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, January 28, 2008

Candidate Profile: John Creuzot For Judge

"Judge John Creuzot seeks reelection to Criminal District Court 4, where he has served for over 16 years since appointed by Governor Ann Richards. He was endorsed in the Democratic Primary by the Dallas Morning News as “a hardworking, innovative judge with widespread respect across the legal and political spectrum”, noting his innovation, the DIVERT drug court program directing some first-time drug offenders into treatment instead of jail, saving over nine dollars for every dollar spent. An S.M.U. study showed just 16% of DIVERT graduates were rearrested, versus 50% among untreated drug offenders. The News also noted his role championing the release on new DNA evidence of Charles Chatman, wrongly imprisoned for 27 years.

"Judge Creuzot is endorsed by many Democratic leaders, including John Wiley Price, Rafael Anchia, Terri Hodge, Barbara Mallory Caraway, Larry Duncan, Harryette Ehrhardt, Gary Fitzsimmons, Pauline Medrano, Vonciel Jones Hill and many more. He's won many awards, including the Dallas Bar Association Martin Luther King, Jr. Justice Award, J. L. Turner Legal Association Outstanding Jurist Award, Greater Dallas Mental Health Association Prism Award, Mothers Against Teen Violence Community Service Award, Texas State Bar Criminal Justice Section Outstanding Jurist Award, and the Zan Holmes Leadership Award." For more information:

Candidate Profile: Eric V. Moyé For Judge

"Former Democratic Judge Eric Moyé is running for Judge of the 14th Civil District Court. He was previously Judge of the 101st Civil District Court, appointed by Gov. Ann Richards, and oversaw more than 1000 cases in office. Eric was endorsed by the Dallas Morning News, who called him “the clear choice in this race” due to his broader practice experience, judicial background, and record of community service, saying 'He's ... spent his legal career representing a wide array of clients, from individuals to large companies and Dallas ISD. ...add to that his long list of supporters from throughout the legal world and across the political spectrum -- Rafael Anchía, Martin Frost and Ron Kirk, just to name a few ... -- and Mr. Moyé clearly is a smart choice in the Democratic primary....'

"Eric has over 25 years of civil trial experience, and is co-founder and partner at Vincent & Moyé, a commercial litigation firm with offices in Dallas and Houston. His degrees are from SMU and Harvard Law School and he's a guest faculty member at both universities. Eric is a longtime supporter of the Democratic Party and progressive Democratic candidates, and was a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1992." For more, visit

Candidate Profile: Sam Allen

"Sam Allen is running for Dallas County Sheriff to forge a new direction in Dallas County justice. He believes taxpayers deserve better service, and will bring proactive leadership strategies and years of experience.

"Sam Allen will address jail overcrowding, securing appropriate resources for inmates needing mental health referrals, and health/safety issues in the jail. He will reestablish integrity and credibility in the Sheriff’s office. He will empower jail administrators and staff to do their job more cost-effectively, and implement strategies to train and increase employee pay.

"Sam Allen is a dedicated law enforcement professional. For over 35 years, he has served Dallas County as a Patrol Officer, Undercover Investigator, Detective, Fire Marshall/Inspector and Deputy Constable. He was Lockhart, Texas Chief of Police for over two years, and developed a Junior Police Academy community policing program, traffic division, and interagency response team. He was commander of patrol division for Dallas ISD, and Chief of Police of Lancaster ISD. He developed and implemented the Lancaster Junior High School Junior Police Academy, as well as Mounted Education Police.

"He is a loving, devoted husband, father, grandfather and a Dallas County taxpaying resident with the same related issues other residents encounter and want to change." His web site is at

More Candidate Profiles

Please Note: The Dallas County Democratic Party and its email weekly Roundup (which I edit) do not make endorsements. Profile space there (and here) is available to candidates with contested races in the Dallas County Democratic Primary. Send me a picture and just 200 words (not including a web site link). Count them closely, because space is limited. For a list of all the candidates in the primary, see this page.

Upcoming Meetings & Events 080128

(For the latest updates on local events, and links to more info about these, always check the DCDP website Calendar.)

Monday, January 28:
  • Old East Dallas Democrats (7 PM, Grace United Methodist Church, 4104 Junius St at Haskell, Dallas)
Wednesday, January 30:
  • Dallas County East Democrats Texas Supreme Court Candidate Susan Criss and Sheriff candidates Pete Schulte, Roy Williams, Sam Allen will be some of our speakers. (7 PM, Paula Sue's Diner, 11915 Lake June Road, Balch Springs)
Friday, February 1:
  • BarackthevoteUSA Fundraiser for Senator Barack Obama. Hosted by former Dallas Cowboy Tony Dixon. Live music and DJ. Voter registration drive. Door prizes. There is a cover charge to enter. Our goal is $10,000. National band Nu Breed will perform live. More details and sign up on line at this page. (9 PM, Club TePheJez, 2226 Elm Street, Dallas)
Saturday, February 2:
  • Park Cities / Central Dallas Democrats Brief talks by 14 Democratic candidates in contested Primary races. (10:30 AM, Oak Lawn Public Library, 4100 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas)
Tuesday, February 5:
  • Dallas Democratic Lawyers Super Tuesday Primary Watch Party (5:30 PM, Lift Lounge, 2404 Cedar Springs Rd. Ste. 400 at Maple, Dallas )
  • Dallas County Young Democrats Super Duper Tuesday Watch Party (6 PM, Side Bar and Grill, 2100 Greenville Ave, Dallas)
  • North Oak Cliff Democrats Super Tuesday Primary Party (6 PM, Beckley Brewhouse, 1111 N Beckley Ave., Dallas)
  • Super Tuesday Election Watch Party For Hillary Clinton "As we watch the election results, we can enjoy the food and drink from the fabulous Metro Grill (at your own expense) and learn how to help Hillary in Texas . The campaign for Texas begins February 6 and we will have information to organize your precincts and get out the vote in Dallas County. Buttons and bumper stickers will be available too." RSVP Barbara Rosenberg by email to berosenberg AT sbcglobal DOT net. (6:30 PM, Metro Grill, 4425 N. Central Expressway between Fitzhugh and Knox, Dallas)
Saturday, February 9:
  • PVL - A New Era Endorsement meeting. (PVL's Endorsement Committee will screen candidates from 9:00 - 3:00 p.m. General membership will meet at 4:00 p.m. to consider the Endorsement Committee's recommendations.) Contact Lemuel Henry Price by email to lemuelp AT sbcglobal
    DOT net. (4 PM, Eastgate Baptist Church, 6960 South Polk Street, Dallas)
Sunday, February 10:
  • House District 111 Hat & Gloves Tea Tickets are $50.00 per person. For more information call (214) 946-8808. (3 PM, Hilton Garden Inn, 800 North Main Street, Duncanville)
Tuesday, February 12:
  • Democratic Primary Forum Candidates in most of the contested local and some of the contested state primary races have been invited to speak. Co-hosted by North Dallas Democrats HD 102 and North Dallas Texas Democratic Women. (7 PM, Fretz Park Recreation Center, 6950 Beltline Road at Hillcrest, Dallas. )
Tuesday, March 4:
  • Texas Democratic Primary (7 AM to 7 PM, at precincts across the county)
  • Democratic Precinct Conventions
    (7:15 PM, at local precinct polling places)
Friday, March 14 through Sunday, March 16:
  • Democracy for America Training Academy on campaigns for candidates, volunteers and precinct organizers; $60; for more information or to pay on line see this page (Townview Magnet School, 1201 E 8th St # 302, Dallas)
Saturday, March 29:
  • Senatorial District Conventions in each state Senate district in Dallas County. To volunteer to help or to be on a committee, contact your district's Temporary Chair -- for a list see this page. (Starting times and places will be announced later)
Friday, June 6 through Sunday, June 8:
  • Texas Democratic Party State Convention (Austin)
Monday, August 25 through Thursday, August 28:
  • Democratic National Convention (Denver)

Judge John Creuzot and former Judge Eric Moyé Endorsed in Democratic Primary by Dallas Morning News

We got this from the campaigns by email:
The Dallas Morning News weighed in this week on two Dallas County Democratic Primary judicial races, giving the nod to current Criminal District Court 4 Judge John Creuzot in his re-election bid. The paper also endorsed former Judge Eric Moyé for the 14th Civil District Court in his quest to return to the bench. Democratic Primary early voting runs from Feb. 19 to 29 and election day is March 4 (visit to find voting times and locations).

Former Democratic Judge Eric Moyé, first appointed by Gov. Ann Richards in 1993, was called "the clear choice in this race" by the News due to his broader practice experience, judicial background, and much stronger support in the community. According to the News, "Eric V. Moyé has what voters look for in a strong judicial candidate. He's served on the bench before and spent his legal career representing a wide array of clients, from individuals to large companies and Dallas ISD. ...add to that his long list of supporters from throughout the legal world and across the political spectrum – Rafael Anchía, Martin Frost and Ron Kirk, just to name a few of the Democrats – and Mr. Moyé clearly is a smart choice in the Democratic primary for the 14th Civil District Court in Dallas County." For more information visit

The News referred to Judge Creuzot as "a hardworking, innovative judge with widespread respect across the legal and political spectrum" and noted Judge Creuzot's most successful innovation, the DIVERT drug court program that directs some first-time drug offenders into treatment instead of jail. DIVERT, which has been cited as "one of the most effective drug courts in Texas" by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, has saved over nine dollars in criminal justice costs for every dollar spent on the program. A third-party study by Southern Methodist University showed that just 16 percent of DIVERT graduates were rearrested, compared to 50 percent among drug offenders who received no treatment. The News also noted Judge Creuzot's role in championing the release on new DNA evidence of Charles Allen Chatman, who had been wrongly imprisoned for 27 years. For more information:


It's Monday, and that means it is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly blog Round-Up. This week's edition is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex, with thanks to Charles from Off The Kuff for assistance.

Off the Kuff looks at the woes of the Harris County GOP and what it may mean in November.

North Texas will have one less class II commercial injection well pumping toxic soup underground. Reported by TXsharon on Bluedaze.

TXDOT has dug itself into quite a hole by using your money to lobby for the TTC and to pay for an advertising campaign to sell the wildly unpopular TTC to the citizens of Texas. McBlogger at McBlogger has the details and a great video.

Hal at Half Empty got his TI-83 out and ran the numbers on the Presidential Primaries. Conclusion? Texas has a chance to crown a king (or queen).

WhosPlayin? looks at the case of a teen brought up on charges for "huffing" hand sanitizer and is frustrated at the lack of discretion caused by "zero-tolerance" policies.

The action plan for Monday's FISA-with-telecom-immunity legislation is contained in PDid's post at Brains and Eggs. Don't strain your dialing finger, and don't forget to call Senators Corndog and Hutch. It's a waste of time, yes, but they still need to hear from us.

NYTexan at BlueBloggin explains who Voters, Pledged Delegates and Super Delegates are and how they influence the democratic party nomination at the convention.

Are you a MOTO? If not, you will be after reading State Sen. Kirk Watson's guest blog this week at Capitol Annex.

North Texas Liberal reveals which celebrity is destroying the planet... and no, it's not Britney Spears.

Could we be looking at beginnings of the first upward trend in labor membership since 1983? The Texas Blue thinks we just might be.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Primary Endorsements

The Democratic Party does not make endorsements in Primary contests, but a number of established organizations and clubs do. We'll report on them here as we hear about them (please email us with your information), but remember these have no official standing. Always check out the candidates for yourself and make up your own mind.

The Texas AFL-CIO just made their statewide endorsements this past weekend, as follows:

U.S. Senate: Rick Noriega
Railroad Commission: No Endorsement
TX Supreme Court Chief Justice: Jim Jordan
Texas Supreme Court Place 7: Sam Houston
Texas Supreme Court Place 8: Linda Yanez & Susan Criss (Dual Endorsement)
CCA Place 3: Susan Strawn
CCA Place 4: JR Molina
CCA Place 9: No endorsement
Chair, Texas Democratic Party: Boyd Ritchie

Also on Sunday, the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas met for nine hours and heard candidates from across the county and state seeking their endorsement. The committee made recommendations in 22 contests, which must be accepted or rejected by the February membership meeting to become final. At that time we will list (or link to) their choices.

District Convention Temporary Chairs

On Saturday, March 29, Democrats from each State Senate district in Dallas County will meet in District Conventions to choose delegates to the State Convention in Austin (where delegates will be chosen to go to this year's National Convention in Denver). Times and locations for each will be announced here later.

The arrangements for each District Convention are being handled by a Temporary Chair. These are the people you need to call or email to volunteer to help put on the event (a huge task) and to be on committees (Resolutions, Rules, etc.). All of us will need lots of help, as attendance will be larger than usual since this is a Presidential year.

UPDATE: Several districts are looking at moving to larger locations, because of the huge number of people elected as delegates at the Precinct Conventions. We'll post them here as they confirm them to us.

Convention Location: H. Grady Spruce High School
9733 Old Seagoville Road, Dallas 75217
Registration begins at 8:30 AM.
Convention begins at 11 AM.

Temporary District Convention Chair: Steve Tillery
Phone: 214-821-8331
Email: satillery AT gmail DOT com

Convention Location:
Thomas Jefferson High School
4001 Walnut Hill
Dallas Texas 75229
Registration begins at 8:30 AM
Convention begins at 9:30 AM

Temporary District Convention Chair: David Griggs
Phone: 214-244-5979
Email: texvol AT aol DOT com

Credentials Committee Co-chairs:
Linda Camin 972-387-3917 and
Josh Wallenstein 972-510-7710

Convention Location:
South Grand Prairie High School
301 Warrior Trail
Grand Prairie, Texas 75052
Check-in begins at 8 AM
Convention begins at 10 AM

Temporary District Convention Chair: Dan Woolery
Phone: 214-384-4146
Email: danwoolery AT gmail DOT com

Convention Location:
Moody Coliseum at SMU
6024 Airline Road
Dallas Texas 75205
(parking garages across the street)
Registration begins at 8 AM

Temporary District Convention Chair: Theresa Daniel
Phone: 214-327-4424
Email: tmdan34 AT aol DOT com

Convention Location:
Ellis Davis Field House
9191 South Polk (just south of I20)
Dallas TX 75232
Registration begins at 8 AM
Convention begins at 9 AM

Want to help? Our Volunteer Coordinator is Katrina Keyes.
Email her: kkeyes AT kstrategies DOT com

Our Official Website (still being added to:)
Unofficial temporary website:

Temporary District Convention Chair: Bill Howell
Phone: 214-821-8331
Email him: billhowellSD23 AT yahoo DOT com

23rd SD Convention Committee Chairs:
Credentials -- Gary Fitzsimmons (District Clerk of Dallas County)
[Phone: 214-641-1531 Email: divineliturgy AT]
Nominations -- Myrtis Evans
Platform and Resolutions -- Paul Tran

How To Be A Delegate

The Texas Democratic Party has a whole page of information about this
year's National Convention. The essentials are is in this four-page pdf.

Friendly tip: when seeking election as a delegate, you may be asked if you are a Sustaining Member of the Dallas County Democratic Party (you can pay or sign up for monthly payments online at this page), and also whether you are a supporter of the Texas Democratic Party as a Majority Builder ($10 or more a month, which you can sign up for online at this page). Contributing to both the local and state party like this is not required to be a delegate, but it just may sway some voters at the Convention.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


It's Sunday night again and that means it's time for another weekly roundup of Texas Progressive Alliance blogs. This week's roundup is brought to you by Steve at WhosPlayin while Vince recovers from his wild weekend of covering the AFL-CIO Convention.

WhosPlayin takes a look at a spoof website that has turned a Denton County Commissioner's race ugly.

John Coby cautions Houston City Council about Houstonians for Responsible Growth.

BossKitty at Bluebloggin points out how Dick Cheney show his loyalty toward the people who are supposed to take a bullet for him; Secret Service Takes The Fall - Cheney Not To Be Inconvenienced.

A report of the SDEC meeting posted by PDiddie at Brains and Eggs drew a response from several quarters.

McBlogger looks at Rep Dawnna Dukes' conflict of interest in helping the film industry and wonders if she's truly non-committal in the Speaker's race.

On The Texas Blue, contributing writer David Gurney takes a look at the short-lived influence of the Baby Boomer era on politics in The Downhill Run.

Off the Kuff says it's time for C.O. Bradford to start speaking out about the various messes Chuck Rosenthal has created at the Harris County DA's office.

The Texas Cloverleaf informs everyone about the TTC Townhall 2.0 hearings have begun. If you care where TTC 69 is going, you best attend for your voice to be heard.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson points out that Democrat Diana Maldonado Out-Raises All Candidates In HD-52 and shows the problem with one-party government in ACLU Shames WCCC - Free Speech Under Attack.

Stace at Dos Centavos analyzes the Latino vote for Hillary in Nevada.

Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News still can't believe what has happened to what was once Houston's premiere radio news source. The new Republican Propaganda Radio Network had Rush Limbaugh calling a spade a spade with expertise with using hoes. Gary provides alternatives for your radio listening and a contact link to KTRH 740 AM.

CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme answers the question 'What does 'immigration' mean as an issue?'

Hal at Half Empty ventured forth to a meeting of The Dark Side. Here
is his take on the 10-Candidate strong CD 22 GOP candidates' forum that
took place last week.

Nat-Wu at Three Wise Men says reports of the death of the American
"warrior spirit"
are greatly exaggerated.

I Second This Emotion

Thursday, January 17, 2008

TPA 2008 TexRoots Endorsed Candidates (Part 1)

AUSTIN—The Texas Progressive Alliance today announced it first slate of endorsed candidates for the 2008 election cycle. The six candidates endorsed today will become the first TexRoots candidates to benefit from the Alliance's endorsement and online fund-raising efforts for 2008.

"This is a slate of true progressive candidates," said Texas Progressive Alliance Chairman Vince Leibowitz. The list of six candidates includes both incumbents and challengers in Democratic Primary races ranging from Texas House of Representatives to United States Senate. "We believe that these men and women will best represent the interest of Texans and will take the lead on progressive issues," Leibowitz continued.

The TPA's first slate of 2008 TexRoots Candidates is as follows:
Rick Noriega, United States Senate. On March 4, Texas Democrats have a clear choice for their nominee for U.S. Senate: Rick Noriega. Noriega has the experience necessary to serve as a United States Senator and to take on Bush lap-dog U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in the fall. Faced with three token primary opponents, only one of whom is even running what could be called a "legitimate campaign," Noriega is the clear choice not only because he is right on important issues such as the war and CHIP, but because he is a true progressive who has a proven record of accomplishment for the people of Texas.

Joe Jaworski, State Senate, District 11. Joe Jaworski (D-Galveston), a former Galveston City Councilman, has taken a very strong stance on environmental issues which are especially important in Senate District 11 and statewide. Jaworski faces token primary opposition and will likely face State Sen. Mike Jackson (R-LaPorte) in the 2008 General Election. Jackson has one of the worst environmental records of any legislator in the entire Texas Legislature and has failed for several sessions to make any meaningful legislative headway on issues important to his constituents.

State Rep. Garnet Coleman, State House, District 147. Coleman (D-Houston), is one of the leading progressives in the Texas House of Representatives, and has been at the forefront of important progressive issues including the Children's Health Insurance Program, reproductive freedom, and gay rights. A member of the House Democratic Leadership, re-electing Coleman is key to ensuring that the 81st Session of the Texas Legislature has a strong, progressive voice. Coleman faces a primary opponent.

State Rep. Jessica Farrar, State House, District 148. Farrar (D-Houston), is another strong progressive voice in the Texas House. Farrar was a leading voice in the 80th Texas Legislature on issues including the HPV vaccine, stem cell research, and against Governor Rick Perry's arrogant Homeland Security power-grab. Farrar is one of a handful of Democrats who voted against Craddick in 2005 and, as a result, was relegated to the Agriculture Committee for taking her stand. Farrar faces a former staffer from her office who is believed to be supported by anti-progressive forces in Austin. Farrar is a progressive leader and Texans across the state need her back in the Texas House in 2009.

State Rep. Paul Moreno, State House, District 77. Moreno (D-El Paso), is the Dean of the Texas House of Representatives and one of the House’s strongest voices on civil rights issues. Moreno, a seasoned veteran of many progressive struggles, faces an unknown opponent with no experience in government. Moreno deserves re-election, and Texas needs Moreno's leadership on civil rights and progressive issues in the 81st Session of the Texas Legislature.

Armando Walle, State House, District 140. Walle (D-Houston), is seeking to unseat Rep. Kevin Bailey (D-Houston), who has been ineffective for his district on progressive issues. Unseating Bailey is a necessary step toward a new Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Walle has worked for Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congressman Gene Green, and has strong ties to his district and, we believe, will be a better voice for District 140 than its existing representation.

Brian Thompson, State House, District 46. Thompson (D-Houston), faces State Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) who has cast a number of votes which are against the interest of her district. A win in this district is yet another step toward electing a new Speaker of the Texas House in 2009. Thompson, an attorney, has strong ties to his district and will be a much needed progressive voice in a district which, for too long, has been governed by a member who consistently votes against the interests of her constituents.
"We strongly believe these candidates are the best men and women to shape the future of Texas," said Charles Kuffner, Vice Chair of the Texas Progressive Alliance. "These men and women are ready to fight for the interests of ordinary Texans in Washington, D.C., and in Austin," Kuffner said.

"As progressive activists, we believe it is important to support those who will, when elected, work to further the progressive cause and fight the Republican machine tooth and nail to do what is best for the people of Texas and not the special interests," Leibowitz noted. "We must continue to elect not only more, but better Democrats to office in Texas," he concluded.

To view the 2008 TexRoots slate, or to make an online contribution, please visit

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Candidate Profile: Roy Williams, Jr.

Roy Williams, Jr., seeking the nomination for Sheriff, began his career at the Dallas County Sheriff's Department over 17 years ago as a Detention Service Officer. He graduated from the Deputy Academy ranked 8th of a class of 31, and served 5 years in the Court Services / Bailiff Section, until he became Assistant Training Coordinator of Peace Officer programs. Of 9 academy classes that he assisted or directly trained, 6 had a 100% pass rate, and 2 missed by only one cadet, an unduplicated achievement.

Williams holds his Advanced Peace Officer certificate, has earned a Certificate of Merit, and was featured on the Kids and Cops trading card. In 2003, he became an Investigator with the Fugitive Extradition Unit, working with over 100 U.S. and territorial agencies in safe return of fugitives here. He continues specialized training from various academies including the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration, where he received his license to teach Law Enforcement Ethics and Cultural Diversity in Law Enforcement. He is also licensed by the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education in Firearms. He teaches at Dallas County Sheriff's Department Training Academy, and has been invited by Texas agencies to teach Cultural Diversity.

For more information see his web site.

NOTE: For the record, I have already personally endorsed his opponent, the incumbent Lupe Valdez.

Candidate Profile: Hiram McBeth III

(Candidates in opposed primary races are invited to send in their pictures and a profile of about 200 words, not counting the web site link, by email to roundup AT dallasdemocrats DOT org.)

"Hiram McBeth III, a former Texas Administrative Law Judge and Dallas County Public Defender, is seeking the Democratic nomination for Dallas County Criminal District Court No. 4. Judge McBeth has received diverse support from grassroots Democrats who are demanding to complete a sweeping change begun in the 2006 elections from the old Republican-led judicial machine established under former District Attorneys Bill Hill and John Vance, to a new smart-on-crime judicial approach, including establishing a new court dedicated to the prosecution of hate crimes and elder abuse.

"McBeth has over 24 years criminal and civil experience. He is a member of The College of the State Bar of Texas, the Dallas Black Criminal Lawyers Association, the National Rifle Association, the J. L. Turner Legal Association and the Dallas Bar Association.

"McBeth is widely regarded as the first African-American to break the color barrier in the University of Arkansas football program. His civil rights struggle is chronicled in Horns, Hogs & Nixon Coming by Terry Frei. McBeth studied law under President Bill Clinton at the University of Arkansas School of Law. He has always been a steadfast member of the Democratic Party. He is a Sustaining Member of the Texas Democratic Party."

For more information see his web site.

NOTE: For the record, I have already personally endorsed his opponent, the incumbent judge John Creuzot.

Gene Freeland Memorial Wednesday

We now have more details on the services for the long-time labor, progressive, and Democratic activist and Precinct Chair, from his obit in the Dallas News:

Gene Garren Freeland Sr. was born April 30, 1928 in Dallas, Texas and passed away on January 2, 2008 due to complications following surgery. ... Gene graduated from Sunset High School in 1946 and attended SMU. He was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local #69 since 1949. In 1958, he was elected Steward of the Union, President in 1960 and Business Manager in 1962 and 1964. Gene served his country in the United States Marine Corps from 1946-1948 and again from 1950-1952. He was employed by Dallas Power and Light from 1949-1965 and was the Labor Representative at the Texas Employment Commission from 1985-1997. Gene was the Dallas AFL-CIO Financial Secretary-Treasurer from 1965-1979 and also from 1997-2003. He also served on variety of Boards in the Dallas community; Vice President of the Dallas "War on Poverty" from 1965-1979, Executive Board Member for the United Way of Dallas from 1965-1979 and 1997-2003, Dallas WorkSource Board Member representing Labor and Veterans from 1994-2003 and Vice-President for the Texas AFL-CIO from 1997-2003.

A Memorial service will be held on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 10 AM at St. Luke Community United Methodist Church, 5710 East R.L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas, Texas 75223. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Luke's Ministry for the Homeless at the above address.


It's Monday, and that means it is time for another Texas Progressive Alliance weekly blog round-up. [NOTE: Actually, it's Tuesday, and I'm a day late posting this. My bad.] This week's round-up was compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

Muse found the potties at the Harris County D.A.’s office – right next to Chuck Rosenthal’s office – thereby making her qualified to be District Attorney (according to D.A. candidate Kelly Siegler). Muse 2012: Qualified and Potty Location Trained.

Hide the silver! Off the Kuff says Tom DeLay is back in town.

CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme notes that Kay 'Bye Bye' Bailey Hutchison is getting grief from the knuckle draggers in her own party for the recently passed fence amendment. Apparently, even a little bit of sanity must be stamped out by the Republican base.

Early Voting, Hal at Half Empty says, may just be something ALL Democrats need to consider this time, in order to avoid confusion at the polls when polling sites at schools are moved this coming March 4th.

The FairTax (Mike Huckabee's 30% national sales tax scheme), Texans for (Tort) Reform, and Houstonians for (Ir)Responsible Growth all have one billionaire in common: Leo Linbeck Jr. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs provides the 411 on his various conservative-populist activist fronts.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson points to an Inane AAS Editorial On AG's Health Care Gambit.

Harry Balczak at McBlogger found and interesting take on the candidates in the Presidential election.

Jaye at Winding Road notes that these are the times that try Democratic souls.

Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News wants Obama or Clinton to pay the $2,000 and and establish a precedent of auditing and hand-counting machine counted ballots. The complete series of the New Hampshire results and reasons it why may be a good idea to audit is here.

Vince at Capitol Annex notes that Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott is testing the waters for his 2010 run for Lt. Governor with his asinine child insurance program.

BossKitty at BlueBloggin reviews the History Of US Backed Dictators - Redux. A historical look at the US setting up and backing corrupt dictators to serve our agenda.

Stace at DosCentavos bids a fond farewell to the history-making candidacy of Bill`Richardson. His thoughts and feelings on supporting the first Latino presidential candidate.

John Coby at Bay Area Houston wonders why State Representative John Davis in HD129 was a no show in the local paper write up concerning the race. State Rep John Davis a no show in Clear Lake news.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

My First Endorsement Of This Year

That would be muse for Harris County District Attorney. She shows why in I'm Qualified To Be D.A.!

Monday, January 07, 2008

R. I. P. -- Gene Freeland

Gene Freeland, a former Dallas County Democratic Party Precinct Chair, and a longtime officer with the local AFL-CIO, passed away January 2. He was very active in the labor movement, progressive causes, and Democratic campaigns for many years. Services have not been set (although a tentative date has been mentioned of January 19), or an obit posted. We will notify you when we have more information.

R.I.P. Jim Tyson -- Funeral Tuesday

Jim Tyson, who was a Democratic Dallas County Commissioner from the southeast quadrant for twenty years, passed away last Thursday at 86. He won his first race (in the Democratic primary in 1964) against an incumbent by a mere four votes. That lead held up only because his attorney, future State Senator and Texas Supreme Court Justice Oscar Mauzy, got a court order sealing the voting machines. Back then, the county government was basically controlled by rabidly racist reactionaries who were widely believed to deliver machines with votes already cast on them. Tyson, an electrician and Bronze Star winner in World War II, made the first crack in the good-old-boy fortress, and began restoring government to ordinary people, symbolized by keeping his phone number listed in the book. He is survived by his wife, Thelma, of DeSoto, two children, five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren, and is mourned by all who knew him.

Visitation is tonight, Monday, January 7, from 6 to 8 PM at Laurel Land Funeral Home, 6000 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway in Dallas. Funeral services will be Noon Tuesday, also at Laurel Land. Interment will be at 1:30 PM Tuesday at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery in Dallas.

Candidate Profiles

We'd like to do those (here and in the DCDP's weekly email Roundup) for the local contested primary races, but space is limited! Campaigns can email me a photo and a max of about 200 words (not counting a link to a web site) -- fewer would be even better! [If you don't have a scanner, bring a picture by the party office for me and I'll scan it.] We also can't do more than a max of three per week, so time is already running out! Email your material to roundup AT dallasdemocrats DOT org.

Primary Contests

The race for President may be over by the time it gets to Texas (though it doesn't look like that today!). In any case, we may not get a chance to vote on all of those candidates here, since Gravel didn't get filed in this state, and Kucinich's otherwise-adequate application was rejected under our rules because (unlike four years ago) this time he refused to sign the accompanying oath that he would support the nominee of the party. He has filed suit, so the courts will decide.

For U.S. Senator there are four contestants (see the link from the state party list at the end of this post to find their websites). Rick Noriega is a State Representative who has been campaigning for months, and Ray McMurrey is a schoolteacher who got in the race some time back. The other two are the perennial do-nothing candidate Gene Kelly, and a fourth last-minute candidate who ran for the Republican nomination for Governor two years ago, and says he is running for President as well -- as a Republican.

In other statewide contests, there is a three-way race for Railroad Commission, between one of our former candidates, Dale Henry, a San Antonio councilman, Art Hall, and a disabilities therapist, Mark Thompson. For the Supreme Court, there are two contests. For place 7, Sam Houston faces Baltasar D. Cruz (who lost the primary here two years ago when he challenged incumbent Democratic Judge Sally Montgomery.) For place place 8, two Democratic Judges have filed, Susan Criss and Linda Yanez, but there were questions raised about the number of signatures on Yanez's fiiling petition, which her campaign believes have been fixed, but
which may have to be determined by the courts.

Locally, there are several more primary contests, for:
  • U.S. Representative District 3 -- Tom Daley, Ronald E. (Ron) Minkow
  • U.S. Representative District 32 -- Dennis C. Burns, Stephen L. Love, Eric Roberson
  • State Representative District 104 -- Roberto R. Alonzo (the incumbent), Harry O. Trujillo
  • State Representative District 105 -- Jim Rea, Bob Romano
  • Dallas County Sheriff -- Lupe Valdez (the incumbent), Sam Allen, Pete Schulte, Roy H. Williams
  • Dallas County Tax Assessor-Collector -- Diana L. Lackey, John R. Ames, Norris "Stretch" Rideaux, Se-Gwen Tyler
  • Judge, 14th Judicial District Court -- Eric V. Moye, Gerald Livingston
  • Judge, Criminal District Court No. 2 -- Don Adams (the incumbent), Larry Baraka
  • Judge, Criminal District Court No. 3 -- Heath Harris, Gracie G. Lewis, David Jordan
  • Judge, Criminal District Court No. 4 -- John Creuzot (the incumbent), Hiram McBeth III
  • Constable Precinct No. 5 -- Jaime Cortes (the incumbent), Beth Villarreal, Ozumba Lnuk-X
Again, for local campaign websites, see this DCDP page; for statewide candidates, see this TDP page; for a listing of all (including the District Court of Appeals), see my site. If none of the candidates in any race gets a majority in the primary in March, there will be a runoff between the top-two vote-getters one month later.


It's a New Year (and a Monday), and that means it's time once again to bring back the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly blog round up. This week's round-up was compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex, who offers a thousand apologies for it being tardy this week.

TXsharon burned despair's chair. See Bluedaze for an inspirational New Year's message of hope.

Off the Kuff asked a variety of interesting people to write a post for him called Looking Forward to 2008. Topics ranged from music and television to local, state, and national politics. The entire series, which wrapped up last week, can be found here.

Barfly at McBlogger says thank you to our neighbor to the north for giving us some of our most cherished celebrities. Like Celine Dion.

John Coby at Bay Area Houston lists who is running for office and who is not in Clear Lake.

Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News saw the Iowa results as a Progressive sweep and picked out the winners and losers.

In all the undignified events surrounding the Harris County District Attorney's office, the announcements on KHOU-TV and KPRC-TV regarding assistant district attorney Kelly Seigler's run for her boss' job has taken the proverbial cake. Jaye at Winding Road in Urban Area notes that it is just charming that Ms. Seigler said on camera, that aspects of being district attorney "sucks." Nothing says "get to know me" the first time a voter may see a candidate like saying the job I want, "sucks!"

nytexan at BlueBloggin points out the newest GOP stunt to block the Senate and screw up another presidential election. With the primary season underway for the most important presidential race the Federal Election Commission has shut its doors.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes James 'Rick' Perry ignored ceremony for fallen Texas military hero. That's how Republicans support and honor our troops!

It was a bad start to 2008 (if you happened to be a Republican), no matter if your name was Vicki Truitt, or Chuck Rosenthal, or Jared Woodfill, or Mitt Romney. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has more on the conservative misery.

WCNews at Eye on Williamson opines about the death of Ric Williamson and who will be The Next Leader Of TxDOT.

To start 2008 off for Texas Kaos, Lightseeker takes a look at some of The Big Texas Issues we'll be talking about in the coming year.

Muse is only now able to get her bulls---t detector to quiet down after Harris County DA, Chuck "Romancethal" Rosenthal, told the Houston Chronicle that he was only sending romantic emails to his secretary because she had personal problems. Right (wink, wink, former FBI agent wife). What else happened? Pity sex?

Phillip at Burnt Orange Report takes a preliminary look at some numbers on filings for the Texas House, including the large number of Republicans that are facing both a primary and general election opponent.

Texas Toad at North Texas Liberal introduces the new slate of Denton County Democratic candidates, as revealed at a press conference promoting the strength of the local party with high hopes for 2008.

Capitol Annex (complete with a new look following a weekend redesign) tells us that a federal court has upheld Texas' moment of silence law passed for school children in 2003 and notes that another major lawsuit related to the new pledge to the state flag still looms.

The TexasCloverleaf cautions some to smoke 'em if they got 'em, but they still might go to jail. DFW area law enforcement is ignoring the new option to give citations to pot smokers.

On The Texas Blue this week, contributor David Gurney explains that he doesn't really buy this business of a "war on Christmas."

Thursday, January 03, 2008

2008 Candidates Filed

(With web sites, if known at this time.)


U.S. President:
Bill Richardson
Chris Dodd
John Edwards
Hillary Clinton
Barack Obama
Joe Biden

[NOTE: Neither Dennis Kucinich nor Mike Gravel qualified for the Texas primary ballot.]

U.S. Senator:
Richard J. (Rick) Noriega
Ray McMurrey
Gene Kelly
Rhett R. Smith

[NOTE: Kelly, as always, will have no site and do absolutely nothing to campaign, counting on his false name-ID to carry him to a runoff and a possible nominatiion. If he wins that, as he has before, he will still do nothing whatsoever.

According to Smith's YouTube page, he is also running for President, but as a Republican, judging from his lawsuit against that party and the media because he says they "have allowed only Zionistic campaigns" any coverage; he also ran in the 2006 primary for Governor as a Republican.]

Texas Railroad Commissioner:
Dale Henry
Art Hall
Mark Thompson

Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice:
Jim Jordan

[No site yet, but his announcement is here.]

Texas Supreme Court, Place 7:
Sam Houston
Baltasar D. Cruz

[Cruz lost a race in the 2006 primary against an incumbent Democratic Judge. While as of today he hasn't posted on his campaign site since June 17, he has posted several later entries on his own blog denouncing the Judge he lost to.]

Texas Supreme Court, Place 8:
Susan Criss
Linda Yanez

[The Criss campaign pointed to some errors in the petition which Yanez had to file to get on the primary ballot. The Yanez campaign says they've fixed it. The state party chair will have to rule, and this question may still end up in court.]

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3:
Susan Strawn

[Her resume was posted by Capitol Annex here.]

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4:
J.R. Molina


U.S. Representative District 3:
Tom Daley
Ronald E. (Ron) Minkow

U.S. Representative District 24:
Tom Love

U.S. Representative District 26:
Ken Leach

U.S. Representative District 30:
Eddie Bernice Johnson (Incumbent)

U.S. Representative District 32:
Dennis C. Burns
Stephen L. Love
Eric Roberson

Justice, 5th Court of Appeals, Place 3:
Don B. Chae

Justice, 5th Court of Appeals, Place 6:
David Hanschen

Justice, 5th Court of Appeals, Place 8:
Tina Yoo

State Board of Education, Place 13:
Mavis Best Knight, District 13 (Incumbent)


State Senator District 9:
Melvin Willms

State Senator District 16:
Rain Levy-Minns

State Senator District 23:
Royce West (Incumbent)

State Representative District 100:
Terri Hodge (Incumbent)

State Representative District 101:
Robert J. Miklos

State Representative District 102:
Carol Kent

State Representative District 103:
Rafael M. Anchia (Incumbent)

State Representative District 104:
Roberto R. Alonzo (Incumbent)
Harry O. Trujillo

State Representative District 105:
Jim Rea
Bob Romano

State Representative District 106:
Kirk England (Incumbent)

State Representative District 107:
Allen Vaught (Incumbent)

State Representative District 108:
Emil Reichstadt

State Representative District 109:
Helen Giddings (Incumbent)

State Representative District 110:
Barbara Mallory-Caraway (Incumbent)

State Representative District 111:
Yvonne Davis (Incumbent)

State Representative District 112:
Sandra Phuong Vule

State Representative District 113:
Eric Brandler


Dallas County Sheriff:
Lupe Valdez (Incumbent)
Sam Allen
Pete Schulte
Roy H. Williams

Dallas County Tax Assessor-Collector:
Diana L. Lackey
John R. Ames
Norris "Stretch" Rideaux
Se-Gwen Tyler

Judge, 14th Judicial District Court:
Eric V. Moye
Gerald Livingston

Judge, 95th Judicial District Court:
Ken Molberg

Judge, 162nd Judicial District Court:
Lorraine Raggio (Incumbent)

Judge, Criminal District Court No. 2:
Don Adams (Incumbent)
Larry Baraka

Judge, Criminal District Court No. 3:
Heath Harris
Gracie G. Lewis
David Jordan

Judge, Criminal District Court No. 4:
John Creuzot (Incumbent)
Hiram McBeth III

Dallas County Commissioner District 3:
John Wiley Price (Incumbent)

Constable Precinct No. 5:
Jaime Cortes [2006 site] (Incumbent)
Beth Villarreal
Ozumba Lnuk-X

Dallas County Democratic Party Chair:
Darlene Ewing (Incumbent)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

File Today And Party Tonight!!

Precinct Chairs And Candidates Filing Deadline

Today, Wednesday, January 2, is the last day to file for public office or for Precinct Chair in Dallas County. For districts that cross county lines, filing is with the state party in Austin. For local candidates and for Precinct Chairs, filing is at the Dallas County Democratic Party headquarters at 4209 Parry Avenue, Dallas. Call Steve Tillery at 214-821-8331 for details and forms. For a pdf of those who have filed locally so far, see this page. [Yes, we'll try to update it later. Please bear with us, because this is going to be a very busy day for last-minute filings.] For statewide candidates, see this page.

Have Fun & Meet Our 2008 Candidates

Tonight the Dallas County Democratic Party is having a Filing Night Party at 6:30 PM at Poor David's Pub, 1313 South Lamar St., Dallas. We'll have the final list of all those who filed, and most of them should be there to kick off the campaign year. Republicans locally and across the country are having trouble recruiting candidates and raising money, because they see the handwriting on the wall. You helped turn things around here in 2006, and this year we expect to make even more progress. Let's restore America to the people!

We've Got Primary Contests

Yes, we're going to have some, both statewide and locally. As of now there are four people who have filed (or announced they will) for U.S. Senator, including a State Representative who's been here campaigning several times already, an unknown school teacher (no, not the one who lost 12 years ago), a security guard who lost a Republican primary two years ago, and finally the perennial losing candidate who shares only a name with a late dancer and movie star. We'll print or point to a full list next week.

There may also be a contest for Railroad Commissoner, with at least two candidates off and running. At this time it still looks like we will have a statewide primary contest for one seat on the state Supreme Court, which is being sought by two current Democratic judges. The latest on that front is that one has pointed out the other didn't have quite enough signatures on her petition from each district. Since there were still a few days left, that may be fixed by today's deadline. Meanwhile several others are seeking other seats, including one Dallas judge running for Chief Justice. Again, we'll have all the details next week (or come to the party tonight and hear about it).

Here in Dallas County, we expect to have a four-way race for Tax Assessor-Collector. There will be at least one county-wide contest for judge -- and perhaps as many as four. There still may be a challenge in the primary for Sheriff. We hear there will be at least one contest for Constable.

All of this is only unofficial gossip unless someone shows up with the filing forms. Any number of people may show up at the last minute today to file with no previous notice, since only judicial candidates were required to circulate a petition first. If you want to get the latest news on the choices we'll have to make in the Primary, come to the Filing Night Party tonight!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2007 TPA Best Of The Year

2007 was a great year for the Texas Progressive Alliance and its many member blogs and bloggers.

In recognition of the excellent work done by our many bloggers we're treating you to a special New Year's edition of the TPA round-up. So, without further ado, here is your "Best of 2007" from the many bloggers of the Texas Progressive Alliance.

Eye on Williamson has been one of the state's leading blogs when it comes to covering toll road issues and State Representative Mike Krusee's career. EOW's top posts of 2007 included: Eye on Williamson on toll roads, The "New Way Forward" On Tolls, the coming demise of Mike Krusee in Krusee's Influence And Credibility Are Gone, Time For HD-52 To Start Over and a post on the ongoing battle between the citizens and the county government over a new landfill contract, The Landill, TCEQ Hearing & More Gattis Shenanigans .

The most popular posts from The Texas Blue in our first year included: Our running coverage of the 2008 Senate race. We kicked everything off with one of our inaugural pieces analyzing Cornyn's potential vulnerability in '08, in a piece picked up by the Washington Post. We then broke the code on Kos' "mystery candidate," revealing that it was Rep. Rick Noriega that Kos had in mind with his draft movement, and interviewed the Representative shortly before he declared his official candidacy. And we published some of the first information examining Mikal Watts' candidacy in what became the most read story on the Blue this year. In what also became one of our most-read pieces, we analyzed the role of money in statewide Texas campaigns, looking at the efforts taken by the statewide campaign of David Van Os to illustrate the need for money in politics, the proper role of a nascent state party organization, and the limits on the effectiveness of a political message that come from the inability to effectively spread that message due to the lack of funds to reach large numbers of Texans efficiently. This article led to a dialog with David Van Os, and to an interview with him shortly afterward where he voices his side of the issue. And finally, though two interviews have been mentioned already, our "Who's Blue" audio interview series also includes a number of other fascinating figures in Democratic politics, both statewide and across the nation. Some of the more notable interviews have been with four-star Army General and 2004 presidential candidate Wesley Clark, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, and current presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.

John Coby of Bay Area Houston documents what a team of anonymous citizens have accomplished to expose the Texas Ethics Commission as incompetent in the series Spending Campaign Cash. Their work uncovered $3million in undisclosed expenditures by Texas Legislators. The Series. KHOU in Houston featured their work in late December with their report Activist: State's campaign finance oversight out-of-focus.

Easter Lemming Liberal News's topics covered this past year include Pasadena politics, the Joe Horn shooting and our national So-Called-Liberal-Media.

News items covered by TXsharon on Bluedaze: An attempt to shame a Texas Granny who received the Peacemaker of the year award. The depletion of and pollution of our water due to the irresponsible and shocking use by the oil and gas industry including an explanation of Groundwater Conservation Districts and how they can help that was published in two Texas newspapers and the attempt by oil and gas to sabotage the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District. The failure of the Texas Railroad Commission to protect Texans. The protection money breakdown paid to Texas Railroad Commissioners by the oil and gas industry.

WhosPlayin's favorite posts of 2007 were all about ideas: Universal Health Care - You're Soaking In It in which he explains that we're already paying for universal health care. Why Democrats Oppose "Voter ID" Bills - an explanation for our conservative friends. Lastly, Fiscal Progressivism - Fiscal Conservatism with a Broader View.

Hal at Half Empty hemmed and hawed. How to decide which three of this year's postings merited special recognition? Then it dawned on him to mention the three postings about three singular events that he attended and posted photos about. Priceless! In reverse chronological order: The Fort Bend Democrats Have a Booth at the Fair. Then a summer fundraiser featuring TDP Chairman Boyd Richie. And last February The Fort Bend Democrats held a Love Fest for Rick and Melissa Noriega.

Off the Kuff submits his top posts of 2007: David Dewhurst and Voter ID. Property Tax Cuts Uber Alles, the mantra of the 80th Lege, and Drafting Rick Noriega for Senate.

BlueBloggin, another new blog to the TPA in 2007, submits their best of 2007: nytexan pens an op-ed on The Christian March Against America; BossKitty has a poignant OpEd: All Answers Are Selfish And Shallow; and nytexan discusses how Mexico Get Texas Land Through Border Fence

Refinish69, at Doing My Part For The Left, takes a look back at the year and is still disgusted with Hypocrites, Toe Tapping Senators, and Knee Pad Presidents. While looking back at the year, who can forget Ann Coulter proving what a witch (usually spelled with a capital B) she is. Refinish69 also looks at Gay Pride and World AIDS Day again to explain some history about himself and the continuing need for Gay Voters to speak out.

One of Grand Moff Texan's too rare diaries is always a special delight for us at Texas Kaos. But a standout diary inspired by the ignorance of the beltway punditry really broke down Why We Blog, Or Broderism in my Rear-View Mirror. Read it, and be inspired as we kick off into the 2008 election cycle. As the wilder-than-usual Texas Legislative session came to a close, Boadicea highlighted a few particular items of interest in Personal Courage, Political Vendettas, and an Unexpected Outbreak of Spine. With his usual sharp eye and incisive writing, Krazypuppy noted the REAL importance of the Larry Craig scandal in Why Another GOP Sex Scandal Matters-It's Not the Queers, Either.

It's been a wild year at McBlogger. We've heard about 39%'s trip to meet the Bilderburgers. We've also had exclusive one on one interviews with the Democratic candidates. We've also taken time out to call on some of our friends to be quiet. Because they're being a pain in the ass. This year McBlogger turned two and like all two year olds you can expect tantrums mixed with an even larger dose of mischief. Like all children, though, you'll want to kill us but won't be able to because killing kids is wrong (so, so very wrong). You'll also find us precocious and irresistibly cute.

We at The North Texas Liberal had some trouble deciding on which posts were our absolute favorites of 2007! But we decided on a few standouts that seemed worthy of mentioning for a second time. First, a series on Shaquanda Cotton. Cotton is a fifteen-year-old African American girl from Paris, Texas. She was sentenced to up to seven years at the TYC for pushing a hall monitor at her school (the same judge that sentenced her gave a white girl that was convicted of burning down the family home to probation). Our coverage of Cotton garnered the attention of someone at the Lamar County DA's office who used some recycled talking points to trash Cotton and her mother. Despite all of this, after the mainstream media broke Cotton's story, she became a candidate for early release. By the end of March, it was official that she would be released from the TYC, and in April we showed a video of her reunion with her mother. Cotton has returned to school and wants to study to become a lawyer so she can fight future injustices. We continued our global warming coverage with our Planet Purgatory series, parts One and Two. In May, we heard that the global warming tipping point could be in only ten years' time. NASA scientist James Hansen, a tireless environment advocate who testified about global warming before the Congress back in the 1980s, explains the tipping point theory... the point of no return. But he also believes in prevention rather than adaptation. If you missed this one, check out the post... if you're concerned at all about the environment, you'll want to read it. We continued our global warming coverage with our Planet Purgatory series, parts One and Two. Lastly, we gave Sen. John Cornyn the credit he deserved when he finally stood right side of an issue. Despite a year of flops and fabrications, he said he would support seasonal workers through the H2-B visa program. But despite the efforts of Maryland Democrat Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the fix wasn't finalized before Congress broke for the winter holidays, leaving thousands of small business owners out in the cold this holiday season. When we spoke face-to-face with a legislative expert at Cornyn's DC office, we were told that the Texas senator would like to see comprehensive immigration reform and wouldn't lobby for the H2-B visas, though he supported seasonal workers, because he didn't want to piecemeal a fix for the immigration problem. So even though he stood with his constituents on the right side of the issue, in the end he let them down again.

Edmundo Rocha of Para Justicia y Libertad reports about two protests against the prison industrial complex used here in Texas to detain undocumented immigrants -- the Houston Processing Center in Houston and the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, TX. Prior to those reports, he reported on the suicide of David Ritcheson of Spring, TX, the Latino teen who was brutally beaten, tortured, and sodomized with a plastic pole by two white racist teenagers, David Henry Tuck and Keith Robert Turner.

Marc G., of Marc's Miscellany, analyzed Tom Craddick's preposterous claim that the speaker of the house can only be removed by impeachment. Marc also discussed Gov. Perry's controversial decision to veto the health insurance appropriation for community college employees.

Israel Behar-Ojalvo, PDiddie's father-in-law, passed away in March and Brains and Eggs had a post with photos in tribute. The Texas Youth Commission remains the worst scandal in Texas history, and that was apparent in April of last year. And in the matter of a few hours just before Labor Day, Alberto Gonzales, Phil Garner, and Tim Purpura all lost their jobs. Good riddance to a big bunch of losers. More like this in 2008, sure to come.

2007 was a heck of a year for Capitol Annex. Vince Leibowitz at Capitol Annex is most proud of his ground-breaking coverage of the saga surrounding the insurgency in the Texas House and Speaker Craddick's power grab, including Terry Keel's Troubling Memo (a smoking gun, for sure), and the saga surrounding the resignation of parliamentarian Denise Davis, which earned him a mention in (among other publications), Texas Lawyer. Coverage of the 80th Texas Legislature was also a major event for Capitol Annex, including a mind-numbing Liveblogging of debate on the General Appropriations Act, and a special video: Jodie Laubenberg Is Screaming.

It has been another exciting year at DosCentavos. I've tried to go over some of my better postings of the year and came up with three. DosCentavos wrote about his expectations for the 2007Lege Session. Beyond La Politica, we also know DosCentavos enjoys writing reviews on the latest releases in the Tejano and Mexican American music genre. This year, he received the honor of being asked by Los Lobos to rate their most recent release, The Town and The City. Finally, during the last Lege session, some Senators attempted to take up the debate on legalizing gambling to pay for education. DC tells us a few realities about higher education funding in the process.

Musings started the year concerned about science education in Texas (see: Warren Chisum, R-Dark Ages) and ended the year with some commentary about her friend, Chris Comer, being fired as Director of Science at the Texas Education Agency over her stand on evolution. In between it was all about Melissa and Rick Noriega.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notes a church in El Paso falls victim to manipulation by a right wing cadre bent on world domination. CouldBeTrue then wonders what would have happened in a perfect Republican world when the Minnesota bridge collapsed. South Texas Chisme covers the wedge'em and hate'em campaign,, also known as Republican immigration strategy. Hispanics have taken note.

The Texas Cloverleaf, another blog new to the TPA this year, was a submission hold performed by professional wrestler Dean Malenko, which tied up his opponent's legs, much like a clover. We are designed to be one of those lefty progressive Democratic type political blogs. We live in North Texas, so expect a lot of DFW area stuff. But, we like the rest of the state, sometimes. Maybe even America. But don't push us! Politics is like a Texas Cloverleaf. It takes you in different directions, and ultimately will make you tap out! The series we are most proud of since forming in the summer of 2007 was the continued exposure of the outright lies and misleading statements coming from the pro-toll road crowd in Dallas during the Trinity Vote effort. Even though the referendum failed, we feel we did our part to help Dallas voters make an informed decision. Read the series here, here, here, here and here.

Best wishes for a happy 2008 from the Texas Progressive Alliance.