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Archive for the ‘Houston Mayor Bill White’ Category

The Mayor kicked off her campaign this past Saturday and there was a story in the Chron about her kickoff.  This is what Rice political scientist Mark Jones had to say:

“Bill White left her with a lot of messes to clean up. That, combined with a very tight budget as a result of the recession, led to a difficult first two years.  The second term has been much smoother sailing. The voter mood is going to be much more positive as people go to the polls this fall, and there’s going to be less of a tendency to want to cast a protest vote against the mayor than there was in 2011.”

Here is from a piece on the kickoff and mentions District I candidate Robert Gallegos:

Robert Gallegos said Parker is the first mayor he worked with as a civic organizer that actually got things done, from conducting feasibility studies of overpasses and saving a century old school building from being sold.

Bill White was a very popular Mayor and easily won reelection.  I’d like for both fellas to go stand in the middle of Discovery Green and diss on Mayor White. 

The Big Puma was in town this past weekend.  How many post season dingers does he have?

When the Graci Garces for City Council District I Campaign decided on holding the takeoff at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum we knew getting a crowd would be a challenge since the Museum is located on the other side of Hobby Airport literally on the outskirts of H-Town.  We figured a 6:30 pm start would allow folks time to get out there.  We also knew that if folks made the drive to the Air Museum they were pretty much hard core Graci supporters so we were happy when 150 show up.

Here is a Saturday Chron.com post of The Mayor’s kickoff.

An earlier post Saturday afternoon said over 100 supporters showed up at The Mayor’s kickoff.  A crowd number isn’t mentioned in this posting.   Having over 100 doesn’t speak well for enthusiasm.   I wonder how many folks showed up.

If you are going to get in a smack-off with Tiger, you better bring your game with you.  Sergio Garcia took his dislike of Tiger public and Tiger got the best of him.  Tied with Tiger with two holes to play, Sergio put three shots into the water in a very public meltdown.

Here is what Garcia said after the meltdown: “It sounds like I’m the bad guy here.

I was the victim.”

Is this Weinergate?  Turn this over to the FCC.  This is by the Chron’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz:

The Astros said that the fan who stood up and pretended to expose himself while inside Minute Maid Park’s exclusive Diamond Club is not a season ticket holder and that the team would work with “the proper authorities” to investigate.

Sitting in the section that became famous as the seats for former President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush, a fan appearing to hold either a cigar or a hot dog weiner stood up and dangled it while Philip Humber pitched to Albert Pujols.

The fan appears to be right behind the prime two seats former Astros owner Drayton McLane and his wife Elizabeth used. Fans in those seats get plenty of air time on television, and the fan clearly timed his prank to appear on the telecast.

The Astros have monitored that section closely under new owner Jim Crane, but at this point the Astros say they don’t know the fan in question.

“The Houston Astros have no affiliation with the individual involved in the incident in the Diamond Club seating area last night,” Astros Vice President and General Manager of Building Operations Marcel Braithwaite said in a statement. “The individual is not a season ticket holder. The Astros are currently investigating the matter with the proper authorities.”

Earlier in the homestand, a fan was shown on the Minute Maid Park big screen flicking his middle finger.

What are they going to nail him on – impersonating a flasher?  If they are the seats right behind where Drayton used to sit then they belong to the new owner.  I’m betting the front office knows the identity of the fake flasher.

The Big Puma has nine post season dingers of course – six with the ‘Stros, one with the Yankees and two with San Luis.

About the only thing good that happened at The Yard this weekend was getting my fourth foul ball of the season that went to a kid.  I don’t know what else to say other than 14 ½ back.

 

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A few days ago 84% of the Texas Tribune’s Insiders picked the Lite Guv to win the GOP Primary U.S. Senate race.  14% picked Ted Cruz.   Commentary was one of the Insiders that picked the Lite Guv. 

The Tribune’s Ross Ramsey has a story today on the latest Tribune Lone Star State survey that has the Lite Guv with 38% and Cruz with 27%.   Here is a piece of the story:

"David Dewhurst is roughly splitting the extremely conservative primary voters with Ted Cruz," said poll co-director Jim Henson, who teaches government at the University of Texas at Austin and runs the Texas Politics Project. "That’s not a sign of failure or defeat, but it is a yellow flag."

Henson attributes that more to style than to substance, but he said it could help the challenger.

"Cruz is in the advantageous position right now of, for the most part, defending his ideas against Dewhurst’s record," Henson said. "In the last few cycles, that’s been a good place to be, and not to be the person who’s having to defend your actions in government."

Here is the entire Tribune story.

Should Dems give a rat’s arse who wins the GOP U.S. Senate Primary race?  I wonder how having a Spanish surname fella at the top of the GOP ticket plays with Latino voters in the Lone Star State this November?  I’m thinking it doesn’t help Dems.  Stay tuned for sure!

Oh, I forgot, Dems also got a mention in Ross’ story:

Unsettled might be the best description of the race for the Democratic nomination for Senate, where 55 percent said they would prefer another Democratic candidate to those who are running.

The named candidates were clustered in a statistical tie: Sean Hubbard, 12 percent; Addie Dainell Allen, Daniel Boone and Paul Sadler, each at 10 percent; and John Morton with 3 percent.

Are you in the 55%?

Now that MLB Spring Training is underway, how many teams are in the Cactus League and how many are in the Grapefruit League?

My pal Chris Moran has a piece today in the Chron on city finances.  Here is how the piece starts:

The city of Houston has been papering over multimillion-dollar budget deficits for nine years by borrowing money, tapping its rainy day fund, selling buildings and just plain putting off bills to the future, according to city finance officials.

And:

"We have a local government problem in that those administrations made decisions not to fulfill their obligations and to punt it down the road," said Councilman C.O. Bradford, who voted in favor of the last two budgets in which spending exceeded revenues by at least $98 million a year. "There’s no institutional accountability for having done that, and it continues today."

And:

Meanwhile, Parker’s predecessor, Bill White, insisted there was no deficit during his six-year administration.

"We collected more revenues while I was mayor than we spent," White said.

Not according to the city’s finance department, which reports more spending than income for each of the six fiscal years White presided over the city.

Check out the entire piece here.

Look!  The headline says it all: “Houston grappling with decade of deficit spending”.

Here is the headline in the hard copy of today’s Chron: “Task force: No more maneuvers on deficit”.

15 teams (A’s, Angels, Brewers, Cubbies, D-Backs, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Mariners, Padres, Rangers, Reds, Rockies, Royals, and White Sox) play in the Cactus League and 15 teams (‘Stros, Blue Jays, The ATL, San Luis, Fish, Mets, Nationals, B’More, Phillies, Pirates, Rays, Red Sox, Tigers, Twins, and Yankees) of course play in the Grapefruit League.

The new owner showed up at the first day of Spring Training.

 

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When it comes to Supreme Court decisions, Commentary wants straight talk and not spin.  Here is the first line from statements and articles that came out last Friday after the Supremes ruled on the maps.  You decide:

From The Texas Democratic Party:  “The Supreme Court did not strike down the interim maps.”

Tim Eaton from the Austin American Statesman:  The U.S. Supreme Court this morning rejected the redistricting maps drawn by a panel of federal judges in San Antonio.

From AP: The Supreme Court has thrown out electoral maps drawn by federal judges in Texas that favored minorities.

Gary Martin and Nolan Hicks of the SA Express News:  The U.S. Supreme Court ordered a Texas panel of federal judges on Friday to redraw its interim redistricting maps, a decision that will probably postpone Texas’s already-delayed primary elections.

Aman Batheja, Star Telegram:  The US Supreme Court ruled unanimously Friday to toss out court-drawn maps that had been intended to be used for the 2012 elections.

Lone Star Project:  Earlier today, the US Supreme Court overturned the interim Texas redistricting plans ordered by a San Antonio District Court in November.

From GOP AG Greg Abbott:  The Supreme Court confirmed that the San Antonio court drew illegal maps, without regard for the policy decisions of elected leaders.

My pal Robert Miller put out a take Friday to let everyone know he got it “right.”  Here is part of his take:

In closing, I will note that I received pushback when I wrote the following after attending the Supreme Court January 9 hearing:

My read of the oral argument is that the Supreme Court is likely to issue an opinion before the end of January.  I believe that ruling will overturn the San Antonio court plan, and instruct that greater deference be given to the legislative plan.

I was right.

Robert was right alright.  Maybe I’ll just tune everyone else out and just listen to Robert when it comes to the maps as long as he doesn’t take me down spin lane or it is revealed he has a secret agenda.

I’m betting the folks that have been running HCC are wishing that new Trustee Carroll Robinson would go away. Here is a 10 minute YouTube titled “Don’t Treat HCC Trustee Carroll Robinson as a ‘Stupid Ass’”
Check it out here. 
I’ll go out on a limb and say that Carroll is going to shake things up over there at HCC and let us know what is going on.  I don’t have a problem with that.

Some members of the 1986 ‘Stros got together this past weekend at a Tristar sponsored reunion of sorts. In the 1986 NLCS between the ‘Stros and the Mets, both teams combined for 8 dingers during the 6 games series.  Name the players that hit the dingers?

This past Saturday the Chron E-Board weighed in on the stern lecture H-Town CM Rodriguez gave to CM Brown a couple of weeks ago at a council meeting.
Check it out here. 

Also this past Saturday, Bill White penned an op-ed that ran in the Chron giving advice to Guv Dude now that he’s back home.   I’m betting that Dude doesn’t give a rat’s arse what White has to say and I’m also betting that he won’t read the op-ed.   If you want to read it you can check it out here.

It looks like the City of H-Town is going to finally settle this red light camera mess.  Check out the Chron story here.   The Kuboshes of course led the effort to kill the cameras.  They were also big donors to CM Helena Brown and in fact one of the Kubosh brothers was her escort at the inaugural.  I wonder if CM Brown will support the settlement and vote to cough up 2 mil or so.

I’m not going to say anything but watching the Newt and Mitt show is kind of fun.  What a nice way to spend last Saturday night.  The two latest polls taken last night now show Newt leading in Florida.  Well what do you know!

During the 1986 NLCS Glenn Davis, Bill Doran, Alan Ashby, Dickie Thon, and Billy Hatcher of course had dingers for the ‘Stros, Darryl Strawberry had 2 dingers and Lenny Dykstra one for the Mets of course. 

I’ll be going to The Yard this evening to hear from the new leadership.

 

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The Chron E-Board finally made an endorsement in At-Large 5 today and the endorsee is CM Jolanda Jones. Check it out here.  It kind of looks like some on the E-Board wanted to endorse Laurie Robinson.  Check this from the piece:

In the current campaign, many of Jones’ critics are backing Laurie Robinson, an accomplished financial consultant specializing in health care and the public sector who has done audits for the city. She is a promising prospective council member; we hope she runs again for public office, whether for this position or another.

Here is some of what the E-Board says about CM Jones:

The Chronicle believes that on balance, Jones has served a valuable function on a City Council that has historically played a subservient role in Houston’s strong-mayor form of government. She speaks out frequently, questioning administration proposals and demanding more information. That lengthens council meeting times and often delays action, but it also provides additional scrutiny and the impetus to improve legislation.

And:

After carefully examining the facts, the Chronicle endorses Jones for re-election and urges voters to return her to City Hall for a final term.

I’ve been told that some in Camp Jones are not happy with Commentary.  They say I’ve been rough on Jones – huh!  They didn’t like that I sent the Chron piece on the Former H-Town Mayor’s endorsement of GOPer Jack Christie yesterday to CEWDEM and some friends – huh! 

For a camp that loves to talk sh_t, they need to get a thicker skin.  I didn’t go after CM Jones when she badgered some supporters of my good friend Port Commissioner Janiece Longoria at City Council last year.  I didn’t go after CM Jones when one of her staffers was escorting CM James Rodriguez’s Tea Bagger opponent at a Dem Party meeting last month.  I didn’t serve with her on Council for two years then endorse GOPer Jack Christie like the Former Mayor did.  I haven’t filed any complaints on her with the OIG or DA’s office.  I’m not working for her Dem opponent like other Dem consultants in town.   I didn’t vote to throw her off of the island either.

Heck, they ought to send me a thank you note.  If I hadn’t been putting the pressure on the Chron E-Board the last few days, they might have waited until November 7 to put out the endorsement in At-Large 5.

Camp Jones needs to just chill and start focusing on getting re-elected.

‘Stros fans know that catcher Jason Castro was our pick (10th overall) in the First Round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Player Draft.  Who was our pick (38th overall) in the First Supplemental Round that year?

Commentary has no idea why the Former Mayor endorsed GOPer Jack Christie.  Dem activists in H-Town and throughout the state have every right to pounce all over him.  I’m thinking maybe he’s still punch drunk from the arse whipping Guv Dude put on him last year.

Commentary is not surprised that The Mayor only has 37% in the Channel 11 poll that came out yesterday. H-Town voters aren’t immune to the frustration and anger that has hit the nation.  The Mayor has had to deal with the red light camera mess.  She implemented Rebuild Houston. She has had to deal with budget cutbacks.  She has had to lead in very difficult times if you ask me.

The Chron also had a piece on the Kroger tax deal that they are fixing to get today. Check it out.

Dude took off the gloves last night and went after Mitt Romney for hiring paperless folks to mow his lawn.  Heck, Dude better watch out.  Half of his donor base here in the Lone Star State has done the same.

Commentary is keeping score of the hits on paperless folks during this Prez Primary by GOP candidates.  It will come in handy next year in the local Latino GOTV effort that we are fixing to roll out.

‘Stros pitcher Jordan Lyles of course was taken 38th overall in 2008.  Jordan Lyles is celebrating his 21st BD today!  ‘Stros pitcher J.A. Happ is celebrating his 29th BD today!  That’s all I have from The Yard today. 

 

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Chris Bell responded yesterday to Ross Ramsey’s Texas Tribune piece on the demise of the Texas Democratic Party.  Ramsey questioned why the donors would keep investing in the Democratic Party.  Bell says to keep investing in the Democratic Party.   Check out what Chris says.  I don’t have a problem with what Chris says as long as the Democratic Party gets a new set of investment advisors.  If the Party keeps using the same bunch of advisors, you may as well throw your money down the toilet drain.

My pal Gary Blankinship, president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, tried to come to the rescue of the H-Town Mayor and responded to Rick Casey’s column in Sunday’s Chronicle in a letter-to-the-editor today.  Here is part of what Gary said:

“The truth is, Mayor Parker and her team deserve credit for their nonpartisan professionalism in attempting to clean up any number of problems left by the previous administration.”

Gary for sure missed the whole Port Commission reappointment episode over at City Hall where partisanship ran amuck.  Gary also took some shots at the Former Mayor.  Here is Gary’s letter:

In the mayor’s defense

Regarding Rick Casey’s “The symbol of Parker’s problems” (Page B1, Sunday), it was disappointing to see City Council members stoop to petty, anonymous quotes attacking the mayor’s chief of staff, Waynette Chan, when Houston is facing so many sobering challenges.

The truth is, Mayor Parker and her team deserve credit for their nonpartisan professionalism in attempting to clean up any number of problems left by the previous administration.

To give you an idea, our organization has been in contract negotiations with the city since March 2010. This contract should have been finalized months ago, however, the Department of Finance — whose head was appointed by the previous mayor – had no clue what the true base rate of compensation is for HPD officers. Even though the Houston Police Department‘s finance people had detailed information, the city’s finance group wouldn’t allow HPD to be part of the process.

Fortunately, Parker grasped the reckless implications of this problem; since her engagement, negotiations are back on track. Thanks to Mayor Parker and her senior staff, in fact, I feel reasonably certain that the city and police force will soon have a deal that balances public safety and the city’s fiscal responsibilities.

Furthermore, I doubt previous Mayor Bill White consulted often with council members – as one of Casey’s anonymous sources suggests. If so, I feel certain such meetings were as unproductive as those the Houston Police Officers’ Union had with the former mayor.

Recall this is the same mayor who used symbolic property-tax cuts, one of several empty and ill-advised ploys that helped drive the city off into the financial ditch it is in today.

This is the same ditch Mayor Parker and her staff need help from the council, city employees and the public to get all of us out of today.

They are doing a good job, and they deserve more help and less anonymous backbiting.

Gary Blankinship, president, Houston Police Officers’ Union

Who is the only MLB pitcher to throw an Opening Day no-no?

Commentary has to hand it to Tessa Goth Rudolphy’s Christmas card again this year.  Tessa always does a take on an album cover.  She’s done The Carpenters, The Beatles, Dylan, and others.   This year she does a take on Simon and Garfunkle’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” – cool.  Way to go, Tessa! 

My pal Bill King has a piece today in the Chron on The DREAM Act and immigration.  It has a lot of good facts.  Check it out. 

Cleveland’s Bob Feller of course no hit the White Sox by a 1-0 score at Old Comiskey Park on Opening Day, April 16, 1940.  Bob Feller was also on the last Cleveland Indians team to win the World Serious way back in 1948.  Bob Feller left us yesterday.

I’m not going to say anything about a bunch of fees being raised over at the City of H-Town yesterday other than to say I wonder if the Council Members that put out their electronic newsletters will list and include them in the coming days or weeks.  Stay tuned!

Commentary went to The Yard last night to check out the sales and I picked up a never used fitted mesh batting practice lid for $10 from the early brick red days.  There were also a number of blue and gold jackets and jerseys from the late Dome days.  There were also a bunch of Moises Alou and Adam Everett baseball bats.  You should have been there!

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In a sort of reversal, the City of H-Town has decided that they better listen to 53% of the voters and shut off the red light cameras immediately.  No grace periods.  No 120-day notification.  Once the November 2 vote is canvassed today, the red light cameras get unplugged.  It is an unconditional surrender if you ask me.

Speaking of turning out the lights, I wonder if the Chron’s Columnist is starting to get in the business of predicting the fates of Harris County Commissioners.  He had a take on the front page of yesterday’s Chron on Commissioner Eversole – yikes!  Check it out.

Who holds the career World Serious record for base hits?

You know it is getting ridiculous out there when Judith Cruz’s opposition are handing out flyers  saying Judith wants kids to go hungry – huh!  I figured they would start throwing stuff like that at us.

Commentary was at the computer yesterday and had the Texans game on fully expecting to see the game go into OT when all of a sudden I was stunned by a miraculous catch.  It took me a couple of minutes to regain my composure.

Yogi Berra of course holds the World Serious career base hit record with 71 base hits and he also holds the World Serious career singles record with 49 and he also is number 3 with 12 career World Serious dingers. 

The Former H-Town Mayor says in today’s Chron that he’s not running for U.S. Senator in 2012.  Well that ends the speculation. 

From The Yard:

The Houston Astros Play Green® In Education program has been named one of the winners of the 2010 Mayor’s Outstanding Proud Partner Award, which is presented by Keep Houston Beautiful.

Pam Gardner, Astros President of Business Operations, will accept the award at the 26th Annual Keep Houston Beautiful Mayor’s Proud Partners Luncheon on Monday, November 15 (TODAY).

Way to go Pam-In-Charge!

 

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The Lone Star State’s newspapers released another poll yesterday and they all but say that this race is over and Guv Dude is heading toward snatching up the checkered flag.  They have Dude with a 12 point lead.   What can I say? 

Early Voting in Person through eleven days yesterday in Harris County was at 332,892 as compared to 591,027 through eleven days in 2008.

In 2008, Kingwood was 3.9% of the total (678,312 in person) Early Vote for Harris County.  Through yesterday they were 4.8% (of 288,568).

In 2008, Clear Lake was 3.3% of total county Early Vote.  Through yesterday, they were 5%.

In 2008, West Gray was 5.3% of total county Early Vote.  Through yesterday they were 6.5%.

In 2008, Tracy Gee was 3.1% of total county Early Vote.  Through yesterday they were 3.2%.

In 2008, Acres Home was 3.6% of total county Early Vote.  Through yesterday they were 2.8%.

In 2008, Palm Center was 2.3% of total county Early Vote.  Through yesterday they were 2%.

In 2008, Ripley was 1% of total county Early Vote.  Through yesterday they were .8%.

In 2008, Moody Park was 1.6% of total county Early Vote.  Through yesterday they were 1.2%.

In 2008, HCC was 1.5% of total county Early Vote.  Through yesterday they were 1.1%.

In 2008, 126-C in Champions Forest was 4.6% of total county Early Vote.  Through yesterday they were 5.3%.

In 2008, Ponderosa (Riddle’s district) was 3.1% of total county Early Vote.  Through yesterday they were 2.8%.

Of course, we’re still learning about voting early in person.  At first glance however, it looks like the GOP areas are bit more enthused here in Harris County – at least through the eleventh day of Early Voting in Person.

There was a bit of an increase with African American Early Voters but I still don’t have a good feeling about where things are headed.  The local Dem Party better have a kick-arse GOTV program for African American and Latino voters this weekend. 

Mickey Mantle holds the World Serious career dinger record with 18.  He is followed by Babe Ruth (15) and Yogi Berra (12).  Who holds the number four position with 11 career World Serious dingers?

The Chron’s Columnist has a piece today on Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia and her campaign and that she is in a tough race – maybe. 
Check out the piece.   Her opponent is up on the radio attacking her.  I don’t know about that.  Of course, the last time there was a pretty good Latino turnout in a gubernatorial race was when Tony Sanchez ran in 2002 when the Commissioner was first elected.

I was checking out the campaign spending reports of the red light camera folks.  Those that want to keep the red light cameras raised $1.5 mil in the last month. $1.4 mil of that came from the folks that provide the red light cameras.

Dodger great Duke Snider of course is at number 4 with 11 World Serious career dingers.

It took four days for Latino elected Dems to come out and say they were disgusted with Dude’s police widow commercial. Now that is what I call a manana rapid response!

I wonder if everybody at The Yard has voted.   I do know that The Yard sits in HISD Trustee District VIII and they haven’t stolen the signs that are hanging right under the clock tower.  That’s all I have from The Yard.

 

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