Archive for September, 2021

Designated Frontrunner? 

On the day Matthew Dowd announced for Lieutenant Governor in the 2022 Texas Democratic Primary, the campaign manager for the Mike Collier Campaign for the Democratic Party nomination for Lieutenant Governor smacked Dowd.  Here is the smack courtesy of the Chron: 

“After 20 years working to elect Republicans across the country, we welcome Matthew Dowd back to the Democratic Party,” said Ali S. Zaidi, Collier’s campaign manager. “Mr. Dowd — you may notice things have changed a lot since you were working for Republicans. Democratic voters will be interested to hear how selling a false war, ensuring the deciding Supreme Court vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, and leading the charge to pass numerous anti-marriage equality ballot measures have shaped your current views.” 

It wasn’t 20 years.  I guess the Collier campaign just designated Dowd as the frontrunner.  Why else would you slap him around?  If you are running against an incumbent, you hit.  Dowd isn’t the incumbent.  Heck, he’s never run for office. The Collier campaign must feel threatened by a Dowd campaign. 

Here is what the well-respected Texas Democratic guru Harold Cook tweeted yesterday about this: 

Well somebody must be worried – they emptied the oppo file on Matthew Dowd on his first day running. 

I don’t if I would have gone the Collier campaign route.  What do I know? Oh, I do know something. I have actually been involved in a few winning Democratic statewide campaigns in Texas.  That’s probably more than just about anyone involved in a statewide campaign at the present. 

Thanks for asking. Jimmy Carter for President in 1976, Mark White for Governor in 1982 and Sen. Lloyd Bentsen’s reelection in 1988.   

What do I know?  

I know. 

I don’t know about this from the Chron over the mess at City Hall: 

Mayor Sylvester Turner is swinging back at his former housing director who last week accused him of steering affordable housing money to a developer. 

Turner said he will present information about former Director Tom McCasland’s management of the Housing and Community Development Department that he said will “help explain that show last week.” He said he plans to do so before a joint meeting of City Council’s housing and budget committees next week. 

The exact nature of the information, which Turner said he received Tuesday, was not clear, although he suggested McCasland was withholding information from the administration. 

“It’s important for me to make sure I have information from my directors to know how to run this city, and if there are major developments that are taking place within your department and you’re not making that information available, and you know that eventually it will come to light, you don’t have the luxury of putting forth smoke screens,” Turner said. 

Here is the entire read: In defense of project at center of allegations, Turner goes on offense against former housing director (houstonchronicle.com). 

Bad move if you ask Commentary. I don’t know who is advising the Mayor.  If you go after McCasland for not doing a good job, you are just letting folks know you made a very bad hire. I wouldn’t go there. 

We need to clinch tonight. Do it For the H! 

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Dowd Running 

It is now official.  Matthew Dowd is running for Lieutenant Governor of Texas as a Democrat.  Here is the full Texas Tribune story: Matthew Dowd, former George W. Bush strategist, runs for Texas lt. governor | The Texas Tribune. 

I am curious to see how the Democratic Party elected officials and activists will react to Dowd’s candidacy. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Matthew is a very smart fella.  I am certain he has thought this thing through and knows what he is up against. I am sure he is building an exceptional campaign team. 

Texas Democratic Primary voters now get to choose a candidate to run against that racist arsehole Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.   

I am sure we will all have plenty to say about this race in the next few months. 

51% of Texas voters say the racist arsehole Gov. Greg Abbott doesn’t deserve to be reelected in 2022 according to the latest Quinnipiac poll.  The jig is up so to speak. Folks have had it with Trump’s lapdog.  He’s not handling business. What a fu_king moron. 

On this election audit stuff, Commentary is glad to see Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo tell Gov. Abbott to just fu_k off. Go to hell you MFer. We are not having any of this sham audit crap. 

We all know this audit isn’t legitimate. I said the other day that Abbott himself signed off on the election last year.  There is nothing to audit.  

What we really need to do is audit how far Abbott has his nose up Trump’s arse.  Abbott does a real good job of humiliating himself. Pitiful. 

While we are watching the Astros try to clinch the AL West, San Luis is setting the baseball world on fire. They are now on a 17-game winning streak. They are in the MLB playoffs as the second NL Wild Card team. 

Wow! Did you check out last night’s walk-off walk win. Back-to-back walks brought in the tying and winning runs. Our magic number is now 1. 

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Sorry for the delay. It has been a hectic morning. Another appointment this morning with one of my Dad’s doctors in Webster. 

Then I took him to get his COVID-19 booster at Methodist Baytown. It went smoothly. They were very efficient. This time the wait is 10 minutes to see if there is a bad reaction. Folks were showing up to get their shot. 

Go check out Miya Shay’s story on Channel 13 news on the fight over at the Spring Branch Independent School District on school board governance. Spring Branch Latinos filed a suit for single member districts. At SBISD, they have an all at-large system.  Exceptional story by Miya. Those folks in Spring Branch do not give a rat’s arse about Latino voices being silenced. They are Trump voters and that is how they roll these days.

A resident of Harris County Commissioner Precinct 2 got a text poll last evening. It focused on defeated GOP County Commissioner Jack Mormon versus Commissioner Adrian Garcia. Whoever conducted the poll wants to measure today. The precinct will look different after redistricting for sure. 

Speaking of redistricting, the GOP proposed Texas congressional maps were laid out yesterday and let us be clear. The GOP does not give one sh_t about the growth of people of color in Texas. Our growth is the only reason Texas gets two new congressional districts, but the GOP completely ignores this fact. Fu_k the GOP. 

In the proposed maps, Commentary is now in the 29th Congressional District.   

Go check out Off The Kuff on the Dave Wilson returning to the HCC Board issue here: I regret to inform you that Dave Wilson will be back on the HCC Board of Trustees – Off the Kuff. 

Good explanation by Charles.  

Terribly sad and disgusting. 

We host the AL East Division champs Rays tonight and our magic number is still a stubborn 2. 

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GOP Dumb 

Sissy Farenthold is no longer with us.  I cast my first ever vote for Texas Governor for Sissy in May of 1972.  She will be missed but never forgotten. 

Here is what the arsehole Gov. Greg Abbott told Chris Wallace from Fox News yesterday on the election audits that were announced last Thursday afternoon:  

“They actually began months ago because the secretary of state of Texas has an obligation to make sure that we do conduct audits in the state of Texas.” 

What a dumbsh_t liar. The folks from the Secretary of State’s office are clueless as to what is going on.  They are like the rest of us Texas in terms of what in the heck is an audit.  There are no provisions in the Texas election code for an audit. 

Commentary knows something about elections in Texas. From top to bottom and beginning to end there are systems in place to prevent fraud. Check out the election code that spells out how to conduct every type of election in Texas. 

For the 2020 November election for state and federal offices, you know who is the official who signs the final canvass to say everything checks out fair and square?  The Governor.  Now the idiot wants a so-called audit on an election he’s already signed off on.  This jerk is a four star moron.

Speaking of morons, the right-wing nut jobs on Fox 26’s “What’s Your Point” yesterday were asked about Abbott’s election audits and one of them said the move was about “placating the base.” I will give the nut job credit for being honest.  

“What’s Your Point” host Greg Groogan said yesterday that President Joe Biden had an open border policy. Greg these days is drinking the GOP Kool-Aid that turns you into a dumbsh_t. 

The Chron E-Board today called Greg Abbott Donald Trump’s “lapdog” and called Trump Abbott’s “master.”  

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo this past weekend said Texas state government was being run out of Mar-A-Lago. That’s funny. 

Also, on “What’s Your Point” the Harris County jail issue was brought up and the Breibart arsehole said the State of Texas should consider taking over the Harris County jail. That’s hilarious.  The state can’t even handle the state prisons. 

That’s the problem with the GOP these days. The Trump takeover doesn’t allow for GOPers to do much thinking on their own. 

Very sad. 

We got swept in Oakland this past weekend.  We’ve lost four in a row.  We have today off.  Our magic number is two. 

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Dave Wilson’s Back 

The twice impeached, disgraced, creator of the Big Lie, Donald Trump has ordered an election audit of four counties in Texas. Our arsehole derelict Gov. Greg Abbott is fine with that. 

We have never had an election audit. How do they even work?  If they come ask me about the 2020 November election, they are getting a big fu_k you. 

Abbott is Trump’s punkarse hands down. Abbott is a weasel and a disgrace. 

Here is from the Trib: 

State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, responded to the secretary of state office’s announcement on Twitter late Thursday. 

“Let me be the first to congratulate the disgraced former president, Donald Trump, on his apparently becoming the new governor of Texas,” Turner tweeted. “Pitiful yet predictable that @GregAbbott_TX has capitulated to Trump yet again.” 

RG called Texas a banana republic today. 

Four Trump close associates have been subpoenaed by the January 6 House Select Committee.  Here is the thing. All four will have to shell out personal dough for legal representation while Trump dips into his campaign fund to pay for his lawyers. That’s how you run with Trump. Dumbsh_t suckers. 

Commentary was scrolling through the November 2 ballot for races in Harris County. I got to the HCC Trustee races and bam, I saw a Dave Wilson running in District 6.  Running unopposed. The district is on the westside.  Surely it had to be another Dave Wilson.  

I texted my friend, HCC Trustee Adrianna Tamez and she confirmed it was the same Dave Wilson.  How does this happen? 

Adrianna also said there was a write-in candidate also in that race. It really doesn’t matter. 

How does this happen? 

On the Messy City Hall thing, this is from the Chron: 

Mayor Sylvester Turner on Thursday ordered his legal department to review the affordable housing deal at the center of bombshell accusations by his former housing director that the mayor set up a “charade” of a competitive process to steer money to a developer

In a statement released by his office, Turner said City Attorney Arturo Michel, who reports to the mayor, will “review the allegations from top to bottom to determine whether there were any illegalities, fraud, conflicts of interests, violations of procedures, practices, and policies.” Michel will make his findings public, the mayor said. 

“My administration works extremely hard to avoid potential conflicts of interest, and I have not conducted business differently than any former mayor in the city of Houston,” Turner said in the statement. 

Here is the entire read: Turner orders legal review of housing deal at center of ‘charade’ claims by fired housing director (houstonchronicle.com). 

The Mayor reads the paper and he read yesterday’s Chron editorial where he got scorched.  He had to do something.  I don’t think Arturo is going to produce a product that will be anything like what the fired Housing Director Tom McCasland said the other day.  City Attorneys don’t do that to mayors. 

I really don’t think that Arturo’s findings will satisfy the critics of this deal.  Do you? 

We are 91-62 with 9 games to play. The only way we can end up winning 100 games is to win all our last 9 games. Our magic number remains at 3. 

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Commentary was watching Don Lemon’s show on CNN last night. Matt Dowd was on and had some pretty good advice for the moderate Democrats in Congress.  Dowd advised the moderates to get on the President Joe Biden program.  If President Biden doesn’t get what he wants, his numbers will be tanking in 2022 and moderate Dems will be the first to go down. Sounds like good advice to me. 

If dumbf_ck was a dictionary word, next to the word would be a picture of State Sen. Paul Bettencourt. 

The Texas State Senate took up a property tax relief bill yesterday. The dumbarse arsehole Sen. Bettencourt prepared an amendment to the bill that would have invalidated a school district’s bond election if less than 25% of the voters turned out to vote in that election. Sen. Carol Alvarado’s office asked me to prepare talking points on this. Such an easy task. 

I pulled up the 2020 Republican Party March Primary in Harris County where voter turnout was in single digits. Would Bettencourt agree that the nominees of their GOP primary not be validated, and they would have zilch candidates on the November ballot? 

Property tax rollback elections are a GOP favorite.  Would Sen. Bettencourt apply the 25% turnout requirement to rollback elections? 

Sen. Bettencourt ended up deep sixing his dumbsh_t amendment. These GOP guys are so power-hungry bullies that their brains start turning into mushy excrement.  Did I say he’s an arsehole? 

Royko sent me this on my take on Messy City Hall from yesterday: 

It always has been the Democrat way, to feather the nests of cronies, as long as the taxpayers are being thoroughly squeezed. 

Royko has a select memory.  Cronyism was running pretty rampant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue up until January 20 of this year.  President Biden ran off the GOP grifters. Cronyism is what help break the grid during the Big Freeze causing a few hundred to freeze to death.  Talk about feathering GOP nests and taxpayers getting squeezed. 

I was talking to a respected veteran politico yesterday about the messy city hall stuff.  We both kind of agreed that the fired Housing Director Tom McCasland talked it over with someone else or two to discuss how he would choreograph his exist.  We both found it hard to believe that he would plan it on his own and it was certainly not spontaneous.  Others had to have been in on the fix.  Good execution. 

As expected the Chron E-Board weighed in and here is the latter part of their take: 

What’s shameful is that, if the allegations are true, the mayor was willing to harm ordinary, low-income folks in the process, willing to compromise a cause he deeply believes in. 

The mayor owes Houston an explanation. So far, the mayor has stuck to his rationalization that he’s the mayor and he has a right to override staff recommendations. 

That’s certainly true in our strong-mayor form of government. But he has no right to abuse his powers, to waste taxpayer money, to enrich friends at the expense of struggling families. 

Incidentally, while some will take this opportunity to argue against Houston’s strong mayor, our form of government isn’t the problem. Really, it’s that there are too few checks on the mayor’s power, too little transparency, too few opportunities for others to scrutinize the mayor’s decisions. We’ve had mayors who wielded that power judiciously, but what happens when a mayor refuses to do the right thing

Perhaps that’s what McCasland is trying to show us. 

In his departure, the city has lost a dedicated public servant and apparently a courageous one, too. The mayor has already announced his interim replacement but in practice, replacing McCasland’s knowledge and judgment won’t be easy. And that could spell more bad news and more delays for the Harvey victims who have been waiting years for housing relief. 

They too will suffer because of this debacle. But Houston shouldn’t let it be in vain. Council members need to heed McCasland’s pleas, look into his accusations and apply whatever pressure they can to change a system that, although it was intended to make our mayor strong, was never intended to make him king. 

Here is the entire take: Editorial: Tell the truth, Mayor Turner. Why the ‘charade’ over wasteful housing contract? (houstonchronicle.com). 

The Brewers, Dodgers, Giants and Rays have clinched a playoff spot. Our magic number is now 3. 

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At Messy City Hall 

Commentary doesn’t have a dog in this hunt.  Here is the headline of the lead story in today’s hard copy of the Chron: 

Mayor fires housing director over claims 

Lousy headline if you ask Commentary. It really doesn’t do justice to the Chron article. 

The article doesn’t make the H-Town Mayor look good. 

Let me first say this. I always thought the fired Housing and Community Development Director Tom McCasland was one of the top hires of the H-Town Mayor.  Was I wrong? He certainly popped the Mayor yesterday.  The dude knew he was going to be fired and he went down with a final direct hit on the Mayor. If you are going to go down, you might as well go down on your own terms. 

Here are the most damning parts of the Chron article: 

Mayor Sylvester Turner fired the city’s housing director Tuesday after he publicly accused the mayor of manufacturing a “charade” of a competitive process to steer affordable housing money to a select developer against the recommendation of staff. 

According to state documents, a company listed as a “co-general partner” and “co-developer” with a stake in the deal, Harbor Venture Group, is run by the mayor’s longtime law partner, Barry Barnes, and another partner at Barnes’ firm, Jermaine Thomas. Turner left the firm after being elected mayor in 2015. 

Turner denied wrongdoing and said he fired Housing and Community Development Director Tom McCasland because he lost confidence in him after the explosive allegations, which were delivered in remarks to City Council’s housing committee. 

The mayor said he did not know Barnes was involved in the deal until Tuesday, and did not see anything wrong with his participation. 

“There’s no reason why he should excuse himself,” Turner said. “There’s no conflict.” 

And this: 

The documents McCasland gave council show the Clear Lake project scored lower in the application process, reserves a far smaller share of units for low-income tenants, and costs nearly $170,500 per affordable unit — nearly four times the $44,800 subsidy required for the four deals it replaced, on average. The project also would serve only seniors, whereas three of the four bumped projects are for low-income families, the city’s stated preference for affordable housing investments. 

McCasland acknowledged the mayor has the authority to overturn staff recommendations, but he argued in this case it represented a subversion of a competitive process to benefit one applicant. He said he was not alleging fraud, but said the pattern was emblematic of a broader theme in Turner’s administration, a management style he said drives out public servants dedicated to integrity and creates a “breeding culture for corruption.” 

And finally, this: 

McCasland acknowledged earlier in the day he expected to be fired. He warned that the Turner administration is pushing other “unethical” proposals “that will negatively impact the city,” calling on council members and the public to hold the administration to account, decrying what he called a “do-it-because-I-say-so” culture. 

Here is the entire read: Turner fires Houston housing director who accused him of ‘charade’ bid process to benefit developer (houstonchronicle.com). 

You decide how all this went down. Messy for sure. 

This is kind of a consequence to term limits and those dumb four-year terms.   Accountability doesn’t exist under this system. 

I am sure the “What’s Your Point” folks will have a field day on this on Sunday. We will also probably hear something from the Chron E-Board. 

Eight years ago today, the old Foley’s, err Macy’s building in Downtown H-Town was demolished by explosives. I used to do some shopping there.   

Our magic number is four. 

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I must take my Dad to a scheduled medical appointment. I will post later. Thanks. 

It was remarkably interesting to see how the Muhammad Ali fights with Cleveland Williams and Ernie Terrell figured into last night’s documentary Round Two on The Greatest. I have mentioned before that I went to both fights at the Astrodome. The Astrodome was new then, and Ali was being shunned throughout the country over the draft issue. A scheduled fight at a Chicago venue was cancelled by then Mayor Richard Daley and that is how the Astrodome got not one, but two fights.

During this period, Ali claimed residence in H-Town and here is where he refused to be inducted into the military. He was tried and convicted in H-Town. 

They showed part of the fights last night and it was cool to see the old Gulf sign in the background.

My Dad has been dealing with an infection on both ankles all summer. We went to a doctor in Webster this morning, and we finally got some guidance that makes sense on how to deal with it. Hopefully.  

We have all these signs throughout H-Town with businesses needing employees. Meanwhile, there are a bunch of folks just outside of Del Rio begging to come into the USA looking for a job. What are we doing? Putting them on a plane and flying them home. We have to be better than that 

Our magic number is down to 6. 

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On Beto 

Commentary watched the Muhammad Ali documentary on PBS last night and it was outstanding.  Last night’s show was titled Round One. Tonight’s show is titled Round Two. 

It is going to be #BetoForTexas in 2022. He will be the one taking on Gov. Greg Abbott next year. I am sure GOP operatives are salivating on a Beto run. You know, the assault rifle ban thing.  The thing is, Abbott is not exactly in great shape these days. His far-right wing and hate filled policies do not sit well with the voters. He has botched the handling of the pandemic in Texas. He is not as popular as he was pre-pandemic. His poll numbers are tanking. 

Beto has also demonstrated that he can raise a ton of money and organize at the grassroots level.  

I am a tad uncomfortable with the fact that the 2022 Democratic Party statewide ticket is shaping up to be white dudes.  They are going to have to rely on a huge voter turnout from communities of color across the state to win.  I cannot fault them for running. If Democrats cannot produce a more diverse ticket, that is our fault. 

The Third Called Special Legislative Session starts today. The GOP Texas State Senate redistricting map was filed this past Saturday. It is a gerrymandered map on steroids for sure.  

Royko sent me this on my Sick GOP take: 

We do not fight to murder innocent babies so that Planned Parenthood can goolishly harvest the body parts for profit. 

We do not want to have an autocratic federal, state, or local Government regulate and tax every breath the law-abiding citizens take. 

We don’t want a continued invasion of illegal aliens, exempt from all the oppressive laws forced on citizens, and then to give them for free, all the taxpayer funded entitlements as well as amnesty, with chain migration. 

We don’t want the Maoist-influenced Party in power to encourage the chaos by ignoring the felonies of the miscreants, yet politically oppressing those who do not agree with them. The Department of Injustice is beyond corrupt. 

Nothing about accepting the results of elections. It all starts at the ballot box. 

These GOP guys are good about staying ahead of us. I learned this past weekend from the GOP Governor of Georgia that we have an AIDs vaccine. How come I didn’t know about that? I wonder if Royko knew. 

Our magic number is eight and we start our final roadie in Anaheim this evening. 

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Sick GOP

Scott Braddock of the Quorum Report tweeted out that the Texas State Senate redistricting maps being put together by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will produce a 20-11 GOP over Democratic State Senate. That’s down from the current 18 GOP and 13 Democrats. I have not seen any maps, but I can only guess that Patrick is targeting SD 10 currently held by Democrat Sen. Beverly Powell and SD 19, currently held by Sen. Roland Gutierrez. What’s your guess?

According to the latest poll, a little over 70% of GOP voters are not accepting the results of the 2020 presidential race. That’s sick.  The current state of the GOP including most of its leadership is anti-Democracy and anti-freedom. Don’t let them tell you otherwise. Their quest to hold on to power and stay in office is a shameful disdain of the Constitution.  I have absolutely no respect for those who should know better.  They will go down in history as political cowards. Shame on them. 

Speaking of sick, here is this from an East Texas newspaper:

The Harrison County Republican Party’s executive committee recently voted, 9-1, to censure State Rep. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall). Local party chair Lee Lester said the vote was spurred by Paddie’s seemingly lack of support to the party’s platform. 

“He was censured in Harrison County,” said Lester. “We were kind of waiting to see if he did anything in this legislative session. We were hoping that he would, and we wouldn’t have to do anything, but he’s still not representing the people who sent him. 

“We’re in a representative republic, and he doesn’t represent us, so we have to do something,” said Lester. 

The local party chair said Paddie has been invited to their meetings several times to entertain questions about his representation of House District 9, to no avail. 

“He has not even responded to our request,” said Lester. 

Thus, in accordance with Rule 44 of the Rules of the Republican Party of Texas, the executive committee voted to move forward with the censure, having duly offered Representative Paddie an invitation and opportunity to speak to such grievances, the censure states. 

Paddie, who is now gearing up for a third special session in Austin, expressed his disappointment in the executive committee’s move to censure him. 

“It is shameful that while the Legislature was busy passing Republican priorities, such as election integrity, pro-life legislation, and a 13th check for retired teachers, a handful of folks were busy trying to tear apart the Republican Party,” Paddie said in a statement to the News Messenger. 

And this: 

“Representative Chris Paddie has demonstrated a consistent pattern of actions demonstrably opposed to the first, second, fourth, ninth, and tenth core principles of the RPT Platform, by repeatedly voting contrary to these core principles, and abusing his authority as Chairman of the State Affairs Committee in the 87th Texas Legislature to thwart the advancement of bills favorable to these Core Principles,” the censure said. 

Here is the entire read:  Harrison County GOP censures State Rep. Chris Paddie | News | marshallnewsmessenger.com. 

This is a perfect example of a Texas GOP that is out of control. Rep. Paddie is pretty much a far-right winger and that isn’t good enough. Why not? Because even right-wingers like Paddie refuse to call out the lies about the 2020 election and have bought into this voter suppression crap and that still is not good enough. 

That’s your GOP, folk. 

Our magic number is now 10 and we are at home to host the D-Backs for three this weekend.

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