The first round of Houston city elections is over - where do we stand? Obviously we still have choices for the forthcoming run-off but what exactly are they?
Mayor's Race: In the run-off we have Bill Clinton and Lee Brown's favorite "lawyer-lobbyist" Bill White whose short comings TCR has previously detailed and will return to with more later. He is not a choice for us.
The good news is that Orlando Sanchez made the run-off with 32.8%; the bad news is that he trails the White - Turner vote total significantly. So we have a lot ground to make up. Some have suggested we need two things - a turnout machine similar to the 2000 general election and we need to rediscover the 2001 message that the Houston City government must do two things well above all others: public safety and roads - infrastructure. Things are not really better two years after Bill White's mentor Lee P. Brown squeaked into his third term. The issues then are the issues now. To win, essentially we need to go back to the future. The Sanchez team needs to rediscover what worked and apply it again.
As for the numbers, John Williams of the Chronicle says 30% plus of the GOP vote went to White. If you look at votes in Kingwood, outer Westheimer and Tanglewood - River Oaks, it's a lot more.
Recall two years ago, Brown got negligible GOP votes and Chris Bell under 10% after the independent campaign run by the Harris County Republican Party took him down. This time for some reason the HCRP's efforts didn't show the same results. Obviously, this needs to be figured out fast.
Rail passed by 51% - 48.3%, close but a look behind the numbers tell us turnout outside of the city was paltry 17%. For some reason GOTV didn't work with our base.
As for the city council races we have good news and bad news. First, the good news.
In the At-Large races Mark Ellis rolled, Michael Berry avoided a run-off, and liberal Gordon Quan held on. In a tight run-off is Bert Keller who led by 18,500 votes. This race was tight as Keller has been beaten up daily on conservative talk radio for some recent votes. For the run-off, conservatives need to decide if they'd rather punish Keller knowing they could elect another member of the liberal caucus. In the other at-large race Shelly Sekula-Gibbs led Peter Brown and this could be a tight race also.
As for the Districts - District A, C and E stayed with our side and Districts F and G are headed toward run-offs we are interested in.
In F - M.J. Khan led Terry McConn - this could be a nail biter. Khan has a long history with the Harris County Republican Party and both he and McConn agree on most issues. In G - Jeff Daily. HCRP activist and anti-tax and spending leader - trails Pam Holm who has a lot of broad based support. Based on GOP activity and the issues Daily needs to be elected.
Finally Controller - Bruce Tatro is in a run-off with Annise Parker who has a big lead. We need a fiscal conservative here and there is only one choice: Bruce Tatro - make sure you get the vote out.
Mort Zuckerman in U.S. News
Lays Bare New Anti-Semitism
U.S. News publisher Mort Zuckerman in the key story in a recent edition of U.S. News writes about Graffiti on History's Walls, about the new anti-Semitism primarily outside the U.S. I recommend the article to you, but I want to share the haunting closing paragraph,
"The insight of Amos Oz is pertinent. He is haunted, he said, by the observation that before the Holocaust, European graffiti read, "Jews to Palestine. Now the message to Jews is simply don't be here, and don't be there. That is, don't be."
Democratic Insider Bares All
In an exclusive interview, TCR recently visited with a prominent democratic consultant, Donna Brazile (Al Gore's campaign manager), in D.C. What follows is that interview:
TCR: Thank you for visiting.News Flash - Bush Tax Cuts Working
TCR: As we stand one year out from the 2004 general election where do the Democrats stand?
DB: According To Inside The Beltway pundits, The 2004 Presidential Election wll be close. Democrats are in a good position to recapture the White House.
TCR: Who or whom would be the best candidates against Bush-Cheney?
DB: Based on some of the latest polls, President Bush's re-elect numbers are under 50% against an unknown or unnamed Democratic rival. It's too early to tell which Democrat will emerge to take on Bush-Cheney in 2004. My guess right now is former Governor Howard Dean, Representative Dick Gephardt, Senator John Kerry or General Wesley Clark may emerge victorious after the primaries.
TCR: What issues do the Democrats have to run on versus Bush?
DB: Democrats must focus on both national security and the President's handling of the war on terrorism, as well as domestic issues like jobs, education, health care and the environment. The President must also defend his record in office.
TCR: Why are Democrats so angry and hostile towards President Bush?
DB: Somehow the GOP wants it both ways. They spent eight years fighting former President Bill Clinton and his administration. Likewise, many Democrats are not comfortable with the President's handling of the war on terrorism or his right wing domestic agenda of catering to special interests.
TCR: What will it take for the Democrats to take over the House or Senate?
DB: In order to regain control of Congress, Democrats must begin to recruit quality candidates, raise money and rebuild its grassroots base of support.
TCR: Is the future of the Democrats the moderate DLC or the more left-wing agenda?
DB: The future of the Democratic party lies with both its base, as well as swing voters. Democrats come in all stripes - liberals like Senator Ted Kennedy, moderate like Senator Hillary Clinton and conservative like Senator Zell Miller.
TCR: What is it going to take for the Democrats to recapture the middle-class?
DB: The middle class vote is up for grabs. These voters are on a shopping spree for candidates who understands their day-to-day existence and who will help them reduce the stress on their lives.
TCR: Who will be on the Democratic ticket in 2004?
DB: The Democratic ticket is in formation. I do not have any favorites right now. I would like to see a fellow southerner on the top or bottom of the ticket.
TCR: Finally, who will be the next President?
DB: Stay tuned for the next President of the United States. We'll know something in March, 2004.
If you follow the major media (except Fox News) and most Democrats (save Senator Zell Miller) you'd think our economy remains stagnant. Once again, "they" are wrong. Our third quarter economic growth was 7% - largest in nearly 20 years. Also last month the lagging indication jobs had started to show growth. Get the word out, we are in recovery.
General Boykin - A Hero
The politically correct ones are after General Boykin - the usual suspects: the left wing media, radical Islamic groups and distressingly, some in the Administration.
Having talked to Gary Bauer who was provided and viewed the General's speech, he said nothing that wasn't true and should be praised for recognizing who the real enemy is and the importance of America's Judeo-Christian heritage.
Panel/Hearing Date Detailed
News on the Redistricting front - the three Judge panel to hear the Redistricting case are Judges John Ward, Patrick Higginbotham, and Lee Rosenthal. The first, a Democrat appointee and the other two are GOP appointees. On its face, it looks good.
Also, the hearing is now set for December 11, 2003. Pre-clearance from the Department of Justice is pending - slowed down (surprise) by Democratic protests of the top three Justice Department civil rights division attorney's in charge, due to alleged conflict of interest. The dates are later than I'd like but we'll see.
Talk Show Host Ousted
Long-time KSEV talk show host Jon Matthews has left the station to face felony charges of indecency with a child. He will plead not guilty.
For Jon's sake I hope he receives fair treatment and that he has a good lawyer.
As an aside, in 2002 Jon spent a few months beating up a certain State Senate candidate who happened to be a lawyer who did some criminal defense work. I guess he has a different feeling about criminal defense lawyers now that he faces ten years in prison. I guess lawyers aren't so bad, especially when you need them.
About Your Editor
is a long time Republican spokesman, fund-raiser and leader who
recently completed three terms as the Harris County Republican
Chair. During his time as Chairman, Gary was described as the
most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events.
For six years, Gary put out a bi-weekly newsletter which he has
continued due to requests from many Republican activists.
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