Finally. Folks know Commentary’s take on the H-Town firefighters and the city. Mayor John Whitmire finally got a deal done. It is about time. Here is from the Chron:

It will cost Houston taxpayers more than $650 million to settle City Hall’s long-running contract stalemate with the firefighters union, according to terms of a deal released Thursday.

Mayor John Whitmire and the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 341 announced they signed a deal to end the dispute, which has dominated Houston’s municipal politics for nearly a decade, playing out in court battles and at the ballot box.

The framework would use $650 million in back pay to address the eight years the firefighters worked without a contract, and then give them up to 34% raises over the next five years. That means the total cost will be higher, though City Hall officials did not release a full estimate or their plans to fund it.

Here is the entire read: Houston firefighters, Whitmire settle on $650M back pay deal (

This is a big deal. It never should have gotten to this point, but it did. Now it is behind us. Give the mayor credit. Good.

The featured photo is the logo of the Houston Professional Firefighters Local 341.


Commentary has not been to South Texas in a while. I certainly have not been involved in campaigns there in years, like a lot of years. I have been kind of intrigued on why Latinos there and even here are attracted to Donald Trump. See this from the Trib:

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat from McAllen, compared Hispanic Trump supporters to “Jews for Hitler,” prompting fierce backlash from Republicans as he runs for reelection in a mostly Hispanic South Texas district.

In an interview with The New Republic published Monday, Gonzalez warned that Democrats could soon lose support among socially conservative Hispanic voters in South Texas as Republicans increasingly invest in the area. He said Hispanic voters are largely turned off by the anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from the top of the Republican ticket, including former President Donald Trump casting Mexican immigrants as “rapists.”

“If they didn’t have that racist, divisive element within their party, they would have a lot of Latinos, but they can’t seem to shake that off,” Gonzalez told the magazine. “The rhetoric you hear from the Republican Party is shameful and disgraceful for Latinos. And you know, when you see ‘Latinos for Trump,’ to me it is like seeing ‘Jews for Hitler,’ almost, you know?”

Republicans are pouring money into unseating Gonzalez in the 34th congressional district, which is based in the lower Rio Grande Valley and includes Brownsville and Harlingen. Former U.S. Rep. Mayra Flores is running for the seat after losing to Gonzalez in the 2022 general election. She had won the seat in a special election only a few months earlier, breaking a multi-generational streak of Democratic control in South Texas.

Flores is a vocal Trump supporter and blasted Gonzalez for comparing Latino Trump supporters to Jewish Nazis.

“Shame on Vicente Gonzalez for referring to conservative Latinos in this manner. He forgets they are his constituents, too,” Flores said on social media. “We need to elect new leadership in November, and that’s exactly what the Rio Grande Valley will do.”

Other Republicans echoed Flores’ criticism. The Congressional Leadership PAC, a fundraising operation tied to House Republican leadership, issued a statement calling the remark “absolutely disgusting” and pressuring voters “into voting a certain way based on their ethnicity.” The National Republican Congressional Committee also called on Gonzalez to apologize.

When asked to clarify his comments via text message, Gonzalez doubled down: “I don’t understand how Mexican Americans can vote for” Trump.

“It’s clearly a vote against self interest. And yes it would be like the Jewish community voting for Hitler before the atrocities he caused. That would never happen. And Latinos need [to] wake up and see a tyrant on the horizon,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez added that Flores “should be calling out Trump” for his remarks about migrants.

Trump said in December that migrants were “poisoning the blood of our country.” Fellow Republicans said Trump’s comments were xenophobic and racist. His remarks reflected Adolf Hitler, who said Jews were “poisoning” Aryan blood. Trump denied knowing that Hitler made similar remarks.

Here is the entire Trib read: Vicente Gonzalez likens Latino Trumpers to “Jews for Hitler” | The Texas Tribune.

Cong. Gonzalez is a battled tested and veteran politico from South Texas. I am glad he is telling it like it is. I hope Democrats from his community join him in calling out the Trumpers in South Texas. They need to play offense to win back voters.


Have a nice and safe St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

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