The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Quick Hits

So early this morning I pack up the girlfriend and the dog for her weekend trip back to her parent's house- leaving me all by my lonesome- and then head on back to bed. A couple of hours later she calls to tell me that she forgot to let me know that she'd taken the laptop. Wonderful. So I'm over here at my parent's house, eating all their food and writing my one post for the day...

Castro has soft support among Latinos

Via the Express-News, Jaime Castillo writes about the differences between Castro's Latino support, Garza's Latino support, and Henry's Latino support:

Many people might be shocked by the latter assertion, but the latest results of the News 4 WOAI/Survey USA poll show that only 67 percent of Hispanics are backing the two-term councilman over retired judge Phil Hardberger.

I say "only" because history says that two-thirds of the Hispanic vote isn't going to cut it for Castro.

There have only been two Hispanic mayors of San Antonio in modern times and both — Henry Cisneros and Ed Garza — were elected in large part by a huge proportion of the Latino vote.

In 2001, Garza won by netting an estimated 96.9 percent of the Hispanic vote and a slim majority — 52.1 percent — of Anglos.
Twenty years earlier, Cisneros won his first term as mayor only by spurring a record showing of Hispanic voters, who for the only time in recent city history made up a majority — 51 percent — of the overall turnout.

By bringing up San Antonio's history of polarized voting, it is not to say that Castro's mayoral aspirations are being complicated solely by ethnicity.

Sure there are still narrow-minded folks who will not vote for Castro because he is Hispanic. But the fact that Hardberger is attracting nearly one-third of the Latino vote suggests that Castro's challenge is deeper than that.

According to this week's poll, nearly nine out of every 10 voters who said they cast ballots for third-place finisher Carroll Schubert on May 7 are now saying they will vote for Hardberger.

That support, which is consolidated in City Council districts 9 and 10 on the voter-rich North Side, helped Hardberger take an overall lead over Castro — 50 percent to 47 percent — for the first time in the polls.

It is not surprising that Schubert's largely conservative bloc of voters is not backing Castro, a 30-year-old Democrat.

But what is eyebrow-raising is that so many of them are siding with Hardberger, a 70-year-old longtime Democratic politico whom Schubert blasted just a few short weeks ago as "a liberal trial lawyer."

If those poll numbers are close to reality, it could suggest that Castro's first-place finish three weeks ago did not disprove the premise that a significant number of San Antonians are looking for something different at City Hall.

I think it's a mixture of Castro's soft support and the fact that the good Judge has been a longtime fighter for what Latinos believe in that has given Hardberger credibility. As I have said in a prior post, too bad Castro doesn't have the same support in Hardberger's coalition.

Democracy for America endorses Castro

Not that big of news since this happened a few days ago, but the spin on this was slightly disconcerting:

Julian Castro received the endorsement in the San Antonio mayoral race of the national group, Democracy for America, a group that supports fiscally responsible, moderate candidates, who have a strong vision.

Think whatever you will about Democracy for America, but can you honestly call the candidates the endorse, moderate? David Van Os a moderate? Don't think so.

Via San Antonio Politics blog

And finally, can all of you who have been parading the 'Hardberger overturns molester-er convictions' please point me to case law as to why the Judge's opinion was actually wrong? Because, as well all know (or as we all should know), there are times when lower courts and juries get it wrong (the Scopes trial and every lower court that upheld Plessy v. Ferguson are the first two that come to mind). Let's also point out while we're on the subject that Phil was named the best judge in the state in 2003 and in 2004 was given the John Marshall award for being the best apellate judge in the country.

As far as the politics of it actually go, you've got one of two options out here. Either the Castro campaign has been sitting on this 'info.' since the very beginning, leading me to believe that his 'positive and clean campaign pledge' was something he was only going to do so long as he held a lead in a poll, or, once again, Castro's campaign wasn't quite prepared for the race and hired an opp. research team at the very end to dig this up.

As far as the timing of it, this is a classic Karl Rove/Republican tactic- leave some 'heavy-duty ammo' until the very end, lest your opponents actually have time to respond, and then try and inundate the electorate with it. Anyone who has worked on a major campaign knows this tactic. It's also very interesting to point out which campaign is running positive testimonials and which campaign is running negative ads 10 days out from the election. It's alot easier to look 'mayoral' from the front than it is from the back, huh guys?