by Phillip Martin, Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 06:43:42 AM EDT
On Tuesday, I introduced you to Shane Sklar. Among other things, we talked about how his background has given him knowledge on the issues, history with the district, and his experience on the campaign trail. However, in Texas, you don't only need a great candidate -- you need the right climate to win. So let's take a look at the district, who Ron Paul really is, read about his disastrous voting record, and why those all add up to Democratic victory this November.
Get to Know the District: TX-14
When looking at the map of TX-14, there is something incredibly important to remember: TX-14 is 60% different than it was in 2002, and since Paul had a seriously contested race. If you look at the interactive map, you can see how drastically the district (in light blue) has completely changed since 2000, especially the tremendous change since the map was re-drawn for the 2004 election cycle. The new map
, in fact, borders a great deal of Tom Delay's old district, TX-22. DeLay's district and TX-14 share borders in Brazoria, Ft. Bend and Galveston counties. Ed. note: The image is courtesy of our friends over at the Lone Star Project.
Why is that important? Many political experts believe that the constant messaging against DeLay will seep into TX-14, inspiring Democratic and depressing Republican turnout. It makes sense: the district doesn't know Paul, and based on some of the early newspaper coverage, doesn't care much for his out-of-touch, ideological agenda.
Early polling shows that Shane Sklar is posed for an upset
A poll commissioned by the Shane Sklar campaign of likely November voters shows some excellent numbers on the race in TX-14. Among other things, the poll shows that:
- Only 33% of voters want to re-elect Ron Paul, whereas 48% want to elect someone new. 20% were undecided -- and Sklar is going after that 20%. The campaign has identified 60,000 persuadable households, and are preparing a very thorough and focused field and direct mail program for those households. According to the campaign, Shane Sklar can win if these voters change from 55% for Paul to 56% for Sklar.
- Shane Sklar leads Ron Paul 54-30% in an informed Congressional vote. Within that informed vote are 84% of Democrats, 50% of Republicans, and 58% of independents. Ed. note: Don't forget to donate here to Shane Sklar's campaign. When read a brief paragraph of Shane Sklar, voters generally support Sklar at a rate of 64%. TX-14 wants someone new, and Shane Sklar fits the profile perfectly.
- 73% of TX-14 voters are dissatisfied with Congress. Tom Delay, who is in the neighboring district, only had a 64% disapproval rating. In a year that everyone acknowledges is trending Democratic, TX-14 has one of the highest percentages of voter dissatisfaction of any Republican-incumbent district.
Ed. note: for more poll numbers on the race, inclduing a look at Ron Paul's voting record, please look below the fold.
by Phillip Martin, Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 02:02:09 PM EDT
Shane Sklar is running the most important congressional race in Texas.
I'm sure that might be surprising to some of you. I'm sure there are some that feel like I've neglected some of Texas' most well-known candidates, Nick Lampson and Chet Edwards, or that I'm neglecting one of our Netroots favorites, John Courage. The fact is that Nick Lampson has TX-22 locked up, and while Chet Edwards faces a tough protection seat, his is a campaign we can confidentally count on to deliver. I know some of you who don't know who Shane Sklar is, and think I'm nuts. I'm not. I'll say it again:
Shane Sklar is running the most important congressional race in Texas.
by greenerapples, Thu Jul 20, 2006 at 10:08:39 PM EDT
I can't say enough about Ron Paul. He has proven time and again a real patriot. He's the one republican I would not hesitate to vote for President.
"Mr. Speaker, I follow a policy in foreign affairs called non-interventionism. I do not believe we are making the United States more secure when we involve ourselves in conflicts overseas. The Constitution really doesn't authorize us to be the policemen of the world, much less to favor one side over another in foreign conflicts."
I urge you to read more articles by Ron Paul at the site.
by Chris Bowers, Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 08:59:18 AM EDT
Ron Paul is by far the least loyal member of the Republican House Caucus, and he is becoming more so everyday
:He cautioned that instead of acting "under the umbrella of partisan vengeance," Congress should seriously consider impeachment, "for ceaselessly breaking the laws of the land," citing Bush's repeated violations of Constitutional protections, from wiretapping to the treatment of detainees at home (as well as Iraqis abroad).
Now, unlike the fake version you see throughout the right-wing blogosphere, Ron Paul is a real libertarian. He even once received the Libertarian Party's nomination for President (he won 0.47% of the vote in 1988
). Considering Paul's voting record, it strikes me that real libertarians have turned against the conservative agenda quite dramatically. How could they not? Massive government expansion, massive civil liberties infringement, and massive overseas adventurism. Is there anything about the Bush administration and the Republican Congress that appeals to libertarians anymore?
Now, I am not like Kos, and I do not think that libertarians can be made a permanent member of a possible progressive governing coalition. It would be, at best, a marriage of convenience to remove the conservative movement from power. Just look, for example, at the quotes from Ron Paul that follow the above quotes:
He also predicted that the underlying agenda behind the attempts to unify the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a single cooperative unit was becoming clearer each day: "I think the goal is one world government. We have not only the U.N. [but] the WTO, the IMF, the World Bank, then we have all the subsidiaries like NAFTA and hemispheric governments, highways coming in. I just hope and pray that we can wake up enough people."
Yikes! Paranoid much?
Now, returning to different possibilities of where libertarians might fit into a broader political coalition, there might be the possibility for a strangely mixed conservative-progressive realignment on a type of "America First" program (alternative energy to cut dependency on foreign oil (even if that means coal), completely withdraw from Iraq, withdraw or significantly reduce CAFTA and NAFTA, plus harsh immigration legislation). If I were Unity08, or if Unity08 were a serious political program rather than the latest in a series of neo-liberal "third way" politics designed to crush progressives, that is the third-party program I would suggest. It is pretty much what Perot ran on back in 1992, and it is a lot of the same energy Hackett tapped into in OH-02. If it were possible to combine that platform with the personal appeal of Paul Hackett, the money of Perot, and the energy and independence of the netroots, then you might really have something in a third party candidate for 2008. I wouldn't vote for it, but I would expect it to do quite a bit of damage.