Monday, December 11, 2017

More Texas Democratic progressives file for 2018

A continuation of the list begun last Wednesday.  Let's take them from 'best' to 'meh' (subject to further reveal on their part).

For Comptroller: Tim Mahoney.

From the bio on his website:

This is what the Austin Chronicle had to say about me on August 21, 2017: “He’s a Jim Hightower protégé who’s been a fixture for decades in Travis County Democratic politics and last year sued Austin Community College [ACC] (where he was once a trustee) after the administration barred Students 4 Bernie from running voter registration events and distributing political literature on campus.”

From my 6 years on the ACC Board, I can tell you that the negativity of the leading Republicans can be beaten. That power can be restored to people, but we need to focus on building local interactive relationships. Groups like Our Revolution, Left Up To Us, and the Democratic Socialists can provide the organizational mechanisms to lead the way. But building that interactive model requires all local groups to understand that building geographic relationships across the whole state is the only way that we can build the momentum to make the change that needs to be done.

[...] I was one of the chief notaries during the Texas Bernie Sanders presidential campaign petition drive, so I know something about a statewide race. We are running this campaign so we can win for Texas, and I would ask for your active support.

This is my kind of Democrat.

For Harris County Judge: Lina Hidalgo.

I'll be voting for the woman who goes to bat for immigrants and the incarcerated every single day over the corporate executive from out of state.  (I will say that her competitor is* was doing a great job cracking on Ed Emmett, though.)

*Update: Mike Nichols is out.

For TX-2: Silky Malik.

Jef Rouner of Free Press Houston (you might recall he was one of last year's Daily Jackasses) interviewed Malik recently, and honestly it reads as if he would really like to get a date with the candidate.  An apparently well-funded support base aside -- she had a campaign manager on board before Ted Poe resigned -- Malik is saying all the right (left) things.  I excerpted the following in this morning's Wrangle; it's worth repeating.

So how do you plan on turning this district blue?

There are two ways a person running for this seat can play it. The first is running a Republican-like campaign, play it close to the center. Maybe you’ll pull 20 percent of the Republican vote. Then you’re at a 50-50 toss-up. I’m definitely not that sort of person or candidate.

What we want to do is look at the largest group of voters, non-voters, and activate them. If nothing else, even if I don’t win but I get more people to give a crap about what’s going on, that’s a huge victory. It’s idealistic, but it’s very important. I think people are tired of these milquetoast candidates and why Democrats can’t win these freakin’ seats. They play it too close to the center. We’re not close to the center. We have no interest in being close to the center.

If I heard every single Democrat say that (and live it), I could consider being a Democrat again.

These next two profiles are strongly conditional to a greater fleshing-out of their stands on the issues, which I find a little thin as of this posting.

-- For Land Commissioner: Miguel Suazo.

From the Chron:
Miguel Suazo, an Austin-based energy-sector attorney who worked as an aide to former U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-New Mexico, said he will announce Friday that he is challenging Republican incumbent George P. Bush. Bush.

Suazo, 36, is the managing partner of Suazo Legal Group, a practice with locations in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado.

"I am running for Land Commissioner because I am qualified for the office and eager to bring new leadership to Texas," Suazo in a statement declaring his candidacy. "I represent small and large companies and also regular folks who need a job done. I know business and I know people ... I'm self-made, nothing's been handed to me. I intend to bring that approach to the General Land Office."

Suazo, a proponent of blockchain technology, said he may be the first candidate in Texas to launch his campaign using proceeds from Bitcoin investments.

"I am prepared to contribute money that I have earned by saving and investing, not that I got from some trust fund, and earn the rest through the grassroots support of the people of Texas by addressing issues important to Texans," he said in he statement.

More on blockchain here if you need it (and you will, sooner than later).  Blockchain and Bitcoin are symbiotic, but blockchain has many commercial uses beyond its value to the crypto-currency from which it was birthed. There's been a lot of news lately about Bitcoin as it has gone to the moon and back to Earth again in speculative worth recently; here's two articles, one somewhat positive, the other negative, that will help you understand what's up with that.

Suazo's website isn't live, he has Tweeted six times to 45 followers, his Facebook page has the Chron article and a little more, so that's what I linked to above.  This is a little weak for an endorsement.  Further, I'm not convinced that either blockchain or Bitcoin (or their disciples like Suazo) are all that progressive, but it's the future wave, and in order for the two technologies to serve the common people, they need advocates on the left.  Like Suazo.  Hopefully.

Anybody but Pee Bush (or Jerry Patterson) is the real objective here.  Those two goons will have a spirited primary refighting the Alamo siege or trying to get furthest right or whatever they do.

The same holds ...

For Harris County Commissioner: Sammy Casados.

Update: Casados also exited the race just before filing deadline, but there's a handful of others still in.  In a future post I'll screen them for progressive bonafides (or lack thereof).

They don't have to be very much left to be well to the left of former Harris sheriff Adrian Garcia.  There was never much on either Casados' website or Facebook page that told you where he stood on the issues, but he would have been hard-pressed to show up on the right of Garcia or the incumbent, Republican Jack Morman.

Garcia is not now, nor has ever been, anybody's definition of progressive.  As county sheriff he was an enthusiastic enforcer of 287(g), the directive that enabled state and local law enforcement agencies to act as front-line soldiers in the War on Immigrants.  When Garcia resigned to run for Houston mayor in 2015 and was eventually replaced by Ed Gonzalez in 2016, the new sheriff abandoned the practice, but without any noticeable change in how it was enforced.  Since Trump became president, 287(g) has been weaponized throughout the state of Texas.

Garcia also lost to Congressvarmint Gene Green last year in what turned out to be the portly neoliberal's last re-election campaign.  At publication time, Garcia's website does not load.

I'll watch Suazo and Casados pretty closely to see if he demonstrates himself to be the kind of Democrat I can or cannot ultimately vote for in March.  Today, as a block to whichever Roypublican emerges from the GOP primary, Suazo fits the bill, and like Hidalgo should motivate Latin@ turnout throughout Harris County and Texas.  That is critical to statewide Blue prospects next year.  I'm going to say it louder for those in the back: 2018 is a no-excuses year for Latino voter turnout.

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