Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Democrats turned it up

Voters delivered their first forceful rebuke of President Trump and his party on Tuesday night, with Democrats exploiting Trump’s deep unpopularity to capture the governorships in Virginia and New Jersey and make significant inroads into suburban communities that once favored the Republican Party.

Gillespie, the former RNC chair and Bush-ite, went for the Trump faction without invoking Trump's name.  The Commonwealth wasn't going for it.  The race was close but not as close as the polling predicted.  Gillespie is a two-time loser after getting eked out by Sen. Mark Warner in 2014.

Northam isn't at all progressive, and almost fumbled this win away in the closing days, so to exceed polling expectations reveals a superior ground game.  In other neoliberal news, Goldman Sachs replaced Fat Bastard.

In New Jersey, Philip D. Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive, won the governorship, according to The Associated Press, by a vast margin that brought an unceremonious end to Gov. Chris Christie’s tumultuous tenure.

In both Virginia and New Jersey, voters rebuffed a wave of provocative ads linking immigration and crime, hinting at the limitations of hard-edge tactics in the sort of affluent and heavily suburban states that are pivotal in next year’s midterm elections.

The blue team extended the gains down the ballot in Virginia.

Democrats won legislative races across the Old Dominion, putting control of the House of Delegates—not generally expected to be up for grabs—within Democratic grasp. Bob Marshall, a particularly outspoken anti-LGBT conservative, was defeated by Danica Roem, who becomes the first openly transgender legislator in state and U.S. history.

The guy that introduced a bill that would allow anyone who held a Virginia state license to be able to refuse service, on moral or religious grounds, to an LGBT person ... was defeated by a trans person.  By ten points.  I believe that's called karma.

Once more from the NYT.

Representative Scott Taylor, a Republican from Virginia Beach, said he considered the Democratic sweep in Virginia a repudiation of the White House. He faulted Trump’s “divisive rhetoric” for propelling the party to defeat, and said he believed traditionally Republican-leaning voters contributed to Northam’s margin of victory.

“I do believe that this is a referendum on this administration,” Mr. Taylor said of the elections. “Democrats turned out tonight ... "

... and in many other states.  The diversity of those elected was heartening.

Seattle also elected their first female mayor since the 1920s, a lesbian.  And this:

Houston and Texas' ballot initiatives passed with flying colors.  There'll be a runoff in my HCC trustee race between the Republican-voting auto broker, Gene Pack, and my choice, Pretta VanDible Stallworth.  If you want more on the local angle you probably know where to find it.  Of greatest significance to me, hyper-locally, is the result in The Woodlands Township Board of Directors, Place 7, which was won by Carol Stromatt over incumbent Laura Fillault.  Here's the report:

Stromatt, who fended off a fake campaign flier falsely attributed to her and a barrage of robocalls from the Texas Right to Life PAC during the last week of the race, said she credited her victory to "integrity, hard work, [and] people who care about this community."


Fillault, who lost by 312 votes, was emotional after the loss and refused to comment for this article. The incumbent was ousted from office after serving only one term. Fillault had drawn unwelcome attention to herself in the past several months after posting a series of questionable Tweets on her Twitter account, using foul and abusive language towards other Twitter users.

The Woodlands, for anyone unfamiliar, is baboon's-ass red.  The Montgomery County Democratic Party lists Stromatt as a precinct chair.  She won 53-47 over the deranged Republican who drew support from MQS and the statewide anti-choice lunatics who played the baby-killing card.

That is yuge.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Lupe Valdez 'approached' to run for governor

She's 'listening'.

Four-term Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez is considering challenging Texas Gov. Greg Abbott next November. If she throws her hat in the ring, she'll be the first major Democratic contender for the governor's mansion in 2018. If Valdez wins, she'll be Texas' third female governor, first Hispanic governor and first LGBTQ governor.

"Too much of one thing corrupts, and I'm a strong believer in a two-party system," Valdez, who said she's in the "exploratory process" of planning a run, told the Texas Tribune. "I'm hoping that enough people are seeing that too much one-sided is not healthy for Texas."

She'd be a lifesaver for the Donks if she chooses to run -- she's got a free shot; wouldn't have to give up being sheriff* -- and she checks all the 'identity politics' boxes.  Except as a law and order Democrat, she's likely not all that progressive.  But she would motivate their core constituencies to get to the polls, and is candidly the only person with a real shot at upsetting Governor Helen Wheels.

More from the TexTrib.

Abbott and Valdez have a history. In 2015, they clashed over her department's policy regarding compliance with federal immigration authorities — an issue that later came up in Travis County, which includes the state capital of Austin. Those debates drove support behind the "sanctuary cities" bill that Abbott signed into law earlier this year. (That law is currently the subject of a legal challenge working its way through the courts.)


The filing period for next year's elections opens Saturday and ends a month later.

It's nut-cutting time and Valdez holds the clippers.  If she enters the race, watch for the landslide of D filers right behind her.  She'd be the rising tide for all of their respective boats.  Valdez thus has the whole world -- not mention the fate of Texas -- in her hands.

* The srikethrough-as-correction reflects the fact that county officials in Texas, unlike state senators like Sylvia Garcia, must 'resign to run' for another office under state law.

Monday, November 06, 2017

The Weekly Wrangle

With the weekly blog post and lefty news roundup, the Texas Progressive Alliance really encourages you to cast a ballot tomorrow -- because with turnout like this, your vote is going to carry a lot more weight than usual.

Off the Kuff looks at the third quarter campaign finance reports for Texas Democratic Congressional candidates.

Socratic Gadfly offers his detailed take about the bombshell Donna Brazile dropped on the Democratic Party.

An Astros fan almost since birth, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs posts his 56-year remembrance of growing up with the team and celebrating their first World Series championship.  And Houstonia has pictures of the victory parade, which 700,000 were predicted to attend, but officials estimated a million people showed up.

 Texas Vox patiently explains the difference between "weather" and "climate".

The TSTA Blog chastises educators who punish flag protesters.

jobsanger has the charts and explanations for the massive Latina pay and gender gap.

Jeff Balke eulogizes the Houston Press.

The Lewisville Texan Journal has news about that city's Vista Ridge Mall being acquired and repurposed as a live entertainment venue 7 nights a week (and still a mall).

Neil at All People Have Value attended a rally in Houston to call for the release of 10-year-old Rosa Maria Hernandez.  Rosa was seized by ICE lowlifes as she recovered from major surgery in Corpus Christi.  Thankfully the pressure on this issue for all over the country made a difference and Rosa has since been freed. APHV is part of


In other Texas news (and blog posts), just hours after the mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Think Progress reports that Attorney General Ken Paxton was on Fox News suggesting that more people bring their guns to church.

(Why can't Texas Democrats find anyone to challenge this guy?)

Energy Secretary Rick Perry made the ludicrous claim that fossil fuels were the key to ending sexual assault in Africa.  The Sierra Club called for him to resign "before he causes any more damage".

Grits for Breakfast lists six states that Texas should emulate when it comes to criminal justice reform and associated solutions.

Joseph Fanelli at the Houston Press saw Russian trolls behind both sides of a protest at an Islamic Center in downtown H-Town.

The Somervell County Salon finds a few recent examples of the church and the state collaborating on a few things, and complaining about it when they can't.  Rebuild that wall!

Juanita Jean at the World's Most Dangerous Beauty Salon has had enough of John Kelly.

Therese Odell at Foolish Watcher is all about Indictment Day.

Shea Serrano at The Ringer finally gets the allure of baseball.

The Current introduces us to the San Antonio Satan Fish.

And BeyondBones gives the science on vampires.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Sunday Fall Back Funnies

Seeing the Forest:

Voter suppression, coherent message telling voters how their lives will be better, authenticity so they know you mean it, listening to and appealing to all components and regions of the traditional Dem coalition, outreach to new voters, keeping the other side from rigging things like voting machines and voter registration lists and illegal donations and activities and interference like Russia and Comey, and then delivering for your constituencies in order to help the constituencies AND the next candidate who runs. (Thanks, Obama.)