Archive for November, 2019

Thanksgiving Day

The drive to Porter was OK. I listened to The Carpenters’ “Christmas Portrait” album on the way over and back. Thanksgiving Day Dinner was yummy. We also talked about Cristina and Alex having a church wedding next month. Cool.

Day 1 of Runoff Early Voting in Person is in the books and only 159 mail ballots are in. That is compared to 18,138 mail ballots that were reported on Day 1 of the 2015 Runoff Early Voting in Person. Not to worry. In 2015, the General Election was held on November 3 with Day 1 of Runoff Early Voting in Person beginning on December 2, nearly a month later. This year, the General Election was held on November 5 with Day 1 of Runoff Early Voting in Person beginning on November 27, just a day over three weeks later. 28,586 ballots have been mailed. Have patience.

What a difference an election makes. The Tony Buzbee campaign is certainly not as robust as it was in Round 1.

I didn’t watch the college game on ESPN last night. I watched “The Wizard of Oz” on TBS. I did watch the highlights of the game where the receiver went doggie on a fire hydrant after a TD catch. I get that he gets the 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration. Any harsher penalty is uncalled for because it was the funniest TD celebration. Just saying.

When I was a school age kid, CBS would air “The Wizard of Oz” on a Sunday evening once a year usually after “The Ed Sullivan Show.” We would all gather around the TV and watch. It was the coolest when we finally got our first color TV. I would never miss it. Now I see it an average of twice a year, plus I have seen it four times at a movie theater. I am always picking up something new most times I see it. This time, when the Wizard instructs Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion to bring back the Wicked Witch’s broom, the Lion says, “what if she kills us first?”

Best Christmas Song from a movie has to go to “White Christmas” from “Holiday Inn.” It won a Best Song Oscar.

George Harrison left us 18 years ago today. Now would be a nice time to hear “Wah Wah.”

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On to Porter

Commentary will be having Thanksgiving Dinner in Porter, Texas this afternoon. Porter is an unincorporated area in Montgomery County. It is just north of Kingwood. According to my traffic app, it will be a 30 minute drive. It is like going to Baytown. My niece Cristina and her husband Alex live there.

My Dad, my sis Sylvia, my nephews David A. and Enrique, and Dante will also be there. Topics of discussion will be the usual: family gossip, politics, and the Astros.

It is not the first time I will have had Thanksgiving Dinner in Montgomery County. During my high school years, my girlfriend had family in Montgomery County. I went with her one Thanksgiving Day to have dinner with her family, in, get this, the City of Montgomery. To top it off and I kid you not, my then girlfriend’s last name was, you got it, Montgomery. Now you know.

Who has played the best Santa Claus in a movie role? That’s an easy one and a no brainer. Edmund Gwenn who played Kris Kringle in the 1947 “Miracle on 34th Street.” Don’t believe me! He won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the role. The movie also picked up Oscars for Best Original Story and Best Screenplay and also got nominated for Best Picture.

Maureen O’Hara, Natalie Wood and William Frawley, Fred Mertz of “I Love Lucy” fame, also were in the flick.

That’s all I have.

Have a nice Thanksgiving Day!

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Vote Early Today

Anna Eastman spoke to an HD 148 civic club last night that had good attendance. She told the folks there that she would not be on the ballot during this Early Voting in Person season and she got a “what?” reply from folks. Totally expected. I am sure we will hear from folks today who vote early.

Speaking of the Anna Eastman Campaign. It keeps growing and growing.

If folks really and truly want to know what is going on in HD 148 and in the #TXHD148SpecialRunoffElection or in the #TXHD148DemocraticPartyPrimary, Anna is running in both right now, give me a call. Those that are trying to hatch a plan or something like that are wasting their time if you ask Commentary. Guess what? They aren’t asking Commentary.

Try looking at it this way. Anna filed on August 30 and we have been running since with no days off. We are not sitting on the sidelines thinking about the next move. We are running, period.

Try to go Vote Early in Person today!

My bad. I forgot to do a Christmas take yesterday. I will do a couple today. What is the best Christmas food? At our house, it is pork meat tamales. No argument. My Mom’s were the best and lasted through mid-January. If you can’t make them at home, try the handmade ones at Alamo Tamale on Berry Road in the Northside past the North Loop.

What is my fav version of the classic “Silent Night?” Commentary has to go with the Stevie Nicks version.

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Today is my best friend’s birthday. Happy Birthday to Al Luna!

Al is a former member of the Texas House of Representatives and former Chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus.

He is also hubby to Julie, a Dad to Lisette and Matt, and a three-time Grandpa.

He is also one of my favorites to hang with at The Yard to watch an Astros game.

State Sen. Carol Alvarado will file for reelection today at 1 pm at the offices of the Harris County Democratic Party.

The Harris County Clerk put out a press release yesterday on Early Voting in Person starting tomorrow and included this:

The State of Texas has set January 28, 2020 as the runoff date for the House District 148 Special Election. Early voting for that election is January 20-24, 2020.

I think Early Voting in Person is actually January 21-24, 2020.

Early Voting in Person for the City of H-Town, HISD, and HCC runoffs start tomorrow. Some #TXHD148SpecialRunoffElection voters are going to show up to vote thinking they will be able to cast a vote for the only Democrat in the race, Anna Eastman. Want to bet? Even though the County Clerk made a mention in her press release yesterday, I still plan to call the folks who run the election and ask them to alert the Election Judges in the locations where HD 148 voters will most likely vote early – the Bingo Lodge, Moody, West Gray, Mendenhall, Acres Homes and the Grand Tuscany Hotel – to tell concerned voters that ask about the HD 148 race missing from their ballot that the #TXHD148SpecialRunoffElection will be held on January 28, 2020. Not everyone reads the fine print of the press releases.

This is a Politico story by Marc Caputo:

Biden’s senior Latina adviser quits in frustration

A senior Joe Biden campaign staffer in charge of outreach to Latino, African-American and women’s groups has quit her post, telling two allies she was frustrated over her lack of input and with the presidential candidate’s immigration rhetoric.

Vanessa Cárdenas, the most senior Latina Biden staffer, had been serving as national coalitions director since the campaign formally announced its existence April 25. She resigned last week and has since changed her bio on Twitter to say she was “formerly with @joebiden.”

Cárdenas did not return a call or text message, but two friends familiar with her thinking told POLITICO that she felt the campaign wasn’t heeding her advice on immigration as she tried to reach out to Latino groups that have had longstanding concerns with the former vice president’s rhetoric and record stemming from the Obama administration.
“The campaign is just hyper-focused on whites in Iowa and African-Americans and it placed less value on Latino outreach,” an immigration activist and friend who spoke with her told POLITICO.

“Vanessa kept banging her head against the wall trying to get them to take the community more seriously,” the friend, who wasn’t authorized to speak on her behalf, said. “And Biden just really won’t change when it comes to the way he talks about immigration. It became too much.”

The resignation of Cárdenas, an activist who has never worked on a political campaign before, does not leave Biden without a Latino outreach team. Cristóbal Alex, former president of the influential Latino Victory Fund, remains a senior adviser. And, though Cárdenas worked with coalition groups, Biden has a Latinx outreach director, Laura Jiménez.

Cárdenas’ departure is the latest in a string of troubles Biden’s campaign has had with Latino and Hispanic leaders and groups, a tension partly rooted in the fact that the candidate has held firmly to formerly centrist Democratic party positions on immigration even as activists have grown more vocal and progressive.

But for all the criticism, Biden continues to lead among Latino voters in many national polls and surveys of states with heavy Hispanic populations. In other polls of Latinos, Biden is essentially tied with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Biden was criticized for skipping a Latino elected officials forum in June — at the time, a campaign surrogate held up Cárdenas’ role in the campaign as proof of Biden’s commitment to Latino voters. And in August, his campaign went into damage control after immigration activists grew upset with him over how he spoke about the issue at a debate. He also avoided a California Democratic event where he was aware the immigration issue could haunt him.

At a South Carolina event on Thursday, Biden ended up in a widely publicized clash with Carlos Rojas, an immigration activist with the group Movimiento Cosecha, who wanted the candidate to pledge to halt deportations.

“No. I will not stop all deportations. I will prioritize deportations, only people who have committed a felony or serious crime,” Biden told Rojas.

Rojas then told Biden that he had volunteered for the Obama-Biden campaign in 2008 but became disenchanted with the Obama administration because “over those 8 years, there were 3 million people that were deported and separated from their families.”
“You should vote for Trump,” Biden cut in.

The exchange, which occurred after Cárdenas had quit, underscored her concerns with the campaign, a second friend told POLITICO.

“What happened last week was a perfect example of what Vanessa was dealing with,” the friend, who was also not authorized to speak for her, told POLITICO. “Biden just refuses to talk about the issue in a compassionate way.”

Commentary is not surprised. Sad.

I dropped by the new Total Wine store down the street from my crib. It looks like better prices than the established chain. Just saying.

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Thanksgiving Week

It is Thanksgiving Week so folks will kind of start getting ready for Thursday. Have at it.

Mike Bloomberg is running for president. Commentary hasn’t decided who to support at this point. I probably won’t until just before Super Tuesday. Do they still call it Super Tuesday?

Newly elected HISD Trustees Judith Cruz and Dani Hernandez both think they ought to be selected to the HISD Board of Managers. They said so in an Op-Ed in yesterday’s Chron here: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Texas-Education-Agency-should-choose-winning-HISD-14855254.php.

Why not?

Early Voting in Person for the City of H-Town runoff elections start in a couple of days with Election Day in less than three weeks. If the H-Town Mayor wins reelection, I guess folks will start talking about who will be running for mayor in 2023. I would have to say it is a wide-open affair.

City Controller Chris Brown is a nice fella, but he should have performed better than 53% against Orlando Sanchez. He doesn’t get a leg up on anyone if he decides he wants to run for mayor.

The Chron E-Board endorsed the H-Town Mayor yesterday here: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/We-recommend-Mayor-Sylvester-Turner-for-second-14855742.php.

Christmas Day is one month from today. Christmas Day this year falls on a Wednesday, so Christmas Eve is on a Tuesday, and the day after Christmas is a Thursday so that pretty much takes up the entire Christmas week.

I spent the day in Baytown yesterday with my Dad. We went to the grocery store and on the drive, my Dad was all into the Christmas tunes as he sang along and even made up some lyrics to Rudolph and other favorites.

You may have noticed that ever since our World Series loss and the announcement of the MLB cheating investigation, I have kind of skipped the MLB question. I will probably rev back up at the beginning of the year.

I do have a couple of political campaigns that I am handling that are keeping me busy.

This being the Christmas Season, I will do a take on something Christmas from now until the end of the year.

Best Christmas Movie? Some folks like “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “A Christmas Story”, “Miracle on 34th Street” and even “Die Hard.” I will go with “Home Alone.”  It received two Oscar nominations.  “Somewhere in My Memory” for Best Song and Best Original Score.  Thank you and that’s all.

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56 years ago, today. It was also a Friday. It changed the world.

Domestic political errand was a phrase used at the impeachment hearing yesterday that caught my attention. A very good description. Errand boys for sure

NARAL endorsed Anna Eastman for the #TXHD148SpecialRunoffElection yesterday. Anna’s support keeps growing. The special election is January 28, 2020 with Early Voting in Person beginning on January 21, 2020.

I went to The Dean’s reception last night. His remarks included a touching few words about his daughter Whitney. Whitney is a lobbyist. The Dean said that Whitney was in the same line of work as his and that it was neat that they could be able to talk shop at the house. Nice!

From the say it ain’t so department. I heard last night that H-Town Council Member Dwight Boykins is considering a run for the Texas House of Representatives against an incumbent Democrat. Sigh.

This has to be a rookie mistake. The Chron has an article on the H-Town City Council District H runoff. Check this from the article:

“I’m not one who backs down from confrontation,” (Isabel) Longoria said. “I think confrontation is a warrior fighting for their community. And I don’t think Karla (Cisneros) has that same warrior spirit. I think she’s a teacher, and that’s great. But we can’t teach our way out of this problem.”

Here is the entire article: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Longoria-puts-progressive-bona-fides-up-against-14852726.php.

Teachers need not apply to run for H-Town City Council. I am sure she didn’t mean to say that. Just a rookie mistake. She talks so fast it just fell out of her mouth, I guess. That’s funny. Rookie for sure.

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Nothing Today

Commentary doesn’t have much to say today.

They got Donald Trump dead to rights on the impeachment thing and the GOP says dead to rights isn’t impeachment worthy. That’s where we are.

Where was Julian Castro last night? That’s wrong!

Psst. Has anyone seen Tony Buzbee? Mail ballots are being mailed today and Early Voting in Person begins a week from today.

The runoff for H-Town City Council, District B, has been put on hold until the courts can determine the eligibility of a runoff candidate. Best I can tell, District B and HD 148 share 1 precinct.

Royko sent me this on my mention yesterday on the Astros and cheating:

My view is that if competitors are skilled enough to figure out the other guys signs, that is fair game. It is when one listens in on closed communications, the line is crossed. Further, it is not enough to merely think you know what the adversary may do, one must possess the skill, confidence that they will win, and to then properly execute in the face of a multitude of variables, to succeed.

It is the persistence and determination, along with skill that leads to winning. It is clear that the team did not have the same level of confidence in the 2019 WS as they did in 2017.

On the burger thing and In-N-Out coming to the H-Town area. I made a burger yesterday here at my crib using regular wheat bread, Private Selection ground beef from Kroger, with red onions, pickles, mustard and Fritos as my side. I go to the Whataburger on North Main, the Burger King on Yale, Hughie’s on North Main, Someburger on Studewood and 11th, or Christian’s Tailgate on White Oak for a burger fix. I don’t think I’ll be driving out to Stafford or Katy for a burger.

The owner of the Astros avoided the media yesterday at the MLB meetings up in Arlington. I am thinking there will not be a good outcome to the cheating investigation.

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HERO 2.0

The Chron has an online story today on the possibility of another vote on HERO. Here is the story:

We got beat pretty soundly on HERO in 2015 and I am not convinced we could win right now. I have yet to see a strategy on what would work. We got beat in some strong Democratic vote areas and what has changed?

We can’t just be putting something on the ballot and hope it will pass because it is the right thing to do.  The other side will just put up a lot of misinformation.

We would need to expand the pro-HERO  leadership coalition. Bring in some fresh faces. Start having a communitywide conversation.  We have a long way to go on this.

At the Sandra Rodriguez reception last night, I ran into one of the unsuccessful candidates for HD 148. She had on her name badge with her HD 148 logo. I guess she is considering running in the 2020 Dem Primary.

On February 22, 2020, the Fort Worth Star Telegram will no longer print a Saturday edition. I guess it won’t be called a daily anymore. What do you call it then?

The Chron E-Board has a take today on the Astros and cheating. Here it is: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Did-Astros-break-the-rules-Editorial-14847478.php.

Here is what Jeff Luhnow, Astros President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, says about the cheating accusations;

“We haven’t done everything properly, but I do feel confident that in general, most of the time, we did things right and we try and follow the rules. We try to be good citizens, and we try to compete as hard as we can.”

King of sounds like an admission of guilt. Sigh.

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District J

There is a fundraiser tonight in Downtown Houston for H-Town City Council District J candidate Sandra Rodriguez. The fundraiser is co-hosted by Cong. Sylvia Garcia, State Sen. Carol Alvarado, State Reps. Armando Walle and Gene Wu, H-Town Council Member Robert Gallegos and other prominent folks. Sandra Rodriguez is in the runoff.

District J was created after the 2010 census during the 2011 City of H-Town redistricting process. Then H-Town Council Member James Rodriguez, no relation to Sandra Rodriguez, led the effort to make District J a Hispanic opportunity district. We got a lot of help and cooperation from then Mayor Annise Parker. My old pal Council Member Mike Laster was first elected to the position in 2011 and he is term limited this time.

Good luck, Sandra Rodriguez! Seize the opportunity! I will be dropping by this evening.

Here is from Kuffer today on the HD 148 Special Election Runoff date:

The key bit of the proclamation is this: “WHEREAS, Section 2.025(d) of the Texas Election Code provides that the runoff election must be held not earlier than the 70th day or later than the 77th day after the date the final canvass of the main election is completed”. You can see that statute here. It’s pretty straightforward, which is why I always say I Am Not A Lawyer when I try to interpret legal matters. I will say, I did get the explanation of the early voting period for this correct. The reason why there are only four days of early voting for these runoffs is because Monday the 20th is MLK Day, and there is no voting on federal holidays. (*) We have had this happen in legislative runoffs before, most recently in 2016 with the special election runoff for HD118.

As Campos notes:

“To put this in perspective, Early Voting in Person in the 2020 Texas Democratic Party Primaries begins on Tuesday, February 18, 2018. That is three weeks after the January 28 special election runoff and probably a week after the winner is sworn into office.” 

That makes this a huge challenge for the candidates, who will be competing for attention with all of the primary campaigns and who may themselves have to run in competitive primaries. Just having to explain to people that they have to vote in January and then again a few weeks later is headache-inducing. And note that early voting for the primaries starts on a Tuesday as well, because Monday the 17th is Presidents Day.

Federal holidays, y’all. Anyway, now is a great time to get involved with the Eliz Markowitz and/or Anna Eastman campaigns. These runoffs may not be next month, but they’ll be here sooner than you think.

(*) Yes, I know many people would like to make Election Day a federal holiday. It’s a great idea! Be that as it may, when there’s a federal holiday during an early voting period in Texas, early voting is off for that day.

Here is all of Kuffer: http://www.offthekuff.com/wp/?p=93095.

Here is Stace’s take on the HD 148 Special Runoff Election:

The Special Election for Texas House District 148 will be held on January 28, so, I’m rooting for Democrat Anna Eastman to win the run-off in HD148. As people keep telling me, they are doing it all over again in March in the Dem Primary, but I agree with some of my friends who say HD148 voters can’t give away the seat to a right-wing, anti-Latino Latino just because their person didn’t make it to the run-off. Campos reports on Anna’s endorsements and they all look pretty good and diverse to me.

Here is all of Stace:

Remember when those clowns in Austin attended that bill signing ceremony with those Chick-fil-A Styrofoam cups strewn about. That’s funny.

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The #TXHD148SpecialElectionRunoff is Tuesday, January 28, 2020 with Early Voting in Person beginning on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. We will only have four days of Early Voting in Person.

To put this in perspective, Early Voting in Person in the 2020 Texas Democratic Party Primaries begins on Tuesday, February 18, 2018. That is three weeks after the January 28 special election runoff and probably a week after the winner is sworn into office.

Commentary read the proclamation setting the runoff date and I checked the Election Code reference citing the considered dates and they didn’t have much of a choice. The other two special election legislative runoffs in Dallas and Fort Bend County are on the same day.

Commentary has said it before. This will be my fourth stand-alone special legislative election in a fourteen-month period. This one is one on one against a GOPer.

It will be a challenge setting an Anna Eastman Campaign strategy for the #TXHD148SpecialElectionRunoff and at the same time simultaneously running in the #TXHD148DemocraticPartyPrimaryElection. It will also be a challenge for other Democratic Party maybe candidates thinking about running in the #TXHD148DemocraticPartyPrimaryElection while Anna Eastman is running against a GOPer in the #TXHD148SpecialElectionRunoff.  Got it?

Think about how you want to pull this off. Think about if you can pull this off. Think, think, think, please.

Commentary hears that there are still a small group of Dems trying to figure out how to keep Anna Eastman from being duly elected. Sigh.

Anna Eastman keeps gathering support from key Democrats including precinct chairs and organizations.

The Houston Firefighters came to my door yesterday supporting Tony Buzbee. Just saying.

MLB is investigating the Astros for sign stealing. A story came out this weekend that says the Astros are the brains behind a proposal that eliminates 40 or so minor league clubs. The hate for the team keeps growing. Sigh.

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