Blogging Bell

I had the opportunity to meet with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell, along with a group of local bloggers at the Daily Grind (great coffee!). It was great seeing fellow bloggers and meeting others I had not yet met. It was also great seeing fellow Kingwood resident and Bell staffer Lara Cottingham. What was enjoyable about this meeting was that it looked nothing like a press gaggle; it was a calm, informative conversation.

I had two questions ready for Bell, but PDiddie beat me to one, and I asked mine. Specifically, mine was about his campaign in South Texas and how it was going. Bell stated he is doing well and feels quite comfortable with Hidalgo, Cameron, Webb and Nueces counties, which is great. These are the counties that will provide a good chunk of the Democratic vote. But, that’s the valley and coastal areas, I was talking about South Texas!

I believe I have stated before the importance of all of these small counties in South Texas, as well as those in East and West Texas (as was evident in the primary victory of Maria Luisa Alvarado, our candidate for Lt. Gov). Some are sparsely populated (5,000 to 10,000 voters, but 90% Democratic), and some have been Democratic in the past, and are on the verge of turning back to the Ds if we campaign right. Together, these counties could put us over the top–not just for Bell, but the entire ballot. While Maria Luisa Alvarado will be the reason we can get every vote in South Texas, it is Democrats like Hank Gilbert (for Ag. Commissioner) and David Van Os (for Texas Attorney General) that can also wrap up east and west Texas for us. Can you imagine a coordinated campaign with all of them hanging out together for one week–two tops? I would suggest to the TDP that they get this planned and NOW!

So, I specifically mentioned my old stomping grounds to Bell, Zavala, Dimmit, Uvalde, Maverick, Frio, and others. Bell stated that he had had a good event with Maverick County Judge Aranda. South Texas needs to be a bigger target. My suggestion is a major one-week tour with the entire Texas statewide candidate slate…one-week. They’ll love you for visiting and they’ll remember! (PDiddie asked about coordinating with other campaigns, which was going to be my second question.)

One of the bloggers asked about the “I” issue, immigration. Apparently, it was a problem to the questioner. According to Chris Bell, “why should we make a Republican issue our issue?” Bell also asked the question, “Has anyone at this table lost a job that was taken up by an immigrant?” Now, that’s the type of response ALL of the candidates should be using. I mean, really, who’s bringing up this issue? Is it coming from the poor neighborhoods? Is it coming from the rural areas? No, it is coming from highly Republican, wealthy areas that would be hardly affected by undocumented workers working service jobs. In other words, it is a divisive, racist issue that Republicans will use to hide their ineffectiveness on the issues that Democrats should be discussing–a failing education system, improved access to health care, tax reform that benefits the working and middle class, and environmental reform. But, more than anything, Chris Bell hit the nail right on the head: This is a federal issue that needs to be taken care of in Washington, DC. And after that, Democratic federal candidates should NEVER villify people or call them “illegal” or “aliens” or anything derogative just for the purpose of gaining a vote.

So, if a Democratic candidate for, say, state representative, state senate, or anything other than federal, is attempting to utilize this issue to appease Republicans, all they are doing is engaging the Republicans in an issue in which they will get lambasted–either that, or the Democrat will be forced to say something that doesn’t really sound like something a REAL Democrat should say on the issue.

So, Chris Bell has the right idea, the right message, and the right response. I’m sure fellow bloggers will have their thoughts, so make sure to visit:

Off The Kuff
Brains and Eggs
Muse Musings
Houston Democrats
Progressive Texan

One response to “Blogging Bell

  1. Look I see you!