By Marc Campos

Delay Of Game

The H-Town City Council tagged yesterday’s measure to call for a Special Election in District H. That means the campaigns can’t start for another two weeks.

Local attorney Vidal Martinez showed up at the council meeting yesterday and asked Council to tag the item so council could study whether it could make an interim or so called caretaker appointment that would serve until the special election produced a winner. He all but said that Council should appoint a Latino/Latina. That’s all fine and dandy and sounds good but the law doesn’t allow for this. In fact, on November 3, the City Attorney distributed a memo outlining the procedures for a special election if Adrian Garcia won the Sheriff’s race thus vacating his council seat. According to state statue, the council can appoint a successor to fill out the rest of the term under certain conditions – conditions that don’t apply in this case.

Here’s the neat part. Commentary lives in District H. There wasn’t a single soul who votes in District H that contacted council and asked them to consider a caretaker and delay the calling of the election. Hey, who cares what District H voters think anyway!

Martinez is about as smooth as the floor of a glass recycling plant. Vidal Martinez when asked if he lived in District H said he lived 423 feet from District H and Governor Palin can see Russia from her front yard.

Martinez told Council he was representing some Latino organizations on the matter but told reporters outside of the Council chamber that his preferred interim appointment candidate was Garcia’s former chief of staff – a non Latina – HUH!

Martinez later told one of the Chron’s City Hall reporters that he was acting on behalf of Sheriff Garcia and that he was promoting Garcia’s choice – his wife Monica – DITTO HUH!

Garcia told the Chron last night that he didn’t have any thing to do with yesterday’s activities and that he was busy being Sheriff.

Chron.com’s political page said yesterday that Martinez was making yesterday’s play on behalf of a District H potential candidate, hoping that the appointee would name this candidate as Chief of Staff thus giving this candidate a leg up in the Council race.

Martinez also sent out an email yesterday that accused H-Town Council Member James Rodriguez of opposing a Latino/Latina appointment. James’ position on District H is pretty clear – see Monday’s Chron.

Martinez definitely has credibility issues but what else is new with this fella.

Here’s what Council Member James Rodriguez had to say yesterday:

“1) Adrian Garcia was elected on November 4. If this body was inclined to appoint a caretaker, the debate on this should have begun back then with input from District H residents and former Council Member Garcia. To bring up this issue two months later on the morning we are scheduled to call a special election is disingenuous and bad public policy.

“2) With all due respect to Vidal Martinez, he is not a resident of District H and the organizations he represents do not speak for the residents of District H.

“3) Not a single District H resident has contacted me about a caretaker position.

“4) The activists and leaders of District H are under the impression that there is a process for filling the vacancy. To change the procedure this late in the game sets a bad public policy precedent.

“5) The day before the election, the City Attorney and the administration sent out a memo that set out a procedure on filling the vacancy. Let me say that according to the memo, state statue does give Council the authority to appoint - if there were less than 270 days between when Adrian was sworn in and the next general election. We fall beyond the 270 days and trust me - a lot of folks in District H are aware of this. They take their politics serious in District H.

“6) Naming a caretaker is not just some up and down vote. The members of this body would have to engage in a full scale discussion with District H voters from Denver Harbor, Second Ward, the Heights, Northside, Sixth Ward and all the other neighborhoods. It is not a backroom process. Let's not go down this road this late in the game.

“7) As a point of personal privilege, it has just been brought to my attention that Vidal Martinez just sent out an email a few minutes ago to a number of local Latino leaders saying that I oppose a Latino appointment. As most of you know, I came out in an Op-Ed Monday supporting a Latino being elected in District H - my position is clear and unchanged. It is my understanding that Vidal just informed the press outside that he supports Rhonda – Adrian’s' former chief of staff. I really don't think it serves this body well to take guidance from Mr. Martinez in this very important issue.”

The H-Town Mayor said yesterday that this was the first time he had heard about an interim appointment idea.

Commentary doesn’t think a Council tag was necessary. Nobody out here asked for it. Not a single Latino/Latina I know in H-Town has advocated this.

Anyone that takes Vidal Martinez serious is, well, not serious.

To put it bluntly and in plain English – Vidal Martinez is full of sh_t – period.

It looks like the Lone Star State Senate Dems got punked yesterday. I wondered if they were given one of those lifeline calls so they could contact the Dunham Ds.

I’m glad the Keller ISD finally read Commentary. Now the students get to watch Obama next Tuesday.

The ‘Stros Winter Caravan is in Katy today with Coop, Big Puma, Hawkins and Pence – check it out.

January 15, 2009 9:00AM

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