Texas Liberal

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Early Voting Ongoing In Harris County And All Of Texas—Who Can A Liberal Or Progressive Support?

Early voting is ongoing in Texas.

The last day of early voting is Friday, November 2.  General Election Day is Tuesday, Novermber 6.

(Above–A ballot box.)

I’m supporting Green nominee Jill Stein for President.

Ms. Stein is the only honest voice in this campaign regarding our rigged economy that benefits the most wealthy to the detriment of everyday working people, climate change, and police state-like attcks on the right to dissent.

If I lived in a contested state I would vote for President Obama because there are substantial differences between the two major party candidates.

An important local race can be found in Houston State House district 134. Centrist Democrat Ann Johnson is running to unseat extreme Tea Party Republican Sarah Davis.

Representative Davis has time and time again voted to gut public edcation in Texas and has been part of Governor Rick Perry’s attacks on womens health in Texas.

Texas political blogger Perry Dorrell has compiled two excellent lists on who a liberal or progressive might consider in Harris County and in Texas for 2012.

Here is Perry’s post for federal and statewide offices.  

Here is Perry’s post for Harris County and state legislative races. 

October 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Who Can A Liberal Support In Harris County & Texas In 2012?—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

Here is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.

(Above–Early voting is ongoing in Texas through November 2. General Election Day is November 6.)

In addition to the fine posts linked to below, I’d like to also please offer the endorsement list for candidates in Houston and Harris County as compiled by my friend and fellow blogger Perry Dorrell at the great Texas political blog Brains & Eggs. 

Here is Perry’s post for federal and statewide offices.  

Here is Perry’s post for Harris County and state legislative races.  

Perry has done a lot of work on these endorsement lists at his blog, and what he has determined merits a look.  They are the best lists I’m aware of who a liberal might consider at the ballot box in Harris County and Texas in 2012.    

As I say every week in this post—Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

We can also seek to impact society by consistently acting in a way that reflects our best values. Or by working on an artistic or creative effort that expands the range of thought and imagination we have in our society.

I run these words each week in this space because there is nothing more important I can say.

The work of freedom and justice is up to each of us.

Here is the round-up—

Off the Kuff has one more poll of Texas to discuss.  

BossKitty at TruthHugger has mixed feelings about the extravaganza of F1 Circuit of the Americas and what it’s doing to the sleepy little community of Elroy and Cedar Creek — which will see little benefit for many years  in The Road to Elroy for F1 Wheeler Dealers. And why do corporations decide what news Americans need to hear and see? Why was such a significant news story first discovered on al-Jazeera: Foreign News and HuffPo Get What American News Media Misses. And after watching the talking heads, gotta share this: Hey ya’ll, we are NOT electing a President.

This week WCNews at Eye on Williamson posted about the “Wal-Mart-ization” of transportation in Texas: Profit, greed and ideology 

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is just disgusted with Greg Abbott and his Republican cronies pandering to the people who want to force their religion on every American.

The passing of Sen. Mario Gallegos will set off a scramble to lay claim as his successor in the Texas Senate, writes PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Neil at Texas Liberal offered up a list of Green Party candidates on the ballot in Texas in 2012. Please consider this list as Texas Democrats offer another lackluster effort in 2012, and as our political system increasingly seems unable to deal with the most important questions of long-term job creation and climate change.

Libby Shaw writes about Rick Perry’s latest mission: promoting Romney in Colorado. That should turn out real well for him. Check out Rick Perry To Go to Colorado to Promote Mitt Romney atTexasKaos.

October 28, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Texas Attorney General Abbott Threatens To Arrest United Nations Election Observers In Texas—I’ll Buy Any U.N. Election Observers In Houston A Glass Of Texas Wine

United Nations observers will be in the United States to monitor our upcoming elections.

( Above–The United Nations General Assembly Hall. After all the ballots are cast in Texas, they will be flown to New York to be counted by the U.N. The election will be official when U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declares the winners. Photo by Patrick Gruban.)

Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says that any such observers in Texas may face arrest.

From The Huffington Post—

“Greg Abbott, the Republican Attorney General of Texas, issued a stern warning this week to members of a United Nations-affiliated delegation expected to be on hand to monitor voting at polling places around the country on Election Day…In a letter to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, a body created by U.N. charter and responsible for helping to ensure the integrity of elections, among other tasks, Abbott warned the diplomatic poll-watchers that their involvement in U.S. elections could have strong legal repercussions…”It may be a criminal offense for OSCE’s representatives to maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place’s entrance,” he writes. “Failure to comply with these requirements could subject the OSCE’s representatives to criminal prosecution for violating state law.” Such a restriction makes election monitoring highly difficult. The OSCE announced earlier this month that it would send 44 observers to polling places around the country on Election Day in order to monitor possible disputes that could arise in the voting process. The move came in response to a petition from liberal-leaning voting rights groups, including the NAACP and ACLU, that suggested the OSCE’s presence could help combat what they fear will be a concerted effort to suppress votes from supporters of President Barack Obama.”

Houston hate-speech Clear Channel radio station KTRH mentioned this topic recently on Facebook.

Here is how some KTRH Facebook followers responded—

“i say shoot anyone seeking to come into this country to try and oversee our elections. And shoot anyone who does not have a state or federal picture ID when they show up to vote”

“What next, they’ll be observing in our bedrooms.”

“We do not need the UN interfereing with Texas.Maybe it is time to succeed.”

“Observing from a far? I could care less! Up in our business? I say welcome to Texas and GET A ROPE…..”

“I run the election process in Galveston County. If one of the UN observers shows up at one of our polling locations they will be asked to leave. If they do not, law enforcement will be called to forcibly remove them. Only election workers, bona fide poll watchers and voters are allowed in at the polling sites!”

Absolutely. Our big state of Texas could at any time be put under United Nations control. I am very glad that Attorney General Abbott will protect us from whatever number of the 44 poll observers who may be sent to Texas.

There have been real efforts at voter suppression in Texas. The so-called Texas Voter ID law was struck down by the courts because it targeted minority voters.

Attorney General Abbott backed the ID law even though it sought to make it more difficult for Texans to vote.

Here is information about helping fight voter intimidation in Houston and Harris County.

Here is a report by Common Cause about efforts to suppress the vote in Texas and in others parts of the nation.

I will take any United Nations elections observers in Houston out for a glass of Texas wine should I encounter them at the polls. I’m certain I will be able to identify them by their blue U.N. helmets, and by the black helicopters they will have parked near the voting locations.

Here is the link to the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association.

Here is the link for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. These are the folks who will be sending the observers.

The OSCE has issued a statement saying Attorney General Abbott’s threats violate international agreements.

From that statement

“Ambassador Janez Lenarčič, the Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), expressed his grave concern today over the threat of criminal prosecution of OSCE/ODIHR election observers. This threat, contained in an open letter from the Attorney General of Texas, is at odds with the established good co-operation between OSCE/ODIHR observers and state authorities across the United States, including in Texas, Lenarčič said, adding that it is also contrary to the country’s obligations as an OSCE participating State. The ODIHR Director shared his concerns in a letter to United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.“The threat of criminal sanctions against OSCE/ODIHR observers is unacceptable,” Lenarčič said. “The United States, like all countries in the OSCE, has an obligation to invite ODIHR observers to observe its elections.”

Damned right. I welcome these observers with open arms. The one-word state motto of Texas is “Friendship.” A threat to arrest people who have every right to be here is not very friendly.

Welcome U.N. Observers! And good luck with your mission of improving the quality of our democracy in Texas. We can use all the help we can get.

October 25, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

It Is Always The Right Time To Take Responsibility For Your Future—Ann Johnson Working Hard For Your Vote

Here’s a picture I took today of Texas House District 134 candidate Ann Johnson.

I told Ms. Johnson I’d hand out leaflets for her on Thursday at the early voting place.

It is always the right time to take responsibility for our future.

In this election, I’ve donated to President Obama and Green nominee Jill Stein, blogged, made my case on Facebook, and attended events for Stein and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.

My mother has donated to Brown and gone door-to-door for Obama in Cincinnati.

The hopeful work of freedom is up to each of us everyday.

Ann Johnson is to my right on many economic issues. But this is a big world and people are going to disagree.

At the bottom line, Ms. Johnson is somebody who shares my view that we each have to work hard, and that we have to put ourselves out there to help make the world a more hopeful place.

Ms. Johnson is a decent and hard-working person who will listen to everybody and make her decisions based on what she thinks is best for 134 and for the people of Texas. Ms. Johnson is very clear that 134 has many Republican voters and that these are folks  she also wants to hear from should she be elected to serve in Austin.

The Houston Chronicle has endorsed Ms. Johnson.

Here is what The Chronicle said about Ms. Johnson–

The tea party turnout of 2010 gave Republican candidate Sarah Davis the narrow victory she needed to win in District 134, a prosperous swing district that covers areas from River Oaks to Meyerland and the Medical Center, as well.

Davis speaks about politics with a fiery passion, but her passion often seems aimed more at Washington than Austin.

She successfully navigated the minefield of wedge-issue votes that defined the previous legislative session – voting no on the sonogram bill, for example. But voters deserve a representative who doesn’t just avoid bad votes, but leads on good ones. We believe Democratic challenger Ann Johnson can be that sort of leader.

Johnson began her career as a prosecutor at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, where she was known for her no-nonsense, hardworking attitude. After leaving the prosecutor’s office, she dedicated herself to the world of juvenile law, where she focused on issues like child exploitation and sex trafficking – two issues that need the attention of the Texas Legislature. (In one notable case, she successfully argued before the Texas Supreme Court that girls too young to consent under the law could not be charged with prostitution.)

Johnson’s focus on juvenile issues doesn’t end at the courtroom. On the campaign trail, she rattles off embarrassing statistics on Texas kids – we’re 43rd in high school graduation rates, 45th in SAT scores, and have the highest percentage of children without health insurance. Texas should not be content with these rankings, and Johnson certainly isn’t, advocating smart educational investments like all-day Pre-K and capping class sizes.

Issues like education and health care aren’t just matters of compassion, they’re necessary to ensure that Texas has the healthy, educated workforce we need to power our economy.

In this race, Ann Johnson is the better bet for Texas’ future.

October 24, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up—The Work Of Freedom Is Up To Each Us

Here is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.

(Above–It was a rough week for Big Tex at the Texas State Fair.)  

Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

We can also seek to impact society by consistently acting in a way that reflects our best values. Or by working on an artistic or creative effort that expands the range of thought and imagination we have in our society.

I run these words each week in this space. This is because there is nothing more important that I can tell you.

The work of freedom and justice is up to each of us.

Here is the round-up—-

Off the Kuff takes a look at how many seats the Democrats are likely to pick up in the Legislature this November.  

BossKitty at TruthHugger sees the meningitis outbreak as another nail in the coffin, driven home by the right-wing corporate oligarchy’s war on regulations and existing laws. Voters who don’t put 2 and 2 together about the consequences of deregulation are allowing manufacturing shortcuts to hurt all of us. Deregulation mantras are bought and paid for by corporate greed: My Profit Is Worth More Than Your Safety. Yes, the government can help people, and until Democrats in Texas remind people of that, they’ll keep losing.

And from WCNews at Eye on Williamson on that topic: Democratic success in Texas is tied to voters seeing government as on their side.

Mitt Romney’s slight increase in polling popularity in the wake of the first debate is most attributable to single women, who apparently allowed his economic appeals to overcome their concerns about that whole War on Women thing. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs thinks that if President Obama doesn’t make his case for a better economy, he’s stupid.  

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wonders why so much of the drill baby drill energy is going out of our ports. Who’s getting that energy?

Libby Shaw at Texas Kaos explains the Romney plan in terms even a child can understand, inStarving Big Bird, Children and the Poor. Check it out.

Neil at Texas Liberal said there was nothing contradictory about believing in personal autonomy and the role played by luck in life at the same time.

October 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

When Is Early Voting In Texas In 2012?—What Are The Requirements To Vote In Texas?

Election Day is approaching here in Texas and across the nation.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.

Early voting in Texas for the 2012 General Election begins on October 22 and ends on November 2.

The Texas Secretary of State says the following about 2012 voting in Texas—

Here is a link to the State of Texas website that discusses voting requirements in Texas.

You can find information here about questions such as what do to if you have moved since you last voted or if you can vote by mail.  Many subjects are addressed at this website.

There has been a lot of talk about new identification requirements for voting in Texas.

Here is what the Secretary of State says about this concern

To cast a ballot in person for the November 6 General Election during Early Voting or on Election Day, voters should present their voter registration card or in lieu of a voter registration card, at least one of the following:

  • A driver’s license or personal identification card issued to you by the Texas Department of Public Safety. You may also bring a similar document issued to you by an agency of another state, even if the license or card has expired;
  • A form of identification that contains your photograph and establishes your identity;
  • A birth certificate or other document confirming birth that is admissible in a court of law and establishes the person’s identity;
  • Your United States citizenship papers;
  • Your United States passport;
  • Official mail addressed to you by a governmental entity; or
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.

Here is the website of the Green Party of Texas.

Here is the website of the Texas Democratic Party.

Beyond voting we should recall that every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

The work of freedom is up to each of us.

October 18, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Green Party Candidates On 2012 Texas Ballot—Give The Green Party A Look

There are a number of Green Party candidates on the Texas ballot in 2012.

Below you see the names of these candidates as listed by the Green Party of Texas.

I’ve said on the blog that I’m voting for Jill Stein for President here in Republican Texas.

I believe that Greens are best on the issues of our economy that is rigged for the benefit of the few, climate change, and in protecting our right to dissent in a time of militarized police and a national security state.

There are real differences between Democrats and Republicans. Many Democratic activists and volunteers are very decent and progressive people.

At the same time I’d say that the Democratic Party in Texas does not have strong prospects for either 2012 or 2014.

I’d also say that a strong voice on the left can move the Democratic Party just as Libertarians have had success in moving the Republican Party.

It is up to each voter to decide for each race if voting for a Green makes sense for whatever reason.

There is certainly nothing to be lost in looking at what Greens are saying and in thinking about everyday issues in new ways.

It is likely that a number of the candidates below have web sites even if not linked to on the list.

Google these folks and see what you find. In my experience some Greens run energetic campaigns while others do not. This is just how it is for major party candidates.

Here is the Green party of Harris County. 

Here is the Green Party of the United States.

Early voting takes place in Texas from October 22 through November 2.  General Election Day is November 6.

Here is the list of Green candidates on the Texas ballot in 2012—

President/Vice President

Jill Stein / Cheri Honkala

State-wide Office

David B. Collins – U.S. Senate sitesiteFacebook

Charles E. Waterbury – Texas Supreme Court – Place 4

Chris Kennedy – Texas Railroad Commission – Place 1

Jim Chisholm – Texas Supreme Court – Position 6

Bexar County

Federal

Antonio Diaz – US House of Representatives, Texas 20th Congressional District

Ed Scharf – US House of Representatives, Texas 23rd Congressional District

Meghan Owen – US House of Representatives, Texas 35th Congressional District

Michael D. Cary – US House of Representatives, Texas 28th Congressional District

Rhett Smith – US House of Representatives, Texas 14th Congressional District

State

Chris Christal – Texas Senate – District 26

Chuck Robinson – Texas House of Representatives – District 123

Gregory L. Fox – Texas House of Representatives – District 120

Herb Gonzales, Jr – Texas House of Representatives – District 124

Irene Meyer Scharf – State Board of Education – District 5

Timothy Giddens – Texas House of Representatives – District 125

Local

Eric M Fahrenthold – County Commissioner – Precinct 3

Joel Benavidez – Justice of the Peace – Precinct 2, Place 1

Paul Pipkin – County Tax Assessor-Collector

Sonia Lucy Benavides – County Commissioner – Precint 1

Dallas County

Federal

Brandon Parmer – U.S. House of Representatives – District 6

State

Angela Sarlay – Texas House of Representatives – District 113

Josh Wendel – Texas Railroad Commission – Place 2

Saul Arechar – Texas House of Representatives – District 105

Denton County

State

Alex Mendoza – Texas House of Representatives – District 65

Harris County

Federal

Don Cook – U.S. House of Representatives – District 22

Lance Findley – U.S. House of Representatives – District 7

Maria Selva – U.S. House of Representatives – District 29

Mark A. Roberts – U.S. House of Representatives – District 2

Vanessa Foster – U.S. House of Representatives – District 9

State

Alfred Molison, Jr. – Texas House of Representatives – District 131

Art Browning – Texas House of Representatives – District 130

David Courtney – Texas Senate District 17

Deb Shafto – Texas House of Representatives – District 147

G C Molison – State Board of Education – District 6

Henry Cooper – Texas House of Representatives – District 148

Local

Carlos Villalobos – Harris County Constable – Precinct 1

Remington Alessi – Harris County Sheriff

Lubbock County

State

Leanne Lamb-Vines – Texas House of Representatives – District 84

Local

W.L. Matheny – County Commissioner – Precinct 1

Randall

Federal

Keith F. Houston – U.S. House of Representatives – District 13

Tarrant

Federal

Ed Lindsay – U.S. House of Representatives – District 33

Webb

Local

Emily Marie Sanchez – Tax Assessor-Collector

Wise

State

Matthew Britt – Texas House of Representatives – District 61

October 17, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 5 Comments

Looking For A New Flight Plan

I’m offering up today on the blog this nice picture you see above of planes on the ground that I took last month at the Schaumburg Regional Airport in suburban Chicago

I’m reaching a point of being tired about blogging about politics.  I have a picture of grounded planes here because I’ve not yet chosen a new flight plan.

I’m not tired of the blog. I’m not tired of communicating with folks. I’m not tired of talking about my values in a public forum.

I am not dispirited by the current Presidential race. While I regret that President Obama did not choose to prepare for the first debate in a way that respected his supporters, I’m relating a feeling I’ve had for many months now. I think the Presidential race as of today is a 50-50 proposition for both major party candidates.

I will admit that I do not see the Democratic Party making major gains in Texas in 2014.

Nor do I see Houston municipal politics as offering much hopeful in the 2013 election cycle. The 2013 elections in Houston will be another low-turnout race with Democratic Mayor Annise Parker running to the right, right-wingers offering up attacks on the Mayor because Mayor Parker is gay, selfish “progressive” interest groups looking out for only themselves, and big money running the process.

Here is the link to the Green Party of the United States. The Greens at least offer some hope that things can be better.

I’ve been working on an art project—for lack of a better term at the moment— and I think there are many ways to communicate with folks and to convey your values and ideas.

We live in a big hopeful connected world. Every person has value. Every place has value. Every moment has value. The everyday work we do merits respect.

These are things I’m going to keep on saying.

I’ve got some more political posts relating to Campaign 2012 to make between now and the election. I’m certain I’ll continue to make overtly political posts when I feel they’ll be helpful.

I have some thinking to do about how to proceed with the blog and how to best move ahead.

Thanks for reading Texas Liberal and please check back with the blog often. There is a lot more to say and to share.

October 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fort Bend Democratic Party Chair Stephen Brown Talks About Protecting The Right To Vote In Texas In 2012

General Election time is approaching across the nation and here in Texas.

Early voting begins in Texas on October 22 and runs through November 2.  Election Day is November 6.

There have been many concerns in the 2012 election season about efforts to suppress the vote and to deny people the right to vote.

In Texas, a discriminatory voter ID law has been struck down by the courts.

In Harris County, living voters are being asked if they are dead and are in some cases having a hard time reestablishing their right to vote.

Here is a press release by Common Cause that deals specifically with voter suppression issues in Texas.  

I asked Steve Brown, who is Chairman of the Fort Bend Democratic Party here in the Houston area, to write about these issues for Texas Liberal.

Above you see a picture of Mr. Brown.

Here is what Mr. Brown had to say—

October 22, 2012 will be my Election Day. It marks the first day of early voting in Texas. This year, I’m not waiting to vote on Tuesday, November 6th – and for good reason.

Since 2009, a Houston-based Tea Party affiliate, “True the Vote,” has led a crusade advocating for laws found to intentionally suppress the votes of minorities and the poor. At their annual 2012 conference, they vowed to recruit over one million poll watchers for Election Day. These self-proclaimed voter fraud vigilantes want to use their poll watchers to intimidate and challenge minority votes at the polls this Fall.

True the Votes’ modus operandi is clear. They are targeting minorities, the poor and students. They want to purge voters, challenge the right of eligible voters to cast their ballots and bully everyone else on Election Day.

In a recent report Bullies at the Ballot Box, Common Cause examines True the Vote and the state laws that are intended to protect voters from unnecessary harassment. They found that True the Vote has built a reputation of hovering over people as they vote and engage in confrontational conversations. In almost every case, they chose polling locations in predominately minority communities. Some voters were overheard leaving the booths in tears saying that they would never vote again. They also found that Texas law could be stronger by placing the burden of proof on the person that’s challenging someone’s right to vote and not the voter.

I’m voting on October 22nd because on Election Day I’ll be watching the bullies, and making sure that they don’t harass any eligible voter.

There’s a practical reason why I’m voting early as well. As a Party Chairman, I know that the more “certain” Democratic voters that I can turnout on the first week of early vote, the easier it is for me to target new and unlikely voters. Democrats have a history of being outvoted during early vote, so we spend all of Election Day trying to catch up. By voting more Democrats early, we can focus our attention on persuading a larger universe of Democrats unlikely to vote that their vote matters. With limited resources, I would much rather spend time persuading those Democrats as opposed to dedicating dollars to target procrastinating Democrats.

Due to redistricting, some Election Day polling places may have moved.  I would hate for someone to go to the wrong location, and risk not being in line by the 7 PM deadline.  Early voting is much more flexible allowing voters to cast their ballots at any location within the county they reside.

This election is too critical to wait until November 6. I don’t want to wait to see what scheme True the Vote is hatching next. I’m pledging to vote on the first day of early vote. Before we go to work, we should vote. Before we take our kids to day care, we should vote. Before running our errands, we should vote.

We should be the first person in line to vote on October 22nd, because some would wish for us not to vote at all. #WeVoteFirst

Steve Brown is the Chairman of the Fort Bend County Democratic Party. Connect with Steve on Facebook at facebook.com/sbrown2 and on Twitter at twitter.com/electstevebrown

October 11, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

13th Annual March To Abolish The Death Penalty In Texas On 11/3 In Austin—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up

Here is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.

Above you see notice of the 13th annual March to Abolish The Death Penalty here in Texas. Here is the website of this march.  This march will be in Austin on November 3rd.

It is not difficult to imagine that innocent people are put to death in Texas or that many of our political leaders in Texas would not care very much if such a thing is happening. Our political leaders in Texas do all sorts of brutal things.

Here is the website of the Texas Moratorium Network that is working to end the death penalty in Texas. Here is the Facebook Page of the Innocence Project of Texas.

The everyday citizens who are working hard against the death penalty remind us that every  Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

I run these words each week in this space. This is because there is nothing more important that I can tell you.

The work of freedom and justice is up to each of us.

Here is the round-up—-

Off the Kuff has a Q&A with Democratic SCOTX candidate Michelle Petty, who is running against one of the Court’s least ethical members.  

BossKitty at TruthHugger wants all Texans to have all the Texas Voting Information they need, so this will stay at the top of the blog’s homepage until November 6. Meanwhile, she is disgusted that our Cowardly Congress Kicks The Can Again, and is overjoyed to see more corporate manipulators exposed, in Do You Hear Me Now?

Three Wise Men forecasts the 2012 presidential and Senate elections.

With Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein scheduled to be in Houston and San Antonio from October 4-7, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs found it necessary to once again slay the persistent urban legend that Ralph Nader was responsible for Al Gore’s defeat in the 2000 election.

We’re facing another legislative session that will be harmful to the majority of Texans unless we act now. That’s why WCNews at Eye on Williamson is pointing this out now: Here we go again.

Over at TexasKaos, Libby Shaw explains why the GOP is obsessed about voter fraud. Hint: the best way to get away with something is to accuse your opponents of it.

Neil as Texas Liberal noted that you have the right to take pictures of bridges and infrastructure and anything in plain view so long as you are not tresspassing. Neil said that business and government are teaming up to deny the basic freedom to observe and make note of the things that are around us in a so-called open society.  

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme observes that Greg Abbott, likely gubernatorial candidate, goes all Christian Taliban by promoting bible verses in school.

October 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Green Presidential Nominee Jill Stein Makes Houston Campaign Stop

I saw Green Presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein speak last night in Houston.

Above you see a picture from that appearance.

Dr. Stein spoke about a hopeful agenda that involved the provision of health care, addressing climate change and protecting civil liberties.

She said that our leaders had “no exit strategies for the crises we face.”

Dr. Stein spoke well and is competent. She is a credible candidate for President of the United States.

Dr. Stein said the Green ticket was on the ballot in 85% of the nation, had qualified for matching funds, and was polling at about 2% in polls that asked about 3rd party candidates.

Here is the website for Dr. Stein if you would like to learn more. 

Dr. Stein will be in San Antonio today –10/6 –and will be back in Houston tomorrow. Here is a link to her Texas schedule. 

Here is the Green Party of Texas. This link has a list of Greens on the ballot in Texas in 2012.

My view is that I’m voting for Dr. Stein in Republican Texas because she is best on our rigged economy, climate change, and issues of civil liberties and protecting the right to dissent.

If I were in a contested state I would vote for Mr. Obama as there are real and important differences between Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney.

The fact that differences do exists between the major party candidates does not mean though that Dr. Stein is wrong when she says that the rich call the shots in America and that it is up to each of us to look for new solutions to change this fact.

A strong Green Party can help push this country in a hopeful direction as it puts pressure on Democrats and as Greens gain support across America.

October 6, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 3 Comments

Deadline To Register To Vote In Texas For 2012 Is October 9

Blogger’s Note—This is a repeat of a post from 2 weeks ago. I’m running it again because if people miss the deadline for voter registration in Texas it will not be due to the fact that I did not tell them. Efforts are being made to restrict  the right of people in Houston and Harris County to vote. Don’t play into the hands of those who would deny folks the most basic right of a vote on Election Day. Be sure to register while you are able and to vote in the upcoming election.)

Election Day is approaching here in Texas and across the nation.

(Above–Give apathy and inaction the boot with your participation in public affairs here in Texas.)

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.

The Texas Secretary of State says the following about 2012 voting in Texas—

“The deadline to register and be eligible to vote in the November 6, 2012 General Election is October 9, 2012. This can be either the postmark date or the date the application is received in the office of the voter registrar. You may, of course, register at any time before that date to ensure that your registration is effective for voting in November. You can obtain a voter registration application from your voter registrar’s office, libraries, most post offices, high schools, or from this office.”

Here is the link to the State of Texas website that discusses voting requirements in Texas.

You can find information here about questions such as what do to if you have moved since you last voted or if you can vote by mail.  Many subjects are addressed at this website.

There has been a lot of talk about new identification requirements for voting in Texas.

Here is what the Secretary of State says about this concern

To cast a ballot in person for the November 6 General Election during Early Voting or on Election Day, voters should present their voter registration card or in lieu of a voter registration card, at least one of the following:

  • A driver’s license or personal identification card issued to you by the Texas Department of Public Safety. You may also bring a similar document issued to you by an agency of another state, even if the license or card has expired;
  • A form of identification that contains your photograph and establishes your identity;
  • A birth certificate or other document confirming birth that is admissible in a court of law and establishes the person’s identity;
  • Your United States citizenship papers;
  • Your United States passport;
  • Official mail addressed to you by a governmental entity; or
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address. Continue reading

October 3, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Green Presidential Nominee Jill Stein To Be In Houston & San Antonio From October 4 Through October 7

(Blogger’s Note–10/2/12—This post has been updated with the latest on Ms. Stein’s schedule.)

Green Presidential nominee Jill Stein will be in Houston and San Antonio from Thursday, October 4 through Sunday, October 7.

(Above–Jill Stein addressing the people. Photo by Paul Stein)

I am voting for Ms. Stein here in Texas. I believe she is the best candidate in 2012 for addressing our rigged economy, climate change and for protecting the right to dissent.

If I were in a contested state I would likely vote for President Obama as there are important and substantial differences between Mr. Obama and Mitt Romney.

Each person must choose their own course. I do know that we do not have to pick from the same options year after year after year.

There is value of hearing what Ms. Stein has to say even if you do not intend to vote Green. A strong voice on the left can only help our nation move ahead in a hopeful way in the fights ahead.

Here is Ms. Stein’s campaign web page.

Here is the website of the Green Party of Texas. 

Here is the website of the Green Party of Harris County, Texas.

Below is the press release from the Harris County Green Party about Jill Stein’s visit. I know that I’ll attend at least one of the events in Houston. I ask that you consider attending one of the appearances and that you please help get the word out about this visit.

Please keep in mind that this schedule is subject to change. There will be further updates at this blog.

September 30, 2012 — Green Party US presidential candidate Jill Stein comes to Houston and San Antonio this week, Thursday, October 4 through Sunday, October 7, as her presidential campaign takes her across the nation.

Stein will be in Houston the day after her participation in Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman’s Live Debate Talkback, running concurrently with the Obama-Romney debate in Denver, CO, on the evening of Wednesday, October 3. Stein and Justice Party presidential candidate Rocky Anderson will respond to questions in real time asked of the Democratic and Republican nominees. In effect this debate “technologically” includes the two candidates who were excluded from participating by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Here is the schedule of Stein’s appearances, speaking engagements, press conferences and media availability. Additional events, substitutions, and revisions to this schedule may be reflected in following press releases.

Thursday Oct. 4, 2012 (Houston)

11:00 am   Arrival, Houston Hobby airport

11:30 am   University of Houston (4800 Calhoun Road, 77004), University Center Satellite food court: meet-and-greet with students, faculty, and staff. Media availability.

1:30 pm    University of Houston: classroom discussions

3:00 pm    On air appearance, KPFT 90.1 FM: The New Capital Show with Leo Gold

7:00 pm    Public speaking engagement: Lone Star College — Kingwood (20000 Kingwood Drive, Kingwood 77339), Student Conference Center. Media availability.

Friday, October 5 (Houston) 
                
9:00 am    “Toxic Tour” (also here), led by Juan Parras of t.e.j.a.s. Media welcome (but no availability to the candidate, as tour time is limited). Departure location and tour stops to be determined.

11:00 am   Tranquility Park (400 Rusk Street), Houston: press conference with Parras and Benjamin Franklin, who was choked, pepper-sprayed, and tasered as part of the confrontation with police officers at the Tar Sands Blockade (a citizen action organized to halt the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, ongoing in Wood County, Texas). Media availability.

1:00 pm    Texas Southern University (3100 Cleburne Street, 77004), classroom discussion (to be confirmed).
     
3:00 pm    On air appearance, KPFT 90.1 FM: Partisan Gridlock with Geoff Berg (to be confirmed). 
     
7:00 pm    Public speaking engagement, Saint Stephens Episcopal Church (1805 West Alabama Street, 77098), Precor Hall. Media availability.

Saturday, October 6 (San Antonio) 

2:00 pm  Public speaking engagement, University of Texas -San Antonio, (specific location TBA), Students United for Socioeconomic Justice. Media availability.

7:00 pm   Fundraising event, Bexar County Green Party (276 Natalen, 78209).

Sunday, October 7 (Houston)

12:00 pm The Last Organic Outpost‘s Emile Street Community Farm (711 N. Emile St., near Gunter St.). Stein will tour the sustainable urban agricultural facility (background here). Limited media availability.

2:00 pm   Fundraising event: home of Lee and Hardy Loe (1844 Kipling, 77098).

9:00 pm   On air appearance, KPFT 90.1 FM:  Self Determination with Obidike Kamau. Stein will be on for the full hour.

Media may contact the Stein campaign at media@JillStein.org to schedule an interview. There may be more additions/subtractions to Stein’s schedule as the campaign stops draw closer.

October 1, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ann Johnson Offers A Voice In Tune With Texas House District 134—Focusing On Public Education And Women’s Health

Above you see Texas State Representative District 134 Democratic nominee Ann Johnson.

Here are the boundaries of District 134. I am a resident of District 134 where I live in the Memorial Park area of Houston.

Ms. Johnson is running to unseat first term incumbent Republican Sarah Davis. Ms. Davis defeated then-incumbent Ellen Cohen in the Tea Party wave of 2010.

I spoke with Ms. Johnson at her campaign headquarters last week. The picture here was taken during that conversation.

While I wish Ms. Johnson were more to the left, she represents a clear improvement over the incumbent.

Beyond being an improvement over the incumbent, Ms. Johnson merits consideration on her own accord.

Here are issues that Ms. Johnson cites as important in this race—

* Sufficient funding for public education.

* Making use of available federal funds–despite resistance from Governor Perry and Sarah Davis–for Medicaid in a way that will help Texans get care and protect jobs at the Medical Center.

* Protecting women’s health in Texas from attacks on cancer screenings and family planning services.

Here is an interview with Ms. Johnson conducted by Texas and Houston political blogger Charles Kuffner.

My friend Perry Dorrell has endorsed Ms. Johnson at his blog Brains & Eggs.

I talked to Ms. Johnson for about 45 minutes and I found her to be smart.

Here is how Ms. Johnson is described on her website

Ann is an attorney who represents children, an adjunct professor of law at South Texas College of Law and a former prosecutor. She took on Texas’ criminal justice system to protect children from exploitation and human trafficking. She fought all the way to the Texas Supreme Court – and won a landmark victory that has become a model for other states.

In private practice, Ann represents child victims of harassment and bullying in schools and is often appointed to represent children, including in two of the newly created alternative courts: the Harris County Mental Health Court and Growing Independence Restoring Lives (GIRLS) Court.

Ann is also a survivor. Ann fought cancer and won – and she’ll stand up to fiscally irresponsible, partisan attacks on health care for women and all Texas families.

In her alliance with Governor Rick Perry’s reckless slashing of public education funds and relentless attacks on women’s health, Sarah Davis has shown herself comfortable with extremist views, and out of touch with the concerns and moderate political leanings of District 134.

I ask my fellow voters in Texas House District 134 to please consider Ms. Johnson in the upcoming election.

September 27, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up—The Work Of Freedom Is Up Top Each Of Us

Here is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.

(Above–Texas.)

Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.

I run these words each week in this space. This is because there is nothing more important that I can tell you.

The work of freedom and justice is up to each of us.

Here is the round-up–

Off the Kuff analyzed the latest poll of Texas and its implications.  

BossKitty at TruthHugger is suspicious about the timing of that horrid film clip using the name of Mohammad as a fuse to global meltdown against all things western. She really wants to know WHO is responsible for Opportunistic Sadism and the US Election. But she would rather complain about why America’s leaders are so slow to address more imminent hazards to America’s children: Half Truths Don’t Protect Our Children From Dirty GOP Toxic Trash.

Paul Sadler, the Democratic candidate for US Senate in Texas, is making the right argument; the question is: will enough voters hear it? WCNews at Eye on Williamson makes it clear: Sadler painting Cruz as an extremist in US Senate race. Continue reading

September 23, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment