Sunday, December 31, 2006

Line up for swearing-in ceremonies of Judges


Laura Salinas, (photo)
Judge-Elect
The San Antonio Bar Association will coordinate the swearing-in ceremonies for recently elected judges on Monday, January 1, 2007 in the Bexar County Justice Center’s Central Jury Room.

The agenda is as follows:
10 a.m. - Ray Olivarri, Judge of County Court at Law #6
11:30 a.m. - Larry Noll, Judge of the 408th District Court
1 p.m. - Catherine Torres-Stahl, Judge of the 144th District Court
2 p.m. - Laura Salinas, Judge of County Court at Law #9
3 p.m. - Gloria Saldana, Judge of the 224th District Court
4 p.m. - Peter Sakai, Judge of the 225th District Court

Additionally, Steve Hilbig will be sworn in as Justice of the Fourth Court of Appeals at 4 p.m. on January 11 in the Central Jury Room.

Walker Report's "Political Person of the Year 2006"

The past political year has been an erratic roller coaster of political highs and political lows for some. For others it was "the best of times," and for still others, it was the "worst of times." Depending on your perspective, it was a mix of both.

Take for example Congressman-Elect Ciro Rodriguez. Two straight defeats at the hands of Henry Cuellar. That qualifies him for the "worst of times." Then there is the victory over the other Henry and that qualifies him for the "best of times."

While Ciro certainly qualifies and is the Political Come-Back Kid of the Year for his persistence, the Walker Report chooses a non-elected person as the Walker Report's "Political Person of 2006."

Now that Ciro Rodriguez is the newly elected Congressman for Distict 23, the pundits and the johnny-come-lately's are all claiming that they were instrumental in his landslide win, December 12th.

Even his notary who notarized his paper work to drop out of the race in August so his name could be deleted from the ballot, is taking credit for convincing him to re-enter the race.

Of course the Conservative Republicans are also taking credit by claiming they voted for "Liberal" Ciro rather than their Conservative "Poster Child" who they claim was an embarrassment to their Party. (That part is true)

The local Democratic Party and the Texas Democratic Party have also loudly proclaimed they were responsible for Ciro's come from behind win and were right there through out the campaign from the beginning. Naturally the National Democratic Party also claims credit as well since they did run a couple of ads for him.

Since everyone is claiming credit, I would be remiss if I didn't jump into the fray by claiming credit since I posted well over forty entries into the Walker Report which assuredly made the difference in his landslide win! Did you see all those photos I took of him and posted? Surely that was what did it, don't you think?

Seriously, the person who impacted his campaign more that most, other that Ciro's wife, Carolina, is none other than Gina Castaneda, his campaign staffer who will now officially serve as his Political Director.

And yes, when he decided to bow out of the race, it was Gina who convinced him to get back in the race. I was there when he announced his intentions to the Central Labor Council that he was dropping out and there again when he announced his return. Two of the top ten headlines for 2006 reflect those decisions.

Walker Report's "Political Person of the Year" is

Gina Castaneda.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Media people posted on Walker Report






















Media personalities & reporters from radio, print and TV News were part of the postings on Walker Report this past year. From L-R: KENS-5 Reporter Jessica Silva, KABB-29 Reporter Stephanie Rivas, Express-News Photographer Jerry Lara, KTSA Radio Reporter J.T. Street, KABB-29 Weekend Anchor James Keith, WOAI-4 Reporter Drew Roesgen, Photographer, WOAI-4 Reporter Aubrey Mika, WOAI Radio Reporter Mike Board, Express-News Columnist Carlos Guerra, SA Current Asst. Editor Keli Dailey

Reprint of Walker Report's favorite post 8-31-06


Congressman Henry Bonilla and Democratic activist now in the witness protection program.

Invitation: Worthless

Photo: Priceless!

Bexar County politics is definitely strange at best, weird at worst. Take for instance the cross-wire politics that happened on the Southside at the Harlandale Civic Center Thursday, August 31st.

Republican Congressman Henry Bonilla invited what should have been a huge crowd of Republican precinct chairs for a gathering so that he could bond with them, so to speak.

Apparently he was attempting to revitalize his Southside campaign since he recently boasted that he is a product of the Southside. It has been reported that his mother lives somewhere in the Southside.

Unfortunately for him and his campaign staff, only about 20 or so precinct chairs showed up for the meeting. A call supposedly went out for Republicans to attend.

One Democratic Party activist was called at the Bexar County Democratic Party Headquarters and was invited to attend the meeting. Obviously the Bexar Democratic Party's caller ID did not dissuade the caller from inviting the Party activist.

In an effort to be polite, the activist and her husband went to the meeting with digital camera in hand and for what ever reason, took pictures with the Congressman and the candidate for State Rep. District 118, George Antuna. Never asked directly by the Bonilla staff what Precinct they represented, they blended in with the crowd, so to speak.

Bonilla was quoted by the Party activist as saying, "we asked the Judge for the Southside and we got the Southside." Bewildered and befuddled, the two Democratic activists scrathed their heads and waved good bye to the Republican precinct chairs.

The moral of the story is when you get invited to a Republican event, take your digital camera and document your visit!!!

Seeing is believing.

The Walker Report's prized photos of 2006








The up close & personal photos of Former President Bill Clinton are the Walker Report's most coveted photos of the over 7-thousand taken by Editor Steve Walker since Walker Report began.
Coming in at second are the photos of Former Senator John Edwards who is now officially a candidate for President of the United States. The photos include Lauren Shipley, (photo taken by Lauren's Grandfather Robert Castaneda) State Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon & State Senator Leticia van de Putte.

Top Ten Headlines of 2006 on the Walker Report


1. Hundreds of friends & mourners gather to honor former State Senator Frank Madla (Nov. 30)

2. Bexar County Democrats pay tribute to former Texas Governor Ann Richards at a press conference ( Sep. 14)

3. Express-News headline, Ciro in Landslide" 54-46 (Dec. 13)

4. President Bill Clinton visits San Antonio for Ciro (Dec. 10)

5. Ciro Rodriguez drops a bomshell & opts out of the District 23 Congressional race (Aug. 30)

6. Ciro Rodriguez says...."I am baack!" (Sep. 1)

7. Carlos Uresti sworn in as State Senator, District 19 (Nov. 12)

8. LULAC negotiates court order for more early voting (Dec. 5)

9. BCDPNews goes Independent of website, changes name to Walker Report, but keeps link (Nov. 28)

10. Walker Report hits milestone with #500 posting (Dec. 16)

Favorite Headline of the Year:

Two Democrats walk into a Republican precinct meeting and one says to the other.....

Commissioner Adkisson reflects on the past year


Commissioner Tommy Adkisson (Photo)


A Time to Count Blessings & Renew Resolutions

As we enter the New Year we have an opportunity to build on the foundation of last year and our preceding years as well. So often we are so focused on what we want that we fail to celebrate what we have. I hope that whatever you have to celebrate, that you will take time to do so even if it’s against the backdrop of challenges.

At least four families I personally know of have been going through the loss of a loved at this time. Some of those who left us were up in years and others were struck with an immediate calling. None were easy to let go of into eternity.

My condolences to each of them and to others experiencing a loss at this time.
We have all lost someone at some time and I am in that number. A little over two years ago I lost my wonderful father.

When I got the news I was definitely tearful though he had Alzheimers and was 83 years old. He had lived a long, energetic and successful life but was then in an assisted living facility.

Shortly after receiving the news of his death we came to reflect on what he meant to all of us. We knew that going through the funeral would not be easy but reflecting on his life would help ease the pain of his loss.

We knew that his many funny and some of his calamitous experiences we shared with him would lighten our thoughts a bit. Knowing that we could not turn back the hand of fate, we sought to elevate our thoughts about not only what he meant but about what made him so special and memorable to us.

We prayed for the repose of his soul and celebrated his life with all its interesting times. But in a more personal sense, I believe that funerals are at least as much for the living as for the deceased. After the primary goal of praying for the loved one and remembering him or her, I like to deliberate on what I’m doing to make my life all it can be.

Life is short and as the years go by at an ever-quickening pace, may we all reflect on our strengths and our challenges. In the New Year, may you realize more than ever before, your aspirations and dreams a little more than before.

May the memories of loved ones lost in 2006 remain with you in the highest spiritual sense possible. And, may you and your family cherish the moment of the present and truly be all you can be in 2007!

Craddick on the ropes as Texas House Speaker


Tom Craddick, (photo)
Texas Speaker of the House

By Lone Star Project

On the ropes as former allies turn away....

Reports that a coalition of Democratic and Republican State House members have been working behind the scenes to remove current Republican Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick (Quorum Report, December 23, 2006) are not surprising.

Upon his elevation to Speaker following the 2002 elections, Tom Craddick immediately charted a course characterized by brutal partisanship and mean spirited exchanges.

Now, four years later, key members of both parties in the Texas State House are looking for a replacement.

Craddick: Failed Political Leader Through a combination of blind partisanship best characterized by the DeLay-driven mid-decade redistricting and an inability to provide political cover - best illustrated by his allies regularly going down to defeat - Tom Craddick has proven to be a toxic political friend.

Craddick Allies Lose: Smart members don't get close to Tom Craddick. Since Craddick became Speaker in 2003, Republicans have lost a net seven seats in the State House. Even a number of Democrats who became part of Craddick’s team in return for Chairmanships or plum committee assignments have gone down to defeat in primary elections.

Craddick’s Majority Cut in Half: Even with George W. Bush on the ballot winning 60 percent of the popular vote in Texas, 3 GOP incumbent seats were lost in the 2004 elections. The 2004 election even saw Craddick's close ally Talmadge Heflin go down, giving the Democrats a net gain of one. (San Antonio Express-News, December 28, 2004)

In 2006, without Bush on the ballot, Craddick’s Republicans lost a net six seats and not a single Democratic seat was lost in the General Election.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Nostrodamus predictions for 2007

The real Nostrodamus (photo)


By Nostrodamus a.k.a. T. J. Connolly

Internationally:
President Bush will send an additional 25,000 troops (with the support of the Democratic Congress) to Iraq in February.

The Bush Administration will admit Iraq is no longer winnable and begin a massive drawdown of US troop strength by early fall.

We will regretfully pass the 3,000 troops killed in Iraq by January 5th. That will be more Americans than died on 9/11. And the murderer Osama Bin Laden is still free.

The 165,000 American troops in Iraq in June 07 will be down to less than 120,000 by the end of 2007. Before the 08 election, the US troop count in Iraq will be under 95,000.

Iran will emerge as America's greatest threat in the War on Terror during 2007.

Nationally:
President Bush's popularity rating will never break 44% during all of 2007. His most current Gallop Poll approval rating is 37%.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (new and first female Speaker of the U. S. House) popularity rating will break 50% by January 10th and remain above 50% for all of 2007.

Sen. Barak Obama, Sen. Hillary Clinton and former Sen. John Edwards will announce for the Democratic nomination for President. Former Sen. Edwards will have the Big Mo by the end of 07. (Editor's note: Edwards has aready declared his intent to run for President)

Former 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry will announce he will not seek the nomination again in 2008. Democrats will celebrate.

Current Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick will be defeated for re-election to the Speaker's Chair in Austin.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will emerge as the force to be reckoned with during the upcoming Session of the Legislature.

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte will resign her State Senate seat at the conclusion of the upcoming Session. Most members of the State House Bexar Delegation will jump in the Special Election to fill Sen. Van de Putte's unexpired term. State Rep. Trey Martinez-Fisher will emerge as the favorite.

One Republican Texas State Senator and two or three Republican Texas House members will switch parties during the upcoming Legislative Session.

San Antonio will lead the state in 2007 in new housing starts.

State Senator Carlos Uresti will closely watch how Congressman Ciro Rodriguez handles his new term in Congress. If Rodriguez looks vulnerable, and Uresti has a strong freshman Session, Uresti may take the plunge (for a second time) and announce for Congress in the fall of 07.

Bexar County:
Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo
will resign his Commissioner's seat in 2007. Commissioner's Court will appoint former State Senator Leticia Van de Putte to fill the final three+ years on his term.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff will remain a strong political force. Wolff will indicate plans to run for a final term in 2010.

County Commissioner Chico Rodriguez will give serious consideration to a run for Bexar County Sheriff in 08.

Rep. Robert Puente and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff will fail in their attempts to roll BexarMet under Bexar County's and SAWS control.

San Antonio:
Mayor Phil Hardberger will roll to a 76% re-election victory in May.

By the fall of 2007, City Councilman Kevin Wolff, home builder Gordon Hartman, former City Councilman Julian Castro and former City Councilman Richard Perez will emerge as the four most talked-up candidates to succeed Hardberger in 09.

Mayor Hardberger will announce plans to push a Charter Amendment change to establish two four-year terms for Mayor and City Council with the 2009 election. And he will succeed where so many others have failed.



Editor's Note: T.J. Connolly predicted Ciro Rodriguez would beat Henry Bonilla 52-48 percent weeks before the election. He also predicted the Democratic sweep across the nation and locally.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

It is official-Senator Edwards is in Presidential race

Former South Carolina Senator John Edwards (photo) is officially in the Presidential Race for 2008. He declared in Louisiana, Thursday, December 28th.

Ciro's ceremonial swearing in ceremony-Jan. 1st


Ciro Rodrgiuez & wife, Carolina (photo)

District 23 Congressman-Elect Ciro D. Rodriguez would like to invite everyone to his ceremonial swearing in Monday, January 1, 2007, at the Harlandale Civic Center, 115 W. Southcross, San Antonio, TX 78221 (at the corner of Pleasanton Rd. and Southcross) at 5 p.m.

The Civic Center will open to the public at 4 p.m. The ceremony will be at 5 p.m. and there will be food and drinks.

US Federal Judge Orlando Garcia will conduct the ceremony. The event will conclude at 6 p.m.

Join us as we celebrate Ciro and the New Year, and help us wish Ciro godspeed on his way to D.C. for the 110th Congress of the United States.

For more information contact Ciro's office at 210-928-2476. Hope to see everyone there!

District 2 Council candidates speak to NFA Party





















L-R: NFA President T.C. Calvert, Announced District 2 Council candidate, Keith Toney, possible Council 2 candidate & Civil Rights Attorney, James Myart , Reflections Editor Kathy Clay-Little & Reflections front page

Faces of the Neighborhoods First Alliance




































L-R: Reflections Newspaper, Edwards Aquifer Trustee Enrique Valdivia, Former Congressional candidate Tommy Calvert, Bexar County Democratic Party Deputy Chair Vincente Garcia, Reflections Editor & Express-News Columnist Kathy Clay-Little, Photographer Charles Lacey, NFA Secretary Mary Garcia, Former District 2 Councilman Mario Salas

Neighborhoods First Alliance hosts year-end party






























L-R: NFA President T.C. Calvert, NFA members, Dora Ramos, Lupe Figeroa, Martin Perez & wife, Photographer Charles Lacey, Elma Sartuchi, Debra Spence's grand daughters, food

Neighborhood First Alliance (NFA) members swarmed to the Claude Black Center, 2805 E. Commerce, Thursday, December 28th to celebrate the end of 2006 with stories, food and a vision of what NFA will focus on in 2007.

During the short meeting, NFA President T. C. Calvert requested that all members stand and introduce themselves and share a success in their life in the 2006 year. Once everyone introduced themselves, the crowd prayed and sat down and broke bread with fellow members.

The crowd included two elected officials and one announced and one unannounced candidate for District 2 City Council. Council election will be held in May.

Other topics of discussion during the meeting included the upcoming second annual "Why We March" series to be held at Dr. Martin Luther King Academy and the celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther March in January.

Announced City Council candidate Keith Toney addressed the crowd as well as possible City Council candidate James Myart, a civil rights attorney.