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

Monday, April 28, 2008

State Convention Events Selling Out Fast

The unprecedented burst of interest in this year's Presidential contest has not only increased Democratic registration and primary and caucus voter turnout across the country and Texas, but it has also sparked extremely heightened interest in this year's State Convention in Austin in June. The Texas Democratic Party says at this page: "The TDP is pleased to announce that we have secured an additional block of hotel rooms for this June's State Convention in Austin. Due to overwhelming demand from Texas Democrats, our original block of over 2,000 rooms sold out in less than 48 hours. We expect these additional rooms to sell out quickly as well, so book your room as quickly as possible." That page also gives links to other pages with more State Convention information, including a link to the pdf form to apply to be considered as a national delegate.

Traditionally, one of the ways we help pay for the State Convention is by selling tickets to the Blue Star Breakfast on Saturday morning (June 7th at 8:30 AM this time). We understand that this year it is already selling out, so you should pay on line now at this page. Finally, the Kickoff Reception at the Austin Hilton on Thursday, June 5 at 7 PM is also selling out this far in advance, so get your tickets to that now at this page.

In Memory: Lena Guerrero

From the AP: "Lena Guerrero, the first Hispanic and first woman on the Texas Railroad Commission, has died after a long battle with cancer. She was 50. Ms. Guerrero, whose political career crashed because she lied on her résumé, died Thursday. She spent recent years as a Capitol lobbyist, despite an ongoing fight with brain cancer.

Ms. Guerrero was viewed as a Latina trailblazer and rising political star when Democratic Gov. Ann Richards named her in 1991 to the Railroad Commission, the powerful state agency that regulates the oil and gas industry. She also gained widespread attention when she spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 1992.

Ms. Guerrero, who was raised in Mission, plunged into politics at a young age. ... She was elected president of the Texas Young Democrats at age 21. She was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1984 at age 25 to represent Travis County."

Texas flags were ordered flown at half-staff on Saturday, when her funeral took place in Austin, before burial at the Texas State Cemetery.

Precinct Chair Trainings Next Month

"This is the basic training and will be especially useful for the new chairs that will be sworn in on Tuesday. As usual, anyone interested in precinct organizing is welcome, not just precinct chairs. The training will cover:
  • Precinct Chair responsibilities,
  • Organizing, developing and canvassing your precinct,
  • Building and managing your precinct team,
  • Holding your precinct convention, and
  • Getting out the vote."
These will be held on three Saturdays in May, the 3rd (at the DCDP office near Fair Park), 17th (Mesquite), and 31st (Garland). See the DCDP Calendar for locations and times.

Arianna Huffington Speaks Here Twice Next Week

"Arianna Huffington is a nationally syndicated columnist, radio talk show host, and regular guest on national network news programs. She is also the founder of The Huffington Post, a liberal online news and commentary web site and aggregated blog." Her latest book is Right Is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe.

On next Wednesday, May 7, she will be speaking at a Dallas lunch, hosted by the Dallas Democratic Forum, and again that evening in Plano, hosted by the North Dallas and Collin County Democratic Women.

Wednesday, May 7:
  • Dallas Democratic Forum Presents Arianna
    $40 for Forum members, $60 for guests; RSVP needed by Monday, May 5 to 214-855-7151. (11:30 a.m. Registration, 12:00 noon Program; The Fairmont Hotel at Akard and Ross Ave., Dallas)
  • North Dallas Texas Democratic Women present Arianna Huffington $15 ($20 at the door); pay online at their site. (5:30 Reception; 7 PM Lecture & Book Signing; Plano Convention Center, 2000 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano)


The week's highlights from the Texas Progressive Alliance of bloggers:

North Texas Liberal analyzed the arguments from Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Flower Mound, and Newt Gingrich in favor of the flat tax. See our conclusions here.

The Commissioner of the General Land Office of Texas is a monumental ass. PDiddie of Brains and Eggs has the dirty details in "Discussted".

Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News informed his readers about the local elections and other events taking place in a Local Early Voting Edition.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson has This Week's Transportation Wrap-Up.

WhosPlayin resumes his watch on GOP Congressman Michael Burgess, and joins North Texas Liberal in rejecting his "flat tax" proposal as a tax increase on the middle class.

Hal at Half Empty wonders why Texas' junior senator, John Cornyn, doesn't support our troops.

Over at McBlogger, Captain Kroc has a real problem with some of the concessions the City made to a certain developer looking to build condos on Lake Lady Bird.

The Texas Cloverleaf promotes a story about more shenanigans in the Texas Youth Commission, this time forcing a Denton County superintendent to quit before she is fired.

Last week, KUHT (PBS Channel 8) in Houston ran a special on immigration and public attitudes towards it called Houston Have Your Say, which included public officials, activists, ordinary citizens, and a couple of bloggers. Off the Kuff was one of those bloggers, and he wrote about his impressions here.

Vince at Capitol Annex notes that the Texas Association of Business is calling for education reform and wonders if anyone else sees the hypocrisy in that situation.

BossKitty at BlueBloggin looks at yet another VA screw up and continues to ignore the welfare of our troops in the VA Caught In Suicide Coverup.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Peace Activist To Speak In Dallas

"Ann Wright spent 13 years in the U.S. Army and 16 years in the Army Reserves, retiring as a Colonel. She is airborne-qualified. In 1987, she joined the Foreign Service and served as U.S. Deputy Ambassador in Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan, and Mongolia. She was on the first State Department team to go to Afghanistan and helped reopen the Embassy there in December 2001. On March 19, 2003 she cabled a letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin Powell, stating that without the authorization of the UN Security Council, the invasion and occupation of a Muslim, Arab, oil-rich country would be a disaster. Since then, she has been writing and speaking out for peace." She is coming to DFW as part of a national tour to promote her new book Dissent: Voices of Conscience. She will be speaking this Wednesday, April 23, at 8 PM, at a Southern Methodist University Forum, at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX. Contact Lydia Dale by email to Ldale AT mail.smu DOT edu.

Upcoming Meetings & Events 080421

Tuesday, April 22:
  • Richardson / North Dallas Democrats (7 PM, La Madeleine Cafe, 1320 W. Campbell Road at Coit, Richardson)
  • Dallas Democrats Meetup (7 PM, La Madeleine, 3072 Mockingbird Ln off Central, Dallas)
Wednesday, April 23:
  • Col. Ann Wright, peace activist and author, speaks. Contact Lydia Dale by email to Ldale AT mail.smu DOT edu. (8 PM, Southern Methodist University Forum, Hughes-Trigg Student Center, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas)
Thursday, April 24:
  • North Dallas Texas Democratic Women screening of the Academy Award nominated documentary "No End In Sight". "This was the first film of its kind to chronicle the reasons behind Iraq's descent into guerilla war, warlord rule, criminality and anarchy." (6:45 PM, Northaven Methodist Church, 11211 Preston Rd. between Royal & Forest Lanes, 2nd floor, Dallas)
  • Grassroots Democratic Coalition Candidates Night "We welcome all Democratic Party candidates for all offices listed on the Dallas County November General Election ballots. Please RSVP by email to Video.AudioGuys AT verizon DOT net or call 972-496-6789." ($2 per person; 7:30 PM, Black Eye Pea, 7979 Belt Line Rd. at Coit Rd., Richardson)
Friday, April 25:
  • Stonewall Democrats 2008 Candidate Mixer with Stonewall-endorsed candidates in our Oak Lawn neighborhood's sports bar. Free appetizers! (7 PM, Woody's, 4011 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas)
  • Interorganization Council Hamilton Park (7 PM, Hamilton Park UM Church, 11881 Schroeder, Dallas)
Saturday, April 26:
  • 23rd Senatorial District Democratic Organization (9 AM, University of North Texas at Dallas, 7300 Houston School Rd., Dallas)
  • Southwest Dallas County Democrats (11 AM, Luby's, 926 East Highway 67 at Cockrell Hill Road, Duncanville)
Monday, April 28 through Tuesday, May 6:
  • Early Voting for the May 10 local elections for several suburban cities, for Dallas and several other school districts, and a water control district in Balch Springs. This includes a 1.35 billion dollar bond issue for the Dallas ISD. A pdf file of the sample ballot is here, and the Early Voting times and places are here.

Monday, April 28:
  • Old East Dallas Democrats (7 PM, Grace United Methodist Church, 4104 Junius St. at Haskell, Dallas)
Tuesday, April 29:
  • Dallas County Democratic Party Executive Committee Meeting Swearing-in ceremony for Precinct Chairs will take place. (6:30 PM, Communications Workers of America union hall, 1408 N. Washington Ave. at Bryan, Dallas)
Saturday, May 3:
  • Precinct Chair Training 101 (9:30 AM to 1 PM, DCDP office, 4209 Parry Ave. at Fletcher [between Haskell and Peak, 2 blocks south of Interstate 30], Dallas; 214-821-8331)
Wednesday, May 7:
  • Arianna Huffington, author and cofounder of the Huffington Post, sponsored by North Dallas Texas Democratic Women $15 ($20 at the door); pay online at their site. (5:30 Reception; 7 PM Lecture & Book Signing; Plano Convention Center, 2000 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano)
Saturday, May 10:
  • Local Elections in Dallas and several suburbs. (7 AM to 7 PM; locations to be posted later.)
Friday, June 6 through Saturday, June 7:
  • Texas Democratic Party State Convention Details, including a reception Thursday evening, are at this page. (Austin)
Monday, August 25 through Thursday, August 28:
  • Democratic National Convention (Denver)

Watching The Web 080421

County Executive Committee Meets Tuesday April 29

Precinct Chairs To Be Sworn In For Two-Year Term

Next Tuesday, April 29, at 6:30 PM, the Dallas County Executive Committee will meet at the Communications Workers of America union hall, at 1408 N. Washington Ave. at Bryan, in Dallas. At this meeting the Precinct Chairs elected in this year's Primary will be sworn in for their two-year terms. No, most of us didn't see their names on the ballot; once again, the legislature decided to save money by not printing the names of the unopposed candidates, which included almost all of them.

First we will also be choosing other Precinct Chairs to fill vacancies. This includes several enthusiastic new people excited by this year's elections, who have volunteered to undertake this vital role for the fall campaigns. In some cases, there is actually more than one person who has applied for the spot, so we will have to choose between them. So if you are one of the praiseworthy citizens who is seeking this job, you really need to show up to be elected.

NOTE: if you were elected as a Precinct Convention Chair, or as a Precinct Delegation Chair to your District Convention, or named as a Precinct Captain by your Presidential campaign, those are NOT the same thing as a Precinct Chair (even though many times the same person fills more than one of these spots). The Precinct Chair is a member of the County Executive Committee of the party (our local board of directors), and is either elected in the Primary, or chosen to fill a vacancy by the other Precinct Chairs at a committee meeting such as this one. If you have any questions, please call the party office at 214-821-8331.

Local Elections May 10

Early Voting Begins Next Monday

On May 10 in Dallas County nineteen suburban cities, eight school districts (including Dallas), and one water control district (in Balch Springs) will be holding elections. (Some others won't be having elections since no one ran against the candidates filed; this was an idea by our mostly un-democratic legislature to save money.) This will include a referendum on a proposed 1.35 billion dollar bond issue for the Dallas ISD. A pdf file of the sample ballot is here, and the Early Voting times and places are here. The list of voting places on Saturday, May 10, will be posted later at the Dallas County Elections Department.

Filing Begins To Be Delegates To National

Today, Monday, April 21, is the first day you can file an application to the Texas Democratic Party to try and become a delegate or alternate to this year's Democratic National Convention in Denver (on August 25 to 28). These have to be filled out and notarized, then hand-delivered or sent by certified mail to the state party in Austin. The form is available on line as a pdf you can print at this page. They have to have them by 5 PM on May 21.

As they point out there, "filling out this form does not guarantee that you will be elected as a Delegate or Alternate to the National Convention. The completed forms will be sent to the respective Presidential candidates who are entitled to a right of review for all prospective National Delegates/Alternates who pledge their support for that candidate." The election of our delegates to Denver will take place at the State Convention June 6 and 7; for more information see this page.


It's Monday, and once again time for another Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up. This week's round-up is compiled by The Texas Cloverleaf.

In honor of Income Tax day, Lightseeker at TexasKaos examines the Republican's tax cut claim here in Texas and discover that what it really amounts to is "tax shifting" and we are the ones getting shafted. Tax Shifting With Bohac's Assessment Cap as Our Example.

WhosPlayin notes that John McCain has proposed suspending the federal gasoline tax, and points out that McCain would do just as well to try to suspend the law of gravity.

The Texas Cloverleaf is helping to save the earth on Earth Day weekend with helpful tips for saving energy and your wallet, as well as picking up trash with Stonewall Democrats. Don't mess with Texas!

CouldBeTrue from South Texas Chisme wonders if all Republicans are Tom Craddicks in training. Listen to Nueces County Republican chair Mike Bertuzzi ignore all the 'Point of Order' calls at the county convention. Sound familiar?

John Coby of Bay Area Houston has the real press release from Rick Perry about his run for Governor in 2010.

Here are local activist Jose Orta's
Impressions Of T. Don Hutto, Williamson County's immigrant detention facility, that were posted at Eye On Williamson after his recent visit.

At McBlogger, barfly analyses what's really important to the American voter in this hour of cultural brouhaha.

Off the Kuff takes an early look at the race for District Attorney in Harris County, which is sure to be one of the hottest local races this year.

Today is San Jacinto Day and PDiddie of Brains and Eggs will be at the commemorative ceremonies taking place at the battlefield near Houston.

BossKitty at BlueBloggin points out that Your $300 - $1,200 Economic Stimulus Payment Cost $767 Million

Hal at Half Empty questions whether one person running for President is actually temperamentally fit to be in that office.

Vince at Capitol Annex thinks it is terrible that Texas teacher salaries are so low that that more than a quarter of all teachers must work a second job to make ends meet.

North Texas Liberal reports on a homophobic journalist's question to White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, and the smackdown she gave in response.

George Nassar at The Texas Blue takes some time out of Friday's morning news roundup to point out that were the Bush administration to use a logical metric, it would be clear to them that the surge has failed.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Canvass Meeting Thursday

This Thursday at 6 PM at the party office (4209 Parry at Fletcher) the Executive Committee will be having a quick meeting to canvass the results from the Runoff. If you attended the last one of these (after the Primary) you know it consists of the County Chair reading the results and the Precinct Chairs voting to certify the canvass. These meetings are a mere formality unless there is a recount (and none has been requested). Since they are legally required, a quorum consists of as many Precinct Chairs as show up (usually very few), and no other business is transacted. Attendance is NOT required.

Watching The Web 080414

Delegates And Alternates To State Now Posted (Mostly...)

We've now posted lists of Dallas County's Delegates and Alternates to the State Convention as pdfs linked on the DCDP web site at this page. Please be aware that there may be some errors (I've spotted at least one), as this is all volunteer labor and involves many hundreds of names. If you spot a mistake, there is also contact information for each district to let them know, but please be polite about it. (The party just posts what we were sent.)

New Precinct Chairs

Peggy Henger reports that we may have 98 new Precinct Chairs to swear in at the next regular Executive Committee meeting. (That will be for their new two-year term, which begins Monday, April 28.) Some of these are current Chairs who missed the filing deadline for the primary, but several are brand new people who have been excited by the burst of enthusiasm this spring.

The party just had one training session for the new (and continuing) Precinct Chairs on Saturday. There will be at least two more in May, and others yet to be scheduled around the county. Watch Upcoming Events here or call the party office (214-821-8331) for more information.

If you live in one of the several precincts that do not now have a Chair, and you are interested in helping get out the vote for Democrats in your neighborhood, call us at the party and find out if you'd be interested in what President Truman once called the most important office in American politics.


It's Monday, and that means it is time once again for the Texas Progressive Alliance Blog Round-Up.

It would seem that the Republican Party of Texas (Republicans first, Texans last!) is looking for a few sweet young thangs! McBlogger at McBlogger has the story on the RPT's efforts to secure a few good young people.

Bradley at North Texas Liberal takes a look into the possible political aspirations of Condoleezza Rice... and tells us why she may be the Democrats' worst nightmare.The Texas Cloverleaf asks if you're ready to strike over gas prices? Some truck drivers are. They aren't defenders of the Alamo, and are few and far between, but will their message resonate with the rest of America? Some of them say no.

With the resounding defeat of Shelley Sekula Gibbs last Tuesday in the GOP CD 22 runoff, this spells the end of her short-lived political career. Hal at Half Empty has created a video to commemorate the Shelster's last hurrah.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme suspects U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez will be looking for a new job. Soon. Seems that Carlos spoke the truth about that d*mn fence!

Lightseeker over at Texas Kaos marks the upcoming annual income tax deadline by bringing up a sadly evergreen topic Tax Lies That Republicans Tell. After all, if the didn't find someone to put money in to the treasury, where would the money to pay for their crony politics come from?

Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal Newsis not catching up on sleep this time but reveals the predictions for four years his brother made the day after Bush was reelected. His brother gets the Cassandra Award and the media pundits don't have to worry about their jobs.

Doing My Part For The Left warns that voter suppression is not just a Texas problem.

Off the Kuff makes the case for investing in transit in Houston.

IVR polled the Skelly-Culberson CD-07 race, as well as Noriega-Cornyn, and came up with some interesting results. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs blogged it.

nytexan at BlueBloggin points out that most Americans are scrapping to get by, however, some federal employees are having tons of fun with government credit cards. Your Tax Dollars Purchased iPods, Internet Dating, Women’s Lingerie…

Monday, April 07, 2008

Delegates And Alternates To State Being Posted

We're posting the lists of Delegates and Alternates to the State Convention as pdfs linked on the DCDP web site at this page. The 16th District was the first to go up, and the others should be added as well later today or shortly thereafter.