Saturday night, as the results came in, some were shocked and some were pleased on the selections made by less than 7% of San Antonio’s voting population. While the mayor clocked in a third term with 67% of the vote, 33% didn’t vote for him, spreading their votes across a wide spectrum of perennial and new candidates. In District 3, council’s pick for the seat was ousted by one of the candidates they overlooked. In District 5, a large field of candidates forced a runoff between the incumbent and a progressive favorite. Finally, in District 8 one candidate proved money can’t buy everything, even when you spend over $100 a vote. So what did we end up with?
To help folks find the information on campaign finance reports, which are available at the City Clerk’s website, I’ve pulled the links to the 8th day and 3rd day reports and listed them here. Sometimes the searches can be a little difficult to get right. Anyway, you can get all the information here at one single page. It also gives you a better idea of who’s running. Read more…
Since I’ll be traveling around tonight, hitting a few of the Election Night Watch Parties, I decided to try something new to see if this will work. I’m going to be posting here throughout the day and night some of the things I see and some of my observations throughout the night. Hopefully I’ll be able to post photos from the various locations, as well as some updates on election returns, as they come in. Not all locations have WiFi, from what I can tell, so the updates may come in delayed. (Note to candidates: find a location with WiFi for your watch party. Just sayin’.) Feel free to comment throughout the night, if you want to, but remember to follow the Guidelines for comments. Remember, this is an experiment so the posts may or may not be timely but I’m going to give it a go.
San Antonio is about to complete its first municipal election with terms extended by the 2008 charter change to allow four two-year years over the prior limit of two terms. But, even with two more terms, voter turnout for San Antonio municipal elections continues to rank among the lowest in the nation, coming in a the bottom among the 22 largest cities. City leaders and politicos have been perplexed as to why San Antonio ranks so low, offering up all sorts of possible solutions. The latest, offered in a column by Express-News columnist Gilbert Garcia, even suggested extended term limits might be the source of the problem.
This past Sunday the San Antonio Express-News launched its new paywall site, expressnews.com, providing premium content in a much cleaner website to paid subscribers. It started to seem like a good idea. However, as I dig deeper into the Hearst Communications major publications paywall sites, I’m starting to see a model that’s downright confusing. Where most paywall sites typically have one site, with both free and premium content comingled, the Hearst sites have one site for free and one site for premium, with some content duplicated on both. To make matters even more confusing, the breaking stories hit the free site first. Honestly, maybe I’m getting a little too old for this but now when I try to read the local news, I’m confused and really don’t know where to go.
This past Saturday, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) was sworn in as Governor for a Day, an opportunity provided the President Pro Tem of the Texas Senate when both Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst are out of the state. While the position and scenario are very real, in terms of duties, yesterday was more about a celebration for Democrats and San Antonians at the Capitol. But, seizing that moment, Gov. Van de Putte issued a call for equality for all Texans, pointing out the inequality faced by the LGBT community in Texas, especially in terms of employment discrimination. She closed her speech with a memorable statement, saying “Someday, on these walls, there will be a portrait of a Texas hero, who just happens to be gay, and it won’t matter because they’re a Texas hero.” But until then, it does matter.
Today starts the Early Voting period for our municipal elections, typically the elections with the lowest voter turnout of the city. There’s no major citywide race this election with Mayor Julian Castro seeking his third term in office with no real opposition. Looking at the other districts, District 3 and 5 are probably hotter than most races. But the race to really watch is going to be District 8 where three candidates are squaring up for what could be the hottest race in the city. Rolando Briones, Ron Nirenberg, and Michael Kueber are matched up to take over the seat currently held by Councilman Reed Williams, a councilman many wish would have run for another term on council.
Monday afternoon another tragic event shocked our world as bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. While many tuned to the news channels to find out more regarding what was happening in Boston, one of the more reliable and timely sources was social media. But leveraging social media channels as a source of information requires diligence and an understanding of how to vet the sources for factual and erroneous information. Many news sources have started relying on social media channels to help them get the news out, following the feed and posting to it as well. So what are the best practices to use for looking at social media when following news of a breaking event?
The field for the District 5 council seat is crowded. In fact, aside from the mayor’s race, it’s the most crowded race on the ballot for the May 11th election. So you would suspect with such a big field there would be tons of big ideas to help improve the district, one of the poorest in the city. Based on the answers provided at a candidate forum hosted by COPS/Metro Alliance last night, it seems a big field doesn’t always yield big ideas. In fact, several times the answers fell back to typical campaign rhetoric of “we solve that problem by working together” or “we need more public/private partnerships.” Instead of traditional bingo, the church should have hosted rhetoric bingo last night.
This past week saw the issue of public information at its best and worst. Best in the sense that a review of the public records by the Bankers Anonymous blog into SAISD superintendent candidate Manuel Isquierdo, revealing a record of financial and legal issues. Worst in the sense that a so-called watchdog group can leverage campaign finance records to launch a political vendetta against a public official, as the Texas Ethics Advisory Board, a political action group associated with the tea party and socially conservative activities, has done against select members of the San Antonio City Council. Both efforts stem from the availability of public records.
To help folks find the information on campaign finance reports, which are available at the City Clerk’s website, I’ve pulled the links to the reports and listed them here. Sometimes the searches can be a little difficult to get right. Anyway, you can get all the information here at one single page. It also gives you a better idea of who’s running.
Note: This is a repost of a piece in my column in Plaza de Armas that was originally posted on Election Day. I reposted it because of interest from several friends in social media.
How can you not feel for little Abbey who, in a YouTube video that has gone viral, is tired of “Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney” and has had about as much of this presidential election as the rest of us have. I believe Abbey has expressed to the nation what all of us are feeling right now – enough of the back and forth. Let’s just get this thing over.
In case you missed one of the news items last week, George P. Bush filed paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission to run for office, something many people expected might happen but weren’t sure when. Based on comments from Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who’s probably going to be seeking the office of Lt. Governor in 2014, Bush seems to be eyeing the Land Commissioner office. While some might wonder why the coverage in many of the state papers about the initial filing, you have to remember he comes from a very high profile political family that has yielded two presidents and two governors (W did both). He’s also considered the future of the Republican Party of Texas if you take into account the demographics of Texas. But before he’s even announced a campaign or even made one public statement, people are already voting against him and discrediting him. Seeing this I have to ask if we’ve lost the concepts of civic engagement somewhere along the line.
Yea, I know the title sounds like I’m a little late to the game on this election and actually I may be. But, after following the numbers leading to today through the early voting period I decided it’s time to quit waiting for someone else to get the vote out. So I’m going to take initiative and start the conversation on how we can get voters more engaged in the process and elections. I’m on a quest to increase voter turnout over the next several election cycles, I’m going to start working with as many as I can in San Antonio to bring our city to the highest levels in Texas and possibly the country.
Here is my election result link page you can use to quickly check results around the state and some key initiatives and Senate races around the nation. I didn’t put them all on there because some just aren’t competitive. I will update the Bexar County link once they post it.
- Senate – Cruz/Sadler
- CD-20 – Castro/Rosa – Henry’s Puffy Tacos - 6030 Bandera Road
- CD-23 – Gallego/Canseco
- CD-35 – Doggett/Narvaiz
- SBOE-3 – Williams/Perez
- SBOE-5 – Mercer/Bell-Metereau
- SD-10 – Davis/Shelton
- SD-25 – Campbell/Courage – Courage - 7122 San Pedro Avenue
- HD-117 – Cortez/Garza – Campaign HQ – 310 Valley Hi
- HD-125 – Lisa’s – 815 Bandera Road
- Bexar County
- Washington – Referendum Measure 74 – Y
- Maine – Question 1 – Y
- Maryland – Question 6 – Y
- Minnesota – Amendment 2 – N
US Senate races
- MA – Warren-D/Brown-R
- MO – Akin-R/McCaskill-D
- NV – Heller-R/Berkley-D
- WI – Baldwin-D/Thompson-R
- IN – Mourdock-R/Donnelly-D
- CO – Murphy/McMahon-R
- VA – Kaine-D/Allen-R