Category Archives: Elections

The Krayolas Release “Piñata Trump” and “El Cucuy”

Just in time for the political convention season, Chicano rock-and-roll group The Krayolas have dropped two tracks for our listening pleasure.  Piñata Trump is a little self-explanatory and fun to dance–or to  break a certain piñata to. El Cucuy is the story of that scariest of characters who has been the basis of our parents threats, or maybe it’s just Trump.

Give these tunes a listen.

Run-Off Day – May 24, 2016

Today is run-off day, and as is usually the case during low-turn-out elections, polling locations will be consolidated around Harris County. So, you better check with Harris County before you go to your usual election day polling location. While you’re at it, get a copy of your sample ballot.

Of course, there is the Stace Run-Off Slate to consider:

My choices:

SBOE6:  Jasmine Jenkins

District Judge, 11th District:  Rabeea Collier

District Judge, 61st District:  Fredericka Phillips

District Judge, 215 District:  JoAnn Storey

Sheriff:  Ed Gonzalez

The NIMBY, but I would if I could vote for them Slate:

JP1:  Tanya Makany-Rivera

Constable Pct 2:  Christopher Diaz

Constable Pct 3:  Michel Pappillion

 

 

Early Voting: May 16 – May 20

donkey-fightWell, it’s that time, again. Democrats didn’t finish the job of setting the slate for the November ballot, so, it’s time for us to return to our polling locations and finish the job.

On the ballot are one statewide post, several judicial posts, an SBOE post, some JP jobs, and most importantly, ensuring Ed Gonzalez is our Democratic nominee for Harris County Sheriff.

Early voting begins today, May 16 and goes on until May 20, 7am to 7pm, and you may vote at any early voting location. Run-off election day is Tuesday, May 24. Find a early voting location here.

My choices:

SBOE6:  Jasmine Jenkins

District Judge, 11th District:  Rabeea Collier

District Judge, 61st District:  Fredericka Phillips

District Judge, 215 District:  JoAnn Storey

Sheriff:  Ed Gonzalez

The NIMBY, but I would if I could vote for them:

JP1:  Tanya Makany-Rivera

Constable Pct 2:  Christopher Diaz

Constable Pct 3:  Michel Pappillion

 

Obama To Launch Immigration Raids

MEXICO-US-MIGRATION-PROTEST

That’s right. The Obama administration is about to launch raids on undocumented Central Americans because 2.5 million deportees have not been enough.

U.S. immigration officials are planning a month-long series of raids in May and June to deport hundreds of Central American mothers and children found to have entered the country illegally, according to sources and an internal document seen by Reuters.

The operation would likely be the largest deportation sweep targeting immigrant families by the administration of President Barack Obama this year after a similar drive over two days in January that focused on Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina.

After calling to step-up deportations of Central American children in 2014, Hillary Clinton has somehow seen the light (the political light) and changed course on the issue. Democrat Bernie Sanders has been consistently for a halt to mass deportations.

Specifically, the raids and deportations target the same people Clinton wanted to originally capture and deport to violent homelands that these kids and mothers were escaping.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has now told field offices nationwide to launch a 30-day “surge” of arrests focused on mothers and children who have already been told to leave the United States, the document seen by Reuters said. The operation would also cover minors who have entered the country without a guardian and since turned 18 years of age, the document said. Two sources confirmed the details of the plan.

I can’t for the life of me think of any good reason for Obama to do this, other than to solidify a legacy of horror. Yeah, I said it. Millions deported, hundreds of thousands warehoused in private prisons around the country, which even recently have been in the news for sexual and physical abuse of children. It is ridiculous that this occurs while local politicians use human trafficking as a “get tough” issue. With more children and mothers being picked up and jailed, should we expect more horror stories of abuse?

As voters who support Clinton show some odd excitement because they seem to think some Republicans will support Clinton over Trump, and it’s been in the news that Clinton has committed to selling her political wares to these Republicans, the timing of these raids makes me question pretty much everything–more than usual. Because we know how Obama’s deportation programs brought in GOPers to effect immigration reform, right? Or how Democrats moving to the right on immigration since 2006 have attracted so many crossover votes and big wins, right?

Thank goodness Bernie Sanders will remain in the race until the convention. Bottom line, his supporters need to be visible and vocal at the convention, especially on immigration and deportation reform. I would hope Clinton joins in on saving the immigration reform plank from those who feel they can attract Republicans in November.

 

 

Ed Gonzalez Calls on HCSO to Reinstate Inspectors, Diversify Staff

cafeed2Ed Gonzalez, Democratic candidate for Harris County Sheriff, challenged current Sheriff Hickman to reinstate jail inspectors and diversify the staff if any criminal justice reform plan is to succeed.

Here’s the press release from Gonzalez:

Ed Gonzalez, the leading Democratic candidate for Sheriff, called on Sheriff Ron Hickman today to join the county’s push for criminal justice reform by reinstating jail inspectors and replacing his command staff with a more diverse leadership team

Gonzalez applauded yesterday’s action by county commissioners to accept a $2 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation and spend millions more on reforms that include expanding pre-trial diversion programs, implementing a new bail system and improving relationships with minority communities.

“Commissioners are moving in the right direction with their new reform plan, but it won’t be enough until real reform comes to the Sheriff’s office,” said Gonzalez.

“Sheriff Hickman must immediately reinstate the jail inspectors and the investigative unit he dismantled and replace his command staff with a leadership team that is more reflective of the communities served by the sheriff’s office,” said Gonzalez.

Hickman’s first act after being appointed sheriff was to replace the existing diverse command staff with all white men. After intense pressure, Hickman later made some additional appointments, but the command staff is nowhere near reflective of the communities that make up Harris County. Gonzalez expressed concern that, until the sheriff truly diversified his command staff, the county’s new racial and ethnic diversity coordinator would continue to face barriers in rebuilding the trust of minority communities in the criminal justice system.

“If the county’s law enforcement leader fails to recognize the need for real diversity,” said Gonzalez, “what chance will the county’s new criminal justice diversity coordinator have to succeed?”

Gonzalez also expressed serious concerns about the ability of the county’s new jail coordinator to speed up the release of inmates awaiting bail, a key element of the new reform plan, given existing management problems at the jail.

Earlier this month, a suspect awaiting bail on a charge of stealing a guitar was beaten to death by inmates in his holding cell – continuing a pattern of violence, abuse and neglect at the jail that was exposed in a 2015 Houston Chronicle investigation. Hickman’s response was to reduce oversight at the jail, including dismantling the investigative unit that had uncovered some of the worst cases of abuse and neglect.

“For the county’s new reform plan to succeed, we must incease oversight, transparency and accountability at the county jail,” said Gonzalez. “That’s why I’m calling on Sheriff Hickman to live up to the values of this new plan by diversifying his command staff and reinstating the jail inspectors he cut earlier this year.”

Ed Gonzalez is a leading candidate in the May 24 Democratic Party primary runoff election for Harris County Sheriff. He is a veteran Houston Police officer who rose to the rank of Sergeant, led murder investigations and served on the elite hostage negotiating team. He served two terms on the City Council, chairing the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee and becoming mayor pro-tem. On the Houston City Council, Gonzalez led efforts at criminal justice reform – including creating the Houston Center for Sobriety, which keeps people who need help out of the criminal justice system and allows police officers to spend more time on patrol, catching criminals.

 

The May 24 Run-Off is Set

donkey-fightThe Harris County Democratic Party recently had a drawing for ballot positions for the May 24th run-off. We’ve got more than a few races in which to choose those candidates we want on the November ballot. With a couple of months until the run-off, here’s your chance to study the candidates. I’m not sure if there’ll be another chance to record the candidates as I did in the first round, but I’ll try to get some video material from some of my favorite candidates in the near future.

Here are the candidates for the Run-Off that I’m watching:

Railroad Commissioner:  Grady Yarbrough, Cody Garrett

State Board of Ed. – 6:  Jasmine L. Jenkins, Dakota Carter

Judge, 11th District:  Kristen Hawkins, Rabeea Collier

Judge, 61st District:  Julie Countiss, Fredericka Phillips

Judge, 215th District:  Elaine Palmer, JoAnn Storey

Sheriff:  Ed Gonzalez, Jerome Moore

The NIMBY Races that I’m watching include:

JP 1-1:  Eric William Carter, Tanya Makany-Rivera

Constable Pct. 2:  Christopher Diaz, George Goffney, Jr.

Those in bold, I’ve decided on; however, the rest were races in which I was off the mark in my previous nods, so, I’m hoping to learn more about the candidates before deciding. Will things take a turn for the negative? Will there be attacks? Will it just be a regular run-off where voters vote by slate card??? Stay tuned!

 

 

That Wreckage That Is The Stace Slate

donkey-beats-up-elephant

Just a few thoughts about the wreckage that is the Stace Slate.

Texas House 137. Congrats to my State Rep. Gene Wu on a decisive victory against a right-wing plant. Wu has done a great job of serving his constituents while navigating a tough Texas House that is not D-friendly. The work isn’t done since he still has another right-winger to defeat in November, but Wu has a great team to get him back to Austin.

Huge Win for Ann Harris Bennett. As I stated previously, we had two good people I’ve gotten to know in this race for Tax Assessor-Collector. My family and I have supported Ann in all her races, so, it wasn’t too tough a decision to back her again. There are plenty of reasons for her victory, including ballot name recognition, Dem women’s groups, and a strong showing by African American voters at the polls. Congrats to Ann.

Run-Offs. I was glad to see my friend Rabeea Collier squeeze into the run-off for Judge of the 11th District Court, as well as Ed Gonzalez for Sheriff. That’s right, we’re not done yet. May 24th will have us going back to the polls to finish our job as Democrats. Jasmine Jenkins and Dakota Carter made the run-off in their race for SBOE District 6, and Dems will get to choose between Julie Countiss and Fredericka Phillips for the 61st District Court. There’s also a run-off in the 215th District Court between Elaine Palmer and JoAnne Storey. There’s also a statewide race for Railroad Commish, but I haven’t paid much attention to the candidates. So, stay tuned.

NIMBY Run-Off:  Congrats to my friend Tanya Makany-Rivera (and her family) on making the next round in the race for Justice of the Peace Pct. 1. She ran a grassroots race against a well-funded opponent and came a few votes short of the lead. It will be a competitive race that is sure to draw folks out. JP is a people’s court, so, folks need to stay connected to this very local race–perhaps one of the most important on the ballot.

Latinos:  It’s sad to say that Democrats won’t have many Latinos on the ballot running countywide or statewide. In fact, there are one of each, along with those that provide district representation (State Rep or State Senator or JP or Constable). Republicans will offer similar numbers state and countywide; however, we’ve got a shot at sending Ed Gonzalez on to November. Let’s get that done. I think Adrian Garcia’s campaign proved that we like to see some brown faces on the ballot.

Other races:  Big kudos to Mary Ann Perez whose campaign to return to the Texas House (HD-144) pulled out all the stops to send her straight to November without a run-off. That kind of energy can surely help her defeat the current GOPer in the seat.

KUDOS:  Big kudos to the folks who worked the polling locations.

The Slate:  It took it in the teeth. 5 Wins, 10 Losses, and 3 Run-Offs. In the NIMBY’s, 3 wins, 3 Losses, and 1 Run-Off. The Run-Off Slate is to come!

 

DC Primary 2016 Voter Guide

donkey-fight

Tuesday, March 1 is Democratic Primary Day. This means, for those that didn’t vote early, that one must vote in their home precinct. Here are a few tips for Tuesday.

But if you think it’s too late and just want to know for whom I voted in the contested races, well, you can VOTE THE STACE SLATE.

 

 

Velasquez Institute Decides NV Latino Vote

index_r1_c1There’s been much debate about the Latino vote in Nevada. Entrance polls had Bernie Sanders winning by 8 points. The Clintonites cited their paid pollster Latino Decisions (I liked it better when they were independent) polls of heavily Latino precincts being won by Clinton as proof she won the Latino vote. The problem with that is that not at all Latinos live in Latino-heavy precincts anymore. Hell, I don’t live in a Latino-heavy precinct. Latinos are everywhere, even in Nevada. So, the Willie C. Velasquez Institute did their own study where they explained it all.

In my view, I think both Bernie and Hillary get participation ribbons for helping increase Latino participation to 19% of those caucusing. In WCVI’s view, the poll results are consistent with Clinton’s margin of victory. Here’s their story:

After hearing about disputes between the Sanders and Clinton over the Edison Entry Poll Survey results on the Latino vote in the Feb 20 Primary Caucuses WCVI undertook a review of the publicly disclosed data.

WCVI concludes that the survey results are statistically consistent with the margin of victory of Hillary Clinton on Feb 20. The main dispute among pundits and between campaigns has been the assertion that it is statistically impossible for Hillary Clinton to narrowly lose the Latino vote (45% to 53% with Latinos representing 19% of the voters) and narrowly lose Whites (47% to 49% with Whites representing 59% of the voters) and still win the election by 5.3%.

However WCVI concludes the Clinton margin of victory is adequately explained by the large margin of victory Secretary Clinton won among African American voters (77% to 23% with AA’s representing 13% of the voters).

Simply put there is no relevant statistical inconsistency between Edison’s Entry Poll results for Latinos, Whites, and Blacks and the overall election results. Based on this fact WCVI concludes that there is no statistical basis to question the Latino vote breakdown between Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders.

We note that some analysts have said that Secretary Clinton’s victories in heavily Latino precincts proved that she won the Latino vote. However the methodology of using heavily Latino or “barrio” precincts to represent Latino voting behavior has been considered ineffective and discarded for more than 30 years due to non-barrio residential patterns been common among Latino voters since the 1980’s.

Lost is this controversy is the fact that the data shows a record high Latino vote share in the Democratic Caucuses with Latinos representing 19% of the vote compared to 13% in 2008.

I think we can move on, now. But I will say that Clinton has a Latino problem. At least in Nevada, they opened their minds and didn’t follow blindly. I’m hopefuly that the pattern will continue.

Dem Candidates at Meyerland Democrats [VIDEOS]

Thanks to Art Pronin and the Meyerland Democratic Club for volunteering me for the task of capturing Democratic candidates in contested races at their meeting last night. If you haven’t decided on most contested down-ballot races, here’s your chance to learn more about the candidates running for Tax-Assessor, District Attorney, Judicial Races, and SBOE-6. (Part 4 will be up soon!)