Archive for the ‘Latino Voter Turnout’ Category

The SA Express News has a piece on P-Bush today about a visit to the Rio Grande Valley.  Is P-Bush the vehicle the GOP needs to attract Latino voters?  Check this from the piece:

At a reception for Bush later Thursday, R. David Guerra, president and CEO of the International Bank of Commerce in McAllen, said he is curious about Bush.  “I want to hear his philosophy and try to understand him. Is he a moderate Republican, is he right-wing, old party line, or is he going to be an individual who can compete for statewide office against individuals like the Castro brothers in San Antonio (who) are very politically astute? That’s the kind of young people that are emerging in the state.

I could not agree more.  The P-Bush fella needs to show some substance.  Here is what he said down there:

“Who here thinks taxes are too high?” he asked as raised hands filled the room. “I would agree … we need to dramatically reform our tax code.”

That’s not what Latinos want to hear.

Here is the entire article.

The other side decided to drop a bunch of dough on TV ads for today and tomorrow.  What’s that all about?  We had to do the same.  I’ll have more to say about the race Monday.

Some would say that the 1980 ‘Stros were a pretty good team.  Name the 1980 Opening Day line-up?

My God Daughter and niece Rachel is celebrating another birthday today sorta. She’s a leap year baby.  Happy Birthday Rachel!

In the Chron today there is a story about the Harris County Department of Education hiring former County Commissioner Jerry Eversole to lobby.  I don’t know if that is a good move.  I don’t think it will last.  What were they thinking?

There is a story in the Chron today about dynamic pricing at The Yard.  That’s when they stick it to you when the Yankees or Red Sox come to town or for Opening Day.  I don’t have a problem since it doesn’t apply to Commentary.

Terry Puhl, Craig Reynolds, Cesar Cedeno, Joe Morgan, Jose Cruz, Enos Cabell, Art Howe, Alan Ashby, and J.R. Richard were the Opening Day starters in 1980 of course.

Opening Day is 30 days away!


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Early Voting in the SD6 Special is history and here is what we have.

8,780 have cast ballots as compared to 16,511 in Round 1 – that’s 53.2%.

5,526 Voted Early in Person as compared to 5,369 in Round 1.

There is really no point in debating how many voters will participate this Saturday.

In 1962 when MLB first came to H-Town, who was the lead-off batter for the Colt 45s on Opening Day?

The Chron has a story on the SD6 special.  Here is a part:

"Substantively," said Rice University political science professor Robert Stein, "the two candidates, with minor exceptions, are in lockstep … Carol is a new-breed Latina. Sylvia is old school."

The story quotes a couple of Republicans. Check this:

"Rep. Alvarado is an effective leader in the Legislature, and will represent the true interests of her state Senate seat,"  (State Sen. Larry) Taylor said in an email.

Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill disagreed, dismissing both candidates as "very liberal voices" who would promote the "Obama strategy."

I guess Jared didn’t get the memo.

I guess Sen. Taylor didn’t get the memo.

I guess Jared didn’t get the memo.

I guess Sen. Taylor didn’t get the memo.

I guess Jared didn’t get the memo.

I guess Sen. Taylor didn’t get the memo.

I’m glad somebody remembers this:

"I hate to say that’s politics," said (Renee) Cross (associate director of the University of Houston’s Hobby Center for Public Policy), alluding to attack ads that have appeared in recent weeks. "From what I can see, the Garcia campaign came out with negative ads before the special elections. Now, Alvarado is countering before the runoff. It is nasty. I guess that’s not surprising."

Here is the entire story.

With all the talk about money being contributed in the SD6 Special, it turns out that Andrea – a children books author – and former H-Town Mayor Bill White – also our Democratic nominee for Governor in 2010 and a former Chair of the Texas Democratic Party – are Carol’s largest individual donors in this race – add it up.

Third baseman Bob Aspromonte of course was lead-off batter for the Colt 45s on Opening Day in 1962.

I don’t have anything from Spring Training this morning.


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Day 6 of Early Voting in the SD6 Special is history and here is what we have.

7,318 have cast ballots as compared to 16,511 in Round 1 – that’s 44.32%.

4,327 have Voted Early in Person as compared to 5,369 in Round 1 – that’s 80.6%.

Here is what I said yesterday:

Including today there are two days left to Vote Early.   I don’t think 1,853 voters will show up today or tomorrow to match the EV total if Round 1.

It looks like I might be wrong as 811 showed up yesterday and this being the last day of EV in Person.  We probably will surpass Round 1.

Things kind of quieted down at the EV locations yesterday as the trash talking about Carol Alvarado subsided. 

The campaign contribution and expenditure reports were posted online yesterday – oh, my!

The Chron Sports Section has a piece about Delino DeShields, Jr. who is in the farm system.  His dad played in the bigs for 13 seasons.  In 1990, Delino DeShields was runner-up for NL Rookie of the Year.  Name the player that won it?

Hunker Down supports expanding Medicaid to the Lone Star State.  Good for him!

Check out the Chron article here.

More and more Republicans are seeing the light on this issue. 

Speaking of seeing the light, Lisa Falkenberg’s column today is about a couple or three Republican leaders in the Texas Legislature thinking about supporting tax increases to fix our road and schools.  Of course, you can’t read it today unless you are a subscriber. 

Sometimes you just can’t walk away from good sound public policy.

David Justice of The ATL of course was the runaway winner of the 1990 NL Rookie of the Year Award.

The Big Tuna dropped by  Spring Training today to chat with the new skipper – cool!


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Day 5 of Early Voting in the SD6 Special is history and here is what we have.

6,476 have cast ballots as compared to 16,511 in Round 1 – that’s 39.22%.

3,516 have Voted Early in Person as compared to 5,369 in Round 1 – that’s 65.5%.

Including today there are two days left to Vote Early.   I don’t think 1,853 voters will show up today or tomorrow to match the EV in Person total if Round 1.

At one of the EV locations yesterday, there were four fellas from the other side talking trash about Carol Alvarado.  Only 96 voters showed up at that location and one would think that those 96 folks had already made up their mind who to vote for.  Why do you need four fellas to talk trash anyway?  One of the tactics coming out of the other camp is talking trash about Carol.  They do it in phone calls and with their door to door crew.

The other side also tried to make a silly claim that Carol supported vouchers.   Stay tuned!

Former MLBer Vince Coleman is at Spring Training teaching the ‘Stros how to steal bases.  The prolific base stealer ended up with 752 career stolen bases – sixth on the all time list.  How many times did he steal 100 plus bases in a season?

Speaking of vouchers, Peggy Fikac of the Express News – Chron, says vouchers are kind of DOA.

Check it out here.

Seth McFarland did Ok last night as the host.  The song about actresses baring it was a little edgy.  Barbra Streisand was on.  I don’t know about the “Goldfinger” tune.  I thought the John Wilkes Booth joke was offensive to the Lincoln family.  I can’t figure out why they got the First Lady to announce the Best Picture Award.  That Nate Silver fella correctly predicted “Argo.”

I am seriously behind on movie watching.

Vince Coleman stole 100 plus bases in a season three times of course:  1985 (110), 1986 (107) and 1987 (109).

Spring Training continues and Bud Norris made his debut yesterday. 


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Both sides in the SD6 Special returned to the airwaves yesterday.  This side unveiled a new ad of sorts. (Let me know if you want to take a peek at the ad.)  The other side also went in a different direction.  You will have to ask them for a peek.

Early voting will start next Wednesday and will last a week – ending the following Tuesday.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz got a write up in Politico today on him not making any friends.  Here’s the deal.   Politico wasn’t here to cover his race so they don’t know that he ran and won because he said he wasn’t interested in being a nice guy.  Here is from today’s piece:

Cruz’s sharp-elbowed Senate style underscores the dilemma facing Republicans as they seek a way out of the political wilderness.


“I think he’s got unlimited potential,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said of Cruz. “But the one thing I will say to any new senator — you’re going to be respected if you can throw a punch but you also have to prove you can do a deal.”

“I made promises to the people of Texas that I would come to Washington to shake up the status quo, to fight for conservative principles and to lead a concerted and meaningful effort to end the unsustainable spending, deficits and debt that have been propagated, unfortunately, by members of both parties,” Cruz said.

Here is the entire Politico piece.

If you ask Cruz’s base how he’s doing, he gets an A plus.

Name the three former ‘Stros pitchers with 100 plus career pitching losses as a ‘Stros?

Here is another story about Texas GOPers refusing to get behind immigration reform.

Check it here.

It looks like the country is going mainstream but we’re not.

Unless you are up to your neck in the SD6 Special, you probably know that this is NBA Weekend in H-Town.   Commentary lives in a cool ‘hood so I checked out the Chron to see if there were going to be any cool NBA parties going on in my ‘hood.  Nada! Nothing!  Not even close!  I don’t count Washington Avenue close these days since I have to sit at the lights a lot longer these days at I-10.  Can you believe that!

Larry Dierker (117), Joe Niekro (116), and Bob Knepper (100) of course are the three pitchers with 100 plus losses in a ‘Stro uniform.

Here is from the ‘Stros website about the latest motivational gimmick coming out Spring Training:

This isn’t exactly the best year for the Astros to not put the names of players on the backs of their Spring Training jerseys. After all, only 22 of the 61 players in camp this year were at camp a year ago, and the 40-man roster has seen a 50-percent turnover since the end of the season.

Still, manager Bo Porter told the players on the first day of camp he wants them to earn the names across their backs by making the club on Opening Day. Until then, it’s numbers only on the backs of the team’s jerseys.

"It was explained to the players exactly why," Porter said. "The name on the front [is what] matters, and we have 25 guys that will earn the right to have the name put on the back, and that will be the 25 men that will make this ballclub. It definitely was done by design. It’s a message sent to them that it’s all about the Astros."

It is just another gimmick to sell more game programs.


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Should we be disappointed or surprised that the turnout in Round 1 of the SD6 Special was just under 6%?  After all, in Round 1 both campaigns combined spent over a million in field, ads, and mail and less that 17,000 took the time to vote.

We should be disappointed but not surprised.

This is a race folks aren’t talking about at the office.  The race isn’t on CNN, MSNBC or Fox News. 

In Commentary’s opinion, the local media hasn’t given the race the coverage it deserves.

Folks here aren’t used to going to the polls in January or February.

Some folks probably think that either way a Dem is going to get elected so why invest in thinking about making a pick.

There is probably a little bit of voter exhaustion going on since we just went through a hectic 2012 with late primaries and runoffs and the November elections.

It’s still disappointing.

Excuses, reasons, or factors, or all of the above! 

Everyone knows that B-G-O leads the ‘Stros in getting hit by pitches all time with 285 dings.  Name the ‘Stro who is numero 2 on the all time list?

Congress needs to adopt the shot clock of sorts. U.S. Senator John Cornyn is playing the stall tactic card when it comes to immigration reform.  Check this from the SA Express News:

“I believe we have a long, long way to go,” Cornyn said

Check out the entire piece here.

Here’s the deal.  He can stall all he wants but it is going to bite GOP candidates in the arse in 2014 in districts throughout the country where there are a significant number of Latino voters.

Sen. Cornyn might be OK in 2014, but he is not doing his party any favors by being part of the stall game.  He’s not looking at the big picture.

On the St. Valentine’s Day Commentary wants to give a shout out to the women of the campaign including MariGirl, Vilma, Priscilla, Darcy, Brenda, Yolanda, Ida, Sheryl, Pat, Lisi, and Gaby!  They are doing a heck of a job!  I also want to give a special shout out to Carol – the hardest working candidate on the planet!

BTW:  We’re numero 1 on the ballot!

Commentary is going to try to give up salty language, err swearing for lent. 

The President’s mug across the street from the Breakfast Klub got vandalized again.  Those guys ought to get a security camera installed or ask for Secret Service protection if you ask me.

Baggy of course is second on the ‘Stros all time list for getting dinged at the plate with 128.

Some fella named Robert Ford and former MLB pitcher Steve Sparks will be in the radio booth for the ‘Stros this season.   They met each other for the first time yesterday.  I guess that’s how they do things at The Yard these days.

Happy Valentine’s Day and trying spreading the love for Carol today!


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Somehow it does not surprise me that the two U.S. Senators from the Lone Star State have not embraced pathway to citizenship for the 11 to 12 million that are here.  Four Democratic U.S. Senators and four Republican U.S. Senators put forward the outline of comprehensive immigration reform yesterday.  Most GOP elected officials from the Lone Star State are saying no se puede.  I guess they don’t have to because the Latino vote here has not been engaged so they can get away with it.

It is going to be interesting to see if Congress can enact immigration reform without the support of the largest GOP state delegation.  Stay tuned!

Name the six Orioles that have had their jersey retired?

The Big Jolly fella had a take on the SD6 Special results.  Here are selected lines:

Well, almost. Yes, I did give the edge going in to Sylvia Garcia, as did most people, but Carol Alvarado surprised most people with a much stronger showing than expected.


If anything, Alvarado’s camp should be buoyed by her showing.


And I wouldn’t bet against Alvarado taking this seat in the end. Her campaign “feels” like it has a lot more energy behind it.

Here is the entire Jolly take.

I guess they did think they were going  to win without a runoff.

Earl Weaver (4), Brooks Robinson (5), Cal Ripken, Jr. (8), Frank Robinson (20), Jim Palmer (22), and Eddie Murray (33) of course have had their jersey retire.

Congrats to the new Chair of the State Dem Caucus – Rep, Yvonne Davis. She has a tough job.

Not much from The Yard today.



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The Brains fella said yesterday that Commentary might be conceding the race because I’m not saying much about the campaign.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Here is the deal.  Every campaign is different.  With this one, Commentary has decided to keep my takes short.  I’m not going to get into the details about turnout, media, advertising, field, fundraising, C&E reports, or endorsements.  I’ll let others take the lead like Patti Hart from the Chron on the biggest donor by far in the SD6 Special.

Check it here.

That is a whole lot of loot.

Commentary mentioned the other day that Hall of Fame great skipper Earl Weaver who just left us managed the Orioles against the Mets in the 1969 World Serious.  Who was the 1969 World Serious MVP?

Politico’s lead story today is about Dems launching a program to turn the Lone Star State blue.  It is about time.  Here is the lead:

National Democrats are taking steps to create a large-scale independent group aimed at turning traditionally conservative Texas into a prime electoral battleground, crafting a new initiative to identify and mobilize progressive voters in the rapidly-changing state, strategists familiar with the plans told POLITICO.

The organization, dubbed “Battleground Texas,” plans to engage the state’s rapidly growing Latino population, as well as African-American voters and other Democratic-leaning constituencies that have been underrepresented at the ballot box in recent cycles. Two sources said the contemplated budget would run into the tens of millions of dollars over several years – a project Democrats hope has enough heft to help turn what has long been an electoral pipe dream into reality.


One Democrat close to the planning process said the group intended to bring in “top campaign talent to Texas” for a long-term organizing push.

Here is the entire must read piece.

Let’s just hope the new blood takes charge of the Lone Star State Dem effort.

From Chron.com:

Due to redistricting, all 30 (Texas State) senators drew envelopes out of a crystal-bowl revealing whether they would serve a two- or four-year term. Inside the envelopes were numbers 1-31. An odd number resulted in a four-year term.

It turns out Dem Sen. Wendy Davis drew a two-year term meaning she will have to run in a non-presidential year in 2014.  The State GOP was elated.  Looks like that race will be the one to watch again.

SD6 drew a four-year term.  Oh, well.

Donn Clendenon of course of the Mets won the 1969 World Serious MVP with a .357 batting average, 3 dingers, and 4 RBIs.

I thought they got rid of Milo.  Why is he still hosting Astroline? 


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The SD6 Special money reports got some run by Kuffer, Stace, and Chron.com.  Here’s a taste from all and a link:

From Stace since he went first:

Well, the Ethics reports are in and, not surprisingly, there seems to be a lot of money going in and going out in this race, especially through the campaigns of Sylvia Garcia and Carol Alvarado. (I prefer to look at the raw numbers report than go page-by-page).


The bigger story is the fact that over $700,000 (and if you include the TOP in-kind, a lot more) has been spent and both are left with over $700,000 with  10 days until election day (of course, they could raise some more in the closing days, too). Thus far, and as of Tuesday, a little over 3,400 souls have voted, including 1,776 ballot-by-mail voters. In other words, less than 1,700 have voted in person, thus far.

Check out the rest of Stace here.

Here is Chron.com:

In the Jan. 26 special election for state Senate District 6, state Rep. Carol Alvarado was winning the money race, as of Tuesday. According to campaign finance reports filed Tuesday, Alvarado had collected $343,653.13 in contributions, while former Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia had collected $244,086.33.

Here is their link.

And Kuffer re Carol Alvarado:

Notable contributions: Several of her current and former House colleagues, plus one former Senator, kicked in – Burt Solomons, Ellen Cohen, David Farabee, Kip Averitt, Diana Maldonado, Rep. Marisa Marquez, and Rep. Richard Raymond, to the tune of $10K; the others all contributed modest amounts. Other big numbers that caught my eye include $26K from HillCo PAC, $23K from HPOU PAC, $13,500 from HPFFA PAC, $10K each from Kamoru, Kase, and Mickey Lawal, $10K from Bob Perry, and $10K from Bill and Andrea White. As Stace noted, Alvarado received a lot of support from various police and firefighter groups – a firefighter PAC from Fort Worth chipped in another $2,500. Alvarado, who mentioned in her interview with me has filed legislation to expand gambling in Texas, also got $2,500 from the Chickasaw Nation and $1K from the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas. Finally, Alvarado has a direct connection to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast through her sister Yolanda, and has a $145 contribution from PPGC CEO Melaney Linton to show for it.

And Garcia:

Notable contributions: Garcia also got support from current and past legislators – Ana Hernandez, Armando Walle, and Ellen Cohen, plus 2012 candidate Ann Johnson and 2010 candidate Silvia Mintz. She didn’t get any donations that I saw from a member of the Senate but did get one from Senate spouse Carlos Zaffirini. As noted by Stace, Garcia got the single biggest contribution of any candidate, $106K in kind from the Texas Organizing Project PAC for ground support. Steve Mostyn kicked in $12,680 in cash and in kind. Finally, Garcia got my two favorite contributions of this cycle. One was $100 from fellow candidate Susan Delgado. I can’t be certain this is the same Susan Delgado, but contributor Delgado listed the same ZIP code as candidate Delgado did on her July 2012 report, so you make the call. Finally, all the way from Hawaii where she lists her occupation as “retired”, former Houston Mayor Kathy Whitmire, now Kathy Whitmire Wehner, gave $200. How awesome is that?

Here is all of Kuffer.

Of course, Carol Alvarado is going to need that money to deal with the fourth negative mail piece to hit in 10 days.

Carlos Pena is the ’Stros DH.  How many times has he made the All Star Team?

Chron.com has a story about Ben Hall saying he’s running for Mayor but he doesn’t say why he’s running.

Check out the story here.

I guess we will find out why soon enough.   I wonder if he will really stay in the race.  Show me some signs!  Show me some ads!

Commentary has said before that I really don’t like to talk about college athletes because they don’t get paid so I really don’t have much to say about the Fighting Irish player and his imaginary girlfriend other than to ask if she was magically delicious…awwwww!!!

As a member of the Rays, Carlos Pena made the AL All Star Team in 2009.

There is no news from The Yard today.


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GOP Statewide Candidate-to-Be George P. Bush reported raising over $1.3 million for a statewide race in 2014.  That’s not bad at all if you ask me.  I’m thinking that GOP leaders want him on the ballot in hopes that he will attract Latino voters.  They are going to run interference for him.  I don’t have a problem with that.

I am also thinking that the media likes this potential story of the new generation of Bushes.  Plus he’s of a different color of sorts.  I also don’t have a problem with this.  Of course, the hard part for this Bush is how he reacts during the upcoming legislative session on restoring funding for our public schools, sanctuary cities, and Medicaid expansion.  Does he adopt the hard right mantra coming from Guv Dude and the Lite Guv.  Plus, what does this Bush say when the debate on immigration reform begins in the coming weeks?  Does he become a kinder and gentler GOPer.  It is tough staying on the tightrope these days.  Stay tuned!

Geoff Blum – new ‘Stros broadcaster – played for 14 years in the majors.  Was he ever an All Star?

The Campaign and Expenditure reports are due today and folks will be doing some talking about them.  I wonder if H-Town potential mayoral candidate Ben Hall will file one.  Of course the reports of the SD 6 Special candidates will get some run.   So will the GOP statewide candidates.

Here is from HuffPo:

Arizona will participate in the expansion of Medicaid, Gov. Jan Brewer said Monday in her State of the State address, making her the third Republican governor to agree to one of the key components of President Barack Obama’s health care reform.

Brewer said that if she did not accept the Medicaid funds for Arizona, other states could claim those federal dollars and create jobs that otherwise would be created in Arizona. Fellow Republican governors Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Brian Sandoval of Nevada  also plan to expand Medicaid to anyone who earns up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, which is currently $14,856 for an individual.


Although Brewer has been a consistent opponent of Obamacare, she acknowledged Monday that the law is now an unavoidable reality and that Arizona would be worse off turning down the federal dollars that will come with broadening Medicaid.

Brewer is just accepting the reality of good public policy.  Guv Dude is just playing to his base and ignoring good public policy.  I wonder what George P. Bush thinks.  I wonder if the media will ask him in the next day or so.  The Tribune today has an interview with this Bush and he really doesn’t get into specifics.

The Texas Tribune has a lead story about them asking Lone Star State Legislators to release their tax returns.  Only three have including Carol Alvarado.  It is online so I know her opponent will check it out.

A lot of folks were commenting yesterday about Jodie Foster’s riddle the other night. 

Geoff Blum never made the All Star Team of course.  He had 990 career base hits, 99 career dingers, 19 career stolen bases, and 479 career RBIs – 9-9-9! That usually doesn’t get you selected to the midsummer classic.

Spring Training is next month.


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