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Rick Noriega Has Work To Do To Win U.S. Senate Race In Texas

Good news from the Texas primary last night for State Representative Rick Noriega of Houston  was that he avoided a runoff.

Mr. Noriega was 51% of votes cast against three weak opponents.

The bad news for Mr. Noriega was that he won just 51% against three weak opponents.

2.86 million people voted in the Democratic presidential race yesterday in Texas

2.16 million voted in the Senate contest.

Nearly a quarter of Democratic primary voters did not get very far down the ticket.

Maybe they they were in a hurry and had someplace else to go. 

In the Senate race there was no real reason for a Democrat not to vote for Mr. Noriega.

By any conventional standard, Mr. Noriega was the likely nominee, the strongest candidate for the general election and pretty much the only “serious” candidate on the Democratic ballot to face incumbent John Cornyn.

There was no reason that would serve the party in November, or any type of ideological split, that merited forcing Mr. Noriega into a runoff.

Just under 39% of all Democrats who voted yesterday voted for Mr. Noriega.     

It simply seems that many Democrats did not know who Mr. Noriega was.

From the Republican side it was more good news/bad news for Mr. Noriega.

The good news was the superior Democratic turnout.

1.38 million Republicans voted in the Presidential race. 

1.21 million Republicans voted in the senate primary between Mr. Cornyn and a man named Larry Kilgore.     

Hopefully Democrats have been energized to show up in November. Almost twice as many voted people in the Democratic Senate primary as did in the Republican primary.

On the other hand, Mr. Cornyn won 81% of the vote in his race and 72% of all Republicans voting cast a ballot for Mr. Cornyn.  

Republicans know who Mr. Cornyn is and are basically willing to vote for him.

Mr. Noriega has overcome one challenge by winning the Democratic primary without a runoff.

Yet in addition to making the case against Senator Cornyn, it appears he still has work to do in introducing himself to Texas Democrats.  

Get to know Rick Noriega a little better by clicking here to visit his homepage.

March 5, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics, Texas, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Yanez Or Criss For Texas Supreme Court?—Make Your Own Call

 

(The painting is The Triumph of Justice by Hans Von Aachen. It is from 1598.)  

Update—Linda Yanez won this primary race and is the Democratic nominee for Supreme Court position #8. Please vote for Ms. Yanez and the slate of Democratic nominees for the Texas Supreme Court. At current the entire court is Republican. Even if you are a more moderate voter than myself, do you imagine that such a super majority is good for the average Texan? Thank you.

I think it has been 18 years since I voted for a winning candidate for state office. That would be whatever group of hacks I voted for in Ohio in 1990. Beginning with the Republican takeover in 1994 —Thanks Bill and Hillary!—I’ve been on a long losing streak in Ohio and in Texas. I moved to Texas in 1998.

It is a novel experience to have contested state and county Democratic primaries. 

A notable contested race in Texas is between Susan Criss and Linda Yanez for Texas Supreme Court position # 8. 

It’s important to elect at least one dissenting voice to combat the far right-wing super-majority that sits currently on the court.         

Susan Criss is from Galveston County where she serves on 212th District Court. She was elected in 1998.

Linda Yanez is a judge at the Thirteenth Court of Appeals which sits in Corpus Christi. She was appointed by Governor Ann Richards in 1993.

In the end, like the Texas AFL-CIO, I have to go with a dual endorsement.

Ms. Yanez had trouble securing ballot access for this election. This bothers me very much. Ballot access is a matter of bottom line competence.       

Judge Criss ordered that jurors in a settled court case not talk to the press. This unfair ruling was overturned.

Both judges have strengths and weaknesses. Both would be a big improvement over the incumbent.   

Here is the home page for Judge Criss. 

Here is the home page for Judge Yanez.

I will note that former Texas Attorney General candidate David Van Os, a true progressive, has endorsed Judge Criss.

I started this post with a measure of enthusiasm that did not hold up as I dug deeper. Maybe it is was the two candidates to a degree. Maybe it was my own unrealistic expectations.

Maybe it’s that judicial races are so remote from the public, that what you get are candidates funded by narrow interests to such an extent that you feel what is taking place is not fully real.       

Yet, of course, the Texas Supreme Court does matter. Whoever wins this race will have my support in November.

Please click here for other Texas Liberal posts on the Texas Primary.

February 21, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Galveston, Politics, Texas, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Live Blogging Of Tonight’s Debate At Texas Liberal & At Houston Chronicle

 

Please click the link for my debate observations—Live blogging up and running. 

I’ll be live blogging the Texas Primary debate this evening between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

The debate begins at 7 PM and runs until 8:30 PM CST.

I’ll be posting here on this very blog and also at my spot on the Houston Chronicle as a featured politics blogger.

I believe the debate format is something similar to what is pictured above. I think this will be very enjoyable for the viewing public.   

February 21, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Texas, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Imagination Is At The Core Of Liberal Politics—The Specialist Should Work For The Generalist

Imagination and hope are at the core of liberal politics.

To work for a better future you need first to imagine that better future.

This is why I find the message and the campaign of Barack Obama to be of substance.

While I believe that Senator Obama is discussing specific issues, the bottom line is that policy experts can always be hired.

In politics, the specialist should work for the generalist. 

Politics is about policy. But it also about representation, choosing sides, and a vision of the future.

Senator Obama represents a future I want to be part of.

Don’t shy away from voting your hopes.

Don’t let people tell you that imagination lacks substance.

Hope and imagination are things we should never allow anybody to denigrate. They are among the best aspects of our humanity.

Here is the link to the Obama campaign.   

February 20, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 6 Comments

Obama With An Advantage On The Ground In Houston And Cincinnati

Hillary Clinton opened a campaign office in Houston only two days ago.

The Barack Obama office in Houston has been open for at least 10 days.

Also, confirming what one of my many Cincinnati sources told me this morning, there is an Obama office in Cincinnati while there is not yet a Clinton office in that city.

Looks like Mr. Obama may have the advantage on the ground in the big March 4 primary states of Texas and Ohio.    

Here is Ohio information for Obama.

February 20, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Cincinnati, Houston, Politics, Texas, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Picture From Obama Rally In Houston This Evening

Took this picture from up in the cheap seats at the Obama rally tonight.

It was a big friendly crowd that was looking forward to a win in the March 4 Texas primary.

Here is the Texas for Obama link.

February 20, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics | , , , , | 3 Comments

Who Can Vote In The Texas Democratic Primary?—Any Registered Texan!!

(Update 2/15/2010—Just as in 2008, any registered voter can vote in either the 2010 Democratic primary or the 2010 Republican primary. You just have to have been registered one month before the March 2 primary election date. )

This morning I got a question from a Texas Liberal reader about who can vote in the Texas Democratic primary.

This is what the people want to know–Who can vote in the Democratic primary in Texas so that we can have a better Texas and a better America?

Here’s the question that was asked on the blog —

“My husband is registered as an independent but usually votes democratic. He wants to vote in the march 4 primary as a Democrat what must he do?”—Reita A. Troum

Ms. Troum–Not to worry. Any registered Texan can go to the polls and take the party ballot of their choice on Election Day or during early voting. You just have to been registered at least one month before the March 4 Primary Day.

The above picture is of downtown Mineral Wells, Texas.  This community is located in Parker County. Mineral Wells is just one place of the many in Texas where any registered voter can take either party ballot on Primary Day.

Here is the explanation from the office of the Texas Secretary of State

“If you are a registered voter in the state of Texas, you will simply choose your party and vote in that party’s primary.  To explain, we do not register by party in Texas.  One becomes “affiliated” with a party by voting in a party’s primary and the affiliation lasts for that primary year.  As an example, if a voter voted in the March 2006 primary or April 2006 runoff primary, the voter affiliated with that party for the rest of that year, but on December 31, 2006 the affiliation expired.  The affiliation means that the person may not vote in another party’s primary or participate in another party’s convention or sign an independent candidate’s petition for place on the ballot if the independent candidate’s position appears on the primary ballot.  Note that in the general election in November, a voter may vote for whomever he/she wishes, regardless of how or whether he/she voted in the primary or runoff primary election, since all candidates are on the same ballot.”

This blog supports Barack Obama for President. I feel that hope and imagination are at the core of politics. If we can’t imagine a better future, I don’t believe we can take the needed practical steps to achieve a better future. Policy experts can be hired. The inspiration and energy to enact new policies comes only at certain times and from certain leaders. I feel that Senator Obama in 2008 is the right person at the right time for a better America.

Here is the link for the Barack Obama campaign in Texas.

Here is a post on the caucus to be held by Democrats after the polls have closed.

Texas Liberal is leading the way in political history blogging in 2008.

February 18, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Texas, Texas Primary '08 | , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

John McCain—Sick With Violence In His Heart

The following is from a Nation Magazine article in 2001 written after the disclosure that former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey had taken part in the massacre of civilians during the Vietnam War. ( Here is the full article.)

….. Senator John McCain, …writes with the authority of a former POW who was tortured during a long period of captivity in Vietnam. For McCain, despite the disclosure of the deliberate killing of civilians in the village hamlet of Thanh Phong back in February 1969, Kerrey remains “a war hero” who should be understood as having done what needed to be done in the sort of war being fought in Vietnam. Most disturbing, McCain argues that Vietnam was the kind of war that required its participants to hate the enemy, and he unabashedly makes a combat virtue out of hate. In his words: “I hated my enemies even before they held me captive because hate sustained me in my devotion to their complete destruction and helped me overcome the virtuous human impulse to recoil in disgust from what had to be done by my hand.” It is bad enough when a pilot holds such views, but when hatred informs the spirit of a ground war carried on in the midst of a densely inhabited civilian society, it is worse. It should not be surprising that atrocities became indistinguishable from normal battlefield practice, and not some anomaly that occurred on a single occasion at My Lai, or perhaps twice, counting Thanh Phong.

Here is an excerpt from a Smirking Chimp post (Here is the full post) about Senator McCain’s service in Vietnam written by author Ted Rall

An impolite question: If a war is immoral, can those who fight in it-even those who demonstrate courage-be heroes? If the answer is yes, was Reagan wrong to honor the SS buried at Bitburg? No less than Iraq, Vietnam was an undeclared, illegal war of aggression that did nothing to keep America safe. Tens of millions of Americans felt that way. Millions marched against the war; tens of thousands of young men fled the country to avoid the draft. McCain, on the other hand, volunteered.

McCain knew that what he was doing was wrong. Three months before he fell into that Hanoi lake, he barely survived when his fellow sailors accidentally fired a missile at his plane while it was getting ready to take off from his ship. The blast set off bombs and ordnance across the deck of the aircraft carrier. The conflagration, which took 24 hours to bring under control, killed 132 sailors. A few days later, a shaken McCain told a New York Times reporter in Saigon: “Now that I’ve seen what the bombs and the napalm did to the people on our ship, I’m not so sure that I want to drop any more of that stuff on North Vietnam.”

Yet he did.

“I am a war criminal,” McCain said on “60 Minutes” in 1997. “I bombed innocent women and children.” Although it came too late to save the Vietnamese he’d killed 30 years earlier, it was a brave statement. Nevertheless, he smiles agreeably as he hears himself described as a “war hero” as he arrives at rallies in a bus marked “No Surrender.”

Democrats can’t allow themselves to be pushed around by this bully McCain as he talks about war and violence and terror for the next nine months.

The choice is clear no matter who wins the Democratic nomination–Is it going to be more war and endless violence or are we going to live our lives as full human beings who react to something other than hate and fear.    

February 16, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, History, Politics | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments