Archive for the ‘Voter turnout’ Category

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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Now this does not surprise Commentary.   This is from a Peggy Fikac article in today’s Chron and SA Express news.  Here is how it starts:

If Texans abide by the "if you don’t vote, don’t complain" mantra, they should be the least-complaining bunch in the nation.

Texas ranked 51st in voter turnout in 2010 – behind the other states and Washington, D.C. – and 49th in the number of citizens who even bother to contact public officials, according to a study released by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin and the National Conference on Citizenship.

I’m betting Harris County is right up there or right down there in voter apathy.  I blame everybody.

Here is the Fikac article.

Another proud Lone Star State moment!

Name the three teams B’More beat in 1966, 1970, and 1983 to win World Serious titles?

Commentary doesn’t care what MLBers put in their bodies but they have to be pretty much dumbarses to hustle up the illegal stuff.  The illegal stuff is always handled by the low life types of the world – the guys that will turn on you in a second to save their own arses.  ESPN broke a story last night about MLB conducting an investigation that may result in 100 game suspensions for 20 MLBers including the likes of A-Roid, Ryan Broid, Melky Cabrera of the Jays, Nelson Cruz of the Rangers, and Bartolo Colon of the A’s.  Just over a week ago the 40-year old Colon tossed a complete game against the ‘Stros – interesting.

If MLB has the goods on these MLBers then they deserve the punishment just for being dumbarses.  Of course A-Roid has already lied about this before. Don’t they remember the Mitchell Report?  Don’t they remember the Barry Bonds and Rocket trials?

Here is the entire ESPN piece.

This past Sunday GOP Cong. Darrell Issa called White House Press Secretary Jay Carney a “paid liar.”   President Obama’s former campaign manager David Plouffe then tweeted about Issa’s past.  Politico today has a piece about Plouffe and whether it is wise for him to go off on Issa.  Here is what Plouffe said in the piece:

“If he (Issa) behaves himself I am happy to never think about him again,” Plouffe told POLITICO. “I do think it’s highly relevant for the media to examine Congress’s top cop both in terms of how he is handling the current situation but also his background. He is a man in the spotlight — the American people should and will be eager for more info on who the inquisitor is. … My tweet was aggressive, but sometimes that is what it takes to break through. … Is he a liability to the GOP and their scandal playbook?”
I say let him go Plouffe-Daddy on Issa.  Maybe he will goad Issa and the GOP to overreach and get a public backlash.

Here is the Politico piece.

My pal Nick Anderson put out a powerful cartoon on the four firefighters we just lost.

Check it out here.

B’More swept the Dodgers (1966), beat the Reds in 5 (1970), and beat the Phillies in 5 (1983) en route to their three World Serious titles.

15,000 and change showed up at The Yard last night and we lost.  We can do better than 15,000 and change.


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On the last Thursday of Early Voting in Person in Harris County in 2008, 77,139 showed up.  Yesterday 64,315 showed up.  With one day left, we’re at 90.5% of the 2008 total.  With one day left in 2008, we were at 591,027.  With one day left today, we’re at 614,131.

We’re likely to top 2008 Early Voting in Person but not by much.

64,024 mail ballots have been returned with 28,167 still out there.

Since the beginning in 1962, the ‘Stros have won 3,999 games.  Name the team that we have beaten the most?

A former employee dropped by yesterday.  Cristina Garcia swung by yesterday and of course is a very long way from needing touching up.  She has two kids now and works for AT&T.  It was great to see her.

I got my 2012 Roundtable Presidential Pool that I have to fill out before 7 pm tonight.

Earlier this week I got an El Franco Lee mailer and yesterday I got an anti bonds mailer.

From the please don’t lecture me on the moral high ground department:  A couple of more local GOP candidates got campaign contributions from the strip club industry.

The ‘Stros have beat the Reds 399 times of course.

The ‘Stros will unveil their new look this evening – yawn!


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The Chron E-Board got around to endorsing Mary Ann Perez for State Rep., Dist. 144 today.  I heard her opponent didn’t even bother to show up for the Chron E-Board interview.

Check it out here.

In 2008 in Harris County, 76,187 requested mail ballots and 67,612 (88.7%) were returned and counted. 

As of yesterday 90,115 mail ballots have been mailed and 59,304 have been returned.

Also as of yesterday, we’re at 73.4% of the 2008 Early Vote in Person total.

Name the last pitcher to win the World Serious MVP Award?

No pun intended but his year’s Boner Award in Local Politics has to go to the Harris County Deputies Organization for receiving a $25,000 contribution from a strip club owner and handing it over to GOP Sheriff candidate Louis Guthrie. That’s not what you call grass roots support.  It is what you call lap dance support.  Nice move. 

Here is the Chron story.

I don’t have anything to say about SD 6.  I’ll wait until next week.

Pitcher Cole Hamels of course of the Phillies was named the MVP of the 2008 World Serious.

I don’t really have much to say about the new gear look over at The Yard.



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In 2008, there were only three Early Voting locations with more than 30,000 total voters:  West Gray at 35,987, Cypress Creek (Dist. 126) at 30,922, and Cypress Top at 30,312.  As of yesterday the top three are Champions Forest (Dist. 126) at 24,843, Cypress Top at 22,987, and West Gray at 21,825.  

In today’s Chron there is story today about Ted Cruz being a Latino.  There is no arguing, he is Latino.  I just don’t see him doing anything to help move the Latino community forward though. 

Check out the story here.

Here is an easy one.  Since 2000, how many World Serious sweeps have there been?

BTW, I got a Sheila Jackson Lee mailer this past weekend – that’s it.

Lisa Falkenberg has a column today on living the red state blues.  Here is a bit:

Where presidential politics are concerned, we don’t swing. We stagnate. Texas’ role in the presidential election is so inconsequential that our wealthy Republican donors are pouring their money into contests in other states, and national Democrats are urging Texas Latinos to stump in minority neighborhoods in places like Nevada and Colorado. When a presidential candidate does cross the Red River, they come to pick our pockets, not our brains.

Here is Lisa’s entire column.

What else is news?

If you want to check out the new ‘Stros lid, go here.

It looks likeone of our old lids.

There have been four World Serious sweeps since 2000 of course:  Boston over San Luis in 2004, White Sox over ‘Stros in 2005, Boston over Rockies in 2007, and Giants over Tigers a couple of days ago.

Here is from the ‘Stros website:

The Astros slashed their payroll to bottom-barrel levels following their midseason trades of high-priced players like (Brett) Myers, Carlos Lee and Wandy Rodriguez, though they’re paying significant portions of those contracts. When the dust settled, the only player making more than $750,000 was shortstop Jed Lowrie ($1.15 million), leaving the payroll south of the $20 million range. Lowrie will get a nice raise in arbitration, and pitchers (Bud) Norris and (Wilton) Lopez are first-time eligible, but there should be enough flexibility to make additions.


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State Board of Education (SBOE), District 6 candidates participated in a forum last night in Alief but the folks in attendance didn’t get to learn about what the Texas Freedom Network put out yesterday.  Here is a part:

At least nine candidates — all Republicans (including SBOE 6 candidate Donna Bahorich)  — in the November 6 elections for the Texas State Board of Education appear to have a pretty dim view of the role and importance of public schools. Responding to a survey sponsored by several religious-right groups in Texas, the nine candidates said they disagree that “it is the government’s responsibility to be sure children are properly educated.” Eight (including Bahorich) of those nine candidates said they “strongly disagree” with that statement.

Here are some of Bahorich’s responses from the Texas Eagle Forum website:

It is the government’s responsibility to be sure children are properly educated?

Bahorich: Strongly Disagree.

Biology textbooks which do not teach both the scientific strengths and weaknesses of the theory of evolution should be rejected by the Board?

Bahorich: Strongly Agree.

I support the History and Social Studies curriculum standards approved by the State Board of Education in 2010.

Bahorich:  Strongly Agree.

I support displaying the Ten Commandments in public school buildings.

Bahorich:  Strongly agree.

You can check out the Texas Freedom Network piece here.

At 20 years, 11 months, and 21 days, this pitcher was the youngest to ever toss a complete game shutout game in a World Serious.  Name the pitcher.

Here is what the County put out yesterday evening:

As of this evening we have approved 84,203 applications and sent out 80,562 ballots.  We have received 44,153 voted ballots returned.

26,729 have been generated by the GOP and 22,623 by Dems.

Through Day 2 of Early Voting in Person in Harris County, 98,671 folks had participated as compared to 82,612 after Day 2 in 2008.  Ripley has 1020 after Day 2 as compared to 756 in 2008.  Franz 2380 – 2554.  IBEW 2526 – 1760.  Bush 1822 – 1046.  Northeast 2445 – 2745.

Commentary was out in West Harris County and saw some long lines at Franz and Nottingham.  Stay tuned!

I’ll hand it to the Chron for putting online all the letters that disagree with their Romney endorsement. 

Check them out here.

On October 6, 1966 in Game 2 of the World Serious, Jim Palmer of B’More of course shutout the Dodgers 6-0 at Dodger Stadium to become the youngest pitcher ever to throw a World Serious complete game shutout.

Here is part from a ‘Stros press release yesterday:

Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane and Houston Mayor Annise Parker led a groundbreaking ceremony for the Astros Community Leaders program this morning at Diez Park in Houston. Through its corporate partnerships, the Community Leaders program will ultimately contribute $18.0 million to the City of Houston over the next five years for youth baseball and softball programs at no cost to the city’s taxpayers.

The ceremony was hosted by Houston Parks and Recreation Director Joe Turner, who has worked with Crane and Mayor Parker to help establish the Community Leaders program. Astros President and CEO George Postolos and popular former Astros players Jose Cruz and Jimmy Wynn also took part in the ceremony along with city council members James Rodriguez, Wanda Adams and Ed Gonzalez. Jose Sanchez, who heads the East End Little League program which plays at Diez Park, spoke passionately about what the Community Leaders program will mean to his community.  Several children from the East End Little League were at the ceremony along with Darrell Miller, Major League Baseball’s Vice President of Youth and Facility Development.

Construction on three parks (Diez Park, Moody Park and Sunnyside) will begin on Thursday.

Here is the entire press release.

That’s all I have from The Yard.


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Savannah Guthrie is the new co-host of “Today.”  I’m OK with this.  I would have preferred that Natalie Morales be given a shot but that’s the way it goes.  Savannah is a former NBC News White House correspondent so she definitely knows politics.  She also plays the guitar.  On her first morning today as co-host she was surprised when Shawn Colvin showed up and played a tune with Savannah – cool.   Good luck, Savannah!

The new Lone Star State Dem Party Chair gave an AP interview on the state of the Dem Party.  Here are parts:

Using rough numbers and optimistic assumptions, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa figures 70 percent of Texans should be inclined to vote for his party’s candidates.

He lists off the party’s traditional supporters and their percentage of the population: Hispanics are 40 percent, African Americans are 15 percent and progressive whites add at least another 15 percent.

The trouble, Hinojosa admits, is the majority of those people are not voting for anyone. As the new chair of a party that hasn’t won a statewide election since 1994, he also acknowledges it’s his job to get them to the polls.

"The numbers are out there," Hinojosa told The Associated Press. "The role of the Texas Democratic Party is to deliver the base."


“We’re not going to win just by increasing one segment’s turnout," Hinojosa said, rejecting a popular belief among Democrats that Hispanics alone can return them to power.


Looking back at (Bill) White’s 42 percent in 2010, Hinojosa said the party has a lot of work to do and set minimal expectations for this November. The party’s priorities will be turning out Democrats in the Houston and San Antonio areas to secure them as Democratic strongholds, and to ensure Davis’ re-election in Fort Worth, he said.

Here is the entire article.

That’s a lot of bold talk.  Let’s see if action follows the talk.

Who was the first ‘Stro to ever start in an MLB All Star Game?

There a battle of sorts going on in Pasadena. There is a vacancy on City Council and Latino leaders in Pasadena want a Latino appointed to fill the vacancy.

Here is from an online story:

“I am of the opinion I am not going to choose a person by the color of their skin. I’m going to consider an Asian, an African-American, Caucasian or a Hispanic. I disagree with the fact that the Hispanics come forward and say, ‘You’ve got to appoint a Hispanic for this seat and it’s got to be this Hispanic.’ I think that’s wrong. We just created four Hispanic districts in Pasadena through the last redistricting, so I am not going to choose a person by the color of their skin, period,” (Pasadena Mayor Johnny) Isbell said.

The City of Pasadena is 62% Latino but only 1 of the 8 city council members is Latino – my good pal Ornaldo Ybarra.  The Latino leadership in Pasadena is behind Richard Serna for the vacancy.  I hope they do the right thing over in Pasadena.    It looks like CM Ybarra has a real fight on his hands.

Check out the online story here.

Ernest Borgnine is one of my favorite actors of all time.  From “McHale’s Navy” to “From Here to Eternity” to “The Poseidon Adventure”, but my best ever Borgnine role has to be as Dutch Engstrom in Sam Peckinpah’s “The Wild Bunch” – one of the best westerns of all time.

Lee May of course started at first base for the NL All Stars in the 1972 All Star Game played in The ATL.  May went 1 for 4 with an RBI and played the entire game.

The ‘Stros are pretty miserable.  Of all their players only Jose Altuve has been to an All Star Game as a player – pitiful.  They still might trade Wandy and Brett Myers.   The lone surviving Caballito was there this weekend at his command post.  Folks were dropping by and taking pictures with him – cool.  Well, the team is off for four days then head off on a ten game roadie and will return to The Yard in two weeks. 


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Sean Hubbard, Dem candidate for U.S. Senate in the Lone Star State got him a nice write-up in today’s Chron.

Check it out here.

A couple of weeks or so ago, my pal Harold Cook said some nice things about Hubbard.  Here is what Hubbard says today in the Chron:

"I just got tired of watching the Democratic Party being afraid all the time.  It’s just a theory at this point, but I think part of the reason Republicans do so well here is that they take a stand on an issue. I thought, ‘Hey, let’s try that.’ "

The UT/Texas Trib poll said former State Rep. Paul Sadler and Hubbard might be headed into a runoff.  Today’s Chron write-up certainly helps him out.

In 2010, West Gray made up 9.6% of the Harris County Dem Primary EV in person.  In 2012, after EV Day 9, they are at 7.8%.  In 2010, Fiesta/Sunnyside/Palm Center combined for 22.7 % of the EV Dem in person total.  After EV Day 9, they are at 23%.  Only 86 Dem mail ballots came in yesterday but who’s counting anyway.

Josh Hamilton of the Rangers is being mentioned as a Triple Crown hopeful.  Everyone knows that Hall of Fame greats Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox won it in 1967 and Frank Robinson of B’More won it in 1966.  Who was the only player to win it in the 1950s?

Roll Call:  I got a Glen Castleberry for Precinct 1 Constable robo call and a Lane Lewis for Dem Party Chair robo call yesterday.

It is kind of hard to pick the Dem candidates that will make the run-offs in State Rep. Districts 137 and 144.  The candidates are all working hard and dropping mail. 

It turns out the Chron E-Board did endorse in the Dem Constable Precinct 1 race.

Check it out here.

Mickey Mantle of course won the Triple Crown in 1956.

Commentary doesn’t care if the Cubbies have the worst record in baseball, a win still counts as a win and we are now 20-23.  Soccer fans and ‘Stros fans will converge this evening so get there early. 


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Instead of the Toomey Super PAC running ads in Iowa, maybe they ought save their money and throw Guv Dude a lifeline.  Dude’s latest video from his speech in New Hampshire this past Friday have folks opining that Dude is on drugs, on booze, or just plain losing it.  It looks like he’s playing himself on SNL – yikes!   Toomey is Dude’s fixer-in-chief.  Maybe it is time for Toomey to bring Dude home and park his arse for the rest of the season.  Dude’s best day was his first day and it has been all downhill since then. 
Check out what burkablog is saying about Dude.

Speaking of Day of the Dead, watching Herman Cain yesterday do some ‘splaning was hilarious.  At first he was defiant but that didn’t last long.  Then he said there wasn’t a settlement then there was.  Then he threw that old witch hunt and liberal media lines.  Then he said it was all about talking about a woman’s height.  Who says size doesn’t matter – awwww!  

Just like Dude, Herman Cain looks like he too is not-ready-for-prime- time.   You have to wonder about the idolization factor of Tea Baggers. 

Yesterday I received a mailer from Bolivar Fraga for At-Large 2.

The At-Large 2 race is going to be interesting.  Who gets into a runoff is anybody’s guess. 

Commentary is looking forward to the new radio station that will be all news.  I hope it is a success. 

Who holds the record for playing the most regular season games without ever going to a World Serious?

Yesterday was the eighth day to Vote Early.  Here is a comparison after Day 8 in 2009.

West Gray (3385 in 2009/ 2736 in 2011)

Moody Park (719 in 2009/ 462 in 2011)

Acres Homes (809 in 2009/ 656 in 2011)

Ripley (304 in 2009/ 440 in 2011)

HCCS (387 in 2009/ 522 in 2011)

Bayland (1835 in 2009/ 1501 in 2011)

Mendenhall (2203 in 2009/ 1493 in 2011)

Main Office on Preston (628 in 2009/ 528 in 2011)

HCCS and now Ripley are the only ones of the eight that is seeing an increase after Day 8. 

Most of the other City Early Voting locations are seeing decreases but things are getting better.

Rafael Palmeiro of course played 2,831 games without ever playing in a World Serious.

Tony La Russa is hanging up his skipper hat.  I’m going to miss him.  He had a great run with the White Sox, the A’s, and San Luis.  I wonder if he’ll wear his shades when he goes into the Hall of Fame.

The ‘Stros are saying that since shortstop Clint Barmes is now a free agent he probably won’t be in the line-up next season and that’s all I have from The Yard.


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I guess it is not too early to start talking about the Harris County vote in 2012.  UH’s Dr. Murray has a piece out talking about what might be in 2012. 
Check it out.  Here are a few snippets:

What does this mean for 2012?  If the national political climate is as bad for Democrats two years from now as it was in November 2008, they will do better on average in Harris County, but most party candidates would still trail, albeit by 3 or 4 percentage points, not 10 or 12.

There is also this.

With President Obama on the ticket, we can expect a very significant jump in African American voting in Harris County.  The bigger unknown is what happens in the Hispanic community, which is twice as large in population as the African American population, but cast only one-half as many votes in 2008 and 2010.  More on that later.

Of course, the folks that are paying the most attention to 2012 right now are the folks that won countywide in 2008.  Before they buy into the local Dem Party plan for 2012, I hope they ask the right questions like:  How is the Dem Party going to engage the Latino voter?   Of course if the same folks are in charge, I don’t see much happening with the Latino vote. 

In MLB, all eyes are on free agent pitcher Cliff Lee and where he will ending up playing next season.  Cliff Lee was a fourth round pick in the 2000 MLB Draft.  Who was the first overall pick in 2000?

You can go to the Chron or the Houston Press to get the latest on the court battle over the red light cameras here in H-Town.  It looks like the makers of the red light cameras aren’t giving up.  Remember, these guys are from Arizona.  They don’t give a rat’s arse about the vote on November 2.  They don’t care if the voters get upset at the H-Town Mayor and City Council if the cameras stay up.  They put in most of the money to save the cameras during recent Prop 3 campaign.  So this is clearly about money for them.  Stay tuned!

All Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez of course and now with the Red Sox was the first player taken in the 2000 MLB Amateur Player Draft.

We signed another pitcher to vie for the fifth spot in the starting rotation.  Oops, I forgot to mention that you can also check out Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, and the Red Sox at The Yard on Wednesday/Thursday, March 30-31, 2011 for two exhibition games right before the ‘Stros head to Philly to start the regular season. 


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