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Archive for the ‘State Senator Mario Gallegos’ Category

First things first!  Name the former ‘Stro pitcher that has the most all time balks as a

‘Stro?  You’ll never guess!

Yesterday evening the Chron endorsed Carol Alvarado for State Senator, District 6. They made the right call and said some important things.  It is a very nice write-up.  Here is the entire endorsement:

Copyright 2013: Houston Chronicle: 07:34 PM (FEb. 19)

Residents of Texas State Senate District 6, a heavily Hispanic area that winds from the Heights through the east side of Houston and Harris County, are lucky to face a tough choice at the ballot box as they pick a replacement for the late Sen. Mario Gallegos. Runoff candidates Sylvia Garcia and Carol Alvarado are both dedicated public servants with a long history of representing the area.

In terms of political positions, there’s not much difference between them. Both are Democrats who vow to strengthen state education spending and expand Medicaid. They differ chiefly in the way in which they’d go about achieving their goals. Garcia vows to go toe-to-toe against Gov. Rick Perry and other Republicans. Alvarado says that she’d continue to do what she’s done as a member of the Republican-controlled Texas House: work with members across the aisle to get legislation passed.

We believe that Alvarado’s approach will serve her district best. In part, that’s pure pragmatism. Given Republicans’ utter dominance of our state’s government, a Democrat who hopes to accomplish anything at all has to play nicely with the GOP. But it’s also the solution to a larger problem. Both Texas and the United States need more politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, who can find middle ground and nudge the body politic forward. Alvarado is that kind of legislator.

Residents of the district are familiar with Alvarado and her staff, who are frequent presences at civic club meetings and neighborhood events. That sort of ground-level constituent service might not be notable elsewhere, but it is in places like the east side of Houston, Galena Park and South Houston. Many of the area’s neighborhoods receive too little attention from the elected officials who are supposed to serve them.

Members of the Legislature also are familiar with Alvarado. That’s especially important in this runoff because its winner will have to hit the ground running. She’ll be sworn into the state Senate with only a few days left in which bills can be filed. As a third-term member of the House, Alvarado knows the legislature’s ins and outs and has already established many of the relationships she’ll need to serve her district.

It’s essential that the winner of this office – like all members of the Houston delegation – support the mayor’s efforts to bring local oversight to the firefighters’ pension fund. The pension’s fast-growing costs threaten the city’s financial health. And as a matter of good government, it only makes sense that the city, which foots the bill for the pension, should be able to negotiate directly with the firefighters. Alvarado, who has both the endorsement of the firefighters union and experience in city government, could be important in brokering a deal.

Her diplomatic skills and ability to find common ground make her the right person to represent District 6.

Don’t forget to vote!  Early voting runs today through Feb. 26. The election is Saturday, March 2. To vote in the run-off, it’s not necessary to have voted in the previous election. For poll hours and locations, go to www.harrisvotes.org.

Here is a sampling of reactions from Carol’s supporters:

ROCKSTAR!!!

Congratulations on this superbly written endorsement!  (From a Bexar County State Senator)

Nice!

Woo hoo!

The other side is kind of poo pooing the endorsement even though they wanted it. 

Early Voting in Person starts today and some interesting things are happening.  Stay tuned!

We got Chron!

Jim Deshaies of course leads the ‘Stros all time with 27 balks as a ‘Stro.

The latest from Spring Training is about a ‘Stro rumored to be on the PED user list. 

 

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Sooner or later this had to happen:

A newspaper’s publication of the names and addresses of handgun permit holders in two New York counties has sparked online discussions — and a healthy dose of outrage.

Here is the entire article.

It is the First Amendment versus the Second Amendment.

How about publishing the retail outlet where a weapon was purchased after a crime has been committed with the weapon?

Name the MLBer with the most career dingers as a second baseman?

The Carol Alvarado Campaign is running a TV spot.

Go to the website to check it out.

I went by the Sports Authority Christmas shopping and I wanted to check out ‘Stros gear.  There were only two measly items.  It wasn’t much better at Academy.  On Christmas Eve I stopped by The Yard to check out The Team Store but it was closed.  A receptionist at The Yard told me that they had a kiosk at the Galleria where you could get limited gear.  I went over to the Galleria kiosk and sure enough the gear was limited.  I guess the ‘Stros really weren’t interested in promoting their gear this Christmas season.

Jeff Kent of course leads all second basemen with 351 career dingers.

The Team Store is closed at The Yard and will reopen next year. 

 

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It was back during the 2000 presidential campaign when State Senator Mario Gallegos volunteered to travel to battleground states to say “this Texas State Senator” wasn’t supporting Governor George W. Bush for president.  There was an enormous amount of pressure back then that was put on Democratic legislators to stay put, keep quiet and not campaign against the state’s sitting governor, Governor Bush. 

Senator Gallegos said to heck with all of them and racked up thousands of frequent flyer miles campaigning across the country earning enough points to secure him a speaking slot at the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.  Senator Gallegos also appeared on CNN and conducted numerous interviews with national media outlets during the 2000 presidential campaign.

Senator Gallegos demonstrated a lot of courage defying the state capitol insiders that were kowtowing to Governor Bush.  It cost him a position on the Senate Finance Committee the following legislative session.  I’ve said since then on more than one occasion if we would have had a few more of Senator Gallegos’ colleagues campaigning in Florida or have been able to clone Senator Gallegos, we probably would not have put two wars on the national credit card.

Senator Gallegos was definitely on his game during that 2000 campaign.  He was by far the best Democratic road warrior from Texas that year.

Here is what the County put out yesterday evening:

As of this evening we have approved 77,250 applications and sent out 74,782 ballots.  We have received 29,619 voted ballots returned.

26,415 have been generated by the GOP and 21,570 by Dems.

It was pretty clear to most folks last night that The President got his mojo back and dominated.  It is pretty silly to see the GOP talking heads try to spin it otherwise. 

Later on this morning Commentary will be campaigning with Traci Jensen.  I’m going to ask her if she’s ever been in a binder full of women.

I’m going to skip asking about the MLB and talking about the ‘Stros for today.

 

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Commentary was asked the other evening how I’m able to come up with stuff to say every day.  In today’s case, I got a lot of help from GOP State Rep.  Ken Legler from the following in yesterday’s papers:

“Those that know me know I do not back down from a fight,” Legler said in a statement. “I seem to always enter a contest as the underdog and exit the victor. I have no reason to believe that 2012 would be any different. However, the sad fact is that the Federal Court has seen fit to give me a district that will be a constant electoral struggle every two years throughout the decade. That is a political distraction from legislative responsibilities that I choose not to accept.”

Let’s see now an “electoral struggle every two years” is considered a “political distraction”?   Wow, what a pain in the arse to have to run for office every two years.  That’s what is wrong with the Federal Courts.  They didn’t give Legler a safe district for life.   Impeach the Feds!

There is a sobering story in today’s Chron about the impact of the Voter ID law in the Lone Star State.   Here are a couple of pieces:

Texas secretary of state officials did not find matching 2012 driver’s licenses or state-issued photo IDs for 2.4 million of the state’s 12.8 million registered voters, though all but about 800,000 of those voters supplied a valid identification number when they first registered to vote.

Don’t worry about it, says AG Greg Abbott:

Voters over 65 and the disabled can avoid the ID requirement by arranging in advance to cast ballots by mail, according to Abbott’s press release.

Commentary doesn’t think the AG has ever conducted a mail ballot application campaign program. Maybe he needs to hire my good buddy Kyle on this.

Check out the article here.

Many older MLB fans remember Red Sox’s Carlton Fisk’s dinger in the bottom 12th in Game 6 of the 1975 World Serious against the Reds in Fenway.  Name the pitcher that served up the Fisk dinger. 

Commentary is planning to watch “Game Change” this weekend.  Heck, the three stars of the flick have a combined 10 Oscar nominations. 

The fella that runs the Lone Star State Dem Party and a South Texas Latino member of congress are having a little war of words in today’s SA Express News.  Here is a taste:

Despite strong criticism from fellow Democrats, Rep. Henry Cuellar said Wednesday he feels vindicated that a compromise congressional redistricting map includes new Latino districts in San Antonio and Dallas.

“For the first time in the history of Texas politics we created two Hispanic seats,” Cuellar, D-Laredo, said during an office interview after weeks of acrimony and grumbling from some Democrats who accused him of working too closely with Republicans.

Cuellar’s role in the redistricting process was criticized by the head of Lone Star Project, a Democratic advocacy group, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus who complained their lawyers were left out of some negotiations with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Cuellar said he worked with Latino groups, Abbott and Republican lawmakers, notably Rep. Francisco Canseco of San Antonio, to craft the map.

Matt Angle with the Lone Star Project said in a statement that Cuellar “has a long history of betraying Latino voters and his constituents to appease high-level Republicans.”

Cuellar once served as Texas secretary of state under Republican Gov. Rick Perry, and endorsed Republican Gov. George W. Bush over Democratic Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election.

Angle said that during the 2001 and 2003 Texas redistricting battles Cuellar aligned himself with former House Speaker Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land.

Cuellar, meanwhile, called Angle “a nut case” who backed efforts in the Dallas area to create a minority coalition congressional district over one for Latinos.

He said he fought for a Latino district in Dallas, and that “1.3 million Hispanics in Dallas would have been screwed if I would have kept my mouth shut.”   Check out the rest of the story here.

Oh well, warts and all I guess!

A nice impressive crowd showed up last night at HISD Anna Eastman’s reception.  Among the elected officials to attend were Sen. Mario Gallegos, Rep. Carol Alvarado, and CM Ellen Cohen.  Former elected officials included the host, former Rep. and former Dem Party Chair Sue Schechter, former HISD Trustee and CM Carol Galloway, and former Trustee Diane Johnson. Former Trustee candidates Judith Cruz and Ramiro Fonseca, current SBOE, District 6 candidate Traci Jensen, and Chron columnist Bill King also dropped by.

In case you were wondering, the ordinance on feeding the homeless was delayed for a couple of weeks.

The Reds’ Pat Darcy of course served up the Carlton Fisk walk-off dinger in the bottom 12th on the second pitch of the inning in Game 6 of the 1975 World Serious.

From Alyson’s Footnotes again:

“Retro” is in the air as the 50th Anniversary Celebration weaves its way through multiple giveaways this season. Currently scheduled items include a Colt .45s cap (April 10), Colt .45s replica jersey (April 20), 1970’s rainbow style t-shirt (June 1), retro gym bag (June 2), retro lunch bag (June 3), 1960s blue Astros cap (June 20), 1990s blue and gold replica jersey (Aug. 10), and a rainbow umbrella (Aug. 12).

 

 

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I’m sure some Dems are not going to like what Commentary said in the Chron today about the Early Vote turnout.  Instead of getting upset with Commentary, maybe they can channel their energy to get a better Dem turnout this Saturday.  Here is part of what is in the Chron:

Political consultant Marc Campos saw two trends in the early voting data, particularly when comparing the numbers to early voting totals from the Nov. 8 general election.

First, District A polling indicated strong interest in the Stardig-Brown runoff. Second, voting in conservative areas generally was stronger than in African-American neighborhoods, even in areas where there was no district race to drive local turnout.

That could help Christie, a repeat GOP challenger to Jones, the incumbent Democrat.

"In a close race like this with low turnout, when you see numbers like that, if you’re Jack Christie, you might be feeling a little bit better than you did two years ago," Campos said.

Here is the entire Chron piece.

Now let me just give you some numbers.  In the 2009 December run-off (including the Bellaire run-off), Mendenhall provided 7.4% of the Harris County – City total in-person early vote total.  This year it is 12%.  In 2009, West Gray provided 16%, this time it is 12.2%.  In 2009, Acres Homes was 4.4%, this time it is 4.6%.  In 2009, Palm Center was 5.7%, this time it is 7.6%.  In 2009, Kingwood was 4.2%, this time it is 6.9%.  In 2009, Fiesta was 6.5%, this time 7.8%.

In 2009, CM Jones carried Latino boxes in the run-off but not by a whole lot.   In 2009, HCCS was 2%, this time it is 1.3%.  In 2009, Ripley was 1.2%, this time it is .8%.

The numbers do the talking so get to work!

The Harris County Sheriff’s folks just handed the GOP another issue to get banged up with yesterday.  A month or so ago the Sheriff’s folks said they needed more clerks to dispose of a 10,000 case backlog in the felony warrant entry department.  Yesterday they said “never mind.” 
Check out today’s Chron.

Old school types like Commentary got to read Lisa Falkenberg’s column in today’s Chron hard copy.  She wasn’t too kind to the Sheriff’s Office.  FYI:  The Sheriff still hasn’t filed for reelection.

How many different folks have served as General Manager of the ‘Stros?

I got a letter yesterday from the Former H-Town Mayor and CM Ann Clutterbuck for Jack Christie in At-Large 5.

State Rep. Garnet Coleman got him an opponent yesterday – Ray Hill.

My pal Bill King says he didn’t have anything to do with the SD 6 survey/poll and the finger pointing continues so watch your backs!   Show me the survey/poll sponsors!

Twelve different folks of course have served as ‘Stros GMs:  Paul Richards (1962-65), Tal Smith (1965-67, 1975-80, 2007), Spec Richardson (1967-75), John McMullen (1975), Al Rosen (1980-85), Dick Wagner (1985-87), Bill Wood (1987-93), Bob Watson (1993-95), Gerry Hunsicker (1995-2004), Tim Purpura (2004-2007), Ed Wade  (2007-2011) and now Jeff Luhnow (2011).
Check out the Luhnow hire story here.

 

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Early Voting ended yesterday with West Gray overtaking Mendenhall by 40 voters – 1,908 to 1,868.  Mendenhall hit 58.8% of the Round 1 Early Vote total as compared to 37% for West Gray.  Kingwood had 57.7%, Bayland had 33%, Fiesta had 40.3%, Sunnyside had 48.6%, Palm Center had 52.4%, and Ripley had 14.4%. 

My pal Robert Miller put this out today so let the phone calls continue:

SD 6 Democratic Primary?  A SD 6 push poll has been conducted in the last few days testing various opponents against Sen. Gallegos.  Team Gallegos believes that Bill King is the instigator of the poll, acting on behalf of HISD interests and perhaps anti-public employee pension interests.  Former Commissioner Sylvia Garcia continues to indicate that she will not run against Sen. Gallegos.

There are very nervous campers out there and they should be.  Of course, it is definitely healthy for the process.  I told you this one would keep getting interesting.

Today is Pearl Harbor Day.  It happened 70 years ago today.  I bet they don’t even teach it in high school these days.

If you live in H-Town Council District A or have friends or relatives there, pay attention to what the Houston GLBT PAC put out yesterday:

Sometimes the Caucus doesn’t endorse in a race for any number of reasons. This year, we didn’t endorse in District A, but it is still important for us to educate voters on issues that matter to our community and help them make informed decisions in the voting booth. We would like to share a brief overview of both candidates with regard to issues that affect our community.

In Stardig’s two years as a member of Houston City Council, not many GLBT issues have arisen. However, a number of votes have been taken to authorize funding for facilities that provide services to people living with HIV/AIDS (HOPWA funding), including Marjo House, a facility whose funding the Caucus and other GLBT organizations had to fight for in 2010. Stardig stood up against tremendous pressure and supported Marjo House, and has voted in favor of all other HOPWA contracts. She has made a point to engage the community as a representative of GLBT constituents in her district.

Helena Brown is currently a Republican precinct chair and is actively involved in the Tea Party movement. While she does not have a voting history as an elected official to evaluate, she has gone on record with the Harris County GOP and the notoriously anti-GLBT Houston Area Pastors Council as being opposed to equal rights for the GLBT community. She opposes non-discrimination policies that protect the civil rights of not only GLBT citizens but other minorities as well, and is opposed to the extension of benefits to same-sex partners of City employees. Her anti-GLBT views are well known in political circles.

Please take the time to consider these candidates and make the choice you feel is best for our community when you vote.

Everybody knows that the first ever MLB Amateur Player Draft was held in 1965.  Two players were drafted and signed that year and are now Hall of Fame greats.  Who am I talking about?

Ornaldo Ybarra, Pasadena City Council Member, filed for HD 144 yesterday and here is what he put out:

It is an honor today that I announce that I will be a seeking the Democratic Party nomination for the redrawn Texas House of Representatives, District 144. During the last legislative session, my fellow Texans witnessed first hand that public education, health care and higher education funding was drastically cut and the budget was balanced on the back of the working class.

During the last 2 ½ years, while serving as a council member for the City of Pasadena (District A), I have built a reputation for being a strong supporter of the two most important groups that should matter to all elected official, our taxpayers and our public employees. While on council, I have opposed all city increases on various fees that have been brought before council due to its adverse effect on the working class. I have advocated for pay equality among the lower paid employees and have even proposed amendments to reward our lower paid employees, against the wishes of our Republican Mayor and administration.

The upcoming legislative session is going to face many of the budget constraints that the prior legislative session faced and it’s important that District 144 elect a representative that understands the basic principles of all the revenue sources and expenditures. While it’s easy to file for any office, understanding the dynamics of how government works is something that requires experience. I understand how it feels to be in the minority of any governmental body, but that hasn’t stopped me from fighting for the people and our public employees while being a council member in Pasadena.

I was born in Houston, Texas, 33 years ago and have been a resident of Pasadena and District A my entire life. I reside in the same home that I grew up in and still walk the same neighborhoods that bring me close to the day-to-day concerns of the people. I am honored to have attended Kruse Elementary, Jackson Intermediate, and graduated from Pasadena High School. I am proud to say that I attended the public schools of the Pasadena Independent School District.

Upon graduating from Pasadena High School, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps (1996-2000) and was assigned as an infantryman with 1st Battalion 7th Marines at 29 Palms, California. While in the Marine Corps, I was the recipient of many awards such as the Navy Achievement Medal, Marine of the Quarter 1998, Meritoriously Promoted from Lance Corporal, Letters of Appreciation, Certificates of Commendations and the Good Conduct Medal.

After receiving an Honorable Discharge from the United States Marine Corps, I returned back to Pasadena and attended San Jacinto College. I received an Associates of Applied Science from San Jacinto College and was recognized for my academic achievements on various occasions by being placed on the Dean’s List.

Upon receiving my A.A.S from San Jacinto College, I applied and was selected to be a Police Officer with the Pearland Police Department. I have worked all three patrol shifts and I am a member of the Pearland Police Department SWAT Team and Honor Guard Detail.

In December 2010, while working full time as a Police Officer, I received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from the University of Houston (Main Campus).

I believe that I have the political and work experience that distinguishes me from other potential candidates. My background as a police officer allows me to understand how various laws enacted impact not only our residents, but the law enforcement community. Currently being assigned to a school campus, I have witnessed first hand the consequences of the public education budget cuts and have first hand knowledge of the concerns of teachers, parents and students.

Prior to working as a police officer, I worked in the emergency room at one of the local hospitals, and I witnessed first hand the medical needs of the community. I observed first hand the positive effects that Medicaid and CHIP had on the children of the underprivileged. As a veteran, I understand the medical, educational and personal attention that our veteran community needs.

While on city council, my record speaks for itself. I have worked for the construction of over 5 miles of brand new sidewalks, various new concrete and overlaid street improvements, speed bumps, splash pads built in parks, and water/sewer line replacements. Although, I can point to major infrastructure accomplishments during my tenure as a council member, I am most proud of the level of energy and involvement that my constituents have provided since I was first elected.

I ask for the support of my fellow residents of Texas House of Representative District 144, as I embark on the journey to be your representative. I am a middle class American who understands the needs of the district and who has been in the trenches fighting for the rights of taxpayers and our public employees. No other candidate seeking the Democratic Party nomination has a proven track record when compared to mine.

Hall of Fame greats Johnny Bench and Nolan Ryan of course were drafted and signed out of the 1965 MLB inaugural draft.  Johnny Bench is celebrating his 64th BD today.

Once again there is nothing to report from The Yard today.

 

 

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Here in Harris County it was kind of the usual suspects filing for reelection in the Dem Party Primary yesterday.  It looks like we’re going to have a choice in the race for Harris County DA next March.  That’s probably a good thing.  Of course, I’m wondering how both candidates are going to deal with the death penalty issue.  That could be interesting in a Dem Primary in a county that loves to award the death penalty.   I guess I might as well ask them both:  What do you think about the death penalty?

I ruffled a feather yesterday when I said this:

Let’s see who steps up in the reconfigured HD 134.  Let’s hope it isn’t a Dem retread.

Some fella took it personally.  Sorry!  Here is how I responded to him:

I hope you and others don’t take it personally.  I will now be voting in the reconfigured HD 134.  Winning the district in November isn’t going to be easy.  I’m hoping we can produce a nominee that can excite the base as well as appeal to independent voters.

During the 1960s, the SF Giants averaged 91 wins per season.  What five Hall of Fame greats played with them then?

You know Herman Cain is just about done when a late night talk show host said last night that Herman Cain’s belt buckle was made out of mistletoe – yikes!

Commentary made a mistake yesterday.  I said the San Diego Chargers kicker was doing the #2 on the sidelines Sunday afternoon when it really was just the #1.

Meanwhile, Lone Star State politicos are nervously eyeing the U.S. Supreme Court to see what they decide to do on the state’s redistricting maps.  Any bets? 

Hall of Fame greats Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry, and Juan Marichal of course all played for the Giants in the 1960s.

It turns out the best Holiday Party of the season is moving to Chicago this year. Now that’s a bummer!   How can they do that?  They don’t even have a Hotel ZaZa in Chicago!

Commentary thinks new ‘Stros CEO George Postolos is a nice fella.  I worked with him when we passed the arena vote ten years or so ago when he was COO of the Rockets.   I hope George does a good job because I’ll still be going to The Yard.  Remember though, George doesn’t have a ring either.  He came to the Rockets after they won a couple of NBA titles.  Heck, he hasn’t even been to the NBA finals.   We should all have high expectations but we should also have patience.  

 

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