Texpatriate endorses in CD7

In previous editorials, this board has lamented the sorry state that Congress is in today. Invariably, we criticized the Republican majority for their hypocrisy, malice and obstinate attitude. We think Congressman John Culberson of the 7th District exemplifies all three of these poor qualities, and that voters would be wise to toss him out of office in favor James Cargas, the Democratic candidate.

In this western Houston suburban district, which was once held by former President George H.W. Bush at the start of his political career, Culberson has held office in 2001. Previously, Culberson served in the Texas House of Representatives for fourteen years.

Now, if you were not aware that Culberson has been present in Houston politics for well over a decade, you would be forgiven. Culberson apparently no longer lives in Houston, given how little time he actually spends in the district. Nor is his participation in Congress especially noteworthy; in his seven terms in Congress, he has only introduced a handful of bills, and even fewer have actually gone anywhere of consequence. As Texas Monthly would call it, Culberson’s level of participation in the political process is virtually indistinguishable from his tables and chairs.

Of course, when Culberson does participate in the process, it isn’t much better. Perhaps the most infamous example of Culberson’s meddling is with the expansion of the Metro Light Rail on Richmond Avenue. Despite overwhelming community support, Culberson has stood in the way of expansion for the needed mass transit project. He cloaked his small-minded opposition to mass transit as faux-grassroots support of the community. Culberson has even taken this position to its absurd extreme by passing a specific amendment in a transportation bill that denies Federal funding for the expansion project, an action that even drew the ire of fellow Republican Congressman Ted Poe.

And, it almost goes without saying, this board strongly disagrees with many of Culberson’s core political views, including those on social policies, immigration and foreign policy.

Considering all these grievances we have with Culberson, it was a welcome respite to find such an experienced, qualified and sensible opponent in James Cargas. An attorney with the City of Houston, Cargas has a broad background in Oil & Gas that makes him an ideal representative for the centrist district. Furthermore, Cargas shows an expansive and impressive breadth of political knowledge on the pertinent issues. We thoroughly believe that he is more than ready for prime time.

We agree with Cargas on Metrorail expansion, as well as the typical laundry list of political flashpoints. However, perhaps most importantly, we think that he would be an amazing communicator with his prospective constituents, a very welcome change from the incumbent. In a possible Cargas tenure, the people –and not the special interests– would be put above all else.

The residents of District 7, including three members of this board, have a very simple choice to make. Either continue along with a Congressman that shows minimal-effort and maximum-malice on most issues, or pick an alternative that does not. We are wholeheartedly going with the latter.

The Texpatriate Editorial Board is comprised of Noah M. Horwitz & Olivia Arena of Austin, George Bailey of Boston, Luis Fayad of College Station and Andrew Scott Romo of New Orleans. Editorials represent a majority opinion of the voting board.

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Culberson goes on a racist rant

Roll Call magazine, a very trustworthy source, reports that Congressman John Culberson (R-Houston), my home representative, has gone on an appalling rant of breathtakingly offensive proportions. According to a House staffer who leaked the story, Congressman went off on an elevator ride in between meetings when he lamented the fact that museums were being built to commemorate African-Americans or Latinos. Per his reasoning, since there was no Federal Government memorial to Czech-Americans, it would be unfair to dedicate museums to drastically unappreciated and ignored portions of our history (this is a little inaccurate, as Texas itself is riddled with Czech museums, including one just down the road from his constituency). This reminds me of the oft-repeated, pseudo-racist claim that there should not be a Black History Month since there is no White History Month.

Furthermore, Culberson sarcastically stated that a museum honoring the struggles of women in this country could be “OK” if only because “it’s important for little girls.” The comments appalled the staffer, who quickly called into Roll Call remaining anonymous. He was appalled that such a narrow worldview would be advanced by such a man as Culberson, a public servant who has been entrusted to represent all of his constituents.

Click here to read the full implications, including comments by his opponent!

A few initial thoughts

Just to sum up the results for those of y’all who have not been paying much attention to things, I will recap some of the big things that have happened. First, the expected winners were, by and large, the winners on Tuesday night in Statewide elections. Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis won their respective bids for Governor, John Cornyn easily beat back challengers for another nomination to the Senate, George P. Bush got the GOP nod for Land Commissioner and Stephen Brown got the Democrat nod for Railroad Commissioner. All three incumbent Supreme Court Justices who saw right-wing primary opponent were able to easily prevail.

In a few other races, the expected result happened, but in a very different manner. This was largely due to the fact that the Texas Tribune poll released about a week ago was total garbage. It was not worth the fictional paper it wasn’t printed on, to quote a friend. In these races, David Alameel and Kesha Rogers indeed will proceed into a runoff for the US Senate Democrat primary, as will David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick for the Lieutenant Governor Republican primary. However, the Tribune poll seriously miscalculated who would come in first and by how much. Instead of Rogers holding a commanding plurality lead, she hovered near 20% while Alameel was just a few perilous points so close to winning outright. Instead of the preconceived notion that Dewhurst would receive 40-something percent compared to Patrick’s 20-something, the roles were reversed.

Click here to read more!

Texpatriate endorses in CD7 Primary

We are not fans of Congressman John Culberson (R-Houston). In addition to being mean-spirited and ignorant of many of the most sensitive issues facing our country (and his district), he is just a lousy congressman. From being nowhere to be found throughout his district to introducing just a handful of bills throughout his long tenure in office, he is definitely one of the most unaccountable officeholders in the Houston areas. Irrespective of one’s political views, we believe one would be hard pressed to not acknowledge that countless men and women would do the job better than Rep. Culberson.

Unfortunately, Rep. Culberson did not draw an opponent in the Republican primary and the district is so heavily gerrymandered that Democratic victory in the general election is close to impossible. That being said, we believe there is only one candidate with the needed experience and skillset to run a competent campaign against the incumbent. This board strongly believes that candidate is James Cargas.

A lawyer with the City Attorney’s office, Mr Cargas has strong expertise within the government, and provides a working knowledge of exactly what a Congressperson would do. We believe, if elected, he would require no “on-the-job” training, so to speak. In comparison, Mr Cargas’ opponent, Lissa Squiers, has concerned us with some rookie mistakes she has made on the campaign trail.

Click here to read the full endorsement!

CD7 Primary spat

In Harris County, there are very few contested races in the Democratic primary. One of the big exceptions is in the 7th Congressional District, currently held by Congressman John Culberson. The district, a longtime Republican stronghold once held by George Bush, stretches from Jersey Village to Meyerland. In 2014, there will be two candidates vying to face off against Culberson on the Democratic line in November: James Cargas and Lissa Squiers. Both ran in 2012, and after knocking out a third candidate, advanced to a runoff election. Cargas defeated Squiers in the primary runoff with 58% of the vote, before going on to lose to Culberson in the general election by the lopsided margin of 61-36. Needless to say, whomever wins this primary is achieving little more than a Pyrrhic victory.

Cargas has now begun to launch rather harsh attacks against Squiers, his opponent in the Democratic primary. In a recent press release, Cargas alleged that she has maliciously and nefariously avoided filing disclosures with the Federal Election Committee (FEC). He went on to lament such alleged impropriety, and even compared Squiers unfavorably to Steve Stockman.

Click here to read Cargas’ full statement as well as Squiers’ response!

Endorsements: Yellow Dog

Endorsements: Yellow Dog

This is Tilly, my yellow dog. She isn’t very bright but I would vote for her over quite a few candidates for political office this year. Some of these candidates have formidable Democratic opponents, but the common denominator is that I would vote for the Democrats in these elections even if it were a yellow dog.

**President**
I endorse the incumbent, Barack H. Obama, for re-election. Yes, I support the President on most issues, but with Romney on the other end, it was a pretty easy choice.

**US Senate**
I endorse former State Representative Paul Sadler. As opposed to a few of the sorry fellas that the TXDEMs have put up over the years, I actually do really like Sadler. It does help, however, that he is running against the guy that makes Dewhurst look sane.

**US Representative 2**
I endorse the Democrat, Jim Dougherty. Congressman Poe, as much as he had previously garnered a good deal of respect from me, lost it all last term as he made fictitious statements about voter fraud, skirted on the edge of birtherism, and played the “Obama-is-an-anti-Israel-anti-semite” card, which I take very personally.

**US Representative 7**
I endorse the Democrat, James Cargas. In 2010, I had to pick Tilly because there were no opponents to Culberson. Culberson is my congressman, and such, we have had a very special relationship ever since his office blocked my email address when I was in the 9th grade. From making garbage up to try and destroy the METRORail, to more extremism, to only proposing one bill over the last few years, I hold a particularly disdain from the honorable Congressman from Texas, and such I am happy he has drawn good enough of an opponent in Cargas.

**US Representative 9**
I endorse the incumbent, Al Green.

**US Representative 10**
I endorse the Democrat, Tawana Cadien. Congressman McCaul, as the richest member of Congress, has done nothing to refute the presumption that he is out of touch, in fact he has exacerbated it.

**US Representative 14**
I endorse the honorable former Congressman, Nick Lampson, for reasons stated in previous posts.

**US Representative 17**
I endorse Tilly. The district formerly held by Chet Edwards, a Democrat, as late as 2010, is now held by Republican Bill Flores. Flores did not draw a Democratic opponent.

**US Representative 18**
I endorse the incumbent, Sheila Jackson Lee.

**US Representative 22**
I endorse Tilly, again. Congressman Olson is just as far right as Tom DeLay, and his Democratic opponent belongs to the LaRouche cult (I didn’t even know that still existed).

**US Representative 29**
I endorse the incumbent, Gene Green.

**US Representative 36**
I endorse the Democrat, Max Martin. He was the only Democrat to sign up for the primary that twelve Republicans duked it out for. That takes chutzpah.

For further reference, I endorse all the Democrats in the Houston area running for the State Legislature. However, I try to endorse a few Republicans when it comes to county jobs. Stay tuned.