Monday, August 31, 2015

The Weekly Wangle

The Texas Progressive Alliance remembers the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and honors the spirit of its survivors as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff recaps Ken Paxton's first day in court. It won't be his last.

Libby Shaw, writing for Texas Kaos and contributing to Daily Kos scolds the Republican Party for its cruel war on immigrants. Earth to the GOP: Stop picking on immigrants and do your jobs.

Socratic Gadfly turns a skeptical eye to Constitutional-era pop historian Joseph Ellis, and rakes him over the coals for writing something barely historical, but that adds to Constitutional myth-making.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme watches the Republican war on Latinos continue with throwing attorneys out of detention centers and denying birth certificates to citizens.

Houston city council races dominated PDiddie's Brains and Eggs this past week, with At Large 1, At Large 2, and At Large 3 all profiled and prognosticated.

WCNews at Eye on Williamson also covered the Texas attorney general's many legal troubles, noting they are not going away anytime soon, in Paxton's problems pile up.

Texas Leftist analyzed the "debate" between Jorge Ramos and Donald Trump on immigration, and Dos Centavos also added his two cents.

TXsharon at Bluedaze spent some time in Fracking Hell, aka the Eagle Ford shale, and lived to tell us about it.

Neil at All People Have Value expressed distress over how we drive in Harris County and asked that we be careful on our roads. APHV is part of


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

Ryan Holeywell and Stephen Klineberg debunk myths about Hurricane Katrina evacuees in Houston, while Ethan Raker shows how interacting with Katrina evacuees affected opinions about them.

Grits for Breakfast seemed surprised and perturbed at Texas media for seemingly ignoring one of the most important laws going into effect on September 1: raising the threshold for property theft crimes.

Carol Morgan commented on the many instances of disaster capitalism in "When the Parasite (the 1% and the corporations) Kills the Host (the rest of us)".

Trail Blazers covered the removal of the statue of Jefferson Davis from the grounds of the University of Texas.

Juanita Jean gives the idiots protesting at the HISD Arabic language immersion school a piece of her mind.

The Makeshift Academic builds a model to estimate how many people would benefit from Medicaid expansion.

jobsanger graphed the polling that shows Americans are split on whether to tax churches or not.

Paradise in Hell observes a rite of passage for George P. Bush.

HOUequality reprinted Pulitzer-winning writer Lisa Falkenburg's op-ed: "Anti-(HERO) campaign's scare tactics need to be flushed".

Erica Ciszek explains her anxiety about bathrooms.

Lawflog explained why Hearne's supervisor of the city's street department is being paid to sit in jail.

Chip Brown calls out Baylor President Ken Starr in the Art Briles/Sam Ukwuachu case.

Stephanie Stradley explains why the Deflategate case matters.

And Fascist Dyke Motors got a little creeped out on her recent visit to New Orleans.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The At Large 3 contest

Here are the entrants, as usual from the city's filings page and in alphabetical order.  Via Kuff, who has a post up about this and some mayoral fora upcoming, Mike Morris at the Chronicle's graphic shows the names listed in ballot order.

This race IMHO presents one of the more interesting lineups of candidates among the At-Larges despite its complete lack of diversity (I find AL 1 and AL 4 to be the protoypical mud wrestling matches, with AL 5 demonstrating more of what Houston is all about demographically).  Let's not bury the lede; one of Peterson or LaRue hopefully can push the incumbent Kubosh into a runoff in December.

Peterson has a long and impressive resume': strategist for NASA, leadership experience with environmental organizations like the Sierra Club, chairman of Senate District 11, active with the Bay Area New Democrats -- in short, everything just about anybody on the left could look for in a progressive, activist Democrat.   LaRue voted in the 2014 Republican primary in 2014, and McElligott -- affiliated with the Harris County Green Party, the only such candidate on the ballot -- voted in the 2010 Republican primary.  In a conversation with me, McElligott indicated that he did so strategically in the governor's race that year, for Kay Bailey Hutchison over Rick Perry.  I don't know LaRue's motivation so let's give him the benefit of the doubt that he did the same as McElligott.  (Many more Democrats than will admit it do this.  They even encourage others to do so; that's how weak Texas Democrats have become in midterm elections.)

McElligott has fleshed out strongly progressive policy issues: participatory budgeting (they've given it a go in NYC), repealing TABOR, reforming tax increment financing, advocating public banking and paid leave... sadly, these initiatives are outside the realm of concept for most municipal voters.  They will just screech "soshulist" and point at Bernie Sanders (or Jill Stein).  McElligott's paving the way to real progress for Greens, Democratic socialists and non-Democratic progressives.  Good on him for that.

LaRue is trying to run right down the middle of the partisan divide, rarely a winning electoral strategy at any level these days.  He has campaigned actively, appearing at numerous Democratic functions with photos on his Facebook page, and even making news as he and his husband became the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license issued in Harris County.  Here's OutSmart magazine's retelling of the day-long saga involving Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart's refusals, County Attorney Vince Ryan's threats of legal injunction, and the media swarm that covered it all day.  Here's an article where LaRue describes his views as centrist and bipartisan, and also that his motivation for joining the race was Kubosh's votes against HERO.  And he's open about chasing moderate Republican votes, so there's that.

Despite his folk hero status, LaRue did not get the GLBT Caucus endorsement, probably due to their distasteful "viability" ratings of candidates.  Kuff underscored this point a couple of weeks ago in his reporting on endorsements.

I simply would not expect a great deal of votes to go to McElligott -- something on the order of the Greens' usual market share in contested races, about 1-2% -- but LaRue and Peterson could spoil each other's chances and let Kubosh waddle back to the horseshoe.  The incumbent and portly bail bondsman has voted against HERO and taken five large, the maximum financial contribution, from Steven Hotze this go-round.  He has a big target on his very wide back.  He got lucky two years ago when the Democrats washed each other out, and his popularity from fighting (and winning) the red-light camera battle with Mayor Annise Parker was at its zenith.  But unless turnout favors the liberal strongholds in the city, we could be looking at a rerun of 2013.

Prediction for the general: Kubosh could skate over thin ice again if Peterson and LaRue split the Democratic vote. If one of the two can get the incumbent mano a mano in December, odds are good that the seat flips.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Email matter reveals Clinton unfit for office

We'll continue with Houston city council races shortly, but this piece from Investors Business Daily is a must-read, especially for all you pathetic Clinton supporters who continue to insist that her e-mail server scandal is small potatoes, or a smear tactic or some other lame-ass excuse.

Last week, it was Hillary Clinton's campaign spokesman acknowledging that she "didn't really think it through" when she chose to use her personal email account for State Department business rather than a secure government account, thereby admitting that she isn't fit to be president.

This week, Clinton herself conceded she doesn't have the judgment to be president.

While campaigning in Iowa Wednesday, Clinton showed that she finally understands what nearly everyone else has long known, confessing that her use of personal email "clearly wasn't the best choice."

"I should've used two emails: one personal, one for work," she said.

Yes, one for yakking with friends about yoga routines, another for the classified material that was on her personal email and private server. Most anyone who isn't a Clinton (or a top Clinton aide or Democratic operatives at the IRS and the EPA) would do just that.

As we noted last week, America doesn't need a commander in chief who doesn't "really think it through" when making decisions that can affect national security.

Presidents have and will make bad choices on big issues, but the country needs someone who can at least make "the best choice" in small decisions. How will a candidate who is unable to select what's clearly the right option when there's no pressure fare when faced with the monumental decisions that a president has to make on a frequent basis?

And that is precisely it.  When the FBI investigates something as a potential criminal matter, it's not just screwing around.  You can't call it a partisan witch hunt, either.  If nothing arises from said investigation, then you can certainly trumpet that.  But this drip, drip, drip of gradually taking responsibility for a serious mistake in judgement is part of the Clinton modus operandi.  Fear not, Clintonites; it's still not enough to damage her long-term prospects.

Ever the evasive politician, Clinton told the Iowa crowd that she takes "responsibility for that decision," but just what does that mean? Exactly nothing.

There will be no consequences. She will not censure herself in any way or pay for her mistake.
But she knows that phrase plays well politically, that it makes her sound as if she's holding herself to account.
Clinton also applied slippery spin when she said she's looking forward to October when she testifies before Congress about her personal email account and private server. She's "confident," she said, "the process" will exonerate her.

In private, she's probably not so confident. She knows what she did. The president and vice president also probably know, too. Maybe that's why Joe Biden is preparing to run and the president has given him his blessing.

Joe Biden probably isn't running, as it turns out.

Vice President Joe Biden revealed to members of the Democratic National Committee Wednesday that he is assessing whether he has "the emotional fuel" to run for the White House.

"We're dealing at home with ... whether or not there is the emotional fuel at this time to run," Biden told DNC members on a conference call that was billed as an opportunity to hear from the vice president on the Iran nuclear deal. "If I were to announce to run, I have to be able to commit to all of you that I would be able to give it my whole heart and my whole soul, and right now, both are pretty well banged up."

If he did, polling shows he'd be a stronger nominee than Clinton.  She's damaged goods, but thanks to Donald Trump, she's still on pace to be the 45th president of the United States.  And that will be nothing to celebrate.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The At Large 2 contest

Once more, your choices on the ballot in November from the city's filings page, listed in alphabetical order by last name, and links to those candidate web pages where they exist.

Let's begin by recounting that just two years ago, Robinson defeated then-incumbent Burks in a squeaker of a runoff, 50.7% to 49.3, or a margin of less than 500 votes out of 52,000+ cast.  In the general that year, Robinson led with 41.2% followed by Burks with 38.2, Rivera with 16.3 and Trebor Gordon with 6.3. Gordon was rumored to file but did not, so the stage is set with Davis, a black pastor virulently opposed to HERO, replacing the Republican Gordon.

In 2011, when this seat was open, ten challengers split the vote, with Burks -- a perennial loser in City Hall elections to that point -- finishing first in the general, followed closely by Kristi Thibaut.  Robinson came in fourth that year, and Dick seventh.  Burks prevailed in December in a similarly close runoff election, 50.2 - 49.8, or just 111 votes.

Attorney Dick ran for mayor in 2013 and clocked in a solid third, well behind behind Annise Parker and Ben Hall but ahead of six others including a Green and a Socialist candidate, with over 18,000 votes out of 172,448 cast, or 10.6% of the tally.  (See the link above in the second graf for more details if you like.)  Dick also seems to like to run for political office more to boost the fortunes of his law firm than actually get elected, ever since his signs debacle a few cycles ago.

In a non-bathroom election year, you'd have to score a rematch with Robinson and Burks as the most likely outcome for a runoff.  But Dick and especially Davis complicate matters, with their distinct conservative supporters unlikely to switch away from their preferred candidate until the runoff dust is settled.  Rivera, a resident of Kingwood with a lengthy military background and a longtime Republican as well, completes the list of conservatives trying to win this office.  Latinos turning out for Garcia might know nothing about him and mark him on the basis of surname alone.

Burks has a Facebook page that saw its last update in March, with sad tales of knee replacements and broken arms and the passing of his mother.  His former campaign website,, returns a 404 on direct link, but the Yahoo search listing redirects to a domain hawking garcinia cambogia as a weight loss supplement.  And from deep in the bowels of the Internet, a site which looks current but only lists his political campaigns up to 2001 ("at present").  Still, none of this sort of thing held him back in 2011.  Though a nominal Democrat, Burks's record  is a fairly conservative one.  His HERO position is unclear.*  That isn't the case with Davis or Rivera or Dick, so expect the Republicans and social conservatives among the black Dems to be divided in their allegiances in this tilt.  No one of them can likely best Robinson -- a solid Democrat and quiet but effective council member with no philosophical challenger -- but a runoff with one of them, and the HERO vote in the record books, might be a different circumstance.

No bets taken on who might wind up facing the incumbent in December.  It all depends on how well the various conservative constituencies turn out their voters.

Prediction for the general: Robinson may be able to avoid a runoff if the black vote splits between Burks and Davis; even if it does then one of the two others could join him in the finals.  Strong liberal turnout for HERO gets him over the bar without one.

*See Charles Kuffner's remarks in the comments.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The At Large 1 contest

Here are your contestants, in alphabetical order by last name, from the city's filings page.  I'm only linking to the pages of the candidates that I believe have a realistic shot at the seat.

Last go first.

Griff and Partsch-Galván are perennial losing candidates for city council.  That's really all that can be said about either man.  Wait; Griff lost his tenth bid for city council in 2011 and promised us then that it was his final race, and he used to own a fun, dive-y sports bar that still has his name on it.  JP-G is a freak.  Now that's all.

Provost made the runoff in District D two years ago, clearing a field of twelve with 14% to face off against Dwight Boykins.  She ultimately fell to the incumbent, who had garnered almost enough votes (42.9%) to avoid the runoff.  She is well-known in the African American community as a professional photographer, businesswoman, TSU alum and fundraiser with Alan Helfman, the proprietor of River Oaks Chrysler Dodge Jeep.

Speaking of Boykins, he was the only African American council member who voted against the HERO last year... but he then voted to sustain it last month.  The equal rights ordinance is likely where AL1 will turn, with Pool (a trans-woman) and Lewis (a gay man, also chair of the Harris County Democrats) leading the contingent of pro-tolerance liberals among the Houston electorate.

Pool has run for at-large seats on council in 2011 and 2013, missing the runoff both times.  She has clashed with HGLBT favorite son Lewis a couple of times as well, most recently when she lost the Caucus endorsement last month.  Two years ago, she and the other three Dems -- Rogene Calvert, Roland Chavez, and Brad Batteau -- canceled each other out, allowing Republican Paul Kubosh to defeat Republican Roy Morales in AL3's runoff.  This same dynamic is in play for AL1 this time around.

Of these two, Lewis -- whom I support -- is most likely to move into the runoff.  He has by far the most endorsements, momentum, etc. to be left standing on the evening of November 3rd.  IMHO the only question is who will join him for the December round from among Knox, McCasland, and Oliver.

Knox -- former USAF, former HPD, defeated two years ago in the Stardig/Helena Brown second-time scrum in District A -- is running this time on what's being called the "straight slate".  Knox is the only reasonable Republican option (I am not counting Griff and P-G as reasonable, though they are certainly GOP).  If you think this is going to be a 'bathroom' election, and I do, then it's going to be Knox and Lewis in the final round.

McCasland is roundly praised for efforts in addressing public housing in the county, has the bonafides to be an effective council member, but is supported by too many of the local Democratic Party's conservative wing for my taste.  Bob Stein at U of H likes him as the best chance to move ahead with Lewis, but I am of the opinion that if the Democrats split their votes among their four very qualified candidates in this race, McCasland -- mostly by virtue of having the lowest name recognition -- is the odd man out in a strong field.

Oliver, elected a couple of times to the Houston Community College Board of Trustees -- often a stepping stone to a Council seat -- is the only black man in the race and received the endorsement of the Houston Black Dems, so I rate his chances ahead of Provost's, who doesn't have much online presence to speak of this cycle.  Google returns a lot of activity from two years ago, but she hasn't Tweeted since 2011, her Facebook page is low-profile, and a website in her name is inactive.  Oliver is running hard and has a good platform, but appears to be mum about HERO, from what I can find.  I cannot discount his shot at being one of the top two at the end, but somebody needs to get him on record as favoring or opposing the equal rights ordinance.  It's possible that Provost is only on the ballot to draw down his bid.

Prediction for the runoff: Lewis and either Knox or Oliver.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The very latest HERO developments

Here's an example of a bathroom right here in Houston that both sexes use that isn't disgusting, filthy, or unsafe.  It was in the mechanic's shop where I got my truck's state inspection performed earlier today, and it was clean, smelled nice, and was completely safe for men and women, cis- and trans- alike.  In fact, you have seen bathrooms like these all over the city, and similar bathrooms all over Texas, the United States, and even in European countries if you have been fortunate to travel there.

The terrorists screaming vulgarities on your radio are, in a word, Neanderthals.  They are throwing rocks at the moon.  You should no more allow them to foment panic in you any more than yesterday's stock market gyrations did.

Would you need more concrete proof?  Take a look at this, courtesy Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters, from Equality Matters.

For as long as the transgender community has fought for protection from discrimination in public spaces, conservatives have peddled the myth that sexual predators will exploit non-discrimination laws to sneak into women's restrooms. 
That fear has been an extremely effective tool for scaring people into voting against even basic protections for transgender people, which is why conservatives routinely use the phrase "bathroom bill" to describe laws prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations. When conservative media outlets attack non-discrimination laws for transgender people, they almost exclusively focus on bathroom and locker room facilities
But that fear is baseless -- completely unsupported by years of evidence from states that already have non-discrimination laws on the books. In a new Equality Matters report, experts from twelve states -- including law enforcement officials, state human rights workers, and sexual assault victims advocates -- debunk the myth that non-discrimination laws have any relation to incidents of sexual assault or harassment in public restrooms:

Public restrooms aren't a new battleground for civil rights. Social conservatives frequently invoke "bathroom panic" to justify discrimination against marginalized groups. As Lambda Legal notes, the regulation of bathrooms has been used as a tool to exclude people of color, women, and people with disabilities from participating in public spaces.

But the claim that sexual predators will exploit non-discrimination laws to sneak into women's restrooms is a lie, plain and simple. It's a lie that is unsupported by even a shred of evidence and contradicted by years of experience in states that already have non-discrimination laws on the books. It's a lie that does tremendous damage to efforts to protect transgender people from violence and harassment, which often occur in public restrooms. And it's a lie that persists because conservative media outlets would rather tout made-up stories about sexual harassment than fact-check the anti-LGBT groups who invent those stories from whole cloth.

Fear, hate, and intolerance has spawned a remarkable bipartisan effort locally.

The Houston Stonewall Young Democrats (HSYD) and the Log Cabin Republicans of Houston (LCRH) have decided to work together to protect the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) from being repealed. 
One might not expect anything to bring the two parties together, least of all HERO, which has been fought tooth and nail by a group of local conservatives. This is the first time the two organizations have ever participated in a joint effort; in fact, they are the only two-party organizations in Houston working together. 
The leadership displayed by HSYD and LCRH can teach us all a valuable lesson, not just about cooperation and collaboration, but also about HERO. As James Lee, president of HSYD stated, “We have come together, despite our differences, because the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance is more important than party affiliation.” 
“It is always good when people can come together on a bipartisan basis to come to good legislation,” added Michael Baker, the Vice President of LCRH.

Nobody could have foreseen that.

As the most ethnically and culturally diverse city in the nation, a city of 2.2 million people with varying beliefs, traditions, backgrounds and idiosyncrasies, it is time to move forward together. Houston is the only major city in the country and the only major city in Texas that does not have an equal rights ordinance of any kind.

The HSYD and LCRH put it plainly. “We believe that all Houstonians should have the right to live, work, and prosper in our great city, and HERO will provide them the ability to do just that.”

Post time for Houston's city elections

Yesterday was the filing deadline, and first via Kuff, here is your lineup card for November 3rd.  Stace has some thoughts on who he prefers, and we are in general agreement.  Here's the Chron story, focusing more on council elections and reactions from people like Bob Stein and Dr. Richard Murray at U of H.

A total of thirteen mayoral hopefuls, and this post will shine a brief spotlight on the seven with little chance of influencing the race, much less making the runoff.

Marty McVey belongs among these also-rans, despite his many forum appearances with the big six, and even despite his fairly progressive platform.  He's just out of his league in this contest, despite good effort and intentions.

Aubrey Taylor's blog has spent a lot of pixels promoting the candidacy of Victoria Lane, who is running on an anti-HERO platform.  Lane and Demetria Smith -- whom you may recall as the candidate initially excluded from the TOP/SEIU forum last month, until her supporters demanded and got a place for her on the dais -- stand as the two people who could draw off enough votes to keep Ben Hall from making the runoff.  Taylor is your go-to guy for all things African American, socially conservative, and those who wish to appeal to that caucus.  (Taylor has also performed the courtesy of reminding us which members of City Council voted for or against the ordinance earlier this year.  You should expect some races to turn on that vote, as well as some candidates' stands on the issue.  More on that when I get to city council races in a future post.)

By contrast, I would not expect Rafael Munoz nor Joe Ferreira to pull many votes away from Adrian Garcia, by virtue of either their Latino surnames nor their low-profile candidacies.  So unlike Hall -- and all the many other Af-Am candidates on the ballot, a factor which should boost turnout in those precincts around the city -- either Garcia's "community will turn out in historic numbers" for him... or they won't.

Of the remaining long shots, Thai Hoc Nguyen is a conservative Republican who lost to former Council member Al Hoang in 2009 in District F -- who himself was upset in 2013 by incumbent Richard Nguyen (no relation), and Dale Steffes is a perennial candidate who, in the words of Texas Monthly's Greg Curtis (in 1999) is "a maverick oil-price prognosticator who now runs his consulting business out of his home".  He's more favorably and recently quoted in this story.  Nothing obvious about his political inclinations, but I'd be interested in his forecast for crude prices.

The next mayor of Houston will still come down to two of Garcia, Hall, Bill King, Steven Costello, Chris Bell, and Sylvester Turner, and ultimately determined in December.

We'll take a look at the the At-Large races next.

Anti-HERO ads roll out "filthy" and "disgusting"

Here we go.

"No men in women's bathrooms," the incendiary and misleading ad begins. "This ordinance will allow men to freely go into women’s bathrooms, locker rooms and showers. That is filthy, that is disgusting, and that is unsafe," the woman, falsely, says in the ad. She also claims to speak for "all moms, sisters, and daughters," which is false.

The group sponsoring the ad is called the Campaign For Houston, and it's headed by Jared Woodfill, a 47-year old attorney and former chairman of the Republican Party of Harris County, Texas.

That's a awful lot of lies and fear to combat.

It falsely claims HERO "limits free speech and religious expression in unprecedented ways," "gives new special privileges to two special interests, neither of which qualify as true 'minorities' requiring special legal protection," and calls HERO's "naming of these groups ... a ruse in an attempt to hide the ordinance’s real purpose, which is to make 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identification' two new protected classes." It also falsely claims sexual orientation and gender identification "are defined by their behaviors -- not by characteristics given to them at birth.

Calling the ad "not subtle," ThinkProgress' Zack Ford offers a few observations:

Gender identity, as protected by HERO, is not something that can be flipflopped every day, and moreover, predatory behavior is still illegal. If HERO fails to pass, it will actually force many men into women’s restrooms, the very outcome they claim to oppose.

Houston Unites calls the ad "vulgar and grossly misleading."

"Nothing in the equal rights ordinance changes the fact that it is -- and always will be -- illegal to enter a restroom to harm or harass other people," the group told the Houston Chronicle. "And the ad leaves out the fact that the law protects tens of thousands of Houstonians from job discrimination based their race, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability."

Good rationales, but I'm concerned there aren't enough smart people in Houston to overcome a tidal wave of ignorance motivated by their God-given phobias.  You can listen to the ad if you can tolerate it at the link, but it's also coming to a radio near you.  Turning it off, changing the station, and otherwise generally ignoring the widespread panic from your conservative acquaintances misses the point: the weaponized paranoia is going to hit its intended target.  And the social Neanderthals are going to turn out in record numbers to vote against it.

Maybe a few more signatures on that petition to the NFL to pull the 2017 Super Bowl out of Houston might get the attention of the pro-business, pro-tolerance Republicans, but I hope Mayor Parker and her group have some strong counter-efforts ready to go soon.

Monday, August 24, 2015

More on the Houston municipal elections

-- If Ben Hall and Sylvester Turner make the runoff for mayor (maybe even before November), expect to see some fireworks along the lines of the Wayne Dolcefino/KTRK lawsuit which arose during the last days of the runoff almost 25 years ago (between Turner and Bob Lanier).  They battled to a draw in court, with the television station and then-investigative reporter found guilty of libeling Turner, but the14th Court of Appeals reversed the jury's decision.  Dolcefino is now a consultant advising Hall's campaign.

-- Chris Bell's profile in yesterday's Chronicle.  Relevant passage:

"I don't see any shame in running and not winning," Bell said. "The shame should be in not caring and not trying."

I think that's a win for me, Dr. Murray.

-- Houston Matters is interviewing mayorals, with Bell and Hall already in the can and Marty McVey coming tomorrow.  Kuff is logging his hours with the council candidates; here's his latest with AL4 candidate Jonathan Hansen, and links to many more.  Texas Leftist is posting his candidate questionnaires also; here's his most recent with District H's Roland Chavez.

-- And a programming note: the Texas Democratic Women of Harris County kicks off their Fall Speaker Series hosting Dr. Krista Comer of Rice University (not U of H, as the graphic below shows) at their monthly meeting this evening.

Dr. Comer's topic, "Youth Politics and Third Wave Feminism", focuses on two demographics that did not turn out in 2014, and what steps might be taken to boost their participation in 2015 and '16.