Texas Liberal

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I’d Sit Out The Alvarado-Garcia Texas Senate District 6 Race Because It Offers No Hopeful Options—Should We Cast A Ballot For Mayor Of Houston In 2013?

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As far as I recall, I’ve voted in every election since I turned 18. But I would sit it out if I could vote in the Texas State Senate district 6 runoff between Democrats Carol Alvarado and Sylvia Garcia. This is a Houston-based district.

(Above–A picture I took of Sylvia Garcia at a function late last year.)

There is little ideological or policy difference between the two, both campaigns are captive to special interest money, the campaign has been relentlessly negative, and turnout will be so low as to delegitimize the process. While ultimate responsibility lies with the electorate, it is also so that what voting will accomplish in this case is to legitimize a process that offers no real options.

As I think out my new blog on 2013 Houston city politics, one question I want to explore is why should people vote in 2013?  What potentially more hopeful and useful actions can we take to help direct the course of our city?

While I suppose I’ll find at least one race that compels me to vote for whatever reason, I did in fact leave my ballot blank for Mayor of Houston in 2011.

Even with the understanding that I am just one person of 2.1 million in Houston and that I can’t always have my way, no candidate came even approximately close to my views and Mayor Parker had no credible opposition in any case.

Turnout in 2011 was something like 14%. The process has no relevance to most people. Our political leaders and the big donors who direct them are just fine with this fact.

If Ben Hall and Mayor Parker-Both Democrats-pander to the right, practice identity politics to the exclusion of substance, ignore the needs of the poor, and offer no new vision–Then why should we care who wins?

The work of freedom is up to each of us. It is past time that we take up this obligation in a serious and more imaginative way.

(My comrade Perry Dorrell has been writing about this race at his great blog Brains & Eggs. Here is the most recent post on the SD 6 race by Charles Kuffner at Off The Kuff. And here is the most recent Garcia-Alvarado post by Stace Medellin at Dos Cantavos.)  

February 28, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Are The Good Democrats Tossed Overboard By John Whitmire, Mario Gallegos & Carol Alvarado In Houston’s Council District G?

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A few days ago I received a political mailing telling me that Democratic Texas State Senators John Whitmire and Mario Gallegos support Oliver Pennington to represent me in Houston’s Council District G. Not only that—Texas State Representative Carol Alvarado supports Mr. Pennington as well.

The thing is that Mr Pennington is a Republican.

The web site of the Harris County Republican Party says Mr. Pennington is a Republican

If you call Mr. Pennington’s campaign office they will tell you the same thing—Mr. Pennington is a Republican.

There are two good Democrats running in District G. Either merits your consideration on Election Day.

They merit your consideration despite the fact they have tossed overboard by some well-known Democrats.

(Above–Palinurus Overboard. From 1535 and painted by Francesco Xanto Avelli da Rovigo. Part of the collection at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati.)

Dexter Handy is a 25 year military veteran and is endorsed by a number of local Democratic groups.

Richard Sedita is a registered nurse case manager who was a delegate for  Hillary Clinton at the 2008 Texas Democratic convention.

If you live in District G, or even if you don’t, please take the time to look at the campaign web homes of both these candidates. They both seem like decent people with lifelong commitments of service to others.

District G is likely to vote Republican for City Council in 2009. Though who can know for sure until the votes are counted?

There will be plenty of time for Mr. Whitmire, Mr. Gallegos and Ms. Alvarado to work with Mr. Pennington if he is elected.

Loyal Democrats like Mr. Handy and Mr. Sedita merit better from Democratic party leaders.

Now is the time for these elected officials to back one of the two good Democrats in this race.

October 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments