Texpatriate endorses Sylvia Garcia for SD06

It is with a heavy heart, and much contemplation, that I decide, against some of my better judgment, to weigh into this election. I vote in SD17, so I don’t really have a dog in this fight, thus I decided, at first, to stay out of the election. Before the initial election, I made no picks, and simply hoped that a Republican would not meander his way into the runoff. Well, that didn’t happen, and now, we have the ultimate runoff election on Saturday.

The two candidates, Carol Alvarado and Sylvia Garcia, are both Democrats, and most voters, counting myself at one time, thought of them as indistinguishable. Alvarado, as a State Representative and former City Councilmember, had the backing of larger proportion of the Hispanic community, including the deathbed endorsement of the late Senator Gallegos. Garcia, meanwhile, a former County Commissioner and City Controller, has the heavy support of much of the City establishment, as well as a few State Reps that must be dissatisfied with Alvarado.

Anyways, I didn’t see much in the part of differences between the candidates–that is, until today. Today, I read a startling article in BOR about Alvarado and Garcia’s donors. Naturally, I am dubious of anything coming out of an Austin blog, so I double checked. It’s legit. Alvarado’s money is coming from Bob Perry, the GOP mega-donor; Tort-reformers, and; loan sharks (aka payday lenders). Garcia’s money comes from typical Democratic sources, the Mostyns and Unions.

This reminds me of the 2008 Democratic Primaries, when Barack Obama was being underwritten by the big banks and insurance companies, but that is neither here nor there. Anyways, this, along with the fact that anti-Semite Larry Taylor is block-walking for Alvarado, is enough to turn me off from her completely.

If I lived in SD06, I would gladly vote for Garcia, to keep another elephant in donkeys’ clothing out of the Senate. It is my hope enough people agree with me.

In re Villarreal

From the San Antonio Express-News:

For Texas Democrats, the 2014 gubernatorial race looks much like last season did for the Houston Astros. They know they’re obligated to show up, but they’d just as soon skip ahead a few years until the picture gets a bit rosier.

Anyways, I thought that was funny. But the article goes on to say that Mike Villarreal is seriously contemplating running for Governor. Except I don’t really think that is true. As you may recall, BOR recently wrote something about possible gubernatorial candidates, including Villarreal. Except, as far as I could tell, they were just pontificating and guesstimating. And the Express-News doesn’t seem to have many other references besides the Austin blog. For what it’s worth, Villarreal seems to have a history of having a ginormous ego, thus, it isn’t too much of a stretch to see him pursuing higher office.

The Express-News did interview the San Antonio-area State Representative, and he reportedly stated being “tickled” by the Austin blog’s idea. But make no mistake, Villarreal got the idea from the blog, the blog didn’t get the idea from Villarreal. Villarreal went on to say that Perry “isn’t doing a respectable job,” and that “the right candidate” in 2014 could get the job done.

I’ll put him down on the election tab as a “maybe” for Governor.

Rejected Letter to the Editor, Houston Chronicle

To the Editor,

In a February 26th article, “Today’s the day: Democrats launch ‘Battleground Texas’ project to end GOP dominance,” this Newspaper forgot to inquire about one perplexity of the new project among Texas Democrats: the lack of feasible candidates for office. Indeed, even if the Texas Democratic Party receives coveted funds and organizational skills from national institutions, it will not help the state party’s dreadful inability to attract and recruit an abundance of strong candidates for statewide or otherwise higher office.

Battleground Texas does not mention any specific dates on its website for the foreseen Democratic victories at the statewide level. However, if they wish to make the 2014 statewide elections competitive, they have been woefully unsuccessful thus far in finding suitable candidates to challenge Governor Perry, among others. Other incumbents such as Greg Abbott, and political newcomers such as George P. Bush, will not be easy opponents for even a well-funded Texas Democratic Party, as long as Texas Democrats are not presenting viable alternative candidates.

Why has this Newspaper not questioned the feasibility of this project, given the current lack of Democratic candidates capable of winning elections? While it is true that state fundamentals are becoming increasingly friendly to Democrats, as we have seen in recent polling which shows Governor Perry losing in a theoretical matchup against former Democratic candidate Bill White, such gains will be squandered if poor Democratic candidates are chosen which, unfortunately, looks to be the case leading into the 2014 elections.

Thank You,

N.M. Horwitz
Boston, Massachusetts

What nobody is talking about

Let us say, arguendo, State Rep. Alvarado is elected to the Texas Senate on Saturday. Then, the question is who becomes the State Representative in the 145th District. I have not heard anyone talking about this, the Special Election that could be here by the summer, nor contributing any solid ideas to would run in this theoretical special election.

James Rodriguez seems like a possible candidate, given how strongly he has been supporting Alvarado in this election My two cents say Melissa Noriega would be a uniquely qualified candidate, seeing as that she represented the district for a term while her husband, who was the official representative at the time, was in Afghanistan. There are, however, a number of problems with that.

An election would not take place until late April at the earliest, and would be pushed to the end of May in the event of runoff, meaning that the newly elected Representative would have no time within the current legislature. Therefore, it could make some sense for a Rodriguez or Noriega to wait until the regularly scheduled 2014 election to run. The only problem is that there would already be an incumbent at that time, and incumbents are generally hard to knock off in a Democratic Primary (unless you are Sheila Jackson Lee).

Anyways, we can talk about this on Saturday if it is even necessary.

Kinky ’14?

Kinky Friedman, who was the quintessential Texas Jewboy before I was the quintessential Texas Jewboyis thinking about yet another run for Governor. Third time’s a charm. Now, I supported Kinky in ’06, and before Bill White entered the fray in 2010, I temporarily supported Friedman. I suppose that, if no one else except a few soft Republicans enter the Democratic primary, I could see myself supporting Kinky Friedman yet again.

Now, now, I know what people say about him. “He’s a racist. He’s a misogynist. He’s homophobic,” yada yada yada. For the record, Friedman supported gay marriage in 2005, back when the Democratic Party was still nominating homophobic bigots for major office. Further, people need to realize that Kinky Friedman is a comedian by trade, who sometimes used shock humor in the past. Of course he said some horrible things in the past, and they were wrong, but I have always maintained that actions speak louder than words, and Friedman’s actions are indicative of a strong Democratic candidate. If you want a candidate who genuinely supports gay rights, and not just because it is popular right now, if you want a candidate who will take a strong stance against the death penalty, and if you want a candidate who is unequivocally supportive of the legislation of cannabis, then Friedman might be your guy.

My Democratic intelligentsia friends will lambaste me over how “Kinky Friedman isn’t a candidate who can win,” but is any Democrat in 2014? I’m sorry to say, but the answer is simply no. At least a nominee of Friedman would finally put Texas Democrats on the map. Say what you want, Texas Democrats could do a lot worse…

Ben Hall has a website

Ben Hall has a website (see below), but, at this point, it is just a shell.

http://www.benhallformayor2013.com/

He also has a Twitter and Facebook page. His facebook page, [<http://www.facebook.com/Benhallformayor>%5D, has, as of this moment, 357 likes. His twitter page, [<http://twitter.com/benhallforall>%5D, meanwhile, only has about 42 followers. For the record, Annise Parker has 56,000 Facebook likes and 15,000 Twitter followers.

Perry and Battleground Texas

I’m back in the tundra, for both of y’all who are wondering. There is a big hype, all over the internets and the blogosphere (as President Bush would have called it) about this new organization called “Battleground Texas.” The catchphrase, last I remember, was for the State to be purple by 2016 and  blue shortly thereafter.

Recently, Governor Perry ridiculed the project as being “a pipe dream,” and stating that UT would change their colors to maroon before Texas changes its to purple, or–god forbid–blue. For what it’s worth, I think a reliably blue Texas is a bit of a pipe dream, and I have had it up to here about all these people living in the Austin bubble just assuming that it will happen because of demographics. I know that I’m a cynic, but I have always maintained the position that one should never underestimate the cunning of the GOP to lie, cheat and steal their way to victory, and one should especially never underestimate the sheer ineptitude of Democrats.

Before going all the way to la-la land where Democrats control TX like MA, we should be focusing on finding a competent gubernatorial candidate. My suggestion (actually Kuff’s) is Cecile Richards, but the fellas down at BOR don’t seem to be listening…

Chronicle endorses Alvarado

The editorial is out! The Chronicle has (surprisingly, in my opinion) decided to jump into this race and pick a candidate. Yesterday, the endorsement went to Carol Alvarado.

The Chronicle praised Alvarado for not being quite as confrontational with Republicans. This may have the unintended consequence of driving the left-wing voters to Garcia’s cause.  But anyways, there isn’t much to talk about.

 

Who is running for Governor, again?

Who is running for Governor, again?

I meant to write this a few days ago. Anyways, BOR had this obnoxious little piece about the gubernatorial candidates. The piece mentioned six gubernatorial candidates (three being defied “on deck” and three as “long shots”). Mike Villarreal (a San Antonio State Rep), Kirk Watson (a Austin State Senator) and Bill White are the ones who are “on deck,” as BOR puts it. Rafael Anchia (a Dallas State Rep), Wendy Davis and Julian Castro are the ones who are less-likely, I suppose. I have a few comments on this.

First, I cannot say that I am surprised that the Austinites have to throw a bone to one of their own. I really like Sen. Watson, for the record, and think he would make a good statewide candidate, but I cannot find any other site which validates this little factoid. However, I seem to remember a very-similar rumour in 2010, which turned out to be completely, totally and utterly false.

Second, I really would not call Bill White “on-deck” for a gubernatorial run, or really anything in politics. Again, I don’t know where they’re getting this info, but even the adults in Houston political blogging haven’t been talking about this. Even if there is some movement about White’s candidacy, I would not venture to call his odds in an echelon above Sen Watson or Mayor Castro.

Finally, most perplexing in my opinion, is how completely different these names are from the ones I’ve been hearing of recent in other blogs. Kuff has been talking about Cecile Richards, Henry Cisneros and Rodney Ellis, and BOR did not even touch upon it. I find this a little perplexing. I’ve had problems with BOR’s reliability in the past, and I generally will trust fellow Houstonians first and foremost, but that’s just me.

Okay, goodnight. Soaking up everything that is Houston right now, leave for Austin on Friday.

 

Kubosh et al is in

My plane lands in Houston tomorrow morning, I’ll be there for six days, and then Austin for two more.

Anyways, Michael Kubosh was on the steps of City Hall, announcing his intentions for Councilmember Noriega’s term-limited seat. I haven’t seen Michael since I interned at the Criminal Courthouse, but he is quite an interesting guy, so I expect this race to be a lot of fun.

According to the Chronicle article, Kubosh was flanked by prominent Republicans, including Chris Daniels and Allen Fletcher, as well as many leaders in the African-American community, James Nash and Quannell X. In short, if he ran for Mayor, he could very well expose all of Parker’s weaknesses at once–but more on that later. The article named a lot of names, including Chris Carmona, an attorney who ran against Noriega in 2011. Carmona will seek the seat again, and already has a website here. The GOP has claimed the guy, for the record.

The article also mentioned a few names for District A, District D and District I that I have not seen before. 5 to be exact. First, there is a woman named Assata-Nicole Richards, who is the Vice-Chairwoman of the Houston Housing Authority Board. Then, there is Georgia Provost and Keith Caldwell. I have never heard of these people, but I do not think that they have run for office before. I’ll go out on a limb and say that Richards is a Democrat (how many Housing board people are tea baggers?). A curosry search of Provost will show that she does some fundraising with TSU, specifically with El Franco Lee. Further, she likes a lot of Democratic officeholders on her facebook page, so I’ll label her a as well. Finally, Caldwell has this weird dead link with the HCDP, so it is probably safe to assume he is a Democrat as well.

In District I, Ben Mendez is mentioned. Mendez has a website. A quick search on the TX Trib will show that Mr Mendez has run for office twice before, both times in HD145. He ran in the 1998 Democratic Primary, when Diane Davila retired, ultimately losing to Rick Noriega. Further, he ran in the 1992 Democratic Primary for the seat, when Davila was first nominated.

Ronald Hale will be running for District A. Still ambiguous on this guy’s leanings, but he sounds like a Republican. Big Jolly has confirmed, too, that Mike Knox is a Republican.

I will update the election tab page, but this election season sounds like fun.

UPDATE: It’s MICHAEL. MICHAEL Kubosh, as Kuff so publicly point out. I read the Chronicle article, and then wrote this, pretty quickly on my phone right before I got on an airplane, so I am sure there are a few grammatical errors herein.