Posts Tagged ‘Texas Ethics Commission’

The campaign reports are due today up at the Texas Ethics Commission, the City Secretary, and the HISD and HCC Board Services offices. Go check them out and spin them any way you can. I wonder how difficult it will be to access the H-Town City reports since they don’t really have all their systems going. Stay tuned!

Karla Cisneros is now on Off the Kuff today. Check this:

We continue with candidates in District H, where incumbent Council Member Ed Gonzalez is term limited. Today’s interview is with another Heights neighbor of mine, Karla Cisneros. Cisneros is a longtime educator and education activist, having served six years on the HISD Board of Trustees, including a stint as Board President. She was a teacher at Travis Elementary School and helped develop its SPARK Park while there, subsequently serving as the Assistant Director of the SPARK Park School Program. She has since returned to teaching and is now at Harvard Elementary School.

Check Karla out here: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=68327.

Yesterday MLB announced the Four Franchise Players for each team. Name the only team whose four players are no longer with us?

There were sparks last night at the mayoral candidate forum as punches were thrown and some landed.

One take I found interesting last night was support for lifting the revenue cap. Two candidates kind of supported and five opposed. Will this have any bearing with voters if the item is placed on the ballot?

Here is how Rebecca Elliott of the Chron described last night’s chingasos:

Let the sparring begin.

Houston’s mayoral candidates duked it out at Tuesday night’s unusually lively mayoral forum, in which candidates had the opportunity to both debate a series of broad-ranging topics and quiz each other.

The event’s different format highlighted the race’s emerging political fault lines, most of which revolve around the city’s looming budget deficit. Issues of the hour included if and when to lift the city’s revenue cap, whether to close the fiscal gap by issuing new debt, and what to do about the controversial streets and drainage initiative known as ReBuild Houston.

At night’s end, City Councilman Stephen Costello was the self-declared “piñata,” having fielded a host of questions about ReBuild Houston, which was his brainchild, and received four of the seven questions that candidates posed to each other.

Costello and former Kemah Mayor Bill King, both of whom bill themselves as moderate fiscal conservatives, are thought to be in a battle for Houston’s right-leaning voters — a well-represented demographic at the forum, which was hosted by the United Republicans of Harris County.

The first question of the forum addressed whether to amend the city’s revenue cap in light of Houston’s looming $126 million deficit. Of the seven candidates in attendance, only former City Councilman Chris Bell and state Rep. Sylvester Turner proposed changes, with Bell calling for the cap to be repealed and Turner suggesting the city make exceptions for either public safety or to pay down city debt.

The next question, on ReBuild, set up each of the candidates to criticize the execution of ReBuild Houston, if not pan it entirely. That left Costello alone singing the program’s praises.

Other questions posed by the moderator, KHOU’s Doug Miller, touched on the Houston Police Department’s best chiefs in recent history and use of devices called Stingrays to collect cell phone data, as well as the city’s pensions and permitting processes.

Miller also offered candidates an opportunity to list the top three items on their to-do lists, should they replace term-limited Mayor Annise Parker.

However, sparks didn’t really begin to fly until the second half of the event, when each candidate had the chance to ask one other candidate a question. 2013 mayoral runner-up Ben Hall and businessman Marty McVey asked Costello about ReBuild, while King pressed him on fiscal discipline and former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia lobbed him a softball on improving the city’s permitting process.

Meanwhile, Costello went head-to-head with King on how King would fund the pensions of legacy members through his proposed defined-contribution model.

Turner, too, questioned King’s proposal to fund infrastructure projects through bond elections, saying that approach would “bankrupt the city.”

Garcia was the only other hopeful to receive a candidate question.

Bell inquired about when Garcia initially found out that a mentally ill inmate was being held in squalid conditions in the Harris County Jail, under his watch.

Garcia did not directly answer whether his former chief deputy had indeed told him about the case a year before it became public last fall, saying instead, “when I found out about this issue, I took action.”

All I am going to say is I get tired of Pete Rose’s act.

The Four Franchise Players of the Yankees are Joe Dimaggio, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, and Babe Ruth and of course they are no longer with us.

I am not going to argue with the four greatest living players – Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Sandy Koufax, and Willie Mays but I wish Yogi Berra had gotten a mention.

I am not going to argue with the Four Franchise Players of the ‘Stros – Baggy, B-G-O, the Big Puma, and Nolan Ryan but you have to give an honorable mention to Joe Niekro, J.R. Richard, Mike Scott, Roy O. and Jose Cruuuuuuz!

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I guess the Mayor has the votes on City Council to move forward. I am talking about the votes needed to put on the November ballot a measure to alter the city’s revenue cap. Here is from the front page of today’s Chron:

A (City Council) charter review committee in February took a unanimous, nonbinding vote not to send any cap modifications to voters, with most council members saying the city still needed to prove it was spending taxpayer money wisely.


“I’m going to make them vote up or down,” (Mayor Annise) Parker said of the revenue cap. “If they want to give a pay raise to firefighters without having to cut huge numbers of programs across the city they’re going to have to figure out that, you know, that’s one way to bring some relief in.”


Repealing or tweaking the revenue cap, however, is a difficult pitch to make to voters, who approved the limit in 2004. Parker would likely face a strong conservative campaign casting the city’s financial troubles as a spending problem rather than a revenue issue. Even city officials acknowledge that the revenue cap is no cure-all and would have to be coupled with reining in some expenses.

If this measure does make it to the ballot, who is going to run the campaign. The usual suspects are tied up with the local races. For now it looks like the Mayor will be the face of this campaign. They are going to need a lot more faces to make the case and not just on the spending side but on the cutting side.

Sooner or later the other candidates are going to have to take a position and address this issue.

Here is the entire Chron article:

Tonight is the MLB Dinger Derby. Who was the last ‘Stro to participate in the Derby?

No that wasn’t Bill King on Channel 2 Friday morning – close, though. Check this:

The City informed campaigns this past Thursday evening that the online software used to file the campaign reports would likely not be available by this Wednesday’s deadline. It has to do with changes made by the Texas Ethics Commission. Campaigns were directed to go to the Texas Ethics Commission website to generate their reports. From what I can gather in-kind contributions will have their own page and not be included with the cash donors. That is probably a good thing. See below what is on the City’s website:

In April 2015, the Texas Ethics Commission released a new Electronic Filing Application. The changes made have to do with the separation of the types of contributions and political expenditures. Though these changes are minor, they require substantial modification to the databases that facilitate the electronic filings that campaigns will be making.

The Mayor’s Office, City Secretary, Legal Department, and the Houston Information Technology Services Department are working diligently to modify the database in a way that will allow electronic filings that comply with the amended TEC requirements. We do not currently have that database available, and will be providing daily updates to enumerate the status of the database reconstruction. In the meantime, if you intend to file before the deadline of July 15th at 5 p.m., the only current option available will be to file by paper in the City Secretary’s office. To produce a report that will satisfy the requirements enumerated by the TEC, you can go here to file as a local candidate and print the PDF, which you can then submit to the City Secretary’s Office in person, or via email at citysecretary@houstontx.gov. The instructions on how to file are enumerated by the photo set below. The Texas Ethics Commission has also issued detailed instructions and troubleshooting information available here.

Until further notice, the City of Houston will not be enforcing Chapter 18 Sections 18-103 and 18-104.

If you have any questions, you may email Steven David in the Mayor’s Office at steven.david@houstontx.gov, or Danielle Folsom in the Legal Department at danielle.folsom@houstontx.gov.

Otherwise, we will update this site once daily to show the current status of the database and its ability to receive electronic filings.

Some GOPer are not happy with Trump because he’s hogging all the press these days. Hey, the GOP created this border security issue and Trump is just kicking it up a few notches so live with it. You did it to yourselves.

The Big Puma of course in 2008 was the last ‘Stro to participate in the Dinger Derby.

I know, I know. Losing six in a row stinks and having the tenth best record in MLB is so so but we are just a half game out at the All Star break. We have to do something about first base and third base. Both of our starters there are hitting under the Mendoza Line. They are not cutting it. We will see how they come out of the gate this Friday.

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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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