Latinos For Texas Blog


A Short survey on Progressive Priorities

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:37 pm

Hello, fellow Progressive.

As part of DemocracyFest 2005, LFT would like to invite you to take part in the Latinos for Texas sponsored Progressive Message Survey at

Despite the rise in popularity of framing workshops and think-tanks, progressives have not been able to agree on a set of core talking points to communicate the progressive message to the voting masses. This is due less to general disagreement among progressives than to a lack of consolidation of our progressive Values.

While we don’t all agree on every issue, and regional concerns will always be important, it is time to establish a core set of principles that can be communicated concisely and effectively.

Help us create a unified progressive message by participating in our short 10-minute survey. All of your responses are strictly confidential and are used only in an aggregate fashion.

For a continuation of this discussion, join us at DemocracyFest 2005 in Austin, Texas to take part in our discussion of initial results and continued deliberation. To register for DemocracyFest 2005 please visit

If you would like to invite friends to participate in LFT’s Progressive Message Survey, simply email them the following link:

Thanks in advance for participating. Together, we can take our country back!

Warm regards,
Latinos for Texas ~ Uniendo Comunidades

BREAKING NEWS! Judge rules against Texans for a Republican Majority

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:33 am


Judge rules against Texans for a Republican Majority

Political action committee must pay $196,660 to five Democrats.

AUSTIN, Thursday, May 26, 9:40 a.m. — State District Judge Joe Hart ruled Thursday that Texans for a Republican Majority violated state campaign law when it failed to disclose more than a half-million dollars in corporate contributions during the 2002 state legislative elections.

Hart, however, said the plaintiffs could only collect for damages in their campaigns. He awarded $196,660 to the five Democratic candidates who lost in 2002. Included in that total was an $87,332 award to formerstate Rep. Ann Kitchen of Austin.

Five Democratic candidates sued Bill Ceverha, treasurer for Texans for a Republican Majority …




Filed under: — site admin @ 10:31 am


Latinos For Texas supports Julian Castro’s campaign for Mayor of San Antonio.
If you want to support a Progressive Latino for America’s 8th largest city, as our front page and blockwalking have shown, please visit to get involved!

Democracy for America supports candidates who are fiscally responsible, socially progressive and have demonstrated broad grassroots support.

So, if you can, go to the dfalist page, click thru to castro’s website and give him 20 bucks, 100 bucks or whatever you can. this will help demonstrate to a national audience that Texans support progressive candidates!

You can see the other Candidates on the DFA-List at


When Latinos run, Latinos vote

Filed under: — kevin @ 11:34 am

Exhibit A: Villaraigosa’s victory this week in LA. From a report in the AP:
“Antonio Villaraigosa attracted substantial support from Hispanics, Democrats, liberals and younger voters to be elected mayor of the nation’s second-largest city, an exit poll shows.

Villaraigosa captured 84 percent of the Hispanic vote and, perhaps energized by his candidacy, Hispanic turnout reached a record 25 percent, according to a Los Angeles Times exit poll published Thursday. When Villaraigosa ran four years ago the Hispanic turnout was 22 percent.”

It’s that simple. Any questions? Go forth and do likewise.


“The Importance of Being Arizona, Florida and Texas”

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:20 am

Interesting and Hispanic-centric discussion going on at Read all the way thru the comments, and get involved.

The Importance of Being Arizona, Florida and Texas
by Chris Bowers ay

According to a recent paper by William H. Frey of the Brookings Institution, three states, Arizona, Florida and Texas, will be the overwhelming beneficiaries of Electoral College and congressional redistricting over the next twenty-five years. According to this paper, Arizona will gain five seats / votes, Florida will gain nine seats / votes, and Texas will gain eight seats / votes. No other state will even gain three seats. In fact, these three states will take home two-thirds of the thirty-three seats that all states with rising populations will receive.

My electoral breakdown, based on the partisan index, would shift in favor of Republicans. Currently, the Republican base stands at 189 electoral votes, the Democratic base weighs in at 183 electoral votes, and swing states total 166 electoral votes. If somehow nothing changes in twenty-five years except for the Electoral College, that total would be a Dem base of 172, a Republican base of 198, and swing states worth 168.

What does this mean? It means that the Arizona, Florida and Texas Democratic parties need to get on their horses. It also means that this is twenty-five years from now, we can never be sure what states will be safe and what states won’t be safe. Just look at the partisan index from 1980 for a lesson in how much things can change. Still, if those three states are the highest growth areas, they need to be tagged for special attention now.

read more at The Importance of Being Arizona, Florida and Texas
by Chris Bowers ay

Latino Landslide in LA

Filed under: — kevin @ 7:32 am

Antonio Villaraigosa won the race for mayor in Los Angeles yesterday with over 58% of the vote. Sr. V is now mayor of the second-largest city in the country, and the first Latino mayor there since 1872.

Un aplauso muy fuerte for our friend, Mr. Mayor, over in California.


Horatio Algers and “aspirational voters”

Filed under: — site admin @ 8:16 am

Having done loads of Voter Reg, ID, and education, one of the biggest issues i have personally confronted many times are citizens who vote waaaaay outside their economic interests, and not because some social issue takes precedence, but because they can’t/won’t admit they are poor/fixed income/not-really upwardly mobile. and not for not-trying, or because they are lazy, but for 107 valid and substantial reasons they are now, and for the mid-term future, not going to realize any personally meaningful benefit from typical GOP economic policy.

Now, to be clear, jobs/wages/income/wealth/govt policy are not totally removed from an individual’s purview, but economic reality is a result of so many indeterminately inter-connected factors that even all the economists in the world, quite literally, cant decide how to improve it. How unrealistic is it, then, that a dead-tired Wal-mart worker with three children and one with a tooth-ache is going to improve their economic circumstances on their own, through just “hard-work” and their vote.

There is a substantial role in the community for setting up structures which improve lives, and GOP’s economic values/vision/policy seems pooorly suited for that goal.

So, see David Brooks pontificate, and gently praise those who believe FAIRY TALES!

Already, we’ve seen poorer folks move over in astonishing numbers to the G.O.P. George Bush won the white working class by 23 percentage points in this past election. Many people have wondered why so many lower-middle-class waitresses in Kansas and Hispanic warehouse workers in Texas now call themselves Republicans. The Pew data provide an answer: they agree with Horatio Alger.

These working-class folk like the G.O.P.’s social and foreign policies, but the big difference between poor Republicans and poor Democrats is that the former believe that individuals can make it on their own with hard work and good character.

Read more: Free Registration required at (try user: biteme776/psswd:biteme)


Comment: Castro’s age isn’t reason to brush him off

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 7:41 am

From the San Antonio Express-News:

Comment: Castro’s age isn’t reason to brush him off
Web Posted: 05/15/2005 12:00 AM CDT

Sylvia Manzano Rivera

Politicians, pundits and media commentators frequently tell us that young people ought to be involved and engaged in politics. When presidential elections are in full swing, we typically hear laments regarding low rates of voter turnout among young adults and their apathy and general disinterest in politics.

The questions arise: Where are the voices of young voters? Why are young citizens so complacent, ill-informed and disengaged from the political process?

Here in San Antonio, we have Julián Castro, the mayoral hopeful who is 30 years old. He placed first May 7 among the field of candidates, winning 42 percent of the vote; now he advances to the June 7 runoff.

Interestingly, the most consistent and frequent criticism about Castro is his age. His opponents, political experts and media experts point to his “youth” as the most significant problem with his candidacy.

It seems the same people who criticize apathetic youth are the first to complain that Castro is too young to be mayor. The essence of these mixed messages is this: Young adults should vote but are not welcome to share in power and authority.

There are two issues associated with age and this election that merit further consideration. The first is related to young adults and political participation. The second deals with how we define “young.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age of San Antonians is 32. Significant percentages of our local 18- to 30-year-old demographic are employed — many in two jobs. By the ripe old age of 30, most San Antonians are raising children as well as paying either mortgages or rent. Families, employment, households and taxes — all adult responsibilities by any measure.

The second issue is that for some, the words “young and politics” conjure up images of teenagers and people in their early 20s marching in protest. It is unfair to conceptualize youth politics in this narrow form. Individuals may choose from a wide range of activities to make their political preferences known. For example, one might sign a petition, attend a rally, mobilize others to vote, volunteer for a campaign or even run for office.

The point is that there is no reason why younger citizens should be relegated to specific modes of political participation.

Many young adults are indeed informed and interested in politics at the global, national and local levels. Some are sincere in their desire to lend a meaningful voice to the policy-making process or even pursue a career in public service. But are their life experiences, perspectives and commitments valued or welcome in the halls of power?

With respect to Castro’s age, the fact of the matter is that 30 is really not that young. However, this is not only about Castro, but all in their 30s who would have the same charges of limited life experience leveled against us. This begs the question: What is the age threshold for political maturity?

When one is 18, he or she is old enough to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan, but at 30 is too “young” to serve in major elective office? At what age would the media and political commentators deem it appropriate for one to run for elective office?

Like it or not, by the age of 30 we are not playing grown-up. We are grown up.

Sylvia Manzano Rivera holds a Ph.D. in political science and teaches at St. Mary’s University. She can be reached at


Outrageous, como siempre

Filed under: — kevin @ 10:07 pm

It turns out that Republicans hate bipartisanship here in Texas too. Via the Quorum Report :

“No Democrats or minorities on conference committees for HB2 or HB3

Speaker Tom Craddick named the following conferees for HB2: (Chair) Rep. Kent Grusendorf (R-Arlington), Rep. Dianne White Delisi (R-Temple), Rep. Bill Keffer (R-Dallas), Rep. Dan Branch (R-Dallas), and Rep. Rob Eissler (R-The Woodlands).

The Speaker named the following conferees for HB3: (Chair) Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland), Rep. Warren Chisum (R-Pampa), Rep. John Otto (R-Dayton), Rep. David Swinford (R-Amarillo), and Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Ft. Worth).

Kino Flores (D-Mission) got on the back mike inquiring why there were no Democrats or women on the conference committee. Craddick answered back, “Five members of the House,” meaning that there is no rule requiring he appointment of members of both parties.

(Of course, much of Judge John Dietz’s decision that precipitated HB2 & HB3 was about shortcomings in educating African-Americans and Hispanics. It may or may not prove to be relevant that neither are represented by the House conferees on education or school finance.)

Immediately preceeding the announcement on HB3, Will Hartnett (R-Dallas) moved this afternoon to instruct the conferees on HB3 to reject gambling, in particular an amendment added in the Senate that would expand electronic bingo.

Many believed that that the expansion in bingo was a backdoor entry to slot machines.

Chairman Jim Keffer argued that the issue was about process and encumbering conferees. Fred Hill (R-Richardson) reminded the members that the process is what the membership makes it and that there instructing conferees is not an uncommon procedure.”


Public Education vice-chair questions, “Who is going to believe…”

“Minority children make up 60 percent of the students in our public school system, so obviously we have a great stake in any changes made to the school finance system,” said Rep. René O. Oliveira, D-Brownsville and Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Public Education. “Denying minority House members a seat on the education bill conference committee eliminates any voice those children need. Politically, the lack of minorities greatly undermines the credibility of the committee and the legislation. Who is going to believe that the bill is as helpful as it can be to minorities, when minorities had no input in its development?”

No Democrats in the House voted for HB2.”

So, a bunch of rich, white conservatives get to make the decision to worsen our public schools and cut our children’s programs and opportunities for a better future. How would these guys feel if hard-working voters like us surrounded their mansions and prevented them from going out to get food and cut off their gas and water lines? Isn’t this similar?


Another group supports income tax

Filed under: — kevin @ 1:14 pm

Via the Quorum Report:


Sims says rural communities hurting financially

Trade associations concerned about a sales tax hike as well as corporate franchise and payroll tax increases may now view a state income tax more favorably.

It’s certainly true in the case of the Texas Farmers Union, the state’s oldest farm organization.

“Texans in rural communities are hurting financially,” said TFU President Wes Sims, in a statement Wednesday. “Giving the richest people in the state a tax cut at the expense of the poor and middle class is wrong. We wholeheartedly support a progressive state income tax because it is the fairest tax structure. An income tax is based on your ability to pay.”

The Texas Farmers Union joins other advocacy groups calling for an income tax. The Texas League of Women Voters, the Consumer’s Union, and the Texas Landowners Association have all voiced their support for the tax plan.”

My guess: by 2010 Texans will go the polls and vote on an income tax, which by Texas constitutional law, would pay for public school finance and property tax reductions.


Rep. Anchia’s words today

Filed under: — kevin @ 11:48 am

Via Daily Buzz section of Quorum Report:

Mr. Speaker and members…

Marissa and I want to thank all of you for your prayers, calls and visits during the last few days. For those of you I have been unable to contact, I want to let you know I am OK.

We also want to offer our thanks to those persons who helped us on Friday morning, including Trooper Moore from DPS, the members of the Fayette County EMS, the crew of Star Flight and the staff at Brackenridge Hospital.

Special thanks go to Rod Welsh, Tim Flynn and Nancy Fisher.

And finally, we want to thank Speaker and Nadine Craddick for their generosity and comfort during this difficult time.

Mr. Speaker and members please continue to pray for Monica Piñon as she recovers from her injuries. Please also keep the family of our friend Joe Moreno in your prayers.

In the difficulty of the last few days, i can only come to one conclusion that provides me with any solace. It is the understanding that God’s plan has no flaws. Last Thursday, it was God’s plan that I be with my friend Joe as he began his new journey.

Thank you Mr. Speaker and members.


RIP Rep. Moreno

Filed under: — kevin @ 7:36 pm

If you haven’t heard yet, Rep. Joe Moreno died in a car accident on Thursday night. Rep. Rafael Anchi was traveling with him, but suffered only minor injuries. I pulled the following from Quorum Report:


A big man with a big heart

State leaders and House colleagues paid tribute today to Rep. Joe Moreno (D-Houston), who was killed in a traffic accident near La Grange overnight.

Gov. Rick Perry, who ordered flags flown at half-staff today at all state buildings, led the tributes.

“Anita and I are saddened by the loss of a respected member of the Legislature who served his constituents with great dedication and integrity,” Perry said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe’s family and friends during this difficult time. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.”

Speaker Tom Craddick said House members were in shock after hearing the news.

“Nothing can prepare you for the sudden loss of someone that you see and talk with everyday. Joe was a young man with a bright future who early on, distinguished himself in his district and in the House,” Craddick said.


CHIP Postcards and callous Republicans

Filed under: — kevin @ 2:16 pm

Via the border buzz section of Quorum Report:

Strayhorn report says border areas have largest number of uninsured

Border lawmakers joined faith-based organizations in demanding full restoration of the Children’s Health Insurance Program at a press conference at the Capitol Tuesday.

Sen. Eliot Shapleigh (D-El Paso) said that the “draconian cuts” of 2003 that lead to 180,000 kids being knocked off CHIP were “immoral.” Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen) called the cuts “nasty.”

The press conference, staged by Texas Impact and Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, was held to announce that a further 5,000 Texans had signed postcards urging full restoration of the CHIP program. Since January 2004, faith-based groups have delivered 25,000 “Restore CHIP” postcards to Gov. Rick Perry and other state leaders.

“CHIP is one of those rare instances where government really gets it right,” said Bee Moorhead, executive director of Texas Impact, an advocacy organization sponsored by Christian and Jewish groups.

I was present at this Tuesday press conference outside out of the Senate chamber. I took pictures and stacked the postcards in a neat pile on a table for camera shots.

It may be too late to restore health insurance to the 180,000 kids who lost it during the 79th session, but this *will* continue to be a great electoral issue in 2006.


Garcia for US Senate

Filed under: — kevin @ 12:52 pm

Here is the new website for Juan Garcia , another great choice for the Democratic Party in Texas.

Julian Castro needs support (re-post)

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:02 am

Because two days without news from SA’s mayoral race is too much! ; )

Latinos For Texas supports Julian Castro’s campaign for Mayor of San Antonio. If you want to support a Progressive Latino for America’s 8th largest city, please be in contact with or visit for more information.

AND Democracy for America supports candidates who are fiscally responsible, socially progressive and have demonstrated broad grassroots support. Recommend Julian Castro for the DFA list at DFA-LIST CANDIDATE RECOMMENDATION. Please, take 30 seconds to go there now.

You can see the first DFA-List at


Breaking: Senate Dems unite against HB 1706

Filed under: — kevin @ 4:04 pm

Via Quorum Report :


Eleven Democrats sign letter to block voter picture ID bill

As the Texas House tries once again to pass HB1706 by Mary Denny, Senate Democrats have signed its death warrant.

The bill would require photo id or two alternatives in combination with a voter registration card in order to vote. Democrats complain that the bill creates undue obstacles to voting for the elderly and students, among others. They also argue that this is part of a nationwide Republican effort to disenfranchise voters.

Senate Democrats have rendered the next several hours of House debate moot by signing a letter indicating that they will not vote to suspend the rules in order to bring up the bill. Senate requires 2/3s of the 31 members to vote to suspend before a bill can be heard.

The full text of the press release will be in our Executive Summary later today.

Hot damn! This is a great moment in voting rights. Let’s find out who signed the letter so we can put them in the running for top Senator and Representative of the 79th Lege.

The Twins and the Next Generation

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 8:39 am

From the Los Angeles Times:

Latinos: The Next Generation
The Castro brothers are seen as heirs of the Chicano movement. And one twin, despite a few stumbles, is poised to become mayor.
By Scott Gold
Times Staff Writer

May 2, 2005

SAN ANTONIO — In 1975, Rosie Castro took her baby twins, Julian and Joaquin, to a farmworkers’ rally. They slept in strollers while she handed out union fliers.

The boys have grown up to become two of the more recognizable faces in San Antonio. Julian is a member of the City Council, Joaquin is a state legislator, and both are seen as modern-day successors to Chicano leaders like their mother — as comfortable in a boardroom as a barrio.

They are just 30 years old. Nevertheless, Julian Castro has become a leading candidate for mayor here, and the election is expected to hinge on whether voters see him as a political wunderkind or an upstart who needs more seasoning before taking the helm of the nation’s eighth-largest city.

Though he has been outspent by a large margin and has failed to win the support of a business establishment that frequently has handpicked mayors, one independent poll has given him a 19-point lead over his closest competitor.

The man running second, 70-year-old Phil Hardberger, is a former judge who had earned three college degrees, served in the Peace Corps, flown planes in the Air Force and worked as a newspaper copy boy before Julian Castro was born.

Some say a mayoral victory for Castro would be part of an important chapter for Latinos. Henry Cisneros, the former San Antonio mayor and Housing secretary under President Clinton, has pointed out that two major cities could elect Latino mayors within two weeks — Castro on May 7 and Antonio Villaraigosa in Los Angeles on May 17.

A Castro win would fuel descriptions of the twins that already border on breathless. In some quarters, their potential is compared to U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat whose skin color is seen as having shaped, but not defined, his public persona.

Raised by a single mother, the twins finished high school in three years, received scholarships to Stanford University, gained encyclopedic knowledge of public policy and urban development, went to Harvard Law School, then came home and got hired by a powerful law firm. They were soon elected to public office.

“When I was in college, in the early 1970s, you were either with the system or against the system,” said Luis Fraga, a Stanford associate professor of political science who taught the twins and mentored them while they were writing senior theses on economic development in San Antonio.

“Julian is an example of young people who understand that that kind of dichotomy was false, that the deeper challenge is simultaneously serving the interests of both — communities that traditionally benefit from policy and those that don’t.”

Snap, you better check that poll.

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 8:30 am

From today’s SA Express-News:

Experts find fault with mayoral poll
Web Posted: 05/03/2005 12:00 AM CDT

Rebeca Rodriguez
Express-News Political Writer

With four days left until the election and early voting ending today, San Antonio voters are relying on a single poll to gauge the horse race between Julián Castro, Phil Hardberger and Carroll Schubert.

Three recent tracking surveys over six weeks, conducted by the New Jersey-based firm Survey USA, all show Castro with a commanding double-digit lead heading into Saturday’s election.

A fourth and final set of numbers is expected to be released late this week.

Though few dispute the validity of Castro’s advantage, some experts question aspects of the poll’s methodology that might be affecting the results by a few percentage points in either direction.

“Without controlling for the variables of geographic location, age, ethnicity, race and gender, it’s more of a crapshoot than a scientific survey,” said Richard Gambitta, a political scientist at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

The three sets of data — released March 10, April 14 and April 26 — came from a poll conducted using an automated system, with WOAI-TV news anchor Randy Beamer providing the voice for the questions.

The Survey USA poll was commissioned and paid for by News 4 WOAI-TV, which has a yearlong contract with the firm to poll on a variety of subjects.

In the latest survey, released a week ago, 463 “likely” voters were asked whom they would vote for if the mayoral race were held “today.”



Committee Kills Clean Elections Bill

Filed under: — kevin @ 2:29 pm

The following is an email I got from Campaigns for People:

Dear Clean Up Texas Politics Supporter,

The opposing members of the House Elections Committee just couldn’t wait to kill House Bill 1348, our bill to keep secret corporate and union money out of Texas elections. In their haste to call for a committee vote this afternoon, they didn’t even wait for Rep. Smith (R-Euless), an author of the bill and a member of the committee, and Rep. Anchia (D-Dallas), also a co-author, to join their impromptu meeting. Rep. Smith had to call for a re-vote when he got there. Here’s our record of their final vote:

In Favor – Please send an email thanking the following Reps:
Rep. Todd Smith (R-Euless)
Rep. Jesse Jones (D-Dallas)
Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) (absent, but clearly in favor)

Opposed – These Reps need to know how outraged you are:
Rep. Mary Denny (R-Aubrey) (512) 463-0688
Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) (512) 463-0727
Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson (R-Waco) (512) 463-0135
Rep. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) (512) 463-0271

If the support of 93 House members and millions of Texans isn’t enough to get good legislation passed out of committee, what does it take? Unfortunately, we do know what it takes to BLOCK reform. Here’s the hard reality about the four members who opposed this bill in committee:

Chairwoman Mary Denny benefited from some $5,000 in corporate-funded mailers promoting her candidacy in her 2002 Republican primary.

Subcommittee Chair Bryan Hughes benefited from nearly $80,000 in corporate-funded sham issue ad mailers in his 2002 general election.

Vice Chair Dwayne Bohac benefited from around $80,000 of corporate-funded mailers in his 2002 election and another $20,000 in corporate money apparently laundered through the RNC.

Rep. “Doc” Anderson accepted corporate checks in his 2004 election and his opponent made it a campaign issue.

Speaker Craddick appointed these committee members despite their conflicts of interest. You can let Speaker Craddick know that his lack of leadership on ethics issues is shameful by sending him a fax:

Thank You,
Fred Lewis, Clean Up Texas Politics

Please tell your friends to go to and support reform in Texas

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