By Marc Campos

Guv Dude And The Hutch And A Deal Is A Deal

Sorry Dude, I don’t think the Hutch is backing off. I think you have a case of wishful thinking upon a Lone Star. Hutch isn’t laying out a few hundred big time GOP state leaders and then say never mind down the road. Some of those listed are current and former Guv Dude appointees – ouch! However, what is Dwight Boykins doing on the list? I thought he was a Dem. At least that is what I thought when I supported him for H-Town City Council a while back.

Commentary doesn’t think that Guv Dude will end up making the race when he figures out he might get his arse handed to him in the GOP Primary. Of course, if he lets his machismo take over common sense thinking and ends up running, then there is a good possibility that a lot of independent voters will vote in the GOP Primary for Hutch which could result in Dem Latino and African American candidates winning more offices in blue counties throughout the state. Stay tuned.

Commentary said last week that the issue that H-Town CM James Rodriguez laid out in his Op-Ed a few weeks ago on adding two new H-Town Council Districts would pick up some steam. Check out Saturday’s Chron. From the article: “Mayor Bill White’s decision to delay redrawing the boundaries of City Council districts has angered numerous community activists, who say his stance is defying Houston’s charter.

“Under a 30-year-old legal settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, the number of council members “shall increase” from 14 to 16 when Houston’s population hits 2.1 million. That settlement later was incorporated into the city’s charter.

“The mayor, City Council members and officials all acknowledge that the triggering population threshold has been crossed.

“But White and several council members have resisted the push for redistricting, asserting that the city lacks population data needed to redraw district lines accurately. That data will come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s decennial survey in 2010. Pressing on without it, they say, could lead to a court challenge under federal voting rights laws.

“’I’m disappointed that we’ve taken the position that we’re afraid of litigation,’ said Carroll Robinson, a former city councilman who now teaches at Texas Southern University. ‘Litigation is always possible at any point, but we ought to err on expanding representation to people of this community rather than being afraid of being sued. If the threat of lawsuit was enough to stop city action, we’d never get anything done.’

“’I have no doubt that our actual population exceeds the threshold number, but there are substantial legal issues about whether federal law allows us to draw districts based on guesses about where people live,”’ White said.

“‘Obviously, when we do this, it’s going to be a contentious issue, no matter when we do it,’ added City Councilman Ron Green. ‘So, we want to make sure we do the best possible job, and the only way to do that is if you have the most reliable data.’

"Redistricting advocates hearken back to 1979, when the city was under fire from the Justice Department for an election process that was unfair to minorities. As part of a settlement, officials said, the city created nine single-member council districts and five at-large seats. It also agreed to add two districts once the city crossed the 2.1 million threshold.

"‘This was the deal we made back in 1979, and we should do it,’ said Councilman James Rodriguez, who said he was seeking input from the Latino community on the matter before he would push harder for council to more seriously consider it. ‘I want to go out and take people’s temperature on it, but also give people the knowledge they need to make an informed decision on it.’"

Commentary thinks that folks don’t want to move on this because redistricting is messy – period. There will be a lot of folks and interests that will weigh in for sure like Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans, GLBTers, neighborhood groups and they will all have an opinion. But you know what? A deal is a deal.

Commentary dropped by CEWDEM’s BD gathering yesterday. There were certainly a lot of folks there. The Dean, Annise, Sheila, State Reps Garnet and Thibaut, CMs Lovell, Noriega and Rodriguez, JPs Dale, David and Z, Judge Kirkland, the local Dem Party Chair, Clerk Jackson, HCCS Trustee Schechter and Senor Bernstein – and of course a lot of other civilians like the The Lovely Wendy, the Carrenos, Mary A, Sue D, Heidi KH, Steve and Monica Flores, Francisco, the American Campaign Skipper, Jerome, and a bunch of other Dems. A very impressive turnout if you ask me.

Commentary and my buddy Hector De Leon were on the local ABC affiliate, Channel 13, yesterday to promote the Houston Area Latino Summit which is still taking shape. A tentative agenda has now been posted. Latinos/Latinas are registering. The moderators are set. Most of the presenters are confirmed. Sponsors are signing on. Go to www.camposcommunications.com for information on the Houston Area Latino Summit that will be held from 10 am to 1 pm, Saturday, February 14, 2009 in the Champions Pavilion at Minute Maid Park.

The ‘Stros get a lot of street cred for launching the Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Baseball Academy at Rep Sly’s Park in Acres Home – cool. There are only two MLB academies in the U.S. of A. Way to go to my friend Drayton and Pam-In-Charge!

January 26, 2009 9:00AM

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