Latinos For Texas Blog


Republican Henry Bonilla profit from the war?

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(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.

Bonilla’s 2002 Personal Financial Disclosure:

Alliant Techsystems 2002 Fall Report:’Alliant%20techsystems%20%20Defense%20appropriations’

Bonilla’s 2002 Campaign Contribution Report:



Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/tspdream/ on line 83 announces 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!

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Houston Janitors in a historic victory!

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:04 am

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Amber Goodwin (fortuitous name!) of Houston Justice for Janitors/SEIU writes in with the good news of the good win in Houston:

More than 5,300 Houston janitors have reached a solid agreement with their employers that will put workers and their families on the road to a better future and pave the way for workers throughout the country to unite to improve their lives. Exact details of the agreement are below in a press release.

Thanks for your continued support, this is a historic victory not just for the janitors but for working families across the globe!


Great news indeed, and it is nice to be reminded that being organized and united really does lead to progress and better opportunity for families and communities! Way to go SEIU and Houston Janitors.


Henry Bonilla Cheats Minorities

Filed under: — SoniaS @ 9:06 am

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(cross posted on BOR, DU, Texas Kaos and Stop Bonilla blog)
In 1999, Henry Bonilla took over an independent Political Action Committee known as the American Dream PAC.  Bonilla promised to “give significant, direct financial assistance” to minority political candidates.

Under the first four years of Bonilla’s supervision over the American Dream PAC, Bonilla collected $550,000.00 to fulfill his promise to help fund minority political candidates, but Bonilla gave less than $50,000 to minority candidates seeking public office.  Bonilla used less than 9% of the funds collected to serve the interests which Bonilla promised to serve.

Instead, Bonilla used over twice as much money collected by this supposedly “independent” Political Action Committee (more than $100,000.00) to pay off partisan Republican Party organizations and causes, including  corrupt Republican Tom DeLay’s criminal defense fund.  This is the same Tom DeLay who violated the Voting Rights Act to illegally gerrymander Bonilla’s congressional district in a failed attempt to dilute the votes of over 100,000 Latino voters in Bonilla’s district.  Even the Republican-dominated Supreme Court had to reject Bonilla’s gerrymandered district because DeLay and Bonilla “took away the Latinos’ opportunity because Latinos were about to exercise it” against Bonilla.

Bonilla said that his corrupt PAC gave only small donations to the minority political candidates he pledged to support because he couldn’t find “good, solid minority candidates to expend the funds on. We tried to be judicious and not just throw money out the window.”  Bonilla did not comment on why he considered fulfilling his promise to fund minority candidates throwing “money out the window” while he didn’t consider giving away those funds to Tom DeLay’s criminal defense fund throwing money out the window.

In 2003, Bonilla’s committee treasurer pleaded guilty in a San Antonio federal court to embezzling $119,021 of the funds collected for promising minority candidates, and she was sentenced to 15 months in prison.  Due to lax oversight, Bonilla did not discover this theft for over four years, and even Bonilla had to admit that this “was a black mark on my judgment.”

Henry Bonilla, with his record of broken promises and corruption, must be stopped!
I’m posting this for blogger StopBonilla with permission.  The new blog is :

Let’s collect the ways Henry is bad for this district. He doesn’t represent the voters in this district.


SEIU and Non-violent Civil Disobedience in Houston

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An update on the Houston Janitors/SEIU strike for fair wages from major national cleaning contractors.

Up to 50 janitors from Houston and Around the Country to Risk Arrest Today to Challenge Industry to Settle 4-week Old Strike

HOUSTON—Up to 50 janitors and supporters from around the country and in Houston prepare to risk arrest to challenge the real estate industry to settle the strike and agree on a contract that provides the 5,300 janitors in Houston with higher wages and affordable health insurance. Houston has never seen non-violent civil disobedience on this level, and the sheer size of the arrests—as many as seventy over two days—shatter any previous records. For details on actions planned in Houston today, please call SEIU’s Lynda Tran at 202-907-1172.

Yesterday, janitors and supporters in 20 cities staged a variety of demonstrations at Chevron stations and Chevron-owned buildings, including acts of non-violent civil disobedience at Chevron corporate headquarters in San Ramon and Houston, to prompt the oil-giant to intervene and ensure that the janitors who clean up after them are provided with health insurance and decent wages. Twenty-four janitors and supporters were arrested in the two actions.

In Houston, the janitors split up into delegations and visited the offices of various building owners and tenants in the city. Some fanned out to the financial advisors for J.P. Morgan asking them for help in figuring out to raise a family, own a home, and save for retirement on $20 a day.

Support Pouring in As Civil Disobedience Intensifies

Yesterday, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Rev. James Lawson, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) of Los Angeles—and one of the civil rights leaders who organized the Memphis Sanitation strike with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—were the latest to sign on to a statement in support of the Houston janitors and the use of civil disobedience. The statement reads in part:

“The goal of these “Freedom Fliers” is to promote workers’ rights, civil liberties, and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. We applaud the bravery and courage of these janitors, who will be risking arrest to fight for a better future for all American workers. Victory by the Houston janitors will build momentum for a new movement for better jobs and affordable health care in Houston and throughout the southern United States.” To read the entire statement, visit

Janitors in Houston work for many of the same national cleaning firms in buildings owned by the same national commercial landlords as janitors in other cities but earn significantly less and are not provided with health insurance. Janitors in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and other cities make more than $10 an hour, have health insurance and full-time work. In contrast, Houston workers are paid an average of $20 a day, with no health insurance for part-time work.

Last fall, 5,300 Houston janitors made the historic choice to form a union with SEIU (Service Employees International Union). Their decision capped one of the largest successful organizing drives by private sector workers ever in the Southern half of the United States. Since forming a union with SEIU, Houston janitors have been seeking a raise to $8.50/hour, more hours, and health insurance in a citywide union contract.

Nationwide, more than 225,000 janitors in 29 cities are members of SEIU.


Farmers Branch Fuels Anti-Immigrant Sentiment

Filed under: — SoniaS @ 9:18 am

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Dallas Morning News story this morning “FB moves against illegal immigrants”. Even their framing in the news story title makes it sound so uncontroversial. Or does it? I think Farmers Branch stepped back into the 20th century. They have basically fallen for the “blame the immigrants” frame. Nevermind that 37% percent of their population is Latino and the majority of them are not illegal.

FB moves against illegal immigrants
Farmers Branch on Monday adopted strict measures against illegal immigrants, requiring apartment renters to provide proof of citizenship or residency and making English the city’s official language.

The City Council also unanimously agreed to let police apply to participate in a federal program that would enable them to check the residency status of suspects in custody and initiate deportation proceedings in certain cases.

The measures, believed to be the first of their kind in Texas, brought cheers from supporters but sparked anger among some Hispanics and other opponents that the action will cause further racial tension in the city.

Protesters gathered at Farmers Branch City Hall hours before Monday night’s City Council meeting. Shouting matches periodically erupted outside the council chambers between supporters and opponents of the ordinances.

Some Hispanic activists said they will sue the city over the decisions.

Well not that I had any dealings with Farmers Branch right now, but I’m certainly not going to have any now. They have just joined the ranks of Vidor in Texas racist history.


Corpus Christi Caller Times says Juan Garcia wins!

Filed under: — site admin @ 5:37 pm

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Garcia wins District 32 seat

San Patricio County voters help Democrat oust incumbent Seaman

By Beth Wilson and Jaime Powell/Caller-Times
November 8, 2006

SINTON — Juan Garcia has won the District 32 Texas House of Representatives race, upsetting Republican incumbent Gene Seaman.

With 328 ballots still out, Garcia is up by 602 total votes, according the San Patricio County election officials.

read more…

Bonilla vs Ciro, so it appears

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:49 am

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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.

Juan Garcia Poised to Win HD32 - Up by 97 600+ votes

Filed under: — SoniaS @ 8:11 am

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CC-Times says race is too close to call. Hell, I say call it for Juan. Congratulations Juan!

Corpus Christi Caller-Times 11/08/06
Garcia Leads Seaman by 97 votes, too close to call

By Fanny S. Chirinos Caller-Times
November 8, 2006

SINTON — In his first run for public office, Democrat Juan Garcia III appeared on his way toward upsetting five-term Republican incumbent Gene Seaman for Texas House District 32.

The race was too close to call, but at 2:45 a.m. Wednesday, Garcia had a 97-vote lead with only three precincts uncounted — all in San Patricio County, where Garcia led Seaman.

One certainty was that the winner would take office without a majority because of Libertarian Lenard L. Nelson’s 5.6 percent.

The margins between Garcia and Seaman in the other counties that make up District 32 were: 176 votes in Seaman’s favor in Aransas County, 152 in Garcia’s favor in Calhoun County and a 1,006-vote margin for Seaman in Nueces County. Both are Corpus Christi residents.

Go Juan Go!!!



Filed under: — site admin @ 6:13 pm

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EASY EASY EASY! Take five minutes to look up friends or neighbors in Travis and Hays County. So many people have not voted,

Look them up by Last Name or Street name, and then make a call or knock on a door for Democracy!

Click here to look up neighbors and friends in Travis County
Click here to look up neighbors and friends in Hays County

Don’t stop yet!


PBS Web Exclusive - “Vets for Congress” Features John Courage

Filed under: — SoniaS @ 11:29 pm

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The PBS program NOW, recently came to Central Texas looking for election stories where the war in Iraq might impact Congressional races. They interviewed John last week, as well as Democrat Mary Beth Harrell. Mary Beth is running in Congressional District 31, against Republican incumbent John Carter. That district includes Fort Hood, and the District 31 race was the focus of the PBS TV program that aired Friday Nov. 3rd, entitled “Sway the Course”.

NOW program producers had so much good video they shot with John, but very little opportunity to air it all in one program. The producers decided to make John’s interview a web exclusive.

From the PBS NOW web site:

About John Courage

John Courage is one of the so-called “fighting Dems,” one of over 60 veterans from around the country seeking higher office as a Democrat. Courage is running for Congress in the 21st district in Texas, which includes the city of San Antonio, a city known as ‘military town U.S.A.’ His opponent is Republican incumbent Lamar Smith.

Courage, who believes U.S. forces should withdraw from Iraq as quickly as possible, hopes his military service will help him win. “Now is the time for Democrats, particularly veteran Democrats, to stand up and say, ‘You know we’re tired of being told we’re unpatriotic as a Democratic party,’” Courage told NOW.

You can go onto the PBS NOW website and view the web interview segment titled Vets for Congress

The video has very high quality production and is very focused on on the war issue. There’s a nice segment where two Vietnam veterans, Emilio Serrano and “Dutch” Berkley, speak out against the war. Their concern for our military is personal and well stated. They’ve served their country before and they’ve been down this same road before. They think it’s time to bring the troops home, and they’re stepping up to help John Courage get elected because John shares that military experience with them. Veterans supporting veterans. This is one of the most important issues in this race.

You can also read the transcript of the program on the PBS website.


Houston janitors and supporters intensify their efforts for good jobs and health care

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The hard-working folks who help keep Houston clean, and their newly formed SEIU union, send in an update on the on-going struggle for decent and comparable pay for Houston’s Janitors. For the latest on the strike and its national implications and supporters, check

Janitors, Community Supporters Intensify Calls on Hines, Chevron, Transwestern, Crescent, and Brookfield Properties to Ensure Good Jobs with Health Care for Houston Families
Janitors’ supporters block intersection of Post Oak and Westheimer in protest of real estate industry’s stance

HOUSTON—Janitors and community supporters intensified their calls on the five economic powerhouses who drive the commercial real estate industry in Houston to ensure good jobs with health insurance for Houston families. The five landlords have the power to settle the 2-week old strike by directing the cleaning contractors they hire to provide the wages, benefits, and work hours janitors need to support their families. Today community supporters protested the real estate industry’s failure to ensure good jobs with health care in Houston by engaging in an act of non-violent civil disobedience by closing the intersection of Post Oak and Westheimer in the Galleria area.

José Rios spends five nights a week cleaning six floors of Chevron’s downtown Houston office building. For just $20 a night and no benefits he has to clean and vacuum six floors in just four hours. “Chevron can afford to provide more for workers. It’s very hard for someone my age to do this kind of work but what other choice do I have?” said Rios, 70. As a building owner and office tenant, Chevron controls more real estate in Houston than any other company.

At the Westin Hotel today, while Houston’s commercial real estate elite gathered to discuss ways for the multi-billion dollar industry to increase revenues, janitors and community supporters at the hotel invited representatives of the five companies to take a break from the meeting and resolve the strike.

Building owners and managers negotiate and set rates with the janitorial contractors who keep their buildings clean and employ the janitors. Current janitorial service contracts do not allow for higher wages or health insurance for janitors. The janitors are calling on individual building owners and mangers to direct their contractors to meet the janitors’ proposal of $8.50 per hour, more work hours, and health insurance, and to tell their contractors to bargain in good faith with the union as the law requires.

National, International Support for Houston Janitors

Houston’s janitors are receiving national and international support from other SEIU members, sister unions, and community organizations. SEIU janitors in Los Angeles and Chicago have honored Houston picket lines already this week with janitors in other cities expected to follow suit in the coming days. Next week, Houston picket lines could be set up simultaneously in at least half a dozen cities around the country.

Internationally, there have been delegations by union activists in Mexico City, Moscow, Berlin and London calling on Hines—Houston’s largest landlord—to stop standing in the way of Houston janitors’ efforts to move out of poverty. Similar actions have been held at Chevron-owned gas stations in London and Utrecht, Netherlands. This week and next supportive members of labor unions in nine other countries—England, France, Italy, Argentina, Panama, Brazil, Poland, Germany, and Australia—are planning delegations to properties owned by Hines and Chevron in support of Houston janitors.

For the latest on the strike and its national implications and supporters, check

MAQUILAPOLIS (Nov 5, 2-4pm Museum of Fine Arts Theater, Houston)

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Promoted from the comments for better visibility:

The Station Museum of Contemporary Art and The Museum of Fine Arts Houston are pleased to announce:

[city of factories]
A film by Vicky Funari and Sergio De La Torre

Free film screening November 5th from 2-4pm at the Museum of Fine Arts Theater (1001 Bissonnet Street Houston, TX 77005). Question and answer session with special guests, Dir. Sergio De La Torre and Lourdes Luján, at 4pm.

Carmen works the graveyard shift in one of Tijuana’s maquiladoras, the multinationally-owned factories that came to Mexico for its cheap labor. After making television components all night, Carmen comes home to a shack she built out of recycled garage doors, in a neighborhood with no sewage lines or electricity. She suffers from kidney damage and lead poisoning from her years of exposure to toxic chemicals. She earns six dollars a day. But Carmen is not a victim. She is a dynamic young woman, busy making a life for herself and her children.

As Carmen and a million other maquiladora workers produce televisions, electrical cables, toys, clothes, batteries and IV tubes, they weave the very fabric of life for consumer nations. They also confront labor violations, environmental devastation and urban chaos — life on the frontier of the global economy. In MAQUILAPOLIS, Carmen and her colleague Lourdes reach beyond the daily struggle for survival to organize for change: Carmen takes a major television manufacturer to task for violating her labor rights. Lourdes pressures the government to clean up a toxic waste dump left behind by a departing factory. As they work for change, the world changes too: a global economic crisis and the availability of cheaper labor in China begin to pull the factories away from Tijuana, leaving Carmen, Lourdes and their colleagues with an uncertain future.

We are currently seeking funding to implement a binational Community Outreach Campaign, designed and implemented collaboratively with stakeholder organizations in the U.S. and Mexico. The campaign utilizes a high-profile public television broadcast, top tier film festivals and community screenings of the film to create meaningful social change around the issues of globalization, social and environmental justice and fair trade. Our outreach team includes dedicated activists on both sides of the border, mediamakers committed to social change, and most importantly a group of women factory workers struggling to bring about positive change in their world.

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Department of Education at the Museum of Fine Arts and George Ramirez. Rosalinda Gonzalez, Curator of Frontiera 450+, Ann Harithas, and James Harithas, Director of The Station Museum.

This film was supported by a grant from the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund. It is a co-production of the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and a project of Creative Capital.

Department of Education MFA: George Ramirez, or 713.639.7727
The Station Museum: Rosalinda Gonzalez, or 823.213.7428

Juan Garcia’s new ad

Filed under: — SoniaS @ 12:54 pm

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Hey LFT, let’s go show this ad some love. Watch it and get a YouTube account if you don’t have one yet and let’s get some rankings for it. It’s a great ad.

Here’s the URL so that you can give it a 5 star rating. YouTube link

Do it for Juan!


John Kerry Wants You To Decide - We Want Courage

Filed under: — SoniaS @ 9:43 am

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Today (Nov. 1st) , between 7am and 7pm EST, John Kerry is opening up the polls on his website for a public vote on which Netroots endorsed Senate and House contenders will be the lucky recipient of his last fundraising e-mail of the cycle. John Courage is the only Texan in the list for the U.S. House. Please vote now and help us spread the word through your e-mail lists, to other blogs or however you can. Let’s win another endorsement for a good Texas candidate, and help him raise more money.

Vote for John Courage Now!

From John Kerry’s web site on the contest

Vote for your favorite House and Senate netroots candidates from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST. The Senate candidate and the 2 House candidates with the most votes will get the last fundraising email of the cycle. We’ll challenge our 3 million person online community to get these fighters over the top in the last few days.

Please send a note to your friends and e-mail lists. We need you to help us spread the word. Here is the URL you can copy and paste in your e-mail messages:

Let’s stand with Courage and help him out once again.

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