Monday, October 20, 2014

The P Slate: Top down

Got it done just in time... except for today's early voters.  Those people had their minds made up anyway.  First, let's note -- and follow -- the advice of the Waco Herald Tribune's editorial board.

While the Trib has elected not to make candidate endorsements in the 2014 general election, we do have three recommendations: If you’re registered to vote, then do so — but only if you’re informed, which is our second recommendation. If you have not studied the candidates and the issues, take time to learn about both or do this republic a favor and just skip the electoral process.

Finally, only a putz votes straight-ticket. We haven’t seen a slate of party candidates yet, Republican or Democrat, that didn’t have some turkeys on it. And if you think voting straight-ticket ensures that one party’s nominees meet certain qualities, think again. Right here in McLennan County, we’ve seen straight-ticket voting put some absolutely incompetent people into offices of responsibility. When that happens, you’re to blame because you voted for them out of party loyalty, not merit or civic regard.

That is so perfect.  You can find some red and blue in the picks at Texpatriate, a mostly blue slate at Texas Leftist and nonsequiteuse, and a mostly Green one at Socratic Gadfly.


US Senate: Emily "Spicy Brown" Sanchez, Green.  Sorry Democrats, but I can't vote for a pro-life Catholic who also financially supports pregnancy crisis centers in his hometown.  David Alameel has also admitted that this year is a test run for a bid against Ted Cruz in 2018.  No freaking thanks.

Sanchez spoke via Sype to Harris County Greens at their candidate forum in September and made a surpise appearance at the season's fundraiser for her ticketmates, Kenneth Kendrick (Ag Commissioner) and Martina Salinas (Railroad Commissioner).  She made an instant impression talking to both groups.  She's committed and earnest.  She represents the future of Texas Greens: hard-working middle class people with a sense of justice, which is to say a proper outrage at injustices.  I am delighted to be counted a supporter.

US House of Representatives (in my case, the Seventh Congressional District).  Everybody already knows how I feel about this race.  Nothing has changed.  I think I'm going to vote for the Libertarian as a the best protest to John Culberson that can be mustered.

In other districts in the Houston area, Mark Roberts in CD-2 (G) and Niko Letsos (D) have run low-profile campaigns against the incumbent, Ted Poe.  They're both worthy alternatives.  (Neil and I wrote more extensively about Roberts in his first bid for this office two years ago.)  In CD-18, Green Remington Alessi's campaign against Sheila Jackson Lee, similarly, hasn't reached the level of his bid for Harris County Sheriff two years ago.  Democrat Tawana Cadien's second shot at ousting Rep. Michael McCaul in CD-10 is likewise under the radar.  And in CD-22, Democrat Frank Briscoe tests the Fort Bend County waters to see if they're purple enough yet to wash out the incumbent Repub, Pete Olson.

In Southeast Texas, the race to replace Steve Stockman in CD-36 has Libertarian-turned-Democrat Michael Cole of Orange and Green Hal J. Ridley Jr. of Bridge City bidding to upset the prohibitively favored Republican, Brian Babin of Woodville.  Ridley's been invisible; Cole was interviewed on Daily Kos, here.  In CD-14, incumbent Randy Weber of Pearland, really growing into his Tea Freak clothes, has Democratic challenger Donald Brown of Beaumont to fend off.  Brown has the HLGBT Caucus stamp of approval.

In other urban areas of Texas, there's a Green candidate running where no Democrat is, in CD-21 (Antonio Diaz versus Lamar Smith) and where no Republican is, in CD-28 (Michael Cary against Henry Cuellar).  So progressives in San Antonio and the RGV have options.  And in the Metroplex, Democrat David Cozad has run a spirited campaign against Smokey Joe Barton.

But short of something that is equal parts unforeseeable and miraculous, the only contested Congressional race in the Lone Star State is between Congressman Pete Gallego and GOPer Will Hurd in the far west Texas district that stretches from Big Bend to El Paso.  Gallego was once pretty progressive when in the statehouse in Austin, but he's moderated quite bit to hang on to his Congressional seat.  Still, we need no more Republicans in Congress, and Gallego should be returned to Washington.

The statewide executive offices and high courts

Governor: Wendy Davis.  Big surprise, huh?  I and everyone else have written enough about this race that the choice is as obvious as can be.

Lt. Governor: Leticia Van de Putte.  I wanted to find a reason to support Chandra Courtney; she and her husband David (also a Green candidate running for SD-17) are solid people, but the urgency to avoid having Lonesome Rhodes Dan Patrick elected to the state's most powerful position is just too great.  I'm voting for VDP and hoping enough moderate Republicans have come to their senses that we can avoid an apocalypse.

Attorney General: Sam HoustonEvery newspaper in the state of Texas isn't wrong.

Comptroller of Public AccountsMike Collier.  Though I consider Deb Shafto one of my friends, and as Gadfly has pointed out, Collier says all the wrong things in trying to attract conservatives and moderate independents, it is just too dangerous for Texas to risk electing Jethro Bodine to statewide office.

Agriculture Commissioner: Kenneth Kendrick.  It was easy enough to scratch Sid Miller Archie Bunker and Jim Hogan Junior Samples, but Kendrick would have stood above the crowd even if the Republicans and Democrats had managed to nominate respectable candidates.  As the whistleblower in the Peanut Corporation of America killings, no one has done more for Texans already in the cause of social justice.  And unless you smoke a whole lot of dope, there's no coherent excuse for voting for the Libertarian, either. (Kendrick supports decriminalization as well.)

Kendrick is by far the best reason on the ballot for both Democrats and Republicans to split their straight tickets.

Land Commissioner: John Cook.  Here I also gave serious consideration to Valerie Alessi (married to Remington).  Alessi was nominated at the Green Party's state convention in March to replace another candidate who withdrew.  Except for some good responses to questions posed in the Houston League of Women Voters Guide, Alessi's campaign has been low-profile.  Cook was a progressive mayor of El Paso and gets my support.  Please, no more Bushes.

Texas Railroad Commission: Steve Brown (D) or Martina Salinas (G).  Honestly, I still can't choose between them.  They're both as good as it gets for their respective parties.

Texas Supreme Court, Place 1: Bill Moody (D).  Incumbent Republican Nathan Hecht remains under a cloud of ethical violations.  Republicans: your best choice in this race is the Libertarian, Tom Oxford.

Texas Supreme Court, Place 6: Lawrence Meyers.  The state's longest-serving Court of Criminal Appeals judge, Meyers switched parties and became a Democrat last year to bid for the SCOTX against Rick Perry appointee Jeff Brown.

Texas Supreme Court, Place 7Gina Benavides (D).  Serving the 13th Court of Appeals since 2006, Benavides has earned some endorsements over the incumbent Republican, Jeff Boyd.  Charles Waterbury of the Green Party is also well-qualified for this office.

Texas Supreme Court, Place 8: Jim Chisholm (G).  No Democrat ran for this seat on the state's highest court, and Democrats that fail to split their straight tickets will miss an opportunity to vote for this very qualified, progressive jurist.

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3Bert Richardson (R), John Granberg (D), or Mark Bennett (L).  Richardson, as regular readers here will already know, is the judge who appointed the special prosecutor that brought felony indictments against Rick Perry.  Normally I might vote for the Democrat, Granberg, but he is young and unseasoned.  Bennett is a blogger and local lawyer I have crossed paths with.

I might flip a coin.  Or this might be the only Republican I vote for.

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4: Judith Sanders Castro (G).

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 9: George Altgelt (G).

There's no Democratic candidate in either of these two races.  If you're voting a straight D ticket, you're leaving a lot of votes blank.  As the WHT said at the top... don't be a putz.

Harris County races to come will have to wait until later.


Gadfly said...

They actually did use "putz," yes!


Want me to write you in for guv instead of playing Joe Walsh?

That said, you'll note that on a couple of key races, I said vote Dem, not Green.


Back to the Trib editorial. For the first time in 3 cycles, we have a contested county judge race. In counties under 20K, really, the commissioners and judge are like mayor and council. Technically, yes, the races are partisan, but really, no.

Unless the GOP is pushing a candidate just because he has an R after his name.

That said, we'll take the ad dinero.

kat swift said...

us rep 35?

Kenneth K said...

Once again, Thank you, Martina, Emily and myself all are into serve the people in an honest and thoughtful manner. I can not understand why the Lt Gov polls are what they are, but the Agriculture race has seen a (R) spend a million and not make a run off, and a (D) use, well an unusual approach and shake up the Dems. Anything can happen this time around. The decent voter turnouts are a nice thing to see, I hope the TX trend of low turnout changes, that is when the winds of change in TX will start kicking in.