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Franken Beats Coleman—Link To Wellstone Action!

File:Palisade, Shovel Point (cropped).jpg

The Minnesota Supreme Court has confirmed what we already knew—By a 5-0 margin the Minnesota court has decided that Democrat Al Franken beat Republican Norm Coleman in last November’s Minnesota U.S. Senate race.

(Above–A nice Minnesota scene–A rock formation known as Palisade Head overlooking Lake Superior. )

Here is a story about the decision from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Here is Al Franken’s web home.

It is good that Mr. Franken has won back the seat once held by the great liberal Paul Wellstone. 

Senator Wellstone served in the Senate  from 1991 until his death in a plane crash just before the November 2002 election.   

After Senator Wellstone’s death, Wellstone Action! was established to, among other goals, help train a new generation of liberal and progressive activists and campaigners.

Here is the link to Wellstone Action.

I have made three donations to Wellstone Action. I’m overdue to make another contribution. Please review the Wellstone Action! link and see if you feel this group merits your support. 

Here is information on the life of Paul Wellstone.

July 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Would Paul Wellstone Have Cashed In Like Tom Daschle?

Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle has withdrawn as nominee for the post of Secretary of Health & Human Services after it was revealed he did not pay all his taxes.

I hope the car and driver Mr. Daschle was provided with by a wealthy business person, and the taxes he did not pay on that service, were worth the chance to help deliver universal health care to the American people. This tax dodging is now what Mr. Daschle will be known for when his record is scored at the end of the day.

It’s possible Mr. Daschle is telling the truth when he says he simply made a mistake in failing to pay the $128,000.  Mistakes happen. But missing out on taxes for a service of such value that it merits a $128,000 payment to the IRS is not something most Americans can muster much sympathy about.

A man such as Mr. Daschle has the means to hire people to make sure he is paying all he owes. He has the ability and the obligation to make sure he is getting his tax filings correct.    

Mr. Daschle had earned a great deal of money since leaving the Senate advising  health insurers and other private concerns. Senator Daschle has that right. But that does not mean we have to like it or accept it. We surely don’t have to accept it when he does not pay his taxes on his fancy perks.

If the great liberal Paul Wellstone  (above) of Minnesota had lived and had lost his 2002 election to the disgusting Norm Coleman, (Mr. Wellstone was ahead in polls at the time of his death), do you think he would have cashed in? Do you think he would have looked for the big payday as his reward for public service? Senator Wellstone served only the people.

( Here is a link to Wellstone Action.)

I say good riddance to Mr. Daschle. These folks, including President Obama in the case, live in a fantasy land. If Mr. Daschle was indispensable to the cause of health care reform, then it did not have much chance to start with.

The example of the late Senator Wellstone was that serving the public was about more than personal gain. Senator Daschle may be a decent person in some respects, but he is not in touch with life as lived by most Americans or with the ethics in office that President Obama promised in his campaign.

February 4, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, Politics | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Let’s Win It For Paul Wellstone

With the big day almost here, let’s not forget the great liberal Paul Wellstone.

Senator Wellstone of Minnesota died six years ago, but his deeds and ideas live on. I think Senator Wellstone was the one politician I have had true faith in for all the years I have followed politics.

Here is the link to Wellstone Action!

Hopefully, the Republican who took Senator Wellstone’s seat will be defeated tomorrow.

In any case, we can hope that the better days Senator Wellstone worked so hard for are finally here.

November 3, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Texas Liberal Election Predictions

Here are my Texas Liberal election predictions. Please take them to the bank. They are certain to be correct.

President— Senator Obama will win 52.0% of the vote. Senator McCain will win 46.8%. 1.2% will go third party candidates. I don’t know what the final electoral vote count will be, but Mr. Obama will have at least the 270 needed for victory. That’s good enough.

Once in the voting booth, some of our fellow Americans, though not enough to shift the outcome, will have “second thoughts” about Mr. Obama. The motivation will in part be racial, but the larger factor will just be how fully different an Obama Presidency will be from we have known in recent years. Even a bad situation, if familiar, can be comforting. 

The racists have already made up their minds against Mr. Obama. But the good thing is that some racists will vote for Senator Obama and some of these people will see the world in a new way after Mr. Obama is President.

We all have room to grow. 

What will carry the the day for Mr. Obama will be increased turnout of black voters and young people. I don’t feel polls have captured these voters well. There are so many black folks who have just sat elections out over the years.

With the election of Mr. Obama we will be, for the time being at least, emancipated from the post 9/11 era of fear based politics. America’s political majority will be a multi-racial coalition of people who have hope for a decent future. 

That’s the side that I want to be on!

United States Senate—I predict 58 Democrats and 42 Republicans. Then 57 Democrats after Election Day when we do what is right and kick Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic caucus. This would be an overall gain of 7. 

I sure hope that Al Franken beats Norm Coleman in Minnesota. The Idea of Mr. Coleman sitting in Paul Wellstone’s seat just makes me sick.

United States House—I see a Democratic gain of 24 for a 257-178 Democratic Majority.

Here in Houston, Nick Lampson and Michael Skelly will lose their House races. Local Democrats will say how sad that all is, but in fact many Democrats will bid both men a hearty good riddance. Mr. Skelly’s campaign in particular has exceeded what is needed to win a Republican district. Is it really so that liberals are unlikely to be successful business people? As for Mr. Lampson, he got his two extra years in Congress and now he can pay his karmic debt for his terrible 2006 campaign. 

In my other hometown of Cincinnati, my parents will still be afflicted with Mean Jean Schmidt as their Congressperson, However, across town, increased black turnout is going to finally, after all these years, nail Steve Chabot. I don’t feel that my parents should move across town to live in the Democratic district. Maybe they could just drive over there every so often. 

Texas—Democrats will win back the Texas House, but fail to have a working majority because they refuse to move Texas into the 20th-century with a party-based majority system. Freelance House Democrats will hold out on the vote for Speaker to see who offers the best deal. Some will support a Republican for Speaker. The public will lose out and I’ll say I told you so.

Harris County, Texas—Democrats will win all offices but for County Judge Executive. They will win back the judgeships.  

The first thing I’ll be looking for is major reforms of how we conduct the death penalty in Harris County. Hopefully, the new District Attorney will pursue a course far less bloodthirsty and barbaric from what we have seen from the seemingly inhuman men who have been elected to this office in the ten years I’ve lived in Houston.

It will be up to rank-and-file Democrats and all people of Harris County to see that the new Democrats in Harris County office really represent a change. There is more to our county than traffic and hurricanes. There are many people who need help from government.

Urban voters are used by Democrats all the time. The switch to Democrats in Harris County reflects demographic trends, high turnout for Mr. Obama, and campaign money that flowed on in from big donors when it seemed likely Democrats could win the county. It is not some grassroots rebellion.

They’ll use us if we let them. Let us remain vigilant and make life better in our county.   

For those opposed to my views this Election Day, I offer nothing but the back of my hand. For those on my side of the aisle, let’s hope that this time the wheel lands on our number.

November 2, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Cincinnati, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Texas Liberal Super Tuesday Live Blogging–Still Worth Reading Even Though The Day Is Done

Texas Liberal Live Blogging Of Super Tuesday Is Up & Running—(And Now That The Day Is Done, It Is Still Worth Reading!)   

Huckabee Wins W.V.—-6:00 PM 

Mike Huckabee got his Super Tuesday started right by winning the West Virgina Republican convention. He takes all 18 delegates from West Virginia.

What a shock that Republicans have winner take all primaries and conventions!

West Virginia was one the most Democratic states until George W. Bush won it in 2000 and 2004. It seems 71% of West Virginians live in a gun-owning household. I wonder if gun ownership entitles those folks to health insurance? 

John Kennedy’s 1960 primary win in West Virgina over Hubert Humphrey proved a Catholic could win an overwhelmingly Protestant state.    

Obama Takes Georgia—6:00 PM

Barack Obama has been called as the winner of the Georgia Democratic primary.

Georgia is 29% black. This means the Democratic electorate in Georgia has many blacks.

President Bush won Georgia with 58% in 2004. That means Georgia whites vote strongly Republican.

If Mr. Obama is nominated, by how much will Southern black turnout increase? Will Southern whites be open to a black candidate? CNN says Mr. Obama won 40% of the white vote in Georgia. But a Democratic primary is different from a General Election. 

Wrong To Bribe Voters, But Okay To Give Them Alcohol—6:15 PM 

Today I was reading America’s Three Regimes—A New Political History by Morton Keller.  

Here is what this book says about 18th Century Southern elections—

“…there was much treating of voters to drinks on Election Day—“swilling the planters with bumbo”—just as in English towns. But there appears to have been little overt vote buying of the sort common in 18th century English parliamentary elections.”

Seems like progress. I would not refuse a drink at the polls.

McCain Best In Connecticut—7:00 PM

John McCain has won Connecticut.

Mr. McCain had the endorsement of Connecticut Senator Joe Liberman. Mr. Liberman’s endorsement might help Mr. McCain with so-called “Independent” voters in November. It seems less clear this endorsement will help with the more conservative voters Mr. McCain is struggling to win.  

Unlike G.W.H Bush In 1980, Romney & Obama Win Home States—7:17 PM

Mitt Romney has won his home state of Massachusetts and Barack Obama has won his home state of Illinois.

It’s reassuring to win your home state

The first George Bush lost his home state of Texas to Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Texas Republican primary. The margin was 51–47%. 

Hillary Clinton Projected In Oklahoma–Oklahoma 2nd Best State For Socialist Eugene Debs In 1912—7:25 PM

Hillary Clinton is the projected winner in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma is one state Democrats will be avoiding in the general election campaign. President Bush won the Sooner State 60-38 in 2000 and 66-34 in 2004.

Oklahoma voters were not always so misguided. The great Socialist Eugene V. Debs won 16.4% of the Oklahoma vote for President in 1912. Nevada was the best Debs’ state that year. His national total was 6%. 

I have faith in the people of Oklahoma and I know they will wake up someday soon. 

McCain Winner In Tiny Delaware—He Could Be A Threat In Some Northeastern & Middle Atlantic States—7:50 PM

John McCain has won Delaware. This goes with wins already tonight in Connecticut and New Jersey. All three of these Atlantic seaboard states have voted for Democrats for President in recent elections.

If there is any Republican who could make a run at these places next fall it would be Mr. McCain.

Delaware was the only state to vote for the winner in every Presidential election between 1952 and 1996.  In 2000 and 2004 Democrats carried Delaware. 

Italy Moves Towards Elections—Rest Of The World Continues To Exist– 8:15PM

The center left government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi has lost its governing majority and an election seems likely within the next two months. Regretfully, conservative Silvio Berlusconi may return yet again as Prime Minister. Based on the last few Italian elections, it will be close.

No matter how focused we are on ourselves, the rest of the world still exists.   

Obama Is Alabama Winner–2nd Black Man To Win That Primary— 8:35 PM

Between 1932 and 1944, Franklin Roosevelt won at least 81% of the vote in the one-party Solid South state of Alabama.

In 1948, after Harry Truman desegregated the army, Strom Thurmond, running on a States Rights ticket, won 80% of the vote.

Now Barack Obama has won the Alabama Democratic primary. He is in fact the second black man to do so. Jesse Jackson won it in 1988.  

Obama Winner In Kansas—Governor There Possible VP, But She Most Likely Could Not Deliver Her State—9:24PM

Senator Obama has won Kansas. That state’s governor, Kathleen Sebelius, has been out working for Mr. Obama and has been mentioned as a possible running mate. But Kansas is so Republican that I don’t think she deliver Kansas on Election Day.

That would be just as John Edwards did not help in North Carolina in 2004, or Lloyd Bentsen did not help Democrats in Texas in 1988.

With the Electoral College map so tight, a potential running mate needs to be able to put a state in play. Kansas is not such a state for Democrats.

Romney says losing is “fun and exciting.”—9:38PM

Well, he did say “fun and exciting” and he was referencing the campaign—But I am paraphrasing to a degree. Romney said he is going to stay in the race past tonight. 

Governor Romney’s father, former Governor George Romney of Michigan, won exactly 3,830 Republican primary votes when he ran for President in 1968. So there is at least one threshold the son has surpassed.    

Obama First In Minnesota Caucus—I Think Paul Wellstone Would Have Been Pleased—10:09 PM

I can’t know for a fact, but I think the great liberal Paul Wellstone of Minnesota would have taken to the campaign of Senator Obama. Here is the link to Wellstone Action! They do a lot of good work for the liberal and progressive side of the debate. 

McCain Makes Lousy Surrender Comment—10:30 PM

I had the misfortune of watching Senator McCain on CNN today. He was saying that Democrats who favored a times withdrawal from Iraq were advocating “surrender.”

What does “surrender”mean here? Does Senator McCain think that Democrats advocate American troops in Iraq turning over their weapons to the militants and asking for mercy? That’s what surrender is.

Would a real man of honor make such a comment? No Democrat supports any type of surrender.      

Huckabee Somewhere Between George W. Bush and Pat Robertson–11:00 PM

Mike Huckabee has won Georgia, Arkansas, West Virginia and Alabama this evening. He says he is in the race to stay.

Governor Huckabee has the string support of Evangelical Christians. Evangelicals played a large role in the nomination of George W. Bush in 2000. But Bush also had the support of low-tax conservatives and the Republican establishment. Governor Huckabee is no George Bush.

On the other hand, he is more of a candidate than was Pat Robertson in 1988. Mr. Robertson never won a primary and as a “message candidate” won only 9% of primary voters. Running the same year on the other side, Jesse Jackson won 29% of Democratic primary voters. 

So Mr. Huckabee is more than Pat Robertson was in 1988–Though that will not be nearly enough.

McCain in California And Missouri– Can Schwarzenegger Make McCain Viable In California This Fall? 11:36 PM 

All night we’ve been hearing McCain had not made the knock-out punch. Well, it seems to me he at least has everybody else on the ropes pretty good. These two late night wins are most helpful to Mr. McCain.

An even bigger question than who will win the California primary tonight, will be is the more moderate Westerner McCain viable in California in November. You can bet that subject is already on the Republican radar. Just forcing the Democratic nominee to campaign in California this fall will be a Republican victory.

I’m certain McCain supporter Arnold Schwarzenegger is already thinking it out. (While his wife Maria Shriver will no doubt continue her work for Senator Obama.)   

Signing Off With Obama’s Alaska Win—The Race Now Moves On Texas, Ohio & Other Points–12:08 AM

Barack Obama is the winner is Alaska.

  

The race now moves on to Texas, Ohio, and other points.

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

February 6, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Books, Campaign 2008, History, Political History, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

My Night With Al Franken & Chris Bell

 

I attended a fundraiser last week for Al Franken hosted by 2006 Texas gubernatorial nominee Chris Bell. The event was held in Downtown Houston at the Rice Hotel.

Mr. Franken is running for the U.S. Senate in Minnesota for the chance to oppose vulnerable Republican incumbent Norm Coleman. Mr. Franken said he was the likely primary winner and running within five points of Mr. Coleman. 

I learned about the event on Perry Dorrell’s blog. Mr. Dorrell wrote that he is saving his money to elect Rick Noriega to the U.S. Senate from Texas. That’s a good position to take and I’ve donated to Mr. Noriega.

However, it’s also important that Paul Wellstone’s seat be won again by a Democrat.

I think Mr. Franken shares many of what were Mr. Wellstone’s values.

Mr. Wellstone was a true liberal who was neither strident in tone nor remote from average people. I was an original donor to Wellstone Action and I’ve donated at least twice since.

The invitation for the event at the Rice suggested $500 as a minimum contribution. I called the Franken people and said I did not have $500. They were nice.  They had my name at the door when I arrived. I gave them $50.

Mr. Bell said he knew Mr. Franken from appearing on Air America when Mr. Bell was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Houston and pursuing ethics charges against the disgraced Tom DeLay.

Mr. Franken hit all the right notes in his talk at the fundraiser. He discussed public funding for campaigns, universal health care and the War in Iraq.

Mr. Franken also talked about how he had been to Iraq twice on USO tours before Mr. Coleman had visited that nation a first time as Senator.

Mr. Franken said he was going to run a tough campaign against Mr. Coleman. He said he will hit back against negative attacks.  

Mr. Coleman has hired the same smear artists who ran the ads linking, in essence, former Georgia Senator and disabled Vietnam Vet Max Cleland to Osama.

I spoke to Mr. Franken for about two minutes. I asked him if he enjoyed this process of attending fundraisers and campaigning. He said he did enjoy the process and that he liked meeting people.

There you have my Texas Liberal exclusive—Al Franken likes meeting people.      

I’m looking forward to Mr. Franken’s victory just over a year from now.

October 29, 2007 Posted by | Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , | 4 Comments