Tag Archives: 2014

Mike Collier for Texas Comptroller: Vote for the CPA

Mike Collier is running for Texas Comptroller–the State of Texas’ bean counter. You know when candidates say they are “uniquely” qualified for a position? Well, Mike’s a CPA. While he’ll have a great staff to back him up in Austin, we can be secure in the knowledge that when he is providing financial projections, talking about budgets and other financial stuff, he’ll actually know what he’s talking about. Check out his ad–one of my favorites of the season:

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Sam Houston for Texas AG: The Best Choice

Here’s an ad from Sam Houston, Democrat for Texas Attorney General. I met him Mr. Houston at a breakfast in which I got to introduce him. He’s from the same small town as I; except, his is called Colorado City out in West Texas. He’s a small-town boy that ended up making it in the big city, and you just have to like that kind of story. Check out the ad:

Endorsement: Vote Straight Ticket Democrat

Monday, 10/20/14, is the first day of Early Voting and DosCentavos.net urges you to vote a STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC TICKET.

I should also mention, where there is no “D” but there is a Green Party candidate, I will vote for the “greenie.” No, I won’t vote for Libertarians. And Republicans? Now, that’s a laugh. If all I have is an “R” I’m skipping that race.

There are some races where a Republican high-spanic is running. In these races, I urge my Chicano/Latino family to NOT vote for them just because of their name, and to vote for the Democratic candidate. And that goes for everyone else.

Whether it is the high-spanic Bushie running for Texas Land Commissioner or the right-wing high-spanic running for Harris County Treasurer, the bottom line is that Republicans have proven to be toxic in 2014, especially against the poor, infirm, of color, women, the disabled, etc., and high-spanic Republicans are even more dangerous. In the case of these races, I urge you to vote for John Cook for Texas Land Commissioner, and my friend David Rosen for Harris County Treasurer. They are the best choices in these races, so it should be a no-brainer, anyway.

In areas in which I do not reside, but you might, please vote:  Luis Lopez for Texas House District 132, Re-Elect Mary Ann Perez in Texas House District 144, and Amy Perez for Texas House District 150.

From the top to the bottom of the ballot, the Democratic Party offers strong candidates who will serve Texas and Harris County well. I don’t support them just because they are Democrats, but because they offer solutions to the challenges faced by Texas. Wendy Davis is looking toward the future; Leticia Van de Putte is an exceptional leader who will ensure the Texas Legislature works for all Texans; Sam Houston is the only choice for Attorney General who will defend the rights of all Texans; as Texas Comptroller, Mike Collier will be an accountable and responsible steward of our tax dollars and investments; John Cook, as Land Commissioner, will protect the public lands which generate revenue for our public schools; and my friend Steve Brown will bring transparency to the Texas Railroad Commission.

While we have a strong statewide slate, we cannot forget about the rest of the ballot. Decisions are made in our local courts that affect us all. We must re-elect Justice Jim Sharp to the 1st Court of Appeals; send good folks like Judge Steven Kirkland, Ursula Hall and Jim Peacock to the district courts (just to name a few); or my friends Kathy Vossler and Tracy Good to the Family and Juvenile Courts;  or another friend, Raul Rodriguez to the County Court. There are so many to mention, but they would all serve offering fairness and justice for all.

And still, there are other positions, such as Ann Bennett who will protect our voting rights as County Clerk. Or keeping and sending, respectively, Deb Kerner and Melissa Noriega on/to the Harris County Department of Education Board of Trustees. And let’s not forget Jim Cargas for Congressional District 7! There are a lot of names on the ballot, and many I missed here, but I support all the Democrats.

I have no problem whatsoever voting a straight Democratic ticket in 2014. And neither should you. The future of Texas is at stake, and voting for Republicans will only continue setting us back decades. We must move forward, and the only chance of that happening is with a Democratic slate.

CLICK HERE FOR EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS

A voter photo ID will be required. Click here for acceptable IDs, or how to obtain a FREE Voter ID from you DPS office.

Added Guidance from a Trusted FB friend:

Please remember to vote in the Lone Star College System elections, too. If you vote ONLY a straight party ballot, you will miss them. Please vote YES on the bond; Art Murillo, Alton Smith, and Dom Bongiorni (District 3, 4, and 9) for trustees.

 

 

Latin Grammy Tejano Noms Announced

There are a lot of categories in which the Latin Grammys nominate performers, but DosCentavos really only has one favorite:  Best Tejano Album.

Officially, I only reviewed one of the nominees (Jay Perez), but later on, I discovered Chente Barrera’s production, which included an all-star list of guest vocalists. Needless to say, they are my two favorites on the nominees list, with Grupo Alamo featuring former Musicales vocalist Mark Ledesma and Jimmy Gonzalez with great efforts. I’ll have to give Lares a listen, since it wasn’t on my radar, but one song I found is pretty darn good, too.

And the nominees are:

¡Viva Tejano!
Chente Barrera
Label: Q-Vo Records
 
Forever Mazz
Jimmy González y Grupo Mazz
Label: Freddie Records
 
Seguimos Soñando
Grupo Alamo
Label: Ro’ Records
 
De Mi Corazón
Shelly Lares
Label: Shellshock Records3
 
Anthology Back In The Day (DosCentavos Review)
Jay Pérez
Label: Freddie Records

Samples below the fold:

 

 

 

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DC Reviews: La Mafia ~ Amor y Sexo

lamafia2After a long time without a studio album, the Pride of the Northside is back with the much anticipated Amor y Sexo. While the music is “pura Mafia” the playlist is a bit different.

As any Mafioso who grew up with them in the Tejano 80s, weathered their change to a more international sound in the 90s, and have enjoyed them bringing all of their sounds back into play in the 2000s, this new production was still a bit of a surprise.

Sure, there are three rancheras–more than usual; but only one cumbia. That’s right, four ballads, two valseadas and a jazzy dance tune round out a slightly different production, but one that keeps the Mafia sound intact.

Seria Mas Facil and Una Cancion Para Olvidar are strong horn-influenced and acordeon-infused rancheras. The latter has some powerful harmonies, too. The acordeon-heavy Protegere Nuestros Recuerdos is a short, but powerful ranchera about a loves end, but with some great memories stored away in case of a return.

Quiero Amarte is the sole cumbia with some pop influences that could make it a fan favorite when played live.  It’s already one of my favorites.

Among the ballads, Provocación is my favorite with its rising chorus and piano-led melody. A surprise tune is the horn-driven jazzy dance tune, Soy Facil, which translated is “I’m Easy.” Great guitar solo in this one. Todo Dama Lo Amerita offers a mariachi- and trio-esque international ballad which fans will enjoy. The opener, Me Mata, and Amor y Sexo are reminiscent of the 90s power ballads that put La Mafia on the international map.

No Me Abandones, restyled from a ranchera on 1989s Mafia Mania, is the quintessential booze-it-up valseada to beg a lover not to leave. Its horn and acordeón arrangements are superb. Adonde Va El Amor is a similarly-styled vals driven by the bajo and acordeon.

Big kudos to Oscar de la Rosa for continuing to school some of the new talent out there on how to sustain a voice 30-plus years later. Mando Lichtenberger deserves a lot of credit as the producer and arranger, too. These guys just haven’t lost their touch.

The new stuff is available on CD and MP3, so it’s available at your favorite big box or online store. Add it to your collection.

 

Catching Up With Dem Primary Endorsements

Well, we are now almost two weeks away from the beginning of Early Voting for the Democratic Primary, so, it’s time for the rest of you to start paying attention. Endorsements don’t necessarily win elections, but if you are a member of a certain organization that endorses, chances are you might want to support someone endorsed by said organization. My buddy Charles Kuffner at OffTheKuff.com is compiling a list of endorsements and information about candidates.

And the good folks at Democracy for Houston just released their expansive list of nods.

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Stay tuned for more Democratic Primary news!

The Latest in GOP Latino Outreach

As San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro told the world last week, Dan Patrick is the most anti-immigrant Republican out there. He’s probably the worst candidate when it comes to Latino outreach, too.

After finding out that one of my favorite bands, Intocable, didn’t win the Grammy for Best Mexican Regional Album last night, I started watching some of their old videos, among other Latin music videos. At every video, the same thing popped up:  “Dan Patrick Opposes In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants.”

Well, I already knew that and I agree with Mayor Castro. But if this is Patrick’s idea of Latino outreach, then he’s got some awful consultants out there. I took a pic of the screen last night in case Patrick changes course and begins to place his pop-ups on “Stormfront” videos, instead.

Even funnier is the fact that Intocable, from Zapata, TX, is known for some of their pro-immigrant reform songs and commentary. But at least the Latino electorate knows how Dan Patrick really feels about them.

Immigration Reform: What’s Next?

It is safe to say any perceived progress toward comprehensive immigration reform came to a dead-stop the minute the Democrat-heavy U.S. Senate gave away some high-dollar, high-collateral items to the Republicans to gain their support for Senate Bill 744. The House Republicans not only sensed blood, they sucked it right up and made themselves political dead wood on the issue–with no reason to move, no reason to care. It’s hard to believe that soon after President Obama’s re-election, immigration reform was the top issue for him and “Latino outreach” became the task of Republicans. So much for that.

President Obama has been using the last five years to “prove himself” as an immigration enforcer to gain Republican votes in Congress. He’s funded and bolstered programs like 287(g) and Secure Communities to the point of throwing out almost 2,000,000 immigrants from the United States–a large portion being low-level offenders who didn’t even fit these programs’ description of “criminal immigrant.” And he and Congress have also bolstered detention policies and the private prisons who warehouse these folks. How’d that work out? Certainly not  well for the broken families affected by these policies.

Some of my lib-lab friends utilize the talking points well:  It’s the Republicans! I don’t argue that fact, but when it comes to deportation, it is President Obama who holds the keys to the deportation bus.

Certainly, Republicans knew exactly what President Obama was doing since they didn’t budge at all on the House side. If anything, the issue may still figure prominently in 2014 elections as Republican primary candidates try to out-hate each other on the issue. What will the Democratic campaign response be in 2014?

And while the national pro-migrant organizations (LULAC, NCLR and others) kept their talking points intact, all the while while turning their collective cheek to the mass deportations, mass human warehousing, and general indifference of both sides of the aisle, it was the immigrant-activist community whose message seemed to be strengthening:  Stop the deportations. The question that goes unanswered is if there is agreement on taking anything less than a path to citizenship.

According to the latest Pew Hispanic Center polling, 55% of Hispanics now favor deportation relief over a shot at citizenship. Given that Hispanics make up 3/4 of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, this is a significant trend. And according to the experts at Pew, it is this trend that could cause a major shift in the immigration debate–one that could allow piecemeal legislation and other compromises. That’s if the Republicans don’t feel the need to try to milk the issue for what it is worth to them in the GOP primaries.

According to Cesar Vargas of the DREAM Action Coalition, a piecemeal approach is what is going to happen.

Walking away with nothing is not an option for us; “citizenship-or-nothing” is not an option. We can’t ask our communities to wait for “citizenship” while we see our mothers, our fathers being separated from their children. Citizenship is our ultimate goal but we cannot let it become a hardline that poisons bipartisanship.

This year we have a real opportunity to secure our first victory; a victory that will allow us to live and work freely, to travel and see our family members we left behind. Rest assure the next day, we will be ready to work and fight for the next victory, including a path to citizenship. Let’s, however, get our first win 2014.

Ultimately, a piecemeal package may not spell political victory for either political party.

If the immigration bill dies, a plurality of Hispanics (43%) and Asian Americans (48%) say they would mostly blame Republicans in Congress. But sizable minorities of each group—34% of Hispanics and 29% of Asian Americans—say they would hold Democrats in Congress and/or President Obama mainly responsible.

I would think that simple deportation stops wouldn’t give an edge to either Party at this point. Political promises and niceties from both political parties have failed as campaign tactics, given Hispanic numbers tanking for President Obama and achieving new lows for Republicans. For those Hispanics who continue to have faith in their vote, or perhaps aren’t single issue voters (folks like me), I’m sure they will continue to be engaged at some level. But breaking down immigration reform (and the Hispanic community) to the point of accepting only deportation relief is concerning–at least for folks like me.

To me, there is nothing more important than citizenship–the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Although it is understandable that those who live in the shadows and fear detention and deportation want some sort of relief, I fear the formation of, for lack of a better term, a legalized sub-class of people will only be detrimental to our democracy. Sure, it may be a boon to our tax system at all levels, and to our economy, but eleven million people in a tax-paying, non-voting class all to themselves does not help further public policy that benefits our country, our states, and our local governments. If anything, it allows those who make the rules (on both sides of the aisle) to run roughshod over these folks–and any other group with a similar demographic make-up, yet, are citizens and voters.

Unfortunately, President Obama has now given a tentative “OK” to a piecemeal approach that the Republicans have been pushing, and the pro-migrant, national Latino groups will soon follow or get out of the way. Given the image of victory will be those groups led by immigrants who are asking for deportation relief, while Republican politicians will say, “Well, we’re just doing what they asked for.” In other words, Republicans will support anything but citizenship if they were to go along with this. That’s the even bigger question:  Will Republicans go along with it? Or will Tea Party bigotry be the victor, again?

I’ve been writing about immigration reform since I started this blog. My entire intent was not to become an “immigration blogger,” but what made me driven as a supporter of immigration reform was that citizenship was the end-game. At this point, deportation relief may bring a sigh of relief to a certain extent–depending on what the parties agree to–but a lack of a path to citizenship and whatever else the Republicans tack on which will limit the rights of this new legalized sub-class is not a workable solution, in my opinion. Some will call it a step toward citizenship (to be achieved in another 10? 20 years?), but what is the reality? How will the private prison and jail industry be appeased? And how will local law enforcement agencies who defend 287(g) and SCOMM move forward? There are a lot of unanswered questions as to how “deportation relief” will be defined in the end.

So, a new question is being asked:  Will we have something in 2014?

It’s hard to tell when even Professor Larry Sabato stated on CNN that this issue was a big loser in 2013 and that he didn’t expect much movement on it in 2014. And neither does my favorite policy guy, Robert Reich. Pro-reform Republicans, too. 

Obviously, we need to keep an eye on things. And, ultimately, the “pro-migrant” side needs to get its message straight so the rest of us know what we’re supposed to support.

Aura Bogado has a cool Prezi at Alternet about what happened in 2013.

The Texas-Wide Filings

donkey-beats-up-elephantI went over the Harris County filings in my last post, so, now it’s time to talk about the Texas filings. It looks like we can have a strong slate, and it also looks like we’ll need to learn a little bit about candidates in other races.

Governor – Wendy Davis, Ray Madrigal:  This one is a no-brainer with Wendy Davis already putting in the sweat and work on the job and on the trail. Still, one has to wonder why the guy threw his hat in the ring if he has no resources or ability to take a campaign across the state. I’ll stick with Wendy on this one.

Lt. Governor – Thankfully, no opponent for Leticia Van de Putte, although a name from the past was floating around. Van de Putte wow’d a crowd in SA, and I’m looking forward to her wowing some crowds around the state–at rallies. The people need to hear the message.

Attorney General – Sam Houston. Some say the name will help, but, he’s also a good candidate who will put in the work.

Land Commissioner – John F. Cook. Cook may end up against “little brown one,” who’s neither pro-brown, or pro-anything. “P” has already been made the de facto right-wing brown voice and is being paraded around touting anti-woman policies, which have nothing to do with the General Land Commission. As the former Mayor of El Paso, John Cook has a track record of managing a government effectively.

Texas Railroad Commission – Steve Brown, Dale Henry. I’m with Steve Brown on this one, as I’ve stated previously.

State Comptroller – Mike Collier. I have yet to meet him, but I like what he’s put out there, thus far. My friends at Kingwood Area Dems hosted him a couple of months ago, and a friend of mine is personal friends with him, so, what’s there not to like, right?

U.S. Senate – Maxey Scherr, David Alameel, Harry Kim, Michael Fjetland, and Kesha Rogers. Scherr is already on the road and has pretty much everything that looks like a campaign, especially a good message. Anything that counters the Ted Cruz message, which now all of the GOP candidates for Senate will attempt to scream the loudest at Teaper meetings, is good for Texas.

Agricultural Commissioner – Jim Hogan, Kinky Friedman, Hugh Asa Fitzsimmons. I have knowledge of one person on this list, and I can’t say he’s my fave. But I’m pretty sure Tex-Mex Legend Little Joe will support him, much like he did when he ran for Gov–they’re music industry buds–I guess. I guess we have much to learn about the other guys.

Other Filings

1st Court of Appeals – Jim Sharp filed for re-election and he is unopposed in the Primary.

14th Court of Appeals – District Judge Kyle Carter of Houston filed for Chief Justice.

Congress District 23 – Good to see that Pete Gallego is unopposed in the Primary, but he will need to deal with his last opponent, right-wing extremist Canseco. Gallego has served well, and my family and friends who live in the district really like him.

Texpatriate has more on the missed filing opportunities and other stuff.

The Run-Up to Filing Day

I know, we’re not even done with City of Houston/HCC races, but we can’t wait to talk about 2014. Kuff gives us a rundown of those who have filed, thus far, in Harris County. If you want the Secretary of State’s list to check out who’s running from both parties, well, here it is. The filing deadline is December 9.

Obviously, there a lot of judicial seats that seem lacking of candidates right now, but I know there are a whole bunch of Dems that are ready to file, including my friend Julia Maldonado for the 246th Family District Court.

Kuff mentions a couple of suburban Texas House seats, including HD-150, in which my good friend Amy Perez has announced her intention to file later this week. Amy is an award-winning educator, a wizard at public policy, and a forward-thinking individual, which is much more than we can say about Riddle.

Also, be on the lookout for an announcement for another House seat, HD-132, which is now an open seat out in Katy/Cypress. There will be a teabagger battle on the Republican side, so, the Democrat who I’m hoping will announce a run will be a breath of fresh air.

So, stay connected. By Monday evening or Tuesday morning, we’ll have the complete list of Dems on the Primary ballot.