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:
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)
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.
Here is the 2006 Texas Democratic Party Platform. Eye On Williamson will present more analysis later. Now, compare it to the stone-hearted Texas GOP platform and decide for yourself which party better represents main stream values and traditions in Texas.
Click here for the interview with Mary Beth Harrell by Charles Kuffner.
Click here for the interview with Karen Felthauser by Vince Leibowitz.
There’s much more video and audio clips at Capitol Annex (here and here).
[UPDATE]: YouTube has more, link via BOR.
The Agonist Radio talks Yearly Kos and Blogger Caucus.
Democrats did themselves a favor electing Boyd Richie, but for none of the reasons the AAS offered. The movement of Texas Republicans to the right, not their political mistakes, is what has created an historic opportunity for Democrats. Boyd Richie will help the party reclaim the pragmatic conservatives in the middle of the political spectrum that left the party in the 1980s, briefly returned in 1990, then left for good in 1994.
Texas Republicans have been left with little choice but to pander to an ever harder to please fundamentalist base that believes immigrants should be treated as felons, stem cells are human life, the United Nations should be expelled, teachers should be banned from speaking Spanish and every governmental service should be outsourced to the lowest bidder. These are all planks in the Republican party platform.
The 2004 election was won by energizing those with the most extreme conservative beliefs and making sure they turned out to vote. In Williamson county, all the precincts with the highest voter turnout strongly supported President Bush’s re-election. The Republicans were able to turn out their base by stimulating their fears of terrorism, homosexuality, retirement security, litigious trial lawyers and the possibility of a Democrat filling Supreme Court vacancies.
The dismal turnout during the Republican primary and subsequent run-off last Spring alarmed Texas Republicans to the present reality. The base is not motivated. At least one strong independent candidate for governor will split the ticket. This is a nationwide problem for Republicans, a party the public increasingly distrusts. The anti-gay marriage amendment to the United States Constitution was a last-ditch attempt to put a hot-button issue on state ballots. However, the Senate resoundingly rejected the attempt, which failed to achieve even a simple majority when a two-thirds majority was required.
By embracing an extreme agenda, the Republicans have ceded an enormous amount of political turf. If Texas Democrats drive a stake in the center and run what Chet Edwards called “a coalition of different people with different ideas,” Democrats will create a welcoming environment for disaffected centrists who are ready to leave the Republican party.
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In my pre-convention thoughts I wanted the Texas Democratic Convention to turn out much different than the GOP convention. For Democrats to come away with “a feeling of hope and purpose”. I believe that has happened. Barbara Radnofsky gave a great speech during today’s session. Boyd Richie won the race for state chair and Glen Maxey gave an excellent concession speech from what I hear. The Blogger Caucus site has a wrap-up of a lot of the convention blogging.
The Star-Telegram has a good piece on the convention, Excitement, delegates overflowing, giving some positive press to the Democrats. Here’s a couple of excerpts:
The arrival of 5,000 Texas Democrats seemed to come as something of a shock Friday in Fort Worth when they jammed downtown searching for the convention center parking garage and tried futilely to decipher our pattern of one-way streets.
“The difference between this year and when we came here six years ago is like the difference between night and day,” said David Van Os, an Austin labor lawyer who is running against Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican.
“Six years ago, the party leaders had a defeatist attitude. They were afraid to speak out. … Now, there’s a lot of enthusiasm.”
This is still the Democratic Party that seems more like a gathering of microparties, from the Motorcycle Rights Caucus and the Environmental Caucus to the Progressive Populist Caucus and the Stem Cell Research Caucus. The exhibit hall has not one but two booths devoted to changing marijuana laws.
But six years ago, I don’t remember a Pro-Life Democrats booth.
And I don’t remember anything called a Christian Democratic Network, or the Network of Spiritual Progressives Caucus, which calls for restoring “religion and spirituality” to political leadership.
They did, for some reason, leave out the Blogger Caucus who had the best party of the weekend. Anyway, the wrap-ups are sure to keep coming into early next week and even though there was a fight for party chair the Democrats are leaving there convention more unified than the Republicans.
[UPDATE]:Â Check out A Capitol Blog for this great post, Another Gathering Highlights The Power Of The Blog.
The official results from the second ballot are not ready at the moment, but after enough senate district results came in to throw Boyd Richie over the magic number needed for nomination, Glenn Maxey took the floor and conceded to Richie.
According to totals being kept by delegates in the SD5 caucus, Richie had a 52% to 48% lead over Maxey with about two senate districts remaining to report.
Update: The final vote was 3415 – 2987 (53% – 47%).
Update: BOR has a detailed breakdown of the vote (both ballots) with maps.
Senate District 5 official results for state party chair
Glenn Maxey 115.93 votes (61%)
Boyd Richie 74.07 votes (39%)
Sorry I did not post this earlier, here are the results from the first ballot:
Glenn Maxey 101.18 votes (53%)
Boyd Richie 60.09 votes (32%)
Charles Urbina-Jones 26.98 votes (14%)
LaKesha Rogers 1.75 votes (1%)
The final vote totals are forthcoming any moment.
This morning the nominations committee met in what was anticipated to be a battle over party rules that have not been tested in 24 or 26 years. The four announced candidates for state party chair agreed on all major points of contention and presented their proposal at 8 o’clock. Within 45 minutes the committee had ratified the proposal, entered the four into nomination and chose not to pass on a recommendation to the full convention.
The race for state chair will be decided in about two hours. Each senate delegation has selected a tabulation team that consisists of a chair and no less than four assistants. The assistants represent each of the four candidates for state chair.
In a multiple-county sentatorial districts, the formula is a bit more complicated. SD5 is such a district, including Williamson and 13 other counties to the East. Those districts will take a roll call of each county delegation present. Each county will vote its full delegate strength, which means that the votes of those who aren’t in attendance will be apportioned according the ratios of those delegates present.
The counties that are not represented — which for SD5 includes Freestone, Lee and Leon counties — will then have their delegation votes apportioned according the the ratios of theose counties present.
I’m missing the Blogger Caucus which I hear is the place-to-be tonight. Today the convention got into full swing with many caucus meetings and of course the two speeches tonight from Wes Clark and Chris Bell.
Vince has the most extensive post of Wes Clark’s speech here. There’s much more from Damon at BOR, and this DKos diary from Anna.
Chris Bell’s speech can be read on this link from BOR, Chris Bell Addresses State Convention. He spoke quite a bit about the failed Republican leadership in Texas and he called for a “New Texas Revolution”:
If you give me the bully pulpit and a veto pen, I will lead a â€œNew Texas Revolution.â€ This requires nothing more radical than common sense, but in our state capitol, it requires nothing less than a revolution.
He talked extensively about education – better teacher pay, less reliance on the TAKS, about Texas one day having the best education in the nation. He also hit healthcare – CHIP, stem cell research. He listed five examples of regular people and how the failed Republican policies have effected regular people, what he calls the “New Mainstream”. And he spoke of Democrats in Texas needing to learn how to win again.
He didn’t leave out the red meat either:
After getting shut out for the last decade, weâ€™ve got to learn to win again, too. Because Texas needs us to lead again. Weâ€™re not going to win if we sell out to the lesser of Two Republicans.
Someone once said that Carole Strayhorn is Rick Perry in a skirt. I say that Carole Strayhorn and Rick Perry are two sleeves of the same empty suit.
When Carole Strayhorn left the Democratic Party 20 years ago and became a republican, Rick Perry followed her. And When Rick Perry has had a bad idea, Carole Strayhorn has backed him up, putting lipstick on the pig time after time after time.
Whether itâ€™s privatizing the Medicaid call centers, deregulating college tuition, building toll-roads, cutting childrenâ€™s health insurance, promoting private-school vouchers, or gutting the Texas Tomorrow Fund, Carole Strayhorn helped Rick Perry perpetuate his reign of error as long as it suited her political plans.
She is nothing more than a politician in search of a parade. And now sheâ€™s trying to be our buddy.
You know what?
We donâ€™t need a Carole-Come-Lately. We need a leader to stand up today and tomorrow and the day after that, no matter which way the political winds are blowing.
You know, Iâ€™m just a dad from Houston, but almost exactly two years ago tonight, I stood up to Tom DeLay. And today is the last day of his reign of corruption.
That wraps up day 2 at the convention and stay tuned tomorrow for all the stories from the Blogger Caucus tonight.
Annatopia put on a party that will be long-remembered by all who attended. Upstairs at the Flying Saucer in Fort Worth right now is a mosh pit of about 200 officeholders, candidates, bloggers and supporters getting together after an exhausting day at the state convention. Politics, hope, WEP keys and draft pints were in ample supply.
Update: Others have estimated 300 attended. It was jam-packed, that’s for sure.
“The List” is below the fold.
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