Parker claims 47-34 lead in Houston mayor's race
Tue November 17, 2009 11:17 pm

The source is an e-mail from Carl Whitmarsh, who is unknown to me but has been described by commenters as a very active e-mailer (and other less charitable characterizations). Whitmarsh’s e-mail about the poll said nothing about who conducted it. Interestingly, among the recipients of his e-mail were Democratic organizations in Dallas, Bexar, and Travis counties.

I checked Charles Kuffner’s blog, offthekuff.com, to see if he had mentioned who conducted the poll. He did: Lake Research Partners. I looked up the firm and here is what it had to say about itself:

No Really, We’re Different

Lake Research Partners is a national public opinion and political strategy research firm founded by Celinda Lake in 1995. The firm quickly expanded to become Lake Snell Perry Mermin and Associates, and in 2005 continued to grow through a merger with Decision Research. Our principals are leading information and political campaign strategists, serving as tacticians and senior advisors to a wide range of advocacy groups, labor unions, non-profits, government agencies, companies and foundations, as well as dozens of elected officials at all levels of the electoral process. The firm is national in scope, with offices in Washington, DC, New York, and California, and senior staff located in Washington, Oregon, and Virginia.

Lake Research Partners is committed to walking it like we talk it.

We’re a woman-owned business with a commitment to diversity. We have a strong client screen built upon our core values, working only for pro-choice candidates, clients with whom our labor friends can work, and good corporate citizens. Check our competitors’ client lists – you’ll find many cannot say the same.

We maintain a stable, professional staff of expert researchers and strategists. We don’t ramp up with temporary employees during election cycles just to fill demand. Instead, we cultivate and train the current and future stars of the polling world and enable them to develop unparalleled expertise on specific issues and geographic regions.

We offer all employees of Lake Research Partners a generous benefits package we wish every American worker enjoyed. We are one of the few firms left that pay 100% of health care insurance costs for comprehensive coverage. We also pay 100% for dependent and domestic partner coverage. We provide paid maternity and paternity leave. Our firm makes contributions to retirement plans, and we offer a generous leave package consistent with a healthy work and life balance.

Most of all, we’re a firm of true believers – each one of us feels privileged to work with our clients to advance progressive ideals – it’s the primary ‘intangible’ benefit of Lake Research Partners. Many peers told Founder Celinda Lake in 1995 that building a firm with a progressive values client base wasn’t economically viable for a new business. Fourteen years later, we’re still at it, and still proud of every project we’ve done.

* * * *

The office Parker and Locke are seeking is a nonpartisan office, but the threat of an anti-gay attack on Parker has partisan implications, as Republican activist Steven Hotze emerged as the chief spokesman against Parker. Parker doesn’t neatly fit a Democratic profile, however, as she spent most of her career, prior to entering politics, working for Robert Mosbacher in the oil and gas business. Mosbacher, of course, is the third most prominent Republican in town, trailing only George H. W. Bush and James A. Baker, having served as Secretary of Commerce in the Bush 41 administration.

Locke identifies himself as a Democrat and has the credential of having served as chief of staff to the late Mickey Leland. So an alliance with Hotze would definitely be a case of strange bedfellows.

Kuffner has a good analysis of the poll and the race.

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