Now There’s Two – But What Will The Losers Do?
November 5, 2009

After taking a few hours to celebrate their respective victories,  Houston Mayoral candidates Gene Locke and Annise Parker are back in campaign mode.

They have two big priorities: raising more money to compete in the runoff  election, and reaching out to the two  losing mayoral candidates and their supporters.

I spoke briefly with conservative Roy Morales who won 20% of the vote.  He told me he is taking time to think about his next move.  That includes talking with his supporters to decide if  he should endorse Parker, Locke, or none  of the above.  

In the one TV commercial that Morales released before the election, he  attacked his opponents and labeled them as liberals

 How is he going to mesh his conservative principles with his former  liberal opponents?

I also spoke with Lucinda Guinn who managed Peter Brown’s campaign.  Guinn told me that Brown hasn’t made any decision.  Brown probably has more in common politically with both Locke and Parker, but remember how nasty things turned at the end?  In her final TV campaign AD, Parker accused Brown of  distorting her record and said he couldn’t be trusted.  During his final commercial, Brown accused Locke of  financial mismanagement in his role as legal counsel for the Houston Sports Authority.

Hey, that’s politics.

Don’t take it personally.

 On Wednesday, Parker and Locke said they would be happy to get an endorsement from either one, or both.


Former Mayor Whitmire Backs Annise Parker For Mayor
October 30, 2009

Former Houston Mayor Kathy Whitmire held a fundraiser for Annise  Parker Thursday night in an effort to help her good friend get elected the next mayor of  Houston.   

New Image 

Current polls show that Parker has a good chance of making it into the runoff election,  to face either Peter Brown or  Gene Locke.  

(The New York Times has an interesting article about Parker’s hopes of making history in this election:

In one of  the many   interesting twists  in this mayoral election,  Locke is being supported by former Mayor Bob Lanier, who succeeded Whitmire as Mayor of Houston.  

According to a news release sent to 2 On The Beat by the Parker campaign,  Whitmire mingled through a well attended event  and explained why she supports Annise.    

 “I support Annise because she has the values to recognize what this city needs and fiscal responsibility which have been proven in her time as the City Controller to take this city through tough economic times,” said Whitmire.

Will Peter Brown Take The Hayride To City Hall?
October 29, 2009

Does Peter Brown have a new strategy to get his  supporters to the polls?  Why in the world did his campaign put together a hayride?

“Some volunteers were really excited, and tons  of  people want to help Peter out on the campaign,” said campaign manager Lucinda Guinn. 


I find these photos both odd and funny at the same time. (I didn’t take them, but they’re  making the rounds on the internet and have been sent out by local bloggers.)

hayride 2hayride 3

What do you think?

Gene Locke Responds To Peter Brown’s New Attack Ad
October 29, 2009

I keep missing it on TV, but  I’ve heard from several people about Houston Mayoral Candidate Peter Brown’s  new TV political attack ad that accuses Gene Locke of  fiscal mismanagement.

Locke’s campaign issued this statement in response:

“Peter Brown is running an outrageously expensive campaign on outrageously cheap lies and he can’t be trusted.  Peter is learning that Houstonians cannot be bought and his eleventh-hour desperate campaign attacks won’t work.  Voters in Houston are learning that Peter Brown can’t be trusted.”

The War of Words Continues: Locke vs. Brown
October 28, 2009

After accusing Mayoral Candidate Peter Brown of  trying to buy votes in the African-American community, today Gene Locke released a new radio ad that calls Brown’s truthfulness into question.  This is not a surprise. Even the Annise Parker campaign has raised questions about Brown’s alleged history of  evading questions and not being truthful about different issues.

This strong attack comes days before the end of early voting and election day, Tuesday, November 3rd.  With polls showing Locke running in third place, is this ad effective enough to get him into the runoff?

Here’s the release I received from the Locke campaign: 

All Assertions Backed by Facts  

Houston, TX – The Gene Locke campaign today released a new radio ad that will begin airing on several Houston radio stations.
The sixty-second radio ad, “Trust”, points out a number of questions that have been posed to Peter Brown that he has refused to answer, as well as illustrates how out of touch Brown is with most Houstonians.

“It’s time for Houstonians to get to know the Peter Brown behind the TV commercials,” said Locke Senior Advisor Kim Devlin. “From the inconsistencies between his words and his actions, to his refusal to answer questions, a pattern emerges of someone you just can’t trust.”

The Locke campaign has released a Fact Sheet accompanying the transcript of the radio ad that backs up all claims made in the ad.

The transcript and fact sheet for the ad are below:
:60 radio spot

NARRATOR: In this year’s mayoral race let’s look at the facts.

We know Peter Brown’s already spent more than three million dollars to buy this election but it’s more than that.

Can we really trust Peter Brown?

When asked what he paid in property taxes he refused to answer, maybe that’s because he paid $55,000 last year, more than most of us make in a year.

And he won’t disclose family’s financial interest. How do we know if he’s padding his family’s pockets? He’s done it before.

Brown voted against low-income housing here but owns a vacation home in France.

The Houston Chronicle noted in 2007 that Brown expressed amazement at the cost of milk. And quoted Brown saying, “I don’t know much about the daily lives of people I represent.” Clearly he’s out of touch.

How can we trust Peter Brown?

It’s a good thing we have Gene Locke.

He’s been endorsed by the Houston Chronicle, over 100 Pastors, Reverends and Bishops, and most of our community leaders.

On November third, vote Gene Locke. A leader we can trust.

LOCKE: I’m Gene Locke, this political ad is paid for by Gene Locke for Mayor



• “We know Peter Brown’s already spent more than $3 million dollars to buy this election” (Houston Chronicle, October 27, 2009)


• “When asked what he paid in property taxes he refused to answer, maybe that’s because he paid $55,000 last year, more than most of us make in a year.” (KUHF/KHOU Debate October 24, 2009; Harris County Tax Records, 2008; City of Houston Planning Department)


• “And he won’t disclose his family’s financial interest. How do we know if he’s padding his family’s pockets? He’s done it before.” (Texas Watchdog, September 17, 2009; Houston Chronicle, December 28, 2009)


• “Brown voted against low-income housing here but owns a vacation home in France. (Houston City Council Minutes, October 31, 2007; Houston Chronicle, January 6, 2005)


• Brown expressed amazement at the cost of milk. And quoted Brown saying, “I don’t know much about the daily lives of people I represent.” (Houston Chronicle Blog,


Former Congressman Lampson Making Calls For Peter Brown
October 28, 2009

I was a little surprised to read that former U.S. Congressman Nick Lampson is getting involved in the race for Mayor of  Houston.

Congressman Nick Lampson phone banking 
(photo courtesy of the Brown campaign)

According to a news release sent out by the Peter Brown for Mayor campaign, Lampson stopped by Brown’s campaign headquarters Tuesday night to take part in a phone banking push for Brown.

What’s the  connection between Brown and Lampson?

I’m not sure how far back their relationship goes,  but I know that one of   Brown’s campaign staffers, Mike Malaise, also worked on several congressional campaigns for Lampson. 

You may recall that Lampson was defeated last November by Republican Pete Olson in the race to replace Tom Delay in the 22nd Congressional district.

Anyway, Lampson is well-respected by liberal democrats, and his phone calls could help Brown shore up  support in that area.

Lampson was quoted in the news release saying,  “It was great to be here tonight, speaking  with Houstonians about Peter and his vision for an even better Houston, with real solutions to make all areas in our city safer and to grow the economy.  I’m confident that Peter will be a good mayor for Houston and I’m proud to support him.”

Parker Campaign Releases New Poll In Race For Mayor
October 26, 2009

UPDATE:   The other campaigns decided against commenting on the Parker internal poll. They believe that Parker was trying to spin her  numbers prior to the release of a poll released by another TV station, that shows her running in second place.

It’s common  for political campaigns to release their own polling data to prove their side has the momentum in the race.

As we get closer to election day,  you can bet that all of the Houston Mayoral candidates are conducting internal polls to gauge how strong their support is citywide.

Today, the Annise Parker team released a survey that claims she is leading her opponents Peter Brown, Gene Locke and Roy Morales. 

Actually,  based on that campaign’s data, “undecided” is running  in second place.  

I’ll try to get reaction from the other campaigns, but in the meantime, here is the news release from Parker’s side.

New Poll Shows Parker in the Lead for Mayor  

Houston, TX – The Annise Parker for Mayor campaign released the results of a recent poll that show Parker in the lead. Peter Brown, Gene Locke, and Roy Morales trail behind and are still in a race to see who can make the run-off with Parker:

 Annise Parker: 27%

Peter Brown: 21%

Gene Locke: 17%

Roy Morales: 11%

Undecided: 24% 

“We have always known this would be a tight race,” said Adam Harris, Parker’s campaign manager. “We feel good about these numbers but we’re pushing now harder than ever.” 

Harris added that given the low turnout projected by many observers, the poll placed a particularly tight screen on likely voters to ensure getting the most accurate data. 

“Parker is also the most known and liked candidate in this race,” said Celinda Lake and Joshua Ulibarri of Lake Research Partners, the firm conducting the poll. 

The Parker Campaign posted a memo by Lake Research Partners describing the poll on its website at

Roy Morales Spreads His Message on TV
October 26, 2009

Houston Mayoral Candidate Roy Morales, who calls himself the only conservative in the race, has finally put his message on TV.

Morales released a paid political ad today.  It  will air primarily on cable television.

The commercial doesn’t have that same expensive look and feel  that defines the political ads of his opponents, Peter Brown, Gene Locke or Annise Parker.

 But, it does seem like an  effective  way for Morales to attack his opponents and broaden his audience among likely voters.

Gene Locke Rolls Out New TV Ad
October 22, 2009

Houston Mayoral candidate Gene Locke has launched his second TV political ad.  What do you think about the tone and message?

In the spot, Locke is reminding voters that he had been endorsed by both the Houston Chronicle (technically he was co –  endorsed) and the Houston Police Officers Union.

Meanwhile, on Monday Mayoral Candidate Peter Brown rolled out his FIFTH TV AD. 

Mayoral Candidate Annise Parker has been on the air with two political ads. UPDATE: Parker has updated one of  her TV ads to  say she was endorsed by the Houston Chronicle. Like Locke, she does not make it clear that it was a co-endorsement.

I believe all of the major mayoral candidates are also running ads on local radio stations.

Personally, ads have never influenced me or my vote, but I am surprised by the number of people who are deciding how to cast their ballot for mayor of  Houston, based on the ads on television.

Does This Houston Press Cover Offend You?
October 21, 2009

The Houston Press, an alternative newspaper, has a way of catching the reader’s attention with offensive or interesting headlines.

In this case, the cover of the weekly newspaper boils down the voter’s choice for mayor.  which is between a black guy – Gene Locke, a rich white guy – Peter Brown, a lesbian –  Annise Parker, and a Hispanic Republican – Roy Morales.

houston press

Does the cover offend you?