Tuesday, May 16, 2017

In addition to filing election report violations I paid attention to these political items

The Texas Progressive Alliance doesn't take loyalty pledges as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff considers the possibilities of Big John Cornyn's Senate seat being vacated by an appointment as FBI Director.

A volunteer, me, files complaint over election law violations.



CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes Sally Yates owned John Cornyn and Ted Cruz this week. Cornyn proved he's a Trump puppet and an excellent choice of FBI director - if you want to destroy our democracy and make Trump officially god emperor.

On the day the world lost its mind, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs was a little dizzy and nauseous but otherwise got through it ... same as everyone else.

Neil at All People Have Value attended a Trumpcare Die-in and saw a Sandra Bland memorial railroad car. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.


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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Paradise in Hell notes a correlation between life expectancy and Trump support.

The Texas Election Law Blog comments on a big ProPublica voter ID story.

Better Texas Blog laments the likely demise of some good school finance legislation.

Andrew Edmonson tells what you can do to fight against attacks on LGBT Texans.

The TSTA Blog wonders why charter schools are asking for more tax money.

Texas Vox bemoans the bills killed by the House "Freedom Caucus" in a fit of legislative pique.

TPJ adds up how much predatory lenders have been spending this legislative session.


Sunday, May 07, 2017

Disappointing Pasadena TX election for Democrats - Isbell political machine becomes Wagner machine


The Houston Chronicle has a story on the Pasadena election.


Some inaccuracies. The report on candidate finances ignored a previous report that the Houston Chronicle had of the Moon campaign loaning itself $100,000. Moon was financed by his loan and large Real Estate PAC money.

Wagner was financed by Isbell's political machine, city contractors and Isbell's large donors, pretty much exclusively. The Isbell machine has now become the Wagner machine.

The last article correction is that Schoenbein is elected with 50.9% of the vote without a runoff due to the returns from the last and largest polling location with five precincts putting him over.

Wagner won with 38.85% of the vote and is in a runoff with Moon with 18.29% of the vote, assuming voter errors are not found which would not significantly change the results. The next four candidates are bunched with Flores at 11.4% followed by Talton and Van Houte and with Gallegos at 9.6%. Pena had less than 2% with him ceasing to campaign in the last weeks.

Turnout was a disappointing 13.45% although still much more than the last mayoral election. Although there was increased Latino turnout on the north side that was matched with increased turnout from the south side that was Anglo, older, Republican and religious. The two mayoral forums did not explore controversial topics or hard questions, surprising given the recent controversies that had national attention.

During the highly attended Chamber of Commerce Mayoral Forum Wagner answered one question by leading the crowd in prayer. No controversial or tough questions were asked. One question of this election was how Wagner, Moon, and Talton would split the religious Republican vote. It was only on election day that it was clear to outside observers that Wagner had secured it as well as Isbell's donors. Every polling location had eager volunteers from the largest church in Pasadena, to which Wagner belongs, helping him with what seemed liked religious fervor. Moon seemed favored by the less numerous business Republicans and had run a campaign heavy on Chamber of Commerce boosterism - "Pasadena is the greatest city in the world."

The north side vote was split between Van Houte, a current at-large council member, and two last-minute candidates with no political experience:  Gallegos, a school administrator, and Flores, a Latino businessman. Pena's limited support also came from the north side. Refusing to collect money from large donors, city contractors, and click to donate here money from the Internet(!?) Van Houte's campaign ended up being underfunded and understaffed. It is unclear if the Houston Chronicle endorsement Of Van Houte helped more than harmed with the large Texas distrust of the "liberal media." David Flores made a surprisingly strong showing with enthusiastic young Latino backers. He also floated by with not disclosing his Republican ties, he had gone through GOP candidate training, which could have harmed him with the younger Latino voters, and could easily have a future in politics. The Gallegos campaign, with backing from the Latino Democratic groups and some Democratic politicians mistakenly believing that the time was ripe for a Latino mayor for Pasadena, never broke through.

The election is especially disappointing in corruption and favoritism not becoming key issues and the transference of Isbell's city contractor donor base to his designated successor Wagner who is highly favored in the runoff.

This article needs to be read in conjunction with the Houston Chronicle's previous article on the crooked and dictatorial rule of current mayor Johnny Isbell.


Monday, May 01, 2017

Texas Progressive Bloggers Report


The Texas Progressive Alliance has squeezed all the news out of the past week like an $8 juice bag and put it into the roundup for you.

Off the Kuff takes a very early look at potential Congressional races for 2018.

SocraticGadfly offers his reflections on the career and trial of "Our Man Downtown," John Wiley Price.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes that Republican hatred of democracy and people marches on Texas.

Democrats keep looking for excuses to kick people out from under their tent, and the evidence was everywhere PDiddie at Brains and Eggs looked over the past couple of weeks. There aren't enough Marches, Resistances, and Revolutions to overcome so much squabbling, backbiting, and infighting.


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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Scott Braddock reports on the voucher astroturfing story.

Robert Rivard makes the case for changing the timing and frequency of San Antonio's elections.

Michael Li rounds up and summarizes the remaining disputes over the Texas Congressional map.

Therese Odell recoils in horror from the transcript of the AP interview with Donald Trump.

Sandra Thompson follows the money that is opposed to bail reform.

Juanita tries to explain how State Rep. Phil Stephenson twice screwed up a bill to name a highway after a murdered state trooper.

Jay Blazek Crossley advocates for lower speed limits on neighborhood streets.

Former Rep. Scott Hochberg explains why he is voting Yes on the HISD recapture referendum.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Texas Progressive Alliance Blogs for Last Week


The Texas Progressive Alliance knows why the alligator crossed the road as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff analyzed the Texas Lyceum poll of attitudes towards Trump and 2018 races.

Easter Lemming remarks on the great Houston Chronicle endorsement for Pat Van Houte for Pasadena mayor and tells you a bit about city election political funding.

SocraticGadfly writes about — with photos — Earth Day 2017 and climate change reminding readers that time is running short, and that a carbon tax, a strong carbon tax, must be the baseline of any solution.

The popular political drama from the last decade The West Wing turns out to be a lousy model for the Democratic Party, observes PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Better Texas Blog looks favorably on school finance bill HB21.

Kyle Shelton looks at the different kinds of density in Houston.

Dan Solomon introduces us to Student Body Armor.

Paradise In Hell attended the Ted Cruz town hall.

Lone Star Ma presents an Earth Day-themed reading list.

The TSTA Blog isn't having it with Dan Patrick's spin on the budget.

Lisa Gray eulogizes longtime Houston preservationist Bart Truxillo.

Michael Li compares the 2011 and 2013 State House maps in the wake of the Fifth Circuit ruling that the 2011 map was passed with discriminatory intent.

Purple City says goodbye and leaves us with a few of the ideas it didn't get to finish exploring.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Houston Chronicle endorses Pat Van Houte for Pasadena Mayor

"A Fresh Start"

A very informative endorsement.

"Councilmember Pat Van Houte confronts challenges that others ignore. Van Houte has a record of standing up for the hard fight during her eight years on City Council... she wants to replace the term-limited Isbell and run a city government that's open to all of Pasadena instead of merely the well-connected. This means fairness in contracting, competitive bidding, soliciting community input and promoting transparency. Van Houte also said that she wants to reinstate a public transit circulator for senior citizens that the city had stopped funding. She hasn't raised a lot of money - Van Houte declines donations from city contractors - and her personality is more cautious librarian than charismatic populist. But there's no doubt that Van Houte as mayor would be a fresh start for a city that deserves better than its current bad press."

I will provide a link to the candidate blog post with this full endorsement to avoid the pay wall.

https://www.pat4pasadena.com/2017/04/23/houston-chronicle-endorsement/

The link has the Houston Chronicle link as well as the google cache.

By the way, not accepting city contractor money, who traditionally fund city political campaigns, means the people need to step up. One opponent has well over $100,000 in his war chest, mostly a loan to himself, that he expects contractors to make good on if he wins. This is considered standard behavior.

Easter Lemming has provided support for the Pat Van Houte campaign.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Texas Progressive Bloggers Roundup



The Texas Progressive Alliance has not been wiretapped by the UK as it brings you this week's roundup.


Off the Kuff covers the big redistricting decision and what it all means going forward.

SocraticGadfly takes Rachel Maddow's big fluffery over Trump's tax returns (and Maddow herself) to the cleaners.

John Coby at
Bay Area Houston publishes Texas Lt Gov Dan Patricks response to the Texas masturbation bill. "I will beat this bill off with both hands!"

A whiff of the Eighties -- specifically Geraldo Rivera and Al Capone's vault -- accompanied Rachel Maddow's big reveal and subsequent letdown of Trump's tax returns last Tuesday evening, at least according to PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Neil at All People Have Value said that Trump budget was a pornography of self-mutilation and cruelty for Trump supporters. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

Easter Lemming reminds people that Pasadena, Texas has a chance to put voter discrimination behind them in this mayoral election. He is busy working for Pat Van Houte's campaign.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme marks another week of Republican hate cloaked in religion harming women, children and the poor.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Nipuni Gomes deconstructs Dinesh D'Souza.

Dan Wallach has some practical advice for buying “Internet of Things” devices.

The Lunch Tray implores a school food visionary to come to Houston.

The TSTA blog reminds us that vouchers offer neither reform nor choice to schools.

Beyond Bones identifies seven native Texas bugs that you don't want to touch.

Shari Biediger found it to be not too hard to cope with SxSW in Austin without Uber or Lyft.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Pasadena, Texas has a chance to put voter discrimination behind it


The best chance Pasadena, Texas has of putting it’s voting discrimination past behind is electing as new mayor the current at-large council member who has been a consistent opponent of the illegal redistricting.


Pat Van Houte for Pasadena Mayor
Pat Van Houte has been an elected council member since 2009 when she ran on opposition to an expensive street upgrade that destroyed resident’s homes.  While there are seven candidates running for mayor she has the most city council experience and is the only one running on small donations and shoe leather. She refuses to take donations over $200 and also refuses to take donations from those who do business with the city. She surprised the city establishment when her grass roots campaign involving block-walking the entire city of over 130,000 residents defeated the well-funded traditional mayor-supported candidate for one of the new at-large positions.
Van Houte said she also would pull the plug on the city's efforts to appeal the verdict in the voting rights case.
"The judge spent a week and a half hearing from many witnesses, looking at a lot of information and made a decision. The city has spent almost $2 million on the lawsuit already, and I don't think it is in our best interest to spend more public money on this," she said.
In elected, Van Houte said she would work to improve communications with residents and make city government more open.
"There are many things on the city website that are outdated. We need to do a better job of keeping it up to date. Department heads need to understand that there is an expectation that they will provide good information on a timely basis," she said. "I also want to set up a basic application for city boards and commissions so that anyone who is interested    can apply and be considered and it would not be just who the politician knows getting appointed every time."
"Each person who has filed for mayor so far has government experience, but (for) the majority of them it's not at the city level," she said. "I have been in city government for almost eight years. I know who the department heads are. I know what departments do what and the processes of how things get done in the city. I know the backstory on many of the projects and things that we're doing. This is a stronger foundation going in, either to keep things going or to change things - having the background on it helps.
"As an elected official, I have always looked at each issue on its own merits," she said. "I don't vote as I do because the other people are voting that way. I don't vote based on promises to city contractors."

"I'm bilingual, which will help. It's better to be able to communicate directly with someone in their own language rather than they try to communicate in a language in which they're not comfortable or having to get someone to translate," she said. "I've made an effort to get around and see as much as of the city as possible and to know what the issues are in each neighborhood. I think I have seen more of the city than the other candidates."

There are seven candidates running for the mayor position and the current long-term mayor is term-limited. Pat Van Houte is favored to be in the runoff with her recent at-large election victory and continued scandals from the present mayor and his appointments.

The major difficulty she faces is the lack of funding with some of the Republican candidates receiving support from the city contractors and businesses on campaigns that started a year ago and the addition of a couple of last minute entrants into the race spreading the opposition.
For more information on her candidacy see her webpage: Pat4Pasadena.com  
She also has a Facebook page: Pat4Pasadena
Quotes in this report come from an interview with Kristi Nix for the Pasadena Citizen, which also appeared in the Houston Chronicle and AP Newswire — Google cache.

This is cross-posted on Facebook and DailyKos.com


Have you bought the GOP propaganda that our biggest problem is we are overtaxed?



The GOP propaganda that we are overtaxed. Those making over $200,000 have the lowest tax rate in 75 years while those making less have a much lower share of national income but higher taxes.
Effective income tax rate by year by income -
https://qz.com/74271/income-tax-rates-since-1913/




The top 1% before 1980 had 25% of the wealth before 1980 but now have over 43% of the wealth because of changes in income and taxes.http://inequality.org/wealth-inequality/




http://www.cbpp.org/research/poverty-and-inequality/a-guide-to-statistics-on-historical-trends-in-income-inequality







The only group doing better than the wealthy in terms of taxes are corporations. As their taxes decline, our taxes have gone up.


http://www.businessinsider.com/government-tax-receipts-by-source-2010-12





The biggest increase in federal revenue has been on employment taxes, where workers, but not the wealthy because FICA taxes are capped by income, pay for Social Security and Medicare. Now the wealthy want to reduce those benefits and divert the revenue elsewhere. This is next on Trump's and the GOP agenda after healthcare/tax cuts for the wealthy Congressional fight we are seeing over Obamacare.





Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sad for my country today


In Houston wearing an anti-Nazi pin brings out the Nazi sympathiser comments but they don't consider it sympathizing with Nazis, just supporting conservative GOP values. "I’ve noticed when I’m talking to parents at my daughter’s school’s pick-up and other mundane places that glances at my pin spark comment. Not about it, but usually in support of Trump. I’ve gotten remarks about the horrors of a $15 minimum wage, socialized medicine, the dangers of various Muslims, stuff about Hillary Clinton’s emails, and on and on and ad infinitum." It is like they feel accused of being one of the bad guys and feel the need to defend themselves. In their hearts, they know they are the bad guys.

Outside Atlanta, a Black family was celebrating a kid's birthday with a party in a park. Over a dozen hooligans decided to have some fun terrorizing the family by hurling racial insults and threats while driving by with big Confederate flags. Some had guns. They had no idea that was illegal. They found out with long prison sentences for aggravated assault, terroristic threats and street gang terrorism for some.

Trump announced a plan for a large increase in the military budget, which means big cuts in programs that actually help people. The opposition that gets reported is from those who think he is not going far enough in his increase. Trump will have to break the law to pass the military budget increase but that is fine with him.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Stay informed, follow Pat Van Houte for Pasadena Mayor



Because of slow action by Harris County and the City of Pasadena, Texas, information on Harris County and Pasadena election locations and hours and even district boundaries are so far available only on mayoral candidate Pat Van Houte's facebook page Pat4Pasadena and her Pat4Pasadena.com website.


Gary Denton works on Pat Van Houte's campaign as well as blogging as Easter Lemming.





Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Texas Progressive Alliance Blog News For Feb 20.


The Texas Progressive Alliance will light a scented candle outside Ikea in solidarity with the confused people of Sweden as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff thinks that many opportunities to make gains in 2018 will exist for Texas Democrats, and they should plan accordingly.

Libby Shaw at Daily Kos is amused by the Republicans hiding from their constituents. No wonder. The Party has been serving the interests of billionaires and oligarchs for decades, both domestic and Russian, apparently. No Republicans we are not about to move on. This is more dangerous than Watergate.

John Coby at Bay Area Houston supports Lillie Schechter for Chair of the Harris County Democratic Party.

The last few months have been perplexing, as we try to figure out life on the Trump train. UGH. But as Texas Leftist points out, some things are slowly coming into focus. After seeming to be free from consequences, we're finally seeing that the President and his Administration can be held accountable for their actions.

SocraticGadfly, on hearing about the death of Norma Jean McCorvey of Roe v. Wade fame, offers an extended take on her, the plaintiff in a simultaneous suit, and the state of abortion in America today.

Shadetree psychologist PDiddie at Brains and Eggs diagnoses President Trump as in desperate need of an intervention.

Easter Lemming Liberal News showcases Pat Van Houte's grassroots campaign (website) for Pasadena mayor which relies on small donations and prohibits donations from city contractors.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme warns that the disrespect the Republicans show are constitution is only getting worse. Now they want to actually write their hate and kleptocracy into the document, itself.

Neil at All People Have Value made note of the climate change art exhibit made by the construction crew on Memorial Drive in Houston. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Grits for Breakfast explains why indigent defense costs have risen as crime has declined.

The Texas Election Law Blog analyzes two significant election-related bills that have been filed.

Paradise in Hell notes that Dear Leader Trump is now 0.00002% closer to proving his claims about election fraud.

Raj Mankad wants to see multiple approaches taken to make our streets safer.

Julie Rovner takes a deep dive into four GOP talking points on health care.

Raise Your Hand Texas explains why voucher advocates are becoming irritable.

Eater Houston notes that several Houston restaurants will be raising money for the ACLU in support of their immigrant employees.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pat Van Houte For Pasadena Texas Mayor



Pasadena, Texas has long have bad government. One of the main problems is the influence of city contractors. The city contractors pour tens of thousands into the mayoral campaigns and are richly rewarded by the mayor for doing so.

Pat Van Houte was elected at-large city councilperson two years ago and has been persuaded to run for mayor. She has never taken money from city contractors and has been a consistent opponent of the present mayor. She has always run with small donations and constant block-walking since her first winning campaign for her local council seat. She now block-walks the entire city. She block-walks many times a week all year even after she is elected to get feedback from citizens and sent local problems to the action line.

She is the best candidate running in Pasadena and will be a huge change from how the mayor's office has been run. As an at-large council member who was elected two years ago she is favored, except for the money the city contractors will throw into supporting the Republican candidates, particularly the one who makes it into the runoff. This will be an interesting race.


Pat Van Houte For Mayor website.


Here is an article from The Pasadena Citizen, that was picked up by the AP, on the major candidates. There were two more last minute entries who have not held elected office before.


Notice - I am currently in charge of social media and Internet for the Pat Van Houte Campaign.