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Archive for the ‘Houston Dynamo Soccer Stadium’ Category

Lone Star State Dems start arriving today here in H-Town to elect DNC members, Party officers, and National Delegates.  I’m sure there will also be some discussion on what we have to do to start WINNING!

The state’s political press will also be here but don’t pay attention to what the Trib said today:

Texas Democrats limp into Houston on Thursday for yet another state party convention that will highlight how far they have sunk into statewide oblivion.

Ouch!

Here is the entire Trib piece.

There are 48 former and active MLBers in the 400 career dinger club with Barry, Barry at the top with 762.  Name the two that are tied for 47th?

Commentary will be at the Dem Convention with Traci Jensen, Democratic nominee for State Board of Education, District 6 (Commentary’s client).  Traci is an outstanding candidate.  I hope fellow Dems get a chance to meet her.  We’re looking forward to attending a seminar that will be held Saturday morning at 9:30 am on “Electing a Smarter State Board of Education.”  The Party told me that the Texas Freedom Network is putting it on. 

BTW:  Traci still hasn’t received a response to her letters.  Stay tuned!

My pal Bill King must be suffering from writer’s block.  I guess he couldn’t think of a topic to tackle today so he took the easy route and endorsed candidates.  Here is from his column:

Hopefully the July 31 runoff will promote (David) Dewhurst and (Paul) Sadler to the title match in November. Both have legitimate qualifications for being a U.S. senator. But there is no telling what the turnout will be in the runoff. In those circumstances it is not inconceivable that in November, Texas voters would have to choose between (Ted) Cruz and (Grady)Yarbrough to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison. Either would be quite a step down.

Check out Bill’s column here.

If out-of-town Dems want to do something tonight after or in lieu of the Kick-Off Reception, the ‘Stros are hosting San Luis just a few blocks from the Hilton Americas.  There are plenty of seats and St. Arnold still available.

If you want to eat something other than hotel or convention center grub, the Chron’s 29*95 just put out a list of H-Town’s Top 100 Grub Spots.

Check it out here.

A couple of the grub spots are within walking distance, but you better bring plenty of dough. 

The Dynamo won’t be playing this weekend but if Dems take a peek at what’s behind the George R. Brown Convention Center, they’ll be able to see the brand new BBVA Compass Stadium.  If Dems happen to run into The H-Town Mayor or CM James Rodriguez at the convention, give them a high five or a “way to go” shout out on getting the new soccer stadium built.

The late Hall of Fame great Duke Snider and Paul Konerko of the White Sox of course are tied for 47th with 407 dingers each on the MLB All Time Career Dinger list.

The ‘Stros got a little too aggressive on the base paths last night and paid the price in a one run loss – DRATS!!!!

 

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My pal H-Town CM Mike Sullivan was handed a doozey of an issue in his GOP race for Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector in today’s Chron.  Here is from the Chron:

The Harris County tax office is paying 32 clerks overtime on weekends to eliminate a large backlog of unprocessed auto registrations, a potentially serious problem that could force some motorists to drive with expired decals.

Drivers can receive costly tickets and civil penalties for lapsed vehicle registration and cannot use the backlog as an excuse, tax officials stressed.

Here is the entire piece.

Commentary has always thought that the current Tax Assessor-Collector Don Sumners is a meddler.  He’s been to the H-Town City Hall on occasion to crack on the Mayor and Council Members on how the City is being run.  Well it turns out he’s not running his own shop very well.

Former Tax Assessor- Collector Paul Bettencourt was also a meddler but at least he processed the car registrations in a timely fashion.  Heck, he even had time to go after voter registration applications.  Check this from the Chron:

Paul Bettencourt, the previous tax collector, expressed surprise at the length of the backlog and said that in the past, staff were cross-trained and assigned to busy areas as the work flow demanded.

"They need to shift people to work the backlog," Bettencourt said. "You put all hands on deck and transfer people in from other departments."

And this:

Sumners blamed the backlog on last year’s countywide budget cuts, which caused a 9 percent personnel reduction.

GOPers like Sumners are always quick to call for cutting government without thinking about the consequences.  Well now they are neck deep in consequences.

Name the MLBer with the most fielding errors this season – through last night.

H-Town CM James Rodriguez will have a special weekend.  Tonight he delivers the commencement address at the San Jacinto College South Campus graduation ceremony. 

Tomorrow CM Rodriguez will be at the Opening Match of the brand new BBVA Compass Dynamo Stadium.  CM Rodriguez, The Mayor, and County Commissioner El Franco Lee were the key to making sure the deal happened to build the stadium.  Way to go! 

Try to drop by Anna and Brad Eastman’s home in the Heights Sunday (May 13) afternoon as they host a Mother’s Day reception for Traci Jensen, Democratic candidate for State Board of Education, District 6.  The reception starts at 4 pm at 935 Harvard (77008).  RSVP at marisol@camposcommunications.com

Try to drop by the home of Shanna Crawford Barnstone and Robert A. Hager in the Near Northside over by Moody Park on Monday (May 14) as they host a reception for Traci Jensen.  The reception starts at 5:30 pm at 3923 Baden (77009).  ).  RSVP at marisol@camposcommunications.com

I’m sure half of the County’s Dem voters have received a mail piece from Traci this week.

Check out the story on mail ballot applications in today’s Chron.  Here is how it starts:

Harris County residents have requested a record number of mail-in ballots for this month’s primary, a shift political observers attribute to more targeted campaign efforts by candidates and interest groups and the rising age of the average primary voter.

Here is the entire piece.

That’s the way it goes these days.

Let’s see, the Washington Post had a piece this week that said Mitt Romney was a prep school bully, but Mitt Romney doesn’t remember yet he apologizes.  Oh, well!

Shortstop Dee Gordon of the Dodgers of course has nine fielding miscues through last night.

The ‘Stros are in western PA for three against the Pirates at PNC this weekend.

 

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As we enter the fifth week of the legislative session, more and more leaders and organizations representing a number of interests are making their case not to cut funding for their programs.  Yesterday, former First Lady Barbara Bush made a plea in an op-ed in the Chron for public schools.  The jail supervisors’ caucus of the Harris County Sheriff’s department sent out an email over the weekend outlining their concerns if mental health funding is slashed.  The folks concerned over funding for highways, health services, prisons, colleges, universities, community colleges, public schools, and others are all sending out their emails and telling their stories.

I think by the end of this month, we will start hearing calls for raising revenues.

It is Day 28 of the legislative session and Guv Dude still won’t show us the sanctuary cities!

I’m not going to say anything about the ground breaking for the new Dynamo Stadium this past Saturday other than to say it was reported to me that only one elected official got booed by the Dynamo fans.   Hmmm, let me guess!

The best off field camera shot of last night’s Super Bowl telecast was Cameron Diaz feeding A-Roid some popcorn. 

A-Roid was the first player taken by the Seattle Mariners n the 1993 MLB Amateur Player Draft.  Who did the ‘Stros take with the 12th pick in the first round that year?

Ok, since you asked I really wasn’t blown away by any of the Super Bowl ads last night.  The best one had to go to Chrysler with Eminem promoting the Motor City.

The sickest one had to go to Doritos for having the fella with the Doritos crumbs fetish.

The letdown ad went to Snickers with Richard Lewis and Roseanne after last year’s Betty White and Abe Vigoda.

Coke won hands down the border security ad.

The coolest effects ad went to KIA Optima for utilizing aliens, Aztecs, and Neptune – cool.

The sickest ad runner-up went to godaddy.com for photo shopping Joan Rivers’ latest mug on a hot bod – yikes!

One of the cutest ads went to Budweiser for the “Tiny Dancer” in a saloon.

One of the dumbest was the Bud Light product placement ad.

One of the funniest ads was the Pepsi and the girl jogger getting canned so to speak.

Sooner or later you knew it was going to happen and this time the National Anthem line flubber was Christina Aguilera.  Of course, only Commentary and a handful of others that actually sing it caught the mistake when it happened live.  The other 100 million or so that watched the game didn’t catch it until this morning when they saw it on the news or read about it online or in the paper.

Billy Wagner of course was drafted by the ‘’Stros and was the 12th pick overall in 1993.

I wonder who is going to sing the National Anthem at The Yard on Opening Day, Friday, April 8 and Spring Training starts in 9 days.

 

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CEWDEM stirred things up a bit by putting out photos of newly reappointed Port Commissioner Janiece Longoria’s victory reception, blah, blah, blah, blah. 

On a related note, preliminary discussions are underway to get key H-Town Latino leaders better organized and united on matters like the Port Commission for next year’s city elections.  Candidates seeking Latino support will be closely scrutinized to see if they will support the Latino community on maintaining representation on major boards and commissions like the Port.  The preliminary plan is to see a more aggressive Latino community.   A few key Latino leaders have mentioned that Latinos didn’t push back hard enough or punched back on the latest assault on our politics.  Stay tuned!

Speaking of, the H-Town Mayor had a shakeup of her staff.  Her finance director is out.  Her deputy chief of staff is headed back to the campaign.  

Here’s from Chris Moran of the Chron on the naming rights for the Downtown Soccer Stadium:

The Dynamo controls the naming rights to the soccer stadium they’ll build for $76 million per a deal approved Thursday by the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority. But with those rights come responsibilities:

* The team cannot name the stadium without Sports Authority approval if the name "would reasonably cause embarrassment or disparagement to the Sports Authority, the City or Harris County (including names containing racial epithets, barbarisms, obscenities or profanity, names relating to any sexually oriented business or names containing overt political reference)."

* Other naming no-nos: Any business name connected to gambling or firearms.

* Texas first: The stadium’s name may not mention Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado, Arizona or Mississippi.

* Still more verboten terms: Any Texas county name other than Harris, or any city of more than 200,000 people within 700 miles of Houston (whether that city is in Texas or another state).

Speaking of naming rights, of the Top 10 Fortune 500 Companies, how many have their name slapped on a Major League Baseball Stadium?

The U.S. of A. got the old snub in the bid to get the World Cup.  What else is new!

I wonder if the local Dem Party purifiers will give the once over to the Dems pictured at my good friend Janiece Longoria’s reception.

Commentary will drop in on Nene’s and Steve’s Holiday Party tomorrow night at Hotel ZaZa and mingle with H-Town’s key players.

Only one  of course as AT&T comes in at number 7 on the Fortune 500 list and AT&T Park is home to the World Serious Champs San Francisco Giants. 

Alyson’s Footnotes has a good take on why Jeff Bagwell should be selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in early January.  Check it out.   That’s all I have from The Yard.

 

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Commentary is occasionally asked about H-Town’s Mayors of the past three decades or so.   I like to point out that Mayors Bob Lanier and Lee Brown got it when it came to MWBE contract participation. I bring this up because it looks like the design and construction of the new Downtown Soccer Stadium will not have minority owned firms participation.  That’s too bad.

Mayor Lanier, Mayor Brown, and the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority made sure that minority owned architectural, engineering, and construction firms were part of the design team for Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center, and Reliant Stadium.   It doesn’t look like that is going to be the case for the Downtown Soccer Stadium.

Commentary fully understands that the financing structure is a bit different in this instance but there is still a considerable amount of public funds involved.  

Former Dynamo President Oliver Luck led the effort on the part of the Dynamo to get the deal done.  Latino leaders and organizations were the most vocal supporters.  It looks like Luck used a few folks on this deal.

Commentary has never been impressed with Luck.  In a recent farewell article on Luck, the Chron gave him way too much credit for his role in the construction of the three sports venues when he served as Executive Director of the Sports Authority.  The fact of the matter is when he arrived at the Sports Authority, Minute Maid Park was already open for business, Reliant’s construction was well underway, and construction at Toyota had just started.  Luck wasn’t involved in any of the financing negotiations for either. 

Commentary thought that the precedent set in the construction of the first three venues that MWBE participation was a given.  I thought it was kind of like accepted public policy.  It looks like that isn’t going to be the case on this deal.  It looks like the MWBE community, particularly Latinos, is out of Luck.  That’s a shame and shouldn’t be accepted.   We can’t go back to the old days.

Jeff Bagwell is now the hitting coach or the ‘Stros.  When was the last time Baggy swung a bat in a real game for the ‘Stros?

The New York Times reports today that Dem Governors met with The President this weekend and some of them advised The President to cool it when it comes to taking on Arizona and talking about immigration reform.  Check out the piece.
Some of the Dem governors think that the immigration issue is a losing one for Dems in the November general election.  Commentary has said it before.  The President is probably one of the smartest Dems around.  He knows that he has to talk up immigration reform to get Latinos to the polls.  Commentary is hoping that he won’t take the advice of those Dem governors. 

PolticfactTexas is A-OK by me.  Apparently, the Lone Star State Lite Guv doen’t like what it does.  Check out a story.  My old pal Gardner Selby and others just check out the facts and let the rest of us know the truth.  Apparently some Dem and GOP consultants aren’t impressed with PolitifactTexas.  Well, then just check out your facts before you send them out.  PolitifactTexas is letting you know that the free ride is over.

In Game 4 of the World Serious on October 26, 2005 of course Baggy came up as a pinch hitter for Brandon Backe in the bottom of the seventh and grounded out to second base.  That was the last time Baggy batted in a real game.

Commentary likes the move to get Baggy back into the game.   Baggy says he knows baseball and he knows hitting.  I’d rather have him in the dugout than on the golf course.  The ‘Stros now take four days off for the All Star Game break before they hit the road on Friday.  

 

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Here’s what Newsweek cover boy  Guv Dude said this past weekend: "It was very disconcerting for me to see the president at Kennedy Space Center (in Florida) making the announcement about they’re going to increase some jobs there. Not one word spoken about the Johnson Space Center. The message there was: ‘You’re from Texas. We don’t care about you.’ I tell people this president has put a target on Texas’ back."

Dude ought to know something about targets since he’s had an old bull’s eye on The President for a while.  Get real Dude!  You railed against the stimulus even though you pocketed the money.  You railed against healthcare reform.  You railed against The President’s education grants. 

Here’s the problem for all of us that support the Johnson Space Center.  Let’s say there is public support for continuing to go to space, aside from the folks from Alabama, Florida, the Lone Star State, California, and a couple of other states with smaller research facilities, the rest of the U.S. of A. doesn’t give a rat’s arse who gets the funds or where we train the next generation of astronauts.  We’re not going to knock Florida out of the running, because they already have the launching facilities.

At some point some folks outside of the Lone Star State are going to start saying – hey wait a minute.  Don’t you guys in the Lone Star State want a federal government that is not relevant to your lives?   Don’t you guys have a governor that wants to secede? Don’t you guys want a smaller government?  Weren’t you the guys that didn’t want stimulus dollars?

The H-Town Mayor and the local congressional delegation have to convince the rest of Congress on the importance of the Johnson Space Center.  Remind them that it were folks at the Johnson Space Center that turned Apollo 13 into NASA’s most successful failure.  Of course they are going to have to do this convincing while Dude is railing against The President.  Dude’s in a reelection mode that doesn’t include a photo-op with The President in the Oval Office discussing the future of NASA in H-Town.

It probably doesn’t help that Dude has snagged a soon to be released Newsweek cover with the “Don’t Mess With Texas” screaming headline.  Sure it gives Dude more national exposure.  It makes him one of the faces of the national GOP right up there behind Former Governor Palin and excites his base here in the Lone Star State.  However, like I was saying, Dems outside of the Lone Star State are probably thinking, why do we want to help out this fella’s state?  Stay tuned!

The Chron had a reader poll they published this weekend on tearing down the Astrodome – 55% for the wrecking ball, 45% for preserving the Dome – take that!

Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies threw a no-no in Atlanta against the Braves this past Saturday.  It was the first no-no in Rockies history.   Name the only three MLB teams that still don’t have a no-no.

A double bonus: How many no-nos do the ‘Stros have and has a ‘Stros catcher ever caught more than one?

Commentary watched the ‘Stros and Cubbies on the tube this past Saturday then afterwards I started to watch the Mets and Cards on Fox.  After about 30 minutes I headed off to the gym then to run some errands.  When I got back the Mets and Cards were still playing in the tenth inning.   I watched as the game went 20 innings and ended after 10 pm.  652 pitches were thrown in a game that lasted 6 hours and 53 minutes.  The Cardinals used two position players (non-pitchers) to pitch. The game was scoreless for the first 18 innings.  Oh yeah, the Mets won 2 to 1. 

In case you missed CM James Rodriguez’s Op-Ed on the Downtown Soccer Stadium in Saturday’s Chron, we have it for you.  Check it out.

The Mets, Rays and Padres of course are the only teams without no-nos.

The ‘Stros have ten no-nos of course thrown by Don Nottebart (1963), Ken Johnson (1964), Don Wilson (1967 & 1969), Larry Dierker (1976), Ken Forsch (1979), Nolan Ryan (1981), Mike Scott (1986), Darryl Kile (1993), and Roy O/Pete Munro/Kirk Saarloos/Brad Lidge/Octavio Dotel/Billy Wagner (2003).

Alan Ashby of course was behind the plate for Forsch, Ryan and Scott.

Fox Sports Southwest has a neat 30 minute “Spotlight” on my pal Drayton.  It is a nice piece. Check it out while it is still airing.

The ‘Stros just had them a 3-3 road trip and The Big Puma finally gets to see some MLB action starting tomorrow night against the Fish!

 

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On this Good Friday the lead story in today’s Chron is about declining home values in Harris County.  That means a declining tax base.  Local municipal governments and local school districts have some tough decisions to make.  Check out the story.   This is not good news.

In the coming days, weeks and months, our local elected officials will be tested because there will be cuts in services.  We can also expect furloughs and lay-offs.  Let’s just hope there is fairness and openness in the process.  Let’s make sure the pain is spread around.  Let’s also put demagoguery aside.   Stay tuned!

CM James Rodriguez and the proposed Downtown Soccer Stadium got some run in today’s Chron lead editorial.   Check it out.    Way to go James!

This MLB Hall of Fame member is 65 today.  He was a pitcher and ended up with 324 wins career including 24 as a ‘Stro.  Who am I talking about?

Commentary got some run on Fox 26 News last night on the politics of the new health care law.  In the story, the local GOP Chair Jared Woodfill called on Guv Dude to call a special session of the Texas Legislature so the Lone Star State can pass a Health Care Freedom State Law – huh!  I don’t think Dude wants to do anything right now that will focus on his leadership skills, err lack of leadership skills.  Sorry Jared.

Happy Birthday to Don Sutton of course who was a ‘Stro in 1981 and 1982 and who also has the distinction of having 1,354 at-bats without a dinger!

Take the time to drop by Fan Fest at The Yard tonight and tomorrow and check out the silent auction stuff, the cool gear for sale, the autograph sessions, chatting with the front office, watch the Stros and the Blue Jays, and a enjoy tasty St. Arnold!

By the way, have a nice Easter Sunday!

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