Texas Liberal

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2012 Harris County And Houston-Area Democratic Primary Results—A Lifeless Party In A Corrupt System

The Tea Party and others on the right did not force local Democrats to oust Judge Steven Kirkland based on smear tactics, nominate a hopeless perennial candidate for Harris County DA, nominate yet again a person who wants to impeach Obama for a U.S. House seat in Fort Bend, almost nominate anti-gay campaigner Dave Wilson for a county commission seat, and give mean-spirited Keryl Douglas more than 40% of the vote for party chair.

And these were the actions of the 5% or 6% who bothered to vote. Is this the core of the Democratic Party in the Houston-area?

These results in our huge Houston-area validate the Green and Occupy view that the two-party system is corrupt and dying.

I’m not sure what the answer is—though I do think there is a solution out there—but this stuff is not viable if we hope to make progress in Houston, in Harris County, in Texas and in the nation.

The work of freedom is up to each of us.  Without forgetting the role of circumstance and context which is key to progressive thought, we have to take control of our own futures and of our political system.

The turnout and the results yesterday were shameful. Our local Democratic Party is a lifeless outfit in the corrupt two-party system.

May 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 3 Comments

Who Are The Democrats Running For Houston City Offices In 2009?

Who are the Democrats running in our upcoming Houston city elections?

This can be hard to figure out because many candidates for Houston city office shy away from party identification. It seems as if they are trying to trick voters.

Folks will tell you our city elections are supposed to be non-partisan. It is true that party ID is not listed on the ballot. However, none of this means that individual candidates or county parties cannot address the subject.

What political party a candidate supports matters at all levels of government. City budgets reflect public priorities and, as such, moral values. Issues such as housing and health need to be addressed in Houston. City workers must make decent wages. 

Public office provides a platform for officeholders to address topics such as poverty and the environment. It matters who has access to this platform. 

It is a clear statement of values whether someone voted for Barack Obama or John McCain last November. I don’t want elected officials who feel Sarah Palin should be Vice President of the United States. 

I want the values and policies I support represented at City Hall. Elections should offer real choices. 

The Harris County Democratic Party has a list of city candidates. This list is not fully useful in trying to determine who is a Democrat. The Harris County Democratic Party list tells who is a “sustaining member” of the party.   

This is fine as far as it goes. But candidates such as Noel Freeman for At-Large Position 4 and Richard Sedita in Council District G are Democrats even if the party feels they have not given enough money to be listed as such. The Democratic list offers no clues beyond who has donated.

The Harris County Republican Party has a party identification list for candidates running in Houston in 2009. The listings are based upon what ballot a candidate took in the 2008 primary season. This list also has the party ID for candidates in local school races and for candidates running in the smaller cities and towns of Harris County.    

The Republican list is more helpful than the Democratic list.

There is also a slate of Progressive candidates running in Houston for 2009. These candidates merit a look. 

Where there is more than one candidate from the same party running for the same office, you may need to do some studying. 

Just because a candidate says he or she is of the same party you generally support, does not mean that person has an automatic right to your vote.

These things said, party identification is a useful starting point when deciding who to vote for on the upcoming Houston ballot.

October 13, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Deport Everyone In Houston & Harris County Who Has Employed Or Benefited From The Employ Of An Undocumented Person

Harris County Texas District Attorney Pat Lykos wants to stop the practice of cutting any deals or plea bargaining with undocumented persons who show up in our county courts.

Houston is part of Harris County.

Here is the Houston Chronicle story on the issue.

That should satisfy the nutball population of our county. 

We’re just going to lock these folks up and send them back.  (After any number of months of expensive proceedings.) I guess our jails will be full of people arrested on the most minor offenses.

I say that what we do is deport any person in Harris County who has hired an illegal alien, or who has economically benefited by shopping at a business or eating at a restaurant that was able to hold down prices because it hired an undocumented person.

That would be just about everybody who lives in Harris County.    

When I come up for deportation under this new law, I’m going to be asked to be sent to Corfu. (photo below)

(Off of the request in the comment space,  here is a Corfu link. And here is another.)

April 3, 2009 Posted by | Houston, Politics | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Listening To Joy Division While I Blog Makes My Posts More Angry

Sometimes I listen to music while I blog. Mostly I listen to stuff that is not much more than background music and offers little distraction.  

But sometimes I listen to a Joy Division (picture above) CD I own as I blog. It’s a live recording of  a concert in Paris in 1979. I like it a lot. Though I can only take it to a certain extent. It’s depressing and angry. That’s okay because I believe what Martin Luther King said about how the well-adjusted person in a sick society is the person who is really messed up.

(Please cick here for the best Martin Luther King Reading List on the web.)

(Please click here to watch Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart Video on You Tube.)

When I listen to Joy Division as I blog, my posts are more angry than normally so. I think that’s good because angry is a reasonable state to find yourself in.  

For example, a few minutes ago I had the U.S. Senate on my TV. I was watching Senators explain the stimulus compromise.  Majority Leader Reid called Susan Collins of Maine, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut to explain the compromise. It  made me sick. We win the election, and it still comes down to two Republicans, the most conservative Democrat, and a back-stabbing McCain supporter to broker the deal. It’s disgusting. When will this shit ever get better?

I had to turn the TV off and come and turn on Joy Division and write this post.  I don’t do any drugs and I’m not a big drinker, but I needed to be under the influence of something.  The Senate and the TV were sapping my life force and I needed relief.

Have I ever mentioned how off-putting I found much of the Democratic campaign here in Harris County, Texas last year?  I hinted at it in criticisms of David Minceburg’s terrible campaign for County Judge Executive. I’ve let the blog reading public down by not being  more forthcoming.  

Houston and Harris County is a mess of poverty and people wasting their lives because they are poor and have little chance at ever not being poor.  I’m not going to tell you I have the answer to longterm structural poverty. But I do know the answer will not be found in talking about traffic congestion relief and  restoring electricity more quickly after your every-so-often hurricane.

If you live in Houston bad traffic and hurricanes are part of the deal. What did you expect?

The County Democratic Party found it could raise money easily enough when it became apparent to big money donors that at least some Democrats were going to win in November. The task of voter registration was in large degree left to the primary campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It seems clear enough that the coordinated campaign had what it felt it needed and saw little reason to dig deeper. 

They did not need to reach down to potential voters who rarely show up at the polls but who, if they voted, might well vote Democratic. And if you don’t need their votes, you don’t need to address their concerns.

Can you blame Hispanics for not voting in greater numbers in Harris County? I mean you can in the sense of why can’t they get their asses to the polls, and claim the political power that their hard work  and raw numbers around here merit? 

Yet in an another regard, nobody in the Democratic Party was really talking to Hispanics last year. Go find 100 Hispanic people on the street in Houston and Harris County, and ask them what the local Democratic Party has ever done for them. Maybe it has done a little bit for them. Maybe. But I bet those things have never been communicated effectively. You have to care about  people before you’ll effectively communicate with them.

Well…the CD is down to the last song and I should make my post. When I’m drunk I talk a lot and I say nice things that I really do think, but am too reserved to say in normal conversation. When under the influence of Joy Division, I get more angry and say things I should have said before.

February 7, 2009 Posted by | Houston, Martin & Malcolm, Music, Politics | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Obama Harvesting Texas For Volunteers—I’m All For It

The Obama Campaign has held a Camp Obama in Houston to train volunteers for the Obama campaign. Here is the Houston for Obama web page. The Houston Obama people say in the post about Camp Obama that they will hold more such training sessions. 

As Texas is not likely to be a contested state in November, it seems that some number of these volunteers will go to so-called battleground states. 

Some don’t approve. Some say that volunteers are being harvested from Houston and Harris County when we have important work to do to win Harris County back from the Republicans. 

Though I don’t agree, this is a view many might reasonably hold.

Below is a scene from the Tom Cruise version of War of the Worlds. The aliens are harvesting human beings and fertilizing alien crops with human blood. That’s why everything is red in the picture. 

  

However, I see a far more benign picture of Camp Obama. They are not people from a distant world. They share much the same goals as all Democrats in Harris County and Texas. 

The Obama people are bringing new people into the political process and sharing the bounty with the rest of the country. That’s how I see it. These people will remain in Harris County after the election and be a renewable source of political talent that will rise up each campaign season to help the cause. 

The Harris County Democratic Coordinated Campaign is making a strong effort and there is room enough for all.

The goal of electing Barack Obama President is Job One for Democrats in 2008. 

Here is the link for Texans For Obama. Check out the link and see how you can help Barack Obama any place that help is needed.

August 25, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Noriega & More—Texas Political Notes And Thoughts

Some political notes and thoughts from Texas and Harris County—

(Above is the harbor at Palacios in Matagorda County. George Bush won 65% of the nearly 12,500 votes cast in Matagorda in 2004. But I’m certain that four years of calm seaside reflection has given the good folks of Matagorda a new view of things for 2008.) 

Noriega Senate Race

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Rick Noriega of Houston is polled by Rasmussen as running only 4 points behind far-right incumbent John Cornyn. In this polling snapshot, the race is seen as 47% for Mr. Cornyn and 43% for Mr. Noriega.  

Mr. Noriega is a Texas State representative.

I recall early numbers from 2002 that had former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk running ahead of then Texas Attorney General Cornyn. At the time, Mr. Kirk’s favorable name recognition in the Dallas metroplex was a source of his strength.  

Mr. Cornyn won that race 55% -43% in a Republican year. 

This time around, it may be that some Texans are reconsidering allegiance to Republican party ( As well they should.) and that demographic changes in this majority-minority state are finally catching up to the ballot box.

Mr. Noriega’s 51% showing in the Texas Democratic primary was not impressive. Yet, Mr. Noriega will no doubt establish himself among Texas Democrats as November approaches. If the broader climate in Texas is moving towards Democrats, than Mr. Noriega may have a shot.  

Here is Mr. Noriega’s campaign web home.   

Harris County Races

Recent reports on racial disparities in application of the death penalty in Harris County, and reports from Dallas county about long-term inmates being set free after being proved innocent show the importance of a new justice team in Harris County.   

The new Democratic District Attorney in Dallas County has made such a positive difference in that part of Texas.   

Electing C.O. Bradford as District Attorney and Adrian Garcia as County Sheriff would be a good start towards the more fair practice of justice in Harris County.   

The Harris County Democratic coordinated campaign will be led by Bill Kelly.

I’ve seen Democratic coordinated campaigns in other parts of the country that involved walking around money for local pastors and others, and mailings into minority communities featuring white politicians linked up with black politicians.

These mailings were meant to aid white politicians by associating them with black candidates in areas where many black voters live. Yet it never seemed to work the other way of mailings into mostly white areas as a way to boost black candidates.    

One of the many reasons I’m glad to hear about the appointment of Mr. Kelly is that I know it portends real change in Harris County.    

Change for the Harris County Democratic Party as it moves to full inclusion of the voters who are the backbone of its local support, and, after success at the ballot box, changes in public policy such as the immediate need for a better justice system.  

In addition to the $500 breakfast listed on the web page of the Harris County Democratic Party, I look forward to a more broad based campaign kick-off event to generate excitement about the November ticket. 

This post is also at my Houston Chronicle blog where I’m one of eight featured political bloggers.

(The Houston Ship Channel is a big deal in Harris County. Harris County voted 54% -46 % for George Bush in 2004. There were just over 1.05 million votes cast. 2008 may be a more successful year for Harris County Democrats. ) 

   

May 6, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Will Houston’s New Cardinal DiNardo Be A Strong Voice Against The Death Penalty?

Archbishop Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston was promoted to Cardinal today by Pope Benedict XVI.

I hope this means Cardinal DiNardo will increase his local profile on issues of social justice. Most especially, I hope we hear from Cardinal DiNardo about the barbaric application of the death penalty in Harris County and in Texas.

The recent immoral behavior of Judge Sharon Keller of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is just the latest outrage.  So-called Judge Keller would not hear the appeal of a soon-to-be-executed death row inmate because it was delivered at 20 minutes after five o’clock. The inmate was executed that evening.

Harris County is a death penalty capital of the world despite the shoddy work done in our county’s criminal lab. No matter what, we keep sending people to death row.

The late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin  of Chicago was a leader in the fight against the death penalty.

I know I’ll disagree with Cardinal DiNardo on many questions. I also know the Houston/Galveston area is in strong need of a voice for social justice and against the death penalty.  

Here is a link to Amnesty International’s anti-death penalty blog.  

October 18, 2007 Posted by | Galveston, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , | 13 Comments