Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Austin Area Voting Rights Case Headed To Supreme Court/Idea For Lawsuit Against Democratic Party

A lawsuit that started in the Austin, Texas suburb of Canyon Creek and that will test the limits of the Voting Rights Act is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Please click here to read the Wall Street Journal story on the suit. 

The issue began when a man named Don Zimmerman wanted to move a polling place from one place to another place that he saw as more convenient. Mr. Zimmerman is a lifelong Republican and a fan of libertarian Congressman Ron Paul.  

Moving the polling place required federal approval because Texas is still under the provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Any change in election procedure in a VRA  jurisdiction requires federal approval.

Mr. Zimmerman is suing because he sees this oversight as unfair.

Conservatives in Texas fear losing the state to a coalition of white and minority Democrats. Who knows what they might be up to as Texas (someday soon I’m sure) changes for the better?  

( Below–Former President George W. Bush signing a reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in 2006. Even a bad man can do a good thing.)


You can say that a black man was just elected President of the United States–But most of the places still open to enforcement of the Voting Rights Act did not vote for Mr. Obama. Many whites in these places are still not on board with our future as an open multi-ethnic society. 

These conservatives are my fellow citizens and I would not deny them any rights or legal recourse that we all share. Yet while I do view them as fellow citizens in equal standing with all others, I also see them as people you need to watch like a hawk. 


(Here is good information on the Red-Tailed Hawk such as you see in the picture above.)

Below is a map of places still under the jurisdiction of the Voting Rights Act.  


The Voting Rights Act was signed into law by Lyndon Johnson in 1965. Here is information on the Voting Rights Act.  Here is information on Lyndon Johnson.

Instead of a lawsuit by this Mr. Zimmerman that has the true intent of weakening the ability of our government to protect the rights of all people, I have a suggestion of my own for a lawsuit.

I propose that minority voters, liberals and all Democrats across the nation sue the Democratic Party and any number of elected Democrats for years of acquiescing, and in many cases tacitly encouraging, low minority turnout.

 The suit could charge that in cities and in majority-minority districts across the nation, the Democratic Party and its elected officials have looked the other way at officeholders racking up millions in campaign dollars from interests at odds with the core constituencies of the Democratic party and at odds with the general interests of the people of  the United States.

As these folks take in the money, they are elected year-after-year in barely contested elections while conditions in America’s cities decline.

Could this have ever been the intent or spirit of the Voting Rights Act?

( Republicans living rural areas could come up with a suit of their own along many of the the same lines.)

Mr. Zimmerman and his allies are bad actors. Yet in opposing Mr. Zimmerman’s efforts we should not lose sight of the damage done from our own side of the aisle.

April 2, 2009 Posted by | Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Am Not A Journalist—Nor Am I A Red-Tailed Hawk

An Austin-based blogger who goes by the name Mean Rachel, recently asked if Texas progressive bloggers should have taken a free steak dinner from Texas U.S. Senate candidate John Sharp. (I was not at this dinner.)

(My friend Perry at Brains & Eggs also wrote about this matterAs did the great blogger Jobsanger in Amarillo)

Here are my views on the question—

If a blogger wishes to be seen as a journalist, he or she should not take such a dinner. You should pay your own way. I don’t think the bloggers who took the meal are bought off. But if you see yourself as a journalist, you should adhere to the standards of journalism.

If a blogger does not aim to be viewed as a journalist, then you can take such a dinner.

I am not a journalist. I have an obligation to tell the truth where facts are involved—unless I’m making an effort at satire— and that’s it. Maybe I’m a member of the media by some definition. But I’m an ideologue–more so than a partisan of a party— and I’m not obligated to offer the other side of questions I may address in this blog.

The blog reading public can take or leave my efforts.

If John Sharp were dumb enough to offer me a free dinner, I would take it. If I blogged about it I would mention that he picked up the tab.  I would feel no obligation to say anything nice about him. He’s a politician and he uses people to get what he wants. 

In addition to not being a journalist, I am also not a red-tailed hawk. (photo below.)

The Red-Tailed Hawk is the most common hawk in North America. Here is some good information about this creature. You see in the picture that this bird does not wait for someone to come along and buy it dinner. It catches most of its food by perching from a high point and waiting to swoop down. I get most of my food by perching myself in my car at the drive-up window.

There you have it. I’m neither a journalist or a hawk.

January 18, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Politics, Texas | , , , , , | 5 Comments