Texas 21

Devoted to discussion about the 21st Congressional District of Texas. Currently occupied by Congressman Lamar Smith (R).

Friday, June 30, 2006

More Momentum for Courage

Tracy Joan has a Q&A up at the DNC blog.

Here's a taste:

What are you hearing from people on the ground?
They are ready for a change. They are tired of the culture of corruption in Washington and the cost of corruption in Congress, the no bid contracts, the tax breaks for companies making huge profits, the earmarks, the lack of meaningful legislation on education, healthcare, the economy, the rising deficit, a war with no end in sight etc. etc. etc. They want a government that works! In a recent poll we conducted only 31% of the voters in my district would vote to reelect Smith if the election were held tomorrow. 69% would vote for a new representative who will serve the public interest, not the private and special interests. I am that representative.

What has the campaign been like so far?

We launched our field program on Memorial Day. We have hundreds of volunteers committed to walking calling and mailing. We are energizing our base and identifying committed Democratic voters and likely ones as well and we are planning on informing independent and disaffected Republican voters (of which there are many, with the numbers growing daily) about what I stand for as a person and what I will do in Congress on their behalf. We also are preparing our media campaign which will kickoff this summer and we will be using all forms of media, mail, newspapers, radio, television and the internet. We have a comprehensive media program going. We are also holding a series of Town Hall style meetings in every county in the district to communicate with voters on a personal basis.
Help send Congress desperately needed Courage.

No Oil Offshore of Cape Cod

Or this bill might not have met with Bacardi Lamar's approval.

The U.S. House voted 232-187 Thursday to permit new oil and natural gas exploration off the nation's coastlines in swaths that have been off-limits since 1981 because of environmental concerns.

The vote, in which 40 Democrats voted with the Republicans, reflected the political pressures of soaring fuel prices and a desire to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil, especially from the volatile Middle East. Supporters argued that expanded offshore drilling would lower natural gas prices, help farmers and manufacturers, bolster national security and bring back jobs.

And he thought a solar powered daisy would make everybody forget that he's been AWOL for years on environmental issues.

To contrast, John Courage is an advocate of renewable energy.

This leadership has paid only token attention to safe and clean renewable alternatives to fossil fuels most probably because of their alignment with the oil and coal industries. The fact is that renewables have been around for well over twenty years and have come of age; they need to be a large part of the twenty-first century mix of energies that keeps our country fueled and helps combat the urgent threat of global warming.

When most people think of renewables they think of solar power. This energy source has great potential, especially for Texas, which could lead the nation in its implementation. At this time solar water heating is the most cost-effective solar technology, but if some of the subsidies for oil and coal were transferred to solar, other solar uses would flourish at reasonable cost. These include solar air-conditioning, now on the market, and solar powered cars, still being developed.

Texas likewise is well positioned to be in a major wind power center for the U.S. In fact, it is predicted that Texas will soon surpass California in megawatts generated by wind. There are now over 1,000 wind generators in west Texas, and more windmills will soon appear near and off the Texas coast.
Think of that. Oil and Gas are not the future of energy. Solar and wind are.

Just another reason we need Courage in Congress.

Donate here today, and your generosity will help John make a strong showing in the critical 2nd Qtr reports.

Great News and End of 2nd Quarter Finance NAG!!!

Update: Glenn Smith's writeup on John is now posted over at Dkos as well.

Things are really heating up for Team Courage. John made it into the next round of the Mapchangers Contest, as did Gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell. We almost had a hat trick, but a last minute surge from those pesky Coloradans and Californians slipped Barbara Radnofsky just under the cutoff point.

Many thanks to all who supported the Texas Ticket in this contest. We're really showing them what Texans are made of-and it's not designer brush wranglers and Delay sockpuppets.

More good news for Team Courage is that the national netroots page now includes JOHN COURAGE!

The combined efforts of a strong candidate, a dedicated campaign team, and fired up texblogistan made this possible. Thank you all, once again.

Now, on to the next challenge.

This is it, people. June 30 is the cutoff for fundraising reports for the last quarter.

If you're supporting any candidates financially, help them make a good showing on this report. As Chris Bowers explains:

These are the final days where fundraising totals matter to the overall narrative. The Q2 fundraising deadline ends at midnight on Friday. ...The next quarter will end on September 30th, and the reports on that quarter won't be out until mid-October. Buy then, all targeting and media attention will already be in place. That makes this the final deadline where totals will signal to the media and to the political establishment that a candidate is for real. To make that national difference, you need to donate now.

Whether you have $5 to send to one candidate or $5000 to divvy out amongst your favorites, please get that money to them by midnight.

It'll make a world of difference right here in Texas.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Yo, Come Help a Warrior Queen in Purple TX-21

Gentle readers and casual passers by, I need your help to turn my purple congressional district a bluer shade of violet. Texans have a champion they don't know about yet. We need to get the word out. John Courage is running to unseat Bacardi Lamar Smith.

I had a busy weekend (though not as busy as John Courage and his hard working staff). If you're close by the district, drop in and see if you can give his volunteer coordinator, Teri a hand.

Join me and get chance to flip the Tx GOP the bird. Come on, you know you want to.

First of all, Saturday in Austin, and Sunday in San Antonio (the two biggest cities in TX21) there were volunteer trainings.

I saw a room full of ordinary Texans with passion to change their congressional district, their state, and from there our nation. Hesitant at first, these folks, whether young, middle-aged, or Greatest Generation found their voices, and found their courage. Now, we're going to go out to our friends and neighbors to tell them they have a choice.

They don't have to settle for bad government that has one hand in their wallet and one eye peeking in their bedrooms.

They can send John Courage to Congress, and lord knows, Congress needs Courage.

Speaking of Courage, have you voted for MapChangers yet? If not, please consider John high on the list. Because his campaign is coordinating with all the downticket races in the district, that $5000 will have maximum impact in a purplish district of Texas.

Saw some of those folks at the Austin Kossacks meet up at Texas Chili Parlor on Sunday, where we talked about YearlyKos, our candidates, and our commitment to not just blog our convictions but act on them. Fine group of people to while away an afternoon with plotting the restoration of democracy. And sooooooo good looking, too.

I don't doubt you'll be hearing more about what they're doing to change Texas.

Then, on to a fundraiser for John Courage. This was the first time I'd actually met the candidate, though I've been on conference calls with him, and exchanged an email or two.

Ladies and gentleman, this candidate is the real deal.

He's a veteran, and a special education teacher who runs into the limitations of our unfunded educational mandates every day of his professional life. He's well-spoken and passionate. A genuine populist who's put himself on the line to stand up for the veterans, families, and future of TX-21.

He's the kind of opponent Lamar Smith dreads.

Polling shows that Lamar is amazingly weak for an 20-year incumbent. Though Lamar probably had an inkling even without the polling.

Back in September, right after Katrina and Rita came to visit, a few constituents politely took him out behind the woodshed during his town hall.

At this point, a man with silver hair stood up. "Representative Smith," he said firmly, "I have been a Republican since the early 1960's." Oh, no, I thought, here it comes - shill time. This guy had to be part of the crowd called in by the Travis County Republican Party this morning to give Smith some cover.

"I pay a lot for taxes," he continued, "and I consider it a social investment. I am outraged! When this catastrophe hit, the president's response was that we should 'give to private charity.' I am outraged that this party can't support our country. We can't deal with our own self-defense. You need to fire Chertoff and these FEMA clowns. What are you doing with our tax dollars?!"

At this point, the audience broke into applause.

That had to leave a mark.

I don't think he's had a town hall back here since, though he did do a nervous impression of an environmental advocate complete with (I kid you not) a solar powered daisy in front of Austin City Hall. He was met by the Courage Truth Squad, and they turned Lamar's event into their story. They have the media coverage to prove it.

These people are fighters. They are champions.

I know how Kossacks love their polling results, so here's a little taste.

Only 31% of those polled would return him to Washington today. We just need to let them know they have a real alternative in John Courage.

Someone at last night's fundraiser asked what the major obstacle was to defeat Lamar Smith. John was forthright.


That's where you come in.

Donate to Team Courage. We're coming up on the quarter's end reporting, so it's important to make as strong a showing as possible. Ironically, funding begets more funding.

Make John Courage a Map Changer.

Help a warrior queen with a worthy champion out. I've been itching to send Bacardi Lamar home to his Cape Cod mansion in retirement ever since the TX GOP Gerrymandering Boondoggle of '03 dragged me out of Lloyd Doggett's district and under the representation of a congresscritter who thinks more of Mickey Mouse than he does of our veterans and their families, or our healthcare crisis, or our college students.

Yep, I said Cape Cod, even if he's got a legal address in Texas. It's like Ricky Santorum with a Texas twang and not quite as shiny hair.

I know many of you blame Texas for the predicament America is in right now. Inasmuch as the rot started here, we have true Yellow Dog Democrats who are working hard to rid ourselves of every bit of it.

Including Lamar Smith.

Please, help us turn TX-21 a bluer shade of violet.

Donate to Team Courage.

Make John Courage a Map Changer.

Come on, Lamar, smile for the birdie.

Friday, June 23, 2006

50 Votes to Change a Map

As reported by a commenter at BOR, John is 50 votes away from the top 5 in Forward Together PAC's Map Changer Contest.

Those 50 votes could bring $5000 into the campaign. Team Courage is working closely with all the downticket candidates as well, which would magnify the benefits of the cash influx.

50 votes.

What if he got 49, and yours was the one that would put him over the top for the Texas Ticket?

You never know which one vote is THE vote.

So go vote.

If you can vote for the Texas Ticket, all 5 of the Texas candidates would appreciate it.

But John's the closest to cracking the top 5 at this point.

He needs your vote.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Map Changing-Round 2- The All Texas Ticket

I'm pleased to announce that John Courage made it into Round 2 of Forward Together PACs Map Changer contest. I'll turn the mike over to Nick Lawrie, from Team Courage for the details:

Dear Team Courage,

Thank you! Because of you, John Courage is now in the secondary phase of the MapChanger race. The top 5 vote-getters in a field of 20 receive $5,000 per campaign, and then compete for the grand prize of a fundraiser with Governor Mark Warner.

While we ask for you to go vote (http://www.forwardtogetherpac.com/mapchangers) for John Courage, there are four other Texan candidates in the race, more from a single state than any other in the competition. By voting “Straight Ticket Texan,” you can help not only bring $5,000 to Team Courage, but you can also send $5,000 to other Texas races, which in turn help candidates on the statewide level due to money being spent locally.

The Straight Ticket Texan lineup:

TX CD 21 – John Courage
TX GOV – Chris Bell
TX SEN – Barbara Ann Radnofsky
TX CD 10 – Ted Ankrum
TX CD 31 – Mary Beth Harrell

Many people have commented on the amount of strong Democratic support in the state of Texas, and it is generally with a vibe of surprise. Now, once again, we have an opportunity to speak loudly and clearly to our nation.

Please join us in voting Straight Ticket Texan, and help us bring $25,000 to Texas.
I did it. There's also an option to publish your ballot with comments in support of your selections.

Go. Vote. Support.

It's fun!

Change the Map in Tx-21

Just a few more hours to make sure John Courage gets into Round 2 of Forward Together PAC's Map Changer's contest.

This just in my email box from John Courage:

Friends and supporters,

This is the final opportunity for you to vote for me on the MapChanger on line Poll. Please vote today and mail your friends to do the same. We have 3 hours and 5 hours for West Coast voters.

You've already helped me become the first Democracy for America Grassroots All-Star and Russ Feingold's first Progressive Patriot. Now, I need your help again.

I would like to ask for your help in making me the first Mark Warner "MapChanger." I know many of you have already voted—if you have already voted, please round up your friends and ask them to vote as well. If you have not voted yet, the deadline is TODAY! You can vote by clicking here: http://www.forwardtogetherpac.com/mapchangers

You've already helped me become the first Democracy for America Grassroots All-Star and Russ Feingold's first Progressive Patriot. Now, I need your help again.

I would like to ask for your help in making me the first Mark Warner "MapChanger." I know many of you have already voted—if you have already voted, please round up your friends and ask them to vote as well. If you have not voted yet, the deadline is TODAY! You can vote by clicking here: http://www.forwardtogetherpac.com/mapchangers

At times like this, Congress needs Courage. Let's make sure it gets some.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

TX-21 Saturday Roundup

In the interest of keeping content coming on this previously neglected little blog I offer these tidbits.

Kuff muses on his Chron blog, Kuff's World about the Texas congressional races this November, and what it would in terms of Bush's cratering approvals to fuel Democratic congressional gains.

On both Burnt Orange Report and Texas Kos there's been some vigorous discussion about scheduling the TDP Convention. We had some success in getting the schedule revised to allow the candidates for statewide offices (other than Chris Bell and Barbara Radnofsky, who were confirmed in prominent time slots) to speak to the convention-and communicated to the candidates who have other things they need to accomplish during the convention. Shocking, I know.

Though it's slightly out of this blog's mission, please allow me to present, in addition to the above, the Texas Democratic Party's nominees for statewide offices:

Lieutenant Governor
Maria Luisa Alvarado

Attorney General
David Van Os

Comptroller of Public Accounts
Fred Head
P.O. Box 312
Athens, TX 75751
(903) 675-5111
(No candidate website)

Agriculture Commissioner
Hank Gilbert

Land Commissioner
VaLinda Hathcox

Railroad Commissioner
Dale Henry
3578 Hwy 183 South
Lampasas, TX 76550
(512) 564-1448
(No candidate website)

Justice, Texas Supreme Court, Pl. 2
William E. "Bill" Moody
285 Puesta Del Sol
El Paso, TX 79912
(915) 546-2101
(No candidate website)

Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
J.R. Molina
1301 North Houston St.
Fort Worth, TX 76106
(817) 624-4700
(No candidate website)

50 State Campaigns in our nation.

254 County Campaigns in our state.

Democrats must fight everywhere. These people, and their families, have answered that call. They have put their lives on hold and their finances on the line to wage an uphill battle for the people of Texas. They deserve the respect and support of the Democratic Party.

Back to TX-21 news, I hope to be on a blogger conference call with Team Courage tomorrow night, so expect a report after that.