Latinos For Texas Blog


Ciro In Austin, Blockwalking in San Antonio, Carlos Uresti online

Filed under: — site admin @ 4:32 pm

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Three great ways to help your Democracy, and one from the comfort of your computer:

* Show support for Ciro Rodriguez’s challenge to DINO Henry Cuellar at Democracy For Texas Meetup in Austin, Wed Mar 1, 7pm at 715 W. 6th street (

* Join our San Antonio Blockwalk to help the Ciro Rodriguez on Sat, Mar 4th. (

* Make calls for Carlos Uresti
Carlos Uresti needs volunteers as well! Carlos Uresti is running against Frank ‘I lock the Democratic Party in my trunk’ Madla. Dont let critics dismiss the ‘netroots’, bridge the gap from netroots to grassroots — and do it from in front of your computer!

Thanks for all you do, and keep the ideas coming,
LFT steering committee

Does Madla know which primary he is in?

Filed under: — site admin @ 3:35 pm

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A secret bird writes in to say:

Madla had an attack piece hit today questioning Carlos’ Democratic
credentials because he sold out Pete Laney in the 2003 race for Speaker of the House. Nevermind the fact that that’s wrong, or that Madla wouldn’t start sending out attack pieces if he wasn’t in trouble. The real kicker is that, from what we’ve heard, Frank Madla had to call David Dewhurst’s office and receive permission to attack the Republican party.

Let me repeat that: Frank Madla had to receive permission from Republican Lt. Governor David Dewhurst to attack the Republican party in a direct-mail piece going out to potential voters in the DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY.

It’s as if he just doesn’t understand that he’s running the Democratic Primary.

want to help a Progressive, who understands the values of San Antonio?
Onlinephonebanking has started

Don’t forget that Uresti lost his Chairmanship… his supposed prize for backing Craddick over Laney. And Capitol insiders have said the entire SA delegation sold out to TC. And of course, Mr. Laney, great Dem he is, wouldn’t endorse ol’ Al in 2000 either.

Early Voting Ends Friday

Filed under: — kevin @ 11:56 am

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Please go vote. According to reports, early voting is up in Laredo (hometown of Cuellar, probably not good for Ciro Rodriguez). Wherever you live across the state, vote early.

UPDATE: I meant to say, “Early voting is up in Bexar County, which is good news for Rodriguez.” Sorry about the confusion.


La Polituquera, Feb 2006 has the numbers

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Alfredo Santos writes in to let us know another fact-and-figures-packed edition of La Politiquera is available, and i can tell you it is packed with interesting information, and a timely reminder:

On the question of voting, I had a man tell me a few years ago, “No, si yo tuviera la ciudanania, you saldria a votar cada vez que me tocaba. Yo veo que hay muchos de ustedes que no cuidan lo que tienen aquí en este país.” (No, if I was a citizen, I would go out and vote every time I could. I see that a lot of you are not taking care of what you have in this country.)

Headlines include ‘The Race for the 28th Congressional District Seat’ and

  • On the Question of First Class Citizenship
  • Diana Davila Named Board President of Houston ISD
  • Armando Villarreal Now in Iowa
  • Latinos by the Numbers
  • Hispanics and Texas Politics
  • Maria Luisa Alvarado Head of Democratic Ticket

Download the 800k PDF right here.

Ceasar’s renderings need a prayerful view

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:51 am

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Margie Medrano writes in to say:

I am sending you the article Ceasar’s renderings need a prayerful view that appeared this month, in the Catholic Spirit, a newspaper that goes out each month to all the Catholics in the Diocese. This article is part of an effort of the Faithful Citizenship committee (that Steve & I are on), with our goal being to enlighten people on the relationship between Catholic Social teachings & how these are reflected in current social/political issues.

Unfortunately the article is not posted on the diocese website so I am sending it to you as a PDF file. So you don’t have to read it sideways click on “view” in the toolbar at the top & towards the bottom of the “view” menu you can rotate it “clockwise” to read upright.

Its available right here as a PDF, and its worth reading.

two good links in the article brought here for convenience:
Texas Impact and
Center for Public Policy Priorities

Blockwalk for Ciro Rodriguez in San Antonio

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:31 am

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Netroots activity is all fine and good, but as Cesar Chavez said: “How do you change the world? First you talk to one person, then you talk to another…”

Blockwalk for Ciro Rodriguez in San Antonio
From Austin to Ciro HQ (6108 S. Flores Street, San Antonio, Texas) to blockwalk for a few hours for a great candidate. Have some tasty SA food, and head back home feeling great!
MAR-04 @ 10:00 am leave Austin, or meet up in San Antonio at 11:30.
More info and Signup for free email or txtmsg reminder.


Ciro Rodriguez opponent got $150K from a Republican group

Filed under: — site admin @ 12:50 pm

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Kos has the post, TX-28: Club for Growth pumps $150K into Cuellar’s pockets lifted from the Washington Times, which dutifully reports of Henry Cuellar that

“He doesn’t stand with working families. On issues like tax cuts, the estate tax and immigration, he has voted with Republicans down the line.”

of course, that is Ciro Rodriguez’ s description, but it does it not ring of truth? Why else would the Club For Growth give money to a Democrat??


go vote!


[off-topic] A little David Letterman view on things

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:41 am

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Ok, we tend to stay focused, but this i gotta share:

David Letterman’s Dick Cheney - A Big Bowl Of Bad commercial



MySA’s Gammage Review

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:40 am

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MySA has a worth-reading article about Bob Gammage’s run for Governor.

In LFT discussion at the our most recent meetup, the idea that a person running for office can energize new people to get into the political process stood out as a rally-point for Gammage supporters.

Much has been made of his 10-year retirement from state-wide public office. I personally find it strange that having ACTUALLY BEEN ELECTED TO STATE-WIDE office (but not holding it now), is spun by some as a negative.

That Gammage comes out of private life into a cant-really-be-that-fun campaign leads me to believe that he feels the fire of doing what he can to make things better. Passion inspires passion inspires people.

Let me head off a few Bell rebuttals. I like Bell, and there is no insult to him in my praise of Gammage. I do not doubt Bell has a mission as well to improve life for as many Texans as he can, BUT that Dallas Morning News and other non-progressive(mid-progressive at best) entities prefer a captain that wont rock the boat… well, i prefer this kind of ‘endorsement’:

Gammage recently met with students at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he converted several young voters previously unaware of his candidacy.

“I was interested in his story. He’s somebody who really cares about the public,” said Evelyn Espinosa. “I think I probably will vote for him because of all the experience he has.”

and this testimony:

Gammage said he has no fear of losing.

“I don’t think in terms of that. I know the realities of politics,” he said. “When you put your head on the block, it can get chopped off. They will assault you in every way they can. If they don’t have something they can legitimately use against you, they will fabricate it. This is hardball politics, and that doesn’t frighten me.

“I am laying my life on the line because it’s the most important thing I can do at this particular point.”

Read the article and let me know why you do (or dont) like Gammage for Governor.



Real ID, Dumb Idea

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 10:58 pm

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The LA Times is running a story on the difficulties California predicts with future implementation of the Real ID act. States have until May 2008 to comply with the law which Congress allocated $100 million for - nationwide.

Officials in California say that meeting federal requirements could cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars, and that it could also increase identity theft and lead to invasions of privacy. The act is “a man-made disaster,” said state Senate leader Don Perata (D-Oakland).

The state Senate will hold hearings starting Tuesday to examine, among other things, how much implementing the act will cost the state. Congress appropriated $100 million to put the system in place nationwide. But the National Conference of State Legislatures has put the total price tag for states between $9 billion and $13 billion.

“This thing is such a big mess it is difficult to quantify at this point,” said Sen. Michael Machado (D-Linden), who will oversee the hearings.

Express-News Suffers from Amnesia, Redeems Itself

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 1:50 pm

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The San Antonio Express-News rode it’s high horse into CD-28 endorsing Henry Cuellar over Ciro Rodriguez for his “independent nonpartisan mind-set that angered labor unions and other liberal interest groups” and because “extreme partisanship is a cancer that threatens to destroy the nation’s political system.” The only problem is that Republican partisanship has metastasized into an assault on working families, children, seniors, and immigrants. Playing footsy with the GOP will not fix the issues facing the neediest of Texans – many of them in CD-28.

In 2004 the E-N said this:

We urge Democratic voters to stick with Rodriguez, who has served the district well since 1997.

From his seat on the House Armed Services Committee, Rodriguez has been an energetic supporter of San Antonio’s military bases, working hard with other members of the Texas delegation to strengthen the installations. He also is a champion of veterans’ health programs and military members.

The incumbent has fought for infrastructure and economic development measures across the district.

After Rodriguez lost the primary, the Daily endorsed Republican Jim Hopson over Cuellar in the general election partly because he “would put the district’s interests ahead of personal ambition.” At that time Cuellar was bogged down by allegations of voter fraud, claims to false endorsements, and mudslinging phone calls.

Think they ever check their archives?

They followed the same course with today’s tepid endorsement of Chris Bell in the gubernatorial race.

The Houston lawyer has promised a bold vision for the state and an effort to move out of the “partisan trenches.”

The E-N should, however, get props for its strong endorsement of SD-19 candidate Carlos Uresti:

We recommend challenger Carlos Uresti in the Democratic primary. A state representative from Bexar County’s District 118 since 1997, Uresti displayed bold leadership. As chairman of the House Human Services Committee, he strived to boost the state’s overburdened Child Protective Services. Uresti has earned a promotion.

He spearheaded efforts to oppose House Bill 2292 in 2003. That bill, which eventually passed in the Republican-controlled Legislature, cut funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and lowered the personal needs allowances for nursing home residents.

Although Madla voted against the final bill, his critical vote to bring the measure to the floor for debate allowed its eventual passage. The district’s constituents need a leader in Austin they can rely on when it comes to caring for the state’s poor, young and elderly.

South side! Which way will you go and will it be enough to oust career incumbent Frank Madla and Club for Growth’s darling Henry Cuellar?

Early voting starts manana.


COPS/Metro Alliance Host Dem Candidates :: Uresti and Madla

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 11:59 pm

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On Sunday afternoon about 150 people from various Catholic churches serving San Antonio’s lower income communities crowded in a small meeting hall at St. Leo’s Church. They were there to listen as COPS/Metro Alliance leaders clearly spelled out the agenda they expect their elected officials to move forward. They requested ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers from Senate candidates Carlos Uresti and Frank Malda, as well as Congressional candidates Henry Cuellar and Ciro Rodriguez.

Their agenda centered on securing funding for education and job training programs, infrastructure, and health care coverage. The format did not allow for any rebuttals between candidates, but the meeting organizers were not shy about pointing out their differences with some of the candidates’ positions.

Some words from Fr. McKenna of St. Leo’s who opened the discussion with the Senate candidates:

The mothers and fathers of all of our churches want more for their children than a career at Burger King or at Sea World. They want opportunities for their children so they can learn the skills necessary to get living wage jobs so they can live in dignity.

Texas is the only state in the Union to reduce school funding. Our teachers rank 40th in pay.


Latinos For Texas Endorsements

Filed under: — site admin @ 2:39 pm

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“How does a vote for you improve my everyday life?”

With that question, Latinos For Texas had our live endorsment screening and caucus meeting last night in Austin, and to quote Mark “that was fun!” With attendees from Austin and San Antonio, we talked to candiates, their reps, and each other, cutting (mostly) through the platitudes and getting into LFT’s mission: getting regular folks to just talk about how politics is important to your everyday life. I am proud no one went negative when discussing other Democratic contenders, and there were only snickers when Cuellars’ name came up. Like I said.. ‘other Democratic contenders.’

Look for an extended comments and an email with the juicy details and reasons why this evening. In the meantime: here are the results:


What do you think of these candidates? And if you were there, what did you think of the process?

Let us know, right below,

Congrats to Donna Howard and keep your eye on Bob Menendez

Filed under: — kevin @ 12:55 pm

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2 totally unrelated election news items: Donna Howard wins HD 48 special election and Sen. Bob Menendez has edged past Republican challenger Tom Kean, who has been the forerunner in the NJ Senate race for several months.


Ciro Rodriguez Interview: If I get back…

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 7:00 am

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In an interview with members from LFA-PAC and LFT-PAC, former Congressman and current CD-28 candidate Ciro Rodriguez, recalled his accomplishments and detailed his plans to build the economic and social interests of District 28 constituents should he win the seat he bitterly lost back in the March 2004 Democratic primary to Henry Cuellar.

During that primary, the San Antonio Express-News endorsed Rodriguez over Cuellar. The Daily called him a “champion of San Antonio’s military bases and veteran’s health programs.” Rodriguez was a member of the House Arm Services Committee – a seat held by a San Antonio Representative since 1997 and considered crucial to cities facing possible base closures. In 2002 SA-EN columnist Rodney Stinson, who does not give praise easily, said this of Rodriguez during his crusade to address water quality issues at Kelly AFB:

God bless Ciro Rodriguez. Let me rephrase that. God bless Ciro “Bull Dog” Rodriguez.

As San Antonio’s most egalitarian elected official, he continually demonstrates stubborn, unrelenting opposition to any individual, group or potent force that threatens the powerless citizens of this community.

Maintaining the belief that Congress shouldn’t comprise its commitment to our Armed Forces, Rodriguez said he would, “Continue the fight to protect soldiers and veterans and expanded health care for the neediest.” He explained that the VA must be funded annually. Veterans should get on-demand health care and returning soldiers treatment for post traumatic stress disorder. Rodriguez said soldiers are hesitant to ask for help, “porque son bien machos, but in a couple of years they will feel the effect of war. They are human.”

The former Congressman’s commitment to accessible health care is evident in his work in securing the funding for a current South Texas NIH program on the cutting-edge of diabetes research. Rodriguez insisted, “I will push for funding of a comprehensive bill written by Asian-Pacific Islander, Black, and Hispanic Caucus members to address the growing number of health concerns shared amongst minority communities – for Texas and the entire country.” He was genuinely passionate about a cure for diabetes and outspoken about increased funding for AIDS awareness and research.

When asked what separated him from his opponent, Rodriguez replied, “I am a Democrat. He votes with the Republicans. I would have never voted for the bankruptcy bill and I would have never voted to put a wall around Mexico. He voted to fund it.” In the bigger picture Rodriguez stated, “If I get back and we need to take back the House… this Administration should be held accountable for decisions behind FEMA and Halliburton.”

Rodriguez closed:

I have been a teacher and a social worker my whole life. I didn’t get into this profession for the money. I get satisfaction from helping constituents. The key to success in District 28 is commitment to education at all levels, expanded and accessible health care, and investment in infrastructure. This will build a strong person, which builds a strong family, community, and state. We need to make it happen.


Carlos Uresti On Agonist Radio

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 7:49 pm

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Here. 7:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Update: I missed part of it, but caught Uresti reminding listeners of the 78th Legislature’s cuts to CHIP thanks to a yes from the Senate side by Armbrister and Madla. He argued prevention first – citing that for every $1 the state spends the federal government gives $3. This means regular care for kids, no more visits to the ER, and several dollars of savings for the county in long-run.

After the break, Sean-Paul ran the infamous “lock the Dems in the trunk” Madla video and was sure to say it wasn’t provided by the campaign. Word is the tape is from Madla’s Republican-headlined fundraiser with special guests Dewhurst, Wohlgemuth, and a Mr. Toomey.

Uresti replied to the trunk video with a question, “When does he let Democrats out?”

Uresti also mentioned Madla’s unwillingness to debate him – even at the new Frank Madla Elementary School. The Rep chalks it up to the Senator’s inability to explain how he voted for cutting social security benefits for seniors and against the health interests of the districts’ poor kids.

As a side note, the number of students classified as economically disadvantaged at the former Royalgate Elementary has grown from 66.1% in 1994 to 97% in 2005.

Uresti went on to say the Marine Corp taught him to stand on principle and would not comprise the district’s values with cuts to vital services. He concluded by urging voters to hold elected officials accountable and to take no excuses. He said, “I will fight even if I lose. I won’t wait 4 more years. Working families and children can’t wait 4 more years… It is incumbent upon us to move our party and our people forward.”

HD 48 Voting on Valentine’s Day

Filed under: — kevin @ 4:14 pm

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Please vote for Donna Howard in HD 48. This is a real pickup opportunity after the primary results showed both Democrats getting a majority of the votes. People want change.

visit her site for more info and then, go call voters from the free web system at

Cuellar in a cartoon

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:43 am

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Rep. Aaron Pena’s A Capitol Blog points to clever ink version of CD-28 challenger Ciro Rodriguez’s opponent and Mr. Bush.

San Antonio Express Cartoon

which reminds me there is still time to invest in a new CD.. a Progressive Latino CD-28 that is.

won’t you be my neighbor?


DNC’s Personal Fundraising Central

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:02 pm

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hey bloggers, bloggerettes, and anyone in the progressive netroots:

Howard Dean’s DNC gets it. They have built and released a tool aimed at the folks trying to make a financial difference, but who dont have the technical expertise or time to build it on your own! Building infrastructure that lets others do the work, now that’s a great move.

Check this:

Personal Fundraising Central. “where you can create and manage your personal fundraising homepage… track all personal fundraising [and create] mini-campaigns (like Democracy Bonds, or any of the others.”

One reason we formed LFT-PAC is so we can help Progressive candidates (and especially Progressive Latino candidates/officeholders or with large Latino constituencies) with resources additional to traditional blockwalk/litdrop/phonebank/volunteers. I am not sure if we as a PAC can use this tool, (i ve emailed but no response yet) but many many others of yall out there should give it a whirl.

drop me a line, or a comment below if you do, let us know how it works for ya


More Endorsements for Judge Charlie Baird

Filed under: — kevin @ 11:10 am

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From press release I received:
Hispanic Lawyers Support Baird’s Candidacy

(AUSTIN, Texas) – This week, the Hispanic Bar Assn of Austin endorsed Judge Charlie Baird in his bid for the 299th District Court of Travis County.

“The endorsement of this established and respected bar association means the legal community recognizes that my fifteen years of judicial experience coupled with my seven years as a law school professor make me
the best qualified candidate in this race.” Judge Baird said.

Also, last night Judge Baird was endorsed by the West Austin Democrats, an organization that has been home to progressive Democrats for many years. These two endorsements bring the total to 14 different clubs and associations. Each endorsement reflects their commitment to the people of Travis County to make sure only the best qualified candidates serve on our
most important criminal courts.

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