Archive for the ‘Councilmember James Rodriguez’ Category

State Board of Education (SBOE), District 6 candidates participated in a forum last night in Alief but the folks in attendance didn’t get to learn about what the Texas Freedom Network put out yesterday.  Here is a part:

At least nine candidates — all Republicans (including SBOE 6 candidate Donna Bahorich)  — in the November 6 elections for the Texas State Board of Education appear to have a pretty dim view of the role and importance of public schools. Responding to a survey sponsored by several religious-right groups in Texas, the nine candidates said they disagree that “it is the government’s responsibility to be sure children are properly educated.” Eight (including Bahorich) of those nine candidates said they “strongly disagree” with that statement.

Here are some of Bahorich’s responses from the Texas Eagle Forum website:

It is the government’s responsibility to be sure children are properly educated?

Bahorich: Strongly Disagree.

Biology textbooks which do not teach both the scientific strengths and weaknesses of the theory of evolution should be rejected by the Board?

Bahorich: Strongly Agree.

I support the History and Social Studies curriculum standards approved by the State Board of Education in 2010.

Bahorich:  Strongly Agree.

I support displaying the Ten Commandments in public school buildings.

Bahorich:  Strongly agree.

You can check out the Texas Freedom Network piece here.

At 20 years, 11 months, and 21 days, this pitcher was the youngest to ever toss a complete game shutout game in a World Serious.  Name the pitcher.

Here is what the County put out yesterday evening:

As of this evening we have approved 84,203 applications and sent out 80,562 ballots.  We have received 44,153 voted ballots returned.

26,729 have been generated by the GOP and 22,623 by Dems.

Through Day 2 of Early Voting in Person in Harris County, 98,671 folks had participated as compared to 82,612 after Day 2 in 2008.  Ripley has 1020 after Day 2 as compared to 756 in 2008.  Franz 2380 – 2554.  IBEW 2526 – 1760.  Bush 1822 – 1046.  Northeast 2445 – 2745.

Commentary was out in West Harris County and saw some long lines at Franz and Nottingham.  Stay tuned!

I’ll hand it to the Chron for putting online all the letters that disagree with their Romney endorsement. 

Check them out here.

On October 6, 1966 in Game 2 of the World Serious, Jim Palmer of B’More of course shutout the Dodgers 6-0 at Dodger Stadium to become the youngest pitcher ever to throw a World Serious complete game shutout.

Here is part from a ‘Stros press release yesterday:

Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane and Houston Mayor Annise Parker led a groundbreaking ceremony for the Astros Community Leaders program this morning at Diez Park in Houston. Through its corporate partnerships, the Community Leaders program will ultimately contribute $18.0 million to the City of Houston over the next five years for youth baseball and softball programs at no cost to the city’s taxpayers.

The ceremony was hosted by Houston Parks and Recreation Director Joe Turner, who has worked with Crane and Mayor Parker to help establish the Community Leaders program. Astros President and CEO George Postolos and popular former Astros players Jose Cruz and Jimmy Wynn also took part in the ceremony along with city council members James Rodriguez, Wanda Adams and Ed Gonzalez. Jose Sanchez, who heads the East End Little League program which plays at Diez Park, spoke passionately about what the Community Leaders program will mean to his community.  Several children from the East End Little League were at the ceremony along with Darrell Miller, Major League Baseball’s Vice President of Youth and Facility Development.

Construction on three parks (Diez Park, Moody Park and Sunnyside) will begin on Thursday.

Here is the entire press release.

That’s all I have from The Yard.


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I don’t know if you noticed but Traci Jensen’s Tea Party State Board of Education, District 6 opponent now has a few billboards – interesting.  You think her opponent might be concerned about the campaign Traci is running and the number of moderate Republicans that are taking Traci’s yard signs?  I told you so!  It is not too late to request a Traci yard sign by going to www.jensen4stateboard.com.

Yard signs trump billboards any day!

Commentary is not a big fan of billboards in political campaigns, but still?

Oilers Hangover:  That’s the term some of us used to use when we were thinking that the Oilers were headed to the Super Bowl and then we got beat by teams like the Steelers, Bills, and Chiefs.  The following Monday morning most of H-Town was bummed out and had an Oilers Hangover.  You didn’t even have to drink to have an Oilers Hangover.  You just weren’t in the mood to do anything that Monday.

These days it’s fun to watch folks get super excited about their H-Town NFL football again.  Texans Mania has taken over H-Town – that’s for sure and we’ve only played five games this season.   Like most folks the other night, Commentary was worried that the Jets might win it on the last drive of the game.  We ended up winning in front of a national TV audience. 

Every game is going to get more important as the season goes along.  The Packers game this Sunday night at Reliant and on NBC is going to be huge.  Nothing else in H-Town that evening is going to matter.

The things I hate most about the NFL are the injuries to players.   NFL football is a violent sport, but the U.S. of A. loves it.  Former Texan now Chief Eric Winston said this the other day:

I’ve already kinda come to the understanding that I won’t live as long because I play this game and that’s OK, that’s a choice I’ve made and a choice all of us have made.

Brian Cushing, the Texans’ defensive captain, is out for the season and fans in these parts are kind of down.  Injuries are the sad reality of the NFL.  They are going to happen and happen on every team so don’t get down or bummed out for too long when a Texan goes down.  That’s the NFL folks love.

Over the next few weeks I think H-Town is in for a ride with the Texans.   After this Sunday they got two more prime time games on the road and a Thanksgiving Day special in Detroit.  Have fun and let’s enjoy.

Happy 13th BD today to Abby Eastman! I saw Abby last night and she is the cutest.   Anna and Brad are proud parents for sure!

On July 6, 1933, MLB played its first All Star Game.  Where was the game played?  Hint:  At an AL city.

Commentary mentioned the East Downtown development story in yesterday’s Chron.  It would have been nice if they would have given some props to H-Town CM James Rodriguez and his predecessor now State Rep. Carol Alvarado.  Both have worked hard to get East Downtown where it is at today if you ask me.

Here is what the County put out yesterday evening:

As of this evening we have approved 68,456 applications and sent out 65,622 ballots.  We have received 14,580 voted ballots returned.

25,479 have been generated by the GOP and 20,402 by Dems.

Stacey Dash, an actress who Commentary had never heard of until yesterday, endorsed Romney yesterday.  Dash, who is African American, put out her endorsement on the internet.   Then she got ripped for going against a fellow African American – The President.

Hey, when you go on the internet to smack off like Commentary does sometimes, expect to get knocked around by folks of different persuasions including those that want to inject race, hate, or love.  If you don’t like it, tell your story on a rotary dial phone or mail it to the Romney campaign on a post card!

The Chron has a story today about the City of H-Town studying the idea of going full blown recycling with our garbage.

Check out the story here.

Of course, they don’t say how much they want to charge us.

The Chron E-Board endorsed today in Appeals Court races here.

Old Comiskey Park in Chicago of course was the site of the first ever MLB All Star Game.

I don’t have anything from The Yard today – sorry!


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Commentary put this out earlier:

In 2008 in Harris County, 76,187 requested mail ballots and 67,612 (88.7%) were returned and counted.  In 2010 in Harris County, 69,991 requested mail ballots and 55,560 (79.4%) were returned and counted.

Here is what the County put out yesterday evening:

As of this evening we have approved 66,737 applications and sent out 64,017 ballots.  We have received 14,190 voted ballots returned.

25,380 have been generated by the GOP and 20,317 by Dems.

It looks like we will surpass 2010 in mail ballot applications so stay tuned!

Since the 2000 MLB season, which team has produced the most Cy Young Award winners?

I’m not going to say much about The President’s Big Bird ad other than I hope it works!

I kind of hope this quote was taken out of context.  The story is about East Downtown continuing to grow and trying to get new downtown residents.  Here is from the Chron today:

"I, frankly, don’t see the economic advantage to having people live downtown," (H-Town CM Mike) Sullivan said, adding that he believes the market, not the government, should dictate where homes get built. The people who move into the area, Sullivan said, will be "Houstonians moving around Houston, and that’s not necessarily an economic boon. They’re leaving something behind somewhere else."

Here is the entire Chron piece.

I really don’t know about that.  Government does a lot to get folks to move like building new schools and fancy grand parkways and parks.  I guess it is always easy to bash Downtown.

Speaking of a new Downtown “resident”, yesterday was Comcast SportsNet Houston Day and CM James Rodriguez handed them a proclamation at the network debut party – cool!

Don’t forget that the Texas Freedom Network will have a special screening of “The Revisionaries” this Friday, October 12 at the Sundance Theater in Downtown H-Town.  This is the documentary about our State Board of Education.

Get your tickets here.

The Arizona D-Backs have won four NL Cy Young Awards since 2000 of course:  Randy Johnson (2000-2002) and Brandon Webb (2006).

Some website snatched up images of the new ‘Stros uniforms – sorta.  The images are kind of fuzzy but you can sort of figure out the new look.  Is that a remake of the blue lid and orange star? 

Check it out here.

They should have stayed with the brick red if you ask me! 


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NEWS FLASH FROM AP: The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, dropping below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years. The rate declined because more people found work, a trend that could have an impact on undecided voters in the final month before the presidential election.

The President certainly needed this news!

Chris Moran of the Chron put out a piece yesterday that Graci Garces will be running for H-Town City Council, District I, next year.  Graci is CM James Rodriguez’s Chief-of-Staff.  I’ve known Graci for a number of years now.  She’s smart, sharp, has great political instincts, knows the district, can communicate the issues, has a great heart, and will make an outstanding candidate and council member.  I have always had nothing but respect for Graci.  She has always provided me with a unique perspective of City Hall and the players.  Our conversations on policy and politics have always been thorough and enjoyable.  If I want to know what is going on at City Hall, she’s the first person I call.  I am definitely looking forward to working on her campaign.  Here is the Chris Moran piece:

Graciana ”Graci” Garces, chief of staff for District I Councilman James Rodriguez, is running to succeed him next year when he’s termed out.

If Garces wins, she would continue an intra-office line of succession. Rodriguez had been the chief of staff for his predecessor, Carol Alvarado, who is now a state representative.

Leticia Ablaza, who challenged Rodriguez last year, is also running, she confirmed. Ablaza served as chief of staff for District A Councilwoman Helena Brown for four months before resigning to work on the campaign of Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina. Ablaza, 39, lives in Glenbrook Valley and has lived in District I for 37 years.

Garces doesn’t live in District I yet, but she will next week, when she moves from Humble into a loft on the edge of Glenbrook Valley. That’s just in time to give her the year’s residency requirement to run for the seat.

Garces has seven years of experience in the district as the District I chief of staff, the last five with Rodriguez. She was also chief of staff for Alvarado’s last two-year term. Garces said that through her work she knows all the heads of the civic clubs, is familiar with the capital projects in the pipeline and even knows about the most notorious illegal dumping spots.

Although she hasn’t taken any formal steps and can’t begin raising money for the race until February. She said she expects to use the same political consultant her boss uses. Marc Campos has 40 years of experience in Democratic and Latino politics. The district’s population is 77 percent Latino, the heaviest concentration of Latinos in any of the city’s 11 council districts.

Garces, 32, expects to make a formal announcement of her candidacy by early 2013.

Now that Graci’s name is out there as a candidate, folks will definately be gunning for her.  She’ll handle it though and remain poised.  Plus, CM Rodriguez and Commentary have her back!  Stay tuned?

The ‘Stros now have four sub .500 seasons in a row – ouch!  When was the last time the ‘Stros have had four or more sub .500 seasons in a row?

Lisa Falkenberg’s latest column is about “The Revisionaries” and the State Board of Education.  Here is how the column starts:

It feels wrong to laugh so often during a documentary about public education.

But how else does one respond to a scene where the former head of the Texas State Board of Education explains how dinosaurs were able to fit on Noah’s Ark? Or the parts where the same guy, Bryan dentist Don McLeroy, quizzes patients about evolution and sings them Bible songs while they sit captive, mouths full of metal tools, in the dentist’s chair?

Here is Lisa’s column.

Don’t forget that the Texas Freedom Network will have a special screening of “The Revisionaries” on Friday, October 12 at the Sundance Theater in Downtown H-Town.  This is the documentary about our State Board of Education.

Get your tickets here.

If you want to help Traci Jensen in her race for State Board of Education, go to

I don’t know what you can say about the Lite Guv putting a Tea Bagger in charge of the Senate Public Education Committee.  Most state capitol observers are saying that the Lite Guv is playing up to the Tea Baggers leading up to 2014.  Don’t discount the fact he’s punch drunk over the arse whipping from Ted Cruz.

The beautiful Whitney Lynn Whitmire and the handsome John Travis Jenkins will get married tomorrow evening.  They are two special and wonderful people that I am glad I know. Whitney and John are two of the brightest young leaders we have in these parts.  Commentary had the pleasure of having John work here for six or seven months back in 2003-2004.  John is incredibly talented and knows his baseball.  I wish the two nothing but the best and a life of happiness.

I’m sure The Dean is going to be mighty proud when he walks his lovely Whitney down the aisle!

The Chron E-Board today endorsed my old pal Vince Ryan for Harris County Attorney.

Check it out here.

As of yesterday in Harris County, 63,234 have requested mail ballots with 24,803 generated by the GOP and 19,893 by Dems. 

Commentary said this yesterday:

Congrats to Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers for winning the Triple Crown with a.330 batting average, 44 dingers, and 139 RBIs!  That’s only the fourth Triple Crown ever won during Commentary’s lifetime!


My pal Nef sent this back:



The only other time the team has had four or more sub .500 consecutive seasons was from 1962-1968, when the Colt 45s/‘Stros had seven consecutive sub .500 seasons of course – got it!

‘Stros radio announcers Dave Raymond and Brett Dolan were fired yesterday.  Oh well!  I guess they’ll be firing Tal’s Hill next.  Then they’ll fire the choo-choo train.

FLASH!  I finally get what they are doing!  The fans have been firing the ‘Stros all season by not showing up to The Yard so the team is letting the fans know that they can fire too!  I wonder if they will fire the ugly signage out in left field!

Going into the AL West next year, fans from around these parts are worried about the Rangers and Angels.  Well how about them A’s!

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As of yesterday in Harris County, 51,697 had requested mail ballots with 21,771 GOP generated and 16,910 Dem generated.  Not bad at all!

A foodie war of sorts is brewing over at H-Town City Hall.  The food truck association wants restrictions eased so they can invade the streets of Downtown H-Town.  A few of them addressed City Council yesterday.  They are getting a lesson in City Hall politics.  This one is going to get interesting so you better stay tuned!

Who will be the first NL team we face next season?

The Chron E-Board rolled out their first set of criminal court endorsements today so check them out here.

It turns out my old pal Jay Root of the Texas Tribune is a comedy writer.  He’s penned an e-book about Guv Dude’s run for Prez.  You can check out excerpts at the Texas Tribune.

Remember when Dems were less enthused about voting than the GOP earlier this year.  Remember when the Tea Party dominated in 2010.  The latest polls in battleground states like Florida and Ohio have The President leading.  What happened?  We ought to know in about four weeks if that enthusiasm has caught on here locally.

Traci Jensen once again did A-Okay yesterday at an educator event.  Over 100 folks attended.  She won over more supporters.

One of my favorite crooners is no longer with us.  Andy Williams left us yesterday.  His signature tune of course was the Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer “Moon River” from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” which won the Best Song Oscar.  Andy Williams also used to have a TV show that introduced us to the Osmonds.    Commentary has a couple of Andy Williams Christmas CDs that I’ll be listening to later on this year. 

Moon river, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style some day
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you’re going, I’m going your way
Two drifters, off to see the world, there’s such a lot of world to see
We’re after the same rainbow’s end, waiting round the bend
My huckleberry friend, moon river and me.

I guess H-Town still reads Commentary as more folks attended last night’s game at The Yard – 16,000 and change.  Maybe they wanted to see H-Town CM James Rodriguez present Jose Altuve with his “Jose Altuve Day Proclamation.”

The Pirates of course will be the first NL team the ‘Stros face in 2013 – Friday, May 17.

Commentary will be doing a Channel 11 interview today about the last NL day at The Yard.

Tonight is the last night to see the ‘Stros at The Yard in NL gear and the last time you can go by and say adios to Milo and maybe Brownie.  They will hand out team posters and J.R. Richard Bobbleheads this evening. 


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At The Yard last weekend a ‘Stro hit a dinger off of the Chick-fil-A pole but this time for obvious reasons I didn’t cash in my ticket.  Yesterday a report surfaced that said Chick-fil-A was through giving money to groups that go after the GLBT community.   I want to hear it from the cow’s mouth, err Chick-fil-A folks first.  Lisa Falkenberg devotes her column today on Chick-fil-A maybe singing a different tune.  For now you can only read it in the hard copy.

Traci Jensen had a nice turnout last night at her reception.  H-Town CMs James Rodriguez and Jerry Davis, Dem Party Chair Lane Lewis, former HISD Trustee Paula Arnold, Charles Kuffner, some business execs, educators, and precinct chairs made up the crowd.  Traci will be meeting with more educators this afternoon.

1980 was the first year ever the ‘Stros made the playoffs.  Who was the leadoff batter for the ‘Stros in Game 1 of the 1980 NLCS?

I went out and checked the shuttle do a flyover of Downtown yesterday.  I guess that’s the best we could do.  It did a flyover of the Lone Star State Capitol this morning.  Most of the local TV shows interrupted their programming this morning to show the shuttle takeoff from Ellington.  I kind of think that was rubbing it in of sorts.

Romney is now for the 100% and tomorrow he will be for the 110%.

The Chron E-Board is still a regular reader of Commentary as they came out with their first candidate endorsements today.   They endorsed civil court judges.

Check it out here.

They didn’t endorse a couple of my pals – drats!

The Greater Houston Restaurant Association has an Op-Ed on food trucks today.

Check it out here.

As of yesterday in Harris County, 37,589 had requested mail ballots with 17,052 GOP generated and 11,889 by Dems/Gene Green.

Rep. Sylvester Turner endorsed the HISD bonds yesterday.

‘Stros second baseman Rafael Landestoy of course was the leadoff batter in Game 1 of the 1980 NLCS.

We’re at numero 101 losses and poised to surpass last season’s miserable 106.


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We’ve all heard the term “hardball politics.”  Today’s front page Chron story describes “hardball politics” in detail and locally.  Allen Watson is an engineer with Cobb, Fendley & Associates.  He’s also a City of H-Town appointee to METRO – nominated by The Mayor.   Last week Watson and the four other City METRO appointees voted to approve November ballot language on the General Mobility Payments (GMPs) that if supported by METRO service area voters, will provide more funds to the City of H-Town and three other local burgs and less money to the County and other smaller burgs. 

The County retaliated earlier this week and pulled a road design contract for Cobb, Fendley from the Commissioners’ Court agenda.  County Commissioner Steve Radack had the item pulled from the agenda and made no bones about why:

“If somebody that wants to work for Harris County goes out and figures out a way to deprive Harris County’s unincorporated area out of tens of millions of dollars in Metro funding, I really don’t think they need to be doing business with the county."

What’s refreshing is that Commissioner Radack is upfront and honest.   Often time political retaliation of this sort is not talked about publicly, explained off as a technical matter, or downright lied about.  Commissioner Radack is being brutally candid.

What is going to be interesting if this escalates, after all, Watson was presumably representing the City and looking after the City’s best interest.   The H-Town Mayor isn’t one to back down so it would not surprise me or disappoint me if she fired back at some point in the near future.  Stay tuned!

Here is the Chron article.

Of the nine ‘Stros that started on Opening Day against the Rockies, how many will definitely not have the opportunity to get into the game tonight against the Brewers?

HISD and HCC decided to have bonds put on the ballot this November.  If you include the City of H-Town, that’s $2.725 bil worth of bonds on the ballot – yikes!  That’s a lot to ask some voters to swallow.

The Chron E-Board still reads Commentary and listens to CMs James Rodriguez and Stephen Costello because they came out and opposed the closed door City Council meeting sessions proposal that the City was considering then shelved.  Here is from the Chron E-Board’s take:

But back to the "behind closed doors" question. We’re leery of such things, with a few exceptions, because our business as a newspaper is making information available to the public – voters and taxpayers.

Of all government entities, the city of Houston should understand the importance of full access to information. It suffers from a glaring lack of such access when it comes to full details about the police and fire pensions that city taxpayers fund. That is both costly and wrong.

Changing that situation – letting the sunshine in – will require better cooperation during the coming legislative session to change state laws that allow the unions’ secrecy.

Let’s get that important business out from behind closed doors and into full council view before we consider whether to conduct other city business with doors closed.

Here is their entire take.

Speaking of letting the sunshine in, I wonder if the Chron E-Board would film their E-Board candidate interviews and put them on their website so voters could check them out.

The Harris County Clerk also read Commentary and does some ‘splaining in a Chron Op-Ed today. 

Check it out.

CEWDEM has put out various takes from the partisans who are against an Elections Administrator.  I don’t have a problem with that.  Of course, we’re never going to get anywhere as long as we have this discussion wearing partisan lids if you know what I mean.

Six Opening Day starting lineup ‘Stros of course won’t see action tonight against the Brewers:  Jordan Schafer (CF) is on the DL, J.D. Martinez (LF) was shipped to Oklahoma City last night, Numero 45 (1B) is a Fish, Chris Johnson (3B) is a D-Back, Jason Castro (C) is on the DL, and Wandy (P) is a Pirate.   The other three Opening Day starters – Altuve (2B), Brian Bogusevic (RF), and Marwin Gonzalez (SS) – are available for tonight’s weekend series opener with the Brewers. 

Here is what the new owner told the Chron yesterday:

“It’s been extremely painful the last three nights.  We’re just looking for a spark to get over the edge here. It’s been tough, very tough, for everybody.  Once we made that decision and Jeff (GM Luhnow) started moving some of the talent we might start sliding back a little bit. But we weren’t hoping it would be this bad.”

Shut up!  There’s no crying in baseball!

Jeff Bagwell throws out the first pitch tonight plus they are handing out Blue and Gold jerseys.  On Sunday they are handing out umbrellas.  I wonder when they are going to hand out little white flags.  No Mas!


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