Democrat for Governor, Bill White, energized a crowd of Democrats with a speech that had familiar themes expected from your usual Democratic convention.
We all believe that Texans need more jobs, with real futures.
We all understand that Texans work hard to create a better life for our children.
And we all know that Texans are ready for a new governor!
We gather in Corpus today because we share common values:
We believe in freedom and diversity, but we understand that real leadership unites us.
We take pride in our state’s heritage, but we understand that we have come a long way in breaking down barriers and our greatest days can be ahead of us.
White wasted no time in going after his opponent Rick Perry, also using one all too familiar theme of late.
We learn that Perry charges taxpayers for a $10,000 a month rented mansion, larger than anything used by prior governors, with chefs and a subscription to Food & Wine magazine.
We know that Rick Perry accepted more federal stimulus dollars than any Governor except those in California and New York. In fact, federal dollars have been the fastest growing source of state funding since he has been governor. Yet now we hear that he is writing a book on state’s rights, called “Fed Up.” How does he have time to write a book when hehasn’t even written a state budget that adds up? Simple: part-time Perry is in it for himself.
And then he went for the heart-strings of all of the folks with working class backgrounds.
I learned the value of service from my parents, life-long educators. My dad held down two jobs for most of the time I was growing up. My brother and I learned hard work, faith, and the value of education. En San Antoniocreemos que todos merecen respecto . We were taught that life is about what you give, not what you take; it’s about preparing for the future– leaving our community, our state, our nation, better than we found it.
I used this background to build great businesses, to create jobs, to balance budgets and meet payrolls.
And then his record.
These values and skills served me well as mayor of our largest city. We cut crime rates, expanded parks and health clinics, cleaned the air, brought dropouts back to school, and improved services for veterans. We did so while building surpluses and cutting property tax rates for five straight years.
Because I’m in it for Texas we’ll do the hard work Rick Perry has never done: we’ll prepare Texas for a better future. That means moving forward–not standing still–on education and job training.
Missing from the speech has been one theme which would energize the vast Latino electorate from which Democrats are seeking votes–immigration and the Arizona law. Perhaps a defense of Texans targeted by such a law. Perhaps even a call to Washington for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the DREAM Act. But it didn’t happen in this speech.
One of the themes at the Convention has been the need to increase Latino participation in November, of which I will be writing more in a later post. I’m hoping there are stronger messages from the speakers on Saturday, because thus far, the strongest message has been from the hundreds of “Do I Look Illegal?” buttons that En Contacto Communications has been handing out to delegates.