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December 4th, 2007:

BOR interviews Judge Criss

Here. Worth your time to read – kudos to Matt Glazer and Judge Criss for the effort. Check it out.

Twelve out of thirteen members of Congress recommend Rick Noriega

From Team Noriega:

In an unprecedented early show of confidence in a candidate for the race for U.S. Senator from Texas, Democratic members of the Texas Delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives today endorsed Texas State Representative Rick Noriega in his quest to win the Democratic nomination in March, and the General Election in November, 2008.

The following U.S. House members endorsed Rep. Noriega in the U.S. Senate race: Reps. Al Green, Ruben Hinojosa, Silvestre Reyes, Chet Edwards, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Charlie Gonzalez, Nick Lampson, Ciro Rodriguez, Lloyd Doggett, Solomon P. Ortiz, Gene Green, and Eddie Bernice Johnson.

“Rick Noriega is the candidate in this race whose entire life represents his commitment to profound service to our nation’s military service and public service,” said the members of the Texas Delegation. “From the halls of the University of Houston under an ROTC scholarship, to the halls of Harvard, to the Texas National Guard, to the halls of the State Capitol, to the mountains of Afghanistan after 9-11, and to the Texas border with Operation Jumpstart ˆ we know that Rick Noriega is the candidate to best serve Texans in the United States Senate.”

“On the defining issues of the day – national security, border security, health insurance for our children, and fiscal responsibility – Rick is uniquely positioned, by virtue of his life experience, to best serve Texas interests in the U.S. Senate,” the members agreed. “U.S. military policy will long command the attention of future Congresses. Rick’s understanding of on-the-ground logistics – as well as abilities and limitations – of our military will be a fresh and important voice in the Senate on military issues.”

Excellent. It may not seem like a big deal for a bunch of Democratic members of Congress to endorse a Democrat running for Senate, but 1) it’s never a trivial thing to get a bunch of Democrats to agree on anything; 2) the more unified Noriega’s support is here, the more likely he’ll get support from the national folks; and 3) this is still a contested primary, however loosely that’s being defined.

You may be wondering about that thirteenth member of Congress. That would be Rep. Henry Cuellar, and as usual, he’s doing his own thing.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, says he will not be endorsing Democrat Rick Noriega for U.S. Senate – at least not yet.

Cuellar told the Guardian that he does not endorse challengers over incumbents. The incumbent in this case is U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

“I am supporting the straight Democratic Party ticket,” Cuellar said. “I am more than sure he (Noriega) will be the nominee, so I will be supporting him. (But) I am not gonna get involved right now in any primaries. Come the primary, then straight party ticket, I support the straight party ticket; that includes Rick Noriega.”

Whatever. I swear, I keep trying to like Henry Cuellar, but the man just mystifies me sometimes.

Anyway. This announcement comes just ahead of the news of a new poll on Sen. John Cornyn‘s job performance. Again from the Noriega campaign:

A new Lake Research Partners’ survey of likely voters in Texas shows that Republican Senator John Cornyn is very vulnerable in his 2008 bid for reelection. Currently, fewer than half of voters have a favorable impression of him, his job-performance ratings are netnegative, and only a third support him for reelection. The winds of change are blowing in Texas, and John Cornyn should be on the list of endangered Republican Senators.

Senator Cornyn is vulnerable for these reasons:

1. Cornyn has an extremely weak profile. Thirty-eight percent of likely voters are unable to rate Cornyn – 24% have heard of him but have no opinion about him, while 14% have never heard of him even though he has served in the Senate for five years and as Texas Attorney General for 4 years before that. Overall, only 40% of voters rate him favorably, while 22% rate him unfavorably. A well-respected Senator would have favorable to unfavorable ratio of about 3-to 1, but Cornyn’s ratio is only 1.8-to 1.

2. Voters dislike the job Cornyn is doing in the Senate. Cornyn’s job performance numbers are net-negative. Forty-one percent of voters rate Cornyn’s performance as either just fair or poor, while only 36% rate it excellent or good. Almost a quarter are unable to rate his performance at all (23% do not know). Conversely, the most recent publicly available data shows Senator Hutchison with a job approval rating of 58%.

3. Cornyn has weak re-elect numbers, and this race is wide-open. Only three in ten voters (31%) say they will vote to reelect the incumbent, while 16% say they will vote to replace him. More than half (53%) will consider someone else or do not know if they would support his re-election.

4. President Bush cannot save Cornyn. While Cornyn has been Bush’s most loyal supporter in the Senate, it is unlikely that Bush can help given his poor ratings. More than half of voters (53%) have an unfavorable impression of the President, including 37% who intensely dislike him. Forty-two percent rate Bush favorably (only 20% are very favorable). In fact, voter pessimism goes beyond Bush, with 62% of Texas believing the country is off on the wrong track and only 28% believing things are headed in the right direction.

In sum, Senator Cornyn has a weak public profile that is vulnerable to further negative definition. He has a small base of political support, and he cannot count on help from a weakened president. Even in Texas, voters want change. Come next November, Cornyn could be another Republican casualty. Democrat Rick Noriega, a veteran, has a unique profile that can make this an upset race if he has the resources to communicate his message and define Cornyn.

You know what to do about that last bit. A PDF copy of the memo is here. More to come soon.

FTA tells Metro to resubmit paperwork for funding

Mere formality, or potential genuine stumbling block? Beats me.

Federal transit officials have told the Metropolitan Transit Authority it must re-apply for approval of its preliminary engineering work for planned light rail lines in the north and southeast corridors.

The Federal Transit Administration’s decision was prompted by Metro’s announcement that it would build rail rather than bus rapid transit in the two corridors, according to a letter from Sherry E. Little, the agency’s deputy administrator, to Metro chief executive Frank Wilson.

Metro spokesman George Smalley said he believed federal funding for the projects was secure. He said Metro officials were trying to determine whether the letter from the FTA would affect the timetable for the north and southeast corridor projects.


Before the north and southeast projects can be considered for re-approval of preliminary engineering, the FTA must review Metro’s updated travel forecasts and capital cost estimates, Little said in the letter to Wilson.

After that review is complete, she wrote, Metro must submit a full application including an updated financial plan, transit-supportive land-use plans and other documentation before the projects can proceed.

What happens if the FTA decides Metro’s new travel forecasts are inaccurate or insufficient? Do they go back to BRT again, or do they try to figure out some alternative means of funding the desired light rail? I don’t know, and I bet they hope it’s nothing more than a theoretical concern. We’ll see.

A private Grand Parkway toll road?

This could open up a sixpack of worms.

A joint venture led by a road construction company and an engineering firm has asked Harris County to enter into a public-private partnership to build and operate the 197-mile Grand Parkway as a toll road.

Commissioners Court will consider today whether it wants to study the unsolicited offer to undertake the $5.3 billion project to build an outermost ring skirting the metropolitan area.

“It’s intriguing because we have not seen details of the proposal,” said Art Storey, director of the county’s public infrastructure department.

“It appears that it would allow us to retain some control of the project, (rely on) the local construction community and get financing for the project guaranteed.”


Storey said the joint venture proposal envisions the Harris County Toll Road Authority serving as the project’s managing partner.

Under a partnership, the county and the joint venture could agree to have the toll road authority operate the Grand Parkway and retain some of the revenue, Storey said.

The subject of toll roads in general, and privatized toll roads in particular, is pretty contentious these days. What I’m seeing here seems to avoid some of the bigger areas of controversy – there’s no competing free road that might be left to rot if the private toller doesn’t meet its revenue projections, and HCTRA would retain some control as well as the revenue, using the private investor as a funding mechanism for construction, instead of taking an already-existing asset and selling it off for nebulous purposes. There’s still a billion details to learn about, and there’s still the question of whether or not the project as proposed is worth the cost – the people living in Spring and Greatwood would certainly question that.

The idea of a Grand Parkway encircling the metropolitan area outside Highway 6 has been around for decades. Critics long have contended that it is a highway sought by road builders and developers who intend to build subdivisions and strip malls in the still undeveloped areas.

Um, yeah. I don’t even think this is in dispute any more. If it weren’t for developers and real estate speculators (often one and the same, at least in this case), there would be no Grand Parkway.

Regardless of one’s stance in that debate, the Legislature and TxDOT have decided the Grand Parkway will be built.

Delvin Dennis, TxDOT’s deputy district engineer in the Houston area, said some areas where the highway would be built are rural now, but will not be in 10 to 20 years.

It would be easier and cheaper to build the road now before the largely rural area is developed, he said.

I realize it’s pointless to argue against a done deal, but it doesn’t – or at least, it didn’t – have to be the case that all that rural land will get gobbled up by suburban tract development. Instead of spending the money to build that huge road out in the middle of what is now nowhere, we could have chosen to spend money on urban core infrastructure, including transit, in order to support denser development. There will always be people who want to live in the far-flung areas, but that doesn’t mean it’s good public policy to enable it. We could have chosen a different path, is all I’m saying.

Bowie Kuhn?

The Veterans Committee has enshrined a half dozen executives and managers, and their list contains a surprise.

At last, Bowie Kuhn beat Marvin Miller at something.

The late commissioner was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday while Miller was rejected by a revamped Veterans Committee stacked with those he regularly opposed — and beat — in arbitration and bargaining sessions that altered the history of the game.

“Bowie was a close friend and a respected leader who served as commissioner during an important period in history, amid a time of change,” commissioner Bud Selig said, adding: “I was surprised that Marvin Miller did not receive the required support given his important impact on the game.”

Former Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley, managers Dick Williams and Billy Southworth and ex-Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss also were elected.

Manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey each missed induction by a single vote.

Dreyfuss helped bring peace between the American and National Leagues by arranging the first World Series in 1903. O’Malley united the East and West Coasts under baseball’s flag when he moved the Dodgers to Los Angeles after the 1957 season. Southworth and Williams won World Series titles.

Kuhn presided over the introduction of night games to the World Series and baseball’s first, tentative steps into national marketing. But the game also changed in ways he fiercely resisted: Free agency, salary arbitration and dozens of other benefits that Miller won for the players as the head of their union.

I just can’t wrap my mind around Bowie Kuhn in Cooperstown. Even as a kid, I could tell he was a joke. This is a pretty fair summary of his tenure as Commissioner:

Despite his frequent, albeit forced, accomodations of player demands, Kuhn was perceived as a tool of the owners and as overmatched by the head of the Players Association, Marvin Miller. Kuhn regularly chided the players for their demands, called them overpaid, and preached of the potential evils of free agency, all stances pleasing to his employers, the owners. But Kuhn’s officious, pompous manner gained him enemies beyond the ranks of the players. His handling of an investigation of Cubs manager Leo Durocher ended in personal, although largely private, embarrassment. Writer Red Smith excoriated Kuhn in many columns, producing such bon mots during the 1981 strike as “this strike wouldn’t have happened if Bowie Kuhn were alive today” and “an empty car pulled up and Bowie Kuhn got out.” Kuhn also feuded with A’s owner Charlie Finley, who referred to Kuhn as a “village idiot” and then apologized for the offense to village idiots. Kuhn vetoed some of Finley’s innovations, and in 1973 he prevented Finley from vindictively placing second baseman Mike Andrews on the DL during the World Series following a costly error. Their biggest clash came when Kuhn voided the sales, and lopsided trades involving cash, of A’s stars Vida Blue, Joe Rudi, and others. The players were going to leave Oakland as free agents to escape Finley’s tyrannical ownership, and Finley was trying to get some value for them. Many owners in the past had sold off their stars; Connie Mack, who had guided the A’s for a half-century, was famous for breaking up his great teams. But Kuhn ruled that Finley’s deals were not “in the best interests of baseball.” Kuhn also suspended Yankees owner George Steinbrenner for a year after he was convicted of perjury and making illegal contributions to the election campaign of Richard Nixon, and suspended Braves owner Ted Turner for tampering.

Kuhn may ultimately be remembered for the spectacular growth of baseball in the 1970s and 1980s, a period that began with expansion in 1969, the same year Kuhn became Commissioner. Attendance in 1980 was more than triple what it had been in 1968, and television revenue was up more than $ 10 million dollars in the same period. But the eagerness of baseball to bow to the demands of network TV resulted in concessions criticized by purists. The most notable of these concessions was night baseball during the World Series. The first such game, in 1971, found Kuhn attending bareheaded and coatless despite the cold weather, with cameras frequently focusing on him in an attempt to deny the effects of the temperature.

It’s even more galling to me to see Marvin Miller get screwed like this.

The veterans panel has been changed twice since 2001, when charges of cronyism followed the election of glove man Bill Mazeroski. The original 15-member panel was expanded to include every living member of the Hall, but that group failed to elect anyone in three tries.

It was replaced by three separate panels — one for players, one for managers and umpires and one for executives and pioneers, leaving Miller’s fortunes largely in the hands of the same group he once fought in collective bargaining and the courts.

He did not come close, receiving only three of 12 possible votes. Under the previous system, Miller received 63 percent of the votes earlier this year while Kuhn got 17 percent .

I’ll give Beelzebud Selig credit for championing Miller’s candidacy. Marvin Miller was worth a dozen Bowie Kuhns, easy. Far as I’m concerned, as long as Kuhn is in and Miller is out, the Hall is terribly out of balance. Thanks to David Pinto for the link. AOL Fanhouse and King Kaufman have more.

Early voting ends today for Council/HISD runoffs

Today is the last day to vote early for the City Council/HISD runoff elections. Polls will be open from 7 AM to 7 PM at one of these fine locations. If your experience is anything like mine was, when I was the first voter to show up at the West Gray Multipurpose Center a bit after 8 AM, you’ll be in and out before you even realize it.

Here’s a list of statements I have received from each of the Council candidates on the subject of why you should vote for them:

From Lawrence Allen, District D.

From Wanda Adams, District D.

From Michael Sullivan, District E.

From Annette Dwyer, District E.

From Jolanda Jones, At Large #5.

From Joe Trevino, At Large #5.

I did not get statements from the candidates in HISD II, but I think the choice there is clear: Carol Mims Galloway is the superior candidate.

Anyway, there you have it. Go be one of the select (very) few and make your voice heard. Runoff Day itself is this Saturday, December 8.

Tarrant’s progress

The Democrats up in Tarrant County are feeling pretty good about their chances to make electoral gains next year.

Local Democrats are feeling a new sense of urgency to put up a fight in every race, even the long shots. The main motivator: last year’s surprise Democratic sweep in Dallas County.

“Right now, we’re all thinking, ‘Look what happened over there,'” said Stephen Maxwell, a Fort Worth lawyer who is running to lead the Tarrant County Democratic Party after the current chairman, Art Brender, steps down in May.

“The time has come to show that we have a Democrat on every race on the ballot. It’s a different world.”


“I’ve had friends who say, ‘I’ll start running when Democrats start winning.’ Well, they’re not going to start winning until we start running,” said Randy Turner, a Fort Worth lawyer making his first run for judge of the 17th District Court. “It’s a catch-22.”

It’s fair to say that Tarrant County was less red in 2006 than it was in 2002, at least compared to the state as a whole. Here’s a spreadsheet that compares the GOP vote percentage in Tarrant to that of the state for each of the nine non-judicial statewide races in 2002 and 2006. In 2002, the GOP vote share in Tarrant County for the Senate race was 3.96% higher than it was overall; in 2006, the share was only 2.17% higher. Every race saw similar drops; in the case of the Governor’s race, Tarrant was slightly less Republican than the state was. Overall, Tarrant was 5.02% more Republican than the state was in 2002, but only 1.13% more Republican in 2006. That’s not exactly a juggernaut, but it is progress.

Keith Annis, treasurer of the Tarrant County Young Democrats and a veteran campaign worker, said it’s not always smart to run a candidate for the sake of having a Democrat on the ballot.

“If you put a good candidate in a race they’re not likely to win, you run the risk of having that candidate burned out for future races,” Annis said.


[M]any local Democrats believe their party could gain ground in 2008.

Activists point to recent Democratic victories in Dallas County as a symbol of hope and a blueprint for success. In 2006, Democratic candidates were all over the ballot in Dallas. Using a campaign strategy focused more on party affiliation than experience or positions on the issues, the Democrats swept 47 races, completely overturning Dallas County’s political leadership.

Many Republicans say it’s unrealistic to think that what happened in Dallas County could happen in Tarrant County anytime soon.

“I’d hate to have [the Dallas model] as my political strategy. That’s wishful thinking,” said Paul Benson, a Fort Worth-based Republican consultant and an assistant professor of government at Tarrant County College.

Benson said Dallas’ demographics trended Democratic for years before the entire county made the switch in 2006. Tarrant isn’t at that point, and putting effort into unwinnable races is a waste of the local party’s resources, he said.

“Tarrant County is not Dallas County. It’s that simple,” Benson said. “The demographics aren’t the same.”

John Todd, associate professor of political science at the University of North Texas in Denton, said Tarrant County probably has more Democratic voters than it did a few years ago, but the GOP base vote in the county still appears to be larger.

“I think it’s likely that Republicans still have an edge, but I think it may be getting more competitive for the Democrats,” Todd said.

Couple things here. First, as a supporter of Run.Everywhere, I’d rather encourage than discourage people from getting into a race. That said, the concept obviously works better if those who do get in do so with the mindset that it’s going to take a lot of work, much of which is fundraising, to make a difference as a candidate. I’m not so worried about burning candidates out. Gaining campaign experience, proving yourself as someone who can raise funds and attract followers, generating name ID, learning from mistakes – these are all good things that can result from a losing campaign. Sometimes a closer-than-expected loss acts as a proof of concept that a previously ignored office is in fact winnable. As long as everyone understands what’s realistic for now, for the short term, and for the longer term, I say have at it.

Regarding strategy for Tarrant, I have to agree here with Benson and Todd. The demographics aren’t there yet for Tarrant County. Winning is going to require persuasion more than turnout. That’s harder to do, but in the end I think it’s healthier. Expanding the base is never a bad idea.

BOR has more on this, from a local perspective. And as long as we’re talking about Tarrant County, I’ll note that former Fort Worth City Council member (and former Republican) Wendy Davis has officially filed for SD10. That along with SD11 here (go Joe!) and maybe SD04 in Dallas represents a great chane for the Democrats to gain ground in the upper chamber. Davis may yet have a primary opponent, possibly Brender, so keep an eye on that.

UPDATE: The Mid Cities Democrats have sent out the following press release this morning:

The Mid-Cities Democrats, the largest Democratic grassroots organization in Tarrant County, is proud to announce the filing of Watauga resident, and computer technician for the Keller Independent School District, Christopher Utchell for the Democratic nomination for State Representative in House District 91. Mr. Utchell filed the necessary paperwork for the 2008 Democratic ballot on Monday, December 3, 2007.

The Chris Utchell for Texas House Campaign will focus on improving Texas public education, reining in out of control utility rates, and restoring S-CHIP access to Texas children. Chris is opposed to assessing tolls on existing freeways and government seizure of property to benefit the well connected. Chris believes that the power in Austin needs to be taken away from the high-dollar special interests and returned to the people of Texas.

“Our grassroots campaign will take our message to the people of House District 91 so we can change the way business is conducted down in Austin. We must restore people oriented politics and remove special interest politics from the state house,” said Mr. Utchell.

Chris is an active member of the Mid-Cities Democrats, and group leader of the North Central Democrats. He has been involved in Democratic politics since high school, when he worked on his first gubernatorial campaign. Most recently, Chris was the campaign manager for former North Richland Hills city councilman, Byron Sibbet, in his grassroots campaign to represent District 91 in 2006.

Mr. Utchell, 43, has spent the past 10 years as a resident of Watauga. Chris has been a computer technician in Keller since 2000. Before that, he spent 10+ years in retail management. He and his wife Sherry, an elementary school secretary, have four children, three of whom are current high school students. Chris is a member of the Richland Hills Church of Christ, in North Richland Hills.

HD91 is pretty red, but definitely the kind of district you want to be active in as you work to change people’s minds.

It’s official: Criss versus Yanez for Supreme Court Place 8

It appears that the Criss/Yanez dilemma, in which sitting Judges Susan Criss and Linda Yanez have announced their intention to run for the same State Supreme Court seat, will not come to a resolution that allows both candidates on the ballot in November. According to this subscriber-only Texas Lawyer article, the two tried to come to an agreement, but never could.

Yanez and Criss tried to mediate their differences in September. Yanez says Houston solo Barbara Radnofsky suggested the mediation, which Radnofsky conducted in her home.

Radnofsky, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in 2006, confirms she conducted the mediation but declines further comment.

Yanez says the mediation lasted about four hours. “It didn’t work,” Yanez says, adding that Criss was set on running for the Place 8 seat.

“I told her then that I was not going to throw away thousands of dollars spent on campaign materials and petition-gathering to start over,” Criss says.


Criss suggests that Yanez could make history by running for chief justice of the currently all-Republican Texas Supreme Court.

“There are no Hispanic chief justices on any Supreme Court in the country,” Criss says. “She really could make history by becoming the first Hispanic chief justice.”

Yanez calls that suggestion a gimmick. “This is a serious race,” she says. “I am a serious candidate.”

However, Criss says she didn’t make the suggestion until after Yanez accused her of standing in the way of history by stopping Yanez from becoming the first Latina on the Texas Supreme Court. That occurred at a July meeting between the two candidates, Criss says.

That’s not true, Yanez says. “When I give my speeches, I talk about the element of the historical significance of my race,” she says. “But I have even gone so far as to say that is not the reason anybody should vote for me.”

Yanez has made history in the past. Appointed to the 13th Court in 1993 by then-Gov. Ann Richards, Yanez is the first Hispanic woman to serve on an appeals court in Texas history, according to her biography posted on the 13th Court’s Web site. The 13th Court sits in Corpus Christi and Edinburg.

When asked if she would consider switching races this year, Yanez responds, “Absolutely not. . . . I’ve announced for this seat, and I intend to file for it.”

Criss, who voters first elected to the 212th District Court in 1998, says that Emmett Sheppard, then president of the Texas AFL-CIO, and Boyd Ritchie, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, asked her in late April to run for the state Supreme Court. That occurred on the last weekend in April, Criss says, noting that she had decided by the start of the next week to run for the Place 8 seat.

“I suggested that she run,” Sheppard says of Criss.

“We encouraged her to run for the Supreme Court — not any specific seat on the court — the same as we encouraged Justice Linda Yanez,” says Ritchie, the Young County attorney. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine they’d end up running for the same seat.”

With all due respect, I think you need wilder dreams, Boyd. The seat they’re both running for is held by an appointee, Philip Johnson, who beat a Libertarian in 2006 for the unexpired term of his office. The other two are held by justices who have already won a full term in a statewide race against a Democrat. Place 8 is the obvious first choice for anyone looking to run.

Criss says she suggested to Boyd that he call Yanez to get her to run for the Supreme Court.

A few weeks after deciding to run for Place 8, Criss says that she called Yanez and suggested that Yanez run for the Place 7 position held by Justice Dale Wainwright. “I told her, “I think this is our time,'” Criss recalls.

As we now know, and as the article discusses later, there are now two candidates running for Justice Wainwright’s seat as well. It looks to me like Chief Justice Jefferson will get a pass, however.

I can’t say I’m happy about the way this has turned out. It’s good that we have well-qualified candidates who want to make statewide runs like these, and I hope the nature of this primary will help elevate the profile of each candidate. I’d still have preferred that one or the other of Criss and Yanez had chosen to run against Jefferson, but I can’t tell from the story who decided on Place 8 first, and I can’t blame either of them for wanting to stay put. So, let’s fight it out, and may the best candidate win. According to her press release, Judge Yanez filed yesterday, and Judge Criss tells me she will file later this week. Assuming nothing changes, we should at least have ourselves an interesting race.

Amber Moon in HD144

At the bottom of Clay Robison’s column yesterday is a mention about what should be another one of the high profile State House races for next year:

Amber Moon, communications director for the Texas Democratic Party, is thinking about returning home to Pasadena to run for the legislative seat being vacated by Republican Robert Talton, who is running for Congress.

Moon, 28, still has a lot of personal ties in the district and worked for two years for former U.S. Rep. Ken Bentsen, when he represented the area in Washington.

Businessman Ken Legler already is running for the Republican nomination, and Fred Roberts, a member of the Pasadena school board, also has been eying a GOP primary race.

Although the district has been in Republican hands for several years, Moon believes a Democrat could be competitive.

It’s been trending blue, that’s for sure. I’ve mentioned it before, but though it’s not listed on the electoral analysis for HD144, Jim Sharp got 46% of the vote there. As an open seat, and without something like HD134 to dominate everyone’s attention locally, this one should be near the forefront. I’ve heard rumors for weeks about whether Amber or someone else (at least two other names have been floated) will jump in. It looks now like it’ll be Amber, but nothing is certain until filing is finished. Stay tuned.

Texas blog roundup for the week of December 3

As we race towards the finish line for 2007, there’s always time to pause for another weekly roundup of the Texas Progressive Alliance blogs. Coming soon: an announcement of the 2007 Texan of the Year. See Vince for more on that, and click on for more of the bloggy stuff.