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

Monday, June 30, 2008

Volunteers Needed: July 4 Parades and Festivals

We are gearing up for the 2008 4th of July parades and festivals and we have a lot of ground to cover. We want to make sure that Democrats are represented all over the County. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Below are events taking place all over Dallas County. If you or members of your Democratic Club can help out at any of these parades and/or festivals, please let me know.

--Renee Hartley, Office Manager, Dallas County Democratic Party 214-821-8331 or email to renee AT dallasdemocrats DOT org.


Irving: Parade
Theme: Celebrating American Traditions
5:30 AM - Parade Gates Open
7:30 AM - All entries required to be in place
7:30 to 8:30 AM - Parade Judging
8:45 AM - Awards distributed
9:00 AM - Parade begins
Staging area: Irving Civic Center 825 West Irving Blvd., Irving, TX 75060 MAP
Click HERE for parade route.

Duncanville: Parade
Theme: "City of Champions - Past & Future"
Parade Line up: 7:00 AM
Staging area: Central Elementary School, 302 East Freeman Duncanville, Texas 75116 MAP
**NOTE** Throwing items (including candy) and passing out literature, is not allowed.

Park Cities: Parade
Parade line up: 7:30 AM
Staging area: Euclid Ave. near Highland Park Town Hall, 4700 Drexel Drive, Texas 75205 MAP
**NOTE** Dallas County Young Democrats will be participating in this parade.

Lake Highlands: Parade and Festival
Parade Line up: 9:30 AM
Staging area: Lakewood United Methodist Church 2443 Abrams, Dallas TX 75214 MAP
**NOTE** Lake Highlands/White Rock Democrats will have a booth after the parade.

Coppell: Parade
Theme: Spirit of Coppell
Parade Line up: 8:30 AM
Staging area: Parking lot at Sandy Lake and Samuel North East Corner MAP
**NOTE** Coppell/Valley Ranch Democrats will help in this parade.

Garland: Festival Star Spangled 4th
Set up: 6:30 - AM to 9:30 AM
Festival: 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Location: Firewheel Town Center, 245 Cedar Sage Dr., Garland, TX 75040 MAP
**NOTE** Click HERE for important information about parking. Event Schedule can be found HERE.

--WOW! As you can see we have a lot of ground to cover. We will have the help of Elected Officials and Candidates, but we really could use your help to make these events extra special. I look forward to hearing from you soon and thanks so much for all you do for Dallas County.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Watching The Web 080623

What We're Fighting Against

The Texas Freedom Network just posted this revealing item: How Extreme Is the Texas Republican 2008 Platform?. The Capitol Annex blog has more at A Look At The Republican Party Of Texas Platform. It's hard to believe that adults in the 21st Century could hold such pre-Enlightenment ideas.

You can compare it to our own Texas Democratic Platform, which is at this pdf, posted, as he has the ones since 1996 by Dallas County Precinct Chair Tom Blackwell. He also reports that he has again been chosen (once again) to serve on the national Democratic Party's Platform committee for this year's Convention in Denver.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Watching The Web 080616

Photos From Howard Dean Event Here

Dallas Precinct Chair Tom Blackwell has posted on line some photos of Democratic Party national Chair Howard Dean's visit to Dallas last week, with DCDP Chair Darlene Ewing and others, on his site at these three pages.


It's Monday, and that means it is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly blog round-up. The round-up is compiled based on submissions made by member blogs. This week's compiler is Vince from Capitol Annex.

CoulldBeTrue hears Rick Perry's rally call against Mexican drug cartels hooking up with local gangs and fears coded words meaning 'Lets profile Latinos' yee haw.

Off the Kuff spent his time in Austin interviewing candidates for office. The first group of interviewees published are State Rep. Dan Barrett, HD97; Wendy Davis, SD10; Robert Miklos, HD101; and Chris Turner, HD96.

refinish69 of Doing My Part For The Left gives a review of his experience herding cats at the Texas Democratic Convention and a podcast version as well.

The Texas Cloverleaf wonders why we are getting yet another TX Secretary of State, as Phil Wilson is set to resign after only one year on the job.

PDiddie had some scenes from the Texas GOP convention posted at Brains and Eggs.

With four electric companies folding up shop over the last several weeks, it is going to be a difficult summer for Texas consumers. The failures underscore just how screwed up the retail utility business is in Texas. One commentator has called it a game of Russian Roulette, and so it is....

In a much-anticipated mega-post on transportation issues, McBlogger tells us that lawmakers are "doing it wrong" when it comes to transportation funding.

Vince at Capitol Annex tears apart the Republican argument for getting rid of property taxes and replacing them with a sales tax for funding public schools, which this week was promoted by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Juneteenth Events Saturday And Thursday


Get involved with the 2008 Dallas County Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign!

Come Parading This Saturday In DeSoto:

This Saturday our 2008 incumbents and candidates will be part of the Best Southwest Juneteenth Parade and Fesitval in DeSoto. We invite you to come be in the parade with the candidates and pass out our new "Changing Dallas, Changing America" slate cards. Wear your Democratic gear.


WHAT: Best Southwest Juneteenth Parade with 2008 Dallas Democratic Candidates

WHERE: Parade line up is at old Albertson's parking lot on NW Corner of Pleasant Run and Polk St in DeSoto. Look for a white Jeep with banners on it for Judge Raggio, Ken Molberg, Eric Moye and Judge Creuzot, as well as Judge David Hanschen's vintage Karmann Ghia with a big "Hanschen" banner on it. The parade will terminate in Mosely Park. If you need help finding us at the parade line up, call 214-385-8691.

If you plan to attend, please reply by email to service AT democracytoolbox DOT com.

Help At Our Booth At Saturday's Festival:

Also this Saturday, June 14, help work the Dallas County Democratic Party's booth with our 2008 candidates at the Best Southwest Festival at Mosely Park, 1300 Honor Drive in Desoto, from 4 to 10 PM. Please email Jeff Dalton to service AT democracytoolbox DOT com or call 214-544-0381 if you want to volunteer.

Help At Our Booth At Thursday's Celebration:

This Thursday, June 19, work the Dallas County Democratic Party's booth with our 2008 candidates at the MLK Center Juneteenth Celebration, from 1 to 6 PM, at the Martin Luther King Community Center, 2922 MLK Blvd., Dallas. Please email Jeff Dalton to service AT democracytoolbox DOT com or call 214-544-0381 if you want to volunteer.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Facing McSame & Company

Now some words about our opponent:
McCain Vows to Campaign in All Thirteen Colonies.

Showing that confusion may be only slightly exaggerated is this flip-flopping:
McCain DID deliver line tweaking press.

This kind of doddering seems to scare the Repubs:
GOP Insiders Worry About McCain's Chances.

Especially with our candidate leaving no state behind:
Obama Maps a Nationwide Push in GOP Strongholds.

And the polls show the Repubs do need to worry:
Gallup Daily: Obama Takes Lead Over McCain, 48% to 42%.

The State Convention

The Texas Democratic Party has put lots of videos on line, including talks by our U.S. Senate candidate Rick Noriega, former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton, and Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia from Friday evening. They've also posted some great videos showed to the delegates, including By The Numbers (about Democratic growth in Texas), Counted (about voting rights and the Republican efforts to block them), moving tributes to Lady Bird Johnson and to Governor Ann Richards. See their whole set (it also has some from two years ago) starting at this page. The Austin Chronicle has a photo gallery from the event at this page.

Best live-blogger at this convention was Vince of Capitol Annex. Burnt Orange Report also had some useful obsevations. Scroll down and back into time on these sites to see their posts. Some others of note this year (besides those mentioned in the weekly TPA roundup) were: Panhandle Truth Squad, Mean Rachel, Bay Area Houston, and Musings. [I didn't get to do any live-blogging at all due to laptop failure. I did take notes and will link to a summary post next week.]

Dallas Precinct Chair (and former national Platform Committee member) Tom Blackwell has posted the 2008 Platform on his web site as a pdf at this page. The Texas Democratic Party has posted a list of delegates and alternates at this page; unfortunately, they are not all in order (for instance, SD 23's female Clinton delegate, Ann Hubener, is not listed together with the others from her district). If you are one of the lucky winners, please make sure they have your name.

Finally, for future events, you might want to save this State Democratic Convention Survival Guide, Part 1. [There was no Part 2, perhaps understandably.]

Another New Democrat

State Representative Allen Vaught, along with his wife Donna and two-year old son Jonathan, welcomed the birth of Morgan Danielle Vaught at 6:35 pm on Monday, June 2nd. Morgan weighs 7 pounds and is 18 and 3/4 inches long. Representative Vaught remarked, "We are so thrilled to welcome Morgan into our family and Jonathan is excited to be a big brother." Both mother and daughter are doing well.

Howard Dean To Meet Local Elected Officials And Candidates

Governor Howard Dean, the Democratic Party national Chairman, is coming to Dallas this Wednesday. If you are a local elected official or candidate, he would like to meet the grassroots Democrats like you. He will be at the CWA Building at 1408 N. Washington this Wednesday from 5 PM until 6 PM. If you can be there please RSVP to 214-821-8331 or email to exec AT dallasdemocrats DOT org.


Still woozy from the Bloggers Caucus? Well, there's nothing like a little hair of the blog to cure what ails you. Click on to read the Texas Progressive Alliance roundup for the week.

BossKitty at BlueBloggin tell us about the Government Accountability Office's (GOA) revealing report to Congress on how tax preparers work in cooperation with banks to advance refunds which can greatly reduce your tax refund check in Refund Anticipation Loans, Rapid Refunds, Sleazy Tax Preparers.

The live-blog of the contest for the state chair of the Texas Democratic Party was done by PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Off the Kuff conducted an interview with the Communications Director of the American Wind Energy Association on the state of wind energy in Texas and America today.

Kit of WhosPlayin thinks much of mainstream media coverage of late - especially with regard to the Democratic nomination is meant to distract us from the more important issues like Iraq, health care costs, and the mortgage market melt down.

Texas Kaos has extensive liveblogging and video from the Texas State Democratic Convention this weekend. Highlights include Chelsea Clinton's Two Messages for Texas Democrats, Sam Houston Makes The Case for Caring About the Judicial Races, and Senator Mario Gallegos Addressing the State Convention a little more than a year after he and the Texas Senate Dem Caucus held off David Dewhirst's grab for your voting rights.

McBlogger's Lovelie99 takes a look at a culinary craze that is sweeping the nation. And finds it, frankly, pretty gross.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Democratic Unity Pub Crawl?

A Clinton delegate received this by email and passed it on to me. I know no more than is shown here. Does he mean tonight (Thursday)?
We have made it through an amazing and historical 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary. As a Superdelegate, I endorsed Hillary Clinton back before the Iowa Caucuses. While I am disappointed that she did not win, I am more confident than ever in our ability to beat John McCain in November.

Lets all get together at the beginning of the State Convention to celebrate the accomplishments of Senator Clinton and share a couple drinks with our fellow Democrats who supported Obama. See the details below...

I look forward to seeing you at the convention. If you have any questions or problems at the convention, feel free to give me a call: 512.524.9791

--david holmes

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Parties A'Plenty

The Texas Cloverleaf has helpfully listed parties they've heard of so far for this week's Austin State Democratic Convention. I don't know if it will be updated over time, but the link is at this page. If not, such events are usually posted on walls etc. As of right now, here's what they show:
Thursday June 5:

7PM: TDP Opening Reception (SOLD OUT!) at the Hilton
8PM-12AM: Obama Party at Club de Ville, 900 Red River @9th St
8:30PM-12AM: Blogger's Caucus at the Cedar Door, 2nd & Brazos
9PM-12AM: Capitol Salute Honoring Legislature Members at the Hilton, Governor's Ballroom on 4th Floor (if you didn't RSVP already, not sure if you can attend or not)
9PM-? : Stonewall Democrats Reception at the Cockpit, 113 San Jacinto @ 1st/Cesar Chavez

Friday June 6:

4:30PM-6:30PM: Rick Noriega's Pachanga at the Hilton, 4th Floor (must RSVP for $25 donation at
9PM: Party Hosted by Rafael Anchia, Mark Veasey, and Mark Strama, at the AFLCIO 1106 Lavaca St @11th St.

Saturday June 7:

8:30AM: Blue Star Breakfast (SOLD OUT! Good for hangovers!) at Convention Center, Ballrooms D-G

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Who Is Blogging The Convention?

I mentioned some, and pointed to links to others, in the "State Convention Week!!" post just before this one, but Vince Leibowitz, the Chair of the Texas Progressive Alliance, has now started a page just for this topic. Check it out here.

Monday, June 02, 2008

State Convention Week!!

Thursday through Saturday of this week thousands of Democrats from across Texas will gather in Austin for the 2008 Texas Democratic Party State Convention. Even if you are not a Delegate or Alternate, there will be plenty of events to attend, speeches to listen to, old friends to see again and new ones to meet, and above all, lots of parties! Why do so many of us go to these every two years, even when there is not an ongoing Presidential contest like 2008? Because these are FUN! Come on and see.

Where's It At?

This year everything (except some of those parties) will be at the big new Austin Convention Center. This is downtown, between 1st Street (now also known as Cesar Chavez) and 4th Street, a couple of blocks west from IH35 (and between Red River and Trinity streets). For directions and maps (including parking maps), see this page. With these huge crowds, parking is likely to be a problem, so you might want to get there VERY early each day, or take a cab or a city bus.


The state party has a lot of information about the Convention, starting from this page. Thursday things are to get started at 7 PM with a big Convention Kick-Off Reception and Silent Auction, at the Hilton Hotel, at 500 East 4th Street, just across the street from the Convention Center complex on the north side. But it's already SOLD OUT! You can go hang around near there and talk with people going in and out, and probably find out about all the other parties for candidates and campaigns going on.

Or from 8:30 to midnight you can go on over to the Texas Blogger's Caucus. It will be at the Cedar Door, 201 Brazos (at 2nd street), two blocks west of the Convention Center. Lots of candidates will be there, and plenty of delegates, just as in 2006 at the Fort Worth convention.


This is really the big day. Pick up your credentials, attend a caucus (or more than one!) or a workshop about an issue or a group you are interested in, and then attend your own Senate District caucus. Those start at 3 PM, and that's where the delegates (and elevated alternates, when a delegate can't make it after all) elect members of convention committees and fill all those other spots people have been campaigning about since our district conventions. The proportions may be fixed for delegate allocations for Presidential candidates, but which ones get to be the actual delegates? There's a complete list of all the interest caucuses and training workshops, and of where each Senate District caucus meets at this page.

When those are over, the Convention itself starts at 6 PM. There'll be speakers, and business, and then if any district caucus didn't finish its business in the afternoon, they may have to reconvene. Fair warning: I've been to State Conventions that went on past midnight. Let's hope this one winds up sooner, because there will be a lot of candidate events and receptions and just general celebrating to do.

Updated -- Who's Running In Austin?

Two weeks ago I offered to post on my blog and link to that here contact information (and even a short blurb) for anyone running in the five Dallas County State Senate districts for delegate, SDEC member, convention committee member, elector, and so on, at this year's State Convention. This list has been and will continue to be updated through this Wednesday evening. (Email me to stoutdemblog AT yahoo DOT com.) The list so far is at this page.


This is the day that wraps it up, starting with committee meetings and more workshops -- way too early after such a Friday night -- and the traditional Blue Star Breakfast (if you didn't get your ticket online, sorry -- it's also SOLD OUT!) at 8:30. (The schedule for this final day is at the bottom of this page.) At 11 AM the Convention starts again, taking those committee reports and electing party officers and the remaining at-large delegates not already chosen by their district caucuses.

Usually people start fading away late in the day and any proposed Platform planks and Resolutions that didn't get taken up are referred to the SDEC. Sometimes there are also candidate events and parties that afternoon, but mostly people just need to start the long trip home and come down from their adrenalin high. There's a lot of work to do to win this November, and it starts as soon as we rest up from the excitement of Austin.

What If You Can't Go?

First, if you are a delegate or alternate, make sure your district delegation chair (especially for your favored candidate) knows that you will need to be replaced on the floor. Expect considerable local news coverage of the events, though take it with a whole shaker of salt. Frequently even less objective, but usually more fun, are the blogs. Lots of us covered the Convention live and on line two years ago, and this year even more of us plan to be there, lured by promises of tables with power connections so that we don't have to keep leaving the floor to recharge.

My own live blogging (in between serving as Parliamentarian for a couple of meetings) will be at StoutDemBlog. On my right sidebar is a list of links to the Texas Progressive Alliance of bloggers, but a better place to start is with the list of convention posters at the bottom of a post-convention report from two years ago at this page. Especially good ones are Capitol Annex, Burnt Orange Report, and Off The Kuff. Log in and see what's happening!


It's Monday, and that means it is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly blog round-up--the pre-Convention edition. Don't forget about the Third Biennial Texas Blogger's Caucus set for this Thursday at 8:30 p.m. at the Cedar Door in Austin. Joe Jaworski, Sherrie Matula, Melissa Noriega, and more will be joining us!

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on A Texas Myth: The Citizen Legislator.

BossKitty at BlueBloggin points out that Bush has been successful in preventing accountability and that Bush is at Center of an Intelligence Leak in The Leaky Bush - Probable Cause For Treason.

Captain Kroc declares that McBlogger now has a patron saint.

PDiddie at Brains and Eggs had some questions for Boyd Richie.

Vince from Capitol Annex reviews the Texas Legislative Study Group's excellent recommendations concerning what the Texas Legislature needs to do to improve higher education.

North Texas Liberal thanks Michelle Malkin for letting us know why we should boycott Rachael Ray, the terrorist scarf-wearing daytime chef.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme crowns Victoria DA Steve Tyler the new DA Hissy Fit after the grand jury indicts the Victoria Police Chief and former City Attorney. Both may have used the Victoria Advocate newspaper to prod the child rape investigation of Tyler's chief of staff.

WhosPlayin? takes a humorous look at how Rep. Michael Burgess (R, TX-26) missed the mark again with recent comments, showing how out of touch he is with his middle-class constituents.

The burning question at Doing My Part For The Left is will Republicans return Rev, Hagee's hate money.

Off the Kuff completes his early tour of the Harris County races with a peek at the race for Harris County Department of Education Trustee, which in a normal year would be a pretty low-profile affair. Of course, as we know, this is anything but a normal year.

The Texas Cloverleaf tells us how Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples wants to support the communist Cuban regime.

Texas Kaos gets into the nuts and bolts of coming events. If you're headed to Austin for the Texas Democratic State Convention this week, check out this Important Information to make the trek a little easier. Also, in anticipation of the Netroots Nation convention in Austin we're preparing for a great service event, Netroots for the Troops to prepare care packages for those who are putting themselves into harms way as our nation has asked them to do.