Sunday, October 21, 2012

The rest of the Brainy Endorsements, Part I (federal and statewide offices)

Here's the list so far.

Nile Copeland for the First Court of Appeals

Alfred and GC Molison for HD 131 and SBOE, respectively

Henry Cooper for HD 148

Keith Hampton for Presiding Judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

Barbara Gardner for the Fourteenth Court of Appeals

Don Cook for Congress, 22nd District

Max Martin for Congress, 36th District

Remington Alessi for Harris County Sheriff

David Courtney for Texas Senate, District 17

Ann Harris Bennett for Harris County Tax Assessor/Collector

Ann Johnson for HD-134

Mike Engelhart, Larry Weiman, and Al Bennett for the Harris County bench

Mark Roberts for Congress, 2nd District

David Collins for United States Senate

Vince Ryan for Harris County Attorney

And so, beginning with the top of your ballot....

President of the United States: Jill Stein, Green Party

Like my friend Neil, if I lived in a swing state I would have to hold my nose and vote for Barack Obama. But the price I pay for living under the fascist theocracy that is the Republicans of Texas is what enables me to vote my conscience and my values. That means I don't have to vote for a president who wants the NDAA to be the law of the land. Who wants to keep assassinating Afghans, Pakistanis, suspected terrorists and civilians and even US citizens with unmanned drones (rather than capture them and torture them, as W Bush did).

It means I don't have to vote for a president who squandered his considerable political capital in 2009 by refusing to fight for single payer universal health care, or even a public option.

It means I get to vote for a president who understands what is necessary to solve the economy's woes and the so-called debt crisis at the same time: stop the wars, raise taxes on the rich, and institute a New Deal-styled federal employment program to rebuild the nation's crumbling infrastructure and new, "green" technology.

You can watch Stein debate Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party, and Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party on Tuesday, October 23rd, the night after the final Obama-Romney debate tomorrow. It will be moderated by Larry King (who will be less under the sword than Bob Schieffer, for sure).

Now then... in top-to-bottom order, federal and statewide races on your Harris County ballot for contests I haven't written about so far...

US Congress, 7th Congressional District: No Endorsement

After the Democratic primary in the spring -- you may recall it was blogged about a little bit here -- I prepared to go to work for the Green candidate, Lance Findley. But he never responded to my e-mails or my phone calls volunteering help. I heard through the grapevine that he said he would not have the resources to mount a campaign. Which turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, of course, since he ignored all offers of assistance. I never met the guy, never communicated with him. So I can't support him. I can't even bring myself to vote for him.

In a true lesser of four evils contest, none of the men running  for CD-07 is worthy of anyone's -- and I do mean no one's -- vote.

-- Vanessa Edwards Foster over Al Green in CD-9. Green's had his moments, both good and bad, but as befits my endorsement pattern isn't the progressives' best option in this race. Foster is a strong activist for the right causes and has earned the protest vote, like so many others on this list. You can see a short video of Foster here, being interviewed by Egberto Willies.

-- Tawana Cadien, the Democrat running against Michael McCaul in CD-10. Like the rest of the worthy challengers over the years against Lowry Mays' son-in-law, Cadien is the best choice.

-- Sheila Jackson Lee, of course, in CD-18.

-- In CD-29 another Green, Maria Selva, earns the nod over longtime Democratic incumbent Gene Green. Green has long been in the pocket of the oil and petrochemical industry lining the Houston Ship Channel. Selva's progressive bonafides as a persistent community activist are clear. Here's an interview with her from earlier in the campaign season.

Texas Railroad Commissioner: Chris Kennedy (G) over Dale Henry (D).

Henry has disappointed over some anti-Obama rhetoric quietly voiced but still overheard -- of the "Kenyan/Muslim/soshulist" strain.  It's okay not to support the president on policy matters, it's not OK to go all Tea Party Democrat. (More on Harris County DA candidate Lloyd Oliver in the next post.) This is also a least-worst option, as Kennedy has been fairly invisible on the campaign trail as well. Here are side-by side comparisons of Kennedy and Henry on the issues, in their own words.

Texas Railroad Commissioner (unexpired term): Josh Wendel, Green. There is no Democrat running against Rick Perry stooge Barry Smitherman and Libertarian perennial Jaime O. Perez. Those Democrats voting a straight ticket are skipping this race. That's ridiculous.

Justice, Texas Supreme Court, Place 4: Charles Waterbury, Green.

Republican John Devine, a fairly odious fellow himself, defeated incumbent David Medina in May as much on the strength of the allegations by the Runaway Grand Jury as anything else. Sensible Republicans and conservatives should vote for Beaumont attorney Tom Oxford, the Libertarian, and liberals -- progressives and Democrats -- should get behind Waterbury. He's run previously for the SCOTX and since there's no Democrat in this contest either, he could be elected... if the Democrats did their part, by splitting their tickets or simply not voting STD (straight-ticket Democrat).

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 6: Michelle Petty (D) or Jim Chisholm (G).

Your choice. Both candidates are well-qualified and would be a vast improvement over Nathan Hecht, the Republican incumbent and occasional boyfriend of Harriet Myers, GWB's erstwhile SCOTUS nominee and WH counsel.

I also recommend a vote for Libertarians Roberto Koelshch for TSC Place 2, Mark W. Bennett for the Court of Criminal Appeals (Place 7) and William Bryan Strange, III (Place 8), in lieu of any other opposition to the Republicans.

Following up with Harris County-specific contests later today.


Matt Bramanti said...

But the price I pay for living under the fascist theocracy that is the Republicans of Texas is what enables me to vote my conscience and my values.

Not a very effective fascist theocracy.

PDiddie said...

And yet an extremely high price... which may be the only thing inhibiting the efficacy of the institution. That, and its own incompetence (see: redistricting).