HD-52: Diana Maldonado is on TV, “Texas’ Comeback”

Posted in Around The Nation, Election 2006, Election 2008, Good Stuff, HD-52, Williamson County at 5:22 pm by wcnews


Ruiz for Congress Fundraiser

Posted in District 31, Election 2008, State Convention at 3:20 pm by bpruiz

After months of anticipation, the Ruiz for Congress Campaign will hold its first statewide fundraiser near the State Democratic Party Convention in Austin, Texas. The event will take place on Friday, June 6th from 4pm to 9pm at Parkside Restaurant, 301 East 6th Street. District 31’s Democratic Congressional Nominee, Brian P. Ruiz, is expected to address guests around 7:30pm.

Brian P. Ruiz, the Democratic nominee, is taking on Republican incumbent John Carter. In the primary, Ruiz received the most votes of any non-incumbent congressional candidate in the state of Texas in either party. Ruiz has been applauded by many in the district for his pledge to refuse to take special interest and PAC money in this election.

The Texas Democratic Party Convention begins today with several receptions taking place this evening and goes through Saturday, June 7th. “My district covers over seven different counties and the State Convention presents a unique opportunity to bring many of my supporters together for one cause, a victory in November,” said Ruiz.

Along with many supporters, some noted attendees of Congressional Nominee Ruiz’s fundraiser include:

Elected Officials
Victor Gonzales (Pflugerville City Councilman)
Felix Madrid (Hutto City Councilman)
Tim Mahoney (ACC Board of Trustees)
Michael Langford (Hamilton County Democratic Chair)

Diana Maldonado (State Representative District 52)
Mark Thompson (Railroad Commissioner)
Woodie Jones (Chief Justice 3rd Court of Appeals)
Jaime Lynn (Williamson County Attorney)
Jimmy Rocha (SD-5 Committeeman)

Special Guests
Stephen Wyman (former candidate State Senate District 5)
Karen Felthauser (former candidate SR-52)
Jim Stauber (former candidate SR-20)

Tickets are available for purchase in advance at www.ruizforcongress.com and can also be purchased at the door for $25 for individuals, $40 for couples.


TPJ Report “Money in PoliTex”

Posted in Around The State, Election 2006, Money In Politics, Williamson County at 11:37 am by wcnews

The press release asks Who Bankrolls Your Legislators? Damn good question. Here are the key findings:

  • 378 major candidates raised $158 million for 173 legislative and top statewide offices in the 2006 election cycle;
  • The candidates who won these 173 races accounted for two-thirds of all the money raised by candidates seeking these offices ($105 million).
  • 142 powerful individuals who contributed totals exceeding $100,000 apiece accounted for an overall total of $52 million in donations.
  • 132 institutional donors that contributed totals exceeding $150,000 apiece accounted for an overall total of $65 million in donations.
  • The largest interest group, Lawyers and Lobbyists, accounted for 15 percent of the money raised by candidates seeking these offices ($23 million).
  • Single contribution checks of $10,000 or more accounted for 30 percent of all the money raised ($48 million).
  • House candidates raised 81 percent of their campaign funds outside their districts ($48 million).
  • Senate candidates raised 70 percent of their money outside their districts ($14 million).
  • 9 percent of the total money raised ($14 million) arrived on the so-called “Late Train” that ran between the November 7, 2006 Election Day and the start of the January 2007 legislative session.

Here are the pages for Williamson County legislators:
Sen. Steve Ogden
Rep. Mike Krusee, from the AAS article on the report:

State Rep. Mike Krusee, R-Williamson County, who leads the House Transportation Committee and champions toll roads, was favored by construction and concrete companies. His top three donors were from those industries.

Rep. Dan Gattis


A “Tele-Town Hall” Is What It’s Called

Posted in Election 2006 at 10:48 am by wcnews

Gardner Selby’s latest, a year-end wrap-up, Who wudda thunk DeLay out, Democrats in?, is a lot of that “what a long strange trip it’s been” kinda blather. One thing that caught my eye and I’m not sure how important it was for Lamar Smith’s reelection, John Carter used it too, is what’s mentioned in this paragraph:

That U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, would invite Texas swing voters to quiz him via conference call. Eight calls, lasting up to 90 minutes, reached thousands of voters without anyone turning talk-radio ballistic, Smith’s camp said. The unusual outreach was encouraged by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

A “tele-town hall” is what they’re called. I know in CD-31 Carter was calling Democrats because I heard about it from others and I was called several times too. The ability to have a “pseudo town hall”, all the while having someone giving the congressman the right talking point in his ear while on the phone. Especially for one who’s not very good at thinking on their feet. I’d expect much more of this in districts where incumbents feel afraid to debate. Sneaky.

Anybody actually participate in one of these this election cycle? I was never home when these calls came.


Williamson County Election Update

Posted in Election 2006, Williamson County at 10:23 am by wcnews

The Williamson County Elections Commission met yesterday and an airing of grievances was had. If you didn’t know that elections in Williamson County are in disarray you definitely will after reading this, Expect some changes in the next election, and watching the video from KEYE, Williamson County Voting Discrepancies Discussed. It’s never good when discrepancies in vote totals and missing ballots are being discussed after and election.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Especially with one-party, unaccountable government in Williamson County. There’s hope because John Willingham did a good job when he was in charge of elections and he seems to be heading up this process. I attribute much of this to growing pains for Williamson County. The government is being overrun by the population explosion the county is seeing. If this isn’t reigned in quickly there could be problems for a long time to come. Getting some help from large counties about how they handle their elections would be a good idea, if that’s not already being done.


Ciro Rodriguez’ win repairs some of DeLay’s damage

Posted in Around The State, Election 2006 at 12:48 am by dembones

Ciro Rodriguez has secured another Democratic victory by defeating Republican incumbent Henry Bonilla in Tuesday’s special runoff election for the re-re-districted Texas’ 23rd. CQPolitics called it “a stunning come-from-behind victory” for Rodriguez:

Rodriguez, who served in the House from 1997 to 2005 in an adjacent district, scored a surprisingly strong 55 percent of the vote with 97 percent of precincts reporting. Bonilla, who was seeking an eighth term, had 45 percent of the vote. Bonilla fell well short of the nearly 49 percent he received in the Nov. 7 “blanket primary” that set the matchup for Tuesday’s runoff.

Rodriguez’ win joins Nov. 7 victories in the 17th and 22nd congressional districts rebuking the gerrymandering of former Congressman Tom DeLay. Chet Edwards tightened his hold on a district drawn specifically to defeat him in 2003, and Nick Lampson turned back a strong Republican write-in effort to claim the disgraced Republican’s former seat.

The Texas congressional delegation still favors Republicans, but by a slimmer 19-13 margin. Prior to the mid-decade redistricting, Democrats held a 17-15 edge even though statewide voters tend to favor Republicans by a 15 to 20 percent margin. After the 2004 elections, the first held after the DeLay-orchestrated redistricting, Republicans took six seats. The United States Supreme Court ruled parts of the plan unconstitutional and ordered a lower court to re-draw the boundaries.

Looking to 2008, pickup opportunities are available to the Democrats in at least four districts. Based on the 2006 general election results, the four Republican-held districts with the smallest margin of victory are:

  • 32nd — Pete Sessions
  • 10th — Mike McCaul
  • 14th — Ron Paul
  • 31st — John Carter

The playing field has shifted greatly in favor of the Democrats in a short time. Tom DeLay’s attempt to force a “permanent Republican majority” actually has accelerated its demise. That is the very definition of poetic justice.


Felthauser Responds To Yesterday’s Ben Wear Column On HD-52 Race

Posted in Election 2006, Road Issues, Williamson County at 8:58 am by wcnews

These comments come from two posts here on Mr. Wear’s AAS article yesterday.

First comment, in relation to her support in the recent election:

I received a lot of support from the state as well as the local education community. Education Round Rock, the Texas Federation of Teachers and the Texas State Teacher’s Association all urged their members to vote for me. The TFT also designated me one of their Educator to Voter candidates and arranged for education employees from across the state to write letters to district 52 constituents asking them to vote for me. I received support and volunteers from the Central Labor Council of the AFL-CIO and the Communication Workers of America. I was endorsed by the Texas State Employees’ Union members who are not happy about the move to underfund their departments and privatize their jobs. I was endorsed by the Texas Chapter of National Association of Social Workers who are not happy about the cuts to the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

The second comment is in relation to where the TTC will go through Williamson County and who was telling the truth:

Krusee was lying not I. The location of the corridor in Williamson has NOT been determined. Krusee was trying to make the impression to his constituents that the corridor is nothing more than any of the local Austin toll roads and this is not the case at all. The corridor is much wider, with more limited access and will include car, train and utility right of ways. Even if 130 ends up serving as the motor vehicle lanes, there will have to be considerable land taken somewhere for the the train lines and the utilities associated with the corridor. And, as you point out, 130 rejoins IH-35, which the corridor will decidedly not do.

Also for some more good reading on these topics check out McBlogger for more on Sen. Ogden, Ben Wear and Ben Wear and tolls v. the gas tax.


Williamson County Posts Latest And Hopeully Final Election Reults

Posted in Election 2006, Williamson County at 2:28 pm by wcnews

The call them Nov 07 Grand Total.

These numbers have Mike Krusee barely over 50%.

Mike Krusee 50.45%

Karen Felthauser 44.21%

Lillian Simmons 5.35%

Precinct totals here.  I hear this was requested by the Republicans and they were a little put off that the Democrats won 25 precincts in the governor’s race.  Another thing they can thank Rick Perry for.


Ben Wear Makes Excuses For Mike Krusee

Posted in Election 2006, Williamson County at 11:29 pm by wcnews

It wasn’t just toll roads Ben. The first part of that slogan was Scholls Yes!, remember? Karen Felthauser had the support of the education community in Round Rock, Krusee is, a and always has been, a huge voucher supporter. He has some personal issues, that most people in politics, Republican or Democrat, in Williamson County are aware of, just ask around, and he’s not a “Proven Conservative”. Being a Perry rubber stamp on everything toll roads did hurt him, but it wasn’t the only issue.


Texas Loses Clout In Congress, John Carter Elected To House Leadership

Posted in Around The Nation, Around The State, Election 2006 at 7:52 am by wcnews

I just think it’s funny that the DMN has an article titled like this, Texas loses lengthy clout in Congress. That contains this paragraph:

Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, won the No. 6 House GOP slot on Friday, becoming secretary of the conference. Two Texas colleagues had hoped to join the leadership. Mr. Barton ran for minority leader but dropped out and threw his support to Majority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, who easily fended off a challenge from the head of the party’s most conservative bloc

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, ran second in a three-way race to chair the party’s House campaign arm. He lost to Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who was the campaign committee’s executive director before joining Congress.

The other funny, in a sad way, part of this article is that the winner in all this was Oklahoma:

“Oklahoma Beats Texas!” was the gloating headline on a news release from Oklahoma corporation commissioner, Denise Bode. “Oklahoma values will be placed front and center of the national debate.”

Yee haw!! Another thing we can thank Tom DeLay for.

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