Latinos For Texas Blog


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Passed along from Ray and Patti Fuentez

We are hosting a fundraising BBQ on Sunday, May 25, 2008 from 4pm to 7pm at our home, 8606 Navidad Dr., for Rick Noriega who is running for the U. S. Senate.

Rick is a strong candidate who will stand up for the rights of everyday Texans. Two separate polls by Rasmussen Report and Research 2000 showed that Rick is just four points behind incumbent Senator John Cornyn. In both, John Cornyn polled below 50% – a sign of his weakness and vulnerability this fall. This confirms that the time for change is right and that Texas is ready. The country, the state of Texas, and our community here in Austin will greatly benefit if Rick wins the election. It is time for change in D.C. and we have a chance to make that change this year.

Please join us in welcoming Rick Noriega and help celebrate his campaign with BBQ, down home sides, and refreshments. Tickets are $500, $250, $100. You may purchase tickets online through ActBlue or you may RSVP with Laura Welch by phone at (512)554-5007 or via email at We live in a gated community, so please RSVP to receive the gate code.

We look forward to seeing you.

Patti & Ray Fuentez


Latinos for Texas on Washington Journal on C-Span

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hey all:

Did you catch Lila (Clinton supporter) and Mario (Obama supporter) on Washington Journal this morning and want to continue the discussion? Well, ask away! We will be busy with GOTV efforts today and tuesday, but we’ll try to check back and reply as we can. There were some good questions, so if you have more, please add them in the comments.



Austin: Urgent need for poll workers

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Here’s the deal, if we don’t get enough folks to work these precinct polling locations, THEY WILL HAVE TO BE COMBINED!! This will lead to much confusion, turning first-time voters off, and possible voter disenfranchisement for both the primary and caucus!If you are an Election Judge worried about missing your own caucus, you can hand off the post-poll closing paperwork delivery to an alternate judge or clerk.

If you can work basically 7am-7pm on election day, please read more below…

The Travis County Democratic Party contracts with the Travis County Elections Division for the Primary Election and are seeking Democrats to work the polling locations throughout the county for the March 4, 2008 Democratic Primary.Let’s not have this happen, so spread the word and tell all your friends and family who may be able to work the polls to call 854 - 9552 and tell them to say: “I want to work the polls for the Democratic Party on March 4th!!!”

We need presiding judges (aka Election Judges or Poll workers), alternate judges, and clerks. All poll workers are required to attend training which is provided by the Travis County Elections Division before the Primary and will be offered during the day and evening, during the week and on weekends. The pay, which is set by the Texas Secretary of State, is $7.00/hour.

If you are interested in working the polls on March 4, 2008 Election Day please call the TRAVIS COUNTY ELECTIONS DIVISION at 854-9552.


Voter Reg Drive - Austin, All Day, All Over Town

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Be a part of the annual Last-Day-to-Register Marathon!
Feb 04, 2008 8am-midnight at Fiesta (38th and I-35)

If you want to register voters on Monday, you can get deputized by Glen Maxey who will be at the Riverside Grocery (just east of IH 35, Riverside at Parker). Stop by there first, if you are not already a Deputy Registrar, then stop by any of the locations listed below!

LFT is coordinating the Fiesta location at 38th and I-35, but wherever you can help for as long as you can help will make a difference.

Remember, Monday, Feb 04, is the deadline if you want to vote in the Presidential primaries! Shifts are in four hour blocks, but if you can only come for part of it, thats okay, too. Simply sign up in the shift that is closest, then email to let us know your details.

We do this every year for the last few years, and people always say they like it, even though it is a fair amount of work, it is good work. Also, don’t worry if a few people are already signed up, we can always use a few extra hands.

Spanish speakers especially encouraged to volunteer, but not at all required!





Other Locations:
University Co-Op on the Drag @ 2246 Guadalupe
Wheatsville Coop @ 3101 Guadalupe
Goodwill @ 2800 S Lamar
Whole Foods Market @ 6th at Lamar
Fiesta Mart @ IH 35 and 38th
Guero’s @ 1412 S. Congress
Riverside Grocery (Parker & East Riverside) @ 1727 E Riverside Dr
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts @ 701 E Stasney Dr
MT Supermarket - Chinatown Center @ 10901 N. Lamar Blvd.

Email Ryan Giggs, anytime, at for details and assignments.

Thanks for being involved,
LFT Steering Committee
(Crystal, Lila, Mario, Michael, Richard and Sabas)


Travis County Dem Chair race: Rosie Mendoza drops out

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I only ever met Rosie Mendoza when she graciously came to an LFT meetup to discuss (with Andy Brown and Fidel Acevedo) the visions for the Travis County Democratic Party Chair. She struck me as thoughtful and plenty seasoned in community work, with excellent references, if not a lot of direct political/election or coordinated campaign experience. Although i didn’t know her personally, I was glad to see someone who so obviously cared for the community throw her hat into the ring. Competition is healthy, and I think we will still have plenty with the two folks who remain: Fidel Acevedo and Andy Brown.

Straight from the press release:

From the Desk of Rosie Mendoza

October 30, 2007
Dear Mario,
Rosie Mendoza HeadshotTwo months ago when Chairman Chris Elliott announced he would not seek another term, I responded to the call of dozens of our most respected and committed Democratic elected officials to provide leadership and vision by considering the position of Travis County Democratic Chair.

I did so with a clear idea of what I could offer our Party as we move forward toward two of the most important election cycles of our lifetime.

That vision and confidence is based on over twenty-five years of leadership experience in our community as a small business owner, a mother, Democratic activist and as a volunteer leader of some of Austin’s most successful community organizations like SafePlace, the Travis County Hospital District and the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Without question, the best part of my twenty-five year journey has been meeting amazing people, like you, who are so dedicated to progressive causes and improving the quality of life for all our community. You are the heart, soul and blue ink behind Travis County. I have been truly honored and overwhelmed by the support and endorsements of my candidacy. Your kind words and generosity have touched me deeply.

That is why I wanted to be the first to inform you that after much deliberation, I have decided to withdraw as a candidate for Travis County Democratic Party Chair. This was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, but I wholeheartedly believe that it is the right decision for the future of our Party.

In recent elections, there has not been a contested race for Chair of the TCDP but this year there are three declared candidates, including myself. The race has already caused divisions in a community that should be united as we move into the 2008 election year. Current developments put us on a course for a highly contested Democratic primary, plus a likely primary run-off in April. With that in mind, even conservative estimates show that we (the three candidates) will end up spending several hundred thousand dollars combined to win this campaign.

I cannot, in good conscience, contribute to a campaign that risks fracturing us on the eve of the most important election in our lifetime nor can I justify spending tens-of-thousands of dollars from donors for an intra-Party campaign while some of our incredible incumbent Democrats like Representatives Donna Howard and Valinda Bolton need every available dollar to win re-election over well-funded Republican opponents next Fall.

When families disagree (and we are family, bound by our shared values) we must consider the consequences of our actions. We must be prepared to place the success of our Party over the success of the individuals. Today, I am taking that individual first step, and I sincerely hope that the two remaining candidates - Andy Brown and Fidel Acevedo - will consider our shared vision and values before continuing toward a costly race in March.

The 2008 election presents enormous opportunities and challenges for Democrats across Texas. The next Chair must enter his/her term with the credibility to unify the Party, keep it on solid financial ground, clearly communicate our vision and values and substantially increase voter turnout in all the communities of our Democratic base. Then, and only then, Travis County can live up to its full potential as not just a blue oasis in a red state, but as a driving force behind statewide Democratic victories in 2008 and 2010!

While I am out of the race, I intend to stay involved. I am still concerned about the need for our Travis County Party to reach out to minority communities and to involve their members as voters, activists, staff members and party leaders. We must publicly set goals and measure the effectiveness of our efforts in mobilizing all of Travis County behind our vision of a more just and caring society.

Thank you so much for your guidance, encouragement and support, I look forward to working with you on our issues and for our Party for years to come.
Democratically Yours,
Rosie Mendoza Signature
Rosie Mendoza, CPA

P.S. Donations to my campaign will be refunded pro rata to donors or, at the option of the donor, donated to the Travis County Democratic Party.

P.P.S. Here is an immediate opportunity for involvement: Travis County Elections needs Spanish-speaking election clerks for the Tuesday, November 6 election. Pay is $9/hour. Please call 854-4996 if you can help.


Austin Meetup: Council Re-Destricting and Clean Elections

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On the agenda:

True Courage Action Network’s Clean Elections Projects
(Rescheduled from last month.)
Austin City Council Seat Re-districting Proposal

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 7pm
NOTE NEW LOCATION: El Mercado, South First St.
1302 S 1st St, Austin, Tx, 78704

True Courage Action Network’s Field Director Stewart Snider will present the TCAN Clean Elections project, a statewide initiative to educate voters and candidates about the role of public financing of elections. Its an idea whose time has come in Texas, but it won’t be easy, or quick. This should be an informative and engaging discussion. Background info:

Austin City Councilman Mike Martinez will discuss the moves to re-configure how Austin city council is structured: single-member, at-large, super-districts, hybrids, the ‘gentleman’s agreement’ and do these methods mean more responsive goverment, more affordable campaigns, better representation? Richard dePalma will also tell us about the lessons learned from San Francisco’s efforts to re-structure their city council. There are lots of factors at play, so this will be an interesting discussion.
As always, hope to see you, with a friend,

Your LFT Steering Committee Mario, Crystal, Lila, Michael, & Sabas
Latinos for Texas Steering Committee


TexBlog PAC Austin Fundraiser - TONIGHT, Sept 24.

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Another worthy event. This is a new organization, but the folks at the center know what they are doing in terms of organizing both online and off. Blogs and netroots action can make a difference in the close races, perhaps the difference that swings the Texas House back to the people, not the corrupt pay-to-play Republicans. If you can show support for this effort, we will see results soon!

Here is their release:

Democratic State Representatives
Jim Dunnam, Pete P. Gallego, Garnet Colem, Trey Martinez Fischer, Lon Burnam, Eddie Rodriguez, Mark Strama, Valinda Bolton

Invite You to Attend the
TexBlog PAC Inaugural Fundraiser
TONIGHT, September 24th, 2007
6:00 to 8:00 pm

At the home of
Kurt and Amy Clark Meachum
5103 Cedro Trail, Austin, Texas, 78731

For additional information, or to sponsor the event, call Christine Simmons at 512-292-3000. Contributions and sponsorships can be completed online :


Austinites: Have Coffee with Rick, Texas’ next Pro-Choice United States Senator

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Found at, here is a chance to meet and greet Rick Noriega, one of the leading Democratic Senate candidates. I am a big fan of looking at experience, policy, previous votes and the like, but its always nice to meet the candidates, if you can. If any Watts in Austin events pop, send them our way!

Dear Friends,

We would like to invite you to join us for coffee on Friday, July 27th, 9:30 am in the side room at Enoteca, 1610 S. Congress Ave. to meet a friend of ours, who also happens to be the only pro-choice candidate for US Senate in Texas … Rick Noriega.
Rick breaks a lot of stereotypes - for starters, he’s a Hispanic Catholic who earned a 100% voting
record with NARAL Pro-Choice Texas.  He also reminds us that some politicians do more than talk, as he’s served a tour of duty in Afghanistan as a Lt. Col. in the National Guard, as well as heading the logistical operations at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center housing evacuees in the
wake of Hurricane Katrina.

We realize this is a late invitation, but felt it was important that Austin pro-choice leaders
got a chance to meet face to face with Rick.  So we hope you will join us for an informal coffee,
this Friday, July 27th, 9:30 am in the side room at Enoteca, 1610 S. Congress Ave.


James Aldrete
Mandy Dealey
Heather Paffe
Sarah Wheat
Laurie Felker Jones
Sara Cleveland
Bree Buchanan

P.S. Please feel free to bring along a friend, and forward this invitation to others in
the choice community as well.  Look forward to seeing you.


The greater agent of change: George Bush’s Administration or terrorists?

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So, several years ago i read a question (i think it was in a paul krugman article) which i have quoted many times: ‘How do you know when you are five years out from the French revolution? or 5 months? or 5 days?’ or something quite close to that. its interesting to ponder what people (from random workers to executives, from the un-engaged citizen to the high-powered politicos) were doing, noting, thinking while others worked their levers of power, and grabbed what they could get — old ways be damned.

Like the frog and the boiling water, its easy to let things slide a little, thinking, well of course i dont trust them but they arent really crazy, certainly they understand people wont tolerate much more of that, these lunatics in suits arent really doing what the other lunatics in tinfoil are ranting about.

Well, the Washington post has an article about George Bush’s administration finally declaring itself truly out of the reach of Congressional wishes, deciding, with help of disgrace-to-texas AG AG, that the ‘executive privilege’ is really ‘executive branch privilege’ and, better yet, can be applied to folks who no longer are part of the executive branch. They have placed themselves above the law, in every meaningful way, although i admit, they have, in an evil-genius way, created a legal ‘opinion’ for that, too.

Some choice quotes:

Bush administration officials unveiled a bold new assertion of executive authority yesterday in the dispute over the firing of nine U.S. attorneys, saying that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges initiated by Congress against White House officials once the president has invoked executive privilege.

David B. Rifkin, who worked in the Justice Department and White House counsel’s office under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, praised the position and said it is consistent with the idea of a “unitary executive.” In practical terms, he said, “U.S. attorneys are emanations of a president’s will.” And in constitutional terms, he said, “the president has decided, by virtue of invoking executive privilege, that is the correct policy for the entire executive branch.”

Mark J. Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University who has written a book on executive-privilege issues, called the administration’s stance “astonishing.”

“That’s a breathtakingly broad view of the president’s role in this system of separation of powers,” Rozell said. “What this statement is saying is the president’s claim of executive privilege trumps all.”

Is this a bold enough maneuver to shake loose the Republicans who voted again for this man and his minions? Already the Rs in congress have begun to understand, whether for political survival or perhaps for genuine reasons of principles, that George Bush’s Administration is a far greater threat to the continuation of American culture as we have come to know and love it, warts and all, than the foreign terrorists.

I wonder if citizens who chose this path realize they would generate TWO great threats to American democracy? Will this be enough to turn them, at the State level as well, to understanding that the Republican party, whatever it once might have claimed to stand for, is the vehicle for dismantling the constitution and our culture?

I will continue to hope that, as the miami sound machine sang, so presciently, so long ago: The hubris is gonna getcha, the hubris is gonna get ya…


Tuesday Meetup, 7pm, Kerbey Lane (Guadalupe)

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Tanned, rested, and ready…

Ahh, the slow days of summer. We hope everyone is finding time to relax and recharge. The political season never quite leaves us, but it is good to take a break now and again. But, it also good to get together for some beers and some discussion on what is shaping up to be an exciting primary for the US Senate.

So, lets get together, Tuesday, 7pm at Kerbey Lane at 2606 Guadalupe and hear what people think about Rep. Rick Noriega ( and Mikal Watts ( and how we might lay the groundwork for organizing our communities so we present our strongest candidate against the weak, and relatively unliked, John ‘Box Turtle’ Cornyn.

Also, bring your ideas for an East Austin Initiative Summit. Last election cycle we pledged to not wait, and not let others wait, until its election month for action and resources to focus on what is usually called East Austin, but really means Hispanic and African-American Austin. Now is the time to plant some seeds, so lets talk some strategy to a better harvest (to drag that metaphor allll the way out ; ).

As always, hope to see you, with a friend,

Your LFT Steering Committee Mario, Crystal, Lila, Michael, & Sabas


21 Year-Old “Bulldog” in San Antonio Goes to City Council Run-Off

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I didn’t know who David Medina was when I first saw his sign in my grandparents’ yard.  Weeks later, to my surprise, I read in the SAEN that he was only 21.  And it wasn’t until today that I discovered the young candidate has made it to a run-off and people think he’s got a shot.  Can you guess why?  Good ol’ knock-and-drag - he’s blockwalking 5 hours a day.  LFT loves the pavement so much, I had to share his story.  And after I read he was a Burbank Bulldog (just like my mom and her siblings), well I almost want to start a caravan to SA and get a little exercise.  Check out the Ken Rodriguez column.


Bill to combat non-existent Voter ID fraud appears to be dead in the Tx Senate

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A report over at BOR links to an Austin-American Statesman article proclaiming Dewhurst has pronounced the Senates version of HB218 ‘all but dead.’

There is some great discussion in that thread about how this voter id bill really is NOT about ‘non-dilution of American’s votes, and keeping the vote safe’ and the like, but about a clever way to reduce Dem vote by about 3%, according to even staunch Republican Royal Masset in this comment, and elsewhere.

If the Lege wants to increase the vote, enact same-day registration, and county-wide polling places efforts (replacing my-precinct-only polling place). If the State’s technology is good enough to arrest someone in Amarillo for a warrant in Brownsville, if should be good enough to span a county on election day.

There is no voter ID fraud problem. Even according to Dewhurst, if you believe him, almost a few hundred non-citizens have voted in the last, according to him, 14 years! maybe as many as, in his words, 41 voted in two years in all of Bexar county. does he know how to do math, do ratios mean anything!! talk about a speck of a speck.
he then takes that and says ‘what about the ones we dont know about, what if it is “twenty-five thousand?”‘ WOW! what if its 25 ka-billion!?! What if EVERYONE stole EVERYTHING from HEB. We better enact a law to treat ALL shoppers as shoplifters, or at least the old, young, frequent movers, and poor ones.
how about focusing on problems we know exist — like education, healthcare, and infrastructure — and when thats all solved, you can take some time to work up a exciting David Blaine-style conjuring routine .


David Escamilla, Travis County Attorney Fundraiser, May 16th

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Just passing along a little info. LFT and Escamilla worked closely, along with MAD, and Tejano Dems on the East Austin Initiative last election. He really stood up for under-served communities, while finding a way to bridge some pretty different viewpoints. There is no minimum contribution required, and Escamilla deserves support. Hope to see yall there!

Please join Travis County Attorney

David Escamilla

in support of his 2008 re-election campaign

Wednesday, May 16, 5 - 7 PM

Thistle Cafe
300 West Sixth Street, Austin

Hors d’oeuvres — Cash Bar
complimentary garage parking

Suggested Donation: $50
(All contributions welcome! There is no minimum!)

Sponsorships: $250, $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000

Contributions payable to “David Escamilla Campaign” may be brought to the event or mailed to:

David Escamilla Campaign
PO Box 5674
Austin, TX 78763-5674

For information: 512-474-4738


UPDATE: HB 626 passes

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Despite wide-spread opposition, and a truly remarkable, even stunning, lack of evidence pointing to a need for its existence, HB 626 passed out of the house.

State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) released a statement which sums it up nicely

“Let’s be clear about this: there is no voter impersonation problem or voter fraud epidemic in this state,” said Rep. Rodriguez. “This is part of a partisan disenfranchisement effort to keep seniors, minorities, and the poor from voting.  I voted against House Bill 626 to protect the voting rights of every Texan.”

From the federal level on down, there really is a systematic effort by Republicans to win elections by manipulating the process, since they cannot compete on the merits. And, it doesn’t hurt that they find it morally easy to scapegoat the already tenuously involved, and their low-information, lousy-moral-compassed minions just plod along according to their marching orders.

is it too cliche to remind people of the banality of evil?


UPDATE: HB218 passes out of the House, HB 626 postponed

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from BOR:

“House Bill 218, the voter ID bill, has passed the House 76 - 68. Luckily House Bill 626, requiring proof of citizenship, has been postponed until next Monday.”

derrrghhhh… Altho, as i understand it, there is no true Senate companion bill, and Senator Ellis has proclaimed he has the support needed to stop one in his side of the dome. Lets make sure no Dems get peeled away — and make sure your electeds know you are watching and remembering.

URGENT: Call today to stop the Voter Roadblock bills (HB 218 and Hb 626)

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Call your State Rep. and tell them to vote NO on HB218 and HB 626.

I am sure you read loads of alarmist-sounding posts, but please pay attention and act today because there really is a coordinated Voter Suppression effort rolling through the Lege right now, this morning.

There are two bills in the Texas House (HB 218 and HB 626) which pretend to fight Voter ID fraud although it has been proven to NOT exist. The real plan of these bills is to reduce voting participation by throwing up roadblocks to Voter Registration and Voter Registration Drives, and essentially kick just about anyone who moves frequently (read: disproportionately poor, minority, seniors, and youth voters, base-hopping soldiers’ families), or who doesn’t remember to send away for a ‘certified’ copy of their birth certificate, passport or naturalization papers weeks ahead of the 30-days-before-an-election voter registration deadline.

On a recent conference call hosted by True Courage Action Network, a non-partisan non-profit, it was revealed that the minimum cost, even for voters who have been voting for 20 years but maybe move, or get married and change names, will be roughly $20 for the certified copy of a birth certificate. And, possibly as much as $90 if you are a naturalized citizen.

Call your State Rep. and tell them to vote NO on HB218 and HB 626.

HB 626 requires proof of citizenship at the time of registration, in the form of certified copy of either your birth certificate, passport or naturalization papers, and because no one carries these around, and if they did no one in their right mind will hand a copy of these documents to a stranger to register to vote, effectively killing voter registration drives. HB 218 requires multiple forms of identification at the poll.

Learn More:


Act Today to Save Voter Registration!

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Quick, do you have your proof of citizenship on you? Do you even know what counts as proof? Would you be carrying it on you when you head to a music festival, a parade, or immunization day?

Well, certain House Republicans know this, and in an effort to combat unsubstantiated and fabricated ‘voter ID fraud,’ the House Committee on Elections is moving on Wednesday to approve a bill which make it harder for people to become involved, or stay involved. These bills will do three things

  • Require proof of citizenship PLUS an additional ID just to register, at the time of registration.
  • Require even long-term voters to re-register after moving, WITH proof of citizenship — even if they have been dutiful voters for years and years.
  • Require two forms of ID at the poll.




Rafael Anchía
Capitol: (512) 463-0746
District: (214) 943-6081

Lon Burnam
Capitol: (512) 463-0740
District: (817) 924-1997

Joe Farías
Capitol: (512) 463-0714

Leo Berman (Chair)
Capitol: (512) 463-0584
District: (903) 939-2400

Dwayne Bohac (Vice-Chair)
Capitol: (512) 463-0727
District: (713) 460-2800

Charlie Howard
Capitol: (512) 463-0710
District: (281) 565-9500

Kirk England
Capitol: (512) 463-0694
District: (972) 264-4231


Rafael Anchía
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-0738
District Fax (214) 920-9996

Lon Burnam
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-1075
District Fax (817) 924-6788

Leo Berman (Chair)
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-3217
District Fax (903) 939-2402

Dwayne Bohac (Vice-Chair)
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-0681
District Fax (713) 460-2822

Charlie Howard
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-0711
District Fax (281) 565-1579

Kirk England
Capitol Fax: (512) 463-1130
District Fax (972) 522-5918






Early Primary bills up for a hearing this Wednesday in Elections Committee

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Representative Trey Martinez Fischer’s HB 996 is up for a hearing this week in Elections. The early primary legislation would move the Texas Primary from March 4, 2008 to February 5, 2008.

Rep. Martinez Fischer’s bill was the only early primary bill on the hearing notice posted on Friday. HB996 has Representative Roberto Alonzo signed on as a joint author.
Late yesterday afternoon, two other primary related bills were added to the agenda for this week’s elections committee hearing. Representative Trey Martinez Fischer is on board all three of these bills as either the main author or a joint author.

HB 993 by Representative Roberto Alonzo, has four joint authors; Representatives Homer, Martinez Fischer, Yvonne Davis and Hodge. HB993 also has five coauthors in Representatives Escobar, Gonzalez Toureilles, Herrero, Raymond and Rodriguez.

Representative Helen Giddings’ HB 2017 is the other primary related bill with Trey Martinez Fischer signed on as a joint author. That bill has Representative Pena as a co-author.

Houston Chronicle article 2/15/2007
Texas may move up primary to Feb. 5

House Speaker Tom Craddick seemed to give his stamp of approval Wednesday.

“Most (House) members that have talked to me about it are pretty well into doing that,” Craddick said. “They would like to move it up.”

Several other big states, including California and Florida, also are considering moving their primaries to Feb. 5 in 2008.

The effect could be replacing the old Super Tuesday in March with a new slate of impact primaries a month sooner.

“Super Tuesday is no long super, it’s just Tuesday,” said Democratic Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer of San Antonio, who filed legislation to move the primary date. “If it moves up to February 5th, it’s ‘Super Duper Tuesday.’ “

The committee hearing is this Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in Room E2.028. The whole committee agenda is posted here.

The public is welcomed to speak at these hearings. These meetings haven’t been very short this year, so if you really want to speak, be prepared to stay a long time. You can however, fill out a witness affirmation form at the hearing and just voice your support for the bills. You have to fill out the forms in person, and they must be handed to the committee clerk at the hearing. The forms are available at the back of the hearing room when the hearing starts.

Here’s Matt Glazer’s Burnt Orange Report diary of Thu Feb 01, 2007 where he discussed the reasons we should support a primary move for Texas.
Lone Star Project: 5 Reasons to Move the Primary.

Let’s move that primary, Texas!


Let us not intimidate and coerce

Filed under: — SoniaS @ 12:11 pm

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I wanted to give a big round of applause to the fearless Texas House members who voted against business as usual and the politics of fear yesterday, by voting against Tom Craddick for a second term as speaker of the House. These Representatives showed true courage. Many of these members are Latinos.

They are:
Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas
Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth
Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio
Garnet Coleman, D-Houston
Yvonne Davis, D-Dallas
Jim Dunnam, D-Waco
Craig Eiland, D-Galveston
Juan Escobar, D-Kingsville
Joe Farias, D-San Antonio
Jessica Farrar, D-Houston
Pete Gallego, D-Alpine
Juan M. Garcia, D-Corpus Christi
Ana Hernandez, D-Houston
Abel Herrero, D-Corpus Christi
Terri Hodge, D-Dallas
David Leibowitz, D-San Antonio
Barbara Mallory Caraway, D-Dallas
Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio
Borris Miles, D-Houston
Paul Moreno, D-El Paso
Rick Noriega, D-Houston
Dora Olivo, D-Rosenberg
Solomon Ortiz Jr., D-Corpus Christi
Richard Raymond, D-Laredo
Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin
Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston
Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth

Then let me repost Richard Raymond’s “The Process is Broken” speech in the House Chamber, yesterday. Blogger, M. Eddie Rodriguez was kind enough to post this on Burnt Orange Report and I want to make sure this gets more coverage.

Thank you Mr. Secretary.

Unlike Sylvester I was not prepared to speak today. It was the last thing I thought I’d do. And unlike my good friend, Aaron Pena, I don’t have a prepared text and I am not going to talk about the currents of history. But I have to talk about a path… a better path to future.

Like my friend Patrick Rose, I too, Patrick, am proud to be a Democrat. I am not saying anything else about that one.

But I stand before you members for just a couple of minutes to say this, if you looked at lists in recent days, you saw my name. I talked to a lot of you. In fact I probably talked to lot more Republicans than I ever talked to Democrats during this process. And I reached out to our Speaker, to Mr. Craddick, and I said, I am a good Democrat and I can make you look better if you want to make the process better and he said, “I want to.”

And then we had some Republicans jump in the race and challenge in an unprecedented way; challenge a sitting Speaker of the House from their own party. Two good men: Brian McCall and Jim Pitts. But I stuck with Mr. Craddick until the process got to a point that it wasn’t even about not being for Mr. Craddick anymore but it was about being against the process because the process is broken.

So I stand before you today, I never thought I would do this, I stand up and speak against the only nominee that we have for Speaker. We saw today a good man in Jim Pitts with a critical mass of support against an incumbent speaker. And after Mr. Hartnett fought so hard to make sure that the candidates would know immediately the victor. The Speaker would know immediately who voted for whom. And succeeded in passing that. All of sudden there is no more candidacy by Mr. Pitts. We saw before our very eyes what is wrong with the process.

I have great hope for the future. I always have and I will tell Mr. Craddick who is going to be our Speaker, “Prove me wrong Mr. Speaker. Prove me wrong.” That after we respectfully disagree today with your nomination because I intend to vote “NO” and I will ask every Democrat and a few of you Republicans that ought to give it a little bit of thought to vote ‘No’ on this nomination. Think about it.

After that vote Mr. Speaker, I hope you will prove me wrong because I will extend my hand to you and say “Let’s make this process better.” Let us not intimidate and coerce. And I am not saying you did that but we saw today something we have never seen before in a Speaker’s race but something that we saw too many time these past four years… time and again.

As I said, I know that most of your Republicans, maybe all of you, will vote for Mr. Craddick. And Mr. Pitts got out of this race now that the votes would be known immediately. Because he wanted to, as he said, “because he didn’t want to put anyone in further jeopardy” and he reluctantly withdrew.

It is time to make a statement. It is time to respectfully with our finger vote for the people we represent and send a message to the process and whoever is standing up there after this vote that process and the people of the state of Texas and the God that we swear an oath to matter more than anyone one person having a tremendous amount of power.

I am asking about every single one of you Democrats to think about what is right, to help make this process better and after then that my challenge is very simple Mr. Speaker, prove me wrong, prove me wrong and let’s make this a better place and better process.

Thank you and God bless you.

I wanted to add that locally here in Travis, only Representative Eddie Rodriguez District 51, had the backbone to vote against Craddick. Thank you Representative Rodriguez for standing on your feet against corruption.

Also our friend, newly elected Representative Juan Garcia, also stood up against a corrupt system.

I fully expect after all the speeches yesterday by the House members who demanded honor, standing for your convictions, and that the voting process be publicly recorded, means that a “recorded vote” bill will pass this session. I support a recorded vote bill, so constituents know exactly how their members vote on all legislation. And those votes should be published on the Internet immediately. I know Juan wants that to become law.


It was a ‘knock and drag’ program

Filed under: — SoniaS @ 9:16 am

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While we’re all still basking in the glow of Ciro’s win. I wanted to link to a couple of really good articles and blogs with good pictures and video.

First up is our local rag. And I thought knock and drag was something LaGirlFriday had made up. Turns out it is a strategy.

AAS article 12/14/06
From hopeful to back in the House
San Antonio turnout was crucial to Rodriguez’s strategy, said Adrian Saenz, Rodriguez’s campaign manager, whom the Democratic congressional committee provided to Rodriguez.

Saenz, the committee’s field director, said Rodriguez had 30-plus loyal and knowledgeable supporters helping his campaign when he arrived from Washington after the Nov. 7 vote that generated the runoff.

In the first round, Bonilla carried nearly 49 percent of the vote — shy of the 50-plus percent needed to avoid a runoff. Rodriguez ran second among seven challengers, with 20 percent.

“We had to win this runoff on early and absentee voting,” Saenz said, adding that he focused on marshaling a high-intensity turnout effort starting with an early voting period extended from one weekend to another in response to concern that the election was scheduled on a Catholic feast day. Saenz said Rodriguez’s campaign won the early voting period by treating each day in the stretch like an election day. Workers called and visited voters, telling them they could vote immediately. “It was a ‘knock and drag’ program,” Saenz said, concentrating on South San Antonio but also singling out historically independent voters in GOP-strong northern Bexar County.

Then yesterday’s Congressional Quarterly. This one is a long article but has some good analysis.

Yahoo article 12/13
Rodriguez’s Upset Win in Texas 23 Yields Another Seat for Dems

Despite the alterations to the district, Rodriguez had to overcome several advantages with which Bonilla entered the abbreviated contest — especially the Republican’s long incumbency and strong name recognition across the 23rd District. Of the nearly 652,000 residents in the reconfigured 23rd, 63 percent came from Bonilla’s old 23rd District and 37 percent from the 28th District Rodriguez once represented.

Bonilla also had a huge fundraising advantage over Rodriguez. The DCCC, however, narrowed the gap somewhat by spending at least $900,000 on an “independent expenditure” campaign to attack Bonilla and promote Rodriguez.

Rodriguez’s win probably will be brandished by political liberals as evidence that they can prevail in partisan battleground districts. Rodriguez voted against authorizing military operations in Iraq; in favor of a minimum wage increase; and against proposed bans of same-sex marriage and “partial birth” abortion.

Rodriguez defeated Bonilla by 56 percent to 44 percent in Bexar County, which includes the district’s portions of San Antonio and where about 65 percent of the district’s vote was cast. Bonilla ran well in some of the district’s vast rural areas, but his margins there could not overcome Rodriguez’s advantages in and around San Antonio. But Rodriguez even narrowly led Bonilla in the areas of the 23rd outside of Bexar.

And finally here are a couple of links to some blogs with good photos and video from the campaign. The Henry Cisneros “Ya vete” speech is linked to the B and B blog and the Walker Report has a wonderful montage of campaign photos. Kudos to both sites for capturing the spirit of the race.

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