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Who Are The Democrats In Houston City Council Runoff Elections?—Andrew Burks Is On All Sides Of The Aisle

It is time for Houston City Council runoff elctions.

Early voting begins on November 30 and runs through December 6. General Election Day is Saturday, December 10.

There are 2 citywide races and 2 district races.

Who are the Democrats in these races?

For Houston Council At-Large #2, Kristi Thibaut is the Democrat.

For Houston Council At-Large #5, Jolanda Jones is the Democrat.

In Houston Council District A, both candidates are Republicans.

(I’ve got little interest in a race between Republicans, but endorsed Republican Helena Brown is an very extreme right-winger.)

In Houston Council District  B, both candidates are Democrats.  The two candidates are Alvin Byrd and Jerry Davis.

For At-Large #2, Andrew Burks is taking the support of the Republican Party. You see at the bottom of this post what I am saying.

The thing is if you look at the website Mr. Burks has set up for this race, he says he is a Democrat.

Here is what it says about Mr. Burks on his website—

“Burks has been a life long Democrat and has worked with the Democratic Party in voter education and outreach as well as has improved and implemented policies and procedures for the Harris County Democratic Party.”

Get it?

Mr. Burks is a Republican if you are a Republican, and he is Democrat if you are Democrat.

And if you are a Green or Libertarian, I’m sure that can be worked out as well.

I’m not telling you I have a great deal of confidence in Kristi Thibaut or Jolanda Jones. Ms. Thibaut will play it safe and likely never champion the disenfranchised in Houston. Ms. Jones will allow her conduct to get in the way of her advocacy for the people she represents.

The issue is that you should not be allowed to play all sides as Mr. Burks is seeking to do. Beliefs matter. Party matters. Houston was a 61% Obama city in 2008. We should not give away an advantage.

Kristi Thibaut and Jolanda Jones best represent the political and policy beliefs of  the people of Houston. This is the issue. Not skin color. Not how people dress for Council meetings as Jack Christie would have you believe.

Nothing matters  but the bottom line of public policy and partisan advantage as the high stakes election of 2012 draws near.

What I’ll be doing is voting for Ms. Thibaut and Ms. Jones in the runoff, and then giving them a hard time after the election.

We should expect more of candidates for office and of the people that we elect.

More importantly, we should expect more of ourselves. We don’t have to accept candidates for office who are on every side, and we don’t have to accept Democrats who take our support on Election Day but who are not on our side after Election Day.

JPG EMail Banner
HCRP Advisory Board Endorses in COH RacesHCRP Advisory Board Endorsements(l to r) Helena Brown, Andrew C. Burks, Jr. and Jack Christie

The Harris County Republican Party Advisory Board has voted to endorse the following candidates in the upcoming City Of Houston Runoff Elections. The following are the most qualified, conservative candidates and, as early voting approaches, we will highlight each candidate. In the meantime, please visit their websites (see below).

Helena Brown – District A

Andrew Burks, Jr – At-Lrg Position #2

Jack Christie – At-Lrg Position #5

Early voting runs Nov. 30 – Dec. 6. Election Day is December 10th.


Jared Woodfill
Jared Woodfill
Chairman, Harris County Republican Party

November 30, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Protest To Call For Resignation Of HISD Board Member Manuel Rodriguez—Mr. Rodriguez Has Attacked All Persons In Our City

Incumbent Houston Independent School District Board member Manuel Rodriguez circulated anti-gay campaign materials during his recent reelection bid.

(Above–Citizens of our community calling for the resignation of Manuel Rodriguez.)

Mr. Rodriguez won his race by 24 votes.

A website has been established to call for Mr. Rodriguez’s resignation from the board. 

There is also a Facebook page called Remove The HISD Bully.

How can Mr. Rodriguez well-serve any HISD student? The rights and dignity of all people are connected.

If Mr. Rodriguez has a problem with gay folks, who can be certain that Mr. Rodriguez will champion the success of any HISD student?

There will be an upcoming protest to call for Mr. Rodriguez’s resignation.

I encourage all freedom loving Houstonians to attend this event.

It would be great that if in addition to an informed and outraged general public taking part in efforts to call for Mr. Rodriguez’s resignation, we were also to see coordinated efforts among Houston’s various civil rights groups.

Folks can’t go on just speaking up when their own concerns are the issue. We will never make progress if that is how we operate.

Mr. Rodriguez’s hate mongering is an attack on all people and it is a call to action for all people.

Here are details of the protest—

JOIN US in protest of HISD School Board Trustee Manuel Rodriguez, who according to the Houston Chronicle, displayed “appalling homophobia” over the weekend. The HISD School Board is the LAST place that we want this kind of homophobia to be in power.

What: HISD School Board meeting 
When: Thursday, December 8; outdoor protest beginning at 4:30pm, public hearing at 6:30pm 
Where: The Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 West 18th Street, in the board auditorium.

November 29, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Republican Jack Christie Promises Elevated Tone For Houston City Council—Yet This Is Not How He Conducts Himself

Republican Houston City Council At-Large # 5 candidate Jack Christie recently sent out a campaign mailer in which I am quoted.  Mr. Christie is in a runoff election against incumbent Democrat Jolanda Jones.

(Above–Smiling Jack Christie.) 

Here is what Mr. Christie quotes me as saying about Ms. Jones—

“Her story on Council seems in good part to be of an opportunity missed.”

I did indeed write that. What is not mentioned, however, is that I also endorsed Ms. Jones in the very same blog post Mr. Christie used to get that line you see above.

Here is what I said in full-

“Only you know if you want to support Jolanda Jones for one last term. She is always involved in some type of fuss. Sometimes it seems to be her fault, while other times it is not her fault. In any case, you wish that Ms. Jones was a more disciplined and effective advocate for the poor and disenfranchised in Houston. Her story on Council seems in good part to be of an opportunity missed. After some thought, I’ve decided I’m going to vote for Ms. Jones.  Ms. Jones made a recent visit to Occupy Houston and I appreciate that fact. I’m not aware of any other incumbent city official who has done the same.”

That is not a ringing endorsement. But it is an endorsement. If you are a liberal, or a Democrat of any stripe in our majority Democratic city of Houston, Jolanda Jones is a far better choice than Jack Christie.

It is fun enough to get your mail and see your name being used to oppose a candidate you support. That is how it goes sometimes in these type things and I got a good laugh out of it.  But the fact remains that what Mr. Christie  is conveying in his campaign literature is simply not the case. I support Ms. Jones.

I saw Mr. Christie speak at the Meyerland Democratic Club meeting last week. The club’s president, Art Pronin, was gracious enough to allow Mr. Christie to address the group for a few minutes.

Mr. Christie repaid this kindness with rudeness. Instead of addressing issues, Mr. Christie spoke about how Ms. Jones dresses for Houston City Council meetings. What he was talking about had nothing to do with City Council business.  Why is what a woman wears part of the debate? In what other ways does Mr. Christie have antiquated views about the place of women in our society?

It is Ms. Jones rather than Mr. Christie who best represents the political and policy views of the people of Houston.

Mr. Christie says he will bring a new and allegedly better tone to Houston City Council. Yet he uses campaign materials to convey false impressions, and on the campaign trail he offers obnoxious behavior in return for decency.

At least Ms. Jones tells you upfront who she is as a person. She gives you the chance to take it or leave it. Mr. Christie, in sharp contrast, is a phony. He does not merit your support.

Here is the website for Ms. Jones.

Runoff Election Day is Saturday, December 10. Early voting is November 30 through December 6.

November 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Sean Hubbard—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

Here is the weekly posting of the  Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas.  TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.

Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

With the round- up this week are some details of a meet and greet for Texas Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Sean Hubbard. Mr. Hubbard has been campaigning as a progressive to some extent as he seeks to win the 2012 Democratic primary. It could all be an act to win the primary and then ditch his base in the general election. But folks at least merit a listen.

Here is the event–

Meet and greet for Sean Hubbard

Sunday, December 4, 2011. 1 PM–3 PM

Frono’s of Italy. 10001 Westheimer.  

Here is Mr. Hubbard’s website.

Here is the round-up

Off the Kuff takes a look at the electoral opportunities of the new court-drawn legislative map.Sunday, December 4, 2011 1:00 PM-3 PM

WCNews at Eye On Williamson links to the results of a Texas AFT survey that the GOP’s plan to defund public education is working as designed: Survey says….Texas public schools are in trouble.

Bay Area Houston shows that while Rick Perry incorrectly claims Obama calls Americans lazy, his major donors are writing op-eds calling Americans lazy. Continue reading

November 27, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 3 Comments

How It All Ends Up

Longtime New York Times reporter and columnist Tom Wicker died yesterday. Mr. Wicker was 85.

Mr. Wicker was at one point one of the best known journalists in America. I recall reading his columns.

Here is Mr. Wicker’s NYT obituary. 

An obituary is a summation of your life. Mr. Wicker has been summed up.

In the picture above are collections I have at home of the poems of Langston Hughes and Robert Frost.

While I’m certain there are exceptions, does anybody who reads the poems of either of these men read much beyond these compilations?

Here are facts about Langston Hughes.

Here are facts about Robert Frost.

After you die your life gets distilled to a kind of irreducible essence.

He or she was this type or that type of person. He or she enjoyed one thing or another.  He or she thought whatever about the issue of the moment.

There is really nothing sad about this. It just points me to the view that existence is vast and we each have a part.

I suppose some people may be seen as having played a larger role than others. Though it is good to be dubious of the perceptions of both the few and the many. You can never be certain of the impact a person has had in life.

All you can do is try to be the person you want to be when you are here, and the person you hope to be recalled as when you are gone.

November 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Occupy Houston Prints Newspaper—Self-Starting And Working With Others Is The Occupy Wall Street Ethic

The first edition of the Occupy Houston newspaper is out.

This is indeed the spirit. It is up to each of us to be self-starters, and to work with others for the good of the nation and of the 99%.

You can pick up a copy of the paper at Occupy Houston at Tranquility Park.

Occupy Houston will today be at the Egyptian consulate and at the Houston Galleria for Black Friday.

Here are some details of the Egyptian consulate protest-

Friday November 25th, 2pm-5pm 5718 Westheimer Road , Suite 1350 Houston, TX 77057

Please, come and stand for Egypt freedom against brutality in Egypt. Stand for future of Egypt.

The Galleria event will be at 5:30 PM in the mall.

Here is the Occupy Houston website.

Here is Occupy Galveston. 

Here is Occupy Wall Street.

You can also find these Occupy efforts on Facebook as well as an Bryan-College Station Facebook page.

Let’s be hopeful, creative, and hard working.

November 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 5 Comments


It is a great Thanksgiving Day on the sunny shores of the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston, Texas.

I hope you and yours are having a nice and safe Thanksgiving.

November 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Occupy Houston Not Resting Over Thanksgiving

Occupy Houston will be having a “Fall Harvest Feast”  today to mark Thanksgiving Day at 6 PM in Tranquility Park.

Then on Black Friday the 25th, Occupy will be at the Egyptian Consulate and the Houston Galleria.

Here is the latest New York Times report about events in Egypt.   

It is energetic and hopeful stuff.

You just don’t have to accept the world as it is. You can be part of something better.

Here is the Occupy Wall Street website.

November 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Almost Time To Occupy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is almost here.

Lieutenant John Pike is out and pepper spraying at the Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving family dinner.

Nothing is more wholesome and American than Occupy Wall Street fighting for the 99%, and the free use of our First Amendment freedoms.

I hope everybody has some great Thanksgiving plans.

Please drive safely and let’s all be kind to one another.

November 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

President Obama Mic Checked By Occupy New Hampshire—Good Work!

Thanks to the Occupy New Hampshire protesters who mic checked President Obama yesterday. The subject was the large number of peaceful Occupy protestors who have been arrested nationwide.

Occupy Wall Street should stay outside the two major parties and should not be co-opted into the Obama 2012 campaign.

Occupy needs to exert pressure on both parties from the outside, train leaders and activists for the fights ahead, and provide a place for people who feel that big money has corrupted the process on both sides of the aisle.

Here is the Occupy New Hampshire website.

Here is Occupy Wall Street. 

November 23, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Happy Birthday Charles De Gaulle

Today is the birthday of Charles De Gaulle.

The video above is of President De Gaulle calling for Quebec separatism while at the Montreal City Hall in 1967.

Pure entertainment.

Charles De Gaulle lived 1890-1970.

De Gaulle was the great French hero of WW II and of Algeria.

Here is my post about General De Gaulle’s famous speech of June 18, 1940.  This speech began the French Resistance to German rule of France.

A great two-volume of De Gaulle was written by Jean Lacouture. The first volume is called De Gaulle–The Rebel, 1890-1944Here is a review of that book. The second volume is De Gaulle–The Ruler, 1945-1970.

A good one-volume biography is The Last Great Frenchman–A Life of Charles De Gaulle by Charles Williams.

De Gaulle’s war memoirs are justly well-regarded.

Here is biographical information about Charles De Gaulle.

Here is a BBC biography of De Gaulle.

Aware of his duties as a leader of the French resistance and as President of France, while at the same time never losing a sense of the absurd, Charles De Gaulle has long been one of my favorite figures of history.

November 22, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Occupy Houston Moving Ahead As Always After Shots Fired

There was gunfire yesterday at Occupy Houston in Tranquility Park.

At first report, the gunman had nothing to do with Occupy Houston or with any ideological motive opposed to Occupy Houston or Occupy Wall Street.

Nobody was hurt except for the gunman who was wounded by Houston police.

Thank you to Houston police who risked their safety to apprehend the gunman. I hope the shooter gets the help he needs. The Houston Chronicle reported that he was 21 years old. I hope he can find his way at some point.

At Occupy Houston, there was still some press around in the evening after the shooting.

But the nightly general assembly went on as usual.

I was at Occupy Houston in the evening, but not at the time of the shooting.

Here is the Occupy Houston website.

Here is Occupy Galveston.

Here is Occupy Wall Street.

Occupy efforts across the country are meeting in their home cities, and are sharing ideas online for the next round of the movement.

Please consider supporting Occupy as they speak on behalf of the 99%. We all have the ability to advocate and speak up for ourselves

November 22, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Glad To See Supercommittee Near Failure—The Debate Is Shifting Away From Tax Cuts And Austerity

The so-called Supercommittee on debt reduction and even more austerity seems set to fail.

The issue, as always, is Republican resistance to asking the most wealthy in our nation to pay a fair share of the taxes.

The Republican pledge made to ultra-right wing lobbyist Grover Norquist to never raise taxes no matter what is more important than striking any kind of deal or engaging in any type of compromise.

This pledge is also more important that preserving basic safety net programs for people having a hard time in this recession.

Of course the thing is we are better off with the Supercommittee not reaching a deal.

Here is a comment from a New York Times comment board that says it well—

In truth, “Failure” is the preferred option. “Failure” preserves social insurance and health care for the poor, disabled, and elderly, and preserves the prospect that the Bush tax cuts will expire. Those elements alone will reduce the deficit far more than any deal they would have cut. And, we have the additional prospect of at least minimal cuts to the bloated DoD budget.

What’s not to like?

In good part due to Occupy Wall Street, the national discussion is somewhat different from what it was a few months ago.

There is plenty of talk now about income inequality and options other than austerity.

As the debate shifts in our nation, there is no reason to give in to folks who have no plan other than help for the most wealthy, and a shifting of burdens to everyday working people, young people, and retired people.

Let’s keep working hard to move the debate even more so towards hope for the future and jobs that pay fair wages.

November 21, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 6 Comments

Speaking Today On Occupy Houston At Meyerland Area Democrats Meeting

I’ll be speaking later today at the monthly meeting of the Meyerland Area Democrats.

Here are details of this event—

Occupy Wall St. and the 2012 Election at Nov. 21st Meyerland Area Democrats Meeting

Nov. 7, 2011 –Activists Neil Aquino and Sarah Slamen to speak on Occupy Houston, and Dr. Bob Stein to review the 2012 election landscape on November 21

The regular monthly meeting of Meyerland Democrats is held at Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill, located at 4738 Beechnut. Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7 p.m. There is no charge to attend, but attendees pay for their own food and drinks. The Meyerland Area Democrats Club is made up primarily of residents of election precincts in the Meyerland area, including Westbury, Maplewood and Marilyn Estates. 

Here is the website of the Meyerland Area Democrats. 

November 21, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Claims Of A First Thanksgiving In Texas—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

Here is the most recent Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas.  TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.

Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

With the round-up this week are a few facts about Thanksgiving in Texas. While we associate the first Thanksgiving with Plymouth, Massachusetts, there are some who assert that the first Thanksgiving in what  would be later become the United States  took place in El Paso in 1598.

From The Texas Almanac

“El Paso residents now claim the first Thanksgiving in North America. The modern event, first observed in April 1989, commemorates a day of thanksgiving celebrated by Spanish explorer Juan de Oñate and his expedition on April 30, 1598.”

The upshot is that this Juan de Onate and his expedition of discovery in what is now northern Mexico and the El Paso area endured the standard trials of Indian attacks, heat, and thirst, until it came upon the Rio Grande River where all the people and all the animals could finally have some water to drink and some food to eat.

(Above–A book about Juan de Onate. It seems he is relatively well-known in some circles. I’d not heard of him before.)  

A celebration of thanksgiving was ordered—

“A member of the expedition wrote of the original celebration, “We built a great bonfire and roasted the meat and fish, and then all sat down to a repast the like of which we had never enjoyed before….”

If you read the Texas Almanac article who will also learn of a claim of celebration of Thanksgiving in the future Texas that dates back to 1541.

I would imagine that feasts or celebrations of thanksgiving have taken place in one way or another for a very long time and in a number of places.

Please have a good and safe Thanksgiving holiday. Treat other people well.

Here is the round-up—

Off the Kuff took a tour of Houston elections from the 1990s to see how they compared to more modern matchups.Following Rick Perry’s latest gaffes, Letters From Texas explains why the governor has become such a hopeless band nerd that the crazy girl who can’t get a prom date pities him.Darth Politico commemorates Veterans Day with a discussion about the history of red tape and veterans benefits. Emphasis on ‘red’.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson points out that Republicans in Texas are boxed in. They know know taxes must be raised to run our state’s government, but can’t bring themselves to say it, much less do it: Texas GOP’s cowardice.

On the same night Houston Mayor Annise Parker celebrated barely being re-elected, a few blocks away the HPD arrested seven Occupy Houstonians for refusing to move a tarp which the police called a tent. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs doesn’t think that’s a great way to start a second term … unless she plans on again representing the 1%, that is. Continue reading

November 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment