Category Archives: Elections

Clinton Changes Mind, Obama Deportations Were Harsh

Hillary-Send-Them-Back-ClintonAfter defending Obama’s deportation policies for so long, Hillary Clinton has conveniently admitted that they were actually harsh. Clinton stated the reason for Obama’s hardheadedness:

“The deportation laws were interpreted and enforced, you know, very aggressively during the last six and a half years, which I think his administration did in part to try to get Republicans to support comprehensive immigration reform,” she said. “That strategy is no longer workable. So therefore I think we have to go back to being a much less harsh and aggressive enforcer.”

Some of us have argued from Day 1 that it was never workable and that there was a better chance of getting Latinos engaged on the issue if we went for broke on the issue–fighting for the best reform possible. Instead, we have theatrical gridlock, a pissed off Latino electorate, and, unfortunately, the same politicians vying for the Latino vote.

Sure, the Republinuts will pounce on this as a flip-flop (I call it primary politics), but that means they’d have to defend Obama’s 2,000,000 deportations, right? No doubt, Republicans are the worse, but it’s about time Democrats were better than usual, don’t you think?

It seems too many people on both sides of the aisle want to have it both and all ways. Some Dems want the Latino vote, while Republicans want a cheap Latino workforce. Either way, Latinos get kicked around and the issue gets kicked into the future, as always.

And just a reminder, there wasn’t much mention of Central American children escaping violence and poverty whom Clinton wants to deport without due process.

Why Doesn’t Bernie Have His Own Hispanic Millionaire Bundler?

bernieRecently, Joaquin Castro called out Bernie Sanders’ Hispanic outreach. OK, I guess that’s fair. Then again, some of us believe that Bernie Sanders’ campaign speaks to everyone and that you don’t need to be holding a Chipotle burrito to say you support us.

Castro also called out Bernie Sanders for not going down to South Texas. Well, it’s not Bernie’s fault that he doesn’t have the support of a South Texas Hispanic millionaire bundler.

McAllen developer Alonzo Cantu once said:  “To me, there’s two things that will keep us from being ignored,” he said. “Money and votes. I think we’ve shown we can raise money. That will get us attention, or at least get us a seat at the table, get us in the room.”

On August 7, Cantu held a $2700 a plate fundraiser for Hillary at his mansion. No public events–or actual Hispanic outreach–were held.

And, here, Bernie wants to serve everyone–even those of us with nothing to give–by filling large venues without requiring $2700.

When told that Sanders had attracted huge crowds in Dallas and Houston:

Castro reportedly clarified that he was referring to Texas’ predominantly Latino communities.

Apparently, Dallas and Houston just aren’t Latino enough? I attended the Houston event, and I’d bet the money in my pockets versus the money in Cantu’s pockets that there were way, way more Hispanics at the Houston event than at Cantu’s fundraiser for Hillary.

Or, I can get a little more technical:  Sanders has NOT called for the wholesale deportation of Central American children, like Hillary has and has defended. If either of the Castros wants to defend this, then I’m listening, because Hillary keeps botching up that issue alone.

Ad: Vote Yes to Protect HERO

City of Houston Races Are Set!

city-of-houston5PM Monday came around and the final filings were released by the City of Houston for the 2015 races. Looks like there will be contests in most races, some will be decided on November 3, others in the December run-offs.

Council Races on my radar (click here for full lists):

District F (home):  Kendall Baker, Steve Le, and incumbent Richard Nguyen. From the looks of it, Baker and Le are pro-discrimination, while Nguyen is a HERO supporter and has served my new district well.

District H:  Jason Cisneroz, Roland Chavez, Karla Cisneros, and Abel Davila. Jason is a friend of mine, I’ve made no secret of that.

District I:  Robert Gallegos (incumbent) and Herlinda Garcia. If this is the same Garcia who ran for HCC on the fake-Black Dave Wilson anti-Gay ticket, then, we know where she stands. Gallegos, on the other hand, hit the ground running once elected and has done a great job for the district that I almost landed at when moving.

District J:  Mike Laster, Manuel Barrera, and James Bigham. Before I moved to F, I supported Laster for his second term. He’s represented the district well and is a HERO supporter.

At-Large 5:  There are five candidates, but the only one worth watching is Philippe Nassif.

At-Large 1:  With eight candidates, only two have interested me:  Lane Lewis and Tom McCasland. Of course, I’ve known Lewis for a while and have supported him in the past.

At-Large 2:  Incumbent David Robinson remains the only candidate of the five who filed that is interesting and serving constituents well.

At-Large 4:  Seven filed for this seat; however, the two that I have met and remain the most interesting and qualified are Amanda Edwards and Laurie Robinson.

At-Large 3:   Doug Peterson is the only candidate I’ve really met from my Democratic activism. Some might want anyone but Kubosh, but Peterson is getting the Dem nods.

City Controller:  This one has six candidates, but the only one I’ve given my attention is Chris Brown.

What is unfortunate is that while many of my favorite candidates have an actual interest in serving and addressing multiple issues, their opponents seem to be more interested in being bigots, or making this a bathroom election. Houstonians need to learn about the candidates, about the real issues, and vote accordingly.

Well, those are my thoughts for now. I’ll work on something for the Mayoral race soon.

Chron did a little breakdown of the races.

Catching Up on a Lunes

First Day of School

juiceboxGood luck to all involved in educating kids. If you’re a college student, take responsibility for your academics, take advantage of all kinds of student services (especially tutoring!), and don’t expect any hand-holding. Teachers, please enjoy your after-school juice box (see pic). All, be safe on the streets.

Local Campaigns

Now that it seems the club endorsements are about done, I’m looking forward to the actual campaigns, including the pro-HERO campaign. If you want to catch up on some of the local races, check out Kuff’s interviews with District F’s Richard NguyenDistrict H’s Jason Cisneroz, At Large 3’s Doug Peterson and  Texas Leftist’s questionnaire of At Large 5’s Philippe Nassif.

Protesting Children

Just when Hillary double-downed on Central American kids last week, we’ve got some anti-kid activity at a local HISD Arabic magnet school on the first day of school. See what I did there?

Monday Music ~ Ram Herrera – Los Años (Mucho Mas Que Amor-2015)

Emerging Latino Leaders Video Series: Adrian Garcia

Emerging Latino Leaders Fellowship program has started a video interview series featuring Houston mayoral candidates with the purpose of informing young voters about the local 2015 elections. They kick-off the series with Adrian Garcia.

Emerging Latino Leaders Fellowship, Mi Familia Vota, El Gato Media Network, and Kalipsous Production joined forces to organize and produce interviews with Houston’s mayoral candidates with the goal of attracting the youth to vote this November.

Emerging Latino Leaders is a collaboration between Rice University Center for Civic Leadership and Mi Familia Vota, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to increasing Latino civic engagement. ELL provides future leaders with the confidence, support, and skills needed to take an active role in their communities.

ELL Fellowship, along with other groups, will be hosting a Mayoral Candidate Forum on September 12, 2015 at Rice University at 10:30AM. Stay tuned!

And now, here’s Adrian Garcia:

Poll: 25% of Latinos Are Clueless, Self-Hating Trump Supporters?


Credit: Lalo Alcaraz/GoComics

While the media is selling the latest poll of Latino thoughts on Donald Trump as “75% having a negative view.” I’m pretty concerned about a quarter of those polled being accepting of Trump’s message; not surprised, but concerned, as they could easily accept the usual GOP message on Latinos and immigrants. Given recent elections, they probably have accepted the GOP message.

More specifically, the poll found the following:

Asked to assess that comment (about immigrants being rapists and drug dealers), 55 percent of Latinos said that the remarks were “insulting and racist and have no place in a campaign for president.”

Another 29 percent said that “Trump should have been more careful with the language he used, but he is raising an important issue.” Fourteen percent said that “Trump had the guts to say exactly what was on his mind about an important problem we need to deal with.”

A huge majority also found that Trump is hurting the GOP’s image. I would ask, “More than usual?” Let’s face it, the GOP has a “nice” way of insulting Latinos and immigrants, which probably coincides with the 29% who felt Trump should have said it differently. Be nice, but we still won’t vote for you, might be the message.

Frankly, what the poll found is not surprising. That Democrats, throughout this Trump media frenzy, have simply pointed and blamed on the issue is disappointing. This is an opportunity to lead on immigration reform, deportation reform, and immigrant warehousing (detention)–and that goes for Bernie, too–along with the rest of the issues in which Latinos poll strongly progressive. Whether Dems will wake up to this is still yet to be seen, so, here’s another opportunity.

DosCentavos Feels the Bern


I joined over 5000 of my closest friends and attended the Bernie Sanders rally at UH Hofheinz on Sunday evening and I must say I was impressed in a lot of ways.

Sure, I was expecting a great, truly progressive speech from Senator Sanders–even after the weirdness of #NN15–but what I didn’t expect was such an amazing atmosphere. The diversity in the room was notable, if only because I had recently been reading some snark on Facebook by Hillarite friends of mine talking about how “white” Sanders’ events had been. The Houston event, though, blew those notions away. The bottom line:  A diverse cross-section of America seems to be listening to Bernie Sanders because he’s saying the right things on most issues, rather than just speaking in one-liners (evident in a one-hour speech).

Now, much like Hillary Clinton, Sanders has not provided expanded answers on immigration reform (usual standard stuff), but after Saturday, Sundays venture into racial justice issues hit all the right notes. While Clinton has offered her standard stuff on immigration reform, she also has a record of calling for immediate deportation of children and more deportation judges, so, the negative stuff being tossed about by her fans against Sanders on the issue really hasn’t affected what I think of Sanders. I’m hoping Sanders expands on the issue, as well as Latin American affairs in the future.

PDiddie expands on what Bernie said, so, no sense in rehashing the speech. I will provide a youtube of film I took when Sanders began his talk on racial justice and immigration, in case he is still receiving criticism. The good thing about the #NN15 stuff is that, hopefully, Dem candidates will begin to speak on the issue. Ultimately, this isn’t about race or identity politics, it’s about expanding the space that the issues have received in Democratic Party politics (more on that in the future) and actually doing something about these issues. If Dem activists cannot handle it, then we can’t win in 2016.

As far as the event, it was good to see fans of Hillary and other Dem activists in the crowd. I think we were all looking for a dose of energy because these are our issues Bernie was hitting on. Primaries are a good thing, nationally and locally, so, let’s enjoy the discussion.

Adrian Garcia Raises $1.5M in 56 Days

adrianpicThe Adrian Garcia for Mayor campaign reports raising $1.5 million in the 56 days it had to raise funds before the first reporting deadline. Giving credit to grassroots energy and a base of loyal supporters, Garcia states that voters are attracted to his fiscally responsible management practices during his terms as Sheriff.

Garcia:  “Our message that we reformed the Sheriff’s Office, saved the taxpayers millions of dollars, and kept people and families safe is resonating with voters across Houston.  We will bring that same fiscally responsible approach and smart management practices to tackle the tough issues at City Hall.  The broad base of support we have already built puts us well on the way to victory in November.”

Local pundits had stated that for Garcia to look viable he would need to report raising at least $500k during this period, shortened because he was still on the job as Sheriff. Pundits also stated he would need to raise $2 million or more to run a viable campaign thru the first round. What this blogger noticed upon Garcia’s launch was a burst of energy and excitement from supporters that I hadn’t seen in a local campaign, especially from people who aren’t always involved in the political process. From Garcia, I expect a pretty different campaign than what we have seen from others in the recent past.

That said, for perspective, Garcia’s fundraising abilities seem to be pretty awesome if one considers the first Annise Parker campaign in 2009 raised about $800,000 in a period of five months. Garcia’s campaign calls it unprecedented in Harris County. I’m not surprised that he could do it given the energy that is backing him up, but I think I did let out a “¡Hijole!” when I read the press release. Or something like that.

Garcia’s campaign is quick to point out that he basically started from zero in the fundraising department and that he did not transfer any money from his Sheriff’s campaign account. As the Garcia campaign stated:

“We have always believed that Texas Ethics Commission rules and the City of Houston’s campaign finance laws were clear that it is inappropriate to raise money into an account for a different office with the intent to transfer those funds into a city campaign account.  We saw this recently in San Antonio when Leticia Van De Putte ultimately decided not to transfer funds from her lieutenant governor’s campaign account into her mayoral campaign account.”

As some will recall, Garcia opponent, Sylvester Turner went on a fundraising frenzy during his re-election campaign for State Representative and it is known that he will be transferring as much of the million dollars in his legislative account into his mayoral campaign account as possible. It is what it is, I guess.

Obviously, I’m looking forward to the actual report, but I am told that in-kind contributions to Garcia were minimal considering that we’re talking seven figures in total contributions. So, we await the press releases and finance reports from everyone else in the race. I can’t say I’m a fan of money races in politics, but, as they say, “money isn’t everything in a campaign, but it helps.”

The Myth That Is a Kinder, Gentler Rick Perry

ef6ca-shrp2Much is being made by the media  about Rick Perry’s supposed move to be the kinder, gentler Republican in the race for the GOP  nomination for President. Perry’s announcement that he was “offended” by Donald Trump’s anti-Mexican remarks need to be met with a certain reality:  Perry’s policies prove he is worse than Trump. Perry’s record speaks for itself:

  • The DPS Border Surge in response to children escaping violence and poverty from Central America. (Failures all around)
  • Cutting $4 billion from K-12 and $1 billion from higher education.
  • Anti-Woman policies to close women’s health facilities.
  • Attempts to keep Texans uninsured–would not support Medicaid expansion.
  • And a whole lot more. We know what Rick Perry is all about–destroying Texas.

That’s the problem with the whole Donald Trump BS that has overtaken political news. While Trump will open his big mouth, there are candidates for the GOP nomination with a right-wing record who will now try to play nice offering worthless platitudes. What’s next? Public eating of Mexican food?

Anyway, at this point, it would seem that Rick Perry has as much of a chance for the nomination as Donald Trump (despite Trump’s rise in the polls). What we are seeing because of Trump are the true colors of some in the GOP, and the lengths to which some will go to gain political points; even by attempting to play nice despite the policies they promote. Ultimately, it’s policies that matter and we need to pay attention to the policies (and pronouncements) of every candidate.