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This past Saturday I checked my mailbox and I found a mailer that included skeletons and it was an attack mailer on Ben Hall.  I don’t have a problem with this because that is the name of the game.  I thought the skeletons were kind of creative it being 17 days from trick or treat and the skeletons referenced Ben Hall’s closet.

I checked the disclaimer and it said Houston Turnout Project.  I could not find them on the City’s political action committee list or with the Texas Ethics Commission so I put them in the google run and found a not so fresh website.  On one page was a generic message to vote in the 2009 elections and on another was touting the H-Town Mayor running for Mayor before she became a Mayor back in 2009.  I just made the assumption that this was one of those so called independent expenditures not so aligned – wink-wink – with The Mayor’s campaign.  According to the website, it certainly didn’t look like the IE had been doing a whole lot of turning out voters since 2009.

Here is what I tweeted:

@anniseparker to @Benhallforall: “Dem bones, Dem bones, Dem dry bones!”. pic.twitter.com/sLwYxY26yF

The “Dem bones” was a reference to the song “the foot bone connected to the ankle bone” tune to kind of inject a little humor into the mailer and tweet.

If Commentary had seen or heard of Houston Turnout Project activity over the past four years, my tweet probably would have looked different.

Name the Red Sox with the most dingers in a season?

Let’s get back to my Saturday night tweet.  The Chron and a few others retweeted my tweet and called it a negative mailer and it brought a quick denial and pushback from The Mayor’s Campaign.  They said to check out the disclaimer.  The Chron immediately tweeted a correction and Commentary kind of clarified a correction via tweet.

I guess the Mayor’s Campaign had to point out the disclaimer on the attack. Of course all they have done on TV is go negative so stay tuned.

The Chron E-Board as expected endorsed The Mayor yesterday.  They also had a lengthy piece on her.

I would hope that Dems would have enough sense to make sure The Kinkhole isn’t on next year’s ticket.

Some of the Texans players were not happy with some fans booing Matt Schaub when he went down yesterday.  I don’t want to defend the fans that booed but you have to expect this when a whole frenzy is created over a football team and just about everyone in H-Town contributes to the frenzy.

In 2006, Big Papi hit 54 dingers and is the top Red Sox of course for most dingers in a season.

Big Papi hit a game tying grand salami last night as the Red Sox went on to beat the Tigers in Game 2 of the ALCS at Fenway.  It was a Salty and Papi night.

The only thing to say about the Texans is scoreboard.  I wonder when the ‘Stros report to training camp?

 

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Last night Shelley Kennedy hosted a fundraising reception at her home for HISD Board President Anna Eastman and a bunch of good folks attended.  The Dean, Blake Ellis, HCTD’s Lenora Sorola-Pohlman, Chris Bell, Orell Fitzsimmons, HCC candidate Zeph Capo, former HISD Trustee Paula Arnold, Traci Jensen, and education activist Carmen Nuncio were among those in attendance. My friend Vilma Moera and her crew prepared the delicious grub.  It was a great event.

We had two fielding errors last night.  Name the MLB club with the least fielding errors through last night?ISD Trsutee

A Democrat named Mike Collier is running for State Comptroller if State Sen. Wendy Davis runs for Governor.  I don’t know Mike Collier.  Like Burkablog said the other day, not much on the bench.

One would think that the Lite Guv would know better.  Why in the world would he hand over ammo to his opponents?  Then again why is he running for reelection?

Congrats go to Jenna Wolfe and Stephanie Gosk and their new one – Harper Estelle!

Hunker Down thinks County Attorney Vince Ryan violated attorney-client privilege on the Early to Rise opinion.  Who cares?  Will Early to Rise ever get some good run in the press?

B’More of course has only committed 38 fielding miscues.  The ‘Stros have 95 – ouch!

I really don’t want to talk about another one run loss and our 41-85 record. 

 

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We’ve all heard the term “hardball politics.”  Today’s front page Chron story describes “hardball politics” in detail and locally.  Allen Watson is an engineer with Cobb, Fendley & Associates.  He’s also a City of H-Town appointee to METRO – nominated by The Mayor.   Last week Watson and the four other City METRO appointees voted to approve November ballot language on the General Mobility Payments (GMPs) that if supported by METRO service area voters, will provide more funds to the City of H-Town and three other local burgs and less money to the County and other smaller burgs. 

The County retaliated earlier this week and pulled a road design contract for Cobb, Fendley from the Commissioners’ Court agenda.  County Commissioner Steve Radack had the item pulled from the agenda and made no bones about why:

“If somebody that wants to work for Harris County goes out and figures out a way to deprive Harris County’s unincorporated area out of tens of millions of dollars in Metro funding, I really don’t think they need to be doing business with the county."

What’s refreshing is that Commissioner Radack is upfront and honest.   Often time political retaliation of this sort is not talked about publicly, explained off as a technical matter, or downright lied about.  Commissioner Radack is being brutally candid.

What is going to be interesting if this escalates, after all, Watson was presumably representing the City and looking after the City’s best interest.   The H-Town Mayor isn’t one to back down so it would not surprise me or disappoint me if she fired back at some point in the near future.  Stay tuned!

Here is the Chron article.

Of the nine ‘Stros that started on Opening Day against the Rockies, how many will definitely not have the opportunity to get into the game tonight against the Brewers?

HISD and HCC decided to have bonds put on the ballot this November.  If you include the City of H-Town, that’s $2.725 bil worth of bonds on the ballot – yikes!  That’s a lot to ask some voters to swallow.

The Chron E-Board still reads Commentary and listens to CMs James Rodriguez and Stephen Costello because they came out and opposed the closed door City Council meeting sessions proposal that the City was considering then shelved.  Here is from the Chron E-Board’s take:

But back to the "behind closed doors" question. We’re leery of such things, with a few exceptions, because our business as a newspaper is making information available to the public – voters and taxpayers.

Of all government entities, the city of Houston should understand the importance of full access to information. It suffers from a glaring lack of such access when it comes to full details about the police and fire pensions that city taxpayers fund. That is both costly and wrong.

Changing that situation – letting the sunshine in – will require better cooperation during the coming legislative session to change state laws that allow the unions’ secrecy.

Let’s get that important business out from behind closed doors and into full council view before we consider whether to conduct other city business with doors closed.

Here is their entire take.

Speaking of letting the sunshine in, I wonder if the Chron E-Board would film their E-Board candidate interviews and put them on their website so voters could check them out.

The Harris County Clerk also read Commentary and does some ‘splaining in a Chron Op-Ed today. 

Check it out.

CEWDEM has put out various takes from the partisans who are against an Elections Administrator.  I don’t have a problem with that.  Of course, we’re never going to get anywhere as long as we have this discussion wearing partisan lids if you know what I mean.

Six Opening Day starting lineup ‘Stros of course won’t see action tonight against the Brewers:  Jordan Schafer (CF) is on the DL, J.D. Martinez (LF) was shipped to Oklahoma City last night, Numero 45 (1B) is a Fish, Chris Johnson (3B) is a D-Back, Jason Castro (C) is on the DL, and Wandy (P) is a Pirate.   The other three Opening Day starters – Altuve (2B), Brian Bogusevic (RF), and Marwin Gonzalez (SS) – are available for tonight’s weekend series opener with the Brewers. 

Here is what the new owner told the Chron yesterday:

“It’s been extremely painful the last three nights.  We’re just looking for a spark to get over the edge here. It’s been tough, very tough, for everybody.  Once we made that decision and Jeff (GM Luhnow) started moving some of the talent we might start sliding back a little bit. But we weren’t hoping it would be this bad.”

Shut up!  There’s no crying in baseball!

Jeff Bagwell throws out the first pitch tonight plus they are handing out Blue and Gold jerseys.  On Sunday they are handing out umbrellas.  I wonder when they are going to hand out little white flags.  No Mas!

 

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Tonight the HISD Board Trustees will consider putting a $1.89 bil bond proposal on the ballot.  According to the Chron last night, a few Trustees are still considering how they will vote.  In a Chron Op-Ed today, some elected and non-elected officials representing Latino  constituencies (Cong. Gene Green, State Sen. Mario Gallegos, State Reps.. Ana Hernandez Luna, and Armando Walle, and former County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia) expressed their concerns.  Here is a part:

The revised bond proposal being considered today, conceived as an improvement from the original HISD proposal, has the same issues of shortchanging high-need/high-growth areas.

And:

However, questions remain unanswered on how decisions were made in creating this bond proposal, and they must be answered before we can support this referendum. Ultimately, HISD voters can hold the bond proposal and the district accountable for how it meets the duties of fairness and giving our children the highest opportunities to succeed.

Here is the entire Op-Ed.

The Chron’s Ericka Mellon has a scorecard of sorts on the Trustees:

If you’re counting votes, here’s what the trustees have told me.

*Expected yes votes: Harvin Moore said last week he was in favor of the bond. Larry Marshall said Monday he was a strong supporter. (Paula) Harris agreed.

*Uncommitted, with some more easily swayed than others:

Rhonda Skillern-Jones said last week she was leaning toward voting yes but said Wednesday that she’s still not sold. (Mike) Lunceford repeated that he’s unsure but planned to meet with (Supt. Terry) Grier Thursday morning.

Manuel Rodriguez Jr. said Wednesday that he wants to support the bond and let voters decide but he’s worried about the distribution of funds. Asked for specifics, he said, “It’s just too much to get into.”

Juliet Stipeche has been among the most vocal critics, particularly concerned that her alma mater, the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, is not included and upset that revisions to Grier’s initial plan downsized some schools in her east-side district.

Greg Meyers, the lone HISD trustee to vote against the 2007 bond plan, expressed concerns last week, asking for more detail. He’s not prone to support a tax increase.

Anna Eastman said Monday that she falls in the “concerned” camp.

Here is Ericka’s entire take.

Three-time Beach Volleyball Olympic Gold Medalist Misty May-Treanor’s hubby Matt Treanor wears the Dodger Blue as their back-up catcher. Name the only time Matt Treanor has seen post season action?

HCC Trustees will also vote today on putting $425 mil worth of bonds on the ballot.  The bonds are being opposed by Alief ISD.  Check this from the Chron:

The proposed allocation for westside construction does not sit well with some groups in Alief, which was annexed by HCC’s taxing district four years ago.

The Alief ISD board of trustees and the Alief Super Neighborhood Council passed resolutions opposing the bond proposal, saying HCC has failed to complete projects promised under the annexation agreement. The groups said the $10 million allocated for the Alief campus in the bond proposal is insufficient.

Here is the Chron story on the HCC bonds.

FYI:  Four years ago Commentary was one of the consultants working on the HCC annexation of Alief ISD.

Two members of the H-Town City Council (Oliver Pennington and Mike Sullivan) look like they will oppose the $410 mil city bond proposal according to the Chron.

Check out the story here.

What about CM Helena Brown?

Speaking of, CM Brown got some E-Board run yesterday.

Check it out here.

Matt Treanor of course was the back-up catcher for the Rangers in 2010 and saw action in the ALDC, ALCS, and World Serious of course.  If you ask me I think it is pretty cool to be able to say that your wife works in a bikini.

Another one run loss last night that we should have won in front of 16 thousand and change.

 

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First things first:  Commentary’s Mom is celebrating her BD today.  Happy Birthday, Mom!

Julie Luna is celebrating her BD today.  Happy Birthday, Julie! (My Best Friend Al is Julie’s hubby).

Commentary will be on Access TV today talking about local races so check it out at 6 pm today.

222 taquitos, err folks showed up to vote at Bayland this past Saturday thanks to the Tacos and Votes community gathering.  The 222 was the second best of the day among Dem locations.  West Gray was tops with 232.

The following help put together the event Saturday – it is from their press release:

Participants in the consortium of non-partisan groups and individuals: Familias Inmigrantes y Estudiantes en la Lucha (FIEL), Greater Houston Civic Coalition, Latino Giving Houston, League of Women Voters of the Houston Area, Mexican-American Bar Association of Houston (MABAH), Mi Familia Vota, NALEO Educational Fund, National Hispanic Professional Organization (NHPO), NHPO Leadership Institute, Texas League of Young Voters Education Fund and the UNO Project.

The Chron has a story today on EV and mentions the Bayland event.  Here is a taste:

Bayland Park, where the event was held, is located in District J, an area that has historically had low voter turnout, said Claudia Ortega-Hogue, state director for civic engagement for the National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials. Latinos make up 60 percent of the voting age in District J, but only about 17 percent are registered to vote, she said.

While the upcoming general election will center on the presidential race, Ortega-Hogue said the Latino community needs to remember to participate at the state and local level.

More must be done to energize the community, advocates said.

"We see this as a first step in Latino civic engagement," (Mi Familia Vota state director Carlos) Duarte said.

Here is the entire Chron article.

It was great to see their efforts pay off.  Way to go!

West Gray voters read Commentary – that’s for sure.  They are getting off of their arses.   After EV Day 7, West Gray is poised to take back the lead in Dem EV turnout.  They are at numero 2 with 941, right behind Sunnyside’s 951.

Two years ago, 33,771 Dems voted early in person in Harris County.  After 2012 Day 7, 11,580 Dems have voted early in person.  Let’s see how the rest of the week goes.

With 2,504 career wins as a MLB skipper, this former skipper is numero 4 on the all time career win list.  Who am I talking about?

Bonus:  At The Yard this past weekend, there were three players that saw action that were all picked in the First Round of the 1999 MLB Amateur Player Draft – name the three? 

The Stop the Magnet, err Madness folks were at West Gray yesterday gathering signatures on their immigrant bashing petitions.  Stay tuned!

According to a just released UT-Texas Trib poll, the Lite Guv and Ted Cruz could be headed into a run-off in the GOP U.S. Senate race.  I’m OK with that.  The Lite Guv dropped by West Gray yesterday.

Here is a Chron.com piece on the poll.

Roll Call:  Friday’s mailers included Traci Jensen for SBOE, Dist. 6, Constable Precinct 1 candidate Cindy Vara-Leija, and the Houston GLBT Caucus endorsements card.  I got a live call from the Lane Lewis for Dem Party Chair Campaign.

Kristen Wiig got a nice send-off on “SNL” the other night.   She got hugs and kisses from her fellow cast members while the Rolling Stones’ "She’s a Rainbow” and "Ruby Tuesday” played.  It was definitely a teary eye TV moment.  Mick Jagger was a great guest host.

Former The ATL skipper Bobby Cox sits at numero 4 of course with 2,504 career wins.  Cox is celebrating his 71st BD today.

Ranger Josh Hamilton (1st pick by Rays), ‘Stro Brett Myers (12th pick by Philly), and Rangers Colby Lewis (supplemental, 38th overall by Rangers) were 1999 first round draft picks of course and all saw action this past weekend at The Yard.  Hamilton is celebrating his 31st BD today.

As expected, there were a whole lot of Ranger fans at The Yard this weekend.  Saturday was SRO.  We were only able to take one and it was a doozey of a thriller that ended in a weird DP that went Numero 45 to shortstop Jed Lowrie to closer Brett Myers – huh!  The Cubbies are now in for three.

 

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Commentary spent this past Saturday morning and early afternoon at my SD 15 Convention.  I kind of listened to all of the candidates as they addressed the convention delegates including Judge Steve Kirkland.  I don’t think I saw his opponent.  I was in the auditorium most of the time. Same goes for Chairman Lane Lewis’ opponent.  Did I miss their speeches or did they just not drop by SD 15?  I wonder if they dropped by any of the other SDs.

Judge Kirkland’s opponent also sent out an email this morning titled “you people already have 5 seats….”  Oh, well!

What does Commentary know anyway?  I picked the under for our Senatorial District Convention and in SD 15 we had 184 sign-ins to lead the other SDs in the county.  In SD 15 I have to give congrats to Zeph Capo and his crew for doing a great job.  I also have to give congrats to The Dean and Rep. Sylvester Turner for being there and showing leadership and support.  Both also gave outstanding speeches.  I like the make-up of our SD.

Mary Flood Nugent informed me at the SD Convention that Precinct 40 (Poe Elementary) was a redistricting casualty and chopped up.  That’s too bad. 

Yesterday’s score at The Yard:  ‘Stros 12, Dodgers 0.  When was the last time the ‘Stros beat a team by a 12-0 score?

Commentary was watching KPRC-TV’s “Houston Newsmakers” yesterday morning and GOP State Sen. Dan Patrick was one of the guests.  He was talking about the race for Prez and he tried to make a comparison to other Prez races and he said “not since the 1950 Presidential election…..”  Duh!  There wasn’t a Prez election in 1950. 

Here is Patricia Kilday Hart’s tape delayed piece about the Greater Houston Partnership CEO not knowing what Guv Dude was up to last week on the pledge to nowhere.

Yeah, sure!

This is a good week if you are a trial watcher.  Our 2004 VP candidate John Edwards has his day in court.  One of the HPD officers on the video in the Chad Holley beating goes to trial.  Things get going in DC with The Rocket’s case.

The ‘Stros beat the Rockies 12-0 on July 1, 2007 of course at The Yard just a few days after B-G-O hit his 3,000th base hit off of the Rockies.

Friday night at The Yard they handed out Colt 45s jerseys without the revolver on them and without the 45s – huh!  It just said “Colts.”  We were never the “Colts”.  Indy has the “Colts” and B’More had the “Colts.”

Dante and Commentary kind of baked in the sun yesterday at The Yard.  It was a tad warm.  It was nice to see Jordan Schafer hit a grand salami in the second inning that cost Denny’s a few bucks as every fan in attendance got a coupon for a free Original Grand Salami, err Slam Breakfast with the purchase of a beverage of course – cool!

 

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I guess Guv Dude checked out Commentary yesterday and he didn’t take the red meat to throw around at NALEO yesterday.  Instead he went with CHICKEN – cluck, cluck, cluck!  Every major newspaper in the state pointed out that Dude never mentioned sanctuary cities, Voter I.D, securing the border, or redistricting.  Check out the SA Express News story.  Maybe Dude freaked and bought into the stereotype that every male Latino in the room was carrying a knife.  Instead, Dude took the bland and safe route and made some lame reference to his TABC Chair appointee named Jose Cuevas…..ha, ha!

In another article new GOP State Rep. Errant Pena says that Dude will get 40% of the Latino vote if he runs for prez.  I don’t know about that.  Dude ain’t the W of 2000.  W went out of his way to be nice to Latinos back then.  Dude has been chasing us around like the “Crazy Gato” that chased Speedy Gonzalez. Plus, Dude won’t be dealing with the folks whose arse he owns, err the Lone Star State Dem Party.  He’ll be going up against folks that know how to engage the Latino voter – the folks from Chicago, The President’s campaign.

Meanwhile, Channel 11, the local CBS affiliate, had a story yesterday about the Lone Star State considering issuing license plates with the Johnny Reb flag. 
Check out the story.   Commentary is OK with this as long as the state agrees to only accept payment for the Johnny Reb plates in confederate currency and can whistle the tune Dixie.   If Dude does decide to run for prez, then it is likely that the plates will be available to Johnny Reb wannabees.  After all, it would play well in the 2012 South Carolina GOP Primary.

Name the only MLB AL Team that has never produced an AL MVP Award winner?

It is about time.  Harris County, the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, the Houston Texans, the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, and Aramark Corp. are plunking down a half mil to study what to do with the Dome and develop a plan for Reliant Park.  Here is from today’s Chron:

"We have to make a decision" on the Dome, County Judge Ed Emmett said. "I wanted us to make our decision this year. They’re going to look at every option there is and come back with the recommendation. It’s about time we do that."  Check out the entire Chron piece here.

If it truly is an honest assessment, then tearing down the Dome will be the most likely option so stay tuned!

My pal Robert Miller says Dude will run.  Robert also has a brief take on other GOP candidates, nationally and here in the Lone Star State.  Check it out.
I think a lot of folks would agree.

The Tampa Bay Rays of course have never had a player win the AL MVP Award.  Of course, the Rays haven’t been around that long either.

Speaking of, the Rays are in town for three this weekend for more interleague action.  I’ll be there for sure!

 

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