Archive for January 3rd, 2018

On Media Relations

Name the pitcher who tossed the most innings in the 2017 World Series?

Commentary has been dealing with the media for like forever. One rule I have is be honest with them. Don’t lie to them. Don’t try to hide stuff. Don’t mislead them. Let them know your conflicts of interest. You get the picture.  It has worked well for me over the years.

If you don’t have this, you got nothing – nada!

From a Ted Oberg story from Channel 13 yesterday:


Mayor Sylvester Turner’s press secretary was suspended for two weeks without pay after she failed to turn over thousands of documents required to be released under Texas law. Darian Ward was asked to turn over emails relating to her work on non-city related projects, including a private side business called “Joy in Motion Productions.” Ward told Trent Siebert, the journalist who requested the records, and her bosses that she only had 30 emails relating to the request.

When asked again, Ward told her boss that she was providing 29 of the 30 emails “merely to demonstrate to [Siebert] that the request produced only one relevant email. The city’s Office of Inspector General searched the city system and found about 5,000 emails dealing with Ward’s side business “Joy in Motion, or other personal, non-city business matters over the three year period” requested, a city memo said.

In the story, this is what my old pal Alan Bernstein, the Mayor’s Communications Director says:

“Ms. Ward, you misrepresented to the requestor the volume of documents regarding the TPIA request under state law and you misinformed the Chief of Staff and me; you spent a significant amount of city time conducting your personal business rather than focusing on your work task. Your actions are in violation of… city policies. Ms. Ward, you not only understood, but also agree that your outside employment should in no way conflict or compete for your energy, mentally, or physically, with your City job nor shall it create a conflict between the public trust held by you in your capacity as an employee with [the City of Houston.] However, your actions proved otherwise.”

They threw the book at her. A hefty 10-day suspension without pay. Wow! That is taking it right up to the line in violating her Eighth Amendment rights.

Here is the entire Oberg story: http://abc13.com/politics/hidden-emails-lead-to-suspension-of-mayors-press-secretary/2852087/.

Tsk, tsk, tsk!

Kuffer has a take on possible local elections in 2018. Here is his take on the Rev Cap:

Revenue cap repeal/modification

Another one that we thought would be on the November ballot was a revenue cap referendum. In the end, the plan was shelved so as not to endanger the pension obligation bonds. The strategy worked – the bonds passed – so now it’s time to finish off this piece of business. The main question is one of timing. If the firefighters’ pay parity proposal passes, then no further charter amendments can be voted on for two years. That presents Mayor Turner with a choice: Work to defeat the pay proposal, and thus vote on revenue cap reform in November, or put the rev cap issue on the ballot in May alongside this issue? I can make a case for either, but I’m sure the Mayor would prefer to have this up in November. We’ll see how that plays out.

Also, too, there’s the question of what exactly this referendum will do. Initially, Mayor Turner spoke about modifying it, to allow more revenue growth that would apply to public safety. More recently, he seemed to be talking full repeal, which is of course my preference. Again, we’ll see what happens.

This one would have fierce opposition no doubt. It is not a slam dunk. Even some Dems would be opposed – just saying.

Here is all of Kuffer on the possible 2018 elections: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=84021.

Kuffer also has a take on HISD Trustee Diana Davila not getting on the ballot for JP Pct. 6 here: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=84129.

From Steve Houston on my take on old movies yesterday:

“Cool Hand Luke”, “Bonnie and Clyde”, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, and “The Sting” are all on heavy cable rotation throughout the year, The “Wild Bunch” regularly seen as well.

I need to start paying attention.

Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers got in 15 2/3 innings of course in the 2017 World Series.

That’s all I have.

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