Archive for the ‘Redistricting in Houston’ Category

For Latinos of the Lone Star State, you may as well call the Regular and Special Called Session “El Degüello.”  No quarter!  No prisoners were taken.

A federal judge ruled on Friday that last November’s vote on the City of H-Town’s red light program didn’t count.  So it is back to the drawing board for the H-Town Mayor and City Council.

According to the City Attorney, the City has three options.  One:  we can cancel the contract with the red light camera folks but that will cost us a few mil that we don’t have right now.  Two:  we can turn the red light cameras on but that will just p__s off over half the voters that don’t want them.  It would be an F-you move that I don’t think they should risk.  The Mayor and incumbent members of Council with just token opposition this November might see that token opposition turn into serious opposition.  Three:  we can call for an election where the voters get to pick one of the first two options.

Commentary is thinking that option three might be the best course to take.    However, this election would be a lot different from a turnout perspective.   In 2010, close to 41% of the city voters turned out in a gubernatorial election to vote down Prop 3.  In the November, 2009 mayoral race with four serious candidates, we didn’t even have a 20% turnout.  If the Mayor doesn’t get a serious opponent this time, we’re talking about a turnout in the mid-teens.   Only the hard core voter will turnout.

As I recall, Kuffer said after last November’s election that red lights won in GOP and Anglo Dem neighborhoods.  Red lights lost in Latino and African American neighborhoods.

It would appear that the red light folks get their money under either option so they could just sit out the election and wait for their checks to start rolling in. Well, since we’re in this predicament because the red light folks bungled the way they ran the campaign last November, they are going to have to come up with the bucks for another campaign this time.

They also need to come up with a completely new campaign team.  Remember they were the ones that said their polling was showing them (Prop 3) winning and Prop 1 (Rebuild Houston) losing.  Ideally, you’d like to see The Mayor have her campaign team running this election since her administration has to deal with the budget mess implications from last November’s election.  Her team may be tied up though at least until they find out if they will have a semi serious opponent.

Stay tuned on this one for sure!

How many relief pitchers are in the Baseball Hall of Fame and can you name them?

Saturday afternoon CEWDEM did another drive-by on the Bolivar Fraga for City Council At-Large Campaign   on voting in the 2010 GOP Primary.   Fraga had said he wanted to vote for a family friend that was running as a GOPer – huh!  Of course, they don’t ask me.  A good pal of mine  that is in the journalism profession once told me that he occasionally votes in the GOP primary so he can get on their direct mail list and keep up with what both parties are sending out in heated elections.   GOP candidates that run in GOP primaries in the Lone Star State these days pretty much have to sign off on an “El Degüello” platform against folks of the Latino persuasion.  (Hunker Down and a few others are the exception.)  In addition, as I recall there were a number of statewide 2010 Dem Primary races, including the chance to vote against The Kinkhole, a Latina running for Lite Guv against a respected former DA, and a number of local judicial races with Latino and Latina candidates. I would have gone with the “I want to see their mail” response.

This whole deal has kind of got messy for the Fraga campaign.  It is not how they envisioned their campaign should have rolled out.  Some of their folks said he voted in the GOP Primary to vote against Guv Dude.  He said he and his Dad wanted to help out a GOP bud.  Now CEWDEM is pointing out that Fraga’s Mom voted in the Dem Primary.  I’m sure the David Robinson, Kristi Thibaut, and Jennifer Pool campaigns are sitting back and just loving this.  What a mess!

Oh, did I mention last Friday that CEWDEM was going to put a bull’s eye on the Fraga Campaign.

Congrats go to first baseman Matt Luna who just graduated from HISD’s Lamar High School for making the Chron’s All-Greater Houston High School Baseball Second Team.  The Chron got it wrong.  Matt should have been First Team.  He had an outstanding season.   I’m sure My Best Friend Al and Julie Luna are proud of Matt’s latest accomplishment.

Five relief pitchers of course are in the Baseball Hall of Fame and they are Hoyt Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers, Dennis Eckersley, Bruce Sutter, and Goose Gossage of course.

Numero 45 is celebrating his 35th BD today.  Happy Birthday El Caballo!

Commentary finally got around to checking out the movie “Inception.”  That’s a very cool flick so check it out.

We took two out of three in LA this past weekend and have a better record on the road (14-21) than at The Yard (13-25) as we begin a 12 day stretch of interleague play this evening. 



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So here is the deal.   The past three months, many Latino activists got involved in the City of H-Town redistricting process.  Maps were drawn.  Meetings were held.  Latinas and Latinos spoke at hearings and in the end the City Council adopted a plan that gives the Latino community a shot at a third district (District J) position this November.

Immediately after the Council vote, a young and energetic Latina named Criselda Romero from the southwest part of H-Town filed a campaign treasurer designation and started to meet with folks to get their support in the new District J.  She works for CM Ed Gonzalez and has his endorsement.  Commentary has met with her.  

During the redistricting process the Latino leadership was introduced to the Houston Civic Coalition.  The group advocated for more Latino council districts.  Their leader drew maps and was pretty aggressive and even got a special mention from the H-Town Mayor for his work and involvement.

Last Wednesday, Mike Laster also filed a campaign treasurer designation for the District J position and treasurer listed is the head of the Houston Civic Coalition.  Understandably folks in the Latino leadership were a bit surprised.  In fact, my pal Yolanda Black Navarro unleashed an open letter tirade against the Coalition leader that got folks to talking.  She called him a Benito Arnold – yikes.  It should be noted that Mike Laster was a candidate in District F back in 2009 which is now part of District J. 

It gets a bit more interesting.  The Coalition leader also is heavily involved in the campaign of Bolivar Fraga for City Council At-Large 2.  He even has a Fraga campaign email address.    So he’s a major player in two city council campaigns.  Some folks have suggested to Commentary that the two moves and roles are related. 

I think Yolanda was right in unloading on the Coalition leader.  During the redistricting process he called out some folks for not being more aggressive in going for more Latino opportunity districts.  Now he ends up serving as the treasurer for a non Latino candidate in the district where we have a shot at electing a Latina….tsk, tsk, tsk.

Mike Laster is a nice fella and I can’t fault him for running.  He practices law with the Chair of the Harris County Dem Party which has a number of Latino leaders thinking that it looks like the local Dem Party is working against the political interest of the Latino community.  Stay tuned for sure on this folks.

Name the ‘Stros pitcher that has the record for giving up the most dingers in a season? 

A lot of folks are going after Sarah Palin for not knowing her Paul Revere history.  I look at it this way.  At least she didn’t refer to him as Paul Revere and the Raiders.

The late Jose Lima of course gave up 48 dingers in 2000 – Lima time!

The bad news is we’re on a three game losing streak.  The good news is that we took the roadie 4 games to three.


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Commentary recommends you check out the take from R.G. from Burkablog on the events leading up to the Lone Star State legislative session filibuster and the fallout.  I’m thinking that a lot of R.G.’s sources on his piece were Dem players.  R.G. must read my pal Robert Miller’s takes because he too used the phrase “pyrrhic victory” to describe what the Dems got or did not get. 
Check it out.

Commentary hasn’t talked to anybody about what happened at the State Capitol but other than the “yippie ki yay” press releases sent out by the Lone Star State Dem Party, I haven’t read anything from the objective media that says Dems came out looking better because of the filibuster.   R.G. mentions one of my favorite movies to end his piece:

Despite all the first-blush accolades for (State Sen. Wendy) Davis, I’m much more reminded of the ending of The Bridge Over the River Kwai. In the insular world of a prisoner of war camp, the chief protagonist, Colonel Nicholson, had won a point of principle over his Japanese captors and maintained his POW British soldiers’ pride by building a bridge for the Japanese Army that would last 500 years. Only as the allied commandoes tried to destroy his work did the truth of his actions come home to roost. With a look of bewilderment on his face, he asks himself, “What have I done?”

Of course, I wonder if R.G. remembers the line from Major Clipton that follows.  It is also the last line of the flick. 

“Madness, madness!”

This is the fourth day of the special and I haven’t heard any good news so stay tuned!

Who hold the ‘Stros team record for most times making the NL All Star Team?

There is a little bit of drama going on behind the scenes within the H-Town Latino political community. According to an email Commentary received last night, a Latino is listed as the campaign treasurer for a non-Latino candidate in the District J – yikes.  A Latina leader that Commentary respects said of the move and the fella in question:

“There are not enough adjectives to describe how I felt when I found out that you had destroyed, dishonored, decapitated and deceived our Latino community.”

The Latina leader and others are supporting the candidacy of Criselda Romero in District J.  You better stay tuned on this one for sure.

B-G-O of course was an NL All Star seven times.

Commentary stayed up last night to see us win our fourth straight – nice!  These guys are playing some real good baseball. 


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The headline story in today’s Chron is about the Port of Houston fixing to go under Sunset Commission Review.  The Dean led the charge on this move.   All the stuff that has been in the Chron and on the Channel 13 news led to getting the Port a Sunset Review invitation.   I hope that all folks involved remember that Port is a huge economic engine in these parts.  As the process moves forward let’s keep this in mind.  The last thing we need is for international shippers to start looking at other port alternatives and we lose business and jobs so let’s keep the future press releases and press conferences civil.  Stay tuned!   Check out the Chron story on the Port here.

I wonder what the over-under line in Vegas is for the Port CEO?

My pal Bill King has another take, err Op-Ed in today’s Chron on the City of H-Town finances.   Check it out.

‘Stros infielder Jeff Keppinger returns from the DL and will be suited up tomorrow at The Yard.  Keppinger led the team in batting average last season.  He hit .288.   What has been the lowest season batting average for a ‘Stros hitter that led the team in batting average?

Commentary just got this in from our SD 15 Chair:

Houston, Texas – Senate District 15 Chair Lane Lewis today announced his intention to run for Harris County Democratic Party Chair.  
"I am happy to announce today that I will be a candidate for Harris County Democratic Party Chair," said Lewis. 
"Our county party needs a renewed sense of purpose, a clear vision for 2012 and beyond, and a plan to win on Election Day. My experience and passion make me ready to take our party to the next level starting on day one. My desire for all of our candidates to be successful will guide my work each and every day."   
"Now is the time to be planning for 2012.  Now is the time to recruit great candidates.  Now is the time to organize and inspire our precincts.  Now is the time for Democrats to build an organization that is strong, capable, and worthy of Harris County.  I am the candidate that can make this vision a reality and take our party to the next level." 

I wonder what Lane has in mind in terms of engaging the Latino vote?

I wonder if the current Dem Chair is going to run again?

The opposition research folks didn’t waste any time getting to CEWDEM the one time GOP voting history of one of the City of H-Town At-Large 2 candidates.  I guess the games have begun.

According to ABC News and other news outlets, the bottom half of the 2004 Dem ticket is fixing to get indicted by the Feds – ouch!   He probably thought that song was about him.

Former ‘Stros center fielder Cesar Cedeno of course, hit .264 in 1971 to lead the team in batting average.    It is interesting in that Cedeno hit .320 in each of the next two seasons to lead the team. 

From the I know you are dying to find out about it department.  I borrowed Alyson Footnote’s piece on tunes that are played when ‘Stros batters come to the plate:

I’ve never paid much attention to what’s playing when Astros hitters approach the plate, but clearly, I’m in the minority.

Walkup music has always been a constant source of intrigue to the fan base, judging from the number of questions I receive weekly asking for a rundown of players’ preferred tunes.

Thanks to my friend Nunee Oakes, scoreboard assistant extraordinaire, we have that walkup music compiled in a nice, tidy list. Without further ado, here you go…

Clint Barmes:  In The Air Tonight by Nonpoint

Jason Bourgeois:  Say I Won’t by Propane; Trillionaire by Bun B and T-Pain; Lay Me Down by T.I.

Michael Bourn:    Get Your Shine On by Bridman & Lil Wayne

Matt Downs:           Wanna Be A Baller by Lil Troy

Bill Hall:                   All of The Lights by Rihanna and Kanye West; Grove St. Party by Waka Flocka Flame; Pressin’ Them Buttons by Paul Wall

Chris Johnson:      Blowin’ Money Fast by Rick Ross

Carlos Lee:              Stereo Love by Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina; Que Buena Tu Ta by Fuego

Jason Michaels:   Here Me Now by Hollywood Undead; The Bleeding by Five Finger Death Punch

Hunter Pence:    Before I Forget by Slipknot; Coming Undone by Korn

J.R. Towles:         Down in Flames by Stoney LaRue

Brett Wallace:     Pledge Allegiance by T.I.


J.A. Happ:        Written in The Stars by Tinie Tempah

Bud Norris:      You’re Going Down by Sick Puppies

Brett Myers:     Miracle by Nonpoint; Forever by Kid Rock

Brandon Lyon: Dragula by Rob Zombie

Wandy Rodriguez:  TNT by AC/DC

Aneury Rodriguez:  Danza Kuduro by Don Omar

A few key, indisputable facts:
* If you don’t find a player/pitcher on this list, it likely means he doesn’t have a song preference.
* Some players change their walkup music semi-regularly, for variety or superstitious reasons.
* I’ve never heard of half of the songs, and have heard of even fewer of the artists who sing them.

Heck, I’ve never heard of most of the tunes or artists though that “Pledge Allegiance” tune is kind of cool.

It was a nice walk off win yesterday and pretty good pitching by the other Rodriguez.  We have the day off then host the D-Backs this weekend.


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If you are old school like Commentary, you got to read the hard copy of the Chron this morning.  The Chron’s Columnist is declaring the race for H-Town Mayor in 2011 (this November) is over.   His advice to wannabees is to don’t even bother to plunk down the filing fee.  Of course, The Mayor and her handlers probably aren’t thinking that yet.  Layoffs are happening and city services are being cut.  The Rebuild Houston bills are starting to land in mailboxes so you never know. 

In the race for H-Town City Council, At-Large 2, there are number of candidates in the race.  One candidate to keep an eye out on is the David Robinson fella.  His campaign sent out a press release yesterday.  His campaign contacts listed are my good pals Kathryn McNeil and Carolyn Campbell – both top flight campaign strategists.    They were both involved in last year’s Prop 1 campaign so the relationships they developed with the Prop 1 funders could come in handy.  Stay tuned!

From Ty Wiggontonner’s Brother up in Austin:

Led by the Dean of the Senate, the Senate voted to put the Port of Houston under review by the Sunset Commission.  Kudos to the Dean!

Speaking of, Rusty Hardin was named Acting CEO of the Port yesterday – sort of.

The Best Line of the Day goes to GOP Harris County Commissioner Jack Morman when asked to comment on the stuff that is going on at the Port:

“I’m almost afraid to comment because it might cause them to hire another lawyer.”

What happened in the MLB at old Forbes Field 76 years ago today?

You can go to Commentary’s Political Page  to get a list of the latest candidates for H-Town Mayor, City Council, and Controller.  I was at City Hall yesterday getting the latest list.  There are a handful that I haven’t listed because they just say that they are running for City Council and don’t write down the specific office….like Phillip Bryant, Hoc Nguyen, Laurie Robinson, and Scott Boates.

A judge threw out Paul Bettencourt’s lawsuit to void last year’s Prop 1 election.  It is back to the drawing board for Bettencourt as he tries to figure out his next move to mess with the H-Town Mayor.  Maybe he will help out this Dick fella who is running for At-Large 2 who put out this statement in a fundraising invite:

Though Houston needs dedicated monies for drainage, it was portrayed that the cost would be around a cup of coffee ($5) a month.  Residents of Houston are outraged at the cost for drainage.  In some areas Houstonians are taxed as high as $60 a month.  Where can you get a cup of coffee for $60?  At a fundraiser for Eric Dick for Houston City Council – At Large #2.  Eric Dick is demanding that Houston elected officials take a lesson from Dallas when assessing such drainage fee.

Of course, I don’t recall Dick being out on the stump campaigning against Prop 1 last fall.  It looks like he’s grabbing an issue to run on.

George Herman Ruth, Jr., better known as ‘Babe” or the “Bambino” or the “Sultan of Swat” hit dingers numero 712, 713 and 714 (his final career dingers) of course, 76 years ago today as a member of the Boston Braves in an 11-7 loss to the Pirates.

I don’t know about Bill Hall, the ‘Stros second baseman.  He flubbed what was supposed to be an inning ending grounder yesterday and the next batter up hit a grand salami and just like that we were down 5-0.  We tried to come back but just came up short by a run.  It will be a nine inning lunch break today at The Yard as we hope to win the series finale against the Dodgers.


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The soon-to-be owner of the ‘Stros met a few days ago with the NAACP to clear up some stuff from his past.  Check out the Chron story on the meeting.  I wonder if the soon-to-be owner of the ‘Stros knows that Latinos make up 43.8% of H-Town and Latinos would probably also like a meeting to clear up some stuff.  Stay tuned!

CEWDEM put out a couple of takes this past weekend on the City of H-Town Latino redistricting effort led by CM James Rodriguez and others. The takes sounded like it came from folks that always fight Latinos on redistricting when in fact they were from Dems.  Here is what they said:

I live in an ethically diverse neighborhood, friends with Latinos, Blacks, Asians, Mid-Eastern, and Anglos.  I am active with my neighbors.  We don’t need someone going to search for someone to be a council member for our district.


So Rodriguez and Gonzlaez, this rhetoric is divisive and insulting to Democrats in our neighborhood. It should be insulting to the folks you represent. Perhaps they should find a good Democratc to run who will represent all of the folks in District H and I.    We should elect a totally Democratic City Council regardless of color, gender, sexual orientation. and dial back rehetoric about race and advocate that Democrats are about good government.


Thanks for taking the time to post and to dare to go out there and say that an ethnic group can be effectively represented by someone other than ‘their own’. Doesn’t the election of our President prove that possible?

Sadly, these folks appear a little threatened and/or miss the point.   Let me remind them what The Mayor said in the Chron a little over a week ago:

"This is an opportunity. It’s not an answer.  If the Latino community gets together behind the right candidate, funds that candidate, assists that candidate in mobilizing voters, there’s no question in my mind that this district can elect a strong Latino leader to City Council to join those that we already have, but it’s not going to happen automatically."  

This is about Latino empowerment that all Dems should support so get over it!  Latino political empowerment is good for the Dem Party here in Harris County – period!  If we start electing Latinos to City Council representing parts of town where the Latino community is growing and if we have a Latino political infrastructure in place then maybe our Latino turnout numbers in even numbered November election years will start increasing.  Get on the program!

The LA Dodgers come to The Yard for a three game series that starts this evening.  Tonight’s game will be our 694th regular season meeting with the Dodgers in our franchise history.  We’re 314-379 against LA.  We’ve only had a winning record against them in one of the six past decades.  Name the decade?

Here is what my pal Robert Miller is saying about congressional redistricting:

Gov. Perry’s aides are telling legislators that a special session on congressional redistricting alone will not be called. Instead the federal courts will be allowed to draw the map. In the summer of 2003, Gov. Perry called three special sessions so that the legislature could draw congressional maps and replace a court drawn plan. The difference between the summer of 2003 and 2011? The Presidency. Team Perry wants everything wrapped up and the legislature gone by May 30; thereby eliminating legislative distractions this summer as Gov. Perry continues to blossom into a very viable possibility for the Republican presidential nomination.

Here is all of what Robert says.

My Best Friend’s kid, Matt Luna, is the star first baseman of HISD’s Lamar High.  This past Saturday night they reached the Regional Semifinals and will play Brazoswood later on this week.  Matt had a key two run double in a 3-0 win and according to his Mom Julie the win was a pretty cool BD present – Julie’s BD was Saturday.

Commentary’s Mom also celebrated her BD this past Saturday!

He is one smart Hoosier for sure!  Give Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels credit (or maybe give his family credit) for joining the ranks of those GOPers that don’t want to get their arses handed to them by The President next year.  RUN, DUDE, RUN!

Commentary checked out “Eat Pray Love” last night and I sure got hungry during her first destination.

In the 1990s of course the ‘Stros were 65-57 against the LA Dodgers.

We should have swept the Blue Jays but Clint Barmes let a groundball go through his legs Saturday afternoon and then the roof fell in.  At least we’re 5-1 all time against the Jays and 2-1 in interleague play.  Let’s hope for a winning home stand that begins tonight!


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Here is what H-Town CM James Rodriguez put out yesterday after City Council adopted the revised redistricting plan:

This morning the Houston City Council adopted a revised redistricting plan that incorporates the recommendations submitted by the Latino leadership on April 20.   The proposal provides an opportunity for the Latino community to gain representation on the Houston City Council.  I am proud that my office provided the leadership on this issue throughout this process.

I want to thank the Mayor and her staff for working with the Latino community leadership on this critical issue.  I want to thank the Latino leadership for stepping forward and making the case for a redistricting plan that is fair to all communities.   I also want to thank Dr. Laura Murillo and the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for facilitating the Latino leadership effort during the past month and a half.

You can go to Commentary’s website here and see the latest lineup of candidates:   www.camposcommunications.com/politicalpage.html .

At-Large 2 is getting a little crowded. 

Here is a Chron piece today on H-Town redistricting.

Here is from the Chron piece:

Councilman James Rodriguez said a "wanted" email has circulated among Hispanic leaders seeking the right person for the District J job.

Who holds the ‘Stros career postseason record for most postseason games played as a pitcher?

Guv Dude is getting a whole lot of “will he or won’t he” run in most of today’s fish wraps across the state.  Rush Limbaugh also gave him some run yesterday.  Dude is saying no but you know he has to love the run he’s getting.  A big difference between Dude in 2012 and W in 2000 is in 2000 W had everybody fooled that he was a “uniter and not a divider.”  W also had folks convinced that he woke up every morning and hugged a Latino. Dude has made it clear that he prefers the mightier sword over the pen.   He also loves a good game of kickball using paperless folks.  Stay tuned!

Speaking of, Dude suffered a setback of sorts yesterday as a Texas Senate committee couldn’t name any sanctuary cities.

You can go to The President’s campaign website and order a cool T-shirt with The President’s mug on the front on top of “Made in the USA” and his long form birth certificate on the back.

Brad “Lights Out” Lidge of course pitched in 17 post season games as a ‘Stro.

I really can’t say anything about sitting in front of the tube and watching the ‘Stros going through their misery other than to say that I get through my crosswords a lot quicker.  At least Brownie and J.D. make it sound less painful.


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