Archive for May 14th, 2020

State Rep. Anna Eastman will be on a Facebook debate tonight at 7 pm.  Go to the 2020 Democratic Candidates Debates page.

Commentary would have been more impressed if the GOP Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices had met in their open courtroom to overturn the Governor’s stay-at-home orders rather than meeting in quarantine.  Did I mention the history, the GOP and the Pandemic 2020 thing?

Sherrie Matula put out a good tweet yesterday: #MaskItOrCasket. 

Commentary was talking to a person in the know regarding the Harris County Clerk position.  We are in the middle of a runoff election during the pandemic.  This is a critical election year and the pandemic is probably going to be around for a while.  The best thing the County Commissioners Court should do is pick a trusted and capable person from within the Clerk’s Office to serve as the Interim Clerk, for elections continuity sake.

Let the Executive Committees from both Harris County political parties go through their process in selecting their nominees for the position on the November ballot.

Kuffer has more on the County Clerk vacancy: http://www.offthekuff.com/wp/?p=95441.

From Kuffer, here is what Stace thinks:

I’m of the opinion that the Democratic majority on the Commissioner’s Court should make a strong appointment of someone who will be the incumbent, making it clear that there is no need for a possible free-for-all at the precinct chair level.

We elected our County Judge and our Commissioners, while most of us cannot even find a link on the Party website to find our own precinct chair so that we can lobby for whom we want them to vote. Either process is hardly democratic as the voters are left out of the process. I’d rather go with whom our top leaders choose and have the precinct chairs basically ratify it so we can move forward. Wishful thinking? Maybe.

Some may opine that appointing as interim one of the professionals already in the County Clerk’s office to run the 2020 election and be a placeholder while allowing a candidate chosen by the precinct chairs to run full-time is the solution. And that’s a good argument. But I think we should have a candidate who can show that they can do the professional and the political work, simultaneously. I think it’s more of a confidence builder for us voters when we see that our candidates can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Either way, we’ll see what happens. I already see suggestions on my Facebook feeds about who should run and about diversity on the ballot. There’s nothing wrong with healthy debate, but these things can take a turn for the ugly real quick. And that’s another reason why I’d like to see the Judge and Commissioners lead on this one.

Here is what Kuffer is thinking:

See here for the background. As a precinct chair who will be among those lucky duckies that gets to put a nominee on the ballot for 2020, let me say that I agree with Stace’s position that we should want a candidate who “can do the professional and the political work, simultaneously”. I hope to have a better feel for this once people start throwing their hats into the ring, but I agree that a Clerk who can plan for and run an election well and who is also able to tell Ken Paxton to get stuffed while giving clear direction on these matters to the Court, the County Attorney, and the government relations crew at the county, is someone I want to see in that job.

How we get there is of less importance. If Commissioners Court – specifically, Judge Hidalgo, Commissioner Ellis, and Commissioner Garcia; I don’t expect either of the other two to provide any productive input but will hear it out if they do – says that they just want someone who can carry out the necessary electoral duties for 2020 and leave the politics up to the political people, that’s fine by me. If instead they make a strong statement about wanting the same kind of qualities as discussed here in the next Clerk and appoint someone they believe embodies those qualities, I will be more than happy to endorse that selection for the November ballot, if I agree that they got it right. I’m happy to be led by them on this matter, as long as they do lead us in the right direction. I reserve the right as part of the body that makes this selection to maintain my own counsel.

To be sure, this kind of process can get ugly in a hurry. This may be the best chance any Democrat has to win one of these offices now that there are no more Republicans to oust and we have to fight among ourselves to win. Having the Democratic members of Commissioners Court come out in unison behind a well-qualified candidate that they would like to continue working with after this November would make this a lot easier. We’ll see what they decide to do.

Meanwhile, Campos has one piece of advice (from my previous take):

The Commissioners Court will pick an interim County Clerk and sometime this summer the Harris County Democratic Party Executive Committee will select a nominee to place on the November ballot. The Commissioners aren’t going to listen to Commentary, but I hope they pick a female. If they pick a male and the male ends up getting the Executive Committee’s nod, he will win this November but get knocked off in the 2022 Democratic Party Primary by a female sure enough. Dudes need not apply.

Back to Kuffer:

For sure, that can happen. I will just say, 2022 will be its own election, with a different context and likely smaller turnout due to the lack of a Presidential race. It’s certainly possible that the robust candidate we hope to pick this year will get knocked off in 2022 by someone no one has heard of today. I will just say that we are not completely powerless to prevent such an outcome – I’ve been talking about the need to do a better job of promoting quality candidates at the statewide level for a couple of cycles now, following recent debacles in various downballot low-profile primaries. The same prescription holds true here, with a combination of financial support to allow a visible campaign and visible support from the elected leaders who have as much of a vested interest in having the best person possible to run elections as the rest of us do. Pick the best possible person, then support that person going forward. It’s not that complicated.

Those are my thoughts at this time. Feel free to tell me whose name you are hearing for the job and how you think I should approach this when the precinct chairs get together (virtually, I assume) to formalize it.

Kuffer and Stace have good takes that I certainly respect. I wonder who will step forward and put their hats into the ring.  We will see.

The Trib has an extensive piece on Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo here: https://www.texastribune.org/2020/05/14/harris-county-judge-lina-hidalgo-texas-coronavirus/.

It was just reported on “Today” that we have permanently lost 100,000 small businesses across the country during the pandemic

Meanwhile, Trump and the GOP would rather folks go after China, President Obama, a so-called exaggerated number of folks that COVID-19 has killed and the unmaskers.  It is not going to work.  Sorry.

The primary runoff election is two months from today.

Stay safe and #MaskItOrCasket.

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