Friday, August 02, 2019

Trump and Republicans are not racist

When you have to say "I'm not a racist".... From The Associated Press.

Photo by Reuters

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Why do you have to be a dick about everything? Tx Congressman Randy Weber

This is a Facebook post from a United States Congressman from Galveston Texas. This is a so called "Christian" who thinks it is funny to mock children who have been separated from their parents or those who have fled their country seeking the help from Christians such as Weber. Instead of finding compassion or legal process they find a United States Congressman, an "honorable" Congressman making fun of them living in filth, sleeping on the floor, and wondering if they have met a devil instead of a Christian. Weber joins his president and others in the Republican Party as a member of the "Why do you have to be a dick about everything" Club.

Weber isn't a Christian. He is a dick.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Raising Campaign Cash: Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo

Picture from the Houston Chronicle
There are so many politicians who talk the talk. That is easy. And there are those who actually walk the walk. Case in point Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. From the Houston Chronicle:

New Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo has announced that she will refuse political donations from county contractors, a stark departure from the past in which firms seeking business from the county showered Commissioners Court candidates and incumbents with cash.

Republican Commissioners Cagle and Raddick will not do the same, neither will the Democrats Garcia and Ellis. The republicans will never stop taking corporate money or money from the vendors doing business with their office. That is who they are. That is who they represent. The Democrats are moving in the right direction. No corporate PAC money is a great start. 
Judge Hidalgo is leading the way in Harris County. It's time everyone on the Commission follows her lead.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Republican, Democrat, Independent? Bill King

As stated before, having a (R) behind your name when running for office is about as popular as herpes at a hot tub party. Based upon Bill King's history of donations, voting history, and his endorsements, Bill King is a Republican (R).

Over the last few years King donated about $7000 to various republican organizations and individuals including Paul Bettencourt and the Coaltion for a Greater Houston which is no where to be found.  He donated $1500 to the Spring Branch Republicans, and $250 to the Kingwood Area Republican Women's Club. It's not a large amount of donations but it is in support of republicans.

He also donated to the Houston Realty Business Coalition which in 2018 endorsed every republican running in 2018. We expect that to continue in 2019. His voting record is very clear voting in the republican primary since 2006. King has also never been a friend of the LGBTQ community. So with all of that, it is pretty clear King is an (R) in a nonpartisan race.

At least he isn't taking pictures and having fundraisers for Trump.

Tx Congressman Pete Olson, leaving with egg on his face

One of my previous post needs an update. Texas Congressman Pete Olson has decided to spend more time not defending the indefensible Donald Trump. Olson has tired of being expected to carry Trump's jock strap since he was in a very safe deep red district. His opponent in 2018 changed that losing by only a couple of points. So as any coward would do, Pete Olson is quitting.

I can no longer take a back seat in Donald Trump's golf cart and be expected to defend his positions on racism, the deficit, our growing debt, the disrespect for the press, mocking of the disabled, disrespect for women, minorities, and non-christians. This is not the Republican Party I proudly belong to. 

Ok. That isn't what Pete said, but it should be. I've written about Pete's great legacy before. Here is a clip of when I confronted Olson with some uncomfortable facts. 

Health care stunt
In his only town hall meeting held in LaMarque back in 2009, Olson was taped using a woman and her son as props in a failed attempt to warn about the Affordable Care Act. He described how the private insurance industry and private hospitals and private medical doctors turned down a treatment for her son. She eventually received the care (provided by government provided healthcare) but Olson went on to claim that under the government's Affordable Care Act, she would have been turned down.

Someone (me) with a camera yelled "THE GOVERNMENT DIDN'T TURN HER DOWN! THE PRIVATE SECTOR DID!". Olson looked like a deer caught in the head lights of a truck. His look of stupidity earned him a spot on Keith Olberman. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Republican, Democrat, Independent? Tony Buzbee

UPDATE: I asked for a comment from Buzbee's campaign. They have not responded. 


According to the Texas Ethics Commission and the Federal Elections Commission Tony Buzbee hosted a fundraiser for Donald Trump in his home, he donated $250,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, donated $35,000 to Trump's PAC, $165,000 to the RNC, donated $500,000 to Trump's inaugurationdonated $110,000 to the Republican Party in 11 different states, and donated over $1,000,000 to various republican candidates including $308,000 to Greg Abbott and $80,000 to Rick Perry.

Tony Buzbee is a republican.

But as noted before, he is attempting to play both sides for fools:
On the Democratic side Buzbee helped the party wipe out the Republican judges in Harris County with his $90,000 donation to the Harris County Democratic Party not including the $20,000 to their Federal PAC in 2018. He also donated $176,178 to Democratic Judicial Candidates. Every one of them won.
At least Buzbee had the balls to come to a HCDP Executive Committee meeting asking for their votes. He was boo-ed and heckled on the way out. Then he bitched whined about it. Wonder if the Harris County Republican Party would welcome Buzbee after learning that he financed the wipeout of their judge in 2018.

Probably will. Fools.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Republican, Democrat, or Independent? Michael Kubosh

UPDATE: I received this following response from Kubosh:

"I am a non-partisan elected official that represents the entire City of Houston.

I go to events all over the City, hosted by independents, Republicans and Democrats. I decided years ago to not alienate myself from those I represent in the City of Houston. 

I am an independent and a populist. 
I will not vote in a Primary as long as I am a NON-PARTISAN OFFICE HOLDER."

Original Post:
Houston City Council races are non-partisan. Candidates are not required to designate the party they associate with but it is easy to determine. In this election year having an (R) behind your name might not be the best campaign strategy since the Republican Party has become the party of increasing debt, $1 Trillion deficits, fiscal irresponsibility, racism, tariffs, etc, etc, etc They just suck.

Council Member Kubosh might have forgotten that voting records and campaign donations are public record so it is easy to determine which party you associate with. In Kubosh's case, he is a Republican.

The Texas Ethics Commission shows he donated $39,369 to republicans and republican organizations. This includes $21,700 to the Harris County Republican Party and $5000 to the Spring Branch Republican Club. And his company Kubosh Bail Bonding donated another $7050. On the Federal level he donated $3000 to the Harris County Republican Party.

His voting record is also available for the public to see. Unfortunately Kubosh does not have much of a voting record which is pretty odd for an elected official in fact he should be questioned about this and I think I will.....

UPDATE: Kubosh has voted in the general elections. His primary election voting record is lacking but again donations are clear.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

CORRECTION: Not Raising Campaign Cash: Tony Buzbee

I recently posted Raising Campaign Cash: Houston City Elections. Final. Thoughts stating Tony Buzbee has $5.1 Million cash on hand and raised $5.5 Million. That is not true and I have since corrected it.

Tony Buzbee did not raised any money, as in, zero dollars. The $5.5 Million came out of his own pocket.  Buzbee unlike the other candidates running for Mayor or any other office in Houston is wealthy. In his case, filthy wealthy. He has enough money to spare that he does not need to ask people to donate to his campaign because they believe in his stance or his support of Trump. He doesn't have to spend half a day on the phone asking for donations. He doesn't have to have fundraisers. He doesn't have to prove he is a viable candidate for a very important office.

So, he raised $0 because he is filthy rich. I stand corrected.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Raising Campaign Cash: Houston City Council District C

I reported on Anthony Dolcefino and became interested in the other candidates in District C. Beside poor fundraising numbers, no fundraising, and a loan of $20,000 there is nothing grossly unusual. Abbie Kamin had a very strong showing of $175,490. The others raised so-so money.

Kendra Camarena$13,625$13,638$12$0
Candelario Cervantez$1,908$1,954$46$0
Anthony Dolcefino$2,800$2,800$0$0
Rodney Hill$0$0$0$0
Abbie Kamin$141,382$175,490$44,557$0
Shelley Kennedy$6,677$39,651$40,600$0
Greg Meyers$34,297$25,722$10,004$20,000
Bob Nowak$4,488$13,186$8,697$0
Daphne Scarbrough$22,195$31,195$5,849$0
Mary Jane Smith$38,209$58,906$20,696$0
Kevin Walker$0$0$0$0
Amanda Kathryn Wolfe$19$63$43$0

Spending Campaign Cash: Anthony Dolcefino

Even a Caveman can do it
UPDATE: Mr. Docefino has responded to my request to clarify his spending:

Website is free website builder, domain name I already owned, literature was in-kind after the June 30th deadline, FB ads have been bought in July, etc.
Yesterday I posted about Anthony Dolcefino's fundraising numbers. Anthony is running for City Council District C. Anthony seems to be picking up where his father left off back in 2005 by attacking Mayor Turner.

Wayne Dolcefino was an investigative reporter (sic) for KTRK-TV. He had a boner for Sylvester Turner back in 1995 when Turner first ran for Mayor. Dolcefino was eventually sued and lost for a story about insurance fraud and a jury awarded $5.5 Million. 

Since 2008 I have been interested in what elected officials are spending their money on in my series called Spending Campaign Cash. Here is an entry for Anthony and it is strange. I have reached out to both Anthony and his treasurer for a response.

Anthony filed a paper report because he raised less than $20,000 and does not have access to an computer. He is listed as his own treasurer and he claims to have spent $0 during this period. This is strange because he has a website, a domain name, a facebook page, a twitter account. He has made online ads and he has campaign literature with the required disclaimer "PolAds paid for by Anthony Dolcefino Campaign, Linda Fowler Treasurer".

According to the Texas Ethics Commission expenditures must be reported including what was purchased, how much was paid, who was paid, when it was paid among other things. Even if the website, domain name, and campaign literature were donated, that must be reported as an in-kind donation.

Look...I'm not an expert on the laws in Texas but I can read and it's not real hard to understand. If you receive money, report it. If you spend money, report it. It really is that simple.

Even a caveman can do it.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Raising Campaign Cash: Anthony Dolcefino District C

I was looking at campaign finance reports for Houston City Council races that voters in District E would be interested in. You can view that here if you would like. I also became curious about a couple of other candidates, one being Anthony Dolcefino, the son of Wayne Dolcefino. From a previous post;
Wayne Dolcefino was an investigative reporter (sic) for KTRK-TV. He had a boner for Sylvester Turner back in 1995 when Turner first ran for Mayor. Dolcefino was eventually sued and lost for a story about insurance fraud and a jury awarded $5.5 Million. 
But back to campaign reports....I couldn't find his reports online until today with the help of Shelby. He filed a paper copy. Based upon his totals I would have too. You can find his complete report (all 6 pages worth) here. I can summarize.

He has raised $2836 of which $1086 was in-kind donations provided by his father. He has recorded $0 spent even though he has put out a couple of political ads, printed door hangers, and has a website. all "Political advertising paid for by the Anthony Dolcefino Campaign." His father only gave him $500. 

His affidavit claims he nor anyone associated with his campaign uses computers to keep track of his donations. 

He also delivered the hand written report by horse and carriage since no one has a car.

Houston City Council Member Amanda Edwards joins the race to unseat Cornyn

I heard rumors about Houston City Council Member Amanda Edwards considering a run for US Senate so I googled her resume. It is impressive. From her bio on the City of Houston website:
Amanda’s connection to service is evidenced through her early endeavors. Amanda attended Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. She earned a B.A. in Political Science from Emory University, where she served as president of the undergraduate student body and was later inducted into the Emory University Hall of Fame. While in Atlanta, Amanda gained valuable community building and public policy experience working in community development corporations as a Community Building and Social Change Fellow and in the Georgia State Legislature. Amanda’s experiences broadened her perspective about how to effect change through urban policy and collaboration. Soon thereafter, Amanda worked for Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee in Washington, D.C. before earning her degree from Harvard Law School. 
That is just a part of her resume. Very impressive candidate. She will be competing against State Senator Royce West, former Congressman Chris Bell, and MJ Hegar for the position.
Edwards and MJ are my favorites. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The hoods are off!

It was an easy vote against racism but after all but 4 republican Congressmen voted in support of the racist comments made by Trump, it is very clear the hoods are now off. We knew who you were. Now we can see your faces.

New voting machines. A first look.

I was invited to attend a press conference with Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman during the International Association of Government Officials conference. We were allowed to visit with the vendors of new voting machines, all including a paper trail. Here are the highlights of the press conference:

  • Our current machines are over 20 years old
  • New machines are targeted for the 2021 elections
  • It will cost roughly $74 Million to procure about 5000 machines (Very rough estimate)
  • The goal is to make it simple to vote and trustworthy
  • Harris County received a $250,000 grant to educate the county on voting centers
  • Voting centers have been implemented, voting hours have been extended, early voting locations are now voting centers, its easier to vote in Harris County.

Old Voting Machine Technology
Remember that at one point or another a ballot is scanned and tallied by a machine. 20 years ago the paper ballots (shad ballots) were tallied by a machine but the ballots could be manually recounted if needed. I didn't hear anyone complaining about those machine being manipulated to skew the vote.

We then converted to a Hart machine with the strange dial. That machine allowed the voter to make their selections and  the machine would tally the votes. There is no paper trail.

Dominion Voting Machine
New Voting Machine Technology
The new machines will eventually tally the vote just like they did 20 years ago but there will be a paper trail. A touch screen will allow a voter to easily make their selections. Then a ballot is printed for the voter to review. That paper ballot is then scanned, tallied, and securely stored.

But, there are options. The voter can actually simply print a ballot, color in the dots with a sharpie, then have the machine tally the vote and store the ballot. Or a configuration (one I did not like) would print the ballot and display it behind a glass screen for review before being tallied and stored.

I found that most of the screens were easy to use, allowing the voter to increase the font size, color, background, and more. They were easy to use. The Hart machines were small. I wasn't impressed. I found the machines by Dominion Voting to be easy to use. Election Systems and Software was BIG. 

Trautman has a schedule to bring a new system to the voters in 2021 and will be looking for input from the Harris County community.

This was a rather large voting machine that could show the entire ballot.

This is their version of a paper ballot that would be inserted into a tally machine.

This is the tally machine provided by Dominion Voting. The paper ballot would be scanned, tallied, and stored below.

A blank ballot could be printed and the voter could use a marker to color in the circles, then inert the ballot into the tally machine.

Ballot being inserted into the tally machine.

This is the tally machine for Hart's voting machines.

Raising Campaign Cash: CD22 Kulkarni out raises Olson

My previous post on this fundraising period was incorrect. Let me try this again:

Sri Preston Kulkarni raised $420,824 during the last reporting period. Pete Olson, the incumbent in a once safe red district, raised only $380,317 with $275,412 coming from special interest PACs. 

Olson has $482,712 COH and Kulkarni has $345,421. Nyanza Moore, who is challenging Kulkarni in the primary raised $73,705 with $5,586 COH. There are a couple of fringe candidates that have no idea what they are doing.

Buckle up Pete. After voting to support Trump's racist comments you have a very tough race on your hands. The following is based upon 2 quarters: