Political And Other Miscellany From A Stout Democrat In Dallas Texas.
"Politics is the only game for adults." --from Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star

Monday, June 19, 2006


(I'm posting this here so that everyone can see it, even though it was addressed just to Democrats of Senate District 16 in Dallas County, as a report from their re-elected incumbent SDEC members, Dr. Theresa Daniel and former Dallas County Chair Ken Molberg.)

Dear 16th District Democrats:

We are excited to bring you this report of last weekend's State Convention activities. Thanks to all of you who were present in Fort Worth, and for those who could not attend this convention, we'll see you in 2008 and before, at the many campaign events on the agenda.

Once again, the 16th Senatorial District was well represented. We should all be proud that our level of activism is virtually unmatched statewide on the senate district level. We are trying to get final confirmation, but it seems that our district may have had the best participation in the state at the senate district level, and the same is true at the state convention level. The 16th also gave substantial support to the traditional Blue Star Breakfast, as it has in the past. Close to 100 of you purchased your stars to help defray convention expenses. You are a great group of Democrats.

At our Friday senate district caucus, the delegation elected the following individuals to serve on convention committees to represent the 16th: Pauline Dixon (Credentials); Suzanne Wills (Platform); Meridell Templeton (Resolutions); Shannon Bailey (Rules); and David Bradley (Nominations). Pat Tharp was elected to head the District Tabulations Team, and he was joined by Crispin Reedy, Joseph Joiner, Carlos Aguilar and Goldye Levi. These folks deserve our thanks for their hard work in performing a difficult and tedious job.

Ken Molberg and Theresa Daniel were thereafter elected to represent the district on the State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC), and they were then named by the State Party Chair to chair the permanent convention committees on Nomination and Rules, respectively. Tom Blackwell was appointed by the Chair to serve on the Permanent Platform Committee and, courtesy of Tom, the Platform may be found at this link. Congratulations also go to Shannon Bailey of our district who was re-elected President of the Stonewall Democrats of Texas and will, as a result, also serve on the SDEC. And, finally, we apologize if we have omitted anyone or got it wrong in any respect.

Friday evening on the floor, there was a roll call vote for permanent convention chair. Bob Slagle of Grayson County defeated Ted Weisgal of Harris County by a vote of 4,425 to 1,386. Our district supported Bob Slagle, 83-8. Various other convention officers were named or elected Friday night or Saturday morning, including Ken Molberg as General Legal Counsel of the convention.

Saturday was a big day: the much-awaited race for Chair of the Texas Democratic Party. Four candidates were nominated by the Nominations Committee: Boyd Richie (Young County), Glen Maxey (Travis County), Charlie Urbina-Jones (Bexar County) and LaKesha Rogers (Harris County). No one received a majority of the convention's votes on the first ballot. Our district cast the following vote the first time around: Richie, 103; Maxey, 75; Urbina-Jones, 8; and Rogers, 0. In the runoff between Richie and Maxey, our district voted in favor of Richie, 103.56 to 82.42. Boyd Richie was elected to chair the Texas Democratic Party on a convention vote of 3,415 to 2,987.

Both Boyd and Glen ran masterful campaigns, and this was truly one for the books. We had not had a seriously contested race for chair since 1980, when Bob Slagle defeated Luther Jones of El Paso. Glen wasted no time in offering his public support to Boyd in an effort to achieve victory in November, and the other two candidates quickly followed suit. For a comprehensive analysis of the State Party Chair vote this year, go to Dallas's own Kirk McPike’s post at Burnt Orange Report. Other permanent Party Officers elected at the convention on Saturday were: Roy Laverne Brooks of Tarrant County (Vice-Chair); Dennis Speight of Travis County (Vice-Chair for Finance); Victor Garza of Hidalgo County (Treasurer); and Ruby Jensen of Harris County (Secretary).

During the course of the convention, we heard numerous invigorating speeches from elected officials and candidates. Two of the best "red meat" entrees were from David Van Os and Glen Maxey. The showpiece speech on Friday night was by our Democratic gubernatorial nominee Chris Bell, the only candidate of substance in the race for governor. You can see a number of the speeches by going to this page and clicking on the appropriate link.

This convention was also marked by the advent and institutionalization of the blogging community in the convention proceess, via the Texas Progressive Democratic Webloggers and the Bloggers' Caucus, a samplimg of which you can see at former Dallas County Democratic Party Chair Bill Howell's StoutDemBlog. These bloggers, like Bill, have spread Party information and the Democratic message far and wide, and they have now become a central part of our political process. And while you're clicking around, make sure you sign up for important notices from the Dallas County Democratic Party at this page. The DCDP Web site also contains many good links to reports about the convention.

What are some things you can you do for Democratic victory?
  • First, secure your precinct for the Democratic ticket. Contact your Democratic voters to insure the most committed are active in the campaign and that all of them vote in November. A phone call and precinct letter from you will markedly enhance our Democratic turnout. It's even better if you can add a walk program to the mix and work to create an e-mail list of the Democrats in your precinct. If you are not familiar with how to acquire data for your precinct, call Ken, Theresa or the Party Office and they will tell you how. Indeed, Walter Hofheinz of our district is a true guru on this.

  • Second, volunteer for a campaign. The list of candidates and how to get hold of them is at There are never enough hands, feet or voices.

  • Third, offer your services to the Dallas County Democratic Party. Call (214-821-8331) or get on the Party Web site. There is a need for volunteers to answer the phones and perform tasks such as researching issues with the Issues Committee. Contact the Party office or Theresa for more information about other tasks that offer opportunities to put your talents to good use through the DCDP Advisory Committee. Our County Chair, Darlene Ewing, along with Steve Tillery, our executive director, have been doing a great job, but like any Chair and any ED, they need our help.

  • Fourth, work with neighborhood clubs or issues groups. Check out for a complete listing of groups in the County and their contact information.
The convention is now over and it's time to turn our attention to November, in a united effort to paint this County and State blue. This is a team effort all the way around. It must be that way for our candidates and it must be that way for us. To borrow David Van Os's campaign theme as our own, we must be of the mind set that, "We'll fight them 'til Hell freezes over, then we'll fight them on the ice." It's time to stop talking and it's time to start doing. Any help you can give will be appreciated by us, our candidates and good Democrats throughout our County and State.

We leave you with two important thoughts that were the themes of the speeches of our two leading candidates for State Party Chair last weekend: "Ya basta!" as Glen Maxey said. We've had enough of Republican greed, corruption, lies, neglect and indifference. But only by coming together and working as a team can we succeed in ridding this County, State and Nation of the Republican menace. As Party Chair Boyd Richie reminded us, "It's about 'we', not 'me'."

Democratically, and with thanks to you all,
Ken Molberg & Theresa Daniel
State Democratic Committee Members
Senate District 16, Dallas

P.S. Lost and Found: A pair of glasses and a book were found abandoned in our district. Contact Theresa about them.

Monday, June 12, 2006


It seems I managed to impress fellow Wood Countian Vince Leibowitz of Capitol Annex over the weekend.
I thought one of the best ways to do an overall convention recap was by "thumbs up/thumbs down," so here goes (more final thoughts & thank-yous follow): ...

Up: Stoutdemblog’s convention coverage. Bill of Stoutdemblog has been around the party a while and seen a number of party battles. His blogging showed that insight. In addition, he stayed until the last man standing and blogged until almost 10 p.m. Saturday.
Gosh, I am quietly proud.

Oh, and one more addition to the sidebar list of sites that have permalinked me: Marc's Miscellany, another blogger I met at the convention.


The Texas Democratic Party held our 2006 State Convention Friday and Saturday in Fort Worth. Except for a contest for State Chair, a four-way race which had to go to a second ballot runoff, there was not much controversy. Most of the sessions on the floor were spent listening to speeches from candidates, elected officials, and other guests, while committees were meeting elsewhere. Below are a few highlights available on the internet.

For a list of links to local newspaper coverage, see this post, at Annatopia, who heatedly objects to their spin on our party, and another list, followed by still one more, with coverage from elsewhere compiled by South Texas Chisme.

Most of the first day was spent in caucusses of various organizations. One very hopeful sign emerging from those was a new unity among Hispanic Democrats; for more read DosCentavos in this post, and this follow-up. That afternoon, each Senate district met to pick members to serve on the convention committees, and to elect two persons to serve on the State Executive Committee for the next two years.

The keynote was given Friday evening by General Wesley Clark, who was introduced by State Representative Richard Raymond. There are videos on line at YouTube or at CanOFun. There was a speech by retiring State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos, on line at YouTube. After an address by Rebecca Vigil-Giron, New Mexico's Secretary of State, the delegates had to decide between two candidates for permanent convention chair. A roll call vote was won by former State Chair Bob Slagle. The big finale Friday was the talk by our candidate for Governor Chris Bell; video is at YouTube and his text is on line at Burnt Orange Report.


The final day's session began with a filmed tribute to our late U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen (on line at YouTube). This was followed by a very moving speech by our U.S. Senate candidate Barbara Ann Radnofsky (who said she was running for Bentsen's seat, which was temporarily held by someone else). Her remarks are online at Burnt Orange Report, and on video at YouTube and at CanOFun. Later there were talks by Lieutenant Governor candidate Maria Luisa Alvarado (on line at YouTube), and an exciting old-fashioned piece of fire-breathing oratory by Attorney General candidate David Van Os (introduced by former Attorney General Jim Mattox), which is on line at YouTube and at CanOFun.

Some other convention videos can be found (and are still being posted) at YouTube or at CanOFun. It is not clear how long these will stay up; one of Bell's speech has already been removed once and later replaced. Vince Leibowitz has also put on line audio tapes of Clark and Barrientos, and of Radnofsky speaking to the Blogger's Caucus, and of interviews with several candidates, which can be found at Capitol Annex.

Shown above is State Representative Senfronia Thompson, who spoke to the convention on Saturday as Democratic candidate for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, calling on the people to "tear down the wall" dividing them from their Republican-misrun government.

In the race for State Chair, incumbent Boyd Richie almost won on the first ballot. Before the runoff, third-place finisher Charlie Urbina-Jones urged his supporters to do what they thought was right, and they split between the two leaders. Richie won the office, and challenger Glen Maxey pledged his support and called for unity in a concession speech. Discussion of the vote, with maps by districts and an Excel spread sheet, were put up by Kirk McPike of Dallas at Burnt Orange Report.

The Nominations Committee, chaired by Ken Molberg of Dallas, recommended Roy Laverne Brooks for Vice Chair; one challenger then withdrew in her favor. The committee's other choices were then all elected by voice vote. Several uncontroversial changes were made to the Rules, as proposed by the Committee headed by Theresa Daniel of Dallas. These included adding members from the Environmental Caucus and the Asian American Democrats to the state executive committee.

The long balloting for State Chair left little time for Resolutions or Platform, and several items passed by those committees were referred for further consideration later. One which did pass called for gradually getting our troops out of Iraq. An issue brought up from the floor by a petition was a resolution calling for impeaching George Bush for a long list of offenses, and removing him from office if convicted; that failed on a close division vote. If the items passed are posted on the web, we'll post that here. The convention finally adjourned for lack of a quorum at about 9 PM.

The Party Welcomes Bloggers:

Here I am sitting at one of the rows of tables the party provided for bloggers at this convention, close to the stage and with wireless internet access. They gave us press credentials and interview opportunities. Many of us were there with laptops, "live blogging" on web sites in real time about the caucusses and sessions, so people at home could keep in touch with Democracy at work. The party never tried to impose any official line or censor us, and the result was a rainbow diversity of opinion. This openness is a big difference between us and the secrecy-obsessed Republicans.

While the traditional news media (who were actually seated behind us) were there only as observers, many of us were also delegates, and served as committee members or in other roles, rushing to our own delegations when roll call votes were taken. We also reacted differently to events: the reporters sat and watched, while we frequently stood, cheered, and applauded with the rest of the convention. It's a whole new world, as ordinary people reclaim access to information from the corporate conglomerates.

The unofficial home of the convention webloggers was at the Blogger's Caucus site, but its list was not complete. Here are some of those who covered events as or soon after they unfolded (you can scroll down to get to their first posts on the convention to read them in order as posted): A Capitol Blog (by State Representative Aaron Pena -- one of the few officeholders who really does blog), annatopia (from Tarrant County), Brains and Eggs (from Houston), Burnt Orange Report (a group blog started by students at U.T. Austin), Capitol Annex (by Vince Leibowitz, a fellow east Texan), Common Sense (from central Texas), Dos Centavos (from "Houston, Tejas"), Eye on Williamson (from Round Rock), Greg's Opinion (from Houston), Just Another Blog (from San Antonio), jobsanger (from Euless), The Kendallian Voice (from the hill country), Marc's Miscellany (from Fort Worth), McBlogger (from Austin), musings (from Sugar Land), North Texas Liberal, Off the Kuff (from Houston), PAA (from Houston), Victoria Kos (from south Texas), and finally my own site, StoutDemBlog.

(By the way, thanks for the picture of me to fellow blogger Charlie of PAA, who had previously blogged the 2004 Democratic National Convention as a Kucinich supporter.)

Saturday, June 10, 2006


With a partly recharged battery, I got back to the hall as they took the final division vote and Slagle announced they were adjourned. I'm told they did NOT get to the committee version of the impeachment resolution. Those not yet passed were, as usual, referred to a committee (presumably the SDEC). Since they rejected the petition-initiated version from the floor (narrowly), we did not pass anything on it this time. Hopefully, it will be moot two years from now.

Okay, I'm out of here. I'll sum up the convention another day, after recovering.

There was some other stuff before the impeachment question came up. Rules changes were adopted adding to the SDEC new members from the Environmental Caucus and the Asian American Dems.

I'm told they just passed a resolution for getting troops out of Iraq gradually. I have no more details. Sounds rather modest, if so.

After those rules changes, a woman delegate raised a point of order that they had a resolution on impeaching Bush (later claimed to have 1350 signatures of delegates -- don't know if I'm one; I signed several things, but don't specifically remember this one), and that under the rules, that had to be the next order of business. Slagle worried us whether a fix was in (paranoia strikes deep....) when he said he couldn't take it up because he hadn't seen it yet.

As they started up to bring him a copy, he introduced the next speaker, Molly Beth Malcolm, former state chair, who introduced a speaker from Democrats Abroad, Michael Lang (sp?), who urged people to spread the word about their activities. Slagle sat there reading something, and we waited not really listening.

Lang was in fact a very good traditional speaker, but sort of like the Nancy Kerrigan of our speakers. For you non-skating fans, that means he was technically flawless, but you couldn't tell if there was any soul there. We fretted, like Anna had on her committee -- was there an effort to delay this resolution?

When Lang finished, a man made the point about the resolution again. Slagle said he was standing there with it in his hand about to consider it, that it would take days for the staff to verify all these signatures, so he would take their word that these were delegates, but don't push him when he's trying to be cooperative. And he was, with results I put up in the previous post here. This or something like it has been passed by ten other states already, a speaker said, and Slagle asked, so you're saying we're competing with Mississippi again on being last?

Anyway, it failed. They went on to consider others resolutions, since the platform report wasn't yet copied enough to give one to each senate district, a tradition Slagle says he started and would hate to break, so we went on with resolutions while waiting on more copies.

A reporter (I think it was Wayne Slater) writing on his laptop asked us if the one that failed had used the term War Crimes. We assured him it had, and pointed out that another version might come up from the committee report; he said he understood that.

The petition-initiated resolution did indeed refer to War Crimes as part of a long list of reasons to impeach Bush for breaking the law and violating the Constitution, such as ordering NSA to violate an act of 1978, violating the 4th amendment, torture, holding American citizens and others without charges filed, violating the Geneva convention which the war crimes act of 1996 made a felony, and so on. I haven't seen the committee version, which supposedly includes Cheney as well.

The convention (yes, still here, unusually late) rejected a resolution calling for impeaching Bush, brought to the floor by a petition signed by delegates. However, it was close enough to require a standing division, and the resolutions committee itself seems to have passed one that also includes Cheney (one objection raised to this version). In theory, we may still get to that one, but I hold out little hope.

My battery died again, so I'm recharging while I type this in the media room. If the committee resolution does come up, and this is still open (or I've got battery power and the center's wireless is still on) I'll put it up; otherwise I may have to wait until I get back to Dallas. Either way, if it comes up I will post it tonight; you just may have to wait for me, or hope some other blogger has a better battery. Almost all of them -- and the delegates -- have already gone.

Which brings up some shocking and some delightful news. When the petition-initiated impeachment resolution came up, Jim Mattox of all people stood up and suggested the absence of a quorum before a standing division vote could be taken, since the voice vote had been unclear. Slagle redeemed himself by saying that the light was so bad he could not see that no quorum was present. I was high-fiveing another blogger who had a big "Vote yes to impeach" sign. We did take the division vote, and frankly I think he was right; the nays (I voted yes) did seem to have it.

The discussion had been what you would expect: some opposed it because we needed to be pragmatic and elect people and then go after them (that "then" never comes, has been my observation of such arguments), it was claimed this would energize the right wing (like they aren't already), and the usual hogwash claimed as justifications for giving in and giving up.

Maybe we'll get to the other resolution, but I doubt it. Check back later.

There were more candidates introduced. A spark came from J. R. Molina for the State Court of Criminal Appeals, denouncing Republican immigration plans as more like a campaign of ethnic cleansing (I paraphrase), saying no Hispanic should vote for Kay Hutchison this November.

Molberg read the final totals for the Chair runoff:
Richie 3415.43, Maxey 2987.15.

Slagle introduced some candidates for the district courts of criminal appeals. There was a real red headed fireball for the 3rd, place 3: Diane Henson. She pointed out that this was the court that would hear Tom Delay's appeal if he were convicted. Then she launched into a raging attack on the reactionaries on the Texas courts. She agreed activist judges are bad, but the only ones we have in Texas today are those the conservative Republicans have filled our courts with. We must elect stewards of our courts and constitution. We can't have potted plants, we need checks and balances. She denounces Nathan Hecht as a poster child of the right, and he was just sanctioned - he has no shame, no sense of honor. Wow!

Molberg read more from the nominating committee report, with their choice for Vice-Chair being Roy Laverne Brooks. But unexpectedly a delegate on the floor nominated someone else, Lydia Caballero, a Precinct Chair and Kucinich activist from Hidalgo County. Well! Challenged, the powers that be brought out all the Big Guns to stomp on this threat. Brooks (a woman, despite the first name) was seconded by Morris Overstreet, former state Supreme Court justice and head of the Coalition of Black Democrats. Brooks then spoke herself, a black woman we've seen up there before. She gets further seconds from various Mexican American Dems, including Alonzo, Emmett Shepherd of the AFLCIO, and state rep Dr. Jesse Jones. Then Caballero spoke herself, ultimately withdrawing in favor of Brooks so we can all work together. One more crisis passed for the party.

Molberg reads the rest of the nominations for officers, all of whom are passed by voice vote with no opposition. Then we hear from a woman from the Young Democrats.

I can't imagine we're going to get to the platform or resolutions, which may suit some people just fine. Over at TexasKos, Annatopia is complaining that there are obstacles being placed to passing some resolutions the SDEC consider provocative, like impeachment. She sounds righteously upset.

Now someone has introduced Emmett Shepherd to speak about the union's interests in the election.

Now Theresa Daniel of Dallas presents the Rules committee report. She sounds tired, understandably so. She moves adoption of amendments previously approved by the SDEC, with clarifications. That passes by voice. Then she goes on. This is routine and they should all pass.

Shutting down now for low battery again. Back later if something exciting happens.

The State Chair race is finally over, after two roll calls and a runoff. Richie won, and Maxey spoke in his favor. After the first ballot, Urbina-Jones withdrew but made no endorsement. His delegates split differently in different districts, and Richie was so close the first time that there was no way Maxey could win without united Urbina-Jones support. The rolls calls and counting took forever; now it is after 5, and there is still business, but can it be done? When do we have to be out of the hall?

Jim Dunham (sp?) of the state house introduced Senfronia Thompson, who is running for Speaker next year, then all of the other reps who were present. Thompson is a real fireball -- "tear down that wall!" After her, he said Tom Delay is retiring from public life to spend more time with his subpoenas. Now they are introducing all of the other candidates for state rep.

The most fun before the break to vote for chair was Fred Head, running for Comptroller, who had his wife speak first, then took after his opponent because she is a hypocrite, who years ago published a trashy novel. They eat this kind of stuff up in his native east Texas, but it's too bizarre.

The biggest fire of the morning was probably David Van Os, introduced by previous Attorney General Jim Mattox. Van Os then launched into his usual challenge to big oil, insurance, utilities, etc. - you'd better spend all your billions to defeat me, because when I win I'm coming after you. If they get worried about that, then they will spend a plenty, but of course they already control the state supreme courts so they may not get that scared. Van Os pointed to the press tables and denounced them. [That probably didn't work out as well visually because I was sitting right in front of them in the front blogger's row, wearing my Democratic boater.] Lots of juicy rabble rousing. He left to Willie Nelson's "Don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys".

Right now former state house speaker Pete Laney is speaking, following a brief film tribute to him. He's gone also.

Earlier our Lieutenant Governor candidate, Maria Alvarado, was talking about "no candidate left behind", reminding us all of our slate needs to work together. She took a mike and wandered around the stage for a "conversation". She also admitted her race is worse than David versus Goliath, it's more like Maria versus David AND Goliath.

I'm signing out again, at least for a while. The other speakers, if we continue, are on the state website, and the remaining business is mostly routine and uncontroversial. We'll update if excitement happens.

We're back on the floor and listening to speakers. Right now Barbara Ann Radnofsky is speaking. Damon at Burnt Orange Report has her text on line at this page. It's well done, and her personal tales of her family are moving. In fact she started with one that brought tears to my eyes. Read it all.

What happened to me last night? After we broke for the Senate District caucusses for the roll call for permanent convention chair, the battery on the laptop, despite claiming it had an hour left, dropped dead. Unfortunately, there were no electrical outlets available for any of us. The state party says the convention center would not let them put in any more because they were already drawing too much power for the lights on the stage. I quite believe it, and charged this machine up at the hotel room last night. I probably won't be as constantly online today, to conserve it. Except for that, I repeat that the state party has been absolutely great to the bloggers.

Barbara Ann just finished, winding up as she entered to a tape of the Beach Boys singing her namesake song.

Back to last night: when the roll call was finally made, Slagle stomped all over the challenger, who got no votes at all in some districts (though he carried 3 of them). One person voting against Slagle said she did so only because he, according to her, lied when he denied that floor mikes were cut during debate at a convention several years ago. Some 14 or so made a point of abstaining. Leaving aside the question of mikes, Slagle will preside competently. I think many were frightened by the prospect of a missionary parliamentarian. Far more scary than mere Jehovah's Witnesses at the door.

Slagle took the gavel and went on from there. State Senator Letitia Van der Putte then spoke. The big splash of the rest of the evening was Chris Bell's speech, following another feelgood video about him. Several bloggers whose batteries had not died covered it live. Check out the sidebar at the Blogger's Caucus.

Then it was off to parties and receptions. I stuck a nose in at the Blogger's Caucus party at the Flying Saucer. Literally. That was about all you could squeeze in, without acting like a very rude football player. I did see Radnofsky there, but couldn't get through to her or the other bloggers -- who frankly seemed to be in a small minority of those there, so I guess the overcrowding came when lots of other folk heard about it and decided to show up. I had to pass elsewhere. (And later started getting quite sick at a late dinner, and went to bed ill and exhausted, without posting from the hotel.)

Back live Saturday morning, they just had my Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson introduce the other Texas Democrats in Congress, then all the candidates running against Republicans this year. Applause seemed loudest for John Courage (deservedly so) and for Nick Lampson (after Johnson built him up well for his role in helping drive Tom Delay to resignation). Then she turned it over to Chet Edwards, and led the others off the stage.

Edwards is now speaking, mentioning how he carried Bush's own home of Crawford in the last election. He's saying too many have been led to believe Democrats have no religious faith, they're weak on defense, etc. Chet has been given this spot to help dispel that straw man. Well, his voting record probably won't scare any liberal-haters out there, which is why he keeps carrying places like Crawford. Despite which he, like Joe Lieberman, actually has a better record than any Republican who has or will run against him would. He's to my right, but he probably does represent the views of his central Texas district pretty well. And he's speaking well.

I'm going to sign off this post and save power. There are a lot of other speakers scheduled (see the party web site for a list) while the committees are meeting, before they bring us reports on platform and resolutions. Slagle has announced that, following an agreement with the candidates, the contest for state chair will take place about one PM. Be back later.

Friday, June 09, 2006


We got and took the final credentials report. Now Ken Molberg reports his nominating committee recommends Bob Slagle for permanent convention chair. But -- someone got a petition up to run himself, which under the rules means he gets to run, and we have to have roll call vote. Now he's speaking, all about parliamentary stuff -- he wants ongoing platform consideration instead of the way it's done now. A Robert's Rules geek. He's right the current system stinks, but this is not the way to change things. Change the rules and give notice in advance.

This will go nowhere, and once again, lots of folks who have real problems with old Bob, will have to vote for him just because of the alternative. Now Bob's speaking. The usual oily voice pouring over troubled waters, but he looks more credible. Guess I may have to run over to my delegation (not far, but in another aisle) to vote.

Rebecca Vigil-Giron, New Mexico's Secretary of State speaks. After a jab at Cheney, she gets into 911 imagery with a story about a flag that will fly until all our troops are home. She has an agressive approach to the mike that is much more like the traditional school of convention speakers. It's hot, not laid back and cool for TV. Reminds me of old political times. And it's great for rousing up delegates -- as long as it doesn't go on too long. Her one burst in Spanish was even better done.

She also said she brought us greetings from her Governor. I wish she'd brought him too.

Now they are showing a film on Barrientos, narrated by his son. Yep, he did a lot of good. Somehow, though, this seems more like a career summing after he's retired or something. Well, I've always liked him. Let some younger folk find out more about him. Yep, that's what it was -- it says he's retiring from the Senate.

Now the Senator speaks. He says that film was a surprise he didn't know about. He's going to introduce his family (which could take a very long time).

He says he will never retire from public service, but has given his last filibuster on the floor of the Texas Senate. He lists a lot of people he's worked with who made a difference. It's been three decades since he first ran for office. He speaks about the importance of public service, and so on. Very well, even if we've heard it before. This is a good man. Sorry he's going.

Jobs and justice need to be the key to our vision, those two words should underscore everything we stand for. The Republican job plan: if it pays well, fire them, and if you have so much money you don't need a job, get a tax cut. (There was more -- he speaks, without stutters or hesitancy, faster than I can keep up. And he's reading, something I suspect he wrote himself.)

Education is the primary engine; Republicans see it as an opportunity for more privatization and tax cuts. Now he's doing detailed critiques of Perry's policies.
"This is class warfare." His stats he's given before; some of us have linked his remarks before on this.

Now he sticks it to the Republicans over immigration. "Have you had enough America?" We built the strongest and most free society in the history of the world.

Now he hits the Republicans for tokenism.

We need to share the abundance of our society among the many. If there is ill will toward America it is because we fail to live up to our ideals. You do not spread democracy with torture ... spread it by sharing opportunity and respect.

It is our job to do for the public what we would want for ourselves. It is time to pay it forward for America.

And he goes out, as he came in, with some nice Spanish guitar music.

Well, one big difference with the old press: the folks at the bloggers stood and applauded when Wesley Clark came in. Not very nonpartisan of us. Tough.

The General is mentioning heroic Texans. Now he hits another easy mark, asking veterans to stand up and us to thank them for their service. Always good for great applause, as it should be. Now he mentions those 130,000 in Iraq, plus Afghanaistan, and elsewhere, and asks everyone to stand up and thank them. Again, guaranteed emotions -- and again, as it should be.

He mentions personal ties when he lived here in Texas (among others, he once shot a turkey near Brownwood, "a real turkey, not a Republican"). We've got a problem and we've got to get rid of it. "There can be no delay."

When he spent several years serving abroad, this country was admired and respected. People used to come here from everywhere; we took action and fought to contain communism; he's proud of all we did to maintain deterrence, and establish a climate of leadership. Meanwhile at home we had incredible economic growth, bringing it to ordinary people with help like GI bills. Our dollar became the trusted store of value for the world. And those efforts were led at crucial times by Democrats like FDR, Truman, LBJ, and Bill Clinton.

He's proud to be an American, but knows what more we could be; his heart aches over this. We knew Osama was the problem, but Bush thought he knew more than we did, and so.... Bush went on vacation; it was what I call command negligence. Any reasonable person who got such a warning would have called the cabinet together and demanded an action plan, and he would have been a leader, and he might have saved a lot of lives.

This isn't ancient history. We went to war in Iraq to cover up the command negligence that resulted in 911. [Lots of the crowd stood to applaud.] I've been to war, and you never do except as a last resort. How about some leadership from Washington in diplomacy, and policy?

Now they are ratcheting up the pressure up on Iran. I've testified to Congress on that, but why did we have to name them as part of the axis of evil? Why can't we talk first? Why can't we lead instead of just bullying? I guess it's because they're Republicans.

We need to help Americans get the best public education in the world. We've got to rebuild public education in America.

Now he takes on the lack of access to health insurance. Again, a waste of human potential. And he gets wild applause about the huge numbers thrown off the CHIPS program in Texas.

The political litmus test interfering with science; global warming -- it's been decreed there's no such thing. We like to make things in this country but we can't have our science corrupted because someone doesn't agree with the conclusions.

We could be so much more if we had the leadership to take us there. They're flat wrong, enough is enough, 2006 is the year. [A chant starts "enough is enough" -- he grins, okay, but it's not enough of my speech, a little more and we can turn them loose.]

Playing on people's fears, getting people not to trust their neighbors, dividing Americans, playing one group against another. The Texas legislature was taken over by money in a few key races. It's a tragedy of Democracy, and we've got to fix it.

We believe in equal opportunity for every American, regardless of whatever [big applause]. Strong economy means health systems to help everyone live up to their potential. Security is not from building fences, but bridges.

We're gonna elect Chris Bell and Barbara Radnofsky. We concede nothing. This is a fight for America's future, and it begins here in Texas.

2006 is not local; it's national. The misgovernment has local roots, because the men and women elected to the majority party have failed in their duties to the Constitution, and our basic liberties. [Wild wild ovation standing with shouts.]

Now he's comparing the signers of the Declaration of Independence to us today.

We've gotta use government as a force for good. We've got to deal with the problems of six billion people on earth. All of that is doable. All we have to do is elect the right people to office. And it starts here. He wind up making it a pitch to give money to Democrats.

Let Texas be the star that guides us. It's up to us. Stand and say it. That chant of "enough is enough" goes again as they stand. He hopes Bush hears this. In 2006 we are taking this government back. Cheers, standing applause, and Boyd starts some upbeat rock music to let him walk off.

Boyd announces temporary officers for the convention. Now he's brought some state reps up on stage for cheers (they are "co-chairs" of the convention) and finally former Speaker Jim Wright. Oh, yes, we all stand for him.

Now Rosa Walker is introduced, as someone who has done much to help working people here. (I stood up, but few others, perhaps all labor people.) She is paying tribute to Gonzalo Barrientos, sounds like an introduction.

As I came in, the delegates were being welcomed by a black county commissioner from Tarrant County. Then Chair Richie turned over the podium to a black Baptist minister, who went on too long and too far. The comparisons of how Jesus and Chris Bell would be denounced, etc., I found tasteless. Then they showed a very well produced short commercial with a bunch of photogenic Democrats, mostly elected officials, giving a line or two each while sweeping upbeat music plays in the background. Reminded me of some of those good PBS ads. Then he brought up on stage some of the people in the film. People loved it.

Temporary credentials report is being given. Strange a large number of counties filed no minutes of conventions. After a lot of details, it was adopted.

I'm sitting in the very front row on the floor, in one of two rows there of tables and chairs just for bloggers. There are about a dozen folk here, but definitely some of them are not bloggers, or even reporters. The tables aren't full, so no harm yet. We were told in the media room that the actual old fashioned media had to sit in space behind the bloggers. Wow -- that's support, and a poke in the eye to the old media. We need to show thanks to the state party for being on board with us.

State rep Richard Raymond speaks (as Hispanic as the Governor of New Mexico, despite the vaguely Anglo name). He is talking about General Wesley Clark, so I suppose this is the introduction.

I hoped we would have more live blogging of events, as I've been trying to do today, but no such luck. I think we've made a start however; by the next convention maybe we can be better organized, perhaps dividing up coverage of key caucuses. Maybe more folks are waiting until the formal session tonight.

From some who are here and reporting, there is some good news: Marc's Miscellany reports that Anna of Annatopia was elected to the Resolutions Committee. On the other hand, McBlogger presents a bizarre tale of oppressive abuse of process (as he interprets it) at a meeting of the Progressive Populist Caucus (sic). I wish I could tell him that this is a brand new charge there.

I'm posting this in the Media Room, and we were just told that General Clark has arrived. I'm going to go on over to the floor.

Now Dorothy called for Alternates (like me) to come up and switch badges to be elevated. This time she has other candidates speak meanwhile: Sally Montgomery, Carl Ginsburg, Fred Tinsley, Gary Fitzsimmons, (I may have missed one while switching badges). Dorothy says now we know we have the power in the 23rd (no one is going to win without the southern sector) and we're gonna use it.

Darlene Ewing, our County Chair is speaking now: what did we do so bad we got isolated to this far room? [In fact this room is awful, but it looks like we're in great shape on the floor, close to the front of the stage.] She says our judicial candidates have pledged $200,000 for get out the vote activity. She doesn't believe we have to pay people to walk precincts, we can find volunteers and spend the money on other things; we're gonna take back this county. Oh, and by the way, we need money to keep the office open, which means we need Sustaining Memberships, so please become a Special Donkey, a Burro, or whatever, at whichever category you can. (Check out the party web site at

Now state rep. Rafael Anchia speaks (the Republicans want to break up families and send people back, and the Latino community is listening while they pull the plug on this hand grenade, we're not going to use immigration as a wedge issue to divide families -- he and Alonzo will be having a news conference on this).

Glen Maxey speaks. (He's worked in the party for 35 years, served 6 terms in the legislature, with a 100% record on any issue in the platform; the party needs an engine overhaul, rebuilding, and stop ignoring our base votes; they just had the last Republican judge in Travis County switch parties to be a Democrat; we can do the same here, and watch those Republicans switching).

Election of Permanent Chair of caucus: Alonzo nominates Dean, done by acclamation.
She appoints Lemuel Price as Clerk (did she mean Secretary?)
Member of the Credentials Committee: Lemuel Price nominated, declines because he is going to be appointed to it anyway. Someone nominated Thelma Norman, Eli Davis nominates Janice Williford, vote by raising delegate badges for a count, Williford wins 85 to 20.

Nominations for SDEC Committeewoman: Monica Alonzo (incumbent for last 4 years) thanks us for giving her the opportunity, apologizes she wasn't able to help much the last few months because her mom passed away, and if she's helped us it because of her mother's strength, she nominates Shea Wyrick; done by acclamation voice vote.
Nominations for SDEC Committeeman: Lemuel Price (the incumbent) nominates Buck Massey; Alonzo moves by acclamation, passes voice vote.
Rules committee: Alonzo nominates Mike Miranda, passes voice vote.
Resolutions committee: nominated Charles Johnson, passes voice vote.
Platform committee: Alonzo nominates Tony Hinojosa,[note: where I've only said "Alonzo" I mean Roberto] passes voice vote.

Nominations committee: Janice Mattox moves we send a person bound to vote the choice of the delegation, I raise point of order that we can't bind anyone under the party rules, Janice moves whoever runs for this will inform us who they are for in the race for State chair (clarified by a question by me to Janice), passes by raising badges. Ruth Wyrick nominates Lawanna Barden, Jean Ball nominated by Albert Silva, Kirk McPike nominated, David Robinson (?), all four nominees stand at front, motion nominations cease, passes voice. Robinson says he's for Glen Maxey, McPike is for Boyd Richie, Ball says she hasn't decided and declines to commit to anyone until she has heard what is going on in the nominating committee, Barden for Richie. McPike withdraws in favor of Barden. Votes taken by standing: Barden wins.

For chair of the 23rd SD tabulation committee for balloting, and they will select 4 others, representing the other candidates. Someone nominates Janice Mattox, passes by raising badges. She names McPike, David Robinson, Jean Ball, and Calvin Bluitt (another Richey supporter), announces a room 121E meeting for this committee at 10:30 AM saturday. I stood and asked if there was a Larouche supporter; there was none, and Janice said she chose not to put a Larouche person on her committee; there was also no one supporting Urbina-Jones.

Adjourned at 4:46 PM.

Or at least we're in the meeting room for it, but getting here was a real struggle (we're now almost at the opposite end of the halls and offices circling the convention center from where Stonewall met, and we had to swim through a gigantic crowd in the halls). Now Dorothy Dean has called the meeting to order, with a moment of silent prayer.

Now our Senator Royce West speaks. (We need to act together as a fist, not as individual fingers, to reclaim Dallas County and make a difference in the state of Texas. Let's not be like the Miami Heat, and think we're gonna win if we show up. Let's be like the Dallas Mavericks and work em and work em and work em.)

Linda Forsythe (?) of SWDallas County is doing a petition for paper trails for voting machines in Dallas County. Dorothy explained why this matters in elections. Our State Reps from the 23rd speak: Roberto Alonzo (he talks about Howard's victory in Austin and some Rep reps who got beat in the primary because of their views, so people are listening to us in Austin now, thanks to activists who helped), Terri Hodge (we can no longer sit idily by, trotting along one at a time, again she pushes the importance of the Bell race for Governor -- as she did at the Stonewall Caucus, begin the unity from your home encouraging everyone in your house or you're foolin round with no matter what to vote, the Republicans are killing one another - let them fight, we must move around and work quietly like you've never worked these precincts before. Pompous we may be but losers we are not -- we elected officials want to walk in your precinct and help get the vote out, we can win and I am reporting for duty), Helen Giddings (ditto to Terri's words, Dallas county is trending Democratic, the only thing we need is your commitment; when we look at all the things going on at the state and national level, if we can't win we oughta fold up our tents; I believe we will be victorious in November), Jesse Jones (now a lame duck after his primary loss - but Dorothy told me that his staff is still funded through the end of the year; he says there has been a demographic change, and we need to learn how to live with victory; we must continue to work hard, this is not a short-term project; we have one of the best opportunities in a long while with Chris Bell, and discourage those who want to vote for a grandmother or a comedian).

Alonzo asked people to show appreciation for all Dr. Jones had done; there was a large standing ovation. Dorothy calls for those who were not yet registered (because the booth closed down earlier) to come up to the front table to do so; this of course stops any business from going on - or even letting other candidates speak. Oh well.

By the way, the nominating committee's slate of caucus officers was reelected, including state President Shannon Bailey of Dallas, before the candidates started speaking. He just introduced my own State Representative, Terri Hodge, as someone always there for the caucus issues. She congratulated the caucus as having some of the hardest working volunteers anywhere. She said some politicians who come around and ask for their support are being disingenuous when it comes time to face issues. They aren't telling people "they aren't trying to get married in your church, they just want the same civil rights as you and your wife". It's time for them to put up or shut up. Terri, like Jim Mattox, never minds criticizing the insufficiently committed. Deserved standing ovation.

Now some quick intros by other candidates present -- very briefly. Looks like a dozen or more. Naturally that suggestion is not being followed; they're all giving quite a blurb. 2 for Congress, a woman for the legislature who will support gay/lesbian adoptions (she's at, more legislative candidates, including a woman in a wheel chair who got up to say "I don't stand up for many people" and says the reason the legislature didn't do anything about the real issues is they were busy writing hate into the Constitution, and adds she is openly lesbian and needs help because that makes it tougher to convince people this is winnable; she's at

State Senator Letitia Van der Putte (I think that's the spelling) spoke thanking those who helped oppose that anti-gay marriage amendment. A couple more from Dallas, Allen Vaught and Jack Borden. One guy gave a quick pep talk but was so excited he forgot to give his name or what he was running for. Gena Slaughter, a Dallas candidate for judge, and some more of our county locals, Carter Thompson and Carl Ginsburg for judge, Gary Fitzsimmons for District Clerk ("the sexy position; the county clerk is the not sexy position"); then a Houston city councilwoman who is the only openly gay or lesbian Texas member on the DNC, and describes the vicious gay-baiting by her election opponent; their overkill backfired and brought her enough support to win. (UPDATE LATER: I didn't catch her name at the start, but I saw her outside the hall later and asked; it was Sue Lovell.)

The well-named John Courage, candidate for Congress, asks for support in his race against a homophobe. They are now asking reps from each of the local chapters to give a brief report. I'm going to head out to the SDEC caucus for the 23rd, which will start at 3 PM (in theory).

Glenn Maxey said he was prouder than anything else of finally becoming known not as the gay legislator, but as an effective legislator who happened to be gay. He pledged the same approach to being State Chair. (He spoke for four minutes and a half or so.)

Boyd Ritchie is up now. He says he began his politics campaigning for Ralph Yarborough. He mentions beginning his campaign by filing a designation of a campaign Treasurer (this may well have been a subtle dig at Maxey.) He claims he was the first chair to make the state party office bilingual by hiring one staffer there. Is this true? So what, if so, but it's a sad thing for the history of the party if it is so. He bragged that they didn't spend any money on the new party website design (but if it was done by his paid staffers, from an accounting point of view, that's less than fully clear). And he bragged about the party's suit filed to keep a Republican replacement for Tom Delay on the ballot. When he finished, I thought there was somewhat less, and less enthusiastic applause for him, but this is basically Maxey's home territory.

Now Urbina-Jones is up. He gave the old line about continuing to do the same thing that keeps failing, and says sometimes you have to throw the baby out with the bath water and try something new. As an example, he asked why we're not debating things like partner benefits in Texas. He says we mustn't forget the non-computer friendly people out there (no doubt a kind of dig at Maxey). He just caused a stir of applause by saying "We need to run more women in this party". He says working people have been hurt by the fascist agenda of the last several years. Strong words, but sort of buried by soft tone. You can bet the Repubs would catch it though. We need to break this gilded aristocracy, and make people underestand the Democratic Party is about the people and not the consultants (another dig at Maxey) he says, then plugs his own reception at a brewery.

Governor candidate Chris Bell is up now. "It's great to be with you on Tom Delay's last day as a member of the Congress of the U.S." There is a wind of change blowing, of disgust at the Republicans, as shown in their own hate-fest convention last week. He reminds us he doesn't need to get over 50% of the vote. Appearing on stage with Friedman and Strayhorn he has felt like he's in the circus; he thinks they will split the Republican vote, and if we stay united we'll have a new Governor in 2007. We have to learn to win again, and not be defeatists. Wild standing applause at the end.

At the Stonewall Caucus, Democratic Agriculture Candidate Hank Gilbert just spoke and got a wild ovation talking about family farmers and education (he's an ex-teacher who promises to be a lobbyist for them as well). Now the candidates for State Chair have begun speaking, with Maxey first.


We got into Fort Worth yesterday afternoon, and tried to look in at the State Democratic Executive Committee meeting. That wasn't really possible, because the room was stuffed too full of people standing in every square foot to squeeze in. Our former Dallas County Chair and SD 16 member Ken Molberg was explaining how rolls calls would work in multiple-county Senate Districts (a real possibility in the heated race for state Chair.) In the lobby outside competition was raging to get Chair candidate stickers on lapels. Former Dallasite and current state party staffer David Parnell was pushing Richie, while Glen Maxey was personally passing out his own.

Later we went back to the Hilton again to attend the state party's reception. Like the SDEC meeting, they had underestimated the attendance, and ran out of food. At least twice. This despite the seemingly interminable lines for food, for drinks, and even for drink tickets. We then took the free limo ride to the party the Tarrant County Stonewall Democrats were hosting, which was much more lively. (It was only the second political reception I've ever attended which had belly dancing for entertainment.)

Lots of Dallasites hadn't shown up yet, since the big events really begin today (Friday). It seems like this was even more true of the rest of the state.

At least three other bloggers are already here and online posting: Common Sense is in a blogger's area on the floor near the stage, Eye on Williamson is at the Democracy for Texas caucus, and at least one of the Burnt Orange Report posters is plugged in somewhere in the center. I'm sitting in the Stonewall Democrats caucus now. To see who else might be online, check out the list on the sidebar at live-blogging central, the Blogger's Caucus.

Shortly I'll put up a post about some things from yesterday. The feeling among the attendees here is more enthusiastic than I've seen at a state convention in several years. There is much hope in these halls.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


To the right (or possibly way down at the bottom, if you use *shudder* Internet Explorer, which seems to shift my sidebar far far away) I permalink several blogs which permalink me. One result of not being actively posting for months is not realizing several more sites have done so. Welcome to these new additions: Capitol Annex, Coffee House Studio,
Red State Feminist, Social Upheaval, and winding road in urban area.

There will be a cocktail reception honoring Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico on Thursday, June 8, 2006, from 6:30 to 8 PM, at 3712 Alice Circle in Dallas. This is to raise money for his reelection campaign, and they are charging one thousand dollars and up. Over my head, but those interested can RSVP by calling Colleen McCarthy at 202-543-3182 or emailing cmccarthy AT billrichardson2006 DOT com.

[With some later added extra comments of my own in italics.]

This Thursday: Hear 2 New Democratic Books Reviewed

The Garland Area Democratic Club will be featuring at their June meeting a review by Randy Mayeux of two new Democratic books. Take it Back is by James Carville and Paul Begala, and Crashing the Gate is by Marcos M. Zuniga and Jerome Armstrong [better known as the popular Democratic poltical bloggers of DailyKOS and MyDD]. The public is invited to attend. The talk will be on Thursday, June 8, at 7 PM, at the Garland Women's Activity Center, 713 Austin St., in downtown Garland.

[NOTE: I read the Carville book earlier this year. It was cleverly done, but frankly morally and politically dubious arguments for appeasing the views of the foes of freedom and the future for the foolish goal of taking power -- with no agenda or mandate to enact one that is fundamentally different from the kind of DLC stuff that Carville has spent his career pushing. Yes, it's not as bad as the maliciousness that has taken over the Republicans today, but it's ultimately just a way of getting your name on the cornerstone when the government builds a huge bastille around us. It only adds a little friction to the GOP machine, but doesn't stop its goals. What shall it profit a Democrat if she shall gain the White House, but enact reactionary programs when she takes office? Get thee behind me, Jamey. (No, I doubt if the authors see themselves as believing what I accuse them of. Denial starts inside, to your own conscience. The effect is the same as if it were intentional.)

I'm reading the KOS/MyDD book now, and it's more readable, more reality-based and less supportive of rank appeasement -- but I've just read the first part; we'll see. I think actually interacting with more people on line daily gives them a better sense of what is really going on outside the beltway and its swamp of pollsters, consultants, lobbyists, and sycophantic media goons.]

State Convention In Fort Worth Starts This Friday...

Several thousand Democrats from across Texas will be in Fort Worth from this Thursday, June 8, through Saturday, June 10, for our State Convention. This is our biennial chance to meet old friends from distant corners of the state and make new ones, while working together to help all the people of Texas. There's lots more information on the state party's web site, including pdf documents of caucus schedules, or you can see a quick summary at the DCDP's own web site.

Things really begin with a State Executive Committee meeting on Thursday at 2 PM, followed by a Reception that evening at 6 PM (both events are at the Hilton). For most of us, Friday is the first big day, with caucus meetings of various Democratic organizations beginning as early as 9 AM at the Convention Center. See those web sites for a list.

A vital meeting for all delegates and alternates to be at is the Senatorial District Caucus. These will all be held Friday from 3 to 5 PM at the Convention Center. This is where the decisions are made about who will represent each district on the various Convention Committees, such as Platform. NOTE: because our State Conventions are so huge, these committees are where the real action is. There is virtually never time to consider proposals from the floor, so if you want something done, you need to get on the proper committee or heavily lobby those who do. The schedule for the districts from Dallas County is:

Senate District 2: Room 121 D

Senate District 8: Ballroom C

Senate District 9: Room 116

Senate District 16: Room 201B

Senate District 23: Room 200

That evening the whole Convention convenes together at 6 PM. Along with the business will be a host of speakers, including our candidate for Governor Chris Bell, and former Presidential candidate General Wesley Clark. Naturally, there will be plenty of candidate and organization receptions andhospitality suites both Friday and Saturday.

...And Continues This Saturday

The brave souls elected to those Convention Committees will begin meeting at 8 AM Saturday, while for most of us the first event is the Blue Star Breakfast, traditionally the main fundraiser to help pay for the Convention (so please buy a ticket!) The keynoter for this one is Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth of South Dakota.

The Convention gets under way again at 11 AM. Throughout the day we'll be hearing from more of our statewide and local candidates, and some guests from elsewhere as well. Mainly, this is the day we get to vote on the Platform, Resolutions, Rules, and officers for the state party for the next two years. Sometime that afternoon we'll adjourn and either attend a last few candidate events or head for home.

The most attention is being paid to an unusual active contest for State Chair. Current contendersare the incumbent, Boyd Richie (chosen earlier this year to finish this term when Chairman Soechting resigned), Glen Maxey, and Charlie Urbina-Jones. For more on them, South Texas Chisme also posted interviews with Richie, Maxey, and Urbina-Jones. (There is also a fourth candidate, "Lyndon LaRouche Youth Movement activist Lakesha Rogers".)

If you can't make it, you can still get ongoing updates from several Democratic web sites which have been provided space by the state party for "live-blogging" the Convention. A list is at the web site of the Blogger's Caucus. A few other Texas bloggers not yet listed there are Red State Feminist, Bildungblog, South Texas Chisme, North Texas Liberal, Bride of Acheron, Arvin Hill, Annatopia, and Stoutdemblog.

[NOTE: Yes, I know Annatopia hasn't posted since April, as I haven't since May, but we've both been busy working with party-related things, so I expect she'll emerge again for the convention or the campaign season, as I have here. And yes, I know Bildungblog is mostly just visual humor -- do you doubt that we need much, much more of that?]

More Reasons Why We're Democrats

The Republicans just got through with their own State Convention, opting for rabble-rousing instead of rational responses to the needs of Texas. Off the Kuff describes part of their mood at GOP Hispanic outreach is so 2004. The Dallas News lists their usual Platform inanities:
"After Perry forces prevailed, delegates adopted a platform demanding the federal government take strong steps to stem illegal immigration, including building a "physical barrier" along the full length of the U.S.-Mexico border, expelling illegal immigrants and denying them nonemergency medical care.

"The platform, a statement of the party's principles, calls for constitutional amendments to outlaw abortion and gay marriage. The party calls for denying benefits to domestic partners and making it a felony to issue a marriage license to same-sex couples. In addition, the party would bar homosexuals from adopting children.

"The party also advocates making English the official language, withdrawing membership in the United Nations, banning homosexuals from serving in the military and allowing display of the Ten Commandments."

DART Trains And Car Pool Info For State Convention

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) offers rail service between Dallas and Ft. Worth, for the price of a premium day pass ($4.50). Seniors 65 and older can get a day pass for only $1.00 (Seniors may need to get an official Dart photo ID or have their Medicare card for the discount.) For the train routes see this link, and for the bus routes in downtown Fort Worth see this link.

Thanks to the generous help of Democratic candidate Carter Thompson, another DART train (later than the usual ones) has been scheduled for delegates returning to Dallas from the State Convention in Fort Worth on the evening of Friday, June 9th. It will depart the Fort Worth Intermodal Tranportation Center at 10:35 PM on June 9th, and will arrive in Dallas at 11:15 PM. Those who had bought a premium DayPass will not need to buy another ticket. Tom Madrzykowski tells us that parking is available at the Dallas end at Reunion Arena for $5.

Holly Hunter has volunteered to help people put together carpools for driving to Fort Worth. If you are interested, send your basic info (Name, address, phone number, and email address) to holly.hunter AT comcast DOT net -- This will be a casual, sorted by zip-code list, and others on the list will receive your info. Once she sends out the names, it’s completely up to you to make that work.

Save The Date For This Year's Fish Fry!

The Dallas County Democratic Party will be hosting its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Saturday, October 21, 2006, as a kick off for early voting! Mark your calendars and plan to attend this great event -- the most important party fundraiser of the year!

Last year, 400 local Democrats gathered for the 2005 Fish Fry, which featured State Representative Senfronia Thompson. This year, we'll be building momentum for our election victories with this exciting event! Stay tuned to our newsletter, the Round Up and the DCDP website for more news about the Fish Fry as it becomes available!