Our little Election 2020 Break now comes to an end. As with so much of the year, thank goodness THAT is now mostly over with.
Here are some final curated links/observations to close out the year and point us to 2021.
[WB1] Despite the efforts of Harris County’s Democratic leaders (led by Commissioner Rodney Ellis) to produce enough new Democratic votes in Harris County to flip Texas blue (in part by pushing out loyal Democrat Diane Trautman so that someone else could be found to stretch access to the ballot beyond previous understandings of what the Texas election code allows – her replacement left the Texas political media swooning, of course), Texas remained red, although moderate Houston Republican Sarah Davis lost her house seat. Interestingly, President Donald Trump improved on his 2016 performance in Houston-area immigrant neighborhoods significantly.
[WB2] Mark Aguirre, a disgraced former HPD officer affiliated with local Republican activist Steve Hotze’s voting initiatives, further disgraced himself by allegedly detaining an air conditioner repairman at gunpoint and insisting his work truck contained illegal ballots. Apparently, it contained… air conditioner parts and tools. The Chron couldn’t resist taking potshots at Hotze, but the Washington Post played the story more straight (letting the facts do the editorializing). Unfortunately, the bad behavior only detracts from the cause of ensuring ballot and voting integrity, which shouldn’t be a partisan issue.
[WB3] One case of (alleged) election fraud in a Democratic race has attracted the attention of the Harris County District Attorney.
[WB4] The local newspaper was on the Dan Crenshaw Hearsay and Gossip bandwagon for several days, before finally moving on to other topics.
[WB5] It’s a matter of highly questionable journalistic ethics that this Chronicle columnist is allowed so regularly to denounce the oil and gas industry (and its lobbyists) without disclosing his wife’s strong ties to renewables.
[WB6] The local ABC affiliate seems almost disappointed that HPD is not writing many tickets for violating the mask mandate.
[WB7] We thought they might be busy solving murders (which have surged this year), but apparently that’s not the case. That “experts say” line in the Chronicle headline is an amusing editorial choice, though.
[WB9] The mayor who endorsed and participated in the summer’s race protests (after which area COVID numbers spiked) is wagging his finger and suggesting if you people don’t behave, he might just slap a curfew on you. The state legislature really needs to dial back the ability of executive leaders at all levels of state government to treat free people in this manner (but it probably won’t).
[WB10] The Houston Texans are perhaps an even more dysfunctional football organization than we realized.
[WB11] Kudos to Salenah Cartier, age 17, who just graduated from the University of Houston with two degrees. Very impressive!
That’s all for now. Here’s wishing you a safe New Year’s Eve (try to avoid the gunfire!) and a better 2021!