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

The burkablog likes to remind us that when looking at the current national polling data, keep an eye on the stat that says GOP voters are more enthused than Dem voters.  Can Lone Star State Dems offset this by having a competitive race for governor?

It looks like H-Town voters will vote on a drainage and infrastructure initiative that will call for some sort of fee increase to combat flooding.  The Chron called it a “tax” today.  Check out the story.   The folks that want to call for an election are called Renew Houston.  H-Town business leader Norman Adams calls it an increase in the property tax and has signaled that he will lead the charge to oppose.  Does the Renew Houston election bring out more anti tax voters to the polls?

The Kubosh folks say they have the signatures to put the anti red light camera initiative on the H-Town ballot.  If they do have the signatures, does this bring out more anti government voters?   Of course, if they come in with just over the bare minimum of signatures, the folks at the city will check them out closely.

Then there is the H-Town Term Limits Commission that might forward to the H-Town City Council next week, a recommendation to make a few changes to the current term limits provision.  Even if the recommendation is considered slight or modest, does this also bring out the more conservative voter?   If so, does this hurt the Renew Houston effort?

Heck, does the anti red light camera effort hurt the Renew Houston effort?

Then there are also the old standbys like the immigration reform issue and Latino voters and without The President on the ballot, do African American and first time voters turn out.   Does the fact that the Former H-Town Mayor is a homie impact local turnout?

This is the kind of stuff that political folks will be talking about leading up to early voting so stay tuned!

Who has the MLB record for most 200-hit season?

H-Town CM James Rodriguez got some run in today’s Chron editorial.  Check it out. 

Commentary’s still glad to know that the folks over at The Yard still read Commentary.  Roy O. let his pitching do his talking as he racked up the second one hitter of his career.  The Big Puma took care of business with a couple of solo dingers.  They sure are determined to get off of the road to 100.

Pete Rose of course had ten 200-hit seasons.

Tony LaRussa, Albert Pujols, and the rest of the San Luis crew make their first season visit to The Yard this weekend as blue caps are given out today and Mike Scott bobble heads tomorrow. 

 

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The City of Houston’s Term Limits Review Commission finally got some “focus” last night and set a direction.  The commission adopted motions to change the length of terms thus eliminating the two-year term.  They will look at the three or four-year term option.  They voted to consider staggering terms of council members.  In my opinion, staggering terms work only under a four-year term system.  They also voted to do away with the “lifetime ban”, in other words after a member serves the maximum allowed, he/she can sit out a term before running again, the so-called opt in – opt out provision.

The goal of the Commission is to adopt a more concrete city charter change recommendation early next month then forward to the Houston City Council by June 30.  The Mayor and City Council will then decide in July or early August if they want to put it on this November’s ballot. 

H-Town CM Melissa Noriega addressed the Commission last night and supported three four-year terms or four two-year terms.  She said she wasn’t cool to two four-year terms.

Rice University’s Bob Stein, a member of the Commission, and his students reported on a poll they had conducted April 26 – May 3 on the issue.  On the initial response to preference, 51% want to keep the current system, 24% support two four-year terms, and 8 % support four two-year terms.  After a series of questions on term limit related issues, the support for the current system decreased to 39% and support for the two four-year terms increased to 36%.

On the overall question on term limits, 60% support, 20% oppose, and 20% are neutral. So Commentary is in the minority on this issue.

You can find Dr. Stein’s poll on the City’s Term Limits Review Commission website at  http://www.houstontx.gov/termlimits/ .

Who led the MLB in dingers in the 1950s?

A few days ago, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia announced he was appointing a committee to help him with 287(g).  Here’s what immigration reform activist Cesar Espinosa said:  “There really is no representation of the grass-roots community or the immigrant community.  Is this committee going to protect the interests of the office of the sheriff, or is it going to represent the interests of the immigrant community?”

Here’s how the committee co-chair and V&E attorney Beto Cardenas responded:   “I think the strength is in the diversity of our intellect, in the diversity of our opinion, not in the ethnicity or the skin color that we represent.”

Some folks thought that Beto sounded a bit arrogant. 

The ‘Stros now are on a five game losing streak in the season of streaks.

Duke Snider of course hit 326 dingers in the 1950s.

I don’t have a good feeling about the ‘Stros tonight as they didn’t get in until 5:30 am this morning and have lost twice as many as they have won (13-26).  I don’t think there will be long bathroom lines at The Yard either.

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First of all, Commentary isn’t heading to Arizona anytime soon.  Commentary also won’t be buying anything that is made in Arizona.   Of course, I don’t even know what they make in Arizona.

It is hard to say how this is going to play in November.  On the news talk shows yesterday morning there was a lot of discussion about Latino voters staying home in November if Congress fails to act on immigration reform.  Heck, I’ve been saying that for a while.    There was a lot of news coverage this past weekend on the signing of the Arizona legislation.    Univision and Telemundo devoted more air time to the issue.   Latino voters are closely watching how the immigration issue will be handled.  Stay tuned!

My old pal David Mincberg had an interesting Op-Ed in yesterday’s Chron on term limits.  Check it out.   David kind of wants them for Harris County and has no problem with them at the City of H-Town.

Somebody asked for my thoughts on Guv Dude spending this past Saturday morning with that Glenn Beck fella.  Hey, Dude’s gotta keep his based fired up.

Who was the ‘Stros Opening Day starting pitcher for five straight years (1987–1991)? 

I guess folks now know that Pam-In-Charge is also “Ace Cookie Baker Pam Gardner” according to the Chron’s Ken Hoffman in yesterday’s Chron.  Hoffman definitely got it right on that one. 

Pam-In-Charge and her crew are feeling good these days as the team is playing the way they are supposed to be playing.

Mike Scott of course who also pitched that division clinching no-no against the Giants on September 25, 1986 and is celebrating his 55th BD today!  10,000 Mike Scott Bobbleheads will be given away on Saturday, July 10.

The ‘Stros have today off and will be back at The Yard tomorrow evening as the Reds come in for three.

 

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Commentary and some of the GLBT leadership showed up last night at City Hall to attend the meeting of the City of Houston Term Limits Review Commission but there wasn’t a meeting.   Apparently the meeting was held Tuesday night.   I got my info on the meeting from Chron.com because you can’t find anything about the Commission on the City of H-Town’s website.  Chron.com said the meeting was supposed to be held last night.  I actually spent some time putting together some stuff for a presentation.  I don’t know about this.

A moronic GOP congressman said on the tube the other day racial profiling would not be used if the Arizona law designed to run paperless folks out of their state became law.  Instead, wardrobe profiling will be used.  He says you can tell if folks are here without papers by what they wear.   Commentary is anxious to see the wardrobe handbook they’re going to distribute to Arizona law enforcement types.  

Who was the only pitcher to strike out 19 batters twice in the same season – Sandy Koufax, Steve Carlton, Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, or Bert Blyleven?

I’m thinking that the State of Arizona will probably mess up and stop and harass some visiting Latino MLBers when they play the Diamond Backs particularly those that don’t have command of the English language.   The good news for the ‘Stros is that they don’t have to head out to Arizona until Labor Day so that gives Wandy and Paulino plenty of time to brush up on their English.

It looks like the Houston METRO CEO got him a reprieve of sorts.   He’s off the hook for now.   Of course, if he didn’t do anything wrong, how come he didn’t look into the cameras a few weeks ago and say so.  Instead he looked like one of those fellas that had been advised to take the fifth.  After all, he’s a public official and should answer questions that are asked.  I don’t think this one is over if you ask me.

After Wednesday night’s ‘Stros game, the Skipper was asked about The Big Puma getting caught trying to steal third base.  Here’s how the Chron reported Brad Mills’ response:  “His name is ‘Puma’, I don’t think he demonstrated any Cadillac actions right there.”

Commentary was trying to figure out the “Cadillac” reference then I went to Alyson’s Footnotes and here is how she reported what Mills said:  "His name is Puma, but I don’t think he demonstrated cat-like actions right there."

Got it!

Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson of course struck out 19 batters twice as a Mariner in 1997. 

Since there wasn’t a meeting last night, Commentary headed out to The Yard and snagged a last minute ticket from Pam-In-Charge.  We lost the game but in honor of Earth Day, they handed out the curly energy efficient light bulbs on the way out as the Pirates come in for three this weekend.

 

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The H-Town City Council voted yesterday to increase our water and sewer rates by 30% over the next three years.  Apparently the water and sewer system has been operating in the red over the last few years.   The H-Town Mayor thanked the council members for casting a “tough vote.”   It was a tough vote and once we start getting our water bills, we will really find out how this is going to play.  Stay tuned!

The embattled CEO of Houston METRO got slammed today in the Chron by one of the columnists.  Check it out.  The column makes the CEO look like some sort of shady and unethical fella.  The column also makes the former METRO Board Chair look like a complete dumbarse.  Expect things to get messier over at METRO before they cleaned up.

For those of you that are interested in what the City of Houston Term Limits Review Commission is up to (and not very many of you are), try going to their meeting this evening at 7 pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

Name the ‘Stros opponent who has the most career dingers at Minute Maid Park.

San Antonio is studying the possibility of banning texting and other related stuff while driving.   The City of H-Town is not.  What’s up with that!

A movie studio is thinking about making “Oz, the Great and Powerful.”  It is a prequel of sorts.  It is about how the Wizard became a Wizard.  That’s OK with me. 

Last night, Numero 45 got his first RBI of the season.  He also got picked off of base.

Albert Pujos of course has 22 dingers at The Yard. 

Tiger announced yesterday that he’s in the Players Championship.    Tiger a player – what else is new?

Hey, I’m not going to say anything about the ‘Stros winning four in a row.  Tonight is Play Green Day at The Yard as the first 10,000 fans get Play Green lids – be there!

 

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Who was the ‘Stros Opening Day pitcher in 2000, the year we first wore the brick red?

Commentary doesn’t think the case has been made to tinker with H-Town’s City Council term limits.  At last night’s meeting only one person got up to speak during the public session.   Less than a handful of folks showed up if you don’t count the Term Limits Review Commission members and some staff.

Last night’s meeting was the third that has allowed the public to give their three cents worth.  Commentary has been to all three and I haven’t seen leaders from either political party, no labor folks, none of the Dem Party groups that endorse in city races, no GLBTers, aside from the engineers, none of the other interests groups that get involved in city races like realtors, apartment owners, home builders, and business PACS, no media members, and none of the online opinion givers.  A few from the mover-and-shaker crowd, a couple of super neighborhood types, a few civic leaders, a couple of elected officials, a couple of former elected officials, and a few others have weighed in.  So far it looks like there is not a whole lot of public interest to change or not to change the current system.

At last night’s meeting the only speaker was a fella named Larry Lane (I think) who supported 2 2-year terms for total city service meaning if you served two terms on council, you couldn’t run for mayor or controller.  You could serve one term on council and run for mayor or controller but could only serve one term in either.  When asked if 2 terms was enough to give council members experience to grasp city issues, he said “serving on council isn’t rocket science.”

Rice University’s Dr. Bob Stein, a Commission member, had his staff/students present some interesting research on H-Town’s term limits.  They reported that since term limits have gone into effect city council has become more diverse, and there have been more minority and women candidates for city council.

Dr. Stein also talked about past polling in H-Town on term limits and pretty much said that the more educated supported the current term limits system and also got more support from GOPers (60%) than Dems (48%).  Anglos (58%) and Latinos (55%) also tended to be more in favor of term limits over African Americans (48%).

The folks that serve on the Term Limits Review Commission are an impressive bunch.  I’d have them on my team any day but they have kind of a thankless task.  By July 1, they have to come up with a recommendation.   As I left the meeting (it was getting past my bedtime) they were discussing a poll they were going to put in to the field that asks about the current system, 2 4-year terms, or two 3 year terms. I don’t know about that.

It seems like a whole lot of something for nothing if you get my drift.  Stay tuned!

Shane Reynolds of course when we opened on the road against the Pirates on April 4, 2000 in Three Rivers Stadium is also celebrating his 42nd BD today.  Happy Birthday to Shane Reynolds who had five straight Opening Day starts (1996-2000) as a ‘Stro!

For the ‘Stros first weekday day game this season on Wednesday, April 7 versus the Giants at 1 pm, they are calling it the “9 Inning Lunch Break” with a package that includes one (1) Field Box ticket and $20 in Minute Maid Park food and beverage vouchers. A $59 value for only $40!  Since I already have my ticket that cost me $39, I wonder if I can hand over a buck and pick up my $20 grub voucher.

 

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