Archive for February 6th, 2018


Mickey Mantle holds the record for most all time World Series dingers with 18. Who is number two on the list?

Early Voting in Person starts two weeks from today and Election Day is four weeks from today.

If you are going to run for Governor of Texas as a Dem, you ought to know the key issues. Like here in the H-Town area where we just got clobbered by Harvey, you better know something about flooding. And if you have a law enforcement background, you better be in the ballpark on what the state is spending on their border security efforts.

Here is from D Magazine:

It’s not quite time to print the “Lupe Fiasco” headline somebody out there must be itching to use, but over the weekend the state’s two biggest newspapers endorsed Andrew White over former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez in the Democratic primary for governor.

It’s more good news for White, the Houston businessman and son of the late Gov. Mark White, who announced this morning that he raised more than $1.1 million for his campaign in the first three weeks of January—counting, it should be said, a $1 million loan from himself. Valdez’s campaign hasn’t yet reported its January fundraising, but was outpaced by White by more than $150,000 in December.

That looks bad enough for Valdez. The Dallas Morning News, the former sheriff’s hometown newspaper, bringing out the knives in its endorsement of White looks worse:

We had high hopes for former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, the only candidate who’s held elective office, having been elected in 2004 and re-elected four times since, and someone we’ve supported locally at various times.  We were disappointed by her gross unfamiliarity with state issues, however, particularly an almost incoherent attempt to discuss state financing.

At one point, Valdez, 70, volunteered that she didn’t know whether the state was spending $8 million or $8 billion on border control. (It’s closer $800 million.) On college tuition, she first suggested the Legislature “and stakeholders” should set tuition rates, but then contradicted herself, and she later said the state should move to reduce local property tax rates, apparently unaware of those set by local jurisdictions.

The Houston Chronicle was more measured, citing only how Valdez “stumbled over flooding questions” in an interview with its editorial board. It’s clear why the Houston paper would place a premium on the candidates’ stances on flooding, and it’s telling that the Chronicle wasted so little ink on Valdez. The Chronicle also describes White as the Democrat who will attract the most voters in a general election. It compares him to George W. Bush (meant here as a good thing), a political scion in a “common sense” package.

Perhaps more striking, the Houston GLBT Political Caucus endorsed White over Valdez, the country’s first openly gay Latina sheriff. Apparently, and you’ll notice this has become something of a running theme of Valdez’s campaign, she bombed the interview.

Valdez has picked up endorsements from the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas and the AFL-CIO, and may still have the support of many state Democrats, but the story of her campaign has so far been illustrated by anemic fundraising, a shaky grasp on some of the issues, shoddy organization, and poor messaging.

She can’t pick up her hometown newspaper. Really? That’s all I can say about this.

Here is a letter-to-the-(Chron)editor from my pal Marty Stein:

Public servants

Regarding “Show’s over: Scandal is a lesson for City Hall,” (Page A11, Jan. 29), as a former staff member to four Houston mayors, I was extremely disheartened by the reported actions of Darian Ward. Undoubtedly this episode will erode people’s trust in local government. I know for a fact that the vast majority of city employees, both in the mayor’s office and elsewhere, are hard-working, under-appreciated public servants who deserve our thanks and praise.

But your editorial took an unfair turn when it painted two fine public servants with the same brush. It was a cheap shot to allude to Steve Costello’s and Mark Kilkenny’s alleged conflicts of interest as if these are equivalent to Ward’s actions. As former council agenda director and the current chair of the Houston Planning Commission, I have had the honor and good fortune to work with both individuals and believe your characterization is simply incorrect.

Costello is particularly well suited to oversee city policy on flooding and drainage because he offers years of professional experience combined with the sensibilities of a former at-large city council member. Houston is lucky he is willing to defer a well-earned retirement to serve us.

As for Kilkenny, I am not sure I could name a more dedicated seeker of civic good. Throughout his many years of volunteer service on the planning commission, including six years as chair, Kilkenny has been an unfailing advocate for adherence to both the letter and spirit of the law. The commission’s work can be very technical and is frequently misunderstood, but Kilkenny is consistently a voice of reason, experience and integrity that the other commissioners rely on.

I am not prone to complain about the editorials, but I feel compelled to defend these two decent men from unfair criticism.

Marty Stein, Houston

Fair enough. I guess. I really don’t think the E-Board was making a comparison.

I saw this on the MSN website on the game the other night:

Al Michaels doesn’t appear to have watched much baseball in the last 20 years.

During the second quarter of Super Bowl LII, NBC showed some of the celebrities who were in attendance in Minneapolis for the big game. One person they showed was two-time AL MVP Mike Trout, who is a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan.

When NBC showed Trout, Michaels said that the outfielder played for the “California Angels.”

If that sounds a little off, it’s because the Angels haven’t had that team name since 1996.

I remember Al Michaels saying this and I didn’t even think twice about it because they have been the California Angels, the Anaheim Angels, the Anaheim at Los Angeles Angels or was it the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim, and now the Los Angeles Angels. Make up your minds!

Babe Ruth of course comes in at number two with 15 World Series dingers and the Bambino was born 123 years ago today.

You just know the SpringerDinger contract for $24 mil is going to drive up prices at The Yard this season.

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