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March 4th, 2006:

ATTN: Blogosphere

In honor of Markos (of DailyKos fame) coming to Texas for SxSW, I’d just like to note that – while blogging may be many things – when blogging has been coopted by AT&T advertising (see, e.g., the billboard on East 610) it is no longer cutting edge or revolutionary.


just in time for the Saturday paper, the Washington Post weighs in on that nice lady Rep. Harris, whose unique interpretation of the relationship between the words “vote” and “Right” gifted us with all the marvellous things this administration has done for our country (and gifted her with a House seat).

Rep. Harris, who doesn’t think the House gives her enough scope for her talents, is running (with what is said to be unusual lack of support from her party) for Senate this year.

She’s running from some stuff too


More Leininger lieutenants

If you thought that the five GOP challengers whose campaigns James Leininger is funding would be his only wholly owned subsidiaries in the Texas House, you’d be wrong. Meet Dallas State Rep. Linda Harper-Brown, who’s is endorsing Leininger-backed Nathan Macias against State Rep. Carter Casteel. From the Quorum Report:

Today, a direct mail piece hit in the Carter Casteel-Nathan Macias race in which Linda Harper-Brown endorsed the challenger. Parroting the rhetoric now standard in all of the Leininger 5 races, Harper-Brown accuses Casteel of being the most liberal member of the Republican Caucus and says that she worked to block good conservative legislation.

Of course, others would argue that what Harper-Brown considers conservative legislation would have severely limited local control and imposed unfunded mandates on local government, forcing city councils, school boards and commissioners courts to either cut services or raise local taxes. But we will leave that argument for another time.

The reverberations are already being felt around the Capitol.

Harper-Brown is certainly free to exercise her First Amendment rights to engage in political campaigns, but she will have a price to pay. As more than one lobbyist and member has already noted, Reagan’s 11th Commandment is now history. In addition, Harper-Brown has marked herself among her colleagues as a member who operates in bad faith. Disagree with her about legislation and she might get involved in your primary.

Oh, and by the way. Harper-Brown has received $20,000 from James Leininger, the financer of the Leininger 5. One contribution was $5,000 from the San Antonio millionaire. The other $15,000 was from yet another one of the PACs all but exclusively funded by Leininger. This one is named All Children Matter PAC.

That represents 18% of the $118,000 or so she has raised on her January 2005-January 2006 reports. With that $20,000, Leininger is Harper-Brown’s single largest contributor.

So he’s not trying to buy a piece of the Lege, he’s trying to increase the stake he already has.

Harper-Brown isn’t confining herself to just this race, either. Along with Jodie Laubenberg, Bill Keffer, Bill Zedler, and the outgoing Mary Denny, she’s endorsing Charlie Geren’s opponent, Chris Hatley. Geren’s response, also at QR, is sharp:

“I’d much rather have the endorsement of Speaker Craddick, Lt. Governor Dewhurst, former Lt. Governor Bill Ratliff along with Senators Brimer and Harris than any of that sophomore class and especially Zedler who said he had nothing to do with the Hatley Campaign so he’s just a liar. As a liar, he fits right in to the Hatley Campaign. Mary Denny was just going to get beat so she quit.”

“I will say it again. I will never whore for Dr. Leininger.”

Boy howdy is the upcoming special session going to be fun. South Texas Chisme has more.

Stream-of-consciousness blogging

Yesterday the UH Law Center put on a symposium on LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal siting, part of which was a really nice lunch. I ended up sitting next to Juan Parras, whose son, John, opposed Carol Alvarado in last year’s city elections. I’ve tried to be optimistic about our mayor pro tem’s stumbles, but these last couple of weeks have been kind of hard to stomach; they’re getting to be kind of embarassing for the whole city. Incidentally, the Official Carol Alvarado Resignation Watch has begun:

Mayor Bill White spoke with some City Council members Friday to feel them out about who should be mayor pro tem if Councilwoman Carol Alvarado relinquishes the post amid a payroll-padding scandal.

White said he has not spoken with Alvarado about stepping down as mayor pro tem, and a spokesman for the councilwoman said she has not considered it.

“Carol needs to make decisions about that,” White said. “She has professionals that are counseling her.”

As Alvardo is getting lawyered up, I’m not sure whether she’s planning on staying or leaving. But I felt that, like most Houstonians I suppose, Parras wasn’t too happy about this, but he did seem to enjoy talking about his son breaking the UH Degree mini-scandal.

And speaking of UH, we’re having our student government and dormitory elections here soon, and the rap is that we have too many offices and too few candidates (some would say its because nobody cares anymore). As the temporarily-appointed Election Commissioner for the RHA election, I’ve told people that I’m not “disappointed” that all of our races are unexciting (makes it easier to run the election). Nevertheless, it’s not a good sign of enthusiasm. At least the UT student government electionswere contested! (For any UH folk out there – RHA elections are March 8th – Vote!)

Also, remember to attend your precinct conventions on Tuesday. Your regular polling place at 7:15. I’ll be across the street at Wheeler Avenue Baptist if I can sneak out of Wills early enough.

And speaking of Wills, I can’t finish this post without mentioning Anna Nicole Smith’s day in the Supreme Court this week. Which brings us back full circle, I guess – the lawyer who opposed Anna Nicole in state court is now representing Carol Alvarado.