Thursday, February 28, 2008

Five days and counting...

...Counting the hours of sleep we've had in the past week. I've had 16 hours of nocturnal rest, which is significantly up from last week's total of 12. I know what you're saying - SLACKER! But come on, I'm in my thirties and although our campaign has the best food around, I'm not exactly the picture of health these days.

I haven't had any exercise other than blockwalking, my social life is practically non-existent (I haven't had a date since last election cycle) and my friends and family think I have abandoned them for Jessica Farrar, Armando Walle and Barack Obama. Oh yes, let's not forget Tanner Garth, whose fan club president (Oh, Belinda!) would be upset if we didn't give her favorite judicial candidate a plug.

Rest assured, dear readers, that your local political operatives do, in fact, love their families, plants, dogs, husbands and other living things in their care. We can't stress enough that this election is important! If Democrats paid as much attention to primary elections as Republicans do, we would be in better positions to prevail in the November general election.

So just give us five more days and we'll wrap this thing up. Si se puede!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Guest Post from Ms (She's the smart one)

Why Hillary Clinton Almost Lost My Vote

(Ed. Note: I know exactly when Senator Clinton lost my vote - 2002, when she voted to authorize force and invade Iraq. For Ms., it was the uninvited visit by Antonio Villaraigosa and Henry Cisneros that spurred a 3 day switch to Obama. She has since re-committed to voting for Hillary Clinton, but only after taking a week to calm down. Here is her inaugural post. The blogospere just got smarter!)

One day last week, all of us Harris County Tejano Democrats gathered for our endorsement meeting, otherwise known as the never ending procession of judicial candidates. The room was packed and stuffy, and there was a cake waiting to be cut and eaten in the back. Needless to say, I was anxious for things to get going. However, my hopes for a fast and painless meeting were dashed when there were whispers that Henry Cisneros was coming in. Let’s just say that my reaction to this was closer to when I was forced to visit the petroleum museum as a child than when I got to hear Ann Richards speak for the first time. (Just to be clear, I still have nightmares about my field trips to the petroleum museum, and I consider Ann Richards one of my personal heroines.)

If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m not a fan of Henry Cisneros, for several reasons, and I didn’t take kindly to having my evening made longer by having to listen to him, yes him, tell me why I should vote for the candidate I was already supporting.

But then it got worse…so much worse.

As he began to speak, Cisneros announced that Antonio Villaraigosa, the “media relations specialist” that currently serves as the mayor of Los Angeles, was on his way in. That’s when I started to really lose it, especially when I realized that Dolores Huerta had walked in with him and was then relegated to the corner while Cisneros and Villaraigosa patted each other on the back and proceeded to take 45 minutes of my life that, as La Sandra would say, I will never get back. Neither of them even bothered to acknowledge Huerta’s presence or let her speak, that is until they were both done with their dog and pony show. I guess each was temporarily blinded by the other’s overwhelming charisma (yes, that’s me gagging) and just forgot to introduce a true living legend that has done more to help Hispanics in this country than either Cisneros or Villaraigosa could ever hope to.

Let me try and explain why I was so offended and insulted that the Clinton campaign sent these two in to try and win my vote (which, again, she already had):

  1. This is the best that we can do? These are the Hispanic public officials that are supposedly going to motivate and influence me to go out and serve the public and also vote for Hillary Clinton? A convicted felon and a mayor that found time in his busy schedule to have an affair with the political reporter that covered his administration? Are you freaking kidding me?
  1. Dolores Huerta was the only one that should have been allowed to speak. This is a woman that has dedicated her life to helping others, to giving a voice to those that don’t have one, to making this country a better and more democratic place, to righting the wrongs that are so pervasive in our society, to working toward social justice. She’s done all of this without any fancy titles, without any self-interest, without the need for constant public adoration or recognition, without the need to dominate anyone or anything, without an oversized ego, and without a campaign account and staff. Yet, somehow, she was the one that was in the corner that ended up speaking for only a couple of minutes once the other two had given me a headache.
  1. Both of these men just assumed I wanted to listen to them speak. Can anyone say sense of entitlement? They assumed they have something to say that is worth listening to, that they have some positive influence over me, and that I have a shred of respect for either one of them. Worst of all, they assumed that they are somehow Hispanics the rest of us look up to. Well, they assumed wrong.
  1. If Cisneros and Villaraigosa had been female public officials with the same histories, would they still be allowed to have political careers and would they be held up as role models for the rest of us? Would they be out stumping for a presidential candidate? I think we all know the answer to those questions.

I know some people say the personal lives of politicians shouldn’t affect their public roles, and I agree. The problem with these two is that they are the ones that allowed their personal lives to adversely affect their roles as public officials. How much time did their “dalliances” take away from their focus on their public duties? How much of the government’s time and money was spent dealing with this negative attention considering that media reps and public information officers cost money? How much time did investigators spend looking into the false statements Cisneros gave them? How much time and energy did Villaraigosa and his administration spend trying to undue the damage of his scandal that could have been dedicated to the real needs of the people of Los Angeles? How much of the headway Hispanics like Dolores Huerta have made did they compromise, considering Hispanics (like all minorities) are held to different standards and face different hurdles than our Anglo counterparts?

My fundamental question, as I feverishly text messaged other people also on the verge of exploding during the meeting, was simply the following: Does Hilary Clinton really think so little of me, my intelligence, and my fellow Hispanics that she sent these two sorry excuses for public servants in to speak to me and to convince me that they know what’s best for all of us? I don’t care if they are Hispanic-they are an embarrassment.

In the rush of the text messages being sent back and forth, I may even have told some Obama supporters that I was moving over to their side. Actually, I did say that...and more. Nonetheless, I will probably still support Clinton because she is my preferred candidate. It was a close call, but if Dolores Huerta is willing to support her, I figure I should take that into consideration before letting Cisneros and Villaraigosa affect my decision. After all, her opinion does mean something to me.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Early voting is big. HUGE.

The Secretary of State details the voter turnout for the top 15 counties through yesterday, Sunday, February 24th.

There are no trends to follow and there is no precedent to refer back to. This election season is breaking all the rules, redefining "conventional wisdom" and forcing the politicos and pundits to git off their bee-hinds and find out what is driving people to the polls so that they can hitch a ride on the March 4th express. 

Already on board is Armando Walle, the Houston Chronicle endorsed candidate who is on his way to defeating incumbent Rep. Kevin Bailey in House District 140. Team Walle has taken nothing for granted and they have worked very hard for this seat. I am very proud of Armando, Debbie, the Walle and Dimas families and of all the young people who took ownership of this campaign to make things better in North Side and Aldine. They are informed, engaged and have definitely shaken things up in the neighborhood. Armando is an excellent candidate who is from the district and has worked in the community for over six years. Armando Walle is exactly the kind of person District 140 needs to turn things around for the people who live there.

Team Walle has run an effective grassroots campaign under the guidance of State Representative Ana E. Hernandez who successfully held District 143 for the Democrats in 2005 by running the same type of operation. Ana is good - damn good - and all of the young people on Armando's campaign are learning what leadership is about through Ana's example.

And while there is much frettin' over the call for change and the "throw the bums out" mentality, that only applies to those who have neglected their districts and who have little to show for their time in office other than some bones thrown to them by the Republican leadership. 

State Representative Jessica Farrar is an example of the type of strong Democratic leadership we will have in the Texas House if we do succeed at the polls in November by throwing out the Republicans (and the sellout D's) and vote for change. 

If there is any time to stand your ground and vote your conscience, it is now. The early voting numbers signal that we are on the cusp of a major realignment in the Texas Legislature. Democrats can regain control of the Texas House and fortify our stand in the Senate. Are you going to be on the winning side of history?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Am I in trouble?

Lots of people have come through Texas in the past few days in pretty foul moods. You know, we're a friendly bunch for the most part here in the Lone Star State. We are very happy to have a part in electing the next President of our country. It's been so much fun! Most of the time.

I have not really enjoyed the frequent speechifying & scoldings we've been getting from the Clinton campaign. They have been absolutely insistent that we fall in line and vote for Clinton in the March 4th Texas Primary. And they mean it, buster!! You Texans BETTER vote for Hillary Clinton, and if you don't and she loses, it's All.Your.Fault.

The other night at Tejanos, I really felt like I did something bad and my punishment was having to sit there and endure the douchebaggery that kept feminist icon Dolores Huerta in the corner while the two most annoying Latinos this campaign cycle showed off.

But even if Antonio Villa wasn't the scumbag that he is and if he and Henry Cisneros had some credibility in promoting a female candidate, I do not appreciate the condescending tone of being told what to do or for whom to vote.

I don't know where you think you are, but this is not South Texas and Latinos here do not partake in the party patron system. Clinton backers can bark at me - all night long, as Lionel Richie says - but if anything, their approach is unnecessarily heavy-handed, forced and uninspired. Not to mention patronizing and insulting, but I'll let Miss tell you more about that later. If Hillary Clinton is the last great hope for Latinos in Texas, then I would already know it and the hard sell would be inappropriate, right?

I think so. The Clintons and their surrogates can scold and even dismiss voters for choosing Barack Obama, but it is clearly not winning them any more votes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Color me unimpressed

Last night at the Harris County Tejano Democrats endorsement meeting, we had some VIP visitors stumping for the campaign of Senator Hillary Clinton. Our meeting was interrupted to welcome Secretary Henry Cisneros, San Antonio City Council Member Mary Alice Cisneros, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!) and one of the true heroes of the American civil rights movement, the incomparable Dolores Huerta.
Secy. Cisneros I'll put up with. CM Cisneros I admire. Dolores Huerta is, in fact, one of my personal heroes who is overlooked in history because she is a woman.

But Villa-Raigosa is a creep. He cheated on his wife in the early 1990's WHILE SHE WAS BEING TREATED FOR CANCER.
Then, one year ago, Corina Raigosa reclaimed her name and again filed for divorce from Mayor Villa because he was cheating on her. Again. This time, it was with the Telemundo reporter assigned to his beat.

So excuse the f*** out of me if I believe that Antonio Villaraigosa has zero credibility in promoting any candidate for elected office.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

David Douchester

Chelsea Clinton kicks ass. I love her. She's smart, attractive and we don't have to worry about Chels getting caught... underdressed, so to speak. We should make pink and purple shows on Nickleodeon about her. So imagine our disgust at the thought of some loser named David Shuster pretty much calling Chelsea a ho'

WTF? Okay... you're only on MSNBC because you're not good enough to be a real reporter on a major network.

The Clinton campaign is pissed & getting the well-deserved chance to stick up for their girl Chelsea by threatening to pull out of some debates they accused Barack Obama of dodging. 

Friday, February 8, 2008

The debate in Houston & Clinton spin

Hillary Clinton is out of money and she needs all the free air time she can get. We would love to have a debate here in Houston. The more people who hear from the Obama campaign, the more it benefits him. So, sure... of course Senator Obama will debate here in Houston. The local Clintonistas are trying to spin this, of course, by saying that Senator Obama is dodging a debate. Let me get this straight. There are a lot of major players in Texas who are already on board for HRC, which is fine. The thing is these are the same people who planned the debate and who are spinning the situation in her favor.

I call BS on this. A debate will only help Obama and we all know it. 

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Obama & Latino voters

I am growing increasingly impatient with some Latinos who seek to divide the Democratic electorate by saying "See? Latinos don't like black candidates," and using that tired, outdated rhetoric as proof that Sen. Barack Obama lacks Latino support. It's just not true.

The immigration wedge issue is a non-starter. Latinos care about the same issues that other Democrats are concerned about - education, the War in Iraq, the economy and health insurance. I am encouraged by the fact that a candidate of color is receiving overwhelming support from people in the Fly-Over states - America's breadbasket and the MidWest.

Some people out there want you to believe that Latinos are soft on Sen. Obama because he's being backed by lawmakers who voted against immigration reform legislation. What a load of crap. Latinos are no different from other American voters who don't know who their own Senators are much less who the first term Senator from freakin' Missouri is.

Latinos supported Senator Hillary Clinton on February 5th because they know who she is - the wife of Beel Cleenton, who Latinos love. Plus, she ate a taco with that womanizing scumbag Antonio Villa at King Taco in East L.A. Doesn't do it for me, but, whatever.

The more people get to know Senator Barack Obama, the more support he gathers. I think it is a great thing that Republicans, moderates and young people are flocking to his candidacy. The March 4th Texas Primary is an excellent opportunity for Senator Obama to bring his message of change, hope and ending the politics of the past to Texas voters. He's got the time, he's got the money and the grassroots organizers on the ground to win over the voters who are tired of the same old people playing the same old Washington games. Yes, this includes Latino voters.

Si se puede!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sunday Football blogging

And here we are, on Super Bowl Sunday, for the last game of the season. I'm going to Gilbert's house to hang out with the tailgaters and talk about our Vegas trip.

I'll be watching the game only for the commercials. I don't predict anything but a New England victory and lots of laughing & carrying on. Fun times! So hurry up, play the game and let's get to the good stuff, shall we?

I'll give my perspective on the commercials and hope there are some political spots in there somewhere. Twenty bucks says that Sen. Clinton runs onstage during Tom Petty's halftime performance of American Girl and stage dives into the the fake crowd that gathers in the middle of the field.

UPDATE: Congrats to the best little brother in the NFL, Giants QB Eli Manning. Excellent job punking Tom Brady, the jerk who left his pregnant girlfriend for a supermodel who hates America.

UPDATE: Here is the only campaign spot that was shown during the Super Bowl.