Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Barrios-Van Os vs. Hinojosa

And something about patrón politics.  From the inbox, from the challenger.

I'm fighting for a Texas Democratic Party that is a party of the people, not a party of insider deals and anti-democratic machine politics. We have to be a true party of the people to inspire a majority of Texas voters to cast their votes for our candidates.

One example of what I'm fighting against occurred when Glen Maxey, a full-time paid Party staff member entitled Director of County Affairs, emailed a resolution to county and senate district party leaders before the county and senate district conventions asking the conventions to endorse Gilberto Hinojosa's candidacy for re-election as state party chair. As a full-time party staff member Mr. Maxey should adhere to strict neutrality in internal party elections, but that is not the case under the administration of Chair Hinojosa, who sees nothing wrong with using the party machinery as a personal political machine. When I was growing up in the Southside of San Antonio this is what people called patrón politics, and they didn't like it.

And now Mr. Hinojosa has sent all the convention delegates an email claiming that various senate districts have endorsed him, obviously intending to make the delegates think their votes have already been decided. But you have a free right to cast your delegate vote however you choose. Nobody can instruct any delegate how to vote at the Texas Democratic Party Convention, as Unit Rule voting is strictly forbidden by Texas Democratic Party Rules, Article IV, Section 4.e.: "The use of the unit rule or the practice of instructing delegations shall not be permitted at any level of the convention process."

When Mr. Maxey, on behalf of Mr. Hinojosa, asked senate district and county conventions to pass pre-emptive resolutions endorsing Mr. Hinojosa for re-election, the filing deadline to run for party chair was still in the future and I was still weighing the very serious decision of whether to run. When I saw this crude anti-democratic action coming from the state party leadership I decided I had to take a stand, because I have learned from spending my adult life as a grassroots activist this is the kind of thing that turns people away from politics. The simple fact is that our party itself must be a true model of democracy if we hope to make more people feel welcome in order to broaden our political base of support to win Texas back.

This is a fairly prominent point B-VO is making, in an alleged "Year of the Woman" in Texas politics.  And the most-clicked post in this blog's twelve-year history is about Gilberto Hinojosa.  I'll leave you to your current interpretations of that old news.

Eight years ago, in Fort Worth, Glen Maxey was the outsider running for TDP chair.  After Charlie Urbina-Jones and Kesha Rogers (!!) were eliminated in the first round, Maxey was the last man standing against Boyd Richie.  Richie had assumed the chairmanship ahead of the convention in an SDEC vote when Charles Soechting resigned early.  Maxey fell about 150 votes short in the runoff, with 46.5%.  Even worse, the Progressive Populist Caucus -- at that time one of the largest in the party, now defunct -- endorsed Richie, to the rage of some of us.

I blogged so much about the worthlessness of Richie as chair over the years that I didn't have the stomach to go pull them all out of the archives... but did get this one anyway, just for you.  When Richie resigned early a couple of years ago, the SDEC picked Hinojosa to be the chairman-in-waiting.  And Maxey is now the insider, trying to rig the game for the establishment incumbent.

See how this goes?  Patrón politics.

Party chair elections usually are not much more than a tempest in a teapot, and Barrios-Van Os lost to Hinojosa once already, two years ago.  So she has a long and tough row to hoe, even laying aside his multiple endorsements and inexorable incumbency.

The thing you really need to understand is that if the Texas Democratic Party were like the Republican Party of Texas, RBVO would have been elected two years ago in a landslide.  She's the base of the party, not the establishment.  She's from the Democratic wing, not the other corporate, conservative one.  So Texas Democrats are just the opposite of Texas Republicans in more ways than the obvious ones.

Whereas the base of the RPT -- the Tea Party -- exercises its clout over things like the platform, scares the nominees of the party into toeing their lines on immigration and the like... the base of the TDP is marginalized and dismissed.  The TeaBaggers may be insane, but they're still calling the shots, and the so-called sane Republicans cannot slow them down.  It's a testament to the power of voting: it doesn't matter how nuts you are, if you outyell and outwork everybody else, you can win.

If you really want to understand why we can't have nice things in Texas... this is it.  This.

This sort of bullshit is why progress always makes Texas its very last stop.  If you can't have liberal Democrats in the Texas Democratic Party, you can't have an effective Democratic Party in Texas.  The results speak for themselves.  Texas Democrats have spent decades trying to be Republican Lite, with nothing to show for it.  Harry Truman said it best.

A revision on the definition of insanity, courtesy Dr. Wayne Dyer, is that if you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten.  Texas Democrats, I'm looking at you.

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

Well put on where you're coming from, and why. As a Green-leaning "hybrid" myself, albeit one without Democratic Party activitism, I approve this message!