Friday, March 19, 2010

March Madness = Senate District conventions

Mostly for those of us doing the final preparations. For mine (SD-17), we're hosting Bill White as a keynoter and expect to hear from many of the judicials (especially those in run-offs) as well as some of the county-wide executive office-seekers and -holders. In the meantime here's a little postpourri ...

-- Speaking of our nominee, White's campaign has had a rough couple of weeks since his landslide primary win. He's not disclosing his tax returns, which both the Beaumont Enterprise and the Chronicle's Rick Casey are chiding him about, and this week it was revealed that he sits on (and has been paid well for) the board of directors of one of the oil companies working the Barnett Shale, controversial for the pollution being created by the hydraulic fracturing technique used for extraction. (My sister Sharon is the authority on hydro-fracking and the Barnett Shale, and has been for some time.)

Most media missed this during last month's gubernatorial debate, but now it's no wonder why White declined to support a moratorium on drilling there.

The campaign needs to get out in front of things like this -- as they did very well with White's refusal to promise to cut taxes if elected -- but they are already behind on these two, and an appropriate (forget 'rapid') response is still lagging.

Texas Democrats need the White campaign firing on all cylinders, and I hope a quick tuneup gets things in order.

Update: And just like that, there are his tax returns. Bradley Olson at the Chron has more.

-- Lakeisha Rogers, the Democratic nominee in CD-22, has generated lots and lots of responses over her, ah, unorthodox beliefs. The SDEC resolved to release the party from supporting her campaign. The resolution was necessary because TDP rules require precinct chairs and the like to support the party's nominees under pain of removal from office.

The intent behind the resolution, expressed in various ways, forms, and places, leaves a lot of unanswered questions that trouble me (and many other Democrats): we are censuring duly elected nominees for their beliefs now? Guilt by association? What would Thomas Jefferson say about this as it relates to free speech? Just because his name was removed by the SBOE Texas school textbooks last week doesn't mean we should already be ignoring what he taught us ... should it?

I think Ms. Rogers could have been pointedly ignored by everybody and it would have served a better purpose than a public rebuke. But I seem to be in the minority on that.

-- The vote on healthcare reform comes this Sunday. It's going to be more dramatic than any of yesterday's first-round games, which were the closest in history.

Really though, my bracket isn't too bloody ... except for that Georgetown-in-the-Final-Four pick.

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