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

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

Here is what I tweeted:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Here is from the Rice University website:

 Mark P. Jones, Ph.D., is the fellow in political science at the Baker Institute and the Joseph D. Jamail Chair in Latin American Studies at Rice University. He also currently serves as the chair of Rice’s Department of Political Science. His research focuses on the effect of electoral laws and other political institutions on governance, representation and voting.

 Dr. Jones had an Op-Ed in yesterday’s Chron on the Voter ID law and here is how it ended:

Upon reflection, SB 14 appears to have less to do with safeguarding elections and more to do with appeasing portions of the Republican party base and potentially, if the law is eventually enforced, reducing the vote share of Democratic Party candidates in many races across Texas by perhaps a few percentage points.

 Here is the entire Op-Ed.

  A good read, don’t you think?

 Thanks to my pal Robert Miller, Commentary had the honor of sitting with Dr. Jones on a panel on the 2012 elections a few months ago.  I think Dr. Jones is the one that came up with the terms “movement” and “establishment” conservatives. 

 Holy futility!  Sadly, the ‘Stros are on pace for another 100 plus loss season!  Name the last team to suffer back-to-back 100 plus loss seasons?

 Check out the Chron story by Chris Moran and Ericka Mellon this past weekend on bonds, bonds, everywhere here.

 Peggy Fikac has one of those “what if” columns today about the Lite Guv considering an option of resigning if he wins in 15 days.  That would let Lone Star State voters pick the next Lite Guv in November.  Check out Fikac’s column here.

 The Lite Guv’ s handlers say they haven’t even given that idea much thought.  They better not be if you know what I mean!

 Early Voting in person starts next week and it is kind of quiet in my ‘hood these days.

 The Nationals of course had back-to-back 100 plus loss seasons in 2008 (103) AND 2009 (102).

 There is already buzz about the ‘Stros Skipper being replaced after the season.  He’ll probably be a goner but he really wasn’t given the players to do a good job.  Two years ago we traded Roy O. and The Big Puma.  Last year we said adios to Michael Bourn, Jeff Keppinger, and Hunter Pence. Numero 45 was dealt away a couple of weeks ago.  Jason Castro and Jed Lowrie are now on the DL. 

 What do I know?  I know we’re a paltry 9-35 on the road with the next four in San Diego!

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Here is from Patricia Kilday Hart’s column today:

“This ain’t your father’s Republican Party,” said (Vice President Joe) Biden, to appreciative laughter.

Here is her column on the VP’s NAACP appearance yesterday.

 My pal Robert Miller ended his take on June 5 with this:

 I am betting that Dewhurst wins the runoff. 

 Yesterday Robert ended with this:

 Although this remains a close and competitive race, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst clearly has his work cut out for him.

 Here is Burkablog’s latest:

Buy or sell? I’m buying. The Dewhurst camp ran a lackluster campaign, the fatal decision of which was delivering him into the hands of Rick Perry’s consultants. Nor was it smart to attack Tom Leppert just before the primary. Dewhurst should have won this campaign easily. At a time when no one knew who Ted Cruz was, Dewhurst went on the attack and raised Cruz’s name identification.  Now Perry’s neck is on the line as well. If Cruz wins the race, every story will say that Perry endorsed Dewhurst.

* * * *

I’m sure that many readers will recall that I have written repeatedly that Dewhurst would win this race. Maybe he will yet, but that’s not where the smart money is right now.

 Commentary is certainly not an expert on Lone Star State GOP politics but I’ll certainly give a take.  Let’s see now, the Lite Guv has been endorsed by Guv. Dude, all but one of his GOP State Senators is supporting him, he’s the candidate of the “establishment” conservatives, a host of organizations and PACs are backing him, and yet he very well could get his arse handed to him on July 31 – 18 days away.

 Oh, and let’s not forget that Hutch decided not to seek reelection because she knew she couldn’t get her own party’s nomination.

 A Cruz upset victory would mean that the “establishment” conservatives are no longer in charge of the Lone Star State GOP.  The Tea Baggers would be in control – period!  This could be a godsend for Lone Star State Dem candidates up and down the ballot. 

 Bud Kennedy from the Star Telegram has a column today on the impact of a Cruz win.  Here is a bit:

 If East Texas lawyer Paul Sadler can win his party’s July 31 runoff, he stands ready to pick up support from the 20 percent of Republicans who consider themselves too moderate for Tea.

 “There is such a culture of fear in that party, I don’t think any Republican could ever publicly support a Democrat,” Sadler said on his way to raise money in Dallas.

 But privately? “More than one” of Sadler’s former fellow Texas House lawmakers has promised to cross party lines and support him, he said.

 “I don’t want this to come out as ‘Sadler has a chance if Cruz wins’ because I think I have a good chance anyway,” he said.

 No you don’t Representative Sadler.  You only have a shot if Cruz is their nominee and the folks running the Lone Star State Dem Party get off their arses and mount a very strategic effort.  Here is Kennedy’s entire column. 

 Of course none of this matters if Dems can’t even get Sadler elected in 18 days.  I’m going to make sure all my friends and family are voting for Paul Sadler.

 I’m also going to hope that the folks running the Lone Star State Dem Party are working on a contingency plan just in case.  Stay tuned!

 Three Hall of Fame great pitchers share the record for MLB All Star Game starts with five each.  Name the three pitching greats?  Sadly, none are still around.

 Pasadena CM Ornaldo Ybarra wasn’t able to get another Latino appointed to the Pasadena City Council.  Read about it here.

 Nice try, CM Ybarra.

 Commentary really doesn’t have a lot of respect for the NCAA.  It is all about $$$$$ for them.  So I really don’t expect them to hand the death penalty to Penn State over the Freeh Report.   It would be too much of an inconvenience for Big Ten Schedulers.

 Hall of Fame greats Don Drysdale, Lefty Gomez, and Robin Roberts of course each started five MLB All Star games. 

 Check out a Chron interview with the new ‘Stros owner here.

   I hope they don’t trade Wandy, Brett Myers, J.D. Martinez, Altuve, Justin Maxwell, Lucas Harrell, Bud Norris, Jordan Lyles, Scott Moore, Jed Lowrie, or Chris Johnson.   We have to build on something as the ten game roadie begins this evening at AT&T Park.

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Yesterday The Mayor unveiled the proposed $410 mil bond package that she wants city voters to support this November.  Check out the Chron piece here.

City Council will vote in a few weeks to formally put the measure on the ballot.

 Immediately after The Mayor made her presentation my good pal Sue Davis sent out a press release announcing the formation of Vote for Houston’s Future Committee, the PAC that will be the vehicle for the bond campaign and My Brown Eyed Girl also known as Pam-In-Charge will serve as one of the Co-Chairs.  That’s a good move since Pam commands a whole lot of respect in H-Town.  Here is from the press release:

“In these tough economic times, Houston is leading the way – creating more jobs, borrowing less, and improving the quality of life for all Houstonians for years to come,” said Campaign Co-Chair Pam Gardner, former President of Business Operations for the Houston Astros. “We urge Houstonians to vote for the City Bonds in November.”

Name the pitcher that has played in the most MLB All Star Games?

On an unrelated note, The Mayor said yesterday that she doesn’t think HISD should go out for a tax increase this November. The Mayor made these remarks at her press availability in response to a question on the proposed HISD $1.8 bil bond package.

Welcome back Lisa Falkenberg.  The Chron columnist has been on maternity leave and now she’s back with a column on Mitt Romney’s appearance at the NAACP Convention.  Check it out here.

My pal CM Mike Sullivan submitted his resignation letter effective January 1, 2013 win, lose or draw.  Here is from Chron.com:

Sullivan said he submitted his resignation early so that the city does not have to call a special election to replace him but can put the District E race on November’s presidential election ballot. His early notice gives Council time to put the election on the ballot and for qualified candidates to step forward. ”There’d be no appointments, no back-room deals,” Sullivan said.

Of course, if there is a runoff in the race to replace him, there will be a stand-alone election that will end up costing city taxpayers but what the heck!

Here is the bit on Sullivan’s resignation.

The Rocket of course holds the record for pitching in 10 MLB All Star Games.

The Chron sports section has a piece today on Wandy being on the trading block.   Here is what the team GM has to say:

“Our strategy is to put this team in a position to compete year in and year out for a title, so any moves we make will have that in mind.”

Well at least the free grub was pretty good the other evening at the All Star Game watch party at The Yard.  Caesar’s Salad, BBQ Sliders, hot dogs, ice cream, and a couple of free drinks.

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It looks like City Controller Ron Green is throwing a little temper tantrum because The Mayor won’t show him the bond numbers.  Here is from Chron.com:

 Green, the city’s second-highest elected official, said he has repeatedly asked for and been denied information on the measures.

“If it’s that secretive, it can’t possibly be good for the city,” Green said. ”Until such time as I get more information, I’m not supporting any bond referendum that the city puts forward.”

Oh, brother!  Settle down and wait to see the numbers like everybody else this morning then you can pronounce them good or evil.  Don’t worry – the world won’t come to an end.  And also from Chron.com:

 Green said he has heard that the package of bond measures will total approximately $400 million.

“I still believe we need to go out for more bond authorization. I think $400 million is not adequate to meet the needs of the city,” Green said.  “If you’re going to ask somebody to vote for bond referendums, you need to be realistic about what it’s going to take to meet a major CIP (capital improvement project) initiative.”

The city should take advantage of low interest rates and ask for $600 million to $800 million, even if that requires a tax increase, Green said.

In 2006, then-Mayor Bill White also did not consult with then-Controller Parker before rolling out a series of bond measures, according to Parker’s office.

If you ask me and thanks for asking, the City Controller is looking and sounding a little silly.  BTW:  The Mayor will unveil the bond program this morning at City Council.

 Here is the rest of the story.

 Last night the NL All Stars had 10 base hits and the AL All Stars had 6 base hits.  Name the league division that had the most base hits?

 One of the best lines of the 2012 Campaign comes from Vice-President Joe Biden yesterday before the National Council of La Raza:

 “Mitt Romney wants you to show your papers, but he won’t show us his,” Biden said. “So many questions…”

Keep hammering! 

 FLASH!!!!!  Chris Moran of the Chron just put this out:

 Mayor Annise Parker is unveiling a $410 million package of proposed bond measures for the November ballot that will not require a tax increase.

She proposes five bond measures. The purposes and amounts:

1. Public safety: $144 million

2. Health, sanitation and general government: $63 million

3. Affordable housing: $15 million

4. Library: $28 million

5. Parks: $160 million

“I realize many Houstonians are still recovering from the economic downturn,” Parker said in a press release. “That is why it was important to me to present a plan that does not require a tax increase. It is also the smallest bond proposal in more than 30 years. It is a fiscally responsible approach that will create jobs and improve public safety, infrastructure and quality of life.”

Let the games begin!

 A couple of days ago I got an Alan Rosen for Precinct 1 Constable mail piece and his campaign went door-to-door in my ‘hood last week.

 In my book, if you shell out a couple of hundred bucks to attend the dinger derby, you are entitled to boo players.  The other night KC fans booed Yankee Robinson Cano because he’s a Yankee and he didn’t let KC All Star Billy Butler participate in the dinger derby.  Cano was the AL derby dinger captain that picked his fellow dinger derby participants.  When Cano came up to bat during the dinger derby he was booed mercilessly and he ended up not getting a single dinger.   A few prominent baseball columnists called out the KC fans for booing Cano.  SHUT UP!!  KC fans have every right to boo.  I’m glad they did because it made the dinger derby slightly less boring.

 Well it looks the NL Pennant Champ will have World Serious home field advantage in October.   I know.  Some so called “purists” don’t like that the league that wins the All Star Game gets home field Serious advantage.  It makes the game a lot more interesting. 

 What is a baseball “purist” anyway?  They don’t like the DH?  They want to go back to day games?  They don’t like the Wild Card?  They don’t like the Kiss Kam?  Oh, well.

 The NL Central of course led all other divisions last night with five base hits (Braun 2, Furcal, Holliday, and McCutchcen.

 My favorite moment of last night was watching Chipper Jones get a base hit in his final All Star at-bat. 

 A few more days off then the roadie begins in San Fran on Friday.

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Yesterday the H-Town City Council Committee on Ethics, Elections and Council Governance killed the proposal to extend term limits.  The proposal won’t be on the ballot this November.  This is definitely a good thing. I’ve said it before, if folks want to change or do away with term limits, go out and get the signatures and build a grass roots campaign.

Here is from the Chron:

Councilman Andrew Burks, whose budget amendment last month sent the issue to the council’s ethics and governance committee, first tried to build a case for longer terms on its merits. He argued that it would save money in avoided election costs, attract better candidates, encourage more long-term thinking, shift officials’ focus from fundraising to public policy and reduce the use of council positions as stepping stones to other offices.

Virtually every member of the committee told Burks the proposal was the wrong idea at the wrong time and voted 9-1 to put it to rest. Even Burks, who was elected in December on his 13th try for public office, voted with the majority.

 

And:

District I Councilman James Rodriguez said any move to change term limits should come from the citizenry.

“I haven’t seen a groundswell of support for changing term limits, especially in my district, and I think they’d like us to get back to the business of running and managing this city,” he said.

Rice University political science professor Robert Stein warned the committee that putting a term limit-change on a November ballot that already may be crowded with bond issues and a sales tax referendum likely would doom it to failure.

 

Picking up on Stein’s analysis, Councilman Stephen Costello said, “We don’t need to have this particular issue on the ballot. We don’t need to have this issue competing against our future bond issue or a bond issue of the school district or a bond issue of the community college system in addition to a referendum that Metro’s going to have at the same time.” Costello then introduced the motion to kill the proposal.

As the opposition to his plan piled up, Burks snapped back with rambling complaints about the influence of lobbyists, Costello’s involvement in a ballot measure campaign that created a massive public works program that imposed a monthly fee on homeowners, and political cowardice among his colleagues.

 

CM Rodriguez (Commentary’s client) is on point on this.  CM Costello is also correct.  I’ve kind of been saying that myself the past couple of weeks.

I don’t know which lobbyist CM Burks is talking about. Commentary has had the same position on this issue since the days of the Term Limits Review Committee back in 2010. I went to most of the meetings and spoke at some of them.  I’ve been pretty consistent on this.  Oh, well!

Here is the Chron piece.

Three MLB All Star Games have been played in H-Town (1968, 1986, and 2004).  How many of the starting pitchers of those three games are in the Hall of Fame?

The Chron’s Ericka Mellon has a darn good piece today on the HISD bond proposal. You need to check it out because we could be voting on some of this stuff this November.  Here it is.

This past Sunday the Chron introduced their new sports columnist, Randy Harvey and for today’s column he bashed the ‘Stros – wow – he certainly dug deep to find something to write about.  I’m impressed – woo -woo!  Check out his column here.

Hall of Fame great Don Drysdale of course started for the NL All Stars in the Astrodome back in 1968.

Commentary watched last night’s 3 hour long and very boring dinger fest.  I’ll head out to The Yard this evening to check out the MLB All Star Game on El Grande and eat the team’s free grub.  I’m betting that Jose Altuve will see plenty of action since he is the only backup second baseman on the NL All Star team roster.

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Somebody called “Eye on City Hall” sent out a take yesterday on the H-Town City Council District H Special Election and the upcoming Mayoral race. The problem is “Eye” doesn’t let us know who she/he is? They are chicken – cluck, cluck, cluck. If you are going to put out an opinion, have the guts and courage to put your name out there and don’t do it anonymously. If you put your name where your mouth is, then we all get to see if you have an agenda, a conflict – you get the picture. I’m discounting everything “Eye” says until “Eye” eye-dentifies himself/herself.

Of all the takes that have been put out on District H, nobody has really offered an opinion on what to expect – interesting. One thing is for certain about tomorrow, the polls will be open from 7 to 7 and some voters will be a little perturbed when they find out polling locations have been combined. Vote for Yolanda Navarro Flores and stay tuned!

H-Town Mayoral candidate and City Controller didn’t take Bill King’s piece on city finances sitting down. Here is a part of what Annise wrote to the Chron: “Bill King’s attack on Mayor Bill White’s budget is all wet. If King had the foresight on a sunny day to buy an umbrella, would he leave it sitting in his closet when it rains? Thank goodness our current city leaders had the foresight to build up a surplus when times were good.” Take that!

Commentary is going to nominate The Dean to be the official spokesperson of the Lone Star State. Every time we need to fix the perception the rest of the U.S. of A. have about us, we can just stick The Dean in front of a TV camera and let it roll. CNN has been running stories about the law enforcement officials in the East Texas burg of Tenaha ripping off folks of color. It is some sort of red neck rip off scheme with a badge attached. The Dean was on live CNN yesterday afternoon explaining how we are going to hold some folks accountable. As usual, The Dean did a good job and didn’t make us look like a bunch of dumbarse secessionists. Way to go Dean!

ManRoid won’t appeal his 50 game suspension and apollyized to Dodger Blue fans. He also pointed out that in the past few years he had passed 15 drugs tests. I think it was more like he got away 15 times. Supposedly he tested positive for something called HCG which among other things is used to “treat delayed puberty in boys” – makes sense to me. Those two Red Sox World Serious Championships don’t look too pristine to me.

Here is what The Big Pujma said:  "It wouldn’t surprise me if he was on steroids, it’s sad to say, but that’s the way I feel about it.  I think that anybody that makes the game look clownish is under suspicion because it’s just not that easy. It’s unfortunate that here we go again with another round of steroid questions.”

We’re not a good team right now. Cecil Puede is making too many excuses. The Big Puma is hanging around the interstate highway. A few players are dinged up. The Hampton/Ortiz experiment is not producing much. Let’s see what we can muster up against the Padres this weekend.

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