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Lloyd Oliver Is Just The Harris County District Attorney Candidate That The Democratic Primary Electorate That Voted Him Merits —Two Lousy Candidates For An Important Office

Democratic Harris County District Attorney nominee Lloyd Oliver is not qualified for the office he is seeking.

(Above–A display of support for Mr. Oliver in a Downtown Houston window front.)  

A recent Houston Press article details many reasons why Mr. Oliver is not qualified.

From The Press—

“I got some skeletons in the closet,” he (Oliver) said. “And some of them got some meat on ’em.” Beyond the barratry charge involving Perry Mason — which he was nearly indicted for twice — the State Bar of Texas suspended his law license for 11 months in the mid-1980s. Lloyd, with another lawyer, had apparently hoodwinked a woman “with limited education” out of 26 acres and then committed perjury during the fallout, according to a state District Court decision. In strangeness only befitting Lloyd, he’d told prosecutors he barely knew Brenda Oliver, who’d helped him in the ruse, though, in fact, she’d once been his wife, as well as the mother of his child.”

There has been a lot of angst about Mr. Oliver’s nomination. The Harris County Democratic Party even tried to get him kicked off the November ballot.

But the thing is that Mr. Oliver was on the primary ballot against a mainstream Democrat who likely would have run a well-funded campaign, and for whatever reasons the Democratic primary electorate supported Mr. Oliver.

The facts were out there about Mr. Oliver, and the primary electorate–supposedly involving a more informed voter—chose him anyway.

Life is really short and I’m tired of making excuses for base voters who get can’t get it right, or for a local Democratic Party that seemingly can’t get a message out to voters and that thinks it is okay to try to overturn what voters have done in a fair ballot.

Harris County is a majority-minority county with plenty of progressive white voters. If we can’t make it work when big issues are on the line then we get what we deserve.

The same can be said for Democratic primary voters in Fort Bend county who—for a second time—backed a woman named Kesha Rogers for the U.S. Congress who supports impeaching President Obama.

I’m not voting for Mr. Oliver or for his far-right Republican opponent Mike Anderson.

But the truth is that for many reasons we have District Attorney candidates we merit in Harris County.

We have what you get when the  public fails to meet the basic responsibilities of knowing the candidates or caring about the administration of justice.

As much as I believe that luck and circumstance play a big part in life, we must realize that the work of a decent society is up to each of us.

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October 19, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Who Is Running In 2011 City Of Houston Elections?

Houston municipal elections are just weeks away.

(Above–Photo montage of Houston by Yassie.

October 11 is the last day to register to vote.

Early voting runs October 24–November 4.

Election Day is November 8.

Voters in Houston will be selecting a Mayor, the City Controller, 5 at-large citywide Council positions, and 11 district Council seats.

(Update 10/25/11—Here are my endorsements for Houston in 2011)

Who are the candidates?

There are some useful resources online for you to get the lay of the land.

Fellow Houston blogger Charles Kuffner has a list posted of the candidates and of what groups have endorsed the candidates.  Charles has also conducted interviews with many of the candidates.These interviews can also be accessed at the link above.

The Harris County Republican Party has a very helpful list of the candidates with the party identification of each candidate.

The Harris County Democratic Party—damned near useless in municipal elections as always—has a list of candidates that offers no clues at all as to who is a Democrat.

The Harris County Green Party has a web site as well.  There are two Green candidates in 2011.

While candidates are not listed by party on the city ballot, nothing prohibits candidates for Houston city office from saying what party they represent.

Party identification is a core political question that tells voters a number of things about a candidate.

I don’t know why the Harris County Democratic Party does not promote itself and all the Democratic candidates on the ballot  more aggressively in City of Houston elections.

Most people in Houston vote Democratic in most elections.

You would think that given how lousy turnout is in city elections year-after-year, that the Democratic Party would want to expand the number of people who take part in these elections.

You would think this would be even more the case as the 2012 elections approach. Democrats will have positions to gain and to defend in Harris County in 2012.

While I do not believe that Barack Obama will win Texas in 2012, there is no reason to concede 14 months before the election. You never know. Houston is the largest city in Texas. Should not every effort be made to mobilize likely Democratic voters in Houston?

I suppose though that if the local Democratic establishment did really try to expand turnout , they might have to start to answer questions about why our local Democrats are silent about a near 50% child poverty rate in Houston.

And, of course, we would not want partisanship to get in the way of Democratic Mayor Annise Parker’s outreach to Republicans.

Mayor Parker’s 70% victory with 15% turnout is going to be of cold comfort should Republicans make major gains in Harris County in 2012 and if Rick Perry is elected President.

As we progress towards Election Day, I’m going to have more on the candidates and on who liberals and progressives can support with some measure of enthusiasm.

I’m afraid that may not be a very long list.

In any case, it is up to each voter to learn about the candidates and to ask questions of the candidates during the election season.

The work of freedom and democracy is up to each of us.

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

Public Speaking Schedule And New Publicity Shot

While you did not realize that you wanted to know my speaking schedule and see my new publicity shot, please allow me to offer these things to the blog reading public.

As I mentioned a few days back, I’ll be on a blogger panel sponsored by Texas Democratic Women on Monday, August 22 at 6:30 PM. This panel discussion will take place at Harris County Democratic Party headquarters at  1445 North Loop West, Suite 110.

I’m not certain what I’ll be saying at this event, though, like Howard Cosell, I’m certain that I will “Tell it like it is.

Also, on the night of Saturday, September 3, I’ll be taking part in the spoken word event being staged by Cincinnati’s Aurore Press that is described below—

“Living in the Lap of Labor book Release September 3 at The Comet— As many of you know already, we like to put our best foot forward by putting out a collection of writings, musings, rantings, etc. on the topic of our choice with the help of many of our (much more) talented friends followed by a spoken word performance.  We’ve had our next topic in our pocket for some time now but it’s fortunately (or unfortunately) an extremely timely one: WORK. This is a labor book featuring a few of our favorite writers.”

The Comet is at located at 4579 Hamilton Avenue in Cincinnati.

With such an agressive speaking schedule—I intend to put my all into these two grueling appearances—I thought I should have a publicity shot ready to go.

A lobster bib lends a measure of dignity to any individual and will enhance my reputation as a serious observer of the political scene.

Legal Sea Foods is free to comp me a meal any time in exchange for the free plug.

August 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

How About Some Leadership And Energy From The Harris County Democratic Party?

Despite 3,882 followers, the Harris County Democratic Party Facebook page has been updated once since June 29. And that one time was to sell tickets for an event.

Does the HCDP have anything to say about anything here in the third largest county in America, and with city elections taking place in November?

Even if it is just a few sentences, I manage to update this blog nearly every day of the year.

While many good people care about the party and do get involved, sometimes it seems that the Democratic Party in Harris County is little more than a refuge of sorts for longtime loyalists who might now be 75 year old precinct chairs, a source of networking opportunities for a select group of much younger people, and a “flag of convenience” for candidates who at core operate for the benefit of large donors, and who often ignore the many in Harris County who could use some help but are mostly voiceless.

Do you recall any leadership from the HCDP during the recent Texas legislative session?

Can you recall the last time the HCDP got involved in generating turnout and enthusiasm for municipal elections in Houston?

Here is the link to the web site of the Harris County Democratic Party. On the front page of the web site they suggest that you “like” the HCDP on Facebook.

I’m not really certain though why you would do that. The party never says anything on Facebook.

Folks in Harris County deserve better.

Yet what folks need to grasp is that they themselves are going to have to demand more of the party.

We need to demand more of ourselves.

It is up to each of us as individuals to work collectively for a better Houston and a better Harris County.

This is work that we need to start right away.

July 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

The 2010 Texas Liberal General Election Endorsement Slate

Here is the Texas Liberal endorsement post for the 2010 general election.

(Above–The red is the City of Houston within Harris County, Texas.  In the upper right is Harris County in Texas.)

Where possible, I am voting the straight Democratic ticket.

In the case of the office of the State Comptroller, I am voting for Green candidate Edward Lindsay. There is no Democrat in this race. If the Green gets 5% in this race, then Greens get automatic ballot access in Texas in 2012. I want the option of Green Candidates on the ballot.  Texans merit a choice that will consistently advocate for social justice and fair play. Hopefully the Greens can grow into this role in cases where Democrats let voters down.

(Blogger’s Note —I voted for Mr. Lindsay in early voting. Since that time, Mr. Lindsay’s ability to hold the office has come into question. You’ll have to figure out for yourself  what course is best in this matter. It is a frustrating situation.)

I am  voting Yes on Houston Proposition 1 in favor of the job-creating Renew Houston. This issue will help address our flooding problems in Houston.

I am voting Yes on Houston Proposition 2. This issue will help manage the Houston City Council redistricting process more fairly for incumbents not sure where their new district lines are drawn.

I am voting Yes on Houston Proposition 3. A yes vote in on Issue 3 will help save lives on our already dangerous streets by keeping our red light cameras.

I’m not voting the Democratic ticket with a full measure of enthusiasm. I’ve lived in a city everyday of my 43 years. Democrats sometimes take advantage  of the loyal support of urban voters and offer little in return. It is really little different from how Republicans take the majority of rural votes in our nation, yet at the same time offer few solutions to the many problems of rural America.

While I do believe that former Houston Mayor Bill White will be a much better Governor than the incumbent, I’m disappointed that he has not put forth a vision that includes all Texans. We live in what is many ways a poor state. Yet the poor frequently seem shunned by the modern Democratic Party.

However, it should also be noted that the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor of Texas, Linda Chavez-Thompson, has offered a very inclusive view of who should share in the blessings of freedom and prosperity in our state.

In Harris County, Loren Jackson has done a great job modernizing and bringing new efficiencies to the office of Harris County District Clerk.

The entire Democratic slate for countywide offices is competent. And at least two of the Republicans running for countywide office are so-called Tea Party followers.

The Tea Party is not something we need in our Harris County.

In Texas Congressional District 7, located in the Houston-area, there is a write-in Democratic candidate against the Republican incumbent. Her name is Lissa Squiers. The incumbent is not running unopposed.

I am not endorsing any Republicans. It is possible a case could be made for the reelection of Harris County Judge Executive Ed Emmett. Mr. Emmett is a reasonable voice who brings some moderation to the Republican Party in a way that likely benefits the County as a whole.

Top conservative blogger Dave Jennings at Big Jolly Politics, endorsed Democrat Jeff Weems to serve on the Texas Railroad Commission. Mr. Jennings did this despite the fact he is Tea Party mouthpiece.

I cannot in this political climate endorse a Republican. It is not enough that Mr. Emmett is not a kook. Silence in the face of extremism is very much a vice. The present day Republican/Tea Party talking points of drastically scaled back government and racial and ethnic intolerance simply have nothing of relevance to say to our growing and diverse county.  Mr. Emmett needs to speak up against the rising menace of Tea Party extremism.

I urge all to vote in the upcoming election. Please vote for all the offices right down to the last judicial and county race.

Here are some links to facts about the election—

Here is the Democratic Party of Texas.

Here is the Green Party of Texas. ( I note that this web page has no update newer than July 23. I really want to be supportive, but are these people serious or not?)

Here is the Harris County Democratic Party.

Blogger Charles Kuffner has interviewed scores of Democrats on the ballot. Listen to these interviews and hear the candidates for yourself.

For those of you who insist on considering the Republicans on the ballot, the League of Women Voters of the Houston area has all the facts.

Here are the endorsements of the Houston Chronicle.

If you have a candidate you think is worthy of mention here, please go ahead and leave a comment.

October 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Some Quick Thoughts On Yesterday’s Houston City Elections

Just a few quick thoughts on Houston’s city elections yesterday.

1. I’m glad Annise Parker has made the runoff for Mayor. I hope that Ms. Parker uses this new round of elections to more sharply define herself from her opposition than she did in the general election.

80% of voters yesterday chose a Democrat to serve as Mayor of Houston. Ms Parker has a new chance to articulate a vision of Houston that is not just racially and socially inclusive, but fully economically inclusive as well.

2. I’m not going to vote for a City Controller who has not paid all his taxes. I won’t vote the Republican in the race. But nor will I vote for Ronald Green.

If my not voting for Mr. Green helps elect the Republican—So be it.

A Democrat running to watch over our city finances should pay his taxes.

3. I wish the Harris County Democratic Party would do something to generate turnout in the runoff. Let’s begin to set the stage for Democratic victories in Harris County in 2010.

November 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Who Are The Democrats Running For Houston City Offices In 2009?

Who are the Democrats running in our upcoming Houston city elections?

This can be hard to figure out because many candidates for Houston city office shy away from party identification. It seems as if they are trying to trick voters.

Folks will tell you our city elections are supposed to be non-partisan. It is true that party ID is not listed on the ballot. However, none of this means that individual candidates or county parties cannot address the subject.

What political party a candidate supports matters at all levels of government. City budgets reflect public priorities and, as such, moral values. Issues such as housing and health need to be addressed in Houston. City workers must make decent wages. 

Public office provides a platform for officeholders to address topics such as poverty and the environment. It matters who has access to this platform. 

It is a clear statement of values whether someone voted for Barack Obama or John McCain last November. I don’t want elected officials who feel Sarah Palin should be Vice President of the United States. 

I want the values and policies I support represented at City Hall. Elections should offer real choices. 

The Harris County Democratic Party has a list of city candidates. This list is not fully useful in trying to determine who is a Democrat. The Harris County Democratic Party list tells who is a “sustaining member” of the party.   

This is fine as far as it goes. But candidates such as Noel Freeman for At-Large Position 4 and Richard Sedita in Council District G are Democrats even if the party feels they have not given enough money to be listed as such. The Democratic list offers no clues beyond who has donated.

The Harris County Republican Party has a party identification list for candidates running in Houston in 2009. The listings are based upon what ballot a candidate took in the 2008 primary season. This list also has the party ID for candidates in local school races and for candidates running in the smaller cities and towns of Harris County.    

The Republican list is more helpful than the Democratic list.

There is also a slate of Progressive candidates running in Houston for 2009. These candidates merit a look. 

Where there is more than one candidate from the same party running for the same office, you may need to do some studying. 

Just because a candidate says he or she is of the same party you generally support, does not mean that person has an automatic right to your vote.

These things said, party identification is a useful starting point when deciding who to vote for on the upcoming Houston ballot.

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment