Latinos For Texas Blog

2007-Aug-14

Heard on the Streets: Puente, Guiterrez, and Ramos

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 9:28 am

Not sure if this is true, but it’s interesting enough to pass along…

Word is current District 3 City Councilman Roland Guiterrez is positioning himself to make a run at HD-119 held by Craddick D Robert Puente.  Supposedly, Guiterrez’ staff members started looking for other positions when they heard his job might go to current ACCD Board Member Jennifer Ramos.  I’ve heard from a few people that she has a “different type of management style” and she recently held a re-election fundraiser. 

Not sure if a special election would be held or if someone would be appointed to the council, but calls are in to see if someone else can clarify and maybe have a little more info.  Anyone out there know anything? 

2007-May-25

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

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 8:23 am

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.

2007-May-17

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

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 .

2007-May-1

UPDATE: HB 626 passes

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?

2007-Apr-23

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

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)

LATINOS FOR TEXAS CALL TO ACTION

Call your State Rep. and tell them to vote NO on HB218 and HB 626. http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/

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. http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/

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:
http://www.truecourageaction.net
http://www.tx.billhop.com/bills/80(R)/HB626/

2007-Mar-27

Act Today to Save Voter Registration!

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.

THIS WILL EFFECTIVELY KILL VOTER REGISTRATION DRIVES!
CONTACT STATE REPS AND TELL THEM TO REJECT HB 218 and HB 626

CONTACT INFO:
PHONE NUMBERS

Opposing:

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

Favoring:
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

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

FAX NUMBERS

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

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

Favoring:
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

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

EMAIL ADDRESSES

Opposing:
rafael.anchia@house.state.tx.us
lon.burnam@house.state.tx.us
joe.farias@house.state.tx.us

Favoring:
leo.berman@house.state.tx.us
dwayne.bohac@house.state.tx.us
charlie.howard@house.state.tx.us

Undecided
kirk.england@house.state.tx.us

2007-Jan-31

Texas Politics and the Alamo

Filed under: — SoniaS @ 12:35 pm

I came across a UT site called Texas Politics which I think is an amazing resource for anyone wanting to learn more about Texas history and how Texas Government works. This site has been adding content to their site for a few years now so it’s pretty comprehensive, and pretty current. I would recommend that if you have an interest in lobbying you might want to check out the section on Interest Groups.

So how does this get us to the Alamo? I followed the link on Political Culture and watched the video by University of Texas anthropologist Richard Flores on the history of the Alamo. Having grown up a Texan and being a product of Texas public schools, I can attest that we get a skewed version of what happened at the Alamo, complete with all the hype. And it’s not been until recently that we’ve even begun to question the importance and the truth of what happened at the Alamo. José Enrique de la Peña’s diary, which is also owned by the University of Texas, for example gives us a different side of how Davy Crockett died. I’m now very interested in Flores’ book, Remembering the Alamo: Memory, Modernity, and the Master Symbol, since I listened to his explanation of what happened to Mexican Americans in Texas at the turn of the 20th century. I think it makes a lot of sense and it is an important lesson in framing. I certainly didn’t know that the Alamo was once a saloon and really not that important until 1905 when the state purchased the building. The symbol of the Alamo seems to crop up a lot in Texas politics even as recent as the vote on the Speaker’s election in the Texas House this year. We might need to brush up on our history to be able to frame that issue more clearly. You know how that adage goes, “it’s the victor who gets to write the history”.

2007-Jan-12

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez showing love for citizens, even the blogging sort

An excellent start to the Lege, from LFT-endorsed State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin), which not only allows, but, can it be true, actually encourages people to be more involved in politics, and the process.

Representative Eddie Rodriguez to propose amendment to support Bloggers

AUSTIN– Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) will propose an amendment to the house rules today that will give established Bloggers access to the House floor.

“With the rise of citizen journalism, it no longer makes sense to limit access to House business solely to the traditional press outlets,” said Representative Rodriguez.

Political blogs are some of the limited media that focus solely on reporting the happenings at the Capital and many of these Bloggers regularly break stories that show up in the traditional media.

Bloggers, as defined by this revised rule, produce original reporting and informed comment worthy of credentials. This amendment will allow increasingly popular non-traditional media, the privileges necessary to more effectively inform citizens on governmental issues.

“This kind of measure would encourage citizen participation in government and help demystify the system for the general public,” said Rodriguez.

2006-Dec-12

TX-23 Ciro Rodriguez results (in progress…)

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:15 pm

IT S GONNA BE SWEET!

from http://204.65.107.84/06decspcrun.htm

Unofficial Election Results As Of : December 12, 2006 08:08 PM
Henry Bonilla REP 14,167 45.90% 16,829 43.46%
Ciro D. Rodriguez DEM 16,700 54.10% 21,897 56.54%
————— —————
Total Votes Cast 30,867 38,726
Precincts Reported 99 of 267 Precincts 37.08%

Unofficial Election Results As Of : December 12, 2006 08:39 PM
CANDIDATE PARTY EARLY VOTES PERCENT TOTAL VOTES PERCENT
Henry Bonilla REP 14,419 46.05% 27,285 44.19%
Ciro D. Rodriguez DEM 16,896 53.95% 34,456 55.81%
————— —————
Total Votes Cast 31,315 61,741
Precincts Reported 198 of 267 Precincts 74.16%

2006-Dec-5

San Antonio Blockwalk for Ciro Rodriguez (TX-23)

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:48 am

THIS SATURDAY.
San Antonio Blockwalk for Ciro Rodriguez (TX-23)
Ciro Rodriguez HQ
246 West Harding, San Antonio, Texas
12-09 @ 9:00 am
Signup for free email or txtmsg reminder.

Last chance for GOTV! Democrat Ciro Rodriguez needs help in a race he CAN win, if we all help out. (Remember, if you can’t take a day to walk, take 20 minutes to make calls at http://ciro.onlinephonebanking.com)

Schedule:

  • Carpool leaves Austin: 9 am
    (South Austin rendezvous TBD)
  • Arrive Ciro HQ around 11
    (http://www.cirodrodriguez.com/free_details.asp?id=44)
  • Get assignments, hits the streets: until 4 or so
  • Get food, head home, arrive 7 or 8
  • This is the tentative plan, details might change. Sign-up so we can easily email any additions or tweaks in the plan.

    thanks for helping!

    mario

2006-Nov-29

Republican Henry Bonilla profit from the war?

(This is some very interesting documentation about Republican Henry Bonilla, promoted from a comment below. - mario)

Bonilla-a war profiteer? Documentation says “yes”

by Larry Romo, Texas Demvets Chair

Researched by Larry Romo

Henry Bonilla + Alliant Techsystems Inc. Relationship

The Facts:
In early 2002, Bonilla bought through his spouse, tens of thousands of dollars in stock in defense contractor Alliant Techsystems Inc.

Later In 2002, the House Appropriations Committee designated and Congress voted authorizing $1.25 billion dollars for Alliant Techsytems, Inc. to provide Army munitions, $94 million more than the Department of Defense requested.

That same year, the Alliant Techsystems, Inc. Employees Political Action Committee (PAC) contributed $1,000 to Bonilla’s congressional campaign, in addition to the $500 he received in 2001.

With his vote in 2002 as a congressman and as a member of the Appropriations Committee, Bonilla boosted the value of his own stock in Alliant Techsystems, Inc., a company that is receiving more defense appropriations as the war in Iraq continues, meaning higher stock values and more money for campaign contributions.

This conflict of interest is highly unethical for a public official. Bonilla used his position as a congressman to boost his family personal finances and his campaign.

Documentation:
Bonilla’s 2002 Personal Financial Disclosure: http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/pfd2002/N00005985_2002.pdf

Alliant Techsystems 2002 Fall Report: http://www.biz.uiowa.edu/Krause/Alliant_TechSystems_F02.pdf#search=’Alliant%20techsystems%20%20Defense%20appropriations’

Bonilla’s 2002 Campaign Contribution Report:
http://query.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/can_give/2001_H2TX23058

2006-Nov-27

“HELLO, I AM CALLING TO HELP TEXANS ELECT ANOTHER DEMOCRAT TO CONGRESS…”

TrueBlueAction.com announces http://ciro.onlinephonebanking.com is up and running!

OnlinePhoneBanking the most efficient and effective way for folks anywhere in the state (or country) to help Democrat Ciro Rodriguez defeat Republican Henry Bonilla. The netroots worked hard for Ciro last time, and with this new tool, we can turn netroots passion into grassroots action!

Learn more about TX-23: Democrat Ciro Rodriguez v Republican Henry Bonilla

Make simple calls to voters in any precinct in TX-23 to identify Democrats for GOTV, from the comfort of your home, right now, using OnlinePhoneBanking’s tools. Choose any precinct, and if you want, choose any demographic in that precinct - women, men, seniors, youth, anyone, and more. TrueBlueAction provides tools, scripts and data, you provide the volunteer effort and the data that helps Democrats!

Click here to make calls at Ciro.OnlinePhoneBanking.com

2006-Nov-8

Bonilla vs Ciro, so it appears

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:49 am

According to Dallas Morning News

Republican U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla appeared to be headed for a runoff against a Democratic challenger Wednesday, with about 20 precincts in the sprawling district yet to be tallied.

Bonilla, R-Texas, needed 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s special election to avoid a runoff. With more than 93 percent of the precincts reporting, he was at just over 48 percent, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s Web site.

All precincts in the district’s population anchor, Bexar County, had been counted, leaving a few spots in West Texas, including Val Verde County, to decide whether Bonilla would face former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez in a December runoff.

ah, the beauties of re-re-re-districting. It is certainly an efficient use of tax dollars, by golly.

2006-Aug-24

TrueBlueAction.com and Onlinephonebanking.com

As a bit toward explaining the recent slowdown in LFT blog posts, let me offer two clues:
TrueBlueAction.com and Onlinephonebanking.com which yours truly has been working many long hours developing, designing, programming along with the inimitable Glen Maxey and Hunter Ellinger.

With these tools, ‘every volunteer can phone, walk, register or GOTV their friends and neighbors in their precinct, local area or across the state’ and in just the last two weeks of soft-launch testing, hundreds of people from all over the state have contacted thousands of voters. We can ramp that up and contact 10, 25, 100,000 voters before election time?

so spread the word and thanks for helping!
mario

For those that didnt get or didnt read a recent Maxey blast:

I want to introduce you to a dynamic new online set of tools at www.TrueBlueAction.com

It is my hope that you’ll make use of the many tools you find at this innovative new site.

It has been created by a new political action committee, True Blue Action PAC, whose sole reason to exist is to make tools available to identify and turn out Democratic voters for candidates at all levels.

Chris Bell, Democratic nominee for Governor, has been instrumental in helping us get off the ground. His campaign understands the need for ALL Democrats running at all levels to assist in turning out voters for each other.

There is NO COST to use these tools. They are open, accessible and free. TrueBlueAction simply asks that you use them to work for Democratic issues and candidates.

Ever want a walk list, phone list, or other data for your street, precinct or area? Here it is!

On this site, you’ll find some easy to use tools. Among them are:

a) Build a walk list to canvass your street or are

b) Print out pre-filled accurate Mail Ballot Applications for seniors, disabled, or those who’ll be out of town

c) Use the Online Phone Bank to call to ID voters, and GOTV during early voting and on election day to turn out the vote in your precinct or anywhere in Texas!

d) Email your friends across Texas voting reminders with their early voting locations

e) Build a list of voters you know (friends, co-workers, etc.) to “turn out to vote”. Get daily reminders whether they’ve voted early if you’re in a county that has electronic access to early voters.

f) Register new voters and make a retrievable list by entering them in this system so that they’ll get voting reminders.

g) And much, much more as we proceed and great volunteers add tools!

As we improve this site, we’ll send you updates of new tools that have been added. Thanks to the creative energy of lots of volunteers, we’re literally changing the way grassroots politics happens across Texas.

Give as feed back at admin@trueblueaction.com

There is now no excuse for someone not being able to help our Democratic candidates.

Every volunteer can phone, walk, register or GOTV their friends and neighbors in their local area or even across the state!

2006-Aug-10

Ciro to challenge Bonilla in new CD-23

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:38 am

CQPolitics.com has the story that Democrat Ciro Rodriguez will challenge Republican Bonilla:

The new congressional map for Texas’ 23rd District, invoked Aug. 4 by a federal court panel in response to a June 28 Supreme Court ruling, added thousands of members of south Texas’ Democratic-leaning Hispanic population to the voting constituency of Republican Rep. Henry Bonilla — making him potentially more vulnerable to a serious Democratic challenge.

And it looks as though that is just what is going to occur in the Nov. 7 all-candidate primary required because the judges’ ruling also vacated the results of the March 7 primary held under the invalidated district lines: Former Democratic Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez (1997-2005) told CQPolitics.com Tuesday that he will challenge Bonilla and will formally announce his bid next Tuesday.

read it all , and, oh yeah, ‘Go Ciro Go!’

2006-Jul-10

LAST DAY to Vote for John Courage to help ALL Texas Democrats

Filed under: — site admin @ 6:50 am

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO VOTE for John Courage for Mark Warner’s Mapchanger Fundraiser, in which John Courage has been holding a slim lead.

The Chris Bell and John Courage teams got together and decided that if we can bring this money to Texas, they will use a portion to build online tools for all candidates and activists. Seriously, in 30 seconds or so, you can really make a difference! Why not vote right now athttp://www.forwardtogetherpac.com/mapchangers.

Glen Maxey, former State Rep and newly minted Chris Bell Field Director writes in to say:

OK, guys. I want to put up these online tools for everyone in Texas to use….candidates, activists, campaigns.

We MUST win this contest to get Mark Warner to Texas to have a fundraiser for John Courage, candidate for CD 21. If John has the fundraiser, he will pay the first $15,000 raised to cover online tool development costs.

VOTE HERE NOW:
Chris Bell is asking everyone to vote for Courage, so Texans don’t split their votes.

Vote at: http://www.forwardtogetherpac.com/mapchangers

Here’s examples of what is in development:

We’re working on a open access website for candidates, activists, and campaigns across Texas to use to organize their efforts.

Look for these kinds of tools coming soon:

Voter registration: Info in one place about how to do it and all the stuff you have to know… but then the things to make you able to do it effectively, such as…

Tool #1:

A tool to call up your block, street, precinct or more with the names and addresses of registered voters… and the missing addresses where no one lives. An easy way to find which doors to knock on to register voters. And we’re going to ask you to help us create a permanent address file so we can do this every election cycle. Is that old house at 1504 Park Ave, really just a shed? Did you register someone to vote at a new address?

Tool #2:

Did you meet a disabled or senior citizen who’ll need an mail ballot? You’ll be able to make that notation and then the system will send you a list of everyone you’ve got on your list on September 7th when applications can be accepted by the clerk. You’ll have your list ready to go get applications signed… but where are you going to get the applications???

Tool #3:

Mail ballot applications online! If a voter needs an application to vote by mail, they can simply call up their name in the online file, mark the reason, and print out an automatically populated request form ready for a signature and a stamp. And more importantly, it tells you exactly where to mail it in your county.
Better yet… this tool will have a file near it where you can print out a list of everyone over age 65 in your block, your street, your precinct so you have a road map to drop by and ask your neighbors if they need you to print out an application for them to vote by mail.
Ahhh… but what about all the nursing home staff and social workers who’ve struggled to get mail ballot applications for those they care for? It’s now going to be as simple as entering their names, printing the form, obtaining a signature, and mailing the application.
Or maybe you’re better suited to take your laptop and a printer to a senior center and printing out applications for anyone who needs one… or going to your neighborhood nursing home, or to a hospital, or maybe even a bingo parlor.
How about using Face Book (an online networking site for high school and college studnets) and looking up every university student from your high school who is attending college outside your county and sending them a link to print out an application for a mail ballot?
How about that friend living in Europe or that soldier in Iraq? They can now print out the form and fax it in… the correct fax number is on the form!

Tool #4: Friends Vote
This tool allows you to call up the names of your friends or family, enter their email, and send them a list of all the early voting locations in their county and their election day polling location.

There are a bunch more in development, but the sky’s the limit.

And it’s all going to be “free”. No access fee, no secret pass codes, just action items to get folks registered and to a polling place.

Help John Courage win this contest, so we’ll have the money for a bunch of other cool, new tools.

Statewide, all candidates, all activists, all the time.

Everyone can organize their world. One voter at a time.

Have ideas of things that could help you organize? Email me at repgmaxey@aol.com

2006-Jul-5

Janitors take it to the Courts in Austin and San Antonio

Amber Goodwin, of Houston Justice for Janitors and SEIU writes in with lots of good information and links to the now-not-front-page issue of how some corporations (and/or their contractors) deal with immigrants’ labor. I personally find it hard to believe (and i wonder if the Ken Lay, Jeff Skillings, Bernie Ebbers, et al precedents will prevail) that corporate chieftains dont really know what is going on with their underlings and/or contractors. Is ‘willful ignorance’ an excuse that works under the law??

Janitors sue Target in Austin and San Antonio over wage violations

The exploitation of hard-working immigrants throughout Texas and nationally has received a lot of news coverage lately. But a lawsuit filed on June 29 against Target department stores and their cleaning contractor in Austin and San Antonio suggests the problem may be particularly rampant among major corporations and the companies they hire to provide janitorial services. Janitors in Target stores say they were required to work up to 70 hours a week without overtime pay and often worked seven days a week with only one day off every other week.

http://www.dfw.com/mld/startelegram/news/state/14939912.htm
http://www.equaljusticecenter.org/

In fact, the lawsuit in Target stores is the latest in a growing number of lawsuits and investigations by federal agencies into similar practices—including cases involving janitors who clean national supermarket chains Safeway, Vons, Albertsons, and Ralph’s, United Parcel Service (UPS) facilities, and Wal-Mart stores.

In Houston, the company that cleans the offices of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Professional Janitorial Service (PJS), violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by instructing janitors to work “off-the-clock” and unlawfully withholding—and in some cases failing to pay—wages due to janitors upon termination of employment, according to a new class action lawsuit filed on June 15.

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/06/16janitors.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/07/national/07janitor.html?ex=1151812800&en=178282c8d9609f2d&ei=5070
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/business/20040128-9999_1b28watchdog.html
http://www.houstonjanitors.org/

2006-Jun-6

Texas Dem Party State Chair and the Executive Director should be a strong team

ok, i like you Alfred Stanley, so dont take this personal. BUT i have some disagreements with how your email to TDP Convention Delegates is presenting information, some of it small, but still telling, some of it larger, and questionable.

perhaps its just a misunderstanding, in which case, someone, Alfred or Boyd or Ruben if you are reading, please fill me in.

In an email the TDP delegates just received, Alfred calls Boyd, ‘our current chair’ but really, by law and more importantly by concept, he is the ‘interim chair’ and BECAUSE its already been debated, and i would be surprised if Alfred didnt see this debate on BOR, to keep calling him just Chair hardly seems a meaningless slip. I think someone wants folks to think Boyd, a good and hard-working fellow and all, IS the Chair, and that in just a few weeks he can properly claim credit to things outside his control, and that support for any other candidate is preventing Dem unity or is time-wasting or rock-the-boat-for-rocking’s sake — and its exactly that sort of game-playing with the rules that make people think Boyd is the establishment-machine back-room deal-making being foisted upon the Party.

Whomever wins Saturday’s vote will be Chair, and have the full support of folks like me and other delegates i am sure, but until then, its frankly a disservice to use that title now.

Also, Alfred’s email claims that we dont need Glen to be TDP chair because we have Ruben Hernandez as Executive Director. I have met Ruben, and i like him and am impressed and i hope he stays on as ED, but thats a red herring as to whether Glen or Boyd are better for the role of TDP Chair.

On to the specifics of why Ruben negates a need for Glen and how the ED prescribes a CHAIR role better suited to Boyd, Alfred writes “Ruben has hired the most diverse staff the Texas Democratic Party has ever had including two Hispanic field organizers, an African-American field organizer and an experienced, bilingual Deputy Communications Director whose top priority is Hispanic media and outreach. ”

Meanwhile Boyd has been claiming credit for these decision/actions both in person at the LFT meetup, and in his emails and direct-mail.

“As TDP Chair, I’ve already hired staff to concentrate on Hispanic media and grassroots outreach and have also initiated meetings with activists to begin our campaign efforts for the November election.” - June 03 email from Boyd Richie

You cant have it both ways. If Ruben alone made those decisions, why is Boyd claiming credit and merit for them, and if it is in fact a joint decision, then of course it matters who makes up the team that leads to those decisions. If its a joint decision, or perhaps one that came from the Chair, the assertion that Ruben negates a need for a personality like Glen is spurious, and non-causal.

BUT more importantly, let me remind folks who forgot, or perhaps never knew, that the bilingual, hispanic, black, and anglo field staff are ordered, and paid for by Dean’s DNC. And those of us who went to the DNC Hispanic Summit in San Antonio last year will recall Dean’s direct statement that money will not come into to Texas until TDP staff reflects Texas, and that specifically until TDP hired some black and hispanic field staff.

It is a good decision, but it wasnt really Ruben’s, or Soechting, or Boyd, or Glen or me or you. I think probably Ruben would have made a similar decision because it is a good decision, as building the strongest team is the goal so that the strong decisions become the ordinary fare of the day.

So speaking of a team and each member’s role, the explicit conclusion of Alfred’s email that the presence of Ruben as ED means that the TDP Chair exists solely for “fund-raising and financial ability, communications and coalition-building skills, knowledge of the entire state and the administrative skills to support the fine work our new executive director is doing” is, to me and i think people like me, a partial picture, and a little bit of exactly what people say when they say “establishment.” Its more of the same, tweaked up and all, but its not likely to be enough, in my humble opinion. I mean, if it were, whats been going on the last dozen years? Does anyone claim the previous Chairs and staff were so out of touch that they couldnt see they just needed some tweaks. Of course they werent. They were and are hardworking and committed and caring, but (enjoy this metaphor) they seem to be deciding among the best driving routes from here to there — as there are many many routes in this big State– and in the meantime have forgotten you can also get there both by flying, and telephone.

i think reasonable people can disagree, but it certainly doesnt seem like a tweak is gonna break us through to the winning side. Glen’s responses that i have seen and read easily sail past Boyd’s toward my desire for big structural fundamental RE-definition of TDP Chair’s roles.

Having a politician/political consultant who has won CONTESTED races for himself and others, as the head of a political party is a really obvious (and sensible) decision! Choosing an atty who theoretically can tap other attys for funds is a short-sighted decision, in my estimation — especially now that ‘tort reform’ laws have dried up much of the trial lawyer’s long-vaunted funding.

comments, ideas??
mario

2006-Jun-1

So, what is the role of the TDP Chair?

Perhaps it too late, but it seems the first order should be to determine on what basis people are actually casting their votes for TDP Chair?

There seems to be some fundamentally different views of the Chair’s role:

  • Chairman of the board? (if so what board? SDEC?)
  • Executive Director?
  • CEO? COO? HR? MARKETING? or??
  • fundraiser-in-chief?
  • strategist-in-chief?(global or local or all?)
  • spokesperson-in-chief?
  • lead-field-organizer?
  • lead-inspirer?
  • lead-blockwalker?

all, none, just a few…?

Lets separate opinion from legal fact, if any.

So, perhaps there is some legal description of this (unpaid) job?

or legal proscription of what the Chair can and cannot do (regardless of what traditionally the chair does and doesnt do)?

what body, if any, governs the chair? does the legal language,if any, say they have to approve, allow, guide??

Once those facts are known, then let the discussion debates arguments roll on about what roles COULD be filled, and which are most important (and give some basis for why its important), and who is most likely to fill that bill.

so, who has some knowledge on the legal questions?

thanks
mario

(cross-posted at BOR)

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