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Posts Tagged ‘Election 2015’

Interview with Jim Bigham

District J is a geometrically compact district with a high population density, carved mainly from the former District F and anchored in the Sharpstown area. It is in Sharpstown that we meet Jim Bigham, who is challenging two-term incumbent CM Mike Laster. Bigham is an Army veteran and business operations manager who has been active […]

Judge rules Wilson petitions must be counted

Thanks, Supreme Court. Thanks a hell of a lot. City of Houston officials must count the signatures on a petition filed by anti-gay activist Dave Wilson, who is seeking a vote to amend the city charter and bar men “who perceive or express themselves as women” from entering women’s restrooms, a judge ruled Tuesday. State […]

A closer look at Controller finance reports

Last week I took a closer look at the campaign finance reports for Mayoral candidates. Let’s do the same for the Controller candidates. Candidate Raised In Kind Spent Loans On Hand ========================================================== Robinson 46,170 3,908 33,908 0 5,033 Brown 267,750 3,547 20,818 0 222,858 Frazer 128,097 1,009 120,956 32,500 53,973 Jefferson 8,653 2,943 9,255 1,860 […]

TOP/SEIU Mayoral forum report

From David Ortez: After the dust settled, the forum commenced with the hosts explaining the four pillars of their platform. It boiled down to: 1) Good Jobs; 2) Neighborhoods of Opportunity; 3) Infrastructure; and 4) Immigrant Rights. At the end of the forum, all the candidates would be asked to endorse this platform by signing […]

Interview with CM Mike Laster

In addition to the two open District Council seats, there are several District Council members who have drawn opponents for November. I am going to focus on two of these races, with the first one being District J this week. Council Member Mike Laster has represented District J since its creation in 2011. An attorney […]

Hall for all the haters

He is who we thought he was. Houston mayoral candidate Ben Hall said Thursday he signed a petition seeking to define gender identity and prevent men “who perceive or express themselves as women” from entering women’s restrooms because he wants to protect the right to vote. Hall’s press conference at his Montrose law firm comes […]

Supreme Court rules HERO must be repealed or voted on

Ugh. The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that Houston City Council must repeal the city’s equal rights ordinance or place it on the November ballot. The ruling comes three months after a state district judge ruled that opponents of Houston’s contentious non-discrimination ordinance passed last year failed to gather enough valid signatures to force a […]

Mayoral finance reports: Out of town cash and max donors

You may have noticed that there’s a lot of money in the Mayoral race this year, even after subtracting what the candidates have given or loaned to themselves. You may be wondering where all that money came from. This post aims to shed a little light on that. First question: How much of the money […]

Seeking GLBT support in the Mayor’s race

In a crowded field where a small number of votes could be the difference between making the runoff and not, endorsements will be of greater importance. One endorsement that several Mayoral candidates would really like to have if the endorsement of the HGLBT Political Caucus. Houston’s mayoral candidates are angling for the GLBT Caucus’ coveted […]

Interview with Greg Travis

We come now to our second and final interview in District G. There are only two candidates for this open seat, which is a lot fewer than you might normally expect. It’s quality that matters more than quantity, of course, and both contenders here are well qualified. Today’s interview subject is Greg Travis. Travis is […]

Mayoral finance reports: PACs and consultants

Let’s take a deeper dive into Mayoral candidate fundraising by examining one of the main categories of raised funds, and one of the main categories of spent funds. I speak of PAC money for the former, and consultant fees/staff salaries for the other. Here’s how much each candidate raised in PAC funds in their July […]

Controller philosophies

Here’s a Chron story from a candidate forum for Controller candidates at which the main subject was the relationship that Controllers have with Mayors. “It’s the second-highest elected official in city government, and it needs to be independent to provide a check and balance on the office in power,” said former City Councilman Jew Don […]

Interview with Sandie Mullins Moger

We move on now to the other open district seat, which is District G, currently held by CM Oliver Pennington. G is a Republican district stretching out to the west, just south of I-10, encompassing the Energy Corridor, the Galleria, and Memorial Park inside the Loop. There are two candidates running, and I have interviews […]

Will there be TMF-Menendez round 2?

Maybe. Who knows? Last February, Jose Menendez beat Trey Martinez Fischer to serve the remainder of Leticia Van De Putte’s term when she decided to run for mayor. Campaign finance reports filed Wednesday may point to a rematch this fall. “Without money you don’t get your message out, so that’s why having money is important,” […]

It’s hard out here on a recycler, part 3

A story in the WaPo about the ongoing struggles of the recycling business. Once a profitable business for cities and private employers alike, recycling in recent years has become a money-sucking enterprise. The District, Baltimore and many counties in between are contributing millions annually to prop up one of the nation’s busiest facilities here in […]

Mayoral ad spending

The Chron takes a look at one of the more visible aspects of all the money that Mayoral candidates have raised or loaned themselves so far. Despite taking in a total of more than $7 million, Houston’s mayoral candidates spent relatively little on advertising in the first half of the year, paving the way for […]

Interview with Jason Cisneroz

We come to the last of the interviews I did in District H, where current Council Member Ed Gonzalez is termed out. Today’s candidate, Jason Cisneroz, is a former staffer for CM Gonzalez, and for CM Adrian Garcia before him. A resident of the Near Northside, Cisneroz is a veteran, having served in Operation Enduring […]

Finance reports come trickling in

As always, the Mayoral reports lead the story. Former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia closed out the first half of the year with more than $1.3 million in the bank, eclipsing City Councilman Stephen Costello by a mere $7,423. According to their campaign finance reports, Garcia raised $1.5 million and spent just over $122,000, while […]

Interview with Karla Cisneros

We continue with candidates in District H, where incumbent Council Member Ed Gonzalez is term limited. Today’s interview is with another Heights neighbor of mine, Karla Cisneros. Cisneros is a longtime educator and education activist, having served six years on the HISD Board of Trustees, including a stint as Board President. She was a teacher […]

Campaign finance reports may be a bit more interesting this cycle

And by “interesting”, I mean in the Chinese curse sense. From the city’s campaign finance reports page: In April 2015, the Texas Ethics Commission released a new Electronic Filing Application. The changes made have to do with the separation of the types of contributions and political expenditures. Though these changes are minor, they require substantial […]

Our forthcoming early voting problems

This is the view in front of the West Gray Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, also known as the busiest early voting location in Houston. 8,390 people voted early here in the 2013 election. There was a water main break there, which caused foundation damage, and as you can see it is closed for repairs. Given the […]

Parker wants a vote on lifting the revenue cap

So do I. Mayor Annise Parker plans to press City Council this month to reconsider loosening a decade-old revenue cap for public safety spending as talk of a looming budget deficit and possible service cuts grows more ominous around the dais. The cap limits the growth in city revenues to the combined rates of inflation […]

Interview with Roland Chavez

And so we begin another campaign candidate interview season. I will be talking to candidates in various contested races on the ballot here this fall and presenting those interviews to you over the next three months. (Yes, it takes that long. Lots of races, lots of candidates.) I make no claim or promise to talk […]

Initial Mayoral fundraising totals

Lotta money being raised out there, though not quite as much as the topline totals say. Former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia was first out of the gate with his figures, announcing Tuesday that he raised $1.5 million since announcing his candidacy in May. According to his campaign, Garcia neither contributed his own money nor […]

Pushing for Vision Zero

Jay Crossley opines in the Chron for a lower speed limit in Houston. Texas law requires a 30 mph speed limit in the city of Houston on local residential streets unless a different speed limit is posted. If you are walking and are hit by a car traveling 30 mph, you have a 60 percent […]

TOP calls for changes in construction incentives

From Prime Property: Members of the Texas Organizing Project stood with signs across from a 40-story building under construction at Preston and Milam just off the park on downtown’s north side. The group was hoping to draw attention to the Downtown Living Initiative, a program that offers $15,000 per unit in tax rebates to developers […]

Circling back to city finances

I have three things to say about this. This time, [City Finance Director Kelly] Dowe insists, the $126 million deficit he projects for the budget year that starts next summer is not going to disappear, as past projected shortfalls have. There are no more payments to defer, he says, no more valuable city-owned land to […]

Sales tax revenues take a dip

Don’t freak out just yet, but do be a little worried. Houston’s 53-month consecutive span of year-over-year sales tax revenue gains has come to an end, five months into an energy slump analysts said could dent the city’s economic numbers for the rest of the year. The city’s $50.1 million sales tax revenues for April, […]

Harris County road bond

Harris County voters may be asked to vote on a bond issue this fall. Rapid population expansion and development in unincorporated areas of Harris County have strained roads, facilities and infrastructure so much that for the first time in eight years the county is considering a major bond referendum for the November ballot. Harris County […]

Turner and Garcia lead early Mayoral poll

We have our first polling numbers for the 2015 Mayoral election. Sylvester Turner and Adrian Garcia have emerged as the clear front-runners in the first independent poll before the election that will determine Houston’s next mayor. The KHOU – Houston Public Media Poll indicates a clear divide between two tiers of candidates, with Turner and […]

Bell wants Meyerland flooding investigated

It’s a story about flooding and the Mayor’s race, but not the story about flooding and the Mayor’s race you might have been expecting. Mayoral candidate Chris Bell on Sunday called for an independent investigation into why so many Meyerland homes flooded during the heavy Memorial Day weekend rains. Surrounded by about two dozen residents […]

Meet your Constitutional amendments

A pretty uninspiring bunch, if you ask me. Now that the dust has settled on the 84th Texas Legislature, voters are getting the first official look at which constitutional amendments they will be voting on come November. Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos on Wednesday took the last step to place seven propositions on this […]

ReBuild Houston and the Mayor’s race

It’s all about the conservative voters, because no one cares what anyone else thinks. When the most conservative candidate in the Houston mayor’s race dropped out two months ago, the battle to win over right-leaning voters became a two-man show: former Kemah Mayor Bill King versus City Councilman Stephen Costello. Both candidates bill themselves as […]

ReVote Houston?

Mayoral candidate Bill King calls for a do-over on Renew/ReBuild Houston. Houston mayoral candidate Bill King wants to put ReBuild Houston, the city’s controversial streetand drainage program, back up for a vote. […] King, the most vocal opponent of ReBuild Houston in the race, has seized the moment to attack ReBuild. “I only see one […]