Laying Down a Netroots Marker in the Texas Senate Race

Digby wrote something yesterday about primaries that I think is a good starting point for this diary:

The truth is that I think primaries are vital and necessary. And I also hate them. It goes against my grain to be trashing someone repeatedly and then have to make nice when they get the nomination, which is how the system works. I accept this, and I honestly can't think of a better way to air out all the differences, but it's temperamentally difficult for me to get down and dirty in races where I actually like the opponents and may have to advocate for them in the end.

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.

Lieutenant Colonel Rick Noriega

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)."

Veteran. Progressive. Proven legislator. Favorite of the Netroots but also the favorite of his colleagues in the Texas Legislature.

Here's what Charles Kuffner, the dean of the Texas netroots has to say about Noriega:

I don't expect to ever have to say "Yeah, but" to a fellow Democrat about Rick Noriega....I think he can be a game-changer, someone who can alter politics in this state in a fundamental way, and in doing so alter Texas' image nationally.

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.

So forgive the Texas bloggers if they're a bit audacious in their plans, it's kind of a Texas tradition to take on  challenges against overwhelming odds and you know what, sometimes we win.

Show the Texas insiders that the Netroots is changing the game. Join the Noriega Express.     

Background info in the extended entry.

Interview with Noriega

Noriega's legislative record

Cornyn's weak poll numbers

Richard Morrison's endorsement

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:

Molly Ivins
Ann Richards
Henry B. Gonzalez
Barbara Jordan
Ralph Yarborough
Sam Rayburn
Jim Hogg
Quanah Parker
Sam Houston
Juan Seguin

Tags: John Cornyn, Mikal Watts, Rick Noriega, TX-Sen (all tags)



Never let it be said

The Texas Netroots isn't willing to be bold.

But, brash as we are, we know that we can't do this alone.

If y'all have a hand to lend to send ol Box Turtle John packing, we'd appreciate it.

by boadicea 2007-07-22 09:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Laying Down a Netroots Marker in the Texas Sen

I am so happy that Noriega's running.  From what I've read the work he did helping Katrina evacuees was incredible, and I love the fact that he was able to have a thoughtful, compassionate stance on immigration while personally guarding the border to fight the drug trade.  My impression is that he's an extremely smart man, one who genuinely believes in helping people, and who isn't afraid to act on that belief.  

by Gauss Bonnet 2007-07-23 01:45AM | 0 recs
The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:

Run against a fatally flawed incumbent.

Despite the loathing for John Cornyn, he's not Conrad Burns or George Allen.

by Unabridged 2007-07-23 04:40AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:

Hi, Unabridged. I don't know if you're from Texas, but I assume not based on your characterization of the box turtle. John Cornyn has consistently demonstrated not only an utter lack of insight into basic principles of liberal democracy, he's also served as an unapologetic yes-man on some of Bush's most outrageous blunders.

This comes as no surprise to Texans who have had to endure Cornyn acting a total jackass for years.

For a few examples, see here.

Seriously, it's long past time for Cornyn to go. And if you think he's not that bad, you haven't been paying attention.

by Seth Oldmixon 2007-07-23 04:49AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:

You misunderstand me.

Conrad Burns and George Allen in your eyes certainly fit the same description as John Cornyn. However, in addition to their records, Conrad Burns was dogged by a federal investigation into his obscene corruption, and as far as George Allen goes, there's a reason why we're still referring to "macaca" moments. Absent Allen's racism and Burn's massive corruption, theyu would still be in the U.S. Senate today.

Cornyn may have an abismal record, but Webb and Tester won because their opponents were fatally flawed. Cornyn is not.

by Unabridged 2007-07-23 05:07AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:
You misunderstand completely.
At the mid point of 2005, George Allen was NOT "fatally flawed" -- in fact he was the gold standard for GOP candidates.
Allen was not only viewed as a lock to win re-election but was seen as a front-runner in the 2008 Presidential primary.
It wasn't until the Webb campaign pressured him into making multiple forced errors -- it was a Webb staffer who provoked and captured the Macaca moment. The Webb team also did an excellent and aggressive job of promoting that video on YouTube and the blogs when the corporate media was slow to cover it.
Cornyn is a weak sister. He's never been tested in a truly competitive campaign. His previous statewide races were second on the bill races in which he sailed in the slipstream of the top of the ballot candidate. In 2002 he had the added bonus of running in a post-9/11 pre-Iraq war atmosphere. I can't describe the paranoia in Texas in 2002.
Now he's already coming out of the gate with poll numbers more than 10 points weaker than either Burns or Allen at this point in the last cycle.
He's found his way onto every list of vulnerable incumbents put together this cycle.
And you're saying "Cornyn can't be beat"
by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 05:18AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:

Where did I ever say "Cornyn can't be beat"? He's certainly vulnerable, and its definately a race of interest. I'm only commenting about the remarks about Webb and Tester.

You don't have to tell me about the Virginia Senate race. I'm a Virginian. I lived through it. You'll notice that throughout 2005 and even 2006, up until August, Allen had a healthy lead in the polls. And while it was a Webb staffer that captured his remarks on video, its quite a stretch to say that Allen made the remark because of any pressure put on him by the Webb campaign.

More than that, however, is the narrative that was already in place about Allen being a racist, and macaca fell into that. At a time when it was in the back of everyone's minds, there was no real proof of it, just some out-of-context tidbits from Allen's past that could be used to paint a picture. Making a public comment like that cemented the image in many people's minds. Thus, Allen was primed for a fall, before he committed his fatal mistake.

The point I'm making here is that Jon Tester and Jim Webb would not be Senators if they did not run against the people that they did. Rick Noriega may be run a "Webb-style" campaign, but that doesn't really mean anything unless Cornyn makes mistakes like George Allen.

by Unabridged 2007-07-23 07:00AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:
Cornyn has NEVER been tested in a tough race. We won't know what kind of mistakes he'll make until he feels the pressure.
I can tell you from personal experience with the man that he's a maga-gaffe or two waiting to happen.
He's deeply linked, in fact a product of, the Karl Rove machine with links to Abramoff. As the corruption of Rove continues to be exposed Cornyn will come under increased scrutiny and pressure.
There is a documentary under production about Abramoff and DeLay coming from the director who made the Enron movie. It will be released in 2008. The things that Abramoff did -- including using Cornyn to get casinos shut down and then turning around and getting himself hired by the tribes he had just victimized -- are amazingly awful and Cornyn enthusiastically aided and abetted at every turn.
Also, Cornyn's antics during the recent immigration bill fight showed another point of vulnerability. Particularly in a majority-minority state. Do you remember Pete Wilson and the death of the California GOP? Cornyn is the perfect guy to reprise that act Texas style.  
But something makes me wonder, what are you trying to accomplish by your defeatism?
by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:

Also, let's be clear that your definition of a "mega-gaffe" will likely differ from the types of mistakes that sunk Burns and Allen.

I don't have an agenda, other than promoting a realistic outlook on the Senate races. There is a diary currently on DKos, and I've seen similar sentiments on display (among other places) here on MyDD that state that as many as 14 GOP Senate seats "will be in play", as opposed to 2-to-none Democratic seats. I'm sorry, but that's not realistic.

Every single candidate that the Netroots fawn over gets the same treatment--they're a Webb/Tester-style candidate, and the incumbent is so gawdawful they can't possibly win. Let alone the top five vulnerable seats, you see that kind of language with Grier/Dole, with Sparks/Sessions, with LaRocco/Craig, with Noreiga/Cornyn, with Begich/Stevens, with Kleeb/Hagel, and so on. But this kind of logic isn't accurate, and it isn't particularly helpful. If given the choice between a rosy-colored glasses scenario and an accurate depiction of reality, the accurate depiction is going to be more useful to winning these races.

Aside from the fact that every GOP incumbent is considered worse than the next (who would've thought that, on a pro-Democrat site!) and therefore every Republican is considered "vulnerable" or at least "ripe for a challenge", people think that just by saying a candidate is in the mold of "Webb/Tester", that they are viable in a red state. That's not true, and it doesn't do the campaign any favors. Look at Virginia. Mark Warner won in 2001 in what was considered an upset (leaving Jim Gilmore's disasterous turn at the helm aside), and Jim Webb in 2006 in what was also considered an upset. Look at the differences in the style of campaign that they ran. Webb won with huge turnout in Northern Virginia, tied with Allen in Richmond and SE VA, and got mopped by Allen in rural Virginia. What put Webb over the edge is voters hesitation with Allen across the entire state due to his horrible candidacy. Warner won by reaching out to the SW part of the state and keeping a hold on other, more reliable Democratic parts. The two campaigns were hardly alike in any way. Which is a better blueprint for victory? In my opinion, its the one that doesn't rely on hoping your opponent makes a huge mistake.

So why aren't being shouting from the rooftops about a Warner-style candidate in Virginia? Because that requires a knowledge of the state and the campaign, and armchair cheerleaders don't have the time for that. If Mark Warner ran for Senate in 2008, rest assured, he wouldn't be a Jim Webb-style candidate. He'd be a Mark Warner-style candidate, and I think every candidate, red-state or not, should be the same way. For starters, there is no crossover comparison between Virginia and, say, Alabama. Why should Ron Sparks rely on an out-of-state playbook to run a campaign in Alabama?

In my opinion, the "Webb/Tester" label is simply bad. Its undeniably overused (how did Democrats possibly get elected to the Senate before Jim Webb and Jon Tester?) and its not terribly accurate or helpful. And it seems strange to me that the two people who (though they were good candidates) won only because of their opponents' mistakes are touted as particularly successful (looking at the razor-thin margin of error, its tough to make an argument otherwise).

Most of all, its just plain lazy. It requires little-to-know knowledge of what Webb and Tester did to win, and more than that, it requires little-to-no knowledge of the candidate assigned that label, and the campaign that they intend to run. The netroots simply stamps a giant "Webb/Tester" label on them, and assumes that they're on their way to running a successful red-state campaign. After all, the Republican elected official they're running against is so gawdawful, they can't possibly win an election. Right?

by Unabridged 2007-07-23 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:
The reason for using the Webb/Tester analogy is because of the relevance in the PRIMARY, not in the general.
It's also handy because those are races that blog readers are familiar with.
Not everyone is as well informed as you, not even on MyDD.
Noriega's shot to win in the general is completely unique to him and to Texas.
It hinges mightily on the Hispanic vote in Texas.
That wasn't a factor in either the Webb or Tester races.
It also hinges on Cornyn's weak poll numbers, which were a pretty big factor in Burns' being vulnerable but less so in Webb.
There is a big difference between pointing out such distinctions in a high-minded academic debate and raining on our parade when we're trying to make the case that Noriega is a candidate worth backing.
The DSCC considers this a race to watch due solely to Corynyn's bad poll numbers.
You have made the case that this is neither Webb nor Tester (although you've missed the point of Markos' comparison which was to their primary races, not to their general election campaigns.) but you have done nothing to show that Cornyn isn't vulnerable.
by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:
Sorry I missed your correction above where you admit that Cornyn is vulnerable and that this is a race of interest.
Now it's your turn to agree that you missed that Markos' comparison was explicit in being about the primary campaign dynamic.
Here are the similarities to Tester/Morrison:
  1. Tester was backed by the grassroots and the netroots.
  2. Morrison was backed by the monied players.
  3. Tester had a better shot in the general but was seen as being a long shot in the primary.
Here's a few similarities with Webb/Miller:
  1. Miller was a lobbyist who had been primarily active as a donor. Money was his sole qualifier for the race. He was not seen as a threat to Allen in the general.
  2. Webb drew early and enthusiastic online/netroots support that made a critical difference in the primary. (this goes for Tester too).
Are these not valid points?
by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:

Maybe because Cornyn is vulnerable, and I've never said or tried to say otherwise.

Its not just Markos who compares candidates to Webb and Tester. Virtually every netroots commenter on a Senate candidate will make the comparison, regardless if there is a primary. Take, for instance, Idaho. There's no chance that Larry LaRocco will face a primary, and he is often referred to as a Jon Tester style candidate. It wouldn't matter if Tester himself moved to Idaho and ran, the GOP is holding that seat.

by Unabridged 2007-07-23 08:55AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:
I don't care about other commenters. I care about Noriega.
What I quoted Markos saying is true and valid. Your quibbles were just that, quibbles and hairsplitting.
I'm not on an academic panel here, I'm campaigning for the guy I support.
by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:

What I'm referring to is not a quote from another commenter. Its your statement that "the lessons of Webb and Tester campaigns haven't applied to Texas politics". My point was simply that the first rule in that lesson is run against an opponent like George Allen or Conrad Burns.

by Unabridged 2007-07-23 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:
That's the wrong lesson!
The lesson of those campaigns is that the netroots can help the best candidate to get the nomination.
Harris Miller would not have beaten George Allen no matter what.
Same for Morrison in Montana.
We've got a trackrecord of netroots candidates winning tough primaries over the establishment candidiate and going on to win in the general or come damn close.
Not just at the senate level either -- Shea Porter and McNerney are also good examples.
by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:

"I can't describe the paranoia in Texas in 2002."

That pretty much sums up the state of Texas in a nutshell.

Unabridged has a point.  I think a bigger point is that Texas isn't Virginia or even Montana.  It's one of the 5-10 most conservative states in the country.    There hasn't been a statewide elected Democrat since Ann Richards gubernatorial victory in 1990.  Is Cornyn vulnerable?  Absolutely.  Could he lose?  Of course.  Is he the heavy favorite?  No question about it.

by Double B 2007-07-23 07:13AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:

No shit Sherlock. This is a long-shot race. Just like all the worthy netroots races have been.
All the political geniuses in Virginia were saying there was no chance of beating Allen in 2005.

Texas is NOT an inherently conservative state. This is a state that repeatedly sent Ralph Yarborough to the Senate during the reactionary 1950s.
It's also a majority-minority state just waiting for the right candidate and campaign to activate the masses of people who have never voted.
And the white folks out in the rural areas are getting fed up with the GOP BS they've been fed for decades. Gov. Perry did terrible last year in the rural areas. Noriega's military experience gives him the credibility to win those voters. They've voted for hispanics before -- Attorney General Dan Morales was a big vote getter in rural west texas in the 1990s.
Nothing is impossible unless we don't try.

by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 07:21AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:

Wow, testy aren't we.

So because Texans in the 50's elected a liberal Senator, it means Texas 50 years later is a liberal state?  Nebraska voted for LBJ in 64, so I guess that's a liberal state too.  Hell, at least they have a Democratic senator.

This is the state that has elected George Bush FOUR times to executive office.  The ONE Democrat in the governor's race last year garnered 30% of the vote.  I don't think Texans like their current Republican politicians, but they seem to like Democrats even less.

by Double B 2007-07-23 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: The first lesson of a Webb/Tester campaign:

You'd be testy too if you had been fighting Karl Rove, Bush and DeLay for the past decade. When we started going after DeLay in 2003 everyone said we were wasting our time. We weren't. We're not wasting our time here either.

That 30% figure from the Governor's race was in a four way race. The winning Republican got less than 40%. The Democrat did the best he could without any funding from the traditional money players in Dem politics who chose to back a former Republican running as an independent. It's that same establishment of geniuses who are backing Mikal Watts this time. Despite his complete lack of elector office or campaign experience.

The voters of this state haven't been given a compelling choice since the days of Ann Richards. In 1998 every candidate on the slate except the guy running for Governor turned Quisling on us and backed Bush. None won.

In 2002, the money players put together an ill-conceived "Dream Team" (which I worked for FYI) that worked as hard as humanly possible to blur distinctions between the parties. And campaigning in the shadow of 9/11 we never had a chance anyway.

In 2005 the money players decided to concede the state-wide elections. Later they admitted that they had missed the boat by not recognizing the opportunities the political climate presented.

If we don't nominate Noriega in 2008 we're letting another cycle go by without presenting the voters of Texas a choice.

Do I sound angry? It's because I am. I'm sick of losing because the leaders of my party declined to even fight.

by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 07:59AM | 0 recs
Not so fast.

If you're looking for analogies for Texas, try Virginia, Colorado, and Arizona.  Oh yeah, and California pre-Pete-Wilson.

Texas has some very rapidly changing demographics.  The state is moving out from under the GOP, and Rove of all people knew it.  He in fact was terrified of it, and terrified that his base would do exactly what it wound up doing to him with immigration.

Virginia was a solidly red state, until suddenly it wasn't.  Demographic changes clicked, and now the WaPo is writing about Virginia as a swing state on the presidential level in 08.

Colorado likewise.  A solid red state, until suddenly it wasn't.  And California was consistently competitive (Govs Nixon, Reagan, Wilson) until suddenly it was deep blue.  

The politics actually lagged the underlying demographic changes in all cases.  No one really expected the changes to come until much later than they actually did.

The final great thing about this is the element of surprise.  Because the reigning party usually underestimates the speed at which the chickens can come home to roost, if you find a candidate who can put together the coalition you've been hoping for quickly, then you can often catch the incumbent completely off guard.

I'm not saying it will happen, but Rick Noriega, on paper, is the kind of candidate who could put together the coalition that will be governing Texas in 12 years, this year.  Disenchantment with an out-of-touch and off-the-wall state GOP is also high.  Noriega is the kind of guy who could surprise the hell out of John Cornyn.  The number one problem with this scenario is that Texas is way way way expensive to advertise in, and that sucks.  The Colorado Dems had some serious money thrown at them when they pulled their upset, the California Dems have always been well-funded, and I don't know much about Virginia.  But the lack of money -- and I don't mean netroots money, I mean serious money -- is a problem for Texas and Noriega.

But that's really the only downer.  This is the right guy, and it's either the right time, or maybe two years early (a midterm election would have been much better for this kind of strategy).  But the Texas guys are not all smokin dope when they talk about this stuff.  There are serious underlying trends involved here.  In that sense, it's not like Idaho or Nebraska or Alabama or the other states you complain about hype. Texas is big, and it may take more than two years.  But Texas is moving.

by texas dem 2007-07-23 01:06PM | 0 recs
And another thing...

Sitting around and waiting for the Republicans to shoot themselves in the foot is a sure fire way to keep Democrats in office. We don't have to wait for a bad Senator to use a racial slur before we can run a solid campaign against him, believe it or not.

by Seth Oldmixon 2007-07-23 05:06AM | 0 recs
A Texas senate seat would be so sweet.

I was very disappointed when Ron Sparks chose not to run.  Once we start muscling the Republicans out of even their home base in the south, Democrats will return to their rightful status as the natural governing party of this country. Rick Noriega is a good start, and hopeful we can find someone to smack down Liddy Dole, Thad Cochran and John Warner will retire, and Saxby  Chambliss and Lindsey Graham will get credible challengers.  As strapped as the NRSC is, with enough credible challengers, we could stretch them beyond the breaking point, just like we did last cycle.

by One Hand Clapping 2007-07-23 04:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Laying Down a Netroots Marker in the Texas Sen

The Texas Senate seat has looked out of reach for so long, it's good to hear things may change.

P.S.: "one critera" should be "one criterion".

by Zeno 2007-07-23 05:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Laying Down a Netroots Marker in the Texas Sen

thanks for the grammar tip!

by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 05:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Laying Down a Netroots Marker in the Texas Sen

Just sent him $20.  Quite a bargain to transform TX politics...

by Ramo 2007-07-23 06:29AM | 0 recs
Question Re Noriega & Bob Perry

I really WANT to support Noriega, but don't know what to make about the purported connection between him (his wife) and Swift Boat financier Bob Perry.  I know Texas politics create some strange alliances, but that the netroots should actively support someone taking a LOT of cash from this guy makes me queazy.  Anyway, hoping someone local can explain this away...

"In comments on the previous post, in which we profiled part of the "Draft Noriega" movement, a reader asked about the connection between Houston Rep. Rick Noriega and notorious Houston Republican financier Bob "Swift Boat" Perry. The short answer: Perry has given Rick Noriega $9,500 since 2000, with $7,000 of that total donated in 2006, according to filings (1, 2, 3, 4 -- all PDFs) with the Texas Ethics Commission.

The Houston Chronicle has also reported that Perry and his family were the biggest contributors to Noriega's wife, Melissa, in her recent successful run for Houston City Council. In all "Perry, his wife, Doylene, their son Jack and his wife, Stefani, gave Noriega $20,000," the paper reported."

by HSTruman 2007-07-23 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Question Re Noriega & Bob Perry

Texas politics can create some interesting contributions.

Some large-scale Texas donors such as Bob Perry, and the Zachary family of H.B. Zachary fame (big toll road affiliation), happen to often give contributions based upon the old "the enemy of my enemy is not-so-much-my-enemy" doctrine.

I can't speak specifically to the Noriega situation (though I suspect something similar is the case), but Perry and other large-scale Texas donors often give to one particular candidate because of a feud (or something similar) with another candidate who happens to oppose the person they end up giving the money to.

This has been a reality of Texas politics for decades, and has resulted in Democrats and Republicans alike getting money from the Perry family and other prominent political donors who we may not care for.

Also, regardless of the donation, a look at Noriega's record in the Legislature would show that Noriega essentially voted against Perry's interests in every possible instance of which I am aware. Perry, of course, is a "home builder," and was the chief proponent of the Texas Residential Construction Commission--a toothless state agency that was part of the 2003 "tort reform" push.

With regard to Noriega voting against Perry's positions, check the record vote to table Amendment 77 to House Bill 1, the General Appropriations Act of the 80th Legislature. Amendment 77 would have gutted the funding from the General Appropriations Act for the Texas Residential Construction Commission in favor of an educational grant program. Republicans and pro-Perry legislators moved to table. The Democrat, anti-Perry position was a "no" vote on the Motion to Table. Noriega voted "no" on the motion to table.  

This is just one example; there are others.

Also, of interest on the donations front, the fact that Noriega received a donation from Bob Perry pales in comparison to the fact that Mikal Watts, who is Noriega's likely Democratic Primary opponent, made major donations to far right-wing Texas GOP officeholders like Attorney General Greg Abbott (who is the most anti-consumer AG in Texas history)($5,000) and Texas Governor Rick Perry ($35,000), as well as Lt. Governor David Dewhurst ($20,000). Dewhurst, it should be noted, tried to ram a Voter ID bill through the Texas Senate earlier this year. Watts' hasn't yet adequately defended himself concerning these donations (which went to officeholders who by no means stand for anything remotely progressive). Noriega, on the other hand, has a stellar legislative record which, as noted above, clearly illustrates the Perry donation doesn't mean much in the scheme of things.

by vpltz 2007-07-23 07:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Question Re Noriega & Bob Perry

I'm not picking sides, that article just raises some red flags for me.  Also, to be fair, my understanding is that however much money Watts gave to republicans, he gave WAAAAYYYY more to Democrats.  In fact, I've read he's the largest Democratic fundraiser in the whole state.  

Ultimately, my initial impression for this race is that both Primary candidates would make good Senators and be relatively friendly to progressive causes, excepting choice for Watts.  I'm just somewhat concerned about the Perry thing if we're annointing Noriega as THE Netroots favorite.  

Has re responded to this criticism himself yet?  I've done a little searching but haven't seen anything.  

by HSTruman 2007-07-23 09:33AM | 0 recs
Likewise, no matter how much Perry

contributed, Rick Noriega voted according to his conscience and constituent interest.

by boadicea 2007-07-23 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Likewise, no matter how much Perry

If that's true - and I have no reason to believe otherwise -- than I agree 100%.

by HSTruman 2007-07-23 01:36PM | 0 recs
Less Texas Hagiography please

I know everyone likes their own state but tone it down a notch.

Go Noriega though.

by MNPundit 2007-07-23 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Less Texas Hagiography please
Go listen to Prince. : )
I was just trying to head off the storm of anti-Texas crap I get everytime I post on this site about a Texas candidate.
by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Less Texas Hagiography please

I loved the Texas list, Nate...except you left out LBJ. Aside from the Vietnam disaster, the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act are something we can thank him for.

by vpltz 2007-07-23 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Less Texas Hagiography please

Thanks Vince, I'm with you on LBJ, but last time I brought him up people came out of the woodwork to hate on him.

by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Less Texas Hagiography please

If folks are hatin' on LBJ then they need to read some of his speeches from the days of the Civil Rights Act and read "Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Laws That Changed America." It is very illuminating and will make them realize that he was the catalyst behind getting civil rights laws passed in the 1960s.

Of course, I'm biased. LBJ is one of my heroes because of what he did for civil rights.

by vpltz 2007-07-23 09:47AM | 0 recs
I liked the Texas love

and I am decidedly a northeasterner.

by John DE 2007-07-23 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: I liked the Texas love

Thanks. In defense of our midwestern friends -- the closer you are to Texas the less tolerance you seem to have for us talking about "Texas our Texas."

by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 09:38AM | 0 recs
Re: I liked the Texas love

90% of my extended family (and I have 17 aunts and uncles) live in Texas. So my Texas hate comes largely from personal experience.

by MNPundit 2007-07-24 11:24PM | 0 recs
Well all I can say is...

All I can say is he's got my damn support.

by Trey Rentz 2007-07-23 07:32AM | 0 recs
Beware of Bob Perry

In the interests of full disclosure, I am a lurker and have never posted on MyDD before.  I also have been friends with Mikal Watts brother Guy since law school and I am a Mikal Watts supporter.

Now that that is out of the way let me say this, I like Rick Noriega.  He has a very compelling life history and in any other year I would have been happy to get behind him from the beginning, but Mikal Watts is a good man and I gladly support him. I have to say that I was was stunned to read on here that Rick and Melissa have received large contributions from Bob Perry.  Just to let some of the people outside of Texas know, Bob Perry is much more than a "swift-boat" supporter or even a Republican supporter.  Bob Perry is the absolute scum of the earth.  He controls the Texas legislature and has gotten all sorts of developer-friendly/consumer-hostile legislation passed in the last 15 years or so. If Rick and Melissa are getting large contributions from Bob Perry you should be very, very concerned about his net-roots qualifications.      

by squid696 2007-07-23 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

When Rick Noriega was the Incident Commander at the George R. Brown Convention Center during Katrina, Rick and Melissa met Perry. Perry leaned down to their young son and said, "your dad is a hero."

Rick has never voted in the Legislature in any way that aligns with Bob Perry's interests. Neither will Melissa.

Who knows why Perry gave them money? The Noriegas did not seek it out. It's hard to believe unless you research it, but Perry funds many Hispanic charitable causes. He gives to Hispanic officeholders.

Significantly, Perry did not give money to Melissa's right wing opponent in her City Council race. That was money that would have certainly helped him get his story out.

by sugar land dem 2007-07-23 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

Thank you! That was very much needed. I pointed out the voting against Perry's interest part in my earlier comment, but I'm glad you brought up the Katrina thing.

I am sure it is possible that Perry, like so many others, looked upon Rick's heroic actions and just wanted to do something nice for him.

by vpltz 2007-07-23 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

I am sorry, but I don't buy the inference that Bob Perry contributed to Rick because he considers him a hero.  Please.  Ask John Kerry how much Bob Perry supports "heroes."  I think a more likely reason is what the Texas Observer article implied, that Bob wants Rick to win the primary and then he will switch his support to Cornyn.  The point that I am trying to make is that if Bob Perry is supporting your candidate over someone else there is  a political reason he is doing so.  I would argue that in this case it is because he fears Mikal Watts more than he does Rick Noriega.

by squid696 2007-07-23 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

Squid noted:

"The point that I am trying to make is that if Bob Perry is supporting your candidate over someone else there is  a political reason he is doing so."

So, by that rationale, then your guy, Mikal Watts, had, clearly, an underlying political reason for giving major contributions to Republicans Rick Perry, Greg Abbott and David Dewhurst?

What was his underlying political reason? That he is sending those three smoke signals to indicate he wants to go to the Senate to maintain an anti-choice, Republican, Liebermanesque voting record in the hopes they won't campaign too hard for Cornyn?

Give me a break.

Mikal Watts helped enable the continuation of corruption and cronyism at the Texas Capitol by helping those three stay in power. What does he expect to get for his money?

by vpltz 2007-07-23 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

Ummm. Perry donated to Rick Noriega while he was in the Legislature, not during this exploratory phase.

So . . . . is Perry prescient and knew Noreiga was going to run for Senate and is picking him off?

I think you are giving Perry too much credit.

by sugar land dem 2007-07-23 08:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

The netroots should be concerned about Rick Noriega's net-roots qualifications because of the Bob Perry donation? That's like the pot calling the kettle black!

The candidate you support gave thousands upon thousands of dollars to Texas Governor Rick Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Attorney General Greg Abbott. Those are Republicans. And, he gave those donations.

The Perry-Dewhurst-Abbott this Terrible Triumvirate has done everything it could to:

*Deprive minorities of voting rights.
*Aid and abet Tom DeLay and his corrupt cronies (Perry gave DeLay allied fat-cat K-Street Lobbyists multi-million dollar contracts).
*Destroy public education in Texas via as many different avenues as possible (vouchers included).
*Keep children off of the CHIPs program.
*Do as little as possible for elderly Texans.

And, lest we forget: this terrible Triumvirate also worked lock-step with Tom DeLay to make the disastrous 2003 mid-decade redistricting possible.

So, tell me: would you rather have someone who took one contribution from someone you don't especially like (and neither do I), or one man who gave money to three of Tom DeLay's corrupt Texas cronies?

by vpltz 2007-07-23 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

I don't know why he contributed to them and, frankly, I am not happy to see it.  If you have a link to this info I would appreciate it.

by squid696 2007-07-23 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

Here is some coverage from the Houston Chronicle on Watts' donations to R's. You can also use Google to find far more information about Watt's largesse to various right-wing Republicans.

And, there is more related to PACs like HillCo:

Watts has increasingly bankrolled selected Republicans both directly and indirectly.

Late in 2004, Watts gave $125,000 to the Good Government Political Action Committee, which in turn contributed $10,000 to David Dewhurst, $25,000 to GOP plaintiff lawyer State Rep. Bryan Hughes, and $50,000 to HillCo PAC, a well connected Austin lobbying firm that has in turn made large donations to Republican statewide officials. Watts has also contributed thousands to Republican Texas Supreme Court Justices Wallace Jefferson and Paul Green.

by vpltz 2007-07-23 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

Like I side before, I don't like this.  However, I did see in the article that you linked to that "Watts has given more than $3.5 million of his own money to Democratic candidates and the Party since 2002. He has been a tireless fundraiser, in addition to the $1.1 million for the DSCC, he has personally raised or spent over $3 million for Democratic candidates since 2002."

by squid696 2007-07-23 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

Sure, the guy has spent some money on Democrats. That's nice. He can have a cookie.

But, that he gave money to three of the most corrupt, co-opted Texas Republicans to ever hold office in the Executive Branch (Rick Perry, David Dewhurst, and Greg Abbott) says more than any amount of money he could give or raise for Democrats.

By giving this money to these individuals, he is essentially saying, "I support your campaign and the job you have done in office."

How can you support anyone who supports Rick Perry, et al? It is supporting a legacy of failure, disenfranchisement, hate, and worse.

by vpltz 2007-07-23 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

Squid noted something else I want to address:

"If Rick and Melissa are getting large contributions from Bob Perry you should be very, very concerned about his net-roots qualifications."

Don't part of a candidate's "netroots" qualifications also have something to do with netroots outreach and support? Well, Watts has done a terrible job (in fact, no job at all) with netroots outreach. He has essentially ignored the netroots. Though he has someone on staff right now (a blogger) who I believe is supposed to be doing something in the way of netroots outreach, their campaign plan from the outset was essentially to ignore the netroots.

Why? Because they don't need $10 and $25 contributions or grassrots when they have hundreds upon hundreds of $2,300 contributions coming in from fellow attorneys to help them buy the nomination and stifle the Progressive voices in Texas.  Who needs to go after or bother with the people who can raise you $2,300 in an hour when you can pick up the phone, call your law partner, and ask him to write you a $2,300 check in two minutes?

by vpltz 2007-07-23 08:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

I'll give them credit for one thing, they're very good at getting obnoxious trolls to plant anti-Noriega slanders in the comment threads of posts. Not talking about present company, just saying.

by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 08:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

Oh yeah. And sockpuppets, straw men, and astroturfers. I've had all at my blog.

by vpltz 2007-07-23 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

don't forget concern trolls and "campaign experts"

by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

If that was directed at me, I am sorry you feel that way.  I readily disclosed that I was a Mikal Watts supporter.  I did not act like a concern troll and try to deceive anyone about where I stood.  The Texas Observer is the most reputable source for political news that we have in Texas.  It was the link to that article that caused me to respond.

by squid696 2007-07-23 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

For better or worse, Mikal is a first-time candidate.  Hopefully, we can get his net-roots outreach up and going.   I would just ask you to recognize that he is a first-time candidate and that he is building his operation from scratch. The idea that Mikal Watts wants to stifle Progressive voices in Texas is ludicrous.  

by squid696 2007-07-23 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry
no one's saying he wants to stifle progressive voices. We're saying he doesn't think he needs our help to win.
We're just going with the guy we think is the better candidate in the general election. Who is also the guy who needs our help to win.
I'll be happy to support Watts against Cornyn, I just think he's far from the best we can do.
by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

But, he is a first-time candidate building a campaign from scratch while sitting upon millions and millions of dollars he poured into the campaign himself.

It's not like it is a grassroots campaign operating out of someone's garage or something.

Surely, some cash to hire a netroots organizer before he actually did would have been a wise investment, no?

by vpltz 2007-07-23 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

Like it or not, there are a ton of people out there that are not blog saavy.  We may spend tons of time reading blogs, I sure do, but a lot more Americans don't.  I am not going to shit on him for not being fluent with the blogosphere.  Yet.  

by squid696 2007-07-23 08:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

I'm not asking you shit on Mikal Watts for not being "blog saavy" or "fluent with the blogsphere."

I am just saying that, as many campaigns across this great country have, perhaps he should have done a little research and checking from "day one" way before he formally announced to see about hiring a netroots coordinator or at least doing something with the Blogsphere. Many campaigns begin their campaign and/or exploration by trying to get support from bloggers or at least attempt to 'meet and greet' bloggers. He has professional campaign staff who have worked other races, so surely someone could have told him that. I have also heard through the grapevine that Watts was told by a number of people in Texas how important and vital the Texas Netroots can be to 'make or break' a campaign, and he seems to have ignored that advice as well.

However, in his defense, I seem to remember he went for at least a couple of months without even returning the call of a Houston Chronicle reporter calling about his exploration (which they documented on their blogs), so perhaps his entire "media strategy" was just ill-thought out.

by vpltz 2007-07-23 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

Has Watts hired anyone to direct his online strategies, squid?

Because so far those strategies don't seem to include getting anything positive out there about their guy Watts and I'm really curious about that.

On the other hand, Noriega seems to have a ton of Texas netroots support with lots of positive information flowing from their blogs.

by sugar land dem 2007-07-23 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry
His people sure are good at getting anti-Noriega stuff out there though.
And note that our criticisms of Watts aren't the kind of thing likely to damage him in a general election, unlike some of the slanders being thrown at Noriega.
by Texas Nate 2007-07-23 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

Watts has hired a director of online strategy. I hesitate to say who that is or what his other affiliations are because I'm not sure that appointment has been made public. I will say, however, that this person is a nice person I've met/known before, though I disagree with them on the Watts v. Noriega issue.

However, the hiring was "too little, too late" in my book for Watts.  He was too late in coming around to the concept that the netroots is important for a primary win in Texas (i.e. Uresti, Radnofsky, et al) and essentially pissed away his opportunity to have built any goodwill with the Texas Netroots.

Watts should have hired a DOOS the day the Noriega stuff showed up on DailyKos back during the session.

by vpltz 2007-07-23 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

I wanted to hear it from squid in case he personally knows the Director of Online Strategy.

Maybe this person has been fired, who knows? My point is that the online strategy seems to be all about going negative and I don't see anything positive about his guy.

I'm curious if squid is employed by Watts.

by sugar land dem 2007-07-23 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

Good points, SLD. I wonder about your last sentence as well.

by vpltz 2007-07-23 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

I don't know.  I sent an e-mail to his brother Guy today to ask him about Mikal's communications people, but I haven't heard back from him.  In spite of what some people seem to think here, I am not involved in the campaign.  I do plan on helping out in the future, though.  

by squid696 2007-07-23 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

So, squid, would you actually say, then, that Mikal Watts is a Progressive Democrat or a Conservative Democrat?

His anti-choice stance sure doesn't sound like that of a Progressive to me.

I may have come off as saying Watts intends to stifle the progressive voice, but I was trying to essentially say that he neither needs nor wants the help of the Progressive movement or the Netroots. He's already shifted himself to the right of the party.

by vpltz 2007-07-23 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

Let me get this straight, no one should be concerened that Rick Noriega is geting thousands of $ from Bob Perry because he is also going to get a bunch of $10 and $25 contributions from the net-roots.  Strong argument you made there boss.

by squid696 2007-07-23 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Beware of Bob Perry

That's not the argument I made.

My thing is this: I'm not worried about the Bob Perry contribution; I'm worried about the fact that someone seeking a U.S. Senate seat as a Democrat has given to the worst Republican governor our state has ever seen and his corrupt cronies.

by vpltz 2007-07-23 06:35PM | 0 recs
I have to go

Sorry, I have to go, but I will return to defend Mikal Watts honor later. :)

by squid696 2007-07-23 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: I have to go

We eagerly await your return. Don't forget to bring your talking points!

by vpltz 2007-07-23 08:38AM | 0 recs
Re: I have to go

Did that make you feel good to say that?  Look, I despise Bob Perry.  In my opinion, there is no other person in Texas that has done as much harm to the people of Texas as Bob Perry.  You can insult me all you want, but that is the way I feel.  Now, can you explain to me why Rick accepted this contribution?  Why couldn't he have just politley declined the contribution?  

by squid696 2007-07-23 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: I have to go

I wasn't trying to be insulting, but you seem to be very well-informed about Mr. Watts, so I was just telling you to bring all your pro-Watts, anti-Noriega ammunition so we could hash it out.

by vpltz 2007-07-23 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: I have to go

You also noted:

"Now, can you explain to me why Rick accepted this contribution?  Why couldn't he have just politley declined the contribution?"

I don't know; I'm not inside Rep. Noriega's mind, so I'm not privy to that information. However, given the stories told above about Rep. Noriega's chance meeting with Bob Perry and Mr. Perry's admiration for Lt. Col. Noriega's heroic military service, perhaps it would have been inappropriate to do so.

After all, Perry does support a lot of Latino officials and charities, and we've seen that he likes to support people who he believes are heroic military servicemen. Perhaps it's one of those things where Perry realized it was a matter of giving to someone who opposed him, but he was so touched by Lt. Col./Rep. Noriega's commitment to those Katrina evacuees that his heart was touched to make that contribution. I'm not in Bob Perry's head, so I don't know the answer to that either. And, to be honest, I don't really care because it pales in comparison to the money Watts gave Rick Perry, Greg Abbott, and David Dewhurst.

So, Squid, I shall pose the same question to you:

Can you explain to me why Mikal Watts gave money to Rick Perry, David Dewhurst, and Greg Abbott, Toby Goodman, Bryan Hughes and a host of other right-wingers?

by vpltz 2007-07-23 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: I have to go

I don't like it, which I have said several times on here.  I don't know what his reasoning were so I am only guessing.  Unfortuantely, with the way Texas judicial system is set up I can understand why a trial attorney would make contributions to Supreme Court justices, even Republican ones.  Similarly, with Rick Perry and the other Republicans, I can only assume it is so that the door doesn't get slammed in his face if he wants to talk to them.  In his defense, even the article that you provided showed that Watts gave much, much, much more money to Democrats.  So I have to ask, who would Rick Noriega not take money from if he will take it from Bob Perry?  Would you object if he took money from Tom Delay if Tom Delay said it was because Rick Noriega is a hero?  

by squid696 2007-07-23 11:28AM | 0 recs
Re: I have to go

I personally don't care if Watts has given $50 million dollars to Democrats; it's the Republicans he gave to which are most troublesome. For someone who had his eye on a U.S. Senate race, they were some very stupid contributions.

The fact that he wasn't supporting Democratic candidates when there were Democratic candidates in the race is highly troublesome, regardless of who else he gave money to. His donations are a tad opportunistic.

And what, pray tell, would Mikal Watts want to talk to Rick Perry about? Getting an appointment for one of his law partners to the bench, perhaps?

The old "doesn't want to get the door slammed in his face" doesn't work when the contributions are that big and the Republicans are that corrupt.

You ask if I'd object if Noriega took money from Tom DeLay. It's a moot point because DeLay would never give to Noriega and Noreiga would damned sure never accept such a donation, period. You are attempting to dilute the issue with absurd hypothetical scenarios.

I ask you this: do you really think it is appropriate for someone who claims to be a Democrat to not even support our candidate for governor (who sure could have used the money) and instead supports someone who has done everything he could possibly do to go against the ideals Democrats stand for -- from environmental policy all the way down to health care. Watts has enabled Rick Perry's terrible public policy. He's, at best, an apologist for a failed administration.  

by vpltz 2007-07-23 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: I have to go

I think it actually IS quite instructive that he gave HUGE amounts of money to Democrats.  Like it or not - and for the record, I don't - there is quite a bit of presure to give folks in power political donations if you're in business or the legal progession.  From my vantage point, the fact that any donations to republicans wer VASTLY counterbalanced by donations to Democrats makes it pretty clear what this guy's affiliations were and are.

And FYI, I say that as someone who prefers Noriega at this point - absent something worse coming out relative to the $ he's gotten from Bob Perry.  Honestly, I wish this diary could focus more on why one of these two candidates -- both of whom I like, actually -- would make a BETTER choice than the other.  Isn't it sort of pointless to keep citing who Watts has given to/who Noriega has taken money from, when the real issue is how EITHER would be a 500% improvement on the current Senator?

by HSTruman 2007-07-23 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: I have to go

Let me add this for what's is worth, this is the only negative thing that I have ever heard about Rick.  I think he will make a great Senate candidate if he gets the nod.  Let me also add if it wasn't clear from before, I am an attorney.  I am not a trial attorney, but I am an attorney.  I know what Mikal Watts has done as an attorney and he has a really astonishing record.  I know the grief that trial attorneys get from all sides and it kind of pisses me off, so if I am a little defensive, I apologize.

by squid696 2007-07-23 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: I have to go

The trial attorney part doesn't bother me. I understand what trial attorneys have done for America and have no qualms there. My concerns are with his record of enabling an administration of Republican corruption and poor public policy.

by vpltz 2007-07-23 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: I went

The diary was O.K. and it got a link from the dKos Front Page!

Great endorsement! but the Comments, oy veh.

Must all the Texas bloggers have the last word no matter what? Nothing can be written that does not demand a rebuttal? No Comment is so inconsequential that it cannot pass without a somewhat aggressive reply? More than half this Comment thread has been he-said-she-said between a lawyer and a gang-up of bloggers. Kinda crowded out other's Comments and Commentators, not to mention crowding out Noriega himself. And actually a boring thread in the end. And very sour toned. Jeez, give it a break. But I betcha just can't. Looking forward to your compulsive reply.

-- Loyal Texan from Seguin

by Woody 2007-07-23 12:44PM | 0 recs

I'd hate ta disappoint ya after we bored ya.

by boadicea 2007-07-23 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Nope.

Confusing me. Boadacea made only two comments up til now, and only one was a reply.

So why are you replying to my Comment? Is vpitz your sockpuppet or what? Well, nevermind, don't answer, let it go. We could fall into the vpitz/squid thing and then I couldn't stand ourselves.

by Woody 2007-07-24 01:30AM | 0 recs

It's been interesting to watch the Judean Peoples' Front clash with the Peoples' Front of Judea.

I wonder if the blogs will get so crowded with campaign staffers this cycle that it won't be worth reading comments any more.  If I read another post that starts along the lines of "I used to support the Judean Peoples' Front until I learned about their position on beet farming, and that's when I heard about the Peoples' Front of Judea's idea that we should all just buy beets and not farm them any more", I don't know what I'll do.

by Flatiron Dante 2007-07-23 11:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Comments
Both vpltz and boadicea are Texas bloggers who have been organizing for Noriega, we've got a top secret google group and everything.
So far none of us are working for the campaign.
by Texas Nate 2007-07-24 07:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Laying Down a Marker

Okay, you convinced me. I'm a sucker for longshot races. I wish I could give more but I did what I could for today.

by WVaBlue 2007-07-23 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Laying Down a Marker


Thank you! This drive is about building support for the best Progressive candidate in the race, and any donation, regardless of the size, will go a long way toward helping with that!

by vpltz 2007-07-23 09:16AM | 0 recs
Senator Box Turtle

Just a reminder, for those of you who may have forgotten one of Cornyn's more choice gaffes.  


"It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right. . . . Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife."

- Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), from the advance copy of a speech advocating a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage delivered to the Heritage Foundation in 2004.

by Seth Oldmixon 2007-07-23 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Laying Down a Netroots Marker in the Texas Sen

Great diary, and congrats on the front page love at DailyKos and MyDD.

This is shaping up to be an exciting race... sounds like we've got another great candidate to get behind

by Max Fletcher 2007-07-23 11:55AM | 0 recs


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