Thursday, November 16, 2017

Gene Green gone. Can TX-29 do better?

Another little bit of scalding truth you'll never read at Off the Kuff.

Gene Green is one of the worst Democrats in Congress; very conservative and very corrupt, a pairing that you often find together. And he's retiring early. No realistic explanation why, since he's been raising money hand over fist all year. He raised $474,164 so far this year and has a campaign war chest with $1,272,398 as of the September 30 FEC filing deadline. TX-29 is a strongly blue district -- PVI was D+12 in 2015 and is D+19 this year -- and Obama won it in a walk both times. A 77% Hispanic district, it wraps around Houston (north, east and south) and includes much of the Ship Channel area, South Houston and Pasadena. Green has promised to help solve the endemic pollution problem at election time while taking massive bribes from the oil and gas industries the rest of the time and helping push through their agenda. He should have been replaced years ago.

The only Democrat brave enough to take him on this cycle has been progressive activist and public school teacher Hector Morales. Hector has been one of the few progressives challenging an entrenched incumbent conservaDem anywhere in the country, the toughest job in politics (please contribute to his campaign here). When the Republicans, with Green's help, passed a fracking bill last July, we asked him about Green's vote and he told us:

"This should not come as a surprise, as Gene Green is one of the founding members of the Congressional Oil & Gas Caucus along with Henry Cuellar and Vicente Gonzalez, to name a few. Green was also one of the scarce Democrats that voted in favor of the Keystone Pipeline... Perhaps the Congressman should look no further than the Manchester neighborhood, deep in the heart of the 29th Congressional District, where all the refineries are located. After all, the low-income, heavily Latino community has high rates of childhood leukemia, asthma, and bronchitis, an observation that has been backed up by data from the Environmental Protection Agency and the University of Texas, which found “unacceptable” levels of cancer-causing pollutants in Manchester’s air.
"Gene Green is nothing more than a corporate shill who has gotten away with representing the oil and gas companies while claiming to look after the well-being of the community he has sworn to protect. But with $260,000 worth of campaign contributions in this quarter alone from special interests, what more could you expect?"

As an editor's note, I performed several corrections, mostly of punctuation, to the above and added the embedded links that appear.

It will be worth watching Green to see if he doles out that money to some Democrats (and whether they're mangey Blue Dogs like him or somewhat to the left of that), or charities, or whether he just walks away with it.  Maybe Charles will do a spreadsheet for us.

Here comes more hot water.

The Houston Chronicle called Green "a fixture in the Texas Legislature and Congress for nearly half a century." What a terrible, terrible waste of a seat!

Until now, Green's longevity in city politics helped preserve Houston's status as America's largest Hispanic city without a Hispanic member of the U.S. House. Aware of that status, Green worked assiduously to serve constituent needs through job fairs, immunization drives, and town halls. He also worked to court the city's top Latino activists.

A pretty wretched bunch of opportunists jumped right into the race yesterday, starting with anti-charisma state Senator Sylvia Garcia and state Rep. Armando Walle, both Green disciples who seem to have had advance notice.

I actually think a little higher of both Garcia and Walle than DWT; they're both to the left of Green, though that bar is so low it's about three feet under ground.  Morales' biography might be too wordy for Chuck to get through, but let's give him credit for at least noticing Morales, even though he probably hasn't gotten a press release in his inbox.  DWT has been writing about Morales monthly since last July, as noted in the excerpt above.

Wrapping up the slapping of the Donkeys for this morning, I'll predict that Walle drops out* and re-files for his seat in the Lege before December 11, the last day to do so, and that Sylvia Garcia, not Adrian, ultimately goes to Washington.  Carol Alvarado does not enter this race**; she waits for Senator Sylvia's seat to open and runs for that (a special election perhaps not happening until the spring of 2019; Kuff is already offering his nonspecific speculation).  Clinging like remora to the future Congresswoman Garcia are her staff of neoliberal millennial trust fund babies, seeing a political future for themselves by staying in her orbit.

If I had a vote it would be for Hector Morales.  I just can't count on the citizens of CD-29 to be so enlightened as to send some fresh progressive blood to Congress.  Prove me wrong, please.

*Too easy.  If Charles read this blog he'd have known it, too, but he's reading Campos blogging about Dwight Boykins jacking off in front of everybody (figuratively only).

**Update (11/30): Prediction #2 comes to pass.


Unknown said...

Ah, PD, why ya gotta hate on my man Kuff like that? he asked semi-facetiously.

Yes, Chuck Kuffner's default position is Establishment Liberal, sometimes wavering into Progressive territory. I don't particularly care for his writing style or his habit of letting lengthy block-quotes dominate his posts. And he can't help rooting for the Yankees; it's a congenital disorder. However, we both know that, in the aggregate, his analysis is valuable.

I do hope that the primary race in TX-29 wakes up voters in that traditionally low-turnout district, and they pick a progressive willing to take on Big Benzene.

PDiddie said...

What's a little snark between friends?

Just between you and me, Dave, Kuff's blog is kind of unwoke and has not evolved much in the thirteen or so years it has 'continuously' been published. Yes, the TexTrib and the Chronic write 80% of his blog for him; he's writing the rest in his sleep. It's a template at this point. One day soon his 'tween daughters are going to take it over and nobody's even going to notice if they don't mention it.

He's copped to laziness before; this should not be interpreted as an insult. Just look at the blog roundup he posts (always on the jump page, mind you). Don't bother with that blogroll, either; at least half of those are dead links or haven't posted this year. He apparently no longer considers a Democratic candidate worth mentioning until he gets emailed a press release from them. Long before that, of course, it was all about how much money have they raised.

I promise you he's voted for more Republicans in years past than he has Greens. I don't know how liberal that actually could be defined as being.

He blogs for (mostly white) Democratic political consultants and the Democrats who want to be like them. That's fine as far as it goes, which isn't very far outside the Heights any more. Certainly not anywhere you could pick up a printed copy of the Houston Press (again, by his own admission).

Off THAT cuff, I thought I read something about the Greens deciding to shoot for ballot access next year. Is that right?

Unknown said...

The print edition of the Houston Press is now extinct, sad to say.

The Texas Greens' default position as of now is to pursue ballot access. GPTX doesn't have any money, no Republicans are coming out of the woodwork to fund the petition drive, the leadership is not shaking Republican trees, and there's currently a limited volunteer base. But there are plans in place to find/create more volunteers to collect signatures.

The odds against regaining ballot access for 2018 are extremely tall, and everyone knows it, but not trying would be (in my and others' humble opinions) grievous political malpractice.

Gadfly said...

David — the online edition of the Press, with stories only by freelancers, will probably be dead, or functionally dead, soon enough. When I saw that news, it gave me a start, fearing that the Dallas Observer had similarly shit-canned people starting with Jim Schutze.


Agreed on the ballot access issue. I'm out in semi-ruraldom, but, if nothing else, if a drive starts, and specific petition-signing times and places are publicized, I'll blog to pass on the info at a minimum.