Showing posts sorted by relevance for query 2010 green party. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query 2010 green party. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The legacy of Boyd Richie (and by extension, the Texas Democratic Party)

In another discussion forum on the topic regarding the announcement this past weekend, someone noted that Texas needs a strong corporate-influence-free Democratic party so that when the Republicans completely frack things up, Democrats can fix the damage with meaningful reforms.

Yes. And I'd like to be able to shit glazed doughnuts.

A short history lesson is in order. Did you know that the reason for John F. Kennedy's trip to Texas in the fall of 1963 was to mend fences between rival factions in the Texas Democratic Party? In fact, the conservative wing of the TDP has been in charge since Lloyd Bentsen defeated Ralph Yarborough for Senate in 1970. Don't believe me? Would you believe Wikipedia?

The campaign came in the wake of Yarborough's politically hazardous votes in favor of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and his opposition to the Vietnam War. Bentsen made Yarborough's opposition to the war a major issue. His television advertising featured video images of rioting in the streets at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, implying that Yarborough was associated with the rioters. While this strategy was successful in defeating Yarborough, it caused long-term damage to Bentsen's relationship with liberals in his party.

Bentsen's campaign and his reputation as a conservative Democrat served to alienate him not only from supporters of Ralph Yarborough, but from prominent national liberals, as well. Indeed, during the 1970 Senate race, the Keynesian economist John Kenneth Galbraith endorsed George Bush, arguing that if Bentsen were elected to the Senate, he would invariably become the face of a new, more conservative Texas Democratic Party and that the long-term interests of Texas liberalism demanded Bentsen's defeat.

In the forty-plus years since that election, Texas Democratic voters became Reagan Democrats, then Republicans, and now TeaBaggers. (Really though, I'm just describing my dad, a union man who voted D all his life, until 1980).

We've had well over a decade of 100% GOP rule at the state level, including all nine seats on the state Supreme Court. As a result of last November's Red Tea Tide, Republicans hold a super-majority in the statehouse, and are one vote shy of holding one in the state Senate. Since 1994: Ann Richards to W to Rick Perry. Dems held the Texas House in the '90's but it slipped to the R's in 2003 (Tom Craddick was the first Republican speaker since Reconstruction). In 2006 and 2008 we slowed their roll in the legislative chambers, but that was all undone in 2010.

Pete Laney was the last Democratic speaker; Bob Bullock was the last statewide Democratic office-holder. You may recall he endorsed George W. Bush for president in 2000.

Now of course that's just elected officials. Most Texans couldn't care less about internal party politics, Democratic or Republick. They don't know the players; they don't even know the game(s). So once again, a little history.

Opinions on Boyd Richie's greatest claim to success during his tenure will certainly differ. Mine: he got those wiretappers at AT&T to sponsor a couple of TDP conventions. I have a nice canvas totebag to prove it. Do you know who occupied the chair before him? Charles Soechting. Before that? Molly Beth Malcolm. Before that? Bill White.

That's fifteen years' worth. See anything slightly progressive there? Now keep in mind, just in the past few years delegates did have progressive options. They -- we -- could have chosen Glen Maxey. Or David Van Os.

You may be one of the people who knew all this history. You may even recall that Soechting resigned a few months before the end of his term specifically to keep Maxey from getting elected. Me, I had forgotten that.

One other thing: the absolute irrelevance of the party chairmanship -- more broadly the serious and severe internal squabbling that seems to dominate party politics -- has not prevented one political party in Texas from dominating state politics. The Dems did so for decades before the Republicans. The RPT, of course, is rife with its own dissension (see: TeaBaggers), which again isn't hurting their franchise at all.

There's a painfully obvious point of which even the most casual observer is aware, and it is that this intensifying Texas conservatism is a generational trend and it just ain't a-changin' in my lifetime, and maybe not in your children's lifetime either. Maybe a more progressive option on the ballot -- specifically,  the Texas Green Party -- can begin to influence the Texas Dems to pull back from their starboard veer, but I'm not holding my breath on that.

So, as with Obama and his re-election campaign, I wish the gentlemen well who are running for the state chair of the TDP in 2012. But it's not like any one of them will be able to make a noticeable difference in the status quo.

This is a convenient and workable excuse for Boyd Richie's incompetence, in case you were wondering.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Schlonger he leads the race...

.. the more terrified the RNC gets.  Terrorism is, after all, the only thing that motivates Republicans, whether they are giving it or receiving it.  Bold throughout Jeff Greenfield's intriguing Politico piece is mine...

Donald Trump may have eased some Republican fears Tuesday night when he declared his intention to stay inside the party. But if their angst has been temporarily eased at the prospect of what he would do if he loses, they still face a far more troubling, and increasingly plausible, question.

What happens to the party if he wins?

With Trump as its standard-bearer, the GOP would suddenly be asked to rally around a candidate who has been called by his once and former primary foes “a cancer on conservatism,” “unhinged,” “a drunk driver … helping the enemy.” A prominent conservative national security expert, Max Boot, has flatly labeled him “a fascist.” And the rhetoric is even stronger in private conversations I’ve had recently with Republicans of moderate and conservative stripes.

This is not the usual rhetoric of intraparty battles, the kind of thing that gets resolved in handshakes under the convention banners. These are stake-in-the-ground positions, strongly suggesting that a Trump nomination would create a fissure within the party as deep and indivisible as any in American political history, driven both by ideology and by questions of personal character.

Indeed, it would be a fissure so deep that, if the operatives I talked with are right, Trump running as a Republican could well face a third-party run—from the Republicans themselves.

Shrillary fans, you should be able to sleep with visions of sugar plums dancing in your heads.  I know it's more fun to be angry at Sandernistas...

The history lesson continues.

The most striking examples of party fissure in American politics have come when a party broke with a long pattern of accommodating different factions and moved decisively toward one side. It has happened with the Democrats twice, both over civil rights. The party had long embraced the cause of civil rights in the North while welcoming segregationists—and white supremacists—from across the South. In 1948, the party’s embrace of a stronger civil rights plank led Southern delegations to walk out of the convention. That year, South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond led a National States Rights Democratic Party—the “Dixiecrats”—that won four Southern states. Had President Harry Truman not (barely) defeated Tom Dewey in Ohio and California, the Electoral College would have been deadlocked—and the choice thrown into the House of Representatives, with Southern segregationists holding the balance of power. Twenty years later, Alabama Governor George Wallace led a similar anti-civil-rights third party movement that won five Southern states. A relatively small shift of voters in California would have deadlocked that election and thrown it to the House of Representatives.

In two other cases, a dramatic shift in intraparty power led to significant defections on the losing side. In 1964, when Republican conservatives succeeded in nominating a divisive champion of their cause in Barry Goldwater, liberal Republicans (there were such things back then) like New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Michigan Governor George Romney and others refused to endorse the nominee. More shockingly, the New York Herald-Tribune, the semi-official voice of the GOP establishment, endorsed Lyndon Johnson—the first Democrat it had supported, ever. With his party split, Goldwater went down in flames. Eight years later, when a deeply divided Democratic Party nominated anti-war hero George McGovern, George Meany led the AFL-CIO to a position of neutrality between McGovern and Richard Nixon—the first time labor had refused to back a Democrat for president. Prominent Democrats like former Texas Governor John Connally openly backed Nixon, while countless others, disempowered by the emergence of “new Democrats,” simply sat on their hands. The divided Democrats lost in a landslide.

There was also Ted Kennedy's insurgent 1980 bid for the nomination against Jimmy Carter, and at the end of yesterday's post, I mentioned Connally, Allen Shivers and the Shivercrats who abandoned Adlai Stevenson in favor of Dwight Eisenhower, and Bob Bullock, who endorsed George W. Bush for governor of Texas in 1998 and for president in 2000, as he retired from the lieutenant governorship.  What we are seeing in 2015 -- and will see in '16 -- is an updated version of the same old shit from the duopoly.

Except maybe a little different.

Would a Trump nomination be another example of such a power shift? Yes, although not a shift in an ideological sense. It would represent a more radical kind of shift, with power moving from party officials and office-holders to deeply alienated voters and to their media tribunes. (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham have not exactly endorsed Trump, but they have been vocal in defending him and in assailing those who have branded Trump unacceptable.) It would undermine the thesis of a highly influential book, "The Party Decides", which argues that the preferences of party insiders is still critical to the outcome of a nomination contest. This possibility, in turn, has provoked strong feelings about Trump from some old school Republicans. Says one self-described 'structural, sycophantic Republican' who has been involved at high levels of GOP campaigns for decades: “Hillary would be bad for the country—he’d be worse.” 

Greenfield has more on Lyndon LaRouche, and David Duke, and a few other of the two parties' least desirable elements threatening the respective establishments.  My fascination, as you might imagine, is going to be with the potential independent 2016 presidential candidates.

... Rob Stutzman, another veteran of California Republican politics—he helped spearhead the 2003 recall that put Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Governor’s Mansion—foresees a third party emerging, both as a safe harbor for disaffected GOP voters and to help other Republican candidates.

“I think a third candidate would be very likely on many state ballots,” he says. “First of all, I think most GOP voters would want an alternative to vote for out of conscience. But Trump would also be devastating to the party and other GOP candidates. A solid conservative third candidate would give options to senators like (NH's Kelly) Ayotte, (WI's Ron) Johnson and (IL's Mark) Kirk to run with someone else and still be opposed to Hillary. In fact, I think it’s plausible such a candidate could beat Trump in many states.”

Any candidate attempting a third-party bid would confront serious obstacles, such as getting on state ballots late in the election calendar. As for down-ballot campaigns, most state laws prohibit candidates from running on multiple lines; so a Senate or congressional candidate who wanted to avoid association with Trump would have to abandon the GOP line to re-run with an independent presidential contender. The (Adlai) Stevenson example shows that leaving a major party line is fraught with peril—although the write-in triumph of Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski in 2010 suggests that it can sometimes succeed.

Two items worthy of note:

-- GOP Senators have quietly abandoned not just Trump but Ted Cruz (he doesn't play well with others, as we know) in favor of Marco Rubio, and the rumors of a brokered Republican convention are being discussed on Thom Hartman's radio program, where he has already advanced the postulate that Speaker Paul Ryan will emerge from the split, possibly with Rubio as running mate.

-- Christina Tobin of Free and Equal -- they sponsored the 2012 televised debate between the Green's Jill Stein, the Libertarian's Gary Johnson, the Constitution's Virgil Goode, (who recently endorsed Trump) and the Justice's Rocky Anderson -- has taken a ballot-access qualification job with an as-yet-unnamed independent candidate for president.  That candidate is rumored to be... Jim Webb.


R (a): Trump/Cruz, either/or at the top, maybe both together
R (b): Ryan-Rubio?
D: Clinton-Castro
G: Stein
L: Johnson
C: Possibly former Cong. John Hostettler
J: Poll on website asks if the JP should endorse Bernie Sanders 
I:  Webb
Other very minor party and independent candidates TBD

Won't this be fun?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Perry's top politico connected to Greens' Santa Claus

Matt Angle busts Dave Carney.

Documents obtained by the Lone Star Project reveal that Rick Perry’s top political advisor Dave Carney has a long and direct link to the manager of the Texas Green Party/GOP ballot scam. In 2004, Carney teamed-up with Texas ballot scam leader Tim Mooney to gather signatures to put Ralph Nader on the ballot in order to assist the George W. Bush Presidential campaign.

In 2004, Carney worked with a group called “Choices for America, LLC” which was “run” by Mooney – the same Republican operative who collected signatures for the Green Party of Texas in 2010. (Dallas Morning News, August 12, 2004) Both Choices for America, LLC, the shell group used in 2004, and Take Initiative America, LLC the shell group used in 2010, are registered to Charles Hurth III. (Missouri SOS)

According to the Dallas Morning News, “Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner said the governor's campaign had nothing to do with the petition-gathering effort.” It now appears that statement is likely not true.

That's a hell of a way to open your coronation weekend, Governor. And the Greens will now feel greater pressure to withdraw their petitions.

This just reeks all the way around. It's really a shame that the Green Party got manipulated in this fashion by the Republicans, but it's par for the course for goons like Carney.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The quandary of Lloyd Oliver for Democrats on the ballot

His lawsuit to remain on the ballot has the potential to be destructive for the Harris County Democratic Party's candidates and their November prospects.

On Friday, Houston attorney Lloyd Oliver filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the Harris County Democratic Party's attempts to oust him from the ticket.

"They're not going to put any candidate on the ballot. They just shut the whole thing down," Oliver said.

The lawyer called the move an attempt by party officials to disenfranchise voters.

"They are the elite of the Democratic Party. They trump the voters and that's wrong," Oliver said.

I mentioned earlier in the week that I didn't think this would damage races down ballot, but I have to rethink that. I see no percentage in Democratic candidates, especially judicial candidates, supporting Lewis and Martin Birnberg in this petty vendetta. Unless they -- those on the ballot and not in the backroom -- opt to distance themselves quickly from it.

See, Democrats are obviously one thing, and democracy is another quite different one.

You would like to see the members of the Democratic Party always supporting democratic principles, but the fact is that doesn't always occur. It's part (a small part) of why I cannot call myself a Democrat any longer. I can and will heartily support many Democratic candidates, but I will no longer fall blindly in line behind a party's orthodoxy. It has simply produced too much cognitive dissonance for me.

Most Americans agree with me, by the way. Since about half of all residents of this great nation do not vote in any election, it would stand to reason that they don't hold either major political party in high regard. Since about 40% of the remaining half of our countrymen vote for the Bloods, and about 40% vote for the Crips, that leaves a solid 10% of voters -- or 5% of all Americans -- who report themselves as "undecided" for the two gangs to fight over. That percentage, again very roughly, is approximately the amount of support minor parties like the Greens and Libertarians and Independents have generally shared in presidential elections past (only Ross Perot and George Wallace in my lifetime have been exceptions to this rule).

The daily skirmishes in that battle -- more tit-for-tat in my humble O -- is what the traditional media reports, via several outlets, on a 24-hour basis. Here is today's example.

It gets worse for democracy, as we know. Because of the Electoral College, that 10% of registered/likely uncommitted voters is scattered throughout a dozen or so "battleground" states, which is why the two Corporate Parties must raise and spend vast sums of money to pay for Corporate Media advertising in order to sway this small number of lowly-informed "undecideds".

Most Democrats and Republicans are, at this stage of the cycle -- about 60 days before the start of early voting, and about 75 days before Election Day -- turning their focus away from persuasion and toward mobilization. 'Get Out the Vote', as it is called. 'Let's get more of our people to the polls because there are going to be a lot of those nasty  _______ voting, and we've got to overcome that'.

The methodology of GOTV differs a bit between Republicans and Democrats; the GOP wants to keep their base in a perpetual state of fear and loathing while simultaneously making efforts to ensure that fewer folks get to cast a ballot, particularly those with a little extra pigmentation in their skin. Whereas Democrats want more people to vote, on the theory that many non-voters will vote Democrat... if they can be convinced to get up and go do it. In 2012 this premise is particularly valid.

A digression, but a necessary one to illustrate my point.

Fort Bend and Texas Democratic Party officials have disavowed two-time Congressional nominee Kesha Rogers, but none of them have tried to remove her from the ballot (yet). Way back in 2010 when this uncomfortable situation arose the first time, I assembled a few views in this post, the most eloquent by my friend, occasional co-poster, and former SDEC committeeman John Behrman.

One is left with the supposition that ignoring Rogers' call for Obama's impeachment -- while taking legal action against Oliver's favorable remark about DA Pat Lykos -- is just garden variety hypocrisy and not a decision made on any racial and/or gender considerations of the two candidates.

Ultimately the Dems are going to have to mitigate this away in some fashion (just as they did their legal efforts to keep the Texas Green Party off the ballot in 2010). If they lose it, Oliver has made them look incompetent; if they succeed, they appear wildly and discriminatorily undemocratic. In the short term it grows increasingly likely that this effort will cost them votes... and contests they might otherwise win in an Obama-turnout-swollen year.They cannot afford that.

Many undercurrents have trended in their favor lately: the inept Romney campaign; the choice of the controversial Paul Ryan as running mate; the policy positions of the top of the ticket that motivate seniors, women, and minorities, particularly Latinos, to support the Dems are just a few. The vast extremism of Texas TeaBaggers, from Ted Cruz and throughout the Congressional and statehouses races, has never been more apparent.

But this obnoxious, internecine squabbling turns off voters -- especially voters of the undecided, uncommitted variety -- to a tremendous degree. The Democrats look like childish siblings fighting over a trinket when they do things like this. And for a political party that is already on life support in Texas, it is just plain ridiculous, not to mention foolish.

This is to say nothing of the nonsensical choice to leave the District Attorney's race empty. Since they are meeting in county convention this morning, the assembly of precinct chairs could, if they were in agreement to do so, select another DA nominee.

All of this leaves Harris County Democratic candidates in an unpleasant quandary. Either they publicly disavow the actions of their party's chair and previous chair to arbitrarily remove a duly elected nominee -- one of their ticketmates -- over a technicality, or they try to ignore it (not a good option either, since silence is consent). I don't consider that publicly announcing support for Oliver against local party leaders is really an option.

Unless this matter resolves itself fairly quickly in time to smooth over the unpleasantries, other Democrats are going have to run away, hard, from this ill-conceived legal action on the part of Birnberg, Lewis, and Dunn, or else they stand to be tarred with the same broad brush.

That would be the brush with the oligarchic paint on it. Low-information, low-participation voters get this even when they have no idea what an oligarchy is.

Update: Charles very cautiously -- and maybe only slightly -- agrees. I also checked to see if there was any news made at yesterday's Harris County Democratic convention, but it looks as if the activities were limited to boosting morale.

Monday, October 19, 2020

The Election 2020 Wrangle from Far Left Texas

I'm throwing in some centrist viewpoints for balance.

TXElects has a great deal of analysis based on their internal models and posted outside its paywall. Excerpting liberally:

Trump is currently projected to win the state by 2 points over Biden, 50.5%-48.5%. He carried the state by 9 points, 52%-43%, in 2016. The projected 2020 margin is slightly tighter than Ted Cruz’s 50.9%-48.3% victory over then-U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) in 2018.

A total of 20 races’ ratings moved one column toward the Democrats:

  • President to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • CD2 (Crenshaw) to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • CD3 (Taylor) to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • CD31 (Carter) to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • HD64 (Stucky) to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • HD92 open to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • HD93 (Krause) to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • HD121 (Allison) to Toss Up from Lean Republican
  • HD66 (Shaheen) to Lean Democratic from Toss Up
  • HD67 (Leach) to Lean Democratic from Toss Up
  • HD112 (Button) to Lean Democratic from Toss Up
  • HD45 (Zwiener) to Likely Democratic from Lean Democratic
  • HD47 (Goodwin) to Likely Democratic from Lean Democratic
  • HD52 (Talarico) to Likely Democratic from Lean Democratic
  • HD102 (Ramos) to Likely Democratic from Lean Democratic
  • HD113 (Bowers) to Likely Democratic from Lean Democratic
  • HD129 (Paul) to Lean Republican from Likely Republican
  • HD150 (Swanson) to Lean Republican from Likely Republican
  • HD33 (Holland) to Likely Republican from Safe Republican; and
  • HD91 (Klick) to Likely Republican from Safe Republican.

The U.S. Senate inches closer to the Toss Up line but remains rated as Lean Republican along with the other statewide races.

The nine Republican-held House seats projected to flip to the Democrats are HD26 open (Miller), HD64, HD66, HD67, HD96 open (Zedler), HD108 (Meyer), HD112, HD134 (S. Davis) and HD138 open (Bohac). The four within a point of flipping are HD92 open, HD93, HD94 (Tinderholt) and HD121. The Senate seat projected to flip to the Democrats is SD19 (Flores).

The four Congressional seats projected to flip to the Democrats are CD10 (McCaul), CD21 (Roy), CD22 open (Olson), CD23 open (Hurd) and CD24 open (Marchant). The three additional seats within 1.2 points of flipping are CD2, CD3 and CD31.

Read on there, and don't miss "Echoes of 2010" at the end.  My personal O of Jeff Blaylock's news and views is that his bias leans toward establishment conservatism, but he is very fair and accurate.  A less partisan Joe Straus Republican, as I might best classify.  Or the reverse of Mustafa Tameez, if that helps.  So this is a very rose-colored snapshot for Texas Democrats coming from him, and very much in line with my own prognostications.  For you data nerds, Derek Ryan has his pie charts and bar graphs posted (.pdf) for last week's partisan and demgraphic EV analysis.

Turnout remained wowza through the weekend, which is where all this optimism is coming from, and if it holds, it's going to be a big blue wipeout for Team Elephant.

All of the state's counties are blowing the roof off, but Harris County ...

Guess who's complaining about long lines at their EV polling places?

Another guess what: Harris County's boffo vote turnout may STILL not be enough to get it done for Joe Biden and MJ Hegar (as both TXElects and I have already said).

So for all you Democrats still hoping for a clean sweep, it's time for you to get on your phones and text/call/email/browbeat/cajole/guilt your registered voter friends and family.

As of 7pm on Sunday October 18, 2020, according to GitHub’s U.S. Elections Project, only 3.8 million people in Texas have voted so far. 3,881,004, to be precise. This is no good. We have 16.9 million voters in Texas, so that means 13.1 of y’all still haven’t made it out.

According to the AP, thus far, Democrats have been outvoting Republicans 2:1, but that could change at any minute. We aren’t safe until every one casts their vote.

(What I like about Michelle is that she doesn't tear down the Green Party in relentlessly boosting the Blues.  She's definitely a VBNMW kinda person, but she focuses her considerable ire and wit in the right direction and not the left.  Her blog is must-reading for you Democrats in North Texas.)

John Cornyn keeps shitting his own bed, and I am here for it.

He doesn't dare debate Hegar again. He can't afford another beating.

Progressives and liberals: share the wealth!

And with lots more non-election/turnout-related posts and Tweets to come later in the week, I'll wrap this Wrangle here.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Earth Day and the Greens

Today's Climate Summit is being well-attended by global leaders and well-received in the corporate media, but like so many of Joe Biden's other initiatives, what he's offering is half a loaf.

And with respect to the climate crisis, we need everything in the bakery.

Platitudes R Them.  It's what Kamala brought to the ticket, it's what got Mayo Pete another job in government, and it's apparently what sustains the sycophants among the Donkey orthodoxy who are breathing easier, sleeping well, and brunching every weekend.  These compromises, like the $1400 stimmys, the still-not-enough $15 minimum wage killed by Joe Mansion and Kristen's Enema, the initiative to expand the Supreme Court that died at Nancy Pelosi's hand last week, and all the other things that would keep this sentence running on to infinity and beyond are leaving me with a very sour taste in my mouth again.

So I really didn't need to hear that Biden hasn't canceled the Enbridge #3 pipeline yet to know that there's a lot he'll give lip service to, but only so much he's willing to do.

Ed Markey and AOC have introduced Bernie Sanders' watered-down Green New Deal once more, to the expected huzzahs and hosannas.  They'll have to fight not only Pelosi and Schumer but MTG and Ted Cruz every step of the way, so it's performative, an art the Queen of Queens (and the Bronx) is burnishing of late.  Their highest hopes are by aiming low, maybe they can slip under the bar, much like old Joe himself.

I'm gonna take a hard pass on all of that.

Twenty twenty-two is the statewide cycle, which means that a whole bunch of Blue Dogs will try to show that they're not as bad as the TXGOP.  And our state media will focus on the Republican primary, because their self-fulfilling prophecy for about 30 years now has been that's the only election that matters.  Meanwhile the Permian farts methane like a small gaseous planet -- from fracking flares to uncapped, abandoned wells; the Amazon burns, our oceans are full of plastic and our air is full of carcinogens.  Does that sound like something we ought to keep doing?

If it is then you must be on the waiting list to buy a ticket on the first Elon Musk rocket flight outta here.  Good luck with that.

The pandemic, and the resulting economic slowdown, demonstrated that reducing our consumption of fossil fuels could heal the Earth.  But we're getting back to business now.  That's a death sentence.  Now a very wise man once said that repeating the same action and expecting a different result is a symptom of insanity.  So now you know why I will be voting for NO Democrats who don't indicate that they understand this simple logic.

In the case of Governor of Texas, the choice is easy.

David Collins interviewed her some time back, and she's got an active and engaged Tweet feed, so direct your questions there if you have any.

Don't expect her to get much publicity.  That's up to you and me, unless you think voting for a conservative Democrat again -- or Dishrag forbid, Matthew McConaghey -- and anticipating that person to defeat Greg Abbott is a smart idea.  (Hint: Abbott isn't going to lose a November election, no matter what that recent poll says.  If he gets upset in his primary, that Republican will win.  Which means Texas will have a farther-right-wing freak than him calling the shots.)

Even Rick Perry got re-elected running against another Republican and Kinky Friedman not so long ago.  And the other Republican, in this case, wasn't Chris Bell.  So you might as well vote for someone with some principles you believe in, as opposed to 'lesser evil', 'harm reduction', etc.  And maybe the Democrats will catch a clue and stop running GOP-Lite.

Maybe that last is too much of a stretch ...?

Friday, January 26, 2018

Part 4: The Resistance against The Revolution

(Parts one -- the Texas gubernatorial candidates, two -- Sema Hernandez versus Beto O'Rourke, and three -- the seven TX-07 candidates, my Congressional scrum -- posted previously.)

As much as I enjoy being mean to Democrats who insist on losing, their way --  destroying the party, alienating every potential ally under, or recently exited, their big tent -- Ted Rall always tops me.

Leftists want to change the world. They want peace, equal income, equal wealth, equal rights for everybody.

Democrats are not part of the Left. If Democrats have their way, the fundamental inequality of American capitalism, a system in which 1% of the people “earn” 82% of the income, will never change. Democrats apply identity politics as a distraction in lieu of systematic solutions to class-based discrimination. Democrats demand more women directors in Hollywood, more African-Americans admitted to Ivy League schools, transgendered soldiers in the military so they can join the slaughter of brown people in other countries.

Donald Trump represented a rare opportunity for the Left. After eight years of fascism with a smile, the American system got a figurehead as visually and tonally repugnant as its foreign policy (drones, aggressive wars, coups, undermining popular elected leaders) and its domestic reality (widespread poverty, crumbling infrastructure, no social safety net, for-profit healthcare and education). “Hey,” the Left could finally say, “the U.S. is a disgusting monster headed by a disgusting monster. Let’s get rid of that monster!”

It has become painfully apparent that Democrats have hijacked the anti-Trump Resistance.

This is going to really sting, Donkeys.

Definition of revolution: “a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system.”

At those very same marches, however, (establishment Democratic) speakers like Nancy Pelosi and Kirsten Gillibrand urged women to run for office (presumably as Democrats) and to support Democratic candidates (whether they’re women or men). Even if you think that is a beautiful and important idea, it is not revolution.

Running for office and validating the status quo by voting for major-party candidates is the exact opposite of revolution.

It gets worse in more specific ways from there, so if you're not already a Resister grinding your teeth -- or a Revolutionary nodding your head -- go ahead and click over and finish.

But maybe you dismissed Rall a long time ago.  If so, then you won't care what Ryan Grim and Lee Fang at The Intercept wrote about the DCCC's debacle in PA-16 as a microcosm of the problem, either.  The excerpt following doesn't do justice to the depth of the festering neoliberal cancer that has metastasized nationwide.

Christina Hartman, by the Democratic Party’s lights, did everything right during the last election cycle. She worked hard, racking up endorsements from one end of the district to the other. She followed the strategic advice of some of the most sagacious political hands in Pennsylvania, targeting suburban Republicans and independents who’d previously voted for candidates like Mitt Romney, but were now presumed gettable.

“For every one of those blue-collar Democrats [Donald Trump] picks up, he will lose to Hillary [Clinton] two socially moderate Republicans and independents in suburban Cleveland, suburban Columbus, suburban Cincinnati, suburban Philadelphia, suburban Pittsburgh, places like that,” Ed Rendell, the state’s former governor and titular leader of the state party, had predicted to the New York Times.

Hartman, with the energetic support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List, used her fundraising prowess to go heavy on television ads to drive her moderate message, confident that the well-funded Clinton ground game would bring her backers to the polls.

It did not.

Hartman was swamped by Smucker by 34,000 votes, badly underperforming even Clinton, who lost the district by about 21,000 votes. Trump and Smucker had indeed picked up some blue-collar Democrats, but not enough Republicans switched over to make up for the loss.

After spending $1.15 million in 2016, she had finished with 42.9 percent of the vote. In 2014, a terrible year for Democrats, a little-known Democrat spent just $152,000 to win almost the same share, 42.2 percent of the vote.

In July, Hartman announced she would make another run at it in 2018.

She quickly found the support of the state’s Democratic establishment, led by Rendell. “I’m proud to support her run for Congress in 2018. With her track record of success, we can count on Christina Hartman to show up for the people of PA-16 and to be part of the solution to end Washington gridlock,” Rendell said.

Along with Rendell came failed 2016 Senate candidate Katie McGinty ...

And on it goes.  Down With Tyranny (you won't like this, either, establishment Dems):

If you've been paying any attention since around 2006 or so, DWT has been blasting away at how the DCCC, and the Democratic establishment in general, rigs primaries against progressives in favor of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party -- Blue Dogs, New Dems, "ex"-Republicans, self-funders, anti-choice freaks, homophobes... the whole panoply of candidates who make voters scratch their heads and say "what's the difference?" Nothing deflates turnout from the Democratic base like the DCCC and EMILY's List and associated groups offering a lesser-of-two-evils strategy. It doesn't work, but the DCCC is incapable of learning the lesson. Sure, their shit candidates can be sometimes swept into office -- as they were in 2006 -- but in the next midterm they are invariably swept back out of office (as they were in 2010) when Democratic voters realize they've been tricked -- and stay home in droves.


The DCCC still blatantly lies about not getting involved in primary battles. They do it every day and in every way. And the whole purpose is the kill progressives in the cradle. Their own Red to Blue website currently lists 18 crap candidates they are backing, almost all of them also backed by the New Dems and/or the Blue Dogs and almost all of them in hot races with progressives. As Grim and Fang reported, "the Democratic Party machinery can effectively shut alternative candidates out before they can even get started. The party only supports viable candidates, but it has much to say about who can become viable."

Look for the Emily's List-endorsed candidate in a Congressional race, and more often than not you'll find a conservative, corporate Democrat ready to blow lots of cash and lose.  (In TX-07, that candidate is Lizzie Pannill Fletcher.)   The DCCC claims neutrality using the same reverse psychology that Ajit Pai and Ted Cruz do with regard to the Internet.

In Texas, where everything -- especially the Democrats' losing streak -- is bigger, over the past quarter century Team Blue has managed to nominate bold progressives (LMAO) like Victor Morales, Gene Kelly, Ron Kirk, Paul Sadler, and David Alameel for the US Senate; and Tony Sanchez, Chris Bell, Bill White, and Wendy Davis for governor.  In 2018 the Democrats' nominees are once more being pre-selected well in advance, and strictly on the basis of how much money they have raised, by the corporate media and party and labor bosses.

Pass.  Not falling for that banana in the tailpipe thing again.

Sadly, it gets worse.  Case in point: even with every single card in the deck already stacked against her, US Senate candidate Sema Hernandez has attracted a crew of Resistance smear merchants working overtime.

You'll need to click on these to read them clearly.

I have about 15 more screenshots of this thread.  I like to know who my enemies are.

So let's review.  If you're the kind of Democrat ...

-- That thinks Russia hacked the election (nope, still no proof);

-- That wants to see Trump impeached (ain't hap'nin' unless you flip the House and Senate, and that ain't hap'nin' if you're spending all your time hating on Bernie Sanders and all of his supporters who #DemExited last November;

-- Thinks a "deeply, personally" pro-life elder in his Presbyterian church -- which harshly condemns homosexuality and gay marriage -- who sees no conflict in his personal views and how he might govern; who holds no experience in government save being the son of a former governor (but does have the ability to self-fund his race) is a front runner for the 2018 gubernatorial nomination;

-- That supports a three-time loser running for TX-07 who still doesn't live in the district, and still proudly supports fracking ...

-- That thinks hosting Nancy Pelosi as keynote speaker for the county party's most important fundraiser was a great idea;

-- That is making excuses for Chuck Schumer, et. al. as they leave DREAMers twisting in the wind again, and again, rather holding on to that silver lining ...

... then you're part of the Resistance.  Or as some call it, the McResistance.

I'm still going to give your nasty party one more chance this year ... despite the fact that you pretty much hate me and everybody who thinks like me.  But those second chances have breaking points.

And without something on the order of 10-15% of your former base vote, you're probably not flipping anything in November except your wig.  Again.  You gonna blame Jill Stein and the Green Party for that?  Again?

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Weekly Wrangle

Update: As this week's Wrangle was about to publish ...

Some members of the Texas Progressive Alliance -- and many of its readers -- attended the Texas Democratic Party convention last weekend, and the news, blog posts, and Tweets in this week's roundup reflect the variety of takes and takeaways from Fort Worth.

Lily Seglin, Houston Chronicle: Dems have momentum but no coherent narrative to sell

Christopher Collins, Texas Observer: Texas Democrats want to turn out rural voters, but what’s their plan?

At the convention on Friday, Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa told more than 100 attendees at a rural caucus meeting: “Until we start doing better in rural Texas, we can’t win statewide elections.” He’s right, of course, but everyone in the room already knew that. What he didn’t say — and what no one else seems to know, either — is how to actually get rural Texans to vote on the Democratic ballot.

Gromer Jeffers, Dallas News: After passionate convention, Democrats look to sway average Texas voters

The Texas Organizing Project, a progressive group, estimates that Republicans have 850,000 more voters in the Texas electorate than Democrats.

("Average Texas voters", as everyone understands, equals conservatives, regardless of party affiliation, previous voting activity, or lack thereof.  This blog is on record -- and will continue to emphasize -- that the strategy of chasing GOP votes ("moderate", "disillusioned", what have you) espoused by Texas Democratic candidates up and down the ticket, has demonstrably and historically been a losing one.  Growing the electorate by GOTLV, and strongly advocating for progressive principles, will be key to any victories.)

Beto O'Rourke, the candidate upon whose shoulders the heaviest hopes lie for breaking the party's 24-year old losing streak, repeated his message about appealing to Republicans by phrasing it as "showing up".  Erica Greider is saying there's a chance this can work.


Texas Democrats re-elected Gilberto Hinojosa as party chair despite the fact that the long-awaited Latin@ surge at the polls has become something of a 'Waiting for Godot' affair.

... Democrats are scrambling to keep Hispanic turnout from receding from general election levels to 2014 levels. The focus on family separation was also coupled with desperate calls from the party’s Latino leaders to awaken the so-called sleeping giant that is the Texas Hispanic electorate.
I don’t know what we’re gonna do, but we have to wake up the sleeping giant. Kick it, throw water at it, put five-alarm clocks. I realize some of us are hard to wake up in the morning, but this is ridiculous. We gotta get that sleeping giant up,” Valdez said at a convention forum Saturday morning, according to Texas Tribune reporter Patrick Svitek.

The notion that Texas Latinos are a “sleeping giant” when it comes to potential political power has been around for a long time. Here, for example, was the cover of an issue of the Observer from 1969.

If they have any chance of coming close to winning a statewide election in 2018, Democrats will need a massive increase in Hispanic turnout. The problem so far, though, is that the party doesn’t appear to have a plan to do so.

John Coby at Bay Area Houston, blogging as busily as he has all year, whined about "the far left" and Our Revolution in his convention wrap, laughed as state Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Baytown) got thrown out of the Fort Worth Convention Center, and was apparently the only person he heard mention Trump all weekend.  (John's wit is overflowing his toilet again.)

The Texas Tribune's Patrick Svitek picked his five biggest takeaways, but none of them were Latinx turnout, and unlike John Coby he heard lots of anti-Trump sentiment, particularly from Houston Congressman Al Green.

Grits for Breakfast has the details on the criminal justice reforms undertaken in the Texas Democratic Party platform.

(T)he Democratic platform had not significantly embraced a reform mindset on criminal-justice in years past. Now they're suggesting cutting edge reforms and distinctly new approaches. For example, "Treating drug use as a public health challenge rather than a crime," and "Reducing possession of small amounts of controlled substances to a misdemeanor, even when it is a repeat offense."

(Failing to call for the legalization of cannabis, not just the medicinal forms, is a squandered electoral opportunity for the Donkeys.)

Dr. David Brockman, covering the convention for the Texas Observer, attended the Secular Caucus and has some ... observations.

“The future of American voters is secular.”

So said Sarah Levin of the Washington, D.C., nonprofit Secular Coalition of America, speaking to a standing-room-only crowd at the Texas Democratic Party Convention in Fort Worth Friday. The occasion was the second-ever meeting of the Secular Caucus, a Democratic group aiming to represent the legislative agenda for roughly 6 million nonreligious Texans.

Levin’s prediction probably overstates the case; religious belief in America isn’t going away soon, if ever. But the enthusiastic turnout of about 250 delegates, coupled with candidates’ growing willingness to identify as secular, points to what may be a turn in the political tide — even in religious-right Texas, where the state constitution still mandates that officeholders  “acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.”

Look at the second picture at that link and you'll see Ted from jobsanger in the foreground, who had to argue with party officials for his media credential in order to blog the conclave.

Moving on from TDP convention reporting, the crisis of migrant family separations at the southern border enters its third week.  Reuters has long-range overhead photos of the tent city in Tornillo.

Down With Tyranny says 'follow the money', in an understatement about why this disaster of capitalism continues.  News Taco points to Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) as one of Congress' largest beneficiaries of campaign cash from the GEO Group, one of the many companies profiting on child detention.  Another is Southwest Key, which plans to operate the 'baby jail' being proposed in Houston.  In framing that would make George Orwell spin in his tomb, the company's CEO described its operation as "daycare".  One of SW Key's employees was found to have an arrest record involving child pornography.

Ernesto Padron worked at Austin-based nonprofit Southwest Key’s Casa Padre shelter last year, where, as a case manager, he had direct access to unaccompanied immigrant minors. He had previously worked as a Border Patrol agent until his resignation in October 2010, when he was arrested in Brownsville for alleged possession of child pornography, a second-degree felony, according to the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office and publicly available Cameron County criminal court records. His case was later dismissed after a years-long case backlog allowed the statute of limitations to expire.

There are severe mental health-related ramifications associated with forcibly removing young children from their parents, and that does not include instances where the children have been injected with psychotropic medications, as has happened at the facility in Manvel, TX operated by Shiloh, a company that has already received millions in federal dollars to detain migrant children.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and several city council members have declared their opposition to SW Key's proposed operation in the Bayou City, but Sam Oser at Houston Press Free Press Houston has uncovered a very cozy relationship between the City and the owner of the building who is leasing it to Southwest Key: David Denenburg of 419 Hope Partners LLC, a real estate mogul well-entrenched in H-Town's political and social circles.

Finally, there are nationwide protests against Trump's family separation policy scheduled for this Saturday, June 30.

And in other news ...

Texas Vox's Citizen Stephanie went to Washington to testify against the EPA's roll-back of the Chemical Disaster Rule.

Downwinders at Risk reports on the state's first permanent smog monitor overseen by civilians, up and running in Wise County.

Stephen Young at the Dallas Observer wonders what comes next after the Texas Supreme Court nullified Laredo's plastic bag ban, and thus several similar laws passed by other Texas cities.

The public hearings in association with the plans to reimagine Alamo Plaza were loud and unruly, as reported (in somewhat irritable tone) by the publisher of the Rivard Report.

Red meat allergies are on the rise due to bites from Lone Star ticks, and their range is expanding in the US, reports NPR.

Socratic Gadfly talks about why, if the unemployment rate is so low, there aren't more jobs out there.

H-Town's PRIDE Parade was once again off the chain.

And Jef Rouner goes behind the bones at the "Death by Natural Causes" exhibit at Houston's Museum of Natural Sciences.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The mess is here.

A sad yet brutal truth about our beloved Great State, the 17-year one-party Republican rule of it, and the state of the opposition. The Texas Tribune:

In recent weeks, an idea of Houston attorney Geoff Berg's turned into a Facebook page and then became a website that he hopes might spark a movement. The message: "Draft Tommy Lee Jones for Senate."

Berg, a left-leaning commentator and host of the radio show Partisan Gridlock on KPFT, says he is "absolutely serious."

"I can't think of another Democrat in Texas," Berg says, "that has the necessary name ID, that has positive name ID, that would be able to raise money, and that would have at least the potential to attract swing voters and a substantial number of Republicans."

Berg says he would "love" to see former Comptroller John Sharp or former U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards replace retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. The only problem, he says, "neither one of them can win, and I'm certain they know that."

As the Trib notes, Berg hosts "Partisan Gridlock" on Houston's KPFT radio and is accurately described as a political southpaw with a mostly low opinion of the Democrats in general and the Texas Democratic Party specifically. He floated this idea three weeks ago in his blog post at the Chron. Continuing with the Trib...

Assuming Berg's right, does that say more about Jones or the state of the Democratic Party? "It probably says a lot about both," Berg says, "and it also says a lot about the state of our politics."

So far, Berg does not believe the Republican field for 2012 is particularly inspiring either — but "whatever right-wing extremist they nominate is going to waltz right in if the Democrats don't have a credible candidate."

A legitimate Democratic star could change that, he believes. Think of it this way: the three-plus minute YouTube video former Republican Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert released after jumping in the race doesn't hold a candle to Jones' The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.

To make this point, Berg recently released a YouTube video of his own:

Berg is, as usual, dead solid perfect in his analysis. The Texas Democratic Party is in the same shape as the California Republican Party: impotent, toothless, and all but extinct. There's lots of excited liberals and progressives throughout Texas -- just look at the rallies taking place yesterday and next Tuesday --  but the TDP has spectacularly weak management at the top, little money, less enthusiasm, and no improved prospects for the future. All that after seventeen years of 100% Republican rule at the statewide level, all nine SCOTX justices, and in the wake of the 2010 Red Tea Tide, near-supermajorities in the Texas House and Senate. The Texas Green Party achieved ballot status for 2012 based initially on the impotence of Boyd Richie failing to recruit a candidate to run for Comptroller in 2010, an inexcusable mistake (yet he continues to head the TDP to only the most perfunctory objection and with nothing but a handful of opposition).

Personally I support a Jones candidacy for all of these reasons, but deplore the Schwarzneggar-ization of American politics. The only way the CA GOP managed to get someone in the governor's office was to recruit a movie star, and he was of course an epic failure. Every time a famous person's name gets floated for office anywhere, it makes me cringe.

Still, seventeen years wandering in the desert is too long. It's past time for a saviour, and Jones will do until one gets here.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Don Boates (AL#1) caught working both sides of the street

More of this crap again.

Houston City Council candidate Scott Boates is listed on the Harris County Republican Party Web site as one of three GOP contestants for At-Large Position 1.

Texas Conservative Review editor and former county GOP chairman Gary Polland says that isn’t so, though, and has provided a link to a YouTube site in which Boates tells a Democratic group that he is a sustaining member of the party.

So which is it? Both, Boates said.

“I joined both parties this year as part of this run for office,” Boates said.

Let's look past Scott Boates and his disingenuousness for a moment. Polland is either stupid or lying, probably both. On the Harris County GOP website -- the same party he was chairman of -- it plainly says:

Party affiliation (based on latest primary vote) will be provided for your information
(i) Incumbent   (R) Republican   (D) Democrat  (-) No Primary vote found

Not real sure who Polland thinks he's fooling here. Boates, incumbent Stephen Costello, and perennial candidate James Partsch-Galvan all have a bold 'R' beside their name. In addition, Boates is listed as a Republican Leadership Council member, which is defined as "those elected officials and candidates who provide generous financial support to the Harris County Republican Party". There is a link to an application to join the RLC there; its minimum contribution level is $1,000.

By contrast, the Harris County Democratic Party's sustaining membership entry level is $150.

So Boates gave at least a thousand bucks to the HCGOP and voted in their most recent primary in 2010, and gave at least $150 to the HCDP. Which party do YOU think he belongs to? Pay no attention to his words; just look at his actions.

Incumbent Stephen Costello of course is playing the same game. From my post less than two weeks ago:

Costello, a civil engineer made wealthy on municipal contracts long before he was first elected to Council two years ago, allegedly bragged recently to the Pachyderm Club that his own drainage assessment was coming in well below the city average. As in about a third of the city's now-revised average of $8.25. On his $300,000+ HCAD-assessed domicile.

You have your choice of three Republicans -- at least two of which are congenital liars -- or one Green in At Large #1.

Boates, Costello, and Bolivar Fraga in AL#2 put the "tick" in politics, telling everyone they meet only what they want to hear. To a lesser degree, Mayor Parker is doing the same thing.

And this gives me the only opportunity I will ever take to say something nice about Eric Dick: at least he isn't pretending to be a Democrat.