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Election Day Is Here—Jill Stein For President—The Work Of Freedom Is Up To Each Of Us

Tomorrow is Election Day in the United States.

(Above–The Bald Eagle is a symbol of our nation.)

I have already voted for Green Party nominee Jill Stein for President of the United States.

I believe that Ms. Stein is the only candidate for President speaking honestly about climate change, our economy that is rigged for the few at the expense of the many, and about the ongoing attacks in our nation against the right to dissent.

Here is the website for Ms. Stein.

If I lived in a contested state I would have voted for President Obama because I believe there are meaningful differences between the two parties.

Here is a list of Green Party candidates in Texas for 2012.

If there is no Democrat on the ballot where there is a Green–or if the Democrat is unlikely to win—please consider the Green and help build a strong voice for the left that will move the Democratic Party just as Libertarians have moved the Republican Party.

It is also possible the day will come that Greens win elections.

An important local election here in Harris County, Texas is for Texas House District 134. I live in this district.

Centrist Ann Johnson offers a hopeful voice against first-term Tea Party extremist Sarah Davis.

Here is the website for Ms. Johnson. 

Texas political blogger Perry Dorrell has compiled two excellent lists on who a liberal or progressive might consider in Harris County and in Texas for 2012.

Here is Perry’s post for federal and statewide offices.  

Here is Perry’s post for Harris County and state legislative races. 

No matter if Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney wins the Presidency tomorrow, big money will still call the shots.

The work of freedom is up to each of us.

Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

We can also seek to impact society by consistently acting in a way that reflects our best values. Or by working on an artistic or creative effort that expands the range of thought and imagination we have in our society.

It is after the votes are counted that the real work will begin.

November 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sarah Davis Is A Tea Party Extremist And Is Way Out Of Touch With Texas House District 134

Tea Party extremist District 134 Texas State Representative Sarah Davis says she is “The True Voice of Independence.”

Ms. Davis was first elected by a small margin in the Tea Party 2010 election year.

134 is a centrist moderate district and Ms. Davis realizes this fact.

That is why Representative Davis does not discuss the fact she is quite at home with the Tea Party, and quite at home with Tea Party attacks on public education and on health services for women.

Ms. Davis would rather you believe that she is “The True Voice of Independence.”

You see above that Rep. Davis is an enthusiastic backer of the “Tea Party Message.”

Ms. Davis is helping hold up the Tea Party message for all to see—Ms. Davis is the person on the left holding the sign—just as she supports and bolsters Tea Party extremism in the Texas House of Representatives.

A better option for Texas House District 134 is centrist Ann Johnson. 

Ms. Johnson has been endorsed by the Texas Small Business Association. 

For the Texas Small Business Association to endorse a Democratic challenger over a Republican incumbent suggests that not only does Ms. Davis embrace far right views, but that she is also seen by even usually supportive groups as unable to deliver effective leadership.

The Houston Chronicle has endorsed Ms. Johnson.

Here is part of what The Chronicle said about Ms. Johnson—

…..voters deserve a representative who doesn’t just avoid bad votes, but leads on good ones. We believe Democratic challenger Ann Johnson can be that sort of leader. …Johnson began her career as a prosecutor at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, where she was known for her no-nonsense, hardworking attitude. After leaving the prosecutor’s office, she dedicated herself to the world of juvenile law, where she focused on issues like child exploitation and sex trafficking – two issues that need the attention of the Texas Legislature….Johnson’s focus on juvenile issues doesn’t end at the courtroom. On the campaign trail, she rattles off embarrassing statistics on Texas kids – we’re 43rd in high school graduation rates, 45th in SAT scores, and have the highest percentage of children without health insurance. Texas should not be content with these rankings, and Johnson certainly isn’t, advocating smart educational investments like all-day Pre-K and capping class sizes….In this race, Ann Johnson is the better bet for Texas’ future.”

The race in District 134 offers a clear choice.

One one hand there is a hard-working moderate who has shown herself able to win the support of even Republican-leaning advocacy groups.

On the other hand there is a Tea Party extremist who pretends to be something she is not, and who is unable to earn the backing of the Texas Small Business Association.

As a fellow resident of 134, I ask you to please consider voting for Ann Johnson.

November 1, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ann Johnson Is A Hopeful And Moderate Voice Consistent With Texas House District 134

Above you see Texas State Representative District 134 Democratic nominee Ann Johnson.

I took this picture a few weeks ago.

Here are the boundaries of District 134. I am a resident of District 134 where I live in the Memorial Park area of Houston.

Ms. Johnson is running to unseat first term incumbent Republican Sarah Davis. Ms. Davis defeated then-incumbent Ellen Cohen in the Tea Party wave of 2010.

While I wish Ms. Johnson were more to the left, she represents a clear improvement over the incumbent.

Beyond being an improvement over the incumbent, Ms. Johnson merits consideration on her own accord.

Here are issues that Ms. Johnson cites as important in this race—

Sufficient funding for public education. Sarah Davis has a very poor voting record on supporting education funding to for Texas school kids.

* Making use of available federal funds–despite resistance from Governor Perry and Sarah Davis–for Medicaid in a way that will help Texans get care and protect jobs at the Medical Center.

* Protecting women’s health in Texas from attacks on cancer screenings and family planning services.

Ms. Johnson has been endorsed by the Houston Chronicle. 

Here is an interview with Ms. Johnson conducted by Texas and Houston political blogger Charles Kuffner.

My friend Perry Dorrell has endorsed Ms. Johnson at his blog Brains & Eggs.

The Jewish Herald-Voice has endorsed Ms. Johnson.

Here is how Ms. Johnson is described on her website

Ann is an attorney who represents children, an adjunct professor of law at South Texas College of Law and a former prosecutor. She took on Texas’ criminal justice system to protect children from exploitation and human trafficking. She fought all the way to the Texas Supreme Court – and won a landmark victory that has become a model for other states.

In private practice, Ann represents child victims of harassment and bullying in schools and is often appointed to represent children, including in two of the newly created alternative courts: the Harris County Mental Health Court and Growing Independence Restoring Lives (GIRLS) Court.

Ann is also a survivor. Ann fought cancer and won – and she’ll stand up to fiscally irresponsible, partisan attacks on health care for women and all Texas families.

In her alliance with Governor Rick Perry’s reckless slashing of public education funds and relentless attacks on women’s health, Sarah Davis has shown herself comfortable with extremist views, and out of touch with the concerns and moderate political leanings of District 134.

I ask my fellow voters in Texas House District 134 to please consider Ms. Johnson in the upcoming election.

October 22, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Ann Johnson Offers A Voice In Tune With Texas House District 134—Focusing On Public Education And Women’s Health

Above you see Texas State Representative District 134 Democratic nominee Ann Johnson.

Here are the boundaries of District 134. I am a resident of District 134 where I live in the Memorial Park area of Houston.

Ms. Johnson is running to unseat first term incumbent Republican Sarah Davis. Ms. Davis defeated then-incumbent Ellen Cohen in the Tea Party wave of 2010.

I spoke with Ms. Johnson at her campaign headquarters last week. The picture here was taken during that conversation.

While I wish Ms. Johnson were more to the left, she represents a clear improvement over the incumbent.

Beyond being an improvement over the incumbent, Ms. Johnson merits consideration on her own accord.

Here are issues that Ms. Johnson cites as important in this race—

* Sufficient funding for public education.

* Making use of available federal funds–despite resistance from Governor Perry and Sarah Davis–for Medicaid in a way that will help Texans get care and protect jobs at the Medical Center.

* Protecting women’s health in Texas from attacks on cancer screenings and family planning services.

Here is an interview with Ms. Johnson conducted by Texas and Houston political blogger Charles Kuffner.

My friend Perry Dorrell has endorsed Ms. Johnson at his blog Brains & Eggs.

I talked to Ms. Johnson for about 45 minutes and I found her to be smart.

Here is how Ms. Johnson is described on her website

Ann is an attorney who represents children, an adjunct professor of law at South Texas College of Law and a former prosecutor. She took on Texas’ criminal justice system to protect children from exploitation and human trafficking. She fought all the way to the Texas Supreme Court – and won a landmark victory that has become a model for other states.

In private practice, Ann represents child victims of harassment and bullying in schools and is often appointed to represent children, including in two of the newly created alternative courts: the Harris County Mental Health Court and Growing Independence Restoring Lives (GIRLS) Court.

Ann is also a survivor. Ann fought cancer and won – and she’ll stand up to fiscally irresponsible, partisan attacks on health care for women and all Texas families.

In her alliance with Governor Rick Perry’s reckless slashing of public education funds and relentless attacks on women’s health, Sarah Davis has shown herself comfortable with extremist views, and out of touch with the concerns and moderate political leanings of District 134.

I ask my fellow voters in Texas House District 134 to please consider Ms. Johnson in the upcoming election.

September 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

At Core Far-Right Houston Councilmember Helena Brown Is Wasting Our Time—A Woolly Mammoth’s Perspective

The Houston Chronicle reports that far-right Houston City Council Member Helena Brown may have altered the time sheets of her City Hall staff so they would not be paid for all the hours they worked.

From The Chronicle

“Houston City Councilwoman Helena Brown subtracted hours from employees’ timecards in apparent violation of federal law, according to records obtained by the Houston Chronicle. The first-term councilwoman shorted an employee by more than three hours in a day in several cases. At least six times, Brown deleted enough hours from employees’ reported workweeks that it cost them overtime by bringing their weekly total under 40 hours.”

Ms. Brown had previously  said that she would not allow her staff to work a full work week so that the city would save money on benefits for these staffers.

Sure.

I was not going to write Ms. Brown and this issue because it is so depressing and so stupid.

Ms. Brown is a far-right extremist elected in a low turnout race.  I expect little of her. There are so many hopeful things that we can respond to in life. And yet here are these people elected for no other purpose it seems but to harm the public welfare. I get tired of it.

Ms. Brown thinks the United Nations is directing City of Houston policy.

Also, many Top Houston and Texas political bloggers have written about this issue already. Brains & Eggs, Dos Centavos, Bay Area Houston and Off The Kuff  all have something useful to say about Ms. Brown. What could I add?

But as I thought about it, I recalled that I have my own Helena Brown material. I do try to use my own stuff.

The blog reading public merits no less.

Below is a picture I took of Ms. Brown last April reading a proclamation at a parade in Downtown Houston honoring Iraq War Veterans.

(The woman in the red dress to the right of Ms. Brown is my terrible State Representative Sarah Davis. Ms. Davis has done all she can to work with Rick Perry to decimate educational and environmental funding in the  Texas state budget. Ann Johnson is running against Ms. Davis in 2012 to represent Texas House District 134. Here is the link to send Ms. Johnson a few dollars.)

How about that flag shirt Congressman Al Green is wearing!

The Chronicle story was not the only news about Ms. Brown this week.

The Houston Press ran a story about Councilmember Brown and a man named William Park.

The Press says that this Mr. Park is an advisor to Ms. Brown who exerts a great deal of influence on Ms. Brown and her right-wing agenda.

Here is the Press story.

Read it and make of it what you will.

Here an excerpt from the Press story—

“Park circulated business cards…with the City of Houston seal. The cards advertised Park as Brown’s “chief adviser.” City Attorney David Feldman later stopped Park, saying the city emblem couldn’t be used on a volunteer’s business cards.”

I found this interesting because I once briefly met Mr. Park. Councilwoman Brown and I ran into each other at the Iraq veterans parade. We had met once before.  She said she’d like to to meet with me again sometime soon because she felt that I had not accurately characterized  her in previous posts I’d written. Mr. Park was with her and he gave me his business card.  I recall Mr. Park as a tall man with a cowboy hat. (Ms. Brown and I  never did have that conversation.) 

Below is a picture of the business card that Mr. Park handed me that day. The card is being shown here by Extinct. Extinct is a Woolly Mammoth and is a member of the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts.

You see that this may be one of the business cards that Mr. Park was handing out after he was told to stop using the City of Houston emblem.

I really don’t know where we get all these people.

Extinct says that it never has been any different.

A Woolly Mammoth is very good at taking the long view.

He says that trouble never stops coming, and in the end the issue will be did you make your case in the time that you had and with the resources at your disposal.

All we can do is stay the course.

July 6, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Details Of King Street Patriots Tea Party HQ Opening—The Tea Party Sure Does Like To Hang Out With Political Insiders

This past Monday, a local Tea Party cell known as the King Street Patriots opened a new headquarters in Houston. Governor Rick Perry and many other Republican elected officials attended this event.

Top Texas political blogger Stace Medellin attended a protest outside this opening ceremony. Below is a picture that Stace took of freedom-loving Americans participating in the protest—

Thanks to Stace for allowing me to use the picture.

Looks like the insiders and the powerbrokers were all inside with the Tea Party, while the patriots were outside doing the work of holding the powerful to account.

Local Democratic activist Lissa Squires attended the event inside the new Tea Party HQ.

At the end of this post are the notes Ms. Squires took and has been kind enough to allow me post.

Once people see what the Tea Party stands for, they will reject the Tea Party.

I’d just like to note a few things based on my thoughts and on what Ms. Squires observed—

* Look how comfortable the Tea Party already is with power. I thought they were supposed to be everyday citizens holding government accountable. Yet here is the Governor of Texas and many other elected officials in attendance at the big Tea Party event.  

* According to the notes taken by Ms. Squiers, Governor Perry said that there will be enough funding in the Texas budget for schools and nursing homes. Beyond the fact he’s not telling the truth, this is an admission that government has a major role to play in our lives. If Governor Perry must assure even a Tea Party meeting that schools and nursing homes will have adequate public support, what is the objection to any other possible functions of government?   

* One of the elected officials at the Tea Party event was Texas District 134 State Rep. Sarah Davis. In 2008, Ms. Davis supported Hillary Clinton for President. How could Ms. Davis have switched ideologies to such an extent in such a short amount of time? Why would anybody on any side of the ideological divide trust Rep. Davis as a true friend?

* The sonogram bill the Governor mentions, forces women considering an abortion to get an unwanted sonogram and forces doctors to discuss details of the sonogram with the women. No matter what you think about abortion, if the State of Texas can force one type of unwanted medical procedure on free citizens, why can’t it force any other type of medical procedure on Texans?    

* The head of the local Tea Party cell, Catherine Engelbrecht, seems to think that the Tea Party agenda is what God wants for Texans and for our nation.   

* While Republican officeholders backed up the Tea Party, it would have helpful if more elected Democrats had been at the protest.    

* The King Street Patriots assert that they are funded by local donors and not outside wealthy interests.  While–Of course–I’m certain they are telling the truth, it still would be good to see this claim thoroughly investigated.    

Here are Ms. Squires’ notes—-

Main Coordinator/Speaker:   Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of King Street Patriots
Attendees:  Sam Malone, Ted Poe, Rick Perry, Dan Patrick, Kevin Brady, John Culberson, Sarah Davis, approx 200 people
Prayer:  Luis Lopez – Lakewood Church.  From Proverbs: “upright people” quote (main point of prayer)
Opening Comments:  Dr. Steve Steinlight, “Center for Immigration Studies” –  sanctuary cities are countenanced and are dangerous; E-Verify should be mandatory; main way Nazis got power was not enforcing local laws.
Presentation of “Resolution”:  Dan Patrick and Sarah Davis signed a resolution in Austin today and brought it to Kathy Engelbrite for founding the King Street Patriots.  She was also given an American flag. 
Comments by Dan Patrick:  we have balanced the budget with no Rainy Day funds (standing ovation and Perry waving arms over head around and around); schools and nursing homes are funded.
Speech by Governor Perry (began by swinging his suit jacket over his head in a circle):
  • Love of liberty is worth dying for and King Street Patriots understand.  This base of operations will perpetuate the values that make this country great.
  • “New interests” since 2008, (laughs from audience), but we made progress in 2010 and are sending message to so-called progressives that their agenda is not the American agenda
  • I carry a copy of the Constitution in my pocket, thanks to the KSP and Tea Party
  • Carter deflated this country.  Reagan came back with pro-growth and love of country and faith in individuals
  • The liberal mindset of “you need to get by with less, because we are going to take more from you” was partially stopped by Reagan but it is still going on
  • Liberal Utopian Fantasies will kill jobs.  Obama’s bold and liberal efforts are not right and must be stopped
  • D.C. is overstepping its boundaries daily.  It has co-opted the job creation language.
  • Texas is #1!  CEO’s love us because we respect and uphold the 10th Amendment
  • D.C. is Oz.  Its not what the Founding Fathers intended.  Pull back the curtain!  Its time!
  • Its nonsense that we should all look alike and be alike.  We have to compete with each other.  Competition is American.  There’s only been one time that our leader didn’t want us to compete in the Olympics.  (hint, hint)
  • GOP Governors are the answer!  Look at Scott Walker!  People like him and Bobby Jindal can push us to do more.  Private sector will be stronger and wealth will be created.
  • Can’t have money for teachers and cops if there are no entrepreneurs to create the jobs.  We will look like California.
  • Its a pivotal time now.  Only 2 weeks left in Austin and much pressure to spend money.  But we weren’t kidding in 2010!  NO SPENDING!!  Call everyday.  We need to hear from you. 
  • Still doing Voter ID and Sonogram Bill – We are sending a message to the country:  Watch us!  Be impressed!
  • The Loser Pays bill puts us over the top, better than we already are, into the stratosphere.  I told Haley Barbour I was going to do this and he said, Rick, if you do this you can put a toll road on every highway that goes into Texas!  (much laughter and applause)  We are setting standards!  We say NO to special interests.
  • The main point, the main thing we have to do, the purpose of the KSP, is to rally Americans to defend their freedom like Paul Revere did.
Closing comments by Ted Poe:  No one goes to war for bigger government and more government programs.  We have to stand up for our rights.  Obama doesn’t own our oil and natural resources.
Closing comments by Kathy Engelbrite:  We need a True America with true elections.  Thats what True the Vote is for.  We have to focus on moving Forward, and that’s why Forward is our logo.  We do this for our children.  Its on us!  We are called to believe!  We can change our country back to the founding principles that we want, that we need, and that God intended for us to have.
Announcement that IPad electronic donation takers were in each corner – had large signs indicating where they were stationed.  Envelopes were passed around to also put donations in.  Large scoll-type banners with quotes and sayings hung on every wall.  Thanks given to all who built the stage, arranged for building to be turned into new office, made donations to get new furniture and decorations.

May 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ellen Cohen Set To Return In Texas House District 134—Picture Of My Bookshelves

(Blogger’s Note–Brilliant Harvard Kennedy School of Government graduate and Burnt Orange Report blogger Phillip Martin has teamed up with Annie’s List to report on some of the most competitive  races for the Texas House of Representatives in 2010. Phillip has been nice enough to allow me to share this analysis with Texas Liberal readers. Today’s profile is on Texas House District 134 here in Houston. I live in this district. Above you see a picture of my bookshelves. These books are part of  District 134. Below it says that 134 is one of the most well-educated in the state and I want to show you that this is indeed the case with a picture of books.  Also, as if blogging itself was not a sufficient act of vanity, it suits my ego to show folks that I have a lot books. )

Candidate PagesRep. Ellen Cohen website, on Facebook, on Twitter

Candidate Pages: Sarah Davis website, on Facebook, on Twitter

District Overview: The Numbers, The Issues, and the Candidates

Rep. Donna Howard and Rep. Cohen share similar circumstances although their districts are very different: they have run and held districts that were previously held by Republicans by appealing to a relatively well-informed electorate. And they have won support from independent voters by serving as intelligent, common sense Democrats in districts where they have deep personal roots. They remain subject to targeting by Republicans because their districts were held by Republicans just five years ago, but their outstanding representation gives their oppponents little chance of winning. District 134 is home to Rice University and is one of the most affluent and well-educated in the entire state. It is also home to the highest concentration of ticket-splitting voters in the state, and one of the most closely divided in terms of partisanship. The 2008 Presidential election split 49.8% to 49.1% in favor of John McCain. Rep. Cohen, however, won with 55.5% of the vote, and polls from insider her district have shown that she is expected to win re-election handily.

Rep. Cohen, as a cancer survivor, a widow and mother of two  understands that Texas families must be able to afford their property taxes, health insurance and have access to quality public education, and those are the issues she will focus on this election. Sarah Davis, however, is a muddled mess in terms of policy and politics. A comparison of screen shots from (1) her website taken earlier this spring, and (2) the website content this fall indiciate a sudden lurcing to the right — she’s gone from a moderate Republican to turning almost Tea Party. What’s even more puzzling is that Sarah Davis signed in and voted for Hilary Clinton in 2008. Who is the real Sarah Davis? No idea, but it probably won’t matter after November

Why Rep. Ellen Cohen Will Return Next Year

Rep. Cohen took House District 134 by storm in 2006, and she has earned greater support ever since. She serves on the Higher Education Committee as well as the powerful Appropriations Committee, and has been able to pass legislation that directly improves quality of life in her district. With more cash, a solid record, a top-notch team and proven leadership, Rep. Cohen would be tough for even the best GOP candidate to beat. Davis, however, can’t seem to stay firm on major policy points and even voted Democratic in the last election. Her campaign isn’t saying anything, so voters are left wondering who the real Sarah Davis actually is. Rep. Cohen should win the race.

June 30 Campaign Finance Report:

HD 134: Cohen vs.Davis Contributions
Expenditures
Cash on Hand
Loans
Rep. Ellen Cohen (D)
$230,181 $175,331 $265,536 -
Sarah Davis (R)
$54,130 $35,685
$103,073 $114,200
Cohen’s Advantage
$80,014 - $202,026 -

September 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

   

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