Archive for March 18th, 2019

Sounds nice and sweet, don’t you think?

Christina Morales gets sworn in this afternoon on the House Floor at the State Capitol. She will officially become State Representative, District 145. She certainly worked hard for it. She had a ton of family and friends who volunteered and gave money. I have said it before that she had a great campaign team led by Jaime and Linh. Great field team: Obet, Chris, Megan, Anna, Kaitlyn, Austin, Miguel, John, Josh and others.

Thanks to Cong. Sylvia Garcia, H-Town City Council Member Karla Cisneros, Pasadena Council Members Sammy Casados and Cody Ray Wheeler, South Houston City Council Member Irene Tamayo, Constable Silvia Trevino and HCC Trustees Eva Loredo and Robert Glaser. She had the support of key labor, business and political groups.

This being a special election with low turnout where voter contact was a must, I spent a lot of time on doors with her. She was one of the best I have seen – ever. During the 30 days before runoff election, she hit 2,500 doors. Pretty good, since we were only targeting the hardest core of the hardcore voters – 1, 2, 3, 4 at best 5 doors on a city block. Five hours or six hours a day at times.

Jaime has led the effort to get Christina transitioned into office – job well done. Her photo is already on the official Texas House website – it made me proud.

Well, shortly after 3 pm today, it will be a well-deserved State Representative Christina Morales. She will be sitting in Senator Carol Alvarado’s old House Floor desk. Nice job.

Commentary is going to start mixing in non-MLB questions every now and then like now. Pamela Brown covers the White House for CNN. What is her connection to Texas?

I got this email Friday from my buddy H-Town Council Member Jerry Davis:

Question: Do you want to pay a garbage fee?

Recently, a garbage fee has been proposed to pay for the raises of Houston firefighters. The fee would be a mandatory $19-$27 monthly payment if enacted. Please note: this fee will not go towards improving or changing your current garbage services in any way.

Don’t call it a proposed garbage fee if it is not going toward garbage service. Just go on and propose a property tax hike. You can do that without voter approval. If you want voter approval, put getting rid of the revenue cap on the ballot.

There was a Chron article and a Leader column this past weekend on the H-Town Mayor and the mayoral race, which included takes from local political types

From the Chron:
“It (Prop B) is politically problematic for the mayor. Given the current field of candidates, I don’t know that it presents a mortal threat to him,” said Keir Murray, a local Democratic consultant. “Nonetheless, it’s not helpful for him. Firefighters are popular, and whatever one thinks about the merits for and against Prop. B, the voters approved it, so there’s pressure to make that deal in some shape or form.”

And this:

“If this can be resolved, I think you will see that issue not be as prevalent as it is now, and we’ll get back to, you know, infrastructure, public safety, sort of the basics of city government,” Murray said.

And this:

Even without support from the firefighters, however, Turner’s re-election chances are not necessary in jeopardy, said Mustafa Tameez, a Houston Democratic strategist. In 2001, Tameez noted, the firefighters backed then-councilman Orlando Sanchez in his attempt to unseat Mayor Lee Brown, who was seeking a third term. Brown pulled out a narrow runoff win in the contentious and nationally watched election.

Years later, the electoral math has moved in Turner’s favor by shifting more Democratic, Tameez said, arguing that progressive voters are likely to go to Turner despite the race’s nonpartisan nature.

“I think the mayor this time, his challenge is to avoid a runoff,” Tameez said. “And with two people running against him, statistically it’s harder, but structurally, Tony Buzbee is not just going to attack the mayor. He’s likely to attack Bill King at the same time. And if they attack each other, the voters will kind of look at the three and go, you know, I may not agree with everything with Mayor Turner, but the alternative is not viable.”

And this:

Still, Turner is unnecessarily jeopardizing his re-election bid, said Mark Jones, a Rice University political scientist. Aside from the loss of firefighter support, he said, Prop B will force the mayor to make difficult choices during budget season.

“He’ll be making substantial budget cuts in an election year, which, from a re-election perspective, is not ideal,” Jones said.

Here is the Chron article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Turner-playing-with-political-fire-as-Prop-B-13692924.php.

From The Leader:

Instead of giving you more reasons, I’ll share what one of our city’s most astute political observers, Dr. Robert Stein of Rice University, said about Turner’s dilemma:

“My sense is that Proposition B has the potential to undermine the mayor’s reelection on several fronts. First, he is upside down with his base. Among supporters of the Mayor nearly 70 percent voted in favor of Proposition B,” Stein told me in an email. “If we assume pay parity for firefighters is still a salient issue to his base, the mayor’s electoral fortunes might be in trouble. This possibility remains a problem for the mayor’s reelection if he and the firefighters cannot find a way to compromise on a 3- versus 5-year phase in of Prop B.

“Second, firefighters remain a major player in the November’s election for mayor and city council,” Stein continued. “They proved how effective they can be last November, and I suspect their field operations can make a significant difference in this November’s election.”

Next, Stein said that if Turner is forced to lay off workers and cut library and park budgets, he may not be able to avoid the “public’s wrath by claiming the ‘firefighters made me do it.’”

The last point Stein made is fascinating: “Firefighters remain respected, especially during the hurricane season that immediately precedes this November’s election. Another hurricane or severe weather episode would only enhance the public’s regard and support for firefighters and their endorsed candidates.”

Here is The Leader column: https://theleadernews.com/turners-political-future-depends-on-firefighters/.

National syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. deosn’t think much of #BetoForAmerica. Check this:

Remember a couple of days ago when some folks were saying #BetoForAmerica’s first 24-hour money haul was a dismal failure because he didn’t announce it on Day 2. It wasn’t. He out did everyone else.

Ok, for those who are interested, we found out recently that actress Rosario Dawson is going out with presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. What is your favorite Dawson flick? Mine is “Unstoppable.”

Pamela Brown’s mom is Phyllis George who was born in Denton, Texas and became a Miss Texas and Miss America of course. George also made history by being one of the first women in professional football broadcasting when she was a co-host for CBS’s “The NFL Today” in the 1970s. George married John Y. Brown, Jr. who became governor of Kentucky.

MLB returns to The Yard one week from tonight and I am ready.

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