Category Archives: Texas Dems 2010

Latino Decisions vs AP Polling

The Chron and all the press people are running with a story that has Latinos basically supporting Republicans on November 2nd, but a professional polling organization called Latino Decisions has called it differently.

While the Chron tell us:

While exit polling showed a majority of Hispanics voted Democratic, 39 percent voted for Perry’s re-election.

In heavily Democratic and Hispanic South Texas, Perry captured 48 percent of the vote. Perry got no less than 20 percent of the vote in South Texas counties and took 40 percent of the Cameron County vote.

How does “no less than 20%” and “40%” of one county equate to Latino support  for Republicans?

Frankly, as the Republatinos attempt to sell us some lies about the Latino vote in Texas, let’s trust a Latino polling group which gives us a little bit of reality.

The Latino Decisions polling showed larger margins than exit polling conducted by the TV networks. For example, the support from Latinos for Reid and Boxer was 68 percent and 65 percent, respectively, in the network polls. The sample size wasn’t large enough to report figures for Colorado.

Segura said the network exit polling often fail to capture enough data from an ethnic or racial subgroup to draw accurate conclusions.

Latino Decisions also provided for bilingual polling, rather than just English-Only.

So, no, I’ll take the side of those who want to provide facts, not make up stories for political gain.

Now, that we have the facts, the Democratic Party must go where the opportunity is, rather than make up opportunities as they go. Or worse, allow the Republatinos to steal a (national) success story from us.

DC Reacts to Black-n-Blue Tuesday

Well, as the GOP spins their wins stating that all of this was a vote against Obama and Democratic policies, I’m not willing to go that far; in fact, I’m not even that willing to “blame it on the wave.” A look at initial turnout numbers will show  you where the votes were.

Suburban– HD-126:  44.5%, HD-127:  48%, HD-129:  48%, HD-130:  49%

Inner-Belt– HD-137:  31%, HD-139:  34%, HD-140: 25%, HD-143: 26%, HD-145: 29%

Democratic voters did not come out. Why? And has anyone bothered to ask them? Is it the economy? Is it Obama? Is it just plain indifference? Is it a lack of defense from Republican attacks toward Latinos?

Here are some of my reactions to different aspects of last night.

HISD-8:  Congrats to my friend Juliet Kathy Stipeche on making the run-off.  The most alarming result of this race was the 39% undervote. Even more alarming is the fact that, although 37% of voters in District 8 turned out yesterday, the percentages are likely to drop big time for the run-off. At least now the choice becomes simpler:  A leader who will work with all stakeholders to achieve results, or someone who will only answer to those who want to corporatize our public school system.

The Texas House:  Some good Democratic leaders got the boot last night, especially in South Texas. And with a huge majority, a vastly Republican Texas House is now responsible for figuring out the $20 Billion shortfall, for figuring out public education funding, and all the other challenges that they have driven us into.  Instead, though, I am sure they will waste no time in filing racist legislation, such as Voter ID, getting rid of the Texas DREAM Act, and let’s not forget Debbie Riddle’s racist Arizona-type law.  The only thing that may be able to stop them are 12 Democratic votes in the Texas Senate.  We’ve got some defense work ahead, folks.

Latinos Are Wild About Harry:  Perhaps Harry Reid should change his name to Harry Ruiz, since Latinos in Nevada are a big reason he will continue as the Senate’s leader. Of course, Crazy Sharron did her part by hating on Latinos as much as she did and Latinos responded.  As I keep mentioning, when attacked, one defends. And it really helps when a candidate defends, too, instead of taking the “conservative” line and losing (cough! Chet! cough!).  Democrats can learn something from the Harry Ruiz Formula.

Texas Statewides:  I don’t think I’ve seen such an impressive Democratic statewide slate as the one we offered. Obviously, Democratic energy was just not happening, and while Bill White was traversing quite white East and West Texas small towns for a few votes, counties in South Texas were not given that same amount of energy. Obviously, Texas is a lot of ground to cover, but we had numbers to make up on the Democratic side. When I see counties like Zavala, Dimmit, and Maverick hover between 25 and 30 percent turnout, it’s easy to tell.  Then you see other counties like Zapata, Starr, Frio, and La Salle going at between 16 to 21%, then you just get mad.

Word of advice for anyone thinking about doing a 2012 run:  Start traveling some of these counties in 2011–they’ve got some great festivals at which to shake babies and kiss hands. But before you do…get a message that resonates. Something tells me the 2011 Legislative Session will provide plenty of opportunities to form that message.

Countywides – Yes, I’m heartbroken, and yes, I’m not a happy camper that Democrats lost every single race. I’m particularly heartbroken that good Democrats with incumbent records lost–my good friend Loren Jackson being one of them, another good friend, Judge Dion Ramos, being another. The good thing is that they remain a part of our talent base. As I told someone last night, this is but a sink-hole from which we must climb out, and we will.

A Summing Up – Last night within the numerous e-mail conversations I was having with Dem operatives, one said that “we must re-build the party.”  I didn’t respond there, choosing to respond here.  Before you rebuild, you must find the flaws (the bad ideas, the bad messaging, and the bad consultants) and the purge them.

That’s about all I have for now. As I look into the impact Latinos made in other states, we can find more food for thought, perhaps even tools and spare parts for the “re-building.”

They Never Missed An Election

Today is election day. Today’s when you can make your voice heard. And here’s the best part:  Win or lose, voting is your license to speak up beyond election day.

Growing up, my parents instilled in the three Medellin kids the importance and value of voting. And not just voting, but participating–in issues, campaigns, or by just plain speaking up when we saw something not right occurring.

I still remember how meticulous my parents were. A couple of weeks in advance, they would cut out the “sample ballot” in the Sentinela.  Tacho and Flora would discuss the pros and cons about a candidate or a proposition, most times even bringing us into the conversation. Most times, Mom and Pop agreed, other times, there would be love-filled, yet heated discussions, like the one about whether they should vote for Jesse Jackson or not. (Mom went with Jesse.)

The thing is, it wasn’t just about being told it was important to vote. It was about the actions they took that showed us the importance.  From everything from letting a candidate put up a 4 x 8 in our corner lot, to attending political rallies, to showing off a few bumper stickers, to telling their friends to go vote,  to even gathering after 7PM to watch the tabulations outside of the county courthouse, and the huge chalkboard on which they reported the vote.

What influenced me more to become an avid voter was watching my parents walk out of the polling location as they would take a deep breath and put a smile on their faces with the feeling that they indeed controlled their own destiny and that they indeed had this powerful force that was much more than just a right. The first time I voted, I knew exactly how they felt.

Now that I am in my 21st year of voting, I can say I walk out of a polling location with the same deep breath and smile. My vote means something, whether my choices win or lose.

And so does yours.


What Is It With Republicans And Fake Photos?

It happened again. First the Teabagger group King Street faked up some protester photos for their voter suppression video, now, Pasadena state rep. Ken Legler’s friends used a fake photo of people in worker garb to portray them as Pasadena residents.

The photo used in the direct mail piece by some front group can be found at istockphoto, apparently taken by some dude from Denmark. So, it is safe to say that along with outsourcing jobs, he also outsourced the photo.

The Democrat in the running for HD-144, Rick Molina, had this to say:

“It’s bad enough Ken Legler is directly responsible for outsourcing jobs to China,” noted Rick Molina, Legler’s challenger for House District 144.  “But to have actors posing as our families reinforces that it is Legler who is nothing but a front for the same corporate interests who outsource jobs and disregard worker safety.”

“But knowing his record as most Pasadenans now do, I can see why local families aren’t willing to stand by his side,” Molina added.

Texas Dems Call on Emmett, Bohac To Denounce GOP Voter Intimidation Tactics

Yes, it’s about time for Ed Emmett, Dwayne Bohac and the rest of the Republican slate to denounce their Party’s (and associated groups) voter intimidation tactics. The Texas Democratic Party called them out today:

“The evidence is clear – these Tea Party extremists are doing the Republicans’ dirty work for them,” said Chad Dunn, Texas Democratic Party General Counsel. “If local Republican leaders like County Judge Ed Emmett or Representative Dwayne Bohac, who sits on the House Elections Committee, publicly denounced this group and demanded this intimidation stop, it would stop today. Rather than denouncing this assault on voting rights, Republicans are actually defending this group and their vote suppression tactics.”

Despite numerous media reports to the contrary, Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill has defended the King Street group and alleged that there is no intimidation occurring and that Democrats are inventing these incidents to stir up voters.

“Vote suppression is definitely not the issue we wanted or expected to be focusing on at this point in the election and it’s ridiculous for anyone to make that allegation,” said Anthony Gutierrez, Texas Democratic Party spokesman. “If Republicans would stop violating Texans’ voting rights we would be more than happy to go back to talking about how they’ve failed our state on issues like public education and jobs, but as long as they continue trying to keep minorities from voting we’re going to keep fighting to stop them.”

The Republican groups carrying out these illegal activities have stated on the record that they intend to implement their Harris County program nationally after this election.

It’s time for leadership from Ed Emmett, who has portrayed himself as a friendlier Republican. We expect silence from everyone else, but Emmett has thrived on playing Mr. Nice Guy. Call ’em out, Judge Emmett!

Jackson Lee Calls for Poll Monitors

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee called on the Department of Justice to send poll monitors and for an investigation into allegations of blatant voter intimidation at minority-heavy polling locations.

“This week alone, there have been at least fifteen reports of abuse of voter rights throughout the city of Houston, including the 18th Congressional district.  Although there are usually a few isolated occurrences of voter intimidation during the election season, the incidents that took place at polling stations earlier this week appeared to be both organized and systematic,” added Congresswoman Jackson Lee.  Poll watchers have been reportedly over-stepping the boundaries between observing and interacting in the democratic process by hovering directly behind voters as they entered their votes.  The group thought to be behind these acts is known as the King Street Patriots, reportedly tied to some Tea Party activists.  The King Street Patriots have deployed poll watchers around the city as they implement their “True the Vote” campaign.

Congresswoman Jackson Lee stated, “Many of these incidents of voter intimidation have been occurring in predominately minority neighborhoods and have been directed at African-Americans and Latinos. It is unconscionable to think that anyone would deliberately employ the use of such forceful and intimidating tactics in 2010 to undermine the fundamental, Constitutional right to vote.”

We’ll see what kind of crazy responses this generates in the Chron comments, but the bottom line is that it must be investigated and we must ensure fair, intimidation-free elections.


The Houston Stonewall Young Democrats saved the Kingwood Area Democrats! Seeking a pretty awesome photo for their ad for the local Tribune, KAD sought out the organization that developed the best direct mail piece for 2010.

HSYDs piece showcased their endorsed slate in a photo that really shows the diversity of the Democratic Party. And then KAD sent me to beg HSYD for permission to use it.  (Just Kidding!) Actually, HSYD came through showing that our clubs work together toward a common goal–electing a diverse Democratic slate.  And that’s something we in Kingwood aren’t afraid to show ’em, either.

So, thanks again to HSYD! Here is the KAD finished product.

Rick Perry Pulls A Sharron Angle

Carlos Guerra at NewsTaco asks the question:  Are Latinos the New Gays and Is “Illegal” The New Willie Horton?

Enough race-bating; it is time for some facts.

Here’s my take:

Rick Perry did what pundits did not expect him to do:  Pull a Sharron Angle and run an anti-immigrant ad exploiting a sad situation that occurred a few years ago.

Using the widow of a murdered cop, Perry joined the Republican Party’s game plan of calling Houston a “sanctuary city,” blaming the killing of the cop on a policy to protect Houstonians from racial profiling, while a previously deported felony-convicted immigrant is the only one guilty of murdering the cop.

The problem isn’t an HPD policy which ensures Latinos and others are not racially profiled, it is the lack of political will from Republicans who have done nothing to support comprehensive immigration reform, and have done nothing to make it easier on law enforcement to identify felony criminal aliens by passing a policy that brings hard-working immigrants out of the shadows and flushes  out those who dare commit felonies that threaten all of us.

But for Rick Perry, things are supposed to come easy–his lack of oversight of DPS policies that erased the felony records of deported individuals caused a lot more harm in this case. But the easy way out is to bring negativity to an international economic hub like Houston and instead call for racially profiling Latinos.

That’s what this is about, ultimately. The vilifying of a group of people for political purposes. As Perry has failed to do anything about drug cartels using our highways to deliver to customers in ten years, he instead chooses the tough talk with no action approach that has gotten him re-elected over and over again.

Latinos need to show Rick Perry that he will not win by stomping on our necks for his own political career. VOTE!

Vote Joe Montemayor for HD-127!

El Encabronado – My Voting Experience

So, I arrive at Ripley House very encabronado and ready to vote and turn my VR card into a defense weapon. I thought I’d play it smart, avoid the push card gauntlet and  park on the other side–there were signs telling one where to go vote.  The problem?  The doors on that side were all locked!

Luckily, someone saw me and pushed the door open and I was in the building! The nice guy at the front desk directed me to the voting room–thanks, nice guy!

So, I walk in and the election staff was very nice and welcoming. The whole room was basically seated, so it took me a few seconds to realize who made up the voter intimidation team. They were at either end of the table and both had what were probably their Voter Intimidation and Waterboarding Training manuals provided by the Teabagger group.

After a few seconds, one of them stands up and hovers behind the staff who is checking the voters in. Within seconds, I sign the sheet, get my voter code and am sent to the E-Slate, which now have tents (instead of the plastic wings) to hide how you’re voting.

I picked my E-Slate (#3 on the pink side) and got to doing my duty, but I kept an eye on what they were doing as a few folks had walked in and the other intimidation team member stood up. So, being the avid voter that I am, I easily click Straight Democratic Ticket…but instead of clicking “next” to get to the last page faster, I used the dial and toggled over and and over and over again. It was loud enough to make one of the intimidation team members lose concentration and not hover as much.

After checking my picks, I waited a few more seconds and hit “Cast Ballot.” Took a deep breath, and walked toward the door. The intimidator dude was looking at me, so I shot off one of my “looks of death” at him (see inset), and usually, Teabaggers can’t look you in the eye when they are intimidating you, so of course, he looked away.

The cheery election staff made sure to thank me for voting, I made sure I thanked them serving our community (as I always do), and I went my merry way.

And that was my 2010 Voting Experience.

In other words…don’t let a few stares or some hovering by people who don’t want you to vote stop you from voting. VOTE TODAY! AND VOTE DEMOCRATIC BECAUSE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!