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March 1st, 2004:

One more week of early voting

Early voting for the March 9 primaries in Texas continues through Friday the 5th, and after that you’ll have to do your civic duty on the appointed day itself. Here’s a few links and resources to help you figure it all out.

The Chron’s endorsements are here, for better or worse. For whatever reason, that page doesn’t include their recent endorsemsents of Chris Bell and Richard Morrison.

The Austin Chronicle and the San Antonio Current have some good coverage, including this Current story on a race in State House District 120 between incumbent Ruth Jones McClendon and challenger Sandra Martinez. Note that there’s practically nothing in the Houston Press or its sister paper the Dallas Observer. Apparently, in their desire to reach that all-important younger readership, they’ve decided that voting is for old people.

On the other side of the street, Greg points to some Houston Review endorsements, while the United Republicans of Harris County, a more moderate group led by former County GOP Chair Betsy Lake, has its picks up as well. Those of you stuck in the new CD 10 and who are considering a tactical crossover should take their opinion into consideration.

Finally, on a personal note to the Riecke Baumann campaign: No one in this house will be voting in the Republican primary. Please stop calling us. Thanks.

TRMPAC overview

The Chron has an overview of the TAB/TRM investigation so far. No new information for those who have been following this from the get-go, but a pretty good recap for those who’ve tuned in late. You know those “Previously on” clips that you see at the beginning of 24 or Angel? It’s like that.

UPDATE: And another overview from the WaPo, plus some editorials supporting Earle’s investigation from the Statesman, the Express News, and the Chron. One thing to note about the Chron piece:

Ironically, TRMPAC didn’t need to raise $600,000 in corporate donations. With the dominance of the Republican Party in Texas, a GOP House majority was all but assured. What TRMPAC’s backers wanted was the right kind of Republican majority, one that would put off school finance reform and devote most of last year to congressional redistricting, a majority that would do DeLay’s and business lobbyists’ bidding rather than the voters’.

You could replace the first clause of the second sentence with “With the 2001 Legislative Review Board’s redistricting of the State House map” and be equally correct. Links via The Stakeholder.

Paige’s apology

Rod Paige tries to make amends for his recent remarks in which he called the NEA a “terrorist” organization. My eyes kind of glazed over reading this piece, but fortunately Greg made it all the way through, and he aptly characterizes Paige’s bobbing and weaving. Check it out.

Mighty big head you’ve got, Mister President

Nothing says “culture” to me quite like giant sculptures of Presidents’ heads.

As the sun played across his great stony countenance, George Washington had the look of a man whose teeth hurt. But if he was pained by his primitive false teeth, that discomfort was lost on 15-year-old Joseph Palmer.

Palmer, a high school student previewing the 42 giant concrete presidential heads that make up Williamsburg’s Presidents Park — set to open today — had more pressing questions.

“Hey mister!” he shouted to the nearest adult. “Wasn’t George Washington the one who chopped down the cherry tree?”

The query brought laughter from his mother and sister and a strained smile from Houston sculptor David Adickes, who has spent eight years bringing the heads, which range from 17 to 20 feet in height, to one of the nation’s most historic spots.


“On the artistic level,” Adickes said, “I want people to marvel at these big heads. How did I get the eyes to look like that? As a sculptor, it makes you proud when people respond with their mouths agape. Second, we’d hope that there is a historical appreciation of each subject and his times.”

What this story doesn’t make very clear is that all of these giant Presidential heads were sculpted right here in Houston, about a mile from my house, as it happens. (Take the Taylor exit off of I-10, turn south towards downtown, and you’ll drive right past Adickes’ place.) One of the items on my To Do list is to take the new digicam over there and snap a few shots before all of the busts have been shipped out. Any locals want in on that with me, drop me a note.