Archive for August, 2008

Controversial Pastor takes Pulpit in Houston
August 31, 2008

2 on the Beat has received a number of  text messages and phone calls this Sunday morning about the surprise appearance of Rev. Jeremiah Wright at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church.

Remember him?

He was once known as Senator Barack Obama’s controversial pastor.

Rev. Wright is a long time friend of  Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church,  Rev. Marcus Cosby and Rev. emeritus William Lawson.  For years he has been a featured guest pastor at Wheeler, but public scrutiny forced him to postpone an appearance that was scheduled for earlier this year. 

During the democratic presidential primary Obama was forced to spend a lot of time defending Rev. Wright’s sermons. 

Some felt his words (condemning America, criticizing Senator Hillary Clinton and the use of race)  were offensive.  Wright’s congregation defended him as a traditional preacher who uses the power of the pulpit to speak truth to power.

But, after the Democratic candidate for president cut ties with Rev. Wright, the controversy  died down, and the candidate was able to concentrate on his campaign

Today he will be able to deliver a sermon with far less media and public scrutiny. 

The members of the congregation can decide for themselves how to receive the message.

Republican Delegates give McCain/Palin a thumbs up!
August 29, 2008

National Delegate Stan Stanart

National Delegate Stan Stanart

 Stan Stanart is a staunch, grass roots conservative republican and a delegate to the national convention. 

The kind of  voter that Senator John McCain was likely thinking about when he chose a vice presidential running mate.

Stanart is thrilled for a number of reasons that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has joined the ticket.

First,  Stanart  is a down ballot candidate in the November elections. He believes that Gov. Palin’s strong conservative credentials will help turn out the base of the party.

Second, he hopes that Palin will help attract more independents and even some moderate women voters into the republican fold on election day. 

So, Stanart will be smiling as he packs his bags and heads to Minneapolis*St. Paul for the convention. 

This is his second time serving as a national delegate. The first was in 2004.

In 2000 Stanart was a member of the electoral college. Remember that election?  (Bush vs. Gore and the hanging chads in Florida)

It’s McCain/Palin
August 29, 2008

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin


 Are you surprised by  Senator John McCain’s choice for a  vice presidential running mate?

Senator McCain has chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for the #2 spot.

The 44 year old Palin is the first female and youngest governor of Alaska, and the first woman in history to be nominated as the Republican Party’s choice for vice president.

She is a mother of five and has a reputation for being a pro-life, and strong on ethics reform and cutting taxes.

This is a clear political strategy by the McCain camp to appeal to  women voters, especially those democrats who are still angry that Senator Hillary Clinton did not win the  nomination. 

Meanwhile, reaction is pouring in from political officials.

Governor Rick Perry:  Sarah Palin is an excellent choice for vice president. She has a proven track record of making tough choices, taking on corruption and implementing reforms in one of our country’s largest states.

Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill:  Sarah Palin is a bold choice for Vice-President and I applaud Senator McCain for his inspired selection of Governor Palin. To quote the many dozens of callers to our headquarters this morning, “Sarah Palin is a home run!”

Terry Abbott has a New Job
August 29, 2008

One of the last times I interviewed Abbott at HISD

One of the last times I interviewed Abbott at HISD



2 on the Beat was a little surprised this morning to get an email from former HISD spokesman Terry Abbott on behalf of  David Miincberg, the democratic candidate for Harris County Judge.

 Abbott is chairman of Drive West Communications and Mincberg is one of his clients.

Depending on your point of  view, Abbott is either  one of the best or the worst in the business.  He clashed happily and often with members of the media.

Abbott also never hesitated to call a reporter (and his or her boss) to complain about a story he didn’t like.

2 on the Beatalways had a solid  working relationship with Abbott, but thought that his style was a little tooooo aggressive for a taxpayer supported public school system.

His approach is  better suited for the take no prisoners world of partisan politics.

This morning’s email accused Appointed Republican County Judge Ed Emmett of  making confused public statements and politicizing the county’s office of emergency management.

According the the statement, Mincberg says Judge Emmett’s actions  “are badly hurting the area’s effort to prepare for the potential arrival of a Hurricane Gustav.”  Mincberg is also criticizing Emmett for saying that the Astrodome would not be available to evacuees who come to Houston to flee the storm.

 Response from Harris County Judge Ed Emmett

 1. It is bad policy to evacuate people from a flood-prone hurricane zone (i.e. New Orleans) to another flood-prone hurricane zone (i.e. Houston) – especially when there could be another hurricane entering the Gulf soon.

2. It is REALLY BAD policy to take those evacuees and house then in a building that has been deemed UNSAFE FOR OCCUPANCY by the fire marshal. If Mincberg didn’t know this, he should.

3. It is REALLY, REALLY BAD policy to tell people to ignore the advice of their state, their city and their emergency officials who call for an INLAND evacuation.

 To intentionally send out a misleading message in which you advocate having evacuees ignore the advice of their local experts and instead evacuate to a potentially unsafe building in another hurricane zone is just beyond irresponsible.


The Media can’t get enough of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
August 28, 2008

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will make the following media appearances today, Aug. 28:
These times are approximate.


FOX News with Neil Cavuto: 4:34 EDT; 3:34 CDT
 MSNBC’s Hardball: 5:10 EDT; 4:10 CDT

 CNBC’s Kudlow & Co.: 7:25 EDT


 Please forward this e-mail to your family, friends, and colleagues and encourage them to sign up onlineto receive e-mails and become a part of Senator Hutchison’s team.   



Paid for by Kay Bailey Hutchison for Senate Committee

Political Contributions are not deductible for income tax purposes.




Well, she says Senator John McCain never asked her to consider being his vice presidential running mate, but Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) is certainly keeping a busy, high profile schedule this week.

2 on the Beat has received several emails (like the one above) about the Senator’s many media appearances.

The senior senator from Texas is also scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention. (that’s if – Gustav doesn’t go ruining things) 

All that publicity can’t hurt, considering KBH is a likely candidate for governor of  Texas in 2010. (wonder if Governor Rick Perry wants Senator McCain to reconsider his decision?)

By the way – here’s a bit of trivia.

Before running for office do you know what Kay Bailey did for a living?

She was a TV NEWS REPORTER –  at KPRC Local 2.

That was way before 2 on the Beat’s time at the station, but if she ever shows up for a reunion I’ll take some pictures!

Hurricane Gustav wipes out Convention Plans
August 28, 2008

Governor Perry during the state republican convention

Governor Perry during the state republican convention

Lesson #1 – When it looks like your state or community could get hit by a major storm, make sure you aren’t missing in action.

That’s one of the tough lessons elected officials and FEMA learned after Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans

Now, it looks like the threat of  Hurricane Gustav hitting the Texas coast will keep Governor Rick Perry close to home and away from the Republican National Convention.

Is Perry following the lead of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin who decided to leave the Democratic National Convention and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal who says he will skip the G-O-P gathering?

Earlier this week the National Republican Party announced that Perry would speak on Monday night of the convention in Minnesota.

Today Perry spokesperson Allison Castle  told 2 on the Beat that the governor “has suspended his plans to go to the convention. We’re monitoring the storm.”

The governor plans to hold a news conference on Friday to announce what the state is doing to prepare for the possibility of a storm.

Senator Barack Obama Makes History
August 27, 2008


 It was the moment democrats have been waiting for, and In the process the party made history by nominating the first African American to lead a major party ticket.

All eyes were on Senator Hillary Clinton when she stepped up to the microphone on the floor at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

She urged the delegates to suspend the roll call by state  to nominate Senator Barack Obama as the party’s candidate for president.

“With eyes firmly fixed on the future, and in the spirit of unity with the goal of victory, with faith in our party and our country,”  Senator Clinton said, “let’s declare together with one voice right here, right now that Barack Obama is our candidate and will be our president.”

The move by Senator Clinton left a few of her staunchest delegates in tears, but it avoided a bitter floor fight and may have helped move the party another step closer to unity.

While most delegates cast their votes for Obama, some stood firm and kept their pledge to nominate Clinton.

Senator Hillary Clinton
August 26, 2008

Senator Hillary Clinton
Senator Hillary Clinton

“No way, no how, no McCain”

That is probably one of the most memorable lines from the speech given Tuesday night by Senator Hillary Clinton.

Clinton received a standing ovation and her speech was interrupted several times by applause.

speaking to delegates

speaking to delegates

She looked and sounded sincere, but democrats won’t know the full strength of  her speech until the roll call vote is taken at the convention on Wednesday.

Clinton says she will release her delegates in a show of  unity and support for Senator Barack Obama.

But, some groups are urging Clinton Delegates to stand firm and fulfill their promise to nominate her to be the democratic party nominee for president.

Groups like PUMA (which 2 on the Beat blogged about last week) and Just Say No to Unity, argue that if all Clinton delegates cast their vote  according to their pledge, then Obama and Clinton would be tied and the Super Delegates would have to weigh in and decide the party’s candidate.

Most political experts believe that Clinton delegates will fight to the bitter end, but the majority will support Obama  for president.

Republicans announce Convention Lineup
August 26, 2008


After  the democratic party wraps up its political problem (Obama vs. Clinton delegates) and history making moments (nominating an African American to run for president),   the  Republican Party will begin its convention in Minneapolis * St. Paul next week.

The party is promising an exciting show, but let’s face it: It probably won’t match the political drama of the DNC.

Still, the  G-O-P is ready to put the spotlight on it’s issues and candidates.

The convention’s overall theme of  Country First” is designed to reflect Senator John McCain’s “remarkable record of  leadership and service to America” according to the announcement.

Each night will have its own theme and featured speakers, including some political heavyweights from Texas. 

Monday Sept. 1: Service

President George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, Governor Rick Perry

Tuesday: Reform

Wednesday Sept. 3:  Prosperity

U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

Thursday Sept. 4:  Peace

Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams

Is This Billboard Unethical?
August 26, 2008


controversial billboard

controversial billboard

OK, so 2 on The Beat learned this morning to NOT point and shoot my camera into the sun.

That aside, this seemingly innocent and informative billboard is stirring up some controversy in the race for Harris County Judge.

Democrat David Mincberg is calling on Judge Ed Emmett to remove what he calls are “unethical campaign billboards” by Labor Day.

Mincberg takes issue with the fact that the billboards urge residents to visit a website of the Harris County Office of Emergency Management to learn about hurricane preparedness.

The billboards were paid for with Emmett’s campaign funds, but Mincberg says it is unethical to mix campaign funds with county tax dollars.

Meanwhile, 2 on The Beat spoke with Emmett spokesman Joe Stinebaker this morning for his response. 

“Mincberg is trying to confuse voters. Not one penny of tax payer money was used to pay for those billboards. Judge Emmett used his campaign money to educate the public about hurricane season..”

As for promoting the website, Stinebaker says “there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. He’s doing a good thing. There is no way you can spin this as being unethical.”

2 on The Beat wants to know what you think about this issue.