Laying Down a Netroots Marker in the Texas Senate Race
by Texas Nate, Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 04:20:14 AM EDT
Digby wrote something yesterday about primaries that I think is a good starting point for this diary:
There's a primary starting in the Texas Senate race. And unlike Digby, Texas Democrats don't have any "temperamental difficulty" in getting down and dirty in a primary. Like all Texans, we like to fight and we're famous for our circular firing squads. But this year there is a primary fight brewing over a matter of principle, a matter of "Crashing the Gates" if you will.
Over the decade I've worked in Texas politics, the insiders have used one criteria -- and one criteria only -- when selecting which candidates to support for state-wide office. Money.
And even though we haven't won a top-of-the-ballot statewide election since 1990, the insiders are trying to make money the sole qualifier for the 2008 Senate nomination.
The lessons of the Jim Webb and Jon Tester campaigns have not yet made an impact in Texas. But they can and with your help we can apply those lessons and win.
There is a clear choice in the Texas Senate primary. State Rep Rick Noriega has the unique mix of qualities and qualifications that can transform the political landscape. Even in Texas.
As Kos said, "Noriega would be the first real people-powered candidate to emerge this cycle setting up a dynamic somewhat similar to what we saw in Montana in 2006 (populist state legislator versus well-liked institutional-backed rich guy with all the "right" connections)."
Here's what Charles Kuffner, the dean of the Texas netroots has to say about Noriega:
I think Rick Noriega is exactly the right candidate to run against John Cornyn. Noriega spent a year in Afghanistan on the front lines of the "war on terror". He's also been deployed to the Texas border to train National Guardsmen on matters of border security. What are the two biggest issues these days? John Cornyn can talk about these things. Rick Noriega has actually been there and done them.
Last week Noriega officially launched his campaign and the Texas netroots launchedan effort to recruit 800 donors to support his campaign. The number 800 was chosen because that's how many big money donors his primary opponent had last quarter.
Now if I were running the show, I would not have begun the campaign asking for money. But like I said, Texas is an expensive state. There are 19 media markets in the huge state. This race is literally the biggest challenge the netroots has ever taken on. We're backing a grassroots candidate against a primary opponent who has already pledged to put $10 million into the race and after we beat him we'll be taking on Karl Rove product John Cornyn deep in the heart of Texas.
Background info in the extended entry.
And for those know-nothing smart-asses who think Texas has produced nothing but Rove, Bush, DeLay and company. Learn a little bit about the great tradition of Texas progressives that Rick Noriega is heir to: