Thursday, June 16, 2005

Democracy Fest 2005, Austin

Much has been said, here and elsewhere, about this seminal progressive event taking place in Keep-It-Weird this weekend. I have been granted media credentials (boy, doesn't that make me sound like hot shit, eh?) and will liveblog some events as wireless access allows and others after the fact. The Bloggers Caucus opens the weekend and features appearances by the following candidates and their representatives:

Barbara Ann Radnofsky, a Houston attorney and Democratic candidate for the United States Senate seat now held by Kay Bailey Hutchison, who will be represented by her campaign blogger Seth Davidson. Radnofsky has posted recently at Burnt Orange Report and Off the and will also be at our blogger's breakfast on Sunday with Markos and Jerome.

Chris Bell, exploring a run for Governor of Texas, will be represented by operations manager and blogger Tim McCann. Bell has participated in conference calls with the Lone Star blogosphere -- most recently this week -- and will also be on the Saturday panel called "The DeLay Factor" with Richard Morrison, whose campaign against the Bugman last fall rocked the establishment, and Lou Dubose, whose book "The Hammer: Tom DeLay, God, Money, and the Rise of the Republican Congress" is a fine primer for DeLay watchers.

David Van Os, candidate for Texas Attorney General, will appear at the caucus in person accompanied by Dave Collins, chair of his steering committee. I'm privileged to know Van Os from my earliest days as an activist in connecting to him through the Progressive Populist Caucus of the Texas Democratic Party. Van Os is hosting a campaign reception immediately following the Bloggers' Caucus Friday evening from 6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. at Nuevo Leon Restaurant, 1501 E. 6th.

John Courage, who is hoping to replace Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio) as Sixth Street's Representative in Congress (CD 21), will be present, as will Andy Brown, an Austin attorney who has announced for HD 48 against Todd Baxter, and also Mark Strama, the Democratic incumbent in a swing district, HD 50. One of the most critical aspects of our caucus will be discussing how we can help secure re-election for strong progressives like Strama who have stayed true to their base while representing close districts.

Judge Charlie Baird was formerly on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and was one of the last Democratic judges elected to statewide office. He is a candidate for the 299th Judicial District Court in Travis County and will be represented at the caucus by Glen Maxey, former member of the Texas House, Democracy for Texas political director and Baird's campaign manager. Judge Baird wants to generate public discussion, utilizing the Lone Star blogosphere, of the possibility of reforming judicial elections in Texas.

And LGRL of Texas will be represented at the Caucus in connection with the upcoming vote on the proposed Marriage Amendment to the state Constitution. LGRL is very interested in working with us Texas blogmeisters to get the word out about the discrimination proposed by the Amendment and its unintended consequences if enacted.

There's more, a whole hell of a lot more, but I'm going to try to dole it out in bite-size pieces over the weekend.

Please stay tuned ...

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