Archive for November, 2018

Short Take

Who was the first African American to win the MLB MVP Award?

Here is a story from the Trib today on how straight ticket voters put the hurt to the GOP: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/11/16/straight-ticket-voting-ed-emmett-harris-county-texas/.

Commentary is really done talking about this. I will say that more Dems showed up to vote in Harris County last week. We will find out in 2020 who will have the patience to vote the entire ballot.  We will see if Dems are really lazy voters.

Speaking of county government, the lead story in today’s Chron is the feds are investigating the juvenile justice system. Who’s leading the county these days?

Commentary doesn’t have any influence or say on the Dems who will be in leadership positions in Congress, but do they all have to be older than Commentary?

Jackie Robinson won the NL MVP Award in 1949 of course.

Fanfest is January 26, 2019.

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On GOPers

Justin Verlander was runner-up for the AL Cy Young Award yesterday. How many other times has he been the runner-up?

State Rep. Carol Alvarado filed for the #TXSD6 Special yesterday.

Commentary certainly has had takes on Harris County Judge Emmett and his campaign. I don’t think he will run again for a GOP position. He kind of burned bridges with the GOP when he said he would not vote for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

It was good to see this from a Channel 2 story, a class act from both:

Antonio liked

Lina Hidalgo‏@Lina4HC 48m48 minutes ago

Lina Hidalgo Retweeted KPRC 2 Houston

We had a busy day meeting with the heads of some of our Harris County departments and with my predecessor, Judge Emmett. I’m grateful to Judge Emmett for serving our community and for working with me in this transition process.

From  theChannel 2 News Story:

“There are a lot of projects already underway. He’s done great work. I appreciate him and his staff’s willingness to talk to us, and it’s exciting and we’re all working for the betterment of our community. But there are huge challenges but also huge opportunities. It’s great,” Hidalgo said.

Hidalgo said the two of them actually have common goals.

“We both love Harris County and had a great conversation about what’s happening and what the opportunities are, and I’m so thrilled to have sat down with him,” Hidalgo said.


Along the same lines, new #TXCD2 member-elect Dan Crenshaw certainly isn’t speaking from the GOP talking points. His appearance on “SNL” and most recently on “Today” have been refreshing. Let’s hope he stays that course.

It would be nice if all talking points from both sides of the aisle were ditched.

Justin Verlander was the AL Cy Young Award runner-up in 2012 and 2016 of course.

And he handled not winning the award this season with a lot of class.


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Sorry for the delay.  it is getting hectic.

The AL Cy Young will be announced today.  How many times has Justin Verlander won the Cy Young?

In State House District 134, voter turnout was 68.46% last week.  73.65% in 2016.

HD 135, 54.73% last week and 63.42% in 2016.

HD 140, 38.49% last week and 48.29% in 2016.

HD 141, 39.14% last week and 50.18% in 2016.

HD 143, 42.82% last week and 52.16 in 2016.

HD 144, 39.22% last week and 49.18% in 2016.

HD 145, 46.98% last week and 53.63% in 2016.

Let say me this.  Houston Metro needs to do a better job of synchronizing their red lights along the Red Line in the Northside.  Way to long sitting in your car.

Justin Verlander won the AL Cy Young in 2011 of course.

Good luck, today!



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I was shocked when I learned Sunday night that we lost my old pal Antonio Gonzalez. See this statement from yesterday:

On behalf of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP) and the William C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI) board of directors and staff, we sadly inform our community and its allies that Antonio Gonzalez, SVREP and WCVI President, passed away on Sunday, November 11, 2018, after a courageous battle with cancer.  That we are heartbroken is an understatement. Antonio was a determined and tireless warrior who worked up until the end. He was able to see the results of the recent elections and rejoiced in the victories the Latino vote and SVREP’s efforts brought the nation.

As President of SVREP and WCVI, Antonio Gonzalez dedicated his life to empowering Latinos, from mobilizing voters and training novices and community leaders to become viable political candidates, to finding innovative solutions to the systemic barriers that our communities face. He also worked across borders building relationships with community members throughout the United States, Mexico, Central, and South America and Cuba. Antonio was a visionary and astute strategist whose impact will benefit communities for years to come.

Antonio was named one of the 25 most influential Hispanics in America by Time Magazine in 2005 and was recently named by the Frederick Douglass Family Initiative as one of the “Frederick Douglass 200,” a list of those who best embody the spirit and work of Frederick Douglass. The list also includes President Barack Obama, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, and Secretary Robert Reich, among others. 

He was a pioneer in the area of environmental justice and was an early advocate for brown green policies in the Latino community, advocating for equitable and accessible open space. 

A champion for the underserved and underrepresented, Antonio dedicated his life to fighting against all anti-immigrant, anti-Latino policies.

Antonio’s voice, legacy, and vision will live on in both SVREP’s and WCVI’s work to embolden the Latino community, give a voice to the disenfranchised, protect children, and to empower the oppressed.  

Antonio Gonzalez is survived by his wife Alma Martinez, daughters Sara and Isabel Gonzalez, his mother, brothers and sister, and family.

Sad. I first started working with him back in the 1980s. He was certainly a key player in Latino politics and policy nationwide. His voice will be missed.

From Channel 13 on last Tuesday’s election:


Outgoing Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says he is scheduled to speak with his successor, Lina Hidalgo, this week about her transition into office.

Nearly a week after losing his bid for a third to term to the 27-year-old first-time Democratic candidate, Emmett told Eyewitness News that straight ticket voting played a consequential role in his electoral defeat.

Emmett also warned Republicans will be as much to blame for Texas turning into “another California” if the party does not change its message away from divisive issues.

Do yourself a favor and watch this four-minute interview with Harris County Judge Ed Emmett: https://abc13.com/politics/ousted-county-judge-says-republican-party-needs-a-reboot/4675842/?ex_cid=TA_KTRK_TW&utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=5bea84999ac564000177b91e&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter.

So, it goes.

Dallas Keuchel will test the free agent market.

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SD 6 Special

What was the big news in MLB 98 years ago today?

Commentary is going to be kind of busy between now and December 11, now that we have an election date for the Senate District 6 Special Election so my takes will be a bit short at times. The filing deadline is Friday and Early Voting in Person starts in two weeks. Here is the official proclamation:

November 9, 2018 | Austin, Texas | Proclamation


WHEREAS, the resignation of Senator Sylvia R. Garcia, and its acceptance, has caused a vacancy to exist in Texas State Senate District 6, which is wholly contained within Harris County; and

WHEREAS, Article III, Section 13 of the Texas Constitution and Section 203.002 of the Texas Election Code require that a special election be ordered upon such a vacancy, and Section 3.003 of the Texas Election Code requires the special election to be ordered by proclamation of the Governor; and

WHEREAS, the vacancy occurred on November 9, 2018, and, therefore, pursuant to Section 203.013(a) the vacancy occurred during the 60 days immediately prior to the date of convening the 86th Regular Legislative Session; and

WHEREAS, Section 203.013(c) of the Texas Election Code provides that an expedited special election must be held on a Tuesday or Saturday occurring not earlier than the 21st day or later than the 45th day after the date the election is ordered;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GREG ABBOTT, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby order a special election to be held in Texas State Senate District No. 6 on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, for the purpose of electing a state senator to serve out the unexpired term of Senator Sylvia R. Garcia.

Candidates who wish to have their names placed on the special election ballot must file their applications with the Secretary of State no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 16, 2018. Early voting by personal appearance shall begin on Monday, November 26, 2018, in accordance with Sections 85.001(a) and (c) of the Texas Election Code.

A copy of this order shall be mailed immediately to the County Judge of the county contained within Texas State Senate District No. 6, and all appropriate writs shall be issued and all proper proceedings shall be followed to the end that said special election may be held to fill the vacancy in Texas State Senate District No. 6 and its result proclaimed in accordance with law.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto signed my name and have officially caused the Seal of State to be affixed at my office in the City of Austin, Texas, this the 9th day of November, 2018.


It is good to see Harris County Judge-Elect Lina Hidalgo get a warm acceptance from folks. That’s the way it should be and here is a letter to the Chron editor from today’s Chron:

Regarding the surprise election of Lina Hidalgo as Harris County judge, I am hearing a lot of comments about her age and inexperience.

Perhaps we have become a nation of helicopter parents to realize how foolish that sounds. When I was her age, I had been hired by Dresser Industries (Brown & Root before that) and at 28 years of age was being sent around the world to negotiate commercial contracts with clients in China, India, Europe, South America, etc — more than 30 countries in 5 years. At 18, I had a pilot’s license and flew my parents a thousand miles from Texas to Iowa a couple of times. Now parents won’t let their kids drive 100 miles without freaking out.

So no, I am not freaking out at Hidalgo’s age. I have heard her speak and she is quite intelligent. And yes, she said during the campaign that we must address flooding. I hope she will also address the thing Judge Ed Emmett did not — the windborne debris damage in hurricanes that causes the weakest link in every building to blow out — the glass.

Hurricane Ike blew out windows across Houston, causing billions in damage which could have been avoided with a simple technology I discovered after spending time as a terrorism analyst on Houston TV after 911.

I have total confidence in Lina, and I wish her the best.

Michael Fjetland, El Lago

98 years ago today, Kenesaw Mountain Landis of course was named the first MLB Commissioner.

I don’t have anything from The Yard today.

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Jose Altuve picked up his 5th Silver Slugger Award yesterday.  Who was the 1st Astro to ever win a Silver Slugger Award?

Commentary was going to talk about the Harris County precinct-by-precinct returns today but they are not on the HarrisVotes website this morning.  What I do remember from checking them yesterday was Commentary’s precinct went solidly for #BetoForTexas and split on Prop B.   In a couple of hardcore Latino precincts in the East End, #BetoForTexas racked up 80% plus and Prop B was winning big.

This is hilarious from the Chron today:

In response to questions about no elected Republicans left on Harris County benches, Paul Simpson, Chairman of the Harris County GOP, released a broad statement that he was mad and determined.

“I am mad. Mad at the avoidable losses wreaked across Texas by the Beto wave of straight-ticket votes,” he said. “That straight-ticket wave turned Fort Bend County Democrat, defeated Republicans on appellate courts across Texas, elected Democrats across the state to Congress and the Legislature, and swept every countywide vote in Harris County.”

This fella is not going to listen to Commentary, but Harris County is the most diverse place in the solar system, stop spewing hate or get used to getting your arses kicked.

BTW:  The GOP supported getting rid of straight ticket voting but on the local GOP website, voters were urged to vote straight ticket GOP.  Shameless in my book.

Then this tweet:

Patrick Svitek‏ @PatrickSvitek 1h1 hour ago
From today’s Blast — @DanPatrick in intvu w/ @AlexSamuelsx5, on Emmett saying he’d vote for Collier: “That probably cost him his race because thousands of Republicans were very unhappy with him. We were trying to promote straight-ticket, and he wouldn’t promote straight-ticket.”

Yeah, sure.

The fella who help kill straight ticket, promoting straight-ticket.  Did Commentary say shameless?

This is disturbing from today’s Chron’s Editor:

In September, I informed our readers of the troubling allegation that a veteran political reporter, Mike Ward, had fabricated individuals for a story published earlier this summer. I promised a thorough investigation of Ward’s work and that I would share the results with our readers. Today’s story by David Wood, whom we hired as a freelance investigative reporter, details our findings.

As a result of this investigation, the Houston Chronicle is retracting eight stories written by Ward. In each case, the story’s premise was based on sourcing we cannot confirm. We are correcting an additional 64 stories, each of which had at least one unconfirmed source but whose premise did not rest on an unconfirmed source.

These are challenging times for our country, and for journalism. That makes it all the more important that readers trust that we will ferret out the truth, even if it concerns ourselves.

I wonder if Alison Cook is really eating at the fancy restaurants?

Do I get a partial refund on my subscription for reading the made-up stories?

Dickie Thon and Jose Cruuuuuuuuuuuuuzz of course were the first Astros to win Silver Slugger Awards in 1983.

I wonder what the Opening Day lineup will look like?

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Straight Ticket Dummies

Lance McCullers, Jr. had surgery a couple of days ago and won’t pitch next season. How many postseason wins does he have as a pitcher?

As the 2020 Dem Presidential Primary is fixing to kickoff, let me just say the following. I hope our Dem nominee ends up being someone younger than Commentary – period.

Commentary doesn’t like to brag, but a couple of weeks ago I participated on a pre-election panel sponsored by the Houston Apartment Association. I was asked how well #BetoForTexas would have to do in Harris County for County Judge Ed Emmett not to survive? I said 56%. #BetoForTexas got close to 58%.

This past Sunday morning, I was on Fox 26’s “What’s Your Point” and I was asked about Harris County voting. I said the only question remaining was would Judge Emmett and County Commissioner Jack Morman survive.

I wonder if the Chron E-Board knows that 77% of Harris County voters chose to vote the straight ticket this past Tuesday. Commentary was one of them. We are not ignorant and lazy voters.

For me it is Degüello baby. No quarter. Take no prisoners.

The GOP is led by a racist.   And nearly every GOP elected official and candidate refuses too stand up to and call out this racist. They only do it when they decide not to run for reelection. They are all complicit in my book. It is an easy call, not a lazy call.

Here is from the Chron E-Board today:

The perils of straight-ticket voting were on full display Tuesday in Harris County.

Longtime County Judge Ed Emmett, a moderate Republican who’s arguably the county’s most respected public official, was ousted by Lina Hidalgo, a 27-year-old graduate student running her first race. She is bright, determined and obviously fearless. She’s also got her work cut out for her as the chief executive-elect of a county more populous than 26 states. We hope she succeed,s but residents can be forgiven for being squeamish about how Hidalgo will lead the county and, by extension, the region’s 6 million people, through the next hurricane.

And this:

This is the price we pay for the drive-thru convenience of straight-ticket voting. Of course, this year it wasn’t just about convenience. People were fed up. In Harris, a large urban county that leans Democratic, the frustration produced a blue wave locally.

And this:

The historic turnout in the midterms was inspiring, but we can’t lose sight of the point of these elections. It’s not merely to win. It’s to pick good, capable people to be our voice in Austin, in Washington and over on county commissioner’s court.

We should choose our spokespeople carefully. Voting is a right. Voting well is our civic responsibility.

I can’t decide if what the E-Board put out today is funny, alarming or dangerous. It certainly is offensive and disrespectful.  I don’t need to be lectured on civic responsibility because I vote in every election.

What is wrong with 77% of voters going to the polls with the intent to only support candidates from a particular party. Do they think that eliminating straight ticket voting is going to result in a different outcome? How do they know we are not going to stay in the voting booth a little longer and vote for all of our party’s candidates.

77% don’t know how to vote, I guess. Or 77% are voting the wrong way.

Well, the E-Board will get their wish in 2020.

The rest of us will just have to pack a lunch when we go to the polls.

Royko sent me this yesterday:

Tony Sanchez, and now the Anglo candidate of white privilege who prefers a Spanish alias, learned you can’t buy the elections in Texas.

Harris County?

Lance McCullers, Jr, won Game 3 of the 2017 World Series of course.

I got news for all those in an angst mood over how we pick our judges. There is not a better way. If you put them on a different non-partisan election day, then only the huge law firms will participate. You get the picture?

That’s all I have to say

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Thank You, #BetoForTexas

When the Harris County Early Vote totals came in last night, Commentary thought Harris County Judge Ed Emmett’s 6,000 vote lead would hold. Same thing for Harris County Commissioner Jack Morman’s 4,000 vote lead. I didn’t expect 352,487 Election Day voters.

In the farewell Straight Ticket Vote election, Harris County voters sent a big F-U gift to the local GOP.

Straight ticket Dems: 511,282. Straight ticket GOP: 408,413. That’s a record spread of 102,869. Hasta la vista, baby!

A Dem majority on the Commissioners Court. And all three Dems are folks of color.

Latinos won’t be screwed on Commissioners Court redistricting in 2021. That’s for sure.

Harris County government is now led by a Latina. Show her respect, please. Don’t judge her by her age, color of her skin, gender, or where she was born. She has yet to serve a day in office.

BTW: Hunker down in Spanish is “agacharse.” Now you know.

We are sending a Latina Dem to Congress. Now that’s historic. Major congrats to Sen. Sylvia Garcia.

We picked up two State House seats in Harris County.

We won #TXCD7.

We swept all countywide races including County Clerk and District Clerk.

The #BlueWave was local for sure.

I’ll take Dems controlling the U.S. House of Representatives any day.

Same for picking up 2 Dem State Senators and 12 Dem State Reps in Texas.

Ditto for 2 Congressional seats.

Next door, the Fort Bend County DA will now be a Dem.

H-Town Firefighter Marty Lancton has to be feeling pretty good this morning.

Finally, a huge thank you Cong. Beto O’Rourke who was the fuel and energy for Dem gains made in Texas and Harris County. It would not have been done without his leadership and effort.   Never forget #BetoForTexas in 2018. It was certainly worth the fight.


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Sorry for the delay. Commentary was out at some polls this morning.   Got rained on.   There were some lines of voters at a few voting locations.

I filled out my Roundtable’s Election Pool and I went #BlueWave. I have not seen any data points that says there won’t be one. More younger voters. More Latinos. Way more Latinas. Extraordinary high mid-term turnout. No one has produced pro GOP data points.

Donald Trump thinks going anti-Brown folks will do it for him again. Like former Bill Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart said on CNN this morning, Hillary Clinton isn’t on the ballot this election, so there is no foil.

The Baytown Sun said that Lina Hidalgo wasn’t qualified or something like that and County Judge Ed Emmett’s mouthpiece said he was glad somebody finally said that. Funny, Judge Emmett’s never said that.

Some folks won’t be surprised if Judge Emmett is a goner this evening.

Some folks are saying that the new #BetoForTexas voters are just going to vote for #BetoForTexas and skip all the other races. Nope! That’s not what the #BetoForTexas campaign is all about.

Commentary is a little disappointed that the CNN Dem talking heads haven’t predicted a #BlueWave or something like that. They have been cautious in my opinion.

Let’s hope the new way we get Harris County results works OK.

Heck. Just go vote!

#BlueWave, baby!

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Voting My District

Dallas Keuchel won his fourth Gold Glove Award yesterday. Name the MLB pitcher with the most Gold Gloves?

I am sure you have heard the phrase “voting my district” before.   It has to do with elected officials voting on issues and matters the way their district voters would want them to vote. I’m sure you have heard them say on many occasions “I’m voting my district” on issues before them. Check out this from the Chron’s Mike Morris this past weekend:

Mayor Sylvester Turner will ask the city council next week to approve a $1.3 million contract with a law firm to represent the city in anticipation of possible litigation over Proposition B, a measure that would grant firefighters the same pay as police of corresponding rank and seniority.

The contract with Norton Rose Fulbright — which could be approved the day after Tuesday’s general election — would set aside $250,000 for the firm to handle litigation over real estate purchases in connection with infrastructure projects; the rest would be set aside for a court fight over pay “parity.”

Here is the entire Chron article by Morris: https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Houston-may-hire-law-firm-ahead-of-possible-court-13359477.php.

Woah! Now that is what you call putting “voting my district” to the ultimate test. It is going to be interesting to see H-Town Council Members vote to approve if their districts voted in support of Prop B. The new way the election results will be released tomorrow, Council members will know in real time how their districts voted.

None of this matters if voters reject Prop B. I have no idea how Prop B will fare. The Roundtable’s Election Pool has it favored because you get more points if you pick it to lose. I got my fourth For Prop B mailer on Friday. The anti-Prop B effort for the most part has been the H-Town Mayor, the Police Union, and the Chron E-Board on occasion. Yeah, there have been some other groups that have come forward to oppose, but they really haven’t been that visible. On the pro-Prop B side, the H-Town Firefighters sure were a major visible presence at all the Early Voting locations.

Here in Harris County, 766,613 Voted Early in Person.

In 2016, the entire total was 882,580.

In 2014, the entire total was 307,280.

We ended up at 87% of the 2016 Early Vote in Person turnout and 249% of 2014.

Hall of Fame great pitcher Greg Maddux of course has won the most Gold Gloves with 18.

Commentary will be filling out the Roundtable Pool 2018 General Election. I am going with a blue wave.

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