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October 21st, 2004:

An interview with Reginald McKamie

Reginald McKamie is the Democratic candidate for District Attorney in Houston. He’s running against incumbent Chuck Rosenthal, whose tenure has been rocky, to say the least. This is an important race in Harris County. It’s the highest-profile race of any competitiveness that any of us here will vote in, it will complement the efforts of Scott Hochberg, Charlotte Coffelt, Jim Dougherty, and Hubert Vo as well as all of the countywide judicial candidates, it will help give a measure of where the Harris County Democratic Party stands today, and most importantly, it has a chance to rid us of someone who just isn’t doing a good job.

I’ve met McKamie a couple of times, and I’m impressed with him. He’s a serious and thoughtful person, and I feel very confident that he’d make a fine District Attorney. Recently, I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions. Click on the More link to see the answers.

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What have you done for Fort Bend, Tom?

I stuck this link at the end of my previous post, but it’s something you need to read. Money quote:

I’ve asked many local officials what DeLay has done for us here in Fort Bend County, an area he has represented for 20 years. I’ve been told that he caused a tower to be built at Sugar Land airport. Yeah, that’s going to really help me.

There’s a lot more, so read the whole thing. The author is a Republican precinct chair, according to her byline.

DeLay subpoenaed in DPS lawsuit

I’m as happy as anyone to see Tom DeLay get subpoenaed, but let’s keep a few things in perspective. First, this is a civil lawsuit, not a part of the grand jury investigations, though it is connected to his recent admonishments.

The subpoena was delivered Wednesday to the Texas Republican’s attorneys in Houston after a failed attempt to serve him personally, said Lon Burnam, the Democratic state lawmaker from Fort Worth who filed the lawsuit.

The subpoena calls for DeLay to give a deposition Monday.

[…]

Burnam said there is a “litany of questions with regard to misuse of public funds” to pursue Democratic members of the Texas House who fled to Ardmore, Okla., and DeLay’s role in searching for them.

[…]

Texas state troopers were dispatched to find the Democrats and return them to Austin. The House ethics committee on Oct. 6 admonished DeLay for asking the Federal Aviation Administration to locate a plane owned by one of the fleeing lawmakers.

Burnam’s suit alleges that the Texas Department of Public Safety destroyed documents detailing their efforts to apprehend legislators and that its troopers had no lawful authority to arrest the Democrats.

Second, as noted, the suit has to do with records that were apparently destroyed by the Texas Department of Public Safety. What’s DeLay gonna say? “Yeah, I told those DPS boys to fire up the shredder so I wouldn’t leave any tracks. Guess you got me there, Hoss.” Even one of the Killer Ds concluded after a committee investigation that there was no malicious intent by DPS in the document shredding (his committee did not deal with the question of federal involvement, which is what DeLay got swatted on the nose for).

Finally, State Rep. Lon Burnam, whose lawsuit originally was to stop DPS from destroying anything else, has some credibility issues of his own. If it were someone else, I’d have more faith. Burnam has some penance to do before I’ll get worked up over this.

Sorry. Wish I could join the excitement, but not based on what I’ve read so far.

I can report one bit of good news, though. Jerome has another poll from CD22 which shows DeLay leading Richard Morrison by a skinny 42-35 margin; the same poll shows George Bush pulling 61% of the vote. This isn’t that far off from the 47-33 lead DeLay had in another poll, and given the likely sample sizes it could just be noise. Still, every poll we’ve had shows DeLay under 50%. It’s no wonder the Club for Growth is propping him up. And with comments like these (thanks, Chris!) he needs all the help he can get.

Busy early voting

There’s a whole lot of early voting going on.

A total of 144,598 people voted in the state’s 15 most populous counties Monday, the first day of early in-person voting for the Nov. 2 election, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s Office. That easily surpassed the first-day total for those counties in the presidential elections of 1996 and 2000.

It’s too early to say how the first-day turnout will compare to previous election cycles when calculated as a percentage of registered voters, said Bill Kenyon, spokesman for Secretary of State Geoff Connor. Still, a number of counties are experiencing high early voting turnout, Kenyon said.

“Anecdotally, the early evidence suggests that it may be local races driving some of that,” he said.

The AusChron has a roundup of some of those local races, while the Houston Press has a big story on the Vo/Heflin race (via Greg). I’m moderately surprised that the AusChron didn’t mention HD134 and Jim Dougherty, but maybe that one’s a bit too far below the radar for them. Oh, and be sure to catch the Press sidebar piece on the bizarre Heflin adoption story. That story does not show Talmadge Heflin in a good light.

Early voting numbers are here. After two days, Harris County has triple the early voters it had in 2000. I’m not willing to ascribe all of that to a renewed sense of purpose in this election, but that’s a significant increase no matter how you look at it. Karl-T is keeping watch on the vote totals as we go.

An October surprise in West Texas?

You just never know what can happen in an election. Jim Bunning melts down in Kentucky, Tom Coburn goes crazy for teenage lesbians in Oklahoma, Alan Keyes…well, you know. And now we have an incumbent Republican State Rep in West Texas who’s been busy driving drunk, exposing himself, and arguing with DPS officers. Read all about it at Texas Tuesdays.

More debate stuff

Rachel was another attendee at the Clear Lake Candidate Forum. She wasn’t too impressed with Tom DeLay.

Rob, from whom I found the above link, notes that you can hear a debate between Richard Morrison and Michael Fjetland here on KPFT.

Speaking of Fjetland, he sent out his view of the debate via email. Click the More link to read it.

And Richard Morrison collected another newspaper endorsement, from the Brazoria Facts. That has nothing to do with the Clear Lake forum, but what the heck.

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Congrats to the Red Sox

What can I say? The Sox played a great series and deserved to win. Congratulations to them. At least now if the Astros win as well, I won’t have to worry about getting strung up by my coworkers for disloyalty. Silver linings – gotta love ’em.