By Marc Campos

Them Dems, METRO Cred, Hot Dogs, Dakota, and Roy O

From an Internet story this past weekend: A "key Texas consultant has offered his endorsement of Sharp for Governor, an action this particular consultant wouldn't do unless there was a campaign and they were on board with it." Didn't know consultants were supposed to offer endorsements. Thought candidates were supposed to come to us. Maybe on his website they will have a list of supporters by category - elected officials, business leaders, organizations, PACS, consultants.

Speaking of Sharp for Guv, if he's going to take on Chris Bell in the Dem Primary, then maybe both candidates will run as Dems. In a contested primary, Sharp won't be able to run with ads saying that he and W work well together. Still think that Sharp erred big time when he ran as GOP lite in the '98 general election. Sharp needs to 'splain why he ran such a goofy campaign - and Dems need to demand a 'splanation. If we don't, then we deserve to be chumped next year.

More METRO patronizing. A Chron Op-Ed that ran this past weekend, the author calls bus rapid transit (BRT) "today's hottest transit idea." If it is so hot, why didn't they put that on the ballot? Dude, you're avoiding the whole discussion of ballot integrity. Example: if the Houston Independent School District (HISD) were to significantly alter its 2002 voter approved bond program, folks would be going crazy. Of course, HISD doesn't have the political firepower behind it like METRO does. You get the picture. Too bad, at least HISD has credibility and a good leader. METRO has zero cred with horrendous and insensitive leadership.

Move over Yankee Doodle Dandy, Boston Pops, and Houston's Freedom Festival - and welcome the Fourth of July's newest tradition - the Hot Dog Eating Championship. Carried live yesterday on ESPN and sponsored by Nathan's. The winner, defending champion Kobayashi - 48 hot dogs in twelve minutes. The program had a play-by-play announcer, a color analyst, and a sideline reporter.

Clichés that were used: "sit back and watch the master Kobayashi", "Chestnut (a contestant) is in trouble", "pound per pound, Chestnut is the best rookie we've ever seen", "don't know if he has the game", "Kobayashi is putting distance between him and the other eaters", "this guy has capacity", and "on a world record pace."

One contestant even had a helmet cam. Some of the qualifications of contestants: one once ate 10 pounds of cheesecake in 9 minutes, one ate 6.3 pounds of deep fried asparagus in 11 1/2 minutes, and one ate 49 glazed donuts in a contest. It was pointed out that the crowd began to arrive at the venue before dawn.

Oscar Prediction: Dakota Fanning, the 11 year-old actress from "War of the Worlds" - sure bet nominee for Best Supporting Actress. She was amazing. Good flick. Check it out.

And to Astros fans, go on line and vote for pitcher Roy Oswalt for the final slot on the Major League Baseball National League All-Star team. Wednesday is the deadline. Roy O certainly deserves it.

July 5, 2005, 9:00AM

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