Saturday, January 12, 2013

Local media goes to work reporting on SD-6

A surprisingly good update on the latest here, from Joe Holley:

Three days into early voting, the race to replace the late state Sen. Mario Gallegos continues to heat up, as does the balloting.

The first large batch of mail-in ballots was returned Friday, outpacing voters who visited the polls in person. Since early voting began, 1,561 ballots have been cast, two thirds of them in person. More votes were recorded Friday, 805, than in the two preceding days, 756.

I'll be helping the county clerk count those mail ballots as soon as the early voting period concludes on January 22. Even Mark Jones at Rice has stepped up his game...

Rice University political scientist Mark Jones describes the relatively late date as "a strategic delay" on the part of Gov. Rick Perry and his fellow Republicans, who realize that the likely winner will be one of the Democratic candidates.

"Under the Senate's two-thirds rule, until the new SD-6 senator arrives, the Republicans need to convince only one Democrat to vote with them to pass legislation, whereas once Alvarado or Garcia arrives in Austin, they will need two," he said in an email.

On most legislation the difference is irrelevant, Jones said, but not on such controversial issues as the fetal pain bill, for example.

"With only 30 senators, the Republicans will need to tailor the final legislation to obtain the backing of only one of the handful of pro-life Democrats, not two of them," he said. "The result will, quite possibly, be legislation that is closer to the Republican ideal than would have been the case if the support of both was required."

For their part,  ABC-13 had this.

Reporter Tom Abrahams mentions "six candidates" at yesterday's EECoC luncheon forum, so he just concentrated on the ones who were in the room. I don't know where Susan Delgado was, but I do know where Maria Selva was.

This is stereotypical corporate media coverage. Ignore the Green candidates (unless they get arrested, that is.) All of the local media reported essentially the same thing -- nothing -- when presidential candidate Jill Stein came to Houston last October.

Sadly, this weak effort at journalism by KTRK soundly defeated all of their electronic competition: KHOU, which last covered the race on November 12; KPRC, televising a general overview at the start of early voting, and Fox 26, whose most recent report was a month ago.

This is nothing more than the politicians and the media -- and the corporations and the environment -- that we have earned, by our actions or lack thereof. Unless we are willing to change the way we do things. Which includes how and what we think, of course.

That's going to be a long, hard slog at the rate we're going. Doesn't mean we shouldn't make the effort, though.

Update: Here's the two-hour "Conversations with the Candidates" video interviews conducted by the League of Women Voters (which includes every one except Delgado).

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