Category Archives: Elections

Democratic Leaders React to Debate, Patrick

State Senator Sylvia R. Garcia (Houston):  “We have not learned the lessons from the mistakes of Arizona. State government needs to get out of the immigration business. Senator Leticia Van de Putte knows that immigration reform is critical and that it takes more than rhetoric to lead. She knows where we’ve been and she knows where we’re going. She has the strength and foresight to bring Texas into the future.”

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (SA):  “Dan Patrick and the Texas GOP ought to work with and for the Latino community, instead they have been placing targets on their backs. They should know better. Dan Patrick is the embodiment of the anti-Latino, anti-immigrant Republican Party platform. He’s anti-Dream Act, anti-early childhood education, anti-immigration reform, and anti-voting rights. Dan Patrick is reason why Republican Latino outreach is a joke.

I know where my community stands, I know who they stand with: it’s with Leticia Van de Putte.”

State Rep. Mary Gonzalez (El Paso):  “Tonight, the people of El Paso experienced the real Dan Patrick. One who refers to our border regions as war zones and who does not recognize the rich culture between the United States and Mexico. We need leaders who understand how important family values and unity are to the Latino community. We need a strong female leader, and that leader is Leticia Van de Putte.”

State Rep. Armando Martinez (RGV):  “We need a Lt. Governor who fights for all Texans, not one who insults our region to score political points. Politicians like Dan Patrick continue to exploit border communities for political gain. His divisive language – the fact that he compares my home region as a war zone being invaded – shows just how out-of-touch he is with our community. This is why we need leaders like Leticia Van de Putte. Leaders who will fight for the future of our children no matter what background they come from.”

State Rep. Celia Israel (Austin): “Families in Central Texas and the Latino community understand education is the key to a better future.  I received that message loud and clear in my recent election as I talked directly to voters.  It seems Dan Patrick has yet to understand what voters are most concerned with.  Dan Patrick and his allies can’t have it both ways. He can’t try to court us while attempting to lessen educational opportunities for our kids.. His harsh rhetoric will not be forgotten by the voters this November when we elect Leticia Van de Putte as our next Lt. Governor.”

Leticia Van de Putte Campaign Statement:  “Tonight Dan Patrick repeatedly spoke of his vision of Texas in which there is only “one seat left” and of a Texas that no longer has a can-do spirit. Our state deserves a leader who will learn from the mistakes of Pete Wilson and Jan Brewer and fight for more seats and more opportunity for every hardworking Texan. That leader is Senator Leticia Van de Putte. That is why Republicans and business leaders across Texas are standing with Senator Van de Putte.”

Gilberto Hinojosa, Texas Democratic Party Chairman:  “Mayor Castro did an excellent job tonight, valiantly representing our democratic values.  Dan Patrick showed us once again that Republicans do not represent mainstream Texans. Patrick does not understand that border communities in Texas are an important piece of the vibrant Texas economy. Texas needs a leader who understands business and what makes our state so exceptional, someone who understands the international relationships and rich, uniquely Texan culture pivotal to a prosperous future. Texas needs Sen. Leticia Van de Putte.”

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Recap: Pre-K, Anchor Babies, and Polls

wendyletiselfTuesday was a significant day for Democrats. First, State Senator Wendy Davis continued her onslaught against Greg Abbott’s plan to test toddlers. Abbott’s mouthpiece then complained that Davis wants to invest more in education, while defending Abbot’s plan which provides pre-K to a few chosen kids, and not all Texas kids.

Of course, there’s that matter of Greg Abbott being consulted on education matters by a white nationalist. Why Abbott hasn’t distanced himself from Charles Murray says a lot more about him than his pre-k plan.

Tuesday evening provided the opportunity to call-out candidate for Lt. Governor, Dan Patrick, who basically stated that he wants “anchor babies” to be born here, but not be citizens. And he stated this in the context of abortion, as if the mother who is crossing the border is even thinking of birthing and health care options that Patrick wouldn’t want available to her in the first place. And Patrick certainly doesn’t want to educate them or provide them with access to a college education because he’s saving the “last seat” for whomever he chooses, apparently.

At least that’s what I got out of it.

Mayor Julian Castro did more than just hold his own, defending the Texas DREAM Act (in-state tuition rates for undocumented students brought here as children and graduated from Texas schools). From the right-wing commentary on Twitter that I could stomach, it seems their main whine was that Castro came across as arrogant, so, it seems they would prefer a Mexican American kid who comes hat-in-hand to ask permission to speak? At least that’s how those comments came across.

The outcomes, ultimately, were a debate that has been avoided in Washington DC, where it should be occurring; some face-time for an up and coming Democrat; a free 1-hour ad for Dan Patrick that mostly confused his supporters (he was against anchor babies before he was for them); and an opposition video chock full of statements like, “I’m not tough” and Patrick’s favorite descriptor, “anchor babies,” for Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor, Leticia Van de Putte. (Texpate has more.)

So, while the Democratic base got some continued energy from the webcast, it did also get dealt some reality with the latest Public Policy Polling results. Davis and Van de Putte and the Democrats have a lot of work to do statewide, but they knew that already. This past weekend, the Davis campaign hit over 55,000 doors statewide and continues a multi-faceted calling campaign to prospective voters. The campaigns a quite active at different fronts, and that’s a good thing. The uphill battle is not necessarily that Republicans outnumber Democrats, it’s that people don’t vote because they’ve become indifferent. And these prospective voters will not appear on a polling call list either. No doubt an uptick in energy is needed to excite voters, and that is achieved with a message that matches up to the voters that Democrats need showing up in November. I see it coming together.

 

 

 

 

 

Victory of Sorts on MAS

My initial reaction.

My initial reaction.

Well, the tweets and the chisme will tell you that the State Board of Education voted to add courses in Mexican American and other U.S. ethnic group studies by a score of 11 to 3. Sounds pretty huge, right?

I started watching the debate this afternoon and found out there had been a change to the proposal and much was being said about that dreaded term of which I am not a fan, “local control.” After a little and not so contentious debate, it passed easily, but I couldn’t help but ask:  What just passed? Bottom line:  It’s a step, but far from what is needed, which is full inclusion in the overall curriculum.

Nonetheless, a big DC tip of the Sombrero to the #LibrotraficanteNation, el Librotraficante Tony Diaz, and the entire crew for doing all of the leg work. It’s not easy to convince such a contentious board to move forward on something like Mexican American studies, and the work and hours they put in is to be respected and commended.

Although NBC had some of the story, The Trib had a better description of the events.

Instead of making Mexican-American studies an official high school course, the Texas State Board of Education has settled on a tentative compromise that would allow school districts to decide whether to offer the course.

“It wasn’t necessarily what we were hoping, with a stand-alone course for Mexican-American studies,” member Marisa Perez, a San Antonio Democrat, said in an interview after the meeting. “But it’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

In an 11-3 vote, board members added the class — along with African-American studies, Native American studies and Asian-American studies — to the list of instructional materials that publishers will develop for Texas social studies standards in the 2016-17 school year. That means schools will have a list of state-approved textbooks and other resources to choose from if they opt to give the class.

My friend and fellow Bobcat Joe Cardenas passed this statement along from HOPE:

Texas HOPE (Hispanics Organized for Political Education) welcomes the opportunity to implement a greater understanding and exposure of the contributions made by Mexican Americans in the establishment and development of Texas through the fostering of Mexican American Studies in public schools throughout the state. Texas HOPE and its sister organizations have long called for the inclusion of the role of Mexican Americans in the History of Texas so that a comprehensive and accurate accounting of the impact of the Mexican American community may be better appreciated by all Texans especially the millions of students throughout the classrooms of the state. Organizations such as MALDEF, the Hector P. Garcia American GI Forum Org. of Texas, Texas LULAC, and Texas HOPE have actively advocated in the past before the SBOE and its committees as well as the Senate and House Education committees for a more “truthful” History of Texas in the state’s adoption process of textbooks and development of curriculum. These organizations have been successful in their advocacy leading to the inclusion in Texas’ Social Studies books of Dr. Hector P. Garcia, the Green Flag Republic, Jose, Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara, and the Battle of Medina, as well as preserving the inclusion of Cesar Chavez and Dr. King.

However, Texas HOPE will not minimize the contributions of Mexican Americans, Tejanos/as, or other Latin Americans by relegating the teaching of those contributions to an optional elective course that the state may or may not develop and/or school districts may or may not adopt. Texas HOPE and its members will continue to advocate for the comprehensive inclusion of the contributions of Mexican Americans throughout the core curriculum that all Texas public school children must take! In light of the tremendous contributions made by Mexican Americans to all facets of Texas culture, cuisine, music, vocabulary, laws, and art, and given that Hispanics today make-up 38% of the population of the state and that 52% of all students in public education are Hispanics, it is increasingly vital and necessary that the state of Texas recognize the full implementation of the Mexican American experience into the lore of the state for all Texans to learn and appreciate so that the future of Texas and her children may be rooted in the truth and the knowledge that Texas is truly exceptional.

Texas HOPE clearly understands that the task before the State, TEA, SBEC, the SBOE, the school districts, and the Mexican American community is that of developing curriculum standards that reflect the inclusion of these contributions in the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) across the curriculum taught today in public schools. However, in order for that to begin to happen, all parties must agree that a changing paradigm in developing curriculum is necessary in order to have these contributions infused into the whole curriculum. It is disingenuous for any party to feign sincere progress in this regard without actively seeking the necessary inclusion of Mexican American experts in this process. It has been the habit of the State and its institutions to develop bills, standards, policies, and statutes without the input of Mexican American stake-holders.

Texas HOPE welcomes a sincere discourse that will move the contributions of Mexican Americans beyond an optional elective course to one that is inclusive of these contributions across the curriculum in consultation with Mexican American experts and stake-holders who will be decision-makers in the process rather than by-standers. The probability of Texas’ 1,028 school districts opting to provide Mexican American Studies as an elective is low; especially when one takes into account that approximately 800 of these school districts are rural school districts who neither have the funds nor the capacity to develop or implement the course; the issue is further compounded by the fact that 64% of all teachers in Texas are non-minority and not likely able to effectively teach such a course. We as stake-holders will also be taking a risk if students don’t sign-up for the course or if only Hispanics are attracted to the course. The danger is that the State will say that there was no interest or that it is the only place in which to teach Mexican American contributions. Clearly, the Latino organizations of Texas view education as the centerpiece of their agendas because the future of Texas and of our community is increasingly in the hands of those persons who have walked the halls of Texas public education classrooms.

 

Texas Gets a Hire in DNCs Voter Expansion Project

Recently, you may have heard of a video VP Joe Biden made to bolster voting rights in America. In fact, it is part of a push by the Democratic National Committee to expand voting in America, ensuring voting rights for all Americans. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz announced four new hires in Ohio and Texas–two states in which voter protection has become a priority.

“With our state party partners, we have a national infrastructure and team of experts that no other organization can bring to bear,” she said in a statement.  “Voting laws are rapidly changing, and our Voter Expansion Project will make sure that Democrats – and all voters – across the country are able to exercise their right to vote and make their voices heard.”

In Texas, it was announced today that the project’s state director will be Sondra Haltom whose work protecting the rights of voters during a stint at the Texas Democratic Party is widely known.

A native Houstonian, Haltom has 15 years of experience working on election issues like ballot access, voter suppression prevention, redistricting and more. In December 2012, she founded Empower The Vote Texas (ETVT), a non-profit organization dedicated to voting rights and election reform issues. ETVT tracked election legislation proposed in both the Texas Legislature and U.S. Congress, monitored litigation on voting rights, served as a resource on Texas election law, and educated Texans about the voting process.

“Protecting and expanding the right to vote has long been a struggle in Texas but the challenges have been magnified in recent years,” said Haltom. “In order to fight back against the barriers being erected to voter participation, it is vital that this work happen year-round. That’s why I am so excited to be a part of the DNC’s effort to ensure that all eligible Texans are able to fully participate in their democracy.”

Prior to starting ETVT, Haltom served for seven years as the Political Director for the Texas Democratic Party where she built and lead the TDP’s Voter Protection Program and their efforts to fight illegal redistricting maps, voter suppression efforts and voter ID legislation. She is a graduate of Texas Christian University.

Here’s more from President Bill Clinton on the project.

Hi- and Low-Lites from the SBOE Hearing

No doubt, there was some great testimony by supporters of Mexican American Studies, including DC-friend, Tony “Librotraficante” Diaz and Recognized author Dagoberto Gilb. Of course, Mexican American Studies was promoted and defended effectively, and it was made known that this would basically be a state-sanctioned elective whose curriculum would be developed and approved by the State and offered to the entire state. It’s a pretty simple proposal.

According to Juan Tejeda, faculty advisor at the Center for Mexican American Studies at Palo Alto College, stated that 40 individuals testified in favor of the proposal, and only one testified against it.

The AP released this report.

The discussions also likely will preview some of the coming clashes over the content of new social studies textbooks the board is set to approve for use in classrooms across Texas this fall. In 2010, then Democratic board member Mary Helen Berlanga even stormed out of a meeting on social studies curriculum after failing in her efforts to include more lessons on Hispanic leaders, declaring: “We can just pretend this is a white America and Hispanics don’t exist.”

The best question asked of the SBOE:

Still, that did beg for some questions that didn’t make much sense, but do speak to any future clashes over what is taught in the course.

As Diaz noted, the course would have to be approved first before any discussion of what is included could be had.

Obviously, Mercer was attempting to make things political in nature, rather than educational. But I agree with Diaz that if he wants to be a part of the discussion, what better way to get involved than by voting yes.

As far as Cruz’s inclusion, it could be said that maybe 65% of Mexican American voters chose the Anglo Democrat over Cruz and that Cruz constantly votes against Mexican American interests (health care, jobs, education/college aid). At least that’s what I’d contribute. That’s if Mercer really wants to get political. Otherwise, let’s make it about educating kids and move forward.

There was another question about whether indigenous Guatemalans were similar to indigenous Mexicans from SBOE member Hardy, whom I called out yesterday for basically saying Mexican American Studies came from Mexico. At least that’s what I think I heard. But that one would just be too easy to ridicule, considering she’s been a social studies teacher.

One thing is for sure. The naysayers effectively prove through their ignorance that Mexican American Studies is needed.

 

Van de Putte Takes Houston

State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, candidate for Texas Lt. Governor, spent the entire day in Houston on Saturday, moving from one end of town to another. And this blogger turned into a groupie who went to at least a few of her Houston stops–and let me tell you, it’s pretty easy to support such a magnetic and real candidate.

My day started at the Universal Shopping Center in the far western reaches of Bellaire Blvd. A diverse and energetic crowd welcomed Senator Van de Putte to Houston as her tour bus rolled in. No sooner was she off the bus, she was shaking hands and giving out heartfelt abrazos to supporters.

The Vietnam Veterans memorial provided a powerful backdrop for the Senator’s speech which covered everything from Veteran’s affairs to public education to infrastructure development (roads). Van de Putte also gave a defense of the Rio Grande Valley, which some Republicans have called the “third world,” citing over $700 million in trade per day and the vibrancy of the area. The responsive crowd stuck around after the speech to meet-greet and take selfies with the Senator.

While the Senator went to a couple more events, including the Texas Democratic Women’s “Women Making History” Luncheon, I headed out to Fiesta Loma Linda for some menudo and to await a sit-down between the Senator and the local progressive blogosphere.  What could have been a Q&A was more like a family around the table, joking a little, discussing policy and politics, and mostly, getting to know the Senator. Let me tell you, watching her on TV or on the web, one gets the feeling that she’s as real as they come. In-person, though, she is amazing, and as one blogger friend of mine states, “formidable.” She doesn’t mince words and she tells one how she feels. As I like to say, and actually told her, my favorite thing about her is that she is a Latina candidate who wasn’t created in laboratory and doesn’t run away from her upbringing or feels the need to revamp her story for political purposes. She’s a proud mom and abuela who is basically fighting for what’s right. Plus, she’s a state university-educated woman and I really like that about her.

The fact that she was the real-deal became quite obvious when she spoke to a group of college student leaders, most from collegiate Dem clubs. The most powerful part of her speech was her breakdown of tuition deregulation and how it has affected tuition rates to the tune of a 58% increase since it was first made policy. The compare/contrast in which she admits that during her days in college, one could work a part-time job and still afford tuition and living expenses, but that today’s college students are racking up loan debt even while working, showed me a candidate who understands the current situation. I had never seen a Texas Dem candidate who could connect so well with college students about the issues that affect them, and the future that awaits them if given the right opportunities with leaders that care at the helm of the Texas government.

For me, the day was over, but for Van de Putte, the bus was on its way to Fort Bend County and then on to Corpus Christi for another leg of her 2500 mile Texas tour–the first of several around the state. I highly recommend Texans give their attention to the Senator–attend her events, seek her out on social media and spread word about her campaign. Either of her prospective opponents will continue Texas’ race to the bottom, and Senator Van de Putte is all about the future of Texas.

Website:  www.LeticiaVandePutte.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LeticiaVandePutte

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/leticiavdp

 

UPDATE:  I also captured some video of her speech to the college students. I had to reduce it to 11 minutes, but, here you go:

 

Luis Lopez for HD-132 Launches This Weekend

luis

Boycotting Buc-ees

I guess there’s a movement going on now that Congressman Joaquin Castro made it known that Buc-ees is no longer on his list of stopping points on the way to anywhere in Texas.

I can’t blame him. When a lovable looking beaver is pictured with the guy who gets off on dehumanizing immigrants, well, there’s no doubt that those big white beaver teeth are now tainted with the hatred of Dan Patrick and other like-minded bigots.

The Buc-ees corporation is quick to point out that the owners are the Patrick endorsers and not the corporation itself. I guess, in this case, corporations aren’t people? Anyway…

[Update:  If the corporation isn't supporting him, how does the use of the beaver not say "corporate endorsement"?]

The bottom line is that when the Texas Farm Bureau has something to say in defense of agricultural workers who are usually undocumented, then it is safe to say that Dan Patrick is way off the mark on this issue; and, if anything, he isn’t really supportive of Texas agriculture.

Kudos to the Congressman for standing up against the immigrant bashers. And kudos to all those other Texas elected officials who have joined the chorus, too.

DC Reacts to Dem Primary

donkey-beats-up-elephantWell, there’s not much to say other than, “We have another round to go?”

Let’s just take my reactions one-by-one.

US Senate:  With all the mail and cash being tossed about by David Alameel, I expected him to be a top candidate. I also expected Kesha Rogers to somehow sneak into a run-off, but not by much. Like many of my fellow activists, I took a liking to Maxey Scherr in the beginning, but only because the activists were talking her up and she was the only one saying anything. When that UT/Trib poll came out, I sorta changed course, thinking that only Alameel would be the guy who could win without a run-off. In the end, after much movement of the dial on the voting machine, I ended up voting Alameel, hoping he wouldn’t need a run-off. I think Alameel can take it rather easily, if he campaigns in the same fashion–mail, trips to South Texas, etc. And with TDPs continued truth-telling of Rogers, perhaps stepped up.

Congress – 7:  James Cargas was the big winner. He sent the cutest e-mail yesterday morning, which I think sealed the deal. Yes, that’s my Flo! Congrats to Jim.

Governor:  Well, we all knew Wendy Davis would win, but let me tell you, in my mind, I always wondered how she would do in South Texas given a spanish-surnamed opponent. When I saw she was losing my birth-county of Zavala to Ray Madrigal, the first thought that came to mind was, “She should have gone to the Spinach Festival.”  This can be dissected in more than one way, but let’s move forward. She’s the nominee, South Texas counties vote overwhelmingly Democrat, but that’s no reason to simply take it for granted. Turnout is key. Davis needs to make sure she spends a lot of time down there listening to voters and saying the right things. Abbott won’t have much to offer South Texas other than right-wing culture wars on gays and women. Dan Patrick will probably move the entire ballot to the right, too, especially on anything having to do with Latinos.  Davis and the rest can bring some much needed sanity to South Texas and Texas.

Lt. Governor:  No surprise–Leticia Van de Putte was unopposed. Still, she will probably end up with Dan Patrick as the opponent. Patrick will get another month of batshit crazy campaigning against gays and Latinos and women. That shouldn’t help him or Republicans overall, but my feeling is that Van de Putte must not wait for the winner to start going on the attack. A response to every single hate-filled ad and comment by Patrick will be needed. And the same goes for Davis.

Railroad Commish:  My friend Steve Brown was the big winner. He campaigned in every direction and did well. Congrats, Steve.

Ag Commish:  We have a run-off between Kinky and Jim (w)Ho(?)gan. I’m endorsing Kinky, if only to make things a little exciting in my life. I know he’s good friends with Willie Nelson, Little Joe Hernandez, and the Texas Tornados, so that scores him some points in my book, especially if he can join either of them on their respective tour buses to give a few speeches at concerts. And if he can bring them along toward November, even better. I’m over 2006.

113th District Court:  Congrats to Judge Kirkland. He overcame a judge-buying lawyer and his candidate who was relentless in attacking him. Kirkland ran an expensive campaign to try to get ahead of the attacks, and that was exactly what he needed to do. It is sad when supposed Democrats try to attack peoples’ personal past just to score points–even when they do it to Republicans. It’s low-ball bullshit that doesn’t empower the electorate in any way.

246th District Court:  What can I say? Julia Maldonado came up short. Ultimately, she lost by less than 1000 votes. Julia won election day by about the same amount (900+) but it wasn’t good enough to overcome the thousands of dollars of her own money that her opponent spent on ballot by mail and early voting. That made the difference, along with a couple other things. I’m really disappointed in this outcome, but, ultimately, Julia still landed on her feet with a thriving family law practice and her community work. I’m proud to have helped her out and I’m proud to call her my friend (and sometimes customer).

The others: Jim Evans, Barbara Stalder, and George Barnstone move forward to November in the other judicial races. Congrats to my friend and always DC-endorsed Ann Bennett who becomes our nominee for County Clerk.

The Referendums:  As expected, they all passed overwhelmingly. Immigration reform, locally, didn’t do as well as the others–probably because of the relentless anti-immigrant ads from Republicans with little-to-no response from Democrats. Statewide, immigration reform was 3% or so behind the other items. Small, but not negligible, and definitely noticeable. Again, these were a non-binding temperature reading. Ultimately, when it comes to civil rights, it shouldn’t be about how voters feel, but about what is right.

Latin@s on the Dem Side:  Leticia Van de Putte leads the pack for Lt. Gov., but there is also Gina Benavides for Supreme Court; Farrah Martinez running for a district court; Raul Rodriguez for County Court; and Josefina Rendon for County Probate Court running statewide or countywide in Harris County. Yep, that’s 5. Yeah, the usual few Latina/o State Reps are up, but adding some fresh faces are Luis Lopez for HD-132 and my good friend Amy Perez who ends up taking on Debbie Riddle in HD-150. And I’ll add to that Jim Davis running for SD-7. So, overall, that makes  for a dozen or so.

The GOP is offering seven brown ones overall, if I counted correctly. But I think of Pé Bush as more of a Floridian.

I’m REALLY looking forward to the precinct-by-precinct breakdown. Yeah, right!

Thoughts on Viernes (Early Vote Sabado Edition) 02222014

Go forth and vote early!

During early voting you can vote at any polling location, which can be found here. Don’t know who’s on the ballot? Well, click here and find your very own sample ballot.  And did you know you need an acceptable ID to vote? Well, click here and find out what IDs are acceptable.

Vote JULIA MALDONADO for the 246th-Dem Primary

I may be helping her out on her campaign, but State Senator Sylvia Garcia, Democrats, Organized Labor, Colleagues and the Chron can’t be wrong.

The Rest of Team DC

U.S. Senate:  Undecided Between Alameel and Scherr
Congress, District 7 – James Cargas
Governor – Wendy Davis
Lt. Governor – Leticia Van de Putte (Unopposed, but yeah!)
Ag. Commissioner – Hugh Asa Fitzsimons
Railroad Commissioner – Steve Brown
113th District Judge – Steven Kirkland
246th District Judge – Julia Maldonado
280th District Judge – Barbara Stalder
308th District Judge – Bruce Steffler
District Attorney – Kim Ogg
County Clerk –  Ann Harris Bennett
County Court at Law #10 – George Barnstone
*Senate District 15 – John Whitmire (I reside in SD13, but this one is the obvious choice for my friends in 15.)
* Texas House District 145 – Carol Alvarado (I reside in 137, but the Rep. is another one of those obvious choices.)
 

VOTE JAMES CARGAS for CONGRESS-7

In a tough district, there’s no doubt that we need to build toward winning. My friend James Cargas has been doing that since 2012, and he deserves another shot at Tea Party Culberson. James has the experience and the maturity that Congress needs to get things done. At the moment, we are stuck on neutral (some say, reverse) and we need a common sense voice to bring solutions to DC, rather than the same old “gotcha” politics of Culberson. Cargas is right on all of the issues, especially comprehensive immigration reform. I’m sticking with him in 2014.

The Referedum Referenda Referendums?

There are also four non-binding referendums on the Democratic Primary ballot and I suggest you answer YES to all of them.

IMMIGRATION REFORM:  The United States Congress must pass immigration reform; including an earned path to citizenship for those individuals contributing to the economy and the dependents of those individuals.

A LIVING WAGE FOR ALL TEXANS:  Congress should pass legislation raising the federal minimum wage to at least 110% of the federal poverty level for a family of four without exception.

MEDICAID EXPANSION:  The Governor and the Texas Legislature should accept federal funds; as provided in the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act of 2010; for the expansion of Medicaid to provide coverage to millions of uninsured and underinsured Texans.

NON-DISCRIMINATION LEGISLATION:  The Congress and the Texas Legislature should adopt legislation that expands protections against discriminations in employment; housing; and public accommodations based upon sexual orientation and gender identity.

MUSIC BREAK – Little Joe – Las Nubes