Friday, June 30, 2006

Courage Campaign Receives National Accolades

Forty-eight hours ago John Courage was one of a handful of well-known congressional candidates inside the lone star state and around the Texas blogs.

In the past day things have changed for the Courage camp.

National recognition has begun to swarm around the congressional candidate. He won 2nd place in the Warner MapChangers contest (putting him in the finals with fellow Texan and future Governor Chris Bell), He has received the prestigious netroots endorsement with 15 other amazing Democrats.

MyDD, Burnt Orange Report, and the Democratic Party have all done profile pieces on Courage in the past day.

Impressively, the Courage campaign will be attending over 14 events during the July 4th weekend. In addition, the Courage camp is launching an aggressive ground campaign in order to have real conversations with every voter.

Today is the final day to give to the candidate before the June 30th deadline. Support a rising star! Part with a little cash and volunteer to put Courage in Congress.

University of Incarnate Word Cancel NYT Subscription in Protest

This comes from the Mitch Hedberg's "I am against protesting but I don't know how to show it" file.

UIW has canceled their subscription to the New York Times after the paper exposed a secret government program that monitors financial transactions in the hopes of finding suspected terrorist.
"Since no one elected the New York Times to determine national security policy, the only action I know to register protest for their irresponsible action (treason?) is to withdraw support of their operations by canceling our subscription as many others are doing," Mendell D. Morgan Jr. wrote Wednesday in an e-mail to library staffers. "If enough do, perhaps they will get the point."
Good thing Morgan took an immediate and calculated action. NYT will now receive $100 less in revenue and the UIW has officially censored students by holding back information from them. To any UIW student or faculty that needs their NYT fix, here is the website.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Texas Redistricting Shows Importance of Voting Rights Act

(cross posted at The Agonist, Kos, MyDD, Burnt Orange Report, and

Hours ago, the Unites States Supreme Court released their ruling in the Texas Redistricting case. It was a strong statement in support of hundreds of thousands of voters in the most diverse parts of the state.

In a time where less Texans are insured, education is failing, and the culture of corruption is sweeping our nation, it is troubling to have the court rule FOR an incumbent protection plan. With no test in place and no restrictions, state legislatures can legally choose to ignore the plight of children and seniors, teachers and doctors, veterans and first responders, and waste time by constantly changing the boundaries of a political district.

The High Court made it clear that political gerrymandering is legal and acceptable as long as voters have their rights protected.  The court was troubled by the simple fact that in Congressional District 23 over 100,000 Latino voters were thrown into a new district to protect the incumbent Republican and weaken the voting power of the minority.

Currently the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is in jeopardy and the House of Representatives has refused to protect the civil rights of every American.

Today's decision shows the importance of this law by requiring that people have an equal say on who governs them. It is imperative for our representatives to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act and protect the vote of every Texan.

Instead elected Republican's like John Carter R-Round Rock says it should be a requirement for us to go back to oppressive laws of the segregated south by requiring literacy tests before people vote. What's next, a poll tax?

Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio) has made it clear that he will be running for House Judiciary chair. This is the committee that will interpret and implement the Voting Rights Act  even though he has stood in firm opposition to the one person, one vote philosophy upheld by the Supreme Court.

Now with serious opposition in one of Texas' four redistricted areas, Smith has decided to play it both ways by voting for VRA in committee and planning to vote against it on the floor.

The Supreme Court made it clear today, without the Voting Rights Act the voice of hundreds of thousands of Hispanics in south Texas would be silenced every November.  Imagine the perilous affects if Congress refuses to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act? This is a risk we cannot take. Contact your elected officials today and tell them to vote FOR the Sensenbrenner bill which has garnered 152 co-sponsors, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and every member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

Make sure to vote for John Courage and Mary Beth Harrell as MapChangers so they can defeat Smith and Carter.

Supreme Court Rules on Texas Redistricting

The courts ruled on League of United Latin American Citizens et al. v. Perry, Governor of Texas, et al. Also known as, the Texas Redistricting case.

SCOTUS Blog has some details and the 132 page decision.

On a first reading, it appears the districts will generally stay the same with a possible redrawing of CD 23 creating a possible Ciro Rodriguez vs Henry Cuellar rematch. It also appears to be legal for political mid-decade redistricting as long as it doesn't violate the voting rights act.

More to come afer I go to law school.

Doing some extra work, check out TexasKos and the debate over there and here is some good info on how this will affect the TX-23 and TX-28.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Councilwoman Guajardo Hosts Town Hall Meeting

District 7 City Councilwoman Elena Guajardo will be hosting a Town Hall meeting today.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the SBC Technology Center at St. Mary's University at One Camino Santa Maria.

Code compliance issues and new procedures at Municipal Court will be discussed.

Expected at the meeting are City Manager Sheryl Sculley, various municipal court judges and representatives from the code compliance department.

OfficeMax Must Stop Destroying Our Endangered Forests

A good friend of mine from Dogwood Alliance talked to me about this a while back, and now they have began working in Texas to protect our southern forests.

According to Dogwood Alliance, OfficeMax, the third largest retail office supply store in the US, threatens forests of the South by doing business with the most irresponsible logging company in the region.

OfficeMax board member and Texas A&M professor Dr. David Syzmanski must make a commitment to the environment and Southern Forests. Texans must demand that OfficeMax stop sourcing paper from endangered forests. Our Southern forests are being rapidly wiped out to meet surging demands for office copy paper and paper packaging. Unless consumers insist that such throwaway products be produced from recycled fibers instead of trees, beautiful forests throughout the Southeastern U.S. will continue to be needlessly destroyed.

Tell OfficeMax to stop sourcing paper from endangered forests.

The Southern forest region of the U.S. contains some of the most biologically rich ecosystems in North America. It is home to hundreds of forest and aquatic species -- especially amphibians, reptiles, snails and trees -- that are found nowhere else on earth.

Dogwood Alliance has already worked with OfficeMax’s two largest competitors, Staples and Office Depot. Both have already committed publicly to increase recycled content in the paper they sell and avoid sourcing paper from endangered forests.

It is time to urge Office Max to follow suit and do the responsible thing.

Hammas and Fatah Recognize Israel-ish

According to two main AP stories circulating, an implicit agreement between Israel and Palestine has opened the door for long term negotiations.
The rival Hamas and Fatah movements agreed on a plan implicitly recognizing Israel, a top Palestinian official said Tuesday after weeks of acrimonious negotiations aiming to lift crippling international aid sanctions.

Moderate President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah has been trying to coax his Hamas rivals into endorsing the document, which calls for a Palestinian state alongside Israel, in effect recognizing the Jewish state. He has endorsed the plan as a way to end sanctions against the Hamas-led Palestinian government and pave the way to reopening peace talks with Israel.

This good news for Palestinians who have seen the assets frozen and funds cut off, and a strong development for long term peace talks.

The one major strike is while Palestinians want a state, their government will not simply say that Israel exists.

Baby steps though...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Democrats Go to Court to Protect Voters Rights

There was no word from the Supreme Court today on redistricting, but there were some interesting developments in a Texas Courtroom.

The question today was whether the Democrats would have standing in court in order to maintain a temporary restraining order in the Republican appointment in the 22nd Congressional District.

Judge Sparks not only said their was standing, he also heard the witnesses and has left the door open for a ruling as early as Friday.

According to the Texas Democratic Party and Chairman Boyd Richie, the message is clear
“Obviously, this makes clear that the Republican Party cannot conclusively establish from any record, either today, tomorrow, or in October, that Tom DeLay will not be an inhabitant of Texas on Election Day,” Richie added.

“Tom DeLay’s actions this weekend confirm that his cut and run scheme is just a charade. If the DeLay-Republican charade is allowed to stand, DeLay could conceivably return to Texas after he is “replaced” on the ballot, re-register, and actually vote in the election he hopes to abandon,” observed Richie.
The most striking proof for a defacto withdrawal was the fact that when DeLay was served a subpoena it was it has house in Sugarland and the former majority leader was there.
“The fact that Tom DeLay was served at his home in Fort Bend County supports what the Texas Democratic Party has known all along, that Tom DeLay has been and continues to be an inhabitant of the State of Texas,” said Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie.
The most damaging testimony came from DeLay himself as he stated he may be present in Fort Bend on Election Day.
“Tom DeLay and the Republican Party of Texas have failed to provide any proof that DeLay is not and will not be an inhabitant of Texas on Election Day. DeLay himself testified under oath that he did not know where he will be on Election Day.
No matter what the outcome, Democrats remain optimistic in the TX-22 and are confident in Lampson’s chance to pick up one of the 15 seats needed to take back the house.

The most important fact is that the Democrats are working hard to ensure that the people have a chance to pick their candidate and that a primary election means more than anointing the incumbent every year.

Lost but Not Forgotten

I have been working tirelessly to get the Texas 5 elected as MapChangers and I have been doing extensive research that will show how Chris Bell will win- I have not forgotten about JAB.

I am holding off on posts until we hear what is going on with the Texas Redistricting Case and the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) filed to keep the Republican Party from allowing voters to select their candidate.

Sit back, relax, and watch some World Cup for me.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

One Democrat, One Republican, and Two "Other" Republican's

According to Quorum Report Kinky and Strayhorn are on the ballot. Here is the story:
WILLIAMS CERTIFIES STRAYHORN AND FRIEDMAN TO BE ON BALLOT Full text of press release below Secretary of State Roger Williams today notified candidates and minor parties who filed for a place on the general election ballot if they met the statutorily prescribed qualifications. By state law, candidates were required to submit an application for a place on the ballot accompanied by petitions with the required number of signatures. "Texas has a process for verifying the eligibility of independent candidates for a place on the ballot and today we have finished that process," Williams said. "Our method of verifying every signature is the most accurate, has been upheld by the courts and was done faster than in years past."

Williams notified the campaigns of Richard Kinky Friedman and Carole Keeton Strayhorn today that they had met the requirements for a place on the ballot in the upcoming gubernatorial election. Both Candidates exceeded the 45,540 signatures required by state law. After a preliminary review of the 170,258 petitions submitted by Mr. Friedman, Secretary Williams' office has certified that 137,154 met the requirements. Similarly, Secretary Williams certified that 108,512 of the 222,514 signatures submitted by Ms. Strayhorn were valid signatures that met all statutory requirements.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Texas Five- $25k and All it Takes is You

I have been working around the clock today on work and making sure the Texas 5 WIN the Warner MapChanger's vote.

After two days, we have Chris Bell at number 2, and sources close the Warner camp have Courage bouncing between 6 and 7.

If you haven't voted... go vote!

You may have also seen these posts on TexasKos and BOR:
Some may not realize this, I sure didn't, but the order of your vote makes a huge impact!

The system is done in an instant run-off ballot!

If you are like me and live in John Courage's future district and want to make sure he is on the ballot, then you should vote him first.

If you are working for Mary Beth and Chris Bell, vote them first.

Wanna play some strategy? Then feel free to vote Bell 4 or 5 because he is already in second.

The fact that it is instant run-off voting means that we can play some strategy to ensure all of our great Democrats win $5K.

Can you imagine the Texas 5?

Vote and make it happen... and spread the word!

So vote and vote strategically. We can $25K in Texas but he means voting across the state, telling your friends, and voting strategically. If you want to make Texas Blue and make a huge impact before the June 30th deadline, this is an easy way to do it. The deadline to vote is June 29th.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Vote the Texas Ticket and raise $25K for the State

The Courage Camp just sent this. How great would it be if Warner sends all of his Western money to Texas?!

Thank you! Because of you, John Courage is now in the secondary phase of the MapChanger race. The top 5 vote-getters in a field of 20 receive $5,000 per campaign, and then compete for the grand prize of a fundraiser with Governor Mark Warner.

While we ask for you to go vote for John Courage, there are four other Texan candidates in the race, more from a single state than any other in the competition. By voting “Straight Ticket Texan,” you can help not only bring $5,000 to Team Courage, but you can also send $5,000 to other Texas races, which in turn help candidates on the statewide level due to money being spent locally.

The Straight Ticket Texan lineup:
TX CD 21 – John Courage
TX GOV – Chris Bell
TX SEN – Barbara Ann Radnofsky
TX CD 10 – Ted Ankrum
TX CD 31 – Mary Beth Harrell

Many people have commented on the amount of strong Democratic support in the state of Texas, and it is generally with a vibe of surprise. Now, once again, we have an opportunity to speak loudly and clearly to our nation.

Please join us in voting Straight Ticket Texan, and help us bring $25,000 to Texas.

Tuesday Morning News

  • According to Vince at Capitol Annex, caucus leader Jim Dunnam and Rep Lon Burnam "tell it like it is".
  • Charlie mentions it first, but today is World Refuge Day.
  • Dos Centavos says former Senator Edwards won the first Iowa straw poll, and Kos adds that right now the Democratic field is larger than the pundits think.
  • Mark Warner's MapChangers list came out and Texas did very well (Go VOTE!).
  • Apparently there are two Courage campaigns now, but only one matters to me.
  • Roger Williams' office should let us know tomorrow whether Kinky and/or Strayhorn are on the ballot.
  • SCOTUSBlog has two pieces to read. It seems the pundits (and bloggers) were right. Justice Kennedy has moved to the center and saved the clean water act from being completely gutted.
  • The rumor mill says we might have a ruling on redistricting Thursday, but I will believe it when I read it.
  • The Mavs are in dire straights and the US World Cup team has a shot.
  • Two sites for you to check out. Drive Democracy has re-launched a new sexy site and law students are getting organized to help the party.

What did I miss?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Police Chief McManus to Address Stonewall

Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio would like to invite all of you to meet William McManus, the new SA Police Department Chief. He will be the guest speaker at the upcoming Stonewall Democrats meeting on Monday, June 19, 2006, at 6:30 p.m., at Grady's BBQ, 6510 San Pedro Ave (at the intersection of San Pedro Ave. & Jackson Keller).

The Stonewall Dems of San Antonio are honored to have Chief McManus as their guest speaker. Chief McManus took office April 17, 2006. He has promoted himself as being a different kind of police chief, one who is open and accessible to the community. For the first time, the LGBT community in San Antonio has a liaison at the SAPD, Cpt. Larry Birney (who was the Stonewall guest speaker last month).

Take the time and hear McManus speak tonight.

Mayor Hardberger Lovefest

Mayor Phil Hardberger won in a close election to term limited Julian Castro just one year ago, and the city seems to have forgotten that they anointed Castro the heir apparent in 2005.

Much to his credit, Harberger has won over the city, seen stellar approval numbers, and has courted and won over the San Antonio press. It is impossible to see Harberger’s name not associated with good news or novel thinking, but is it too early to write this chapter in the history of San Antonio politics?


Harberger has attempted much and achieved little. San Antonio has the lowest pay and toughest term-limits out of any major city, and this makes it hard or nearly impossible to get things done. Citizen advisory commissions, lobbyist, and citizen groups make the wheels turn either with lightning speed or a nice… slow…. methodical…. grind.

Hardberger has tried to get a baseball team and a football team. He has tried luring business and said no to conventions. He has made the actions inside city council more professional, but he has refused to take a stand on controversial issues or defend members of the council.

By no means is this a negative critique to the current mayor, but it is a critique of the early praise. One of my favorite writers for the Express-News, Greg Jefferson has this to say:
Hardberger so far has no sweeping, high-impact initiatives to his credit, and he's not without a few failures and disappointments. On the other hand, he's spent a good deal of time courting council members, forging a coalition and piecing together what he considers an A-team of city administrators.
This is by far the most concise summation of this mayor. In one year we as a city have gone from announcing the 2007 rematch of Castro vs. Hardberger to hailing Hardberger as the best Mayor in San Antonio history. Has he been a bad Mayor? No. But, what has he done to deserve so many column inches and so much praise?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Saturday Democratic Fun Day

What are you doing this weekend? Here are just a few ideas for your Saturday:

Precinct 3 War Room Coordinated Campaign 2006
Precinct 3 War Room. We meet at the Northeast Service Center
10303 Toolyard from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

San Antonio Area Progressive Action Committee meets at Grady's off of Jackson-Keller at 1 p.m.

World Cup Soccer
Watch Team USA play Italy at 2 p.m. CST

Drinking Liberally San Antonio

An Inconvenient Truth at the Bijou at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Will You ActBlue for Texas?

In Texas we are on top of our game. The Progressive NetRoots has created a network of ads, communication, and an entire progressive alliance. We have improved communications and now we want to help our candidates raise some cash.

As many of you know, ActBlue is the federal clearinghouse for donations to Democratic candidates, having channeled over $5.5 million to Dem contenders so far. But did you know, that with your help, you can activate it for Texas... for statewide, state house, and state senate candidates?

Together, Texas bloggers have agreed to help activate ActBlue for our state's non-federal candidates by asking our readers to put us over the top. Normally, ActBlue asks each state to raise $10,000 before moving forward (Texas being at $4,500 so far). But we've got some good news for you from the people at ActBlue.

However, in doing some more preliminary research Texas turns out to be similar to some other states we've already done -- so if we could break $5000 we'd be ready to move ahead with it. Would the texroots be able to help us out with the remaining $1000 by the end of the month?

As far as timeline, my aim would be to have everything ready to go as early in July as we can.

So we ask you, will you, the TexRoots get us over the $5,000 mark and activate ActBlue for all our state non-federal candidates? Do it here- donate today!

This is the most important thing you can do for the John Courages, Joe Farias's, Hank Gilberts, Juan Garcias, and Kathi Thomas's of Texas as we move forward in unity to support our TexRoots candidates to be announced in the coming months by the Texas blogosphere.

We don't fundraise for JAB, but we do need your support to ActBlue, Texas style.

Thank You TDP

Amber Moon, Communications Director
Hector Nieto, Deputy Communications Director
Texas Democratic Party
707 Rio Grande Street
Austin, Texas 78701

Dear Amber and Hector:

Over the past few months, you have done tremendous work to bring the Texas Democratic Party and the surging Texas netroots community together.

Specifically, we want to commend you for the accommodations you provided at the recently completed Texas Democratic Party Convention in Fort Worth. From the front row seating to free wi-fi access, you gave us tremendous access to an excellent convention. Most importantly, you treated us with the same respect you gave our older step-parents, the traditional media.

The Texas blogging community may not be the classiest bunch of folks, nor the best looking. We don't write for major dailies, and we can't guarantee thousand dollar checks. We do, however, work tirelessly -- as volunteers, as activists, as organizers, and as bloggers -- to fight for the candidates and the people of our Texas Democratic Party.

Thanks, again, for all the work you did helping make the 2006 TDP convention a success, and we are eager to continue working together to help move Texas forward.


The Texas Progressive Democratic Webloggers

A Capitol Blog
Rep. Aaron Pena

The Agonist
Sean-Paul Kelley


Brains and Eggs
Perry Dorrell
Burnt Orange Report
Karl-Thomas Musselman, et. all

Capitol Annex
Vince Leibowitz
Common Sense
Nathan Nance

Dos Centavos
Stace Meddelin

Eye on Williamson County
wcnews and dembones

Greg's Opinion
Greg Wythe

Shannon & Ted McLaughlin

Just Another Blog
Matt Glazer

Marc's Miscellany
Marc Gault

Trey McAtee

Martha Griffin

Off the Kuff
Charles Kuffner

The Red State
M. Eddie Rodriguez

Texas Kos

CC: Boyd Richie, Chairman, Texas Democratic Party
Ruben Hernandez, Executive Director, Texas Democratic Party

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Rove Visits New Hampshire, Talks 08 Run

He might not be on trial... but the idea of President Rove is not something I want to think about.

Races to Watch

There are a lot of races that look good in Texas right now. The House Democratic Campaign Committee and the Texas Democratic Party should have smiles on their faces. To borrow a sentiment from West Wing, if Democrats win the top of the ballot it will be on the coat tails of our house races.

Why do I feel so confident? Simply put, there are a lot of races we can win. On the state level it is doubtful the Democrats will take back the House this year, but we will cut the margins.

Here are the races I am watching across the state (in no particular order).

Let’s start locally. Joe Farias is a race to hold. After Carlos Uresti soundly defeated incumbent Senator Frank Madla, District 118 is a seat that the D’s need to win in November. Farias has been involved in the community and is a veteran. His opponent is a man right of the district and is fishing for Leininger support by coming out as a pro-voucher candidate.

This combination of George Antuna being awful for the district and Joe Farias as the next generation Uresti, 118 is getting all the attention in San Antonio.

This focus brings money, volunteers, and county campaign structure intent to claim victory in November. Farias also benefits by having his district overlap with the feisty Courage campaign. It doesn’t hurt that a Republican has never won in this district.

Next, lets go south. Juan Garcia had Wes Clark show up at his announcement. The Supreme Allied Commander showing up for a State Rep candidate seems good.

Garcia has a look and swagger that few first time candidates have. He is a JFK grad, a veteran, and connections to boot. District 32 is a moderate district and in 2002, Seamen won by a modest 2,400 votes (53% to 47%).

Garcia’s charisma and connections to national figures like John Kerry, Gen Clark and former roommate Barack O’Bama could mean a lot as November gets closer. Do you think any of these guys are good for a high dollar fundraiser or 10?

Lets go urban again.

Paula Hightower-Pierson. District 93 has been described as a future Democratic district. It seems the future is now.

According to the campaign:
In both 2002 and 2004 the democratic candidate for state house received this percentage. Strategically, it is the 2002 race that we must look at for determining success in 2006. The democrat who garnered 45% in 2002 spent less than $500. That will not be the case this year. Paula will have raised close to $130,000 dollars by the end of June. She is dedicated to making the calls and visits it takes to reach some extremely high fundraising goals.
Pierson served eight years on the Arlington City Council and has won 4 out of her 5 races. On Friday night at the blogger’s bash she vowed she didn’t like the way the loss felt and won’t ever do it again. The conviction was enough for me and the stats on the district make me want to agree.

In a recent Fort Worth Star Telegram article, “Power Players”, O.K. Carter says, “Then there's Paula Hightower-Pierson, who has been involved with a multitude of fundraising events in Arlington over the years. Virtually all of her endeavors historically have some element of political connection -- her particular niche. Her contact system is computerized, but she relies heavily on a phenomenal ability to recollect names and personal details.”

All this combined should make for a fun race to watch.

Let’s end with two more women. How much fun would it be to have a completely blue county? Valinda Bolton wants to do her part to make that dream a reality. Not a single house position is held by a Republican, but one is open and that is HD 47.

Bolton has the unique pleasure of a strong coordinated campaign, solid field campaign, being the only seat not controlled by a Democrat in a Democratic town, help up and down the ballot (another part of John Courage’s campaign), and on top of this laundry list of good news… this district defeated prop 2.

Seems like nothing but good news for a district that has an Radical Republican running too.

The pressure for Bolton is that she is on every must list out there.

Finally, there is Ellen Cohen who has the same list of characteristics but in Houston. Cohen has the money (in the last January report Cohen has already raised over $150,000), the support of groups like the Houston Equal Rights Alliance, and a build up of resentment towards Martha Wong.

With great candidates like these it is hard not to feel confident this November.

Tuesday News Round Up

With all this convention stuff it is hard to imagine that actual new was going on. Here is a run down for ya.
  • Karl Rove won't be indicted because of PlameGate, but that doesn't mean he is out of the clear. More importantly, it doesn't mean I have to like him... right?
  • Lamar Smith hates judges and your freedom of speech.
  • Senator Byrd (D-West Virginia) is now the longest serving Senator ever. Like everyone else, he is thinking of running for President and becoming the longest serving executive next. Our favorite Strom Thrumond falls to number two on the list.
  • San Antonio's big debacle right now is going on downtown at Main Plaza. Hardberger wants to modernize it, but the voters want to update Hemisphere Park instead. Roddy Stinson is just poking the Council with a stick.
  • Coffee is saving my liver.
  • Animals really are eating their young.
  • The United States got killed by the Chucks (Czechs) yesterday 0-3. That leaves two must win games or elimination.
  • The Mavs are up 2-0 over the Heat, but since the Spurs aren't playing I don't care.
  • And one last Convention piece, Kuff has some great interviews with Courage, Harrell, Farias, Melancon, etc, etc, etc. Go Listen!
Did I miss anything?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Courage Campaign: Tell Lamar Smith that You're Not Stupid

The Courage Campaign is already back to work after the convention. Straight from the inbox to you:
Tomorrow morning at 9 am, Lamar Smith will be conducting a press conference at Austin City Hall where he will try to pretend that he is an ally of the environment. We have already seen the same type of election-year pandering across the country this year, and we would like for you to stop by City Hall at 9 am to be a part of our rally. Please pass this message along to anyone you know who is concerned about the environment.

Earlier this month we launched a new website, that outlines John’s stances on various environmental issues, ranging from ANWR to renewable energies/peak oil and global warming. John Courage is a true supporter of the environment, and I would ask for you to please forward this website to anyone who would be interested. For those who feel that perhaps Smith is “taking steps forward,” I invite you to take a look at these basic facts and realize that this is nothing more than obscene election year pandering:

Smith’s environmental voting score for the period 1994-2005 was a dismal 4.5%, according to the League of Conservation Voters. That puts him down toward the bottom even among Republicans across the country. His 2005 LCV score was zero.

The Texas Environmental Watch Alliance scored area Congressman on ten of their votes in 2005. Smith got a zero.

The Sierra Club scored Congressional reps on five major environmental issues for 2005. Again, Smith got a zero.
In 2005 Smith voted for the Energy bill (HR6) which provided billions of dollars in tax breaks and other subsidies to the oil, gas, and nuclear industries but very little funding to renewable energy industries.

In 2005 Smith voted against Amendment 73 to the Energy bill (HR6) that would have raised the CAFÉ standards for cars and light trucks to 33 mpg and saved 1 million barrels of oil/day by 2016.

In 2004 Smith voted for an earlier energy bill (also HR6) that would have “slighted clean, efficient energy technologies and left the currently weak automobile fuel efficiency standards in place” (LCV 2004 National Environmental Scorecard, p.19)

In 2003, Smith voted against the Boehlert-Markey amendment to 2003’s energy bill (again HR6) that would have reduced the amount of oil consumed by U.S. automobiles by 5% by 2010.

In 2001 an earlier Boehlert-Markey amendment was proposed to the 2001 House energy bill (HR4) that would have required both cars and light trucks to meet a 27.5 mpg standard by 2007. Smith voted against this amendment.

From 1994 through 2005 there were 10 bills introduced into the House that addressed global climate change. Smith voted against addressing global warming 9 times out of 10. Is this the record of someone who has consistently backed safe, clean renewable energy alternatives? Heck no! This is the record of a guy who is sucking up to Austin environmentalists just before an election where he faces rather worrisome competition from a genuine environmentalist. Please join us tomorrow morning at 9am for a flash rally to let Lamar Smith you're not stupid, and please forward this message to everyone you know.

Nick Lawrie
Campaign Director

P.S.--Don't forget to vote for John Courage as the first Mark Warner Mapchanger. Voting ends Tuesday!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

State Chair is STILL Boyd Richie

It was a floor fight that has literally not been seen in over two decades. It was spirited, positive, and good for the party.

Boyd Richie barely lost the first ballot capturing 47% of the vote. Glen Maxey garnered 37% and Charlie Urbina-Jones did well with 13%.

After a stirring speech and a near victory for Richie, Jones released his delegates and encouraged them to "vote for change, vote for a difference". The room burst into chants of "Maxey-Jones" with the hope that all of the delegates would move from one to the other.

Instead, Maxey and Richie split Jone's delegates almost 50:50, and before a final tally could be given Maxey conceded to Richie. It was begining to shape up to about a 53% to 47% race.

Maxey's concession was as graceful as his nomination speech. He announced that he was "ready for duty" after reading off his campaign literature saying he was ready to build the party county by county and precinct by precinct.

Some tempers flaired and egos swelled during this debate, but the party is stronger today than yesterday.

More party work will go on tonight. We will elect a vice-chair and push through resolutions and a platform, but we now have a chair to lead us for the next two years. Ya Basta.

State Party Chair Vote- Live Blog

We have just been told to sit in our delegation. The vote is about to occur. Hank Gilbert (candidate for the state Agriculture Commission) it speaking now, but clearly the vote is about to occur.

The round of speakers is Richie, Maxey, Urbina-Jones, and then Rogers.

Richie is being introduced by the second youngest rep Anna Hernandez. A benefit being mentioned is his devotion to the party and the fact that his wife will make a good "co-chair".

Richie is being mentioned as unifier.

Richie filed this race when former chair Charles Soechting was still in office (last October), and the "good work" done by Richie are being listed as updated voter files, a new site, etc.

Mark Veasey is now up to second Boyd Richie's nomination. He is highlighting the "vision" Richie has and his ability to listen to others. Rep Veasey is also highlighting the opportunity we have with the current list of Republican failures.

Nominee Boyd Richie is now talking. He is asking for us to unite behind our ticket, beat Republican's, and make the changes to make it happen. In 6 weeks he is touting the work done by Soechting and ED Ruben Hernandez before the SDEC named him interim chair.

Richie has just announced $300,000 in new funds and a 70% increase in funding. We now have 60,000 e-mail addresses and during the legislative session the TDP targeted key Republican districts to talk to voters about how Republican leadership has hurt children and families.

The question we need to ask ourselves, according to Richie, is who will unite our party. Who will be the one to win in November and beyond.

Now we are moving into Maxey speakers. Maxey speakers are highlighting his character and his statewide organizing skills.

The loud Maxey supporters have made it hard to hear all of the speeches in support for Maxey. He has had former party leadership, state reps, student supporters, and unions supporters.

As Maxey approaches the crowd has now erupted into chants of Maxey and there is a modest standing ovation.

Maxey begins with the Kelly Fero quote on how irrelevant the party has become. Maxey responds with a list of why the party is relevant and how he would work to make our party stronger and more relevant.

He is focusing on the valley, El Paso, etc, and how a 254 County strategy will make a difference. According to Maxey, it is time for small donors, community outreach, and an articulation on our successes. It is time to empower the youth.

As Maxey announces his plan and leaves, the chants and far louder than before and the whole place is on its feet. Before this speech it was Richie's to lose... it looks Maxey has made this a very close race.

Charlie Jones supporters are up now. The crowd has calmed down a lot as the support speeches occur. As Nancy Russell announces her support for Jones, Eddie from The Red State says "hi all."

The battery is getting low. We have Jones' speech and the Rogers round up. If I lose the battery I will get an update as soon as I can find a plug.

On that note, here comes Charlie.

Jones, lays out a plan for a bottom up rather than a top down party structure. His goal is to completely empower the grassroots to make changes.

Unlike Maxey and Richie, Jones wants to focus more on physical field work and less on technology that some may not have.

Rogers is up now, and I will not be writing about these speeches. However the chair has told the crowd we believe in free speech and I couldn't agree more.

The Delegates are now getting instructions from Ken Molhberg on voting process.

BAR Speech: Full Text

BAR is speeking right now. Here is what she has to say:

Our Fathers and Grandfathers Understood
Sacrifice & Trust
Barbara Ann Radnofsky

My parents raised me to believe that we are here on earth due to service and sacrifice of others; we stand on the shoulders of others.

I'm the granddaughter of a WWI veteran who served as the commander of his American Legion post, and the daughter of a WW II prisoner of war.

When my father's B-17 was shot down over Nazi Germany, flak pierced his flak jacket and his parachute sprang open inside the plane.

As he lay bleeding on the floor of the plane, his bombardier took off his own parachute, strapped it to my father, and threw him out of the plane on a static line.

The bombardier went on to receive the Silver Star his heroism years later.

I know I am here because of the bravery and sacrifice of others.

My Grandfather was a great man, a boxer before the war when he was injured in his navy service, and then a postal worker who proudly served as Commander of his American Legion Post.

My father and grandfather knew what it was to Trust the man next to you.

When the Nazis came to my father’s POW camp, they mustered the men, officers from the air forces. They announced: all the Jews will step forward. To a man, everyone stepped forward. They risked their life to save their fellow man.

Today you will hear from statewide candidates, men and women who have stepped forward. They deserve our respect and support. They are courageous and trustworthy.

We are like you: mothers, fathers, teachers, ranchers, judges, lawyers, public servants, wives, husbands, children, grandchildren. And we love Texas.

Your state wide slate has courage and optimism Your state wide slate counts among our heroes a great man now gone on to his reward Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, a loyal democrat who flew combat missions, succeeded in business and in all levels of elected leadership and brought us economic prosperity. He knew and revered this country's democratic leadership in the early 1960s.

When Pres. Kennedy set goals for the nation, he united this country and caused great things to happen for Texans and the US. When he said we will put a man on the moon, that's what we did: ordinary people working together in extraordinary times.

And we know we did not get here on our own. I had brave men and women in uniform who saved my father’s life and a government which made college possible for my dad on the GI bill so he could become a NASA scientist, his dream of public service.

And a government provided good schools and teachers so I can contribute. I had a work study grant in college and I can thank my grandparents and my parents and my teachers and the government for helping me get where I am.

After 9-11, the people of this country lined up to give blood. They stayed in line long after they were told no more blood was needed or storable. They wanted to give of themselves. The leadership of this state and country missed the opportunity to call on the moral, good Americans who are willing to give of ourselves.

And I can thank the grassroots of Texas for getting me past the primary and the runoff
with sixty percent of the vote. Thank you.

People are ready to trust. Do Texans trust our state wide elected officials, every one of them an elected republican, who brag what they’ve done when:

Texas is forced by federal law which my opponent voted for to be a net donor of our federal gas tax dollars. Yes, Texas taxpayers subsidize the rest of our country with our gas tax dollars as gasoline exceeds three dollars a gallon.

Do we trust our state wide elected officials when:

Texas ranks last in federal bring home the bacon dollars. Last, while the federal government forgot about Hurricane Rita and its effects and we can't get our fair share of hurricane reimbursement dollars.

Texas ranks last in keeping kids in school. Last, while my opponent voted for massive cuts in educational programs which would help keep Texas schoolchildren from dropping out and given them loans. Massive cuts that would have provided vocational programs for students who aren't college bound and are ready to be vibrant members of society, not burdens.

Texas ranks last in uninsured adults and children by percentage. Last, while my opponent rubberstamped failed administration policies 95.6 percent of the time.

Do Texans trust our state’s senior senator who:
Calls perjury a mere technicality? Such a person should renounce perjury or resign.

Ignores letters and phone calls from her constituents and from non partisan groups for debate and issue discussion? Such a person should return her phone calls and come out from hiding and debate the issues.

Served as the hostess for Tom Delay's lobbying project which provided lists as to which cronies would be hired for lobbying jobs to buy favors and votes. Such a person should renounce her embrace of lobbying abuses and sell out to special interests.

And, in this day of three dollar a gallon gasoline, do we trust a senior senator who took more oil lobby campaign cash than any other congressperson and then votes for wasting our tax dollars on subsidizing Alaskan bridges to nowhere and subsidies for her big oil company contributors and record, obscenely subsidized profits? And when she advocates US oil dependence on foreign places like corrupt Azerbaijan, where her big contributors hold energy leases? Such a person should give back her nearly 2 million dollars taken in energy lobby money, give up her Enron money, give back her Exxon money, and she should give back her tribal money while she's at it.

Do we trust a Senator who runs for a third full term, after she was elected in 1994 by making a solemn contract with America, and repeating that solemn contract, that she would serve a maximum of two terms. Do we trust her? In her announced third term try, such a person should be held to her word. She gave her word to the voters and she broke it. Come November we will hold her to her word. This is the end.

Do we trust a senator who justifies the occupation of Iraq “for the credibility of America” and who promises “this war is going to last a long time”. Do we trust her with our national security? A senator who has deserted our veterans and turned her back on needed VA facilities, including a VA hospital south of San Antonio. These are the military personnel who risked their lives so that we may live free.

Towards the end of the War when Nazi Germany was in disarray, my father and several buddies stole a wood burning jeep, German uniforms and left the POW camp.

You don’t have to go far back in history to recognize that a country’s survival depends on energy independence. We’d cut off Germany’s fuel and she converted many vehicles to burn wood. Using my father's knowledge of German and the stolen German uniforms, they made their way to Allied lines and when they got to Allied lines they traded that Jeep for a plane ride to England, where they got themselves promptly arrested and put in jail, the safest place to be at the end of the war if you were in England and wearing a German army uniform.

And after getting out of jail and reporting back to his unit, my father was sent stateside to hospital. My big burly dad who weighed 210 pounds when I knew him, had been machined gunned as he descended and still had the bullets and flak in his back, my big burly dad weighed 135 pounds after the war and when he got to the hospital, knowing a little bit about my father, it won't surprise you to know that he left, in search of his childhood sweetheart, my mother.

But when they went to get married, they found out that they couldn't, because after all he
had been through he was too young to be married without his mother's permission.

Those were the men and women.... Those were the teenagers .... Who saved the world for democracy. Ordinary children in extraordinary times saved the world and we Americans can step forward and do it again. Ordinary men and women in extraordinary times, who saved this world for democracy; they were and are my heroes.

My husband and I grew up at a time when government leadership meant something and mutual goals were achieved by hard work and sacrifice. That is how Texas know-how put a man on the moon.

People believed that good could come. They trusted their leaders. Why do Texans trust Radnofsky v Hutchison on leadership: We’ve posted where we stand on the issues at, in an issues chart with more footnotes than a church organ, and in more than 400 appearances statewide as I’ve called for:
- A VA hospital south of San Antonio

- Pay as you go spending and a balanced budget

- An independent ethics commission with subpoena power to truly stop our corrupt politicians wasting our taxpayer dollars

- Public financing of campaigns

- Passage of the Social Security Fairness Act to protect our educators, police officers, firefighters and other heroes

- A national energy policy focusing on energy independence

- Real health care reform including coverage for preventive care

- Withdrawal from the occupation of Iraq

- An end to foreign ownership of our ports. Use the U.S. Merchant Marine for port security combined with

- A comprehensive immigration and border security plan that targets illegal trade, including the drug trade, instead of targeting legal trade and wasting billions of our taxpayer dollars, unfairly burdening Texas taxpayers and

- A rational, respectful plan to target zero abortions and

- A debate for goodness sake A debate on the issues of the day... issues which affect every day of our lives, our children’s lives, our grandchildren’s lives

This is doable. Believe.

Rumors and Speculation

Here is your time for rumor and speculation. As one writer put it, the propaganda is flying.

As I wrote yesterday, everything seemed calm and the positive campaign Glen Maxey and Charlie Urbina-Jones asked for seemed to be happening.

However, this morning there was a turn.

Rich Bailey was appointed as Co-Chair for the important Nominations Committee. The appointment was made three weeks ago and confirmed last night. This morning five minutes before the committee met, Bailey (a Maxey supporter) was pulled from the committee and replaced.

The committee ended up voting to endorse ALL four candidates as opposed to the expected Richie nomination. The other option usually taken is a resolution of non-recommendation.

Maxey and Urbina-Jones supporters seem to be staying positive, and the Lakesha Rogers supporters seem to be literally singing.

There are over 100 districts with no representation so there is no way to gage how the vote will go down.

With no single nomination and the hard campaigning being done by every candidate, the pundits are saying that there will 2 ballots (the second being a runoff).

Convention Floor Fun

The convention has moved into an eventful second day. Traditionally the first day focuses on caucuses and cultivating single issue messaging.

The second day is training on grassroots, data, etc and then at 11 a.m. the floor convention starts.

The details are boring, so the long in short is, we vote to support the work of the committees and pick our internal leaders over the next two years.

Last nigh ended with Bell’s aggressive attacks on Strayhorn’s “Carole-Come-Lately” campaign style (Damon at BOR has the speech in text).

Quorum Report puts it simply:
In a fiery speech, former Gen. Wesley Clark challenges Texas Democrats to take back nation. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell launched a broadside against Carole Keeton Strayhorn in his Friday night keynote speech to convention delegates in Fort Worth.
Bell portrayed the Comptroller-turned-independent candidate for governor as an ally of Gov. Rick Perry, saying the pair "are two sleeves of the same empty suit."

He added that "She is nothing more than a politician in search of a parade. And now she’s trying to be our buddy. You know what? We don’t need a Carole-Come-Lately. We need a leader to stand up today and tomorrow and the day after that, no matter which way the political winds are blowing."
STXC has a great round up of statewide news on the Democratic Convention.

This morning there will be a tribute to Bentsen, Speaker Laney, and speeches by statewide candidates like Radnofsky and Van Os.

Friday, June 09, 2006

SDEC Elections in SD 25

Senate District 25 has just finished its election for State Democratic Executive Committee. Mike Wilson has just defeated incumbent Bruce Barrick and Zada Tru-Courage (wife of John Courage) was not challanged for a second term.

Conventions are Shockingly Fun

Here are the fun events for tonight:

People-Powered Pachanga with Charlie and Glen
When: Friday, June 9th, upon adjournment
Where: Rahr Brewery 701 Galveston Ave Snacks, Soft Drinks and Bottled Water, Beer on Tap (small contribution appreciated) BBQ Sandwiches & Chips $5 (while they last).

THE PARTY OF THE YEAR: the 1st annual bloggers caucus!!
When: Friday June 9, 9:30pm-midnight
Where: Flying Saucer (upstairs party room) 111 E 4th St Ft Worth, TX 76102

YOUTH CAUCUS PARTY sponsored by Harris and Dallas County
When: 10:00 p.m. until ??? (heck they are young)
Where: Frizzi's at 500 Commerce St. Fort Worth, TX 76102

UPDATE: There are also parties for Chris Bell, Boyd Richie, and others. I do not have those details.

State Chair Race

Today Tom DeLay is no more, (Ding Dong the witch is gone…. ) and now we are gearing up to take back the state.

Democrats have rallied in Fort Worth and are working together to elect their party leadership, meet their down ballot candidates, and stock up on enough Democratic garb to last until 2008.

The day has been relatively smooth. The Chair race doesn’t seem as heated as pundits and consultants had though (myself included), and it appears Charlie Urbina-Jones and Glen Maxey’s call for unity and a positive campaign has worked.

There is a strong Richie presence pushing stickers on anyone who moves walks and talks. The Maxey camp looks to be working the nominations committee and working organizational leaders, and I have seen little action from Urbina-Jones.

All four candidates (Lakesha Rogers included) have been getting supporters to give speeches at any and every caucus.

Boyd Richie was also able to turn out enough supporters to vote in the open election to win the Progressive Populist Caucus by a mere 2 votes.

The Coalition of Black Democrats did not make an endorsement, something that was expected to be a big deal endorsement.

At this point is seems like a floor fight is inevitable, but it seems to be a positive campaign about the many talents these men bring to the party.

McBlogger has a take on the PPC endorsement.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Help Update JAB

Well it is that time again...

It is time for me to update my links. Is there a local blog you like? Statewide? Heck, what about a national blog of merit?

I want to know what you are reading or who you are writing for. JAB is over a year old, and I can't even begin to mention how grateful I was when the sites I read were linking to me. So, it is time to return the favor.

All I need is the site name and URL. If you have an e-mail address so I can let them know I have linked to them that would be appreciated. You can either leave it in the comments or e-mail me at JustAnotherMatt-at-gmail-dot-com.

State Party Chair Race Recap

This time next week we will either have a new chair or knock the term interim off someone’s title.

The initial goal was to get you the lowdown and recap the whole TDP Chair race, but alas after getting started there are over 1,000 posts from around the state on the whole race. My advice is to simply go to blogsearch and type in Glen Maxey, Boyd Richie, or Charlie Urbina-Jones, and search until your heart is content and make up your own mind on the race.

Over the weekend there have been some great pieces on the large and influential PPC numbers at Burnt Orange Report. Texas Kos has a great follow up story to mine on the 30-Day reports. T-Kos hits the 8-day financial statements with a magnifying glass, and most importantly for delegates, BOR has the schedule of the caucus.

Now that we are caught up, let’s go over where the race stands right now. I will source all my points in order to limit bias. Also comments will remain un-edited as always unless there are racial slurs or if there is unneeded language.

The race for State Party Chair began formally in December of 2005 when Boyd Richie had already committed to taking on then Chairman Charles Soechting. At that time Richie loaned himself $20,000 and began lining up endorsements from long time political insiders and candidates.

The beginning of the race started as anyone but Soechting, and after the April 22nd formal resignation of Soechting and appointment of Boyd Richie as interim chair of the state party the race took on a new face.

Charlie Urbina-Jones and Glen Maxey announced their intention to challenge Richie nearly three months after Richie had filed his loan. Maxey’s announcement came around March 3rd and Jones had no formal announcement but did file his first campaign report in March.

After being elected as interim chair, Richie activated the state party e-mail to hit once or twice a week and it’s press releases have been beefed up to nearly twice that until recently. Richie has also overseen a newly launched website that looks substantially better than the last but still is leaps and bounds behind our opponents across the aisle.

While Richie has been working in Austin, Maxey and Jones have been traveling the state campaigning for the position. Jones has focused his attention in West and South Texas and it appears as though Houston, and San Antonio have been his major urban focus.
Maxey has been traveling to El Paso, the panhandle, and large parts of rural Texas with an urban focus on Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth (see financial reports).

Going into the convention it appears it is a horse race between Richie and Maxey with Urbina-Jones a distant 3rd and Lakesha Rogers not even on the radar. There is also a whisper of a 5th candidate coming in last minute this weekend, but with the massive outreach done by all of the candidiates I doubt this will materialize.

Here is the over simplification of the three major campaigns and how they have self divided themselves: Boyd wants more of the current system with a major focus on field, Maxey wants to build the infrastructure through technology and broaden the field program outside of the urban areas, and Urbina-Jones wants field to focus on minority areas and generally wants new technologies but doesn’t think they will win elections on their own.

The candidates have done interviews on South Texas Chisme, Latinos for Texas, and Burnt Orange Report (Boyd Richie and Glen Maxey). STC seems to have endorsed anyone but Maxey, LFT has endorsed Maxey, and BOR is a group blog with Karl-Thomas Musselman being a stronger Maxey supporter.

As of today, Eye On Williamson County has a comparison on the amount of victories both Maxey and Richie have had over the past 30 years.

Based on the comments of this post I will do further research on the state party race, and JAB will be live-blogging the state party convention.

Friday, June 02, 2006

"W Wuz Hear"

Courage Fights for Veterans’ Financial Security

Candidate for Congress in TX-21 John Courage spoke of his support today for a piece of legislation aimed at helping veterans whose personal data was stolen from the home of a VA employee earlier this month.

Courage stated that “Democrats are offering a bill to address this egregious breach of privacy, along with calling for a full investigation so that the people in charge are held accountable. This is an outrageous, unacceptable violation of the over 100,000 brave men and women here in Congressional District 21 who have served our country. The revelation that the private and personal records of all of these veterans had been taken home by a VA employee and then stolen is appalling. Our veterans and their families deserve better.”

“It is not only wrong, it is a cover up,” Courage said. “It was two weeks before the Administration informed the FBI and 19 days before the Administration informed the veterans whose personal information was stolen. Much damage to veterans may have been wreaked in that period of time.”

This legislation, called the “Veterans Identity Protection Act of 2006,” will protect veterans from identity theft by calling on the VA to:
  • Provide veterans with one year of free credit monitoring -- to alert them of changes in their credit in order to stop the theft before it gets out of control.
  • Provide veterans with one free credit report each year for two years after the end of credit monitoring, in addition to the free credit report available under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • Authorize $1.25 billion in emergency funds for the first year of implementation.
“I stand with the Democrats in Congress who are sponsoring this bill and will vote for better privacy and security for our veterans when elected to Congress. This is yet another step in fulfilling our pledge to leave no veteran behind. Democrats have introduced the New GI Bill of Rights to make sure that veterans and military retirees get the benefits they have earned and deserve.”

While the FBI and the VA Inspector General’s office are looking into the matter, John Courage is informing veterans and their families to take proactive steps to protect themselves from misuse of their personal information.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

HD 118- Antuna supports Leininger

House District 118 has not voted for a Republican since before the dawn of man. Over time it has be redrawn to be a tight 54% Democratic district and pundits are saying George Antuna might just be the first Republican to win in 118 even though it took a runoff to become the candidate (unlike Joe Farias).

Yesterday the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosted a “Candidate Conversation” to ask a few questions and get a first hand look at the difference between Joe Farias and George Antuna.

Shockingly Antuna came out boldly and publicly for a state funded voucher program after a session that did nothing to help schools.

A source in the Farias campaign has this to say about Antuna’s questionable political call.
Now it's no surprise to any of us that a Republican candidate in Texas would be supporting school vouchers. Except Antuna has been described as a cross between Frank Madla and Joe Straus- a moderate Republican willing to work across party lines in a 54% Democratic district. Yet with Antuna's firm support for school vouchers, and believe me there was no wishy-washiness about it, it seems his mantle of 'moderate Republican' has been forsaken.
Conservative Antuna appears to be showing how far removed he is from the ideology of HD 118. By supporting a scheme that will “cripple our public schools”, Antuna, is saying he opposes teacher pay raises, new text books, increased funding for school facilities, and increases in property taxes to pay the difference. Why? It is impossible for the state to subsidies a $5,000 (or more) private education and still fix the problems caused by the education funding cuts created by Madla, Gov Perry, Lt Gov Dewhurst, and the rest of the Republican leadership.

Let’s say only 1,000 people want to use this program in the ENTIRE state of Texas (foolish I know). The increase in spending for private education would be $5,000,000. Would you vote for a candidate that would have paid me to go to Trinity University instead of helping your child? I didn’t think so. It is not the job of the state to fund private institutions.

The same source summed up their feeling on Antuna’s campaign.
As a matter of fact, Antuna's entire campaign seems to be centered around the fact that he (briefly) lived in the voter-rich, Democrat heavy Southside of HD-118 and that he's Mexicano. As if Democratic lifers will not only switch parties, but vote for a hard right-winger, just because the Republican running has a Latino surname.
Antuna’s public statement should be of concern. What usually happens when a radical conservative dictates a plan that would harm our children and schools? James Leininger funds their entire campaign in the tune of around six figures.

Again, the source:
Antuna's no moderate. That's why the San Antonio Police Officer's Association, the Texas State Teacher's Association, the Texas Federation of Teacher's, the Texas League of Conservation Voters and other organizations and individuals have already come out and endorsed Joe Farias.