Wednesday, February 20, 2013

SD-6 final push begins today

Charles and Stace posted their previews yesterday earlier. Neither of them mentioned the e-mail the Garcia campaign sent out last week, though.

While Republican leaders in Austin moved to block the restoration of $5.4 billion in education funding, Carol Alvarado was nowhere to be found at the State Capitol. In fact, she was nowhere near Austin. Carol Alvarado was over 160 miles away in Houston trying to save her failing campaign for the Texas Senate. As a result, Texas school children missed an opportunity to receive the money they rightfully deserve.

There's more and it's just as nasty.

When this arrived in my inbox at lunchtime last Thursday -- on Valentine's Day -- I was shocked. And as cynical as I am, it takes a lot to shock me.  But rather than write about it then, I waited to see if there would be a response to it from other quarters.  Alvarado campaign consultant Marc Campos eventually posted this on Monday morning the 18th. Here's an excerpt (his emphasis in bold serves to set off the remarks that are not his, except at the close).

Someone named sent the campaign the following:

We know Carol can’t run on her record as Lee Brown’s Chief of Staff, or Council Member for District I, or State Rep, but does she really have to attack her opponent and take things into the gutter.

As Lee Brown Chief of Staff, she assisted Brown in raising the city employee benefits to unsustainable levels, which led to major budget problems.

As Council Member for District I she waisted community leaders time and energy by:

Having meetings on Air Quality in the East End after high levels of benzine were measured at the plants, nothing happened;

Had Deed Restriction data base meetings which led to nothing; 
Due to lack of her oversight her Mayor Pro-Tem staff gave themselves illegal bonuses;
And as far as what she has been doing as State Rep, other collecting money from special interest groups, I have no idea.

This week I have received four mail-outs from Carol trashing Garcia. If Carol can’t win on her record, then she needs to drop out!

Let me kind of respond to this.  First, who are you and where do you live?

He or she obviously doesn’t live in the district because anyone named politics that lives in SD6 would know that our opponent sent six mail pieces in Round 1 attacking Carol.  So hitting back shouldn’t come as a surprise.  In Round 1, I would have been impressed if politics would have said:

This week I have received four mail-outs from Sylvia trashing Alvarado. If Sylvia can’t win on her record, then she needs to drop out!

Any one named politics should know that Carol never served as Mayor Brown’s Chief of Staff.

Of course if one isn’t going reveal their real name, well we can only guess about one’s motivations.

Campos is right, and the Alvarado campaign has, publicly at least, hewed to the high road throughout the campaign. (Whatever is going on underneath my radar -- I speak here of salacious third-hand gossip and rumor-mongering -- I can't and won't speak for, or about.)

Update (Saturday, 2/23): Yet more vitriol from the Garcia campaign. It just never ends.

By contrast, it is my opinion that Garcia's mud-slinging has done her no favors in this cycle. She remains, however, the odds-on favorite to be the next senator from the district on the strength of her volunteer effort and fundraising, not to mention her reputation as a "fighting Democrat" -- the type I am typically a solid supporter of. But her means of getting to the seat leaves a lot to be desired. You have to wonder what her relationship with Rep. Alvarado will be if they have to work together on issues of common interest. The level of spite just seems excessive.

The Chron may have picked up on this as well, because the notion of a 'challenging' senator versus an accommodating one appears to be the reasoning behind their endorsement of Carol...

Both are Democrats who vow to strengthen state education spending and expand Medicaid. They differ chiefly in the way in which they'd go about achieving their goals. Garcia vows to go toe-to-toe against Gov. Rick Perry and other Republicans. Alvarado says that she'd continue to do what she's done as a member of the Republican-controlled Texas House: work with members across the aisle to get legislation passed.

We believe that Alvarado's approach will serve her district best. In part, that's pure pragmatism. Given Republicans' utter dominance of our state's government, a Democrat who hopes to accomplish anything at all has to play nicely with the GOP. But it's also the solution to a larger problem. Both Texas and the United States need more politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, who can find middle ground and nudge the body politic forward. Alvarado is that kind of legislator.

There's more there that you should read that points out the differences between the two. Keep in mind that the Chron also endorsed Mitt Romney and Ted Cruz, two pathetic losers whose election outcomes were polar opposites. I wouldn't hazard a guess as to what that might mean for Rep. Alvarado's prospects.

I'm not fond of of the fact that Alvarado has taken lots of money from Republicans, especially from Bob Perry and the like. I am not a fan of her political advisor. I am almost never in favor of Democrats who brag about how amenable they are in working with Republicans -- particularly the virulent strain of vicious, ignorant Republicans infesting the Texas Legislature.

But to my view, Carol Alvarado has fought the fights that made the point to Texas Republicans even when there was no way she (and Democrats) were going to win those fights. She sharply rebutted, she did so with class, and she held her head high in defeat.

And she has taken a similar approach in this set-to with Sylvia Garcia.

I sort of feel bad about Garcia and her campaign. I still expect her to prevail in the runoff despite all this -- there's no other appropriate word for it -- brutality, and I have no doubt she will be a strong advocate for the district, and the issues and the cause of Texas Democrats in the state Senate. She probably is, despite the Chron's advice, the best woman for the job.

But the equally brutal truth is that she is, by far, not the best candidate.

I don't live in the district and my preferred choice came in seventh in an eight-contestant general election race, with 73 total votes. So feel free to weight my analysis accordingly. All I know is what I see, hear and read.

Buena fortuna to both women, and let's see the one that prevails get busy accomplishing a lot for SD-6, which needs all the help it can get.

Previously on the topic of the SD-6 special election, in chronological order:

Alvarado declares for SD-6

Sylvia Garcia jumps in 

No Noriega(s) for SD-6 *with updates

Governor finally calls SD-6 special election 

Eight for SD-6 

SD-6 developments (that mention Keystone XL) 

Sylvia Garcia punching down

SD-6 candidate boycotts TransCanada-sponsored debate

Local media goes to work reporting on SD-6

Garcia hits Alvarado again and more SD-6

Garcia surrogates push back against Rodriguez, Alvarado

The East End Leaders sign their letter

Viva Houston has the SD-6 candidates on this morning


Results for SD-6 *updates*

One takeaway from yesterday

KXL protestors get SLAPPed, plan counterpunch

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