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Posts Tagged ‘Bill White’

It’s always easier to talk in the abstract

I have three things to say about this. The city of Houston has been papering over multimillion-dollar budget deficits for nine years by borrowing money, tapping its rainy day fund, selling buildings and just plain putting off bills to the future, according to city finance officials. [...] This year, Mayor Annise Parker has pledged not […]

Perry’s (lack of) popularity

I have four things to say about this. Gov. Rick Perry’s ill-fated presidential campaign left a sour taste with many Texans and damaged his standing with Republican voters, according to a new poll commissioned by the American-Statesman and other state newspapers. Almost 1 in 3 Texas Republicans said Perry’s performance on the national stage dimmed […]

Runoff precinct analysis, At Large #5

Here are the numbers for the At Large #5 runoff between CM-elect Jack Christie and CM Jolanda Jones. As this was a rematch from 2009, I’m putting the 2011 numbers alongside the 2009 numbers, again with the caveat that they’re not really directly comparable. We work with what we’ve got, though, so here it is: […]

BBVA Compass Stadium

Dynamo Stadium gets a new name. When the Dynamo first approached BBVA Compass before breaking ground on their new stadium, the two-time MLS Cup champions were looking for a loan to help finance the construction of the club’s venue on the East End. Now, the bank will have its name and a note on BBVA […]

Precinct analysis: The 2011 Mayor’s race

I finally have a draft canvass of the 2011 Harris County vote. You know what that means. Here’s the breakdown in the Council districts for the Mayor’s race: Dist Simms Ullman Wilson Herrera Parker O’Connor ===================================================== A 4.41% 1.28% 16.31% 18.03% 41.89% 18.09% B 22.41% 3.02% 11.92% 12.71% 43.80% 6.14% C 1.65% 0.83% 9.11% 11.21% […]

Endorsement watch: Bell for Jones

Former Council Member and Mayoral candidate Chris Bell has endorsed Jolanda Jones for re-election, writing his own letter of support for her, which you can see here. Normally, I’m not that interested in this sort of personal endorsement, but since I noted the unexpected endorsement of Jones’ opponent Jack Christie by former Mayor Bill White, […]

Endorsement watch: White for Christie

This came as a surprise to me. Former Mayor Bill White has endorsed Jack Christie for the At-Large 5 City Council seat. It is the only endorsement the ex-mayor has made in this year’s city elections. White sent out a letter explaining his endorsement, which you can read here. I have been told by the […]

No tax rate increase this year

No surprise. Mayor Annise Parker has officially proposed not raising taxes this year. Through her finance director, the mayor is asking the City Council at its Sept. 21 meeting to adopt the existing property tax rate of 0.63875 per $100 taxable value as this year’s rate. “It’s very hard in these times to not look […]

The 70 Percent Solution

Where have I heard this before? November’s election really is about 2013, said lawyer, lobbyist and blogger Robert Miller. He speculates that the mayor needs to win big against low-profile opponents in November to discourage stronger candidates from running against her as she seeks a final term in 2013. “If she looks weak, blood attracts […]

Finance reports and the Mayor’s race

Finance report updates: David Robinson has filed his corrected report, which includes the $53,095.57 cash on hand total that was omitted in the original. There were no other changes made. Mayoral candidate Kevin Simms has now filed his report. He lists $4,033.83 in contributions, $2,873.79 in expenses, and $1,160.04 on hand. Interestingly, he also lists […]

Where the votes were and weren’t in 2006 and 2010

When I was doing the electoral analysis for the new Congressional districts, I also had data about how many votes were cast in each district. And in looking through that data, I saw some interesting things. What I was looking for was the change in Democratic turnout from 2006 to 2010. We know 2010 was […]

Congressional map gets final approval

On to the Governor. The Republican-controlled Texas Senate approved a new congressional district map for the state Monday and sent it to Gov. Rick Perry for his approval. [...] The map was approved 19-12 along party lines and without debate. Democrats have complained the new map violates the federal Voting Rights Act by splitting Latino […]

“Sanctuary cities” bill passes the Senate

Once it was added to the call, this became inevitable. Senate Republicans finally passed a priority issue for their party early Wednesday morning when they outmuscled their Democratic colleagues on an immigration-related bill intended to make it easier for law enforcement to corral illegal immigrants. At its core, SB 9 allows law enforcement officers to […]

You may say to yourself “Well, how did I get here?”

What’s missing from this story? The city of Houston’s budget crisis that has resulted in 747 employees getting pink slips last month and likely will close pools and community centers did not happen overnight. It has been brewing for the better part of a decade, the result of, among other things, spending more while taxing […]

The Mayor and the firefighters

Despite the tone of this, I wouldn’t make too much of it. While looking for tens of millions of dollars through a combination of cuts, deferrals, savings and fee hikes, Mayor Annise Parker repeatedly has identified the Houston Fire Department as one of the largest of budget bogeymen. Whether describing an intransigent pension board, a […]

Maybe Perry for President would be good for us

When George W. Bush began being talked about as a Presidential candidate, the story line on him was that he was a well-liked, popular Governor who had bipartisan appeal and support in the state. Outgoing Democratic Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock supported him. Democratic House Speaker Pete Laney supported him. Numerous Democratic officeholders in Texas supported […]

Are there any seats Dems could lose?

I’m sure you’ve heard someone express the view that if there’s a silver lining for the Democrats after the 2010 election, it’s that their decimated caucus offers no real targets for the Republicans to aim for. The Rs weren’t completely powerless in that regard, as their choosing to round down Harris County to 24 seats […]

Council will vote on SafeClear changes

Back in March, the city announced that it would be removing most of the subsidies for SafeClear as a cost-saving measure. The details have now been finalized and will be ready for Council action in June. Roadside services, such as changing a tire, would cost $30. The city had been paying that $50 per tow. […]

No more free tows

Change is coming to SafeClear – it will now cost $50 for a tow on a highway inside the city, instead of it being provided for free. Passing the cost of towing to motorists is expected to save the city about $3.3 million a year, one of numerous steps the city is considering to close […]

Don’t claim endorsements you don’t have

Seems like that lesson needs to be re-learned every cycle. We already have two examples of it this cycle. Here’s example one: City Council candidate Eric Dick apologized for advertising an upcoming fund-raiser by sending out a mailer featuring a photo of Sheriff Adrian Garcia standing with Dick in front of City Hall. “I didn’t […]

About the Tommy Lee Jones bandwagon

I really don’t think this will amount to anything, but I have three things to say about it anyway. In recent weeks, an idea of Houston attorney Geoff Berg’s turned into a Facebook page and then became a website that he hopes might spark a movement. The message: “Draft Tommy Lee Jones for Senate.” Berg, […]

So will we have a Mayor’s race or not?

We’re now more than a month into the city election fundraising season, and as of this week the only person to file a declaration of Treasurer for the office of Mayor is the incumbent, Annise Parker. As of this time two years ago, all four major candidates had not only filed Treasurer’s reports but had […]

A few thoughts from Opening Day

Just a few random bits from today’s festivities… – In the end and despite the teabagger footstomping, the Speaker’s Race turned out to be a big nothingburger, which was what most rational people expected all along. There were a few deadenders, mostly Republican freshmen, who voted against Joe Straus. I can’t wait to see what […]

Council shakeup

Things are getting mighty interesting down at City Hall. Mayor Annise Parker has parted ways with two major conservatives on the Houston City Council, removing Councilman Mike Sullivan from his role overseeing redistricting and accepting the resignation of Councilwoman Anne Clutterbuck as mayor pro tem. The development, which stems, in part, from a recent spat […]

HPD braces for cuts

More than $15 million is going to be cut from HPD’s budget, in part to lost red light camera revenue and in part to the overall budget picture. The equivalent of more than 100 civilian jobs, including temporary workers, will be eliminated over two years through layoffs and attrition. Chief Charles McClelland has moved to […]

Thibaut versus Murphy, third time around

We know that the story of HD133, which has now been won twice by Jim Murphy and once by Kristi Thibaut, is one of turnout. With sufficient turnout in the Democratic part of the district – that is, the precincts in Rep. Al Green’s CD09 – it’s a Democratic district. With dominant turnout in the […]

What’s next for Bill White?

Not a campaign. In the nearly two weeks since his decisive loss to Gov. Rick Perry, he’s had time to begin planning a family Christmas trip to a yet-to-be-decided Spanish-speaking country, to indulge his penchant for exploring new and interesting businesses and to begin thinking about what he wants to do next. He also has […]

On Latino turnout

I don’t know how to make more Latinos vote. But I do know these things: 1. Whatever it is that Texas Democrats have been doing, assuming there is something that qualifies as some kind of action in this area, it ain’t working; to be slightly more charitable, it ain’t working as well as it should […]

Opening thoughts on the carnage

In no particular order… – Republicans gain 22 seats in the State House, for a 99-51 advantage. That’s with Pete Gallego, Hubert Vo, and Donna Howard, all of whom had been trailing early, coming back to win. Howard’s margin of victory is a microscopic 15 votes, so she’ll have to survive a recount. No Republican […]

What the polls said

Here’s a roundup of the most recent versions of the most recent polls on the Governor’s race, some of which include one or more other statewide races. We’ll come back to this and see how accurate they were after tomorrow: Public Policy Polling, October 26-28 Perry 53 White 44 Dewhurst 54 Chavez-Thompson 34 Note: The […]

Endorsement watch: Early voting? Never heard of it

Somewhat incredibly, there were still endorsements being made over the weekend. Two newspapers finally got around to picking a side in the Governor’s race. The good news is that at least they picked the right one. First up, the Abilene Reporter News. Big Country residents (and Texans in general) face an important choice Tuesday — […]

Last round of polls

The newspapers have another poll, and I have a question about it. The survey of 673 likely voters found Perry leading Democratic nominee and former Houston Mayor Bill White 49 percent to 37 percent. They are followed by Green Party candidate Deb Shafto at 3 percent and Libertarian Kathie Glass at 2 percent, with 10 […]

Once again, I’ll take the under

There’s a bizarre new UT/Texas Trib poll that’s so odd I can’t even come up with a good introduction for it, so I’m just going to jump straight to the weirdness: Republican Gov. Rick Perry leads his Democratic challenger, Bill White by 10 points — 50 percent to 40 percent — in the latest University […]

Another look ahead at redistricting

The short version of this Chron story is basically “Republicans would like to control every aspect of the redistricting process, while Democrats would at least like to win the Governor’s office and maintain some semblance of parity in the House”. A few points: “The governor’s race is critical to redistricting,” declares U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, […]