Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Resignation, Special Election, Prediction

I think they may have finally gotten a district where a Dem might not be able to defeat the Repub in a special election. Of course, I'm talking about Senate District 17, where outgoing Sen. Kyle Janek will leave someone to try to keep the seat.

If you will remember from a previous post, the Repub leadership in Austin has been 0-fer in special elections to retain a legislative seat since the departure of Jack Stick. Donna Howard, Kirk England (after a switch) and Dan Bartlett are all D's who won special elections designed to keep a seat in the Republican column.

Problem is, I the population of SD17 is so grossly skewed to suburban Houston, that I think it will be difficult, though not impossible, for a D win if the election is indeed held in May. However, expect several R's to jump in, dividing up the vote, leaving an opening for a well-financed/popular D to win a runoff if the circumstances are right. I certainly hope they are.

On second thought, I'll save the prediction until after the field emerges. I can tell you one thing, if Gary Polland and Charlie Howard are in, I like our chances already. Hopefully, some also-ran who misses the CD22 runoff won't try to ride in there at the last minute.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Leaving On a Jet Plane

Just my way of saying goodbye to my right-hand woman here at Landslide Victories, who's going North for a stretch. We'll all miss you.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

WWLBJD--A Meaningful Texas Presidential Primary?

For all I know, there hasn't been a meaningful presidential primary in Texas since the party rules changes in 1972. Or maybe ever.

I know that since I've been paying attention to such things (1984 election was my first really active one, when I was 14 years old), the races are pretty much decided by the time our primary rolls around. In fact, I think that's what led to moving our primary from May to March. And then from the second week of March to the first week. And it still didn't matter. Makes me wonder why the bill to move to February 5 never passed last session; didn't our legislators want us to be relevant in this process?

Now, it appears we just may have a couple of fights on our hands, as it seems that both parties still might have a few candidates with some fight left in 'em by March 4th.

So this question, sports fans: who would LBJ support for president if the primary were held today, and why? I guess I'm assuming he'd vote in the Democratic primary, but if you disagree, tell me why.

Monday, January 7, 2008

New Sheriff in Town

I have been encouraging my former client, Council Member Adrian Garcia, to run for Sheriff (or Pct 1 Constable upon Abercia's retirement) for years. With his experience in law enforcement, I think he would be an excellent sheriff for Harris County.

Now for the number one reason we need a change: remember this November 2005 headline from the Chronicle?

Killer Bluffs his Way Out of Jail

That's right. Conditions were such at Baker Street, operated by the Sheriff's Department, that a condemned murderer schmoozed his way out of jail by getting his hands on some khakis, a blue shirt, and a fake ID badge. Then he just walked out the front door to his freedom, claiming to be an investigator.

Wow. That is just inexcusable, and Thomas should lose his job over it. Luckily, Charles Thompson was captured three days later in Shreveport, apparently talking drunk on a pay phone, before he hurt someone else.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Obama It Is

Add me to the list of Obama supporters. I was late coming around, but after seeing him yesterday, I'm joining my wife, who's from Illinois and has been with him from the beginning. I'm going to reprint an email exchange below between me and a friend of ours who now lives in NYC, Stacy Aab. She's a blogger on Huff Post, an author, and a former Clinton White House operative. She described by response as "the best email ever," though I thought hers was a lot more eloquent. My response is below, Stacy's message is below that.

I am convinced. Until yesterday morning, I was basically undecided (though kinda leaning towards Richardson with full knowledge that he was probably running for vice president at this point).

I think Obama represents a dramatic departure from business as usual, and that is very appealing to me at this point. I also haven't been so personally impressed and inspired by a candidate for president since 1992. Even with Gore (with my heart still broken) and certainly with Kerry, it seemed like it was more about "electability", whatever that is.

Then I saw his final speech in Iowa on YouTube before the caucuses, and I was hooked. Then I saw his victory speech last night, and I was convinced that he's what we need now.

To: Matt Emal
From: Stacy Aab <>
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2008 10:09:05 -0500
Subject: Before, We Walked in Faith. Now, We Celebrate Fact.

Well, maybe not all of us. But many of us! What an incredible, incredible night....just wanted to share this with you all!

* * *

Before, We Walked in Faith. Now, We Celebrate Fact.

Last night, I wish I could have been an Iowan. I watched the early caucus coverage while at the Harlem NY Sports Club, working the elliptical machine. So many of us in the gym, racing, racing, watching CNN on the individual TVs. Wolf Blitzer cuts away to packed rooms of voters, sitting, waiting, being counted, waiting to stand up (if not literally, figuratively) for their man or woman. I found myself getting choked-up. I try not to be sentimental, because I find it to be a suspect emotion, but I found myself moved by the images of men in women in big sweaters and sweatshirts—just normal folks, like the folks of small towns in Michigan where I grew up, and all across the country. There they were. They were doing it. Each man and woman walked into that high school gym, looked at their neighbors, or didn't look at their neighbors, and prepared to say out loud—to testify, to declare for their whole world to know, who exactly they supported. I was jealous. I wish I could have been there. I wish I too could have made that simple, yet most powerful statement: Obama is my man. I hope he can be yours, too. And then, to look around, and see that other people are doing it with you? Only Spartacus could have felt better than Obama does tonight, knowing that so many people rose for him, and didn't shy away, didn't say oh, we're trying to back a "winner" just like people said in 2004 with that "winner" John Kerry. Last night, Obama was rewarded for dreaming big, and for acting big. So were we.