By Marc Campos

The Eighteenth Strikes Back!

Yesterday, the sun came up, my newspaper was sitting in the driveway, I had two cups of coffee, and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee was standing in her favorite spot when The President walked into the House Chamber. I’ll say this, yesterday’s take on CD 18 certainly bought out Cong. Jackson Lee’s supporters. Of course, folks need to chill a bit. We ought to be able to have a discussion without it getting personal. Commentary was called out for being off the mark lately. Excuse me, but I think I said a few weeks ago that it wouldn’t surprise me if “Slumdog” went home with the Oscar - take that!

Here is what fellow 18th CD constituent ZC had to say about my take on CD 18:

“Dear Mr. Campos, I am unsure which circles you have been engaging regarding the standing of my congresswoman, however I can assure you that there are multitudes of activists from the groups that you identified willing to stand and fight for Sheila. Granted-- there are folks out there that either lover her or hate her, but no one can fix their mouth to say that SJL hasn't been there to stand by all constituency groups that make us the 18th Congressional District.

“She stood by a community of 650 kids and 100 staff as one of our strongest opponents when HISD was content with watching people drop like flies, she has shown her fortitude when it comes to standing by her word even though enduring unfair treatment. She has always maintained a stance that ALL citizens should be treated as FULL citizens and acted in support of her beliefs through advocacy for disenfranchised Americans.

“I stand with Sheila because Sheila has always stood with me. I can tell you that I will fight for her with every group I have influence-

“Oak Forest Democrats, Houston Federation of Teachers, Labor Council for Latin-American Advancement, Harris County AFL-CIO, HGLPC, Heights Dems, Tejano Dems, and anywhere else I can reach. Those that have benefited from her tireless advocacy over the years are duty-bound to stand and fight because it is the right thing to do.”

Here’s how I responded: “I don't doubt that she has quite a few activist supporters in CD 18. Just like I don't doubt that quite a few activists still have not forgotten or forgiven the fact that she was out of step with her constituents during last year's Prez Primary. I have found that activists that are a bit disgruntled with their elected official tend be more vocal than those activists that are comfortable with the incumbent.”

Here is what another CD18 constituent had to say: “Mr. Campos, I think its time to remind you of my motto that has worked well for me for over 30 years of my professional career…"Be careful not to step on the toes that are connected to the "arse" you may have to kiss one day". Lately you have not been on the mark. I say this because I know that SJL is not in any way forgotten.

“I had the honor of being a delegate at the Senate District 15 Convention in 2008 when Sheila was booed by the Obama supporters because "a black woman was not supporting a black man"! She was showing all of us what the word commitment means. She made me proud to say she is my Congresswoman.

“Many of us there were so appalled that while President Obama preached change and tolerance, his supporters did not afford a United States Congresswoman the respect she has long deserved for her work for all of us, not just the Latinos. She has always been there when we needed her.

"I still consider her an extremely viable candidate and well respected by all her peers. They say you either love her or hate her but we have always respected and admired her "Tenacity" and we will continue to do so.

“I don't know what the field of candidates will look like for her seat (do you even belong to the 18th) but unless they come up with a candidate that we ALL can support, don't leave her out of the game because other Hispanics vote, not just you and your friends. Sinceremente, MR.”

Here is how I responded: “First of all, I live in the 18th and I do vote.

“Second, this stepping on toes stuff is way overrated. You need to provide me with a list of "toes" that should not be stepped on.

“Third, ever since I noticed that my parents named me "Marc", I'm never on the "mark."

“Fourth, I was at the SD 15 Dem Convention and I didn't boo, but I don't get down on those that did boo - they have a right. Just like folks that paid good money to see the 'Stros had a right to boo Brad Lidge when he was stinking up The Yard.

“Fifth, I think an open discussion on public policy and politics is always healthy.”

I don’t think one can hide the fact that a potential spirited race in CD 18 in next year’s Dem Primary is being discussed in these parts. For Commentary or others not to have a take on this is kind of silly. It is out there.

Well, it looks like the folks that will be running against H-Town’s Mayor in a Senate race one of these days have them a juicy issue. The idea of using taxpayer money to help pay off credit card debts for potential home buyers didn’t sit too well with folks. They must not have been paying attention to the talking heads this past week after The President laid out his foreclosure rescue plan. The story got some national run which wasn’t the kind of press the H-Town Mayor was seeking.

Speaking of, from yesterday’s chron.com: “According to the survey released today by Public Policy Polling, Perry trails Hutchison by 56 percent to 31 percent among likely GOP primary voters.” I don’t think Guv Dude will be getting out of the gutter anytime soon. Of course, like I’ve said before, I don’t think Dude will end up running.

Sen. Gallegos and the Rodeo are locking horns again. Check out today’s Chron. Local Latino activist Johnny Mata suggested a compromise might be in order. How about a compromise that includes at Go Tejano Day letting local Latino leaders participate in the calf scramble? That would be cool. Heck, I might even plunk down dome dough to go see Gallegos and others chasing down calves. Of course, I’d put my money on H-Town CM Rodriguez on being the first to wrestle one down.

Here’s what a Chron.com reader had to say about Latinos and the Rodeo: “Just add the prison rodeo and you have your minority participation. “ Aww, man that is cold blooded!

Here’s what My Best Friend had to say about PBS’s “A Class Apart”: “There aren't near enough things named after Gus Garcia.”

Here’s how I responded: “Just a middle school in Edgewood ISD.”

From the ‘Stros Spring Training notes: SILVER ANNIVERSARY: The Astros and Osceola County are celebrating the clubs 25th season at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, FL...Astros Chairman and CEO Drayton McLane will become the first-ever recipient of the key to Osceola County during the pre-game ceremonies...all fans in attendance will receive a 25th anniversary commemorative cap...the on-deck circles will be decorated with a 25th anniversary logo.

Maybe Pam-In-Charge will snag me one of those commemorative lids as Mike Hampton takes the mound today for the Spring Training Opener.

February 25, 2009 9:00AM

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