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Archive for the ‘Houston Term Limits for Mayor and Council’ Category

The H-Town Latino Political Community spoke in different tongues today regarding filling the HISD District VIII Trustee position.  The Hispanic Chamber wanted an immediate appointment.  A dozen Latino local elected officials wanted an election.  LULAC wanted the appointment of Judith Cruz.  The HISD Board opted to go with an election.  A few Latino leaders addressed the board today and threw around the old stand-by phrase – “patron politics.”  Filing deadline is Monday. 

I saw a copy of the letter from the Latino elected officials.  The letter said “the Board should follow Diana Davila’s suggestion for calling a special election.” I like Diana but she’s the last person we ought to listen to on this since her resignation caused us to go through this process in the first place.

It is definitely interesting.   Of the seven votes that wanted to put the Term Limits Review Commission’s recommendation before the voters, three were Dems (Mayor Parker, CMs Adams and Johnson), and four were GOPers (CMs Stardig, Sullivan, Hoang, and Pennington).  Of the seven votes that voted against putting the recommendation on the ballot, five were Dems (CMs Gonzalez, Rodriguez, Lovell, Noriega, and Bradford) and two were GOPers (CMs Clutterbuck and Costello).    The recommendation included scrapping the current three two-year terms and replacing with two four-year terms with a kind of phase in that would have allowed for first termers possibly serving ten years, second termers possibly serving eight years, and third termers not getting jack.

I kind of think that I raised some points during this process that had an impact in yesterday’s decision like the lack of grassroots support for making term limits changes.  Where is the campaign to convince voters?  How is it going to impact the other stuff like Renew Houston?

Of course, I fully expect all the other political consultants and political fundraisers that do City of H-Town political campaigns to send me a case of St. Arnold Amber, a nice bottle of red wine, or a gift certificate to a nice restaurant near Commentary’s ‘hood for saving their city campaign gigs that they get every other year.  If it wasn’t for my contributions during this process, their city gigs would only come around once every four years.

“Stros third baseman Chris Johnson’s bat has cooled down the past three games.  He’s now hitting .346.  He was drafted by the ‘Stros in the fourth round of the 2006 MLB Amateur Player Draft.  What two current MLBers that were drafted in the first round of the 2006 draft have started in MLB All-Star Games?

The anti red light camera folks think they have enough signatures to get their item on the ballot here in H-Town.  In today’s Chron, one of the columnists has a piece on the upcoming campaign.  Check it out.   It’s about money, money, money!

Friends of Walmart dropped me a mailer yesterday about how neat their new mega-center is going to be.  They are talking about the one right down the street.  I wonder if any of my buddies are part of Friends of Walmart.

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria and Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum of course were drafted in the first round of the 2006 draft and have started in All Star Games.  If Chris Johnson can keep hitting .346, who knows?

Commentary came out of a slump last night and finally snagged my first foul ball of the season. 

That 14 inning game last night kept me up late.  We should have won it in the 13th.  Let’s see if we can even up the series with the Mets tonight.

 

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REVISED – BREAKING NEWS!

HOUSTON CITY COUNCIL THIS MORNING FAILED TO ADOPT THE TERM LIMITS REVIEW COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION.  THE MOTION FAILED ON A 7-7 VOTE.

MAYOR PARKER, CMS STARDIG, JOHNSON, ADAMS, SULLIVAN, HOANG, AND PENNIGTON VOTED FOR.

CMS CLUTTERBUCK, GONZALEZ, RODRIGUEZ, COSTELLO, LOVELL, NOREIGA, AND BRADFORD VOTED NO.

CM JONES WAS ABSENT.  END OF STORY FOR NOW!

At yesterday’s HISD Forum for potential candidates for the vacant Trustee position in District VIII, the last question asked was “if the Board does not appoint and calls for an election, will you run?”  Here is out they answered.

Judith A. Cruz – “absolutely willing to run a campaign.”

 

Dionicio Vidal “D.V. Sonny” Flores – “would consider running.”

 

Dorothy M. Olmos – “I will run.”

 

Adolfo Santos – “No.”

 

Peter Schwethelm  – “will run and run in 2011.”

 

Juliet K. Stipeche – “will wait until the Board decides.”

 

Nelly E. Garza-White – “will consider.”

 

Ann Ziker – “don’t know but I will consider.”

Here’s the Chron story on the forum.

Cruz was the only candidate to address the gathering in Spanish.

About 100 folks attended including HISD staff, community activists, teacher groups, and a couple or so business leaders.

From the Chron piece:

Trustee Manuel Rodríguez Jr., the other board member to vote for the election, did attend the forum. He said he would support an appointment if there were a consensus in the community.

 

Commentary hasn’t heard of any community consensus and the Board of Trustees will make a decision Thursday (tomorrow).

Happy Birthday to Jake Rodriguez today!

Mets pitcher Johan Santana is from Venezuela.  He pitched 8 innings against the ‘Stros last night.  Johan signed his first professional baseball contract in 1995.  Which MLB team first signed him up?

The Chron’s E=Board weighed in pretty good on the Renew Houston deal. Check it out.

Here’s the tough part from the editorial:

However, before endorsing the plan, we would like to see how much the actual program would cost, and how it would differentiate between properties with a large percentage of green space and trees that absorb runoff, and heavily developed parcels mostly covered by pavement and buildings. Should the low-income owner of a lot in a sparsely developed area pay the same fee as one with the same square footage valued at millions of dollars in upscale neighborhoods inside the Loop? Should public service nonprofits and schools and churches be exempt from the fee?

What will be the mechanism for deciding which street repair and drainage projects get fixed first? Historically, the infrastructure in poorer, minority neighborhoods in Houston has been neglected as more politically connected communities received higher priority. How can voters be assured that will not happen again?

The ‘Stros of course signed Johan Santana in 1995 but lost him in the Rule 5 Draft in 1999 and the rest is history.

The H-Town City Council will take up the Term Limits Review Commission recommendation today.

The anti red light camera folks turned in around 30,000 petition signatures.  So far 14,000 out of 16,000 have been verified.  Stay tuned!

By the way, Johan Santana gets about $20 mil per season but that didn’t stop Hunter Pence from hitting two dingers off him yesterday and four RBIs and that was enough for a 4-3 victory.  Commentary had to endure nine innings of sitting by obnoxious Mets fans last night and I hope that isn’t the case this evening. 

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James on MSNBC and HISD District VIII Candidate List and Growing

Commentary was just informed that H-Town CM James Rodriguez will make an appearance on MSNBC this afternoon at 1:20 pm to talk about anti-gang zones.  Check it out!

Now there are nine folks interested in being the Trustee from HISD, District VIII.  Here are the names according to Chron.comJudith A. Cruz, Dionicio Vidal "D.V. Sonny" Flores, Dorothy M. Olmos, Adolfo Santos, Peter Schwethelm, Juliet K. Stipeche, Nelly E. Garza-White, Stephanie White, and Ann Ziker.

Now here’s the deal.  If the HISD Trustees call for an election and most of these folks plunk down the filing fee and get in the race, the election would be held this November in conjunction with the general election.  The gubernatorial race would drive voter turnout of course.   With this many HISD trustee candidates running, you are guaranteed a run-off election that would be held in early December right before Christmas.  That race would be the only one on the ballot so you would have single digit voter turnout. 

You should be able to catch all the candidates at an HISD forum this morning at 11 am at Furr High School.  Stay tuned!

Former ‘Stro and current Met Carlos Beltran was taken by the Royals in the Second Round of the 1995 MLB Amateur Player Draft.  Who was the first player drafted in 1995?

Commentary doesn’t have any reliable sources in the H-Town City Secretary’s office, so I don’t know how the signature verification process is going regarding the anti red light camera campaign initiative.

The H-Town City Council will take action on the Term Limits Review Commission’s recommendation tomorrow morning.   One of the Commission members is challenging the recommendation and is asking Council to reject.  It is going to be interesting to see who shows up to speak this afternoon at the public session.

Former ‘Stro Darin Erstad of course was drafted by the Angels as the first overall pick.  Current notables also taken in the first round included Roy Halladay, Kerry Wood, and Todd Helton.

‘Stros Ace Brett Myers is 30 today!

‘Stros closer Matt Lindstrom blew one last night – again.  It also didn’t help that we stranded 10 base runners.  You need to go check out Chris Johnson, our new third baseman.  He has one of the hottest bats in baseball right now and is batting .365.  Commentary sat in Pam-In-Charge’s seats last night that are right by the ‘Stros on-deck circle.  When CJ was getting his bat ready, I thought I saw a little smoke coming off of the barrel.   We still have three at home with the Mets.

 

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Today the H-Town City Council will consider acting on the Term Limits Review Commission’s recommendation.  Today’s lead editorial in the Chron is certainly not a ringing endorsement of the recommendation.  Check it out.  I think Council just ought to thank the Term Limits Review Commission members for giving their time to this effort and then vote this sucker down.

We all know that a huge part of Guv Dude’s strategy is running against Washington and the federal government.  So why are we playing into his hands?   Here’s the Chron piece on the federal education dollars with a special amendment aimed at Dude.  Check it out.

Here’s from the piece:

You can be sure that Texas is singled out by this legislation — it was singled out by the governor who grabbed $3.2 billion of federal aid to education to bail out a mismanaged state government," (Cong. Lloyd) Doggett told House colleagues.

Come on!  That’s just what Dude wants!

What happened in the MLB 16 years ago today?

Bonus:  Former ‘Stro and current ATL closer Billy Wagner got the save last night against us.  When the ‘Stros traded him away to the Phillies after the 2003 season, who did we get in return?

On August 11, 1994, after the Mariners defeated the A’s in Oakland, the MLB players went on strike of course and there wasn’t a World Serious that year.

The ‘Stros received Ezequiel Astacio,  Taylor Buchholz, and Brandon Duckworth of course for Billy Wagner back in 2003.  We wuz robbed!

What can I say about last night other than our closer couldn’t close as we close out with the ATL and Bobby Cox this afternoon. 

 

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The Blue Signs say “Yes for preservation, no to protected districts” and “keep homeowner rights, continue growth of neighborhoods, no to city bureaucracy” and  http://www.responsiblehistoricpreservation.org.  The Yellow Signs say “Say yes to protecting our historic districts” and “preserve homeowner rights, support responsible growth, get the facts.”  I couldn’t make out their web address.

The signs are popping up throughout Commentary’s ‘hood.  They obviously are a reaction to the City of H-Town’s proposed historic preservation ordinance that is making its way through City Hall.  There are definitely more Blue Signs out there.    On some streets one house will have a Blue Sign and the neighbor across the street will have a Yellow Sign.  Stay tuned.

There’s some interesting stuff on the H-Town City Council agenda this week.  The Council will put the Renew Houston deal on the ballot.  It is getting seriously banged around by Dem progressives.  The Council will also vote on a pre-redistricting item.  It’s a proposed city charter change that will go to the voters to reduce the residency requirement so wannabe city council district candidates will have time to shop around for a district.   The Council will also decide if they want to put the City of Houston Term Limits Review Commission recommendation on the ballot.  Now here’s where it gets a bit dicey.   For the three in their final term (CMs Clutterbuck, Johnson and Lovell), they aren’t impacted by the recommendation.  For the remaining 12, they are and a vote to put it on the ballot will certainly look to some like they are out trying to extend their service on council.   Also stay tuned!

It looks like the anti red light camera folks will turn in their signatures this afternoon at the H-Town City Hall.   I wouldn’t be surprised if the H-Town Mayor instructs the City Secretary to scrutinize every single signature.

Bobby Cox, skipper of The ATL, makes his last visit as a skipper to The Yard tonight thru Wednesday.  Go check him out.  Where does Bobby Cox rank on the all time managerial career win list?

The President is coming to the Lone Star State today and it looks like Guv Dude will get a couple of minutes with The President.  In today’s Chron there is the same old story about the National Dems coming into the Lone Star State and raising money and not leaving a red cent behind.  Check it out.

Here’s from the story:  "If they’d invest this money in Texas, we’d be a blue (Democratic) state," said long-time party consultant Glenn Smith. "They (national party leaders) come down here and drag the sack and spend the money on themselves."

Commentary thinks that maybe if we had a better plan to turn the state blue, they might leave more money behind.  Like maybe if we really had a Latino voter engagement plan, don’t you think?

In today’s SA Express news, there is a piece about the Former H-Town Mayor “skipping” The President’s visit.  Check it out.

Here is the start of the piece:

It’s a headline that might play into Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White’s campaign strategy. Or not.

“Bill White Snubs President Obama” is atop an opinion piece by Akwasi Evans in Austin’s NOKOA weekly newspaper, part of the African-American Texas Publishers Association. The next line can’t hearten White supporters: “Takes Black Voters for Granted.”

“This is a huge concern,” Evans, NOKOA’s publisher and editor, said of White’s decision to stick with a campaign schedule apart from Obama’s events in Austin and Dallas today. “It says that in Texas, Democrats like to run to the right.”

Here is how the Former Mayor’s campaign responded:

Sen. Rodney Ellis, who spoke for the campaign on the issue, said White’s camp will motivate his base. But Ellis, D-Houston, added that Democrats “have been on the outside of the corridors of power in the Capitol for so long, we don’t need to spend our time talking to each other. We need to spend our time finding converts and bringing them into the tent” — specifically Republicans and independents.

It looks like the old change their mind strategy.  I don’t know about that.

Bobby Cox with 2,475 and counting wins ranks fourth of course on the all time list behind Connie Mack (3,731), John McGraw (2,767), and Tony LaRussa (2,613).

The ‘Stros road trip started out A-Okay but then we lost four in a row.  Of course, our weekend wasn’t as bad as Tiger’s.  Now we have us a ten game homestand against The ATL, Pirates and Mets so maybe we can make up some ground.

 

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A couple of weeks ago, Commentary attended and spoke at a meeting of the H-Town City Council’s Special Ethics and Council Governance Committee on Redistricting and Term Limits chaired by my pal Mike Sullivan.  At the meeting, they received the recommendation from the Term Limits Review Commission.  The Committee took no action and they said there would be a follow-up meeting where action would be considered. 

Guess what?  It looks like the Committee will not be meeting after all.  Instead, it also looks like the H-Town Mayor will put the Commission’s recommendation on the City Council Agenda for a Council vote next week.

I don’t know if this is the year that we ought to be messing with term limits.  I think if Council votes to put it on the November ballot the only folks that will get riled up are conservative voters and that won’t help local Dem candidates this November.  We already know that GOP voters are going to be more enthused than Dem voters.  Why stir them up here locally?

If I’m a member of the H-Town City Council, before I vote to put this on the ballot, I want to know who is going to be in charge of mounting a campaign to get it passed this November. Is there a PAC?

If I’m Renew Houston, I don’t know if I want to be on the same ballot page with term limits.

City Council is also going to consider putting a residency requirement charter amendment on the ballot.  It has to do with next year’s redistricting process.  They really don’t have to do anything but they want to change the requirement for candidates running for district positions from one year to six months.  I guess this is to accommodate those wannabe candidates that will be shopping for a position.

Where are the anti red light camera petitions?  Stay tuned!

The ‘Stros scored 18 runs last night against San Luis in San Luis – yikes!  The last time we scored 18 runs was on September 20, 2007 – also in San Luis.  We scored 18 runs last night without a dinger.  In 2007, we only had one dinger.  Who got the 2007 dinger?

Happy 49th BD Mr. President!

Former AG Al Gonzalez is 55 today.

The Rocket is 48 today.

J.R. Towles of course had the only ‘Stros dinger back in 2007.  He also had 8 RBIs.

What do you want me to say about the ‘Stros? They’re on fire!  They’ve won seven in a row!   They’re fun to watch!

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Here’s from a Chron story today about the latest poll on Latino voters in the U.S. of A.:  “For a group that supported Obama so heavily in 2008 and in his first year in office, only 43 percent of Hispanics surveyed said Obama is adequately addressing their needs, with the economy a major concern. Another 32 percent were on the fence, while 21 percent said he’d done a poor job.” Check out the full article.

This isn’t a shocker if you ask me.  Unless things change, it will definitely have a damper effect on Latino turnout in the Lone Star State this November.

Meanwhile, the Chron also has excerpts of a Texas Tribune interview with my old pal Henry Cisneros.  Henry talks about the upcoming election and the Latino vote.  Check it out.

The ‘Stros are a miserable 40-59.  When was the last time the ‘Stros had a .500 won/loss record?

There is no word yet on a city council decision on a city vote on changing term limits.

Commentary hasn’t heard anything about the folks that want to have a vote on doing away with red light cameras.  Show me the signatures!

On August 3, 2009, of course, the ‘Stros were 53-53.   We went 21-35 the rest of the season to finish 74-88.

The Rays finally got a no-no last night.  That leaves the Mets and Padres as the only two MLB teams without a no-no.

The Roy O. trade watch continues.   The ‘Stros left twelve men on base last night in our 5-2 loss as Brett Myers goes to the mound for us tonight.

 

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The Chron’s Columnist had this to say yesterday about the recommendation from the Term Limits Review Commission:  “Urban politicians haven’t had much luck getting voters to grant what the Houston City Council appears ready to ask of them this November: Lengthen their life expectancy.”

Huh!  That’s news to me!  I didn’t know that the votes were there on city council at this time to put the measure up for a vote.  Check out the column.

He certainly has opinions on the recommendation.  That’s pretty good considering he probably didn’t go to too many meetings of the Commission.  I’m sure others that never took the time to attend the meetings will chime in with their opinions so stay tuned!

The ‘Stros visit Wrigley for three starting this evening.  When was the last time the Cubbies were World Serious?

I’m thinking Jodie Foster is a little bit concerned these days.  She’s in the middle of directing a movie called “The Beaver.”  It stars Mel Gibson – yikes!  Foster also co-stars in her movie.  I don’t know who will plunk down 9 bucks or so to see Gibson though.

The last time the Cubbies were World Serious was in 1945 of course or 65 years ago.  BTW:  They lost in seven to the Tigers.

The only thing the ‘Stros have to celebrate today is pitcher Wilton Lopez’s 27th BD.  You know it’s bad when you lose two in a row to the Pirates.

 

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An H-Town City Council Committee officially received the recommendation from the Term Limits Review Commission yesterday.  Aside from Commentary, not many folks showed up.   Prior to the meeting, here’s what the Chron said the H-Town Mayor had to say about the recommendation:  “not something I’m going to get excited about.”

The recommendation includes two four year terms replacing the current three two year terms.  The Mayor, Controller, and other council member first termers could run for two four year terms for a total of ten years of service.  Second termers could run for a four year term for a total of eight years of service.  Third termers couldn’t run anymore, so they end up with just six years.  Frankly, I don’t think that is fair.

Of course, City Council has to vote to put it on the November ballot and the voters have to approve.  If this happens, they would probably have to make changes to the city’s campaign fundraising ordinance.

To date, a political action committee to change term limits has not been formed.  Let’s see now.  If the Mayor is not enthused, if a lot of activists are going to be worried about the partisan races, and if some city folks are going to be Renewing H-Town, I don’t see how you can mount a campaign to change term limits.  Stay tuned!

Jeff Bagwell returns to the ‘Stros dugout tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.  When he made his MLB debut on Opening Day in 1991, where was he in the batting order?

Yesterday, the H-Town City Council also started talking about the upcoming redistricting process.  Some very pointed questions were asked.  It is going to be an interesting process.

HISD Trustee Diana Davila will announce her resignation from the school board this afternoon.  Diana caught everyone off guard yesterday when word got out she was leaving.  We’re not sure on the process to replace – appoint or election.  This is going to be very interesting.

Bagwell batted sixth of course on Opening Day of 1991.

I guess during the next 16 days folks will be talking about Roy O. and The Big Puma as trade material and the ’Stros return to The Yard next Friday.   

 

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Let’s go to the important things first.  Commentary was asked by perryvstheworld to answer 20 questions.  What the heck!   Somebody finally asked me for my takes.  Check them out.

The City of H-Town Term Limits Review Commission came up with a recommendation.  Check it out in today’s Chron.

I don’t know about that.   Here’s the first thing that comes to my mind.  Let’s say The H-Town Mayor and City Council puts this on the ballot this November.   What if the issue is framed around giving the H-Town Mayor 10 years instead of six?  What if the proposal is rejected by the voters?   What would it say about The Mayor?

To cover her arse, The Mayor would have to expend political capital to make sure this passes.  Then it looks like she’s doing this for personal political gain. 

City Council does not have an obligation to put this on the ballot.  In fact they need to be real careful.   Thousands and thousands of voters signed petitions back in 1991 to put the term limits initiative on the ballot.  I’m betting no more than 250 voters attended the Commission hearing this past year and not all of them were in support of changing the current system.   Think about that.

The H-Town Mayor and City Council have to make sure that there is a fully funded professional campaign team in place that is going to get this thing passed before they sign-off.  If they put it out there and they get beat, they are all going to look bad and look like they are out of touch.  You don’t want to be an elected official that is perceived to be out of touch with your constituents.

I’m sure the Renew Houston folks would rather have the members of City Council spending their evenings campaigning for Renew Houston and not on changing term limits.  Stay tuned!

George Steinbrenner is no longer with us.  When was the first time one of his Yankee teams won the World Serious?

Speaking of Renew Houston, CEWDEM put out a piece where a local Dem Party officer from SD 13 is cracking on Renew Houston. I wonder how many other Dem leaders will oppose Renew Houston and join forces with Norman Adams and his crew.

Commentary will be going to The Yard this evening to catch the MLB All Star Game on the jumbotron.  It is a reward of sorts for some of us that follow the team.  Hope they have some good grub.

In 1977 of course, the Yankees beat the Dodgers in six games.

I’ll be rooting for the NL tonight so the ‘Stros can have home field advantage during the World Serious.

 

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