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Monday, April 12, 2004

Anyone Know How (if possible) To Activate Comments? 

If so, email me at dwm1209@yahoo.com. Thanks.

Local Democratic Campaign Websites 

John Kerry for Austin
Mark Strama for State Rep. Dist 50
Kelly White for State Rep Dist 48
Stephen Yelenosky for 345th District Judge
Lloyd Doggett for U.S. Congress Dist 25

Travis County Democratic Party

Be sure to bookmark all of these sites. Mark Strama in 50 andKelly White in 48 are two big races to keep an eye on this fall. As always, all of the sites have contribution links on them.

April 13 Runoff -- Does It Even Matter?? 

If you're a Democrat in Travis County, the runoff tomorrow will be of little value to you. The only Democratic race on the ballot is the Precint 4 Constable Race, where Incumbent Maria Canchola takes on Leticia Lugo. The Democrats had expected several races -- such as Sheriff and District Judge 200th -- to go to runoffs, but Greg Hamilton and Gisela Triana spoiled those expectations with huge victories.

The big Republican races are as follows:
U.S. CONGRESS DISTRICT 10
Former U.S. Attorney (and Austinite) Mike McCaul is taking on Houston businessman Ben Streusand. This has been an extremely negative campaign, but I look for McCaul to win by about 5 points since he has turned his message to a more positive tint in the last week. Streusand will no doubt start planning another run for Congress, as it is clear he has the political "bug" after spending a lot of his own money.

TRAVIS CO. SHERIFF
Duane McNeill, a former APD Commander and Constable Drew McAngus have waged an extremely close race thus far. I expect McAngus to win at a margin of about 55-45, much due to his relatively high name I.D. following his years as Constable and his previous run for sheriff.

The other Republic runoff is a Constable race between Andy Anderson and Thornton Keel (yes, another Keel). Look for Keel to win, but keep in mind that the Keel Machine will stop this November when Stephen Yelenosky defeats Patrick Keel for 345th District Judge .

Turnout for the runoff will probably be abismal, somewhere around 3% I would imagine. Check back soon for news on the upcoming races and initiatives on the May 15th Election Ballot.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Endorsements Revisited: PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ENDORSEMENT 

I have made my Endorsements for all the local races (they can be found below). But, I have been holding out to make the Presidential endorsement. To understand, I need to give some history.

In January of 2003, I was an Edwards guy. I like Edwards, and I thought he could win. I soon became a Gephardt guy. I liked Gep, and I thought he could win. In the next six months, I came to like and appreciate all of the candidates.

I have volunteered time for Dick Gephardt, John Edwards, Carol Moseley Braun, Howard Dean and Wesley Clark. The odd men out are Kerry, Kucinich, Sharpton and Lieberman.

I feel like, as a Democrat and an American, I want JOHN EDWARDS [campaign site] representing me. If elected, our nominee will be the face of our party for years to come. I don't want a 68 year old John Kerry as the face of the Democratic Party. I want a 58 year old John Edwards, a charismatic Southerner, as the face of our party.

I urge you all to vote for John Edwards. Consider the present, but most of all, consider the future.

ENDORSEMENTS: President - Edwards; Dist 25 - Doggett; Travis Commish #1 - Ron Davis; Dist Judge #200 - John Hathaway; CtyCtatLaw#5 - Efrain de la Fuente; Travis County Sheriff - co endorsement of Greg Hamilton and Todd Radford.

KERRY-EDWARDS TICKET LEADS BUSH-CHENEY 

A new poll shows Kerry-Edwards leading Bush-Cheney by the margin of 50 to 42. The following is from the Associated Press:

. . Both Kerry and Edwards are basically tied with Bush in head-to-head matchups in a CBS News poll released this weekend. But when Kerry-Edwards are matched against Republican Bush-Cheney, the Democrats lead 50 percent to 42 percent. None of the hypothetical matchups included independent candidate Ralph Nader . .

Does this mean Kerry-Edwards is THE TICKET? While same may say yes, I say a rather emphatic NO. Kerry-Edwards is A ticket . . . not THE ticket. The following tickets below are ones I would love to see:

Kerry-Gephardt: experience, experience, experience. Plus, great geography with Dick's Missouri and its 12 electoral votes.
Kerry-Richardson: This Governor Bill is a hot commodity. He says he wont take VP, but he is for sure? If not, Kerry will be calling. If so, Kerry will be calling. Anyway, Kerry WILL be calling.
Kerry-Vilsack: can we go for a 100% Catholic ticket? I think so. Vilsack is very popular, and he would swing Iowa for sure. He would also impact Indiana and Ohio a little.
Kerry-Landrieu: if Kerry has guts, he could make this pick. The guys at OurCampaigns have been calling for this for sometime. Will it happen? Probably not. But Landrieu is a national star waiting to happen.
Kerry-Nelson: Wait a second . . Kerry's a war hero AND Nelson's an astronaut! But, oh no! They'll have to go up against a AWOL guardsmen and a . . uh . . uh . . a Cheney.
Kerry-Clark: I like Clark, you probably like Clark. My parents like Clark, your parents may like Clark. But I don't love Clark, and neither do you. Say hello to Secretary (of State) Clark come January 2005.
Kerry-Bredsen: I like this ticket! It works. But, can Bredsen carry Tennessee? If he can, and if he can somehow avoid looking like a complete foreign policy idiot, he could do well.
Kerry-Napolitano: Janet is a good Guv and a great AG. But I don't know if she can be a great VP, right now at least. We shall see.

Now, on to Edwards (I know, but it could happen.)
Edwards-Gephardt: youth and experience; south and midwest. Everything us Democrats love.
Edwards-Kerry: a crude consolation prize for Kerry, who no doubt will have to do something stupid to end up out of the nom.
Edwards-Clark: a real ticket! I like this ticket because its got nat'l security and job security. Edwards-Clark could win the White House.

That's it for now. Check back soon for a look at a potential Kerry Administration Cabinet.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

RUMOR: HOUSTON CHRONICLE WILL BREAK PERRY STORY TOMORROW 

I have from a reliable source that the Houston Chronicle will run a story about the rumors of Rick Perry's affairs and sexuality. The story may be connected to the protest today outside the Governor's Mansion. The Austin Chronicle (link at right) will probably also run it on Thursday.

ENDORSEMENTS -- MARCH 9TH PRIMARY 

This year brings the Austin area a lot of competitive races. We have congressional races, judicial races and commissioner's court races that all promise to be exciting on election night. For what is worth, here's who I am supporting in the Democratic Primary:

U.S. Congress District 25 -- LLOYD DOGGETT
Doggett has served Austin in Congress since 1994. He had done a admirable job, especially in recent years. He has been a solidly Liberal voice in a Texas Delegation that has way too few. Leticia Hinojosa is a good candidate, but why would Austinites trade a native with ten years of House seniority for Hinojosa? I would support Hinojosa if Doggett wasn't running, but we owe Doggett. A vote for Doggett is a vote for Austin. The district will be forgotten and ignored if represented by the potential freshman congressman Hinojosa.


Travis Co. Comm. Precint #1 -- RON DAVIS
A lot of people are supporting Celia Israel, and that is not surprising. Israel is a fine candidate, but I believe that Davis' seniority and experience will serve the citizens of Precint #1 better. Davis has always stood up for environmental rights, and he will continue to do so. A vote for Celia Israel is not a vote for change, though there's little doubt that after a few years she could become as capable of Commissioner as Davis. But, Davis has been there for us. Now we need to be there for him.

Travis Co. Sheriff -- TODD RADFORD and GREG HAMILTON
Radford is the more Progressive candidate of the bunch, but Hamilton -- a former employee of the TABC -- is incumbent Margo Frasier's choice. Out of respect for Frasier, I include Hamilton. I urge a vote for Radford, but either one will continue and improve on Frasier's impressive tenure.

200th District Judge -- JOHN HATHAWAY
Hathaway is simply the most qualified. He has been an Associate Judge since 1998, and his election as the next 200th District Judge is the natural maturation. Gisela Triana is also qualified, but Hathaway's experience as a Associate District Judge, a litigator in the District courts, and a strong advocate for abused children make him the choice. While Hathaway is the choice, Triana would also make a fine judge. Jan Soifer, however, is not the right choice. Soifer has resorted to negative attacks, something that is often a bad sign in what should be ethical judicial races. If you are deciding between Soifer and Triana, go with Triana. But if you want the leadership and judical ethics of Paul Davis upheld with honor, go with Hathaway. Triana is a judicial rising star, but Hathaway has paid his dues and deserves a shot.

Travis Co. Court-at-Law #5 -- EFRAIN DE LA FUENTE
Most people are going with lawyer Nancy Hohengarten in this race, but Hohengarten has been raising money with events called "Lawyers for Nancy." De La Fuente was the prosecutor in the Yogurt Shop Trial. Though all three candidates are worthy, De La Fuente's experience and potential make him the pick.

State Rep. District 50 -- MARK STRAMA
Though Strama faces no opposition, I include him to draw attention to his candidacy. He is running against Jack Stick (unless Stick is upset in the primary, see below), the Austin State Rep who voted FOR redistricting, as well as the guy who HIRED a fake family to pose with him in a campaign brochure. The sleaze of the sleaze. Strama is the opposite. He is very involved in voting registration and was in a high leadership position at Rock The Vote. Volunteer or contribute to him today, because Dist 50 is one of the best chances for a Dem pickup in Texas.


Republican Primary:

U.S. Congress District 10 -- Mike McCaul
For those of you unfortunate enough to have to pick from this crop, McCaul is the clear choice. The closest thing to a Democrat (and I don't mean very close) in a race of ultra-conservatives, McCaul will be a solid GOP vote, but not an idealogue like some of his competitors. For the record, I urge a Libretarian vote in November, as no Democratic is running.

State Rep. District 50 -- Mike Davis
Jack Stick is representing special interests, not District 50. Davis is conservative, but he also has an independent streak. He won't be held down by special interests, plus he will be an easier opponent for Democrat Mark Strama in November. Advice to GOP voters: vote Davis in March and Strama in November.

The AUSTIN LOWDOWN is Launched 

The Austin Lowdown will be a place for all Austinites, Texans and beyond to come for political news, gossip, rumors and opinions -- plus, I'll always mix in some sports news. If you have questions or comments, the email is dwm1209@yahoo.com.
Thanks for visiting.
By the way, does anyone know how to activate comments for this blog?

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