Friday, April 29, 2005

2 Democrats 1 Position

Is it possible? Is it true? Will there be an actual primary for the US Senate Seat? We all know that Barbara Radnofsky is running for US Senate, but did you know that a Corpus Christi local Juan Garcia might be too?

There is no website or campaign yet, but tonight a group of local activist and myself met with Mr. Garcia to discuss his viability as a candidate for US Senate. He says that what started as a possible campaign for State Representative quickly materialized as a race for the Senate.

Garcia is a veteran and served 13 years as a pilot. He served in action abroad in Kosovo and the Persian Gulf as well as developed recruitment strategies for the Air Force. He is a Kennedy School Graduate and as a White House Fellow served under Education Secretary Richard Riley. To say his pedigree isn't interesting isn't intriguing would be a lie.

The meeting itself was exciting for more than one reason. It is nice to see that there might be a primary about ideas and about finding the right candidate to take on the Republican candidate to be named later. It was also nice to see a guy with good instincts (he never once used Barbara’s name but knew every detail about her).

However his messaging skills needed work. The art of the short, concise answer has to be discovered if he is going to have an impact on the general election. However, his ideas were strong.

He argued for the elimination of unfunded mandates and specifically talked about the faulty nature of No Child Left Behind. Describing the problem of the program as a situation were we "can no longer run our schools like a bottom line or a corporation". While there was no clever joke to tie into it, he was clever enough to tie in his involvement in creating a funded mandate that increased both military involvement and young people with GED's. Garcia described it as the "power of a second chance" and this is the "power of the government". These are ideas you have to love-- a military record with a Democratic message.

His stance on gun control is perfect for Texas. Instead of answering it as a policy wonk he has a well developed analogy. Garcia says, "Every hunter I have ever known has known when hunting season started. Six months out from the season, they know the exact hour it starts. Do you think a mere 7 days will prevent them from their season?" This question is perfect, and hunters can perfectly relate to it.

I don't mean to say that he is the right candidate. I do think it is great that there is a dialogue being established already. He is rough, and there is no question about that. But, with connections across the country and meetings with the DSCC and DNC, this could be a viable candidate to start chipping away at the control of the Red Dynasty, and if nothing else... who ever wins the primary will be better prepared for the general if it doesn't get to bloody.

Hopefully I will have more on this soon, and I will keep you all updated.

A Kinky-er Problem

It seems that the Kinky Friedman situation has taken a turn for the worse for Chris Bell. While Friedman needs a whopping 45,000 signatures to get on the ballot in 2006, he seems to be taking this situation seriously. Reports are buzzing that Kinky has hired Former Sen. Dean Barkley who founded the Minnesota's Independence Party and recruited Ventura. If this is the case, then Democrats should be ready to work twice as hard.

More as the story develops.

UPDATE 4/30- 10:51 AM
The San Antonio Express News released this story today.

YES! YES! Oh baby, YES!

I don't know if it is the heated Mayoral race or the fact that only 3 city council districts have real fights in them, but nobody is really talking about the 3 propositions out there.

Richard Perez has tried to start a dialogue in District 4, but according to SAElections Perez has raise $27,000 more than his challenger. I can't imagine that this conversation with the residents of D4 has really garnered much attention-- nor should it.

Granted, the Express-News has written a group story on all 3 propositions, and there are some groups fighting to make sure there is at least some sort of campaign in favor of Prop 1 and 2 (Aquifer Protection Initiative and GEAA), but in the end, none of the campaigns are really talking about them specifically. Has environmentalism and helping out our seniors really become that taboo?

The only candidate making it a fighting statement is Phil Hardberger, and while this isn't an endorsement in anyway, it does have to be looked at. While Art Hall and Julian Castro helped usher in propositions 1 and 2, where is the leadership, voice, and their city council credibility at?

Let's just agree we will vote yes on all of them. We will all promise to protect the aquifer and make San Antonio a little nicer to live in by building some parks. Why don't we agree that we will make it easier for the seniors and disabled to get by in their daily life? If we aren't going to talk about it in public debates or districts 6 and 7 were there is a cumulative of 16 candidates were are we going to talk about it?

And while I usually hate admitting I am wrong... if I am tell me. I want to hear that Joel Williams is talking about this and that Chip Haass has given 20 minute speeches at Jim's on just one of these important propositions. I want to hear Ray Lopez or Ray Pena down in District 6 talked to their neighbors about why voting yes is the right thing to do. All the candidates in the district have been given a microphone, a stage to talk from, and the credibility of their convictions. I want to hear more debate, not less, and I think the city of San Antonio deserves it.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Kinky Problem

Some laugh at the idea of Kinky Friedman as the next Governor of Texas. Some don't think it's even possible. Guess what, I agree. Kinky Friedman will not win the race to be the next Governor of Texas, but could he be a spoiler? Absolutely.

Just driving through San Antonio and Austin you see the ever growing number of Kinky bumper stickers. With a guy running on the motto, "Kinky, why the hell not?" you would assume that he is not a risk. Chris Bell should be eyeing this guy’s numbers, bumper stickers, and album sales if need be.

Kinky Friedman will get 2 - 5 points in the general, and they will be composed of fringe and left wing Democrats, as well as, green party members that would not usually vote. This 2 - 5 points could be the difference maker.

According to Byron LaMasters of Burnt Orange Report, Gubernatorial races are nearly impossible to predict, but Kinky has to be looked at as a major factor because of his minor influence. Unless Bell and his campaign can figure out a way to mobilize and energize the grassroots and college crowds to vote for him in the primary and general election Kinky will get on the ballot and dramatically affect the outcome.

The most important factor is that all anyone can do is speculate to who is actually running. Kinky is the only one who has actually started to "campaign". While many novice pundits like myself speculate that Kay Bailey Hutchison and Rick Perry will both compete for the Republican nomination, and Chris Bell will run, all we can do is speculate until they file. This gives Kinky plenty of time to establish himself as an option and introduce himself to college campuses across the state. This alone should equate to 2 - 5 points.

One thing Bell does have going for him is that the Republican primary promises to be an interesting and bitter race between Slick Rick and Kay Bailey. If the primary loads the proverbial gun and gives Democrats hope, it could minimize the affect of this "humorist, performer, mystery writer, and Texas Monthly columnist".

In any case this could be a very exciting election cycle, especially if Chris Bell can put together the ground game I expect.

Bad Economics, Bad Legislation

The legislature is at it again. They have decided for you to pay off developers for doing the right thing. House Bill 2833 and Senate Bill 1647 are the equivalent of you filling up your car with half a tank of gas and asking for the city to pay for the rest because you didn't want to. Okay, its not completely like that, but these are still bad bad bills.

According to a TexAN alert House Bill 2833 and Senate Bill 1647 mandate taxpayer subsidies to developers for profits lost because of government action to protect neighborhoods, schools, and churches to prevent offsite flooding and protect drinking water.

These bills encourage lawsuit abuse by unscrupulous developers and their lawyers. The bills would bankrupt cities to fight frivolous "takings" claims. Please contact your Senator TODAY to oppose these bills.

Gay Watch finds Texas

From Pink Dome to you:
I wish I could say I was proud. I wish I could say I was shocked. What I can tell you is, I laughed. I laughed a lot. If you can't be proud, at least be ashamed.
Here is the the king of funny John Stewart, and his observations on Gay Watch!

Start Up

I read blogs all the time. I read them and agree with them, and sometimes I read them and I completely disagree with them.

That is why I have started Just Another Blog.

This is an area devoted to growing up in the 21st century. This is a blog that focuses on Texas and San Antonio Politics, and most importantly, this is a place for you and me to rant.

So enjoy, and thanks for coming.