From secrecy and deception in high places; come home, America. 

From military spending so wasteful that it weakens our nation; come home, America. 

From the entrenchment of special privileges in tax favoritism; from the waste of idle lands to the joy of useful labor; from the prejudice based on race and sex; from the loneliness of the aging poor and the despair of  the neglected sick — come home, America. 

Come home to the affirmation that we have a dream. Come home to the conviction that we can move our country forward. 

Come home to the belief that we can seek a newer world, and let us be joyful in that homecoming, for this “is your land, this land is my land — from California to New York island, from the redwood forest to the gulf stream waters — this land was made for you and me.”

The World Serious starts tonight and nothing again from The Yard.

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RealClearPolitics.com has Texas as a toss-up state this morning. How about that? Last night, Channel 11 reported on the latest Texas poll which has Secretary Hillary Clinton 3 points down. Now it is getting interesting here locally. Now aren’t you proud to be a toss-up?

The HISD Proposition One measure made it to my Next Door page yesterday. Check this:

Scott Hochberg, former state representative of southwest Houston from 1993-2013, who served as a member of the House Committee on Public Education his entire 20 years in the Legislature:

“Voting no is like giving away your garage to avoid paying property taxes on your house.

That’s why no district in the state has ever chosen the option of having property removed instead of sending a check. It’s a bad deal. The argument for voting no is that it will ‘send a message’ to the legislature that it needs to fix the school funding system, and the legislature will obey.

Maybe, but I served 20 years in the Texas Legislature working on these issues, and I don’t buy it. It’s not a bet I would make, much less risk HISD taxpayers’ money on.

First, HISD overestimates its influence on the Legislature. It’s just one of more than 1,000 school districts, most of which are far poorer in property per student than HISD. True, it’s the largest, but even so it represents fewer than 5 percent of the students in the state. It’s a large fish, but in a much larger pond. Districts with more political influence have been paying recapture for years, and that hasn’t forced a major change.”

Nobody knows school finance in Houston or for that matter in Texas better than Scott. When he was in the legislature he was the Dem’s go-to guy on public education issues so listen to what he says. Plus, my HISD trustee Anna Eastman also says to vote yes on Proposition One and she knows her you know what.

Yankee players hold the top seven spots for most games played in a World Serious. Try naming the seven. Hint: they have all left us.

Dem Judge Kyle Carter of th 125th Judicial District will begin airing ads on local Telemundo tomorrow. He is the only candidate or campaign running ads on Telemundo. Good for him!

Folks were talking about this NY Times piece yesterday on Latinos and politics. It is a must read here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/23/us/texas-latino-politicians.html?_r=0.

I said last week that this election is in large part about Latinos, so I expect Latinos to show up and vote as Early Voting in Person begins today.

Yogi Berra (75 World Serious games), Mickey Mantle (65), Elston Howard (54), Gil McDougald (53), Hank Bauer (53), Phil Rizzuto (52), and Joe DiMaggio (51) are MLB’s top seven in World Serious games played.

Nothing from The Yard today.

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In looking at who is mailing in their ballots in Harris County, Dems might be doing ok this year. A UH poll has good news for Dems. Check this from the Chron:

A new survey released Thursday by the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs shows Democratic challengers for county wide office rising sharply against Republican incumbents.

It also showed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with a seven-point lead over Republican Donald Trump, which Hobby research associate and poll author Bob Stein called “the biggest lead I’ve ever seen a Democratic presidential candidate have in the 37 years I’ve been polling in Houston.”

Barack Obama beat Republicans John McCain by 1.6 percent in 2008, and Mitt Romney by less than 1 percent in 2012.

“The big takeaway here is the Democratic surge,” Stein said.

The poll, a telephone survey of 400 registered Harris County voters, showed Democratic challenger Kim Ogg ahead of incumbent Republican Devon Anderson by seven points, 40 percent to 33 percent. A similar survey released by UH in September showed Ogg and Anderson in a virtual tie, 29 to 30 percent.

The new poll has a margin of error of plus- or minus 4.5 percent.

The poll also showed Ed Gonzalez, the Democratic candidate for Harris County sheriff, in a virtual tie with Republican incumbent Ron Hickman. The UH poll last month showed Hickman six points ahead.

Here is the entire article on the UH poll: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/New-UH-poll-bodes-well-for-Harris-County-Democrats-10002268.php.

Commentary is not going to say much about the Dem effort here in Harris County. I will say that I feel pretty good about Latinos turning out to vote here. We will get some inkling on this on Monday.

Who was the second African American to play in MLB – Jackie Robinson was the first? Also name the team that signed him.

I watched Secretary Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump speak at the Al Smith Dinner last night. Trump needs some better writers. He got booed by the crowd. His best line came at the expense of his wife. Hillary had some good ones. I loved the Statue of Liberty line and the zing she put on Rudy Giuliani. Rudy didn’t like it – good.

I will be at this today:

Commentary received one of those evites with this on the cover:

It’s been 40 years since a Democrat took Texas!

This was in the body of the invitation:

Message from Host

40th Anniversary of the 1976 Carter/Mondale VICTORY in Texas. 

Calling all Jimmy Carter Texas staff, volunteers, and supporters. Join us for lunch. 

Several former campaign staffers are planning a reunion of those Texans who worked for Jimmy Carter in his campaigns.  You may recall that during the 1976 bicentennial year, the little known former Georgia governor upset incumbent President Gerald Ford. A big part of his victory was his capture of the 26 electoral votes in Texas. 

We hope that you can join us and our special guest, campaign manager, Chuck Parrish, for a reunion lunch. 

This will be a casual event and give us a chance to renew acquaintances with longtime friends.  It is sad, but true that the last year when we Democrats have won Texas was 1976. 

The event is at a Mexican restaurant in Austin today.

50 or so great Texas Dems who were involved back then will be in attendance. Commentary wasn’t actually on the Carter/Mondale staff. I was the Deputy Director of the Texas Democratic Party’s GOTV effort that worked closely with the Carter/Mondale Texas campaign.

Obviously, just about all of us are 60 plus in years.

Maybe the get together can create some winning karma for Dems in the Lone Star State.

On July 5, 1947, Larry Doby made his MLB debut with Cleveland to become the second African American in MLB of course.

Once again, I don’t have anything from The Yard except for Vera, Chuck and Dave.

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Hombre Loco

You know they had to have gone over the question about accepting the results of the election. His running mate, his daughter, and his campaign manager had all given the proper response. For him to say he will keep America in suspense is absolutely crazy. Like a newsie said last night, he wrote his own headline. Here is from the Chron E-Board today:

Bret Stephens, a Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign-affairs columnist for the Wall Street Journal, said that Trump’s answer was “the most disgraceful statement by a presidential candidate in 160 years.”

Since the end of Reconstruction, the United States has never had to question whether federal elections would end with a peaceful transition of power. Now this one man, apparently putting his ego ahead of the good of the nation, brings all that into question before a worldwide audience.

Trump then put an accent on his cringe worthy performance last night when he called Secretary Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman.” Totally not fit.

Plus, anyone who gets riled over the rigging of the Emmys comment is definitely not fit.

Big Papi ended his career with 541 dingers for number 17 on the all-time career dinger list. Who is number 18 with 536 dingers.

And here is what Texas Monthly’s Erica Grieder has to say about the election:

A pair of polls released Tuesday provides further evidence of a scenario I posited would be conceivable back in December of last year, and predicted was possible in May: the Republican Party’s hilariously disastrous decision to nominate Donald Trump for president means that Texas is now in play. According to the Washington Post/Survey Monkey poll, he leads Hillary Clinton by a mere two points. The University of Houston, similarly, puts Trump’s lead at three.


But it occurs to me that the tight race in Texas is evidence against Trump and his apologists. No one’s rigging anything here, in any sense of the word.

Our election laws, and our elections themselves, are largely under Republican control. Further, Republicans have carried all recent statewide elections by whopping margins; Greg Abbott was elected governor, two years ago, by roughly 20 percent. Voter fraud happens occasionally, as I noted in August, but it is vanishingly rare, especially in states like Texas, where Republicans have taken precautions against it. In other words, even if we assume Texas elections are vulnerable to large-scale fraud, it beggars belief to suggest that such shenanigans would be sufficiently common to obliterate the Republican margins we’ve come to suspect. Nor would impending voter fraud explain why the University of Houston poll, which put Romney’s lead at 17 points four years ago, now shows Trump and Clinton in a virtual tie.

Similarly, the fact that I’m in a position to spike the football the way I did above gives the lie to the idea that the media is rigging the election, either by directly colluding with the DNC or, more generally, by having helped prop up Trump thus far. People like Pollak, at Breitbart, can make a plausible argument that the media, writ large, has helped Trump get this far, if only by giving him so much airtime during the Republican primary. But Trump’s boosters can’t make that argument against me: I spent most of this year’s primary trying feverishly to warn Republicans against his nomination.

Here is all of her take: http://www.texasmonthly.com/burka-blog/election-not-rigged/.

On the HISD Proposition 1, this tweet came out yesterday:

Spooky Evan ‏@evan7257 21h21 hours ago

Mayor Turner raises an interesting point: Groups suing the city for ambitious language on term limits should take a look at HISD vote.

I actually had asked someone in the know about the ballot language and they explained it to me. So I tweeted this:

How would it be phrased differently and LEGALLY?

Then I got this in response:

Spooky Evan ‏@evan7257 18h18 hours ago

@MarcCommentary it should probably have a dollar amount in the language

So then I tweeted this:

@evan7257 you are correct. Then it would go down for sure.

So that is that!

Mickey Mantle of course is number 18 on the all-time career dinger list with 536.

Mickey Mantle who is no longer with us was born 85 years ago today.

I don’t have anything from The Yard today

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Commentary watches CNN election coverage but man it gets frustrating and annoying and irritating watching the Donald Trump surrogate talking heads try to defend their guy. Sometimes I walk out of the room because of their BS. Media Matters has a great take on the CNN surrogates on twitter at @mmfa that is a must watch.   I am hoping that CNN will take this to heart and improve guidelines on the whole surrogate process. It is a joke!  I can only take about 20 more days of this – PLEASE, CNN!

Thank you, Media Matters!

It would not surprise me if Trump goes nuclear and all out toxic tonight.

The Dodgers have a 2-1 lead in the NLCS. The last time the Dodgers played in the World Serious was in 1988 when they beat the A’s in 5. Who was the 1988 World Serious MVP?

Commentary really doesn’t know what to make of the polls being close in Texas. UH put out a poll yesterday saying Secretary Hillary Clinton was 3 points down then this from the Statesman on a Washington Post poll here:

A Washington Post poll out Tuesday shows Donald Trump’s lead at 2 percentage points in Texas, labeling the Lone Star state as a battleground, along with Ohio, Florida and Arizona.

In a four-way race, Trump, the Republican candidate for president, garnered 44 percent; Democrat Hillary Clinton 42 percent; Libertarian Gary Johnson 8 percent; and Green Party candidate Jill Stein 2 percent, with 3 percent having no opinion.

The poll was conducted Oct. 8 through Sunday, after the release of a 2005 tape of Trump speaking in vulgar terms about sexually assaulting women, something he has repeatedly denied doing.

A Democratic presidential candidate hasn’t carried the Lone Star State since Jimmy Carter narrowly defeated Gerald Ford in 1976 and few, in any, political observers considered Texas a toss-up as the general election campaign got underway this summer. But several polls this fall show Trump with just a single digit lead. One poll last week showed Trump’s Texas lead within the margin of error.

If it ends up being this close then folks like Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Greg Abbott, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are going to have egg on their faces and a lot of ‘splaining to do. There is no way they will be able to spin their way out of this.

Wow! Then check this from Politico:

Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 5 percentage points in Arizona, according to an Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll released Wednesday. 

Clinton tops Trump in Arizona, 39 percent to 34 percent. Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson garners 6 percent support, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein registers at 1 percent. Twenty-one percent, however, are undecided.

Arizona?  You are kidding, right?

Oh, well! Let’s not forget this from Ericka Mellon today:

The six-year-old civil lawsuit accusing former Houston school board member Larry Marshall of bribery remains on track for trial this month, after federal Judge Keith Ellison on Tuesday denied last-minute motions.

The jury trial is expected to start Oct. 24 and last at least two weeks, said Houston attorney Chad Dunn, who is representing the Gil Ramirez Group, a local construction firm that sued Marshall in December 2010.

“We’ll stay with it as long as it takes,” U.S. District Judge Ellison said in court Tuesday.

The lawsuit claimed the Gil Ramirez Group lost out on lucrative construction work in the Houston Independent School District because it did not participate in an alleged bribery and kickback scheme that supposedly enriched Marshall. He served on the HISD board from 1998 to 2013.

The lawsuit alleged the scheme involved Marshall, his business partner and political campaign treasurer Joyce Moss-Clay, and two construction companies, RHJ-JOC and Fort Bend Mechanical. Each of the parties has denied wrongdoing. Marshall’s attorney, Rick Morris, who has taken the lead on the case, declined comment after the hearing Tuesday.

Brooks Harrison, an attorney for Fort Bend Mechanical executive Pete Medford, told Ellison that Medford plans to exercise his Fifth Amendment right and not answer some questions in Marshall’s trial because he has a deal with the U.S. Justice Department. Harrison referred in court Tuesday to an unspecified federal investigation and offered no details.

Here is the entire story: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/education/article/Marshall-trial-9981974.php.

It is going to be interesting for sure.

Orel Hershiser of course was the 1988 World Serious MVP.

I have not heard anything from The Yard.


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HISD Proposition One

Let’s see, the Chron’s Brian Smith called it the Little 12. I have also heard the Big 12 minus 2 and even the Big Ten Jr.

Houston ISD voters are being asked to vote for or against the following:

Authorizing the board of trustees of Houston Independent School District to purchase attendance credits from the state with local tax revenues.

Huh? It is at the end of the ballot. It is being called Proposition 1. I am kind of figuring a whole lot of folks are not going to know what this is all about.

Some of our leaders want us to vote no on the measure. Here is from a recent press release:

The Vote Against HISD Proposition 1 campaign announced the start of an ad campaign today on local television stations featuring Mayor Sylvester Turner asking voters to vote against Houston Independent School District Proposition 1 on the November 8 ballot.

“The people who wrote Prop. 1 say it’s about attendance credits. But it’s not,” Mayor Turner says in the ad. “It’s about taking away a billion dollars from our schools and denying too many kids a quality education.”

Prop. 1 will force HISD to send $162 million of our local tax dollars to the state in February – to start – in theory to be redistributed to other school districts. But that’s not the worst of it, because there is no guarantee any of the funds will be used for education.

It’s called “recapture” or sometimes, “Robin Hood,” and it will bankrupt our schools. The amount of tax dollars taken for redistribution goes up every year – and will exceed $1 billion in four years.

Then I saw this Op-Ed by Dale Craymer of the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association in the Chron yesterday:

Houston Independent School District voters face an unhappy choice this November – vote “YES” or “FOR” on Proposition 1 to authorize the state to recapture roughly $160 million of the school district’s property taxes or just vote “NO” or “AGAINST.”

It seems like a no-brainer. School board members, several other local officials and the Houston Chronicle editorial board are urging a “NO” vote, as a way to protest a state school finance system commonly referred to as “Robin Hood.”

What folks aren’t being told, though, is that a “NO” vote is a “YES” vote for higher taxes.

The election is required because the value of property relative to the number of its students has grown so rapidly that Houston ISD is now considered a “wealthy district” under the state’s school funding mechanism. For Texas’ school finance system to meet constitutional muster, revenues must be equalized – a system commonly referred to as “Robin Hood.” Wealthy districts have to turn over a portion of their taxes so they can be used by poorer districts. The simplest way to do that is for Houston ISD to write a check to the state – something that must be authorized by local voters, and what Proposition 1 would allow.

Nobody wants their local tax dollars to leave the district, so “NO” seems like an easy vote. Unfortunately if “NO” prevails, the Commissioner of Education by law MUST detach approximately $20 billion of high-value business properties from Houston ISD and assign them to a less wealthy district. That equates to approximately 40 percent of all business property and 12 percent of the total taxable value of the district. This is not a one-time process. The commissioner will have to continue to detach more property each year as Houston’s values rise.

Those properties obviously won’t physically move, but they will send their tax dollars to a different school district. Houston ISD has a relatively low tax rate, so the detached properties will likely be assigned to a school district with a higher tax rate. As a result, the owners of detached properties could face as much as a $30 million tax increase.

However, properties left behind will see a tax hike, too. Houston ISD levies a property tax to pay off its bonded debt. That money is not subject to recapture. So if the commissioner detaches $20 billion of value, the tax base becomes that much smaller, and the district will need a higher tax rate to make its debt payments – 12 percent higher, or about 2 cents per $100 of value. For the owner of a $300,000 home, that amounts to about $50 a year in higher property taxes – an amount that will increase over time as more property is detached.

Here is the entire Op-Ed: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Craymer-Voting-no-on-HISD-recapture-could-be-a-9974925.php.

Interesting. So if Proposition One goes down some commercial properties within HISD could be getting their tax bills from Edgewood ISD or Ysleta ISD? If they are being assigned to a poorer school district, chances are they have a higher tax rate. Edgewood has a rate of 1.3359 per $100 taxable value. Ysleta 1.35.   HISD is at 1.1967. I don’t know about that. I don’t know about potentially sticking it to some local commercial property owners with a higher tax rate. It feels like they are being used as pawns. There is something wrong with this.

I asked my HISD trustee about this and she said she is voting yes.

Cleveland is up 3-0 in the ALCS.   They have lost out the last three times they went to the World Serious – 1954, 1995 and 1997. Who beat them those three times?

Let’s see. Donald Trump is fighting Secretary Hillary Clinton, the media and his own GOP leaders. Clinton is fighting Trump, Wikileaks, and the Russians. Sounds like a fair fight to me.

Here is what Sen. Marco Rubio said yesterday about the rigged election thing:

“This election is not being rigged. There is no evidence behind any of this, so this should not continue to be said. We have 67 counties in this state, each of which conduct their own elections. I promise you there is not a 67-county conspiracy to rig this election.”

Let’s see if Donald Trump takes a shot at him today.

Ok, from the send your wife out there and tell them it was Billy Bush’s fault department. These tweets:

Steph Haberman ‏@StephLauren 27m27 minutes ago

Want to know what seems like a fantastic idea? Electing a president who can be manipulated by Billy Bush.


Richard Deitsch ‏@richarddeitsch 26m26 minutes ago

How can Donald Trump defeat ISIS if he can’t fend off the trickery of Billy Bush?

Commentary got an email from the Chron saying that I needed to pay my subscription. I checked out when I last paid – a month ago. Oh, well. I am paying about $12.33 a week to have the Chron delivered. Plus, I get total online access.

If I went to the Corner Store and purchased it there, I would be paying $16 a week. Check this Channel 2 story on the Chron and their billing:

Many of you still start your day with coffee and the local paper. But some Houston Chronicle customers called consumer expert Amy Davis when they noticed some funny business with their subscriptions. Most customers Davis spoke with describe the same scenario: They paid for a year-long subscription, but they begin receiving notices that it’s time to renew after only 9 months.

Shailesh Vyas has subscribed to the Chronicle more than 15 years; but he says the paper started taking more money out of his bank account each month with no notice.

“We like to keep in touch with what’s going on,” said Vyas, explaining to Davis why he subscribes to the Chronicle. 

Just as Vyas faithfully reads the business section each day, his wife keeps track of the family’s finances. She noticed some funny business in the withdrawals the Houston Chronicle was making from their bank account. Their usual $26 a month subscription went up to $30 in july. In September, it was $35. That’s an almost 35% increase in 4 months.

“Well, what’s going on here?” Vyas asked. “Why is the rate increase so high?” 

He’s not the only one asking. The Houston Better Business Bureau has received 304 complaints in the last three years. 119 of those were about “billing and collection issues”.

Here is the entire story: http://www.click2houston.com/news/newspaper-billing-issues-channel-2-investigates-price-increases.

A while back, they used to have on their payment page when you last paid and for how long of a period the payment covered. I can’t seem to find that webpage anymore. I need to start paying better attention to this.

In 1954, Cleveland got swept by the New York Giants. In 1995, they lost to the ATL in 6 and in 1997, they lost to the Marlins in 7 of course.

I don’t have anything from The Yard today.


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