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

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round Up: Amendments, Elections, & Endorsements For The November 6 2007 Ballot

[This round-up of election news and endorsement posts is brought to you by the Texas Progressive Alliance in anticipation of the November 6 general election. Some of the blogs and sites included in this round-up are not member sites of the Texas Progressive Alliance, but are included in the hopes of giving voters a wider picture of the many issues facing voters in local races around the state. The round-up was compiled by Vince at Capitol Annex.]

On November 6, voters all across Texas will have the opportunity to go to the polls to vote on a variety of issues. First and foremost, voters across Texas will vote on 16 amendments to the Texas Constitution including Proposition 15, the much-touted amendment to fund cancer research in the state.

In addition, voters in some municipalities, most prominently Houston, will be casting votes for city officials including mayors and city council members. College districts, independent school districts, and special districts across the state will also hold elections for their members. A number of cities and school districts will also hold bond elections to fund everything from jail construction to parks and recreation and additional school facilities. Some school districts will also hold tax rate elections to authorize tax rates higher than those allowed by the tax reform plan passed by the Texas Legislature in special session back in 2006.

Texas bloggers have dedicated a considerable amount of coverage to election issues across the state, from the statewide constitutional amendment election to local issues. Much of this coverage is highlighted below.

Local Elections, Bonds, & Referendums

Charles Kuffner at Off The Kuff has exhaustive coverage of local elections in Houston from city council elections to college district elections and city bonds. There are a large number of posts, but mosts can be found in two categories, here and here.

Grits for Breakfast has a round-up of jail-related propositions on the ballot across the state, including in Smith County (Tyler).

Bill Howell in Stoutdemblog comes out for a vote Yes on the Dallas referendum on the Trinity River at River Don't You Weep.

Texas Cloverleaf has a round up of campaign spending on the Trinity River campaign.

North Texas Liberal explores the pros and cons of the Trinity River referendum in Dallas.

Other Key Local Election Coverage:

Homophobia Rears Its Nasty Head in Fort Worth City Council Race (Doing My Part For The Left)

Endorsements & Voter's Guides: Statewide Amendments & Local Races

Non-partisan voter's guides on the 16 statewide Constitutional Amendments: Texas League of Women Voters, Texas Legislative Council (full version), Texas Legislative Council (condensed version--warning, this is a .doc file), Texas House Research Organization

Newspaper Endorsements For Constitutional Amendments:

Dallas Morning News, Austin American-Statesman, Waco Tribune-Herald (split editorials: here, here, here, here, here), El Paso Times (Prop. 4), Lufkin Daily News, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, San Antonio Express-News.

Bill Howell at Stoutdemblog provides links to analyses of the amendments, then compares different stands taken on them by some other bloggers and Republicans and Libertarians, then gives his own personal stands on each at Web Resources On The Endless Amendments.

Muse at Musings urges voters to vote the opposite of the Harris County Republican Party's endorsements.

Capitol Annex has endorsements of the 16 Constitutional Amendments with detailed information behind the reasons for their picks in their four endorsement posts.

Gary at Easter Lemming News in Harris County finally has his thoughts straight on all the propositions, amendments and bonds to follow his election page.

WCNews at Eye on Williamson has Early Voting in formation for Williamson County along with several guides and couple of opinions on the amendments .

Off the Kuff gives his recommendations for the state and local bonds and propositions.

CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme points at some resources to decipher the proposed Texas constitutional amendments.

Other Notable Statewide Amendment Coverage:

Proposition 4 (Off The Kuff)

Proposition 15 Ramps Up (Off The Kuff)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Cheney Is Coming To Town....

Yes, Darth Vader's understudy will be here, probably to lie about Iran, at noon this Friday, November 2. CodePink is on the case.

Local Candidate Web Site Info Needed

As local campaigns get underway, it would help if we have a good list of all the candidates' web sites. We need to have them to give out to people who call in, to post on the party website, and to mention them in the DCDP Roundup. I have several already listed on the right sidebar here (most recently added: Kirk England and Ken Molberg), but I may have missed some. If you are a local candidate with a new site, please email me to roundup AT dallasdemocrats DOT org.

Local Presidential Contact Info Needed

If you are the leader of local grassroots organizations for any of the 2008 Presidential Candidates, please forward your contact information, including, name, contact phone and e-mail address to Renee Hartley, the DCDP Office Manager. She'd like to be able to tell people who call in more than just "call their national campaign". Call her at 214-821-8331 or email her to officemanager AT mydcdp DOT com.

In Memory: Phil Bird, Jr.

Phil Bird, Jr., passed away at the age of 70 on October 21. He was survived by his wife, Mary Dillard Bird, and two sons. Phil had been in real estate in east Dallas, where he had served as a Democratic Party Precinct Chair, and had been our candidate for a seat in the Texas House of Representatives. His many friends here extend our sympathy to his family.

Candidate Profile: Ken Molberg

Ken is campaigning to become Judge of the 95th Civil District Court. Ken has been in practice for over 30 years, with extensive experience in the civil courts of Dallas County. He is currently a partner at Wilson, Williams & Molberg, P.C., in Dallas.

Ken is a founder, member and former president of the Texas Employment Lawyers Association. He is also a member of many legal associations, including the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Dallas Trial Lawyers Association, the Texas Bar Foundation, the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Texas Bar Association, the Dallas Bar Association, and the National Employment Lawyers Association. He has appeared for oral arguments several times before the Texas Supreme Court.

For more than 20 years, Ken has been listed in the labor and employment law section of "The Best Lawyers in America", and he has been recognized as a top attorney or "super lawyer" by D Magazine and Texas Monthly. He is a graduate of SMU Law School, where he served as managing editor of what is now the SMU Law Review.

Throughout his life, Ken has been a steadfast supporter of the Democratic Party, including many years of service on the State Democratic Executive Committee and as Chair of the Dallas County Democratic Party.

(Ken has just put up his campaign web site at

River Don't You Weep

I've isolated out a couple of other bloggers' postings for a roundup about the voting on the Trinity River that Dallas is doing now, just to lump them together in this post.

North Texas Liberal seems to be trying to be fair to both sides, though referring to a Dallas Morning Nothing archive of its own articles on the subject is guaranteed to choke you on a bunch of wildly misleading big-money establishment propaganda. You'll get much more accurate information from the site of TrinityVote.

The Texas Cloverleaf helpfully links to an article about where the money is coming from for the campaign, identifying this correctly as "Big Business vs The Grassroots".

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm voting YES. Even if the floodway tollroad for big trucks were a good idea (and it's certainly not), I resent very much constantly being lied to so blatantly by the "vote no" fat cats and their enablers and sycophants.

Web Resources On The Endless Amendments

Early voting is going on now. (In Dallas County, find out where and when you can vote early at this page.) How should people vote on the proposed Texas Constitutional Amendments? I've previously linked to a short summary of these in pdf form by the League of Women Voters, and a very long one by the Texas Legislative Council, which Eye on Williamson points out also has a somewhat shorter version in DOC format that can be downloaded at this link. Also, South Texas Chisme pointed out this pro-and-con pdf from the House Research Organization.

Later this week, the Texas Progressive Alliance of bloggers will put up a wrapup of posts on the amendments by all their members. I'll put a copy of that on this blog, but until then here's a list of several bloggers' postings, and just for comparison, some Republican and Libertarian takes. The Democratic Party has not taken any official position on these, and will not before this election.

Vince Leibowitz of Capitol Annex has done a four-part series looking at the propositions: numbers 1 through 4, 5 through 9, 10 through 13, and 14 through 16. McBlogger quickly reviews them all at this page. Charles Kuffner of Off The Kuff has a longer analysis, with some other links, at this page.

Musings suggested we see how the Harris County Republican Party is saying to vote, and just vote the opposite way. Following that same approach, I was unable to find a statewide or Dallas County official stand by the Republicans. I did look at a Republican columnist in the Fort Worth Paper, referred to by McBlogger, but she took just the same stands as the Harris County Republicans. I also checked out the other side by looking at a Libertarian blogger mentioned by Eye on Williamson at his site Liberty Yes, Anarchy No, and the Libertarian Party's own official positions on the amendments.

If everyone in this diverse list agrees one way or the other, that's a strong indication of something about that proposal, although in one case I personally disagreed with everyone else who took a stand; maybe that means I'm wrong on that one. I list their stands and provide my own checklist below. Check out any or all of these sources, make up your own mind, and go vote accordingly, but please do go vote.

My own scorecard for voting on this year's proposed amendments:

1 All three Democratic bloggers are for; Republicans and Libertarians take no position. Harmless bureaucratic reorganization. I vote YES.

2 Dems are for; Repubs and Libs are against. Bond issue for student loans. Unless you are one of those who always vote against bonds on principle, vote YES.

3 Dems are split; the Lib blogger is against. Vince at Capitol Annex makes the interesting argument that this "would also shift tax burden on other taxpayers, including homeowners whose values are not rising rapidly." Uh, are any home values rising rapidly today? Someday they will again; I'm voting NO.

4 Dems, Reps, and Libs ALL say no, for different reasons. The Dems don't like more funding for state prisons, now over-stuffed with non-violent offenders. I'm voting NO.

5 Dems and Libs say no. It's a potential subsidy to business in small towns by redistributing property tax burdens. On the other hand, a small-"d" democrat would say if the voters there approve this, that's their right. This only gives towns permission to vote on it. Perhaps because of being from Winnsboro (pop. 3000+), I lean to YES.

6 Dems (except McBlogger) and the Lib blogger are for. It is a subsidy car tax cut mostly affecting realtors, but I'm voting YES.

7 Dems and Libs are for. Rick Perry is strongly against. I'm voting YES.

8 Dems are for; others silent. Technicality on home equity loans. I'm voting YES.

9 Other Dems are for, and Reps and Libs are silent, but Vince argues this is unneeded and with growing numbers of Iraqi- (and soon Iranian-) war veterans this could be a big tax burden redistributed to other taxpayers. I think he's overestimating the impact, and frankly I don't care if he's right. I'm voting YES.

10 Dems and Libs are for; Reps don't care. Getting rid of Hides and Animals Inspectors. This is the most obvious call of any amendment. I'm voting YES.

11 Dems and Libs are for; Reps are silent. Requiring roll calls in the Legislature. I'm sure Tom Craddick is hoping it fails. This is the most important issue of any amendment. I'm voting YES.

12 Vince passes on this one on highway bonds, Charles is for "with reservations", and McBlogger just says no, they should give us a good proposal instead. Reps and Libs are all against. On this one I vote NO.

13 The Dems are against expanding power to deny bail; the Reps are not against it (no surprise); and the Lib blogger shows that he really doesn't understand how civil liberties work in practice by supporting it, while his party doesn't consider habeas corpus important enough to take a stand. I'm voting NO.

14 Other Dems and the Lib blogger are against this; Reps are carefully silent; and the Lib party and Kuffner at Off The Kuff think this is a step against mandatory retirement ages. Actually it is a special proposal intended to let Republican Justice Charles Holcomb serve more years on the bench. He is no hero of ours. I'm voting NO.

15 Other Dems are for, but McBlogger says use the surplus instead of bonds, and the Reps and Libs are against funding cancer research anyway. Again, unless you're just always against any bonds, vote YES.

16 More bonds, which may help poor people in colonias and similar areas elsewhere. Vince is for, but Kuffner was convinced to oppose it by McBlogger, whose horror of subsidies persuaded him to join Reps and Libs in opposition, linking to arguments by Peggy Venable. She's the one who accused of being "the activist arm of the Communist Party USA". I'll pass on taking her advice here, and agree with Vince on voting YES.


It's Monday, and that means it's once again time for the Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up. This week's round-up is complied by Vince from Capitol Annex.

Refinish69 from Doing My Part For The Left is outraged with certain politicians in Fort Worth,Texas. Homophobia Rears Its Nasty Head in Fort Worth City Council Race tells who is being a jerk and how to contact one of them.

Muse was at Armando Walle's campaign kick-off and reports why it's time for a change in Texas House District 140. Kevin Bailey (Craddick D) has been serving Craddick and not the district. Walle, who is from the district and has a proven track record of service and leadership, already has a large group of supporters lined up to help him take back 140 for the people.

Phillip Martin of Burnt Orange Report provides a detailed chart and analysis updating what's going on with the Craddick D's. The post brought forward an interesting reader response as well.

TXsharon at Bluedaze gives the Texas Railroad Commission Protection Money Breakdown and makes it easy for you to take action before you become the next victim of RRC Malpractice.

Hal at Half Empty wonders whether FEMA has finally taken a page out of George Orwell's book when they held a 'news conference' this past week without a single journalist in attendance.

WhosPlayin notes that he would gladly pay the $13.30 per year per person to pay for SCHIP.

McBlogger takes a look at the strange world of Focus on the Family and the very odd people that attended their Values Voters conference.

CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme notes that Perry appointed a public corruption figure to the UT System Board of Regents.

Johncoby at Bay Area Houston finds the highest and lowest costs for electricity in the Houston area. Power Watch: Highest and lowest electricity rates for November.

Stace at DosCentavos features the trailer to the upcoming Jesse Salmeron film, This Is America, the story of a family torn apart by deportation.

NatWu at Three Wise Men exposes the truth about why we need Net Neutrality, especially with all the recent Telecom shenanigans.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson wonders What Will John Carter's Excuse Be This Time For Voting Against Health Care For Children?

NYTexan at BlueBloggin asks how many wars and how many enemies can Bush have?

Vince at Capitol Annex notes that Tom Craddick has borrowed a page from Warren Chisum in announcing that trial lawyers were behind efforts to remove him during the 80th Legislative Session and wonders why, since he reported it some months ago, it is suddenly "news" to the mainstream media.

In the wake of the Houston Chronicle's announcement of a "position-elimination program", PDiddie at Brains and Eggs recounts his personal experience with Hearst newspapers, budgets, and staff cutbacks in The Trouble with the Newspaper Bidness.

In the most recent installment of The Texas Blue's podcast interview series Who's Blue, we talk to State Representative Jim Dunnam. We discuss how he got started in politics, what Kirk England's party switch means to Texas, and the restoration of community college funding vetoed by Governor Perry.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ebony And Ivory

Welcome the newest members of the estate, temporarily established in an appropriately labelled box.

Callie (or more formally, the calico cat formerly known as Callikitty) has now brought forth into the outside air her first litter of two.

Their momma carried them out by the neck to bask in sunshine. They still seem shy, but if they grow up like her, they'll do just fine.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Did Dallas Do It?

Why did Mikal Watts really bow out of the U.S. Senate primary race? He says it's to spend more time with his family, who were burdened by the stress of the campaign. Yeah, that's what they always say. Even when it's true (and really, it always is true -- because nothing disrupts a family more than a big race like this) it's still an excuse. They knew -- or could have easily found out -- that would happen before they got in.

So what's the underlying cause? Speculation abounds: he must have taken a poll showing he couldn't beat Noriega (or maybe even Cornyn) -- he just couldn't compete in endorsements in south Texas with a Hispanic candidate no matter how much money he poured in -- there's some hidden scandal that would have come out if he stayed in -- etc. etc. etc. Never mind these pedestrian or conspiracy possibilities. Perhaps it was really the Dallas County Democratic Party's annual Fish Fry last Friday.

What happened here? He got booed. He spoke to the crowd and at least one (possibly several) actually booed him. The one identified booer was upset over choice. Then other individuals spoke to him and made it clear his answers on that subject were not acceptable. A promise "not to make choice a litmus test" for judges is counterproductive, when we WANT our Senators to make it a litmus test -- just the other way from his views.

No doubt he's heard such things before, but was there booing before at a major party event? Maybe it was the adamant objections, including the rudely expressed ones, in Dallas that became the final straw. If so, this deserves a historical marker. The last thing the Senate Democrats need is another Joe "enabler of evil" Lieberman, this time specializing in undermining from within the party's stand on women's rights.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Watching The Web 071022

Interview with State Representative Rafael Anchia
Farmers Branch loses another one in court
Democrats oppose Trinity plan in Fort Worth
Texas Progressive Alliance weekly wrapup
Last week's TPA wrapup
130 More Sign Complaint Against Sharon Keller
Cheney's Law frightening PBS video
The Pet Constitution Lynne Cheney's version
American Freedom Pledge petition against torture
The "Good Germans" Among Us Frank Rich
Orwell in 2007
Baseless Smear Campaign Against 12 Year Old Recipient Of SCHIP
Daily Show: President Bush, Describer-In-Chief video
Dems poised to repeal martial law provision
Business abandons GOP for Democrats
Gore Derangement Syndrome Paul Krugman
Al Gore gets their goat
Supreme Court Gives Gore's Nobel to Bush satire?
Suicide Is Not Painless U.S. soldiers in Iraq
Jeremy Scahill on Blackwater Bill Moyers video
Shoot Me! cartoon
Valerie Plame Wilson and the Ultimate Betrayal left unprotected
Plame's job was to keep nukes from Iran
Secret History of the Impending War with Iran Esquire
World War III Is Going To Be Hilarious Bush the jester

In Memory

Last week two members of the community were lost to us. We extend our sympathy to their families.

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson postponed her Community Appreciation Day, scheduled for October 20th, because of the death of her mother, Lillie. The services were held in Grand Prairie on Saturday.

On Wednesday Polly Lou ("P. L.") McAdams Moore, 66, passed away. The actor, producer and director was a founder of the Dallas 500 Inc. and served a term as co-chair of Theatre 3. She was also active in Dallas County Democratic politics, principally through the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus where she participated in fundraising and voter registration drives. She was a member of the board of Stonewall Dallas this year. There will be a memorial service at Theatre 3, in the Quadrangle, 2800 Routh Street, Suite 168, Dallas, at 3 PM on Monday, October 29.

A Special Gift To Terri

(This comes from former State Representative Harryette Ehrhardt and her husband Jack. State Representative Terri Hodge was honored last Saturday as one of the Heroes of the 80th Legislature by the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.)

"Our good, hard working and loyal friend Terri Hodge deserves to have the best possible legal assistance. Please help us fund this requirement by joining us for hamburgers at our home November 5 -- the night before the election. IT'S ALSO TERRI'S BIRTHDAY! We will have two Dallas Affairs cakes and lots of burgers and fixins --

"Your check can be made out to the Terri Hodge Defense Fund or to her campaign. Unlike campaign gifts, corporations and unions can give to the Defense Fund. You can bring your donation or mail it to P.O. Box 710776, Dallas TX 75376. Suggested donations start at $25. But I hope most of us will dig deeper than that!!!"

Terri's Birthday Fundraiser
5731 Swiss Avenue
5:30 to 7:00
Monday, November 5, 2007

Miller Strikes Back

We recently told you about the League of Women Voters national newsletter mentioning the stunt that local Republicans pulled against our legislative candidate, Harriet Miller. Now she has decided to seek justice in the courts, filing a lawsuit against her opponent and his party, charging defamation of character, slander and libel. Her attorneys are former Justice Charles McGarry, future judge Ken Molberg, and national election law expert Gerry Hebert. I would be very afraid to see those three with their batting average coming into a courtroom against me. You can read a pdf of the suit at this site.

Fight Fall Chill With The Chili Supper This Saturday

The Lake Highlands / White Rock Democrats, one of the largest clubs in the county, has been holding this fundraising event for several years now. This year it
will be at Dancemasters, located at 10675 E. Northwest Highway at the intersection with Plano Road, upstairs in the Northview Plaza shopping center, from 6:30 to 9:30 PM. Chili (LOTS of different varieties!) and all the fixings and soft drinks are included in your $10 admission.

The Ackermans will entertain musically and there will be a silent auction with some very special items available. The Sheriff of Dallas County, the Honorable Lupe Valdez, will be the keynote speaker. Lupe will have a power point presentation that will give us all a better understanding of the Sheriff's Department and the county jail. For further information please call Billie Whitney at 214-341-0357 or Pat Tharp at 214-553-5188.

Candidate Profile: John Creuzot

John Creuzot is running for re-election to Criminal District Court No. 4. Originally appointed by Governor Ann Richards, Judge Creuzot has been on the bench for 16 years and is presiding judge for criminal courts in Dallas.

In 1998, Judge Creuzot helped create the "smart on crime" approach championed by District Attorney Craig Watkins in the 2006 elections with his Dallas Initiative for Expedited Rehabilitation and Treatment (DIVERT) Court project. His efforts have earned numerous awards, including the National Association of Drug Court Professionals New Pioneer Award, the J. L. Turner Legal Association Outstanding Jurist Award and the State Bar of Texas Criminal Justice Section Outstanding Jurist Award.

Judge Creuzot is also a member of faculty training for the National Drug Court Institute and a faculty member of the National Judicial College. He has frequently been invited to serve with criminal justice related committees and organizations at the local, state and national levels.

Judge Creuzot invites everyone to attend his first campaign event, this Thursday, October 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, at Sammy's Barbecue, 2126 Leonard Street, Dallas. Special guest is Isiah Robertson, 6-time NFL All Pro linebacker. RSVP by email to service AT democracytoolbox DOT com or phone 214-544-0381.

(Note: I'll be happy to print profiles of about 200 words, preferably with a picture, of candidates for 2008 in the DCDP weekly Roundup. I held this one until this week to tie into his campaign event. I'll also put them on this blog as I post them there. Email me to roundup AT dallasdemocrats DOT org.)

Al Franken Comes To Dallas Wednesday

On Wednesday author, radio commentator, and humorist Al Franken visits here for a fundraiser lunch to benefit his campaign against a Republican incumbent for U.S. Senator from Minnesota. It's at Noon at the House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar Street. Tickets are $500 and up, but that's the cost of running statewide even in a smaller state than Texas. Those who are enthused about the idea of Al puncturing pomposity from the Senate floor can RSVP and pay on line at this page.

Early Voting Starts Today!

Monday, October 22, is the first day you can vote early in person for the state Constitutional Amendments. You can find the places and times here. If you don't vote early, you can still vote on Tuesday, November 6, but on that day you'll have to vote at your regular precinct polling place (which you can find on line, searching by either your name or your street address, at this page). The information about those 16 proposed Amendments is in a short pdf from the League of Women Voters, or a very long one from the TLC.

In Dallas, there will also be a vote on the Trinity. This is set up in a confusing manner: a vote "Yes" is a vote against a big tollroad in the flood plain park (see Trinity Vote), while a vote "No" is in favor of going ahead and building it (their site is at Save The Trinity). The DCDP has not taken an official position on this, and there are some Democrats on both sides. We simply urge you to be sure you are not confused about which way you really want to vote.

NOTE: I'll add here what I didn't put on this post when I sent it out in today's DCDP Roundup -- I'm voting "Yes". I remember how we voted down the original DART proposal, and they came back later with a much better one. On this project the voters bought the pie-over-the-river descriptions and passed this proposal -- and the council proceeded to change it for the worse. You need to slap those politicians' heads with a stick before they'll pay attention to you. A vote "Yes" is what they have earned for the unbelievable gross lies they have been spinning on this one.


It's Monday, and that means it's time to show some love for the best posts from the members of the Texas Progressive Alliance for the preceding week. Check out the best that the Alliance has to offer, brought to you this week by Vince at Capitol Annex.

PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has an advance of the Max Cleland-Karl Rove debate, coming up this Friday, October 26.

Diarist Scott Cobb at Texas Kaos updates us on the growing movement to hold rogue Judge Sharon Keller accountable for her callous disregard for the responsibility of the Appeals court while she displays her intoxication with its power.

State Senator Craig Estes, Senate District 30, was given numerous examples of Texas Railroad Commission malpractice, negligence, incompetence and cronyism at his recent Town Hall Meeting in Wise County. TXsharon at Bluedaze asks: Will Senator Estes Investigate the RRC's Malpractice?

Adam at Three Wise Men looks into the future to give us his expert opinion on the 2010 Texas Gubernatorial race.

McBlogger has been keeping a watchful eye on what's happening in Congress with FISA expansion.

At Half Empty, Hal ponders the question: which Republican candidate can the evangelicals support for President?

Muse vs. State Senator Eltife. A whole lotta safe sex going on or should the the State of Texas get involved in adults getting free condoms on campus?

Todd Hill at Burnt Orange Report interviews Dan Barrett, the only Democrat in the special election race for HD 97 in Fort Worth.

WCNews at Eye on Williamson reports on some unbelievable statements made by County Commissioner Cynthia Long on the children that are being detained at the T. Don Hutto facility in Taylor, Texas.

Vince at Capitol Annex takes a look at a State Representative, Fred Brown (R-Bryan), who has scheduled an oversight hearing of an agency that is investigating his business partner.

Bradley at North Texas Liberal celebrates one of the first and only times Sen. John Cornyn has been on the right side of the issue: securing H-2B visas for seasonal workers and joining with Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland to help save small business... at least for another year.

Are government emails covered by open record laws? Off the Kuff takes a look.

CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme wonders if a Dallas minister will lose his church's tax exempt status by slamming Mitt Romney because 'he's not a Christian.'

Nytexan at BlueBloggin wonders why Homeland Security purchases products from China when Americans industry is disappearing and jobs are declining.

The Texas Cloverleaf looks into the pending libel and slander lawsuit against Dallas Republicans, including State Rep. Tony Goolsby.

Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News updated on political news and gossip in the Pasadena area. Like most gossip one item was wrong.

Think arbitration is fair? Think again. John Coby at Bay Area Houston notes that the bottom line from the data is clear. In the nearly 20,000 cases where NAF [National Arbitration Forum] reached a decision, First USA prevailed in an astonishing 99.6 percent of cases.

Refinish69 at Doing My Part For The Left thinks Texas State Senator Kevin Eltife Needs Some Education.

Monday, October 15, 2007


One of the most important of the committees working to implement the party's Victory Plan for next year is the Election Operations Committee. It deals with activities such as registering voters, training of election judges and clerks, "Get Out The Vote (GOTV) programs, yard sign coordination, and other nuts and bolts issues surrounding an election cycle. That committee is ready to ramp up for the general election in 2008.

Help us prepare to resolve election day issues BEFORE they occur. Regular meetings are the 4th Thursday in each month, at 6:30 pm at the DCDP Party Office. (The November meeting will be the 5th Thursday, because of Thanksgiving.) The next meeting will be 10-25-07. Please contact Tom Jacob, committee Chair at 214-828-9521 or email to tomjacob AT earthlink DOT net.

Not only have a dozen (so far!) Republican members of Congress announced that they will not be running for re-election next year, and several others (including two here in Dallas County) switched parties, but we now get this note from former Dallas County Chair Ken Molberg:
I am informed that Karen Johnson, incumbent judge of the 95th District Court, announced today that she will not run for re-election. This means that both Republican incumbent civil district judges in Dallas County whose terms expire next year have chosen not to re-seek the seats they currently hold.
The writing is there on the wall, and it is clear to everyone that the trend is going our way. Molberg is himself running for Johnson's court, and facing a primary opponent. Some Republican may still decide to run for this seat, but the lack of an incumbent should help whomever we nominate.


Apparently, it was Molberg's campaign that inspired her to give up. According to the Texas Lawyer Blog:
"... Ken Molberg was stepping up his campaign fundraising . . . which placed some people in awkward positions. Some were activist Democrats who had ties to him and were friends of mine. They wanted to know what I was doing before they lent their names and money to someone else."
She says "I intend to serve the community in some other capacity". Yeah, right, whatever.

Democrat Robert Miklos is running for State Representative in District 101 which represents Mesquite, Balch Springs and Sunnyvale. He needs 500 petition signatures to file for office and the City of Mesquite is holding a local option election on the sale of alcohol on Tuesday Nov 6, 2007. If you can help for a shift at the polls on Nov. 6 or any Saturday in November block walking to Democratic households, please reply to Jamey Kirby by email to 1kirbyhome AT tx.rr DOT com or leave a message at 214-718-1900 or 972-757-7818.

This Sunday, October 21, at 7:30 PM, the North Dallas Texas Democratic Women present "The Great American Trailer Park Musical", at the Water Tower Theatre, 15650 Addison Rd., Addison. State Democratic Chair Boyd Richie is the Honorary Chair for the NDTDW presentation of this hilarious play which begins our preparation for the 2008 Election Cycle. Tickets for $50 are available online at You can also get sponsorships there (for $250 or $500, which entitle you to attend the pre-performance reception hosted by Boyd Richie.

The Heroes of the 80th Texas Legislature will be honored by Stonewall Democrats of Dallas this Saturday, October 20, from 6 to 8 PM, at 6981 Forest Glade Circle, Dallas. The Dynamic Dozen being honored that night include Dallas State Senator Royce West, and State Representatives Roberto Alonzo, Rafael Anchia, Yvonne Davis, Terri Hodge, and Allen Vaught. Keynote Speaker will be Oklahoma State Representative Al McAffrey. He is a funeral director, a member of the Choctaw nation of native Americans, a Navy veteran and a former Oklahoma City Police Department officer. He is also the first ever openly gay member elected to the Oklahoma Legislature. Other guest speakers are Equality Texas Director Paul Scott and Dallas Gay & Lesbian Alliance President Patti Fink. Appetizers and musical entertainment by Cecilia Strings. Dress is business casual. RSVP is encouraged. Seating is limited. Tickets ($25) and Sponsorships (from $100 to $1000) are available on-line at this page.

It's Monday, and that means it is time again for the Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round Up. This week's round-up is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

Barney Frank responds to GLBT activists: "Now, this is the issue: Does a political party say to its most militant, committed, ideologically driven believers in purity that they have a veto over what the party does?" Evan at The Caucus Blog responds.

BossKitty at Bluebloggin asks why are so many Texans still illiterate?

The Texas Cloverleaf endorses Karen Guerra for 16th District Court Judge in Denton County.

Burnt Orange Report highlights the hard work being done across the nation. A broad coalition has launched a campaign to override President Bush's SCHIP veto and Kay Granger is public enemy number 1 in Texas. Ads, analysis, polls, and outrage... BOR has it all.

North Texas Liberal asks, "Could Congress override Bush's veto?" Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Kennedy seem to think that SCHIP is worth fighting for. So do we.

Vince from Capitol Annex notes that Kay Granger should have known better when it comes to her recent "no" vote on the reauthorization and expansion of SCHIP.

Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News cannot stop writing about conservative bloggers repeatedly attacking a family who were in a terrible automobile accident and received government health care and liked it. Maybe next time your kids are in the hospitable you'll be attacked by right-wing idiots and more slime in the right-wing noise machine.

McBlogger has a story up about a State Representative you should know.

A supervisor for CPS Energy in San Antonio has a hangman's noose displayed in his cubicle. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs posts the details, including a photo.

Muse notes that Kay Bailey Hutchinson is trying out harder helmet hair styles so that the words of mean bloggers will bounce right off her in her imaginary (or not) run for governor in 2010.

Warning from TXsharon: Calibrate your outrage meter before visiting Bluedaze to read how Bush policies have weakened the Clean Water Act so Texas water is no longer fit for drinking, swimming or fishing.

CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme notes that Presidential Candidate Tom Tancredo wants to build that d*mn fence north of Brownsville. Either you're with the fence or he'll move the boundaries so your town's part of Mexico.

Unsurprised at Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize, nor at his acceptance speech, Hal at Half Empty surprises everyone with the Moonwalking Mannequin Bird.

Rattlebrain Randy prefers a little bit of disaster - sure it may hurt his constituents, but it helps his friends in the insurance industry, notes Blue 19th.

At Texas Kaos, diarist persiancowboy invites members of the general public to sign on to the complaint against rogue Judge Sharon Keller for her callous use of judicial power.

Off the Kuffreports that State Rep. Garnet Coleman is urging AG Greg Abbott to sue to block a recent Center for Medicaid and State Operations directive that will result in the loss of CHIP coverage for thousands of children.

Stop Cornyn is fuming about Cornyn's vote against children. After voting against Texas children twice, now Junior John wants a watered down version to save face. It is time to fully fund children's health insurance.

Monday, October 08, 2007


Fish may or may not be "brain food", but they sure are financing food. Once again it's time for the Dallas County Democratic Party's biggest fundraising event of the year -- the annual Fish Fry. This year it's on Friday, October 19, starting at 7 PM, at the SOKOL Hall, 7448 Greenville Ave. at Walnut Hill in Dallas. Individual tickets are just $25. Sponsorships are still available, though it's too late to get listed in the invitation, so you'll have to settle for having your name posted there at the event. You can contribute online at this page. You'll earn the gratitude of all the Democrats we're going to elect this coming year -- and you'll just plain have fun with a lot of good people.

The Hillary Clinton campaign is holding a whole series of "Team Hillary Organizational Meetings" this Thursday, October 11. A search on the Events page of their website shows three in Dallas, two in Irving, one in Carrollton, two in Arlington, and one in Fort Worth. You can plug in your zip code and find the closest one at this page. All of them are scheduled to start at 7 PM, except for the first one we were told about, hosted by Judge Barbara Rosenberg at the Metro Grill at 4425 North Central, which starts at 6:30.

The only other one we were notified of is at 4420 Rawlins, for which they would like an RSVP. Several months ago the John Edwards campaign did a similar multiple-hosted evening. We're happy to mention these types of multi-events, for whichever Presidential candidates, when we are given advance notice of them. Don't just rely on your candidate's busy national office to get the word to us: please tell us yourself.

Party switches underline Dallas' new role as Democratic center
Interview with Dallas SDEC member Theresa Daniel

Texas execution appeal thwarted by closed doors
Newspapers and Columnists Criticize Sharon Keller

A Tale of Two States: Texas vs California energy regulation

Leaving Some Children Behind:
Daily Show: Banned Aid–Bush vetoes SCHIP video
GOP contenders back Bush on blocking kids’ healthcare
President Spins More Inaccuracies
Conservatives Are Such Jokers Paul Krugman
"this is how Republicans weed out the sick" cartoon

The Sensible Liberal And The Rightwing Nutcase cartoon
Bush's war against communication

Rush insults soldiers and veterans
Take Rush Limbaugh Off Armed Forces Radio General Wesley Clark

Hersh: Bush, Cheney 'really want' Iran war video
Hersh: 'The President Has Accepted Ethnic Cleansing'

The Other Side of the Little Rock Nine racism lives on

This year we get to vote on sixteen proposed amendments to the state Constitution. Though there are important questions about taxes and bonds, few are paying attention. Fortunately, the League of Women Voters has produced a Voters Guide, giving for each proposal an explanation with arguments for and against. You can read it or print all twelve pages from the pdf at this page.

If you really want to get down into the fine details of them all, the Texas Legislative Council has put online a massive 131-page pdf you can read or print at this page. I'll bet you didn't realize that we still haven't abolished the obsolete office of Inspector Of Hides And Animals (see proposition 10), or that the legislature isn't currently required to take record votes on bills (see number 11).

Last week filing began for Democratic Precinct Chair -- the position Harry Truman said was the most important in the party (and when it comes to increasing voter turnout, he has been proven right many times). There is no filing fee, but applicants do have to fill out a form and get it notarized, then turn it into the county party. Our executive director there, Steve Tillery, is a notary, and has forms available. The office also sent a form to incumbents (yes, they have to file again every two years). Or you can print the form from the Secretary of State's Elections Division's web site (in a two-page pdf at this page).

It's Monday, and that means it is time again for the Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Blog Round Up. This week's round-up is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

TXsharon says, "YOU SUCK AT&T" and she can only say that because she doesn't use AT&T. Over at Bluedaze she tells why, if you use AT&T for your Internets, you can't say they suck.

Stace at Dos Centavos reports on racism and bigotry committed by a corporation and a UT fraternity.

What's really going on in Irving? Xanthippas at Three Wise Men notes there's more going on in the immigration crackdown than possible profiling and arrests.

CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme notes that NOW wants to know why U.S. District Judge Judge Samuel Kent was 'punished' with a 4 month vacation after the investigation into sexual harassment charges concluded.

Criticism of Hillary Clinton's laugh is no laughing matter, so says PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Might be time for a bit of horsetrading on the floor of the Senate, and one of Texas Kaos' regular diarists, Fake Consultant, has a bit of advice on the subject for Majority Leader Harry Reid in On Larry Craig, And Filibusters or Wanna Make a Trade?

Truth, it has been said, is the first casualty of war. The Republican-Media coalition must have declared war on Social Security, and Blue 19th exposes their lies.

Human rights advocates cheered the Williamson County Commission's vote to sever ties with the operator of the T. Don Hutto holding facility for undocumented immigrants, but Eye On Williamson's wcnews wonders if a battle within the Republican party over the county's share of the profits may have driven their decision.

McBlogger speculates as to the reasons Chief Justice of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Sharon Keller needed to get out of work at 5 on Sept. 25th.

Vince at Capitol Annex tells us about the Texas Conservative Coalition's new Election Integrity Task Force, its new Chairwoman and its likely recommendations.

Peter at B and B writes about the quixotic attempts by a group of environmentally-conscious Republicans to get their chosen political party to care about conservation and stewardship: Republicans for Environmental Protection, all 70 of them, meet in San Antonio.

Off the Kuff looks at the ongoing dispute between the Harris County Appraisal District and the State Comptroller over how commercial properties are taxed.

In Texas Kaos dairy, Dallas and Denton drinking water at risk by TxDOT's route selection choice for FM299, Faith Chatham's shares a letter from Highland Village Parents Group activist/homeowner Susie Venable to Mayor Tom Leppert of Dallas regarding the City Water Department's failure to monitor possible MTBE contamination issues. Despite cries of running out of money, TxDOT selected the only route (of 8) which would double project costs by requiring bridges to be built across three tributaries to Lake Lewisville (drinking water source for Denton and Dallas Counties) in the area of the lake already contaminated by MTBE.

Gary at Easter Lemming updates the Pasadena Mayor Manlove resignation and his running for Lampson's seat. There are a lot of happy faces at city hall. Easter Lemming broke the story back on the 22nd.

Trinity Trickey strikes again at The Texas Cloverleaf. This time pro toll road literature features the war on trees and the fight against Angela Hunt by the powers that be. Only in Dallas.

This week's installment of GLBTube at the Houston GLBT Political Caucus Blog is a double feature: first, a sampling of clips related to ENDA; then gay Republicans are running ads in order to sabotage hypocritical presidential candidates!

WhosPlayin hammers away on GOP Congressman Michael Burgess for dissing Muslims and being one of 30 boneheads to vote for giving mercenary firms like Blackwater a license to kill.

The Texas Blue looks at how the evangelical social movement isn't playing nice-nice with the Republican Party any longer, and why that is good for America.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, author, syndicated columnist, political analyst and commentator, who is on a virtual book tour will stop by Para Justicia y Libertad on Oct 11 to discuss his new book The Latino Challenge to Black America: Towards a Conversation Between African-Americans and Hispanics.

Hal at Half Empty counted a Lucky Seven congressional candidates that want to run against Nick Lampson in Texas CD 22. He ROFLs and LMAOs.

Friday, October 05, 2007


[That's from Matthew 25:33.]

President Bush today [actually, yesterday --ed.] vetoed an important and widely supported bi-partisan expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) (H.R. 976).

WhosPlayin takes a look at what the blogs of the Texas Progressive Alliance are saying about this terrible move:

Adam at Three Wise Men writes: Bush uses veto pen to strike health care for kids

Blue 19th takes Randy Neugebauer to task for being willing to send billions to Iraq, but not to help children at home.

Blue 19th has uncovered a transcript of a secret press conference featuring the President, the Governor, and Rep. Randy Neugebauer. Put your sensibilities on hold and enjoy.

In examining President Bush's veto of the SCHIP reauthorization and expansion, Vince at Capitol Annex notes that this is one of the President's worst actions in office and also points us to statements on the veto from a pair of Texas Legislators: Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio) and Ellen Cohen (D-Houston).

Muse interrupts her outrage at Bush’s SCHIP veto to send him a target="_blank">Bible verse, remind him that his approval numbers are half of the percentage of Americans who approve of the legislation and wonder if next up is clubbing baby seals and drowning kittens.

Eye On Williamson calls Bush and Rep. John Carter on their
votes against children, for private insurance corporations and urges the people to get involved, Bush Vetoes Childrens Health Care & John Carter Is Right By His Side.

Matt Glazer of Burnt Orange Report notes that the non-partisan Center for Public Policy Priorities urges Texans to encourage Senator Cornyn and the 18 Texas Congressmen who voted against it to change their votes to override the veto. Matt also suggests that Bush, Perry, Cornyn, and McCaul hate children and encourages us to show our outrage at a rally for kids health.

Charles Kuffner of Off the Kuff notes that Bush is acting ashamed of this veto and explores the numbers needed for an override.

Monday, October 01, 2007


It's Monday and that means it's time for another installment of the Texas Progressive Alliance's Blog Round-Up. This week's round-up was complied by Vince from Capitol Annex.

Blue 19th wonders: Can someone ask Randy Neugebauer why he hates college students?

Evan at the Houston GLBT Political Caucus Blog asks where's Human Rights Campaign as leaders in congress are considering leaving transgender works out of ENDA because, unlike other GLBT political organizations, H.R.C. has been silent so far, and that's unacceptable.

In How are these alike? Fort Worth and Wise County, TXsharon of Bluedaze warns Fort Worth residents about the dangers of Barnett Shale drilling, conflicts of interest and good old boy politics.

McBlogger goes all medieval on the Texas Transportation Commission's derriere... Like toll roads? Not McBlogger!

Texas Kaos community member Carol Gee gives a primer on terms we're all going to need to become much more familiar with in 50 Ways to Understand the Protect America Act.

Managing diabetes is a real pain, according to PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

WCNews at Eye on Williamson analyzes the latest actions regarding HD-52 in Krusee's Influence And Credibility Are Gone, Time For HD-52 To Start Over.

BossKitty at Blue Bloggin notes that Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin), representing the 25th District of Texas, hits Bush in the nose again, and this time its on SCHIP. She also tells about some of the antics of Pete Sessions (R-Dallas) on the vote -- and how that's all about earmarks.

In a pair of posts, Nat-Wu at Three Wise Men asks if the city of Irving is practicing racist law enforcement.

Off the Kuff takes a look at State Proposition 2, which an education bond issue that should not be confused with the Houston ISD's more controversial referendum.

Over at Stop Cornyn, Matt tells us how John Cornyn has once again voted against Texas Children. Another post at Stop Cornyn notes just how out of touch Cornyn's vote was.

Texas Toad at North Texas Liberal talks about the Project Farm Team meeting, with guest speaker Vince Leibowitz, and how that organization can turn Denton County blue.

The Texas Blue, one of the recent additions to the Texas Progressive Alliance has an audio interview with State Representative Kirk England, who discusses his background and what motivated his recent decision to switch from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.

Vince at Capitol Annex tells us how Rick Perry's decision to order the state's two largest retirement systems to divest in Iranian-related investments could cause a special session.

When organizations grow they find that effective operation requires more than just one-person control. If they don't change to accommodate growth, they suffocate themselves. The Dallas County Democratic Party recently faced this wonderful problem to have, and now is operating with many committees subdividing the tasks for election success. Last year's results showed that the volunteers participating are helping a lot. (You can find out which committees we have, and volunteer for one at 214-821-8331.)

Now the Texas Stonewall Democratic Caucus has confronted the same growing pains. Originally organized on a strongly centralized basis, it has now found that bigness needs more bureaucracy -- a belittled term for a vital tool to handle increased numbers without breaking apart. On Sunday the Texas Stonewall Democrats met in Austin and substantially revised their Bylaws. The changes, including less centralization, more direction by the Executive Board, more and expanded committees to handle Caucus business, and provisions to better protect the organization internally, should help prepare them for a growing role in the forthcoming Democratic majority in Texas.

(The TSDC doesn't have its own website yet, but I was Parliamentarian for the meeting, and I'll try to post a summary of the changes later this week here at my own website.)


A hotter issue than the 16 state Constitution amendments and various suburban bond issues on the November 6 ballot is the referendum in Dallas on the future of the Trinity River. Tuesday's debate at the Dallas Democratic Forum (see Upcoming Events below) is just one of many such face-offs this month. We've just been advised that the TrinityVote group now has out yard signs (sample shown here), which can be signed up for online at this page. We haven't heard from the other side yet, but we assume they will, too. The Democratic Party hasn't taken a position on this issue, but we urge everyone in Dallas to study it and vote. Early balloting begins October 22.

One of our 2006 candidates for State Representative, Harriet Miller, is used as the lead example in a story about politically-motivated groundless accusations of "voter fraud", in a story in the magazine of the League of Women Voters. They report how her Republican opponent hurled charges against her, got a story in the news and then heralded that she was under investigation. "Never mind the fact that charges were not brought against Miller. The damage had been done; Harriet Miller became the latest victim of the politics of voter fraud."

They go on to describe how this con game works across the country. "When it comes to claims of voter fraud and the accompanying solutions to the "problem," Americans need to adopt some good advice from the marketplace: buyer beware. Purveyors of voter fraud allegations deserve all the suspicion Americans normally reserve for used car
salesmen. ... Closer scrutiny might well reveal that the real perpetrators of voter fraud are the ones making the claims."

The article did make a mistake in saying that Miller was running in Harris County instead of Dallas, but the rest is right on target. You can read the whole article as a pdf at this page. The League is not the only one sounding the alarm. You can watch a video of reporter Greg Palast talking with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. about the mechanics of election fraud, and Karl Rove, at this site. And there's more from Palast on Rove, Gonzales, and election fraud in another video at this page.

New Democratic District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons has won one of the Dallas Observer's "Best of 2007" prizes. They praise him for "Best Passport Office", saying "Fitzsimmons tends to run a smart shop", adding that "this downtown office is staffed by senior employees who know what they're doing and are pleasant to deal with." You can read their praise online at this page.

Gary says, "I'm very proud that my office was recognized by the Dallas Observer .... We have worked diligently throughout the year to improve operations in the passport office to accomodate the increased demand. We created a strategic plan for passport operations last spring and succeeded in obtaining increased funding from the commissioner's court for extra staff and extra hours. We are now open for the entire week in all three locations. We also now have bilingual resources at all locations."