Archive for June 29th, 2017

What is our lead for AL home field advantage in the playoffs?

For 45 years now, Commentary has been fighting the good fight in Latino politics. No ifs, ands, or buts, or for that matter butts, on this issue. If I am going to be in a no-holds barred Latino politics fight, I want former H-Town City Council Member James Rodriguez to watch my back. That is how strongly I feel about his ability, commitment, and loyalty.

Commentary and James began working together in 1999 and James has not disappointed since. In 2000, he travelled the country to battleground states and help coordinate the W Truth Squads. He managed Carol Alvarado’s first run for H-Town City Council in 2001. He won his own race against two opponents in 2007 without a runoff. When the administration and their allies tried to knock off the only Latina on the Port Commission in a high profile battle in 2010, James led the effort to hold on to that position and kicked arse in the process. He also led the effort at H-Town City Hall to get Southwest Air international flights out of Hobby Airport.

James is now headed to his next gig, err adventure. See this from Mike Snyder of the Chron:

Pasadena mayor-elect Jeff Wagner confirmed Wednesday that he has chosen former Houston City Councilman James Rodriguez as his chief of staff.

Wagner, a city councilman who defeated community college trustee John Moon Jr. in a June 10 runoff in the mayor’s race, will be sworn in on Saturday. He will replace longtime Mayor Johnny Isbell, who could not seek re-election because of term-limits.

The City Council voted last week to create the chief of staff position, with a salary range of $136,000 to $204,000 a year, said outgoing Councilman Ornaldo Ybarra. Wagner has been introducing Rodriguez to council members as his choice for the position, Ybarra said.

Wagner, a retired Houston police officer, told me he became acquainted with Rodriguez through his work with the Houston Police Officers’ Union.

Rodriguez served three terms, ending in 2013, representing council District I on Houston’s east side. He previously worked as an aide to Democratic state Rep. Carol Alvarado, a former Houston councilwoman.

Wagner’s choice of a Latino for a high-profile job in his administration might be seen as a sign of outreach to Pasadena’s Latinos, who now account for about two-thirds of the population in the city of roughly 150,000. A federal judge found in January that a new council district system, initiated by Isbell, and supported by Wagner and Isbell’s other allies on the council, unlawfully diluted Latino voting strength.

If you want Pasadena to continue to be a racially divided city, then James ain’t your guy for Chief of Staff to the new Mayor. For those that think James may be selling out, you don’t know anything about James and his upbringing so just zip up your pie hole.

Commentary doesn’t know the new mayor of Pasadena. It certainly doesn’t sound like it is going to be business as usual in Pasadena. Not when you hire someone with James’ ability and skills. A smart move if you ask me and guess what? Nobody asked Commentary.

So, here is what the Chron’s Mike Snyder tweeted when he put out the article on James:

Mike Snyder‏Verified account@chronsnyder 10h10 hours ago


Unusual career move: Ex-Houston councilman Rodriguez tapped as aide to new Pasadena mayor: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/neighborhood/pasadena/article/Ex-Houston-councilman-tapped-as-aide-to-new-11253033.php?t=590b6aa57c … @kristi_nix @mmorris011

Snyder and the Chron have written extensively on Pasadena’s racial divide and politics over the past year. What has happened in Pasadena has been closely read about and watched by the area’s Latino community. It is the biggest current Latino political story in this part of the state. So, the move by James isn’t “unusual.” It is more about a seasoned veteran Latino player stepping up and accepting a challenge that will be appreciated by many and count Commentary amongst the many.

Embrace this move.

Commentary got this response yesterday from Steve Houston on the “ugly ballot” take:

With so many expensive items on the ballot at once, HISD has a bond too, this might backfire on Mayor Turner. Who wins the most if the individual components are voted down? For the pension bonds, the city’s municipal workers and police win big since all the concessions they made will be tossed out the window.

This would infuriate the firemen whose cuts remain in place no matter what but taxpayers will still be responsible for the growing pension debt so two years later the legislature will get to waste time all over again for another try. With the CIP bond, how many outdated facilities will simply be closed if that measure doesn’t pass, the Mayor likely to have to close additional facilities down to contain the costs. The revenue cap failing would have a similar impact, any standing offers to firemen for pay raises would be pulled from the table, many of the programs already initiated would have to be trimmed back and frankly, that might be a good thing so that taxpayers can see what they lost.

HISD needs money for facilities too but by voting the bonds down, voters would signal to the school district that they just aren’t interested, those with the means to send their kids to private schools already upset at the failure of vouchers in Austin will not care since it won’t directly impact them or their kids. If the Mayor can pull this off though, he’ll certainly increase spending on frills, all announced potential cuts designed to pander to those who want “more” from city hall.

I didn’t know about HISD.

The ’Stros have a 9 ½ lead over the Red Sox and Yankees for the AL homefield advantage in the playoffs – PLAYOFFS!

That was a high scoring affair last night at The Yard.

Ten years ago yesterday, Craig Biggio got his 3,000th career base hit and the next day the new phone gizmos went on sale.

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