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Nothing Today

Commentary doesn’t have much to say today.

They got Donald Trump dead to rights on the impeachment thing and the GOP says dead to rights isn’t impeachment worthy. That’s where we are.

Where was Julian Castro last night? That’s wrong!

Psst. Has anyone seen Tony Buzbee? Mail ballots are being mailed today and Early Voting in Person begins a week from today.

The runoff for H-Town City Council, District B, has been put on hold until the courts can determine the eligibility of a runoff candidate. Best I can tell, District B and HD 148 share 1 precinct.

Royko sent me this on my mention yesterday on the Astros and cheating:

My view is that if competitors are skilled enough to figure out the other guys signs, that is fair game. It is when one listens in on closed communications, the line is crossed. Further, it is not enough to merely think you know what the adversary may do, one must possess the skill, confidence that they will win, and to then properly execute in the face of a multitude of variables, to succeed.

It is the persistence and determination, along with skill that leads to winning. It is clear that the team did not have the same level of confidence in the 2019 WS as they did in 2017.

On the burger thing and In-N-Out coming to the H-Town area. I made a burger yesterday here at my crib using regular wheat bread, Private Selection ground beef from Kroger, with red onions, pickles, mustard and Fritos as my side. I go to the Whataburger on North Main, the Burger King on Yale, Hughie’s on North Main, Someburger on Studewood and 11th, or Christian’s Tailgate on White Oak for a burger fix. I don’t think I’ll be driving out to Stafford or Katy for a burger.

The owner of the Astros avoided the media yesterday at the MLB meetings up in Arlington. I am thinking there will not be a good outcome to the cheating investigation.

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HERO 2.0

The Chron has an online story today on the possibility of another vote on HERO. Here is the story:

We got beat pretty soundly on HERO in 2015 and I am not convinced we could win right now. I have yet to see a strategy on what would work. We got beat in some strong Democratic vote areas and what has changed?

We can’t just be putting something on the ballot and hope it will pass because it is the right thing to do.  The other side will just put up a lot of misinformation.

We would need to expand the pro-HERO  leadership coalition. Bring in some fresh faces. Start having a communitywide conversation.  We have a long way to go on this.

At the Sandra Rodriguez reception last night, I ran into one of the unsuccessful candidates for HD 148. She had on her name badge with her HD 148 logo. I guess she is considering running in the 2020 Dem Primary.

On February 22, 2020, the Fort Worth Star Telegram will no longer print a Saturday edition. I guess it won’t be called a daily anymore. What do you call it then?

The Chron E-Board has a take today on the Astros and cheating. Here it is: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Did-Astros-break-the-rules-Editorial-14847478.php.

Here is what Jeff Luhnow, Astros President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, says about the cheating accusations;

“We haven’t done everything properly, but I do feel confident that in general, most of the time, we did things right and we try and follow the rules. We try to be good citizens, and we try to compete as hard as we can.”

King of sounds like an admission of guilt. Sigh.

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District J

There is a fundraiser tonight in Downtown Houston for H-Town City Council District J candidate Sandra Rodriguez. The fundraiser is co-hosted by Cong. Sylvia Garcia, State Sen. Carol Alvarado, State Reps. Armando Walle and Gene Wu, H-Town Council Member Robert Gallegos and other prominent folks. Sandra Rodriguez is in the runoff.

District J was created after the 2010 census during the 2011 City of H-Town redistricting process. Then H-Town Council Member James Rodriguez, no relation to Sandra Rodriguez, led the effort to make District J a Hispanic opportunity district. We got a lot of help and cooperation from then Mayor Annise Parker. My old pal Council Member Mike Laster was first elected to the position in 2011 and he is term limited this time.

Good luck, Sandra Rodriguez! Seize the opportunity! I will be dropping by this evening.

Here is from Kuffer today on the HD 148 Special Election Runoff date:

The key bit of the proclamation is this: “WHEREAS, Section 2.025(d) of the Texas Election Code provides that the runoff election must be held not earlier than the 70th day or later than the 77th day after the date the final canvass of the main election is completed”. You can see that statute here. It’s pretty straightforward, which is why I always say I Am Not A Lawyer when I try to interpret legal matters. I will say, I did get the explanation of the early voting period for this correct. The reason why there are only four days of early voting for these runoffs is because Monday the 20th is MLK Day, and there is no voting on federal holidays. (*) We have had this happen in legislative runoffs before, most recently in 2016 with the special election runoff for HD118.

As Campos notes:

“To put this in perspective, Early Voting in Person in the 2020 Texas Democratic Party Primaries begins on Tuesday, February 18, 2018. That is three weeks after the January 28 special election runoff and probably a week after the winner is sworn into office.” 

That makes this a huge challenge for the candidates, who will be competing for attention with all of the primary campaigns and who may themselves have to run in competitive primaries. Just having to explain to people that they have to vote in January and then again a few weeks later is headache-inducing. And note that early voting for the primaries starts on a Tuesday as well, because Monday the 17th is Presidents Day.

Federal holidays, y’all. Anyway, now is a great time to get involved with the Eliz Markowitz and/or Anna Eastman campaigns. These runoffs may not be next month, but they’ll be here sooner than you think.

(*) Yes, I know many people would like to make Election Day a federal holiday. It’s a great idea! Be that as it may, when there’s a federal holiday during an early voting period in Texas, early voting is off for that day.

Here is all of Kuffer: http://www.offthekuff.com/wp/?p=93095.

Here is Stace’s take on the HD 148 Special Runoff Election:

The Special Election for Texas House District 148 will be held on January 28, so, I’m rooting for Democrat Anna Eastman to win the run-off in HD148. As people keep telling me, they are doing it all over again in March in the Dem Primary, but I agree with some of my friends who say HD148 voters can’t give away the seat to a right-wing, anti-Latino Latino just because their person didn’t make it to the run-off. Campos reports on Anna’s endorsements and they all look pretty good and diverse to me.

Here is all of Stace:

Remember when those clowns in Austin attended that bill signing ceremony with those Chick-fil-A Styrofoam cups strewn about. That’s funny.

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The #TXHD148SpecialElectionRunoff is Tuesday, January 28, 2020 with Early Voting in Person beginning on Tuesday, January 21, 2020. We will only have four days of Early Voting in Person.

To put this in perspective, Early Voting in Person in the 2020 Texas Democratic Party Primaries begins on Tuesday, February 18, 2018. That is three weeks after the January 28 special election runoff and probably a week after the winner is sworn into office.

Commentary read the proclamation setting the runoff date and I checked the Election Code reference citing the considered dates and they didn’t have much of a choice. The other two special election legislative runoffs in Dallas and Fort Bend County are on the same day.

Commentary has said it before. This will be my fourth stand-alone special legislative election in a fourteen-month period. This one is one on one against a GOPer.

It will be a challenge setting an Anna Eastman Campaign strategy for the #TXHD148SpecialElectionRunoff and at the same time simultaneously running in the #TXHD148DemocraticPartyPrimaryElection. It will also be a challenge for other Democratic Party maybe candidates thinking about running in the #TXHD148DemocraticPartyPrimaryElection while Anna Eastman is running against a GOPer in the #TXHD148SpecialElectionRunoff.  Got it?

Think about how you want to pull this off. Think about if you can pull this off. Think, think, think, please.

Commentary hears that there are still a small group of Dems trying to figure out how to keep Anna Eastman from being duly elected. Sigh.

Anna Eastman keeps gathering support from key Democrats including precinct chairs and organizations.

The Houston Firefighters came to my door yesterday supporting Tony Buzbee. Just saying.

MLB is investigating the Astros for sign stealing. A story came out this weekend that says the Astros are the brains behind a proposal that eliminates 40 or so minor league clubs. The hate for the team keeps growing. Sigh.

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I know you are dying for an update on the #TXHD148SpecialElectionRunoff, so here goes.

The votes will be canvassed today by Harris County. The Governor will canvass the votes tomorrow, then I guess he will call a runoff date. Commentary is guessing it won’t be on December 14, but sometime in January.

There are two individuals still in the race. Democrat Anna Eastman and GOPer Luis La Rotta. La Rotta has the endorsement of the Harris County Republican Party and Governor Greg Abbott.  Anna has the support of a number of Democratic Party state legislators, leading Democrats, and the Houston GLBT Political Caucus.  Anna was also endorsed by the Houston Chronicle.

There were 12 Democrats running. Of the 11 who did not make the runoff, 2 have endorsed Anna Eastman. Another gave her a 62 score rating in the just completed Houston GLBT Political Caucus endorsement process. Anna personally met with another candidate who is still considering running in the 2020 Dem Primary. Another called and left a message of congratulations. The best we can tell, 4 of the Dems who didn’t make the runoff are still considering running in the upcoming Dem Primary.

Harris County Tejano Democrats met last night and because of the rules, could not consider an endorsement for Anna. If there is a January runoff, they will go through a screening process. That’s good.

If the runoff is called for January, Anna Eastman would be running simultaneous campaigns of sort. A runoff election and a Dem Primary race.  Early Voting in Person in the Dem Primary would start a couple of weeks or so after the runoff.  It is a challenge.

In looking at the precinct by precinct returns, Anna certainly ran very strong in certain precincts and had support pretty much throughout the district.

That’s my take.

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Cy Young

Justin Verlander won the AL Cy Young Award yesterday. Gerrit Cole came in a close second.

Remember the incident this season involving the Astros press folks, the reporter for the Detroit Free Press and Verlander? The two Detroit baseball writers voted for Cole.

Anna Eastman won the endorsement of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus last night.  Her support continues to grow.

We still don’t have a date for the #TXHD148SpecialElectionRunoff. The County will canvass the votes tomorrow. The Governor will sign off on the results Saturday afternoon. We may have a runoff date announcement shortly afterwards.

Former Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts is running for president. Good luck. That’s all I am going to say about that.

I confess. I am listening to the Christmas tunes in my car.

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Former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers says we cheated our way to the 2017 World Series title and now MLB is investigating. It has something to do about stealing the opposing catcher’s signs to the pitcher via a camera in centerfield at The Yard and feeding it to a video screen next to the team dugout. I don’t think they will take the trophy away from the team if we are guilty. The worst we can get is an asterisk by the title.

Let the hearings begin. Donald Trump asked for it plain and simple. The Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have no choice but to move forward.

Kuffer has a take on HD 148 and when we could get a runoff date. Here it is:

We can’t end this conversation without bringing up HD148. I fully expect Anna Eastman to win the special election runoff, which is most likely be on December 14, the same day as the city of Houston runoffs. It doesn’t have to be on the 14th – Greg Abbott sets the runoff date, and he has some discretion. The last time we had a special election for a State Rep seat in an odd year was 2005 with the election in HD143, and that runoff was held on the same date as the city runoffs. Not a guarantee, but a data point. In any event, whatever happens in that race, there’s no reason to believe that some other candidates won’t file for the primary in HD148 as well. Any of the runners up may conclude that this was a wonky election, and that maybe they lost some votes to not-that-Adrian-Garcia. For sure, the primary will have a very different electorate, and Anna Eastman will not be very well known to them. I will be a little surprised if Eastman has the primary to herself.

Here is all of Kuffer: http://www.offthekuff.com/wp/?p=92976.

Charles is a very smart guy and knows what he is talking about. Here is what has me struggling with the December 14th date. From the Texas election code:


(b) For a special runoff election for the office of state senator or state representative or for a runoff primary election, the period begins on the 10th day before election day.

That would mean Early Voting in Person would begin on Wednesday, December 4, which conflicts with the County Clerk’s Wednesday, November 27 start for Early Voting in Person for the City of H-Town, HISD, HCCs and Bellaire runoffs.  Unless Commentary is reading it wrong, that would mean a runoff in the #TXHD148SpecialElection in January. Someone showed me Statesman article that quoted folks in the Governor’s office saying late January or early February for the legislative runoffs.

I am not going to dwell on it until we get a date, but a January runoff would certainly be an interesting dynamic and factor during the Dem Primary.

On the candidate Adrian Garcia thing. I know Adrian. I have known him for three years now. He’s been a Dem Precinct Chair. He’s an Aggie. He’s been involved in campaigns. He’s from the Northside. I have always thought that he would someday run for office and I was not surprised he ran this time. It is not his fault his first name is Adrian.

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