Also Anna, I was talking to a political friend of mine yesterday, who make a very sensible arguement as to why TX-21 could actually get more Democratic because of the redrawing of lines. As you know, Bonilla (in 23, the unconstitutional one) is the darling of Texas republicans because they want him to run for Senate when Kay Bailey Hutchison or John Cornyn leaves or there is an open seat. They won't let him go down, they need him in Congress in the meantime. Since all the rest of the districts are Democratic besides the 21st, he's going to need republicans from somewhere to balance it off.
Go Barbara! She and Chris Bell are both in the Top 5 of Warners Poll and a third Texan John Courage was in the 5th spot this morning before moving back to 6th. So if there are some Texans out there, support John Courage and BAR and Bell in Mapchangers Poll.
He was on this issue back in May when the House was voting on it. The following blogs all covered that fact and included below was his press release. The Austin part of TX-21 is more than average aware of it being the tech center that it is.
LAMAR SMITH VOTES AGAINST NET NEUTRALITY
Vote shows Smith "out of touch"
Austin, TX- May 30, 2006
Lamar Smith showed again recently that he is out of touch with his constituents by voting against a bill that would stop Verizon, AT&T and other broadband providers from operating in a discriminatory manner.
Smith voted against The Internet Freedom and Discrimination Act of 2006, which requires broadband providers to adhere to Network Neutrality rules stipulating that they may not do anything that would impair their customers' access to Web content offered by their competitors in the industry, such as slowing down an individual's Internet access when they are using a competitor, or censorship via blocking access to specific web sites for all users.
John Courage had this to say: "Smith's vote sends a clear message to his constituents that he believes it is acceptable for major providers to monopolize access to the Internet. Smith either does not understand that people's access to the Internet is in danger, or just does not care. His vote against Net Neutrality underscores his disconnect from his constituents who use the Internet everyday."
It was Lamar Smith who voiced the loudest opposition to the bill, saying he would prefer "to leave these decisions to the courts to work out on a case-by-case basis under the antitrust law." The existing bill is far too regulatory and could "put a straightjacket on this important sector of the economy," Smith said.
Under measures supported by those who disagree with Net Neutrality, major providers would be permitted to selectively restrict internet access based on financial agreements. For example, a user could buy a song on iTunes and be faced with excessively long download times if their Internet service provider had reached an agreement with a competing service.
The bill's passage "shows that the politicians are listening to the vast number of citizens who don't want the Internet to become the private domain of the cable and telephone monopolies," a spokesman for the grassroots SavetheInternet.com Coalition said.
The SavetheInternet.com Coalition launched a little over a month ago, the group's spokesman said. Since then, more than 700 groups "spanning the political spectrum" have joined, including MoveOn.org, the Christian Coalition, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Gun Owners of America, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the American Library Association, and Craig Newmark of Craigslist.
No kidding. When John ran 4 years ago (before it was redrawn, yes, this is Texas, we do that mid decade), this district was awful. Back in 2002 it was one of those close to 75-80% Republican seats. Well, in redrawing everything, it lost about 15 counties, all the hardcore Republican ones (my hometown). But I will say that even back then, John didn't do what so many first time Democrats do in Texas and just talk to the base, he went and talked everywhere like at those county fairs.
Now that the district includes half of Austin, the liberal UT campus (yay, the district followed me), and includes some of the few trending Blue "republican" counties in Texas, we can win the seat. We start at a more reasonable 58/42 type of district. And you know what? A special election for a state house seat that is inside John's district was held this spring... supposed to be a 58% Republican district... a Democrat won it with 57%. The ground is changing very quickly with all the growth and the Republicans and Independents here are actually the well educated persudable kind.
I hope y'all will really help John our and honor him with your vote. He's is fighting one hell of a campaign here with an awesome team with people from DFA as well as Paul Hackett's campaign and run by local organizers who know the ground best. If we can put Courage just over the edge into that Top 5, I'm pretty sure he'll be the only candidate in the country to be a DFA All-Star, Progressive Patriot, and MapChanger! The district is within our graps as are some bigger $$ people and this would go a long way to having many great impacts down the road. Plus John is fully committed and supporting all our downballot candidates in the district. (though for disclosure, I'll be working on the Austin coordinated campaign for all the candidates, but John's helping to fund us too and it's a team effort!)