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Archive for June 10th, 2019

Wut!

What is our record on Sundays?

Commentary was watching Fox 26’s “What’s Your Point” yesterday and one of the GOP talking heads casually said the U.S. Constitution guarantees U.S. citizens the right to vote. No, it doesn’t.

I am rooting for Big Papi this morning.

My old buddy Gene Mendoza is no longer with us.  He, my best friend and I and a few others spent a month in New Hampshire way, way back working on a presidential campaign.

Democratic Party presidential candidate U.S. Senator Kamala Harris has one of the best takes so far in the 2020 race. It is a classic. She gave it yesterday and here it is: https://twitter.com/i/status/1137831661557768192.

Identify fraud! Love it!

For the end pay-to-play campaign, this Chron story by Zach Despart and Mike Morris could not have come at a better time. Here is the Chron online headline:

Two years after bribery scandal, Sreerama welcomed back as Harris County vendor

Here is the story: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Two-years-after-bribery-scandal-Sreerama-13960970.php?src=hp_totn.

Unbelievable, but believe.

Here is from the Chron story:

Two men in business attire sat across from Harris County Engineer John Blount in the downtown administration building earlier this year, making the routine visit Blount asks of all engineers wishing to be added to the county’s list of approved vendors.

These attendees already were well known, however, not only to Blount, but to nearly every political player in Houston.

One was Karun Sreerama, an engineer and prolific political donor who resigned as Houston Public Works director two years ago after payments he made to a Houston Community College trustee who pleaded guilty to bribery charges became public. The other was Jerry Eversole, who had a corner office on the building’s top floor as a county commissioner for nearly two decades until his resignation as part of a 2011 plea deal in a federal corruption case.

The pair were in Blount’s office Feb. 7 seeking county work on behalf of DHAR Engineering & Consulting, Sreerama’s new firm. Six weeks later, Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle asked Blount to place the firm on the Commissioners Court agenda for a road project.

And this:

“The ongoing relationship between Sreerama and local government is stunning,” (University of Houston political science professor Brandon) Rottinghaus said. “These relationships show that even the disinfectant of sunlight cannot slow the cozy, powerful relationships between political insiders and government contracts.”

And finally, this:

County Judge Lina Hidalgo made ethics a pillar of her campaign last year and in January announced she would refuse contributions from vendors. She said she has yet to decide whether to support the DHAR contract.

Rottinghaus, the UH political scientist, said the proposal is a prime opportunity for Hidalgo to show she is serious about changing the way Harris County does business.

“It’s one thing to decide not to take money from specific contractors and engineers,” Rottinghaus said. “It’s another to decry the shady deals right at the doorstep of county government.”

This is a no brainer for Judge Hidalgo. Doesn’t she have the final say on what gets on the Commissioners Court Agenda? This is the kind of stuff that the GOP will use on Judge Hidalgo and Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia in 2022. It needs to be nipped in the bud, for sure.

Here is what Evan Mintz tweeted on the story:

Can’t get over this story

Nice job by the Chron’s Despart and Morris.

Wut was the reaction!

H-Town Council Member Dwight Boykins had his campaign kickoff announcement this past weekend. Here is from the Chron:

Also backing Boykins at his kickoff was state Rep. Mary Ann Perez, a Houston Democrat who served with Turner in the Legislature. She said she would “stand by (Boykins’) side until this is done.”

“I know when he becomes mayor, he’s going to stand up and fight for each and every one of us,” said Perez, whose son is a Houston firefighter. “I know there is a difference between a politician and a public servant. And Dwight Boykins is a public servant.”

And this:

Boykins took several shots at (Mayor Sylvester) Turner, too, blaming him at one point for failing to secure the Democratic National Committee’s 2020 convention.

Here is the entire article on Boykins: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Dwight-Boykins-kicks-off-campaign-for-Houston-13962792.php.

The Astros are 7-4 on Sundays of course.

An interesting tweet from yesterday:

Seth C. Payne‏ @SethCPayne 15h15 hours ago

Texans current problem: Don’t have a GM

Rockets current problem: Contract uncertainty with head coach

Astros current problem: Can’t figure out if it’s pronounced Yor-dan or Jor-dan

Welcome to H-Town, Yordan Alvarez!

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