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, April 30, 2007

What Does That Amendment Mean?

Also on the May 12 ballot statewide is a proposed state constitutional amendment, which typically is unclear in its meaning. One possible source is the League of Women Voters' Guide. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the pdf document they have posted at this site. It gives arguments for and against. (I urge caution in looking at the statements above that by various candidates about their own races. The League just prints their answers and doesn't check them out, and I know personally some claims made there are just not so.)

KERA TV Interviews Congresswoman Johnson

Our local PBS-TV affiliate, Channel 13, has a program called THINK. Their Krys Boyd interviewed our only local Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Eddie Bernice Johnson, about Iraq and other things going on in Washington. You can watch the video at this site.

State Committee Members Switch Seats

The death of Dallas' Buck Massey last month left a vacancy on the State Democratic Executive Committee, where he had represented the 23rd Senate District. Last week a meeting was held in Dallas of the Precinct Chairs from that district. They recommended as his replacement former Dallas County Chair Ken Molberg. Ken was already a member of the SDEC from the 16th, but just bought a new house and moved to Oak Cliff, putting him in the 23rd.

This opened up Ken's seat from the 16th, so Precinct Chairs from that district met and recommended as his replacement longtime Precinct Chair Shannon Bailey, who already held an ex-officio seat on the SDEC as President of Texas Stonewall Democrats. Stonewall will now have to move someone else up to fill his previous spot on the state committee.

(Shown here are Molberg at left and Bailey at right, with 16th SDEC member and former Dallas County Chair Theresa Daniel. Thanks to Tom Blackwell for the photo.) Over the weekend, when the SDEC met to consider various party business, they ratified these two local choices. So Ken and Shannon are both still on the SDEC; they've just changed the labels at their places. (For boadicea's live-blogging of the SDEC meeting, including State Chair Boyd Richey's report that the "Party raised more money through April than any year since 2000", see this page.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


"PVL - A New Era" is one of several local Democratic organizations in Dallas County. We've been advised that they have made endorsements in the May 12 Dallas City Council elections, as follows:

Mayor - Don Hill
Council Place 2 - Pauline Medrano
Council Place 3 - Linda Wise
Council Place 4 - Gloria Hogg
Council Place 5 - Vonciel Jones Hill
Council Place 7 - Kevin Felder
Council Place 8 - Erik R Wilson
Council Place 14 - no recommendation

We previously linked to the endorsements of two other local Democratic organizations, the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas and the Dallas County Young Democrats. It would be much easier to make a choice if all the local groups agreed in their picks. Unfortunately that is not the case. The only contest that they are all together on is District 2, where all three groups voted to back incumbent Pauline Medrano.
  • While the PVL supports Don Hill for Mayor, both Stonewall and the YDs are for Ed Oakley.
  • In District 3, the PVL is for Linda Wise, but both Stonewall and the YDs are for Joseph Hernandez.
  • There is no agreement at all in District 4, where PVL is for Gloria Hogg, while the YDs are for Dwaine Caraway, and Stonewall heard candidates but decided not to endorse anyone.
  • In District 5, both the PVL and the YDs support Vonciel Jones Hill, but Stonewall is for Camile White.
  • In District 7, both the PVL and Stonewall went with Kevin Felder, but the YDs endorsed Donald Parish.
  • In District 8, PVL and YDs backed Erik R. Wilson, but Stonewall made no endorsement.
  • Both Stonewall and YDs supported Jill Kotvis in District 9, but the PVL made no endorsement.
  • The YDs were the only ones making a choice in District 12, for John McClelland.
  • In District 14 both Stonewall and YDs went with incumbent Angela Hunt, but PVL made no choice.
  • Stonewall was the only group to make an endorsement for the Dallas County School board (for Irby Foster).
Are there any other Democratic groups out there that have made endorsements? Let me know and I'll add them too.

Monday, April 23, 2007


The Dallas County Democratic Party renews a tradition.


This year it will be on:

Friday, May 18, 2007 at 7 PM
Dallas Arboretum - Rosine Hall

Featuring former Congressman Chris Bell

Limited seating - Act Fast. Single tickets will go on sale in May. Only sponsorships are avalible at this time. Sponsorship levels are:

President - $5000
Vice-President- $2500
Senator - $1000
Member of Congress - $500
Secretary of the Treasury - $250

Call 214-821-8331 for more information or to purchase sponsorships.


This is for the May 12 election. Early Voting will run from April 30 through May 8, and you can vote at some fifty locations around the county (and four suburban school districts will also be doing mobile voting). A list of all the times and places is at this page. If you miss all of those, you can still vote from 7 AM to 7 PM on Saturday, May 12, but you'll have to do it in your own local precinct. You can find that at this page.

Everybody Can Vote

This will be on the May 12 ballot statewide, so if you are registered, you can cast a ballot for or against: "The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for a reduction of the limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for public school purposes on the residence homesteads of the elderly or disabled to reflect any reduction in the rate of those taxes for the 2006 and 2007 tax years."

Other Referenda -- And Immigrant-Bashing

Five suburbs will be voting on various propositions, mostly city charter amendments. Four suburban school districts will be voting on new bond issues. In Farmers Branch people will be voting on "Ordinance 2903, amending the Apartment Complex Rental Ordinance to mandate citizenship certification requirements." That's the one you've heard of that provoked all the demonstrations and boycotts (and deservedly so). For a list (and text of proposed amendments) see the long sample ballot at this page. (No, your own ballot won't have all of those listed; just the ones you are eligible to vote for.)

The Trinity River Project

This will not be on the ballot (at least not at this election). Voters approved a massive program for the Trintiy years ago. Lately some, led by Dallas Councilmember Angela Hunt, claim that the plan has been changed drastically (partly because of new, tougher, post-Katrina standards from the Army Corps of Engineers, who build and regulate such river projects), drastically reducing the proposed lake and park, and placing the road where it will be flooded. They want a referendum for the voters to decide on the new version. Supporters of this idea need to collect 50,000 signatures on petitions to put this on the ballot. They will have volunteers out at Early Voting places and at polling places on election day to gather voter signatures.

You can read more about their campaign at (which also links to several news articles on the subject), or volunteer to help gather signatures at this page, or call Brooks Love (a former Young Democrats President and DCDP Executive Director) at 214-586-7275. I have not found a web site setting out the arguments for the other side, but if this gets enough signatures to be placed on the ballot I am sure they will put one up. For the record, the Dallas County Democratic Party has not taken any position on this.

Local Offices

This is not just for Dallas Mayor (which gets the TV ads) and City Council and School Board. Seventeen other suburbs are also having council elections. Eleven cities, including some districts in Dallas, are having elections for local school boards. Finally, the Dallas County School Board (which doesn't operate schools, but runs the buses for them) is electing three members, two in districts, but one at-large county-wide that anyone can vote on. The long list of all the candidates is, again, at this page.


These are all non-partisan elections, and the Dallas County Democratic Party doesn't endorse candidates in them. There certainly are some Democrats running, but all candidates will be listed on the ballot with no party affiliation shown. As the party's email newsletter, the Roundup also is making no endorsements.

Some individual Democratic elected officials and Precinct Chairs may (and often do) make individual endorsements in some local contests. Local Democratic groups and organizations may also do so in some cases. The only ones we've been told about so far are the Stonewall Democrats, whose choices are on their website, and the Dallas County Young Democrats, whose endorsements are on this page.


Teflon Pete Sessions' double standard
What Farmers Branch Needs is a Pizza Patron
ES&S Touch-screen Voting Systems Found Vulnerable

The Governor’s Power Grab Texas "homeland security"
Common Cause on Voter ID in Texas
Texas 3rd In Donations For 2008 Presidential Race
Texas Record for DSCC: $1.1 Million fundraising for 2008

Gonzo-gate Daily Show video
Maybe Marvel supervillains fight in White House destroyed emails
The Tao of Gonzo
Campaign against alleged voter fraud fuels political tempest
The Fraudulence of Voter Fraud
The Problem With Alberto
The Plot Against the First Amendment
Putting the Gone in Gonzales?

Paul Krugman: A Hostage Situation Iraq funding
Poll: Over two-thirds of Americans don't support Iraq war
Impeachment rallies April 28
On the 200th DNA Exoneration in the U.S. Barry Scheck

Monday, April 16, 2007

In Memory: Dennis Ferguson:

Last week Dennis Raymond Ferguson of Garland passed away. He was the Democratic Chair of Precinct 2107 in Garland. Serving in the Navy in Desert Storm, he was also a member of the Texas Democratic Veterans Association. He is survived by his wife and two daughters. The funeral and burial were in San Antonio, where he was born 48 years ago.

In Memory: Lillian Cooper and Pearlie Jennings:

As today's DCDP Roundup was going to press, we were advised of two other Democratic Precinct Chairs who have also passed away, Pearlie Jennings of 3331 in Pleasant Grove, and long-time chair Lillian Cooper of 3351 in South Dallas. We have no more details at this time.

Getting Set For 2008:

Next year's campaigns will be on us sooner than you think (especially if the legislature moves up the primary date to earlier in the year, as many other states are doing). Besides President, U.S. Senator (Bush's rubber stamp John Cornyn will be up for reelection, and is in trouble in the polls already), Congress and the legislature, we have several local races coming up.

Among Democrats there will be a few incumbents, and some of them have already started their efforts. Judge Lorraine Raggio has just set up a new web site. Judge Don Adams is already out circulating his petitions to get on the primary ballot, and both Judge Adams and Sheriff Lupe Valdez already have place-holder sites on the web ready to be expanded. They will all be targets of vengeful Republicans. Be ready for some more vicious attacks on Democrats.

Presidential Candidates In Dallas:

Vague rumor has it that Senator Barack Obama of Illinois will be here in the near future for a high-dollar fundraiser. One event that we do know he and several others will be here for, probably with more of a chance for the general public to actually see them, is this July. For four days (July 18-21) the Young Democrats will be holding a national convention in Dallas. Already expected to be there are Senator Obama, Senator Hillary Clinton, former Senator John Edwards, and Governor Bill Richardson. More details later as we get them.

Watching The Web:

Don't Suppress the Vote in Texas
Bill lets you vote if you bring your what to the polls?
The Fantasy Behind the Scandal (NY Times editorial)

Racial debate heats up, kills identification bill

Risk of innocent Texan executed "profoundly troubling"
Dallas Morning News calls for Abolition of death penalty

Torture, Secrecy, and the Bush Administration

The Daily Show: “Reverse Progress in Iraq,” Vetoes and War Czars
Colbert Promotes Donald Rumsfeld for War Czar video
Record of Iraq War Lies to Air April 25 on PBS (Bill Moyers)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Monday, April 02, 2007


Former Dallas County Democratic Chair Ken Molberg pointed out a fascinating article at the Texas Lawyer: "Boycotting the Dallas Bar Association: Democratic Judges Vent Frustration Over DBA Response to '06 Campaign". Some excerpts:

"Many of the newly elected civil judges felt the DBA had unfairly involved itself in the rough and tumble of the 2006 judicial campaign through its bar polling, which they perceived was biased in favor of incumbents. Many believed the DBA had been hypocritical by asking the candidates to adhere to the DBA's judicial election creeds during the campaign while refusing to condemn the incumbent Republican judges who allegedly violated the same creeds through a series of attack ads leveled against the Democrats. Until the DBA addressed their concerns, several of the newly elected judges decided to boycott various DBA activities. So on March 13, DBA president Beverly Godbey appointed a 12-member Task Force on Bench/Bar Relations that will, in part, deal with the issues raised by the judges."

Judge Carlos Cortez of the 44th District Court "caustically condemned the DBA for its failure of leadership" at his January 24 investiture: "...during the last months of the campaign when we were being attacked [in campaign ads] and our profession was being demonized, when we were depicted as criminals ... when they told us we were defending serial rapists and child molesters, we decided not to respond because that would further disgrace the bar. ... Where was the Dallas Bar Association, where were its elected officials, when this was going on in our very backyard?" And he and others followed words with actions.

""I started boycotting things," says Cortez in an interview. "The bar wanted me to speak on panels for CLE, judge their mock trial program and help with their volunteer lawyer program. I told Godbey that I would not do anything until the bar association did something about what transpired in 2006. The other [new] district judges without exception started uniting behind me and jumped in."" And Judge Marty Lowy of the 101st District Court "resigned as co-vice chairman of the DBA’s Bench/Bar Conference Committee."

Read more in the article about the vicious Republican ads last year. (And since we're dealing with lawyers here, I'd better add some "fair use" stuff about these quotes: "In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for purposes of research, education, criticism, comment, or news reporting.")

(While the Bush misadministration puts our armed forces needlessly in harm's way without adequate armor, then shortchanges the wounded ones on care while in the service or as veterans, Democrats are showing they genuinely do believe our defenders deserve better. This is true even at the state level. We just received this news release from Dallas' own Senator Royce West.)

Senator West introduces bill creating statewide veteran's re-integration counseling program

AUSTIN - Senate Bill 1058 by State Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) will be heard in the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday, April 4th.

Senate Bill 1058 creates a statewide re-integration counseling program for service members returning to Texas from combat duties by providing a safety-net counseling system for veterans and their immediate family members. Many veterans struggle with reintegration and their return to family and work life as they battle domestic and substance abuse issues, high divorce rates and symptoms associated with traumatic brain injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"The strength of Texas and the United States is dependent upon the strength of our soldiers and the families of our soldiers who engage the Global War on Terror. It is our responsibility to honor the commitment of our military service members by providing the tools necessary to fully return to their families and workplaces after discharge from active duty," Senator West said.

SB 1058 will incorporate the Texas 2-1-1 Information and Referral Network service (TexVet) to provide an accurate and up-to-date inventory of resources, tools and counseling programs available for service members and their immediate families.

"TexVet is federally-funded through the Veterans Administration (VA) for the next two years, and will serve as a vital piece of the communications structure of the veterans re-integration program," said Senator West. "Our initiative will create a merger of the federal and state response to the need of a re-integration program in Texas."

Of the 244,054 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan already discharged from service, 12,422 have been treated through VA counseling centers for readjustment problems and symptoms associated with PTSD. A 2004 Army study found 16.6 percent of those returning from combat tested positive for the disorder.

"It is our duty as a legislative body to protect those who protect us. Helping our military families survive the aftermath of war is the least we can do for our Texas patriots," West said.

Senator West will hold a Joint Press Conference with Senator Shapleigh (D-El Paso) and Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) on Wednesday, April 4, 2007 at 9:45 am in the Lt. Governor's Press Conference Room, 2E.9.

For more information, please contact Kelvin Bass or Daniel Clayton at 512.463.0123.